THE TIME I BOUGHT A MAN-SERVANT

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By Paul Foster

The effectiveness of supplying complimentary alcoholic beverages at charity auctions was once again demonstrated when I recently became the owner of a “free” entry into the Blackmores Sydney Marathon and a personal man-servant to run alongside me the whole way.

And so for the second time, I’ve gone through the hell of training for a marathon.

So what have I learned during these long solo sessions that can be applied in business as well as running? I’m glad you asked, here are my pearls of wisdom.

  1. Do the work. You want success. Do the work.
  2. Have a plan, stick to it. You’ll have some bad days, you may need to make some adjustments along the way but a plan gets you to the finish
  3. Your mind can be a force for good and evil, try and keep things in context
    • it’s rarely the end of the world (it’s just a twinge!) and
    • you’re almost certainly not the GOAT* (you’ve had a good day, don’t expect a statue in your honour)
    • remember when things are going well, bank the memories for the down times
  4. If you’ve done the hard work, then the execution will be comparatively easy.
  5. Set yourself cascading goals. Rather than traditional SMART goals, I’m a fan of a series of goals. A moderate one, a stretch one and a crazy stretch one.  For my first marathon, my goals were
    • Finish
    • Finish uninjured
    • Finish under 4 hours
    • Finish under 3:45 hours.

I made the first 3 goals and missed the last one by 2 minutes. If I had only set myself the toughest goal I would have felt a failure. Instead I was totally delighted.
*GOAT – Greatest of All Time

My man servant (or pacer as he’d prefer me to call him) is David Criniti. Last year he completed a marathon in 2 hours 17 minutes. Fast enough to qualify to run for Australia in the Commonwealth Games.

He’s also the founder of a charity called The Run Beyond Project. They work with underprivileged and disadvantaged high school students on goal-setting, commitment and resilience.

So this weekend I toe the start line again. I’ve done the work, I’ve set my goals and my fate awaits me. I’ve set up a fund raising page and I’d love you to throw some support behind this great cause.