The Paralympic Games have been pretty awe-inspiring. I haven't seen as much of it as I would like, due to finding online catchup being pretty lame, but I have watched a lot of the Second Leg late night programme to keep my toes in the water.
The atheletes are clearly inspiring on many levels, and it got me thinking about what small business owners can learn from them too.
What small business owners can learn from paralympians
1. People will tell you that you can't do it. They may even list reasons why you can't. Hannah Cockroft was told from birth (by doctors) that she wouldn't be able to achieve much in life. Bloody hell has that lady proved them wrong.
2. We may all have different things that appear to hold us back. But everything can be overcome. You may need some assistance, or some extra tools, but not much is genuinally impossible.
3. The pain may well be worth it, and in some ways, part of the fun. Apparently many of the particpants in wheelchair rugby love it so much because they spent much of their life being 'protected' from danger. They enjoy bashing each other out of their chairs!
4. Small successes can be as awesome as big ones. Some of the athletes who finished last got standing ovations. For many of them, simply being there was an amazing achievement. We had Hassani Ahamada Djae who false-started, and was the only athelete from the Comoros, and he false-started in the only event he was participating it. So he just swam the length, alone but along with masses of cheering. He swam a length at the Olympics...very cool.
5. Sometimes the challenges we face are what will get us further. Alex Zanardi was a formula 1 racer, who lost both of his legs in a crash. When he talks about that time he says that it was when he won his ticket to the Paralymics.
6. Sometimes you just need to work really hard. Ahmed Kelly was born with four deformed limbs, and his coach says that '''There's nothing too hard for him... He'll always say yes.'If it were easy everyone would be doing it.
7. Terrible things may happen, but it doesn't have to mean its the end. Martine Wright lost both of her legs in the 2005 terror attacks in London. This year she debuted at the Paralympics.
8. Don't always follow expectations. Kylie Grimes was the only female member of the GB wheelchair basketball team at the Paralympics. Who said girls don't like rough sports??!
9. Looks can be decieving. Who would have thought a man with no arms could win his heat in the backstroke? Don't feel you have to be what you appear either!
10. Sometimes you just need to get on with it. Focus on what you can do, not what you cannot.
Photo kindly provided by Helenography.net