Learning to go the distance in business from golf

Golf is often referred to as the sport of business because the sport creates a great environment for people to get to know one another beyond what is typically shared in a scripted networking conversation or business interaction.

But golf is also a great business sport because the game has many similarities to business.   In both golf and business, participants are challenged to see if they can go the distance. .business-golf

If you live in the Northeastern part of the country , the typical golf season stretches from April to October, longer if the weather permits.   With the average 18-round game lasting an approximate 4-5 hours, that’s a lot of time spent on the greens!

Unlike most sports, where the goal is the same throughout the game, golf has 9 – 18 different goals, each which must be approached differently.   The inclines and declines, the obstacles, the wind speed, the distance, all of these critical factors vary at every hole and at every course.  The sport of golf requires endurance and mental fortitude.Business is the same way. The goal is conceptually the same each time – make contact, promote a call to action, convert to a sale.  Yet, the landscape changes with every transaction, every day and every new interaction.   This means that in both business and golf, it is important to embrace form, function and flexibility.    This requires all the great players to have the ability to stay focused with every swing and to pace each move, but to also be able to quickly shake off frustrations and missed swings so they can regroup and move ahead.

Every business owner can learn from the perspective of a golf player.  Focus on each swing, but play for the whole game.   Yes, it would be ideal for each swing to be a hole-in-one,but chances are you are going to experience a few over swings and under swings and some swings that you just can’t even describe. That is just the nature of the game.   The goal is to get the ball in the hole with the fewest amount of strokes, period.  Despite the many obstacles on the course. In business, sometimes your perfectly crafted sales page does not convert. Sometimes, an unhappy customer remains unhappy no matter how many times you attempt to resolve the issue.

Sometimes, your great product idea does not sell well or at all.  At times you will be able to pinpoint why you did not reach you goal, other times, a cause won’t be as obvious.   But regardless of the ‘why’ you need to keep your eye on the next hole or ‘what’s next’…the answer is to play another round, another game, another course.  It is important to go the distance, the longer you play the better chance you will have of having your good swings outweigh the ones that don’t quite mark.

On the golf course and in the boardroom, always strive for success and remember that a winning season isn’t winning every game, its winning more than you lose.  As long as you hang in there you have a chance to make it a winning season.  No one swing, or one game, or one contract or one sale defines your bottom line in golf or in business.

Just keep swinging.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *