Go work outdoors… forever!
The Outdoor Industry is calling you
Let me ask you something.
Think about the last time you were sitting in your car, stuck in traffic.
Where were you going?
Chances are you were going back to that soul-sucking job you hate.
You know, the one you’ve been trying to quit for years?
It may be more than just your car that is stuck in traffic.
It could be your life that is actually stuck.
Stuck in a way that has you wishing for more, but unsure of what to do next.
If that is you, then your time to make a change might be upon you.
And that change could lead you to a career that is outside… forever!
Not ready to trade in your cubicle for the freedom of the outdoors?
Then consider these recent changes within the outdoor industry:
#1 – The Outdoor Industry close to becoming a trillion-dollar sector of the American Economy
Did you know that Americans now spend $887 BILLION each year on outdoor recreation?
Yes! That WAS Billion with a “B”!
It is also just a few billion shy of becoming the next trillion-dollar industry.
#2 – The Outdoor Industry includes 7-million jobs nationally
All that spending has created an enormous Outdoor Recreation Economy that now requires over 7 MILLION jobs nationally to meet the growing demand.
That’s an employee pool bigger than the population of Washington State.
A whole State!
#3 – The demand for Outdoor Recreation is higher than at any time in history
Who do you think those 7-million jobs serve?
Who do you think pays for all the trips, events, and gear that creates an $800-billion outdoor industry?
The demand for outdoor sports and recreation has never been greater.
Every major city in the United States has a multitude of people looking to get back to nature.
And they are bringing their wallets with them.
Where are you?
If the money is there — and the demand is there — Where are you?
Oh, that’s right.
You’re still stuck in that same old traffic… again.
And going back to that job you hate… again.
I have an idea.
Make today different.
Declare today as the day you decide to start building a better life — an outdoor life!
It’s time to go outside… and stay there.
Are you ready?
Then grab your trail shoes, your mountain bike, or your kayak, and get ready to start making some changes!
A new way of thinking
In my experience, what most people crave — and what I focus on here at Reckoneer — is the following:
Building outdoor businesses take advantage of systems thinking with the ultimate goal of making each race you build predictable, repeatable, and profitable.
In other words: don’t trade time for money.
Instead, invest your time upfront creating a valuable process for delivering memorable events and experiences.
You want to work hard NOW to continually reap the benefits LATER.
Think about that for a moment.
What you create NOW, will become a benefit that can reuse over and over again.
It is the opposite of building a unique, one-off product that will require you to relearn everything you did to build it over again.
The goal is to use discipline and processes to record how you built it WHILE you’re building it, then use that knowledge to build as many as you need from a blueprint.
Aircraft manufacturers do this.
Concert managers do this.
Even Pizza makers do this.
Outdoor race directors, however, do what most small business owners do.
They make it up as they go and hope they remember how they did it later.
It is a difficult way to manage their business and an impossible way to teach others how to do it WITHOUT YOU!
I understand that this concept may take you some time to master.
So let’s master it!
Below are 10 Lessons I have created for you to begin to understand the fundamentals of building an outdoor racing business.
What does it cost you to learn these 10 Lessons?
But I guarantee you that after you work through these 10 Lessons, you will be more ready to start your Outdoor Industry career than anyone else!
Here is lesson #1:
.01 – Be an Owner, Not a Manager
Lesson #1 – Be a Race Promoter, not a race director
There is a fundamental difference between being the owner of your outdoor business and the manager of that same business.
This is best illustrated in my case study of what it means to be the owner of a race promotion company, not just the director.
All race promoters are race directors, but not all race directors are race promoters.
Why is that?
Because as the race promoter, you are the founder of your racing company, the overall creative strategist of each race, and responsible for the leadership and future direction of your business.
And what is YOUR business?
Why, it’s promoting races, of course!
That’s races plural because if you want to build a racing company that makes money, selling only one race will not be enough.
In simple terms, the race promoter is the boss, while the race director is a role that manages the race promoter’s plan.
Essentially, the race director is an employee — a subordinate role — to the race promoter.
Can a race promoter be a race director? Certainly!
