I was an athlete first, an entrepreneur, second. However, it’s not a coincidence that my hobby informs my profession, and my profession is successful simply because I bring the same amount of athletic dedication, hyper-focus, and commitment to the boardroom. Melded together, these two personas create what I call the Corporate Athlete, a person who embodies the most effective characteristics of both the entrepreneur and the athlete, a winning combination that will propel the average businessperson into the stratosphere.
On closer examination, there is a certain type of behavior, training, and approach that the Corporate Athlete displays in order to realize a dream. As an entrepreneur, I know that I want to capture the same feeling I experience when I achieve athletic success and to translate that unique euphoria to the workplace, boardroom, and life, using that undeniable energy to catapult myself to new levels of personal success, satisfaction, and contentment. As an accomplished athlete, I have seen firsthand the benefits of implementing a regimented training plan in order to reach my goals. I know, without a doubt, that if the same formulas and training can be utilized in the business world, there is nothing I – or you – cannot achieve. The Corporate Athlete borrows from the best of both worlds, always preparing for that metaphorical race, striving to lead a purpose-driven professional life, and seeking to tap into one’s true potential, both as a person and as an entrepreneur.
So how can a Corporate Athlete reach even higher and perform like a world-class athlete? Professional athletes are expected to deliver consistently. They are especially expected to be at their best in do-or-die situations. The same expectations are placed on Corporate Athletes, but they often lack the one thing used by professional athletes to maintain peak performance and recover from unforeseen setbacks: resilience. Resilience is one of the key qualities desired in leaders today, but many people confuse it with toughness. Toughness is an aspect of resilience, as it may enable an individual to separate emotion from the negative consequences of difficult choices. Toughness can be advantageous in the business world, and often celebrated, but only to a point because it can create an armor that deflects emotion, cutting you off from the resources you need to bounce back. Resilience is not about deflecting challenges, but about absorbing them and rebounding stronger than before. If resilience is the key that is missing from the entrepreneurial arsenal, it is our job as Corporate Athletes to develop this skill and to sharpen it in preparation for times when we will need it. And trust me, we will need it. Resilience is a skill that will not only enable you to remain agile in uncertainty, but also encourages you to trust in yourself and remain optimistic when the chips are down, both personally and professionally. Certainly, it is a characteristic we have put to good use during this year and one that I strive to refine, day in and day out because it can only help, and not hinder, my goals.
I have been in business long enough to know that I know everything, and I know nothing. But of the things that I do know, the most prevalent thing is that knowledge is meant to be shared because we all have a duty to educate others so we can all move forward collectively, uplifting each other and committing to the betterment of our community. For the past few years, I have toyed with the idea of writing a book, but it was only a fleeting thought. This year, however, the thought took hold and I spent a good amount of blood, sweat, and tears bringing it to fruition.
Catapult was written to teach you to become the best leader and Corporate Athlete possible by helping you discover your true purpose so you can gain the confidence to tackle the problems impacting our world today. It will show you how the positivity you create by helping others can come back tenfold, how taking on these issues requires a collective effort that starts with your own ability to look outward. Working with others in your community who are invested in your success can only reinforce what you believe in, not only creating accountability within yourself, but also resulting in others trusting you and your vision. The structure the book provides will fortify your resilience, strengthen your work ethic, infuse your life with more joy, and in some instances, improve your physical performance. You will learn how all of this works together to perpetuate your purpose, propel your drive, and catapult you toward the goals you have for your work, your life, and the world around you.
Catapult is my tome, an homage to my own education, my mentors, and my life experiences as an entrepreneur and as an athlete. I have been guided by so many brilliant, generous people willing to lend their time and invest in who I was and who I am that it is only fitting that I pay it forward. This book is a catch-all manual for new and seasoned entrepreneurs alike, who are looking not only to make their mark on the world, but also to exceed beyond their greatest expectations. Are you ready to become the best, most resilient Corporate Athlete you can be? On your marks, 2021. Catapult is coming soon, to a bookshelf near you.
Photography by: Alan Chan/Very Polite Agency