How running a business is like running a marathon!

A little while back I did a business presentation to a networking group on how running a business is like running a marathon.  Yesterday of course, was the London Marathon, an event that never fails to inspire me with the sheer nature of tenacity and drive that motivates so many people to take on such a challenge.

I have taken part in the London Marathon 3x and in total have done 4 marathons.  London was by far the superior running experience due to the nature of the support the entire way around.

2007, my first was full of excitement and I actually cried happy tears during the first 3 miles as I was so proud of myself for getting there and taking part, it wasn’t my quickest but I enjoyed it and as soon as I crossed the finish-line I knew I would be back!

2008, my favourite, despite the heat. I ran really well, more experienced than the first time and achieved perfectly even half marathon splits, down to the second so I knew I had run well!

2010 – my worst! From mile 9 I started to be sick, I couldn’t even drink water so I ended up severely dehydrated, as a running coach my advice would have been to quit but I am not a quitter so despite passing out 3x I completed in my longest time by far of 6 hours 30 mins more than 2 hours longer than any previous run but in a funny way is the marathon I am the most proud of. I definitely earned that medal!!

Now all of this is rather like my business;

  • You set up and start out, all excited and full of motivation and ideas
  • You become more established and feel like you know what you’re doing!
  • You hit a glitch (or many) it becomes more than an up-hill struggle it becomes a steep mountain, every thing you do is hard work (just like every step in that marathon) but you know deep down there is a finish line and that it is worth keeping going.

Now, as a running coach I would definitely not recommend running a marathon when vomiting and dehydrated, I know my own body and am an experienced runner so I took the risk but I would have known when to stop if I had to.

A business coach would, on many occasions have looked at my business and told me to stop;

  • Not enough people are interested in your message
  • It’s too big a challenge to tackle the food industry
  • You can’t change the view society has on food
  • You work too many hours for far too little reward

What drives me to both carry on running when most would stop and carry on with my business is two things, one I am stubborn, extremely stubborn and two, I believe strongly enough in the end result to see it through.

Running a business is similar to running a marathon and I am proud to say I have done both, 4 marathons and 8 years in business. My business is getting tougher as I am picking a difficult path but I found this quote and rather liked it and as my husband says, I never do take the easy option!!

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