I am an entrepreneur who loves to run in his spare time. This passion has led me to participate in several marathons and long-distance races.
And at the beginning of the year, I started training for an 80 km ultramarathon.
During this ultramarathon training, I couldn't help but notice similarities between what I was doing and the launch of my startup company.
If you haven't read it, I already started to tell you about those similarities in a first article entitled "Training for an Ultramarathon Is Like Launching a Startup".
And as there is a lot to say about this topic, I decided to write one last point about the similarity between these two great projects. This one is articulated around a quote that struck me in an entrepreneurial conference and that, in my opinion, also applies to the training for an ultramarathon: "Think Big, Start Small, Grow Fast".
Think Big, Start Small, Grow Fast
Whether you are training for an ultramarathon or planning on launching a startup, it is important to dream and to have an extremely motivating vision.
It is super important to be able to imagine yourself achieving your goals. Like crossing the finish line of an 80 km ultra-trail, cheered by your loved ones, or solving an important problem with the creation of a successful business.
It is this vision, this "big dream" that will push you to continue when nothing else is going well and that will allow you to unite your entourage at the starting point.
To be able to project ourselves into this positive future is the first step. It is scientifically proven that visualizing a destination helps to reach it.
Try it tonight before you go to sleep: get comfortable in your bed and visualize yourself excelling in your field. What are the images that come to your mind?
How do you feel?
Personally, during the training for my ultramarathon, I often imagined myself capable of running for hours in the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world or participating in mythical races like the Diagonale des Fous or the Mont-Blanc Ultra-Trail.
It was these projections that helped me to get out of bed and put on my running shoes on the cold and dark mornings of January.
You can't start on Day 1 running an 80 km marathon or having a business that runs perfectly well.
When you decide to go into business or sign up for an ultra-trail, you are (in most cases) far from being ready right away. You must indeed quietly begin to attack your objective on a very small scale. For example, start by running 2 km or validate your business idea to potential users orally.
In an era where everything goes fast, this step is often neglected, whether by runners (who want to run immediately fast or over long distances) or entrepreneurs (who can cut corners to generate sales quickly).
This can have negative repercussions: runners don't give their bodies time to adapt and injure themselves after a few weeks of euphoric practice, and entrepreneurs sacrifice their long-term vision for short-term "success".
To start a project well is to start it on a very small scale.
If the first two steps have been well executed, the next step would be to reduce the gap between the final vision and the “start small” approach. This is how you will get closer to your bigger vision! To do this, we must try, adapt, learn, evolve, progress...
If in some cases there is no hurry, in general, the faster you move forward the faster the gap will be reduced!
The runner who started training 5 km a day risks seeing his motivation diminish if he can't run more than 7 km two years later. The same goes for the entrepreneur who dreamed of seeing himself at the head of a big company but is still working alone in his parents' basement.
Moreover, in a competitive world, growing fast becomes even more important.
You are not the only one who trains hard to win a medal or the only one to launch an innovative company in your sector. The speed of progress can be a determining factor in being better than your competitors and therefore staying in the race.
This is what concludes my observation of the commonalities between these two areas that I am passionate about. If you have enjoyed this article and have not read the previous one, I invite you to do so.
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