Running & Running A Business

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Running & Running a Business  

I’ve recognized relevant parallels between my evening runs and the process of running a business. For those that choose to bet on themselves and develop their own route to financial security, the journey isn’t always linear. Social media influencers can often portray a false reality of owning and operating a business, as if it is always smooth sailing. I think many entrepreneurs agree that the journey is never perfect, but always ends up being worth it. 


On my run through Joe. C Davidson Park, I started thinking about the similarities between the trail and my own business journey. If you’ve ever been to the park, the path begins smoothly, like the idea generation phase of developing a business. 


During the first part of the trail, you get to see a wide range of activities from kids playing on the playground, singles practicing yoga on the field, couples completing a workout in the street, and friends meeting for a picnic. My imagination is prompted to compare the scenery to the stage in the business journey where one can witness the affairs of other businesses operating in a similar industry. 


As I continue the trail, I reached a higher peak that reveals a nice vantage point to see the rest of the course, like the visions that one receives that give way to the potential for success if they continue to pursue their path. 


From there, a downward slope comes into view, which makes it easier for me to breathe. It reflects the peace and reward you get from your persistence. I keep running and soon touch a rocky path, which reminds me of the unexpected challenges that begin to appear, like managing numerous business and personal responsibilities at once


It could be coping with the loss of a family member, carrying on through a never-ending pandemic, muddling through the aspects of the business that are considered unfamiliar territory, or struggling to maintain financial stability. 


Somehow, I make it to the end of the beaten path and can choose to run on a different surface, almost like when entrepreneurs decide to pivot based on the data they’ve gathered from past operations. 


Now, I approach a steep hill where I’m forced to adjust my stride, my breathing, and mindset, resembling the timethat entrepreneurs are forced to turn it up a notch to meet the hustle required for the season they’re entering. The case could be that your consistent marketing tactics finally paid off, and it is time for you to meet the new demand; or it could be, you expand your team and must lead a group of people to complete one mission. 


Once I arrive to the top of the hill, I get excited because now I can turn down the pressure a bit, since a downward slope awaits. It’s comparable to the times business owners can begin to loosen the reigns and delegate the workload or decide whether to pivot for the new season (the next lap). 


At this point, I have arrived at the place I started, back where I can see everyone doing their own activities. Instead of comparing my journey to other or getting jealous that I’m not on a picnic just yet, I remember my why. What was the reason I decided to run in the first place? Once I’m reminded of my motive, I forge ahead.


As soon as I reach my goal of 2.75 miles in thirty minutes, I get home and fall out on the floor to enjoy the euphoric feeling of runner’s high, not unlike entrepreneurs enjoying the fruit of their labor. This could be taking a vacation, buying a self-appreciation gift, investing in an asset, or doing absolutely nothing for the first time. 


No matter which part of your journey you’re on, don’t stop unless it's to catch your breath. Have faith in your ability to produce products and services that people need. Running a business isn’t easy, but small businesses are the lifeline of the U.S. economy. You and your business are essential, which means you must do everything in your power to ensure stability and prosperity.  

Chandler Vaughan, Project Manager, EYOS Fellow 

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City Contact  

Chandler Vaughan  

425 S. Lexington Ave.  

Burlington, NC27215