Good question. What can marathon finishers teach us about running an internet business?
We love watching Marathons. They’re very inspirational.
So recently, on a gorgeous sunny autumnal Sunday 10th November 2013, we were standing on the old city walls in Antibes, with a lump in our throats, as we watched an endless flood of determined, committed runners pounding by. We were watching the Nice to Cannes Marathon, and we were positioned just a bit over half way along the course. A sea of runners wearing all colours, all styles, from all nationalities and all walks of life, came by wave after wave.
We go jogging now for a few miles at a time – but could we finish after running 42.195 kilometres or 26 miles and 385 yards???
And it struck us, after doing some marathon research on Google, just how much running an internet business is like running a marathon, and crossing the finishing line with pride and a beaming smile.
We can only imagine what it would feel like to finish a marathon, but if it’s anything like the feeling we get from living a laptop lifestyle, then it’s definitely worth the commitment, dedication and perseverance required to train, take part and finish.
But let’s take a closer look at the similarities to starting an internet business from home – there are nine:
There we over 10,000 people running on Sunday, coming from all round Europe, there’s over 500 marathons run around the world each year, and over 35,000 people take part in the London marathon.
People range in age but are predominantly from 30 to 70 years old, maybe because younger people haven’t developed the mental strength required or don’t need to prove themselves yet. A good mix of men and women, all shapes (yes we saw a few beer bellies), all heights.
We cheered on a blind man and a couple of wheelchair athletes (which makes you think – if they can do it . . . !)
It’s the same categories of people who are starting internet businesses too – maybe it has something to do with the challenge?
Finishing a marathon is an accomplishment that less than 1% of people in the world can say they have achieved! We don’t know the exact number of people running online businesses, but it’s a similar elite number – most people mistakenly believe it’s too hard to do!
One of the excitements of running a marathon is, all runners take part in the same race, with the same sense of occasion. All know that, in different ways, they’re facing up to their own challenge.
We have the exact same sense of community in the Six Figure Mentors for people starting an online business.
You have to REALLY WANT to do it – which all boils down to self-belief, and
repeatedly telling yourself that YOU CAN DO IT and you can be successful running an internet business.
A beginning runner will start training and might have a difficult time completing their first 5-mile run. They don’t see how they can possibly run more than that, much less 13.1 or 26.2. They stop right there. Done! Finished!
They don’t think they can run a marathon so they don’t try and give up. Does that make sense?
Thinking is believing.
And if you’re telling yourself you can’t do something, then you, quite simply, won’t do it!
Henry Ford hit the nail on the head when he said:
“If you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right.”
Do this simple exercise:
Ask yourself WHY you want to start an internet business? What you want to be successful online? Let’s say the answer is to have more money. Then ask yourself again, WHY do you want to make money? And keep asking yourself WHY – until dig right down to the real, true reason why it is you want to be successful – at anything.
For most people it will boil down to ‘significance’ – being proud of themselves rising to a challenge.
Choose to believe you can!
The marathon distance takes people beyond their comfort zone, into a realm where they have to confront the limitations of their bodies and minds. The marathon distance is completed only by patient preparation and mental discipline. There are no short cuts, no easy ways out.
Same goes for running an internet business. Know your WHY, and believe you can.
This comes first. You have to start slow and build up.
Marathon training is challenging, but should also fun and enjoyable – likewise running an internet business. You’ll be learning totally new subject matter, which takes some people a while to get their minds around – so it’s important to begin learning slowly and methodically, and give yourself permission and time to absorb stuff.
It’s a whole new realm of information to understand.
Things like how to market, what a sales funnel is and how it works, how to build websites, how to drive traffic and how to build relationships with prospective customers.
So getting the correct step by step training and education, plus giving yourself time to embrace that information without expecting break through results, is very important.
That’s why we love the training in the Six Figure Mentors.
Have need good support.
This is SO important!
Many marathon runners don’t share their goal with their friends and family. Why not? Are they afraid of what people might say? Or are they afraid they’ll tell people then fail to achieve their goal?
But, are people really bothered whether you try and don’t finish? Really?
Fear can often be the most powerful form of motivation. Use it!
People should be supportive of you. All you have to do is tell them you are training to be a digital marketer (or run a marathon).
Don’t feel compelled to keep people updated on your progress though. Unless they’re motivated like you, they simply won’t understand. Think of that friend or co-worker who insists on telling you every time they go to the gym. Do you really care to hear about it? No!