In many smaller racing companies, the race promoter and the race director is the same person. And that’s ok… if you want to own your job.
What? Own my job? What does that mean?
Let me explain. Wait, there is no time. Let me sum up.
In many small racing companies or racing companies that are just getting started, there are few key people available.
Everyone wished they could hire more help. But if you are just starting, cash flow is a tough issue to overcome.
So aside from part-timers, your entire company most likely consists of just you, and free help from friends, family, and the occasional volunteer.
Without a big staff, most of the roles in your company will be filled by the founder — you, the race promoter.
And the positions you do not fill will probably get neglected until you get around to them, making for a lot of slack for one person to pick up.
This means you are now two people: the owner, and the only employee.
You pay your own salary (if you get one), and you let yourself know if you’re doing a good job or not.
You plan, promote, and direct every aspect of your race.
You’re the only one out there trying to convince park managers to let you race their parks, and the only one selling your race to anyone who will listen.
Your boss makes you go to the park before the sun comes up, and will not let you leave until every bit of race has been picked up.
You might be the best employee in your racing company, but your boss never gives you a break, never lets up, and never tell you that you’re doing a good job.
You have a crazy person for a boss, and it’s you.
Congratulations! You now own your own job.
Still not clear? Ok… try this.
What if you just want to take the weekend off?
The same weekend as one of your races? You might say, “I’ll just plan around it”.
What happens when you get sick on race day? Can you call your boss and ask him to provide you with a backup race director? You might say, “I’ll just work through it”.
Ok. Then maybe something more serious will do the trick.
What happens when you have a family emergency and need to be both directing your event AND at the hospital at the same time?
Mmmm… too serious?
Could your company survive an emergency like that? If your answer is, “No, it could not” — to any of the above — then you own your job.
You are the owner, the manager, and the talent. If anyone of you takes a break, the company comes to a screeching halt.
.02 – Build an Outdoor Company, Not a Hobby
Lesson #2 – Build a racing company, not a race hobby
This may be tough to hear for most of you race directors out there.
Many of you love being the face of the company, and you might think that many of your customers only come to your races because of you.
When you’re first starting out, that’s ok. In the early days, you don’t have the money to hire someone to fill the race director role anyway.
Plus, you haven’t been directing races long enough to even know how you would want your hired race director to behave in the first place.
You need experience, written processes, and time to build a job description that defines what your future race director will and will not do.
But you can only do that by working on the job yourself.
However, once you have a strong understanding of how you want your race director to focus on managing and delivering your races, you need to begin defining and refining other jobs within your company too.
Are you running race day registration?
Write down what YOU would do for that.
Are you building a course? Write down what YOU do for that.
Are you drafting a proposal to go with your permit?
Write down how YOU do that too.
Write down every responsibility you think each position should have, and do it as if you were in the role.
Each draft of these “position descriptions” will help you establish a “job description” for your company’s future employees.
You do want those, right?
So what does all of this talk of job descriptions, defined roles, and standards have to do with NOT owning your job?
Easy. If you are going to run a racing company, you are going to need to go to work IN your business.
Imagine your first employee sitting across from you. What do they need to know about the position you want them to fill in your racing company?
What do YOU want, expect, and require of them?
How will they know there are doing a good job?
How will you know they are doing what you want when you’re not looking?
By working IN that job, and DOING that job, you know exactly how you want that job to function.
Then all you do after that is write it down to a future employee will be able to judge their efforts against your provided standard.
Of course, one of the most important positions in your racing company is the race director position itself.
For that position, you need to define all the elements of the work that YOU think a race director should do, and how they should do it.
You don’t want your future race director to do what THEY think should be done in that position.
You want them to do what YOU think they should do in that position.
The goal is to communicate how you want the work done, by explaining it as if you were doing it.
Once you have it written down, then and only then, can you think about hiring someone for that position.
You cannot build past race director until you decide that someone else could and should do the job.
If you think about it, you are essentially trying to work yourself out of the day-to-day tactical functions of your races, so that you can work on more important things, like actual race promotion (i.e. selling your races).
That’s what going to work IN your business means.
That’s what race promoters do.
But many race promoters cannot move past this phase.
