In the summer of 2016, I ran a Spartan race. For those of you who might not know what a Spartan race is, it’s an obstacle race varying in distance. The race is mentally and emotionally draining. It’s a race you can’t describe, you have to run for yourself. Throughout the course of the race, I realized commonalities between entrepreneurship.
Here are the 5 commonalities between the Spartan race and entrepreneurship:
You will not finish a Spartan race without the proper training. At best, it will be very difficult for you. Between running and the obstacles, you have to train. The days leading up to the race are most important. Entrepreneurship is built on preparation. No one goes into business without a plan. Before you launch an idea, you have an understanding of how you’d want it to go. Albeit, everything won’t go as planned.
It’s during this preparation you’ll be confident for what lies ahead. When you’re preparing for a launch of a new product or service, do you put in minimal work? Do you write a blog post or a book without preparation? You don’t. Preparation is the key to sustaining success.
“If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail,” – Ben Franklin
Obstacles will come your way. In the Spartan race, it was crawling under barbed wire, jumping over fire, and climbing over eight-foot walls. In business, your client will leave you, your product will have a defect; obstacles happen. How do you view the obstacles when they appear? Are you going to back down? Or will you toughen yourself up?
Circumstances will arise that are out of your control. How you view these events will shape if you will be successful. Do you have grit? When something doesn’t go our way, do you blame everyone? You need to figure out a solution. Never complain about a circumstance you can’t fix. Your mindset will decide your life. When you start a business will you quit during a few hard months? When people try to knock you down, get back up even stronger.
Show them you’re tough. You’re ready for adversity and challenges that come with life. Most people will quit, but not you. You see the reward and do everything to achieve the goal. Let nothing get in your way of reaching your full potential. Having a proper mindset will carry you to success. The only way is to take punches. You will get stronger. When obstacles come your way, you’ll be able to conquer them.
You can’t start the Spartan race sprinting. When you’re running ten miles, you need endurance. It’s the goal in mind that pushes us. People want instant gratification. We live in a fast-paced world where everything is abundant. People don’t want to take the time to build a successful business.
If they aren’t where they want to be in six months they consider themselves a failure. You’re never cut out for success if you give up after six months. This race is for the long haul. You can stop sometimes, but you need to keep going. You won’t finish if you don’t. It takes hard work and determination to build a successful business. Years can pass before you turn a profit. When you start a business be prepared for the long race.
Just as you sense yourself wanting to quit at the end, your endurance kicks in and you keep going. Are you willing to sacrifice to become successful? Keep pushing yourself. Remember, it’s one foot in front of the other. Create a list of tasks each day. These small tasks will start the snowball effect for you and your business. Even progress is still progress.
“Endurance is patience concentrated.” – Thomas Carlyle
4. Will to win
You will hit the eight-mile marker. You just dragged a 100lb sled up a hill. Before that, you carried a bucket of rocks. You’re exhausted. You want to quit. Your mind is telling you it’s time to stop. There’s always another race. This is the point when you have to have a will to win. Outlast everyone.
If you love what you do, you will continue on when everyone else has given up on their dreams. If you don’t, you’ll quit. You’ll start a business and expect it to take off within the first few months. Except for the outliers, this doesn’t happen. You might go months with making a few dollars. It’s at this point you can give up or push forward.
How much do you want success? Do you want to go back to your corporate job? To the nine-five job you hate? If you never quit, you can never fail. Outlast the others who quit when it was hard. When there’s blood in the streets, it’s the perfect time for opportunities. If you want your goal or dream bad enough, you’ll make it work.
5. Surround yourself with the right people
If you run the Spartan race with people who wish to give up, you will want to as well. Every day people surround themselves with others who have given up on their dreams. Do you know how much energy they are draining out of you? When it gets tough, you’ll quit with the rest of them.
As the race was coming to an end I was depleted, it was the others on the race that pushed me. There are obstacles on the course not everyone can overcome. This is when you help the others. Entrepreneurs need help along the way and people need your help. By surrounding yourself with right people, you’re setting yourself up for success.
They’ll point out your blind spots and where you need to improve. Even if there’s one weak link, it could bring the team to failure. Surround yourself with people who will push you. People who don’t accept your excuses. The ones who will you tell you how it is.
Have you run a spartan race before? How did it go for you? Leave your thoughts below!
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By investing your time and effort in networking, you will gain more business through the relationships you make
Are you completely new to networking?
Then this article is a great place to start. Networking isn’t hard on paper…you go along to online and in-person meetings, make new connections and build relationships, and those relationships lead to more work so you can grow your business! The challenge is that in reality, it isn’t quite so straightforward, as our emotions get involved and make things much tougher.
It’s incredibly common for nerves to creep in and to feel overwhelmed and apprehensive when it comes to networking – even when it isn’t new to you. But how can you become more successful at it, feel less self-conscious, and make networking work for you and your business?
Here’s a few tips to help you embrace every business networking opportunity you get, so you can grow your business and achieve your goals.
Rock up with confidence
If you want to keep those nerves at bay and ooze confidence at networking get-togethers, you’ll need to downplay it rather than seeing it as a big occasion. Try not to put pressure on yourself and see it as a casual meet-up with a bunch of people with similar goals to you. To help you relax in the run-up to the event, be sure to set achievable goals and expectations before you go.
Keep your chin up and your goals in mind – positivity is key. One easy goal for your first networking meeting is very simply to speak to one other person and see where the conversation goes. Introduce yourself and your business, but take the time to listen to their story, too. It’ll only take a few minutes and will be over before you know it, so it’s nothing to fear. You may even enjoy it and want to speak to a few more people, too!
Where to go networking
If you’ve never been networking before, it might not be very easy to find a group – but only because there’s so much choice and you don’t know where to start your search! Groups come in different sizes and styles, so it’s important to find one that suits you and your business. Informal, formal, big, small… the choice is yours.
For your first meeting, start small to ease yourself in – a big group could prove too daunting, and stop you from feeling comfortable enough to get involved. After all, you want to make a strong first impression!
If you’re wondering which group to opt for in the long-term, give a few a go! Get a feel for them, speak to as many people as you can, and see which one suits! You’ll know when a group feels right for you, and you can see where those all-important relationships are most likely to be built. If a group doesn’t feel like the right for you, give a different one a go.
Get more leads and referrals
This will happen for you, as long as you put the effort into building those relationships. If you take the time to get to know people, and then check in with them and support them, they’ll see you as a trustworthy and reliable contact who they can call on. And when they feel that way, those leads and referrals you’re looking for will come a-knocking.
Once you’ve made relationships with people who you trust, and they’ve had a positive experience working with you, you can even ask for referrals! But don’t rush this, as you don’t want to inadvertently push people away or try and force the relationship along too quickly.
When you do get an opportunity to work with someone you’ve met at a networking group, go above and beyond to offer more value than they’re expecting, as then, they’ll be much more likely recommend you and introduce you to more of their contacts!
Grow your business
By investing your time and effort in networking, you will gain more business through the relationships you make, and you will be able to grow your business.
We know that it’s not easy, going networking for the very first time. And that’s why we want to give you all the advice and tools that you need so you can walk in with confidence and make the most of the opportunity.
2023 is just around the corner, and you have the chance to make it the year you make networking work for your business. And the benefits could be incredibly amazing for your business, just like they have been for ours, and many business owners we have worked with over the years.
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