The Michael Phelps Guide to Business

Michael Phelps Olympics

As many of you already know, the Olympics is going to start tomorrow. But before it starts, here are a few things to learn from the Olympians.

  1. Be dedicated and passionate – if you don’t love what you are doing, there will not be much to keep you going. Not everything in life is simple, so make sure you are passionate and dedicated about whatever you are currently doing. If you aren’t you may want to consider a new career path.
  2. Keep your goals in mind – some things could take years before they are obtained, so make sure whatever you are doing now helps you get one step closer to your goal.
  3. Learn to be a team player – not everything can be achieved on your own, so learn to be a team player. You will be able to accomplish a lot and be more efficient if you learn to work with others.
  4. Cheaters never prosper – in the short term you may come ahead by cheating, but in the long run, it will come back and haunt you. Just look at some of the Olympians who took steroids and got their medals taken away from them.
  5. It’s not done till it’s done – just because you are at the head of the pack before the finish line, it doesn’t mean that you will stay ahead. Keep chugging away at full speed because the person behind you is always looking to take you out.
  6. Milk it while you can – fame and glory never lasts forever, so once you succeed make sure you milk it while you can. Leverage any opportunities that come your way because you may not get anymore.
  7. Have a backup plan – dreams don’t always come true, so have a backup. This could mean getting a college education or building a strong network incase you need to get a new job.
  8. Have goals after your career is over – your career will come to an end sooner or later, so create some goals for your retirement. They don’t have to be financial goals, but ones that keep you going and entertained.

Anyone else have tips on what to lookout for during the Olympics?

P.S. For more business advice check this out.


  1. how about the whole concept of world unity. amidst allegations of doping and corruption, we lose sight of the fact that the olympics should be about the world’s best coming together to compete.

    go U.S.A

    • Good concept. One thing that comes to mind from your comment is being the “worlds best”. In whatever you are doing, try and be the best.

  2. Very nice post. However, I don’t believe that the “Milk it while you can” belongs in this list. Most of them seem positive virtues while that one seems a bit shady.

    • I get what you are saying, but I think that is one of the most important items on the list. Not sure how I could word it to be a bit more positive and less shady.

      • “Milking it” sounds very self-centered and selfish. A better way of saying this is simply to take advantage of situations when they present themselves, because you will have more great opportunities while you’re in a good position and well known. You won’t have the same opportunities once you’ve fallen out of the spotlight, and you’ll be sorry you didn’t take them.

  3. esotericsean :

    Great list! When do the Olympics start, anyway?

    • I am not sure on the US time, but 8pm China standard time.

  4. A great man named Jimmy H. Woo once said, ““You can take my life but not my confidence.” which I suppose is an interesting aspect to look for in the Olympics . If you are confident in your abilities and more importantly believe in yourself, anything is possible. There will always be naysayers and bystanders who will give you a million reasons why you won’t succeed and many with little confidence in themselves get discouraged and drop out of the race even before it has begun.

    • And in the spirit of not listening to naysayers:

  5. Ruchit Surati :

    Hi Neil,

    You are absoltely right in this post. You have to be commited towards your goals and always have zeal to do it with best of your abilities. Whatever you do you have to give your best shot.

    • Yep, which is why I hate it when people “half-ass” things. If you are going to do something, then do it right.

  6. Nicaragua Surf Man :

    It’s amazing how simple these steps are yet so easy to get sidetracked and forget all about them.

  7. Nicaragua Surf Man :

    After thinking about it a little more. I wonder if it’s important to mention to people not to take things too seriously.

    You can get so caught up in your business and sports that everything else, like family falls to the wayside.

    “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff”

    • Nice addition. I see too many people taking business too seriously, which has caused them to put their families on the sidelines. I personally am not married and don’t have any kids, but I fear that I may become one of those people.

      Hopefully I don’t.

      • Neil,

        nice self-fulfilling prophecy. Family is important, and when its time to raise a family you have to redirect your passion for business to your own family which is a difficult balancing act, I think a lot of people don’t know what they are getting themselves into when they start a family I suppose

        • Yea, I am definitely not looking to have one anytime soon. I am too young and need to focus on building an empire. (or at least try to)

  8. He has completed the milestones for what he is looking for before these olympics,
    Now he is looking one more medal to become highest individual Gold medal winners.

    • Wow, I did not know that about him. The funny thing is, I have been watching a few swimming contests during the Olympics, but I never seem to see Michael Phelps.

