Earlier this month, I ran Santa Run. 5km of pure delight dressed in a Santa costume. It was fun, honestly!
This was the first 'competitive' run I had participated in since I ran a local half marathon shortly before falling pregnant with my daughter.
So what does this have to do with business and strategy you say? Quite a bit in fact.
The bigger picture
Back in January, I decided to start running again. However, I was in a very different place in terms of my body shape and fitness level to when I ran that half marathon.
I want to eventually get back to long distance running, so I knew I would need to think about the bigger picture. This wouldn't be about training quickly for a 5k. It would require long-term planning. Slowly building up my strength and fitness to avoid injury so that once again I would be able to run long distances.
It would mean setting goals and researching the best way to reach them. I would also need to listen to my body, to understand how much I would be able to push myself without going too far.
Pretty much like when you want to make long-term sustainable changes to your business.
Understanding what it is you want to achieve as well as researching the external and internal factors that impact your business so you can take calculated risks.
Finding the discipline to stick to your plans and not take short cuts. Looking for ways that will help you do that.
Returning to the running analogy, the first time I went out I put my running shoes on. However, my plan was to power walk first until I had built up enough strength and fitness. It was so tempting to run in my running shoes that when I got home I put them back in the wardrobe and took out my old gym trainers. No running shoes, no temptation to run. It would be several months before I took them out the wardrobe again.
I did all my training alone, without using the services of a running coach. I have pretty relaxed long-range deadlines, though. However had I wanted to be fit enough to run the 5k in a much shorter time frame and achieve a personal best, I may well have consulted with a professional running expert.
The same goes for business. Consulting with somebody who has the expertise in the challenges you want to overcome or the changes you want to make, can help you achieve them much more quickly and to a more ambitious level.
So in summary, when it comes to making long-term sustainable changes to your business you need to take a considered approach. That's if you want to be in the run instead of on the sidelines. Depending on the level of urgency and how ambitious your plans are, consider consulting a professional.
After all who wants to see a limping Santa, or even worse, a Santa who doesn't even make it to the start line.
This article also appears on LinkedIn.
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