All On The Field: 5 Competitors On Getting (And Staying) Ahead


Not all Competitors wear track shoes or helmets. Some put on a suit every day. Or they wield a laptop as their tool of choice for exceeding the achievements of the prior day.

Rivalries don’t define the five Competitors we’ve interviewed here so much as they thrive on certain fundamental conditions of our working world. Think about business for even a second, and competition factors in.

Digital marketers want to ensure consumers are reading or watching their content on a lunch break, not someone else’s. And only one freelance journalist can snap up a gaming news website’s last $200 feature slot for the month. And if people only have, say, five spare hours to exercise in a given week, a boxing trainer wants to make sure they’re chasing goals at his gym, not some faceless chain. So let’s hear from five pros about how they win … and then get motivated to win again.

Alexander Rossi

There comes a moment in every competitor’s life where they either decide to take their chosen pursuit seriously or leave it by the wayside as a hobby or biographical footnote. For athletes, that moment often comes very early. Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi proved to his father at age 12 that his passion for auto-racing was more than just a passing phase or the occasional go-kart race at the local fair.

Hear the full story of how Rossi stoked his competitive fire and began to stand out as a young driver in the video below.

Glenn Holmes

Benchmarks are important for any competitor. Realizing tangible and achievements is how you surpass them the next time. But not every competitor is a lonesome marathon runner. Sometimes your role is to make other people want to rocket past their prior achievements: that’s Glenn Holmes every day.

The fitness director at the Box ‘N Burn gym in Santa Monica, California has maintained a lifelong love of athletics because discipline is inherent to the pursuit. He wants his trainees to take that same mentality to heart. In Holmes’ eyes, you can’t remotely succeed with the gloves on if you’re not punching the clock as well as the heavy bag.

Suzy Roo

As a venture capitalist, competition is as elemental to Suzy Roo‘s job as it would be to any athlete. She’s looking for promising early-stage businesses to invest in, and being first on a good idea is crucial to her success. To be second means someone else got there first.

Each day, the venture partner and Vice President of Technology and Innovation at Atom Factory meets with entrepreneurs across food, tech, health care and agriculture sectors to explore and develop their ideas. Atom Factory’s “investment thesis” is to examine how the entrepreneurial idea before them fits with a culture rapidly shifting around technology. There’s nothing reckless about a good VC’s job, but there is that gambling element: Ryoo is on the frontlines of projecting which ideas will take hold and which won’t.

Naserin Bogado

In 2019, the term “content” has come to envelop much of what we used to consider individual mediums. And even if you still prefer to call them TV shows, news articles and podcasts, businesses are treating all these elements similarly: as consumables vying for people’s limited attention. So it stands to reason if “content” is everywhere, it’s equally impossible and so, so easy to ignore.

That’s where competition factors heavily into digital marketer Naserin Bogado‘s life. Her work has the mandate to stand out, to cut through the glut of noise right in the middle of the content world. And how does the Collect1ve Mind founder do that? By producing writing, video and visual marketing that is truly in the voices of her clients. Once she understands what makes her clients’ ideas stand out, she can design promotions that do the same.

Learn more about Bogado’s philosophies on digital marketing in the video below.

Taylor Cocke

The world of esports is steeped in competition. And we don’t just mean on the digital FIFA field or a League of Legends map. Young professionals who never touch a console controller are vying to become voices of authority in a gaming world that pushes closer to the mainstream with every passing year.

Freelance journalist Taylor Cocke is in that mix. He’s spent a decade covering video games for prestigious arts & entertainment websites, and while he says in our full interview that the freelance lifestyle suits him well these days, that also means constantly drumming up new feature ideas and working his connections for new angles on the world of esports.

“My Grind is my hustle. I’ve been at this for a long time, and I’ve never stopped hustling. It’s cliche, but you’ve just got to put yourself out there. Go for jobs you never think you’ll get. Pitch outlets that you’ve never written for. Keep pushing higher.”

Want to learn more about the Competitor lifestyle? Take our Lifestyle Assessment to see where you fit in and what professional paths might suit the skills and passions you’re already developing. (Main photo by Darren Nunis on Unsplash.)

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