They cannot see that the position of the race director is a job, while the position of race promoter is a mission; a mission to grow a successful racing company.
They stay race directors and never go beyond their comfort zone.
While there is nothing wrong with that, and there are many small racing companies that do fine by staying small, their attention will also be split between race director and race promoter.
They will have extreme difficulty focusing on the much broader and more expansive challenges within their companies.
And growth will be determined by how much energy the race director has in any given year.
One catastrophic event, emergency, or bad day could jeopardize their whole operation.
Because when you own your job, your company stops working with you do.
Meanwhile, there are some positive benefits to replacing yourself as the race director.
One of the most important benefits is your new capability to start going to work ON your business.
ON your business?
When you go to work IN your business, you define all the parts that make your company run.
But when you go to work ON your business, you will finally have choices.
Choices? Yes, choices!
Choices are what you don’t have as a race director.
Choices like deciding if you want to be there on race day or take the day off.
Or maybe the choice to go on vacation, or have two races going on the same day.
When you were the race director, you didn’t have these choices.
Either you did it, or it didn’t get done.
But with the proper delegation, you can grant yourself the freedom you so desperately sought out when you started building a race company in the first place.
Now you can decide what your company does and does not do, not just how it gets done.
You are now free to think about trends, new types of races, new territories, or experiment with another discipline.
You can begin to leverage your race promotion system, and finally, be able to spend a significant amount of your time building your business and selling your races.
Let me say that again because I think it bears repeating.
The race promoter is responsible for selling the race.
So as the race promoter, and not the race director, you will finally be unencumbered to put all your efforts into selling your races.
By going through the effort to build a race director role that will implement YOUR methods, processes, systems, and controls, you will allow yourself something you have never been able to do before: enjoy running your company!
.03 – Learn what not to do
Lesson #3 – Why do outdoor businesses fail?
I have met numerous race promoters who have failed to build a successful outdoor business.
Over and over again, I hear them talk to me about their struggles.
All too often, they found out that race promotion is not a job that magically creates the well-orchestrated event most racers enjoy on race day.
Instead, they find out that the real race promotion takes place months if not years before their racers line up on the starting line.
Most were unprepared for all the planning, preparation, and high-risk choices they never saw coming.
In the last minute panic to deal with all the boring business parts, they crushed their business under an avalanche of financial hardship.
The end result is often a quick flirtation with off-road racing that produced little to no financial reward.
All that creativity and drive snuffed out due to a lack of business skills.
However, the race promoters that have faded away from this industry have left you with a huge advantage.
They have identified the key reasons their businesses did not work.
Here are the top five reasons why most race promoters fail:
#1 – They Plan Everything Last Minute
Race promoters do not lack initiative.
In fact, they tend to be the kind of people that do not take “No” for an answer, and push forward when everyone else has quit.
However, they tend to come up with race ideas at the weirdest times.
While out for a run, or while riding in a particular park, you suddenly are inspired to come up with a cool event concept.
But when you come to your senses, you realize it’s May.
The current race calendar is full of other promoter’s events, and if you wanted to slip a race into a June date, you have less than 5-weeks to finance, plan, and promote it.
What are the chances of your success when you build a race this way? The number “zero” comes to mind.
It’s a kind of race promotion seizure where you think you can pull off the impossible in only a few shorts weeks.
Unfortunately, only a few of my last-minute races ever worked that why I wanted them to.
With no runway for marketing efforts to get the word out, you never get the turnout you hoped for.
Do yourself a favor by giving your races more time to mature.
Most of your customers will plan their race calendar out 6-months in advance.
This makes last minute events poor investments if you need a large turnout to break even.
#2 – They Have No Respect for Risk
Mr. Murphy strikes you when you are the least prepared.
Usually at the worst possible moment, in the worst possible way.
New race promoters that ignore this truth, or think that it will not happen to them, go out of business faster than any other.
Each sport has its particular dangers but nobody is teaching new and established race promoters how to navigate these differences.
It is hard to stay in business when your event directly contributes to hurting one of your customers.
And it’s not easy to bounce back when everything goes wrong.
Many don’t bounce back. They just go out of business.
