The former gymnast Neta Rivkin is a three-time Olympian and the first Israeli athlete to win a medal at the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships. Overall, Neta represented Israel at the Olympics in Beijing, London, and Rio de Janeiro.
Neta advises how to deal with complex crises based on her experience throughout her competitive career. At the peak of her career in 2012, Neta dealt with high levels of pressure during the London Olympic games, after her performance failed to fulfill her expectations. Here, she shares how she managed to disconnect herself from a stressful environment and shift her focus and energy to what she can control.
Neta describes what she calls a ‘resilience ball’ - an internal power which gains strength from one competition to another, from crisis to crisis. Despite feeling ‘scared to death’ at times, she managed to constantly utilize her mantra of ‘beating yourself’.
Neta talks about the relationship with the coach who accompanied her for about 20 years, Ella Samofalov, and how critical was her role as a mentor in her way to success.
Neta shares how she discovered her passion for gymnastics at an early age, realizing that this was her destiny since the age of 12. She was willing to do anything to succeed and dedicated about 270 hours of training a month for about a decade. She likens her tremendous commitment to the same ‘Grit’ experienced by entrepreneurs along their own path. Her professional journey, however, came at the expense of her social life.
Retirement was a significant decision. While Neta felt that the decision to quit came at the right time, there was also pressure to find a way to fill the void gymnastics left in her life,a similar void entrepreneurs can expect after their startup shuts down or makes an exit.
Neta’s ability to describe firsthand how to develop a positive, flexible and winning mindset was heartwarming. Developing this mindset is key for entrepreneurs to deal with challenges along their way.