Aren’t those runners in the London Marathon, in fact in any marathon, so inspiring? I have total respect for them whether they would count themselves as professional athletes, amateur athletes or just casual runners …
To be the best in any field takes so much dedication and, of course, achieving professional status is testament to one’s talent and commitment. With daily financial pressures removed, these top runners are allowed to really focus on improving their performance.
Amateur runners have it pretty tough, as of course this amounts to a past-time, albeit a pretty strenuous one. Not only have they got to do their normal work, but they’ve got to find time to do some pretty serious training too.
“Casual runners show grit and bloody-mindedness to get them through the experience!”
Sometimes I’ve heard these casual runners referred to as ‘fun runners’ which strikes me somewhat as an oxymoron. It’s like going to the gym, which in its own right is not great ‘fun’, but the resultant feeling and surge of hormones doesn’t half feel good.
I imagine the feeling of elation is amazing, having pushed both your physical and mental strength to complete the 26 miles and 385 yards. The camaraderie amongst the runners and the massively supportive crowd must be a truly special feeling.
There are lessons we can learn from pro, amateur and casual runners in regard to our businesses! With no doubt, the clearest message from them all is the importance of persistence. There’s no doubt the easiest way in which to fail is to simply give up.
In all walks (sorry no pun intended) of life, we face challenges and problems; it’s how we deal with them that matters. Many of you will be aware of my past experiences suffering from depression and one of my biggest issues was not being able to deal with these challenges and problems. When the pressure came on I’d crumble, so it became easier to avoid even a hint of difficulty, which basically meant doing only those things well within what had become my rather small comfort zone. These runners are most certainly pushing the limits of their comfort zones and I’m glad I have got past my problems.
Now I’m no running coach, but thinking about my experiences of both receiving and giving business coaching, I imagine being clear about your goals is crucial and then breaking these goals down into mini-goals or targets so as not to overwhelm yourself is pretty important.
“Whenever you achieve one of your mini-goals you should allow yourself a small celebration!”
These are so important to keep you on track, even if it’s simply allowing yourself an inner smile or some positive self-talk. In our business, Kim and I make a point of talking about our achievements and my business coach, Chris Clark (and Mr Clarke, if you had a website I’d include it here!), always starts our sessions by asking, “What’s new and good?” and I’m now in the nightly habit of writing down my gratitudes for the day.
Now of course, we’re all going to make mistakes. Runners train not only to achieve the right level of physical fitness, but also to hopefully make these mistakes before the big race.
So, in fact, we shouldn’t call them mistakes at all; isn’t ‘lessons’ a far better word? So from now on we’re not all going to make mistakes, we’re in fact all going to learn some great lessons, which adds to our pool of knowledge and experience.
A great mate of mine, Mike, is currently training for a run. As well as building his physical fitness, he’s working on his mindset. His training includes regular runs to learn the route, so as not to make the mistake of losing his way when he’s running the real thing. He’ll also be working out the kit he’ll need; it’s pretty important to make sure you have everything you need, whilst not carrying what you don’t. Every little bit of extra weight makes a difference.
But it’s only by practicing – trying, testing, refining and repeating that he’ll achieve his goal. And his goal is the Lakeland 100; that’s a 100 mile run through the fells and valleys of the Lake District!
“Good luck Mikey Boy!”
Similar principles apply to our businesses: persistence, not giving up, practicing, trying, reviewing, refining and repeating. Drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to talk through how applying a similar approach to your Brand and marketing can transform the performance of your business.
With all that talk of running, I’m off for a rest now!