When Joe De Sena, a former Wall Street trader, hosted the first Spartan Race in 2010 near his current home in rural Vermont, 700 competitors showed up. Last year, more than 500,000 people participated in 120 Spartan Races in 17 countries. De Sena knows competition: He has run several of those courses, and competed in Ironman triathlons, ultramarathons, and over 100 other major races. For our July cover story, we profiled the Spartan race founder and during our interviews he offered us these six rules for doing business.
Know a Guy
A lot of formalized business people don't understand the value of connections. Where I grew up, everything was: "I've got a guy." There was this thing of just keeping friends because you didn't know when you were going to need something. MBA types coming into the organization don't seem to value that as much. If you need an insurance guy, you would just go into the Yellow Pages. I ran into an old friend who's in insurance, and I told him about an idea that I want to flesh out. So there's huge value in staying friends.
Credit: Courtesy Joe De Sena