It is inevitable for entrepreneurs to feel exhaustion, fatigue, discouragement, frustration and despair in the course of the business journey. But in true entrepreneurial spirit, they bounce back and march again with more determination. Hence, a little bit of mental and emotional stretching is needed to build stamina, face challenges head-on and keep going towards the goal.
Several options are in store for entrepreneurs on how they can re-energize themselves and fire up the embers of their passion before it totally diminishes. One resolution that some business owners choose is getting into endurance sports and activities.
What are endurance activities?
There are various types of sports and exercises for the body. Some are geared towards developing one’s flexibility while others are to build balance. Some sports are for improving strength while others are to increase endurance.
Endurance or aerobic exercises and sports are done to keep your cardiovascular, respiratory and circulatory system in top shape. Such activities intensify breathing and heart rate of the body. Examples are biking, running, jogging, walking, swimming, dancing and sports that involve these exercises.
Benefits of endurance activities to entrepreneurs
More and more entrepreneurs find great benefit from doing endurance activities. A number of these advantages are listed as follows:
Motivation and energy. When it seems that the responsibilities are too overwhelming that it causes you to lose interest in your work, endurance sports can wake up your senses and get your adrenaline rushing. They can pump up energy into your system, especially when you do it in the morning, and motivate you to channel that energy to your business. Joining marathons and competitions can make you feel competitive and determined.
Mood booster and stress-reliever. The stress and demands of running a business can sometimes make you grumpy, irritated and angsty. What’s worse, you take these negative vibes at home and areas outside of work. Endurance exercises can help you release the tension in your body and make you think more clearly afterwards. It keeps your physical, emotional and mental well-being in good health.
Focus and staying on track. Those who get into endurance sports, especially in triathlons and races, have a goal in mind. Being focused on those goals can also extend to your work habits. Running or biking in open spaces allow you to clear your mind and zero in on the most important things to do.
Discipline and responsibility. The difference in endurance sports like biking, running or swimming is that you must rely solely on yourself from beginning to end of a competition or marathon, unlike in team sports where others can make or break the game. Training is important to prepare for a race. Having the right discipline and sense of responsibility can take you towards the finish line.
Similarities between endurance sports and entrepreneurship
Endurance sports do not only keep you healthy in body, mind and heart but they also teach you inspiring thoughts that you can apply in your entrepreneurial journey.
Aiming for a goal. Like in a race or marathon, the entrepreneurial journey is more fulfilling when you have a goal in mind. You work towards that goal, which is not actually the end but the beginning of more races to come. If running and biking competitions have a route, owning a business is also a journey that will take you through twists and turns and ups and downs.
Challenges at every stage. From training to racing to sustaining your good performance, the challenge and hardships are always present. The same goes in running a business. Difficulties are part of the equation from founding your enterprise to startup to growing it and bringing it beyond the five-year mark. The challenges may differ at every stage, but they are sure to come.
Risks and anxiety of not meeting the target. Although you run for yourself and by yourself, competition is a given in a race or in the business space. There is always the danger of not reaching your goal or dropping out midway, despite the effort and investment you have put in this endeavour. You’ll experience frustrations and self-doubt at times, both in endurance sports and in entrepreneurship.
Skill and work discipline go hand-in-hand. You train to discipline your body and acquire skills that will be helpful to your sport. In business, constant learning is important to expand your knowledge as an entrepreneur and, at the same time, grow your business. Having the right skills set and work ethics in running a venture is key to its success.
Success does not come overnight. What we see is an athlete that bagged a medal after a few hours of running. We also pay attention to business owners when they hit the headlines. But before they got to that point, there are many sacrifices that were made. They devote their time, energy and resources to the sport or their business before they become successful. Before they even reap the fruits of their labours, the adversities they experience during the planting part are sometimes not visible to us.
In the end, such sports or activities develop an important thing among entrepreneurs – endurance. The strength and determination to persevere and endure increases over time that as you gain more experience, the hardships become bearable. They no longer serve as hurdles but as an opportunity to stretch one’s willpower to keep pressing on until the ultimate goal is achieved.