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The importance of finishing strong

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A couple of weeks ago, I ran a half marathon and managed to cross the finish line in one piece. That was pretty much my goal — finish the race in one piece and hopefully in less than 24 hours.

I managed to do both.

The run was no easy task, especially for someone that considers himself a non-runner. But I did train for the race and although I didn’t do as well as I did in my practice runs, I didn’t do badly.

I’m looking to do at least one more 13 mile race and then on to hopefully a full marathon. 

Progress continues!

As a boxer, running (or roadwork) has always been a part of my regular training. But running 13 miles is much different than hitting a heavy bag a few times. Both good, just different. 

I have almost no memory of the race. I was caught up with the music in my headset, my hydration and the people around me. As long as I could keep up with them, everything would just take care of itself. In fact, it seemed to me that the 2 hours or so just flew by.

The two things I remember during the race is slapping a cup of water out of a volunteer’s hand (I always wanted to do that!) and slowing my pace to a walk while speaking with a couple that had been running together. This was as we hit our 12th mile. 

In fact, I said hello as we found ourselves suddenly walking. I checked to see if they felt alright and the woman responded with, “What are we doing on a perfectly good Sunday morning? Shouldn’t we all be on a balcony somewhere sipping coffee over a newspaper?” I responded with, “No doubt. We are very stupid people.” As we chuckled, I said, “How about we race for this last mile and finish strong?”

We high fived and we did!

How many times do you NOT take a much needed breather in the final lap of your race to finish strong? To reassess, regroup, reboot, strategize, inhale and take that mountain!

That race might be your business, practice, job, job search, family life, social life, sense of adventure, professional development, fitness goals, quality of life or personal relationships.

As it relates to business or work, you’re in the final lap — the last quarter of the year.

What areas of your business or practice could you be making adjustments to cross the finish line in full stride?

right direction

Focus on the right people, the right places and the right things to say to achieve success. (Photo: iStock)

See the right people

Who do you need to speak with over the next couple of months that can make the greatest impact in your business? Clients, true prospects, referral sources, family members, friends, mentors and vendors.

Make a top ten list (or make it 20) and open a dialogue about how you can help one another to finish the year strong. Be collaborative. Make it mutually beneficial and truly look to help the most influential people you know. They may just help you right back!

Go to the right places

Are there networking groups, associations, clubs, chapters, mixers, alliances, masterminds, summits, events and related watering holes that you could be revisiting? Or planning holiday events to generate more fun and visibility?

Why not get a jump on planning a holiday party before Thanksgiving so you can be the first on the calendars of clients, prospects and referral sources? What can you do to be in the right place at the right time?

Say the right things

What questions should you be asking clients, prospects and others to learn more and help them finish the year strong? How is your year going? What are some things you’re focused on this quarter? What has changed for you? Why is that important? Did you accomplish your goals? Why or why not? What adjustments (if any) are you making now? What is your outlook for next year? What can I do to help you? Is there someone I can introduce you to?

When they ask the same questions of you (and they just might!) be specific with your answers. The more specific you are, the more likely others will be able to help.

Success always comes down to the people you know, the places you go and the things you say.

Simple, I know! Are you on track?

As for your job, job search, professional development, fitness goals, health and any other aspect of your life, is there something that needs adjusting in the final lap? This may be the time to do it.

Just compile the areas that you need to focus on (health, fitness, personal relationships, whatever!) and apply “the right people, places and things to say approach” to each of them and make it happen. It’s that easy.

The finish line is right by that art museum. Can you see it from here?

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