Use These Golf Lessons When Running Your Business

by Jordan Fuller

It has often been said that the game of golf is played with a small ball that needs to go into a small hole, with the task being accomplished only by using equipment that isn’t really designed for that purpose. While this is basically true, the same holds true for running a business. While trying to get a business rolling, you quickly grasp that there are no perfect solutions, and typically you are presented with challenges that are seemingly impossible. But, just as on the course, you need to find a way to finish.

DEVELOP A STONG MENTAL GAME

In both business and golf, it’s all about having a strong mental game, and having discipline is equally important to both. In golf, you find yourself in the unique position of being your own referee. You have the ability to call a penalty on yourself for breaking the rules. Likewise, you are responsible for your own play. Cheating or cutting corners is only going to hurt you. Similarly, in business, failing to play fair will almost certainly come back to bite you at some time. Golf is a game built on integrity and honesty. The most successful players understand that. Likewise, the most successful players in business understand that dealing in honesty and integrity are the best methods to achieve success.

LEARN FROM THE FEEDBACK AND ADJUST

Golf is a very challenging sport, and one of the benefits of the game is that it provides instant feedback on your performance, and you have the opportunity to correct problems before taking the next shot. There is no perfect strategy. Just the same, moment by moment you are afforded the opportunity to assess your most recent results and figure out what is needed to succeed on the next shot. Similarly, in business, when you make your next decision and see the results, you can adjust on the fly. If your progress is unsatisfactory, you can always take steps to things around. Success, or the beginning of success, is as near as the next business move.
All sports provide their own learning moments, and just by its very nature, golf provides a sustained learning experience. Playing two good holes in a row, like having two good quarters of business performance, often can be followed by two bad holes. And that’s where players start to question their abilities and skills. But a player who excels at golf will probably possess an innate desire to hone his skills and will take the trouble to re-learn what once was a winning trait.

Long considered the best form of corporate entertainment, golf gives players tremendous networking opportunities. The game is one that can be played by anyone, without regard to age or gender. So whether you’re a young entrepreneur sporting hybrid golf shoes, or a seasoned businessperson preferring a classic wing-tip, teeing off with associates provides plenty of time to talk business. Golf requires a great deal of focus, patience, and abstract thinking to hit a good shot. How you present yourself on the course can give your playing partners a sense of how you’ll react in a business setting.

HARD WORK PAYS OFF

Golf is hard work. If you took up the game because it looked fun and you thought it would be easy, you would be setting yourself up for disappointment. Same holds for running a business. The amount of work you put into it will dictate your level of success. Prepare to give a complete effort, identifying a strategy to fix holes in your plans, and then devote the full energy you need for your business.
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