Repurposing Ambition

Episode Transcript

Julia Landauer 0:04 Hello, everybody and welcome back to another episode of if I'm honest with Julia Landauer. I've been friends with someone for over a decade. And they they helped me out with some brand stuff with my racing brand and identity back when I was in college. So I've known them for a while. And this person founded an apparel company called Clade Apparel, and they have really well and sustainably made leather jackets, that's where they're starting, and all made in the US. And as part of their product launch, they also wanted to send some folks some of their jackets and explain the backstory, and then give these people the opportunity to tell their story. So I got this really incredible leather bomber, and I was able to take some photos at Golden Hour in Charlotte back late last winter, or late last fall in 2023. And then a few weeks later, we did an interview. And the whole point of this interview was to get a little more philosophical and discuss some deeper concepts, and it's condensed into a readable format. But one of the questions that they asked me was, what is your greatest ambition? And this was kind of an interesting question to get at the time, because I had just started working at NASCAR had just kind of very publicly transitioned away from racing to to the business side. And so I want to read you what my answer was. I said, "my greatest ambition was to be a professional racecar driver succeeding at the highest level. And that's a pretty big one. And it's interesting, because it really didn't occur to me that I wouldn't make it as high professionally as I was hoping for until about two years ago. Even though when I look back on my career, it definitely slowed at times. And it ebbed and flowed. But I had full faith that I was going to be able to make it as a top level professional racer until about two years ago. So now I'm redefining what my big ambitions are. I realized that you could live a whole life just focusing on your career, you could live a whole life just focusing on having a family. And you could live a whole life learning about the world, I think, to try to live fully and to accomplish all of the little and major things that you want to, while also being a present person and developing relationships and enjoying what life has to offer is pretty ambitious. And I'm realizing it's really, really hard to do all of it." That's the end of my answer to the question. I'm really proud of myself in that moment of being able to articulate this kind of redefining what ambitions are. Because it was tough, it was still like in the thick of making the transition and having mixed feelings about it. But I think this does a good job. However, as I've thought about this more, I don't think of it so much as redefining ambition. I think of it more as repurposing my ambition for life. And that's what I want to talk about today, I want to talk about how we can repurpose our ambition to find purpose to find enthusiasm for what we're doing. And to build, especially if we're starting a new chapter, building a racing career was so so exciting. And there's the on track side of it, which is all of the driving and going fast and racing against other people, you know, the competition element is so much fun, the speed is so much fun, the thrill of taking corners at high speeds and feeling the G-forces the euphoria of winning the incredible satisfaction of successfully getting a team to work together. I mean, there's so much of the on track stuff that's so, so exciting. But I've always known that I've really liked a lot of the other elements that go into building a racing career as well. And I think about it as putting together a very complex 3d puzzle. And there are multiple ways that the puzzle pieces can all fit together. And even if you get the puzzle pieces together, it's not necessarily going to end up the way you want. But it's okay because you're identifying the different components that need to come together. You're being creative and figuring out how it has to go together. And that's a really exciting process. So you have the on track stuff, as I mentioned, right, all the racing track. You also have all of the training and preparation and sim work and visualization and making yourself mentally tough to be able to attack a racetrack and to get on with the competitors. Then you have the team building aspect. As I mentioned, you know, you have to join a new team and then inspire everyone to want to work really hard to help you and to have that good chemistry with the team members and to build that trust with people, especially your spotters and your crew chief and to learn the communication with the team. And then there's the business side of racing. There's everything from having a clearly identifiable brand and with things that you stand for And social media development and fan engagement and fundraising and sponsorship and leveraging what your strengths and differentiating assets are to be able to articulate your value and get people to write checks for you and your racing career. And then there's earning a living so that you can continue to pursue the dream. So there's just so many elements. And when I thought back on it, you know, the entire process a 360 degree view of building a career in racing requires being creative, and thinking about how those pieces can fit together. It requires persistence, and proactiveness. And asking for what