Don’t be afraid of the obstacles your career throws at you, says Australian cycling superstar Cadel Evans.
Evans was the guest of honour at the EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards, held in Melbourne last week.
Evans, who came second in the Tour de France in 2007 and 2008 before taking out the top place in 2011, plans to retire next year, but not before embarking on his own entrepreneurial journey to establish the Great Ocean Road Race in Victoria in February.
“My dream is to inspire more people to get involved in the sport,” he told the audience at Melbourne’s Crown Casino.
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Evans donated a prize pack for a charity auction on the night, which raised $27,000 for Social Enterprise Entrepreneur of the Year, Jean Madden of Street Sways, but he also gave the audience insights into his success, and advice on how to stay motivated when faced with career challenges.
Here’s three tips for success from the Tour de France winner.
1. Realise things won’t go your way all the time
Evans says everyone – entrepreneurs and elite athletes alike – faces setbacks but being aware of that fact is the first step to success.
“It’s learning that life is an inevitable series of setbacks,” he says.
“The key is getting over those and getting going again.”
2. Each setback is a lesson
The second step in the race to success is learning from those setbacks, says Evans.
“When I look back at my career as I am getting close to the end of it now, it’s those lessons, those setbacks, what you learn in those lessons that actually gives you what makes the difference to succeed,” he says.
“And not just succeed to overcome them but to go on to much bigger and better things.”
“In the end, our best lessons were probably our worst experiences.”
3. Develop a method for overcoming obstacles
Evans says there were “many times” he thought he was not going to be able to pull himself back up from a setback, but he says being methodical about the challenges you face can help.
“Of course in our sport it’s obvious you get knocked off your bike by someone or something or illness and so on but it is [about] coming back through those, working through things again,” he says.
“Really you have to work so much better, you have to reassess everything you do, you do a big review of everything you’re doing and you learn a lot.”
“That experience is what makes you bigger and stronger.”