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3 Lessons Competitiveness in Sports Teaches about Success in Business

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Many of the most successful entrepreneurs are highly competitive. It’s no coincidence that many of the most successful entrepreneurs are also athletes or former athletes.

Speaking personally, sports have played a huge role in my success. I was a pole vaulter in highschool, I earned a college track scholarship, and became a high school coach. Through all of this, I developed an internal measure of success and was able to hone my mental and physical discipline. Without my athletic background, I wouldn’t have achieved the level of business success I enjoy today.

But one mistake people make about competition and business is thinking of winning only in comparison to others. Falling into the comparison trap can actually be self-defeating because we forget how little we know about others’ success. We don’t see the 10 years of effort behind the “overnight success.” We don’t see the grinding quietly in the shadows that preceded the explosive launch.

Instead of competing with others, the biggest lesson my athletic background has taught me is that we entrepreneurs should focus on competing with ourselves. Key to my success has been competing with who I was yesterday, last week, last month, or even last year. So let’s talk about three other lessons competitiveness in sports can teach us about success in business.

Make Every Moment Count

My dad was my first coach. In high school, he would give us an epic speech before every track meet. He would talk about how we have to make every event count. From the first 4×800 meter relay to the closing 4×400 meter relay, he would tell us we had to “scratch and claw” our way through the entire meet. This taught us that while winning feels great, what you learn on the way to winning is even more important.

The same is true in business. You have to scratch and claw your way through the days when you don’t feel like working. You have to scratch and claw your way through the mishaps and misfortunes, the natural ebb and flow of running a business. Are you going to fall down? Of course. Over and over. But if you keep your eye on the prize and focus on making every moment count, you’ll find your path.

Hold Yourself Accountable

When I talk about how it’s more important to compete with yourself than to get distracted by comparing yourself to others, I’m talking about holding yourself accountable. One of the challenges of owning your own business is that no one is there to hold your hand or look over your shoulder to see if you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. If you don’t find a personal source of motivation, you can easily fall on your face.

I was fortunate to learn this lesson early in my career. Once I graduated from college and stopped pole vaulting, I missed the competitive outlet. Being a high school coach and teacher just didn’t give me the same fire. I knew I wasn’t done competing, though. I simply needed to find another competitive outlet – somewhere where I could direct my discipline and mental fitness.

Starting my Amazon store became that outlet and I channeled everything I learned throughout my years as an athlete into growing my store. The fire was back and the fire made it easy to hold myself accountable. What stokes your fire?

Adjust Your Path, Not the Final Result

Once you develop solid habits around making every moment count and holding yourself accountable, you’ll see another important component of entrepreneurial success: momentum. And the great thing about momentum is no matter how bleak things might look, you’ll stay committed to your dream. While the path may need adjustment, the final result will remain the same.

For example, during the early days of starting my Amazon store, I made a mistake that cost $18,000. My back was completely against the wall. I hadn’t yet told my family about my endeavor and I was afraid I would have to reveal this huge mistake without the successful ending I was hoping for.

I was in a place where I was in danger of losing all momentum that I had built to that point, but I would not give up on my dream — and neither should you.

Because I had developed solid habits and because I had faced similar situations with my back against the wall in sports competitions, I knew I couldn’t give up. My only real option was to scratch and claw, bust my ass, and compete to be the best in the Amazon space, so I could get out of the hole I had dug for myself. I knew if I could do that, I could propel myself into  something better. And that’s exactly what I did.

I stayed focused on the end result. I focused on improving my systems and processes day after day. And now, we sell on Walmart, eBay, Shopify stores, and Facebook Marketplace. Sounds like winning to me.

So the next time you get down on yourself because you see someone you perceive as a competitor beating you, go back to your end result and recommit to competing with yourself.

The entrepreneurial path won’t always be easy — it certainly hasn’t been for me. But if you stay focused on your goal and compete against yourself to better your best from one day to the next, you will eventually get to your destination.

Ecom Automation Gurus, founded by Kirk Cooper, creates a fully automated eCommerce store for its users to assist in making passive income. Cooper has been featured in Success Profile magazine, and is an Entrepreneur.com contributor. To check out their services and book a call, visit their website here.

