Starting a business is like deciding to run a long race. I was out on my training run this morning, a brisk 5.42 (and yes, the .42 is worth sharing!) and as usual I think so clearly when I am running, everything seems to come into focus for me and aside from my feet hurting and listening to myself breath there is nothing to distract my thoughts so I just let them flow freely. I do a lot of speaking with God on these training runs, not at Him but with Him, because I do get clear directions and work through some frustration, hurt, anger, love, pride, awe………all in under an hour. So, back to my train of thought this particular morning.
I was thinking about the month that I have officially been in business and was feeling frustrated with where I am, with the less than stellar showing at some events and then I was reminded that starting this business is like training for my upcoming race. I couldn’t possibly sign up for my 15K race and show up and expect to compete if I didn’t train for months in advance. I can’t strap on some magical shoes and expect them to carry me through 9.3Miles (and yes the .3 is worth mentioning) without first focusing on one mile at a time. The current training mile that I am trying to complete on this day, during this training run.
Starting a business is the same. Starting a business means having a BHAG (Big Hairy Audaciaous Goal), the Vision. But not just the BIG Vision. How I plan to get there. How do you plan to get there. You have to train. You have to learn what you don’t know. You have to run those 2 miles before you can move up to running those 5 miles and so on. The goals you set have to be attainable and build on each other. If you focus on this one goal right now, knowing that big goal is the one you are reaching for, you can celebrate each training run, each milestone in your business. I have also found that starting a business requires being surrounded with people who will cheer you on, push you to work harder than you think you can or want to at that present moment.
Last week, I ran with a friend. We were scheduled to run 6 miles. I had in my mind the route I thought would take us those 6 miles. I was wrong….it was only 4.78. Holy crap. I wanted desperately to be done. We had finished the loop, but I told him we were running 6, so he wouldn’t let me quit, he pushed me (mostly gently) to keep going. He gave me marks to focus on so I could make it just to that mark then we could turn around. I have to say that in those extra 1.4 miles I didn’t like him much but he kept on. He wouldn’t let me quit but he also didn’t make me do it alone. He was beside me, telling me I had it, I could do. I did!
Those same types of people are needed on our journey into business ownership. There are days when we really feel like we bit off more than we could chew or even want to chew, but we have to make sure we have those people in our lives who will run with us, tell us we can do it and push us to be the best version of ourselves. Who are those coaches for you? Do you need to make sure you have someone who can run beside you when you want to give up and let you know in no uncertain terms, you cannot quit, but “I will run this leg with you so know what kind of strength you have” and you have someone to celebrate with when it’s over and you have made it?
Check out the shoes (IGS is on my shoe!) I just discovered the initials this morning while I was stretching for another long run. These shoes will take me over the finish line and IGS will carry me to my goal of business ownership!