From The Box To The Boardroom - 7 Lessons Business People Can Take From CrossFit (Even If They Don't Do CrossFit)
Even if you aren't into CrossFit, I am sure you know someone who is talking about the CrossFit Open going on right now. The Open is a 5 week SWOT Analysis for athletes ranging from newbies to 70+-year-old athletes to see how they measure up against CrossFitters across the world.
With all those people that do (and talk a lot about) CrossFit, you probably wonder - What's up with this craze? People seem so obsessed with it. I am one of those people. Any friend, relative, or acquaintance that I meet-I aggressively try to convince them to try CrossFit.
It's challenging, however very doable. It makes you a healthy person all around. When enduring the pain of a "Work Out of the Day" that includes 50 burpees, 50 box jumps, and 50 pushups... you are much more reluctant to reach for junk food that would erase your progress.
Here are some of the things I have found that CrossFit teaches and reinforces about motivation, achieving goals, and success that can be transferred into business
1. Be OK with starting at the bottom. It's very rare to start at the top. The beginning will be painful. You may be embarrassed and want to quit. There is always a learning curve, even if you used to be the best at your previous job or a stellar athlete.
2. Goals that may seem unrealistic become realistic when you have incremental steps to get you there. When setting a lofty goal for yourself, it will become daunting unless you know the path to get there. Set mini-goals that lead to the ultimate goal. 50 burpees may seem like a lot at first, but it isn't as bad if you break them up into smaller sets of 5 or 10. Hitting scaled goals will motivate you to keep going and feel successful each step of the way.
3. The best person to compete against is yourself. Everyone's capabilities and goals are different. You need to focus on your personal best and keep trying to exceed that. Instead of looking at others, look at yourself; where you started, where you are now, and where you want to be. Then look back every quarter or six months and be proud of the progress you made.
4. Results require consistency and dedication. Set your plan; workout 5 days a week, make 20 cold calls a day, or whatever it is-- and stick to it. No matter how hard it is or how much you stumble, you need to stick to your plan and make it a habit. With time it will get more comfortable, and more enjoyable along the way. Persistence pays off in the gym and business.
5. Learn the mechanics, then add the intensity. Whether it is a business plan, sales strategy, or a CrossFit movement; you need to map out the details, make sure you are covering all angles, obstacles, and pitfalls--- then approach with full force. You won't be able to successfully clean-and-jerk 100 kilos until you learn the proper techniques. Master the basics specific to your business and the results will follow.
6. There will be bruises, and you will learn from them. Any path to success will have some setbacks and painful disappointments. You're going to fail a lift. It's inevitable you botch a presentation. Take a moment to reflect, regroup and heal your wounds. Then get back to the plan you set out for yourself. Keep learning from your failures as they will lead to success.
7. Success is easier with a motivating community. Whether it's your spouse, boss, friends, or CrossFit coach; you need to have a network to cheer you on and hold you accountable. The power of a support group will help motivate you to succeed.
Whether CrossFit is for you, or some other physical activity - find what brings out the best in you, stick to it, and let it motivate you to do great things.
Ariana started her career in 2003 selling copiers door-to-door. She moved on to 100% commission recruiting after that for 7 years and then transitioned to enterprise sales. She currently sells million-dollar enterprise background screening solutions and software for First Advantage Corporation (www.fadv.com), and a member of CrossFit Prosperity (crossfitprosperity.com) in Walpole, MA.