3 Ways Building a Business and Bodybuilding Are The Same

Some years ago, I was big into competitive bodybuilding. Not only was I a fan, I was also one of the peeps on stage flexing and posing to impress the judges. Although this disclosure might seem irrelevant to being a solopreneur, in truth there are many parallels between bodybuilding and building a business.


It takes immense discipline to compete as a bodybuilder. No slacking, no excuses. It shows if you aren’t putting forth an honest effort. The same is true in starting and running a business. If you’re not giving it all you’ve got, you’re not going to see results. You need focus and follow through.

 You are what you eat

In bodybuilding, you can tell who stuck religiously to their pre-contest diets and who didn’t. There’s no pretending in bodybuilding – if you don’t walk the walk, you’ll look like crap on stage. Being in business is no different. You need to prepare, you need to feed your brain with quality information from quality resources, and you need to practice your craft to raise your level of expertise. Faking it won’t get you very far.

No pain, no gain

Training for a bodybuilding contest is grueling. Your muscles are sore nearly every day, you’re exhausted from doing cardio conditioning workouts twice a day and you’re sick and tired of eating egg whites and plain oatmeal for breakfast each morning. But you have to stick with the plan to reach your goal. Being in business also demands that you work through the less than appealing tasks and challenges that come with the territory. You need determination and to sometimes dig deep for the motivation to take care of business when the going gets tough.

I no longer bench press anywhere near the weight that I did back in the day, but the one thing I did retain from my bodybuilding endeavors is the knowledge that hard work and a “stick with it” attitude are necessary for success. Pump the iron. Persevere. There are no short cuts.

Can you think of any other bodybuilding/business parallels?

2 comments on “3 Ways Building a Business and Bodybuilding Are The Same
  1. What a great parallel. Now I understand why some people title their marketing BS as something being on Steroids. 🙂
    There are always people who do not comprehend the dangers of shortcuts. Skipping the ground work, trying to fasforward instead of baby steps have their rewards – falling flat.
    One more important similarity – you have to love what you do, you can not motivate yourself otherwise.

    • dawnmentzer says:

      Thank you, Attila! You made some really great points. And you’re so right about motivation, you’ve got to enjoy what you’re doing, otherwise there’s no reason to push yourself.

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