Run your online business like a marathon and become a winner


To run your online business like a marathon, you have probably heard a couple of times. But what does it mean, and what do you need to do?

Being both a marathon runner and managing my own online business, I know how true it is to view your online business like a marathon.

This article will not convince you to be a marathon runner. However, knowing how to run 42.2K (26.2 miles) without falling apart will help create your online business.

In one of my earlier articles, the word leverage was the glue between marathon training and entrepreneurship. 

Searching around on the Internet, you’ll find thousands of different articles about the same topic. All analyses are valid. The truth is that the list can be almost endless if you would like to compare the similarities.

After reading a lot on the web and comparing it with my own experience, this article will boil it down to my “Magic Formula” for running your online business like a marathon. It’s all from mindset to practical work, and by using the formula, you will substantially increase your probability for success.

As all formulas, and to more easily remember it, it has its own name: B L A C K  J A C K.


Run Your Online Business Like a Marathon with Black Jack


Run Your Online Business Like a MarathonIt’s true what Larry Alton writes in his article, business isn’t for sprinters. All that he mentions is correct, but let’s streamline the Blackjack formula and get it all written down into practical guidance for success.


Bulletproof Decision 

Before 2009 I had never run a marathon race. I had done several 10k and even some half marathons, but never a full marathon. Now, after 12 years, I’m ready for my marathon race number 25 as soon as this horrible pandemic loses its grip on society.

Why should you care about me and what I’m doing? Well, you shouldn’t, but with this introduction, I would like to share with you what made me make a decision. It’s not a random New Year Resolution between joy and champagne, but a bulletproof decision.

When watching a race in December 2008 together with my youngest son, he suddenly asked me:

“Dad, are you in to run this race next year?” 

First, you feel honored to be challenged by your son, 33 years younger than me, to run a marathon race. Then you get scared, or at least “shaky.” It took me a week or two to answer after investigating what it takes regarding time and personal effort.

When the decision came, it was a bulletproof decision. It was a decision where all aspects of the challenge had gone through an incredibly detailed analysis.

When starting my online business 4 years later, the decision was the same bulletproof decision. I now had learned from the decision to run my first marathon.

It’s nothing wrong to not enter, but it is a mistake to do it without a serious and well-thought-through decision.

Based on bulletproof decisions, today, I’m a passionate marathon runner and online marketer.

To run your online business like a marathon is all about making the right decision.


Lock in your Commitment


Lock in your CommitmentIt’s much easier to take the next step with a correct decision: to Lock in your commitment. You need to be committed to many things; your available time, your family, and your job.

Be honest with yourself and avoid creating false expectations. To train for a marathon race, as well as running your online business, takes time….a lot of time.

Your commitment should turn into something you feel is fun to do. Imagine being committed to something you don’t like. Life is too short of committing to something you don’t feel passionate about.

Once the commitment is there, write it down, like a sort of pledge. When you need to motivate yourself, it’s a good idea to read your pledge, pump up yourself and just do it!


Adapt your Goal Setting

Now we are into the more practical stuff, which later will convert into a plan. When setting a goal, you always need to do it from the end and backward.

When setting my first marathon goal, I dived into a training program with different finishing times and then figured out what kind of training was necessary to achieve the goal.

My first marathon goal was to run the 42.2k (26.2 miles) in 4 hours and 20 minutes. I did it in 4 hours, 19 minutes, and 36 seconds, thanks to a realistic goal setting.

For your online business, the same pattern is valid. Starting out part-time and quitting my corporate job within 2 years was my goal. Almost on time, I could fulfill the established goal.

Professional goal setting isn’t to throughout a figure randomly and to see if you can make it. It’s detailed work based on all the variables you play with. As you can understand, the bulletproof decision and serious commitment are fundamental for realistic goal setting.


Check your Planning

The good thing with a serious goal is that the planning to reach it will be much easier. Start with the goal and work backward. The training program I used and still am using makes it easy to specify all the training sessions based on your goal.

When qualifying for the Boston Marathon back in 2012, the qualification time to be invited to apply for a starting position was 3:54:00 in my age category. The training plan was created accordingly. I did the race at 3:49:47 and got my bib number for the Boston Marathon 2013.

Your online business works the same way. Your goal decides what kind of planning you need to do. To make it easier to reach your goal, find a business coach, or as I did, join a system that gives you all the tools you need.


Keep on with Hard work  


Your Online Business Like a Marathon with hard workWhen training for a marathon or creating your online business, you will face many ups and downs. That’s the way life works. Further, there will be some pieces of training you like more than others.

In my case, my preference training is interval training with a lot of speed involved, followed by the weekly long runs. My nightmare is hill training.

