Best Advice I Ever Got: Train to Win
Phil Dumontet is the founder and CEO of DASHED, the leading restaurant delivery service in the Northeast and one of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S. Here's how he trains for the hardest endurance sport of all: running a business.
Train to Win
When it comes down to it, being successful in business is about winning. I have a passion for running, so I think about my business in terms of training to cross the finish line with a sense of accomplishment. I founded DASHED, my restaurant delivery service, with this mindset--and it is a winner.
Last year, the company achieved nearly 3000 percent growth over the preceding three years and added big-name restaurants like P.F. Chang's to our roster. We pride ourselves on our unique partnerships and our ability to keep delivery green and eco-friendly. The run we're on is a marathon, not a sprint.
Here are three pieces of advice to bring home the gold.
1. Do one thing, and do it really well.
Star athletes don't play every position, and Olympians don't participate in every event. They specialize. It's tempting to fall for the myth of the business Renaissance Man, but the truth is that he doesn't exist. Do what you do best, do it exceptionally well, and delegate everything else. Mediocrity is the enemy of the business leader. If you do too many things at once, you'll be mediocre at all of them.
Everything we do at DASHED is driven by delivery times, so my obsession with speed has resulted in a growth rate that far outpaces our competitors. Focusing on speed compelled us to base staff bonuses on delivery times and roll out a fleet of smaller, greener, and faster smart cars.
2. Train your body as much as your mind.
Healthy eating and exercise improve your mood, increase your motivation, and reduce your stress, which is a serious roadblock to creative thinking. As a general rule, think about everything you eat in terms of how it will affect your energy and mood. Eating a high-energy breakfast helps you make it through the day without crashing.
Exercise clarifies your mind and calms you down. Getting away from work also helps you gain a new perspective on the problems you're facing and attack them with renewed vigor. There's no way I would have had the energy and clarity to make good business decisions over the past five years if I hadn't had time to unplug and get in the flow of running or hot yoga.
Another great natural energy booster and detoxifier is hot-cold water therapy. It's the secret of Olympic athletes and even James Bond. For the last 10 years, I've started my day with a contrast shower by varying the water temperature between as hot as I can stand and as cold as it gets for 30-second increments. It is more energizing than a cup of coffee and has numerous health benefits.
3. Inject your passion into your business.
You can't make it to the World Series if you don't love baseball, and your company can't become a force in the industry if you don't love it. Once the novelty of entrepreneurship fades, you'll need to infuse your business with your passions in order to keep you striving to win.
So ask yourself: What do I enjoy? What do I do purely because I love it? I brought my passion into my culture by making a friendly athletic competition a company tradition--awarding gold, silver, and bronze medals to the carriers with the fastest delivery times.
Whether your "gold medal" is a specific growth rate or an award-winning company culture, any business will benefit from a leader who trains to win with focus, passion, and a healthy mind and body. Figure out what makes you a better leader, and your business will follow.