Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Gold Medal Lessons: 3 Tips Your Startup Can Takeaway from the 2012 Olympics

Unless you have been living under a rock, it is safe to assume you have caught a few minutes (or in the case of very dedicated viewers, a few hours) of the 2012 London Olympics.  The 2012 Games produce the same emotions that every Olympic event does—tears of joy, cheers of celebration, and even the pain of defeat and disappointment.  But what has been different about this year’s Olympic Games...and what can you take away from it?

The 2012 London Olympics can teach us some extremely valuable lessons in the startup world.  And lucky for you, we are here to fill you in with 3 gold medal tips: 

Don’t Let the Critics Bring You Down

Beginning with faultfinders of the Games’ Opening Ceremonies and carrying on to critics of NBC’s coverage, this year’s Olympics have been under much scrutiny.  But regardless of the criticism, the Games are still underway and NBC continues its coverage with fans and supporters all around the globe.  So how does this relate to the world of entrepreneurship?  

From the get go, criticism has been prevalent in the 2012 Olympics but that did not interfere with the determination and work ethic of both the Great Britain Olympic Association or NBC. Early-stage criticism should not bring entrepreneurs down either.  In fact, entrepreneurs should use this negative feedback to their advantage.  Use the criticisms to make your startup a better one. From there, it’s important to believe in your startup and let your confidence carry it through.

Team Is Most Important

Gabby Douglas, otherwise known in the 2012 Games as the “Flying Squirrel”, was expected to add another medal to her accomplishments in her performance on the uneven bars just as Jordan Weiber, former AA world champ, was expected to advance to the individual all around competition.  Unfortunately, both girls did not achieve what they may have expected.  And while both Olympians did not succeed on their own, it was in the team finals where they achieved the most satisfying gold of all. 

Whether you are a promised member of the USA Women’s Gymnastics Team or a solo entrepreneur trying to build a successful startup, you need a team to help you achieve success.  Remember—we all achieve greater accomplishments when we do it together.  Share your ideas.  Find new talent.  Grow with others. 

Represent Yourself Carefully

The 2012 London Olympics were hyped up to be the first “Social Olympics”, and so far, they have proven to be just that.  Unfortunately, social media did not always capture the best of the athletes competing in the Games.  Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou, along with many others, found out the hard way that 140 characters can destroy a reputation.  After sending an offensive tweet, Voula was expelled from the Games altogether.  While she affirmed it was a joke, others did not find the humor.

Just as Olympic athletes do, your startup also reflects itself through its social media usage.  Remember to mind your social media manners and represent yourself carefully and intelligently while staying true to your brand.

There you have it—three tips from the 2012 Olympics to send your startup on its way to achieving the gold! Move over, Michael Phelps; these entrepreneurs are on a mission!

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