It’s funny, ever since I started Puzzle Box Communications, I seem to find ideas and inspiration that help in running a small business everywhere. Take running, for example. I recently ran a half marathon along the beautiful Humber River in Toronto and afterward I came away with a few simple but very important lessons. So I’d like to share with you what I learned about running a small business from running a half marathon.
Take Time to Prepare and Plan
Seems pretty simple, right? But in the excitement of the moment or under the influence of inspiration, we often skip over preparing and allow ourselves to just go. This wasn’t my first half marathon — I ran the same one last year as well. I knew what was to come and I’d trained for it, but in the excitement to get going I missed one crucial preparation detail. The warmup. So by the time I reached kilometer 13, my IT bands, had started to rebel and my hips and knees began to ache something fierce. I had 8 kms to go! I should have known better. Like I said, it wasn’t my first time out. And if I’d just taken a few minutes before the run to warm up I would have saved myself a few days of discomfort.
Create a Network of People to Support You
I can say with absolute certainty that if it weren’t for the group of women I ran the half marathon with, I would never have run one at all. I started running with a group about three years ago. Before then, I always hit the road or trail on my own. I have to tell you, it’s a completely different experience. Before I started running with these women, I never imagined running a half marathon. I had all these ideas in my head about what I can and cannot do. It can be the same when you run a small business. You can get caught up doing the same things over and over, afraid to get to the next level. In my business and my running, I’ve been so very fortunate to have the support of positive people I can turn to for advice, support or a push when needed.
Stop and Take in the View
It’s tempting when you’re on the run, literally and figuratively, to just race on toward the finish line. And sure, there’s the satisfaction of accomplishing a task and achieving a goal, but if I hadn’t stopped at kilometer 13 to look around (and stretch my aching IT bands), I would have missed a gorgeous view of the Toronto skyline.
I’ve been running regularly for a few years now. It’s an important part of my life. It makes me feel strong, energized and helps me get clear. And these are all things I need in order to succeed personally and professionally.
So what about you? Do you have something in your life that keeps you inspired and moving forward?