High Performance: Beyond Sport / Into Life

It’s funny; I never really saw myself as an entrepreneur.

When I’d hear that word, or read it, I’d think ‘someone with an MBA’ or someone who created a company in Silicon Valley or launched in Kickstarter.

I haven’t done any of those.

And even though I have worked for myself for twenty some odd years, because of the line of work I was in, I thought of myself in a very singular manner, as a personal trainer, or a nutritionist or an author.

But really, if you add everything up together, and consider all the different twists and turns I’ve taken my business, I suppose it does add up to being a self-starting business woman, an entrepreneur.

And one thing I find very interesting in this vein is how much the focus, goal setting and strategy that I’ve always put forth in terms of my athletic pursuits carries over directly into career.

Let’s look first at sport.

I signed up for my first Ironman back in 2000. I had no clue what I was doing and I registered solely because I thought it seemed fun and that it would be a new feat to accomplish after having done a few shorter distance races.

My goal for the first Ironman I did, which was IM California (a course which is now a 70.3), was to finish.

I didn’t really know how to train, what to expect during the months leading up to the race or during the event itself but somehow I knew I could achieve the goal of completing it.

I had no coach, I was still in the throes of GI distress and I had a cheap bike I’d purchased from a sporting goods shop which weighed about eighty pounds.

But somehow, once the pandora’s box of goal setting is opened, it plants a seed that just maybe, there are other things that can be accomplished beyond what we prejudge to be possible… or not.

For me, for my sport, by combing my stubborn nature, trial and error, years of experimenting with how to eat and when, several coaches and learning about the mental focus and preparation (turns out this is a rather huge component… who knew? ) I was able to set goals, achieve them by following a plan (which was hit or miss at many times, to say the least) and earn a sense of accomplishment.

So if a person can do this in sport, can’t they do this in their career?

Over the years I’ve had the honor to work with clients from all walks of life and one thing I’ve always found fascinating is to observe how some can be extremely successful, high achievers in one area of their life, but feel as thought they’re decades behind in another.

For instance, an athlete who’s won countless races yet feels she can’t decide upon or hold down a steady, high-income generating job. Or the gentleman who is president of his company, earning quite a comfortable salary, at the very least, yet can’t find time to make healthy eating and exercise a priority.

This is where the high performance mindset and being consistent comes in.

It’s looking in the mirror and seeing yourself as the success you are in one area of your life, and recognizing that if that is truly who you are, there’s no reason why that personae shouldn’t be present in other areas of your life as well.

The example I will use which most perfectly illustrates this for me is my work with Beautycounter.

I fell in love with what the company is all about, I signed on as a consultant back in April of last year and, using the same exact mindset I use as I prepare for Ironman or a marathon, I set goals for myself and then plan out how I will achieve them.

Nothing is a sure thing and there are no guarantees.

However… what’s the alternative?

I could pursue a job with a ‘safe’ company, with whom I’d know exactly what my salary would be, have someone to report to on a regular basis, have an office I’d have to be in each and every day and a set of rules to follow.

In a word: limited, in every sense of the word.

Alternatively, I can choose to continue to forge ahead and build my own brand which has no guarantees and whose success is completely based on how much focus time and energy I opt to allocate toward it.

Just like Ironman.

Just like a marathon.

The way I see it, there are two choices: we can stay safe (err… stuck) or we can push limits if what we’re doing on a daily basis doesn’t light us up and fill us on a deep, soulful level.

We can chose either course; there’s no right or wrong.

It just comes down to being very honest and deciding that if we’re not in love with life and savoring it each and every moment, even the rough times, the challenging times and the times we feel we’re hearing nothing but ‘no’, then we can choose to do something to change the course of our lives.

It’s simply the mindset of knowing we can set a goal and then create a plan to develop it!