Some of the same elements you need to start a business are the same ones you need to prepare for a race … Think about it.
Every year a nearby city hosts a St. Patrick’s Day parade and road race, and I’ve ran that 10k every year for the last four years. This year was different because I actually trained for it whereas years past I would have made a half assed attempt to quit smoking and maybe gone for a mile run.
This year, the ladies in my Muay Thai group decided to run the race together. One of our members is a runner so she put together a training schedule for us and we all did what we could to stay on track.
I took the race more seriously this year than I ever did before. Perhaps it was because of, or maybe despite, that I was also in the process of establishing myself professionally. I’ve been doing some social media consulting and it’s something that I’m starting to take pretty seriously.
In the past I spent my evenings smoking and drinking whiskey while tooling around on different sites, never really establishing anything but just exploring. This year I’m actually reading what industry people have to say and applying hints that I’ve picked up, though I’m still drinking the whiskey …
I can’t be the first person to see that there are a lot of parallels between running a race and starting your own business, but here’s what I noticed:
1. There will be hills, just put your head down and take it one step at a time. Do the work that’s in front of you and don’t stress about the rest.
2. Do your prep. If you’ve done your homework properly, then you won’t be stressed during the real deal.
3. Have a group. They don’t have to be just like you, in fact it’s better if they’re nothing like you at all. They do, however, need to see you as a valuable asset.
4. In the end, it’s just you. No matter how many supporters you have, you are the only one who can run your race and you are the only one who can implement your vision.
5. Have fun. This is what will separate you from your competition. If you have fun while doing your work then that playfulness will shine through in even the most boring of projects.