However, all these different disciplines are necessary, and you just have to do them. You can always mix them around during the week, but they all have to be done. We all have different methods to optimize the motivation to get the various parts of the training executed.

“The only non-existing alternative is to skip the training.”

The same happens with your online business. Personally, I don’t like very much to keep track of my traffic to my websites. You know it’s essential for your business, and you just have to do it.

Coming back to the passion you have for your online business or your marathon training, can you imagine if you don’t feel passionate about it? How should you mobilize to do the “boring” stuff if the passion isn’t there?

To keep on with hard work, you must have a burning interest in what you’re doing. Otherwise, you will be an “expert” in finding reasons to not do it.


Jump for Joy on the Race Day

I will never forget the first marathon race. You have prepared yourself for a year, and now the race day is there. You schedule everything as you were going to take a flight to the moon. Nothing will be missing.

The start shot, and here we go. What an emotion! Absorbing all advice from runners with more experience, you focus on one single thing: keep the pace!

The “wall” is coming at kilometer 28 (mile 17.5). You know what to expect, but this is worse. All the hard work and disciplined training give you the courage to not through in the towel. To have fun on the race day is your pre-award for all the hard work you have done to be where you are.

After training and building my sites, the first ad campaign on Facebook was a similar thrilling event. The leads start to come in, the first sale, and here we go. Time to “hit the wall!” Your Facebook account is suspended for violating the rules of Facebook.

Your training and obtained experience tell you what to do next. After a few days of interruption and the leads from Facebook start to come in again. The practice, hard work, and confidence in what you’re doing always give you tools to make the necessary corrections. To give up is the only non-existing option.

The joy to run your online business as a passionate entrepreneur, together with your other passion for running and training for marathons, allows you to live a lifestyle that you earlier thought was earmarked for the so-called gurus.


Acknowledge your Reward 


Get your reward when running your online business like a marathonThe first time I crossed the finish line and got the medal for 42.2 kilometers was a moment of reflection. To enjoy the reward is an essential part of the journey.

In the same way, I can still remember my first lead and my first sale. It is a confirmation that the business you’re creating actually works.

Always assign sufficient time to reward yourself. It doesn’t have to be big things. Even small daily achievements should be subject to a reward. You deserve it!


Care for Rest

Sounds weird, but to rest from training and the work you love, could be one of the most challenging things to do.

Fortunately, I’m using a very professional training program for my running, where one or two days are assigned to rest. After a while, you learn that your body needs to recover from hard training to grow your muscle optimization. Sometimes you hear about people having a low performance due to overtraining.

The same goes for your business. Even if you love what you do, you need to get a distance from your work. Dedicate time to your family, rest from your work, and do something else. You will notice that your level of performance will rise when starting up again.

If you’re running your online business, as I do, you have the advantage of being very flexible. You can combine your work traveling. You just need to bring your laptop and connect to the Internet, and you’re in business no matter where in the world you decide to be. It’s priceless to travel the world together with my wife without losing the grip of my business.

As a passionate marathon runner, the combination with your online business allows you to live a lifestyle that was impossible just a few decades ago.

The 24 marathon races made so far have been in 5 different countries, and 5 of the 6 majors are already done. With Boston, New York, Chicago, London, and Berlin, it’s only Tokyo Marathon left to tick off.

Running my online business like a marathon made all this possible.


Keep up and Repeat

Everything changes over time. A decision and commitment you make today will not be 100% valid one year later. Therefore, it’s important to not see your decision and commitment as something static.

As the classic saying goes:

Rinse and repeat.

Circumstances of any sort can change the way to modify your decision and commitment. The worst thing you can do is continue the same path if you feel that you have difficulties committing yourself to the mission.

If you would like to build your online business the way I do, click the banner below. If you would like to get help with your training program for running a marathon, drop me a line in the contact form on this page, and it will be a pleasure to assist you.


This is the Moment for You to Start and Run Your Online Business Like a Marathon


 Hopefully, my marathon and the online business story provides inspiration to people like you. Could be that your background and circumstances are different than mine. However, the path is always the same.

In the same way that you can’t line up for a marathon without previous training and proper preparation, an online business requires the same mindset, commitment, and training.

Without even question it, I knew that I needed a professional marathon training program, to make my first race possible. If you are thinking about starting your own online business, do not invest a single dime before you get hold of the professional program, system, and platform that goes in line with your personal goal.

I was lucky to find the system perfectly fitting my needs. Click the banner below to know what’s it all about. Maybe it’s perfect for you as well. Don’t take my word for it but check it out yourself.

Whatever your decision will be, all the best, and hope to see you on the other side…..perhaps also in the starting blocks for a marathon somewhere in the world.



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Jan O. Nilsson – Why is Your Online Business Like a Marathon? <==Go to the top of page

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