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Novak Djokovic, the Serbian tennis player, is the number 1 male tennis player of the Association of Tennis Professionals, but this is nothing new. Djokovic has been number one for over 300 weeks throughout his career and has been increasingly referred to as one of the best tennis players of all time. But I think I learned more about how to be better in business than I ever learned how to be good at tennis from spending time with him.
Over the past seven years I've been fortunate to work with Djokovic on several international PR events and every time we work together, I've been impressed with what I've learned from him, aside from a few tennis tips.
Here are five business lessons from working with Djokovic that I have implemented not only in business but also in my life.
1. Be grateful to those who have supported you
Djokovic has all the time in the world for his fans. I've seen how grateful he is for the opportunities given to him because of their support and dedication to him and his brand, and how he feels he owes them all of the time he can give them. Whether it's signing autographs at events, taking photos, or just joking with people, he has as much time for everyone as necessary and you can see how much the fans appreciate his energy.
In business, successful people often forget where they come from and who helped them get there. But with Djokovic, the ultimate goal is to let people know how much he values their influence in his life.
2. Always give back
Djokovic made me realize that with success and fame there is an opportunity to give back and make a big difference in the world. In 2007 he founded the Novak Djokovic Foundation, an organization that provides preschool children in impoverished areas with access to education. Djokovic and his co-founder and wife Jelena have helped more than 30,000 children, and Djokovic has made it clear that he intends to keep going. Charity has no limits to him and he is willing to go the extra mile to truly ensure that his charity reaches whatever goal it sets.
Related Topics: The Business of Giving Back: Five Reasons Why Philanthropy Should Be At The Center Of Your Business Strategy
3. Never give up
Injuries are incredibly difficult to endure for top athletes. In addition to spending months recovering in physical therapy, they also need to spend extra time getting back to the physical condition they were in before the injury. Djokovic often had injuries that made it incredibly difficult for him to hold or get back to his number 1, but he persevered through each of those obstacles and found that he did it with a little time – and a lot of work – in the Able to come back on the field stronger than ever.
As entrepreneurs, we will always face many problems on our path to success, and throwing in the towel often seems like the only solution. Djokovic's commitment and dedication are an invaluable way to live and make sure you achieve the goals of your life.
4. A healthy mind creates a healthy body
Djokovic lives by the strict principle that mind and body are connected and that it is important to make sure that both are healthy. When you put unhealthy foods into your body or do things that are bad for your mental health, you will get results that reflect them. Djokovic adheres to a very strict gluten-free diet, exercises daily, and makes time each day to do something to help him relax – all of which he attributes to his continued success.
It is easier for a professional athlete to stick to a strict diet than it is for a business owner, but anyone who chooses healthier foods will see it pay off in the long run.
Everything starts with a positive attitude and the rest follows. Taking time to think and meditate each day can work wonders and lay the foundation for a healthier body.
Related: 5 Easy Ways You Can Reduce Work Hours
5. Stand up for what you believe in
Djokovic was never afraid to express his opinion and his beliefs and points of view. This may be due to the fact that I grew up in Serbia, a country where children had no voice and "did not dare to dream big," said Djokovic. As entrepreneurs, we can often be scared of saying what we are really thinking and saying, but not saying anything could be more damaging in the long run.
If you have a strong point of view, people will respect you, and those who don't will at least know where you stand. There's nothing worse than just walking in the middle of the street and not being passionate.
The lessons I learned from Djokovic made a lasting impression on me. By following some of his principles, I have been able to make my work more meaningful and effective, inspired by his dedication to his career and life's concerns. I hope that you can learn from my experience with him and bring some of these lessons to your own business and life to help make you realize your dreams no matter what you are served.
See Also: From Down Under To On Top: 3 Lessons From Australian Businesses That Are Making Waves In The US