Sports by itself teaches us many things. Olympic, which is the biggest sporting event in the world celebrates not only sports but also the sportsman spirit. The recently concluded Rio Olympics has had many memorable moments which can educate entrepreneur with some valuable lessons. In this article we shall try some of them-
1. Equal opportunity to all- Many a times it so happens that the co-founders hire only their friends or students from their alma-mater. They become biased to few and in this process loose in attracting talented employees to their company. This Olympic has shown us given an opportunity anybody can perform. Both the Indian medal holders are women and they have shown how well they can perform. Start-ups should also learn from them. If you give opportunity to the right candidate, you are bound to benefit.
2. Persistence and hard work- It took 14 Summer and 3 Winter Olympics for Fiji to win its first medal. The men rugby team of Fiji won gold for their country. In fact Fiji finished at a higher position than India. Its rank was 54, while India languished at 67. People only see the podium but the real game lies on the years of hard work that goes behind it. When Sakshi Malik won her medal, she stated that she hasn’t won any medal; it’s her 12 years of hard work which has! Persistence is never unrewarded. If you constantly work hard and improve your quality, your startup can be the next Unicorn Start up.
3. Never give up- In this age of quick outcome, often entrepreneurs give up thinking one failure is the end of the road. However, it’s not! Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. We need to have patience so as to be an industry leader. While running for Marathon in Rio 2016, Mo Farah fell down on the track. This gave his competitors sufficient advantage. Most discounted him from the race. However, at the end of the race it was seen that he finished with gold medal on his neck. Mo Farah not only won 5000 metres but also won the 10000 metres marathon in the Olympics. He is only the 2nd person in modern Olympics to successfully defend his Marathon Title. If he would have given up when he fell down, then he would not have been part of the legend. Always remember, it does not matter whether you fall, what matters how you pick yourself and finish the race.
4. Reputation Management- Building brand is important but the critical part lies in maintaining the goodwill. Brand management plays a very important role for every start up. The infamous Lochategate is a fine example. Ryan Lochate who won gold in Swimming for US alleged that he was robbed at gunpoint in Rio. Later, it was found that he ‘over-exaggerated the story’ and it was he who vandalized a local gas station. This brought a worldwide furor where he was severely criticized for his behavior. Many of his sponsors withdrew themselves post the scandal. It is said that due to this, Lochate has lost close to $ 1 million in sponsorship. Branding helps any start up for revenue generation. Any new entrepreneur should take care of this part of business as this one can be the source of repeat customers.
5. Enjoy your success- Many entrepreneurs are so involved in the business that they forget to enjoy the success of their business. This affects their decision making capability in the long run. Until and unless you enjoy your success, you won’t be able to perform consistently. The famous arrow move of Bolt or the victory sign of Phelps remind us constantly how world class athletes enjoy their victory. When anybody takes up pressure, he or she deserves the opportunity to enjoy. This eases up the stress and helps them to perform better at a longer period.
All in all Olympics are not only for sportsman but for all. It teaches grit, determination, optimism and values. Everybody can learn from Sakshi Malik who was 5 points down in the last round but ultimately went on to become a medal winner. Olympics teaches us a simple philosophy ‘You can be down, but you are definitely not out!’