What Marathon taught me about Entrepreneurship: SCMM 15 Mumbai
“Pain is temporary, Pride is forever”
I successfully completed the “Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2015 – SCMM15” Half Marathon run of 21.097 Kms on Jan 18th 2015 in Mumbai.
Though I did not take any professional training I ensured I got up and ran at dawn at least three times a week and I did this for a total run/jog/walk of 450 Kms during a span of 5-6 months.
The only mistake I made was not training two months prior to the marathon race dates of SCMM15 and I had made up plenty of excuses for the same too like, there was too much work, I was traveling most of the time and the list was endless. It was on 10th Jan 2015 when I realized that it was too late to start practicing again for this amazing run and that my previous 450 Kms of practice sessions of running etc that I had self-initiated would all of a sudden have no meaning at all….. But there was nothing I could do. So I called up my cousin sister who is a doctor by profession, a mother of two and a tremendously dedicated runner. After speaking to her for about 10 minutes, I decided to go and still run anyway at the SCMM15.
I had my cousins who were there at the event right from picking me up from home as I was sure I would be in no position to drive in Mumbai today even if I could somehow manage to complete the 21K run half marathon. They did and they cheered me. At 6:00 am we began the run with an awesome chant roaring through the city of Mumbai “Ganpati Bappa Morya.”
The atmosphere was filled with vigor and impetus that boosted every runner to keep moving ahead with tremendous zeal at this magnificent marathon Sunday. In just about 5-10 minutes time, we all found ourselves running at this stunningly breathtaking Bandra-Worli sea link area and let me tell you, the feeling was simply astounding and I kept running on this glorious mega structure of Mumbai. I slowly paced up and kept taking breaks by walking rapidly in between to keep the momentum on at all times.
The arrangements throughout the run by Standard Chartered and Procam were simply fabulous. There were plenty of water stations with ready to use water bottles, there were lots of booths of Enerzal that we could pick up as we kept running and replenish. Then there were booths where volunteers were handing out peeled oranges and other drinks like GluconD, GluconC, energy drinks, dates, Parle-G biscuits and jaggery to eat as we kept pacing ahead. I enjoyed the scenic beauty, the amazing landscapes of Mumbai, the architectural spectacles at various locations throughout the run.
Then at 12 kms I almost collapsed when I realized that my right leg was not moving at all. It had gone stiff and there was shooting pain with an inflamed knee. I limped and reached the nearby medical tent station where there were scores of volunteers already helping bruised knees, ligaments, calves, sore soles and more. Two volunteer girls immediately rushed towards me and saw the inflammation and asked me to get seated as they applied ice packs and then volini spray over the bruised and swollen areas. They helped me stretch the leg muscles and after sometime I was back on the track, slower this time but back running. Then again at 17kms the same thing happened and the whole process was repeated although this time I was still under a lot of pain. This is what happens when you go unprepared in-spite of several warnings from trainers and pro runners across so many sites. Well, I was just about giving up and was to call one of my cousins to come and pick me up when I saw a little girl not more than 3 years old (One among the thousands of Mumbaikar’s who had got out of their homes to cheer the marathon runners) holding a small board in her hand as she looked at me curiously as I was on the ground with my legs stretched and completely given up. The sweet little kid, looked and smiled at me and her mom in an attempt to further cheer me up asked her to show me the board that was in her hand. I read that placard and it said – “Pain is temporary, Pride is forever.” I got up and waved at the little kid back and started walking. I slowly paced up and yes, I successfully finished the Half Marathon within their stipulated time which would qualify me for the certificate from their end. The feeling of finishing a marathon is always amazing even if it is only a half marathon ( 21 Kms).
There were a lot of lessons learned that I could relate it with entrepreneurship.
– There might be a million things on your mind, but at that moment, just shut off everything else and focus on the goal and task at hand.
– Running a marathon is not about going fast, but completing it within your stipulated time by making yourself better than the previous run. The same thing goes while running a business. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon, keep improvising and keep learning. Make it better with each work and task.
– When you feel the most productive, give it your best shot, so that even at times when you are down, the loss is averaged out. Be productive & completely focused.
– Enjoy the work that you do, it does not let you tire yourself up rather it helps you to do even better.
– When you are down, don’t beat yourself up to your goals rather focus on the other things around you and that surround you. Refresh your inner mind and then get back on track. It increases your productivity manifold. Because when you are really in the right frame of mind, you would find yourself twice as productive.
– Health is truly your wealth. Avoid injuries at all times. When you are down with pain, rest it out, take time to heal and only then get back on track. It might cost you some time but it will at least let you finish your task at hand rather than go ‘quits on it’ all together. In business, burnout is dangerous form of intimidation, especially if it is caused by your health and or stress.
– You are what you eat and there is no two way about it. Luckily for me, I have always been a teetotaler (I don’t drink or smoke and am a Vegetarian) so many times, injuries and health issues have healed faster than it would have normally to others who might have indulged on drinks and cigarettes on a regular basis.
