What Running Taught Me About Marketing
Pain is Temporary
"Many runners only use 70 [percent] to 80 percent of their potential, because they have not developed the mental ability to reach their physical limits," wrote Pete Pfitzinger in a Runners World article, "How Tough Are You?"
I think it takes every runner a while to reach the point (and some never do) of using mental toughness to bypass pain in order to run harder, stronger, faster or longer. Pain is only temporary, whether it's tired muscles or a campaign slipup. Your job is to acknowledge these difficulties gracefully with grit, while keeping your sights on the long view.
Strength Comes in Numbers
Running is primarily a solo endeavor, but I often enjoy it most and feel strongest when I'm in the midst of others working toward the same goal. Running races and hosting a running event of my own has emphasized this point: strength and joy come in numbers.
How siloed is your team? When a big project is on the table, does everyone contribute? Does everyone feel comfortable contributing, or is the work left to one individual to complete? Not everyone enjoys working in a group setting all the time, and it isn't necessary, but make collaboration a standard practice and you'll find the work produced is a step above the rest.
Set Measurable Goals
Speaking of steps, success is a matter of many small ones. Measure them. Mark them.
As with running and racing, your goals should be well thought-out, achievable, yet difficult enough to move you forward. The same is true in marketing. Don't start with a plan and hope for a successful end. Set small goals to reach and make sure you get there. Change course when necessary. This is how you win.
Persistence Pays Off
Completing a race is an indescribable feeling. Getting to the finish line is never easy. It takes an entire year to prepare for the Reindeer Fun Run, and sometimes months to train for a single race. But the euphoria I've felt at these finish lines is what taught me to focus on the long view, not minute-to-minute disturbances.
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