Business Life

Lots of conversations lately with friends about their businesses, my business and other businesses.  Most people think they own a business but often are really in a busyness.  Hence the quote…”the doing of the doing is why nothing gets done…”  As I have new ideas for a business or I am presented with new ideas for a business, I often test it against the following criteria:

1)  Can I live my values?
2)  Am I able to put family and friends first?
3)  Can I create income that allows my family to live very well but well below our means?  No debt beyond a limited mortgage, full retirement contributions (including additional investing), lots of travel.
4)  Can I make myself expendable in a short period of time.  My buzz words are redundancy and duplication. 
5)  Can I create efficiencies (usually through technology or systems).

I have done the busyness concept.  I was young, enthusiastic and wanting to be the 90’s vision of the entrepreneur.  I thought this model was really about the work.  I thought people needed to know that I worked all the time, that I could out work anyone else, that I was earning the right to own my own busyness.  Our American culture celebrates the person who bootstraps and rewards (we think) the person who gave every ounce.   Unfortunately, I started to notice that this model didn’t really end well, for the business or the owner. 

So, what does this have to do with training?  The same criteria apply but with a slight twist:

1)  Can I live my values?

I don’t cheat (no drafting, cutting corners), I don’t do drugs, I help and support others, and my seat is not too high.

2)  Amy I able to put family and friends first? 

This one is best judged by the “victims.”  I would say yes but it does take some creative planning.  I try to get at least one workout finished while my daughter is sleeping.  I schedule my longest workout of the week on Tuesday’s while she is at school.  I finish my second workout in the afternoon before she gets home from sports.  The weekends are generally morning workouts although this winter I was selfish and did mid morning workouts on Sunday to join the pain cave crew. 

3)  Disposing of income.

This is a great hobby for my overall health but it is not cheap.  Initial start up costs (clothing, wetsuit, tri bike, power meter, garmin, shoes etc.) are expensive but I have found that once I have the right equipment I stick with it!  I am not really interested in chasing speed with dollars.  At this point, I spend money on coaching, race fees and travel.  Fortunately, Coach is very supportive and in the end I feel like it improves my business almost as much as my health! 

4)  Redundancy and duplication.

Obviously I can’t be expendable and I can’t hire someone else to train for me.  Hell, at this point I would probably hire someone to train with me!  I can focus on doing the right things, at the right times in the least amount of time possible.  Doing more does not translate directly into success.  I must be vigilant to not let triathlon training turn into a busyness.  

5)  Efficiencies.

I think this piece alone I have had great success applying to triathlon.  I use a Coach who has made it easy to do everything electronically including calendar and communication.  I have all the digital equipment and use them well.  I have an online log linked to my lap top.  All of these tools have focused my workouts, saved me time and lead to unbelievable improvement.

Training update:

I am currently in a cycling Power Module (get stronger!).  Gordo warned me that my running may suffer as a result.  Affirmative.  My running isn’t pretty right now but it is sustainable.  As I mentioned, Boston is not a race for me, but rather an event.  I am working hard to keep it that way!  My longest run to date was last Friday at 14 miles.  I will probably max out at a whopping 15 miles and rely on my fitness to finish. 

I am off to Austin this week for SXSW (think spring break for geeks).  Coach is joining me for the weekend.  I am expecting 70 degrees and sunny.  How do I train when I travel?  Well, in Austin it is pretty easy.  I will rent a bike or go to the Pedal Hard studio to continue the power module.  Lots of running around Town Lake and swimming in the Deep Eddy spring fed pool (wetsuit of course). 

Last thought:

Anytime I write this stuff there is a little voice inside me that wants to remind anyone that reads it, that I am not even close to having all the answers.  The questions beget more questions.  Deep in my soul, I have a distinct feeling that when I am 80 and read through my drivel, there is a good chance that I will be thoroughly disgusted.  So noted. 


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