Many of my blog readers know that I’m training to run the Disney marathon on January 15th. I’ve decided to run a marathon after reading Dean Karnazes book "50/50 – Secrets I learned running 50 marathons in 50 days."
I’m following Dean’s training program included at the end of his book. The basic plan is to run several 4 to 6 mile runs during the week and then one longer run on the weekend. Each week, the length of the long run increases by a mile. This plan slowly takes you to marathon day for the 26 mile run.
My long run day is Sunday. I get up in the morning and brew a pot of coffee. I work for an hour or two to wake up and then I go through the typical process of getting ready for the run. Trust me, there is a process to get ready to run for two hours. You don’t just put on your running shoes and head out the door. You have to be proactive with pain management. I’ll spare you the ugly details.
I’m usually out the door by 7:30 am, just when my family is rising from bed. I run while they make and eat muffins and waffles on Sunday morning. By the time I’m home, they are all ready for the day. I’m ready for a hot tub.
Yesterday, my plan called for a 14 mile run. It was cold, windy and rainy here in Cleveland, Ohio. My GPS watch battery had died which meant I had to follow a course where I was familiar with the mileage. Otherwise, I could simply run wherever I want and monitor my mileage through the watch.
I will tie this to business a minute. Hang in there with me….
The course I was forced to run follows Lake Erie. This is usually a fun run with a lot to see. However, with the ugly weather yesterday, this run was a big challenge. The wind was blowing hard off of the lake. In some cases, it almost tripped me by knocking one leg into the other. I knew I was in trouble when the wind was at my back for the first half of the run. In essence, I ran 7 miles with the wind. I dreaded the point in the run when I had to turn around and run into the wind to get back home. I would be forced to run into the wind on the hardest part of the run.
Usually the last few miles of the long are the most challenging in good weather. Your feet hurt. Your legs hurt and you have to push through the pain in order to build your endurance. The entire purpose for the long run is to go through the last few miles. To take your body and mind beyond its comfort zone.Your comfort zone expands from week to week as you adapt to longer, more challenging runs. The same really goes with every goal in life, doesn’t it?
As I turned to head into the wind, I realized that my run was exactly how the real estate market had been for real estate agents. We sold houses in the boom from 2003 to 2006 without having to work to very hard. This is just like the first 7 miles running with the wind at my back.
We got lazy. We didn’t pay attention to our income. We took on unnecessary expenses. We didn’t prepare for the storm. We thought the wind would be at our backs forever. It never is…
Now we are running into the wind with our businesses.
We struggle each week with another painful step into the wind. Loans not closing in time. Appraisal problems. Nervous buyers. Unrealistic sellers. The list goes on and on. Many real estate agents have found this to be too hard and have left the business.
Not you. You haven’t quit. You keep putting one step in front of the other. One mile at a time. You’re pushing past your comfort zone. You’re making tough decisions. Your learning many valuable lessons about yourself and about business.
When you get to the finish line as the market rebounds, you’ll be stronger, tougher and ready to kick some serious ass. There will be fewer competitors. This challenging economy and real estate market is here to teach us some very important lessons. Keep a log of these lessons because you’ll need them again in the
future. The cycle we are in today will repeat itself. Another storm
will come at some point in the future. Next time, you’ll be prepared.
Today, keep fighting. Keeping going one mile further into the wind. Because sooner or later, the wind will change and it will be at your back. Now is when the real business people stand up and everyone else sits down. The meek will not inherit the earth. Only those who choose to run into the wind will.