This morning, I went running. I reported the details of my run here. (This post features a video about the RunKeeper app I use to do that). While running regularly is helping me to trim down (I've lost 11 pounds since March 2!), I am also enjoying meeting other runners who share tips to make my running journey safer and more profitable. I am also enjoying dozens of personal life changing experiences as a result of running.
Since my life is so intertwined with my business, it should come as no surprise that these benefits are translating into business benefits as well. The video tells some of the story, and more details are below.
Running makes me more decisive. Running requires me to decide to put one foot in front of the other thousands of times before I reach my goal. If I feel a light shin split in my left leg, I must decide quickly whether to either stop running or adjust my gait to accommodate and push through the slight pain so I can accomplish my goal.
Likewise, in business, when I come to a fork in the road, I must make quick decisions about what to do. I must decide whether to go left or right, or whether to turn around and abandon the goal altogether.
A decisive business leader is a more effective business leader.
Running tunes me into my self. When I run, hundreds of moving body parts work together to accomplish one goal. My feet are engaged. My core is holding me up. My arms add momentum. My thighs and calves propel me forward. My stomach muscles are fully engaged. Every part performs a different function, but they all work together to achieve the same outcome.
It's the same in business. You, your assistants, your products, your sales force, your computer, your shopping cart — all of these different parts must work in unison to propel your business to the next level. Regular focus on this type of synergy from a physical perspective sharpens my perceptive capabilities. Being in tune with my moving parts helps me be more in tune with my business's moving parts. Each part is important, but the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
A tuned in business leader is a more effective business leader.
Running builds my endurance. I am not a fast runner, but I'm not focusing much on that. I am focusing more on endurance because it's more important for me to reach my goal than it is to reach my goal quickly.
The world is filled with businesses that failed because they were led by people who did not pace themselves. They wanted it all, and they wanted it all immediately. Yes, you have to move quickly to be successful in business. But you also need endurance to complete the individual projects that make a business successful over time. I don't want to start strong only to exhaust myself to the point where I don't finish the race. What a waste!
Each time I finish a lap or watch RunKeeper go from 1.16 miles to 1.17 miles, my endurance increases. I am empowered to get to 1.18, and then to 1.19, and so forth until I've reach whatever goal I set for that particular run.
I don't want to move so slowly that I take myself out of the running. By the same token, patience through each phase of business growth builds the endurance required to sustain growth for a lifetime and beyond.
A patient business leader is a more effective business leader.
Question: You may not be a runner. Perhaps you enjoy some other form of regular exercise. What is it? How does physically challenging yourself, however you do that, make your business more successful?