Champions Will Not Be Denied

What makes a champion a champion? Is it the relentless attitude, self-belief, focus and determination? A champion is a fierce competitor who never quits, never surrenders. A true champion would rather fall while striving and exerting maximum effort, than to sit because he is tired. I remember maintaining a wide horse-stance in karate class for what seemed like eternity while our instructor repeated that it was acceptable to collapse to the ground, but not acceptable to stand up to find relief. Quitting is never an option for winners. Remember the wisdom of Tim Allen’s Captain Nesmith character in the film Galaxy Quest, “Never quit. Never surrender.”

At the Wimbledon championship this year, we all witnessed a genuine winner, a true champion in action: According to the Associated Press, “Hobbled and hurting and essentially playing on one leg, Serena Williams managed to gut out a three-set victory.” At one point, Williams fell hard to the ground, experiencing a crippling leg cramp. “I thought for a moment about not finishing, but only briefly. I thought that I would not be able to live with myself if I had not at least tried” she said after the completion of the event. Serena Williams summoned all of the strength and fortitude within her and found victory, as a true champion will. Against all odds and obstacles, she heartily prevailed.

The same attitude and characteristics also describe the successful entrepreneur. Although it may appear at times that there is little hope, you must remain vigilant and hopeful. There is always something to be learned from past experiences, something that we can reach inward for that will furnish the drive and inspiration needed to prevail.

There will always be compelling temptation to quit, to find a real job and escape, but the dedicated entrepreneur realizes that during those disconcerting moments, success is often quietly waiting, just ahead, obscured by the next bend in the road. Though currently unseen, triumph awaits beyond the coming dip.

The winner knows in her gut that she will find a way to prevail in her current course or will change course as many times as necessary, ultimately finding success there. This invigorating, winning attitude is expressed so eloquently in the phrase ” I cannot do anything about the wind, but I can adjust my sails.” To quit is simply not an option. That is the winning attitude that separates champions from everyone else.

Champions in business possess these same characteristics. Most winners are also further inspired by tales of other winners and their successes against all odds. Such sources of inspiration often fuel the fires of desire and persistence, providing that much needed boost that often provides their edge. Go and do likewise.