What has starting a business and deciding to run a marathon got in common?

Aug 12, 2021 | Article

Starting a Business can be a bit like deciding to run your first marathon. A good idea at the time, very exciting and even glamorous, but you can find yourself hitting the wall before you know it!

I love my business and I love to stay fit, but that hasn’t been the case all the time. One of my biggest aha moments in both in my business and marathon training experience was that in order for me to utilize my time, energy, and sanity efficiently, I needed to take on the experience of somebody who could guide me through the maze of learning’s that I had to go through, and pop me out the other end relatively unscathed and wiser for the experience.

So, I have decided to share what I have learned in the last 21 years of running my own business with you in mind, saving you time, money, and even heartache.

When I first thought about starting my own company 21 years ago, I remember thinking how I was going to change the world and be super successful with lots of clients on my books with many more waiting to come on board.  Let’s just say it’s been an amazing ride and interesting how things have turned out.

Let’s go back to my background.
I started my career as an Aviation Engineer in the British Royal Air Force, and it was there that I learned a great deal about leadership and personal development skills over a 17year period. From there I went into Investment advice working for a company in the UK and then for a large bank here in New Zealand. This provided me with a further 8 years of observing people and their behavioral patterns as they went through their daily routines. It was fascinating. It was in 1999 that I decided that I should leave banking and look at how I use my skills to help people understand themselves better as they navigated their way through the highs and lows of running their businesses. It was then that I decided to start my own business, as a business coach, as it seemed such a good idea at the time.

Well, like a marathon, I realized that I had to put in a great deal of training to get fit for the role, so I bought a franchise where I could be trained as a business coach. It certainly was a challenge, and I realized how “unfit” I was at the time. There was so much to learn!

Like the steps you take on your first training run, you can either go at it like a bull at a gate and suffer the consequences of pulling something that you didn’t know existed in your muscular system, or you can pace yourself and gradually build your speed as time goes on.  The same goes for running your business; early and constant monitoring of your pace is vital for continued success.

Like most newbie runners, business owners tend to have a good idea of what their intentions are, and that’s usually to work hard and become successful. Simple eh!

This is where my coaches (yes even I have a coach for my business and marathon training.) come in. They are my agents of change that work so well for me. They know me; they understand me and they kick my butt when I need it.

Here are 5 tips that you may find useful for both running your business and running. ☺

  1. Start off slowly and build your “mileage” gradually. Same with your business, build your systems slowly. Test them, tweak them and build on them to grow your business.
  1. Focus on Finishing. Remember, so many of us focus on competing (both in business as well as on the run) but it is a waste of your energy if you don’t finish. Complete first, then you can learn how to compete better from the experience.
  1. Prepare mentally and physically. Yes, this applies to running your business too. I have come across so many business owners who are washed out and tired of what they are tired of doing.
  1. Rest and Recovery. When running, this is a given, but is often overlooked due to the good old ego of “just one more km”. Injury takes a long time to overcome, as does not taking a break from your business. That’s when you fall into the trap of owning a business. You need to have time away from your business. 
  1.  Last but nit least, find a coach that can take you through the learning process based on their experience. We often accept this to be the norm in sports but never consider the benefits when associated with business. Crazy eh!

So there you have it, whether you are contemplating running a marathon or boosting your business performance, now may be the time for you to pick up the phone, or send an email, to a coach you consider worthy enough to help you on your journey. Do it now, as you may find yourself just running on a treadmill going nowhere.

Well, as I can well imagine, I bet you seasoned business owners out there have certainly a few tails to tell as you picked up the miles in your business marathon journey. You are most welcome to share them here.  Go on, come join me, and let’s share our learnings.

Can’t find the time?

Contact me and I can share some techniques with you.

Until the next time, stay fit, to run your business.

Ps. Click this link and watch me finish my first marathon. I’m proud to say I was tail-end Charlie, but remember Complete to Compete. Tune in to see how I learned from this experience to take on an Ironman!

See Ya!

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