One day, a successful entrepreneur decided to make his dream come true. He dreamed of owning a small racing team and driving WRC races in his perfectly tuned Skoda Fabia hatchback. There were a few catches, though. He had a Fabia, but a mass-produced one, which his wife would drive to work and to the shop. Also, he needed to learn more about racing cars.
This didn’t discourage him, so he sought a specialist in racing specially modified cars. The specialist would advise him on what he needed to arrange and change on his Fabia to successfully compete with the drivers who regularly finish on the podium of WRC events.
He was lucky. A friend of his, who was already a regular and successful participant in world races, recommended a middle-aged man who was a recognized and generally accepted expert on the subject. The businessman did not hesitate to contact him.
The expert welcomed him warmly and listened in detail to all his wishes and desires. The expert’s eyes sparkled when he heard that he could help the entrepreneur in a matter that was also his life’s mission and joy; preparing excellent cars and teams to be placed at the top of the world’s rankings. The expert obtained many details from the entrepreneur and also went to see the car in consideration. By the end of the meeting, they agreed that the specialist would work out a concept of the modifications needed on the vehicle and a strategy of what all would need to be set up or arranged to reach podium spots in WRC competitions.
After the agreed time, they met again, and the expert presented the necessary modifications to the car:
It was necessary to replace the engine with a specially modified one, which would give the car the power to compete with other racers.
The car’s chassis needed reinforcement – especially the cab so that it would not endanger the crew in case of an accident.
The whole car had to be lightened – some steel parts had to be replaced with special alloys that would take the weight off the vehicle and consequently boost its performance and speed.
Minor modifications had to be made to the front and rear of the car to meet the aerodynamic standards for this racing category.
The expert also suggested points from the perspective of the racing organization:
To have a service team big enough and experienced enough to fix the car between races.
Have a sufficient stock of spare parts that most often suffer from replacement in the racing business (engine, axles, gearbox…)
Have an experienced driver capable of driving the race car to its full potential.
Collecting sponsors to sufficiently cover the car with advertising logos and the team brand was necessary.
The entrepreneur listened to everything. He thanked him and paid for the work.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t what happened…
Over time, he began to think about the proposed steps and discussed them with his friends. He thought about how to implement the proposed activities on his own. After all, there must be ways to save money:
- He bought a slightly cheaper and older engine – a great deal.
- He decided to save on lightening the heaviest parts – he believed in the engine’s power.
- The aerodynamic modifications were also done halfway – that has to be enough.
- He hired a friend instead of a professional mechanic. He was lucky he just stopped by. He serviced the Skoda Fabia until now.
- They decided not to buy spare parts for the time being because they believed the way the car was prepared would be sufficient and no early modifications would be needed.
- The car’s driving was taken over by the entrepreneur himself – he had some experience driving a car on the circuit and wanted to try it out.
- There was no time to approach sponsors, so the only sponsor of his team was the entrepreneur himself.
He was happy about the whole initial execution. That led to a massive disappointment after a year of racing. The team did not place in the top ten even once; 4 times, they did not finish the race because of a crash, and twice they did not finish the race because of technical problems.
After a year, he made an appointment with a specialist again.
The expert listened to the businessman, did not interrupt him, and occasionally wrote a note.
Then the expert took the floor. It was no surprise to him that:
- The car’s engine lasted only half a season. It was obviously already welded and repaired when purchased. The low price the entrepreneur paid for it had its reason.
2. The savings on decreasing weight made the car too heavy. They did not deliver the required power to compete with other vehicles.
3. The friend who serviced the car always appeared to be busy with other activities when they needed him most and had no experience repairing specialty parts.
4. Spare parts, which they needed so much during frequent breakdowns or failures, were unavailable at the last minute and even forced them to not start some races.
5. The entrepreneur was a skilled driver, but his experience needed to be better to compete with the top racers.
6. Due to the absence of other sponsors, frequent breakdowns, and accidents, the team’s operation became significantly loss-making, resulting in the entrepreneur’s rapidly declining motivation.
Then the expert summed it up in words the businessman didn’t want to hear. “So, I see that your dream is far from being touched, but it’s still costing you quite a bit of effort, frustration, time, and money.”
The businessman had to admit it. But he asked with interest – what should I do differently?
The expert advised him that if he has traveled so far to see someone recommended to him as an expert in the field, they should follow his instructions and not do half-assed solutions.
Half-assed solutions will never get you to your goals.
The entrepreneur had to admit that the expert was right. And because his dream of a racing stable still wouldn’t let go, and he wanted to make it come true, he decided to try again. This time he followed the expert’s advice. It was challenging, and they still encountered many obstacles and pitfalls in the races. Still, after a year, with a professional driver and his favorite Fabia, they took 2nd place in the national race.
The entrepreneur still has the photo from the podium above his fireplace and tells his grandchildren an exciting and wise story about it.