Olympians and small business owners are kindred spirits.
Watching the Winter Olympic athletes compete, we’re taken to a place where special humans participate in a noble cause. These heroes commit countless hours over many years, pushing their minds and bodies to achieve a level of excellence that might qualify them to … merely be on an Olympic team and represent their country.
Notice neither winning medals nor glory was mentioned. Most Olympians find neither, and yet they try.
Watching an event, we’re at once self-conscious and grateful when the long lens of the camera invades that private moment just prior to the competition. Self-conscious because of the intrusion but grateful to share this moment and benefit vicariously from the Herculean effort about to be delivered.
The camera moves in closer. We can see the Olympian’s eyes and imagine their thoughts. The skier is thinking, “Twelve years and it all comes down to the next few seconds. Must remember the fundamentals.” The skater is having a word with herself, “Today, nothing less than my personal best.”
Then the long lens captures the mouth. There’s a lick to fight the cotton mouth that only those who risk failure have tasted. The lips move slightly to offer a prayer or claim an affirmation, and then, “This is it.”
Small business owners are a lot like Olympic athletes: They commit countless hours over many years, pushing mind and body to achieve a level of excellence that might somehow allow them to … merely make a living.
Medals and glory? Most small business owners find neither. And yet they show up, year after year, to work, to deliver, and to contribute.
Like an Olympic race, the future of a small business often rides on the owner’s performance over a very short period. If the camera could take you in close, you would see the owner thinking: “All these years of work and risk could come down to how well I deliver this proposal in the next few minutes. Must remember the fundamentals.” The long lens would capture the mouth. There’s the lick to lessen the cotton mouth that only those who risk failure have tasted.
Then the lips move, ever so slightly, to offer a prayer or claim an affirmation, and then, “This is it.”
Olympians and small business owners are dedicated to what they love. They work hard, take great risks and seek excellence, against all odds and usually at their own expense.
If you’re looking for someone to admire, look no further than these two heroes.
Write this on a rock … The spirit of Olympians and small business owners makes the world a better place.