Does success in one area of life carry over to others?
Joyce Park stashed this in Practice
I've often heard in Silicon Valley that success in one area of life -- e.g. team sports -- is somehow predictive of success in others -- e.g. entrepreneurship. Is there any evidence that this is true, beyond simple class bias? I was personally raised in a more traditional belief system which posited that it was hubristic for any individual to ask for too many gifts from the gods... e.g. excellence in business almost guaranteed an unhappy personal life and vice versa.
Athletes get better jobs: http://www.bakadesuyo.com/do-athletes-get-better-jobs And make better managers: http://www.bakadesuyo.com/do-former-athletes-make-better-managers
More to your point, you can look at it like a war between deliberate practice (mastery/specialization) and diversity of skills/experience. If you spend the 10,000 hours it's theorized you need to become an expert at something, you're most likely going to be lacking in other areas -- or you're going to be really old. On the other hand, and this is relevant to your point and to the athletic analogy, some skills are transferable, like leadership: http://www.bakadesuyo.com/are-leadership-skills-transferable
So the question may be how different are the two areas *really*? If they're both heavy on management and leadership (people skills), then maybe it's not too much to ask to be a great athlete and a great entrepreneur...
Eric, you make an excellent point -- whether a great athlete or a great entrepreneur, you have the drive, taste, and desire to be great.
So I refer to this in our how to become great convo: http://pandawhale.com/convo/21/how-to-become-great