Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Succeeding in the Long Run

I am training for a marathon (again). I have run several marathons in the past, but each one is a new challenge. This one is the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC, at the end of October.

Why am I writing about it now? Because I am about to begin a 16 week training program that includes progressively longer runs and additional workouts to build my strength and endurance. It starts with a simple, easy 4 mile run and concludes with the 26.2 mile marathon.

Notice that I will not start out by running 20 miles right away. That would be foolish, as I am unprepared at this time to handle such a long run. Instead, I will gradually build up to longer distances and faster paces over 16 weeks.

There is a marketing lesson here. Do you find yourself thinking (or even saying out loud), "We need a huge sale right now." Or, "We'd better sign a big new client this month or else!"

While it is great to have lofty goals and big objectives, you can't knock them down right out of the box. Marketing is like marathon running. You need to take the smaller steps first so that you will be able to tackle the big run at the right time.

Just as my series of shorter runs performed consistently over several months will prepare me for 26.2 miles in October, your marketing effort must consist of interim objectives and smaller successes on the road to "the big one."

Strangely enough, you might find that all the "little wins" add up quickly and can even be more satisfying than completing one big sale or capturing a single large client.

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