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5 Lessons From A Long Shot. A Heartening Belmont Victory

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By Author: Bobette Kyle
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Copyright 2002 Bobette Kyle. All rights reserved.


5 Lessons from a Long Shot. A Heartening Belmont Victory.
by Bobette Kyle

Like ...
... many, I watched the Belmont Stakes hoping to see the
first Triple Crown in 24 years. Instead, I saw the 70-1 long
shot, Sarava, appear from nowhere to win. We should take
heart from this unlikely victory. As small business owners,
managers, and entrepreneurs, the "big shots" often see us as
long shots - worth a cursory notice, but rarely more.

As I listened to trainer Ken McPeek and jockey Edgar Prado
after the race, I realized their win was not a fluke.
Victory was the result of several intelligent actions and
decisions. Apply these same actions consistently, and you
can win your own "Belmont Stakes":

1) Learn from your mistakes.

Just before the Belmont, Ken McPeek was fired as Harlan's
Holiday's trainer (The "better" horse.). Instead of becoming
bitter, McPeek learned a lesson from the experience. He
analyzed his past actions and took steps to improve. As a
result, he brought Sarava in days early so the horse could
get a feel for the track. After the race, it was noted that
all of the top three Belmont finishers had trained on the
track days before the race.

We have all been criticized for our performance, actions, or
ideas. It is easy to become defensive, blame others, and
dismiss the criticism as off base. Next time, when you
receive a criticism or suffer a set back, use it as a
learning opportunity. Look for the grain of truth in the
criticism or figure out what you could have done differently
and take action to improve.

2) Have faith in yourself.

In each of two interviews, Prado's first point was that he
and McPeek had kept the faith. They did not give up despite
what others thought. This was not blind faith, however. They
saw signs of a champion in Sarava that others overlooked.
They developed those strengths and they persevered.

Critics are rarely as close as you are to a situation. They
do not know all the details and cannot understand all that
you are thinking. When you see an opportunity that others do
not, take a cue from these winners and persevere.

3) Don't automatically dismiss the underdog.

Sarava was McPeek's third string horse. After losing two
early favorites - one to injury, the second when the horse's
owner moved him to another trainer - he was left with the
underdog Sarava. It would have been easy to give up the
dream. Instead, while others ogled expected winner War
Emblem and superstar trainer Bob Baffert, McPeek looked for
strengths in his own horse and saw what others did not - a

It is easy to look at the superstars and reigning champions
in our own industries and become discouraged. Instead, look
for strengths in your situation and take advantage of the
opportunities they represent.

4) Know when to make your move.

Jockey Prado deliberately ran fifth, behind War Emblem,
through most of the race. When the favorite choked, weakened
from a stumble at the gate, Prado was ready. He made his
move, riding around War Emblem, and then pushing past others
to earn the victory.

Strong competitors are not infallible. Look for chinks in
the armor. Also, do not discount "Murphy's Law", which can
strike without prejudice. When an opportunity arises -
whether one you created or one presented to you - be ready
to make your move.

5) Speak up but stay humble.

During interviews, McPeek pointed out what he had done to
win the race, but he did not brag. His competitors are still
major contenders. He knew that bragging about the Belmont
win could mean eating crow in a future race.

The same philosophy holds true for our own successes. The
situation ebbs and flows. Today's victors may be tomorrow's
strugglers. Being humble and likable when you are in the
spotlight can garner support through future difficulties.

Follow these five lessons from a long shot and I will see
you at the races!


To learn more about Ken McPeek, visit the McPeek Racing Web
site, http://www.mcpeekracing.com. As a side note, have a
look at the "Points of Difference" page for examples of
positioning and differentiation.
About the Author Bobette Kyle is author of "How Much For Just the Spider?
Strategic Web Site Marketing." She used techniques detailed
in the book to bring her own site, WebSiteMarketingPlan.com,
from a ranking of 17 million to 54 thousand+ in less than
four months. http://www.WebSiteMarketingPlan.com/sr.htm
Copyright 2002 Bobette Kyle. All Rights Reserved.

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