It's time to shake the Wake Up Stick and to remind you of what is coming.
No matter what position you are in for the coming season, whether you are scratching around for sponsorship or you have just secured your dream drive, it's all irrelevant because something is happening in our sport that has the potential to wipe you out.
You are competing at a time when your sport is balancing on the edge of a crumbling clifftop, we are waiting for it to be made more secure by someone but it isn't going to happen any time soon.
It has never been a stable sport but at the moment we are experiencing times where you cannot even guarantee that the championship you are competing in will complete the year let alone the team you are planning on running with.
Obviously it's not just our sport that is in this position, pretty much all sports and industries are weathering the same storm but in motorsport we can often fail to see what is really happening, we can let our passion fog our vision of reality.
It Means That Your Chance is NOW
First off we need to view this era as an opportunity, as your chance to have the foresight that will help you reign as others fall to the floor.
Life, sport and business all have one thing in common - They eliminate anything that is of no value.
The way it does this is by having its own version of a spring clean, in life it may be through war, a natural disaster or other life destroying events but in sport and business it is usually financial.
If in turbulent times you are not providing solutions to other people's pains then you will be disposed of.
If you are not working hard and smart enough then again your sport and business will clear you out.
Now is not the time to rest on your laurels, it is a time to work your arse off like never before. The air raid siren signalling that you need to take action is wailing away but most people are deaf to it, don't do the same, you must hear what is going on and take the lead.
This is your time to pounce, to make sure that you outwork everybody around you and to provide more value to others so that no matter what storm comes your way, your house is the one left standing.
Lessons from Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett is known as the "Best investor in the world" (quoted from Wikipedia) so let's take a lesson or two from him because he has not only survived the storms that have hit the financial world over the past 65 years but he has managed to grow in those times on his way to building his $60Billion plus net worth.
One of his main success weapons of choice is to become massively proactive whilst others are running away in fear.
To become an industry leader and an investment genius you have to possess the skill of seeing the big picture and acting towards that no matter what hardship it creates in the present day. Kind of linked to No Pain No Gain in some ways.
This long term thinking is what allows Warren to buy certain stocks as the rest of the investors are 'panic selling' them due to a temporary dip in value. Once that period is over and that same stock regains its higher value, Warren is then nicely placed in the power position and gets his win.
Which leads us into another lesson from Warren, and that is to avoid following the masses.
If the masses are struggling and not getting the results they want, like in Motorsport today, then why the hell would you want to follow them?
You must go the other way or at least discover what else you could do to get a different result to them.
Teams and drivers may bitch about how hard times are now and believe that outside circumstances are to blame for their demise but in reality all of these external challenges were totally foreseeable.
Even if that statement isn't true and it would have been hard to forsee it happening, a true leader must have the mentality that they are in control, that they should have seen it and should wear that responsibility.
You have to assume control for everything if you want to avoid being a victim in life.
We all know that we need to get hold of the finance required to compete, that's a given, but still drivers and teams are only spending 10% of their working days on that massively important area.
Drivers will go to the gym or on the simulator or get in a round of golf before they will pick up the phone to a potential sponsor.
It's all back to front yet people are still shocked at why they cannot get the money together and how unfair things are.
Come on it's time to get real and get over it.
It is also time for you to get yourself into gear and take control of the situation so you can create the future instead of the future being left to others.
Bring The Future Closer
You already have goals that you want to achieve this year and have the whole goal setting process down but I want to help modify the way you are doing this and to coax you into working in a much more effective way.
We are all taught to have a goal in the distance, a long term one that we will achieve in 10 or more years’ time. That’s standard.
Then we are told to plan a route to that by making sub goals, things that we will achieve by year 5, then by year 3, then bringing it closer to this year, etc.
This is all nice, structured and makes you feel like it is possible because you can see the route towards achieving it but in life things are not that black and white.
Yes it's good to have the clarity of what you want but the goal process is only just getting started, you cannot stop there and then expect to get yourself to act in the right way because there is a certain thing called emotion involved in achieving your dreams.
Clarity may make you feel good in the moment but your mind-set on a daily basis is really what is going to be the deciding factor on whether you achieve your dreams or not.
To feed your mind and to have it operate for you in the best way, in other words for it to kick you up the backside every day and force you to take massive action, you need to make things more pressured, more desirable and juicier. The brain loves a real life challenge, so you must give it one.
Experiment - Your Mission Impossible Day
Going back to Warren’s ability to act now for the future I want you to do an experiment, I want you to set up your very own Mission Impossible Day.
This is where you are going to attempt to achieve your 10 year goal......in a single day!
I know you think that is, erm, impossible.