Don’t be unprepared for the risk that is “built-in” to off-road racing.
That lack of preparation could cause your entire company to go under after only one race.
#3 – They Have No Path to Profit
Race promotion is a business and going broke most certainly takes out the most race promoters.
Sure, risk and reputation problems either directly or indirectly contributing to this result.
But running out of money or having nobody interested in coming to your races is a sure way to end your race promotion career.
You need to have a plan and a path to profit if you want to grow any business.
Race promotion is no different.
Seasonal events require that you make some extra money so that you can work and plan during the months where nothing is happening — unless you enjoy working for free.
If you do not grow, you stagnate.
Stagnation can be prolonged for a time — sometimes for years.
Any one-trick-pony race company that does not make more money than it takes in is called a special word in the business world: a hobby.
If you race company is a hobby, that’s ok. You just need to ADMIT that your organization is a hobby company, and not racing company.
Hobby companies do not grow, only companies that profit from their efforts grows.
That’s why there is a difference with a very important distinction.
No matter if you’re trying to build a for-profit or not-for-profit company, lack of revenue equals a lack of growth.
If your races do not make money, your days are numbered.
.04 – Learn what works
Lesson #4 – What I wished I knew before building my first outdoor business
When you decide to build your first outdoor business, you discover just how alone you are.
Unlike fixing a car, writing software, or getting tips on how to beat just about any video game, there is very little on the proper way to build an outdoor business focused on event production.
Sure, there are a few blog posts out there that give you the highlights, but they are surprisingly dated.
You would have thought that there were other people out there interested in building races considering just how many different kinds of races are out there.
Guides? Not really.
Tips? Far and few between.
Lessons learned? They don’t seem to exist — that is unless you’re trying to build a marathon for 30,000 runners.
While getting advice from a national marathon race director can provide some highlights, it’s akin to learning how to build a software company by going to hear Bill Gates speak.
Sure he’s going to be insightful, and he may inspire you to follow in his footsteps.
Unfortunately, most of his speech is going to have too much big-picture thinking to help you with starting a company tomorrow.
The same goes for the marathon directors.
Good advice that I just cannot use at this moment in my race building journey.
Maybe later, but right now, I need to know what I don’t know.
And I need to know what is about to punch me right in the face if I don’t at least have some idea of what it is I don’t know.
During my first race and my second race, and my third, fourth, fifth (you get the idea) I learned the art of race building the hard way: trial and error.
Like Yoda said, “Do or do not. There is no try.”
So I did DO.
And in DOING, I found out that there is a lot more to what Yoda is saying there.
Some of it is learning that when you “DO” something, you figure out very quickly not to do it again. Hence the “DO NOT” part.
You learn that “DO NOT” only comes after the understanding that “DO” didn’t work. And “try” is right out!
Probably because Yoda wants you to fully commit.
But that’s a lot more about Yoda then you probably wanted to hear about (must have let my geek flag fly on that one)!
The point is, sometimes, when there is no one to tell you what to “do” and “do not” do, you have to “try” a bunch of stuff and see what works with your own two eyes.
And that sucks!
So to make it suck less, I thought I would try to identify at least five things about building my first race that I wished I known before I started:
#1 – You will never have plenty of time
Procrastination will drown you.
The race production business is very time-intensive.
Not in that it requires every waking moment of your time to be successful, but that there is a time requirement for every part of it that cannot be cheated.
Permits have to be turned in months in advance.
Park managers will always – and I mean always – tell you hell no when you show up with a permit two weeks before your race.
You can’t go back and unwind the clock to get that time back.
Planning for the race also comes with a time commitment.
There are venues to layout, courses to design, insurance to procure, equipment to set up, registrations to sell, sponsors to find, awards to buy, volunteers to convince; the list goes on and on.
I found the time expectations needed for just writing down all the things I needed to do to be the hardest thing to get used to.
#2 – You must stay humble
There is a risk in this business – as in any business – that it may not work out if you.
Most race production companies that make this mistake usually go out of business in the first year.
Luckily for me, I was able to recover from my overconfidence in my belief that my first race would be a barn burner.
