I love the idea of running. Sometimes, I would rather be a couch potato than get my shoes on and get my a*s out the door. I’ve run a few marathons over the last several years, still not as fast as Usain Bolt and still not as shredded as a legit marathoner. I’ll typically run 2-4 times a week. Running has helped shape me into a better person on the inside even more than the outside. I’ve learned to stay true to my goals, work ethic and self confidence. Running has inspired me to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset. I’ll explain how.
Running is a choice, it builds willpower to make good decisions
Running is a choice. You either do it or you don’t and you make lame excuses why you don’t. But each time I’m choosing to run even when I don’t want to, I’m building a good habit. I’m strengthening the willpower to make good decisions that go beyond running. The choice I make to run gives me the willpower to make good choices with my work, my writing, my passions and my wellbeing. Entrepreneurs have to make tough choices every day and willpower is often needed to make clear decisions.
Running is a process, a system to get to a goal
Running might have some end goal associated with it, like losing weight, getting fit, training for a marathon or beating your PR. But, running is rarely the end goal. Running is the process and you have to do it more than once if you want to reach your goal. Running is a system to reach goals. Running won’t get you healthy, faster, stronger in one try, and that’s okay. It’s the process of doing it consistently that gets you there. While you can sprint and you can run marathons as much as you like, the process of running to reach a goal isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. It takes work, it takes a system that you do out of habit to get to that fit body and that fit mind. Entrepreneurship isn’t easy, people think it’s all hunky dory, glitz and glam and billion dollar exits… but most of it is process, reiterating on a system over and over to get to the next goal. While goals are important to have in mind, it’s all about the systems you put in place to make consistent progress every day.
Running is doing something that many people won’t
For all the couch potatoes out there, there will always be one hustler that is stepping up to the track to bust out a 10k in the rain, some Rocky-worthy sh*t. It would be easier to just munch on Doritos and catch up on House of Cards after work than get running, which is why most people don’t run. They crash after work or don’t get up early enough to run. I choose to not be like most people. That isn’t to say that there aren’t a ton of hustlers out there smashing more miles than me on any given day or that I’m Rocky. No, no, it just makes me feel good to know that I’m pushing myself to do something that I know many people choose not to. There is something victorious about that, even though I haven’t won anything. To be entrepreneurial is to be willing to do things that others are too scared to or choose not to. Being entrepreneurial isn’t about taking the easy way out, it’s about working harder and better than the status quo to do something impactful.
Running is believing in yourself, even if other people don’t
Running that extra mile, running through the fatigue, running after a fitness slump is tough. Inner strength to power through is what keeps me going. Believing in yourself creates that inner strength, that energy to liven up your run and get you to finish. I’ve had more supporters than naysayers when I said I was going to run a marathon, but the bad vibes can still get to me! I realized I can’t rely on what other people think of me to determine my competency for marathon-running, I need to believe in myself and just do the work. Entrepreneurship will bring loads of naysayers that don’t believe in you, don’t believe in your idea, don’t think you can do it. It doesn’t matter, it only matters if you believe them, then you’ve lost before you even tried. If you can believe in yourself to run that extra mile, you can believe in yourself to do anything. Running requires believing in yourself, having an entrepreneurial mindset requires believing in yourself, even if others won’t. Arnie will back you up on this.
Image by Alex Wong