Recently, my mom came for a visit. She read my blog and discovered her son has a crazy habit of running barefoot. After some convincing, she begrudgingly accepted my rationale, especially after I showed her that a nice Jewish professor at Harvard said it’s ok.
But on one morning, as I was about to walk out the door, my mom stopped me with a tight grab to the arm reminiscent of my childhood. “It’s bad enough you run outside with bare feet but you look ridiculous running with these cheap shmatte gloves.” She always had an eye for spotting the quality of apparel and she correctly identified my Wal-Mart bargain bin gloves, which I bought for $2 per dozen.
“Why are you wearing these things?” she exclaimed. “You must be cold! Let me get you a nice pair of warmer gloves. You’re cold, right? Is that the reason?”
“No,” I said. “It’s not.”
She tried again. “It must be a fashion thing then. The kids are not wearing shoes on their feet but they’re wearing gloves on their hands.” This time she was sure she’d deduced the reason. “So at least let me buy you some nice quality gloves from Bergdorf. You want to be in with the times, I get it. Is that the reason you wear gloves when you run?”
“No,” I said again. “It’s not.”
This post is part 3 of a 3-part series. See part 1 here and part 2 here. (Photo credits)
When we look at successful entrepreneurs, it may appear that they spend their lives relentlessly driving towards a singular goal. We assume the path to success was a straight shot, lined with mile markers throughout. In fact, it wasn’t. Entrepreneurs make it up as they go. The nature and uncertainty of entrepreneurship favors those who can quickly find the most efficient path, regardless of where the crowd may be headed.
Finding the optimal path, that is, doing only the stuff that matters most and quitting the rest, is paramount to an entrepreneur’s success. In this final post in my three-part series on the lessons and parallels of running a business and running as an athlete, I’ll be taking a look at why quitting is as important as commitment.
Lesson 3: Quit to win
Every week, I meet with entrepreneurs who are lit up with passion for their business. Typically, when I am asked to advise someone, I will ask what the top issue is that I could help him or her with. True to form, they begin to describe their social media plan, followed by a description of the slides in the investor presentation they will inevitably make. They would be hard-pressed to omit the amazing code they are in the process of building and the great feedback received from a PR agency they met with, and on and on. Invariably, and quite clearly, there is a lot on their mind.
This post is part 2 of a 3-part series. See part 1 here and part 3 here. (Photo credits)
What if I told you I know of a guaranteed, foolproof way to get in the best physical shape of your life without strenuous workouts? How would you like to achieve success at work, without grueling hours at the office? It sounds too good to be true and of course there is a catch, but my claims are real. I’ve learned that athletic and business successes rely on similar principles. There is a reason why jocks become Fortune 500 CEOs. But you don’t need a varsity jacket to apply these lessons to your own life. In fact, I’m a born nerd who until recently hated athleticism.
I’ve always been better at business than sports and am fortunate to have sold two companies over the past eight years. But recently, I’ve found a love for exercise and in my early thirties, I became an avid barefoot runner. I run barefoot for a number of reasons, but most importantly, I run unshod because I like it. It just feels good. I once exercised to keep my weight under control, to get healthy,or because that’s what we’re all “supposed to do”. But that’s no longer why I run. It is precisely because I run for pure pleasure that I plan on running for a long, long time.
This post is part 1 of a 3-part series. See part 2 here and part 3 here.
Photo courtesy of gearjunkie.com
When I run, I don’t wear much clothing. Just my tighty whities and an old pair of Umbro shorts. I don’t wear shoes. Why I don’t wear shoes while running is another topic, but by the looks I get, you’d think my man bits were flopping around in the breeze for all to see. People will sometimes let out a faint gasp and point at the freak running by. I’m not naked of course, but I feel exposed and at times uncomfortable with the looks I get.
But this series of blog posts isn’t about running barefoot per se. It’s about the lessons I’ve learned founding and selling two companies as well as my work advising start-ups. Barefoot running happens to be a great analogy to illustrate the secrets I’ve learned. In fact,these tips can be applied to accomplishing any activity, which, like running,requires focus, stamina and skill…that’s pretty much everything.
So what did I learn exposing my feet to hundreds of miles of hot asphalt?
Lesson 1: Feel the street
“But what if a nail or a rock jabs into your foot?” This is the most often asked question I hear about barefoot running. It’s a good question until you actually take off your shoes and experience what the ground really feels like under you. You realize the human foot is perfectly adapted to run this way. Running barefoot utilizes different mussels to tread lightly with each step. Your feet adjust as you run, padding your way and giving you instant feedback about the terrain.