I ran my last 10k while in my 30’s this morning. I make it sound like it’s something I do all the time but actually it’s only my 3rd ever 10k race. I didn’t do it in any earth shattering, record breaking time but I did it (1hr 3mins and that is my personal best). There were about 500 other runners all doing their thing for their own reasons whether it be to raise money or for personal fitness goals, we were all there, with our lycra on, running apps at the ready, prepared to challenge ourselves on a lovely Sunday morning in October.
Obviously it gave me an hour to think (during the parts when I wasn’t having to solely concentrate on just breathing in and out!) and made me realise that all the runners could represent businesses and the market place in general. We’re all there with our own agendas, business plans, goals and missions but the actual end game, to make money, is the same. Some businesses may be seeking to make money for good causes to give back to communities whilst other may have the goal of being able to buy their CEO a new helicopter but the basic mission is the same, make money.
All the runners had very different styles – yes I did people watch whilst running, I couldn’t help it! There are those who are very determined, focused individuals who have clearly trained extremely hard and are ready to do a paltry 10k in about 30mins. They know what needs doing and they are the people to do it. There are business owners like that too and sometimes they can make people like me feel quite inferior, they don’t mean to but by their sheer confidence in their own abilities they seem to over shadow those of us who prefer to take a slower more subtle approach to things. Neither is right nor wrong but it doesn’t hurt for the less out-going of us to remember that we’re all going in the same direction and we will get there too, we maybe get enjoy the scenery a bit more along the way as we travel at a steadier pace!
I loved the runners who were a little more flamboyant in their running style, hands waving, listening to music and just doing their own sweet thing (think Phoebe from Friends in that episode where she and Rachel go running in Central Park!) They were enjoying the journey and their participation in it just as some more quirky business leaders run their business in a slightly less than conventional manner. They maybe take more risks and do things a little differently but that’s great, by their trialling new and innovative business methods, some which will be amazing successes, some maybe not so much, we all get to learn and develop new strategies for growing our businesses and potentially new products and market places to enter.
I also realised that my position in the run overall was synonymous with my business and how I feel about it especially at the moment. At about 4k, there were loads of people ahead of me and probably a few people behind me, but that didn’t matter at all, what really matters is I was there! I got up, I showed I up and I was doing it my way, I was enjoying it (even the hills which were hard work). I didn’t stop going forwards and I reached the end, just as everyone else did, and I think even managed to do it with a smile on my face!