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Business is a Team Sport

On November 9th1996 World boxing champion Steve Collins stood toe to toe with Nigel Benn for a rematch fight that would see Steve beat him when Nigel’s corner retired him in round 6. Steve was the first world champion I had worked with. I was his mental fitness coach and spent 6 weeks in Jersey prior to the fight making sure he wasn’t just extremely confident, but focussed, committed and 100% mentally ready for the fight. 

Many people look at a pro fighter and see an individual getting ready for combat but like all sports, the individual that succeeds is usually the one with the strongest team around them. Steve knew the importance of a strong team. He had boxing legendary coach Freddie Roach, he had nutritionists, physical trainers, sparring partners and it only made sense to him to have someone like me to help him prepare mentally. All individual sports at the highest level are team sports!

When I started to work with entrepreneurs and business leaders, I soon realised a lot of them lack this basic concept. You need a strong team around you. Business is a team sport. To be honest, I was just as bad when I started my companies. I felt I had to do everything myself. But I was wrong! 

Building Your Team

Creating success in business is a complex equation; there are many components you have to master and combine in order to achieve your best chance of success. A marketing person can teach you the importance of the 4 P’s: Product, Promotion, Price, Place. 

Your finance person will guide you through P+Ls, Cash flows, balance sheets, forecast. 

Every business has its own metrics. In sport we call these metrics, skills. Working with a business coach can help you with business metrics in the same way as sports coaches help athletes develop the skills they need. 

Winners in business are just like the top sports performers in the world. It is not enough to understand the skills of business, you must be able to think like a pro, create the mindset and strategies that winners have, and present your business with the self-belief of a champion. That’s why top business leaders employ me to train them to have the right mindset and have unbeatable confidence and focus when it’s needed most.

A fighter who goes into the boxing ring with a clear sense of commitment, confidence, focus and who can control their emotions, has a much better chance of prevailing. The confidence that comes from complete preparation means that you can go into any situation ready, knowing you can win.

Do you need experts?

The simple answer is yes, if you want to better your chances of success, however, it is not always easy to afford a full team around you. There are many books and courses that can help you out but the simple exercise below can help you determine if you need expert help. In sport this exercise is called Performance Profiling and I also use it quite a lot with my business clients.

Write a list of the components that are important to create success. In sport we might use the 5 S’s – Strength, Speed, Suppleness, Stamina and Skills and also the 4 C’s – Confidence, Concentration, Commitment and Control of emotions.  They mark out of 10 where they consider their current level to be. 

In Business we may take some components like the ones below to assess business performance:

  • Book Keeping
  • Managing finances
  • Promotion
  • Social media
  • Marketing
  • Courage and risk taking
  • Decision making
  • Motivation
  • Anxiety control

The above is a very short list and you can add to it in the comments below. 

You can now mark yourself out of 10 for how you currently feel you are doing with that component. If your number is between 8 and 10 you could probably get away without the expert. A number of 6 or 7 and you should really consider having someone help you in that area and 5 or less getting some expert guidance will make a big difference to how you and your business performs.  

In another post I will show you how I create high performance teams, both in sport and business. 

The photo below shows the team around Steve Collins in 1996. Yes, that is me with long hair on the left 🙂