More and more businesses are seeking external help to achieve their goals by looking to the world of professional sports for guidance on getting the winning mentality. Entrepreneur and Investor met up with the former pro-athlete turned founder of Elite Performance Lifestyle, Wes Myron, to discover how your business can score the wins you need.
Does your business have that winning feeling? Are you personally at your peak entrepreneur performance?
If the answer to either of these questions is no, then don’t fear – you’re most likely in the majority of firms that haven’t yet nailed one of the most important aspects of business success – the winning mentality.
It’s an abstract concept, but you know when you’ve got it. A winning team usually finds a way to come out on top, and the positive buzz of success after success breeds wealth and prosperity for all. However, you also know when you don’t.
Luckily there is one industry where winning is the sole currency – professional sports. Even in the big money sporting free-for-alls like the English Premier League, nothing pays the bills like success does. As the old maxim goes, second place is the first loser.
Because of this, the entire sporting outlook is based upon how to win, and as sports science has evolved, so have the psychological and practical techniques and strategies that underpin it. Winning has become a formula to perfect.
Because of this, there are obvious links to the business world, seeking to win out over the competition. The current gold medal standard in this is the Canadian company Elite Performance Lifestyle, set up by former ice hockey pro Wes Myron.
The British Columbia native was all set to become the next big thing in the NHL when he was drafted to the Vancouver Canucks. However, a series of injuries robbed him of his sporting destiny, leaving him adrift and unsure what to do next in his life.
However, Myron rebuilt his life by leaning on the pro sports teachings that had been drilled into him for nearly 20 years, and worked with leading coaches in key disciplines to create a programme for anyone who wants to achieve health and success.
Inevitably, entrepreneurs discovered the advancements the programme could make for them and their teams, and a global business began to emerge. We interviewed Myron at the launch of his new UK team of expert coaches to discuss how you can learn the secrets of winning from elite athletes.
How did you feel when injuries forced you to quite the pro sports world?
To be honest, I still don’t think I will ever completely get over it, but I couldn’t have asked for a better transition, and I believe everything happens for a reason.
However, when I made that choice, it was devastating. It very nearly broke me.
When you look at it in context, I was coached in the sport I love for hours every day, for nearly two decades, in every way you can imagine – including psychologists, sleep coaches, nutritionists, and fitness/conditioning experts – all with the most single minded goal to reach the NHL. Everything in my life was set up for this singular aim, and hitting my objective was the only tolerated outcome.
I gave up everything that wasn’t training to reach the NHL, and my incredible specialist coaches, and my family supported me every step of the way. This included my mom having to learn how to cook the right food my nutritionist advised, my dad getting up at 4:30am to take me to hockey training every day, and my sister having to take a back seat. When I got drafted to my local NHL team, the Vancouver Canucks, it was as much their achievement as mine.
Once I achieved that, the goal became to establish myself as the absolute best player I could be, and things were on track, when it all happened.
Life throws curve balls sometimes, and I picked up a bad groin injury. I managed to come back, but then the same injury reoccurred, which was followed by multiple other injuries. By the age of 22, the mountain of injuries had fully derailed my path, meaning I could never play at the very top level again.
It was like a truck had hit me, and it stayed that way for a few months.
However, no-one succeeded in life without overcoming obstacles, and I woke up one day with a clear realisation that I had been given all the tools for success through my years of being trained by elite coaches. If I could just access the learnings they had drilled into me, and apply them to a new life I was certain I could achieve some success.
I started my company that same day, with a view to helping people achieve their own goals – no matter what they may be.
What made you focus on helping businesses?
At first I just wanted to help as many people as possible.
I realised that pro athletes are coached to achieve great things by doing well in four areas – building a healthy body, developing a clear and focussed mind, getting great sleep, and powered by eating the right things at the right time. These were the secrets of success, and if I could bring these together in one simple plan, then non-athletes could benefit from their collective power.
I sought out some of the best coaches I worked with in these areas, and with their expertise began vigorous months of testing techniques and ideas on me and my close friends and family. Over time, we developed a strategy, The Elite Performance Lifestyle, which would help anyone who wanted to achieve their highest results of fitness and success.
