Marathons and entrepreneurship have more in common than differences

To compare marathons and entrepreneurship is something that has been written about on multiple occasions. My first article touching the topic was published already three years ago.

This time it will be a sort of “unplugged” reflections and advice around marathons and entrepreneurship. When starting with the draft to this article, it’s three days left to enter the start blocks for my 22nd marathon. It’s a period when all training is slowing down, and you try your very best to give your body the necessary rest.

It’s a period when you have to rely 100% on the heavy training you have behind you. With a smile and satisfaction, you can remember those long runs when the heat, the rain, or whatever obstacle of the day, made your run to a nightmare. However, you did it!

The perseverance where the words “give up” don’t exist, is something that ties together marathons and entrepreneurship almost to a stubborn like behavior.

The way to view your life as a passionate marathon runner, you can divide into three parts:

  1. The training
  2. The preparation
  3. The execution

The training phase is without any comparison the part that takes the most time. It includes all the kilometers or miles on the road. It’s the part when your passion for your running will be tested several times. Your willingness and motivation to really do what it takes to run a marathon will be crucial for your success.

Similarities of Marathons and Entrepreneurship in Real Life

Similarities of marathons and entrepreneurship


Training for a marathon

When you are ready with your decision to run a marathon, which is a process by itself, the time-consuming training starts. If you plan only to run one marathon, you need a minimum of four months of dedicated training.

When I ran my first marathon back in 2009, I also planned for only one marathon. However, my passion for this particular hobby, sport, or whatever you call it got triggered, and since then my training is all year around. I use to take a “rest” second part of December, with some lighter training, but the yearly training has two to three marathons in the program.

Never try to get your training done by yourself. Instead, you should use a professional training program. Either you can find the program that fits you on the Internet, or you can involve a coach to get the training going the right way.

All professional training programs are summaries of other people’s success and failures. So, why should you go through the same process, if you can get a program that highlights the success parts and avoid the failure treats.

Another critical thing to consider is the risk of injuries. To run a marathon means hundreds and even thousands of training kilometers. If using a “home-made” training program, the risk will be high to get injured.

How this relates to entrepreneurship

When you decide to start your own business as an independent entrepreneur you follow the same path. The experience from my marathon training helped me a lot to immediately begin searching for the right system or platform.

There are many reasons why people fail with their online business. However, most people who fail with their business is because of the missing system or platform. Often the high level of motivation to start your own business takes over the necessary planning to achieve success.

As the online business with a “ready-made” system was my search priority, it didn’t take me a too long time to find what I was searching for.

It’s all there. The digital platform, the training, the support, well, absolutely everything you need to build your business, without having to create things by yourself. If you compare to the marathon training, you can say that you have both a program and a coach to develop your business the best way for you.

Check here about the system and platform I’m using for my online business.

Preparation for a marathon

To complete a 42,2k or 26.2 miles marathon race, your preparation is crucial. I have seen it so many times; people to start training for a marathon three weeks before the race. Unfortunately, the probability of failing is exceptionally high.

Preparation for marathons and entrepreneurshipInstead, in the preparation phase before the race, the training you have behind you should be an important motivation and inspiration factor. You know that you have done an excellent job and now it’s time to rely on your effort entirely.

Nowadays, my marathon time hovers around four hours. That’s a long time to keep on running. In the preparation prior to the race, the mental part dominates. You need to decide the pace to keep.

The winning concept for a marathon is to keep an even pace. As a newcomer to this fantastic sport, the number one error people do is to start the race too fast. When it’s time to “hit the wall” somewhere between kilometer 25 and 30, you will have to “pay” for your high initial speed.

To mentality conquer the entire race, the best method to keep motivation on top is to divide the race into several parts. For example, part one could be the first 5k and the principal task to prioritize could be to get the pre-decided pace to be right.

How this relates to entrepreneurship

To build a business, no matter if offline or online is a marathon and not a sprint. You have heard this several times, but what does it really mean.

You must give yourself the flexibility to grow your business according to plan. Do you remember the training program for marathon training? No program will have 30k long run on the agenda the first weeks.

Precisely the same goes for your business. Ignore once and for all, the many false but desireable promises to get rich within a week by doing a couple of clicks on your computer keyboard. They are pure lies and nothing else.

The system I’m using not only takes you through the program the right way, but they almost oblige you to do it that way. This means, follow the initial training modules and do your homework.

Start on a small scale with something easy to do. Stick to it until you start to see results. The size of the result doesn’t matter at this point, but rather to get your figures right. At the end of the day, your purpose is to get a profitable business up and running.

It’s all like a marathon. You can’t jump to kilometer 42 until you successfully complete the previous kilometers.

Execution of a marathon

Execution of a marathonDuring every marathon, you are going to have different experiences. Some races are quite comfortable and without any significant obstacles. Other races are tougher than what you ever could imagine.

All marathoners who have run Boston Marathon know what I’m talking about when mentioning Heartbreak Hill. It’s uphill for almost 2k, more or less when it’s time to “hit the wall.” With a correct execution of the race, in the first place ,you’re prepared for the hill to come. Secondly, you have “saved” energy for this challenge ahead. With the energy reserve you have mixed with perseverance, you will make it.

Every race has its unique obstacles, and a proper execution means that you plan in advance how to tackle problems that will show up.

How this relates to entrepreneurship

Whatever business you’re into obstacles will appear. For sure you will have setbacks. That’s life for an entrepreneur. Things don’t always go your way. However, marathons and entrepreneurship have in common that you solve the problems in the same way.

When your business approaches a “Heartbreak Hill,” you know what to do. You are prepared to do it and know that after reaching the top of the hill, there will be an easy downhill to enjoy.

Your business is a marathon, and the only people who will fail are the ones that don’t know to execute the task correctly. With the confidence and trust that you build up during the training and preparation phases, no one can stop you when performing your business.

The Next Step with Your Marathons and Entrepreneurship

This comparison with marathons and entrepreneurship serve me a lot with both my passions. Don’t worry! You don’t need to be a marathon runner to be able to understand how entrepreneurship is working the same way.

The only thing you need to do is to grab any of your true passions, and you will notice that it follows the same pattern.

Maybe you’re a golfer, piano player or perhaps you like the painting. You can always practice it like any leisure activity without really focusing on o the outcome. But if you want to improve and achieve better results, you need training, preparation, and proper execution.

When it comes to online business that applies the same strategy as my marathon training, there are very few in the market. The one I’m using is one of them. Click the banner below and figure out yourself.


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Jan O. Nilsson –How Marathons and Entrepreneurship Follow the Same Pattern <==Go to the top of page

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