But it hurt both my ego and my pocketbook. Now, you most certainly need confidence in yourself that you can produce a good race.
That confidence is essential in keeping you motivated enough to do the things that will push your race into existence.
But what will do you in is thinking that your first race should be a massive extravaganza with enough bandwidth to accommodate hundreds of riders.
Because it will most certainly let you down.
Start with the first principle of a profitable race by keeping everything small.
To begin with, small races are the best kind of races.
Building small races allows you to learn the flow, experiment with some processes, and keep your costs down.
It will also give you a satisfying confidence boost, especially when you can say that you successfully directed your first race.
If you build small races on purpose, you protect yourself from over-committing, without losing control of the event.
#3 – You must build repeatable systems
A big part of race building is figuring out how to do something right, and then how not to forget how you did it.
You only want to learn it once, then be able to repeat it without too much additional effort.
Or even better, teach someone else how to do it.
Here’s the problem with all that.
When I was building my first race, I couldn’t tell the difference between what I would use again, and what was only a one-off process.
So to keep track of what I need to know, I keep a race building journal.
By writing down each activity in my race building journey, I can remind myself how things went down. Each one of my entries details key elements that I would have forgotten over time.
My journal became the baseline for figuring out all the parts that worked, all the parts that didn’t work, and the parts that I still needed to work on.
However, the most important part of keeping a journal is process development. You cannot build a race building system for yourself if you cannot articulate each step of your process.
Your journal will be a huge life- and time-saver when it comes to recalling what came before what in each of your newly minted processes.
These recorded processes are essential in making faster decisions.
Instead of trying to guess what you need to do next, you can just look at your documented process and see what comes next.
Your goal should be to take what you have learned, write it down, and eventually group each series of steps into your own, personal guide to putting your race together.
#4 – You must always be selling
If you told me that 50-percent of race production was selling your race, I would have paid more attention to my marketing efforts.
The truth is that selling a race is no different than selling anything else.
If you have a good product, and a means to convince people of the value of that product, people will buy it.
The same goes for races. If you build a good race and can find enough racers that want to race your race, your race will be successful.
It seems simple enough.
You need to sell by convincing people of your value.
But you also need to sell people with your writing too.
I had no idea how much writing I would need to do to convince people.
If you can improve your writing – even a little – it will have a dramatic impact on how well you can convince others with your written word.
But of all the people you need to sell, your team needs to be sold on you (and your race) the most.
If you can’t sell your team on your vision or goals, you will never get anything done.
This is why keeping true to the “stay simple” principle of a profitable race greatly supports your efforts in convincing your team that your vision is achievable.
In a way, every part of your race requires some sort of sales.
And it is your job to know you need to get good at all of its forms sooner rather than later.
The selling never ends.
#5 – You are the only one who will care
Personal commitment comes down to just you.
If you don’t do the work, no one will.
Your vision and processes all come from you. And nobody else but you.
You set the standard for how your race will run, how your staff will behave, and how your racers will enjoy the event.
You are the key player in building the prototype for how your first race, and future races, will be created. Because if you do not get your prototype off the ground, your race will not happen.
So it goes without saying when it comes to your race, YOU will, or YOU won’t get it done.
No one else will put the passion and effort into your race as you will.
And if you give up, your race will die.
.05 – Learn what Details Matter
Lesson #5 – You are your event
Eventually, when your prototype has become stable, and you have enough repeatable processes in place that anyone can be taught to build your events, then (and only then), can you begin to replace yourself as the key player.
But in the beginning, you are the heart of your outdoor company.
Being the key player in your business efforts comes with its perks.
Freedom, being your own boss, and Winters off (unless you’re into Winter sports) are good benefits.
But these perks will be short-lived if you don’t put the time in to make your prototype function.
If you do not do it first, it will not get done. And if it does not get done, you will fail.
So don’t fail!
Be the center of your business and the champion of your own efforts.
Don’t delegate away your responsibilities, or settle for standards you do not set.
If you want to be your own boss, you need to care about being the boss too.
Your goal is to design a system that eventually removes you from having to be in the process.
However, to do that, you need to go to work on your outdoor business by caring how every part of it is designed, managed, and executed.
