The Successful Motorsport Professional

I want to start this article off with a quote from someone very successful. The quote goes like this: “I have yet to meet a genius in my business. Actually I have yet to meet a genius in any business. Once you realize there are no geniuses out there, you can think ‘I can do that’. The reason I succeeded is I had this naïve sense of entitlement“.

That’s a quote from Donny Deutsch, the former CEO of Deutsch Inc., an ad agency that he sold for $265 million in the year 2000.

This quote speaks tons about how true motorsports professionals need to think as well. In short, true motorsport professionals need to assume that they’re at least as capable to succeed as anyone else is. This is especially true for recent motorsports program graduates and people moving into new motorsport careers. You need to have the attitude that says “if he or she can do it, so can I and perhaps I can do it better”.  Of course you need to be able to back that up with the proper skills, education and personal success characteristics.

Some people have a tendency to see someone being outrageously successful in their motorsport career, coming up with new and innovative ideas and then thinking of all the reasons why they can’t have similar accomplishments. But being a true motorsports professional means being inspired instead of intimidated by someone else’s great accomplishments and addressing them in a welcoming fashion. While it is possible that others who achieve greatness in the industry are simply “lucky”, or “gifted”, you as the professional must believe otherwise.

This is not about being arrogant or “full of yourself”; it’s about having the necessary belief system that enables you to accomplish great things in your motorsport job. As Donny mentioned in that quote about having a “sense of entitlement”, you must believe that you’re not only capable of great things, but you must expect great things from yourself as well.

Remember – it is true that people tend to get what they expect, not what they want. Be somebody, be somewhere, and do something important and fulfilling. I love the phrase from Nike: “just do it”.

As Donny said “I have yet to meet a genius in any business“. For example, if Donald Trump makes 100 to 1000 times the average person’s annual salary, does that mean he’s 100 to 1,000 times smarter? Absolutely not.

I remember reading a Jack Nicholson interview a long time ago when he was asked about his great performance as the Joker in the Batman movie in the late 1990’s. He replied “it was easy – I just worked the suit“. That strategy is true and can be applied to any motorsport job. Get educated, get your goals in order, get focused and get into your “suit” and “work it” to your own success.

Mike Coraluzzi, PMP