How To Come From Behind

“It’s not how you start that’s important, but how you finish!” -Jim George

This week, the buzz in the world of sports wasn’t surrounding the NBAor the NHL playoffs but around a horse – Rich Strike – the horse that won the Kentucky Derby by the longest shot in over a century.

​​At 80:1 odds, Rich Strike’s astonishing come from behind win was amazing in and of itself but toss in the fact that Rich Strike wasn’t even supposed to be at the race, and the legend grows taller.

Rich Strike barely made the cut for the Kentucky Derby. The Derby is limited to a field of 20. Rich Strike was No. 21 on the final points list for the Derby. He was basically “on-call.” He only made the Derby field because on the Friday morning before the Saturday start; when trainer D. Wayne Lukas chose to scratch his horse Ethereal Road.

Rich Strike wasn’t even supposed to be in the Derby, let alone win it. However, once Rich Strike gained admission, his trainer Eric Reed had a plan. “Get a good break and work over to the inside. Start picking them up midway on the backstretch and pass them all before the finish line.”Akron Beacon Journal.

Following Reed’s plan is exactly what jockey Sonny Leon did. At the one mile mark of a 1-¼ mile race, Rich Strike was in 15th place, but Leon got a break when the rail opened up and worked the inside and made up enough ground in the last ¼ mile to finish three-quarters of a length in front of 4-1 favorite Epicenter. As improbable as the story is of Rich Strike’s win, so is the story of his rider. A Venezuela native, Sonny Leon was an unknown who had never even won a graded stakes race before the Derby. But he and Reed had a plan and executed it to perfection – striking it rich.

There’s a lesson we can all learn from Rich Strike: ​​It’s not how you start that’s important, but how you finish.

​​As I engage with investors across the country, I often hear how some investors feel they’re too far behind the eight ball to consider getting into a new business or getting started in the world of alternative investments. However, as the world of business and investments opens up opportunities, some – like Rich Strike – will take full advantage with a goal of charging to the finish line.

In business and investing, it’s never too late to start.

​​It doesn’t matter where you’re from, what your track record is, your pedigree, your background, or any of that. If you follow the plan – a plan that many successful investors have followed in the past to victory – you have as great a shot of achieving your goals as anyone else.

Your past doesn’t determine your future.

​​What you’re willing to do on the road ahead and what you’re willing to do in terms of training, acquiring knowledge, and exercising discipline, will set you up to win in business and investing.



Mike Ayala has owned and operated mobile home parks since 2007, and has been active in construction and management since he was 15 years old. He graduated from the Associated Builders and Contractors 4-year project management program at age 22 and then became a licensed instructor. He is also the host of the Investing for Freedom podcast.