business grand prix — crashing

Six liters. That’s how much a Formula One driver loses in sweat throughout the course of one Grand Prix. Moto GP riders, crashing at 300 kilometers an hour, brush the gravel off, pick their bike up, and resume their race. Like it’s nothing.

This type of athleticism is truly astounding. I see nine parallels between these types of athletes and entrepreneurs. Namely, crashing, endurance, stamina, aggression, tweaking, broad knowledge, deep focus, fearlessness, and sportsmanship. Not necessarily in that order. Throughout the following days, I’ll highlight one resemblance at a time.


Sooner or later, accidents are bound to happen, even without making any mistakes. Another driver or rider could brake no more than one-tenth of a second later, touching your rear wheel ever so gently. At high speed, even the faintest touch can alter one’s course dramatically. In motorsports, racers are not allowed to touch each other’s vehicles deliberately. Racing incidents get investigated. Should the race committee think that there might be foul play, the racer will get penalized.

In business, even with the maximum amount of focus, the best team, and crystal clear strategic vision, you might still crash due to a competitor. It’s not always you. Without committing fraud, a rival business might start to target your market or geography. There is no committee deciding who should get penalized. Luckily. Otherwise, the free market would be compromised. In short, your business might crash, even if you play all of your cards right.

It is, however, always you who has to pick up the pieces and get back up. Fall down seven times, get up eight.

In order to learn how to crash and consequently how to get back up, crashes have to be experienced physically. As with many things in life, the more you crash, the better you’ll get at it. Convincing your mind that it’s okay to crash a bike at 300 kilometers per hour requires truckloads of courage.

Crashes should be avoided at all costs. They will, however, occur. When they do, it’s a matter of getting back in the saddle to keep on riding.

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