No. I am not training for a marathon. But I drove to Oklahoma City this weekend to watch one! My daughter’s best friend was running her first full marathon, and best friend’s Dad was running his first half marathon.
This marathon is a tribute to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, and there were about 15,000 runners this year. There were also 10 runners running who hadn’t had a chance to finish the Boston Marathon. There were actually many others running in red socks to commemorate Boston.
So, how does this tie in to being a business owner?
- You are in it for the long haul.
Starting a business or running a marathon requires dedication and commitment, and that isn’t going to happen overnight. Runners know that they have to train for that first 5K before jumping in and going for a marathon. They set smaller interim goals to start with and work towards that marathon by first preparing for smaller races. Then, they set longer race goals until they work up to a half marathon and then a marathon.
In the business world, you also set larger goals and smaller, interim goals. As you work toward the bigger goals, you are reaching the interim goals. When the going gets tough, reach out and find a friend, a mentor, or hire a coach to get you through. You’ve heard many times how you should never give up, because success may be closer than you think.
- You have to work hard, especially when you don’t want to.
Training for a marathon requires hours and hours of running each week. For many, that means rising long before sunrise and getting those runs in before work. For others it may be later in the evening. I’m sure there are many days when you would just rather not lace up those shoes and hit the road, but the self-discipline will kick in and get you out there, easing you toward your goal.
As a business owner, there are many days when you would rather hit the snooze button or take the afternoon off. You may work many evenings, too, when it would be a lot more fun to sit and watch television or read a book. (and not a business book!) By focusing and doing all those little things that add up today, you can look forward to longer benefits in the future after your business is successful and thriving.
- The growth comes from the journey, not the destination.
Runners have a saying: “We know 26.2 is the short part because we run.” The 26.2 miles of a marathon are just the culmination of the months of running in the heat, the cold, the dark, the rain, or the sweltering sun.
‘The ascent of Everest was not the work of one day, nor even of those few unforgettable weeks in which we climbed…it is, in fact, a tale of sustained and tenacious endeavor by many, over a long period of time.” ~ Sir John Hunt, scaled Mount Everest in 1953.
Because it is going to take some time to reach some of your business goals, you may as well at least enjoy the journey. It’s a time to learn all you can about everything pertaining to your industry and skills. Each successive step on the way makes you not only stronger, but that much closer to the destination. Think of all the things you’ve learned so far, all the fantastic people you’ve met, all that you’ve accomplished to date. Then realize that you will have so many more wonderful experiences in your business life. The journey is full of riches.
This weekend I stood in awe of the thousands of people who did what I can’t do. They ranged from youngsters to seniors, and from trim to really overweight. But they kept going and crossed the finish line; some at a fast pace and some a slow one. But they finished.
Monday morning I asked myself, “What is keeping me from achieving the hardest thing in my business?” I want to feel that same joy that those people felt when they met their biggest goal!
What is keeping YOU from crossing the finish line?