Whether you’re looking to launch a new full-time business, expand your existing empire, or kick off a side hustle, diving into a new venture in the city that never sleeps can be chaotic, stressful, and incredibly exhilarating all at once. But after years of working with business owners and entrepreneurs in the heart of NYC, the biggest piece of advice we can give is to think of this adventure like the New York City Marathon—it’s a long-distance race, not a leisurely stroll.
Start off with a burst of energy, but pace yourself for the long haul. One of the biggest mistakes rookie runners make is sprinting out of the gate too quickly. The adrenaline and excitement can lead to burning out later on. Seasoned runners understand that when it feels like you’re moving at a snail's pace, you’re actually setting the perfect tempo. This way, when you reach those final miles, you can unleash your full potential.
The same principle applies when starting or expanding your business, it can be tempting to say yes to every opportunity, work around the clock, and pour all your energy into your venture. And while there will be moments when this is required, doing it excessively and for too long will only lead to early burnout.
Instead, set manageable goals, take care of yourself, and remember that taking a day off isn’t just well-deserved, but also necessary for the long-term success of your venture.
Stay focused on your own path. Unless you’re an elite runner, there will always be someone faster and stronger than you. Does that mean you should give up? Absolutely not, because you have different goals. You’re not aiming to be number one, but perhaps you're striving for a personal best, a breakthrough after a setback, or simply overcoming the odds. If you spend all your time comparing yourself to professional runners, you’ll never lace up your sneakers, let alone conquer the race.
The same holds true in the business world. There will likely be competitors doing something similar to you, or who appear more successful, or whom you constantly compare yourself to. But remember, you have your own unique journey. Stay focused on what you’re trying to achieve and strive to do it exceptionally well.
Build a support team that propels you forward. Running a marathon is a monumental feat. Your loved ones will likely be there, cheering you on, providing that extra boost of motivation. You might even ask them to station themselves at specific mile markers, so you can spot a familiar face during the toughest stretches.
You can and should do the same in business. If you encounter challenges, chances are someone else has faced them too. Most people are incredibly generous with their time and experiences. Tap into local entrepreneur networks, reach out to professionals you admire on LinkedIn, or explore industry Meetup groups. Sometimes, simply conversing with someone who understands can make all the difference. Assemble your own business support dream team that you can rely on.
Never forget to celebrate your wins along the way. You didn’t start off running marathons. However, as you tackle longer distances, it’s easy to overlook the fact that a 5k was once a monumental achievement and a half marathon was the pinnacle of your running journey. Every now and then, take stock of how far you’ve come. Revel in the fact that where you stand today was once a mere dream. And remember, if you've come this far, you have what it takes to keep going and achieve even greater milestones.
Good Luck and keep going!