I feel privileged to be able to share this story of another one of our boot camp members with you. I have been working with Tony for a few years and he has really made a 360 degree turn. He shared a post he wrote on his Ayumma blog that I want to share with you:
Tis the season!! No, not that season, it’s the start training for the Miami Marathon and/or the Disney Marathon season. Now, if you knew me or have seen me, you know that I’m definitely not gunning for a top ten finish, but the feeling you get after finishing, truly is priceless!!
I have only completed one half in my life and that was in 2007. Since then, I have been plagued by injury and/or circumstance that have prevented me from competing. This year I have vowed to see it thru, even planning to try to do a half marathon in the fall if I get enough mileage in.
Now why, you ask, would I be writing about this?? You usually write about marketing or business and I don’t see the connection. Well, my experiences the past few weeks have made me think about what it takes to be successful and I couldn’t see a better correlation than running a marathon.
As we launched our first of many exciting products, we lined up some sales people in order to create some local buzz and establish a model that would work large scale. One of the salespeople would only complain that the people didn’t want to work and that if they felt that it was more work, price didn’t matter, they won’t do it. This person would get frustrated because when he called and they didn’t respond immediately, or when they didn’t respond to a follow-up call, then the product didn’t generate “sizzle”. Now, I know that in our space, there are numerous companies with enough “sizzle” that they are feeding themselves and then some. So what was the difference?? Were the people in our local market just lazier??
I know that, despite our low cost basis, we were offering a generous commission and recurring compensation plan with as flexible hours as you could want for our sales people. So why was someone, with years selling into our customer base, not getting past the front door?? I also knew that my wife, if she had any training, would have closed about 20 customers in the same time frame despite talking to people when she had kids in tow. So what was going on??
To complete a marathon, or half marathon, it all comes down to effort. Not just the effort during the race but the effort you put in to your preparation up to the race. Both physical and mental preparation play a big role in your ultimate success. With the marathon, you set a time objective you hope to achieve and you train to get that objective. The work isn’t the day of the race it is all of the hours you put in leading up to the race. The sacrifices you made, the injuries and setbacks you overcame. That’s what makes the ultimate success so sweet. Not the feeling you get from completing the 13.1 or 26.2 miles, it’s the hundreds of miles and all of the hours spent in the months leading up to the race that allowed you to do what you did on the day of the race.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIw4EN_TzI8&playnext=1&videos=qnsMiStdU_Q&feature=grec_index[/youtube]
If you are a small business, the race could be the day somebody buys you out, the day your kids take over the business, or even the day that it supports your family without the stress of how are you going to pay your bills. If you are a salesman, your “race” could be closing the “big” deal, or the day that you are generating enough income that you don’t need to worry about supporting your family. Either way, it requires your putting the time and the effort to get the job done. Overcoming setbacks and savoring the journey. There is no easy way to do it. Luck happens once; success is luck that happens again and again over a period of time!! In order to succeed you need to put in the effort, identify the obstacles and learn to overcome them. You need to anticipate the objections and be able to answer them quickly and intelligently. You need to work smarter, use what tools are available and see how to get to the finish line. Sometimes the steps are harder, but they are still steps.
So yes, I am planning to run a half and a full marathon in the next year. Why, for the challenge. To know that once I achieve the goal it is all because of the effort I put in, the extra work that I did, the obstacles I overcame. I do it because nothing replaces the feeling that you get when you cross the finish line knowing that all the hard work I put in allowed me to accomplish something that nobody believed I could when I started out. I also do it because nothing beats crossing the finish line and the first thing your then 9 year old daughter asks you, when you are totally destroyed, calf cramping because the air bubble in your shoe had burst (flat tire anyone???), have a side stitch like you’ve never felt before because in mile 6 you had to avoid someone who stopped to take a picture, making you pull a rib muscle, and you look pale and dehydrated, when she sees you is, “Daddy, can I do it with you next year??” That’s why I do it, because the rewards for hard work far exceed the struggles to get there.
Oh yeah, my daughter, she’s too young to do the marathon, but now, as a 12 year old, competed in the AAU Nationals Track and Field competition in Chicago this summer and is considered one of the top middle school cross country runners in her district. Success comes in all types of packages.
I hope you have enjoyed and gotten something out of Tony’s realization. Leave a comment for Tony. Congratulate him.