Sports and Selling

Successful small business coach and competitive athlete Urs Koenig shared a great story that relates to how we craft the environment around us. Urs runs Redpoint Consulting, and writes about a recent bike race he participated in:

In early July I completed a long-distance bike classic in the Pacific Northwest of the US: the Seattle to Spokane. The 284-mile (460km), non-stop race crosses Washington State on hilly Route 2.

Together with three riders I met during the race, we set a new course record, finishing in just over 14 hours, averaging just above 20 miles per hour (32.5 km/h).

Of course, I trained hard (with the exception of two weeks on the beach in Hawaii ;-), and yes, I rode smart and made sure I was taking in enough fluids and calories.

However, all this would not have been enough if I hadn’t had the right support crew!

My three-person crew not only provided me with the necessary nutrition, clothing, saddle cream and directions; most important was their mental support. After 175 miles and two major climbs, when the long day turned into a REALLY long day with another 100 miles to go, they found exactly the right words (or screams rather) of encouragement. Their cheering, mental and emotional support made all the difference and played an integral role in my success.

When my legs were getting really heavy and my neck became very sore, I knew that my support crew strongly believed I would not drop from the top group of riders. So I told myself: I had better believe it too! Knowing they were there supporting me and counting on me in the face of a huge challenge made me push myself even further than I would have otherwise.

On the long and psychologically challenging rollers of Eastern Washington, I learned once again:
Going it alone in sports, like in business, is tough enough. Making sure we have the right support crew is an indispensable part of success!

For your business, start building and expanding your support crew:
+Become a member of a peer group (start asking around your colleagues
+and friends and then go and check out different groups out) Build your Board of Advisors (read an article I have written on that here)
+Revisit your choice of Attorney, Banker, Book keeper, Coach, Consultant, CPA, etc: Are you surrounding yourself only with people who are true partners in your success and who provide you with nothing but top-notch advice?
+Revisit your staff list: Are you truly only employing the best?

To Urs' point - there is no need to go it alone as a sales professional - whether in management or account manager or sales rep. Craft your environment carefully - set time in your schedule to find ways to surround yourself with ideas and people there for your support. If they are not internal to your organization - no problem - they are elsewhere. Find them!

And with all this talk about biking - it reminds me to not forget about work/life balance. If you don't immediately know what that is...... then you might just need some.

We’ve got even more coming

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