Last week, I had to work a few more hours over the weekend than I normally do.
On Sunday night my partner asked me “Did you get your work done?”. I had no idea how to answer that question without sounding like a dick but it got me thinking.
My work as a business owner is literally never done. And, there are very few occasions where I have a piece of work that is delineated enough where it’s possible to actually complete anything worthwhile in a small amount of time. And the small things, I just don’t really count them, they are table stakes. Get them done and move on to high impact difficult tasks.
As a small business owner it’s never just one thing that you need to work on any given day, rather a handful of small to large items of all kinds.
Actually, ALL THE THINGS. You have to do ALL THE THINGS.
Anyway I put together this analogy comparing training for a marathon and growing and endurance coaching business. They both require endurance, but in business you need a special kind of endurance, one where there is no finish line.
As a coach, you understand the importance of having a process-oriented mindset. Whether it's training for a marathon or overcoming the challenges of a long-distance race, you know that success is achieved through consistent effort and a commitment to improvement.
However, when it comes to running a business, the same principles apply, but the race is never over. In the world of entrepreneurship, there is no finish line, no set end-point. The work never stops, it just evolves and shifts with time.
Actual Marathons vs the Marathon of Business
When training for a marathon, you have a definite start and finish. You have a goal in mind and a set timeline to reach it. You have a training plan that you follow, with incremental steps along the way to measure your progress. You have races to finish, and with each new race, you have the opportunity to improve upon your previous performance.
In business, the process is much more fluid, ongoing and very unpredictable. There is no set timeline, no finish line. Instead, you are constantly working to improve, to overcome surprising new challenges, and to stay ahead of the competition. Sure, you can set goals and deadlines, that’s good, but they will inevitably change and morph before you reach them.
This can be both exhilarating and overwhelming.
This post I wrote recently could help with making this easier. No Plans Survive Contact with the Enemy.
Focus on Process
It's important to remember that the key to success in business, as in endurance sports, is to focus on the process, not just the end goal. When you focus on the process, you are able to break down the larger, more daunting tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. This helps you stay motivated, avoid burnout, and continue to make progress, even when the end goal is still far off.
Make a Plan (But be prepared to change it)
Just as with training for a marathon, you have to have a plan in place when running a business. This plan should include short-term and long-term goals, a clear strategy for how to reach those goals, and a system for measuring progress along the way. With a process-oriented mindset, you can approach each day with a clear focus and the knowledge that your efforts will add up over time to create a successful and sustainable business.
I recently wrote about how to approach business goals like training goals, to make this easier and more understandable for coaches.
Whether you are a running, triathlon, or endurance coach or a software entrepreneur like me, embracing a process-oriented mindset is key to success. While the race may never truly end in our businesses, by focusing on the process, we can stay motivated, make steady progress, and reach new levels of achievement.
So let’s lace up our business shoes and get ready to run the marathon of entrepreneurship with a process-oriented mindset!
I built Training Tilt to make the challenges of running an endurance coaching business a little bit easier. Signup for a free trial to see what it’s all about.
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