There is so much evidence that the more visible we are, the more opportunity we create. Yet, many people continue to hide out, thinking somehow they will be discovered
Without a doubt, when you are open about who you are, what you do, hobbies you have, this is when opportunity appears to come out of the woodwork.
A great example is my recent speaking engagement at BlogPaws2016. BlogPaws is an organization designed to help animal bloggers increase their effectiveness in all they do. The annual conference is off the charts amazing, attracting bloggers from around the globe.
Although I am not an animal blogger professionally, on a personal level I am passionate about animal rescue. It was as a result of a fund raiser I did for one of my rescue dogs that I gained visibility within the pet space. In the last year, I have spoken at two of the most influential conferences including BlogPaws and WIPIN (women in the pet industry) with more engagements on the books.
I also have private clients who are in the animal industry space. The only reason this transpired is due to my openness around my love of pets.
Multiple areas of interest will serve you
Another area I am gaining some visibility is with people interested in running. Although not a fast runner, I do participate in races of varying distances. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined people would ask for my insights on races.
Having been 40 – 50 pounds’ overweight at one point, now in my 60’s and in great shape with incredible energy, I was recently asked for my input on running a marathon. Again, I definitely am not an elite athlete, but I have accomplished something only a small percentage of the population has done… I finished a marathon.
Interestingly, what I have found to be key is that I talk about my passions. I post pictures of my animals and my races. I write about it without any expectation of whether or not I “will get something in return.” But the return has been interesting in that both areas have opened up opportunities in business. Why? Because today, more than ever, who we are outside of work is of interest to who we are in business.
The recent post I responded to about running a marathon was one I would not have found had a friend of mine not tagged me in.
The post started with an inquiring from someone wanting to participate in their first ever marathon. They were seeking advice on what to expect. There will be plenty of people who give input, most of whom have never participated in a marathon.
Comments ranged from what books to read, to one person posting, “Why in the world would you want to do a marathon?”
What I know to be true is this; training for a marathon is like running a business. You won’t accomplish what you want in a month. It takes time, commitment, mentorship and overcoming obstacles.
There is a process
To give you insight into my process of what it took, and continues to take, here is how I responded to the request on what to expect from participating in a marathon. You will likely notice the similarities to running a business, writing a book, getting out and creating speaking opportunities or just about anything that pushes your limits.
Having been a very crappy runner at one point and now completing my second full marathon for my 62 birthday last month (my first was at age 61) and now doing lots of 5ks, 10ks, 5 milers, 10 miles and a few occasional halves, yes, I do have some insights. Personally, my goal is to do 100 races by the time I am 70 and in the last year have done at least 10 (not marathons… races which include everything from 5ks up.)
I am not a fast runner. Started out as a walker at the standard 20-minute mile. I was thrilled when I hit 16 minutes per mile. My average now for my training days can be between 11 – 12 minutes per mile.
My goal is to always finish without injury. I pay attention to those who have “been there, done that.” Anyone who has not done a marathon seriously does not understand what it means to hit the wall at certain points during the marathon. Hitting the wall is very real and it has to do with a number of factors including:
-How well you’ve trained?
-What you eat and if you are carbing up enough during a race?
-Are you hydrated?
-What is your overall health?
Here are my recommendations
1. Pace yourself and give yourself time to train right. Do NOT assume you can do a full marathon in a matter of a month. It takes a considerable amount of time and effort to do it right.
2. Join a local meet up group of “hobby” runners. There’s a huge difference between lifer runners and those who simply enjoy the sport.
3. Consider your eating habits. What you eat, how you eat, and how much you eat is huge in your overall performance?
4. Weight training is a very important aspect of good marathon performance. Incorporate resistance training into your overall training.
5. Do some shorter races along the way. Shorter races prepare you for the big day. To not have smaller goals along the way is setting yourself up for injury, frustration, hitting the wall more than need be and a lack of understanding of pacing yourself.
I have likely read 20 plus books on running and marathoning. The two top books I recommend:
-Couch to 5k
-Marathoning for Mortals (Highly, highly, highly recommend) by Jenny Hadfield http://amzn.to/292ywSU
Jenny Hadfield has a Facebook group for those of us at all levels of running and power-walking. It’s a very supportive group and one of the best I have found for camaraderie.
I’m definitely a fan of Jenny. She writes for runner’s magazine and is very approachable. There is no elitism with her at all. She supports everyone’s goals.
I love the sport and never in my wildest dreams thought I would call myself a runner. Now I can’t imagine not running. On the 4th of July I am doing the Butte to Butte in Eugene, Oregon. I’m doing the 10k.
For the person who asked why you would do a marathon? Truth be told, very few people will ever push themselves to that point. It is an extreme thing to do and when you really make the commitment, you get to find out what you are made of.
Completing a marathon is not an easy accomplishment. Something that helps is to surround yourself with those who will support you and raise you up when things get tough. And trust me, they will get rough. There are times you will say, “What the heck was I thinking?”
- There will be times you want to quit. Don’t.
- There will be times you want to cut short your training. Don’t.
- There will be times you want to give up on your goals. Don’t.
- There will be times you want to hide away and pretend you never said you would do a marathon. Don’t.
There is nothing to compare with the feeling of training for months and then crossing the finish line.
As far as how long it will take you, that’s hard to say. There are a lot of factors involved including how fast you currently run, how well you train, etc.
Best of luck and know that when you cross the finish line, that can never be taken away from you.
Look for similarities and go for the gold
As you can see, there ARE similarities to training for a marathon and running a business. The most important thing is to have a vision, pace yourself, surround yourself with those who know what you are going through and will keep you focused on your goals, and stay the course. It will be worth it.
Looking for ways to go for the gold in your business? Join my private Facebook group to become more involved in your own success. https://www.facebook.com/groups/PowerUpForProfits/