What Sir Chris Hoy Taught A Physical Wreck About Business Success

I was fortunate enough to meet Sir Chris Hoy at this year's National Entrepreneur's Convention in Birmingham.

Now, I'll admit, I'm not a big fan of sport, so I don't really pay a lot of attention to what's going on.

Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee

In fact, I'm the proverbial ‘physical wreck' described in the title, people like Sir Chris put my own sporting prowess to shame.

But there is one element of sport that's really holding my attention these days, and it relates to motivation and mindset.

It's taken me this long to realise that high achievers in sport can teach entrepreneurs a thing or two.

And it was for this reason that one sentence used by Sir Chris had such a profound impact on me at that event.

He explained how his incredible success at the Olympics had come as:

‘… the aggregation of marginal gains'

He literally won one of his medals by a distance of 15mm … 15mm!

In regular, everyday life that 15mm would be undetectable and negligible.

But at world champion/Olympian standard, it's the crucial difference.

So how is that small gain achieved?

It's the result of tiny, positive actions geared towards achieving the desired result.

And when all those actions are added up, it makes the difference to being the best in the world to the second best in the world.

It's so easy to see how that applies to business too.

If we pay attention to the small, marginal gains that we can make day-by-day, we too can have a business that is of world class standard.

But if we don't keep pushing for those gains – better customer service, better conversions, better sales letters, better products, better customer relationships – we'll be among the ‘also rans' and will never experience the superior performance of people like Sir Chris Hoy in our own businesses.

Those ‘marginal gains' really do make the difference!

Paul Teague And Sir Chris Hoy

For more effective time management and increasing your own ‘marginal gains', try out Rescue Time:



  • Paul,

    So true. That’s why testing websites is so important. It’s one aspect of a business that’s more easily quantifiable. Incremental changes there add up to significant gains. For example, changing a headline and increasing conversions by 5%, then moving the position of the opt in form for another 2% gain. Changing the banner may see another 2% conversion increase. Before you know it, those incremental changes add up to something real.

    Incremental changes are why testing and tracking are so vital. In an online environment, their effects are easily measurable and much faster than traditional business and marketing. Nice piece.
    Steve Faber recently posted…NEST CEO Tony Fadell Speaks on NEST’S Future – CEDIA EXPO 2013 KeynoteMy Profile

    Paul Teague Reply:

    Hi Steve, thanks for your comments.

    You’re spot on of course, tweaking conversions at every step of the sales process will add to the bottom line, every time.

    I always knew this to be the case, but when you see it against a sporting framework, where the really tiny things add up to make the difference, it’s easier to see how all those tweaking efforts help out when you’re building your business.

    Good to hear from you!

    Best wishes, Paul

  • Fear leads to procrastination. Procrastination sometimes can be part of trying to find a way forward. Work out what the choices are and chose the one you like. It was one of the American Presidents that said’ If I don’t like the decision I made I just make another one.’ Change always has an opportunity in it. Working out what the choices and the opportunity is the interesting thing about life. A Scottish man I used to know used to say (heavy Scottish accent) ‘just de it’ I like change, its less fearful the more you do it.

Leave A Response