It was 7 pm. As luck would have it, the race was just about to begin when I switched on my TV. I thought I’d missed it since I believed the race was at 5 pm.
There in front of me was a long cage filled with horses with numbers 1-21. I noticed stall #20 was empty and thought to myself that #21 was so far off the rail it was simply a futile attempt. At least the owner, trainer, and jockey could one day say that they were in The Kentucky Derby.
The horse was named Rich Strike and was listed at odds of 80-1. There was no way a horse in that position had a snowball’s chance in hell to win anything. Good luck, Rich Strike.
The bell sounded, and they were off. I noticed the far horse on the left “tried” to move closer to the rail, but still managed to land in last place as they headed for the first turn. For the next minute and fifty seconds, nobody at Churchill Downs gave a second thought to the longer than long shot (80-1) horse who went by the name Rich Strike.
As the three leading horses headed for the wire two minutes later, I saw out of the corner of my eye a horse racing up the outside like a rocket ship was strapped to his hindquarters. Good golly! It was Rich Strike hell-bent for election. The suspense is long gone. You know the end of this story. Rick Strike won the Kentucky Derby with impossible odds working against him. It was a blessing for his owner, trainer, and jockey that Rick Strike did not read the racing papers. Apparently, he had no idea that it was impossible for him to win on this particular Saturday.
There is more to this story before I deliver the message you have been waiting for. Rich Strike was not even on the racing card on Thursday. At the last minute (on Friday, the day before the race) a horse had to withdraw for medical reasons which opened up a spot for “who is next?” Yep. This was the crack in the door that allowed Rich Strike to showcase his excellence. The rest is history.
In the travel industry, you are playing on an even playing field. You can’t allow others to forecast your future based on what they might consider to be poor odds for your success. This is not the first time a horse, or a person, was given an opportunity to show just how good they really were. When your opportunity presents itself, you must be ready to go to work and not stop running until you cross the finish line. You know how good you are. It will just take a break before you show the world. You’re next.
Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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