3 Ways Being An Entrepreneur Is Like Chasing The Runner’s High

 Entrepreneur Runners HighAs most of you know I’m a slow but avid runner. A few weeks ago the running community and the world was rocked by the tragic and horrific events at the Boston Marathon. In deference to the situation I chose to hold back this post for a few weeks. I now release this post in honor of all those running the race, whatever that race may look like for you.

The infamous runner’s high….

That euphoric feeling that runners tout as a glorious benefit of pounding the pavement. I have been chasing after this feeling of total joy for as long as I’ve been running. For me, the runner’s high has never come easy. In fact, for me, it’s usually not until mile 4 or 5 that I start to sense the onset of such a magnificent positive mood. That means I’m in pain for at least 40 minutes before I even start to feel the benefits of pounding the pavement.

Recently, as I was running the streets of Denver, going in (and out) of feeling like I was conquering the world I started to think about how chasing the runner’s high is a lot like being an entrepreneur. It’s like building a business and chasing your dreams. Here are a few lessons that came to mind as I was putting one foot in front of the other chasing the runner’s high:

 

  1. Pay Off Doesn’t Come Right Away:

      As I mentioned, I am usually way into my run before euphoria hits. I have to work really hard to even get to that point and it doesn’t come easy. For the first 15 minutes my legs feel like lead. Then for the next 15 minutes I’m breathing way too hard. It starts to click and the mind and body start to work together and the happy hormones kick in and I feel like I could run forever. Then the feeling leaves and it comes again.  Building a business is similar. You start with this awesome vision of how it should be.  You stride along thinking your pay off is right around the corner. But things never go as well as expected. The first months, maybe even years, of your business feel like a slog. Some days you feel like you are stuck in the mud, not moving an inch. But you stick it out, continuing to pound the pavement daily. Then one day, later than you wanted but soon enough that you don’t quit, something clicks and your business does exactly what you want it to do. You’ve reached your runner’s high. It may not last and you may find yourself in the grind again but now you know it’s achievable if you keep doing the right things.  So if you are in the first moments of your business, know that the pay off is coming. If you’ve hit that feeling once and it’s gone, know it comes again.

  2. Vacillate Between Goals:

      Sometimes when running I find myself eager to quit before I even get started. It’s as if I just don’t have the mental fortitude to push forward yet I know I need to accomplish my running goal for the day.  I discovered a mental trick that helps me push forward on the treadmill and in my work. I change my short-term goals over and over again. My first goal might be to run for 30 minutes. Something easy and attainable. When I hit 30 minutes I see that I’ve run 3.1 miles so now I switch to miles and ignore the time. Now my goal is to run 4 miles because hey, once you’ve hit 3.1 why not make it to 4. When I hit 4 miles I realize that I’m at 43 minutes so I might as well go for 50 minutes. Then I hit 50 minutes, look at the mileage and see that I’m pushing 5.2 miles so hey, might as well make it a round 6 since it’s only half a mile away.  Before I know it I’ve clocked 60 minutes and 6 miles. Had I only focused on the time or only on the mileage I would have never made it that long. If you have a big hairy financial goal (and I hope you do) then break it down and find another goal to push you forward. In my work I vacillate between people in the LaunchStreet community and product sales. Both work to achieve the same ultimate goal but the mind game helps me focus my actions and stay motivated. Find two or even three goals that can help you push forward and stay running. Sometimes it’s the only way to keep the momentum moving forward.

  3. Hurdles Aren’t What You Think They Are:

      When I run longer distances I try to plan and adjust for what might go wrong. I may get dehydrated so I make sure to bring water. I might get too warm so I plan a place to dump my sweatshirt and grab it later.  If it’s a monster run I will intentionally start out slow knowing I need to pace myself so I don’t lose steam half way through. But, the reality is no matter how much I plan and prepare none of those things seem to be the hurdles I face once I get on the trail. Instead it’s an annoying sock that is rubbing the wrong way or a shoelace that won’t stay tied. Or I have a tight hip that is hurting because I slept wrong the night before. The hurdles as you build your own business will never be what you think they’ll be.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t prepare but what you really need to be prepared for is the unexpected. So know…you really don’t know….and knowing that makes all the difference.

 

So my advice to entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs, keep chasing. Because if you train right and train hard, you’ll find your runner’s high.

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3 Responses to “3 Ways Being An Entrepreneur Is Like Chasing The Runner’s High”

  1. Traci Brown says:

    Love this article! Now I know why I run my own business. 🙂

  2. Chandra Hall says:

    Great article! I also feel inspired to do more running 🙂

  3. Ray Charbonneau says:

    Entrepreneurship is exactly like chasing the runner’s high in more ways that you’ve imagined.