Dreaming Against the Odds

May 6, 2014

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I'm Deb- CEO, worldwide executive coach, mentor, consultant and speaker. I'm here to help you take your leadership and impact to the next level!

Meet Deb

I am not an avid follower of horse racing on a regular basis, but I have to admit this year’s Kentucky Derby caught my attention. I love a good comeback story, and this one included several in one event.


Here you have two men, Steve Coburn and Perry Martin, who buy an $8,000 mare, deemed by many to be worthless. It was a risk that most everyone predicted would be a losing proposition. They took the jabbing in good humor, and named their business Dumb Ass Partners.


From this worthless mare came California Chrome.  horse


Not much was expected from him, but Steve and Perry noticed in him fierce determination when faced with obstacles. Their instincts told them he would be a winner.


So here you have two “dumb ass partners”, one worthless mare, and a young stallion that no one really took seriously.


And then they brought on a trainer. They chose Art Sherman. Art had spent 23 years a jockey and then became a trainer. But, now in his 70’s, his days of racing and training were in the past (or so he thought). As they had seen potential before where others did not, Steve and Perry again felt they had a winner in having Art Sherman as the trainer.


Under Art’s training, California Chrome began to become a stronger contender. He started to win.


In December, Steve and Perry brought on Jockey Victor Espinoza in hopes of taking the wins to a whole new level…and California Chrome has not lost since.


Those who once scoffed at the purchase of the $8,000 mare now wanted to buy California Chrome for $6 million. Though tempted, Steve and Perry decided it was more important to keep the dream alive and the team together. They felt very strongly they had a winning team.


Well, you who have heard the news know they were right – California Chrome won the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 3. Steve’s dream came true, and on his 61st birthday, he was literally standing in the winner’s circle.


To me, there are four levels in this story:

  1. The Dream
  2. The Team
  3. The Risk
  4. The Reward


You don’t go from Level 1 to Level 4 without creating a winning team and being willing to take the risk.  What do you need to take your vision to the next level?