Bodybuilding, Entrepreneurship, and Leadership – by Max Swahn

When comparing the life of a bodybuilder to that of an entrepreneur, it may not seem as though the two would have a lot in common.  However that is simply not true.  A bodybuilding lifestyle requires many of the same skills as an entrepreneur and leader.  It is not surprising that an entrepreneur would be disciplined, organized, motivated, dedicated and have a competitive nature.  But to reach the body’s full potential; a bodybuilder must possess and apply all these same skills.

Managing and adhering to a strict diet of healthy proteins and fats requires tremendous discipline.  A bodybuilder must be very organized when scheduling time for meal prep and workouts within the confines of daily life.  It takes great motivation to constantly push to achieve the best version of him/her self.  There is always something that can be improved.  Goals are set and constantly evolving, but the ‘finish line’ is never truly achieved.  The constant need to maintain or build something better is always on the horizon.

A bodybuilder is dedicated to being the best.  Whether that means constantly working to achieve the best version of him/her self or competing against others in a formal competition – the goal is to be better.  Better than you are now.  Better than your competition.

As you can see, bodybuilders possess many of the same essential skills as entrepreneurs.  But it doesn’t stop with just fitness.  These skills can be applied to all facets of life. Not only do bodybuilders possess these skills and apply them to their fitness lifestyle, many carry that beyond fitness and apply these skills as successful entrepreneurs and leaders.  Discipline, organization, motivation, dedication and a competitive nature are indispensible skills whether you are a bodybuilder, entrepreneur or both.

This article was originally posted on Max Swahn’s Thrive Global account. 

 

The Arnold Sports Festival

The Arnold Sports Festival

Founded in 1989 in Columbus, Ohio as a 1 day bodybuilding competition named The Arnold Classic, the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Arnold Sports Festival (ASF) has grown to become the largest 4-day multi-sport event in the world.  Held not only in the United States, the ASF is also currently held in Australia, Europe, Brazil and Africa.

According to PCMA, the Professional Convention Management Association,  “In 1989, after winning the Mr. Olympia contest in Columbus every year between 1970-1975, bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with sports promoter Jim Lorimer, launched the very first Arnold Sports Festival. What began as a small, one-day professional bodybuilding competition in Columbus, with just 24 competitors, is now an international four-day festival that features more than 80 sports and events and draws more athletes than the Olympics!.”

Featuring over 22,000 athletes from around the world, it now encompasses not only bodybuilding (the Arnold Classic), but strongman (the Arnold Strongman Classic), fitness, figure and bikini competitions (professional and amateur), and so much more.

These athletes will compete in more than 80 different events including a record 16 Olympic events. The ASF website lists the 16 Olympic events as: “archery, boxing, fencing, futsal, gymnastics, handball, judo, karate, a 5K run, soccer, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon and weightlifting.”  In addition to the 22,000 athletes, it is expected that more than 200,000 sports and fitness fans will descend upon the Columbus Ohio area to cheer on their favorite athletes.  Events will be held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, the Ohio Expo Center and various other central Ohio venues.

Major events include the 32nd annual Arnold Classic, the Arnold Strongman Classic, the Arnold Amateur Strongman and World Championships, and the Arnold Amateur NPC Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure, Bikini and Physique Championships.   The Arnold Fitness EXPO, featuring more than 1,000 booths and exhibitors, is the nation’s largest health and fitness exposition.  Showcasing leading industry businesses and featuring the latest in sports equipment, apparel and nutrition; there will be four stages hosting unique, non-stop competitions and entertainment.

In addition to the traditional events, the Arnold Sports Festival (ASF) will debut a new amateur “wellness division” and Arnold Education in 2020.  According to the NPC News online website, the wellness division is “for females with athletic physiques that showcase more body mass in the hips, glutes and thigh areas. The upper body is developed but not to the same degree as the lower body.”  Other new events in 2020 will include WPO Powerlifting, Medieval Fighting, Teen Strongman, Cup Stacking, ROGUE World Weightlifting Challenge and more.

If you are interested in learning the methods and science behind the athletics, Arnold Education may be for you.  ASF has teamed up with the training company Dominate Your Game!.  The ASF website explains:  “With top speakers from strength & conditioning, sports nutrition, rehabilitation, fitness & health, and the sport sciences, you will have the opportunity to be exposed to the best research in the industry, and also learn how to apply it in the real world, for yourself and your clients.”

From an expanded kids and teens EXPO, to the new wellness division and Arnold Education, to the Arnold Classic and Strongman competitions – there is something for everyone.  No matter your age, whether you are a professional, amateur or fan you won’t be disappointed.  The festival will be held in Columbus, Ohio March 5th – 8th 2020.

To see all 80+ sports, events and schedules and to get your tickets, check out the official Arnold Sports Festival website.

Who knows, maybe you will be lucky enough to see the man himself!

 

Why An Engineering Background Sets Entrepreneurs Up For Success

Many people believe that going to school to study engineering means that the student is destined to do nothing more than work for a company as an engineer. According to recent data, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, an engineering background gives people the tools needed to be a successful entrepreneur. So how exactly does engineering set up business owners for success?

  • Always Maximizing Work Efficiency
  • The Ability to Adapt and Accept Change
  • Identifying and Utilizing Strengths and Weaknesses

Always Maximizing Work Efficiency

Engineers are constantly looking for the most efficient ways to design products and improve process flow. As new information demonstrates that these improvements are possible, they are more than willing to implement these new ideas for better efficiency results. This is the same tactic as is employed in the business world. Those who are willing to implement new ideas for the sake of efficiency are usually able to get more done in a shorter period of time.

