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Go for Gold


John Chisholm on August 18, 2010 in Advice for Business Owners

I’ve just returned from Ottawa where I attended the 2010 National Conference for SME Advisors hosted by the CICA. We were fortunate to have Olympic Champion Alex Bilodeau provide the keynote address. His father Serge, a CA from Quebec, accompanied him.

We all felt inspired when large screens displayed the video of Alex’s gold winning mogul run, in harmony with the 2010 Winter Games theme song “I Believe.” There was plenty of emotion in the room following that video and Serge explained that although he has viewed it umpteen times, it still affects him deeply.

Alex was very effective at connecting sports to business. The requirements for success are the same — Work, Discipline and Passion…

In sport as in business there are good days and bad. Strength of character determines how you deal with the bad days. How do you convert failure into success? Alex had three significant failures in his quest for gold and each failure resulted in a new opportunity that advanced him to the next level.

In working with his sports psychologist, Alex recognized that balance is necessary to become world class. He needed a more stabilized life, one not completely focused on training. This change in philosophy — including four years of training — produced the required results: to execute a 23-second run to win the gold in the 2010 games.

In working with his sports psychologist he learned he must Concentrate on the present. While you can learn from the past, you cannot change it and you have no direct impact on the future. Prior to his winning run, Alex focused on the present and his performance and repeated his key words, “forward and soft.” This is how he would navigate the moguls to win.

Alex is already training for the 2014 Winter Games and commented that he is now in the “bull’s-eye,” which always makes it harder to stay ahead of the competition. This is absolutely like business…