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Three common milestones for completing a marathon and succeeding in business.

Both, long distance running and starting a new business, are growing in popularity. And yet, most of us who decide to participate in either “sport” fail miserably, causing ourselves and those around us a great deal of pain, which often results in a true personal disaster. Sorry, if I sound a bit grim, but it’s the truth.

Let’s briefly touch on what it takes the reach either finish line in one piece:

Milestone 1 – Product Development

In running – the product is you, your mindset. You need to have the right state of mind to commit yourself to a long process of reaching your goal. Ask yourself: why am I doing it? Is this something I need to do for myself or for others? What am I trying to prove? It has nothing to do with being physically fit - it’s all mental.

In business – without an innovative product, you are definitely doomed to fail. Validate and make sure your solution offers a clear value to the marketplace. The key here is to stay objective, open minded and not overly attached to your ego and bad habits.

Milestone 2 – Program Development

In running – follow a training program. You need to be fully committed to gradually build up your capacity to run for a long period of time. Educate yourself along the way by adapting technique and gear that makes sense to you, not to Kenyan runners. Without having a road map, running will result in being a very deflating experience, and moreover, you are putting yourself in danger. Depending on your fitness and experience, for some, training could be just a matter of several months, while for others, it will take years to get ready. Regardless, both runners will reach their goal on their time, which is the only thing that matters.

In business – follow a business plan. Regardless of the type of business, you must develop a detail oriented business plan on how you are going to execute your vision. As far as a time span – chart your course all the way to profitability. Make sure to take this step seriously by consulting with those who can supplement and enlighten your knowledge. Don’t try to economize here – otherwise it will cost you dearly later, guaranteed.

Milestone 3 – Being Rewarded

In running – crossing that finish line, getting addicted to running, and truly enjoying it as a unique mind-body experience for many years to come. Free of pain or injury - just a big smile and a shining medal on your chest. For others, it’s being able to finish faster than others, which comes with hefty bragging rights.

In business – let’s be honest, at the end of the day, the green reward is what matters more than others. Becoming profitable as a business entity and reaching financial independence is your well-deserved reward. I know, money is not everything in life, but…… (you can fill in the rest better than me).

Even though the process is logical, and many of the runners and entrepreneurs are aware of it – it is astounding to see how many of them don’t follow it, skip stages and “fall on their faces”. The Wizard of Oz got it right: just follow the road (milestones) and it will take you “home”.

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