In my post last week I wrote about how becoming an Ironman triathlete prepared me to leave corporate America and start my own business. I developed 5 Principles that helped me greatly in my entrepreneurial journey. Today I will talk about the 1st Principle – Discover Your Desire.
On Sunday 6/10/2012, I was racing Eagleman Half Ironman in Cambridge, MD (a Half Ironman triathlon is a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and a 13.1 mile run). I was well into my 6th year of racing and I went into this race not motivated at all. In fact, I told my coach I would take a break after this race. The race was hot – 85 degrees at 7am. The asphalt temperature on the run course was 110 degrees! This was a super tough day and I struggled as did everyone else. I had to mentally dig deep and push myself to keep going as even when I wanted to quit repeatedly. By the end of the race, I realized that I had done pretty well and I was elated that I had persevered through such tough conditions. Something inside me was awakened. I had a new passion and desire to test myself even further. I decided that day - instead of taking a break, I was going to race an Ironman! Up until this point I had no desire to even race an Ironman distance race (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run). But now I did!
Open your eyes and your mind to new possibilities.
I believe that June’s race was the turning point, not just for triathlon, but my life and my career trajectory. I tapped into an unknown passion which was stoked on October 20, 2012 after I finished my 1st Ironman. My eyes and mind were opened – I knew there was a desire and a passion I had not felt in a long time.
Take what you are good at and use it to find your path.
Even though I was ready to leave corporate America in 2013, I still enjoyed the business world and the impact my job to help businesses. While at AT&T, I learned that I was really good at analyzing financial information and explaining it non-financial people in a way they could easily understand. This is when I decided that I wanted to take this expertise and passion, and use it to help the people who needed it most. So I took what I was good at which propelled me down this new path and ultimately where I am today.
Follow the signs.
I literally followed the sign to start my triathlon career. I became a triathlete because of a flyer in the local YMCA for a sprint triathlon. I had no idea what it was, but it sounded cool and it sparked something inside me that I had not felt before. This spark and energy is the exact time in our lives to follow the signs and make the leap.
Since starting my own business, I have learned to follow new opportunities - some work, many don’t. But, if you don’t follow the signs of a new opportunity, you’ll never know where the journey could have led.
Next Wednesday – Principle #2 – Be Comfortable being Uncomfortable
Eric has over 25 years’ experience in small business, startup, and large companies and has held numerous roles focusing on business and financial strategy in businesses. He is currently the Owner and Founder of EDGe Business Planning. EDGe works with small business owners to help them understand their financial and business information and use it to grow their business profitably. For more information about EDGe Business Planning, visit edgebusinessplanning.com.