The Rundown-How Starting a Business is Like Running a Half Marathon
Recently I ran my first half marathon, the Bend Half to be exact, and I’m definitely welcoming kudos and congratulations. 😉
It was a tough race, to say the least, and right around mile 8 I needed a distraction. It was in that somewhat monomaniacal and focused state that I started thinking about our next blog post. I know, the work never sleeps...or something like that. But it occurred to me, right around mile 10, that launching a startup is super similar to training for a half marathon. And, there’s a ton you can learn from both endeavours that may or may not contribute to the success of the other.
So if you’re a half-marathon addict who’s about to start a business, or an entrepreneur that’s about to take on their first half marathon, this blog is for you...see what I did there.
Get Comfortable with uncertainty.
Part of moving through the startup phase of any business is getting comfortable with the uncertain nature of your fledgling company’s successes and failures. Part of succeeding in business is being willing to fail--lots and lots of times--in order to succeed. And sometimes one success may cause you to take two steps backward before moving forward. If you can get on board with not having it all figured out, you’ll likely be two steps ahead of your competition.
Similarly, training for a 13.1 mile run has a lot of moments of uncertainty. Will I be able to run 6, 8, 10, or 13 miles? Is this sore muscle an injury or just part of the training? Which training plan should I follow? These questions, and more, are all part of the training process. But the biggest, most impactful thing I learned in training to run the longest run of my life was this--just get out there and run! Whether it be 2 miles or 10, your body is an amazing machine, and will likely be able to make it through if you are mentally willing to surrender to the uncertainty of the training process.
Find a mentor.
If you’re like me, it can be hard at times to take advice from others. I am admittedly a perfectionist and a control freak. This makes me my own worst enemy. Sad, but true.
When I started LTC, I was completely unprepared for how quickly it would grow, and I was equally unwilling to spend the extra time and energy I thought would be needed to gain business mentorship. This caused me to run into a lot of unnecessary setbacks, until finally I realized that there were others out there, with similar stories to mine, that I could lean on for advice. It was a game changer!
With any race in life, whether it be in running or business, it’s crucial to find ‘your person’ or persons (be it a friend or someone you hire) who can help you along the way. Even if it’s as simple lending an ear, or running with you as support while you train for a race. The mentor/trainer in your life will give you confidence, help you avoid pitfalls, and generally make the whole process a lot more fun.
Enjoy the process.
This seems so cliche, and at times too hard to do, but stopping every once in awhile to find gratitude in where you’re at, and give yourself a pat on the back for how far you’ve come, will work wonders in terms of rejuvenating your commitment to your business and/or training.
I remember the first time I ran 8 miles, it felt so impossible as I set foot out on the trail to start my run.y the end I was so invigorated by having accomplished a run of that distance I didn’t even care that I had dried sweat all over my face, and blisters on my feet-- had to replace my shoes that week. 😳
It’s become part of my day in business too. I try to stop at least once and think about how lucky I am to own a successful content marketing business and how grateful I am for my team. We work with and for amazing clients! If I don’t make myself stop and reflect on the enjoyment piece, I get bogged down with deadlines, and suddenly realize I’m stuck in analysis paralysis, or fire drill mode.
There you have it. A few ways starting a business is like training for a half marathon. Hope to see you out there on the trails or your new business taking over the office next door to ours!