The last few weeks have been all about the winter Olympics here in Canada. Although we had a slow start in the games, Canada  finished very strong with 14 Gold Medals (The most gold medals won in the winter Olympics by any country). After spending pretty much all of my weekend watching Canada scoop up gold after gold, I realized that there are some money lessons one can learn from the Olympic events.

Practice
The athletes don’t wake up the morning of the event and win a gold medal. It requires years of training and dedication to master the sport. Most athletes spend months and months in preparation for the Olympic games and only the most dedicated ones make it to the finals.

Finance: In order to become the master of your finances you need to put in the boring hours in prep work such as budgeting, reviewing and documenting things. You cannot expect to just go with the flow and still be in charge of your money, dedication and work is required.

Focus
Staying focused till the end is key in winning a gold medal in the Olympics. In several events I noticed that the leader would lose focus at the end and that split second cost him or her the gold. No matter how far he or she is ahead, only those who stay focused from start to finish will make it to the top.

Finance: Staying focused is just as important in your finances. If you start to lose sight of your goals and lose focus chances are that you will not reach your goals.

Perseverance
Sometimes bad things happen that are not always in the athletes control, he or she has to persevere through it in order to achieve their goals. One example is the emotional story of Canada’s figure skater Joannie Rochette. Joannie’s mother died unexpectedly two days before her big event, Joannie was able to work through this emotional time and still end up winning a bronze medal with an outstanding performance.

Finance: Sometimes bad things happen that are not in your control such as a market crash, an emergency or another unforeseen event. You have to remember that these events are not in your control and deal with the situation without letting it affect your long-term goals.

Pace
In most Olympic events the athletes have to pace themselves to avoid burnout and failure. If they try too hard at the early stages they may lead, but will most likely burnout quickly or risk an injury.

Finance: Setting financial goals and a financial plan can be very exciting at first and you may be very eager to work hard to achieve your goals. Budget, review, Invest and work hours on the weekends on your finances maybe fun at first, but will become strenuous and “boring” very quickly. That is why it is important to keep things simple and not to overload yourself with finances, setting up specific short tasks over the long term is better than overloading in the short term.

I guess the Olympics and personal finance have more in common than one would suspect.

Any money lessons you have learned from the Olympics?