Great business advice can come from unexpected places.
In a recent article from Entrepreneur, sports philosophy meets business philosophy through sage advice from Todd Heman, an Olympic performance coach.
As an entrepreneur, you may not be running marathons, but you are engaging in intellectual performance.
And just like physical performance, mental performance is something you can optimize through certain practices and the right mindset.
Here are just a few of the recommendations Hermann makes for entrepreneurs who want to reach peak performance.
1. Work in focused sprints.
Remember that to launch his business, Herman did 68 speaking gigs in 90 days, unpaid. That’s three months of incredible focus. As entrepreneurs with many ideas and the desire to go fast, many of us struggle with focus.
“[Entrepreneurs are] diffusing their energy — then they wonder why they grow so much slower than everyone else.” He explained that it’s not because competitors are smarter or more skilled.
It’s usually that they are “making a series of choices that are more aligned and tighter, that are leading them forward faster.” Herman knows it sounds cliché, but he is adamant that the art of focus is critical, especially to early-stage success.
2. Get self-aware.
Another common theme among the massively successful entrepreneurs I interview is self awareness. Herman likened it to a superpower. He explained that you can work smarter, better and faster when you know your skills, weaknesses and what makes you tick.
This includes making sure you know how to recharge. A true extrovert, Herman knows that he can’t hole up in his office, even during a launch week, or he’ll reach burn out. He makes sure to schedule in-person meetings and coffees with friends, clients and mentors throughout the week.
I believe (though some of my guests disagree) that we can get better at self awareness. Ask yourself tough questions. Think through the childhood hopes and dreams that have stuck with you. Analyze your preferences — why do you prefer things a certain way? Analyze your performance — do you do better under pressure or at a relaxed pace?
3. Master the mental game.
Of course you cannot interview a high performance coach without talking about psychology and mental toughness. Herman dove deep into studying the mind and the power of mindset. What he told his early coaching clients applies to entrepreneurs as well.
“You don't need to do more cone drills, you don't need to do more wind sprints; that's not gonna help you on the field. It's not that you don't have the physical skills or you don't have the speed — what's falling apart for you is you got no routine, you don't have the ability to focus, you don't have some good training patterns.”
If you’re focusing on webinars and funnels and marketing when you haven’t mastered your mindset, routine and daily habits, you will not reach peak performance for yourself or your business.
You can watch the entire interview here:
You can also read the full article over at Entrepreneur.