“Sports serve society by providing vivid examples of excellence.”
– George F. Will, American Commentator
Sports is a great metaphor for life and business. It motivates us, keeps us on edge and helps us appreciate the minute details that lead to success. It illustrates great examples of grit, determination and sportsmanship. QNET celebrates the spirit of athletes who’ve dedicated themselves to achieving greatness.
QNET and sports are closely intertwined by similarities. Both the domains provide individuals with a chance to succeed and empower them to become the best version of themselves. Another key factor that is similar between both QNET and sports is the emphasis on values and principles. These values have been pivotal in helping these athletes become successful.
In this article, we’ll be paying tribute to some of the best athletes in the world. We will also understand the values and principles that QNET entrepreneurs can learn from these athletes and incorporate into their businesses.
Similarities between Sportsmen and QNET Entrepreneurs
Direct sellers and athletes bear a lot of similarities. Both the professionals engage in skill-based endeavours. In sports, one doesn’t just get lucky or doesn’t achieve success through a stroke of luck in the long run. An athlete would need to work hard in honing a craft and applying it in a game. The same principle applies to direct selling. Individuals need to dedicate immense effort to become good at direct selling. Furthermore, they need to develop their craft that they can use to grow their business.
Another similar aspect is the perseverance that an individual would require to succeed. A sportsman needs to be perseverant and try continuously to win a match. This is despite them giving time and putting required hours to perfect their craft. Sometimes, athletes may not perform to their best due to extraneous factors. Maybe the opponent was in great form, or maybe the playing conditions didn’t suit the athlete. A lot of factors can hinder athletes from performing at their best.
The same conditions are applicable to direct sellers. Sometimes, they may not be able to convince customers to buy a product. Sometimes, the prospect might welch after agreeing to join the team. There can be many reasons for a direct seller for being unable to succeed. However, with perseverance and constant effort, it is almost inevitable that they will achieve better results.
However, direct sellers must understand that success and failures are a part of the game. There will be times when the direct seller may feel stuck or might feel that they are unlikely to succeed. However, they can take inspiration from successful athletes who continue to stride forward irrespective of losses or unsuccessful performances. Let’s look at some of the most successful athletes and how they have overcome challenges in their journey –
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo is largely considered one of the greatest footballers of all time. He has been the most successful footballer in terms of performances and accolades, along with Lionel Messi. The two footballers have been indisputably the finest the world has seen in recent times. They have famously shared the Ballon d’Or (The Best Footballer of the Year Award) ten years in a row between them. Ronaldo has won it five times.
However, Ronaldo has been given the benefit of the doubt, with the Portuguese mercurial being the highest goal-scorer in International football and experiencing more success with the national team. Ronaldo’s former manager at Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, once said, “Ronaldo could play for Millwall, Queens Park Rangers, Doncaster Rovers… anyone, and score a hat-trick in a game. I’m not sure Messi could do it.”
Here are some of Ronaldo’s laurels in International football –
- 3x UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award
- 2x Premier League Player of the Season
- 2013-14 La Liga Best Player
- 14x FIFA FIFPro World XI
- 3x The Best FIFA Men’s Player
- 5x Winner Ballon d’Or
- 3x UEFA Best Player in Europe
- 1x European champion
- 5x Champions League winner
- 5x Golden Boot winner
- 4x FIFA Club World Cup winner
- 2x Italian Super Cup winner
- 7x Second highest goal scorer
- 2x Spanish champion
Source: Transfer Markt
However, Ronaldo’s journey hasn’t always been easy. He has been a subject to constant criticism ever since he rose to stardom. He has been on close watch of the media for his antics on and off the field. When he first moved to Real Madrid, there were doubts if he could perform at the same level as Lionel Messi. However, he quickly answered his critics with sublime performances, winning the La Liga in the 2011-12 season. The highlight of his Real Madrid career was when they won the Champions League three times in a row between 2015-18.
Ronaldo is the epitome of hard work and excellence. A perfect athlete and an inspiration to many people. His performances on the field and his values off the field spark inspiration in many to work hard and persevere to become the best.
Lesson for QNET direct sellers: Answer criticism with hard work and an unperturbed desire for success.
2) Rahul Dravid
One of the finest cricketers to have graced the game, Rahul Dravid, is an absolute legend of Indian Cricket. Famously known as ‘Mr. Dependable’, he was always there to usher the team to safety and win difficult games. He was also famously nicknamed ‘The Wall’ for being rock-solid for India. Former Australian Captain, Steve Waugh famously once said, “He was unflappable, fierce concentration, there was no point in trying to ruffle his feathers because you couldn’t do it.”
