Article Date: 8/1/2005

Before the Book Hits the Shelf
Success in any venture almost guarantees a runaway business best-seller.

Judging from recent history, we can justifiably ask: When will the book, "Lance Armstrong on Business," arrive at local bookstores?

If this book isn't already in the works, then publishing is missing a million-selling opportunity. Mr. Armstrong has developed an exciting business. He's won his seventh Tour de France, an unprecedented accomplishment. Perhaps even greater, he triumphed over testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and brain.

Success by the book

Mr. Armstrong already documented the cycling and fight against cancer in his book, "It's Not About the Bike." The new book should build on the cyclist's motivation and traits that can create a winning environment for all enterprises, including optometry. These traits include:

Teamwork. You don't beat cancer or win the Tour de France — or build a successful practice, for that matter — without a team. Mr. Armstrong depended on doctors to recommend aggressive treatment that would give him a chance to recover without sacrificing any of his lung capacity.

Lance's team in cycling sacrifices individual glory for the team leader. Its members, who also compete in the races, get food and chase down breakaway cyclists while the team leader sits behind the main field and conserves energy until the critical time at the end of the race. Regardless of the circumstances, the team allowed Mr. Armstrong to focus his talents on the most critical challenges.

Equipment. Mr. Armstrong's Trek Madone 5.9 retails for about $5,000. Yes, it's a pricey sum for a bike, but in cycling, as well as optometry, you cannot build the best enterprise without investing in the best equipment.

Charity. Mr. Armstrong founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation to "inspire and empower people with cancer to live strong." The message is that when successful individuals or organizations give back to the community, people benefit in ways that can't be measured by dollars.

Motivation. Talent alone doesn't win yellow jerseys or beat diseases. Pursuing a dream means conquering the day-to-day drudgery. Such a mindset can yield unexpected rewards. "When I was sick I saw more beauty and triumph and truth in a single day than I ever did in a bike race," Mr. Armstrong has said.

Beyond the best-seller list

I can already envision the book signings, television interviews, the speaking circuit, merchandising, etc. None of this is bothersome because few have better credentials than Mr. Armstrong.


Optometric Management, Issue: August 2005