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Just Keep Moving

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We recently published a podcast, “Why Entrepreneurs Love CrossFit Palm Beach”, and it featured three of our members who all run successful businesses. It’s one of my favorite episodes we’ve ever done and it’s full of insightful information that comes from the minds of our members (we didn’t pay them to say anything nice about us, we promise).

They all had really great answers to the question, “How does CrossFit make you a better entrepreneur?” I’m not going to spoil their answers for you because I know you’re eager to listen to the episode yourself. (Link to Full Episode on YouTube)

But I did want to give you my answer to the question.

“How Does CrossFit make you a better entrepreneur?”

The biggest lesson I’ve taken from CrossFit is “just keep moving”. When the workout gets tough, and the weights get heavy, just keep moving. When you can’t feel your legs, and your arms barely want to go overhead for another hop onto the pull-up bar, just keep moving. When the struggle for more oxygen gets as real as trying to breathe on Mt. Everest, just keep moving.

Hard times in CrossFit are going to happen, that’s kind of why were there. We know it must be hard in order to forge adaptation and get results.

For some reason though, when it comes to business or life, we do everything we can to avoid adversity and settle for a more comfortable environment. We forget what CrossFit just taught us, to move toward the obstacles ahead of us.

Sometimes we just sit there. Bobbing in an ocean of complacency, waiting for the right wave to come along. We get hypnotized by the bobbing, getting lost in the rat race of alarm clocks and keeping up with the Zuckerbergs.

I don’t sit still, you say. I move every day.

That’s great. But it’s important we don’t mistake moving for progress.

So how do you know you’re moving in the right direction?

Don’t let moving in the same old ways, trick yourself into thinking you’re being more productive. You will only see real growth in your business or life when you start doing the things you always avoided.

The obstacles in front of us are often the opportunities that will leave the biggest impact. They only become obstacles because we’ve built them up in our minds by repeatedly thinking about them, yet always finding something else to do.

One of the most famous Obstacle to Opportunity stories that sticks with me is the story of how Richard Branson started Virgin Airlines. It all began when Richard was trying to fly to the British Virgin Islands from Puerto Rico. They didn’t have enough passengers to warrant the flight, so they cancelled his flight.

“I had a beautiful lady waiting for me in BVI and I hired a plane and borrowed a blackboard and as a joke I wrote Virgin Airlines on the top of the blackboard, $39 one way to BVI. I went out round all the passengers who had been bumped and I filled up my first plane,” explains Richard. From there he let his discontent with the airline industry fuel his motivation to start his own airline that would create a culture that aimed to put their passengers first.

You don’t have to find an obstacle to create a whole new business or life for yourself as Sir Richard did. Sometimes overcoming an obstacle returns just 2% more than what you would have done. But that 2% will add up over time.

Sometimes the obstacle doesn’t have any immediate return but opens a door or two you never even saw before.

Sticking with the aviation theme, I love this story pulled from “The Obstacle is The Way” by Ryan Holiday.

Amelia Earhart wanted to be a great aviator. But it was the 1920s, and people still thought that women were frail and weak and didn’t have the stuff. Woman suffrage was not even a decade old. She couldn’t make her living as a pilot, so she took a job as a social worker. Then one day the phone rang. The man on the line had a pretty offensive proposition, along the lines of: We have someone willing to fund the first female transatlantic flight. Our first choice has already backed out. You won’t get to actually fly the plane, and we’re going to send two men along as chaperones and guess what, we’ll pay them a lot of money and you won’t get anything. Oh, and you very well might die while doing it. You know what she said to that offer? She said yes. Because that’s what people who defy the odds do. That’s how people who become great at things—whether it’s flying or blowing through gender stereotypes—do. They start. Anywhere. Anyhow. They don’t care if the conditions are perfect or if they’re being slighted. Because they know that once they get started, if they can just get some momentum, they can make it work. As it went for Amelia Earhart. Less than five years later she was the first woman to fly solo nonstop across the Atlantic and became, rightly, one of the most famous and respected people in the world. But none of that would have happened had she turned up her nose at that offensive offer or sat around feeling sorry for herself. None of it could have happened if she’d stopped after that first accomplishment either. What mattered was that she took the opening and then pressed ahead. That was the reason for her success.

…In fact, on the side of her plane she painted the words, “Always think with your stick forward.” That is: You can’t ever let up your flying speed—if you do, you crash. Be deliberate, of course, but you always need to be moving forward.

Define what’s important to you and keep moving towards it. Even if your future is blurry and you don’t know where to go, you can see the obstacles ahead of you. Move towards them.

Start moving and stay moving. You will find clarity and answers within your movement and overcoming of obstacles.

Just keep moving and living superhuman,

REMINDER: Our FIRST CFPB Book Club Meeting will be Thursday, September 13th at 7pm. The book we are reading prior to the meeting is “The Obstacle is the Way” by Ryan Holiday.

Source: Holiday, Ryan. The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph (p. 72). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.