you want and pitching yourself and asking for help and asking for feedback and figuring out what your next steps need to be. It requires articulating your value and clearly describing your vision and how you can help others achieve their goal is by supporting you requires thinking about best case scenarios and thinking about worst case scenarios. Building racing career requires collaboration requires having really challenging conversations with people it requires letting your emotions out enough to drive you forward, but also being responsible about the fact that you are in front of a large audience, and are usually a role model for other people. And how do you balance that it requires being able to be a great coach to yourself and to pump yourself up and to be able to be your own harshest critic, so that you know how to improve. There are so many elements that go into perfecting and building and creating a racing career, just like many other careers. And what I've realized, as I've been transitioning away from driving and figuring out what really gets me as excited is that I'm learning that it's really important for me to repurpose that ambition and that element, the problem solving the puzzle creation and putting together to apply all of those same process oriented things that I loved about building my racing career, and applying it to now my more professional facing career, I expected going into a corporate career that a lot of the system oriented things that I liked, wouldn't be applied to the corporate world, right, you know, you're still building relationships, you're still creatively problem solving, you're still providing value, you're still needing to articulate your visions, it doesn't apply to my own personal endeavors. But now it's related to the sport as a whole, right, the greater greater sport of NASCAR. And so I knew that I would be able to apply these things. But I really didn't have a clearer idea of what that would look like in practice in the day to day emotionally, even how how invested, I would get in what I was doing. And I'm really excited, because now at a little over five months into this role. I feel like I'm situated enough and getting well versed enough in the business and in the people and in all of the various ecosystems that are involved in the company, where I'm able to start putting together some puzzles, it's really exciting because I see the potential of now being able to really use my brain, use my expertise, use my experiences, and really get excited about the prospect of building. And just last week, I talked to my boss about starting a project that would help the business and he agreed that it would be helpful, and I got the green light to go do it. And there's something really, really satisfying and empowering about identifying an area for improvement, thinking about an idea. And then being able to go out and try to execute it. I'm really excited. It's a little overwhelming thinking about all the things I have to do. People have to talk with people I have to get on board. But I'm I'm really excited. And it's cool to actively work towards building something to achieve a specific goal. And it makes me more confident that there's still a ton of stuff to learn. And there's still a ton of ways to feel ambitious and to realize the ambition and to channel that ambition to be able to still be competitive, to still be diligent and thorough and hardworking and have to prepare really hard and to hopefully get a similar satisfaction when something gets over the finish line. So I'm optimistic and I'm really happy to be in this position. Now. The onboarding period is a little tough for someone who likes to move fast and get things done. My call to action for you is that if you find yourself feeling stuck, or if you find yourself feeling in a bit of a lull, I want you to think back to a time when you were doing something that you were really committed to passionate about working hard for determined to make work and think about the process. to us and think about what you had to do what you had to focus on what elements of going after that goal, were really exciting. And then experiment and try to find other areas where you can apply those same processes and those same mindsets to try to go after that goal. If you can fall in love with the process, if you can fall in love with figuring out what steps need to be taken, to be able to get to your goal, it makes the journey of getting there so much more exciting. And then you're more likely to be enthusiastic, you're more likely to feel motivated. And then you're more likely to feel exceptionally proud of yourself when you get to your destination. And I think that is really really cool. It's putting ourselves on a pedestal is giving ourselves that high of feeling like we have accomplished something. And I hope that everyone gets to experience that. So those are my thoughts on repurposing ambition to take what is so exciting in life, and to channel that energy and that mindset into other areas to make our lives as full and as satisfying as possible. That's our show. Thank you so much for letting me be honest with you. If you liked this episode, please share it with a friend please rate the podcast please leave a review, subscribe, follow us and check out my YouTube where I post shorts Julia Landauer. all over social media if you want to get in touch and have any questions or ideas, and I look forward to seeing you next week.