I went out for a run this morning. Many people do that every morning so you may ask what was special about today?
I have found there are so many comparisons with successfully running a business and physically pounding the pavements that I thought I’d share with you what was going through my mind at 6.30am this morning.
Staying on track
What happens when you fall off the track you were planning for your business and things aren’t quite going the way you thought they would? What happens when you lose focus and don’t achieve the goals you have set yourself?
For a number of reasons – school holidays, niggling injuries and plain old summer laziness, I’ve not been running for over 4 weeks. That’s a mighty long time in running world, especially when you realise that your fitness levels have taken a nose dive and your whole mindset has changed. You feel like you are back to square one and that can be pretty demoralising!
You have to start small and get your fitness back. You have to focus on what you can achieve and have achieved and start training to get back there as quickly as possible.
Mirror this over to running your business.
Maybe you’ve had no new orders or client work for a few days or perhaps someone complained about a product or service. You’re not sure where your next piece of work is coming from or a regular customer is downsizing. It can get you down, you go inside yourself and become unresponsive and introverted or you start to panic. The doubt and overwhelm sets in – “I’m no good. No one wants me.” You can start to spiral down and down and then what do you think you might get?
What you put out there is what you receive back!
Motto – if you fall off your business track then you just have to pull yourself up and get back on it.
Getting back on track will improve your mindset instantly and, just like muscle memory for physical activity, you will pick up where you left off. Things will feel different instantly!
I could have beaten myself up about my miles per minute this morning or the fact that for the first time in over 6 months I actually had to stop running and walk for 50 yards before I started again. Did I? No way Jose – I congratulated myself on getting out of bed and making that first move and do you know what, it felt good.
I also know that next week I’ll be back to my usual pace and increasing my stamina and mileage – why? Because our bodies, just like our minds, have memory and habit.
So, if you’re fed up, down in the dumps, feel like your business has lost its way – STOP.
Instead of it all whirring around your head and driving you mad, write it all down, get it on paper – whether that’s a flip chart in your office or the back of a receipt from your handbag – your choice. So long as it’s out of your head and on paper then that’s great. And if you have no paper, use your smartphone to record your thoughts.
Remember – you are in your business for the long haul! Just like those amazing Olympic athletes we were watching last month, they don’t give up after the first hurdle. It takes years of planning and dedication. So plan for the long term, see what you want to achieve, feel the buzz that will create for you and always have a PLAN.
Get help. Get objectives. Get goals.
Running a business just like physical running may feel solitary at times, so if you need someone to help you then ask. It’s impossible to be a CEO, Sales Director, Marketing Manager, Admin Assistant and Apprentice all at the same time.
If you want your business to succeed you will need to invest. Just like buying a great pair of running trainers – you wouldn’t run 3 miles in high heel wedges would you?
When I started running, I ran too fast, way too fast, like I was still 20 years old and running the 100 meters. So I got a pace setter and he helped me to focus on smaller things like running style, stride, pace, and small incremental achievements – Bob’s your uncle it becomes habit!
That 3 miles that was unachievable when I started became the norm. And why? Because I broke it down into achievable little chunks instead of massive overwhelm.
If you need someone to help you break down that feeling of overwhelm then that’s a great place to start and an investment into your successful business. Have goals, objectives and strategy because you need to remember that this is a planning cycle.
Your business, just like my running, can be a hard slog and inevitably there will be days when you get those “jelly legs”. So stay on track, get your mindset right and, crack on with the achievable. As my running buddy says “suck it up buttercup”!
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