Are you a business owner or a sporting athlete or are they the same thing?
We have been enjoying the Olympics success from Team GB and how it can inspire us to greatness in all walks of life.
Our Business Navigator Mark gives us his thoughts on how running a business is a lot like being a sporting superstar.
When running a business, you find yourself in a marathon or a sprint race OR sometimes both. You are running the day job and pacing yourself as everything ticks over nicely, then you have to react to a big order and need to sprint over the end of the line to get the order completed.

You have to be able to take the pressure to deliver for your customers, your staff and your bank account!

Pressure doesn’t exist. It’s an artificial thing that’s a cloud that some people choose to carry and some choose to shove away. I choose to shove away as it doesn’t exist.
Adam Peaty, 100m swimming gold medal winner and world record holder
Early morning starts at the track, late finishes at the track before Christmas day. All for this, and we are here and we have done it.
Sir Bradley Wiggins, 5 x gold medal winner
In business it is not about sitting back and watching the money roll in.

All the real work goes on away from the bright lights, in the early mornings and late nights.

Opening your shop first thing in the morning and filling in your tax return into the small hours; the only way to make a successful business is by hard work and lots of it.

In elite sport sometimes it doesn’t all go right. All the mental and physical preparation can end up counting for nothing.

In business there are no guarantees.

Just because you do your research, know you price points and monitor your expenses doesn’t mean you are going to get your gold medal.

Sometimes things just go wrong that are out of your control and you have to pick yourself back up and carry on.

This is supposed to be the grandest stage of them all and it is ruined by a couple of judges
Jack Burnell, disqualified 10km swimmer
I gave it everything I could.
I couldn’t have done any more, it just so happened that the legs weren’t in it.
First Olympics, seventh is not quite what I wanted, but it will do.
Laura Muir, 1500m runner
Watching Team GB raise up the medal table, it is tempting to decry every Brit that fails to come in the top three, but not everyone can be the best of the best. In business it can be just as cutthroat and it is tempting to question why your business isn’t taking off like a rocket.

It is important to know what your personal best is, set realistic targets and a plan of how to get them with your SMART goals.

Don’t expect to be a multi-national in 6 months. Realistic ambition is a good balance.

Team GB cycling team is the most well-funded in the world and their time and effort goes into making small changes that add up to gold medals.

Investing in research and development in your business can really reap rewards, if not in the short term then with sustained future success.

You broke down everything that affects performance, every little thing and then you improve that by 1%. When you clump that all together you get a significant increase in performance.
Sir David Brailsford, Former British Cycling Performance Director
I can only point to the fact you can look at athletes here who are simply not at their best.
Iain Dyer, Team GB Cycling Director
Every good sports person is continually looking to improve to make sure they are at the top of their game. You do this by working hard and measuring yourself against the competition.

Business is no different as you are keeping a close eye on your competition. You should be constantly looking to improve your business offering so that you can achieve success whatever that might look like.

So after the Olympics are over you stop watching overnight live coverage from Rio; get up off the sofa and get back to running your business. Good luck with achieving your gold medal whatever that may look like and registering on the Growth Hub is your starting pistol to success. Starter gun cartoon
– Mark Navigator at the Growth Hub