This week has been particularly painful for me. Our largest and best client for the past 4 years gave us notice that they were not renewing their contract with us for next year. For most people, that's the phone call that sets them into a tailspin.
No question it would be easy to immediately start down a path of destructive behavior. From climbing into a bottle of scotch to taking drugs or even binge eating and binge watching Netflix for the next few weeks. Whatever your destructive vice of choice, it would be easy to numb the pain of loss and most of your friends and family members would understand. But that's "managing" your circumstances, not living legendary.
So what did I do?
I signed up for my first IRONMAN. If you don't know what an IRONMAN is, it's one of humanity's most incredible feats of strength. You swim 2.4 miles (3.86 km), which is the equivalent to 170 laps in a 25-yard pool, and then bike 112 miles (180.25 km), and after that you then run a full marathon, which is 26.2 miles (42.20k).
Why would I do this? Because rather than destroying my health, I'm committed to being in the best shape of my life. Living legendary is about taking command of your life and doing what no one else thinks possible.
How Running An IRONMAN Helps My Business
I can hear what you're thinking. So you lose your largest client and turn to athletics to cope, right? Not exactly. The physical aspect of my life empowers my brain to remember the most important truth: that I can AND DO anything I set my mind to. Unfortunate setbacks are a part of life and a part of business; they are bound to happen. It's the meaning you give these setbacks that determines the quality of your life. So, for me, the act of committing to a full 140.6 mile IRONMAN on July 29th, 2017 put my life in a new trajectory; one of extraordinary rather than common.
And guess what. Amazing things immediately happened. Call it luck. Call it grace. Call it whatever you want, but here's what happened next:
And (you guessed it) new businesses opportunities immediately presented themselves. Not one, but five game changing opportunities presented themselves this week alone! Now, I don't know what the future holds, but here's what I do know: when you put yourself in a peak state, and are actively looking for what's next, amazing things happen.
My friend and mentor, Lewis Schiff, challenged me to "stay vulnerable" and share what I'm going through to the Inc audience. I'm committed to doing just that. You see, being an entrepreneur isn't about how successful you can become, but rather how you pick yourself up and dust yourself off when things go terribly wrong.
Allow me to quote Sylvester Stallone in Rocky:
Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that!
Amen, brother. If you need a hit of motivation, watching these lines (and other great ones) on YouTube always fires me up! Be well, my friends. Business is a marathon, not a sprint. It's the times when you feel like quitting that you need to find your reasons to keep going, because everything you ever wanted is just around the corner. Just keep going and, remember, to increase your productivity 200%, just ask these three questions.