For some time I have been training for Ironman 70.3 in Augusta Georgia. While training I have been reading a book by Joel Friel & Gordon Byrn called Going Long. The book deals with the aspects of not only training your body but also your mind for these long distances.
What has been interesting to me is all the similarities between not only the struggles of running a business but also running an multimedia agency. So many times in the design process the process goes something like this: design fail, design fail, design succeed.
So many times we as business owners go through this same process. Through training for triathlons there is much preparation and anticipation for the day of the race. Typically, there have been months and months of training for one specific day for one to test their mettle with natures elements. In business and particularly an agency, the process is very much the same. We research, develop and nurture relationships sometimes for years in order for that one opportunity. Waiting for a chance to test our mettle or in our case our creative potency. In both triathlons and agency growth it seems nine times out of ten the win usually goes to the one that is the most prepared to push on through the race with perseverance, patience, and focus.
I want to share this quote from Going Long (you can basically replace training or race with design):
“The art of training is to lean against our own breaking points from time to time, thereby pushing our own boundaries further out. When we push too hard, we get injured, become depressed, and or break down in some other way. All are sign that we have gone too far. Elites (in life and sport) have the ability to push themselves but, more importantly, they know when to back off. Racing well is demanding. If you want to race well, then you must practice the ability to maintain mental strength when your body and mind start to doubt.
Train your mind slowly over time. Many people get down on themselves for not being able to maintain a fighting spirit for a whole race. That is why many “slow” athletes can be relatively competitive at the Ironman distance: They have trained their minds never to quit. All it takes is practice. Rest assured that when you are hurting, everyone else is feeling the same.“