The Ability to Adapt and Accept Change

Some more traditional managers and business leaders may find that they are stuck in their ways and ultimately end up holding the company back from the true potential. Those with an engineering background however realize that change is one of the biggest ways to progress forward. After all, engineering as a whole relies on change to better meet the needs of the world. By applying these same principles to the world of business, an engineer can provide a unique perspective on the company and continue to propel the business into the future while leaving outdated techniques in the past.

Identifying and Utilizing Strengths and Weaknesses

Much like an engineer, business leaders must identify a variety of problems in the workplace and come up with ways to solve them. This is often done by identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each employee in the company. By better understanding who is best suited for what job and who should avoid certain areas of the business, the company workflow will be far more productive and will progress with fewer issues.  Even the weaknesses of particular employees can be turned into strengths when the right opportunities are identified.

Why Engineering Curriculums Need to Leverage the Role of Innovation

Engineering is a profession that encompasses a wide-range of services and vocations. No matter what type of engineer someone wants to become, they need  a good education in order to be successful, but this is where some schools are falling short. According to entrepreneur.com, there are several ways to bridge the gap between industry requirements and academic curriculums.

Technology

Any good infrastructure needs to start with the right tools. The proper technology will provide the methods needed to teach students at a professional level, which will lead to competent and well-educated engineers when they graduate. By having quality technology, students will be better equipped to handle engineering problems out in the real world.

Teachers

Having the right instructor is also very important in any learning process. Studies show that people respond well to teachers who care. By introducing interactive classrooms and techniques, students can learn more effectively and feel comfortable providing feedback. Engaging in discussion groups, participating in role-play and having debates are all innovative ways students can learn. By including everyone in the process, nobody feels left out and the students end up helping each other.

Collaborators

Being too insular can be a bad thing, even in the most successful groups. Students should be able to collaborate on things like research studies, creating curriculums, and getting real-world experience, even visiting and attending rival universities. By having students and faculty working together, potential gaps in education can be filled, creating more well-rounded and experienced students. Getting students into internships is also key, since the real world is vastly different than the academic point of view one gets from sitting in a classroom.

Innovation

The field of engineering is extremely data-driven, and it’s not especially entertaining or colorful, therefore it is always important to encourage innovation. Teaching students basic business skills is another great way to create well-rounded students because it helps them combine their engineering degree with the skills to handle business strategies and startups. Creating open minds is very important in the field of engineering because it helps students to think outside the box.

Finding Your Fit

Every individual has his or her own unique set of skills, and brings with them different competencies. It is important to help people find jobs that are a good fit – that focus on their strengths and career goals. Having a good understanding of the field, the companies involved in the industry and the aspirations of the individual will help provide the best outcomes for all involved.  Ultimately, the goal is to have the perfect fit between the individual and the company. If schools actively expose their students’ to a variety of companies through internships and co-ops, it’s a win-win after all. Higher graduate employment rates help schools attract the best talent. Exposure to real world career experience helps the most talented students secure their ideal job after graduation.

Robert Lang: Using Engineering to Bring Origami to Life

Robert Lang has worked as a physicist, engineer, and R&D manager. He has authored or co-authored over 80 technical publications and has 50 patents awarded/pending on semiconductor lasers, optics and integrated optoelectronics. He wrote his PhD thesis on semiconductor lasers, with a focus on laser geometries and spectral properties. He also worked as a physicist, researching lasers for NASA. In 2001 however, Robert Lang left all of that behind to pursue his lifelong passion of origami.

In the origami universe, Lang is highly renowned. He currently has a catalog of over 500 designs, but it’s not just his stunningly beautiful and highly detailed work that makes him famous. He is actually making a difference in the world. Some of his techniques have been applied towards fixing real-world engineering problems and complex medical procedures.

In addition to his own love for origami, he also enjoys helping others and has written books and created software to teach people how to implement designs. One of his programs, TreeMaker is able to construct a crease pattern from any simplistic “tree” (stick figure) drawing. His other program, ReferenceFinder, can take an existing pattern and provide a step-by-step computer-generated folding sequence. This folding program incorporates the seven truths about origami folding, known as the Huzita-Justin axioms. These are a set of mathematical rules related to the principles of paper folding.

While Lang was an artist-in-residence at MIT, he gave a lecture about origami and its relationship to mathematical notions. He also gave a highly-praised TED Talk entitled “The Math And Magic Of Origami”. During this lecture, he demonstrated how mathematics and the invention of an origami “language” have led to the industry-changing forms of origami that are starting to appear. We are no longer creating simple origami cranes. Based on its innate ability to fold and unfold at any time, the concept of origami has transformed how we design, manufacture, assemble and package many of today’s products. Origami is inspiring engineers to look beyond traditional designs to make “smart structures”. These new products are able to bend and stretch while providing incredible functionality. During his TED talk, he showed how engineers are basically using 7th-century Japanese art to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems. His foldable glass telescope was one of the highlights.

Thanks to pioneers like Robert Lang, companies have been able to take this design concept even further, creating new and improved versions of automobile airbags and bulletproof police shields. The technology has also impacted space travel, lace-free shoes, foldable kayaks, and temporary “cardborigami” shelters to help homeless people. Scientists studying undersea life now have an underwater bot to safely capture sea creatures for research. Even home decor has been revolutionized by origami lighting. In the health industry, GE Healthcare joined with Brigham Young University to design an origami cover for the arm extension of an operating room X-ray machine, and we now have surgical items that can enter narrow openings in the human body and unfold after insertion, such as probes, forceps, and stents.