: The Importance of Proper Training :
For the past two months, I’ve been getting ready to participate
in a local 5K run. Without any formal exercise whatsoever
in the last (gee, I don’t know) 10 years — unless you
count the occasional walk up a flight of stairs when the
elevator isn’t working — I knew I needed another way to
achieve my goal.
In the past, whenever I would get the urge to exercise
I would head to the gym, jump on the treadmill and
run too far and too fast until I was on the verge of
passing out. That of course was followed by several
excruciatingly painful days when my muscles were
unable to perform their natural duties of lifting and
carrying my frame with any stability (or grace). In
the end, I wouldn’t really exercise much at all, because
I was so worn out from training the wrong way.
As a result, I’d give up (quickly) over and over again.
I vowed that this time would be different and by all
accounts, it has been. Here’s how and why.
Shortly after the New Year, I downloaded the very
popular application Couch-to-5K on my mobile
phone. When I finally got around to using it toward
the end of January, I was surprised to find that I wasn’t
actually going to run a 5K on my first time out; instead
it would take me weeks to reach a distance that
I felt comfortable (and proud) enough with to tell my
wife and friends about my accomplishment. What is
unique about the application is that it forced me to
train (and “develop” if you will) in a different way.
But that’s not all. I started to think differently
about success in general and how making small improvements
and steady gains, was a far more valuable
use of my time and energy.
Think of it this way. You’ve got an idea for a new
Web service/website and, of course, it’s going to be
the next big thing and change the world. You could
work sporadically on it for weeks, months or even
years but when a predetermined launch date comes
you realize there’s so much more that needs to be
done or could have been done better, and you ultimately
don’t launch. Training for a 5K, in a way, is a
great deal like launching a Web business. When you
work on too big a scale from the start (caring more for
the big picture than the small details), you may miss
system cues that indicate something is not as efficient
as it needs to be (like a body that is too sore to move
or a Web application whose UX is clunky and
bloated). And when it’s not efficient (or perfect), it’s
just not effective.
When you start with the simplest, most basic iteration
of something and perfect it over time, it’s easier
(and ultimately better) to keep building and growing
from that point. It will develop into something that’s
stronger but leaner and more valuable but less costly to
develop. The point here may be to think about business
growth with a more rigid mentality. You won’t
move on to the next thing until you really perfect the
mechanics of what you’re working on right now.
There’s something to be said about doing a job well
(and right the first time). It may take longer, but your
enterprise will be better for it in the long run.