How To Win

Apr 18, 2017

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Both stories relate to team and individual commitment to overcome adversity and the mental toughness required. This is exactly the same for many successful Entrepreneurs.

In the case of the Super Bowl, the comeback was unprecedented and lead by quarterback Tom Brady, who has quite a bit of winning experience in the Super Bowl. But it wasn’t Brady’s single handed victory – he is one (albeit important) member of a team of up to 45 members, all of whom had to pull together at a time when giving up would be both understandable and easy to do. Not one of the Patriots team thought they were going to lose even at 28-3 down with only 15 minutes of play left. In fact, the only thing Tom Brady did lose was the shirt he had been wearing which disappeared after the game, no doubt to a light-fingered collector who would be wise to not put it on eBay!

Such believe in sport is understandable, but in business it can sometimes be seen as delusion. Many a business has ploughed on when they should have folded or changed direction. Equally history is full of “the one that got away” with business owners on the edge of greatness only to give up when moments away from achieving the dreamed of successes. The decision-making process for keeping going vs call it a day are different for everyone, driven by a variety of business and personal factors. One man’s missed opportunity can be another man’s road to greatness. Many of the most successful entrepreneurs have dug in when everyone around them has questioned their sanity.

Which leads me onto the tale of Americas Cup dreams – a 166 years in the making, with no British yacht ever winning the elusive trophy to date. In 2017 it seems the British entry is “throwing the kitchen sink” at it with dyed in the wool winner Sir Ben Ainslie steering the sailing team of a £100m investment in the high-tech vessel using advanced aerospace and automotive engineering.

The project is overseen by CEO Martin Whitmarsh, who has a history of making champions, having worked with Lewis Hamilton in the Maclaren F1 team. The sailing team members are working out to develop the muscle power and levels of fitness and endurance required to maximise the output of the boat’s hydraulic control systems. All the preparation is counting down to the race which starts on 17th June 2017. Nothing in the preparation is left to chance for this is a winner takes it all head to head with a strong American team. Add into the mix a little rivalry from former team mates now each skippering the two yachts and its looking like a compelling competition regardless of whether you are a sailing fan or not.

In business planning is a critical element of success – yet many a business remains just that, a plan. Whilst there is a lot of truth in the saying “A goal without a plan is just a dream”, a plan without implementation or action is the same. No plan will be perfect and, as an old army saying goes “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy”. Getting started is the first step towards any future success and it’s also one of the hardest.

Once you have taken that plunge the roller coaster ride of being a business owner starts and there is a lot of truth in the saying “You don’t learn until you launch”! Like Tom Brady and Sir Ben, you won’t achieve the levels of success you might dream of without a team or at least a partner, mentor or other “mind” who can think about your business with the same passion as you do. For every creative mind out there, the most successful often partner with an implementer, someone who gets things done, looks at the detail, keeps the wheels on when you are going at 100 miles an hour! They are a critical friend in all senses of the word – testing your assumptions to destruction, challenging the status quo and looking at angles you might not have considered whilst still “towing the line” beside you. With the right partner you have the opportunity for your business to be greater than the sum of its parts, without it your chances of success are diminished or delayed.

Christine Nicholson

The Profit Fixer

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