Monday, August 3, 2015

It is your race to win - or lose

I just finished a long and tiring kite foiling regatta. Four days, 18 individual races. I did well in some races, poorly in others. I was competing with 67 other kiteboarders, yet my success had very little to do with them. Let me repeat my last point: my performance in the competition had little to do with what all the other competitors did. It had everything to do with what I did. When I had a good start, nail my maneuvers and didn't explode - among other things - I did well. When I made mistakes or simply sailed slow, I did poorly.

You might be thinking that I am stating the obvious, but in my experience most people focus way too much on what their competitors do and not enough on their own race. More importantly, many other aspects of our lives are the same. Take startups, for example: entrepreneurs obsess over their competitors way too much without realizing they will succeed or fail based on their own execution, regardless of what their competitors do. Sure, there are exemptions, you might have a hard time charging for something that your competitor is giving away for free. But, at least in my experience, the exemptions are few and far between. And even when what your competitor does truly impacts you, what you do impacts you more.

So, during your next race, make sure you are going fast, choosing the right side of the course and nailing your laylines. Then, and only then, worry about your competitors.

Sharing the podium for the Grand Masters Division with kitesurfing legends Chip Wasson and Alex Aguera

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