      • Now he is with 11 Golds and Golden Olympian of the Games. His target must be getting 8 Golds, wish he will complete it. No one gonna break that record.

  9. This is off topc, but I told my wife that the Olympics should be the way we handle world issues, like that whole Russia/Georgia war. Don’t kill people, make them lift weights until someone buckles. The winner is granted whatever they are asking for. Just wishful thinking.

    • Jay,

      Interesting Idea, but its more profitable and enjoyable for the rulers of our world to see blood and gore unfortunately.

      • Jay, I like your idea. I personally am not a fan of war.

        Deep, I would agree that it is more interesting for “some” people, but I am not sure if it is profitable. Some of these fighting sports do well now, but they always didn’t do well.

        • Neil,

          Sure its profitable, not for the “mere mortals” like you and I, who run honest businesses. Its profitable for the people who get the contracts for the money that the US is spending on the war, for example blackwater, halliburton, defense companies…etc Also its profitable for the bankers who finance both sides of the war and for the arms companies that sell weapons to the US and Iraq insurgents alike.

        • War = Profits. That’s for sure.

        • I’m glad you guys like my idea. 😉 I have LOADS of them. Wanna hear them? 😉 jk

        • Thanks for the insights Deep. Never thought about war profits from that perspective.

  10. You are right! Okay, so host a huge Mixed Martial Arts event and have two of your countries best men go at it for 5 minutes/5 rounds, fist, elbows, feet and knees only. It works for entertainment in the USA along with a handful of other countries.

    • MMA is very entertaining for some people, but I personally am not a fan of it. Many of the Olympic events such as swimming are more entertaining for me than MMA.

      • Well in that case, if my idea was put into plan post 9/11 it would have been settled already. Especially with a guy like Phelps on our swim team. 🙂

  11. I came across this pic of an 8-yr old Michael Phelps. He’s come a looooong way!

    • Damn, he has come a long way. He must have started swimming since he was a baby.

      • “He must have started swimming since he was a baby.”

        Haaaa! Good one Neil. That almost got by me. Way subliminal.

        • I just had an idea, one thing you could do with your baby girl is have her get good at something really young. For example if she is into gymnastics at the age of 2, there is probably a good chance she will do really well in it and make a career out of it. Plus she will build a well known brand at the same time. 😉

        • I have a 6 year old daughter that started navigating the internet at 1 1/2. She use to sleep on my shoulder while I programmed websites. Maybe I should start marketing her already. 🙂

        • I think you should. She already has potential and probably would do very well working for a .com company in the future. Or better yet, she can start her own .com company and we can both work for her.

        • She use to call link clicking, pressing the play button. Does that make sense?

        • It makes sense, just think of the play button as a link. All you have to do now is get her to “link clicking” ads.

  12. I like the one where you should have a backup plan. It’s always good to have a Plan B and sometimes even a Plan C in place in case something doesn’t go according to plan.

    • The trick with back up plans is not to just have a few, but also have a realistic options. If you have tons of non-realistic backup plans, none will end up working out.

  13. Neil, Great post, taking Phelps mindset and giving it a business spin, classic, it is exactly what he does, as you’ve probably seen he get business DONE! Great Post.

    • Thanks! Just wait till the Olympics are over and you will see him all over TV again. He will get the ad deals and he will continue to leverage his name. But just like last year, it probably will not last longer than a few months.

      • It will be interesting to see how long he can prolong his Celebrity status, The guy truly has done great things, but it is pretty difficult to translate that into “what” for the long term, as you said he will do very well for the near future? Willing to bet on it?

        • It just depends what the bet is. 😉

          With most sports like professional basketball it is on TV yearly. So if you are really good at the game, then you will get ad deals on and other gigs for the long haul. With the Michael Phelps he is known for being an Olympic swimmer, which only takes place 4 times a year. Due to this a year from now you will not hear much about him unless he does something dumb such as getting a DUI.

        • Point taken. It will be amazing to see, as I would consider him a great hero, inspiration, an American icon, yet his fame will probably only last until Britney Spears shows up some where without panties, or Lindsay Lohan is caught kissing a girl, all trivial, but that is what America wants, gossip, they don’t want true skill or ability, i mean did you see Herbie? It was terrible. And Britney, well who cares.

        • BloggSavvy,

          I am sure he’ll manage his brand well, In fact at the University of Michigan Phelps studied sports marketing and management, so assuming he learned something in class and applies it, he might have a good chance to leverage his brand.

        • Yea, he is a smart guy. I think he knows what he is doing based on the last Olympics.

