When I was young, I played basketball. I’m not tall, so this was perhaps not the best choice, but I loved it. To compensate, I practiced a lot, especially when it was raining, because when it was raining, I was pretty sure that no one else was out there. It would just be me. It was my chance to gain an advantage. Let it rain!
In cycling (think “Tour de France”), when do the strongest riders typically emerge from the pack? During the 3-week long Tour de France, they ride about 3500 kilometers (about 2200 miles) across flat land, up and through mountains, and back down. It is usually during the mountain stages—especially the grueling uphill portions—where advantage is gained and the leaders emerge.
Similarly in business, we have times of tailwind and times of headwind. With a tailwind (when the economy is strong, when our market cycle is on the upswing), we all feel smart and strong. But headwinds reveal truth.
The lesson from all of this for me is this: The best time to gain advantage is when it is raining, when the going is uphill, and when the headwinds are fierce. We train on all the other days to be strong and prepared for the tough days—not just to survive, but to be ready to take full advantage of the opportunity they present. Let it rain.