Training for and running a successful professional practice is a lot like training for and running a marathon.
Now, speaking from some experience here, I can tell you that the most critical part is the training program, and if you do this right, the race is actually the easiest part.
Really, this is what I advocate for your professional life. You set your “training” program up, so that the execution is as smooth as it can be. By practicing in this way, we minimize surprises, develop resilience, and prove to ourselves we can accomplish much, much more than we may have ever thought possible.
So let’s move on and talk about some basic parallels.
Phase one is planning. Select the race, about 4-6 months ahead of time. If you’re not in great “shape” it should be 1-3 years out! Next, get out a calendar, and work backwards from the goal. (Remember, this is the same approach I cover in “The end in Mind” Core Module). Only by working backwards do we give ourselves enough time and strategy latitude, allowing for all the unforeseen obstacles. But with a clear vision of the race, training with this type of plan is much more palatable.
Don’t forget details! The more the better. This also forms the foundation for your daily meditation and written visualization, which all great athletes and performers do. When do you train? How long, and how far. When do you rest? What other things are critical like nutrition and hydration? When do you really ramp things up? How many miles do you put on your gear before adjusting or renewing it, especially basics like great shoes or your Perfect Practice Platform, the basis of your entire professional life.
Lastly, you must be prepared to get bruised, and scraped up with minimal consequences. You get the best tools you can afford. Use great “orthotics” to fine tune your stride if need be. You have a great coach, with real world experience. You take advantage of the wealth of expertise she has, so as not to ignore the benefits of working closely with someone who has done what you are trying to accomplish!Then you benchmark yourself. Even if you don’t finish the race like you wanted to this time, what have you learned? What do you leave in or drop from your next training schedule.
Congratulations! Just by planning, you are way ahead of where you would have been, and feel great about what you learned. And your pumped, because now you know with a little more refinement, you are ready to plan your next PR (Personal Record).