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Jun 23, 201401:24 PMOpen Mic

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Get Fit contestant Gunter enjoying his fitness ride

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Ten professionals and 10 teams are competing in the 2014 Get Fit Challenge, a spinoff of IB’s popular Fittest Executive Challenge. Who will earn the healthiest marks? Follow along on Facebook and then find out at the In Business Expo & Conference on Oct. 22. This week, IB checks in with Randy Gunter, partner and creative director of The Gunter Agency, who is competing in the individual challenge.

Competition can bring out the best in a person. People in business hear this mantra drilled into them all the time. Just think of all the sports phrases that have worked their way into the business lexicon ...

It’s down to the wire. We need to meet our sales goals, so let’s make this kickoff meeting a slam dunk. We’re neck and neck with our competitors and we don’t want to take our eye off the ball now. Here’s the game plan: Find those heavyweight prospects and put a full-court press on those accounts. If we strike out on one, we’ll punt and figure out a way to level the playing field. Okay, the ball is in your court now. Go out and hit a home run.

Business books and magazines, motivational speakers, and your boss all want you to win at the game. But what if the game isn’t necessarily one that needs to be won? My mother used to simply say, “Do your best.” Hmm, can we be happy and successful even if we aren’t number one?

Over my life, I’ve been extremely competitive. I was an athlete in school and played to win. In my early years in business, I loved the competitiveness of winning new accounts. I took it personally if we didn’t land an account, even if we might not have been as qualified as our competitor. I was into competing for awards and was thrilled when those came in and disappointed when they passed us by. (We’re in the advertising business and there are more award competitions in our industry than in any given sport.)

As I’ve gotten older, my perspective has changed. Over the past several years, we have only entered two awards competitions. One we entered because our account had been bought by another company and we wanted to prove to this new entity that our work was of the highest caliber. We won the national award but still lost the account. Kind of shows how much those awards mean. The other one was free to enter, and so we did. (They did ask for money for statuettes after we won, which we decided we didn’t really need.)

We’re also not out competing for new business much anymore. And the funny thing is we have never been busier. New business is finding us, and our current clients continue to expand and add to our workload.


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