Olympian Evan Lysacek on how to stay focused at work

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Olympian Evan Lysacek is quick to say that he was never the best skater on the ice.

“I felt that I was never as naturally talented or, overall, as good as my competitors,” the 29-year-old tells us. “But I always felt that if I could outwork them, then I could outperform them.”

That hard work paid off for the figure skater in 2010, when he took home the gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics. Along with Paralympic swimmer Brad Snyder, Lysacek has been touring college campuses across the country as part of Deloitte’s Road Show with Team USA. The two athletes have been speaking about their career journeys and how they carved a path to success.

We caught up with Lysacek after his recent appearance at New York University and asked him for his tips on how ambitious readers can achieve their career goals.

Don’t let anxiety derail you:Lysacek often speaks of the anxiety that temporarily threw him off during his routine in the Vancouver trials. Since then, he’s come up with several ways to manage his anxiety but says things aren’t perfect. “It’s constantly evolving,” he says. “It’s like chasing a moving target. But for me, as much as I can bring the preparation in to manage the stress and anxiety, I do it.”

Keep your eyes on the prize: Competing as a teen, Lysacek admits that he did have moments where he wished that he could have hung out with friends instead of constantly heading to the rink. “It’s an abnormal life,” he admits. “But I’m sure that there are a lot of fields where that same sacrifice and discipline come in.”

Be willing to change course: After skating for more than half his life, Lysacek recently started embarking on a new career in real estate. “I’m learning a new industry and taking on as much responsibility as I can,” he says. “And I’m just trying to bring a lot of the ideals that I learned in my first chapter into this.” But, he adds, he hasn’t left skating behind and will be going on tour in March. Balancing the two worlds has been interesting. “I’m very sore all of the time. I’m thinking about contracts, leasing, square footage while also trying to think about skating technique,” he says.

Follow LakshmiGandhi on Twitter @LakshmiGandhi.

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