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Deb Neuman Deb Neuman
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Just start

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I've been running solo for a while training to run a half marathon in April. I've been able to log eight miles consistently, and every time I feel a little bit stronger. But last weekend I ran in a 5k race and I felt like a mule trying to sludge through a muddy field carrying a load of firewood. Seriously I was slow.   

This was my first race this year, and I forgot one critical thing don't try to be like the others. Find your own pace and stick with it! I made the mistake of starting out too fast to keep up with the faster runners and lost my mojo about halfway through. I should know better!   

When I run solo I am not competing with anyone other than myself. I never think about how everyone else is doing. It never crosses my mind that I don't want to finish last. I just run at my own pace, in my own time. I only pay attention to what's best for my body and for me. 

It's a reminder to not compare ourselves to what everyone else is doing. A great lesson for business too. I recently interviewed several business owners. One creates and sells candles (Seawicks), and the other owns a retail store called the Salty Lobster. Both are relatively new in business and have had their moments when they felt like they were running strong and fast and moments when they tripped up and made mistakes. But they kept on going with new lessons learned.   

They both agreed that you have to just start. Yes it's a good idea to develop a business plan. Yes you want to do your best to insure your business has a market and can be profitable. Yes you want to weigh the risks associated with starting a business. But if you wait until you think you've got it all figured out, you may never get to the starting line.  

When the 5k race was over, I was talking with a woman who told me I was her 'pace car' during the race. She and I both finished, and although we weren't at the front of the pack, we finished strong. She said, 'I don't beat myself about how long it takes me to finish a race. I pat myself on the back for getting to the starting line in the first place while others are still sitting on the couch.'    

Whether you're hoping to run a 5k, a marathon or start a business, it all starts with stepping up to the starting line and taking that first step. Then run your race or your business at your own pace, in your own time. You will have moments when you feel strong and moments when you will struggle. Just keep going. The feeling you get when you cross that finish line will make it all worth it!

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