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Wimbledon’s Men’s Singles Champions kicked off on Monday, June 27, 2022, with one notable tennis player absent from center court. Roger Federer, who holds the record for the most Wimbledon Tennis Championships won with 8 titles in total, won’t be at this year’s competition due to a knee injury he sustained in 2021. Shortly after he played in Wimbledon 2021, the athlete received surgery on his right knee, according to Yahoo! Sport, and although a Wimbledon return wasn’t possible with his journey to recovery, tennis fans still hope to see the Wimbledon champion play in the U.S. Open scheduled for August 20, 2022.
The last time Federer won the Wimbledon tournament was in 2017, which came as redemption after losing to Milos Raonic who was then defeated by Andy Murray for the Wimbledon title in 2016. Although Federer walked away defeated that year, it appears the loss inspired him to return back to the Wimbledon village stronger.
Even in defeat, there are valuable lessons entrepreneurs can learn from Federer. With 20 Grand Slam victories and $130 million in career prize money, per Forbes, Federer has leveraged his on-court success to create a very deep off-court branding and endorsement portfolio, which includes his 2018 ten-year deal with Japanese apparel brand Uniqlo for a whopping $300 million. Thanks to his lucrative endorsement deals, he was ranked as the highest-paid athlete in the world in 2020, according to the outlet, but has since fallen to No. 7 on the list in 2022.
Related: 5 Habits of Top Athletes That Can Transfer to the Workplace
Here is a list of lessons small business owners and entrepreneurs can learn from Federer, who many tennis experts credit as the best to ever play.
1. Don’t fear failure.
Fearlessness breeds the best athletes. During the Australian Open 2011, Federer lost to Novak Djokovic in the semifinal. Federer was not afraid in their subsequent matchups; he fought his way back to being first in the world rankings by year’s end. In 2012 he defeated Djokovic on his way to (yes you guessed it) another Wimbledon championship title.
As a struggling entrepreneur, you similarly cannot fear failure. Like Federer, consider every setback an opportunity to work harder and focus all your energy on improving and winning.
2. Learn to adapt.
During the 2003 Wimbledon championship, there were many firsts for Federer. Federer adapted to the tournament’s optimum strategy and style of play after early-round exits the four years prior. The then 22-year-old Federer defeated Mark Philippoussis in the final Wimbledon match and lifted his first Wimbledon trophy.
Related: Using the Winning Habits of Top Athletes to Fuel Your Success
Similarly, an entrepreneur must learn to adapt to the many dynamic factors of the business world. Being able to accurately identify and adapt to market trends is a vital skill for entrepreneurs and athletes alike.
3. Focus on your strengths.
“As long as I’m doing the right things and staying true to my game plan it makes sense,” Federer told media in a post-match press conference during the 2011 Australian Open. “If I’m just making errors… then I’m in trouble clearly. But it’s about setting up the plays right,” said Federer.
As an entrepreneur, you should focus on what you can control and then master those same elements. That way your business is primed for the highest achievement possible.
Related: This Startup Is Building a Tinder for Athletes
4. Stay relevant.
Despite Federer’s Wimbledon loss in 2016, he still found ways to monetize himself, like with his Sunrise Telecommunications commercial for example, which depicted him as an action hero escaping danger. Why is this important? Even in a down year where you are too injured to play, you can stay relevant by turning to creativity and alternative means. Fast forward a few months and that same man made his way to another Wimbledon championship.
Entrepreneurs take notes.