Advice on starting out as an entrepreneur from a former Olympian

This year’s Olympic stage in Rio showcases this talent; and while a lot of us are transfixed by the prowess and might of these athletes, perhaps surprisingly, there’s a lot entrepreneurs can learn from their dedication.

I recently penned an article for Inc. exploring some of the ways new entrepreneurs can learn from athletes. Former Olympic freestyle skier turned entrepreneur, Michelle Roark, created skin and haircare company, Phia Lab. She shared what she learned from her career as an Olympian that put her in good stead for life as an entrepreneur.

Identify your passion and make sure your work aligns with it

2While you may already have an up-and-running business, making sure you have identified your true passion will keep you on a path to success. Having this locked down, as well as a keen focus on your values is important, and so too is having these implemented in the day-to-day of your business.

Roark says she has created a workplace that aligns with her personality and this keeps her on message.

“I get to run my business and create my own workplace culture the way I want to,” Roark says.

“At Phia Lab, we have a lot of positive affirmations, we do yoga, people can dress in whatever they want – feathers and sparkles are encouraged as part of the dress code. I love having the ability to create a workplace that fits my personality.”

She is a firm believer that following your passions is an infallible way to position your business for success.

“As long as you continue to do what aligns with your passion, how can that not work out?” Roark affirms.

Take everything in your stride

As an entrepreneur, there are inherent perils in forging your own path. Not everyday will feel like a good one. Roark has learnt from her experience in competitive sport that maintaining a positive outlook is one of the keys to success.

“My biggest tip is have tenacity. You have to learn to weather the storm, take the ups and downs, and understand that you won’t make everyone happy along the way,” Roark says.

“There will be naysayers — it happens in sports and it will definitely happen in business. You just need to stick to doing what’s best for you as well as trusting yourself and the choices you make.”

You can read the Inc. article here.