I don t know about you, but I have been engrossed in the Olympics over the past few days and have just been awestruck by the amazing displays of athleticism, perseverance and drive!

Now, since I am likely not going to be training for a Olympic Triathalon or the 200 Butterfly any time soon, I started thinking about what I can learn from these amazing athletes that translates to my Internet Business. Well, a lot actually.

In listening to many interviews with the Gold Medal Olympians, there were four common reasons they cited that they believed helped them to achieve their Olympic Dreams. Here are four essential elements you will need to consistently “Win Gold” in your Virtual Assistant Business:

1. Set Clear and Measurable Goals for Your Virtual Business

These Gold Medalists were CERTAIN about their goals – they knew what specific time they would need to achieve in order to break a record and ultimately secure themselves at the top of the podium!

How clear and measurable are your goals for your Virtual Assistant Business right now? Are they realistic? Do they help you to stay focussed on the priorities and tasks you need to accomplish on a day to day basis. Are they measurable? This last one is key. One of your goals might be to “Increase Your Client Base This Year”. This is a great goal, but it is not specific or measurable. A specific goal might look like this:

“Increase My Client Base to 10 new clients and $25000 more billable hours in 2008?

That is a measurable goal! I know for myself that I have four specific goals for my business that shape and define my priorities and tasks each and every day. Without those goals, I would be like a “Ship without a Rudder”, with no clear sense of where I am going.

A “Gold Medal” Virtual Assistants sets clear, specific and measurable goals!

2. Establish Consistent Training Patterns.

The Gold Medalists interviewed all spoke to the rigourous training regimes they endured over the past four years to help prepare them for this Olympic Event. You think of a swimmer like Michael Phelps. Sure, he is sheer Genetic Perfection for swimming with his Long Torso, flexible body, huge flipper-like feet and 6 7 wing span – But, that is not the sole reason he consistently finishes first. It is direct result of a systematic and consistent training program over the last four years that has prepared him for greatness!

Similarly with your business, it is imperative to build in regular training/learning times in your daily, weekly and monthly schedules. One of the traps of running your own Virtual Business is that you get so consumed with the day to day tasks of the biz, that you fail to spend any quality time on learning new skills and technology, investing in professional development and trying to stay current in your industry. If you don t discipline yourself to learning new things, you will be left behind!

In order to ensure that you remain as current and equipped as possible, you need to create a block of time possibly each week where you shut off all your work and you simply read ebooks, articles or blog posts, listen to webinars and take online courses. As a Virtual Assistant, I would recommend taking a look at our training programs at VAClassroom as this will keep you that much more current and competitive in a fast-growing Virtual Assistance Industry!

I normally will take a 3 hour block each week to catch up on my reading, learning new skills and listening to podcasts and webinars. I try to do whatever it takes to ensure that I am using the most current tools to build my business to the next level!

A Gold Medal Virtual Assistant is a relentless and consistent learner!

3. Persevere, Persevere and then Persevere some more!

The successful Olympians adopt a “No Quit” attitude and persevere through the good times and trials of their Olympic career. All successful Olympians at one point in their career had to overcome some obstacles that blocked their way to Olympic stardom.

Now I have discussed this topic before, but I cannot stress enough the important role that perseverence and endurance play in building a successful business. Many of you have been through those times where there are virtually no clients and little revenues coming through the door and it is so easy to just pack in the business. It is during these times when you need to take stock of why your started this business in the first place and what are those goals you are trying to accomplish. This will motivate you and help you to exhaust all avenues to building your client base and income opportunities.

It is important to recognize that obstacles, challenges and adversity are a natural part of the journey towards Gold Medal Winning Performances! Don t give up! Be sure to not miss the “little successes” that are happening in your business during those difficult days. Today, you might have met two new prospective clients in a Facebook group – that is a small victory as this could ultimately lead to two new clients!

A Gold Medal Virtual Assistant has an extraordinary level of sticktuitiveness!

4. Find a Mentor, Coach or Friend that will Support You In Your Business Endeavors.

In all the interviews I watch with these Gold Medal Winning Athletes, the common thread was having a supportive family, coach, friend or mentor that was “in their corner” and encouraging them to achieve their dreams at against all odds! I listened to the Gold Medal Winning Gymnast from the United States today talk about the pivotal role her Dad and coach played in helping her to achieve her Olympic dreams!

We ALL need find someone that will be a consistent source of encouragement and wisdom for our businesses. It can be a lonely place working in a Virtual Business to start with, but not having any mentor or major supporter can make it that much more difficult!

So, there you have it, four elements to achieving Gold Medal Success in your business!