Are you training yourself and your business for the marathon or a sprint?
One of the most important and compelling qualities we develop as business people is perseverance. The ability to endure, keep going, stick to our vision and trudge through the plan and the way it rolls out.
In the world of marathon or long distance running, the most important part of the race the runner trains for is the last 13 miles or second half. They train for endurance, pace and to get through the mental and physical walls.
Regardless of whether you are an entrepreneur, small business, manager or an independent rep for a company, endurance and perseverance are what will get you through and help you thrive in economic cycles like we are experiencing now.
“When you get to the end of your rope, you tie a knot and hang on.” (Franklin Delano Roosevelt)
When I think about the qualities people identify with me, perseverance, is one at the top of what they say are my “best qualities” list! I have instinctively known in life when you want something you have to work AT it and FOR it. Even as a young person, I set my sites and target to what I thought was the bulls-eye and kept shooting at it!
Over time I have learned many lessons about how to stick to things, stay with things and what I need to do to set myself up for what I like to call the “long race.”
In life and business, we need to train as “long distance runners” not “sprinters.” Our lives play out much better when we prepare more for a marathon, that prepares us for handling different cycles, ups and downs and the unexpected.
I like the metaphor of perseverance being a strengthening of one’s abilities to be able to finish the race, by developing a pace driven process. Peak performance is like running a marathon. The training plan of all long distance runners includes coaching, technique, practice, endurance.
Here are 5 fundamentals I believe contribute to perseverance. The ability and skill of being able to stick to, get through and continue through those cycles, parts and paths that make up our journey.
When you truly love what you do and have a sincere desire to serve, that is the most powerful “sales” tool you can have. Passion is contagious and infectious. Be authentic and don’t force your brand, serve it. Someone asked me a question I thought was compelling. Have I always been in my passion? For me it is a yes! I have taken jobs and worked to pay my bills, but ultimately I have dedicated working because I care about what I am doing for myself and others.
Keep things in perspective for you. Stay focused on your goals and your initiatives and seek out alternative sources for news and information. There are so many sources for “the solution” and examples of people and businesses finding positive opportunities in challenging times. With way too many news sources, trying to fill up way too much time with not only the news story, but milking the story behind the story behind the story, the negative messages are over exposed. Surround yourself with positive, proactive, encouraging people and activities. Prune and shed anything and anyone that does not contribute to your growth.
Nothing is more important than relevance. Know the trends in your industry as they relate to business, consumer behavior and marketing. These days “TRENDS DRIVE EVERYTHING.” Keeping up with the rapidly changing business landscape, technologies and how your customers are changing can mean the difference between extinction and rebirth. Invest in conferences, training, purposeful networking, professional affiliations and some business and life coaching. Now more than ever it is important to have a support system that can help you NOT go it alone. Keep yourself on top of your personal growth, your industry and the market/s you live and work in.
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When you lead with passion, incorporate good fundamentals, consistently provide an excellent product or service and evaluate how you operate and serve your publics, you set yourself up for the long haul and the ability to endure and be resilient. Regularly conduct surveys and focus groups to monitor what your employees and your customers want and need, and what is most important to them now. The shift from company and product centric to relationships and serve centric is a huge paradigm change that is only going to continue.
Do you have a vision for where you are heading? What is the road map for your success? Do you have a blueprint? Many of us at the moment are navigating uncharted waters. I do know having both a short term and long term vision for navigating these conditions includes all of the fundamentals mentioned above. Being able to see your BIG picture is so important. The BIG picture is made up of many parts that have to fit right for you and be working together to get the results you must have.
Business success and endurance, like finishing a 26 mile marathon takes physical and mental perseverance. How you train will make ALL the difference in crossing the finish line or not.
Define your vision, create the plan and what you need to be doing, practice flawless execution and consistently monitoring the results.
How do you train for the long race in business?
CAREEREALISM Expert, Deborah Shane delivers business education and professional skill development specializing in women in business, those in career transition, sales and personal and social brand strategy and integration. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
The photo for this article is provided by Shutterstock.