When Do You Win?

Is it when you're standing on the podium? Is when your neck is draped with the gold medal? Is when you can hold the trophy?

In business is that when you sign the big deal? Is it when you negotiate the big joint venture relationship that's going to turn into predictable revenues? Is it when you sell your business and walk away with millions of dollars?

It's Not about Gold Medals or First Place

Well, certainly all of those things can count as wins, no doubt about it. But I'm going to say that when you win is actually every day. And it's the little things. It's the investment. It's the trying your best when things don't really work out, but you learned something… you walked away with something that was valuable to put into the equation for success in the next day.

I had the privilege of competing in national level masters swimming for over 25 years. And at national level competition, I was particularly inspired, motivated, enamored… I would even say by the older people. Competition goes in age groups as high as you want to count. I saw 100-year old men and women crawling up onto the block or sometimes not able to get onto the starting blocks and sliding themselves into the pool and waiting for the starter's pistol to fire off so they could push off or dive in and swim their hearts out to get down and back to the other end of the pool and look up on the scoreboard and see how they did.

Winning is Showing Up

One time I remember specifically, it was a 75 or 80-year old gentleman that managed to get to his  beer belly up on top of that plot. The gun went off, he dove in and he swam his heart out. He touched the finish pad first. At that point, he literally leapt out of the water with incredible energy and enthusiasm, and he ran over to his towel. I thought it was too dry off. What he was doing was actually digging for his phone that was wrapped in the towel and he picked up the phone and dialed a number held it to his head and you could hear him across the pool, “Honey, I won!” is what he said. “Honey, I won.” He couldn't wait to tell his wife that he had touched that touchpad first.

But when did he win?

Certainly, he won when he won that particular race, but I'm going to say no. When that dude won was when he pulled his swimsuit off, unlike most 75 or 80-year olds don't do or have given up on doing.

He won when he threw himself into the swimming pool and took on whatever it is that he decided he was going to do that day or whatever the coach told him to do.

He won when he failed attempting to do that thing… he won when he finished second or third or even last in the earlier competition on the way to the national meet.

He won when he signed up for that competition. He won when he showed up against the best that showed up that day.

You see, that's how we win. As entrepreneurs we win when we show up. We win when we put the best that we have against whatever life and business and the world around us dishes out --  the unsuspecting, the unknowing, the uncertainty. We win every time if we choose to declare that.

When are YOU Winning?

So my challenge for you today is to decide what are you going to do today? If the day is over, what are you going to do tomorrow… to win? To show up. To pick your best against whatever life and business throws at you. You see, as entrepreneurs we have that opportunity to create an influence, an impact, charge forward in making a difference in the world around us by showing up every day with the intention to win.

winning quote

Sometimes that's not standing on the podium. Sometimes that's not a gold medal. Sometimes it even comes in the form of great disappointment on the way to learning something that propels us to be able to jump out of the pool and say, “Honey, guess what? I won!”