Second wins need a second wind

The highs that accompany a new business win are intoxicating. It’s all champagne, high-fives and a palpable sense of gratitude and relief. But once the celebration’s over, the success baseline is re-set. And all of a sudden we face a new sort of competition – with ourselves.

There were plenty of champagne corks popping in Melbourne last Tuesday, when long shot Prince of Penzance beat 100:1 odds to romp home in the Melbourne Cup in the hands of its first winning female jockey, 30-year-old Michelle Payne.

No matter what your thoughts about horse racing - and there’s been plenty of controversy on that topic recently – it was truly inspirational to witness Payne’s historic success.

At the age of seven, Payne told friends at school that she was going to win the Melbourne Cup one day. And win it she did, after 15 years of competition, the loss of her mother at an early age, a tough upbringing as one of 10 children, a fractured skull in 2004 and two falls eight years later that left her with a total of nine fractured vertebrae.

Payne credits her success to her work ethic. “We did have to work from a young age and appreciate everything that we got,” she told the ABC’s 7:30 program. “I’m just so grateful for my upbringing because I wouldn’t be here without that.”

Payne has already followed up with another win four days after the Melbourne Cup. And although keen to make the most of her success, she has also admitted she is not far from retirement.

This may turn out to be a smart strategy.

Second wins for Melbourne Cup jockeys can be elusive. The stakes are higher, you're in the public eye and punters backing you have sky-high expectations. In the past 30 years, only three jockeys have won the prize more than once.

If Michelle Payne does retire from racing soon, she’s definitely going out on a high.

But if she chooses to chase another Melbourne Cup win, she will have a tough road ahead of her. Without her 7-year old dream driving her, she will need to find a new goal to help her focus on the next race.

It’s tough to compete again when the prize has already been “won”.

If you aren’t ready to hang up your reins yet, and know you have a tough race in your future, give yourself the best chance of success.

Come along to How To Retain Your Most Important Contracts and Customers on November 24 in Melbourne and get yourself ready to re-compete.

Robyn Haydon is a business development consultant who helps helps service-based businesses that compete through bids and tenders to articulate the value in what they do, command a price premium, and build an offer that buyers can’t refuse. Don’t let others dictate how far and how fast your business can grow – take your power back! Email robyn@robynhaydon.com to request the white paper for the Beyond Ticking Boxes program.