Like successful golfers, we believe entrepreneurs need to be constantly improving their performance and that we can apply the lessons from golf to improve our business performance.
Here is my list of "Why Business is Like Golf":
- It's important to have a plan. Of course nothing goes exactly according to plan, but if you have one, you will at least recognize where you should be now and can adjust to get where you want to be. (Like Oops! I'm in the bunker and need to get out of the sand and back on the fairway in front of the green.)
- Even the good shots can end up badly. And vice versa. So take your best shot and hope for the best. That great drive (or proposal) may have gone too far and ended up in the rough. And sometimes a terrible slice (or bad sales call) can actually bounce off a tree and end up right where you wanted to be.
- Every problem is just another challenge. It was not supposed to end up in the rough and behind a tree, but now you have a chance to work on your "recovery" shot.
- Work on the fundamentals. You cannot get better if you don't understand and master the basic principles, techniques and foundation of a good swing (or business). As Arnie Palmer apparently advised one angry amateur, "you're not good enough to get that upset about poor results."
- Choose and use the right tools and equipment. Technology keeps making the game easier, but make sure it is the right equipment for you and your plan. And don't try to use an 8-iron for a long, low fade, when a 4-iron is the right tool. Same for a home office $129 accounting package when your business is doing plus $2 million a year.
- Know the rules and play fair. Even if nobody catches you cheating, you know you don't deserve the credit you're getting for a good game. Kidding yourself about your score doesn't work in business either.
- Continuous learning and determined practice are the disciplines of champions. If the Number One golfer in the world is still adjusting his swing with a new coach, what are you doing to be better and do better?
- It's easier if you lower your expectations and have good excuses. But you want more, right?
- Learn from your mistakes. You will inevitably have an occasional bad shot, a bad hole or a bad day. It may just be bad luck, a bad idea, or a bad swing, but continuously analyse what you did wrong so that you can avoid the mistake next time.
That's the first nine holes, I have for you.
Hopefully some memorable ideas that will improve both your golf and your business.
I'll work on another nine another day.
Until then, keep hitting them down the middle!
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