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.
- Do the work. You want success. Do the work.
- 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
- 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
- If you’ve done the hard work, then the execution will be comparatively easy.
- 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 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.