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5 Business Lessons From Bowling

If you would have asked me a couple of years ago to go bowling I would have said nooo thank you! I didn’t like to bowl. I thought it was boring. But then one day my husband and I went bowling and it was pretty fun.

After a short time we joined a league…and now I can’t believe how much I’ve learned from it! Over the past four years of bowling on a league I can definitely say that it has helped me with my mindset regarding business.

There is no greater challenge than to surpass yourself. ~Author Unknown

I think the reason it helps is because bowling is such an introspective sport. Even though I’m on a team (of 3) and want to do well for my team, I also want to do well for myself so I can keep increasing my average. When I started bowling my average was around an 89. It’s now at 167. I’m pretty proud of that, but I want it to go higher.

In order to get my average to go up I have to bowl high consistently…which is no small feat. As I continue to up my game, I’m always finding things I’m doing wrong or need more practice on. And I can’t help but think am I doing some of the same things in my business as well?

So I started thinking about how bowling relates to my business and I’d have to say that bowling has contributed to my success over this past year (yes, I bowled pregnant too lol)! When I really look at it the biggest lessons are all mindset related. But that makes sense because before we act…we (usually) think first.

Here are five business lessons from bowling:

  • Follow Through. In bowling you must follow through with your arm swing otherwise you will not throw a good shot. If you don’t follow through then you can end up pulling your arm to the left (for a right handed person) or you might throw the ball in the gutter. In business, it’s just as important to follow through on your actions. Whether you have clients or you are mapping out an action plan for a new product, new blog, or whatever new idea you might have. If you don’t follow through you will upset people and yourself and you will definitely not make much progress at all.
  • Who You Learn From Matters. There’s a saying that says…hang around the best if you want to be the best! This is true in bowling, business, and in life! I happen to be married to a professional bowler who also has his certification in coaching too. 🙂 Soooo, with his tips and love/passion for the sport I can learn and follow his instructions and know that I will have good success. And not only that but we have access to other well known professional bowlers as well. In business, it’s even more critical to associate yourself with those who are where you want to be. You might not ‘hang out’ in person, but you can ‘hang out’ where they are (i.e. a blog, private forums, etc.) and interact with them. What makes them successful? What can you take and apply to your business and life?
  • Consistency. This is huge. I would get really mad (and still do) if I bowl a 254 and then turn around and bowl a 120. That just flat out sucks! So, I’m not happy unless I’m consistent. The biggest successes come from doing the same thing on a consistent basis (timing, steps, arm swing). This is true in business as well. If you consistently guest blog, for example, you will drive a lot of traffic and at the same time increase your brand awareness. But if you only guest blog once every few months you are just not going to see the same results. I used to fool myself thinking that I was taking action because I did something ONCE or twice. Real {big} results don’t happen by doing something once or twice. They come by doing them on a consistent basis. This reality is shaping my business right now. How about you?
  • Competitive. Do you like to win? Are you competitive in your business? I never thought of myself as a very competitive person. Sure I liked to win, but I had more of a ‘whatever’ attitude. Until I started bowling that is. When my team is down by 40 pins going into the 9th frame and I MUST perform (i.e. strike out) in order to win, I have to dig down deep and make myself perform because if I want to be successful. My team is counting on me and I want to win.   I feel the same way with my business. I feel driven to be successful no matter how contrary things may seem. Do you feel like that? Even if you are only competing against yourself? How can you out-perform the last thing you did?
  • Get Over It! We have an unspoken 10 second rule on our league…you have 10 seconds to forget about a bad shot. If you don’t then it is highly likely it will mess with you mentally and cause you to throw another bad shot. That is something that you can’t afford to do. Same thing in business. Did you create a product that completely flopped? Did you write up a blog post you thought would get a ton of attention and it bombed? Did you spend all your time on researching keywords and setting up a blog only to find out that your keyword choices were bad? If so, you got 10 seconds to forget about it and move on! They say (whoever they are) that the faster you fail, the faster you will succeed. Is that true in your business? I’ve had many flops, but I don’t care because I know that I have to DO in order to learn. I can’t let my disappointments, my flops, my mess ups stop me from going back out and making something great happen. Can you?

I’m sure there are more business lessons from bowling, but these are the ones that are hitting me now. Hopefully you can take something from this post and apply it to your business and make 2012 your best year ever! Happy New Year!

My son took this video with my phone. I’m not even solid at the line, but I’ll take the strike! 🙂

By Lisa

Hi, I'm Lisa and I help coaches and course creators grow their audiences and increase sales with Facebook ads.

8 replies on “5 Business Lessons From Bowling”


Love bowling, but I’m terrible at it…love playing on the Wii though. lol

You bring up some awesome points…and my favorite is the last…too many people get hung up over their failures and quit too soon. The fact is that we learn the most from our failures and they can help us build the bridge to success.
Rhonda recently posted..766 Free Social Media Icons – Creative Icons for Mom Bloggers

Hey Rhonda! I started playing and liking bowling on the WII lol. Yeah, we can’t focus on our failures. The important thing is that you are learning and you can change and make it better!


I love the analogy. I am not a bowler – (167 seems way out of reach for me!) But I have bowled before and can relate to all the lessons you talked about.

I think a lot of business owners do get caught in lack of follow-through. They have an idea that they think is great and get a little ways into it, then abandon ship. It may be more time-consuming than they thought, or may go on to another project that is newer and shinier:-)

Great post – thank you!
Laurie@Christian Home Business Owners recently posted..Business Growth

Hi Laurie,

That shiny object syndrome sure is a biz killer! I’ve jumped ship many times in the past. I still do it now but on a smaller scale (although it’s still not good!). Thanks for stopping by!

I can relate to finding lessons for business in sports. I play on a soccer team every thursday and just recently learned a valuable lesson, to concentrate on what matters! You know you are an entrepreneur at heart when you find a business lesson in everything you do!

Chris | Sminso recently posted..10 ways I am going to improve my blog posts

HAHA! Yeah didn’t think of that…so true! 🙂

I just love reading your blog posts, Lisa! I have to admit that I am competitive, but in a good way. I look at others and think – if they can, why not me? That is what always motivates me in my own business. I also learn best by doing, and have learned the most from my mistakes. After all, I love that saying: “You don’t make 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
Kim Phoenix recently posted..Introduce Yourself Here

Totally agree Kim! I too am motivated by if others can do it then I can too! 🙂 I also love that saying too…you can’t be successful unless you take action. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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