Growing up most of my life on a football field I didn’t spend much time on a track until later in my high school years, and let’s be honest it was mostly in the shot put and discus pits. Being a team sports guy, I always found it fascinating how coaches and athletes competed primarily with themselves in “individual” sports. The eye-opener for me was talking with many of the top track and field athletes and realizing they had no clue of the team score. Shoot, many of them didn’t know the participants they were running against from week to week. What they did know was their personal best times and the splits they were shooting for at critical spots in the race. They knew what they needed to do to improve from meet to meet. They ran their own races. They were their own competition from start to finish.
As financial advisors, we can gain some perspective from these types of athletes. While we can all learn from other successful advisors and are constantly given the opportunity to measure ourselves against others in the industry, the real measurement of success is our own. The focus should be on our firm’s future. What will it take to exceed our firm’s personal best numbers? What are the critical points along the way in our firm’s journey to success? What types of people and processes and technology will it take for our firm to manage the growth we have planned? While we can learn a lot from the runner next to us, he or she is also running their own race in their own shoes.
The real race, the real competition, is you vs. you. Your performance vs your potential. Run that race and close the gap. It's the only one that matters.