Five reasons starting a business is a lot like golf

By Trevor Koen, Digital Marketing Specialist, Sage One, Sage UK and Ireland

1. You’re never as good as you think you are
“Last time out I shot an 82, so you could say I’m playing off a 10”. Whilst confidence in your ability is a great asset in the business world, overconfidence can kick you to the curb quicker than a Tiger Woods swing. You need to be realistic about what your abilities are, and ensure you are not taking on more than you can handle. There is no shame in admitting that you may need to outsource certain aspects of your business activities, or look to hire people to fill certain roles.
Of course, funding can be a massive hurdle, and while it may be cheaper for you to try and do everything yourself in the short term, in the long run you will wish you had invested in some top class talent that would be able to give it 110%.

2. The past is done, all that’s left is to look forward
“Hopefully this six iron doesn’t go as far right as it did on the last hole”. Golf and business are all about the future. Dwelling on a previous mistake is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Of course there are exceptions to this rule, but not all mistakes are going to sink your business. Many can be put down to ‘lesson learned’ and ‘let’s not do that again’, from which the foundations of business success are put in place.

3. Just because you have an idea, doesn’t mean it’s a good one
“I’m going to draw this shot around the tree, bounce it off the bank and let it run down the hill”, just before the ball shoots off into the water hazard on the right. We all have ideas, we have tons of them, the biggest challenge is filtering them out. You need to be able to make a rational decision as to whether your idea holds merit, and has potential or is about to shoot out of bounds and cost you the hole.

4. Other players can affect your game
This is psychology at its finest, you play with people better than you, you shoot a little better, and vice versa. The same is true for business. Surrounding yourself with the right people is vital in any business environment. It is for this reason that so many business coaches and VCs are continually stressing the importance of he co-founder. Whilst some people may argue that you don’t always need a co-founder to start a business, I can guarantee that working alongside someone can help to bring out the best both in you and the business. It is important to have someone there to bounce ideas off, sanity check things and even someone to tell you that the ‘awesome new feature’ you just thought of, isn’t really that impressive at all.

5. You need to adapt to the course
“I will aim this left so the wind brings it round to the fairway”. No two golf courses are the same, similarly, no two business challenges are identical. You need to be in a position where you are able to adapt to changing markets, changing economic factors, changes in regulation. There are any number of challenges that could come your way on the business journey and you need to be able to take them in your stride and turn each aspect into a positive. Adaptation and agility are key to business survival.

Trevor Koen

Ditigal Marketing Specialist Sage One, Sage UK & Ireland

Trevor Koen is Digital Marketing Specialist for Sage Ireland, with the focus of managing the digital properties of the Sage One platform for the Irish & UK Markets. Trevor has a BA in Brand Communication specializing in Multimedia, as well as a diploma in Advertising Management & five years experience in digital marketing, web management and start-ups.

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  • beatricewhelan

    Nice post Trevor. I particularly liked point 4 as I think having a co-founder when starting a business is essential and agree that having the right people to bounce ideas off can be of real benefit.