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7 parallels between sport and entrepreneurship

Jun 24, 2021 (0) comment , , ,

Michael Jordan was years ahead of his game. The Last Dance showed that he  still is | Michael Jordan | The Guardian

Analogies between sports and business abound. Are people who excel at sports better at business?

Sometimes they are. And it’s no coincidence. After all sports can develop habits that help business leaders succeed.

Here are 7 striking parallels between sport and entrepreneurship.


Tolerance for fear and uncertainty – Starting a business, asking for funding for a product or service that doesn’t yet exist or which is quite new may cause fear and anxiety that entrepreneurs have to overcome. Likewise, competing in large scale arenas against other accomplished athletes could be very challenging if fear is not well managed.

Tenacity – Entrepreneurs often have to cope with failure but they refuse to give up and find other ways to overcome their obstacles. Tenacity is an essential quality that enables an athlete to reach the top and defend his position. The ability to bounce back from a setback is what separates champions from the rest.

Vision – Seeing a path to success is a trait that entrepreneurs possess. Similarly athletes have a clear vision and strong personal conviction of being destined to win.

Passion – Most entrepreneurs are passionate about their business. This carries them through days and nights of work and uncertainty because they sincerely believe what they do is important. In sports, athletes are passionate about playing the game they love and all activities are linked to their passion.

Self-confidence – Entrepreneurs are confident in their abilities. This is necessary to take risks and make decisions in the face of uncertainty .  Similarly, athletes need to be very self-confident to compete effectively against others with the same mindset and not be psyched out.

Flexibility – Entrepreneurs by definition need to be nimble and flexible to change or move their businesses in different directions as market conditions change. In sport, there are many variables such as weather conditions, teammates, coaches, injuries,etc…The ability to be flexible and adapt is a key requirement.

Me to We – ‘Team before self’ – this is a popular saying in sports. As the start-up grows, it becomes less about the founder and more about the company. Different people handle different functions and for the organization to function well, they all need to move in the same direction.


There are multiple things that can be learnt by watching or playing sports. Sports are all about crossing physical and mental limits, progress, try, fail and try again. Victory and loss are the two major things that can be visible in sports but no matter what is the result, at the end of the day you have worked hard such as entrepreneurs.


This article was originally written by Louis Navarra and appeared here.

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