4 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Olympic All-Around Champion Gabrielle Douglas

Here are four lessons that every small business owner can medal in – starting today!

3. Make short-term sacrifices for long-term gains.

Gabrielle’s coach, Liang Chow was “was impressed by the fact that the determined 14-year-old was willing to move away from her close-knit family to train to be a world-class gymnast. He couldn’t turn her away.”

Doing something you’ve never done before — moving to a new city, and outside your comfort zone, to pursue your dreams can prove difficult. But often it’s the “difficult things” that are the most beneficial to us in the end.

An entrepreneur’s reality (especially in the early stages of business) is short-term sacrifice. In fact, starting a business requires it. “Every business builder I know has made sacrifices in order to start and grow their businesses,” says venture capitalist Alan Hall. “It’s a key characteristic of successful entrepreneurs. By definition, a sacrifice is the act of surrendering something highly valued for the sake of something of even greater importance.”

4. Seek out proven mentorship.

While there’s much to be said for Gabrielle Douglas’ raw ability, we’d be remiss to not consider the proven leadership behind the young Olympic champion – coach Liang Chow.

Chow, a former gymnast and the personal coach of the 2008 Olympic gold medalist, Shawn Johnson, is no stranger to developing world-class champions. With two back-to-back Olympians now under his belt, there’s no question that he has what it takes to turn raw talent into breakout success. And entrepreneurs should look for those same characteristics when choosing a business coach or mentor.

As entrepreneurs look for a mentor to help them navigate building a successful company, it’s important to seek out individuals with proven expertise, credibility and most importantly results.

A small business advisor (coach) should be able to share how he or she has specifically helped to develop other young business leaders. Mentorship is an investment of time and energy – and it’s important for world-class entrepreneurs to ensure the relationship is mutually beneficial – not just “lip service.”

When Douglas was asked what has been her secret – what does she attribute to her increased confidence? She noted Chow’s coaching and guidance. However, Liang Chow responded, “There’s no such secret — (only) hard work.”

What other lessons can entrepreneurs learn from Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle Douglas? Let me know in the comments below.

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Photo Credit: Palm Beach Post


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