3 Business Lessons from a Taekwondo Black Belt Endurance Test
My son, Logan, had one of the most physical challenges he has faced in his life last night taking the endurance test for Black Belt at K-Taekwondo
. He had one hour to complete the following:
- 60 push-ups
- 80 sit-ups
- 80 squats
- 180 side-to-side jumps
- 100 roundhouse kicks
- 200 front snap kicks
- 60 burpees with 2 snap kicks after each burpee
- 7 zig zag laps under 57 seconds
- 100 jumping jacks.
Reading it still amazes me his fortitude to push through the nausea and pain to complete all the above. It is amazing how many lessons in this experience transfer directly into being a successful business owner.
Lesson #1 - Embrace the Pain
Logan, "Daddy this hurts. My stomach is hurting. I need a minute." Things you don't want to hear as a father, yet in the growth building of this opportunity I had to stay the encourager.
There is going to be pain when you're a business owner. Most will choose to run away from the pain and few will embrace it. In the pain you can test your character and ability to persevere. Pain here might not be physical. It might be financial, Spiritual, or even mindset. It is in the pain, I know personally, I find the solutions to my challenges. Pain reveals and exposes things that may have been festering in the blind spots of both business and life. Pain is a warning signal. Pain is what can initiate pivoting. Pain is powerful if embraced. Don't run from it.
Lesson #2 - Break Things Down to Smaller Goals
60 burpees with 2 snap kicks between each burpee is daunting. When I heard that was the next challenge on his list, I thought this would break him. I knew I could not let him see that I was thinking this so I reframed the challenge. At first we focused on 5 at a time before taking a short break to recover. I would say, "Come on Logan, just give me 5." Once he hit the 30 mark, I reframed his thinking again. "Come on Logan, halfway there. 30...29...28...27."
Take your business goals and get them to their smallest increments. I'm not saying don't have a BIG goal, and I am saying that your ability to achieve that BIG goal will increase when you can get your mindset around the smallest increment on the path to the BIG goal. For instance, you want to make $200,000 next year. That is a great goal, and it might be a large goal if you only made $50,000 in your business last year. Take that $200,000, and break it down into monthly goals. So you only need to make $16,666 (I don't like that number) a month. Now break it down to a weekly goal, which is $4,166 dollars a week. Now break it down to a daily goal working 5 days a week, which would be $833 a day.
Now that you have the smaller goal of $833 a day. You can engage your brain with questions like:
What activities need to happen today to make $833? This problem is a lot easier to solve than...How do I make $200,000 in a year?
Break your goals down, and figure out what you need to get done today to achieve the bigger things in business and life. When you figure out the activities that drive you towards those daily goals, stay consistent and persistent.
Lesson #3 Don't Give Up
Logan could have tapped out. He had to take his inhaler a couple of times because he does have exercise induced asthma. His stomach was hurting because the test was that intense, and it probably didn't help that he had Whataburger
for lunch (bad parenting move on my part). Giving up would mean he would have to face the test again if he wants to advance to Black Belt. Giving up could also lead to him giving up on Taekwondo
completely. I knew Logan would not give up. It's not his mindset, and he would finish at all cost. Most don't have that mindset.
In business, many give up too soon. I've seen it over the years when someone taps out just before having a breakthrough. They are wanting results to show up immediately, and they don't realize all the seed planting and cultivating that must happen before being able to experience the harvest. Now there are times to quit, and that is a different post for a different day. Push yourself. If the thoughts of quitting are in your mind, ask yourself, "Am I really doing everything I can to turn my current situation around?" I bet you 99% of the time, you're not.
Having these thoughts are often a sign that something needs to change. Growth only happens in our willingness to be able to change. This is where coaching can be very powerful because a coach will look at your situation with no emotion or attachment. The coach will help you through asking powerful questions that can help you shift your mindset, potentially and likely your activities, and challenge you where you're letting yourself "off the hook".
Don't give up. Get a coach.
Logan finished the test. Today he is super sore, and you can see it in his walk. A well deserved rest day for him. Embrace the pain. Break the big goals into smaller ones. Don't give up. This applies to business and life.
Now go out and live out a great life today. You are worthy of living a great life, and you absolutely deserve it.
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