No shit, it might be but that’s not the issue here.
I bet that virtually every single day you fall short of the goal you wish you had achieved on that given day, no matter what you set yourself to do you are probably going to fall short of it. So it is much better to fall short of a huge whopper of a goal compared to the wimpy one you normally set up for.
You get me?
Hey it's not called Mission Impossible Day for the fun of it, this is going to be brutal but if you go down then you will go down fighting and you will know that you stepped up that day. If you do this right then no matter how you do, you will have won.
If you are serious about making your huge goal into a reality then instead of having it far away in the distance, having it a decade away, I want you to grab it and pull it into your present life.
You need to have this goal staring you right in the face, breathing down your neck and have it prodding at you every second of the day.
Doesn't sound healthy does it?
Sounds like it will create a lot of pressure doesn't it?
Well congratulations because you are experiencing a taste of what the super achievers amongst us feel like every day.
It isn't comfortable but it's that very feeling that automatically urges them to get on with things, they do this as part of their daily routine, hence why they achieve so much in their lifetime.
The problem with too many people is that they think up their wonderful goals but then forget to add passion, emotion and reason for doing it. They don't add consequences or haste to the whole operation so their goal list is nothing more than a wish list.
Again this is the kind of soft outlook that the masses are doing and the masses are paying heavily for.
You need to get a bloody move on if you want to stay in this game so bringing your wildest dreams into your present day and attempting to achieve it in a single day is the kind of work ethic that will allow you to stick around and be the leader you need to be.
You hear people telling us to dream big, to work hard and to never give up, well this is what your M.I. Day is all about.
When you put such a demand on yourself something inside wakes up, the warrior in you will either step up or it will run away, either way you will find out a lot about yourself and what is holding you back.
The M.I. Day
Let's work out how your hours will be allocated on your M.I. Day.
This is obviously not in order but the total amount of hours spent in different areas will look something like this:
7 hours for sleep
1 hour for eating
1.5 hours for exercise
0.5 hours for showering and toilet breaks
2 hours for distractions and running errands
12 hours for solid work (this is where you will acheive your 10 year goal)
When I say Solid Work that doesn't include simple researching and surfing the net, it is out and out forward moving actions that will deliver results.
Not just sending emails but verbally talking to people who can help you.
This is to be a complete To Do day when you are making giant leaps forwards and the actions from this single day will bring you benefits for the entire month following it.
You need to set this day up before it is upon you, there is no point in spending the first 2 hours of your solid working time planning what you are going to do that day. If you do this you will become distracted and get lost in the world of preparation, which in this respect will be your way of putting things off.
Planning and preparing is often a way of procrastinating.
No cheating here, just solid work.
So the night before your onslaught you must write down a bunch of actions that you will take that will get you as close to your 10 year goal as humanly possible.
Constantly ask “What could possibly be done to get this goal today?”
Every time you think of something of a task that makes you think to yourself "I can't do that", due to some kind of fear, then consider that fear as a sign that you must do it.
Do not let your fear of failure write your job list, let the true warrior inside take the pen.
What's the worst thing that could happen, maybe the person says "No" to you on the phone?
Boo Hoo; get over it. Just be glad that that person now knows who you are. It may serve you in the future.
It’s All About Results
On your M.I. Day it is all about results, not trying.
If you attempt to get hold of a particular person but don't manage it, then you have not completed the task. It is only done when you have physically spoken to them.
Attempting, trying and hoping are things that do not belong on your M.I. Day.
You have either done the task or not. You need to be very hard on yourself and be adamant that you are going to have the most productive day of your life and see what happens as a consequence. Be curious and excited about this day, it has the potential for being life changing.
I want you to prove the saying "What a difference a day makes", show yourself just what is possible and I promise that this kind of work ethic and determination will be much more addictive than what other drivers are doing on that day.
This Brings Me Back
This brings me back to what I was saying at the beginning of this post, if you are to survive in your sport then you must provide value and that value is to you personally. In working this way you are personally bringing value to your own life and to others around you.
You will be an asset to any team and it will all be because you had the stupid idea of completing your wildest dreams in a single day.
Remember that we must operate in a more efficient way compared to others, to do what they are not prepared to do, and to do it quicker.
There is no need to wait for 10 years before you allow yourself to go for the big goal, set upon it right now and become the person who can pull it off now.
This is a normal way of operating for some people, these people are the ones that we refer to as the best of their craft, the champions.
It's a tough way of living but it soon becomes your new norm and you find that things do start to happen for you.
Send me a message if you have any questions or want to share how your M.I. Day went.
Photo from thetxhaven via Flickr