Running a Marathon vs. Running a Business
Marathon running and business: are there points of comparison? If you’re a running enthusiast and you plan to run a business, you’re already enjoying an edge. This is because many aspects of preparing for and running a marathon are comparable to what you need to do when you’re running a business. There are several similar aspects you have to consider, as explained below.
- There are risks.
Think running a marathon is easy? You’re certainly mistaken. Marathon running is not just plain running. You need more than basic skills to do it, let alone win it. Of course, the presence of risks easily compares to what happens when you go into a business venture. There are many risks involved. It’s not enough to have basic skills. It’s not enough that you have fondness or interest in running for you to succeed in a marathon. Similarly, it’s not enough that you are fond of gambling for you to be successful in running a casino business. You have to know and understand the risks involved and minimize them as much as possible.
- You need to have a plan and prepare.
Unless you are just talking about some less-than-amateur or charity marathon event, you need to have a plan. You need to have preparation. In a marathon, you have to prepare yourself mentally and physically. It’s the same in doing business. You need to be properly acquainted with the field of business you are getting yourself into, and have everything you need ready. In running a marathon, you need to have a health and training plan. In doing business, you need a feasibility study and your business plan. You can’t be half-hearted with either of these. Planning and preparation are essential for success.
- It’s important to get clearly acquainted with your route.
This is in relation to planning. When participating in a marathon, you need to be properly aware of your route. It’s like doing business, you can’t just do things randomly. You need to have your mission and vision statement. You can’t steer away from the path you’re supposed to follow if you want to succeed in the race. You need to clearly know your route so you can proceed with it as efficiently as you can. Well, it can be argued that you don’t necessarily have to be too strict with your business mission and vision – that you can also be dynamic and adaptive. The point here, though, is that you are more likely to go about your business smoothly and efficiently if you know and follow the path you’ve set beforehand. Businesses that thrive without a plan are not the norm. They are rarities and you don’t make plans based on rare possibilities.
- Discipline is a must.
Of course, you need to have discipline in both running a marathon and running a business. You can’t complete your plans without being disciplined. You won’t be able to complete your training and preparation if you don’t put your mind, body, and soul into it. There’s no use knowing marathon training tips and guides if you don’t have the discipline to follow them. It’s similar to what happens in operating a business. You can’t achieve good results if you keep failing on your objectives and if you keep departing from your plans.
- You need to be smart with your pace.
Don’t force or overexert yourself. Be ambitious but not to the point that you aim for something impossible for you to achieve. This applies to both running a marathon and running a business. You need to work on an achievable progression. Winning a marathon is not worth harming your health in the same way that overexerting yourself with work is not healthy, despite the extra money you earn with your business. Don’t obsess with winning or topping records. Strive for balance and a level of success you can enjoy. The trophy or the revenues you get won’t mean much if you don’t get to enjoy them.
- You have to play by the rules.
Always remember to play by the rules. Marathons are organized events that follow rules in the same way as doing business has to abide by laws and regulations. If you cheat to try to get ahead of others, you are not just being unfair to others in the competition, you are also betraying yourself. It’s like declaring that you’re too inferior, that you need the leverage of cheating. Cheating is going to make you uncomfortable to the point that you no longer enjoy what you are doing. Worse, cheating will get you in trouble. If you cheat in a marathon, you may get disqualified, blacklisted, and shamed. In business, cheating (with your product, financial statements, or your taxes) can result in serious legal problems.
You might think that nobody will see you cheating, but the world has surprising ways of catching those who try to bend the rules. Take the case of one man whose passion is catching marathon cheats. A marathon enthusiast in Canada made it to the news for his passionate investigations to expose those who cheat at marathons. If organizers fail to catch the cheats, there are others who will do the job more meticulously. It’s the same with running a business. You can never be sure that your deceit and illegal operations will remain concealed. Most of the time, the truth will come out, haunt you, and eventually lead to dire consequences.
- There’s competition but you need to focus on your own performance.
You are not on your own if you are running a marathon. You are competing with many other runners. It’s just like what happens when you’re running a business. There are usually various competitors you have to deal with. However, in both marathons and running a business, you always have to bear in mind that the focus should be on yourself and not on how others perform. Don’t be anxious about how others are progressing. Focus on giving your best performance and not on what others are doing. It’s not necessarily wrong thinking of the competition but you should do this to be motivated and not allow it to become a source of stress or anxiety.
Consider these ideas and realize how many aspects of running a marathon and running a business intersect. Achieve more as you acknowledge the risks, think of a plan, get acquainted with your route, get smart with your pace, and play by the rules in a marathon or in doing business.