How Running 10km Helped Me Build My Business

Last week I ran 10 km. It was for charity, it was for fun and it was for personal challenge.
I haven’t run for that long in a while. Not since I was about 16 years old. I hated running in school and always resented my teachers for making me do it.

The first bit is hard. The hills are steep and the initial burn sets in immediately. I’m gassed within 5 minutes. It doesn’t help that we start in Victoria Park Christchurch and may as well be cliff-climbing the first 10 minutes (OK, I’m exaggerating… a little). 15 minutes in though, I really want to quit. I’m not kidding. My legs hurt, my lungs hurt, I’m dizzy and I’m kicking myself for even trying this. Then the strangest thing happens.

See, I work on my mindset ALOT. Affirmations, meditation, books, audio books, coaching, seminars and more. Every day I complete at least 1 hour theory and then more through applied action.

So I’m running up this ‘cliff’ and right at the hardest moment when I really want to quit, something shifts. Like a floodgate, affirmations started pouring into my mind.

‘I am strong.’ ‘I am fast.’ ‘I am driven.’ ‘I am successful.’ ‘I am young.’ ‘I am athletic.’ ‘I love challenge.’ ‘I grow through challenges.’ ‘I search for challenge.’ ‘I am a winner.’

It’s like muscle memory. My mind goes into a state of flow and my body follows suit. My legs start carrying me forward more quickly and the burn in my lungs subsides. Warm up done!

So, how does all of this relate to business? Let me explain.

The start up is #*%@*^! hard.

Kicking off a business is hard work. It’s blood, sweat and tears. It is all grind. It’s a roller-coaster. It’s about failure. It’s about learning. You push yourself to do things you don’t want to do. You fail at them. Then you try to do them again. You talk with 200 people. They say ‘No.’ You consider quitting. You question why you started in the first place. You sit in the shower and cry because someone treated you like crap on the phone and you know it’s your fault because you’re still learning how to communicate. You listen to people laugh at you and tell you what you’re doing isn’t going to work. You lose some friends.

Then one day some of the work you’ve been doing starts to pay off. The personal development you invested in keeps you grounded when you aren’t making money because you know building business is a long term game. The new skills you learned help you close 1 new client. You realise that you weren’t able to advance to the next stage because you weren’t ready. Now you are. Warm up done!

So back to the run.

About 15 min later I’m fatigued again. This time I don’t want to quit but I feel like I’m dragging a 5 tonne truck behind me. I get creative. I do what has worked for me in the past. I plug in.

That means plug in to a podcast I’ve been following by Simon Chan, a stay-at-home dad who’s earned over $1,000,000.00 with his company. Simon interviews business people and entrepreneurs all over the world – high-income earners from many different companies. They share success tips, advice, resources and stories.

I’m still running and I’ve plugged in. 10 minutes on another amazing thing happens. Hearing these people share their stories of hardship to triumph makes my 10km run seem almost tiny. Listening to the challenges they’ve overcome to get where they are shifts me into a state of inspired commitment. A quote springs to mind, ‘If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.’ I get perspective. My ability to succeed becomes greater and my 10km challenge shrinks. In my head at least; and that’s all that matters.

It’s like wind beneath my wings. My pace picks up. First it’s gradual and then faster and faster. Soon it feels like I’m flying. I barely feel the pain that was in my ankles and knees. My breathing actually calms and becomes regular. Head down, podcast in – I’m unstoppable. I pass person after person. My trudging jog has gone to a fast run.
I make a realisation.

Plugging into good resources is invaluable!

resource (noun) 1. a source of supply, support, or aid, especially one that can be readily drawn upon when needed.

My business coach has been saying this to me for a while: “Attend every event you possibly can, listen to stories of people who have achieved what you want to achieve, read books from leaders in your field, tune in to podcasts that will educate and inspire you, spend time with people who encourage you in the pursuit of your dreams, and choose to show up consistently, day in and day out, but ALWAYS plug in”

I didn’t understand the value of it. Until now. Staying plugged in to the right resources builds your belief in your self, your dreams, the work you are called to and the vision you want to make a reality. It helps you get another angle when you’re looking at things the wrong way. It shows you that calling your prospective client isn’t hard because you will be a success with or without them. It means standing up for yourself is easy because you know your product and service has solid value no matter someone else’s uneducated opinion.

When you are bigger than your challenge your challenge is smaller than you.

I reach a sign. ‘4km to go’. ‘Okay, not far to go.’ I think to myself. I’m slowing down. Getting tired again. As I pass the sign the marshall flashes me a wide smile, claps excitedly and yells, “Good work, keep going!” Her smile is huge. I smile back. It feels great. I pass another marshall. The same things happens. I’m nearing the end and the next marshall has a GIGANTIC beard. I almost burst out laughing. He claps and shouts some encouraging words. It’s fantastic. Each time I pass a marshall they cheer me on. The enthusiasm, excitement and encouragement releases a burst of energy and joy inside of me. I harness that energy and pick up the pace. I think about my friends who are ahead and will be waiting at the finish line for me. I think about my business. I make another realisation.

Teamwork is key!

Building your empire is a challenge. Even when you’re ahead. Having people to cheer you on toward the finish line is key to keeping the pace. These are the ones who believe in your ability without doubt. The people who see you as a star even when you feel like a failure. They are the crew that will bring you across the finish line. They are the ones who will be waiting there for you.

Today in my business I’m blessed to work with a team who see more in me than I see in myself. They encourage me toward my goals then ask me to ask more of myself. They cheer me on when I have a victory and give me feedback when I fail. They teach me to believe in myself because they see more in me than I ever could. They tell me, ‘I see a leader.’ They ask me, ‘I need you to step up.’ They remind me to honour my commitments and stay accountable.

I cross the finish line. It’s a great feeling. Strangely I start to wish the run wasn’t over. I receive my certificate of completion and go find my friends. We sit down for a rest and talk about the run. I think about my business and smile. I’ve learned so much in the last hour. It will be a good week to build business.

It was.

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