3 Similarities Between Running a Small Business and Getting Into Shape
As entrepreneurs and small business owners, we have chosen a non-traditional path, one that does not come with a time clock with set hours, or even set days. We forego vacations, lunches, and even sleep.
Especially as a new small business owner, those are the sacrifices required to get your business off the ground. So when Fitness Expert and the Systemization Genius, Iggy Odighizuwa, joined us on the latest episode of the Business Over Beer podcast, and he said that you can’t be rigid on how you approach your health, I couldn’t help but think the same was true of approaching your business.
I wondered what other similarities are there between building a small business and getting into shape?
Don’t be rigid. Rigidity is selfish. Rigidity is closed off. Rigidity is counter to what you have to do to be a successful small business owner.
You have spent countless hours developing your small business, setting your mission and goals, and it’s easy to feel like there is one single path. But the fact is, you don’t know what’s going to work and what won’t. Only the market will decide if you have a viable business. So when someone offers you advice, don’t get defensive. When someone offers you help, don’t take it personally. And don’t paint yourself into a corner thinking that there is only one path to success or that you have all the answers. You don’t.
There will be many small crossroads where you have to make concessions about how to run your business. It’s all part of the process, and if you are flexible enough to try different things, open enough to accept help, and strong enough to endure the days when you fell like you can’t run another step, well, you’re actually on your way.
Have you ever started a new workout regimen and you couldn’t even get through the first workout without feeling like you’re going to die. Yep, running a small business is a lot like that sometimes.
The results of that first workout are not what’s important. It’s the act of doing it that’s really important. You showed up. You made the effort. But getting into shape or implementing a new business strategy is not a one time thing. It’s easy to get discouraged when you start a campaign and that first activity produces zero results. Human nature might tell you “well that didn’t work.” Don’t fall into that trap. You can’t get into shape in one workout, and you can’t run a successful business trying new tactics one time.
In the beginning, it’s about showing up day after day, putting in the effort until you get past feeling like you’re going to die. Once you do, you’ll have some information to draw on to recalibrate your strategy and figure out what the next hump is you need to get over.
Especially if you have been out of shape for a long time, you cannot expect to regain your old form overnight. The same is true of a new business. Success takes time. Running a small business is complicated. There will be days when you feel invincible, when you work 18 hours and could easily keep going.
But there will be plenty of days when you can barely drag yourself out of bed, where your concentration and focus are so lacking you can hardly get through your morning emails. It’s all ok. It’s all part of the process. And one day does not define your business.
Don’t give up!
It’s hard to notice all the small incremental improvements you’ve made when you are mired in the day to day. Have you ever worked out for a few months, then looked at an old picture of yourself? That’s when you really see the difference that you could’t see just looking in the mirror.
Ultimately it’s a culmination of all the work you put in over a long period of time, building on itself, allowing you to set and reach new goals. And when you look back on where you started, you’ll see just how far you’ve come.
“You learn so much more about yourself as an entrepreneur. You realize what’s important to you. You have to make sacrifices to get to where you want to be and forces you to develop your character and grow as a human being, so you can be the man and be the leader that you need to be to take your business where you want to go.”