What running taught me about business

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Throughout high school and college, running was the defining aspect of my life.

While all my friends were playing video games, I was at practice.

While everyone was out drinking, I was asleep.

While there was a weekend getaway to the lake, I was traveling to a track meet across the state.

I sacrificed a lot to compete. And in many ways, this is how it is with entrepreneurship.

We sacrifice a lot of the same things so that we can perform.

I never really liked running. But, looking back at this phase of my life, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Because the lessons I learned from running have served me in every other pursuit.

Here’s a few things that I learned and how they can benefit you and your business:

  1. It’s easier to get up at 5 AM and write than it is to get up at 5 AM and go for a run in the snow. This is part of why I don’t struggle with the discipline of daily writing. It’s not always easy, but I spent 7 years doing something harder every morning. People are like water. By default, we follow the path of least resistance. Make the path of least resistance the one that gets you what you want from life. For example, it’s harder to get up and plug in the TV and put batteries in the remote than it is to pick up a non-fiction book.
  2. More often than not, you’re alone and you’re working hard. It’s called solo entrepreneurship for a reason. And having employees only increases the pressure. Get used to it. Learn to thrive in it.
  3. What you do in the other 23 hours of the day impacts how you show up in the 1 hour that matters. When it’s time to race, your sleep, diet, and mindset make all the difference. And the same is true in business. I treat my writing time, coaching calls, and podcast interviews like performances. What I do in every other hour of the day impacts my ability to show up and deliver in those moments.
  4. Running is a battle against yourself. When you’re lost in the woods, 4 miles into a 5-mile race, you want nothing more than to “accidentally” fall into the bushes so you can rest. You have to push yourself to discover new limits with every step. No coaches or teammates can help you here. And no amount of manifestation will get you to the finish line. Yesterday I mentioned Tom Cruise pulling the weight of every film he acts in. This is the same thing. The business is only as good as I am. And I’m always pushing to new limits.
  5. Ignore the voice that encourages you to fall into the bushes and give up. It’s wrong about two things. (1) It won’t make you feel better. It will fill you with regret that you didn’t finish the race you set out to run. And (2) You can do it. You can dig deep. You can finish the race. You can make this launch. You can overcome the adversity that you’re facing.

Anyways, not sure if this is particularly useful.

But I’ve found that content creation specifically is a lot like running.

Chasing those fleeting moments where you write something amazing. The moments where all your hard work pays off.

The only way to get those moments is to keep doing the work every day.

Create irresistible content
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