Recently on an unusually warm day, I pulled out a running vest. There was a logo embroidered on it with the name of the running team I was on a few years ago. I ran to meet my new team – all women – and thought about how much I love running with them and how much I’ve learned from them about my business life.
For years I ran alone. I made great progress because I set a schedule for myself and was deliberate with my time. Then I joined a team. I paid for it – and it wasn’t cheap – but I wanted to get better – faster – at running. A coach and teammates seemed like the best way to push myself to the next level. Interestingly, the level I achieved was over-trained, injured, slower and discouraged. I did realize I enjoyed not having to plan the day, time and route or the training we’d do. I loved the people I met and having others to run with. Years later, many of my closest friends are from that team but I learned that even in a team, I was still competing against myself.
There are parallels in my “corporate” life. Having a job means I have a place to be, a time and what is expected is outlined for me. I have accountability buddies in my team and we push each other to be the best. A team supports each other to accomplish a goal. Being on a team feels secure and I didn’t question my value. I had performance evaluations, raises and changes in job title to prove what I’m worth.
Two years ago I started my own business. I became a published author, launched a website, capitalized on having a blog for years and writing for other companies. I took what I loved in my past and what I love now and married them into a career I’m excited about every day. I took the lessons I learned running alone and implemented them: “Set a schedule, push yourself every day, it’s OK to be uncomfortable, be deliberate with your time”. I’m now a coach for future authors, a Virtual Assistant, I started vlogging (which is still outside of my comfort zone), I learned how to manage my own website and launched a podcast.
Similar to when I ran alone, I spend my days working hard to achieve my goals in my own business. What I now do differently, however, is add in what I learned from being part of a team. I have accountability buddies, weekly online meetings with a Mastermind group, I go to local business mixers to meet other entrepreneurs. I’ve learned that you can combine being alone, with having a team. There is an I in Team after all!