At the beginning of this year I decided to join in with RED January. I had seen a friend join in the year before and loved the idea of doing something positive and active to support my own mental health while raising money to support Buckinghamshire Mind. One of my client's had also put a team together and my running club had a RED January group so there was plenty of encouragement around.
I had seriously fallen of the "running" wagon and could barely run 1k so it is safe to say I would rather be on the sofa watching Netflix! However, as the month progressed it was very rewarding being able to get outdoors. I have managed to run 5k distances twice which is a big achievement for me.
Was it a tenuous link brought about by a boost in endorphins? As I was jogging I thought of some applicable lessons to be learnt when it comes to growing my small business too.
1. Small repeatable actions build consistency
Just like jogging every day, even if it is a short trip out, it's gradually building towards something bigger. I've gone from 1k to cumulatively covering 70km in a month!
When tackling a big marketing project or buidling your own markerting plan, it's easy for overwhelm to kick in and stop us from making progress.
If you can take small intentional marketing actions regularly you will start to build a consistent approach to your marketing. These will grow to become bigger overall actions to make a posivie impact on your business.
As an example, last year I wanted to blog every month to build traffic to my website. It's a relatively small objective but by repeating the process it has allowed me to build a body of blogs and allow me to demonstrate my writing skills. I then started to use that content for my email newsletter Kandu View. This will in turn help me to grow my email list and ultimately help support me in my goal for my business be more visible.
2. Purpose drives you forward
Without a purpose it can be easy to get distracted and lose track, but as more people started to sponsor me and I reflected on the amazing work that Mind do, it spurred me on and helped me focus on the end goal.
Similarly when working on your business or marketing plan, it can be easy to get caught up in the every day minutiae of running a business, but if you can revert to your business purpose this will help keep you on track and stay focused.
My business purpose is support small businesses to talk to their customers and prospects. This is so that they can build stronger relationships with them and ultimately grow their business.
3. Find others in the same boat (or shoes)
When I first started out jogging again, I was running on my own. Family priorities meant that I couldn't join the club training sessions or run with others taking part but I joined a little FB messenger group and seeing those people talking about RED January helped keep me going when I felt tired or fed up.
It's the same with my business, I don't see many people in the same situation as me in my every day life but am part of some online communities which help gee me up or provide learnings and support when needed, they are so valuable and have really helped me step out of my comfort zone on many an occasion in the last four years.
So that's January all wrapped up, I've been jogging twice already this month so fingers crossed those small actions taken in January will help set me on my way for the rest of the year too.