Aug 2021 What Business Lessons Can You Learn From Golf?
Since COVID began, I have taken a stronger interest in golf and am playing more regularly. I always found this game quite frustrating, but the more I play it, the less frustrating it is. Funny how that works!
Playing regularly has helped me to refine my technique, practice more, and know what I am doing wrong when my game isn’t working. And running my business has always been similar. Here are some business lessons playing golf has taught me.
LESSON 1: KNOW WHAT LIES AHEAD, SO YOU CAN PLAN
All Having played my local course many times, I know what lies ahead on each fairway and each green. So, I can plan each short accordingly. Where to aim to miss bunkers, tricky sections, and taking advantage of gradients. It doesn’t always work, but it’s getting better.
In business, it’s the same. When you have a good idea of the projects that lie ahead, you can plan income, what you will be spending money on, and ensure that your teams will be fully engaged in projects. It also lets you know if there are any gaps you will need to fill in your construction or maintenance schedule. Knowing what lies ahead allows you to plan and get greater control over your business and the outcomes you want.
LESSON 2: YOU NEED THE RIGHT TOOLS TO DO THE JOB
In February, I went into a golf store to buy a set of clubs. After trialling several clubs on the golf simulator and comparing information, I made an informed decision and chose the clubs that suited me. And they have added an extra 30 meters to my shots! In a business, you do the same thing. You advertise or network to find the right employees for the jobs you build. Then, the more you get to know and understand one another, the better the relationship becomes. And, of course, choosing the right technical tools for each aspect of a job obviously applies here.
LESSON 3: BE HONEST IN YOUR DEALINGS
It can be easy to cheat in golf, because your partners aren’t counting your score, and they trust you to add up your ball strikes and give them to the designated scorer at the end of each hole. If I cheat, I might look like a better player against my mates, but I also know that I’m only cheating myself, and I won’t have an accurate guide if what I’m doing is getting better. Business is the same, in that, if I’m dishonest in my dealings, I will be the one the suffers the most, as less employees, clients, and associates will want to work with me.
LESSON 4: DON’T FORGET TO ENJOY THE GAME
I started playing golf to be outside exercising with some mates and having some fun. But I noticed some days were not fun at all. I would be driving home, pissed off with the way I played. After talking with a mate, he reminded me that this is just a game to enjoy, and not to be attached to the outcome or how you play. Just enjoy being outside, talking with mates, and having a swing. He was right!
I changed my attitude, and guess what? I started playing better. This lesson is probably the most important of all because I believe being successful in business includes enjoying what you do, even the harder times. After all, we get to run our own business in our own way, with no one telling us what to do, while making more money and benefits than if we worked for someone else.
LESSON 5: WHAT YOU GET OUT IS WHAT YOU PUT IN
When I invested in some golf coaching, started practicing, and playing more regularly, my performance started improving. It’s the same in business. When you work at improving some areas in your business, everything starts to improve. Putting in some hard work, but working on the right things, is critical in business.
So, playing golf can teach us some fundamental principles that can be applied to our business with amazing results. Enjoy your next game, and if you don’t play golf, this analogy applies to all sports, hobbies, and businesses.