Sunday, October 17, 2010

What I learned while running, helps me in business

A while back I wrote on "The Business Case for Running a Race."  Today I competed (yes, again) in a 10mi trail run in Sammamish, WA.  The race was nutty - it started with the temp being just 34F.  The trail itself was so covered in leaves that often I felt as if I were off course.  In fact, at mile 5 I did go off course ultimately running an extra mile ... but I still won ... :o) happy joy joy.

Here are my musings on running and business - deep thoughts from the trails:
  • Looking back can just trip you up - seriously, in running, if you look back, you'll trip!  I did it.  It hurt.  You can think back to what you could've done better (e.g. hydrating, pacing, etc.) and leverage that to improve.  Same goes for business (minus the hydrating ... although that's pretty important regardless).
  • The run can get rocky - it's just important to keep eyes open - on the trail I stumbled over branches and rocks.  From my trips, I realized in some areas I needed to slow down and focus more than in others (e.g. wide open fields).  In business, there are some areas where I'm definitely not an expert (e.g. financial projections), there are the areas where I need to slow down and focus more.
  • Competition is foe and friend - during today's race I was running next to a man for the first few miles (side note, he was running in teva-like shoes ... weirdo).  While we were both going for the "gold," we also were both very much in it together - even while being lost.  In business I'm a firm believer of the "one team" philosophy - we're all in it to make the business successful.  At the same time, we all have our own dreams.
  • Whining gets you no where - in a race whining is wasted breathing room.  At work whining is just ... well, ridiculous.
  • There's no real finish - at the end of the race today I was already planning my next race.  At work we practice "sprints" (another running analogy for another time), at the end of each sprint, there's another just around the corner.

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