With the Olympics the past couple of weeks, it was hard as a business coach for women not to see all to correlations between athletics and business.
It was a recent conversation with a friend that occurred on the night of the Michael Phelps win in the 200 M Butterfly when Chad Le Close is captured looking at him and not the goal that this idea really hit home.
And then reinforced when Katie Ledecky at just 19 won her gold by 11 seconds – I was profoundly struck by the image of her going back down the pool in the opposite direction of the competition…..she was that far ahead! I watched the women’s triathlon and sat with the question the announcers kept asking about the favorite Gwen Jorgensen who just a few short years ago was an accountant, “What do you do when everyone expects you to win?”
In our current culture it is nearly impossible to not see what the competition is doing, or what others who are in a similar space to you professionally are doing. We can get caught into a spiral of how we are not “enough” or should be doing “more”.
The fact is all any of us in business need to do is stay in our lane. Phelps won because he worked hard and stayed focused on his goal. He definitely had his share of personal mistakes and professional ones over the years….AND he paused, gained traction and got back in his lane. Ledecky won by 11 seconds because she swam her race. And Jorgensen did what she expected herself to do….win.
You may find yourself on a day this week watching from afar as some colleague has a “big” launch or announces with pride her new exciting “thing” and you begin to hear a small voice inside you begin questioning you, your success, your work, and even your worth.
I will say to you what I said recently to a colleague and friend, “Stay in your lane. You are doing great. Your life and business success are what you define and create. You don't need to chase anyone else or justify anything to the outside world. Be proud of your work and the impact you make.”
In athletics it is clear based on time, or points who wins. In business it’s not always that clear. Winning for a small business owner needs to have a clearly defined outcome. Is it revenue? Profits? Number of clients? What does winning in your business look like to you?
Just remember I am expecting YOU to win. xo - Me
Debbie Page Whitlock is a business coach and leading authority on cash flow for women entrepreneurs, and writes on all things related to creating sustainable, scalable and potentially salable businesses and other useful bits of business wisdom she’s acquired on her 20 year entrepreneurial odyssey.