What You Can Learn About Business From the Tour de France
- Posted on Jul 8, 2011 in CHI Contemplation
If you are a fan of cycling or an aficionado of France, it pays to watch cable channel Versus in July each year. The Tour de France bicycle race is televised for 21 days each year.
Here at CHI we have two avid cyclists on staff. One is both a road and mountain biker. The other is primarily a road racer. Both ride thousands of miles each year because they enjoy cycling. Once in a while they even race.
For the average rider, cycling is a great way to keep fit, see the countryside and reduce stress. But for Tour de France racers who cover more than 2000 miles in 19 days, the race is a game of attrition. So even though they ride through beautiful countryside and epic mountains, past historic chateaus and through quaint French villages, the riders must stay focused or risk a debilitating crash.
That ability to stay focused and avoid hazardous distractions is a potent example for all of us. So let us engage in a quick survey of other ways the Tour de France can help make our businesses more successful. What follows are some quick Tour facts and how they relate to business:
Fact: Riders in the Tour will average 26-28 mph over 21 days and 2000+ miles of racing. No rider can manage that pace all alone. Even the leaders depend on the revolving force of the peloton (or pack) in which they benefit from the draft.
Lesson: Going it alone is sometimes necessary to achieve in business. But sustained success may require the help of partners.
Fact: The average Tour de France rider weighs between 135-155 lbs and stands approximately 5’9”.
Lesson: Sometimes it’s not about how big you are, but how powerfully you can pedal. Small and big businesses alike need to know where their power lies, and how to use it. Is your strength in generating more profit? Managing expenses? Marketing your services? Telling your story to potential customers? All these can be power points at some time for your business.
Fact: Even over 2000 miles of racing, the overall winner is often determined in the mountains.
Lesson: Being able to pedal fast is just part of the game in Tour de France cycling. There are also long, grueling climbs over mountains followed by harrowing, 60 mph descents down the other side. Some riders are better than others in these categories. But anticipating the biggest challenges is often the secret to success–in cycling, and in business.