How do you keep going in business? How do you keep going when you’re not sure, or you feel scared, or you’ve got nagging doubts, or your self-belief is a little shaky?
To keep going in business, it’s the same as when you keep going in a race.
You might already know that I’m a runner. Over the years, positive self-talk has convinced me that I’m a proper runner. After interviewing Caroline Ferguson for The Confident Mother conference last week, I make the most of my neuroplastic brain using her Past, Present, Future formula to create a new story about how I feel about running.
- I used to be somebody who didn’t feel very good at running.
- Now I’m becoming a faster and stronger runner every day.
- And in the future, I’m committed to training effectively every week to complete the London Marathon.
Simple isn’t it. You can do ANYTHING you believe you can do. I know that and it’s something I hear myself telling my clients all the time. I say it a lot … I know that because my girls have started saying it to me now. Burn, Mummy, as they would say.
I did the Canterbury 10 mile race last week. A friend said to me “How on earth do you run for 10 miles? I did 5k along the sea front and I nearly died. How do you keep going?”
As I started to answer, it got me to thinking that to keep going over 10 miles is the same as when you keep going in business.
Yes, 10 miles hurts because it’s hard work. You know when you set out that it’s going to be hard. But you do it anyway. It’s even harder if you haven’t prepared properly. With running not preparing properly includes everything from not enough training (or too much), not eating or drinking enough, not having the proper equipment i.e. good quality running shoes, clothes that ‘breathe’, shorts that are comfortable, a bra that fits …
And that’s the same in business isn’t it. When you start out you expect it to be hard. But you keep going if you want to reach that end goal. And it’s even tougher if you are not prepared – both mentally and physically: working too hard (or not working on the right things), if you don’t take care of your energy levels, if you don’t have the right systems in place, if you don’t look after your clients …
The other thing about running 10 miles – it can be a hard distance to gauge the pace. For a 5k, you know you need to run hard for each and every kilometre. When you run a marathon, it’s all about endurance and not running so fast at the beginning that you blow up and can’t finish. Whereas 10 miles is an in between sort of race. Especially if, like me last week, you haven’t run for a couple of weeks! Not what I’d recommend.
So to go back to my friend’s question “How do you keep going?” when it’s hurting and it’s tough.
Tree by tree, lamp post by lamp post … you tell yourself to get to that next tree. Now get to that next lamp post. Now the next tree. Let’s get to that postbox. Come on, it’s that big bushy tree next. You don’t necessarily focus on the BIG goal of 10 miles. You focus on the smaller goals of doing the next little bit. Then bit by bit, the big goal is getting closer and closer.
I look out for the mile markers – big fluorescent yellow ones on this race, turning up roughly every 11 minutes or so. If I can see a mile marker, I don’t allow myself to walk. If I can see a photographer (far too many), I don’t let myself walk.
What else keeps me going … for this and every race? I don’t want to be last. Are you getting the picture that I’m not a fast runner? I also don’t want to be the last from my club to finish. I also wanted to get back to the HQ on time for ‘lunch’. My club (Petts Wood Runners) had come down on a coach and we’d arranged to stop for lunch on the way home. I had to be back at HQ by a certain time to get on the coach for lunch. I was hungry so no way did I want to miss lunch OR miss the coach. (And by the way lunch was AMAZING at The White Horse Inn in Bridge.).
Again there are parallels on how you keep going in business. You focus on the small steps – not the big goal of building a successful business or creating a global brand or earning enough to retire early. No, you focus on getting one more speaking opportunity this month; one more guest blog written; one new client today; 10 more telephone calls to prospective customers this week.
And as I ran again today (in the rain I would add!) I thought again about what Lucy had asked me “How do you keep going?” and realised that how I keep going over 10 miles of running is the same as I keep going in business.
Do you need help to keep going in business? Get in touch and let’s explore how I can help you. I have years of business experience and specialise in helping mums in business. Check out my page here.
If you know that you want that feeling of confidence and clarity to keep going in business, but you also know that you need help, let’s talk to find out which option is the best fit for you. Click here to find a date and time that works for you.