In a first for us, I am reposting an earlier post because I was reminded of it this weekend. My friend was in town for the Ironman competition again. This time, instead of being in the race, she had two athletes she trained doing it. She’ll be competing in the Arizona race in November. This is one of my favorite posts and lessons. I remind myself all the time: Don’t stop. Just keep going.
I have a friend who has completed multiple Ironman competitions (7 of them, I believe). For those not aware, an Ironman competition is a triathlon organized by the World Triathlon Corporation. It consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a marathon 26.2-mile run, done in that order and without stopping. It is a full day starting at 7:00 am going until the athlete is done or midnight, whichever happens first. It takes a lot of training, determination, and just plain grit. I asked her, “What is your strongest portion? Swimming, biking or running?” Her answer: I don’t stop. I just keep going.
What a brilliant answer! Persistence. No matter what you are doing, no matter what is in store, you just keep doing it. Rain, heat, whatever. You just keep going. I get asked often what makes a good entrepreneur or business person, and often it comes down to the same thing. You just keep going.
That doesn’t mean you never vary course or change tactics. Over the many years that my friend has been doing this, her life circumstances have changed, her body has changed. During the race, things don’t go as planned. Cramps, nausea, a kick to the teeth in the swim. But she knows her end game: To get to the finish line. That means sometimes training goes one way, others time another way depending on what is going on with her life. Sometimes during the race, walking has to happen. Ice packs to cool her down on some years, and gloves and stocking caps on other years. But she just keeps moving forward to get her to the ultimate goal, the finish line.
How does that translate as a business? Know what your finish line is. Is it an exit through sale? Hitting a sales goal? Whatever it is completely depends on your business. But whatever it is, know what it is. Then come up with baseline knowledge and skills to get there (a/k/a a training plan). And then, let the race go as it will, and react knowing your endgame. Put on the ice packs, sip the chicken broth, slap on the sunscreen. But most importantly, sometimes you have to just keep going. And then you, too, will be an Ironman!