Here are Rahul Dravid’s individual honours in International Cricket –
- 1998 – Arjuna Award recipient for achievements in cricket
- 2004 – Padma Shri – India’s fourth-highest civilian award
- 2013 – Padma Bhushan – India’s third highest civilian award
- 1999 – CEAT International Cricketer of the World Cup
- 2000 – Dravid was one of the five cricketers selected as Wisden Cricketer of the Year
- 2004 – ICC Cricketer of the year – The highest award in the ICC listings
- ICC Test Player of The Year, ICC Cricketer of The Year (2004)
- MTV Youth Icon of the Year (2004)
- 2006 – Captain of the ICC’s Test Team
- 2011 – NDTV Indian of the Year’s Lifetime Achievement Award with Dev Anand
- 2012 – Don Bradman Award with Glenn McGrath
- 2015 – Wisden India’s Highest-Impact Test Batsman
- 2018 – ICC Hall of Fame
He had the ability to remain patient when most of them would lose their calm and their wicket. In a test match against Australia, he was constantly jeered for not being able to score a run for over 40 balls. It was an attempt by the Australian crowd to unnerve him and make him lose his wicket like many of his teammates. But not Dravid! He remained patient and played out his innings in a way that would benefit his team.
He would dextrously construct his innings and ensure that he remains at the wicket for his team. Dravid was a complete team player who always put the team before him. His patience was a testament to the fact that all good things come to those who wait. A valuable lesson for many individuals who tend to give up too soon or lose patience while pursuing their dreams.
Lesson for QNET direct sellers: Practicing patience is the key to achieving desired results.
3) Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan’s name is synonymous with the greatest Basketball player of all time. He is the prime example of an athlete who chose not to give up and, more importantly, who would not go down without a proper attempt. During his school days, Michael Jordan was cut out from his school basketball team for not being tall enough. This fuelled his desire to become the best at the sport and cement himself as someone who could not be ignored. An athlete who would be chosen for his merits.
Here are his career honours –
- Six-time NBA champion– 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998
- Six-time NBA Finals MVP– 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998
- Five-time NBA MVP– 1988, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1998
- NBA Defensive Player of the Year– 1987–88
- NBA Rookie of the Year– 1984–85
- 10-time NBA scoring leader– 1987–1993, 1996–1998
- Three-time NBA steals leader– 1988, 1990, 1993
- 14-time NBA All-Star– 1985–1993, 1996–1998, 2002, 2003
- Three-time NBA All-Star Game MVP– 1988, 1996, 1998
- 10-time All-NBA First Team– 1987–1993, 1996–1998
- One-time All-NBA Second Team– 1985
- Nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team– 1988–1993, 1996–1998
- Two-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion– 1987, 1988
- Two-time IBM Award winner – 1985, 1989
- Named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996
- Selected on the NBA 75th Anniversary Team in 2021
- 23 was retired by the Chicago Bulls
- 23 was retired by the Miami Heat
- Two-time Olympic gold medal winner – 1984, 1992
- Tournament of the Americas gold medal winner – 1992
- Pan American Games gold medal winner – 1983
But one thing that stands out is that he emphasises failures and the importance of embracing them. He was once famously quoted saying, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
“My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.”
“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”
Source: USA Basketball
Jordan’s passion and desire to turn obstacles into a path have made him an icon. He is an inspiration to millions of people around the world!
Lesson for QNET direct sellers: Embrace failures and let them fuel you towards success.
4) Serena Williams
Serena Williams is an inspirational Tennis player. She has been a phenomenal athlete with 23 Grand slam titles during her career. She sits second only to Margret Court on the all-time list. Williams overcame various challenges in her life. Right from growing up in a challenging neighbourhood to fighting her way against various biases. She has always stood up for her beliefs and dazzled the world with magnificent performances.
Here are some of her career stats –
- Grand slam: 23
- Summer Olympics: 1
- WTA tour championships: 5
- Grand slam cup: 1
- WTA 1000: 23
- WTA tour: 20
- Grand slam: 14
- Summer Olympics: 3
- WTA 1000: 2
- WTA tour: 4
- Mixed Doubles Grand Slam: 2
Like many other athletes, she has had her fair share of struggles before becoming one of the most successful players. Serena was still adapting to tennis and the grand stage during her initial days. She had just qualified for the Australian Open when she was paired with the (then) sixth seed, Irina Spîrlea. She resoundingly lost the first set, but instead of giving up, she strapped herself up and made a comeback with a remarkable performance.
“When I go down a set, I have to forget it. ‘OK, it’s not over, you’re still in it, you have to fight for it. Stay present,” she said after the match.
She also credits having a disciplined mindset for success. According to her, it is majorly psychological. It is important not to give up when one is down and not get overwhelmed by a short setback. The goal is always to pick oneself up and stride towards better outcomes. “I just never give up. I fight to the end. You can’t go out and say, ‘I want a bag of never-say-die spirit.’ It’s not for sale. It has to be innate,” according to Serena Williams.
Lesson for QNET direct sellers: Having a disciplined mindset and not accepting defeat.
QNET and Sports: Success lessons for direct sellers
Tough times tend to break individuals down and lead them to give up their journey. The pandemic was a major shift in most people’s lives and presented them with many challenges. Now, direct selling is also a journey that will most likely present many challenges. These challenges can come in the form of not being able to promote products, attract prospects or grow the business.
An individual has to muster courage and strength to fight against all odds and become successful. Much like the successful athletes who’ve relied upon their patience, hard work, determination and an innate desire to become indispensable in their domain.
QNET salutes the spirit of these athletes and urges QNET direct sellers to apply these lessons in their professional lives to become successful. If you’d like to read more inspirational content, visit – Top 5 Leadership Lessons for QNET Entrepreneurs.
For more information on becoming a QNET direct seller, visit the QNET India Website!