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Twentieth Century Drifter (Run Your Own Race)

Sunday, January 12th, 2014 by
bill cheesbourg
Indy Car Driver Bill Cheesbourg

I originally started this conversation on my Social Media blog back in May 2011, right after starting Country Music Chat #CMchat.  I revised it a bit here and there but pretty much exactly the same.

“Run Your Own Race” (the title of the original post) is something my Grampa used to always say, and “don’t drive by the rearview mirror” was a phrase students across the Nation heard when he spoke at Drivers Education classes. Coming from an Indy Car/NASCAR/Open Wheel/Stock Car Champion, I interpreted this as a racing and/or everyday driving tip.

He also said things like, “drive three cars ahead of you”, and “second guessing your instincts often causes accidents”.

Looking back, I see how he literally applied these sayings to life, and why he drilled them down my throat. He died before I had enough self awareness to realize the value of these clever anecdotes.

Focus On What YOUR Track Looks Like

In racing you look for your own groove in the pavement, or dirt. Worrying about who or what’s behind you, causes you to start running their race. It is easy to get consumed by your perceived competition.  Inevitably you start reacting in defense, instead of taking action with strong intentions.  As for hesitation and doubt of what to do next, it really helps when you have your own goals, and definitions of what success looks like. No one else can tell you what you are trying to achieve, you have to come up with that yourself.

Also keep in mind, that no one wins on the first lap, it is setting a pace you can maintain, and take care of your tires, gas, engine, chassis, body etc along the way. There is much strategy to consider, but try not to put too much pressure on yourself to stay ahead of who, you think is chasing you or, even worse, non teammates drafting you. As I learned the hard way rearview mirror driving, can cause accidents.

mind-your-own-business

Did your parents, or a sibling ever tell you, “mind your own business”? Well, here’s a reminder: quit worrying about what everyone else is doing.  This is the “New Media”, populated by swaggering experts who think that there is one way *typically theirs* to get ‘er done. So there you are, trying to stay on this Superspeedway while getting cut off and pushed toward the inside field. Palms sweat and insecurity mounts; you start to second guess whether you can even make it around a second lap.  I get this…been there, done that. Being judged by self proclaimed experts spewing rhetoric, believing that they know all the “right” moves. Always remember that that is their way, and at the end of the day if it don’t apply, let it fly.

Just Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Taken

If I had listened to everyone who told me that my website is too pink, the name of my company is silly, I’m too loud, I tweet too much, I should dress this way, I don’t talk right, my hair is too blonde, and going niche with country music and social media is dumb, I would have never even gotten on the track.

What does winning look like to you? Get dialed in, find the best pit crew to help you achieve your goals, and run your own race.

Whose race are you running?

This Marty Robbins song was our "going racing" anthem.

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Jessica Northey (529 Posts)

Multi-Media Personality Jessica Northey is the host of #CMchat on Twitter and TWANGOUT on Google+. With nearly 2 million followers across Social Media platforms she is a Nationally recognized Broadcasting and Social Media speaker on building an online following through Personal Branding. Northey has been referred to by Huffington Post as a "Twitter Powerhouse" a called a "Social Media Pioneer" in the Music industry by Forbes and ranked #3 in Forbes 2013 list of Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers and #2 in Top 20 Female Social Media Power Influencers. After 15+ years in traditional media experience, she founded Digital Media Firm FingerCandyMedia.com. In May 2011, Northey created #CMchat (Country Music Chat) on Twitter and it has become one of the largest organized 24/7 hashtag(#) communities on Twitter generating over 20 million impressions per week.


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  • Jim Sharp says:

    Marty Robbins has always been one of my favorite country singers. Thanks for the info about his NASCAR racing. Somehow I had missed that about him.