Ron Braunfeld talks competitive mindset; in sports and in life.
I am a former competitive athlete (and currently wannabe much older one…) – wrestling in college, along with training for and completing many 5ks, marathons and triathlons. Through the practice and playing, there are many life lessons I’ve applied from my sporting experiences to business success.
Mental Training for Peak Performance by Steven Ungerleider, Ph.D is an easy and insightful read about how elite athletes prepare for optimal performance. Sure, putting time in the gym and practicing for your sport du jour is a must. But there’s more to it, and the book showcases how being mentally prepared for competition (of any kind) is equally as important as the physical training.
In my competitive world of venture-backed startups, I believe the same analogy can be made. All of the market research in the world about why people need (and should buy) your product is only a small component. Being mentally prepared for that big pitch, preparing for what to do when you’re asked a question you don’t know the answer to by an important prospect, navigating tense business negotiations, knowing when to ask the right questions, etc. – these are all critical components to building a successful company. I still get butterflies when I have that big meeting – it’s a combination of excitement and nerves. However, when you’re adequately prepared, you enter the situation loose and calm and ready to win.
Ron Braunfeld has over 15 years experience in the internet/mobile tech ecosystem. As a proven Sales & Biz Dev professional, Braunfeld has mastered building and implementing go-to-market strategies within large and small companies. He is currently VP Business Development for Pingup. Prior positions include PayPal, WHERE (acq. by Paypal in 2011 for 137mm), MapQuest, and SnipSnap.