My wife, Elisabeth completed her second marathon in San Diego in 2007.
As I watched the thousands of people cross the finish line, I had a couple of observations. See if my business metaphors might resonate with your own business or service.
Committing to run a marathon is the easy part. Preparing and training is sometimes difficult, tedious and outright annoying.
In the end, though I watched many smiling faces cross the finish line. Sometimes success is the best medicine for pain. Business Lesson: Plan, Plan, Plan for your business. Track and Test your results and push through the tedious, annoying details. Planning can take time and attention to details can be annoying. In the end, though, push through and execute and you’ll enjoy the success you have planned.
Consistency wins (Period). Business Lesson: Any business, service or relationship takes consistent work. (sometimes referred to as positive habits) Every runner finished the race only one way….one foot after another.
Marathons can be painful, tiring and exhaustive, but my wife admitted the second one was easier than the first. Business Lesson: Business growing pains can be also be arduous, but its much easier the second, third, fourth etc. time around.
I watched guys and girls dress as Elvis, Catholic Nuns, boxers and other silly “characters”. Despite the challenging conditions, these “characters” were smiling more than the others and demanded louder cheers from the crowd. Business Lesson: Don’t take yourself or your business so seriously. Have fun with it.
The month before the marathon, my wife, shared that her goal for the marathon was to “finish.” Reminding her that she and I already “finished” our first marathon many years ago, it was time to crank up her goals and reach even higher. She set a clear goal and beat that goal by five minutes and just missed qualifying for the prestigious Boston Marathon by a few minutes. Business Lesson: Set Clear Goals and believe in Yourself. When you set goals, you will be supported and mountains will move to support you and your goal. Set clear goals and visualize achieving them. You may be shocked by how much you and your business are truly capable of.
Runners come in many shapes and sizes. I watched many runners cross the finish line in all shapes and sizes, but in the end they all finished in the same spot. Business Lesson: Your business can come in many different shapes, sizes and flavors. In the end, it doesn’t really look like. You can have a business with 50,000 employees or a business with one member. In the end, all that is left is the result. The result in how you finished and the relative position you have with other companies.
I watched hundreds of people slow down and walk at mile 26 only .2 miles from the finish line. The crowd around them screamed and literally pushed them with momentum and energy. Business Lesson: Momentum is powerful and can be a great force multiplier. Use it and channel it to drive you to the finish