“Just like New Year’s resolutions, all the motivation in the world means nothing if you don’t have the determination see it through to the end.” – Six Pixels of Separation.
Starting and maintaining your business is much the same as a New Year’s resolutions, but there’s more than a marathon at stake – your livelihood. At some point, we are all going to run out of gas. Working 60-80 hour work weeks while balancing your personal life (or lack there of), is draining. There have been a slew of studies on limiting your work week to 40 hours, but let’s face it, we can’t all be that lucky. And frankly, some of us like to stay busy.
What happens when the spark is gone?
There’s the challenge. How do you keep the momentum in the right direction? My trick? Reminding myself what I want to achieve.
Last year, I decided I wanted to run a full marathon. That’s 26.2 miles. Less the 1% of the US population has completed the feat. I’m not a competitive runner – in fact, up until recently, I hadn’t run more than a mile at a time. But I had put the marathon on my bucket list and figured now was better than later.
To be honest, the training leading up the race was terrible. It was time consuming, And while a had a few friends running the marathon with me, I was doing the training completely by myself (due to my work schedule). To add to the difficulty, it was summer and summer in Utah’s can be crazy hot. I was getting up before 5 am to attempt to beat the heat on my 15-20 mile runs. The first time I ran 20, I misjudged my distance and ended almost 3 miles from my stopping point. I nearly cried at the thought of having to walk back to my car and almost quit the training all together.
I didn’t quit.
I knew what my goal was. I knew that I wanted to finish the marathon training and ultimately run a marathon. I had to take a breath and remind myself of the goal. Not only that, but I was able to reflect on where I was compared to where I’d been. While I didn’t feel quite prepared to run all 26.2 miles, I had just completed 20. A year ago, I would never have thought that possible.
I congratulated myself on my accomplishments so far.
It was such a great feeling to realize what I had managing to accomplish up to that point. There had been so many hurtles along the way and I had managed to jump them all. It was so motivational that I managed to make it to my car and ultimately complete the marathon.
Your business is a marathon, not a sprint.
Every business has it’s own set of challenges, and each of us are going to have our own set of doubts. 10 years ago, you may not have imagined you would be a business owner – look at you now.
When the going gets tough – take a breath.
Remind yourself where you’ve been and where you’re going. Dig deep and find the determination and the spark that got you moving on this path in the first place. Write your goals down, hold yourself accountable to them, relax – and take action.
Find the determination to see it through to the end.