I often see parallels between sports and business. Let’s take football for example. The player who gets the ball and runs with it to try to score points for his team is not unlike an entrepreneur who takes an idea and runs with it, trying to create revenue for his business.
As the running back or wide receiver is running a full sprint towards the goal line, it is tempting for him to look back over his shoulder. He knows that the competition is on his heels and it’s hard to resist the urge to check out how close they truly are. But when a player does that, it slows him down, often to the point that the competitor can catch up- or even tackle him.
I see the same thing with entrepreneurs, especially those blazing a trail. It’s tempting to waste time on the competitors who are following behind, trying to copy or catch us, or even just causing a ridiculous commotion. However, it’s much more effective to stay focused on your own goal line.
Put your energy into running as fast as you can and blazing the path towards the goal, instead of worrying about where your competition is or what they are doing. If you keep your focus and you have the talent, they won’t be able to catch you.
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is a judge on the Mark Burnett (Shark Tank, The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice) produced technology competition series, America's Greatest Makers, airing on TBS and Host of Microsoft's Office Small Business Academy show. Previously, Carol was the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country, and a contributor to CNBC, as well as a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and other stations. Carol's multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics.
Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011-2015) and has her own action figure.
Great post Carol. We live in a era where distraction is the order of the day. The most focused individuals stay the course that they initially set for themselves and make only necessary adjustments. I really appreciate your thoughts on this.
It's funny that you bring this up. I think it's really easy to get caught up in measuring other people's success against your own. When you do that it actually makes you feel like crap and then your actions align accordingly. While I think it's important to look at what's working for other people, sometimes it can actually get in your way.