From our contributing parters at People Helping People (PHP)
I still remember the first day I tried out for football and the nerves that ran through my body as I walked onto a team that was already into the third game of the season. I had wanted to make a change in my life from fighting at a very early age in the streets; I wanted to choose something more positive and promising as an outlet. Not having any idea if I would be even halfway decent, I took a leap of faith and courageously went for it.
Surprisingly, the fearfulness I had overcome in the streets allowed me to prevail on the field: I busted through the defensive line and conquered all nearby opponents. I earned myself the possibility of becoming my team’s first string tailback.
Much like that first day on the field, having success in business means wanting more out of life than the status quo. It was because of that desire that I first got onto the field; that was my driving motivation to never look back. After proving myself, I never wanted to be just normal or to fit in like the rest of the kids.
I knew very early on in life that I didn’t want to be a typical student—or, for today’s topic, a typical employee. The belief that I could do something or be someone carried me through high school and eventually college, and it continues to serve me in my adult life.
You can imagine, as Texans, what a big part football played in our family. But after my brother got seriously hurt during a Friday night game under the lights, our football dreams came to an end. Having a Type A personality myself, I had to get involved in another sport, or else I knew I would get myself back into some sort of trouble. My older brother was my mentor and best friend; he had become a state champ in wrestling, and so I took up that challenge as well. Just like in the business world, it was a new venture that had many risks, but I was willing to give it a try.
I encountered a new challenge that I would face again in the business world: I had to FOCUS! Wrestling not only requires tremendous strength and balance but also skill. Unlike football, it takes more practice to prove victorious, because it requires so much more in the way of technique.
The entrepreneurial world is like that of wrestling, not football. You can’t just win through brute force; you need balance, skill, practice, focus, and extreme dedication. Most employees won’t do what it takes to win in this world, which is similar to the attitude many athletes have. You see, only 2% of wrestlers are willing to go for a run after a tournament for conditioning if the tournament they wrestled in proved too easy. In the business world, only a select few are willing to put in the 80 hour work week required to make sure their business survives and profits. But if you are part of that 2%, you can bring home the glory and lifestyle of a Texas State Championship winner. I did just that as a wrestler, and I knew that I would never, ever settle for mediocrity.
After wrestling in college and getting my degree, I took up bodybuilding and television broadcasting. Knowing that I could never be someone else’s employee and being incapable of schmoozing my way up the corporate ladder, I soon left the corporate world altogether and opened up my own gym. My success as a new entrepreneur went hand in hand with my success as a bodybuilder. I became Mr. Universe in 1999–the same title Arnold Schwarzenegger holds.
Whether in sports or business, the key to becoming a champion is extreme commitment. Put in the extra hours of training, push yourself beyond your limits, and do whatever it takes to maximize your results. Be the champion you were born to be.
Paul Medrano is a Marketing Director at PHP Agency in Pasadena, CA.
“How Being a Championship Athlete Helped Me to Become a Successful Entrepreneur” was originally provided by People Helping People (PHP)