Guest Blog: Business Challenges and Advice

Written by Olivia Mehaffey

My Background

My name is Olivia Mehaffey, I am a professional golfer from Northern Ireland. I started playing golf with my family when I was 6 years old. I immediately fell in love with it and progressed from there. I played local competitions and at a young age I was selected to represent Ireland. This allowed me to travel all around the world playing the sport I love.

After numerous worldwide wins I accepted a scholarship to Arizona State University. Four years later I graduated with a degree in sociology. Moving to America allowed me to gain a new level of independence while studying and playing golf at the highest level. I then decided the timing was right for the next stage in my life and was able to reach my ultimate dream of becoming a professional golfer. I currently play on the Ladies European Tour.

The Challenges

Coming from a small country can bring certain challenges. Although when I face challenges, I like to see them as an opportunity. When looking into colleges in America there had only been an extremely small number of players to go down that route.

This made it harder to figure out if it would be a good fit for me. There were less people from the same country for advice. The same thing now on tour. There are many girls from the same countries on tour allowing them to travel with each other from the same airports. I often travel alone as I am the only player on the Ladies European Tour from Northern Ireland. These challenges have allowed me to become more independent. 

Business Advice

I often find the business and sporting worlds have many similarities.

Based on my experiences in the golfing world I have found the importance of a work life balance. It is very easy to bring thoughts and stress home after a day at work. This makes it very hard to switch off and can cause burn out. I notice a difference in my overall wellbeing when I can find the correct balance between work and life. Being happy away from my job allows me to perform at my best on the golf course.

In business and sport, I believe it is crucial to surround yourself with the correct people. The team around me have a huge effect on my performance. Therefore, it is vital they support me, challenge me, and help me improve daily to achieve our goals.

Communication is at the centre of this and has the most influence. I believe when working with a team it is important to voice your opinion and to all work together. This has helped me and my team achieve a successful working environment.