Sports and entrepreneurship: the invisible bond – Musa Khalfan Yasin

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We live in challenging times. However, the race is particularly tough for entrepreneurs who are constantly striving to better their business and stay competitive. We all know it’s easy to quit, but it is important to keep running, whatever the obstacle, in order to taste victory. Even if there’s no gold or silver at the end of it all, the endurance and resilience acquired along the way contribute to overall success.  

In this context, it wouldn’t be out of place to share my thoughts on lessons businesses can learn from real-life experiences on track and field. As an athlete who is simultaneously pursuing economic entrepreneurial goals, I see many things common for both sports persons and entrepreneurs. In my opinion, the entrepreneurial journey can be equated with a real running race, complete with pre-prep, as well as the post-race analysis. A closer look will show us that the skills that athletes use on the playing field are the same skills that entrepreneurs require, to be successful – essential traits required for excellence in any field.

When I plunged into business entrepreneurship, my insights about life also took a new turn. For me the wealth and capital that I imbibed are my skills, talents, resources and the integrity that all the the sports and games helped shape and mould. Today, I view these skills, talents and resources as entrepreneurship.

For instance, when it comes to sports, the athlete undergoes targeted training sessions for stamina, better finishing, timing, endurance and mental fitness, and the entrepreneur too has to go through the same, albeit more subtly. Discussions, brainstorming, planning, implementing and focusing straight on the goal are all part of the game. In short, physical and mental endurance are essential for an entrepreneur to overcome life’s pressures.

In these uncertain days of the continued Covid-19 crisis, I can confidently say that the life of an athlete that I lead has gone a long way in building certain essential qualities needed for leading an economic enterprise. Apart from the never-say-die competitive spirit and endurance, I also learnt that a smooth ride is no longer a tag that enterprises and entrepreneurs attribute to themselves, it is always the long road that builds strength, and success as always, is meant for the survivors.

Again, like sportspeople, entrepreneurs would also do well to remember that success is not always the final outcome, but a journey filled with more downs than ups. It is also a leap of faith into the unknown and the uncertain. But if our attitude and approach remain positive and stable, we will realise that there are solutions for everything. One important lesson that an entrepreneur can learn from the sports field is to never give up. A spirit to fight against all odds is absolutely vital for success. Often, we give up when storms and the wind are against us. Overcoming this need extraordinary mental prowess.

An entrepreneurial journey is long term commitment that one makes. After all, this decision is taken after much thought and systematic research on one’s passion and area of interest. Therefore, it becomes more important than ever, to stay on track.  

That said, it would also do well to remember that today, in a highly competitive market, each individual has to find opportunities for himself/herself. For this, each one of us needs to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset. Indeed, life itself is an entrepreneurial journey to multiply one’s skills, talents, and resources. To conclude, lessons from sports and games can give you an added advantage in your entrepreneurial journey, to acquire that extra edge and momentum.

Musa Khalfan Yasin is an Emirati athlete turned entrepreneur, champion at 100m & 200m Sprinter events, and  UAE’s fastest man and has won over 42 medals. His business interests range from Trends & Lifestyle, Investment, Petroleum and Real Estate. He is founder and CEO MK Investment: .

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