12 Opportunities for Sports to Benefit Your Life and Business

This blogpost is going to give you 12 ideas about how sport could benefit your life and business. Some that you might have never thought of, some that you have forgotten. Some are a total cliché, but hopefully you’ll find them all useful in the end.

1

Let’s be honest. Can you really earn if you have nothing to burn? Let’s say you run a young start-up company and you have no money to burn. The fact is: you’ll have to burn something else. Yourself.

You need to set yourself on fire and put your own energy into your company, into your product or service and into your team. You have no other chance than that. Except buying a lottery ticket nd hoping that one day, you are going to be a millionaire.

But to burn yourself you need lots of energy. And I mean mental energy, not the calories on your belly. Those will actually hold you back. Because sport and moving will give you the energy you need to develop your company.

Woman lying in bed suffering from insomnia

2

Let’s run a small test! 6, 19, 34, 21, 87, 45, 8, 75, 12, 3.

Chances are: the better your aerobic capacity, the more of those number you remembered. There are several studies made that show correlation between your aerobic endurance and brain functionality.

People who regularly perfom aerobic training, score better  in tests that measure cognitive functions like attentional control and working memory.

So if you have good endurance, you could recall about 7 to 9 of those numbers that I showed on screen. If your aerobic endurance is not so good, chances are that you are already falling asleep reading this blogpost.

3

Studies show that children who are physicaly active (which equals to 30 minutes a day) are outright smarter at school than those who aren’t. Other studies indicate that people who are active have better cognitive functions and health at old age.

As a startup company owner you are 90% likely to fail. You may take other chances in business, but the harsh reality is that your kids are your only hope for better future. So the best thing you can do today is to kick them out of the door right away!

Don’t let them get back in before those 30 minutes are over. And perhaps it’s a good idea to follow them so you could survive as well.

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4

Estonian business newspaper Äripäev wrote 2 weeks ago that start-up leaders mental health is out of order. No wonder! When you look at the cycle of life for a startup company you’ll see that there are more stress than would be normal.

Only few of the start-ups climb out from the valley of death. You don’t really have to be a brain surgeon to understand what kind of stress that is and how failure affects your brain.

To remain sane and be able to start your 10th and finally successful business, you need to get that stress out of yourself. You need to release stress! Move – and also have a good rest. Sleep enough and from time to time, take time off from business as well.

5

Sports and business are similar. Business is always a competition. You need to fight for new customers and to keep the old ones, to win your procurement offer and to get new investors on board. Having a competitive mindset might work well for your company.

Playing some competitive sports will help you to be prepared for the battle of business!

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6

Good looking people are treated better. Yes, it seems a bit unfair, but studies show they are considered more trustworthy and successful.

Since they are considered to be more successful, they are more often chosen to get hired, they make better business deals and they are more often getting elected to public positions. It is like a self-fulfilling prediction! Since they are considered to be more successful, they are more often chosen to get a job, so they make better business deals and they are more often getting elected to public positions.

Seems like bad news for those who cosider themselves unattractive? It actually isn’t. The fact is, that sporty people are considered to be more attractive than the average. So if you don’t feel like Mr. Olympia or bikini fitness champion yet, there is certainly something you can do about it.

Find a fitness club near you and pay them a visit! And if you pay good attention now, I might recommend you the website to find the best offers of those clubs. It’s www.sportid.com.

7

A lot of start-up companies go in front of the investors and pitch like they are the Golden Starte Warriors. If by any chance this start-up happens to be TransferWise, they could be Kalev/Cramo.

But chances are, they are not even Estiko/Tartu Kalev, which is a basketball club in Estonian 1st league where our dear colleague Mihkel plays.

But you gotta start from somewhere and gradually build up! In business, just like in sports, team is what matters. You can’t do it alone. No matter how good shooting guard or centre player you personally are. The team has to do it.

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8

If you don’t invest into your employees health you are plain stupid. Why? Studies conducted in Johnson&Johnson, for example, have shown that the ROI for investing into your empolyees wellness programmes is €6 back on every €1 invested. The reason is quite obvious – employees are less sick and more productive.

Now I have heard some guys in some companies say that they will never ever pay the money for this because government is asking taxes on top of that benefit. Hey guys, what don’t you understand?

The tax is 60%, the return on investment is 600%. So now that we’ve learned the numbers. does it really matter if it is 600% or 540%? Studies prove that you win. So if you don’t invest into your employees, you are probably not among the brightest.

I might get the stratups. Since they have nothing to burn, it is tougher. Because you need that 1€ to get back 6. If you don’t have that 1€ to invest. I get it.

9

Sports help you to be better every day. There is nothing like the feeling of being better than yesterday! The absolute best place to get this feeling is when you start traing for some purpose. Let’s say, for a 10k run.

You start with 60 minutes in the first running competition, then 55 minutes the next time and at some point, you are doing distances and results that you never expected from yourself.

This gives a feeling of satisfaction. It helps you to create goals and from time to time, you just simply need this feeling of success into your life when it takes a bit longer in the field of business.

improve-yourself

10

If you are doing business, most probably you are travelling. A lot. In USA, a study indicates that 488 million business trips are taken annually. That’s more than 1.5 trips per person living in states.

If you have a certain workout routine at home, it is much harder to keep that during your travel. What most people do is ditch training on those days. But what is the first thing you can actually do about it, besides whining that you have no time?

The best way to fight this is to look at what private trainers suggest to their customers. They know that if one doesn’t follow training routine, one doesn’t get results. So what the coaches suggest to their customers isto plan upfront. They suggest writing trainings down to your calendar on the days you don’t travel.

About the time issue. I have heard some people say that they are so busy that they have absolutely no time to work out. You know who has the time to work out between his duties? Barack Obama. Over 50% of people work out less than they should. So does that mean that 50% of people are more busy than Barack Obama?

11

So you want your employees to work out and you pay them money so they could. How you can make it even better?

During soviet era, there were big bright, often stupid slogans everywhere. “Honour to work!” or “Let’s fulfill 5 years plan with 4 years!”. The reason for those banners and posters was that they trigger a phenomenon in your brain that is called priming.

So when you read or see the slogans, it affects your behaviour a little bit towards the desired direction.

So how could we use that to get our employees to work out? You might put up a poster in your company that says something like “I will go to the gym today!”. You can also use a picture of yourself in swimming pants on the poster –  if you think that’s appropriate.

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12

If you train alone, you may sometimes harm yourself. Overtraining or injuries are common and in addition, you won’t get the results you were training for. So a coach might help you back on track!

In the business, it’s the same. Listen to those who have done it before and learn from them. Attend conferences like Startup Day 2016 in Tartu. Be better and smarter every day!

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