The advertising is already starting. It’s Olympics time. During the next two months we’ll get tired of all the advertising. Everyone will be doing an athletics theme, a rings theme, a Chinese theme, a five-interlocking coffee stains theme. I know that sounds a little cynical, but I don’t mean it that way. In fact, all those ads could be part of changing your life.
The Olympics is a collection of stories of hope, of overcoming insurmountable odds, of underdogs, of longshots. (In a sense, it’s like a meeting of small business owners.)
What always happens to me during this three month period every few years is to be convicted. I wonder whether I care about anything as much as these athletes care about their event.
- Do I concentrate on details of anything as much as a sprinter thinks of how her fingers are placed right before the starting gun?
- Do I practice the basic routines of anything the way a distance runner stretches and lifts weights and eats and rests?
- Do I focus on the finish line or any deadline as much as the marathon runner?
- Do I build toward success one life at a time the way a weightlifter adds weights?
- Do I look for diversity the way an all-around gymnast or decathalete works?
- Do I build solid handoff relationships the way that relay teams focus on passing the baton?
Rather than getting even more depressed by our lack of athletic ability, train like an Olympian this summer.
Pick just one of these areas to work on for the next three months. Use every Olympic commercial you see or hear as a reminder to work on that area. Trim distractions out of your life for just this time.
Having done that, we’ll be able to watch the competition this year and cheer for ourselves, knowing that we have written another chapter in the story of unlikely people doing amazing things.
Jon Swanson is your customer, presenting everyday perspectives in a new way. He was a regular contributor to the Great Big Small Business Show podcast as the Entrepreneurial Chicken. Jon is the author of the best small business post ever.
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