The right way is to go out there, be faster than everyone else, and impress with your talents. The wrong way is to give a bunch of interviews about your ground-breaking NASCAR career when you haven't qualified for the sort of licence that would allow you to compete in the series.
It was International Women's Day on Friday. By rights, I should have been celebrating the achievements of women in motorsport. And no sniggering at the back - anyone who knows their motorsport knows that there are achievements aplenty to celebrate.
Instead I find myself in the sad position of reading about the exploits of one Tia Norfleet, who has garnered oodles of column inches for being the first black woman in NASCAR. Except she kind of isn't. At all.
But what Ms Norfleet appears not to have realised is that by pimping herself out as a NASCAR groundbreaker when she is nothing of the sort, she is making life that much harder for the first talented black woman who does have what it takes.
Remember the boy who cried wolf? Tales and fables of that ilk exist as moral lessons made easily palatable for children. And what we all should have learned from wolf-boy is that telling lies makes it that much harder for people to believe the truth when it comes.
Part of the problem of being part of a minority group...is that people tend to get tarred with the same brush
But when it does come, and this young woman is trying to find sponsors to help her achieve her goals, and those sponsors do a bit of research? Ms Norfleet's name and story will pop up on Google. And that will only make it that much harder for our up-and-coming young racer to convince potential sponsors to take a gamble on her.
Part of the problem of being part of a minority group - whatever the minority - is that people tend to get tarred with the same brush. An unacknowledged aspect of white privilege (predominantly white male privilege) is that you are allowed to make your own mistakes. You're an individual, and individuals are allowed to screw up.
But when you're Other in any way - be it because of your race, your gender, your religious persuasion, or anything else that might spring to mind - you are seen as a representative of the whole group that constitutes your particular type of Other.
The below cartoon from xkcd is something of an over-simplification of the point I'm trying to make, but it's one that I and many of the people (not just women) I know have experienced on a regular basis.
I am lucky to work in a world where my colleagues respect me for my talent and work ethic. I have never been subject to discrimination inside the paddock. We joke that F1 is motor-racist - no one cares who you are or where you come from, as long as you're good enough, quick enough. Outside the paddock, however, it is another matter entirely.
I hope that Ms Norfleet realises the damage she has done. She has not just made herself look like a fool, oh no. She has made it exponentially harder for a serious contender to achieve what Ms Norfleet has fraudulently laid claim to: to become the first black woman in NASCAR.
Happy International Women's Day.
Kate Walker is F1 Editor of girlracer and Assistant Editor of GP Week. Follow her on Twitter @F1Kate, or read more of her writing at www.f1katewalker.com.