31 May

Transfinder Flashback: Compete Against Yourself

Transfinder Flashback: Compete Against Yourself

From The Times Union / By Antonio Civitella / May 31, 2019

Not long ago I spoke before a group of college students and gave them a top 10 list of things I would want to hear if I were graduating from college today.

I mentioned one of those tips on a recent column, Always Be Prepared.

Here’s another tip I shared that day with students: Compete against yourself. If you’ve participated in an individual sport and even team sports, you know what I’m talking about. If you ran track, you always wanted your PR – not public relations but Personal Record, or PB, Personal Best. You want to do your best not just to win but to be the best that you can be. Did I give it all I had? Did I leave my best on the field or the court or the ice?

I recently ran my first CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge 3.5-mile run. Yes, I passed some people and some people passed me. But next year, if I have the opportunity to run again, the person I’ll really be running against is myself and my time from this year. I want to be better in 2020 than I was in 2019.

At Transfinder, the school bus routing company that I lead, it’s the same thing. We measure everything and we do that for one reason: We want to keep getting better. We want to have more happy clients this year than last year. We want to have more revenue this year than last. Each team at Transfinder, sales, support and development, has its own goals. In sales, for example, everyone has a goal to make more phone calls today than yesterday, more calls this week than last week. In support, it’s to close more tickets quicker than last year.

When I was growing up, my Dad used to tell me not to get good grades to make him proud. Many people live their lives to either make someone proud or to prove someone wrong. But my Dad told me to work hard to get good grades for myself, so I can be proud of my efforts. I think he knew that if I was proud of my effort, he too would be proud. But it started with me competing against myself.

And that’s the advice I’d give to all of you: Compete against yourself. Look at where you may have messed up or didn’t do as well as you’d like and learn from it.  Every month at the New York BizLab where we host the BizLab-Clarkson Lunchtime Entrepreneurship Series we feature leaders of the most successful companies in New York’s Capital Region. And you know what, I have yet to hear someone say they never made a mistake. But you know what I do hear is how they learned from their mistakes.

So don’t stop short of the finish line. Don’t slow down. Keep working toward your Personal Best!