What a 4-year-old triathlete can teach you about business

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My 4-year-old is training for her first “official” triathlon (she sweet-talked her way into one as a 3-year-old in the photo to the left but she wasn’t officially in the race). Like most kids, she wants to keep up with her older sibling. Those kiddos are getting ready for the 5th and 3rd races respectively. Her one big challenge is getting over her fear of falling off a bike. But now, watching her older sisters ride around like crazy, she decided she wanted to start riding.

We went out for her first official ride recently. As we were going along (I was running, she was biking) she had a HUGE grin on her face and kept saying how much fun she was having.

Picture-7-241x300She kept saying how easy biking was. And she was cruising right along. Until, she started looking backwards, over her shoulders worrying about what was behind her. She started zigging and zagging instead of moving straight forward. She got noticeably nervous. I reminded her, keep looking forward. I told her, “I’ll look back and make sure to let you know if anything is coming up from behind that you need to move out of the way for. Keep looking forward and you’ll go faster to the finish line”. It took her a while to quit looking over her shoulders and trust me, but once she did, she quit zig-zagging and wobbling and started rocketing forward at record speed and a proud look in her eye.


Just as I was watching out for her so she could keep her focus and energy moving forward, many of us in business need help from coaches and strategic partners to do the same. Too often, we get distracted with past failures, what competitors are doing, latest trends, etc. and we end up zigging and zagging in business rather than moving forward.

As someone who personally relies on coaches in business and athletic endeavors, I can speak to the value of having someone helping you keep your focus forward and your energy dedicated to moving your organization toward your goals. It’s tremendously valuable to have someone with experience helping you keep your eye on the prize and avoid distractions (or what I call squirrel syndrome). Because the world of social media and online marketing is evolving and changing so rapidly, it pays to have someone looking out for you. And that’s why we do what we do. We help you stay accountable, action-oriented and focused so you can use your time effectively, efficiently and have a big, positive impact on your industry.

So, if you’re dealing with squirrel syndrome, here are a few thing you can do:

  1. Make sure you a crystal clear picture of where you are going. Or as the great Stephen R. Covey put it, “Begin with the end in mind.
  2. Set up a simple, actionable plan that clarifies what actions move you forward toward your goals and what activities are zig-zag oriented. As simple as it sounds, just do what moves you forward.
  3. Have an accountability partner who will keep you honest and on track.
  4. Take daily action and listen to your accountability partner when necessary

Anything you would add to the list? And if you need any help or insights on how to overcome squirrel syndrome, connect with us and let us know if we can help you crash it like a 4-year-old triathlete. It’s what we love to do

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