“Two of my greatest passions include building companies and racing cars,” says Kevin Mulleady, a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist. “The former sounds a lot safer than the latter,” he laughs, “but I’ve found a lot of parallels over the years. Often what I learn in one realm helps me excel in the other.”
Mulleady references Mario Andretti, one of the greatest American race car drivers to ever live, as the author of one of his favorite quotes: “If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.”
“In business, just as in racing, you have to keep your drive, you have to keep pushing your limits to achieve true success,” says Kevin. But it’s about a lot more than just going fast. Racing cars has taught Kevin Mulleady many lessons about business, and about life.
1. Look as Far Ahead as You Can Says Kevin Mulleady
“When you’re racing across the track at speeds well in excess of 100 mph, you have to look ahead, you have to be able to anticipate what’s coming next,” says Kevin Mulleady. When you learn to look ahead and anticipate what’s coming, you have more time to react to sudden changes. And in racing, a few milliseconds can be the difference between success and disaster. The same could easily be said about business.
“To be successful in business, you have to be able to see the long-term, bigger picture. Build your organization with the future in mind. Although you should strive to remain present, it is imperative to avoid distractions; one must keep their eyes fixated on the vision. The faster you learn how to cancel out the noise, the sooner you can focus on the tasks that can create the biggest impact. Remaining present, while carefully planning for the future is a dichotomy that if mastered correctly, can ultimately enhance the successes of any endeavor,” advises Kevin Mulleady.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment Advises Kevin
“In order to get to where you want to be, you must first determine where you currently are – and that may require a bit of experimentation,” explains Kevin Mulleady. “In racing, one can determine the appropriate speed when taking a curve by testing certain limits. Taking a turn a little too quickly may cause you to drive over a ragged edge of the track – a seemingly undesirable trial and error. But in hindsight, this element of experimenting with the speed of the vehicle actually reveals the boundaries of the track itself.” explains Kevin Mulleady.
“This level of experimentation is often necessary as an entrepreneur and in the business industry as a whole. Safe experimentation is actually a very valuable tool in business, especially when initiating a new endeavor. The feasibility of a business can often be tested by designing and executing an experiment. The most challenging part is constructing one in such a way that it yields desirable results.”
3. Invest in Your Team
It’s easy to think of racing as a one-man show, but nothing could be further from the truth, according to Kevin Mulleady. “Your team sets up your car, maintains it for optimal performance, and watches the track for things you can’t see. Driving competitively is a challenge in and of itself, if you have to care for the car as well, you’re going to lose focus. And if you lose focus, you lose the race.”
“It’s the same in business,” continues Kevin. “It is important to value your team and remain focused as a leader.” He believes that if you invest the time and emotional energy it takes to be a good leader, that effort will be returned to you.
“Keep an eye out for talent and loyalty and reward it,” advises Kevin. “Take your time and build a team you can trust to keep you on track. Remember, without a team, a race car driver is just a guy who loves cars, sitting all alone in the stands.”