I am not a betting man. No. Never have been, although I do enjoy the odd game of craps at the $5 table in Vegas. But not for the money. No, not for the money. I enjoy the fun for about 30 minutes maximum. But, for me, it’s the people watching that is so much fun!
This past weekend was the running of the Belmont Stakes. It’s been a tradition for 130 years. A long-standing tradition. The culture runs deep.
Like all traditions that stand the test of time, it’s the people who carry it forward. Not the horses. I find it fascinating how the human race can put their minds to anything and yield great results. How is it, I wondered, that we can do anything we put our minds to? What a gift we have been given. The gift of imagination. The gift of believing deeply.
Now, as I mentioned, I am not a betting man. Well, at least not in the traditional sense. Saying that, I am an entrepreneur, always have been. I’m working on my 9th business venture these days at MonkeyMedia Software. Talk about a long race…….
As I consider my professional work history, I realize that in fact, I AM a betting man. I have been betting on my “business horses” my whole life. Thing is, along the way, I didn’t realize all the races that I had won and lost. Not sure it matters that much, but it is interesting.
I never looked at it that way. Not until I watched a horse named Desert Blanc race this past weekend at Belmont in the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap which was the 10th race that day.
What a beautiful animal.
What does a horse have to do with a blog post that is supposed to be focused on the restaurant industry? Well, watch Desert Blanc in this race first. Then I’ll tell you!
Did you see the way Desert Blanc won that race? The explosive ending? The graceful gallop of a well-trained and seasoned beauty? The strategy? The leadership of the jockey? I can go on.
Well, if Desert Blanc has any emotional intelligence (and horses do), then he would be shedding tears of victory. For me, what is so fantastic about this horse, is not just the outstanding beauty, grace and power that is obvious. For me, it’s about potential. The potential to win, to compete hard. The potential to win even when the odds are against you. We are built to achieve great things, but in the end, it is our minds that defeat us or allow us to prosper. It takes great strength. Great discipline. Great focus.
As spectators, we always see the fantastic results. The win! But, we don’t get to see the process. The process of the team that cares for this amazing champion. Painstakingly sourcing the best care, food and training. Just like our businesses. Sourcing qualified resources and investing properly in our “business horse”. If we do that religiously, our time will come. Yes it will. You just can’t stop believing. Investing. We must nurture our investments.
You see, this is a story of leadership. Just like you and I, as we nurture our businesses, even if we don’t want to be, we are betting on our horses. We have no choice. We don’t really look at it that way, but it’s the same. We need leadership, focus, training and personal care. Just like Desert Blanc. We need resources. We need a team of handlers. People that have passion and believe that “we can win”! If we don’t believe, we simply don’t win. We give up.
These days, I feel as if I am preparing my team for our big race. The stakes are high, the adrenalin is flowing and the goal is clear. To be a world-class organization requires all of the elements of winning a horse race. We need to believe and we need to be patient. The marks of true champions.
The thing is, we have to remember that in business, like in horse racing, races are won during practice. Relentless practice. Trying new things. Getting enough rest. Taking risks! Yes, taking BIG risks! Showing up each and every day even if it’s muddy at the stable. Keep slugging.
So, I’ll leave you today to ponder your next racing opportunity. If you are feeling beaten, tired or simply need to pick yourself up, just look to Desert Blanc. This horse won a race out of nowhere. You can to.
I will focus my team today on simply having a great practice! What about you?
Enjoy your day.