Can learning to run improve your business?
I can’t remember learning to walk. It was probably around the time I was a year old and I’m sure it wasn’t long before I was moving faster…I was running.
As kids we just seem to know how to run. We ran on the playground. We ran in the halls. We ran down the aisles of the grocery store. We ran at the ball field. We just ran.
The thing is, most of us stop running at some point. And if we do run, it’s because some masochistic PE coach or military drill sergeant forces us to.
I used to run. There was a very brief period in college when I found I enjoyed it. VERY brief!
I tried to run a few times when I was working in the California desert and through the streets of Annapolis, Maryland. It just didn’t stick.
Yet last week I ran my first 5K. And next week I run my first 10K. How is it that I’m running now at age 39, when I couldn’t do it at 29?
Quite simply, instead of just going out and running, I stopped long enough to learn how to run first. And that lesson is crucial for your business as well.
Because running seems so simple, I thought I knew how to do it and that I didn’t like it (and therefore didn’t do it much). On the rare occasions when I did run, I was slow, out of breath and it hurt so much I wouldn’t do it again unless absolutely required.
I fooled myself into thinking I knew how to run and that it wasn’t good. What I really needed was to learn how to run.
Where in your business are you doing things you assume can’t be done better? What in your life are you doing poorly and just accepting your performance as normal?
Re-examine your assumptions. Identify one thing that you know could be done better (and needs to be done better) if you’d just give it the proper attention.
Then do this:
1) Set a Goal – Define the level of performance you are trying to achieve. In running I have time and distance goals. In business it’s about the bottom line or growing to a certain size. What are you aiming at so you’ll know when you hit it?< 2) Equip Yourself – Make sure they are the right tools. I needed real running shoes that fit my feet and how I move, not generic tennis shoes. What tools do you need to be successful that you’re missing?
3) Get a Coach – Find someone who knows what they’re doing and get their help. This can be as informal talking with a friend as formal as hiring a coach. Who can help you learn to hit your goals?
4) Focus on Technique – Your coach should be able to tell you what you’re doing wrong and teach you how to do it right. It will be awkward at first because you have bad habits to break. You may not believe them. But if they have the track record and can teach, trust their process. It probably works. Can you let go of your pride and trust the process?
5) Track the Data – Profit, production, speed, contacts, etc. Writing down the numbers provides a reward for completing your efforts. It also allows you to track your progress and see what works (and what doesn’t). Seeing the numbers gets me going and keeps me going.
6) Don’t Do It Alone – Join a group of other people with similar goals. Meet regularly, whether in person or on a Facebook group. Share your successes and failures. Hold them accountable and be held accountable. Can you surround yourself with others to support them and be supported?
7) Don’t Give Up – If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way to push through the pain and difficulty to get the results you desire. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse and quit. Do you want it bad enough?