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It’s been almost a year since the passing of one of the greatest basketball athletes ever to walk this earth. However, his legacy is still alive today, touching millions of people’s lives.
There’s a saying that business people should study and learn from athletes, especially regarding their drive and work ethic. If you were to perform an internet search about “Kobe Bryant‘s work ethic,” you would find endless videos and articles celebrating Kobe’s insane relentlessness towards his craft. He mentioned in interviews that he was always the first to show up in practice to prove to everyone that no matter what, he was willing to outwork everyone.
1. Turn failures into fuel
In 2003, after a season-ending loss to another team, Kobe mentioned in an interview clip that he would “push myself to exhaustion” after being asked how much harder he would work in the offseason. He also had the humility to admit defeat and that the opponents performed better.
In multiple interviews after his victories, Kobe shared that he never forgets his losses and uses the painful memories to fuel him. In business, entrepreneurs should not lay the blame when faced with any setbacks but instead analyze the situation as it is to gather feedback to improve our way of working.
The saying that “it is all about perspectives” rings true in failure, as two people can face the same situation, with one giving up while the other using the failure as a learning experience to recalibrate and propel towards future success. Although we should not dwell on our past failures, it is still essential to analyze the situation from an observer’s standpoint to continuously determine how we can become better in every area of our business.
2. Sacrifice to do what most are unwilling to do
Kobe shared in interviews that he used to feel left out and questioned his decision to give up his college parties for basketball training. Even after experiencing victory, he was unlike many teammates or athletes who celebrated and relaxed for a day or two. Kobe would return to the gym with his usual workout routine the very next day.
If we were to look across the board at the most successful athletes and business people, most of them had to sacrifice a lot to get to where they are. We only have a finite amount of time and energy daily to build a successful business at a rapid pace. If our energy is channeled towards activities like partying every day, it would mean that we are taking time away from growing our business.
There are fewer and fewer entrepreneurs as we go up the pyramid of wealth or level of business revenue because only so few people are willing to do what the majority are unwilling to. That could mean waking up early at a fixed hour to kickstart your day, eating clean and healthy, bathing in cold showers to wake your body up, working long hours, and generally doing the difficult things. Most people would give up after facing numerous obstacles and when things get hard, but those who stick to it until the end are the ones who reap the fruits of their labor.
3. Do whatever it takes to be the greatest
Kobe famously said that he wanted to be able to join “GOAT Mountain” and be equal peers with his muses like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. This was one of the driving forces that made him insatiably hungry to relentlessly pursue his goal of being the best basketball player of all time and continuously win championship after championship. He showed this hunger by putting in the same work ethic, discipline and focus for decades.
Similarly, in business, we can find inspiration from top business people we look up to. Their inspiration creates the hunger and motivation in us to continuously strive to be as financially successful as them, no matter the amount of discipline or hardship.
It is incredibly accurate that business people can learn many things from athletes and other successful people. Since business is competitive, the lessons we can learn from the relentless spirit of Kobe, who had become the champion in one of the most competitive sports in the world, are priceless.