Running and I have been in a love-guilt relationship for over 6 years now. I love that it gets me outdoors, creates forward motion when everything else seems so backward, is quiet and introspective, makes me stronger…
But, holy smokes, do I ever feel guilty when I fall off the running bandwagon. You know what I mean. Whatever your extracurricular, I know you’ve been there, too!
Business, as it turns out, is just the same. When clients are delighted, the balance sheet is… well… balanced, and business just keeps rolling in, it’s hard not to love what you do. But when you lose track of priorities, lose sight of goals, and lose your patience with the small stuff, no well-practiced family member could ever guilt trip you with such finesse.
But I’ve discovered a truth. It’s not new. It’s not trendy. But it is the number one way you can ride out the tough stuff and capitalize on the good times.
Figure out why you are in business.
I know. Profit is a great motivator, serving customers is a great benefit, but I challenge you to dig deeper. Why are YOU in business? And, more to the point, why are you in business NOW?
Your reasons will change over time. You might have launched your company to make a mark on the world, but are now running it as a legacy for your children. Both are entirely valid and motivating.
The trick is to remember your NOW reason when the crud hits the fan… and cling to it with everything you’re worth.
I’m going to drop my walls for a minute, here, and let you in on the oddly-linked evolution of my own running and business existence:
1st Era: Building muscle under the fluff
I ran to avoid turning into a slender, but lightweight marshmallow. I launched my business to ease myself off the stable rungs of employment, and create character muscle.
2nd Era: Getting out
I ran to socialize. Meanwhile, my business became a tool to build a network.
3rd Era: Need for speed
I ran to build speed, and for the thrill of competition. My business now revolved around fast growth, and competitive drive.
4th Era: Expectations
By this time, I was known as “the runner.” People expected me to run, and so I ran. At the same time, my business had insidiously morphed into a venue to prove myself to others.
5th Era: REGROUP!
Era 4 was NOT a long-term option. So, I took 7 months off of running, to ponder whether that passion was real or imaginary. No similar sabbatical for DMT, but I did institute a paradigm shift that has led to my…
6th Era: The Long Haul
Today, I run because I WANT to. I run for distance, not speed, and only because it thrills me to trump the “I-don’t-wanna”s with less and less effort. Likewise, my business has outstripped all of my original expectations, and is something I gratefully continue to nurture. I’m in it for the adventure and challenge of being successful in “the long haul”, and THAT is why I am in business today.
So, back to my original question. Why are YOU in business? And, really, I would love to know!
Please click on the orange comment link below, and add your insight to the mix!
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