The pride of coming out of start up phase in your business and entering growth phase seamlessly is so exciting and challenging, that we can almost stumble into it without realising it. We take just enough time to give ourselves a congratulatory pat on the back before it’s time to get back on your head and get amongst it…no time to waste.
Having run my own business coaching company now for over 17 years, I can honestly say that there have been many occasions where I have thrown myself at opportunities of growing both my business and myself, all with the best of intentions. It’s what you do as a budding entrepreneur…isn’t it?
Well, after completing my Marathon, see previous blog, I went through the same thought process. “How do I grow from that?” “What can I do to better a Marathon?”
My Question was quickly answered when a young athlete contacted me to help her on her mindset prior to her first Ironman event…funny how the universe works.
In the time that I worked with her, I learnt so many aspects of the Ironman that I had no idea, or appreciation of. From truly understanding your nutritional needs, to the importance of sleep and the effects it has upon you and your performance. Fascinating stuff.
Going to see the Ironman at Taupo in New Zealand, was the game changer for me. Seeing 1200 athletes from all around the globe coming together to take part in this amazing event is something that you have to see and feel, to truly understand.
I got totally wrapped in the occasion and upon seeing her cross the finish line, I foolishly proclaimed that I was going to do an Ironman. An absolute ridiculous idea bordering on lunacy, as I was 50 at the time, overweight, had asthma and gout. Oh and I couldn’t swim either…Crazy…I needed help and fast.
Just in case you don’t know, an Ironman event consists of completing a 3.8km swim, followed by a 180km bike ride, then you finish with a marathon. All to be completed within 17hours…Just another fun day at the office.
The following morning I Googled where I could find a coach that could take me through this Ironman oddity and, luckily, there were some very good ones locally. After emailing and talking to one, I was all set up and ready for my journey.
One of the first things that I learnt was how important it is to find a coach that is truly tuned into you and your outcomes, and is able to get you to realise that this was my journey and that he wasn’t going to be doing the event for me. A big aha moment for me.
My Coach got to know me well and was able to identify my fears and help me overcome what I knew was stopping me in going forward. Like my inherent fear of the water and my resistance to want to be in it, let alone swim in the stuff. That was an interesting learning curve.
The same could be said for the fears that we develop in our businesses. Whether it is the resistance to change or the fear of failure, they all have an outcome. It’s just a question of whether it’s the desired outcome you want.
Back to the story.
All I can say is that the first attempt for me trying to do a length of the local swimming pool took what seemed to be a lifetime! Something I will never forget. The only thing that kept me going was my coach’s support from the sidelines instructing me not to drown, as it wouldn’t look good on his CV… Just kidding.
But you know what? Because my coach believed in me and my outcome, I believed in him getting me through this initial challenge. That kept me from sinking into the depths of despair and instead, I went with the flow. Before I knew it, I was swimming. Now all I had to do was increase my distance by 150 fold. Simple, but not easy.
The same went for learning how to ride a bike with a saddle no wider than a blunt razor blade, or so it felt like. What was I thinking?
Not only that, but I had to learn how to use tri-bars. These are bars that are strategically placed near the centre of your handlebars to give you a better aerodynamic profile. Yeah right, they’re also a good cure for constipation when you first get on them.
The third discipline was the Marathon, something that I had experienced the previous year, so I thought, “I got this”.
Wrong. How often have we got into a position of complacency when taking on a task we have done before but for it to bite you on the bum…Maybe in your business…
My coach very wisely shared with me that the Ironman actually starts with just 10km of the Marathon to go. What!! You do all that work up until that point and only then does it begin. What does he know?…
He was absolutely spot on.
So I want you to imagine this; what you are currently going through in your business right now is just your Ironman journey. You will sometimes feel that you are drowning, you will sometimes feel like the saddle on your bike is not as comfortable as is should be. Also knowing that, despite your experience, you can still hit the wall when you least expect it, are valuable lessons to learn about you and your business. It’s the actions you take now that will ensure that you and your business will cross the finishing line intact.
The right action would be to take on a coach who has experienced what you are going through and is able to inspire you through your personal event to the finishing line.
So there you have it, whether you are contemplating doing an Ironman or boosting your business performance, now may be the time for you to pick up the phone, or send an email, to a coach you consider worthy enough to help you on your journey.
Do it now, as you may find yourself treading water, splitting your difference or hitting the wall.
If you are wise enough to see the value of taking on a coach to help you grow through these times, then congratulations to you… You are an Ironman.
Ps. I completed my Ironman in 16 hours 41minutes.
Tune in to see how I overcame my fear of public speaking by auditioning for a major musical production.