What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From World Cup Soccer

Did you watch the World Cup match up between the USA and Algeria yesterday? Wow! What a game. In the past, I know a lot of Americans have complained about the “boringness” of a game that doesn’t have a lot of scoring. In this game, there were plenty of shots on goal, but it wasn’t until the 91st minute that the ball actually went in. (Click here to see the highlights.)

WooHoo! I was jumping out of my chair with excitement and it was even cooler to see the excitement Landon Donovan and his teammates felt.

The USA wasn’t favored to win. They hadn’t won any of their previous World Cup games this month; the best they’d done was tie. And for 91 minutes it looked like they were going to go home despite their heroic efforts. The score was 0-0, which on paper looks like nothing was going on. But as the announcer said, everything can change on a dime and all of a sudden, sweet victory!

Immediately, I thought holy cow, look at the lessons here for entrepreneurs and business people. So many times, we’re working, we’re working, we’re taking shots on goal, and nothing is coming up. We keep missing, coming so close. And then there are the unfair referee calls. (What was he thinking?!) The times when that account should have been ours. Or the vendor doesn’t deliver as promised and we’re the ones who pay the price for someone else’s incompetence or mistake.

Keep preparing. Keep going. Keep playing your heart out. It’s all about persistence. Well, that and then the use of the “secret weapon” that everyone with success I’ve admired has implemented.

Certainly Landon Donovan, the player who scored the goal, physically trains for this game. All the players are in top form. One of the announcers mentioned that he also mentally prepares using meditation and visualization. Aha! Not surprising to hear, just another reinforcement that quieting the mind and connecting to that unseen force, or spirit or whatever you want to call it, is at least as equally important as all the physical preparation.

The takeaway here is this. Make consistent mental preparation a part of your strategy. Then stay on the field, giving it your all, for as long as it takes to win. Because it’s not over till it’s over.

Need help with your meditation practice? Maybe you’ll find this ABC News video, “Going Inside the Meditating Mind” helpful.