By George Diaz

Being an entrepreneur has many similarities with being an Olympic champion. Every time I hear a testimony from an elite athlete I reaffirm the idea that the skills of success are the same in all areas of activity.

The first field of play is the market: Although there is a global market, you train to win in your particular sector. In this field, you play against the competition. And every day is a new opportunity to qualify to be among the champions and defeat your competitors.

The second playing field is the interior: Every entrepreneur, like every athlete, is playing an indoor game, as Timothy Gallwey explains in his book, “The Indoor Game of Tennis.” And maybe this game is the most complicated to win for the mind, body, and soul need specific and constant training.

That is why every elite athlete not only trains to defeat his opponents, but develops the ability to defeat the worst opponent of all, the internal opponent. That which continually makes you doubt yourself and your abilities.

Here are the seven main similarities between the world of sport and entrepreneurship.

1. Success Is a Result

Success is the consequence of all the podiums you have been conquering along your path. No triumph comes overnight. Moreover, in order to access a medal first you must go through different stages. Each step overcomes the opening of the door of a new opportunity and, at the same time demands a greater commitment. That is why the path of the entrepreneur is a process of selection. Not all can handle pre-qualification.

2. You Have to Make Hard Decisions

When you are struggling for your dreams, you have to forget everything else, making some hard decisions like sacrificing time with family, friends and giving up the comfort of your environment. It’s necessary to leave your comfort zone.

3. You Need to Be Disciplined

In the initial stages, without results, the only thing that keeps you going is to know how to enjoy the task, and to de-dramatize the result. You do not compare yourself with others who are doing better than you, because you get stuck when you put your own expectations too high. It is important to maintain discipline and respect the process.

4. Passion Is a Must-Have

You need to find something that you are passionate about. In all the challenges there are ups and downs, emotional, physical and psychological problems. If there is nothing that moves you inside you will give up when faced with the first difficulty because it will not be worth the sacrifice. You have to go to death, go for it all and do not give up or lose hope and believe that anything is possible. There is a turning point in which you decide to give it everything you have and win — instead of trying to see what happens.

5. Goals Are Key

Do not settle for minor results and believe that you have already reached the maximum of your ability. If you aim for a small goal, you will stay halfway to your dreams. Never lose sight of the great goal, which is your guiding star. Always be clear what you want to be, and how far you want to go, and keep giving extra.

6. Anticipate and Prepare Your Target

Analyze the market, analyze your customer, analyze your competition, analyze your idols, and above all analyze yourself and your results. With all these analyses in hand, you can anticipate and be prepared for all possible situations.

7. You Need a Support Team

Having a support team is vital to success; you can not do it alone. And this team should not only be composed of your coaches, mentors or colleagues, but also of your family and the people you want to accompany you in both good and bad times, giving you encouragement and encouraging you to continue. Success always tastes better if it is shared.

So, in case you feel that what you are doing today does not fill you up enough or that you are paying too high a price for it, you have to know how to stop and re-balance your life. If your job absorbs you too much, you may be able to make the transition from employee to entrepreneur to achieve the lifestyle you are looking for. The only thing stopping you is yourself. I wish you good luck.