The Olympics and Mental Toughness

It’s been a while since my last post as I took some time off to enjoy the birth of our third child over the holidays and to manage a recent doubling of my client base.

In looking at my clients, I’ve made a few observations which I’d like to point out — observations that tie into the current Olympic games as you’ll see in a moment.

Roughly half of my clients grew around 80% – 100% in 2009. I have two clients pacing at 200% – 350% growth in 2010 (from low 7 figures to high 7 figures/low 8 figures).

In looking at my clients growth and the growth in my own business, I’ve noticed a distinct pattern that few people talk about.

The people that achieve this kind of sales and profit growth in this kind of economy are, well, not normal people.

It’s not that they exceptionally talented (though they definitely do have their talents).

Rather, it’s that they are so freakin stubborn!


Yes, in my humble opinion, this one trait is arguable as important, if not more important, than talent, IQ, or EQ.

Here’s why.

The persistently determined will always find a way to win.

I’ve been watching the Olympics these past few days and it has been utterly fascinating to watch the human drama and psychology of what is normally considered an athletic event.

You see it is not the most physically gifted athlete that wins Gold at the Olympics. It is the most mentally tough and determined that does.

When they stakes are high, when you have dreamed for your entire life for the next 30 seconds… it comes down to who is able to relentless focus at the task at hand.

My wife loves, just absolute loves, to watch the figure skating events. I loved how the Chinese pairs skaters FINALLY won Gold after an 18 year career, lots of world championships, but no Olympic medal… heck, they even came out of retirement at the age of 31 and 36 to do it!

And to boot, to win Gold that had to end a 46 year Olympic Gold win streak amongst the Russians… and they did. Amazing!

They wanted gold REALLY BAD. And they got it.  I love it.

In more recent drama, I’ve been watching how in the men’s figure skating event, the Russian skater is totally talking smack to the American skater.

Basically, the Russian guy (currently first place) is apparently famous for landing quad jumps – 4 rotations in the air or something along those lines.

The American (currently 2nd place) has opted to not include any quads in his program – he has difficulty hitting them consistently and last time he did one he broke his foot. So he’s aiming to hit everything else perfectly.

So the Russian is totally trying to psych the American out… in as polite a way as possible (it is figure skating after all) he’s basically calling the American a wuss for not throwing a quad.

We’ll see who’s mentally tougher, but I gotta say the Russian as annoying as he is I think has the edge. We’ll see who wants it more tomorrow.

If you’re watching the Olympics, I definitely encourage you to pay attention to the whole psychological aspect of the games. It really is quite instructive and can be applied to your business.

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