I am continuing a series of posts discussing 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. Over the past 3 weeks I have discussed 3 of the 5 principles - Discover Your Desire, Be comfortable being uncomfortable, and Stay in the moment. Today I will discuss Principle #4 – Keep Moving Forward!
On Sunday July 13, 2014, I completed one of the craziest races of my triathlon career, the Musselman Half Ironman (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run) in Geneva New York. The day before the race it was a beautiful, sunny, 75 degree day. My family and I walked along the shore of crystal clear, calm Lake Geneva. That evening, my teammates and I had a team dinner at a local restaurant. After dinner, I went out to my car and it wouldn’t start. Some teammates of mine tried to fix my car but no luck. As the evening ended, I watched as my car was towed away. Luckily my hotel was within walking distance of the race site. The next morning, I woke up at 5am to get ready. At 6am my family and I start the walk to the race start. We were buffeted by 20-30 mph winds and intermittent rain. The lake that was so calm yesterday looked like an ocean with white cap waves!
The 1.2 mile swim was absolutely crazy, one of the craziest swims I have ever done. When I reached the 1st turn buoy, there were so many other athletes hanging onto the safety kayaks and boats that there was no room to stop even if I wanted to. So, I just kept swimming forward.
I rode the bike for 56 miles in wind, rain, thunder, and lightning. Nothing to do but keep moving forward. After the race, we heard that there was a tornado sighting on the other side of the lake!
When it was time to run, the rain had stopped and the wind had died down. But it was humid! It was a challenging, hilly course but I kept moving forward. I did it! I finished.
Keep Moving Forward – the mantra of a small business owner!
I have had many disappointments and course corrections in my entrepreneurial journey. What has kept me going is to keep moving forward. If something doesn’t work out I learn from it. I don’t fixate on it – I move on to the next opportunity.
As a business owner, many times you will get that voice in your head that tells you to stop, what you are doing makes no sense. The conditions are not ideal, you should quit, go back to your old life, do something else. “Keep moving forward” should be the mantra of every small business owner. As a triathlete, I learned to keep moving forward in every race. As a business owner, I have learned to keep moving forward every day.
Next Wednesday – Principle #5 – It takes a village
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.