Thursday, February 11, 2010

Reaching a summit is all about being persistent

Anita Campbell (@smallbiztrends), an author and someone I've come to know as part of my work on OPEN Forum (, commented on my last blog post about how my PACE running principles apply to entrepreneurs. I couldn't agree more and that's why there are so many similarities between marathon running and being a small business owner.

I am fortunate that I get to immerse myself in the latter as part of my job - small business owners create magic in all they do for the US economy, foremost by creating most of the jobs that hire US workers. In this current climate, running a small business is about being resilient and PERSISTENT. For a view on how to address these uncertain times as an entrepreneur, check out this article on OPENForum

Fundamentally, it's getting up every day with the desire to make meaning in executing on the vision each entrepreneur has crafted for her or his journey. There will undoubtedly be days when nothing goes according to plan. These times will test the best of us but the end goal keeps us coming back for more.

I'm writing about persistence and its importance in reaching your summit - as either an entrepreneur or a marathon runner - because the past two weeks have tested the metal of the hardiest souls in NYC. Sub-zero temperatures, biting winds, dustings of snow followed by feet of snow, freezing Gatorade, solid name it, us long runners training for Spring marathons have endured. And, the runs have not been for the faint at heart - there is no joy [or sanity, you may add] to running across the George Washington Bridge in sub-zero weather and having the left side of your face feel like it's being prepped for the dentist chair with umpteen shots of novocaine. Imagine trying to slurp semi-frozen Gatorade with a bottom lip that lacks any control!!

Having said that, persistence is the key. When there's a goal in sight, whether taking your business to the next level or training for a 5K, getting out there and doing what you need to do is the only way forward. While the attached run that includes the GWB is indeed a great way to get 15-16 miles in for any marathon runner, I do not recommend it for blustery, cold, frigid days. And for those entrepreneurs or marathoners looking for additional inspiration, check out Christopher McDougall's best seller, Born To Run, which follows the story of the Tarahumara Indians.

After all, as this book and countless stories prove, there is more than one way to the summit but persistence is the common factor... ;-)