Life After Mile 26

Running marathons taught me to be better at business. Here’s why…

Those who know me understand that I’m one of those peculiar individuals that likes to run absurd distances. And this weekend, I’ll be running the prestigious New York City Marathon for the first time.

Most people that run marathons aren’t “in it to win it,” but are there to achieve a personal best. Why do I run them? As much as I’d like to envision outpacing thousands of world-class runners, one of the things I love about marathons is the correlation it has to business (something I also love).

In my mind, running a marathon and running a business is quite similar; each requires the same basic characteristics to succeed. Strength, determination, humility, focus, support from your family and peers, sleeping well, eating well, good communication and a positive attitude are all common elements of success.

To be completely honest, it’s not really the act of running a marathon that improves my performance, it’s the process of reflection after I’m (finally) finished. People have a tendency to concentrate on external factors that might have contributed to a slower time, but that’s not what reflection is all about. Becoming a better marathoner, and being successful in business, starts from within.

That’s actually a lot harder than it sounds because that type of reflection makes you solely accountable for your performance… not the weather, your shoes…or your coworkers.

We all have an ego, somewhere in there. To reflect and grow, you’ll need to outrun it. And after you’ve left it behind, you’ll realize that your progress begins when you — and only you — decide to run more miles, read more books, be more empathetic.

Best of luck to all those running this weekend!!!

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