We exclusively interviewed Lea Davison, a two-time Olympian in mountain biking. Nine years ago she co-founded Little Bellas, a non-profit, all-girls mentoring mountain bike programme with her sister, Sabra.

Lea has contributed to the brand new Business Start-Up: From Idea to Launch course and she shares with us her 5 top-tips for starting your own business:

  • Just start somewhere. If you’re an Olympian or an elite-level athlete who is transferring out of sport, you have a lot of power and you can make a lot of impact. So you just have to start somewhere, put your head down and do the work and it will work out.
  • Be determined. If you have a goal and you put your mind to it, just like in sport, you can really make big things happen, we started with virtually nothing and now we’re a national non-profit.
  • Have a great team behind the operation. When you’re an elite-level athlete, it truly takes a whole group of people to get great results. That’s proving handy for Little Bellas as well – we’ve assembled a great team.
  • Use your network. My position as a professional mountain biker has really helped grow our non-profit, Little Bellas. I really used a lot of my contacts within the sport, whether it be media or sponsor contacts; just being well networked within the mountain bike world has really helped us.
  • Be willing to listen. Go into it without an ego – be willing to improve and always willing to listen, because there’s a lot to learn and absorb.

You can watch Lea’s full interview, which is part of the Business Start-Up: From Idea to Launch course.