Doesn’t seem like much time, does it? What can you do in 74 seconds and how could that amount of time be meaningful in your life? Just ask world-class cyclist, Janel Holcomb, current #1 NRC Women’s Leader, and she will tell you that it means a lot.
Holcomb was going into the final stage of the Cascade Classic down 74 seconds from the leader. She had not won any of the first four stages. But she had consistently placed in the Top 10. The only exception was the day before the final stage where she finished #21 in the time trial: one of her two areas of expertise.
At this point, she could have let a “negative talk track” affect her performance by saying the other riders are better than me. In fact, on paper, many of them are. They are past Olympic gold medal winners and the majority of them started as a professional cyclist at least 10 years earlier than Janel.
But on the morning of the final stage of the Cascade Classic, Janel’s team coach looked at her and said, “Do you want to play it safe, get some decent points to add to your score, or are we going to go for it?” “It was like she just unleashed some penned up dogs, “ Janel said. I just looked at her and said, “Let’s GO FOR IT! This is the last race that has significant mountain climbing and elevation, which is our specialty, so let’s just do it.”
The entire team rallied around the mission. And guess what, not only did Janel make up the 74 seconds from the leader but she went on to win the entire race!
“When I saw Janel, she was like a ballerina on that bike sailing along effortlessly and gracefully, while the others seemed to struggle.” Despite not winning any of the stage races, she proudly wore the yellow jersey!
So, how can we use the “74 seconds theory” in our business life?
Wherever you are at right now in your business, you have to truly believe in your heart that you will get to your next level. No looking back at the “stages” and previous results. Only by managing your behavior can you truly move into the ranks of the champions. Focusing on knowing what you do best and then executing to those strengths will allow you to soar!
This requires you to manage your “inside game” as well. Refuse to give energy to those negative talk tracks we play in our heads: Wow, I didn’t do that well yesterday, not many sales for the month, not many callbacks from my prospects. Where are all the quality clients? Am I ever going to get to the level of success I am capable of?
You will find yourself winning the BIG races, because you said to yourself and your team, “let’s go for it!” As the leader of your team, you keep a positive inner dialogue and carry your team, each hired for different talents, with you.
Difficult markets and economies will come and go. Just like there have been many struggles along the path for Janel. Injuries have sidetracked her professional career for months at a time. But she has remained strong in her inner game and every day she puts forth the effort in the seemingly mundane task of training with her coach. Every task, every day makes a difference; never forget that fact, whether in sports or in business!
How do I know all of these details? Janel Holcomb is my niece and she continually inspires me to my next level of success.