November 27, 2018

Don’t Run Before You Can Walk

creative ideaI’m a runner. I recently realized that amid all the news about meditation that my form of meditation actually comes from running – preferably long runs in the mountains. But several years ago I broke my leg in a hiking accident. What does this actually have to do with food entrepreneurship? A fair amount actually…

After I broke I leg I had to relearn how to walk and that took about 9 months and only then could I start running again. My PT cautioned me against returning to running too early for fear that if my walk gait wasn’t right then my running gait would also be off and that could cause a whole bunch of hip, knee, and/or lower back issues over the long term. So it was nearly 2 years before I was running again with any regularity and probably another year from there before I had the same stamina and speed as before the accident.

Now, to tie this back to small business. It can be great to think and dream big but you have to have the small things nailed down first. If your production processes aren’t seamless then growing your sales exponentially will cause huge production headaches. If you haven’t figured out strong marketing message that resonates with consumers, then adding more sales channels won’t necessarily result in more sales.

You need a strong foundation that can help you grow into the future. How long it takes you to build that foundation is highly individualized and there’s nothing wrong with it taking one company longer than another. I’m sure there are runners who have been able to come back from similar breaks faster than I did. You have to go at the pace that’s right for you and your business.

With that foundation set, you are capable of taking your business anywhere based on the goals and needs you have for the business. For me, running took a long time to come back but by plugging away slowly I was able to return stronger than when I first broke my leg. And now I find strange joy in ultramarathons – something I never would have been able to achieve without a strong foundation.

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