You were selected to run for the 110m hurdles in the Olympics.
As you approach the start line, you position yourself among the other runners. You look to the runner to your left and then the one to your right, where are their eyes focused?
On the finish line, not so?
Then, why aren’t you looking there?
You hear the announcer’s voice saying: "Runners get ready!"
There is a short pause. Everyone gets into their positions and anxiously awaits the next instruction.
How do you feel?
Excited? Scared? Anxious? Pumped?
We're sure it’s all of the above.
Then you hear: "On your mark. Get set. Go!"
What do you do? Freeze or run?
HURDLE RUNNERS AND ENTREPRENEURS: APPLES AND ORANGES?
Can you find a connection between a hurdle runner and an entrepreneur?
From a glance, maybe not. They dress differently, their expertise is different; they couldn’t be more dissimilar.
We need to look beyond this.
We’re sure there are many parallels, but, for the sake of time, we will just look at four:
- Overcoming Hurdles
There is a common adage: If you fail to prepare, then, prepare to fail!
Anyone who exercises know- if you don’t stretch/warm up, the pains are gonna come.
Runners go through methodical planning and preparation before a marathon.
A well balanced diet; exercise (like running for practice); developing techniques to conquer those hurdles- trust us, no runner wants to fall!
As an entrepreneur you too have your share of detailed preparation to avoid the ‘pains’ of what could happen should you not prepare.
- Ensure you have a solid business plan
- Calculate the cost
- Do the proper market research
- Develop your value proposition
- Strategise clever techniques to market your business
There is much more, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
TWO: OVERCOMING HURDLES
So, you are at the starting line. The gun goes off, what’s the first thing you see?
A hurdle; ten to be exact! You have to reach the finish in less than 13 seconds if you want to win.
Your first hurdle is only after 45 ft (13 metres) from start-up; that’s like right there.
The thing is you knew you were going to be facing these hurdles; it's what you’ve prepared for. Imagine if you didn't.
As an entrepreneur, we're sure you’ve heard:
‘You will never! You can never! That will never! That’s not good enough!’
And the hardest one of all, ‘No!’
The journey to being an entrepreneur is never easy. You question everything and anything: Will people respond favourably? Does my idea make sense? Is this sustainable? Am I crazy? Is this crazy? What is my value? Would I be able to do it? Is it worth it?
But above all this- no don’t go all Whitney Houston on us- are the lingering doubts; it’s like a little voice that makes you question your every move, every idea, every thought!
The thing is, hurdles can take many forms:
- your own insecurity
- lack of financing
- balancing work and home life
- making hard decisions
- breaking stereotypes
- standing alone
But, the fact is- just as the hurdle runner- you will face these obstacles: no ands, ifs, or buts.
The question is, are you prepared to take on these challenges and are you determined to make it to the finish line as an entrepreneur and win your 'gold medal'?
We know we said we would be discussing four similarities, but, you'll just have to wait for part 2 of this blog to discuss the remaining two points.
If you can think of any similarities, please drop us a comment and let us know!
See you next week guys!
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