When will we ever learn? Well more to the point on this occasion… when will I ever learn?

Sometimes we all bite off more than we can chew – right? We do it in various areas of our personal lives and certainly in business all too often.

Whatever possessed me to run, before I could walk? Well not literally, I could obviously walk, but I have never, ever been a runner. Now look at me!

So what message does this relate to in your business…

Trying to encourage me with my keep fit routine, my wife entered me into a 10K run which she has taken part in for the last couple of years – they call it a “fun run” – spot the irony!

She was in Spain, I was home alone in the UK. The event was a few months off.

Macho man thought… how tough can it be? Running… it’s just one foot in front of the other, right? Those gel heels on today’s trainers act like shock absorbers… right? I was passionate about my health have managed to shed two stone over the summer – now it was time to work on my fitness…

I knew the route the run would take having ridden my mountain bike round the course to support her for the last couple of years, (lesson number one for me, perhaps I should have stuck to the saddle).

Off I went, straight out and ran. No coaching, no advice, no warm up, no stretching, no build up at all.

What made me think I could just go it alone?

When I finished and checked the mileage, I’d just run about 9 of the 10k, must have cut a corner somewhere, but I felt pretty pleased with myself.

Next day, new trainers, new outfit – I even felt that I looked like a runner now.

Have you heard the phrase – “all the gear, no idea” – that was me!

Like many people I know in business, all the gear, no idea. Fired up on pure passion and enthusiasm, off they go to try and ‘run’ their business alone.

No coaching, no warm up, no baby steps, no milestones… no action plan. Nothing to test and measure – no build up.

The result for me – I ran the full 10K on day two!

Great result I thought – 19k in just two days and never been trained, coached… never run that distance in my life, ever. Then as I balanced against my car and stretched out my right leg – pop!

The cartilage in my right knee said “that’s enough of that thank you!”

The final result – knee surgery and a painful recovery.

The lesson for me and one for us all in business too…

Take advice from experts that can help. There is a technique to running, to warm up, to build up strength and stamina. With the right training I believe I can learn to run and will discover the pace and distance that I’m best suited to.

In business – don’t go it alone. You must have passion and enthusiasm of course, I’d not want to dampen your spirits. But get a coach, join a mentoring group – have a support network that can encourage you, show you the right steps for growth. Have people that can help you avoid the pitfalls and the agony of getting it wrong.

Have an action plan against which you can test, measure and track your activity – don’t just get up and get at it alone. There are too many casualties in business – don’t be one of them. Sometimes the outcome is a lot more painful than a torn cartilage.

If you’d like help with your sales and marketing, help to boost your profits – talk to me… if you want help with your physical fitness – I’m probably not your man.