It wasn’t long before the word got out, and companies were asking if they could bring this thinking into their own businesses. My coaches and I worked hard to adapt the plan to be best suited to any firms seeking elite performance in their employees, and the rest is history.
Why do you think sports and business are so closely aligned?
There are also a lot of similarities between business and sport, from how trackable your success is to how the collective power of a well drilled team will beat an ill disciplined and poorly coached team almost every time.
Meanwhile, a league table is essentially a visual representation of your competitor brands, and you’re always at risk of your best team players moving to a rival.
I’ve come to learn that the people who run businesses tend to think like athletes, in that they know what winning looks like, and they go to sleep at night dreaming of achieving that goal. However, like athletes, they can’t do it all on their own, and by bringing in the right expertise to their team they massively increase their chances of success.
What is the Elite Performance Lifestyle and how does it help businesses win?
The EPL is a full and comprehensive programme, designed to help businesses achieve the success they crave.
It is delivered in two phases.
Firstly, our elite team of sleep and sports psychology experts go into a business, and deliver the face to face coaching to a company’s key people, in a one day series of Masterclasses. This gets the business ready to take the next step.
Secondly, we then make the Elite Performance Lifestyle mobile app available to everyone in the whole organisation, to help them achieve peak health and fitness, and keep their mindsets winning.
What benefits does a fit and healthy workforce bring?
The stats on this are remarkable.
If your company has a workforce that is generally low in health and fitness they are more than twice as likely to take sick days, more than twice as likely to leave for another employer, and bring operating incomes down by an average of 33%.
However, businesses that help their staff get healthy see employees over twice as alert, and report an average of 19% higher operating incomes. Being a healthy employer pays dividends.
Why is sleep so important for success?
Sleep isn’t just important for success. It’s a vital part of your health and happiness.
The stats back this up, too, and it’s estimated that 200,000 sick days are taken every year in the UK just because of poor sleep. Likewise, did you know that if you get just 90 minutes less sleep tonight then you’ll see your alertness diminish by an average of 32% tomorrow? It’s simple – if you want to be successful, or you want your organisation to achieve its goals, you must sort your sleep.
As our Head of Sleep always says, the single biggest thing anyone can do today to improve their performance in life, career, or fitness, is to focus on their sleep for just five days. Their output across all areas will be significantly boosted.
You talk about developing a winning outlook to drive you on. What are your top three tips for E&I readers to achieve their own Athlete Mindset?
It’s important to not put too much pressure on yourself to improve your mindset. Instead, if you view it as an exciting challenge to embrace, then you’ll see the best results. With that in mind, if readers follow these three simple tips they should see boosted outcomes almost instantly.
- Understand what success looks like as specifically as possible. Too many people only have a vague idea of where they want to go. Really consider where you want your life to go, and make that your singular goal.
- Check in with your goal. Every. Day. Life gets busy, and it can be easy to lose focus on the bigger picture when there are mini crises happening at work or home. Beat this, by spending 5 minutes every morning writing down your singular goal, and noting three things you plan to do today to get closer to achieving it.
- Manage your influences. This can be a tough one, but it’s worth it every time. The people you surround yourself with have a direct impact on your mindset. If you’re amidst positive winning people, then you’ll find you pick up their traits. Do the opposite, and you’ll find their negative energy seeping into your outlook. Be strong and create an environment set up to succeed, and you’ll wonder why you put up with anything else.
Which athletes competing today have the most impressive mindset to emulate?
You’d have to look at someone like Cristiano Ronaldo, who at the age most footballers wind down, appears to be more of a winner than ever before.
It’s so difficult to get to the pinnacle of pro sports, but it’s a lot harder to stay there. That Cristiano has done so for so long is nearly miraculous.
It’s a testament to how if anyone keeps their physical health in check and their mindset focussed on the outcome they desire, then they can achieve anything they set their heart on.
To learn more about the Elite Performance Lifestyle visit www.wesmyronfitness.com.