The idea of Bigtime Daily landed this engineer cum journalist from a multi-national company to the digital avenue. Matthew brought life to this idea and rendered all that was necessary to create an interactive and attractive platform for the readers. Apart from managing the platform, he also contributes his expertise in business niche.

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Business

VPNRanks Report Uncovers User Discontent with Majority of VPN Services

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A groundbreaking report by VPNRanks reveals significant user dissatisfaction with the majority of VPN services, showing that 89% of VPNs globally fail to meet user satisfaction standards. This revelation comes at a critical time when digital security is paramount, and the demand for reliable VPN services continues to rise.

The Importance of User Satisfaction in the VPN industry

According to industry statistics from Global Market Insights, the global VPN market size was valued at USD 45 billion in 2022 and is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 20% from 2023 to 2032. Driven by the growing instances of cybercrimes and data thefts, coupled with the increasing proliferation of wireless devices and digital infrastructures across industries, user satisfaction remains a critical challenge for many providers. High user satisfaction is essential for customer retention, brand reputation, and long-term success in the competitive VPN market.

“User satisfaction is the cornerstone of success in the VPN industry. In a market flooded with options, it’s the real user experiences that set the leading providers apart. VPNScore helps users navigate this complex landscape by highlighting services that excel in meeting user expectations,” said Muhammad Saleem Ahrar, COO of webAffinity, the team behind VPNRanks.

VPNRanks is a leading VPN review platform that leverages sentiment analysis to provide comprehensive and unbiased reviews of VPN services. Its VPNScore is based on an AI-driven analysis of publicly available user reviews. The platform aims to simplify the process of identifying the best VPN provider tailored to each user’s unique needs.

VPNRanks Untangles Complex Findings on Key Features

VPNRanks evaluated four key features — ease of use, ease of setup, ability to meet user requirements, and quality of support — to identify the VPN companies that excel at customer satisfaction. To determine a final rank for each metric, VPNRanks combined a popularity score, which contributed 20 percent of the total, with a satisfaction score, which contributed 80 percent.

The study sifted through reviews on 93 paid VPN companies to determine the top providers. The VPNRanks report, issued in June 2024, provides rankings for each key feature and overall customer satisfaction. ExpressVPN achieved the top VPNScore — 6.29 out of 10 — for overall satisfaction globally. The next four top companies in that category, listed in descending order, are PureVPN, NordVPN, PrivateVPN, and Surfshark.

By assessing a variety of categories, the VPNRanks study reveals the challenges users face when trying to identify the best option to meet their needs. For example, NordVPN received a nearly perfect popularity score of 9.46 out of 10 but only a 4.7 satisfaction score. PrivateVPN received a satisfaction score of 6.69 out of 10, which rivaled ExpressVPN’s score in that category, but received a popularity score of only 1.23 out of 10.

The global rankings for ease of use illustrate how challenging identifying a quality provider can be. VeePN received a very high satisfaction score of 7.18 out of 10 while receiving a popularity score of less than 1 out of 10. The findings reveal a gap between user experience and market penetration that can effectively keep the best option hidden from the consumer.

The VPNRanks report gives users insight into satisfaction and popularity while providing a balanced assessment via its VPNScore. “Users should choose based on their priorities, whether it’s user satisfaction, market presence, or a balanced option,” the report states.

VPNRanks Shows Providers How to Become More Competitive

In addition to serving as a guide for consumers, VPNRanks also maps out a pathway for VPN providers seeking greater market share. The VPN providers that consistently appear in the top spots on the VPNRanks charts are those that have achieved a balance between popularity and user satisfaction. Those who neglect one or the other cannot keep pace with market leaders.

The report explains that those with high satisfaction scores but low popularity “might be well-loved by their users but need to increase their market visibility to compete more effectively.” Achieving overall success in the VPN market requires balancing user satisfaction with market presence, it advises.

Conclusion

As the need for VPN services continues to grow, businesses can expect to see more providers enter the market, making the task of identifying the best option more difficult. The insights VPNRanks provides stand as a timely beacon, guiding users to providers who can satisfy their needs and support their operations.

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