26 Aug Vision. Purpose. And Triathlons.
Mike Astorino here. The one thing you should know about me is that my love for running is only rivaled by my love for marketing (sorry, family). It allows me to clear my head, think straight and concentrate on one thing – not tripping over myself. If we have ever met, you know that there isn’t much I can’t connect to running and marketing is no exception.
One of my favorite things to do while on a long run is listen to Rich Roll’s podcast. One of his guests was James Lawrence a.k.a. IronCowboy. At the time, James just finished a Guinness world record, breaking 50 Ironmans in 50 days in the 50 states. While listening to this podcast, I realized how running is no different from marketing
It all starts with purpose. A cause. Something you feel so passionate about, it is the reason you are up at 4 am and stay up until 2 am. It is so powerful that no one can convince you “it won’t work”. It is not just reasonable, but magical. James Lawrence did not become a triathlete coach just because that’s what he was good at. He did so because he was so passionate about health and bringing awareness to child obesity.
Then it takes a vision. Let’s do something that has not been done before. Let’s do something better. Different. Something that has not been thought of before. In many cases, the founder is the visionary. Unfortunately, if they are a one-man show, they can get so bogged down with day-to-day tasks like marketing, client relations, financial planning, etc., that they lose the vision. If you feel you are approaching or are at this point – get help asap!
Turn your vision into a specific goal. The IronCowboy set a specific goal of 50/50/50 – 50 Ironmans in 50 days in 50 states. This is an example of a clearly defined goal.
Now, you have the most important parts – your cause (the “why”) and your goal (the “what”). As long as you have these parts clearly defined, the “how” becomes easy. However, if you lack the passion behind your “why”, start over and find it. Without it, you are doomed.
Develop a team. Think you can do it all on your own? To a certain point, sure. But you are not great at anything (neither am I), so finding the right people who fill in the gaps will propel you towards success.
Map out a plan for achieving the goal. Get sponsors, plan, delegate, LEAD. Developing a plan is something I have done for decades for my own businesses as well as for others’. It can get tricky, so we are here if you need a hand – or 4.
Prepare for obstacles along the way. As it turns out, there are many including James falling asleep and crashing while on his bike. Remember, the only way a baby learns how to walk is by falling down a couple of times and getting up again. Stop being a baby and well, be a baby!
Part of a successful business is developing a consistent process that the famous business guru Jim Collins calls the “hedgehog” effect. It is when you find a rhythm in your business that creates efficiency and consistency day in and day out.
Make if fun. 50/50/50 became a media event and James was even able to include one of his 5 children who ran the last 5K with him every day! If you want a successful business that lasts, build a community through your team, your neighborhood, your industry, etc. The days of being on your own island in fear of competition and rivalry are over – collaboration and fun are IN!
Understand the importance of perspective. I ran my first marathon after reading Finding Ultra, Rich Roll’s story about his mid-life crisis which took him from grossly out of shape to being recognized as one of the fittest men in the country. To whip himself in shape, Rich ran Ultra Triathlons which is a double iron man. Not thinking I could ever run 26 miles, I signed up for my first one at the ripe old age of 50. Heck, that’s only one small portion of an Ultra. I wouldn’t have done this if it wasn’t put in perspective for me. If finding perspective is hard for you, it will be impossible for your team.
One of my favorite things to do with clients is marketing therapy. Many think they need a new website or some SEO, maybe a sprinkle of social media, but in fact, they need to clarify their vision, their cause, their perspective. I would be honored to help you do that.