What Running has Taught me About Running a Business

Let me put this blog post into perspective for you. This is my 11th year out of school and I haven’t proactively done any physical exercise since, it’s a miracle that I’m not obese. I’m your typical ‘let it slide guy’ who wakes up just as he’s about to turn 30 and frantically starts to do exercise. As I’ve journeyed to the Nirvana of fitness I’ve realised just how similar running is to ‘running’ a business. Here are a few things I’ve thought about:

  1. You’re Never Too Unfit To Start

I guess the first point that should be made is about the start. The problem with most people is that they never start. They wish they’d started but always end up depressed that they never did. Start! Do it now. In fact if you’re at home reading this then go put on your shorts, T-shirt and running shoes. Go for a 5min run and come back to read the rest. You’re never too unfit to start. Start your business today, start planning, write down your first year’s goals. Get going. You don’t have to know everything in order to start.

  1. Running With Partners

I’ve mentioned this in a previous blog post but running with partners is much easier than running alone, why? Because we’re motivated by others. When we see others doing it we realise that we can too. Also there’s nothing like having someone there to urge you on when you feel sluggish on the uphill. In business it’s the same, having someone doing it alongside you, motivating you to carry on, is invaluable.

  1. Running Gear

If you’ve got the wrong running shoes, you’re eventually going to get hurt. Make sure that you have the right tools to run your business.

  1. Try Beat Your Best (Try And Do Better Than You Did Last Time)

The only way to progress and become better is to keep challenging yourself to be better than you were last time. I started running a 5km Parkrun in Lonehill. I started with a time of 33:55mins, I’m now down to 25:33mins. I kept trying to beat my previous time. When you run a business you need to keep trying to do things better than you did last time. That’s what creates value for your clients, it’s what makes you different.

  1. Book Races, Setting Milestones

Setting goals is vital. Aim for the stars and you’ll hit the moon. If you enter a race you’ll be motivated to keep going. If you set a goal for your business’ turnover by a certain date you’ll be motivated to achieve the goal. 3 months ago I ran 0km a month. This month I hit 100km total for the month.

  1. Perseverance (The Pain, The Hills)

Running is often painful. Most mornings when I wake up at 6am to go for a run I really don’t feel like it. Sometimes my legs hurt like hell. Hills often make me feel like walking. But this is where perseverance comes in. Perseverance builds character. Same with your business, there will be days when you just don’t feel like it, when it hurts to get out of bed. But those days can’t compare to the days when you run with the wind at your back. The victory is sweet and it will come! I’d like to add that walking is not a sign of weakness, it’s an indication that you know where your limits lie.

  1. It Takes Time

Building fitness takes time. Building a business takes time. Ask anyone, it just does.

  1. Discipline (Focus)

It boils down to discipline. The reason you probably started a business is because you think differently, you have your own way of doing it. That’s why discipline can sometimes be tough. But the discipline to keep going, to keep being excellent is what makes you the business owner, the race runner.

  1. Health

You can’t build fitness if you’re constantly ill. This is so important. You can’t run a business if you’re always ill. Look after yourself. it’s the biggest asset you have, your health! Give yourself an opportunity to recover if you’ve overdone it.

10. Enjoy The Scenery

I ran my first trail series race a month ago, I was working so hard to finish that I didn’t get a chance to enjoy my surroundings in the beautiful Magaliesberg. Work hard, but please do enjoy your surroundings, it should be part of why you do it. Take it in.

Here’s my last thought; if I can do it, so can you. You are good enough. Go do it!

– Jacques Du Bruyn

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