Care about the details now while you still have control.
.06 – You Cannot Fix a Business you Never Start
Lesson #6 – What is your Why?
Why do you want to build an outdoor business?
This should be a simple question to answer.
Your first answer might be “for the love of the sport.”
Or maybe you got into race promotion “to make money.”
You need money to make a living, but the time it takes to make your first real money in racing is long.
Knowing there is the potential for good money after doing race promotion for five years or more, doesn’t help you in year two.
No. If love or money is not enough to keep you truly motivated, that what else drives you to build races?
Chances are it has something to do with intrinsic motivation.
This is the driver that pushes you into doing things worth doing.
The three most popular intrinsic drivers are:
#1 – Do you still want your Autonomy?
Autonomy is the freedom you feel from being able to build races without anyone telling you how you should do it.
It is also the financial freedom you achieve by owning your own business.
It allows you to organize yourself to be efficient at what you build while maintaining the creative space to design experiences without restrictions.
It also happens to be one of the main reasons race promoters get into off-road racing in the first place.
But many race promoters are stuck between a 9-to-5 day job and the dream of autonomy.
They haven’t been able to achieve the transition from their day job to real autonomy.
Working towards the autonomy that financial freedom provides you requires you to work even when you don’t want to.
That means Saturdays and Sundays are always in play.
If you have a 9-to-5 job, then giving up your weekends to build something that isn’t working, would be damaging to anyone’s motivation.
Are you one of those part-time race promoters?
Financial freedom cuts against the autonomy of the full-time race promoter too.
When race registrations drop off, and people stop showing up to your events, you have to strongly consider the need to go back to work for someone else.
The fear of giving up that hard-fought autonomy with no solution for saving their business to be found, leads many to panic, self-destruct, or quit altogether.
Have you given up your autonomy for something more financially comfortable?
#2 – Are you striving towards Mastery?
Mastery is your capability to learn new disciplines and improve your skills.
This is an important driver when it comes to your sense of fulfillment.
If you spend too much time working on the same races year in and year out, you will stagnate.
Stagnation is a huge motivation killer.
This is why mastery is the driver that motivates us to learn new things and possibly change the way we do what we do.
Mastery is how mountain bike race promoters can shift into obstacle race designers, or how orienteers can learn to build adventure races.
Without mastery, we don’t change.
But when was the last time you learned something new?
#3 – Do you remember your Purpose?
Finally, your Purpose should not just be focused on the mechanics of building a company, but why you believe in building an outdoor company in the first place.
Do you remember why you want to be in business?
Have you forgotten your desire to change your life, or many even the life of another person?
This is why purpose is always about your WHY, never about your WHAT.
Building a race is a WHAT; the mechanical action of following a process.
WHY you build an outdoor company is a behavior that speaks to the internal reward you receive by doing it.
Do you know WHY you build races?
Do you know what Purpose building race serves in your life?
Without purpose, we become lost.
The same goes for your motivation.
You cannot stay motivated if you don’t know WHY you are doing something.
Are you missing your purpose?
Then it is time to find it again!
.07 – Use your WHY
Lesson #7 – Building Momentum
We all lose our motivation for different reasons.
Family emergency, illness, setbacks, and even financial challenges can all be factors that derail our efforts.
Please understand that you are not alone.
There are thousands of outdoor businesses in the United States, and all of them — ALL OF THEM — have had trouble with motivation at some point in their careers.
The difference is what they do about it.
Some push through and find their motivation again, while others put their business on hold.
For those that put their businesses on hold until their lives become stable again, usually don’t come back.
As the saying goes, “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.”
No matter how life continues to challenge you, there will never be a good time to start building your races again.
That makes finding your motivation and pushing through your challenges all the more important.
So if you’re ready to rebuild your motivation, here are a few steps you can take to get you back into the game:
#1 – Stop Being Hard on Yourself
The myth of the overnight success is just that: a myth.
No race is ever going to be perfect, no matter how much you try to make it that way.
So if it is NEVER going to be perfect, why do you keep beating yourself up?
Each time you stop and beat yourself up for failure, you stop yourself from success.
Face it, when you start something new, you’re going to fail.
