The 144th Golf Open is now in full ‘swing’ at St Andrews, Scotland.
Although I’m not a Golf enthusiast, the location of St Andrews is very dear to me, being the place I was born.
Just along the street behind the Royal and Ancient Clubhouse in fact
So with the event being very prominent on TV here this week, it got me thinking about what it takes to become a top professional Golfer and if there are any similarities with building a business online.
Here are my thoughts:
Both can be a solitary business.
Success or failure is totally down to you and your abilities. This article on The Loneliness and Tedium of a Pro Golfer gives a feel for what life can be like as a pro on tour.
Online entrepreneurs often feel very lonely too. They work alone, often at times when others around them are relaxing and socialising.
BUT they have the great advantage of being able to choose when and where they work!
And the other great advantage that building a business online has over Golf is that you can interact with mastermind groups and communities of like-minded entrepreneurs.
You are not in direct competition with them as you are in a Golf tournament. You can all be winners!
Both require a mental toughness
Not everything will go the way you want. The way you react to things going wrong will determine how successful you are.
To quote from the article mentioned above:
“To succeed on tour, it’s important to be good but it’s infinitely more important to be tough. If you’re not tough enough, you’re going to fade away. The only thing that makes most golfers happy is playing good golf. If you’re struggling with the lifestyle and playing bad, you’re really in trouble.”
When building a business online, if life knocks you down, you need to get back up and fight. Quitting penalises only you. Things can and will get better if you just stick with it.
The same is true of playing good golf.
Both can be a bit of a roller coaster ride
“The lows are very low but the highs are so high that they make up for it.”
This is equally true of building a business online and this is where the mental toughness also comes in.
You have days when you can be on top of the world, when the money is coming in and everything you touch turns to gold.
Then the next minute everything seems to go wrong. Perhaps your Facebook advertising account gets shut down for no apparent reason. Or some of the sales you’ve just made ask for their money back.
You have to be prepared to accept that these things happen, that you maybe need to look at other ways of doing things (eg advertising on YouTube instead) and that things will get better again.
Tenacity is a great word to use here – persistent determination.
Both require practice, practice and more practice
No one expects to become a top professional golfer overnight. It requires many hours of coaching and practice to become the best.
The same is true of building a business online successfully. You can’t expect to put in just a few hours work and then sit back and watch the money rolling in.
It can take many months, even years, of learning and testing different things to finally hit the big time.
And even then, you can’t rest on your laurels. Golfers continue to practice regularly to maintain their high standards and online business entrepreneurs need to do the same.
For them practice requires keeping up with current trends, continuous learning and being flexible enough to change their strategy and tactics when required.
Both are better if you enjoy what you do
“When I read that Rory McIlroy doesn’t enjoy the game like he used to, I wasn’t at all surprised. I don’t think many top golfers actually enjoy what they do. I don’t think many top sportspeople enjoy what they do. They’re constantly scrutinised and it becomes so stressful, so pressurised.
“People think being famous is great. But being that famous can be the worst thing in the world. I want to be the best I can be. But being the best I can be means winning majors, becoming famous and all the bad stuff that comes with it. It’s like making a pact with the devil.”
What a shame that top golfers don’t necessarily enjoy what they do. In fact, this makes it all the more remarkable that they manage to continue to practice and play to the best of their ability.
This is where successfully building a business online has a great advantage. You can choose to focus your business on an area that you are passionate about and you can do this whilst still staying out of the public eye and all the pressures that can bring.
To me this is a win-win situation.
Both cost an investment in time and money
How Much Does It Cost To Play Professional Golf? Apparently the quick answer is about £100,000 ($150,000) per year and a few lifestyle sacrifices!
Building a business online also costs money. It’s just not possible to create a viable, sustainable business without some form of investment.
But the good news is that it will cost a lot less than playing professional golf, probably offer greater income potential in the longer term, and allows you to ‘earn while you learn’.
So which would you prefer – to be a top professional golfer or a successful online entrepreneur?
I know which I would choose!
To your success
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