Do you watch the Tour De France (Le Tour)? As I live in France, we also go to watch one of the stages nearby in the Pyrenees. We witness stamina, endurance, perseverance and ultimately, crash & burn situations.

We were watching stage 16 live not far from our house and returned home to watch the final 100km on TV. It was a bit strange having been at the race and then watching the same stage on TV. However, just 50km from the finish line, on one of the more dangerous roads, we witnessed Phillippe Gilbert’s speed wobble that literally propelled him head over heels over a wall:

I know these roads well. I travel them on my motorbike because they are small, winding and usually quiet. Great for pottering (or perhaps ambling in my case). I can tell you that the bends are severe and each drop on these outer corners is usually vertical and the ravine cut very deep.

I was sure the poor guy had broken every bone in his body. Yet a few minutes later, he scrambled back up, got back on his bike and continued the stage. I wondered why! Surely, he should have stopped the stage and rested his battered and bruised body until the following day at least?

Keep going, no matter what!

So the story continues: although Phillipe did finish the stage, he was in fact injured with a fractured lateral pole of the patella (broken kneecap) and therefore out of the race. Out of Le Tour. He’s known as a guy to “fight to win the day” but that day, he lost his fight.

So why did he get back on his bike? He was so full of adrenaline and fear of not getting to the finishing line, it was enough false energy to get him back on that bike and racing again.

The cyclists speed and take calculated and experienced risks. They are against the clock. They are against each other. They are on form. The adrenaline is pumping. Spectators are egging them on. They have a burning desire to be successful.

Win the battle, lose the war!

However, this is only one stage, in a race of 18 stages.

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Experienced riders know how to pace themselves. They have their strategy in place and stick to the plan or tweak as they go, depending on what’s happening on the day, with their team members and the other teams in the race.

Rarely do they improvise unless they are literally caught in the moment, like Phillipe above, disappearing into the abyss.

If Phillipe hadn’t had finished the stage that day, could he have completed the race overall? I doubt it, but we’ll never know. He ensured he was out of the race by getting back on his bike after his crash. He crashed and burned.

Don’t crash & burn in your business

When you take a massive hit in your business, you will decide whether to complete that one stage and be out of the race, or bow out of the stage and possibly complete the full race.

Either way, you are probably not in a position to win, so you can decide what’s more important for your business:

your pride, your sense of urgency, your need to win, your need to finish, or the longevity of your business.

If you crash and burn early in the race, your business will too. As a small business owner, you don’t have a team who have your back and can pull you through to the next stage to the finish line.

You could have though!

That’s what outsourcing is for.

Outsourcing is a Crash & Burn preventative. Don’t wait until you’re too tired, over-worked, or burnt out! Read my last post on starting smart with a virtual assistant.

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