Skateboarding is not all wallride tricks and stunts. It’s a tough sport, something that will make you tested and true. Lessons learned can get you through almost all things in life, even how you engage with your customers, clients, and prospects. Here are six pro skateboarding lessons you can apply to your next entrepreneurship project.
Don’t Expect Instant Success
Skateboarders may look flawless as they glide over obstacles and maneuver through curbs, flat rails, mini ramps, and halfpipes, but they didn’t learn these overnight. Pro-skaters work years perfecting their rides and most have to endure terrible injuries, but they don’t give up!
Just like starting any business, you can’t expect things to start out great with success just around the corner.
Entrepreneurs have to endure all kinds of obstacles, even unexpected turns that can take time to resolve. Skateboarding will teach you how to fall and how to rise again.
Develop Your Own Style — Be Unique
Sure there are moves popularized by famous skaters: the Switch stance by Salman Agah and the kickflip by Tony Hawk, but you need to be unique. Make your own moves, show people how you do it. Spin old stunts, make them your own. This is also what matters when you’re starting your brand.
You may have picked ideas from other businesses and have studied similar business models, but you must apply your personality in your startup. Remember, unique ideas are interesting and get more attention than old ones. Yes, you’re likely going to be compared to other products or brands, but if you make them realize that your products are better and smarter, you’re more likely going to win more customers.
Learn By Experience
You can’t learn how to do moves just by looking at videos or watching other skaters do their stuff. You need to get up and work on your moves on your own. Indeed, a trainer can help you get started and possibly walk you through basic moves, but once you’re up there, you’re on your own.
Skaters learn differently. Some seem to be born with the skating genes while some may take time. In the end, both skate and perform stunts awesomely. But it’s not about how you began, it’s about the journey, the experience of learning.
When you talk to a successful entrepreneur about how he or she started in the industry, you might hear them say things about how they started, but they won’t dwell on this part too long. They will skip to the part about how they got their first break, their first rejection, or their first failed attempt.
A good entrepreneur and a good athlete will learn from experience. He or she won’t stand on the sidelines watching and cheering, but will immerse themselves and take every moment to learn. If you’re considering a startup, don’t just sit and dream about it! Get up, find ways to fulfill your dream. You can get insights from people who have succeeded in a startup or you can get professional help from experts.
Consider Failures As Learning Opportunities
Pro-skateboarders don’t have time to sit down and cry about failures. Sure, a broken knee, shattered pelvis, or a bruised arm can stop them for a while but they continue to evaluate their situation.
They sit back, plan, and attempt to get back on the saddle once they’ve recovered. Successful entrepreneurs did not let a simple setback or a nosy review take them back. They use these to better their products or to improve their services.
If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen! If you’re too afraid to fall or commit mistakes, you can’t be a professional skateboarder or an entrepreneur.
It’s Never Too Late
Tony Hawk started to skate at age 9 and by 14, he was already a pro. But not everyone can be a Tony Hawk. Everybody has his or her own pace, their own style of learning. Some people dive into a startup early, but fail to study the market; some take time and eventually miss a great opportunity.
It’s different for everyone, but don’t get discouraged if you can’t still do it after years of trying. You may need to see the market in a different light or try something new. Reach out for help from people who have had the same situation and were able to make it through.
Keep Things Simple
A simple move is like a simple business idea; it feels right and is easy to learn. Newbies start with the very basic, simplest moves and gain confidence once they’ve mastered these. Starting your own business is also the same thing.
As you create your business or startup plan, try to come up with simple solutions, techniques, and campaigns that focus on your customers or prospects. Tony Hawk believed in the success of having a simple investment approach. Most of his investments were based on a simple plan: his love for the sport and how he wants to make lives better. He has made millions from his franchises, but he never forgot to give back. His foundation built skateparks all over the U.S. and made the lives of many skaters better.
If you have a simple plan, you’ll find it easier to execute what needs to be done. It won’t be a burden to work with and you’ll love every step of it. A complicated one will only make you and your team confused and will most likely cause problems.
Whether you’re a professional skateboarder or still learning the ropes, you know that this sport is more than meets the eye. Learn all you can, be part of the action, and don’t let a fall or an injury keep you down. Stand up, evaluate your mistakes, and plan your next moves. If you need help, reach out to fellow skaters, trainers, and pros.
Just like in business, the more you believe in yourself, the more you invest in your skills, talents, and confidence, the more amazing opportunities will come your way.
Were our skateboarding tips for entrepreneurs helpful to you? Let us know down in the comments.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.