Lessons from a Multi-Millionaire Tennis Enthusiast

(This is me with my husband, not the multi-millionaire businessman I was talking with!)

I’m excited to share a personal reflection of an evening out I have just enjoyed, that was hosted at Wimbledon’s centre court.

It was an honour to be in these hallowed surroundings, steeped in history and atmosphere, and it was a really inspiring event, hearing lots of young, up and coming Wimbledon players sharing their insights.

At dinner, I happened to be seated next to a multi-millionaire business owner and, through our conversation over the next couple of hours, I learned some really valuable lessons that I can’t wait to share with you.

You can take these lessons forward into your own business, as I know I’m definitely going to with mine.

Lesson 1: Surrounding yourself with excellence

Despite all his business responsibilities, he plays a lot of tennis – five times a week, and sometimes several times a day.

I have never heard of a non-professional tennis player playing so often, especially someone with a demanding business to run, so I asked him about it.

His answer was that he believes in being completely committed to whatever he wants to do, and he also believes in surrounding himself with the best.

To this end, he has paid many of the best tennis players in the world to play with him, because he wants to compete against the best.

It’s a really specific mindset to surround yourself with people who are better than you, and we can all take that approach with our own businesses.

Being in a room with people doing amazing things will change your perspective on money and success.

Instead of focusing on small gains, like selling a coaching session for £50 for example, he would be focusing on huge gains, like securing a really big contract in his business.

When you are hearing what’s really possible, like me being fortunate to watch my clients go for big corporate clients, it’s really inspirational to see the results you can get when you make a decision and really go for it.

Lesson 2: Speedy decision making

As coaches, we often see our clients, and ourselves (!), dithering over decisions. It might be procrastinating over choosing a niche, crafting a social media post and so on.

This guy’s approach is very different. He doesn’t waste his valuable time pondering over one same small decision over and over again.

It was really apparent that he makes quick, firm decisions, allowing him to manage his multi-million pound company whilst still fitting in so much tennis.

And so that decisiveness really does save time, and makes him more successful than the next person who is spending a lot of time considering what their next move should be.

Lesson 3: Pursuing goals with urgency

Another lesson I learned from my highly successful dinner companion was about going after your goals in the fastest way possible.

He explained that he doesn’t wait around for email responses which will delay the action.

For example, you might email someone who might spend five days thinking about it before finally emailing you back.

Before you know it, you’ve wasted weeks, compared to someone who got an immediate answer and is then weeks ahead of you.

So, instead of emailing someone and waiting for them to reply, he takes control. He just calls them up, tells them what he wants and that he wants it now, and he often gets it.

Hearing this strategy was a real wake up call about how the polite way we communicate, not wanting to be intrusive, and how we put the ball in someone else’s court, takes away our power and stalls our momentum.

Instead of sending one email to a friend we think might be able to get us into their organisation, sitting back and waiting for ages hoping they’ll come back to us, why not send 50 emails to 50 friends?

This way, you’re not waiting on one response, potentially for weeks, and that’s if you get a reply at all.

Playing the numbers game ensures that your goals are reached so much quicker, which then reduces time exponentially.

How you can further apply these lessons to your coaching business

It’s safe to say that many of us waste precious time, overthinking minor details, or hesitating to invest money in our growth.

We need to see that time is a more valuable resource than money. 

I’m fortunate in that I have been able to invest a lot in my business to fast track my own progress.

Paying someone who’s done it before, who can tell me exactly how to do something effectively and efficiently, sharing their own real life experience, genuinely saves me a year or two of trying to figure it out myself.

This investment to fast track my business has meant that I’ve made so much more money more quickly, as I’ve been free to earn money instead of going round in circles.

Just like the millionaire who invests in top tennis players to improve his tennis skills, we can do the same in our own businesses, asking people who are further ahead than us for their help in speeding up our business growth and our business success.

It could be through hiring experts, getting better tools, or spending money on marketing or mentoring. It’s not an expense, it’s an investment in your success.

The importance of decision making

To reiterate, speed is crucial.

Make decisions quickly and confidently. If you are going into business trying to avoid any failure, you are sadly likely to fail because the greatest risk in life is not taking any risks, and not making any decisions.

If you’re not making decisions, you’re wasting your time. You’re not standing still, you’re actually going backwards.

What I see happens then, is that people’s confidence erodes more and more the longer they don’t make decisions.

When you make a decision and just go for it, in a month’s time you’ll have found out what works and what doesn’t.

I know it sounds hard but, if being an entrepreneur was easy, everyone would be doing it.

So, the quicker you move the faster you will see results.

Take direct action

Lastly, focus on direct action. Follow that approach of pursuing your goals with urgency.

If you want to partner with someone, contact them directly as quickly as possible and then follow up with them.

If you need a client decision, call them. Cut down that waiting time and see how much more efficiently your business operates.

I hope you feel as inspired as I have from the lessons I learned from the hugely successful, tennis-loving businessman I met at Wimbledon.

As he explained, it’s about surrounding yourself with excellence, making quick decisions and making the most of your time, and taking the initiative rather than waiting for others to get back to you.

Time is the one commodity we can never get back. And we rarely stand still – we’re either moving forward or backwards.

Happy new year! Here’s to a year of quick decisions – I can’t wait to see your business grow and prosper.

Prefer Audio? You can also listen to all my new content on my podcast Women in the Coaching Arena

Whenever you’re ready, here’s how I can help you grow your coaching business:

1. Love coaching, but struggling to get clients? Download the 12 Quick and Easy Ways to Get Clients now.

2. Interested to know more about the Business of Coaching programme? Click here.

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Hello and welcome! I’m Joanna Lott, and I’m passionate about empowering qualified coaches like you to build brilliant businesses.