Chapter 14: WIN THE HURDLE RACE IF YOU WANT TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS

The similarities of entering and winning a hurdle race have a strong bearing on entering and succeeding in business so let us look at these similarities. The race being of 110 metres long and 10 hurdles to jump.

1.  Before you even get to the starting blocks you must be qualified to enter the race. You must be fit, have the right mental approach, and realise that the competition could be tough. Perhaps most importantly you must have confidence in your ability to win.

In respect of business, whether starting up or buying you must likewise be healthy, the strains on you can be great. You must have the right aptitude and mental approach. If you do not recognise that you have competition you are doomed to failure.

2. You must have trained hard and know that you have the right approach to race in a 110 metre hurdle race and you have a good chance of success

In business you must have done your homework and understood what business is all about and in particular you must have a sound knowledge of the market that you are entering.

3. Although athletics may be for the young-veteran and disability races are now coming to the fore, so the basic rules set out in this paper can likewise apply. The pace may not be so fast but the confidence and ability must still be there, with the will to win.

There is no reason that if aged? and having been retrenched etc whilst you can’t enter the business race. In many respects you may not be so fast (especially with the laptop) but you will have experience and knowledge to counter the age problem.

4. To be successful in the hurdle race you can have the fitness but need coaching to ensure that you can take advantage of the coach’s knowledge and tactics.

Business, is no different, experienced coaches can iron out many problems which you may face and which will help you to win the race against the competition.

5. On the starting block you must wear the right clothing, especially the shoes and listen carefully to the referee’s gun. You must not have a false start,  which if repeated can end in you being disqualified, so you must wait for your next race to prove yourself.

In business you must have the right systems, especially with respect to administration. If you have not done your homework and recognised that cash is king you will soon realise that you are not going to make it, so will fail-at least you may have learnt from your mistakes and can start again.

6. When the race has started you must keep your head down and jump the hurdles. If you hit any of them and fall, you may not finish the race and may even be injured, and even if you do finish you may come in last.

In business, you must clear the hurdles which will confront you, these would include, good administration systems and implementation, understanding people, sales and marketing (competition)-understanding financial control, understanding financial documents, legal compliance, let the signer beware, how to negotiate, when to retire, not having bad habits. Failure in these 10 areas and there are many more, could result in you being financially injured or even going belly up.

7. In the race bad conditions (rain) can have a bearing on the course-and you can slip and fall for reasons not of your making.

In business-you can likewise fail for reasons outside your control. In the present climate the economic downturn can have a major impact on your business, as doe’s crime.

8. During the race you must concentrate on the hurdles ahead, and not look around to see where the opposition is-this can result in you losing your momentum and losing your place.

In business-it is a common failing of small business owners to take their eye of the ball, and look for other opportunities and not concentrate on their business, resulting in their business going down hill.

9. Your main objective in the race is to win and past the finishing line first-having beaten the opposition.

In business you want to beat your competition by being better than they are. In the next race you want to repeat your success. It is said that you must be a good loser in the hurdle race. In business it is a different story, if you lose you reduce your profits, hence the reason to win as much as you can, but you must keep to the rules contained herein.

10. If you win the race you are rewarded, maybe a medal or a cup, but the enjoyment is in winning.

In business you are also rewarded, by having made better profits. Be a good loser and win the business race honestly and be compliant.

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