What’s wrong with being second?

Americans (and probably others too) are obsessed with winning. As though being second, third, or fourth were unacceptable.

Two sports reporters were debating recently whether the USA women’s soccer team was a failure because it lost the World Cup final. Never mind that lots of teams would probably have been very happy to have played in the quarterfinals, let alone in the semis or the final.

  • Is Google a failure because Ask got into the search market first?
  • Is Avis a failure because Hertz is #1?
  • Is your business a failure if you’re not listed in the Dow Jones?
  • Should you shut down your blog because you don’t have 50+ comments per post or rank on the AdAge Power 150?

Of course not.

In sports, you have PRs.

You pesonal record is about being your best, not competing against Paula Radcliffe, Carl Lewis, or Michael Phelps.

Business is no different. You need to be #1 in your business—not against someone else’s yardstick.

Are you setting the right goals?

Photo by Pink Moose (Flickr).