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  • Writer's pictureElana Duffy

Road to Gold: Your Content Olympics

I know it's the off-season, but did you ever watch the Olympics? From the trials and tribulations of the planning and set up to a virus beyond control of the organizers and the stories and triumphs of the competitors – it’s all there. There are tales of fantastic feats, incredible struggle, heartfelt spirit, and remarkable returns, all mixed with hard work, dedication, determination, persistence, drive, dreams and support. This world event showcases sport, but the people win our hearts as we share their successes as well as their spirit-filled attempts to reach their dreams and get the opportunity to bring their talent onto a global stage.

That spirit lives in each of us, whether we’re starting a business or a race, flying over obstacles or the uneven parallel bars, swimming through bureaucracy or 50-meter pools, or stumbling over white papers or hurdles. Their energy is our energy, their ambition is our ambition, their struggles are ours and their successes shared by millions of admirers and supporters the world over.

For two short weeks, we follow athletes and their families, where they came from and where they want to go, their career ups and downs as well as their dreams for the future. We add apps to our devices to keep up with medal counts, tune in daily to see if the underdog pulls through, if the legend keeps his crown, if she who falls can still cross the finish line and if the newcomer makes it through to the finals. Change the sports to business language and the athletes to ourselves and we’re all in the same boat. We are constantly dreaming, striving, struggling, searching and determined to see it through to the end – the bloggers, the business owners and you.

We can learn a lot from the Olympics:

Plan, trust, and leap. Cities win their Olympic bids years in advance. There are some things that are in their control (like who to hire, choreography of the Opening Ceremonies and where to place the Olympic Village) and others that are not (like Zika Virus, crime rates and Mother Nature). Like the organizers, their staff and the athletes, we all plan the best we can, trust our training and eventually, risk it all. And just as they have advisers and help, we have consultants and aides. We at Present Tense see this all the time in helping authors and business executives plan their dreams for content. We see the risk and act as the coaches, supporting clients through the process of building their product. And just as the organizers are there to watch the athletes, we are there to watch you launch your product and reap the rewards.

Try, try and try again. In the 2016 games, the venues took longer to build than expected, a mosquito born virus affected attendance, one athlete refused a handshake with another and it rained during events. And a swimming legend conquered a comeback while another seems on a rise to fame. And a female gymnast blew the pack away while a male gymnast finally attained a life long goal. In 2016, the entire world held their breath for more than nine seconds to see if lightning could strike for a third time. We even saw medal ceremonies delayed to highlight acts of bravery, resilience, and kindness. Whether it’s a false start, a return or a dream reimagined, we salute you. We’re here to push you to the finish line whether we walk beside you, cheer from the stands or hand you the medal on the podium. That goes for these athletes and every manager looking to create content and realize their goals.

Focus on success. For all of the glitter on the medal stand, there were that many more stumbles along the way. There were falls that broke our hearts, and successes that lifted nations. There were struggles we couldn’t see and others witnessed by millions. What they have in common is that they keep coming back, they keep showing up and they continue to reach for their dreams. Whether it’s a medal, a record, a personal best or a chance to be at the games, they’re there, working hard and focusing on success. Writing, be it a blog or a book, is much the same. It can be challenging to get beyond stumbles or blocks in generating content, but when you publish a blog or build out new brand content you find new energy to continue.

Build a support team. Comaneci found it in Karolyi, Phelps in Bowman and the new 400-meter gold medalist was coached by a 74 year old grandmother. Coaches and supporters come in many forms. They’re therapists, facilitators, mentors, teachers, friends, loved ones and so much more. As a business and as a creator of something amazing, your coaching team is critical to your success. Professionals, those who understand you and what you are trying to say or accomplish, are a key component of your team. Far from taking away your voice, they help you amplify it through a quality performance.

I love the Olympics, holding my breath until the very last moment in excitement. When I’ve written a great blog, sometimes I get that same rush. We want you to feel that energy. We can be your pacer, your confidante and the one you turn to when you need that extra push to create. Dream big – we’ve got your back!

Guest blogger Stacey Ebert is a former educator and event planner. She is currently making her way around the world as a travel blogger and freelance writer, with articles in Rolf Potts Vagabonding and Wandering Educator and published in American Camping Association Camping, tourism sites, Elephant Journal and more. Follow Stacey's adventures on The Gift of Travel.

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