Unlike our Business Strategy Manager, Brian Hsia, who has run over 120 marathons, I have only run three! Running a marathon in NYC is like running a business in NYC! Actually, maybe a closer analogy would be a never-ending endurance race: one that goes on every day for a previously undisclosed amount of time per day! Here are four similarities of running a business (especially in NYC!) and running an endurance race.
Dropped your favorite gel out of your pocket? A rogue new blister on your toe (even though you put on body glide?) The dreaded mile 13 porta potty emergency? Facts are facts. No matter how much you train for a marathon, things happen. Just like in running a business, the plan will never go exactly as planned. Maybe once or twice, yes. Flexibility and the ability to accept changes to the plan as they come will keep you moving forward!
If you had asked me in 2014 what I expected my challenges to be over the next decade, there is no way I would have included a pandemic and decreasing insurance reimbursements. I would never have believed you or thought these things were possible!
Grit is a requirement.
As Emerging Entrepreuer states “Nothing worth having comes easy—or fast. Slow and steady progress is what you need so you won’t burn out. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a marathon runner, that requires grit, discipline, and the stamina to continue when you’re tired, things are tough, or you want to give up.” Starting a business takes grit, day in and day out.
“One foot in front of the other ” was my 2020-2021 management mantra. Just keep going, I would coach myself. Sometimes when things get tough, uncertainty is the only thing that’s certain. This mindset is the way to go.
You cannot just wake up and run a marathon. You have to plan! As Saul Mishkin states in his article, Look ahead and figure out where you want to be in 3-months, 6-months, 12-months and then work backwards to determine the pace you need to set to reach those goals. Goals are never achieved unless they are set.
I love setting 5 and 10 year goals, even lifetime goals (!) and backing them into today. I truly believe any goal is possible if broken down into bite-sized action steps.
Training for a marathon requires support, whether it is from your friends, family or a running coach. The irony is that no one runs marathons truly alone. Same goes for business. You cannot do it all on your own. You need to surround yourself with people who support you and whom you can go to for advice!
I owe much of my success to the support of my friends, family, and the staff of Custom Performance. I am constantly asking others for advice and reflection. I acknowledge my ideas nearly always need another eye on them. The staff of Custom Performance have truly crafted who we are as a company today.
While running your own business is an endurance- like challenge, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing your dreams and the dreams of your staff and clients come true. Very much like a marathon, there is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment you receive. Now just wake up and do it again tomorrow!
By Wendy Winn, PT, OCS