As I drove through Belfast I came across the marathon runners wending their way around the city. At first just a few, the "elite", super fit leaders, and then the numbers increased as the masses came through. I was reminded of the self belief and commitment that all these people would have made just to be able to make it to the starting line today. The hours and weeks of lonely training in all weathers. The pounding out the miles when many of us would have still been tucked up in our beds. The heartache and pain with the blisters and occasional injury. All for the opportunity to be able to say "I did it, I was there".
I have always admired these people, particularly those that are so fit they can complete the race in just over 2 hours. Wow, what a feat of endurance! It takes massive courage to take on the challenge. Many run for the benefit of others, a worthy cause that they have some personal affinity towards. Others just do it to prove to themselves that they can. Wheelchair participants, less able runners, people with limited or no sight, and so on. All of these have one thing in common - they absolutely believe they can do it, and do whatever it takes to make sure they do.
Business is no different. Success is created when we have an unwavering belief in what we are trying to do. When we make the commitment to our customers and our staff. When we do whatever it takes to fulfil the needs of our clients and serve them to the best of our ability. When we play full out to deliver great service. It is these things that ensure success.
I wonder though how often we compromise on our commitments in favour of the "easy" option. When is it that we lose sight of what we created our business for? Is it at these times that we find ourselves in difficulty? Should we just simply remind ourselves of what we stand for and why we started out in the first place?
I often ask clients why they are in business as opposed to what do they want. Attempting to create a distinction between material goals and what those material goals will give them emotionally, we are more easily able to uncover the feelings that enable movement towards action.
As with the marathon runner, having self belief and commitment without the action, the preparation, the practice, the pounding of the miles out on the road, will not deliver the results you are looking for.
When I completed the London marathon some years ago I absolutely had the belief but I did not do the hard work, for a variety of reasons, and the end result? Yes I completed it, slowly. But I came in the bottom 5%. Is this the result you want? Do you want to be in the elite or come in much much later?
So, have a go certainly. Believe in yourself, definitely. Commit, without doubt. But make sure you know why you are doing what you are doing and stay focused on doing whatever it takes to keep your business ahead of the pack. With this level of commitment to action you surely will succeed!
To your success!