4 Sports Strategies You Can Use to Succeed in Business Whether you're planning an Ironman or company's business strategy, you can apply some practices of the sport to become a more successful business professional.

By Dr. Pablo Erat

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


Is it possible to train for an Ironman race on top of a corporate job? If you are struggling to make time for your yoga class after work, it may seem impossible to imagine an intense training schedule for a triathlon with an equally successful professional career. But not only do these endurance athletes survive an often-extensive training regime but also balance demanding jobs with tight work schedules and frequent travelling. Here are four valuable lessons to become a better athlete and business leader:

The good news is that each of us has the power to ignite passion actively. It starts to grow when we work intensively towards a purposeful goal and realize how our efforts are resulting in steady progress. In business, passion allows professionals to mobilize the intellectual and emotional energy fully, thereby driving businesses towards their goals. It provides the necessary sustaining power to push through when going gets tough. It provides you with the energy to inspire and activate people around to strive for a common goal.

Raw Honesty
We need to regularly take a step back and look at ourselves in the mirror for some honest self-evaluation. Be radically honest about where our shortcomings and mental barriers are and make concrete decisions on what we are practically going to do about them. When we are trained to think clearly and honestly, we can speed up our learning curves. We become better equipped to intelligently focus our energy on the things that effectively allow us to move towards our goals, ultimately become more successful.

If recovery is not a given high priority, stagnation and injuries are the inevitable results. Also, building in rest days allows you to become a more composed person as it helps to maintain a better balance between family, work, and fitness goals. As leaders, we strive to reach an end-goal with company values in mind. We need to recover to perform well. As leaders, it allows us to be more creative, make better decisions, solve challenging problems and be more constructive in our team interactions. For example, we can unplug from devices in the evening, spend time with our hobbies and arrange our working days more efficiently, to save time for reflection and preparation.

Mental Mastery
For best performance in an Ironman race, it is essential to train the mental muscle. The race day brings along so many, often unexpected, challenges that we must master even to reach the finish line. Business leaders need to master both their thoughts and actions. As leaders, we must go through rough experiences where we feel that we need to push ourselves to our very limits mentally and physically. A strong mind allows us to rebound from setbacks and be mentally flexible in dealing with challenges. Our brains are naturally regulated to slow us down when we have reached about 50 per cent of our potential. Through the right kind of training, our brains and bodies can adapt to perform at much higher levels.

All of us have the potential to significantly improve our performance and achieve success in business and life.

(This article was first published in the December 2019 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)

Dr. Pablo Erat

Partner at Pioneering Ventures

Dr. Pablo Erat, Partner at Pioneering Ventures, is an entrepreneur, investor and a passionate triathlete. He has over 15 years of strategy consulting experience and strong entrepreneurial track record within various industries. He has over 8 years of leadership experience in the incubation and developmentof industrial-size agricultural and food supply chain investments in India.

Pablo earned his Master's degree in Strategy and Organization as well as his Doctorate at the Institute of Management (IFB) at the University of St. Gallen (St. Gallen, Switzerland).

Related Topics

Business Plans

How You Can Use the 80/20 Rule to Unlock Success and Maximize Your Impact

Our success is determined by where we focus our efforts.

Growing a Business

More Than 90% of Startups Don't Make It. This CEO Reveals What It Takes to Not Only Survive — But Thrive.

Learn what it takes to grow a company while also scaling as a leader.

Buy a Franchise

Learn the Secrets of Running 20+ Businesses as a Side Hustle — Finding and Nurturing Your 'STIC People'

Explore the critical importance of choosing the right franchise manager and the innovative 'STIC' approach.

Starting a Business

How Business Community Is Making CEO Life Less Ghastly

People are starting to notice that if you want to get the best out of entrepreneurs, you have to support them. But how?

Money & Finance

5 Ways to Build a Business Budget for Maximum Success

Whether you're launching a startup or planning for growth, having a smart budgeting process is essential.

Science & Technology

Entrepreneurs Are Rushing to Use AI. Here Are 8 Questions You Should Ask First.

Generative AI has overtaken the business world at breathtaking speed, and it can be overwhelming to know how to start integrating it into your work. These tech experts have answers.