Winning Your Race

I live in Louisville, Kentucky in the USA. Last weekend was the biggest weekend of our year—the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby. There’s a week full of parties, schools are closed the day before, and people have been planning their outfits for months.

And the race only lasts two minutes. Crazy, huh?

Well, even though the actual race may not be very long, there’s way more that happens behind the scenes. Horses are bred, and trained for three years. Trainers and jockeys develop their expertise over decades. Plans are made to build a horse’s record—which races to enter, where to travel, etc.—prior to that first Saturday in May. And once the race is over, there are plans to be made for continued post-Derby careers.

I’ve often thought of my business like a race—there are moments of great visibility and success, surrounded by many, many more moments of behind-the-scenes work. Designing and maintaining websites, creating a solid line of products, even writing regular blog posts—all contribute to the overall impact of those bright, shining moments.

You don’t have to do it all at once. Just as it’s impossible to jam three years worth of training into a newborn colt, it’s impossible to jam everything you need to do to make your business successful into a week, a month, maybe even a year. I know this is tougher than it sounds, especially when we’re surrounded by marketing messages from folks who claim to be overnight successes.

If you’re putting pressure on yourself to make it all happen now, take a breath. Try and pick just a few things to focus on. I suggest:

  1. Pick three things you’re going to accomplish by the end of this year.
  2. Then, pick three things you’re going to do each month to reach that goal.
  3. Then, pick three things you’re going to do each week to reach those monthly goals.

You can handle three things a week, right? Right. At when you achieve your goal, create your own winner’s circle celebration.

Speaking of celebrations…let us know in the comments what you’re ready to celebrate right now. We’ll raise a mint julep to you!

In the same hat I’ve worn every Derby since 2013. I think I’m breaking some obscure Kentucky law…


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