Jon Michail : What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Sport Stars

As a business person, what will you be doing two decades from now?

Will you be a star entrepreneur in your industry? Will your business have become a top contender?

Strange as it may seem, if you start thinking like a sports star, you may become one of the elite.

What do sports stars do? They don’t achieve success out of nothing. They believe in themselves and they use this belief to become better, faster, and stronger.

How can a business leader do the same?

Mental techniques

First, entrepreneurs will use mental techniques in the same way that sports stars achieve excellence through hard physical training.  They will visualise themselves performing at the peak of perfection.

Many studies have shown that this type of mental rehearsal, used consistently, improves performance outcomes.

So why shouldn’t these techniques work in business?

“Sports stars don’t achieve success out of nothing. They believe in themselves and they use this belief to become better, faster, and stronger.”

Imagine mental techniques being effectively applied to sales, customer service and time management. Used every day, these techniques will give you and your company the edge and momentum to become business leaders.

In my experience success starts in the mind’s eye. You need to see yourself winning before it becomes reality, and science has proven that this approach works well. Time and time again the champion sports stars have given testament to it.

The brain is your own personal computer and it can be programmed any way you want it to be. You can program it for failure or success.  So why not play for success?

Focusing statements

Second, entrepreneurs, just like sports stars, will become accustomed to using focusing statements. One athlete who used focusing statements is soccer star David Beckham. He would say “play with a solid intention to win.”

Beckham rose to superstardom status more from his mindset and attitude than skill on its own.

We have since seen him apply this mindset to life as well as sport.

Imagine what other stars might say. A swimmer might focus on the image of powering cleanly through the water and so choose the words to encapsulate that winning image.  A boxer might focus on accuracy and speed.

Every individual will select words that are positive and affirming. As long as their personal statement is based on grounded positivity and the ability to remain undistracted, the result will be an improved performance.

Without doubt, such determination will be just as effective for the entrepreneur.

Take time to relax

Third, entrepreneurs will become just as adept at relaxing as sports stars.  No matter what the sport, the top performers know how valuable their down time is. Because they regard it as quality time, it becomes part of their training pattern, incorporating plenty of sleep, bursts of energy, and time for recuperation.

Some may find it hard to believe that business could follow a similar pattern.  But for over a decade, the Human Performance Institute in Florida, USA has shown that the same approach is just as effective for business executives.

In 2010, Arianna Huffington, the co-founder and former editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, shared a TED Talk on the importance of a good night’s sleep. Huffington is a highly successful businesswoman championing the importance of downtime and rest.

Also, due for release this December is an app called Thrive, which Huffington developed in partnership with Samsung. The app is designed to call attention to the amount of time we spend on our phones, and to help people switch off from a workday that potentially never ends.

If someone used to working in a 24-hour news cycle can place value on tuning out then surely you can too.

Make it your personal mantra – work, break, sleep.


You won’t become an Olympic star just by using mental techniques and focusing statements. But use them along with some quality relaxing time and eventually, you will find your own kind of gold.

Jon Michail and his team at Image Group International partner with their clients to achieve breakthrough results with contrarian and disruptive ways to grow and monetise their personal and business brands. A veteran, multi-award-winning coach and author with a Who’s Who clientele, Jon is the CEO and Founder of Image Group International, an Australian-based corporate and personal brand image advisory and coaching organisation that conducts transformational seminars, workshops and one-on-one coaching in over four continents. He is recognised as Australasia’s No. 1 Image Coach.


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