The wins, the losses, and the background mayhem and machinations, mean that Sports and Business share a lot in common. Entrepreneurship, I’ve discovered, has challenges that even you can overcome with similar journeys that you take on in fitness and sports challenges.
Here’s how I found my business power through staying active and persevering in my activities….
When I’m asked by people why I take on different sporting challenges each year, the answer comes easily now. Every moment I’m active, every fitness experience, and every sporting event, teaches me something. It all finds a way to teach me a lesson I can use in entrepreneurship.
One example? Having taken part in two (2) Two Oceans Marathons.
I’m not a runner – not physically or mentally.
However, I do love a challenge, especially when it’s in a fantastic setting.
The Two Oceans Half Marathon is a 21.1 km run in Cape Town, South Africa, and is celebrated as one of the biggest in Africa. It is also an event you can’t do successfully on a sudden whim – not if you want to avoid health issues like injuries! Choosing to participate and preparing for the marathon demands consistent follow-through.
Once you commit your name and money, you must put your body, mind, and soul into taking on this challenge and finishing it well. I felt it was the principle of it that once I’d paid to enter the 2 Oceans Marathon, I had to go through with it, so I may as well do it right.
Don’t quit once you have begun.
Do your best to reach your goal and put plans and systems into place that will keep you going.
Second Lesson: Start as you mean to go forward.
If you face your challenge and start towards it with uninspired energy and spirit, it’s rare for anyone to be able to pick up the pace and finish strong and enthusiastically.
Start at a pace that will motivate you out of bed, into the right state of mind, and across the finish line. Start as you mean to go on, and finish!
The Third Lesson:
I knew this before but needed to be reminded, that planning, and preparation can really level you up.
Please note, I do not participate in these sporting events and fitness activities because I want to be at the front and wish to win. No, my brand, in fitness, is actually all about being a ‘Back Runner’ and representative of everyone who doesn’t fit the predictable archetypes of active lifestyles.
I have the longest legs you’ll probably ever see, and I am also the slowest runner you’ll ever encounter. I don’t have that slick efficiency of movement that most athletes do. I’m just … well, me.
However, I also always have the energy to cheer others on during an event, to keep on going until I see the finish, and to stay motivated so I don’t quit it.
I also run, swim, cycle, stretch, sweat, and dance for the ones who would just like to be a part of things, or those who get bored and always seek out something new, who just want to try without judgment, and who are figuring things out at their own pace.
There are certain things you can anticipate being problems, so, plan for them accordingly. To avoid injuries, dehydration, tiring out too quickly, etc. I have developed a training plan to build strength and endurance, and to train myself into the habit of drinking water regularly.
Business is much the same.
In entrepreneurship, there are things you can anticipate and plan for – supply chain issues, communication breakdowns, energy sourcing, etc. Unless you have a large risk appetite, it is always good to sit down, plan, prepare and reassess as you go about your journey to success.
I care about my body, mind, spirit, and emotional health too, which is why I do the leg work of seeking out pros and experienced individuals to train me or give me tips and pointers to better endure the challenges I take on.
I also communicate my goals and my issues with the people I work with, to ensure everyone knows where I’m at, what I’m doing, and how I’m feeling. This ensures those dedicated to my event goals can adjust plans to get me further forward toward success.
I learn so much more from being active and the challenges I encounter. They serve me so well in business.
As a result of the things I learned in fitness, I can help my business clients in:
- Identifying root issues that may be hindering their ability to see the dreams that matter.
- Communicating their wants and needs, priorities, and feelings.
- Understanding and embracing the truth of their own brands.
- Prioritizing planning and preparation from the start.
- Committing to a task or mission right through to its completion.
What professional lessons have you learned from unlikely places?