Entrepreneurship & the Olympics

With the Olympics underway, what do you think?  

As I listen to some people this week, the feedback I too often hear seems to focus on the surrounding negatives of Covid, the cost, the lack of attendance and the decline in viewership...all of these external factors which, in the real world of the athletes, have nothing to do with the extraordinary athleticism that is taking place.

Perhaps this overhanging grey cloud exists simply because good news just doesn't sell well, and it's always much easier to broadcast commentary about negatives rather than positives.  When you think about these negatives that make up "the news", they all have to do with the business of the Olympics and not with the athletes, the true entrepreneurs, themselves.

Personally, I am loving the Olympics! 

  • Team USA Swimming has been outstanding!
  • Suni Lee and the women's gymnastics team have been extraordinary 
  • Women's soccer is being played this morning

Tyler Paige...and countless other successes and hard-fought battles on the courts, in the pool, at the skateboard park, and on the ocean where one of my favorite Tufts alums and close friend, Tyler Paige is competing.  An incredible sailor beginning when he was 7 or 8 years old, Tyler is clearly Olympic-level, but narrowly missed the USA team.  Always innovative with unbounded energy, Tyler raced this morning for the American Samoa team.  While not finishing where he expected, the fact is that while you and I are drinking our coffee sitting here at our desk, this morning, Tyler and some hundreds of other world-class athletes are out there putting everything on the line.   Classic undaunted and highly innovative entrepreneurs!

Every one of these women and men, whether they are medal winners or not, are truly reflective of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.  Of course, they constantly exude grit, unmatched drive and sheer determination, all of which just become beginning entry passes into a world that requires incredibly long days of training that extend into years with little to no income. 

Gevvie Stone is a superb local example of this unbelievable drive just having competed earlier this week in double scull rowing in this her third Olympics, all achieved while studying, interning and now working at Tufts Medical. Not only a superb athlete and now an emergency room doc at Tufts, Gevvie was trained by her dad, Gregg Stone, himself an Olympic-level rower, putting in thousands of hours before classes every day that the Charles was free of ice.  

These and hundreds of other stories of competing, of winning and not winning will come out of the Olympics over the next 10 days.  If you're really thinking about taking that leap forward to become an entrepreneur, to walk away from your job, to launch into the unknown either as a student or a 40-year-old corporate manager, make sure that you take some time to watch the Olympics and listen to the sidelight stories of what it took for these incredible athletes to get to Tokyo!

Over the next year or so as Director Elaine Chen welcomes us back to live teaching at Tufts, we will be adding to and extending our own entrepreneurship programs through all of the schools of this outstanding university, so from time to time will update you on our entrepreneurship outreach at the Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts.

Have a great day selling and marketing today, and enjoy what looks like a beautiful weekend!

Jack Derby, Professor & Sales Coach


If at any time, you have a need for a confidential sounding board for Sales or Marketing, just connect with me at any time.  Text or email me, and I'll quickly set up a call.  I'm a pretty good listener, and we can get deep into tactics if you want.  Obviously, no cost for a call or two; just an opportunity to listen intently and make a few recommendations based on decades of experience.








Personally, I 

Tags: sales effectiveness, business coaching, Tufts university, entrepreneurship, jack derby professor at Tufts, social entrepreneurship, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts