You all know how much I enjoy the Olympics. They are truly special events for me. I remember watching an event that resembled cross-country skiing one afternoon. As it is only fair when you take a group of international, world-class athletes, the superior athletes start in the front so the second tier of world-class athletes do not screw things up.
I have no problem with stacking the deck by putting the fastest guys up front. When the gun sounded, and like it is so often the case when you have a group of world-class athletes trying to accomplish a life-long dream, somebody errs and then more err occurs until you have one giant err.
The guy wearing Bib #4 was one of the favorites according to the well-researched TV analyst and he was smack dab in the middle of the err. To complicate matters, competitors from all over the globe were trying to ski over him, through him, under him, and around him. This was not a pretty sight, blue skies or no blue skies. This guy, as they say in New Jersey, was %$#$%^&.
The announcers could not believe what they were seeing. This was front page news…of the not-so-good variety. This guy after years of training was pulling snow out of his ears a full 3-seconds into the race, not to mention actively dodging the pointed end of ski poles originating from more than twenty different countries.
But, (and this is why I love the Olympics) while the world was feeling sorry for this mug, Bib #4 had other thoughts in mind. (Oh, did I mention that after he grabbed his composure and got back on his feet, he realized that he had broken his ski during the NASCAR-has-nothing-on-us pile up?) When it rains it pours.
When I got back to the couch, after cracking another cold one to help wash down my utter disbelief of what I had just witnessed on my non-HDTV large screen Panasonic, I saw #4 go from dead last to second from dead last. He earned my admiration right then and there. But, he was not finished yet. In fact, he had just begun to ski. This guy had his mojo working and soon he was third from last. I was not on the edge of my seat yet, but I was taking smaller sips of beer looking over the rim of my beer can.
Well in the interest of time, I think you know the rest of the story. Bib #4 was in the race and he somehow managed to finish second, earning (and I do mean earning) a silver medal after taking gas and starting the day just in front of the Zamboni Machine. (I know, I know, there are no Zamboni Machines up on the mountain. I salted in a little poetic license to keep you giggling.
Olympic-Size Lesson: Hey! Don’t ever count anybody wearing a #4 on his/her bib out. And while you are at it, don’t ever count yourself out. (Even after getting run over by a handful of macho Olympians wearing tights and funny hats.)
What ever it is you are doing in life or in business, “it ain’t over till it is over,” some Yoga Master once said that. I think he also moon-lighted as a Hall-of-Famer and played for the New York Yankees. (Yogi Berra – I knew that. Do I need to explain everything?)
Now, regardless of what it is you are doing for a living, go pretend it is an Olympic Event and start skiing (working) your little backside off. When you fall down, get up. When you are last, move up to second from last. When you break your ski, ski anyway. And do not stop until you hear the National Anthem… yours or someone else’s.
Mike Marchev freely shares his experiences, strategies and observations with travel professionals in an effort to keep them on top of their game. For a complimentary copy of his 12-Word Marketing Plan send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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