Every four years, you can watch special people participate in a noble cause – the Olympics .
These heroes commit countless hours over many years to achieve a level of excellence that might somehow qualify them to represent their country in the Olympic Games .
Notice no mention of winning, medals or glory. Most Olympians find neither. And yet they train and compete.
Watching an event, we’re at once self-conscious and grateful as the camera’s lens permits us to invade that private moment just prior to competition. Self-conscious because of the intrusion, but grateful to share the moment and benefit vicariously from the Herculean effort and sacrifice.
The TV camera moves in closer. We can actually see the color of their eyes — even imagine their thoughts.
The swimmer: “Twelve years of training and it all comes down to the next few seconds – must remember the fundamentals.”
The runner: “Today I will perform my personal best.”
Then the long lens captures the mouth. There’s a lick to fight the cottonmouth that only those who risk failure have tasted. The lips move ever so slightly, as if to offer a short prayer or claim an affirmation.
Every day, you can watch another group of special people participate in a noble cause – small business.
Small business owners are a lot like Olympic athletes. They commit countless hours over many years, pushing mind and body to achieve a level of excellence that might somehow allow them to merely … make a living.
Notice no mention of winning, medals or glory. Most small business owners find neither. And yet they show up, year after year, to work, compete, and contribute.
Like an Olympic race, sometimes the future of a small business’ success rides on how well the owner performs over a very short period of time. If the camera could take you in close, you might see an owner thinking: “All these years of work and risk could come down to how well I deliver this proposal in the next few minutes - must remember the fundamentals.”
The long lens would also capture the lick to lessen the cottonmouth that only those who risk failure have tasted. Then the lips move ever so slightly, as if to offer a prayer or claim an affirmation.
Olympians and small business owners are dedicated to what they love. Both work hard, in search of excellence, take great risks against all odds, and usually at their own expense.
I’ll gladly spend my admiration on that kind of spirit.
Write this on a rock...Because of Olympians and small business owners, the world is a better place.
Jim Blasingame is one of the world's leading experts on small business and entrepreneurship . He is the creator and award-winning host of the nationally syndicated radio program , The Small Business Advocate® Show. In addition to his weekly columns, Jim is the author of two books; Small Business is like a Bunch of Bananas and Three Minutes to Success.