If you are a keen follower of Tennis or Sport I like I am, then you’ve probably being watching Novak Djokovic’s meteoric rise to stardom from pretty humble beginnings.
Novak has been a true inspiration to me over the last year since starting my own business. He had one dream to play and win Wimbledon and he did it! If you stay focused on what you want to achieve and put in the effort and hard work, then anything is possible.
Here are my 10 business lessons that I’ve learnt from Novak Djokovic:
1. Know Yourself Better than your Competitors
It is better to focus on your own game than follow what your competitors are doing all the time. It can be really frustrating if you’ve had a bad or tough week and someone else who is competing directly with you has won a new client or has just landed that big contract win. So what? It doesn’t make a difference to you.
With the rise of social media such as Twitter, it is easy to get caught up in following your competitors or nearest rivals, trust me just don’t do it. It is not productive and you will end up making yourself feel worst. Focus on improving and knowing yourself better. It will prove a better use of your time in the long run, you might even learn something new about your own abilities or character.
Focus on yourself.
2. Refine and Improve your Techniques
Don’t stop when you think you have mastered something. Keep looking out for new techniques and always look to better yourself, the best footballers in the world like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi don’t get good over night, they are always on the training ground practicing free kicks and learning to hit and control the football in new ways.
Novak is testament to this, he worked hard on his techniques and improved the areas that were weaknesses in his game. Even though he is now No.1 in the world, he is still trying to improve every day. You should too!
3. Keep Focused on Your Goals
Don’t stop until you get there, no one said it was going to be an easy ride. Along the way you will face much resistance (that little voice in your head), ignore the voices and cut out the noise, concentrate on your journey and don’t let the pit falls along the way prevent you reaching it.
Sometimes, it will take you longer to reach your objectives than you thought, but you’ll get there in the end as long as YOU believe you can. Forget about putting it off until tomorrow, take action now.
4. Have Fun Outside Work
Novak Djokovic has been know as the ‘Joker’ of the APT Tour, he is continually making fun of himself and that of others around him to lighten the mood. Yes, things can get far too serious at times especially when even the tinniest things can get blown way out of proportion.
Make sure you plan some downtime off the grid, it can help you refocus you attention on the things that really matter and help you take stock of what is important.
Have fun whilst you work, if you’re not doing something you love, look at whether or not you’re doing the right thing at all. A positive mental attitude can have wonders on your productivity. Go smash it!
Keeping yourself active, exercising and fitness are a great way to boost your energy levels and reduce stress. Medical fact!
5. You can crack a Competitive Niche
Nobody would of thought that anyone would of broken into the top 2 in the world and overthrown the complete Tennis dominance of Roger Feeder and Rafa Nadal. Most people in the media wouldn’t give anyone else a second look, people said that these two players would dominate the Men’s game for years to come but Djokovic managed to break in on their rein at the top.
Djokovic was able to do this because he believed in his abilities and didn’t listen to the critics or the Sports media, that there wasn’t much hope for anyone else. He kept trying and working hard until he had an opportunity to beat his rivals.
This is pure determination to push forward even when it doesn’t seem realistically possible to achieve, just as the Adidas strap line says ‘Impossible is Nothing‘
6. Practice Makes Perfect
As a business owner, entrepreneur, or even as an employee you’re not going to get things right every time. No one is perfect, everyone is human. I’ve learnt as I have gone along, heck, this is the first time I’ve ever ran my own business, I am expected to know the right answer to every problem? Of course not.
Every single successful business person will tell you that they have made many big mistakes along the way, the crucial thing is to learn from you’re mistakes.
Each time you learn, you’ll get better and better at what you do. Keep refining your business processes and try to smooth out the areas that don’t work so well to make them more effective.
7. Adopt a Winning Mindset
How would Novak Djokovic have won anything if he only aimed to compete. He wanted to win, not just win once, he wants to win every match. You should approach your business with the same mindset. Try not just to compete each day, but turn up to win.
A strong winning mindset will help you accomplish more, even if it’s just winning at your day to day to do list, you will still achieve much more than just competing.
8. Keep Calm Under Pressure
Stress and pressure is part of life, it’s a fact. Pressure is a form of resistance (it’s that little voice or voices telling us but what happens if we fail or lose). You have to deal with it, put it out of your mind. Focus on what is in front of you.
Life is too short to worry all the time, believe me! You put pressure on yourself, manage your deadlines and workload more effectively to reduce pressure. Set yourself and your clients sensible deadlines that everyone can adhere to.
9. Support from Friends & Family is Important
Novak couldn’t have won all those titles on his own, he had the strong support of a great coach, his family and his close friends. Business is never easy, it is especially important you keep tight-nit support lines around you.
Ask your friends, family and peers for advice. You’ll be amazed at how many people are in exactly the same position as you and they can share many of the same experiences and advice with you. I know I’ve reached out to people who I respect greatly to get calm words of advice when I’ve needed them most.
Don’t forget who you’re friends are.
10. Stay Humble and True to Your Roots
Novak Djokovic has always been a humble champion, thanking his supporters, fans and competitors in his success. Novak Djokovic didn’t just win titles for himself, he did it for Serbia. Never has a nation been so proud of its sporting hero.
Even if you become mega successful, remember to stay humble for what you have achieved. Nobody likes a showoff, too many times I’ve seen bloggers and other business owners rise to stardom and they have completely forgotten about the people who put them there in the first place.
No one likes an ego, respond to the people who reach out to you. No matter how big you get.
Thank your customers, subscribers and fans for staying loyal to you and think about those humble beginnings.
Finally, thank you Novak Djokovic, you make me proud, you make all of Serbia proud! Most of all, you have taught me some pretty inspirational lessons that I’ve shared here on my blog for everyone to read! You are the best! You are my sporting hero!
Flickr Photo Credit: By Frédéric de Villamil
Flickr Photo Credit: By toga (John Togasaki)
Flickr Photo Credit: By y.caradec (Yann Caradec)