Monthly archives: December 2010

Lessons from a half

One of my goals last year was to complete a half marathon. Yes, that’s 21 kilometers. Last year, I trained and actually did up to 15 km prior to the race so I knew that I would be able to complete it. I trained during the fasting month of Ramadhan and undertook a gym routine to prevent injury.

It taught me many things.

1. Preparation and Planning. Yeah, sounds a bit like every other motivational story. What I did learn was that you can plan all you want but you need a contingency in case things go wrong. If you oversleep, when do you fit in your training session? If you have to train early in the morning, make sure you have a cold shower, or you will sweat into your work  clothes 2 hours later.

Application – The poet Burns did say “The best laid plans of men and mice gang aft agley (or screw up)”. Have a contingency in case – you never know just when you need it. When I handled events for Johnson & Johnson, we made sure we had a doctor on hand in case of anything. Over preparation never hurts. This is something that we constantly practice, from backup projectors to online backups of key documents. This may only come in useful once every 100 times but that’s when you are thankful for it.

2. Learn from your mistakes. Earlier in that year, I signed up for the Great Eastern Life 20km and fell flat (literally) from cramps at the 19km mark. Cramps were caused by dehydration and lack of fuel for the body. I learned to make sure I carbo loaded (eat more pasta and rice – woohoo) and kept some nutritional bars during the run to keep my muscles from cramping during the race.

Application – When mistakes are made in this office, we don’t shout or scream. It’s a change of mindset but what we do is look and analyze how the mistake occurred and take steps to prevent it from recurring.

3. Don’t be afraid to seek assistance when necessary. I was really nervous about running the half marathon this year. Doubling the number of kids (from 1 to 2) and moving into a new office (the list of excuses goes on) took a toll on my running. I was scared about running in this years half marathon and posted it on facebook. My friends not only gave me words of encouragement but I also received the P-stim treatment to increase blood circulation as well as patches to open up my meridians. Seeking assistance from the right people is key for most business people to grow their business.

Application – When we first moved into the office, we had a corporate space for rent (our meeting/training/brainstorming room). I sought advice from Chef Lee on how to run the F&B as well as some of my friends in the hotel industry. We have now partnered with Whitespace who also manage the sale and booking of this space. They are the experts in smart business sense and have given great tips on how to manage office space.

These lessons from running a half marathon will help you grow your business/department/or may help you achieve your goals.