What makes a champion? Is it an unrelenting attitude, belief in yourself, focus and determination? A champion is a strong competitor who never quits, never surrenders. A true champion would rather fall down while striving and exerting maximum effort, than to sit down because she is tired. I remember maintaining a wide horse-stance in karate class for what seemed like hours while our instructor often repeated that it was acceptable to collapse to the ground, but forbidden to stand up to find relief. Quitting is never an option for winners. Remember the words of Tim Allen’s Captain Nesmith character in Galaxy Quest, “Never quit. Never surrender.”
At Wimbledon this year, we witnessed a true champion in action: According to the Associated Press, “Hobbled and hurting and essentially playing on one leg, Serena Williams managed to gut out a three-set victory.” At one point, Williams fell to the ground, experiencing a crippling leg cramp. “I thought about not finishing, but very briefly. I thought I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I hadn’t at least tried” she said after the event. Serena Williams summoned all of the strength and fortitude within her and found victory, as a true champion will. Against all odds, she prevailed.
The same attitude and characteristics also describe the successful entrepreneur. Although it may appear sometimes that there is little hope, you must remain hopeful. There is always something to be learned from past experiences, something that we can reach inward for that will furnish the drive and inspiration to prevail.
There will always be that quiet temptation to quit, to find a job and escape, but the serious entrepreneur realizes that during those disconcerting moments, success is often waiting, just ahead, obscured by the next curve in the road. Though currently unseen, triumph awaits beyond the coming dip.
The winner knows in her gut that she will find a way to prevail in her current course or will change course as many times as necessary, ultimately finding success there. This winning attitude is expressed so eloquently in the old adage” I cannot do anything about the wind, but I can adjust my sails.” To quit is simply not an option. That is the winning attitude that separates champions from everyone else.
Entrepreneurial champions possess these same characteristics. Most winners are also further inspired by tales of other winners and their successes against all odds. Such sources of inspiration often fuel the fires of desire and persistence, providing that much needed boost that often provides their edge. Go and do likewise.