The Spartan Investor
“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way” –Marcus Aurelius
Entrepreneurs, investors and athletes are my kind of people. The successful ones are all driven – they wake up early, are prepared to work hard(er) and are forever overcoming obstacles to play at a high level. I believe that in life and business we must test ourselves in order to truly measure our performance.
Desperately needing a physical outdoor challenge in the lead up to the big 40, I signed up for the Melbourne Super Spartan Race. Since I hang out with awesome people, four of my friends decided to join me. The common thread amongst us is that we’re all entrepreneurs and small business owners.
I’d run other obstacle before and keep myself tuned up with CrossFit. Was I fit enough? The only way to know for sure was to show up and race. Here are 5 ways to Spartan Up;
Spartan Up – Take action
It turns out that obstacle races and owning a business have quite a few similarities. At a basic level, it takes consistent action and energy to be a successful in business and to cross the finish line of a Spartan Race. You can reframe that to mean hard work. You will not cross the finish line unless you are willing to put in the effort required to conquer each obstacle. Are you taking enough action?
Spartan Up – Identify your weakness
We all have room to improve some where in our lives, in our business endeavors or our personal lives. The obstacles that I thought would be easy I failed in frustration. The penalty for failure – 30 burpees. The course is designed to expose your weakness and that is confronting for most people. To grow we must identify our weaknesses and takes steps to improve. Have recent obstacles exposed weak points in your business?
Spartan Up – Prepare
I also encountered the reverse scenario – the obstacles that I preconceived to be the most difficult, turned out to be my favorite and no problem. My physical training paid off and I was prepared. Have you ever become involved in a project that you thought would be difficult only to find out that all of your experience made it seamless?
Spartan Up – Face your fear
Sometimes you have to simply “go for it” which holds true for growing a business as well as attacking an obstacle course. Fear will cripple some business owners and racers to the point where they simply will not take any action. If you quit you don’t finish. If fear is holding you back from moving forward on the next deal then you have to Spartan Up. Face the fear and conquer the obstacle that’s confronting you. You will never know how far you can push yourself until you are challenged. During the Spartan Race there was temporary pain but total satisfaction in crossing the finish line. Is fear holding you back from achieving more?
Spartan Up – Teamwork
You are never alone during a Spartan Race. There are other competitors around you the entire time. Even if you’re a solo racer, there are hands available to help you navigate any obstacle that is hindering your progress towards the finish line. Successful entrepreneurs understand this well. They surround themselves with a team and ask for help when obstacles they can’t overcome alone halt their progress. Who do you turn to for assistance when your path is obstructed?
We all have obstacles that are challenging us right now and others unforeseen that will just appear when we least expect it. The Spartan Race community consists of achievers who are willing to face and conquer their fears. When you commit to something you have to make it to the finish line. To “Spartan Up” means that you accept the challenge. You find the courage to keep going.
Embrace the Spartan mentality and thrive in your life. We must face new challenges as they come and grow stronger as a result of defeating them. Max DeLacy, CEO of Spartan Race Australia, told me that even the top three elite competitors fail at least one obstacle per race and have to pay the burpee penalty. This reaffirms that there is never victory without the struggle. What obstacles are impeding your progress today? Take action now, defeat that obstacle and cross the finish line.
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