Why Racing Has Helped Me Compete in Business
As I close the Log Book on my third year of “Club Racing” with the SCCA, I have an epiphany: “Racing is extremely similar to business.” Racing, by its definition, is competition. Business is competition. What qualities are necessary to compete and win? Here are four ways, I have learned through my racing experiences that have benefited me as a business owner.
Sometimes, You Have to Follow the Rules
I hate following rules; I always have. Admittedly, I missed some opportunities by not following “the rules.” However, I like to win. Before racing, I had been competitive. However, after racing for a few years I’ve learned how much effort it takes to compete to win. Discipline is paramount. I must be prepared physically, psychologically, logistically, and financially. Because I love racing, I discover more strength than I believed I possess. I have learned how to push myself in a controlled, scientific manner, and it is working. Largely due to the discipline, I often lacked before. Secondly, winning requires following the rules, sometimes.
Planning is Important
When I read the sentence, this seems obvious. However, I never was truly prepared to win until I started racing. Is the car ready? Is the trailer ready? Are the tools together? Are the reservations made? Who’s the first to drive? I used to believe I was prepared. I was not. Witnessing and experiencing a wide array of crazy “stuff” between racing, and getting to the racing, has taught me what prepared is. Racing has helped me to become far more organized as a business owner, and more prepared than ever to fulfill clients’ needs to my best ability. The bottom line is that if I want to win, I must plan, and plan well.
Cult of Personality
Due to my love of racing, I have developed far more patience. Why? In order to race, you must “deal” with a diverse range of “Type A” personalities. Does this sound like most businesses? However, if you want to win, you must work with others as a team, as well as deal professionally with Race Directors, Tech people, other racers, and so on. It is a microcosm of my previous business environments. Racing has directly increased my patience, and tolerance of various viewpoints, and helped avoid conflicts.
The Aching Piggy Bank
While there are many facets of racing I celebrate, cost is not one of them. For better or worse, racing is expensive and requires careful budgeting. It is easy to get lost in cool toys, new products, better gear, etc. However, I want to spend as much time on the track as possible. I have been able to form relationships with organizations that give me a break on some of the costs. This also ties in with personality types. I use points as much as possible for motel stays, which means I have found better deals on credit cards. I must account for my costs and expenses, which drives me to reduce them. I want to keep the piggy bank plump and off crutches.
More than anything, racing has made me focused, goal-oriented, and inspired me to push myself. I only go faster if I believe in myself. I must push past my threshold. This is the beginning of my journey racing, and I am looking forward to learning much more that I can apply to business.