If their support is derisory, however (which sadly it can be – some people we mentor have negative commentators in their own household), use it as a challenge to prove the negative person wrong.
If they say you’re daft, go out and prove them wrong! Rise to the challenge.
Runners often put their name on their shirts, so onlookers can yell out encouragement to them. On Sunday, we cheered on the Brits and people with English names – because it lifts their spirits and keeps them motivated.
The comparison to the online world is having a website with your story set out for people to read. You don’t need (shouldn’t) make out that your successful, just that you’re aiming to change your lifestyle and your life by embracing the internet and the digital world. Ask people to comment on the page, to cheer you on.
Alternatively, gather support from the strong community of like-minded people in the Six Figure Mentors.
You need to get a guide or mentor who has walked the walk before and not just talked the talk.
Many beginning runners decide they want to run a marathon or half marathon and just start running. No homework, no schedule, no advice, no nothing. They just start running because they think they just need to get in shape to start training and then they’ll figure out the rest. The result will be injury and error.
It’s not something to be taken lightly.
With running an online business, the injury will be to your pride, your ego, your self belief.
For most of us it’s fragile – and get’s more so the older we get, sadly – so is one to avoid at all costs. And the very best way to avoid getting injured is to get a mentor right from the start.
A mentor will teach you how to train correctly, what to eat, what gear to have and how long it will take.
In setting up an internet business, the same applies. A mentor will show you what’s working now, what tools to use, what content to digest and in what order, and how long it will take – which will be a lot shorter and avoid all the mistakes you’ll make if you don’t have a mentor.
Having good supportive trainers is of paramount importance when running. We don’t think we need to draw the comparison here to online business – it’s obvious.
But, you need to know which ones do the best job for you (a mentor will help you there), which free tools are the best, and which ones are the easiest to use and involve the least effort on your part.
It’s a bit of a minefield to say the least – but when you sign up for the Six Figure Mentors training platform, all the necessary tools are recommended or provided.
You have to do the work yourself for starters, whether it be training or learning.
You have to do the work – no-one can do it for you, not even a mentor.
Eventually, once you’ve got systems and processes in place, you’ll be able to outsource work to contract workers (that’s when you cross the finish line), but until then, the hard graft is yours.
For most amateur athletes, taking part in a marathon is not about a race – it’s about pitting their mind and body against the endurance. That’s why we always say running an internet business is a marathon and not a sprint.
Immerse yourself in reading and listening to motivational content.
There are many things that can (and will) come up during training/learning to cause you to lose motivation. It’s very likely you’ll miss a run, or hit a speed bump in online business, due to circumstances that come up in life.
Whether it’s illness, working late, holidays, lack of funds, feeling tired – whatever – NEVER lose sight of your goal and choose to see the situation as positive. Remind yourself of the feeling you’ll have when you achieve your goal. Do not lose motivation.
Read books like Rich Dad Poor Dad, The 4 Hour Work Week, Living a Laptop Lifestyle, Think And Grow Rich, Hoe To Get Lots of Money For Anything Fast.
Listen to mindset trainings like the Elite calls in the Six Figure Mentors, or to podcasts/audio trainings by people like Joe Vitale, Joe Polish and stuff from Nightingale Conant.
Stretch to avoid injury is the same as implementing as you go to avoid overwhelm.
As most of the information you need to learn to establish your online business is new to most people, we humans experience overwhelm. A feeling of despair that you’re not doing the right thing, or that you’ll never be able to learn it all, or you’re in such a muddle you can’t see the wood from the trees.
One solution to this is only learn one piece of information at a time, and implement it as you go. Just like with marathon training, stretch before each training run, only focus on that one run, and stretch again at the end. Also a mentor can help manage and disseminate overwhelm – as they have a higher perspective than someone who’s ‘in the situation’.
So never learn something if you’ve got no intention of implementing it straight away in your internet business. That’s a surefire way to avoid overwhelm.
We hope you’ve stay with us to the end.
As we said above: It’s Not A Race – finishing is the name of the game. Everyone will do it in their own sweet time, at their own pace.
Go out and enjoy the experience, the learning and the participation – and never lose focus on the end goal.
If you want help with the training, support, mentoring, tools, motivation and mindset, apply for a risk free trial of The Six Figure Mentors. It’s a life changing experience.