In September of this year, I set myself a challenge, to walk or run 5k every day to raise funds and awareness for Autism NI about the growing number of young children who are diagnosed with a form of autism. Joined by my wife, Emma, we raised a total of £2,000 for Autism NI. Our youngest daughter Kara is on the ASD spectrum, so it is a cause very close to our hearts.
More than running
Getting up every day and taking on a challenge like this for a month spurred some new thinking in me. In addition to raising awareness and funds I learnt a few new lessons along the way which I feel are applicable to business.
Here are my three lessons I learnt from my month of 5ks…
Lesson 1: You Need a Cause Greater Than Yourself
Motivation derives from many things, usually we tend to lean towards the material and self-fulfilling causes. However, in this instance I wasn’t running for me, I was doing it for something bigger than myself and when you have a cause that is greater than yourself the motivation comes naturally. You don’t have a choice in completing the task at hand, you are compelled to do it as you aren’t the sole benefactor.
This principle can be applied to business and business development. At Cloud 360 Accounting this is often one of the first questions we ask our clients, what is your ‘why’? What are you doing this for? By having a cause greater than money, net worth or indeed yourself it will steer you through the good, the bad and the ugly times. Consider what your motivation is – is it freedom? Is it being able to design a business around your life and what is important to you? Is it about having a family fund available so you can do the things that you want with those most important to you? Through establishing this wider cause you’ll have a stronger desire to succeed so that you can achieve what you want.
Lesson 2: Preparation
Doing the daily 5k in amongst everything else in my life meant that I had to have systems in place to ensure I achieved this non-negotiable activity every single day for a month. From laying out the running shoes the evening before, to scheduling breakfast at the same time – these small building blocks made sure I ticked off this activity each and every day.
The same can be said for business, plan what you want to achieve on both a big and smaller scale. Know what your targets are for the year, but equally check-in quarterly, monthly and weekly to ensure you are on track to achieve those. Figure out what your non-negotiables are for your business activity each day to ensure you’ll hit your targets. Discover what the running shoes of your business are to ensure success.
Lesson 3: Accountability
Emma and I did this project as a joint effort meaning we were always there for each other. Never underestimate the power of working together with someone. We kept each other accountable, we fed off each other’s energy and were able to keep one another motivated. Similarly, in business see if you can find a coach or mentor to keep you accountable, to keep you motivated. They will help propel you forward and ensure you meet your goals.
To work with us to help discover your business goals and see how we can help you – get in touch today