Like many around the world, I’ve enjoyed watching the 2008 Summer Olympics. From the elaborate pageantry of the 2008 Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing to the incredible perseverance of the Olympic athletes, the Olympics represent an ideal of what humans can achieve if they try hard enough.
Who hasn’t been touched by the struggles and triumphs if the Olympic Athletes? Even as the Olympics progress, superstars begin to emerge – athletes whose personal stories and dedication serve to inspire us all. Whether you are inspired by the perseverance of Michael Phelps (as he receives medal after medal for the U.S. team) or by the unprecedented repeat success of swimmer Dara Torres (who is returning to the Olympics for the fifth time), or by others – one can’t deny the hard work that goes into preparing for the Olympics. The Olympic athletes represent the “best of the best,” and few athletes are able to make it.
As a freelancer, I have to wonder: if there were a freelance Olympics, would you qualify? Could your freelance business be considered the “best of the best?”
Here are ten traits of winning Olympic athletes. See how your freelance business measures up:
- They don’t quit. A key ingredient to success is sticking with it. Story after story of the Olympians has a common thread: they don’t quit – despite setbacks that they may face. In fact, tales of Olympic athletes who persevered despite facing overwhelming obstacles have inspired us all.
- They practice. Despite being the best, and most talented athletes in the world, Olympic athletes spend hours each day practicing their sport. Often, the practice sessions begin years before the actual competition. Some athletes even prepare for the Olympics their entire lives.
- They are trained. Nearly every Olympic has a coach or a trainer. If they are to perform at their best, the Olympic athlete knows that he or she must pay attention to the advice and instructions of their coaches.
- They know how to work on a team. When needed, the Olympic athlete understands the importance of teamwork. They must be willing to cooperate and work with others for the sake of their sport. They must also learn to support their teammates.
- They make sacrifices. To succeed as Olympians, the athletes must sacrifice both time and money to focus on their goal. Often preparation for the Olympics also takes a toll and friends and family when the athlete moves away from home to be closer to their trainer and/or training facilities.
- They work hard. If you’ve watched even one or two of the Olympic competitions, then you’ve watched the muscles tense and the sweat gleam. If you’ve seen the display of stamina and strength, then there should be no doubt in your mind that the Olympic athletes work hard to achieve their goal.
- They understand their competition. As I’ve watched interviews with the athletes over the past few weeks and one thing is clear: the athletes know what they’re up against. They’ve seen the other athletes at meets. They know the Olympic competition is fierce and they know that they must be ready for it.
- They follow their dreams. Most Olympians start with a dream. They want to be the best runner, the best swimmer, the best gymnast, and so on. Once they’ve found their dream, the successful Olympic athlete takes the necessary steps to transform that dream into reality.
- They wait for success. Olympic stardom doesn’t happen overnight. It takes weeks, months, and sometimes even years to achieve. Olympic athletes must be patient. They must be willing to work without immediate reward or satisfaction, waiting for the time when they finally qualify for an Olympic slot.
- They perform well publicly. To be an Olympic athlete it’s not enough to simply be the best in your chosen discipline. You must also be able to perform in the presence of a cheering crowd. Imagine an Olympic gymnast who only performed privately – it simply wouldn’t happen.
If that’s a list of traits for successfully competing in the olympics — how does your freelancing business stack up? Could you compete?
About the author: Laura Spencer is a freelance writer from North Central Texas with over 18 years of professional business writing experience. If you liked this post, then you may also enjoy Laura’s blog about her freelance writing experiences, WritingThoughts.