Jeremy Bloom was favored to win Olympic gold on the freestyle ski mogul in Torino in 2006. The 23-year-old star athlete wobbled ever so very slightly -- the kind of bobble that was imperceptible to the untrained eye -- and he came in sixth. He didn’t medal.
Devastated, Bloom gave himself 48 hours to obsess over the 22.79-second race. He allowed himself to wallow in his heartbreak. But then, Bloom determined he would move on. And he did.
Bloom learned to envision his thoughts as a fast-moving river. In that visualization, thoughts never get stuck. “It’s very common in Olympic athletes in skiing or really any sport to have self-depreciating thoughts like, ‘I am going to crash on this top jump.’ Or, ‘This jump isn’t going to work out.’ And if you allow those thoughts to stick, they actually impact your performance,” Bloom says during an interview at the Entrepreneur 360 conference in New York City.
Bloom went on to play professional football in the NFL after winning two Olympic medals and 11 World Cup medals for skiing. When he retired from athletics, Bloom co-founded Integrate, a demand-generation marketing-software company. The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based startup launched in 2010 and currently has 95 employees and annual revenue in the eight-figure range.
Bloom took his “short memory” with him from athletics to the business world. That’s not to say Bloom doesn’t learn from his mistakes. He absolutely says that taking the time to reflect is important. “But really key to that, is once you have extracted the important stuff, get rid of all the garbage, get rid of all the weight that you feel on top of you for whatever didn’t work and move on. And go a thousand miles an hour in the next direction,” he says.
To hear more from Bloom about how he keeps that river of thoughts moving, watch the video above.Related: Don't Let Wins and Losses Get to Your Head