Your unfair advantage. (Or, cheating legally.)

We established last week in that one reason people accuse others of cheating is because they don’t like to lose. And they really don’t like to lose big.

And for some reason, people really, really don’t want to accept that they lost to someone else’s natural advantage. They don’t want to think that someone can be that much smarter than them, in that much better shape than them, or be that much better at driving than them.

They love to blame factors that are out of their control, right? The most common two factors: money and cheating.

A lot of people like to think that at a base level, everyone is the same. Everyone has the same potential.

We get frustrated when we see people in great shape, but deep down we think that we have the same potential. So it’s not cheating. (Insert motivational quote here.)

But we don’t all have the same potential in every aspect of our lives. The truth is that most people who are accused of cheating aren’t doing anything illegal. Many of them are ‘cheating’ legally by using an unfair advantage.

Illegal cheating is breaking the rules. It’s doing something that you’re not allowed to be doing. An unfair advantage is something that you’re competitors don’t have and can’t easily copy. Because they’re not you.

Insider trading is illegal. Using the connections that you have or network you’ve built to get inside information about engine tuning, shock adjustments and a million other things is not illegal – it’s an unfair advantage.

Buying components that are outside of the rules is cheating. Spending money that your competitors don’t have on parts they can’t afford is an unfair advantage.

You can use an unfair advantage to, basically, cheat your competitors legally. Legal cheating is not so fun for your competition. But it’s really awesome if you’re you.

So how do you do it? Figure out what your unfair advantage is.

Are you good at talking to people? Maybe getting sponsors on board is your unfair advantage. Or you can make connections with top manufacturers or setup wizards.

Are you fine with living lean? Maybe you put the majority of your salary into your team. Or require less trailer luxuries than your competition.

Are you good at certain mechanical tasks? Maybe doing your own engine work or rebuilding your own rears is your unfair advantage.

Being accused of cheating is probably the biggest compliment you can get as a team. It means your competitors believe you’re innovative enough to come up with something outside of the rules and smart enough not to get explicitly caught.

But you don’t have to be breaking the rules to get ahead in ways that others can’t. You can use an unfair advantage to do that.

So, what’s yours? (Leave it in the comments below!)



P.S. Some of you may have attended or tuned into The Brad Doty Classic this week at Limaland Motorsports Park. Here’s an interview that I did recently with Brad for The Dirt Classic Presented by Kasey Kahne on promoting races as a former driver.

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About the author

Kristin Swartzlander Kristin Swartzlander is passionate about applying business sense to racing 'nonsense' in hopes of growing the sport of dirt track racing. She is a business strategist who works with entrepreneurs and small businesses to help them learn how to use public relations, marketing and social media to achieve their goals. Learn more about social media, marketing and racing sponsorship on the DirtyMouth blog.