But each time you stop building races because you don’t think you’re good at it, you feel bad.
You beat yourself up for not sticking with it and end up going to go back to your lazy ways.
Why? Because race promotion is not natural to you.
There are going to be days where you say, “I don’t want to do this,” or, “I don’t want to work, I want to go do something fun.”
But you have to realize that if you don’t work at race promotion you’re going to feel bad about yourself later.
You’re going to back after another year has gone by and realized you didn’t hit your goals again — and that is painful.
But not as painful as knowing you didn’t live up to your own expectations because you just didn’t feel like doing it.
What you have to do is ignore these emotions!
You have to push yourself to do the work on your races every day.
You have to push yourself through the slump by building new habits.
Successful people know that making small continuous improvements every day will be compounded over time and give them desirable results.
That is why you should plan for the future by only focusing on the day that is ahead of you.
If you fail to work on your race today, have no worries.
Try again tomorrow with the belief that no one is going to punch you in the face if you miss a day.
You’re only looking to improve just 1% every day.
Can you do that?
Of course, you can!
#2 – Build a Better Why
Is your WHY powerful enough?
If you’re struggling with motivation, chances are that you don’t have a strong enough reason to stay in business.
Many of us think too small.
Then, once we reach that small level, we don’t know where to go next.
This is why you need to create a better WHY.
You need to make your vision bigger.
You need to take yourself out of your comfort zone and imagine a future that will meet your personal and professional needs.
You need to create a vision of how you see your future self.
Who is that person?
What does your perfect life look like?
If you can define that vision, your future self, then you need to work towards that vision every day.
You do this by writing that vision down, and then reading it every morning when you get up.
Maybe it is to create a company that makes enough profit to pay off the house, put your child through college, and allows you and your loved ones to travel three times a year.
Whatever your vision is, it needs to be that and more if you’re going to push yourself towards achieving it.
#3 – Focus on One Goal
Next, you need to discover where your goals have gone off course.
Are you still building races the way you want to?
When was the last time you set out to learn a new way to build a race?
Or have you stopped perfecting your mastery of race promotion altogether?
If you find your intrinsic motivation drivers have ridden off down the trail, have no worries.
It’s never too late to get them back.
But to do that, you need to entrench yourself in creating at least one new goal.
Use this goal to find your passion for the outdoors again.
And add some real value to it by using SMART Goal setting as a way to outline your objectives for this new goal.
Learning a new skill is an excellent goal, and a great way to keep from getting bored.
So is taking on a new challenge, or signing up to race in someone else’s event.
Sometimes the fastest way to get back into race promotion is experiencing the way another promoter runs their events.
However, try to focus on only one goal at a time.
Most successful people will tell you that we are not designed to be multi-taskers.
That is why you will see those people focus all their energy on doing one thing at a time, and beat their goal into submission.
Only when they have accomplished their goal, do they move onto another one.
This goes back to your need for mastery.
The reason you’re unmotivated is that you haven’t been following through with your race promotion mastery.
The only way that you will be able to build better races, is to get good at it by doing something related to it every day.
The strategy is to consistently be doing something directed towards being good at race promotion every day.
Don’t focus on the whole month, just that day.
Being fully present and committed to one task, is indispensable in building your mastery habit.
Now, you’re not going to be good at race promotion all the time.
But over time, you will begin to create mastery of your goal.
And that’s when your life will change for the better.
.08 – Learn from Mentors
Lesson #8 – This is a relationship business
Becoming comfortable is a huge motivation killer.
If your routines are causing you to lose your fire, it may be time to shake things up.
Anything worth doing is hard, otherwise, everyone would be doing it.
Sometimes, that difficulty prevents us from changing because it will mean starting at the beginning again.
If you’re disciplined enough to create races where there were none, then you can be disciplined enough to try something new at least a few times throughout the year.
When was the last time you talked to another race promoter?
You could spend some time appreciating the drive and determination others have for racing and explore how they overcame the challenges they faced on their journeys.
Go find one or two of them — online or in real life — and reach out to them.
See if you can discuss racing and race promotion with them from time to time.
