"That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I'd just run across the great state of Alabama. And that's what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured, since I'd gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured, since I'd gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going."
~ Forrest Gump
A little while ago I decided to give running a try, so I trained for a 5K and I ran it. Actually Trish and I ran it together, dressed as Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia--don't ask. After that epic battle, I decided I'd amp up the training for a 10K.
That's where I'm at now, in training. I get up in the morning, put on my sneaks and log some miles. Today it was four. I really didn't want to run this morning because I was a little jet-lagged and it's shivery in the morning. It's starting to feel wintery here in Rhode Island and I haven't bought any full-length running pants. My capri pants leave about five inches of pasty white shin vulnerable to the early morning frost. Some tough Jedi I am.
But then I thought about the alternative to my run, which was much, much worse. Deathstar worse. Shuddering at the thought, I laced up my sneakers and bolted out the door. If you are thinking the terrifying alternative to frosty running is... my muffin top, you'd be wrong! Although that is a fairly scary sight too. No, the alternative I speak of is sitting down at my computer and opening Quickbooks to address the state of my finances.
Oh yes, it's that time. Time to face the facts. Time to NOT pay the piper (me). It may be November, but there ain't to Cornucopia for this Pilgrim. This is a lean month. It's no contest, running in the cold to avoid the inevitable gloom it is.
I put on my headphones and started my favorite training app, Easy 10K with Jeff Galloway. Jeff is the always positive, supportive, non-judgmental coach in my ear. Just when I'm feeling winded or like I might vomit on my sneakers he interrupts the music with an affirmation like, "You can do it! Look how strong you are! Don't give up!" So I choke back my bile, and keep on truckin'. Thanks Jeff.
About half way through my run this morning, I had managed to almost completely forget about the ugly state of my November sales projections when Jeff popped-in with a dandy little quote that really got me thinking. He said, "You can't be your best if you don't give it your best." To which I would add, "Every friggin' day."
It's brutal being in business for yourself. Just like running, it's hard to imagine what the payoff could possibly be when you are plodding your way in an uphill battle wearing cement shoes, certain you are going to barf at any minute.
It's exasperating because the improvements to your endurance and shape, financial or physical come in such tiny increments. Even so, I really heard what Coach Jeff was saying this morning. I couldn't expect to build the best possible business if I wasn't willing to give my best to it every day. Every friggin' day. So I finished my run and hit the books, Quickbooks. It wasn't pretty. I paid some bills but not myself. Ouchy.
I didn't stop there. Realizing I had to give it my best gave me renewed energy to brainstorm ideas for slow season money making. Trish and I put our heads together and came up with a few doozies we hope will cushion us through this Cornucopia-less month.
Like Forrest, I'm just going to keep running. I'm going to run out the door in the morning and put in the miles. Then I'm going to let my creativity and my ideas run at my desk and give it my best even though it might be more realistic to hang up the sneaks and crawl into bed. I figure if I keep moving in the right direction I'll get there even if it feels like baby steps.
Why? Because the force is strong in me, that's why."
And for anyone who's reading this and struggling uphill like me, I'd like to be your Coach Jeff and say, "May the force be with you," too.