The clich√© is that running a business is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s not a bad¬† saying. I mean, I’ve run marathons, and I get that things take the time they take. But that’s last generation’s metaphor. I think I’ve got one that my clients can better relate to: Running a business is a lot like finding your core strength: to be successful at either, you need to understand where to focus.
I’ve been doing Pilates for five years (and I teach), so I’ve learned that core strength — the strength that comes from the middle part of your body — is quiet strength. It doesn’t grunt loudly. It isn’t showy. You can’t really even see it. But it’s at the center of every single movement you make.
Making your core stronger isn’t a very obvious decision in our culture. To get fit, you go to the gym and focus on the big muscles, like your quadriceps and shoulders. And then you do cardio for your heart.
Here is what I notice: Really fit people come into Pilates, over-relying on the obvious muscles. They dig in, clench, grunt, hold their breath, and will their way into holding a plank or a V-sit — instead of just softening everything up and listening to those hidden muscles saying, “hey, down here! Yo! I’m the one you want to use for this!” It takes a while for them to figure out how to find the “inside” muscles. It takes a while to stop relying on the big guys. But once they finally do, they start transforming their body.
And this relates to me . . . how?
Business owners and marketing people rely too much on the big guys too. Okay, I’m not talking about your quads anymore (although, seriously, let those puppies go when you work your abs!). I am talking about consistently relying on things like features and benefits. The bullet points. The facts. The case studies. We too often talk about what we do and how we do it instead of talking about the less obvious thing that turns out to be the powerhouse thing: WHY we do it. When your clients and potential clients clearly understand why you do what you do, it makes the connection that much stronger. And this generation of business is about connection — immediate connection.
Now . . . core strength training takes discipline, and a little guidance. So does communicating the “WHY” behind your business in a way that makes sense. Next week, I’ll talk more about ways to do this!