Meeting new, like-minded people can help you find your purpose again.
If you can make a few friends in the industry, there is nothing like having someone there to encourage you, support you and challenge you to get you to stay motivated.
Being a part of a community can not only help you become accountable but help you learn a few new approaches from individuals with similar life and business challenges.
.09 – This is Going to Take Work
Lesson #9 – Get Hungry
Many people say they want this life, but they don’t seem to want to do what it takes to make it a profitable business.
They want the result, but they don’t want to do the work.
This means that you must be honest with yourself.
Are you willing to do what it takes to build your outdoor business?
Are you willing to focus on creating better habits?
It’s a big question to consider.
Most of us want the shortcut, even though we all know — deep down — that there are no shortcuts.
You have to we willing to put yourself through the process of changing yourself before true success can happen.
Sure, you’re going look foolish.
You’re going to have events that only attract 30 people.
But that experience is going to teach you how to deal with being uncomfortable.
Reputation and pride are the biggest problems race promoters struggle with.
They worry about what people will think about them if their race is bad.
They allow the fear, the worry, and the what-if’s to keep them from going forward.
“What if my race is bad?”
“What if they hate the course?”
“What if no one shows up?”
This is the #1 reason more races do not get made.
They would rather stay comfortably unknown, than reach success and create the type of life that they want.
I hope this does not describe you.
I hope you’re not willing to throw it all away to protect your reputation and stay comfortable.
I’m hoping you’re ready to put it out there and go for it, and possibly hit your goal!
You need to be hungry enough to do what it takes to build your race promotion business.
You have to be willing to sacrifice your money, possible public humiliation, and your current comfort for a chance to improve your life.
Unfortunately, some of you will have to hit rock bottom before you get hungry enough.
But it is that hunger will drive you towards doing what it takes.
Hunger will get you to seek out new information, listen to your customers, and change what you’ve been doing wrong.
When most people quit, it will be your hunger that will drive you to change and succeed.
However, you must be willing to do whatever it takes to gain mastery in this business.
Making these changes will make you very uncomfortable.
But when you decide you’re hungry enough to do it, keeping motivated won’t be hard anymore.
1.0 – Starting is the Hardest Part
Lesson #10 – The Only Easy Day was Yesterday
There is no easy way to getting successful, wealthy, or satisfied with your life.
It all takes work.
It also takes the motivation to do that work even when it gets hard.
That means you need to develop some discipline if you are going to build an outdoor business.
Discipline is a continual process that requires motivation.
You will always need to force yourself to go through your motivation process to find your hunger again.
Hence the need for the discipline to know when your motivation is lacking, and the hunger to actively do something about it.
Your motivation is also susceptible to the human desire to take the path of least resistance.
If you stop trying to refill yourself with new ideas and experiences, you will get comfortable and let stagnation and doubt ruin what you have created.
You need to always be on guard from ruts, complacency, and apathy to your primary goals.
Like the wind in a sail, your intrinsic motivation will constantly ebb and flow.
It is what you do when it ebbs and flows that make you successful.
If you are always working on making the internal things that drive you stronger and better, you will pull through this.
The key is to own your life because no one else will do it for you.
It is now time for you to START!
Thank you for going through all ten lessons with me!
You now have a huge head start on a better outdoor life and some of the first tools you will need to begin building an outdoor business.
Don’t know where to go next?
Next, I would like you to please check out my free 7-Part Pricing Guide for some insight into how you determine your competition, market forces, and ultimately what to charge your customers.
Finally, please subscribe to the Merchants of Dirt podcast to hear what I have to say on the latest strategies and advice.
All of these resources are designed to further your outdoor business-building journey.
Why are all of these things free?
Because I wished they existed when I started building outdoor races and events.
Now they do.
I hope you benefit from Reckoneer.com and Merchantsofdirt.com and look forward to hearing about what you built with this knowledge!
If you find this useful, please share it with a friend, or reach out to me at MERCHANTSOFDIRT [AT] GMAIL [DOT] COM with the subject line: “Hey, Reckoneer!”
I enjoy talking about outdoor racing and to race directors looking to start or improve their races.
Thank you for visiting Reckoneer!