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What Hockey And Business Have In Common

TensionIt’s intense. It’s competitive. It takes hard work, dedication, talent, and the game powerfully affects everyone involved. It’s the game of hockey.

Right now the New York Rangers, Tampa Bay, Chicago, and Anaheim are battling it out for the 2015 Stanley Cup. As a business owner and entrepreneur, the only thing I can think about as I watch these teams battle it out, is how much the game of hockey and the world of business are alike. Here are just 6 of the top reasons hockey and business are alike, and what entrepreneurs can learn from hockey.

It’s a team sport.

More than almost any sport out there, hockey is truly a team sport, and it’s success comes to those who have truly mastered the art of playing together as a team. It’s the same in business. While you may be the business owner, or the CEO, much of your success will depend on hiring the right team and learning how to work together.

For example, if your marketing team and PR doesn’t catch the same vision as your sales team, your communications and advertising messages could be so far off that it is potentially destructive to your company. In order for a business to truly get it right, everyone has to play for the same team, everyone has to play together, and it takes a lot of hard work and a lot of practice.

You need to arm yourself with protection.

Hockey is a violent sport. Large men are out on a hard ice rink, skating on sharp skates, and aggressively running into each other for the purpose of getting the puck into the goal. Imagine what this sport would be like without helmets and pads? Yikes! In order to play safely, you have to arm your body with the proper protection.

It’s the same with business. Business might not be dangerous to your body, but there are dangers out there to your organization, and if you run out there with out protection—or proper systems and safe business practices in place—you could end up in a financial or legal pickle. When you are playing the game of business, especially in the big leagues, it’s important to make sure you have systems, practices, contracts, and insurance in place to protect your business.

It’s intense.

They don’t score very much in hockey. I mean, when you watch basketball, you see an average of 100 baskets, and it’s often not super intense until the final moments. It’s not the same with hockey. In hockey, you only see a few goals the entire game, which leaves fans on the edge of their seats the entire game. You will never see a crowd as rowdy and as intently interested in a game than when you go to a hockey game. Additionally, when a player makes a strategic move and scores the long awaited goal, two things happen: 1) it can make the difference between winning and losing, and 2) the fans go absolutely wild.

This is like business in two different ways. First, business is intense as well, and success can often depend on that 1 choice (goal) you made. Of course, there are multiple opportunities for success in business (just like there are many games), but every once in a while you will make a choice that leads you to metaphorically win the playoffs.

Second, hockey isn’t much of a sport without the fans cheering on the team. The same goes with business. Success is a lot more fun when you have a base of customers that you can make happy. Take Apple, for example. Apple literally has a following that is larger than any other sports team, and if you’ve ever been to an Apple Keynote, you know that Apple fans are just as crazy as any sports fan. Apple is a crowd pleaser, and when they come out with a new product, fans cheer, fans ditch their old smart devices, and fans sign up for another year of cheering on their favorite company. When you are in the business of pleasing your fans, that momentum will lead you to be successful in your business endeavors.

You need a good coach. 

There is a reason why professional hockey coaches get paid the big bucks. If they can successfully lead a team to victory, it’s worth money, fame, fortune, and bragging rights for a whole city that can’t be replaced by anything else. Having a good coach often makes the difference in whether or not a team can learn to work together.

In business, you need good leaders. In fact, it’s almost impossible to succeed when your CEO or upper management just doesn’t get the picture. You’ve probably seen the difference between work ethic when you have a good boss and a horrible boss. It’s true that in order to succeed in business, you need experienced, kind, motivating coaches just like in hockey.

Additionally, you need a coach that will help you develop your skills and help encourage you to continue to learn. Thankfully, there are many options for continued education these days, and you can take that upon yourself. For example, if you are interested in learning more about marketing, you can hop online, enroll in a professional course from something like Digital Marketer, and let this professional coaching system help you become better in business.

It takes a lot of practice.

Guess what? The NHL players didn’t become professional hockey players by sitting around and hanging out. Chances are each one of those hockey players have been playing hockey non-stop for their entire lives. And, they are a lot better now than they were in college.

Succeeding at business takes a lot of practice too. Don’t worry if you aren’t perfect the first go at starting a business. Keep working hard, and eventually you will become an expert in your field.

Hit hard.

In both hockey and in business, it’s important to hit hard and give it your all. When you go out to play, bring you’re a-game, and do it better than anyone else.