There are few events more inspiring than the Olympics. But it takes more than talent to win a gold medal in front of an audience of millions, according to Vanessa Zainzinger, the digital business editor of Real Business.
She tells Huffpost Lifestyle that individuals who want to beat their rivals must be utterly committed to their professional goals.
"You don't have to be an Olympic athlete to have an inspirational work ethic," says Zainzinger.
"If you want to beat off your competition and come out in front, then you need to have the right attitude. Talent is just the beginning."
Up your game with Zainzinger's career-enhancing techniques.
Never Give Up
If you're down, bounce back. Take the perfect example: Lance Armstrong. The cyclist has reached 'legend' status not only for his back to back "tour de france" victories, but also for the dedication he has shown to his career in fighting severe cancer to conquer the cycling world. He's living proof that we can always come back and recover from whatever has knocked us down, whether that's illness or other strikes of fate.
Look After Your Fans
Win support from the crowd. Contrary to the last point, you'll also have to work to be loved. What would an athlete be without their fanbase, and if they succeed, you have to admit there's even something rockstar-like about them. Look after your contacts and they will help you in your career, even if they won't cheer for you as much as they would for an Olympic champion.
Don't Get Distracted
Never lose focus. Do you think the next gold medal winner is checking their Facebook everytime the coach looks away during training? They don't (as much)! And you should finish that email first, Twitter can wait. Focus on one thing at a time and try not to be distracted, even if that's difficult with the world wide web pulling at your sleeves.
Stick To Your Goals
Set your goals and stick with them. It's your choice to decide how ruthless you can allow yourself to be on your way to the top. A work-life balance is important, now matter how ambitious your goals. But if there's something you want to achieve, make that your one goal and focus your energy on it, like an athlete would do on their way to gold, ignoring those little distractions along the way - just because that other job offer pays a little more, is it the right stepping stone for you?
Trust me, you'll have to. It's tough out there, I don't have to tell you. And climbing up the career ladder you'll be met with more than just a few throwbacks. You'll probably want to give up at some point. I know that if I was a professional swimmer I'd want to give up a million times on the first day (probably because I'd be out of breath after the first lane). Don't underestimate how important it is to tell yourself that you can make it, and to feed off the support from your family, friends and partner. Just, please, don't buy one of those self-help books. You'll be fine without.
Know Your Competition
Know their strengths and their weaknesses, know what they had for breakfast and when they go on holiday. You don't need a spy for that, you'll find that out on Facebook and Twitter. And there's probably an app for it. Well, maybe the breakfast part isn't that important, regardless of how important an athlete's diet is. But knowing your competitors and predicting their next move is as essential as knowing your business partner, and you'll be surprised how much all of you will benefit from getting to know each others' businesses, goals, and personalities.
Know Your Field
Just as as athletes know the sport they're practising better than the sponsor's logo on their training suit, you have to know your industry or sector inside and out. You have to know the rules of your game (even if you don't always play by them), know who you play with and observe every shift in pattern, every unevenness in the playing field and every new technology before it even exists. Else you'll fall behind.
Perfect Your Game
This is a lot about appreciating simplicity. Roger Federer has dominated his sport in an era of stronger and more athletic players. How? He solely spends his time perfecting his game and not in the weight room or doing strenuous fitness regimes. Being the biggest and strongest doesn't mean you're the best. Knowing what you're good at and perfecting your strategy quietly, rather than presenting your achievements like a baboon in oestrus, will come back to you in a good way.
Learn, let yourself be taught, and never stop learning. Yes, you're amazing, you've achieved everything you wanted to, but that doesn't mean you're not in need of a good coach anymore. There's always more to learn. Draw some inspiration from watching the Olympics and these athletes in action. You'll see the amount of dedication and willpower they put into being the best, and it will probably give you enough enthusiasm to take some of it to work.