I would have never considered myself a runner.
You know those people who wake up every morning and run 20km before breakfast, who just eat, sleep, breathe running?
And yet, since 2018 I have been embarking on crazy runs, from 74km to 102km and even just finishing my first ever multi stage race where we ran 270km over 6 stages.
So the question is why do I run these ridiculous distances, and how does it relate to entrepreneurship and wealth?
The transformation for me occurred when I decided to sign up to my first ultra. I had never run more than 21km in my life, and I certainly hadn’t completed a marathon. After all a marathon was such a stupid distance if you were going to run a marathon then it should have a decent story to it.
So when I was offered the opportunity to run an 84km overnight double marathon across Bali with the goal of raising money for impoverished Balinese children I signed up immediately.
Not being a runner, I knew this was going to be an immense challenge. However, it also gave me an opportunity to put something to the test.
Throughout my entire time as an entrepreneur and in the wealth creation industry I have had numerous people repeat that famous Zig Ziglar quote.
Be X Do = Have
I wanted to test if I could BECOME an ultra marathon runner within 6 months.
Given I had no history of running, this meant I had to learn everything that was involved and DO the things any other ultra runner would do if I wanted to achieve that success.
Six months later I arrived at the start line and after a very long, hot and exhausting 15 hours 47 minutes I crossed the finish line, and unleashed an epic haka.
The experience was life changing for me.
What it taught me was that anything is possible, it might just take time, however as long as you put one foot in front of the other and take a step in the right direction then you will achieve your goals.
Since that day I have run a number more ultras, each time learning more about what it means to BECOME and ultra runner, and each time taking those lessons from the trails to the boardroom.
Some runs have gone well, and I have finished strong and on top of the world.
Other runs haven’t gone so well and I have battled physical injury as well as mental exhaustion.
Yet each run gives me a takeaway to use in my everyday life and my wealth creation.
In February 2022 I took on my greatest challenge yet. The Southern Lakes Ultra.
270km, 10,000m + in elevation and 7 days away from the world.
If I was to achieve this goal I didn’t need to just be an ultra runner, I needed to be a multi stage ultra runner, as this was a very different type of run.
What I learnt throughout this run is that the race wasn’t won on the trails.
The most important thing in multi day racing was that you had your recovery sorted, that you were getting a good night sleep, that you had a proper nutrition plan in place and that you attended to any blisters/injuries quickly.
I believe these skills translate over to wealth creation and entrepreneurship really well.
Long term wealth creation is just like a multi stage race.
- It is not about the speed with which you leave the start line on day 1, we all know of people who have started to fast, companies who have tried to grow too big too quickly and it has hurt them rather than benefited them.
- If you don’t look after yourself, then you won’t make it. How many rich people sacrificed their health for money only to die, or live a horrible life with disease because they had their priorities wrong? Don’t sacrifice your body or your health on your journey.
- It is all about mindset. Those who had a growth mindset focussed on the entire 7 day race, they took their time and they knew what their desired outcome was. They had a plan for the entire week, they didn’t just do it day by day, reacting when things didn’t quite go their way.
- The team you have around you is key. I had a professional coach who has supported other runners in doing far bigger runs than this. I had my physio, my nutrition team and my supporters all making sure I got through the run. Whatever your goal, make sure you surround yourself with the key people you need to make it happen, don’t try to do it all by yourself. Trust me, I have taken both approaches to running and wealth creation, working with the professionals always pays off.
- When things get tough, slow down, remember the goal and take it one step at a time. I struggled up Advance Peak in the heat of the day, everyone around me was running out of water and one athlete was helicoptered off the mountain with dehydration. At this point I stuck to my strengths, I took it step by step, I wasn’t competing, I wasn’t racing, I was just doing what I had to do to get over that mountain. In the end I reached the top and sprinted down the other side, overtaking all of those who hadn’t planned well enough, or had exhausted their energy and water supply.
- It isn’t a race. Whilst there are always those who cross the line first, the thing I love about ultra’s is that it isn’t a race. Everyone is on their own journey, they are all in it to get their own thing out of it. For some that might mean crossing the finish line first, but for others it might be to explore the depths of what is humanly possible, to try find their limit and to break through it. It took me 12 hours to run the long stage, but we had other people out there for a total of 36 hours. Yet, they still reached the finish line and achieved the same outcome I did.
Wealth creation is not a race, and it certainly isn’t a competition. It is your own personal journey and we are just lucky enough to share it with other people on a similar journey to ourselves.
And whilst I don’t expect you to go off and run an ultra because of this post, I do want to leave you with one final reminder.