          As for the general public, you are right. We are looking for what Britney does next or what Lindsay is doing. Not sure if that is a good thing, but it seems we love celebrities. For example I even knew Herbie Fully Loaded was going to be a shitty movie, but watched it because Lindsey was in it.

          By the way, did Lindsay really kiss another chick? (going search Google for a pic)

        • Neil, Lindsay did kiss another chick who does not look like a chick. Don’t bother Googling. LOL

        • Thanks for the heads up! Sadly, I already Googled it and saw the picture. 😉

          It is kind of hard to stop a guy from looking at 2 chicks kissing.

  14. Internet Shopping US :

    He has won till now 8 Golds in an Olympic, an history of olympic, now he is a golden man…
    congratulations to him n us.

    • Who would have thought one guy would have that many gold medals.

      • Ruchit Surati :

        Himself only Neil,

        This cant be achieved without a determination so strong. 2 days back I came across a wonderful article on ‘phelps at the age of 11’ and it also did include a photograph of phelps by then. One should just look at his face and wonder what was going inside his mind. That photo-grpah did tell 1000 words of what he was intending to do..

  15. With so many of the Olympic races, it seems that at the last minute is when things can change. People get that burst of energy or something inside them that causes them to move faster.

    As for the Saprano’s, here are 11 things you can learn from them.

  16. …And shave off all of your body hair.

    • LOL. In Michael’s case it makes him faster, which helped him accomplish his goals. For most people, I don’t think it would help them with their goals.

  17. Phelps made around 5 million estimated for each gold medal he won. That is a large sum compared to any of the other athletes who won gold. He not only set the record with medals but he also marketed himself in a way to make him humble and an all american guy. Business wise he is doing it right.

  18. What makes Phelps a team player?
    Who cares, he’s extremely rich

    • Not sure if he participated in any team sports or not, but he seems like he would do well in a team environment. I was just listing out qualities that Olympians may have.

      As for money, it isn’t everything.

  19. Even if he is not good at business, being successful as he is, it is hard not to earn that much of money.

  20. DoublePlus Ecommerce :

    Good list! Wish we could all be that talented and famous. But I don’t want to do it for amateur status 😉

  21. Learn from your mistakes! You may not succeed today, but tomorrow can be a fresh start if you realize where you failed or how far you are behind. Set your ego aside and adjust.

  22. I think passion is the key, above all. If you love what you are doing with a fire in your belly, you will figure out the rest.

  23. haha, shave off all of your body hair is a nice thought.

  24. It’s amazing how simple these steps are yet so easy to get sidetracked and forget all about them.

  25. Custom Silicone Bracelets :

    That is some good advise, so that leads me to ask was it really Michal Phelps’ advice or was it yours Neil?

    • Michael Phelps. 😉 He is a much more talented guy than I am.

      • Custom Silicone Bracelets :

        Now do we really trust this drunk driving, stoner? I’ve never really “looked up” to Phelps but there are or were a lot of people that did and now that these charges of him taking a bong hit how much of his image is destroyed. Even with an apology do you think he will ever get back to the pedestal he was on?

  26. Also number 5 is very important. Too often you’ll get ahead of the competition then congratulate yourself and put your feet up only to find that all your competitors are way ahead.

    • Same thing happens in a basketball game. You’re up by 10 points with just a few minutes to play. You begin to slack and guess what,the other team catches up. What does this mean? One should play till the very end.

  27. Make sure you smoke some pot every once in a while. Haah, just kidding. Had to mention it. You are right; people will definitely remember his accomplishments more than those other things. Besides milking it for all its worth, I think its always important to learn to leave on a high note. Leave while things are going well, before they start to go downhill.

    Till then,


  28. I think Everybody doesn’t have this luck which is “donot do which you dont love”.

    • You’ll only just be miserable if you do something you hate. Follow your passion and you’ll be able to create a much happier life.

  29. list of directories :

    All really great tips. Google analytics is by far the best free tool out there to keep statistics on a website. All the things mentioned in this article are spot on. Marketing does not have to be expensive since there are so many revenues out there in which you can market for free. I think one huge point you make is the making a buzz. If you make a huge buzz on a post you write, people will come flocking to your site. It can sometimes have a snowballing effect and really pick up the traffic to your site.

  30. Interesting Idea, but its more profitable and enjoyable for the rulers of our world to see blood and gore unfortunately.

  31. Ewa Gahagan :

    I’m not saying that your accomplishments aren’t impressive, because they are, it’s just that too many people know about this and are following YOU!

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