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  • 12 Important Lessons Running can Teach us About Business

    6 min read

    12 Important Lessons Running can Teach us About Business

    I just took part in a 10 kilometer race, the popular Vancouver Sun Run.  Now I wasn’t really racing, as I hadn’t really trained specifically for this, but it surely was a race, as everyone’s times were tracked etc.

    And what an awesome experience, which has possibly just opened my eyes to a whole ‘nother realm of my athleticism, and as a vegan athlete at that.

    This said, it has also inspired me how the metaphor of running and going on a run can be compared and applied to business.

    Let’s dive in:

    Number 1- It’s a Marathon, not a Sprint.

    Needless to say, the journey of business, if we want a long and fruitful career contributing to the world and making ourselves and others money is not to be in a rush.  The sooner we make moves to understand this and incorporate it into our lives, I suggest the sooner the success and prosperity we seek will find us.

    Live in the moment, but also be ready to go the distance.

    Number 2 - Putting One Foot in Front of the other will Eventually get us where we want to go.

    If we’re on a mission, then to get there, we need to put one foot in front of the other.  Sitting still will attract what we seek, sure, but to move something, something will also need to move..  Such is one of the laws of the universe. 

    A journey of 1000 miles, begins with one step.
    — Lao Tzu

    Number 3 - Get into a Rhythm.

    Now that our feet (body, mind, and soul) are moving, we want to keep them moving over an extended period of time (the length of our mission or our lives).  To do this, we want to make sure we can sustain the activity for as long as we need to to get where we want to go.  To do this, I suggest we need to set up and operate from within a comfortable rhythm of activity.  One that doesn’t exhaust us, bore us, nor tire us out.

    we want to make sure we can sustain the activity for as long as we need to to get where we want to go.

    Number 4 - Have good equipment.

    If we want to play the game, I suggest we need to do so with the right tools and equipment to get us there.  We wear proper athletic gear and runners when we run, so they support us as we go.  So we must equip ourselves with the best tools in business to help up streamline our activities, improve our access to opportunities, and keep us well organized along our respective paths.

    We must equip ourselves with the best tools in business.

    Number 5 - Play good music.

    Personally, I can run but enjoy running without music much less.  What is the anthem of your business, your mission, and/or your journey?  I suggest it important for us to find our song and crank it along our way.  Change it if/when we need to, but keep it playing.  This helps us keep our rhythm flowing, and our spirits high.

    Music is a moral law.  It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.
    — Plato

    Number 6 – Fuel up and Stay Hydrated.

    Before we go on a run, we have a good meal.  While we’re on our run, we sip water, or if we’re in a race, people hand it to us from along the side of the road as we go.  Good nourishment is our fuel.. it feeds our minds, body, and soul.

    Many I know make the excuse of eating poorly because of not having enough time.  In truth, time is ours to give, wherever we choose, and if we choose to give it poorly, not allowing us the time to look after ourselves and fuel ourselves properly, then we will be faced with the results of same; fatigue, burnout, emotional volatility, possible missed goals, and similar.

    We must nourish ourselves for fuel to sustain our intended activities however long will be required.

    Number 7 - Good Support is Important.

    When I was running along this race, there will people clapping and ringing cowbell and playing music to cheer us along our way.

    Now, what if instead all of these people had signs that said “you’re never going to make it.”  Think about that for a minute and how funny that sounds.  We feel it would be funny to see if we were in a race or on a run, but what about in our business and our lives.  As we’re running, what company do we keep that has their backs turned, or their signs saying ‘no you can’t, or no you won’t.”

    Remember, some people don’t even consciously realize they do this, but take note of these people and keep their negative signs to the back of the crowd. 

    Make room for those with the positive signs and cheerleading and words of encouragement at the front.

    Number 8 - Measure Ourselves.

    It was interesting you know, that on this run I didn’t even realize how many ways I was being tracked.  But then when I looked up my official results of the run I was blown away but the details of my results.. How I compared against my peers across various categories, my pace, etc.

    Basically, we call these "Key Performance Indicators" or "KPIs", and every business and/or activity has them. 

    Do you know what your key performance indicators are in your business or activity?  How to you measure up?

    I suggest to you here that good and healthy business practice, we get to know our own numbers, what is going on with them, how to improve them, and how they compare to others like us doing the same or similar thing.

    (Note* - Definitely not to be overlooked, especially if you want to raise money).

    Number 9 - Know Where We Want to Go.

    Before I ran this race, I checked the map.  By having a feel for the map, I could identify milestone landmarks along the way that helped me recognize how far along I was and how much farther I’d need to go to get where I want to be.

    I say this often and will keep repeating it.  We must know or have some idea where we want to go to get there, or else if you’re perfectly happy right where you are then all is well and we have nothing to worry about, correct? J

    We must know or have some idea where we want to go to get there,

    Number 10 - Keep Going.

    Along the race there were moments.  Moments where I’d run right up a hill and then get to the top and be like wow, legs need a moment because they’d get pretty heavy.  But, I didn’t stop, and nor should you.

    A great adage here that I always love and remind myself of often..

    Learn to rest, not to quit.
    — ~Banksy

    This is a major difference between those who ultimately get there, and those who don’t.

    Number 11 - Enjoy the Scenery.

    I suggest that by my experience, we can get so caught up in the destination, and the work, that we can sometimes forget to enjoy the journey.

    This run took me along the ocean and over the water, through parks, amidst a beautiful sunrise. 

    Would it be right for me to miss all of this beauty just because I keep staring at my feet?

    I think not.

    Number 12 - Cross the Finish Line.

    Ultimately, I believe we are all on great journeys that serve a profound and important purpose.  Along the way, we all have both small and large goals, objectives, and missions.  If you are just getting used to achievement and achieving more for yourself, start with small wins, and build them up. 

    Big wins are the combination of little wins put together.

    Cross the finish lines of our goals in our lives and the rest will look after themselves.

    In my honest opinion, if we apply these suggestions to our businesses, we will witness our experiences transform, for the better..

    Want to see My Official Vancouver Sun Run Results?  Here they are:

    10k Split Time: 52min 22sec

    Overall Place: 4472 out of 40112 participants.

    Gender Place: 3598 out of 19054 male participants.

    Category Place: 498 out of 2188 Men aged 35-39.

    Average Pace: 5:14/km



    What do you think of this post?  Does it resonate with your and your business?  Like, comment, share, and let me know, below:

    Chad McMillan
    Chad McMillan

    Chad McMillan is an independent venture capitalist and creative artist focused on personal growth and exponential entrepreneurship. Connect with Chad at chad@chadmc.com.

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