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Targeting Success: How Archery Principles Can Sharpen Your Business Strategy 🏹

This week, I’m in AZ with my son, Seth, who’s competing in the 2024 Olympic Trials for archery. He’s been shooting archery since he was 11 years old, and now, at 24, he’ll tell you that “it’s all between the ears.” His mindset during the event determines his performance. Focus on one arrow at a time…not the whole tournament.

Likewise, in business, your focus needs to be unwavering as you concentrate on the target ahead. A clear and focused vision is crucial for overcoming obstacles and achieving long-term success.

Every archer needs to have a pre-shot routine. This routine involves a consistent sequence of mental and physical actions before each shot, which helps the archer know the perfect time to release the arrow toward the target.

Precision and timing are key to hitting the market bullseye, too. Strategic patience requires waiting for the optimal time to make your move in the marketplace.

For months, Seth worked 10-hour days and then still practiced to prepare for the Trials and this tournament. He even took off work last week to spend time at the Olympic Training Center in CA so he could shoot all day long for six days and build up his stamina.

The way an archer improves through relentless practice parallels the process of continuous improvement in business, where refining skills and processes leads to excellence.

The weather in Iowa at this time of year is unpredictable, and shooting 70 meters outside isn’t always easy. We recently just got another 6” of snow! Seth did get a little full-distance practice on the nicer evenings, but with this being the Olympic Trials and not just another tournament, he wanted that practice in a better climate.

Just as Seth has to adjust for wind and weather conditions, business owners must adapt to shifting market trends to remain competitive and relevant. It’s important to stay current on what’s happening in your field, too.

This week, the top 16 male and 16 female archers shot Stage 3 of the Olympic Trials and cut to the top 8 for Stage 4. After two days of shooting, Seth finished in 11th place in the Nation (moving up from 12th after Stage 2). We’re so incredibly proud of his accomplishments and the drive he possesses to compete in this sport at this high level. 

Drawing from archery, you can see that hitting the bullseye in business isn't just about luck; it's about careful planning, staying flexible, and learning from every miss.

Like archers, businesses that keep their goals in clear sight, adjust their strategies when needed, and don't get discouraged by setbacks are the ones that hit their marks.

So, let's take these archery lessons to heart, aiming not just for success but for a journey that makes us sharper, more resilient, and ready for whatever comes our way.


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