Wimbledon 2017 was just as exciting as any grand slam. Tennis is one of those great sports that has just the right balance of strategy and tactic, physical and mental. If you know me at all, you know I I love the sport of tennis and often glean many lessons as I play and watch. This year’s Wimbledon was no different.
Here I offer a few entrepreneur lessons I took from the matches this year from two of Wimbledon’s most notable champions, Venus Williams and Roger Federer.
First, a look at the champions:
Venus Williams is a Top 10, 5-time Wimbledon grand slam champion who has won doubles and singles titles in all the major grand slams as well as the Olympics. Venus came into Wimbledon as the oldest woman player at 37 years of age.
Roger Federer is a Top 10, 8-time Wimbledon champion who has 19 Grand Slam titles. Roger came into Wimbledon as the oldest male player at 35 years of age.
Now a look at the lessons:
1.) You have to LOVE the game – At a certain point it is not about the money and the titles, it’s about the love of the game. Love is different from passion. You may not always be passionate about the tasks and the work, but you have to love what you do. Love business. Love entrepreneurship. Love the work.
2.) It doesn’t matter how old you are, you can still be at the top of your industry – I say this for the older entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs that may feel like they’re getting in too late or it’s too late to make the impact you want to make. In the tennis world, 35 and 37 are practically ancient, yet you have two players who are still out there making it to the finals and winning major grand slams like Wimbledon. Tennis is physically and mentally exhausting and can put a lot of wear and tear on the body. Entrepreneurship likewise can be just as emotionally and financially exhausting and take a toll on you mentally and financially. When you feel weary, take a page from these champion’s notebook.
3.) It doesn’t matter if you fail or falter – Sometimes you can get all the way to the top and still fail to meet your ultimate goal. Venus made it all the way to the finals and she lost, but she wasn’t defeated. Always give it your all and learn to accept when you fall short. It happens. Take the loss and keep moving. Keep doing what you need to do to get back up.
4.) Strong mindset and focus – Be intense about your business. Don’t allow distractions to get in the way. Don’t get caught up in the competition or critics. Mental strength is a necessary tool in business.
5.) Persistence is critical – Both Venus and Roger had to take time out from their sport due to injury and illness, yet they persisted until they were back in the game and back on top.