When you run a race, you’re always in competition with other runners. But there’s an even more competitive element of running that happens when you start running businesses: the entrepreneurial game of “Who runs faster?”
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I’ve been running for about 15 years now and have done a lot of different races: 5Ks, 10Ks and half marathons. I love them, but I also know how difficult it is to run them well. So, when I started my blog about running businesses, I wanted to make sure it was based on something I knew well. And after all these years of running businesses, I’ve learned some surprising things about how to run them better.
Here are seven surprising things running races taught me about running a business:
1. When you start a business, do not be afraid to fail
Running is all about pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone and constantly evolving to become better. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of a race, especially when you’re on top of your game. However, just like in running, it is not always about how long you can last or how far you can go. It’s about learning from your mistakes and pushing yourself further than ever before, even when things aren’t going well.
2. You have to be willing to take risks
When I started my first business, I was so scared of failing that I wouldn’t take any risks at all. In fact, I took on too much work and didn’t give myself enough time to grow my business at a comfortable pace because I was so afraid of failure that I didn’t allow myself any time for growth (and for a lot of other reasons). The good news is that this fear has gone away as my business has grown; now I’m able to say yes more often than no.
3. Running a business and running a race is not easy
Starting and running a business is not easy. It takes a lot of hard work and patience, but it is worth it because once you are successful, there is nothing like it.
4. Running businesses and running races equate to an exercise in rapid problem solving
Running races is like an exercise in rapid problem solving as there is always another hill or another mile marker at the end of the road, so it’s important to think ahead and anticipate what might happen next. For instance, digital marketing business will always pose new challenges as technologies advance and new trends set it. The same is true with a real estate business where demand and prices can always fluctuate depending on political temperatures, perception, and climate changes.
5. Running teaches teamwork skills and discipline
Running teaches discipline and teamwork skills that will help you as you grow your business over time! Running is such an individual sport that it doesn’t require much team spirit other than knowing when someone is going too fast ahead of time so that everyone can slow down.
6. You need to be consistent
Running races taught me how important consistency is if you want to succeed in business. Consistency means following through with commitments and meeting deadlines, even when things are tough or challenging. Running races helped me realize this because it takes me sometimes days or weeks to train for the big race, but once I’m there, everything goes according to plan.
7. You must be willing to fail and learn from it
It’s easy to think that if you try hard enough, everything will be OK. The problem with this mentality is that it doesn’t work in real life very well at all. In fact, it can be quite detrimental to your business because it prevents you from learning anything valuable from failure or mistakes made during the process of running your business.