3 Lessons for Business Owners from the Australian Open

  • by kaibizzen
  • Oct 10, 2018
  • Blog

Unless you actively avoid all mentions of sport – you’ve probably noticed there’s a tennis tournament going on. The 2017 Australian Open has had more felling of Tennis Royalty than a Revolution (albeit less bloody). But as a business owner, there are three crucial lessons you need to learn from what’s happening at the AO.

LESSON 1: Have A Champion’s Mindset

Nowhere do you get more insight into the mind of a champion than during the on-court, post-match interviews.

As Business Owners, we want to be champions in the game of business. However, if you want to be a champion, you’ve got to develop a champion attitude.

A champion accepts total responsibility for everything that happens on the court.

“At the end of the day you have to be happy with what you did, as well. Have to be happy with the little things. Sometimes it’s not going to be pretty. Sometimes it’s just going to be a fight.” – Roger Federer (Post-match interview, 18-1-17)

Just today I spoke with a business owner who was complaining about sales staff ‘not doing their job’. After a couple of questions, it was clear that this owner hadn’t provided his team with a clear sales strategy. He’d employed a sales person because he didn’t like ‘doing sales’. By continuing to abdicate his responsibility to someone else, this Business Owner will probably go through many ‘incompetent’ sales staff and always struggle to grow his business.

A champion expects to win and has a plan to do it.

“I know I have the game to beat top players so I came in there with a game plan today to win the match. I didn’t go to see the court and enjoy… I came there to win the match.” – Marjana Lucic-Baroni after beating World no.3 Agnieszka Radwanska in the 2nd round

At this time of year, many business owners are so busy doing anything and everything to hit their EOFY targets, that things can get… chaotic.

It may feel like you’re drowning in an ocean of ‘too-much-to-do’. At times, it can be overwhelming.

Even though it’s challenging, invest the time to create a clear plan so you can focus your energy on the taking the right actions. A clear vision means fewer choices – and ultimately easier decisions.

LESSON 2: Be A High Percentage Player

In this interesting article, Craig O’Shannessy, strategy expert for Wimbledon, Australian Open, ATP World Tour & The New York Times, posits the exact strategy Gael Monfils needs to deploy in order to defeat Rafael Nadal. To be frank – Monfils’ chances aren’t great. But he does have a chance – if he’s prepared to play at the edges of his comfort zone.

“If Monfils is to upset Nadal on Monday night, he must be the player that adjusts, be the player that goes out of his comfort zone to find the finish line first.” O’Shannessy (24/1: post-match edit: Monfils lost because he didn’t execute his higher % plays. Monfils played the game where he felt most comfortable – and where Nadal had the advantage.)

As a business owner, it’s critical to know exactly where you have the advantage.

  • What’s your advantage over your competitors?
  • Which of your clients are the most profitable?
  • Who on your staff bring in the most income?

To ensure success, you must know which metrics are key to your successs. Then you must track, measure and improve those metrics.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the urgent stuff. It’s also easy to be really busy and still make no money.

Without playing to an explicit strategy that maximises your advantages, you’ll continue to do the work that’s comfortable. And that work is rarely what makes the biggest difference.

LESSON 3: It Takes A Team To Create A Champion

In a sport as individualistic as Tennis, it’s easy to overlook the team behind the greats. But where would the likes of the Williams sisters, Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova or Roger Federer be without a coach and all the other professionals who stand behind them?

“Each one complements the other, and all play a key role … Imagine that I could be so lucky and so successful without them, it’s impossible.” – Rafael Nadal

Business Owners often pride themselves on being the ‘Lone Wolf’. However, when it comes to elite athletes, we inherently understand that nobody reaches greatness without a team supporting them who are each experts in their own field.

In other words, the head coach has a different role to the physiotherapist. Who plays a different role to the personal trainer. Who is not the person the player goes to when faced with a crisis of confidence.

In business, it would be similarly unwise to believe that one person can guide you across every facet of your business. Don’t expect your accountant to give you marketing advice. Your I.T. Guru is not a sounding board for strategic direction. And your sales consultant will find it difficult to help you work through the reasons why you continue to doubt you can really be a success.

It takes commitment.

To be a champion business owner, you must commit to:

1. Develop a Champion’s Mindset;

2. Be A High Percentage Player;

3. Get The Right Team Supporting You

Are you ready to become a Champion Business Owner – or the owner of a Champion Business?

Come to our half-day workshop on Friday, 3rd March, 2017. Limited Spaces Available. Book now.

Click here for more details on our upcoming events.

02 Oct

Panel Discussion

Tuesday, 6:30pm Quest Cannon Hill

What does it take to actually remove yourself from the day-to-day grind of business? Learn from our panel of Business Owners who've Been There, Done That.



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