The Music City Marathon is this Saturday and I’m getting excited.  Running a marathon is yet another perfect sport/business analogy.

I like that finishing on Saturday IS totally up to me.  It doesn’t matter how many people come out to cheer me on or how long it takes to finish – I have to choose to make it happen.  Business is a lot like that, especially for the entrepreneur.  There are going to be people who tell you “you’re crazy” and there are going to be people who line up to cheer you on that will never buy a thing from you, but it’s up to you to keep going.

In a marathon you may choose to train and run as part of a team, but like a business, completing the goal comes down to your participation, attention and focus.  This Saturday I’m running the half, I set my goal in December and I’ve been training ever since.

Training, preparation and equipment are important tools when running a marathon and in running a business.  So whether you’re planning to run a marathon or a business here a few things that may help:

  1. Know that it is a marathon and not a sprint.  You’re meant to conserve your energy and spread it out over the “miles”.   It’s going to take a certain amount of time to reach your destination, plan to enjoy the journey and take breaks when necessary and know that overnight success is an illusion.
  2. Set a goal and work toward it.  Training and education are important building blocks when working towards a goal; knowing how and when, tricks of the trade, and the lay of the land can help you on your journey.  Advice is great, but it never hurts to get a second opinion.
  3. Get a check up! Having a professional look at your plan and help you brainstorm ideas and solutions is not only a way to secure a solid plan but in most cases will create momentum.
  4. If the shoe fits have a plan B. Plan B’s are more than a go to in case of disaster, they’re knowing there is an option available and that reduces anxiety so you can focus on the task at hand.
  5. Create a support network.  You’ve got a plan and you know the work that needs to be done, the fun part is creating a group of like minded individuals to share in the journey.

Both are hard work, can cause pain and push us beyond our limits, but crossing the finish line is worth it!

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