One of my favourite pastimes is playing golf. Every chance I get, I take the opportunity to get outside and play a round.
Not only do I love playing it, I also enjoy watching and staying up to date with the PGA Tour players. Golf is a mentally and physically demanding game; to become a professional and play among the world’s best takes incredible talent and discipline. There are many lessons that can be learned by watching how professional golfers manage themselves on the course.
Recently, I read an inspirational article about the world’s current #1 ranked golfer, Jason Day. Golf Digest’s story, Jason Day: Turning Inspiration Into Obsession dives into the personal life and motivations of the best golfer in the world and delivers an interesting narrative on his journey to success.
Through the article, I gained a new perspective towards Jason Day, the game of golf, and achieving personal goals. These are themes that I would like to revisit through this blog and dive into to uncover the secrets of becoming the best in the world.
Overcoming Adversity to Learn, Grow, and Succeed
Although Jason Day may be the number one ranked golfer in the world today, this was only achievable through hard work, dedication, practice and perseverance. There were many obstacles to success that he faced and overcame at a young age, including:
Racism, Being Different than his Peers
Day had a rather tough childhood growing up in a small Australian town, where he was the only Asian boy in his class. He was frequently taunted with racial slurs and was made to feel like an outsider, excluded from social activity.
Although being excluded at a young age often prevents youth from reaching their full potential, Day was able to see his worth and keep working towards his dreams. He was able to understand his talents at an early age and work to improve upon them until he had surpassed the skills of his peer group. By working on improving himself, Jason overcame the insults and turned them into motivation to keep improving.
Parenting, Substance Abuse, and Loss
Jason’s father was an abusive alcoholic whom only showed the slightest compassion when he discovered his son had a talent for golf. Jason’s dad enrolled him into local junior tournaments and applied extraordinary pressure by warning him at age 11, “if he played bad golf, he’d beat him up”.
When Jason was 12, his father died of cancer. This moment was a dramatic turning point in Jason’s life and the beginning of his journey to successful golf career. Upon her husband’s death, Jason’s mother mortgaged their home, took out a loan, and used life insurance payments to get Jason into a highly regarded boarding school. His obsessive work ethic reached a new high at school where Jason would wake up before class at 5am to practice and play golf.
Related Blog: 3 Lessons Golf Has Taught me about Business
Remaining The World’s #1 Through Continuous Improvement
Even though Day is the world’s best golfer, he still recognizes the fact that he can improve. Today Jason continues to learn from his coach, Cornell Driessen, who uses technical and mental challenges to help Day’s continued growth and success. Jason also takes advice from the world’s former number one golfer, Tiger Woods.
Every week he puts in the practice to turn weaknesses into strengths, while solidifying the routines that have made him successful so far. I believe that business professionals can reflect on this and, with a little bit of motivation, also implement strategies to improve themselves or their business on a regular basis.
Seeking Professional Development for Your Business
Training courses are just one of the many ways that business professionals can constantly improve. Such courses could involve professional skills development, leadership/management training, or marketing and sales training to name a few.
Fortunately, for those who do not have as deep of pockets as Jason Day, your company could subsidize training expenses through government funded training grants. The Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG) is an example of these opportunities and returns up to 66% of third-party training expenses. Businesses can use COJG to drastically reduce the cost of training programs, making the process of training your team much more affordable.
Persistence’s Role in Achieving Success
Jason lives by the words “never say die”, a concept that his father taught him as a child. He learned to keep pushing and pushing, and fight until the end. Never giving up is one of Jason’s best traits and is undoubtedly one that has contributed to his success the most.
Before Day’s first Masters tournament in 2011, in which he tied for second, he was giving serious thought to quitting the tour. From 2008 through 2013, Day won only once. Two years later, he became the highest ranked golfer in the world and remains in that spot today.
Many business owners and executives can relate to the importance of persistence. It’s comforting to know that even the world’s best professionals go through slumps, but more importantly, they never gave up. It’s the ability to work hard through those tough times that will lead to greater results in the future.
Planning and Executing Your Strategic Business Goals
All successful business strategies start with a plan. To become the best in your market or industry, developing a strategic plan that maps your current position and goals for growth will help to accelerate this growth.
Like a strategic development plan, businesses should also consider developing a Proactive Funding Plan. A Proactive Funding Plan will help to feed your growth by ensuring that your company has the cash flow necessary to make strategic investments. If you’re interested in learning how a Proactive Funding Plan can help your business achieve its growth targets, please contact a Canadian Government Funding Planner.