Yesterday, I ran my second half marathon. I pushed myself to my limit and knocked 2 minutes off my time from last year!
I can’t help but see the parallels between my experience running my half and running my business here at Murnan Creative.
5 Ways Running a Marathon is Like Running a Business
As I’ve thought about this analogy, I’ve come up with 5 ways ways running a marathon is a lot like running your own business:
1. It Requires Persistence: Training for a marathon takes hard work and dedication. You will need to dedicate countless hours to training and make it a priority in your schedule to get your runs in. In business, the same rings true. Long hours and stick-to-itiveness are keys to gaining traction.
2. You’ll Need a Strong Support System: I could not have done my half without the support of my amazing wife Joanna. She kept me motivated and supported me being away for long stretches of time for my practice runs. During the day of the race, Joanna, Eleanor and my mom Sandy came to cheer me on. That support energized me and motivated me to do my best. When leading a business, you’re going to need help along the way. Your friends and family are the first people you talk to about your business and act as a great sounding board. They are also your best cheerleaders to help spread the word.
3. Measuring Progress is Key: I used RunKeeper to measure my progress every step of the way. The app not only gives me a synopsis of each run, but it also gives me mid-run audio cues with my average pace and total time / distance. When pursuing your business goals, it is important to make them measurable. You may want to get a certain number of readers or likes on Facebook. You may want to bring in a certain dollar amount this month. No matter what the metric is, if you do not measure and track it, you have no way to know if you are going in the right direction.
4. Push Through to Overcome Challenges: Training is never simple and rarely goes perfectly according to plan. About 2 weeks before my race, I got a nasty cold. I was unable to run for a solid week and was really worried that the lack of miles would hurt me. I also injured my left hamstring and that derailed me for another week. I didn’t let these setbacks stop me and reminded myself that not everything goes to plan. Challenges can pop up in business at any time. You may have a client go with a competitor or you may lose a valuable contract or advertiser. These things happen and I’ve learned that perseverance will help you weather the tough spells.
5. Crossing the Finish Line Feels Amazing: Words can’t describe the amount of relief I felt when crossing the finish line. During the Omaha Half, the home stretch of the race ended at TD Ameritrade park. There is something truly amazing about finishing something you start. I started to fade in the final 100 yards but pushed myself beyond what I thought I was capable of to make it through that finish line. All too often in business, we start strong and don’t quite finish it. The best business leaders find that extra gear to push themselves to finish what they start.
I am so happy with how my race went and wouldn’t change a thing. I’ll take the lessons I’ve learned during this journey and will apply them to what’s next for Murnan Creative.
Your turn: what challenges have you overcome building your business / blog? What are your metrics for success?