Nothing Succeeds Like Success . . . and Perseverance!

Even though she placed 8th in this weekend’s 55th running of the Daytona 500, Danica Patrick made history.

Besides having an opportunity to win the race right up until the very last lap, Patrick was already a big winner in that she became the first woman to win the pole position for the most important and prestigious race on the NASCAR calendar.

Danica Patrick

The benefits of her success extend well beyond the immediate fame that accompanies such a notable accomplishment.  For example, and according to a Forbes article by Kurt Badenhausen, sales of licensed merchandise bearing Patrick’s name are up . . . way up.  I am talking about a 350% increase compared to last year’s week prior to the Daytona 500, which was her “first appearance in the Great American Race!”

So what can we take away from Danica Patrick’s performance?

Well to start, nothing succeeds like success!  However to be successful you have to have a plan and then work at achieving it.

I am certain that Patrick didn’t just show up at the Daytona 500 this year for the first time and win the pole position.  Well the same goes for your career or business enterprise.

When it comes to success you have to have a plan with clearly defined goals and a roadmap for how you are going to get to where you want to go.  Once you have this in place, you then have to work the plan without fear and without fail.

For Patrick, who began driving go-karts at the age of 10, this meant moving to Milton Kenyes in England to advance her racing career when she turned 16.  During her time on the British national series circuit, she came up against stiff competition including future Formula 1 champion Jenson Button.  I can only imagine what it was like to be young, in a new country going up against what would become some of future greats in the racing world.  But persevere she did, eventually returning to the US to become a consistent podium finisher in 2003, and ultimately being named Rookie of the Year in 2005 for both the Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar 2005 Series season.

Of course the road to the 2013 Daytona 500 spotlight wasn’t an easy drive.  From the inevitable setbacks and the loss of her teammate Paul Dana, who was killed in a crash during a practice run for the Toyota Indy 300, to a variety of other challenges, Patrick persevered.  She had a plan and a commitment to pursuing that plan.

Reflect back in time on your successes.  Did you put into place a step-by-step plan?  What obstacles did you have to overcome and trials did you need to endure to reach your goals?  And once you reached your goals, what did you do?

Within this context you have to ask yourself the question . . . “Are you today where you want to be?”  If you aren’t, then take that all important first step by either creating or re-evaluating your personal plan.  Once you have done this, then ask yourself “What am I prepared to do to make this happen?”

Within these answers is hidden in plain sight the road to your success and like Danica Patrick, your ability to claim your pole position in the race to realize your dreams.



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