Hello Misfit Nation! Welcome to another edition of "Lessons for Hannah!" In November of 2016, we introduced a new format that we are putting alongside our regular episodes called “Lessons for Hannah.” Hannah is my daughter and one of the main inspirations for the Misfit Entrepreneur. I wanted to have a place where she could go and learn from her daddy and his Misfit friends throughout her life….even after I am gone. If you haven’t listened to the first episode of "Lessons for Hannah," I urge you to as it gives some more background and tells the amazing story of how Hannah came to be in our lives.
"Lessons for Hannah" are short, very useful, and sometimes comical lessons, that I have learned which I want to share with you and give to Hannah to help in your lives. Because I want Hannah to have these for her life, I’m going to speak as though I am talking directly to her. These episodes are a lot of fun and if you think there is a lesson that we should include in these episodes, please don’t hesitate to send it over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to share it.
This week’s Lesson for Hannah
Hannah, I want to talk to you about some lessons I learned for life and business from completing my first half Ironman Triathlon. First off, I cannot tell you how much you and mommy’s support means to me as I go after goals like this. Seeing you cheering for me is a memory I will cherish for the rest of my life.
As you grow up, you will have more and more opportunities to accomplish big goals or bucket list items and get to experience how it feels. It is a big achievement. And probably like me, you will feel, once you've done it, that you can go to even higher levels or push yourself further. Even more important are the lessons you learn in going through the experience. Now that I have done a Half Ironman, I am already planning my second one as well as preparing to do a full. A Half Ironman is a 1.25 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, and a half marathon (13.1 miles) - 70.3 miles in total. A full Ironman is 140.6.
As I reflected on the experience, some great lessons for life and business stood out to me and I wanted to share them with you.
7 Lessons Learned from My First Ironman:
Planning and preparation makes a huge difference
- You have to think through every scenario and know what you will do, as best as you can before getting into the race.
- Once in the race, things will happen that you cannot plan for, but if you are prepared and ready, it is much easier to deal with.
- Life and business are like this as well. They are like an endurance race.You have to plan and prepare, get the direction you want to go right, but understand and be ready for the unknowns and challenges that will come.
Expect the unexpected (good and bad)
- One big lesson I learned was around salt. I was ahead of my planned time after getting off the bike, but halfway through the run, I started to cramp up and my legs starting locking up. I was well hydrated and had plenty of Gatorade, etc. and was really puzzled. It was then that I asked someone about it an aid station and then said I needed salt - even more than what Gatorade was providing. So, I got some pure salt from another racer (who was prepared) and over the next few miles I was able to get back to running and finish things out. If I had planned for salt intake, I probably could have finished at least 20-30 mins earlier. It is amazing how something so small makes a huge difference.
- This translates well to life and business in that things will hardly ever go as planned and you have to be ready for the unexpected, but not get emotionally wrapped up in things and let yourself be derailed. Focus on what you can control and what you need to do to finish/win/reach the desired outcome – and then execute.
- Always be ready and think logically – not emotionally. I could have stopped the race, but instead, I asked what I needed to do and then implemented it allowing me to finish.
Training is not the same as the real thing
- I think we all know this, but a race like the Ironman really shows it.
- Practice is not the same as the real thing. Practice is great, but the best way to learn is to get out there and figure it out, fail, succeed, learn, and keep going.
- You learn best by doing and going through the experience. (see above on my salt lesson)
You can always do better - Perfection is unattainable, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive for it
- Every one of us can succeed at higher levels than we are now. We know it deep down, Hannah, you know it deep down and we feel it. Embrace it and go for it.
- Based on what I learned in the race and properly preparing for salt intake, etc. I know I can shave 30 mins off my time next time.
You find allies and partners in the most unexpected places
- My Apple watch died halfway through the bike course, so I was flying blind in knowing my pace, time, etc.
- I found an ally and it made a huge difference. I was able to find someone who was going the pace I know I needed to ride at and asked for their help in allowing me to pace off them. They would update me every so many miles, so I knew I was hitting the targets for the ride.
- In life and business, there are partners and allies in the most unexpected places - always be open to finding them. And don’t be afraid to ask for help!
You win in your mind before you win anywhere else
- I finished my race around 1pm, got my stuff, went home, and slept for a hour. I got up and realized that I forgot to get my morning clothes bag and went back over at about 4:30 pm to get it.
- Everyone was gone – there were maybe 10-15 people still around, cleaning up and taking everything down.
- That is when I saw it – 3 bikers and a heavyset woman – 250+ lbs. She was running toward me and the finish. She was the last one. It took her 10 hours, but she finished. I watched and couldn’t do anything, but cheer and clap for her. I was one of only a few in an empty stadium – but she finished. She finished because she won first in her mind and that was no match for her physical limitations.
- If you do not fully believe you can accomplish or reach your goal, it will not happen
Having a big goal that you are devoted and so committed to, that there is no option but to reach, it is one of the best drivers for success
- What is your big goal? Are you doing everything possible that you know you can to reach it? It if doesn’t feel almost like an obsession, it’s not big enough.
So there you have it. 7 very important and useful lessons for anyone on their journey to success. They work across all areas of your life, and sweetie, I hope you can put them to use for you!
I love you, Daddy