When I was back in Tasmania for the holidays I drove my family to the top of Mount Wellington, a 1,270 metre above sea level mountain that overlooks the city.
On our drive up the mountain – it’s 23km from the middle of the city to the peak of the mountain – we passed a guy riding his pushbike up the steep mountain road.
As we passed him my children were amazed that anyone could cycle to the top of the mountain. As the steep and winding road just keep going and going, I was too.
But I used to cycle up the mountain to the peak regularly. Once or twice a week. Once I went up and down the mountain 3 times in 1 day. Another time I had to cut short my ride because I was blown off my bike. Several times I had to cut short the journey because I couldn’t make anymore headway through the snow.
I used to run up to the top as well
I used to run to the top of the mountain as well. First time I did it was after a dinner party where a mate was telling me he used to run in the famous Point to Pinnacle running race – a race that has claimed the lives of a few runners in the early years.
The race was restarted that same year and I ran it in the exact same time I did that first time. To the second. I ran to the peak probably once every 4 weeks for a time there.
I look back now and am slightly amazed at how fit I was. The focus I had was relentless. Come rail, hail or shine I would complete whatever training I had planned out.
“I don’t mean to be rude…..”
I remember one time running 7 km to the local swimming pool in the snow. It must have been about -2 C at the time. The pool was outdoor….and very, very cold. When I went up to the Admission Window the woman serving me said:
“I don’t mean to be rude…..but you’re crazy.”
The reason for me training so hard was because I had a goal. The goal was to complete my first Ironman Triathlon – a 3.8 km (2.4 miles) swim, 180 km (112 miles) bike ride and then run a marathon – 42.2 km (26.2 miles).
And to complete such a physically gruelling race, you have to be completely focused and disciplined. And I was. To reach that sort of goal you have to be pretty single minded. You simply can’t let anything distract you.
Want Some Chocolate Cake?
Want a piece of chocolate cake for dessert? – “No thanks.”
Want to come to the bar for a few beers? – “Nope.”
Don’t run today because it’s raining and blowing a gale outside – “No, that’s not going to stop me.”
Lessons from training have served me well in business
These lessons I learnt whilst training have served me well in business. You see, it’s the exact same thing. Have a goal and plan out exactly how you are going to achieve it.
Want $200,000 in web design jobs for 2005? Break it down to $4,000 a week. Which is only 50 small web site design jobs for the year. Next, plan out week by week what marketing you’ll implement to achieve that. And don’t get distracted.
Want your web site to increase to 3,000 sales a year? Break it down. 3,000 sales a year is only 8 sales a day. Plan out week by week what you’ll need to do to get those 8 sales – might mean doubling your current visitor numbers (do more search engine optimisation, take some Google Adwords, add more site content, send out a media release a day, start an email newsletter on the site) or improving the way the site sells (better headlines and copywriting, better shopping cart software, more special offers made).
Whatever. You can do it. And it’s easy with small steps to reach your goal – rather than look at the huge goal at the end.
When I crossed the line after finishing my first Ironman Triathlon my first thought was “That was easy – what’s next?”
Because once you get the right attitude, nothing is impossible.