02 Mar 2016 10:55 AM

Another interesting recent blog from Richard Branson discusses what business lessons he has learnt from tennis.

Sports grew and developed in the Victorian era as an antidote to the social effects of urbanisation arising from the industrial revolution.  In today’s world of multi billion dollar Olympic Games, World Cups and global Grand Slam tournaments, sport is much more than a social past time – it is big business!

For many like Branson, and even me, it helps to address a work/life balance burnout.  Branson has never played at Wimbledon and nor have I competed on an international stage.  Apart from the mental relaxation that our sports provide to enable us to remain committed, enthusiastic and strong in our ‘day time job,’ there are many business lessons that we can learn.

Running lessons that have helped my business life are:

-Goal setting - For most of my running career I set targets for marathons or similar races and would have a projected time that I wished to hit. Businesses need to set turnover margin, profit goals, whatever.
-Strategy - To enable me to hit my goals I needed a training schedule – Miles – fast and slow schedules week by week.  Business need to formulate strategies to increase revenues, improve margin and cut costs.
-Write it down – Resolutions – personal and business should be written down.  I had, and still maintain a daily training diary.
-Visualisation - All sports therapists will extol the virtue of visualising your dream backhand, last lap kick, winning goal.  Business owners need to visualise what success looks like.
-Mentoring - Good sports people employ coaches.  The coach does not play the game for you or with you.  He or she supports you, improves your performance and encourage/cajoles you as appropriate.  Running a business is lonely – it is good to talk problems out with someone.
-Rest – At times the body needs to take rest periods to recover.  The brain is no different.
-Lifestyle - An athlete needs good nutrition, rest and sensible social habits.  If a business person works for 40 plus years like Branson, they need to look after themselves.