Keep Your Eye on the Ball

Rika and I were playing tennis yesterday and she reminded me of three things. “Robin, remember to keep your eye on the ball until it hits your racket. Get to the place where the ball is going before it gets there. And your racquet up and ready by the time to get to that place.” How wonderful to have that concise input – my game improved quickly. We tend to forget the basics and it’s good to be reminded. And because I’m always thinking business, I immediately thought of the relevance to business.

In business, these three things are very important. First, keep your eye on the ball. Focus. You can’t be “all things to all men” and expect to succeed. Learn to stick with your core competencies, remember to say “No” and spend your time on the high return, high potential activities. See the deals through, Don’t jump from scheme to scheme. Create a clear identity and position yourself. Don’t get distracted by “Quick Buck” scams and promises. Keep your eye on the ball with laser beam focus and commitment.

Secondly, get to the place where the ball is going before it gets there. Anticipate. Don’t be unrealistic in your expectations and plan ahead. Move fast and proactively. Be flexible, but always think strategically. This is even more important in playing squash than it is in playing tennis. All the angles must be taken into consideration. Treat your business like a chess game. Expect attacks, like any warrior, and prepare for them, just as you would any battle. Build your back end before you’re ready to start selling it. Build in Joint Venture options.

Thirdly, keep your racquet up, so that you are always ready to strike hard and fast. You don’t have time to prepare every detail, so have all your facts and figures and alliances and options in place at all times. Be prepared. And if you’re the analytical type, align yourself with a partner who is able to make fast decisions and take quick action. By the time you recover for your paralysis of analysis you will find the window of opportunity firmly closed on your bleeding fingers while your competition is already on to their next deal.

Any good soldier knows the importance of preparation, just as every athlete does. Train hard, be well prepared, focus and commit. Champions don’t cut and run – they cut to the chase. Winners don’t whine. Successful people will never waste your time telling you about all their private family problems and make excuses. They are goal-directed. Eagles make fast decisions, take responsibility and bounce back to win. In tennis, like any other game, learn from the experts. Get your ego out of the way and you will soon be better than your coach. Sign up for your free, weekly newsletter, The Prophet of Profit, HERE.

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