Just Keep Swimming

Just Keep Swimming

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So much emphasis can be placed on a single moment. In one space in time, something amazing can happen. Such was the moment that Chad Le Clos won his first gold medal at the London Olympics, beating Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, in the process.

The world was focused on him and South Africans around the globe felt an overwhelming sense of national pride. At that moment we all knew who he was. Yet le Clos did not get to that podium overnight – it was years in the making. And the same can be said for most businesses and especially entrepreneurs themselves.

Embracing competition

With every sport comes years of practice and competition. You have to compete with yourself as well as others. Years, months, weeks, days and hours of swimming practice had to take place before le Clos could even dream of competing in the Olympics. Years of practicing his skills and improving his performance.

A large part of his development came from having competitors. Competing with other talented athletes helps challenge sportspeople to go further, and they can learn from one another. We also hear how the camaraderie within certain Olympic teams made a significant difference to their performances inLondon.

Learning from others

As entrepreneurs, we would do well to ensure that we have the support of others – especially other entrepreneurs who know the road we are walking and can help to encourage, connect, and advise us. We should also see competitors in a positive light.

Often we can learn so much from them and save ourselves a great deal of time and money. And finally, while we never know when our gold medal moment is coming, we can work towards it every day by continuously improving our performance.

Even in tough times, as long as you can, you have to keep swimming.

Liz Zambonini
Liz Zambonini is the CEO of The Hope Factory, an established Enterprise Development Initiative of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). For more information, visit www.thehopefactory.co.za