Elite geeks vs athletes

trent

Source: iStock

It appears to me that the world’s highest paid people can be found in a small number of industries. In particular, professional sports and technology.

The members of the Real Madrid FC and the founders of software firm Atlassian are just two of the many examples that spring to mind when it comes to the ludicrous amounts of wealth generated in these two industries alone. 

The apparant battle between jocks and nerds is not a new one. We can all recall this standoff throughout our school years in different forms. Two distinct classes of students competing for respect, each bearing a distinguishable set of self-defining trademark behaviours and skills. 

While the geek and athlete categories by definition appear to be poles apart, you may be surprised to learn they’re more alike than you realise. Here’s why. 

Elite geeks and athletes are: 

  • Deeply immersed in their chosen field;
  • Thrive on challenges and problem solving;
  • Have an ability to shut-out noise and focus;
  • Master their craft through years of continuous repetition and refinement; 
  • Analyse data to learn and gain an advantage;  
  • Work to process and method;  
  • Collaborate and share with like-minded people and communities; 
  • Are unwilling to relent at failure; and are 
  • Ultimately measured by numbers. 

The harsh reality is, irrespective of our area of focus, the best of us don’t always succeed and life isn’t always fair to those who deserve fairness. In the modern world, it can be easy to forget we still live in a relative jungle; it’s dense, dangerous and unforgiving, one erroneous move and (chomp!) you can be devoured without warning. 

So, to compete, succeed and stay ahead, you will need to be smarter, go deeper. You need to be stronger, fitter. You will need to be more determined, resilient. You will need to be strategic, more cunning than your competitors. And you will need to be surrounded with like minded, supportive people. 

When you tap into and harness both your (inner) elite geek and athlete you give yourself an unfair advantage. Remember, the game of business was not designed to be fair, so embrace it. 

Trent Leyshan is the founder of sales training company BOOM! Sales and author of Outlaw and The Naked Salesman

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