From maintaining discipline to adequately pacing yourself, there are plenty of life lessons that entrepreneurs can glean from running.
Running is a fantastic form of exercise, both for the mind and body, but it can also have a significant influence on your business mindset, too, given its roots as an endurance sport. As an entrepreneur, you probably love running your company, but here are some essential life lessons you can learn from running or training for a race.
Discipline is important
Running is an exercise that takes a lot out of you, both physically and mentally. A runner, regardless of whether they’re a professional or a beginner, needs a lot of self-discipline to run every day or endure longer runs. Sometimes, it’s not your fitness level that holds you back, but your mindset. That’s precisely where internal motivation and persistence comes in. To continue running even after your mind tells you not to is a type of discipline that all professional runners have. If it seems like an impossible task right now, keep in mind that discipline is like a muscle – the more you practice it, the sooner you’ll achieve the rock-solid discipline of athletes.
However, discipline isn’t just a trait helpful in running. Rather, it can come in handy across multiple areas of your life – from building your career to developing your business. As an entrepreneur, you will have to push yourself to keep going even when the times get tough, but you should also pinpoint the areas that require the most energy and allocate your time and effort accordingly if you want to run your business successfully.
If you want to encourage the development of discipline within your team, you could even organise a race for your employees. Working together with the whole team, this exercise could help hone new skills, illuminate various strengths and weaknesses within the team, and help build valuable, transferrable skills such as self-control and perseverance.
Save enough energy for the big push
Building your own company is far from a sprint; it’s much more of a marathon. That means that while you should never stop running, you should also strategically conserve enough energy for the times when your business needs you to put in 100%. Building something as big as a business can be tough, especially because you cannot afford to lose pace.
So, when times get tough, remember that marathon runner who, despite having run the entire race, always has enough energy stored up for those moments that are crucial to the outcome of the race, whether that’s overtaking the runner in front or putting in a final spurt of speed to cross the finish line.
As an entrepreneur, you need to wake up each morning and remind yourself that you should always run and never walk – and to always store up some reserve energy for the times you might need that extra push.
Accept the pain
No road to success has ever been a painless one. As you build your company, you will inevitably fail at some point. However, it is not the failure that matters, but how you deal with it that is most important.
If a competitive runner does not perform as well as they would have liked, they keep training and try again at the next race. In the same way, although it can be stressful to watch something you have so eagerly worked on fail, you need to remind yourself of the reasons that pushed you to become an entrepreneur in the first place and keep going.
Train as a team
Building a company isn’t just a race against your competitors; it’s a team effort. Although it might be your company, you should never forget it was your team who helped you get to where you are now.
Just like relay racers who work together to achieve the same goal, sharing the successes and failures of growing your business can teach you much more than you would have learned on your own. Plus, it’s always more rewarding when you share the progress with people who care about it as much as you do.