Growing or developing your business is like going to the gym

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Growing  or developing your business takes thought, planning, effort and maybe a bit of pain, both emotional and physical. It’s a bit like being a gardener and wanting a great crop or training for a marathon. It just doesn’t happen by itself it takes work, effort, consistency.

However, today I wanted to share some ideas of why growing and developing a business is a bit like going to the gym.

Say, for example, you wanted to go to the gym to train for X or to lose Y pounds or to just get fitter. That’s great, you now have a goal. Here’s some ideas and realities about going to the gym and how I think there are lessons for us when growing or developing our businesses.

  • You have to have a goal to make it effective. Otherwise, what’s the point of all the exercise. Whether it’s a six-pack, a flat tummy, to look good on the beach, to bench press X Kgs…..whatever. It’s the same with business whether its a short-term goal or a longer term. Goals keep us focused and keep us mindful of why we are doing what we are doing.
  • You have to do it regularly. To make improvements you have to stick to a schedule and do it regularly. Like in business, marketing is not a part-time or periodic thing, it’s something that you should be doing and reviewing constantly.
  • It will hurt. Remember the saying ‘No pain, no gain’? Yes, it has to hurt. Why? Because if it is not hurting then you are not pushing hard enough and if you are not pushing hard enough then you’re muscles will not grow. Like business if it doesn’t stretch you or make you think or push the boundaries then it’s not new and your coasting. That’s not growing or developing.
  • You have to change your routine or programme from time to time. Our bodies get used to routines and after a while old programmes become less and less effective. It’s the same with business. Markets and customers change so we have to change too to remain relevant and effective.
  • You may get bored from time to time. It happens. I know it happened for me. I don’t go to the gym any more but now go to the climbing wall to train. However, gym goers can get bored. When you do it’s a sign that you should review your routine, your goals and why you are there to get back on track. As a business owner, I know that from time to time the routine can get a bit boring. Just be aware of it. It might that’s when it gets hard or it maybe a bigger sign that you are costing and need to review what you are doing, how you are doing it and where you want to go.
  • You may get injured. Injuries happen. Sometimes when you are pushing hard at your limit then the body gives a little and that is its way of telling us that we went a little too far. But, the good thing is that you will heal. Same in business. We make mistakes from time to time and these hurt. However, learn from it, let it heal and resolve to get better.
  • You might not be able to use the equipment that you want when you want to go. Often gyms can get busy and you may not be able to use all of the equipment that you want when you want to. This could be a sign for you to either join a different gym, go at a different time or change your routine. In business, if you find yourself competing for attention or resources, maybe that’s a clue that you should be doing something differently.
  • You might need help. Often many gym goers use personal trainers to help them build skill in using equipment or to keep them motivated and hold them to their programme. Many businesses know what they re good at and what they are not. When they recognise that they are weak in a certain area. Rather than building skills in that area, they concentrate on what they are good at and they ask for help.
  • You might find a combination of the gym and classes work better for you. Not putting all of your training needs into one area can produce great returns and keep it fresh. Even bodybuilders recognise that mixing up their exercise to more than gym work produces balance for the body and better results. Can you mix it up in your business? Do you have all of your ‘growth’ eggs in one basket?
  • You might find that you just don’t like it. From time to time, like me, many people find that the gym does not work for them and they find another way to achieve their goal. Just because everyone else may be doing it does not mean that you have to do the same thing or follow the same strategy. Most successful businesses have found that it is by doing something different that gets them to where they want to be the quickest.

What do you think? Have I missed any lessons from going to the gym in your experience?

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