If you’ve ever watched the Olympics, you’ve probably noticed how, in many events, there is such a tiny difference in time between someone who receives a gold medal and someone who misses the podium.
In some cases as little as a hundredth of a second.
To add to the agony of defeat, when the media lists the results, many only show the gold, silver and bronze medalists. That means the fourth place finisher is unknown…unless someone wants to spend extra time looking for them.
A half second can be very expensive. Because medalists typically are the only ones who have a shot of earning lucrative endorsement deals.
Fourth place or lower? While they do receive an incredible life experience, the money and fame that follow is often minimal especially when you consider all the time and effort they’ve dedicated to the pursuit of their goal.
Much like Olympians, you dedicate many, many hours to the success of your business. In fact, small business owners, entrepreneurs and sales people are some of the hardest, most dedicated people I know.
Just like an athlete competing in the Olympics, you don’t want to work hard on your business only to finish slightly behind your competitors.
In your niche, you want to rise to the top…because just like an Olympic fourth place finisher, chances are few will go looking for you and even fewer will be talking about you. They’ll be too busy spending time with the medalists.
And like the Olympics, in business, the money tends to go to the top place finishers.
The question is what gives a person or business the winning edge?
Many business owners erroneously believe that in order to end up on top requires something big…
They believe having money…or creating the perfect ad…or developing a great product or service will be their ticket to success.
The truth is more often than not, it isn’t the best product or service that wins.
In fact, in business the difference between experiencing wealth with your business or poverty can often be a very narrow margin—and have little to do with whether or not the product or service is the best.
Because while a great product or a great ad will certainly help you, the key to edging out your competitors has to do with the small things that make up the foundation of your business, not the big things.
So if you already know your product or service is reasonably good, the place you want to focus is in the details of your business.
One of the most effective ways to do this is to follow an Olympic athlete’s lead. Olympic athletes drill down on the details of their sport. Utilizing a coach to help them correctly identify their weakness, they adjust and fine tune their vulnerable spots to accelerate the way they perform.
For example, the coaches of Gabby Douglas, the winner of the gold medal in the women’s gymnastics all around, a year ago said they couldn’t have imagined Gabby winning a medal.
It wasn’t her skill or athleticism in question though. Her coaches correctly identified that it was her focus. For instance, distracted by the crowd, she’d scan the audience and wave to friends. By helping her with her focus, she was able to concentrate on what she needed to do to win the gold.
Olympic Beach Volleyball gold medalists, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh’s coach correctly identified that they needed to work on their communication skills. To work out the kinks, they worked with a marriage counselor.
It’s not that the athlete doesn’t know what to do. It’s that a coach can often quickly and correctly identify the small, finer details that can make the difference between winning and losing.
This means you can start working to correct your course much faster than if you tried to figure things out on your own. (That is if you ever were even to identify the problem correctly by yourself.)
The most successful people in business use coaches too. Because like athletes, in business you often can’t see the small thing yourself that will make a big difference in your business. You are just too close to it – or too attached to it—or too comfortable with what you are doing to see it.
And just as it’s the athletes who rise to the top by finding the small things that can make a big difference, businesses who enlist help to refine the foundation of their business, are the ones who rise to the top and become champions of wealth and success.