Super Bowl 51 plays out in Houston (and in every living room in the US) this Sunday. Whether you’re rooting for the Pats, the Falcons, or just the commercials, you have to agree that the Big Game is all about getting it done. Let’s round up the top five ways that entrepreneurs just like football MVPs—even if they don’t come with a halftime show or seven-layer dip.
They commit 100%
NFL players eat, breathe and sleep football—and entrepreneurs do the same for their business. Successful doers nurture their businesses and their skills just like a baller practices and studies their sport around the clock. Unlike a regular 9-to-5, an entrepreneur’s job requires complete dedication and an all-consuming passion for growing your business.
You may not remember the exact moment you knew that you wanted to be an entrepreneur, but you’ve always felt the drive to create and to be independent. You were born with a gut feeling that the regular rat race just wasn’t for you. Pro athletes start training as children and—just like entrepreneurs—learn skills by obsessively observing and absorbing experiences in order to actualize their vision. They aren’t scared to put in two or three practices a day at bizarre times or drive several hours to the nearest competition in order to take their game to the next level.
They don’t let failure get them down
Every great athlete or entrepreneur has a spectacular failure story (or three) under their belt. Being successful in these competitive fields is not about winning every battle or making the fewest mistakes, it’s about being able to keep your head high and try again even when you fail. There will always be competitors. You won’t always win, but entrepreneurs and athletes alike never let a challenge get the best of them.
They know a good mentor makes all the difference
“Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.” Coach Taylor’s words ring as true on Fiverr as they do on Friday Night Lights. It doesn’t matter how much natural talent an athlete is born with or the amount of practice they put in. Without a good coach to guide them, encourage them and critique them, athletes will never progress beyond a certain level. The same holds true for entrepreneurs. Finding a mentor who will help you hone your strengths as well as call out your weaknesses can be one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your entrepreneurship journey.
They focus on the fans—and ignore the haters
Even the most talented and popular athletes have a bucket of haterade poured over their heads from time to time. The same is true for entrepreneurs who may have big supporters as well as others who only respond to their ideas with negativity and pessimism. Selective listening is both an athlete and an entrepreneur’s greatest tool. Absorb positive energy from your cheering section and ignore the people who can’t find a positive word to say. There will always be detractors. The trick is to never let them get to you.
Whether an NFL Hall of Famer or an aspiring entrepreneur, greatness depends on your desire to achieve it. If you put in the hours, the effort, and push past the obstacles then success can be yours. No matter your goal, keep your eye on the prize and remember that you’ll only get out of your ventures what you put in.
How else are entrepreneurs like pro athletes? Draw more similarities in the comments below.