Running a Business Is a Lot Like Playing Football Here are five essential strategies to help you get in the game.

By Dr. Colleen Batchelder

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There's something incredible about watching a nail-biting game between Mahomes and Cam Newton. Both players come to win. You can feel the tension in the air as they battle it out to get that winning touchdown.

Now, don't get me wrong. There are tons of incredible football teams to cheer for on Monday nights. But there's something different about the Patriots and the Chiefs. Like it or not, these teams set the standard for American football because they've learned how to develop their tactics for success.

Each team understands that winning touchdowns don't magically happen on the field. They take work ––hard work. If they want to win, they count the cost. And they figure out how to develop kick-ass strategies that up to their game and bring them to that next level.

Running a business is a lot like playing football.

If you want to up your game, you need to look at your habits, team and attitude. When you invest in yourself, you can reach your goals and up your game. And this will require you to do more than meditate for a weekend or sketch out some quick plays.

If you want to increase your influence and get your business to the next level, you need to take a few steps back. It's about going back to the basics –– or more specifically, these five kick-ass strategies.

So, let's get started.

Related: 5 Partnership Lessons From Bill Belichick and Tom Brady

1. Read the rulebook

There's nothing worse than watching an amateur try to play their hand at poker. It's interesting to watch for about a minute, and then it's just sad. The same is valid for business. If you want to up your game, you need to understand the rules.

Yes, building a business is a leap of faith. It's like constructing a bridge mid-air as you jump off a cliff –– it is nuts. But crazy doesn't equal chaos. There are still rules to the game. The bridge might be built-in mid-air, but it still comes with instructions. Even Mark Cuban follows his own rules in business.

If you're serious about moving your company forward, then you need to be willing to learn what you don't know. So, take a class, watch a YouTube video or phone a friend. Don't stay an amateur at the expense of your company. If you want to up your game, try increasing your knowledge.

Related: The Best Leadership Advice Isn't Fancy. But It Will Get You the Greatest ROI.

2. Map out your plays

After you get everything on paper or your iPhone notepad, organize your dreams into goals. Schedule time in your calendar to sit, listen to the birds and write out all the ideas that come to mind. Figure out what plan comes first, then outline strategies that lead you closer to your ultimate objectives.

When you can see all of your ideas in one place, you're able to recognize what makes sense, what's ridiculous and how your thoughts converge into an actual career move.

If you want to up your game, you need to invest your time in the planning process.

Related: 3 Ways to Learn More About Your Team and How They Work

3. Know your players

The quarterback is only one part of the team. And the same is true for the CEO.

Your ability to move forward and up your game isn't only tied to your dedication. You could eat, drink and sleep your company 24/7 and still not move an inch towards your goals. Your business is too heavy for you to lift alone –– you need some extra muscle.

Upping your game in business means increasing your awareness of your team. Your employees are behind your mission and want to see the company succeed as much as you do.

So, the next time you're tempted to move solo, look around and inspire your team to move together.

4. Give up excuses

Anyone can make excuses. But if you want to up your game, you need to stop complaining.

I get it; life is hard. I won't pretend that I understand your story or your struggle. However, there's a vast difference between asking for help, needing support and being stuck in the land of excuses.

"If only" conversations might get you some sympathy, but they won't help you actualize your goals.

Remember, game plans don't mean anything unless they make it to the field.

If you want to increase your influence, you have to leave the sidelines and enter the game –– you have to throw some passes and risk being tackled.

5. Develop strong habits

When we look at athletes, we cheer on the visible ones who are giving 110%. It's not that we don't recognize the incredible talent of the whole team, but we focus on what we see. And when we watch the Chiefs and the Patriots, we celebrate these two major teams on the field because of their habits behind the scenes.

Now, you don't have to be like Andy Reid or Bill Belichick to get your business to the next level. But you do need to develop some habits that work for the long haul.

If you can take the time to implement these five key strategies, you'll up your game and get your business to the next level. So, are you ready to get in the game?

Wavy Line
Dr. Colleen Batchelder

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Leadership Strategist and Diversity and Inclusion Consultant

Dr. Colleen Batchelder approaches generational dissonance through different lenses, including anthropology, theology, sociology and ethnography. She has worked with multiple business leaders to develop corporate environments that resonate and represent the millennial and Generation Z workforce.

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