Winning is Not Easy to Predict (For Everyone but You)

By Maribeth Kuzmeski

As March Madness in Men’s Division 1 Basketball is upon us it makes me think about all the prognosticators picking the teams they think will win it all. Very often, no one is right. For instance, last year, none of the 17.3 million ESPN brackets selected a perfect bracket in the tournament.

Basketball going into net

Warren Buffett has offered his employees at Berkshire Hathaway a chance to enter his annual March Madness bracket contest. First prize is $1 million a year for life for the person who can pick a perfect Sweet 16 in the tournament. Yes, Buffett is generous, but the reason the prize is so lucrative is because it is not easy to predict winners.

The odds of picking a perfect bracket run as high as 1 in 9.2 quintillion because usually an underdog team pulls off an unexpected win and messes up the tournament brackets. No one predicted the underdog team had a chance to win a game, but it is likely that they always believed they could.

Winning is Not A Chance Occurrence

In business, most of us are actually the perennial underdog. We are fighting for more people to recognize us, see us online, decide to work with us, talk about us, etc. The fact is that winning, whether you are the underdog or the favorite, is usually not a chance occurrence. Teams win because their talent comes through, players step up, their practice pays off, and the team comes together at exactly the right time. In business, the underdog wins not because they got lucky but because their hard work paid off (finally) and more people started to recognize and value their greatness.

The problem is that those who are in charge of prognosticating, don’t see the underdog as having a chance at winning. What if you created a big thinking marketing strategy that has you winning? As it turns out, those that are most ready for the challenge are the ones that win the most. Who will the underdog winner be this year? You?

More from Maribeth Kuzmeski:

If Your Prospects Aren’t Biting, Here is The Solution

Getting People to Remember You

Finding A Memorable Hook

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