“Life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”
– Clay Clark
Marinate on this for a minute. No, really. Stop reading this for 30 seconds and think about that quote over and over. As a business coach, I think this is something we are all a little guilty of, at least I am anyway. Consistency is the hardest thing for humans to do. Consistency requires doing the same thing over and over again and being bored doing it the whole time. However, in order to be consistent, we can’t sprint the entire way to the top and then be surprised when the three, five or ten-year-long journey we signed up for is not sustainable for a sprint the entire time.
If you really stop and think about this quote for a minute, you probably realize you’re guilty of this. In the BOOM book, written by Clay Clark, he talks about the different dysfunctional mindsets entrepreneurs face. We all have one, or at least our former self has at least one dysfunction we realize is stopping us from our ultimate goals. Today, this blog is about the dysfunctional mindset #2, “The Aggressive, critical, and demanding of immediate impossible results entrepreneur.” Again, to quote Clay, “Life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”
I see this often with business coaching clients. The problem, and if you are a business coach client I certainly am calling you out, but please don’t get offended because you aren’t the only one. In fact, I see this trait more often and more commonly than any other dysfunction in entrepreneurs. Most successful entrepreneurs are go-getters and ready to get it done as fast as possible. Although this trait is admirable, the problem sometimes lies in the fact that they want results now and they want to sprint the entire way to the top. The marathon does not require sprinting. The marathon requires sustainably paced consistency.
Many of our business coach clients get the path that Clay has laid out for them and determine everything needs to be done NOW; in a one-hour meeting. This is probably not wise, first of all. Second of all, this is not sustainable. You can’t get to the top of Google in one day, for most it’s not even three months. For a competitive keyword, you want to commit to at least one year, maybe two years of diligence before you hit the top of Google. Often times in this scenario, getting one Google review in the last seven days is the only thing they can sustainably produce. And I repeat….. “Life is not a sprint; it’s a marathon”.
There is something in your life right now that you are trying to sprint toward and you aren’t pacing at a sustainable level. You recognize this in yourself. You just make excuses and justify this. I hear you. I do this in certain aspects as well. This subtle reminder from business coach Clay was the exact wisdom I needed. I hope this helps you assess your goals and your pacing if you too, find yourself trying to sprint toward a goal, without actually finding a sustainable pace. Remember, sustainability is the average pace working toward something. This doesn’t mean that if you have an extra two hours to write search engine content one week because a couple of meetings canceled that you are sprinting and being inconsistent. This is the average pace. If a burning fire distracts you one week and you are only able to write half as much content as usual, make it up the next week. This is the average consistent pace to reach your goals. For the last time, “Life is not a sprint; it’s a marathon.”