No, he isn’t made of iron – he takes part in grueling Iron Man Challenges!
I’m full of admiration when people take on sporting challenges. My friend has just completed his first half iron man challenge and listening to how he trained I wondered what lessons we could draw from his training to help our businesses to grow fitter and stronger.
There are obvious similarities like the need to have a vision, long and short-term goals, a plan, and the metrics to tell you whether or not you’re on track. One of his focuses is on interval training, at its most basic it involves running at a fast pace, close to maximum exertion, for a short distance, then recovering for a short while, then repeating a number of times, aiming for the same or better pace. Without interval training a runner would end up running at the same pace all the time and not improve.
So, what’s the business lesson?
If you want to improve and grow your business, you need to try new things. This doesn’t mean embracing innovation or change for the sake of it. What is does mean is to have a challenging mix. If you’re business isn’t growing as fast as you’d like, try something different. You might feel uncomfortable, but if you keep doing the same old things year in and year out, you risk stagnating, or worse still, failing.
He says: “Interval training is hard work but it’s worth all the pain!”
Iron man challenges take place in all-weather conditions: heavy rain, hot weather. Some of the running is on the road, some off track. Some parts flat, some hilly. Iron Man challenges don’t get cancelled if the weather is bad. The same applies to his training – he uses all weathers as an opportunity to test possible race day conditions.
What’s the benefit?
We need to make our business work even when we’re faced with less than ideal conditions. We might be feeling a bit under the weather on the day of an important presentation. We all have our ups and downs. Regardless we must push ahead, you can’t cancel a product launch, exhibition or customer event because the conditions aren’t ideal. Push ahead and make it work.
“Pain is only weakness leaving the body, it may last a minute, or an hour, or a week, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If you quit, however, it lasts forever.”