(Read my personal popular blog posts about my different experiences like this one about Life, Health and Healing –
o Batman day: Two years ago today, is why I celebrate Batman 75
o I had a brush with death today
– It’s essential to reward yourself from time to time too. This is something that this SCMM15 taught me. I have never celebrated or enjoyed the moments of any form of my success or any of my achievements till date. For me it always has been …. “Okay, this is done, what next?” But this SCMM15 taught me that rewarding myself with a 30 sec rest or a 1 minute walk after completing every quickly paced run of one kilometer, reenergized me faster and made me do even better at the next mile and most importantly, to not give up. In fact, I recently won the Peter Drucker Global Challenge award among 140 submissions across 35 countries in the first place this November 2014 (Click here to read with Pictures and highlights) , I also was awarded the Best Digital Marketing Professional in India in 2014 by CMO Council and World Marketing Congress (Click here to read with Pictures and highlights) and to top it all of, I was interviewed about my digital marketing and social media services company, Techdivine Creative Services which will be 5 years old this March 2015 by BBC Business NEWS worldwide (Click here to read with Pictures and highlights) and that too by the iconic Mr.Peter Day (BBC) himself at the Drucker forum 2014 in Vienna where I have discussed about our company’s business services, innovative digital marketing solutions etc on November 2014 at this LIVE BBC Business NEWS Worldwide podcast and I still haven’t celebrated any of those yet.
Well, I will be doing it now! Being a single guy in this gorgeous and busy town of Mumbai is always difficult, especially if you are also running a business while being a part of many NGO related activities and other event groups at the same time, but well, I will try and figure something out to have some rest time and fun too from now on.
– To do the best you have to have the best resources. I had invested in an amazing pair of Puma’s Mobium Elite Running shoes that helped me successfully complete the 21Kms run without any major or severe injury to my soles and ankles. Accordingly, it’s always important to ensure you have invested well and in the right resources that suits your business requirements. I mean, think of it, would you invest in a brand service that is safer and much more sophisticated but may be a little more expensive than what you had budgeted for OR on something that is cheap and available at may be a dirt price. I am sure as a business owner or a key decision maker of a global corporate brand, you would invest in the former only as that would ensure your brands marketing and advertising for a much larger point of time.
– Holidays and breaks are essential, but consistency and passion is the key. Do what you do best and keep doing it. It reflects in your work. Consistency is the key!
– Do only what is essential: Avoid everything else. For eg. I saw lot of participants at the SCMM15 taking breaks too frequently by clicking pictures all around and posing for selfies every now and then. Then there were the other kind who were running with loads of stuff with them, a heart-rate monitor, few other tech gadgets, bottle of water in one hand, juice box on the other, a belt that was fitted with small bottles of probably electrolytes, running gears like towels and so many things. Then there were the much worse group that were clearly pacing rapidly beyond what they were capable of as you could hear them panting heavily as they whizzed past you. I noticed too many of them breaking down especially when we had neared the 15-18 kms running areas. These people had given up and were heading back home. In fact I had not seen so many injuries and people giving up in between the marathons in any other running event till date. It broke my heart when I saw that since I knew the efforts they too must have put to get till or even past the 15Kms zone. But it was over for them. This teaches us another important lesson in business. Focus on the task at hand, don’t try to do everything on your own and do things or take tasks only when you feel you can deliver them at a pace that is justified and gets a profitable result for your client. When each of us finished the marathon, the feeling within was massive but I am sure that Standard Chartered and Procam and TCS would feel doubly gratified to see lesser injuries and more participants finishing successfully and happily. It’s simple, for me I am the happiest when a client of ours gives me a call or an email and says, “Ananth, we loved your company’s services thanks you guys are doing an amazing job.” This has been possible for me as a company because I have always ensured to take tasks and projects that I know is possible and feasible at all times especially from a client’s results point of view. So avoid running with excess and avoidable and or unnecessary weight or doing tasks that become difficult to manage by overloading yourself. Rather, focus on the ones you can deliver the best and make the desired impact.
– When you run a Marathon, the only person you are competing is with yourself. The same thing applies to an entrepreneur. Do not compare yourself with other similar businesses because you don’t know what they are doing in reality or going through physically and or mentally for that. Run your own race and be better than yourself each time, that’s all that matters.
– Support from your loved ones: “It always helps when as an entrepreneur you have someone to stand by your side and simply say, I understand what you are going through and you are not alone. Let’s do this together.” Not everyone gets to hear these amazing words and not everyone has the privilege to get this kind of support. But there are always friends and family members who might take a moment out of their precious lives to give you any form of morale boost and support. So here is to all the entrepreneurs, “make sure to make the best of every support that you get anywhere from anyone at any point of time.” Running a business is a difficult task on its own, so ensure to make use of that extra morale boost from anyone and use it wisely to benefit yourself and your clients in the business for a better success.
– Last but definitely not the least: Business just like a Marathon is about endurance, it’s not a race. Face the hardships, face the pressures, don’t give up, keep fighting at all times and whatever you do….. get back up and keep running ahead. If you are going through hell, keep going because at times what cannot be cured has to be endured. As that little girl whose quote on that placard read – “Pain is temporary, pride is forever.”
Run through the Wall and do it with the right mindset, think about the long term plan, goals, focus, keep innovating, keep pushing yourself at being better than what you were ten minutes ago, accept your mistakes, your faults, push yourself to grow further ahead, be focused and consistent in your approach.
HATS off to all those who finished the Marathon and the Half Marathons and a double kudos to everyone who did it in an amazing timing too. A special SALUTE to the scores of Senior Citizens and physically challenged who completed and or participated in the same. You are truly inspiring.
To conclude, a sincere thanks to all those amazing volunteers with ice packs, pain relief spray and to each and every Mumbaikar who was out there cheering us. THANK YOU all and thanks to Procam, TCS and SCMM for a fantastic experience.
I had a wonderful SCMM15 this year, how about you? Feel free to share your experiences with me too.
Have an amazing day ahead.
You can get the details of this Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2015 SCMM15 here:
Some useful and related links:
- You can purchase your RACE DAY photos at their official site here:https://www.marathon-photos.com
- Procam running
- PUMA Mobium Running shoes
- Map shown in this post of the SCMM15 MARATHON tracked LIVE in real-time using the ENDOMONDO app