For the past few months I’ve been training for my first half marathon and on April 3rd all that work will be worth it when I (hopefully) cross the finish line! Marathon training is a lot like what it takes to be successful in business. You might be thinking that’s quite a “stretch” but hear me out!
Being successful in business and running a marathon requires risk taking, discipline, and not giving it up when it gets hard and hurts. I’ve discovered that completing a long run is one part physical and ten parts mental. It requires a lot of self talk and mind games (just one more mile, one more tune, you can do this!) the same is true for being in business. There will be times that try your patience – times when you just want to give up and stop running. Times that test your decision about undertaking this journey. Those are the times when you have to take a deep breath and keep moving forward.
There will be days in business and when you run that are cold, windy, stormy and not fun. But there will be more days when you feel that rush, that freedom, that sense that you are strong, alive and can accomplish anything! Those are the days that keep you going!
Similar to completing a long run – starting a business is an adrenalin rush. Those first few miles are when you feel your best. Your energy level is high and you feel as though you can go the distance. It’s those “middle” miles – after the initial start-up period when most businesses fail and runners quit. Those are the miles that require the most work and perseverance to push you over the hump towards the finish line. Once you can see the finish that adrenalin comes back in a big way!
What that finish line looks like is an individual choice. As a business owner it may be to make enough money to quit your day job, to be able to pay your bills doing what you love, or it may be to create jobs and expand rapidly. What drives you towards that finish is what will keep you going to get there. Runners have their own reasons for running and how and when they get to the finish is also an individual choice. For some it’s about get there as fast as possible – for others it’s just about getting there!
Whatever the distance and whatever your goals as a runner or as a business owner remind yourself that it’s only one step at a time. Don’t dwell on how far you have to go but rather how far you’ve already come, how much stronger you are and how good it feels when you achieve a goal you never thought you could and then put one foot in front of the other and breathe.