The Opening Ceremonies for the Rio Olympics are this Friday. Are you excited? I am (beach volleyball kicks off bright and early Saturday morning), though also a little apprehensive.

The obstacles facing the Rio Olympics are well documented. In case you’ve been up in the jungle canopy the last few months, here’s a quick rundown of some of the ongoing issues that have been reported:

  • Persistent terror threats from overseas
  • Homegrown safety and crime concerns
  • The threat of the Zika virus
  • The Russian doping scandal and subsequent ban of the country’s track and field team
  • Plumbing and electrical problems are making the Olympic village uninhabitable
  • Severe water pollution threatening the health and well-being of athletes
  • Infrastructure delays affecting transportation and accommodations.

Needless to say, both the Olympic and Rio de Janeiro “brands” have taken hits, or are at least poised to do so given the pre-event buzz. Only time and the experiences of athletes, visitors, and viewers will tell if the Rio and the Olympics are able to exceed expectations and deliver the goods. It will be a true test of the enduring quality of their respective brands to see how they fare if the worst-case scenarios come to pass.

The Pursuit of Greatness

The Olympics are not supposed to be about worst-case scenarios. The Olympics are about greatness, or at least the pursuit of it.

I’m inclined to believe things will work out just fine from an organizational standpoint, and, regardless, my hat’s off to the unwavering dedication and tenacity of the athletes who will participate from all around the world—many of whom have been training for their moment of greatness for 4, 8, or more years. Not many of us have the willpower, the desire, and the drive to stay the course. Kudos to them.

Think about it. Many of these athletes began their Olympic pursuits as children, and many are still youngsters (some are younger than 15). That’s the kind of commitment and stick-to-itiveness that we entrepreneurs can learn from.

Where Do You Turn For Inspiration?

I can imagine many a morning when jogging a 5K or swimming laps in the pool were not high on an athlete’s “want to do” list, but were completed just the same—or maybe a routine or a new move just wasn’t working out, which led to moments of self-doubt that were eventually overcome.

Can you say the same for your business? There’s many a morning—especially with two little ones running around the house these days—that I find it tough to get the business-building juices flowing. But I do. It’s not always easy, but I do.

Olympic athletes have coaches and teammates to spur them on. Who do you turn to for inspiration?

  • Many entrepreneurs have only themselves to rely on for motivation . . . or so they think. Spouses, partners, friends, colleagues, mentors, and even family members are great sources of inspiration and feedback that can get you back or keep you on track. Don’t lose sight of these most important Monkeyz in your life!
  • Turn to your employees. They are your work family, the “team” that can often make or break your business endeavors. Their feedback, thoughts, and ideas on what’s working and what’s not are invaluable to the growth and evolution of your business and your brand story.
  • Don’t forget your customers. They are the lifeblood of your business. Without them, you have nothing, literally. Keep in touch with them. Ask them why they’re your customers, what they like best about your products/services, and what you could do to improve their experience of your brand.

Time for Some Olympics!

To me, the ability to stick to it when challenges arise—and knowing where to turn for inspiration in your pursuit of greatness—is  what separates the winners from the also-rans, whether we’re talking about business, athletics, or everyday life.

No, I won’t be spiking volleyballs on the beach at the Olympics anytime soon, but with Barrel O’Monkeyz, I’ve made a commitment to my customers, to myself, and to my family to achieve my own version of greatness.

What about you? What can you do in your business, your life, to make the pursuit of greatness part of your daily routine?

Paul June is King Monkey of BARREL O’MONKEYZ, a full-service digital media and marketing group specializing in more creativity, ideas, and fun for action sports marketing, sportswear marketing, sports product marketing, active lifestyle consumer products, health product marketing, and brands in San Diego and Southern California.