23 April 2015

A few days ago, David Coulthard wrote a column about Lewis Hamilton for the BBC. It described the Formula One driver as having a “different aura” from past seasons and being calmer and more connected now than ever before.

Image credit: www.lewishamilton.com

Image credit: www.lewishamilton.com

It’s true that there seems to be something different in Lewis Hamilton’s demeanour. His Twitter account is filled with Tweets thanking his team, showing that he hasn’t put his own ego in pole position. So what is it that has made the change in this undisputedly talented young man?

Perhaps he’s simply growing up. Reflecting on my own journey, I can see that when I turned thirty something changed. I knew that starting up UKFast was my last real chance at success as a businessperson and entrepreneur, so I stepped up the pace and really focused on the job at hand.

This is another thing that is mentioned in Coulthard’s column, as he wrote of Hamilton: “He seems to have developed the ability Mika Hakkinen had of being either unaware of – or unaffected by – whatever is happening in the media or the world around him, outside of driving his racing car…”

It is this intense focus and removal of external distractions that allows you to get to the top of your game. If you look at any great athlete, I’m willing to bet you will find a similar kind of focus. It is the same in business; I remember the early days of UKFast, when Gail and I used to walk to work together. As we approached the office we were based in at the time, I would let go of her hand. It was almost like I was switching into “work” mode and getting into the focused mindset I needed to achieve as much as I possibly could.

In those days, we burned the candle at both ends, running a 24/7 business between us. It’s not something I could – or would – like to do now, but it taught us both about the importance of dedication and focus in chasing and achieving your dreams.

What do you attribute Lewis Hamilton’s new attitude to? Has he grown into himself now? Is he happier with the team that he’s in? Or is it something else entirely?

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