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Lindsey Vonn racing toward victory
Lindsey Vonn racing toward victory

When I saw that Lindsey Vonn would be speaking at Denver’s 7th annual Start Up Week, I fully admit that I went all fan girl and signed up for her presentation, “The Beauty of Building a Second Career.”

I wasn’t sure what to expect by this world and Olympic champion ski racer and what advice she could offer on starting a second career. Surprisingly, her tips for starting a second career translate to almost anything in business. From a marketing communications perspective, Vonn was refreshing, honest, well-spoken and funny. She’s also very busy. She has a documentary film coming out in November, a memoir at the end of February, and will be launching a beauty brand sometime late this spring. While she didn’t spill all the details on the beauty brand, she did say she’s extremely involved, she’s the primary investor and has hired PR and social media agencies to help with the launch.

Following are some of the key takeaways from her presentation:

Tip #1: Surround Yourself with Smart Coaches

In Vonn’s case, she mentioned that before her recent retirement, she had an entire team of coaches, trainers, physical therapists, ski techs, etc. who all played critical roles in her success. In business, it’s about surrounding yourself with a team of people that push you, who you can learn from, and who are role models.

Tip #2: Push Boundaries

To be successful in your career or starting your own business, it’s important to accept that failure is inevitable. Starting and growing a business, just like your career, will be about trial and error. And just like in life, you never stop learning.

Tip #3: Embrace Momentum and Use it to Overcome Obstacles

Vonn was honest about using her celebrity to help launch her beauty brand. While it was something she’d wanted to do for a long time, she needed the right time and team to have the courage to make it happen. Her advice: Think about what inspires you and drives your passion for your business and use that endurance to get you through the tough days.

Tip #4: Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

No one can be successful in their career or in business on their own. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. It’s important to be vulnerable, show your humility and know when to ask for help from people who are much more experienced than you.

Only time will tell whether the launch of her new business will be successful, but it looks like Lindsey Vonn, who admittedly still misses the competition, is already well on her way to her next successful career.

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