It’s tough to lose when you put so much time and effort into something. But it happens all the time. At a recent major regional horse show in Katy, Texas, “Freddy” my wife’s champion dressage horse, placed second in one of the events that he was entered into – along with 36 other horses! He missed that top coveted spot by less than half a percentage point! So close, but no Cuban cigar! (But none-the-less a major accomplishment for a young 5 year old). The next event he was entered into turned out to be a major disappointment for Freddy. Horses are very sensitive to subtle changes in their “operating environment” and a “simple” change such as having a ring steward move his / her location, or sit versus standing can totally change a horse’s perspective as to where he is and what the potential “dangers” might be. Well, that’s exactly what happened to Freddy. One of the event’s favorites was now down the list and out of the running for an award. To say the least, Freddy was upset and disappointed. He had trained so hard for this. But something out of his control changed everything for him on that Friday afternoon in Houston. But he will bounce back. He will regain that top spot again, and very quickly I might add. Why? Because he is smart and he is constantly learning from his mistakes and from his operating environment.
As individuals and as business owners there is a lot to learn from Freddy’s experiences at this major dressage competition. Sometimes all the preparation in the world will not overcome those unexpected “black swans” that will come our way. But if we learn from the experiences and bounce back with genuine energy and enthusiasm, we will all make it back to the podium to claim that top prize.