Feeling discouraged? Go run (or power walk) a road race.
I challenge you to find a place on any given weekend morning where you can you find such incredibly contagious enthusiasm, energy, encouragement and instant feelings accomplishment.
My husband ran in the Newburyport River Run 1/2 marathon and I ran in the 5K this weekend. As I jogged my way through the city, there were families and kids cheering for us the entire way. I even got a high-five from a police officer directing traffic and a little girl wearing fairy wings!
The thought crossed my mind, "What an incredible FORCE this is...hundreds of people...running in the same direction. All of us with a different mission, passion and mark to make on the world...UNITED and sharing in it together on this day."
It takes guts to get out there and push yourself.
Hell, it takes guts to get up each and everyday to go after your dreams, doesn't it?
After hitting mile marker number one, I thought, ok, here's where it gets hard. Much like in business, if you start off with a bang, you might get a false sense of security. The Launch, in and of itself, is thrilling. Once things settle in, people get busy, you get a little comfortable, maybe the clients aren't coming as readily and now it's time to dig in and push yourself.
I kept waiting and waiting to see a sign for Mile 2 (and Mile 3, turns out) and it NEVER CAME. I had no clue what the course route was as I had made the decision to run the night before and figured I'd just wing it. I was feeling REALLY tired, the heat was slowing me down and I contemplated walking at one point. And walking was the ONE thing I did not want to do!
I shifted my focus to the people around me and the sound of their feet hitting the pavement. Each one of those folks has their own set of struggles...in their lives...in their work...and maybe even on that race course. This realization alone made me want to work even harder for them and for me.
Entrepreneurship is an uphill battle at times; but, the rewards are so sweet. I've already found that the quickest way to pull myself out of a rut is to reach out. Pick up the phone, shoot out an email or a text. Connect with the world. Help someone else. Lean on your tribe. We're all in this race together, aren't we?
Sometimes all it takes is a high-five or a "Keep going, you've got this!" from a stranger on the sidewalk to help you pick your eyes up from the pavement to the finish line.
Oh and don't forget the after parties at the race beer tent are always a great opportunity to connect. Tuck a few business cards in your pocket and have them at the ready as you meet new contacts over a celebratory cheers.