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Anand Raj, (at 9:04AM Friday 26th of December 2008, GMT)

Running and Entrepreneurship: A Blissful Experience

Can I share this thought with you? Once while running at the town lake in Austin, I started thinking that building a business and running or more specifically, running a marathon, have many similarities. Those of us who are runners and have done their long-runs, know this well. The route is typically expected to be full of hills and valleys, great scenic views and desert and so on. As runners, we know we conserve our energies while going uphill, pick speed along the downhill and keep putting one step in front of the other in the right direction without worrying about the rain or wind or distance or without spending too much time at the water stop. As long as we stay on the track, we surely cross the finish line. Businesses go through all the ups and downs and it is the passion of the entrepreneur that keeps him/her on track. Keeping on the track is the key and for that you need courage, commitment, passion and the internal energy to make a difference in this world. The entrepreneurs who are driven by money typically leave the track while going up-hill or in the rainy days.

The second thing runners do very well is to conserve the energy in the beginning of the race ? We need to get comfortable with the road conditions, temperature and literally run on air for first couple of miles. Once all the muscles are juicy and mind, body and soul are in perfect rhythm, we start accelerating. While starting a new business, experienced entrepreneurs know to build the right eco-system, use all the funds wisely on the activities that matter to build the successful business. This activity is typically done by entrepreneurs own funds or outside seed money. This is the most expensive money you would ever spend ? so be wise and don?t run too fast at the beginning. Remember, building a successful business is not a sprint, it?s a marathon ? go slow and conserve your energies. Beyond funds, you also need to be selective who you get the advise from, what kind of customers you want to recruit, what kind of team you need to put in place. Be very careful of the runners on the track who can pass you by very fast and send negative energies. There are a lot of Bozos in the business world as well who may seem the perfect match to help you build your business.

Once the solid base is in place and all parts of the business start to work in rhythm, then it is time to pick pace. The entrepreneurs start accelerating by infusing Series A funds and expanding the eco-system to scale the business-up.

And lastly the most important thing, while running, we enjoy each step all the way ? we don?t wait for the finish line to come to start enjoying. Because the finish line comes in the future, and the step we take is in the present, in the now, and present is what we can enjoy. Finish line is just another step that we will enjoy as it comes. So enjoy each day while building your business and don?t keep looking for the perfect day to celebrate. When the actor, the activity and the target become one, the work becomes worship ? when the runner, the running and the finish line become one, this activity becomes blissful. When the business goal and entrepreneurs passion become one, the outcome becomes a successful business.

Best wishes for all of us entrepreneurs for a blissful run! Enjoy every single step of this journey and make meaning in our society.

Life is good!