There was a point in my military career when I decided to become a basic military trainee instructor. I loved everything about my training experience except this one thing—running. Oooweee! I hated running with a passion. As an instructor, we were considered to be in an elite class of airmen. The best of the best. That meant that everything we did had to be better than the status quo. So here comes the part of training where we have to complete our fitness evaluations. I actually met my personal best, but my best wasn’t considered good enough for this elite group of which I was becoming a part. Needless to say, I had some work to do.
Every day after training I ran around the base—not sure if you are familiar with lackland AFB, but it’s a big base. I ran so long and so far, I thought I had transitioned into the Marine Corps. J At the beginning of this “remedial fitness routine”, it was very difficult. I had to keep telling myself to just keep my feet moving. After a few weeks of this routine, I felt so good, and I actually found myself enjoying my afternoon runs. I was in the best shape of my life, I felt great, and it wasn’t even hard anymore. By the time my test came around, I killed it! I was used to running for hours that 8 to 10 minutes felt like nothing. I had developed such stamina that my test was over in what seemed to be the blink of an eye.
Running a business is very much like that. Let me tell you, at first, it may seem daunting, frustrating, and maybe even overwhelming. You may find yourself just trying to “keep it moving”. You may not even see or feel the benefits of what you are doing right away, and that may cause you to question whether or not it is worth it or if it’s even working. But you need to realize it’s only the beginning of the process.
"Success does not happen by accident; It happens by design (Danitza Mack)." You have to know that when building a structure of any kind, the foundation stage is the most important and the most difficult. You have to make sure that it is able to sustain everything you put on top of it. Building anything great is challenging—especially if you want it to be sustained long-term. Building a business is no different. The building phase is always the hardest and the most time-consuming. You do most of the work up front, laying the foundation up front. In this phase, you are figuring things out, doing research, making decisions with limited information, understanding what your customer/client needs. You are establishing yourself as a viable business, establishing your processes. You are learning, evaluating, adjusting, and still trying to manage everything else that is your life. It’s all a part of the process. But all the work you put in works to gain you exponential advantage as your business begins to grow.
Like my running experience, all of these things are working some things in you; knowledge, experience, capacity. As you become more established, as you get your systems and processes in place, you will start to see that things get easier to manage and all the work you put in up front built in you the capacity to handle anything and everything that may arise in the course of running your business. Don't be discouraged by how hard it seems...you are building stamina. When "test day" comes you will be amazed at how well you are able to handle the challenges of life. I just want to encourage you not to throw the towel in too soon. Let the process build you.