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JEREMY’S JOURNAL Business blogging by publisher Jeremy Corner of Blue Eyed Sun.
Keep On Running Jeremy Corner, owner of greeting card publisher Blue Eyed Sun and distributor of BambooCup, on going the distance in business. Ten years ago I ran my first 26.2 mile race in the inaugural Brighton Marathon. Since then, I’ve taken part in several events including London, Paris, Berlin and Edinburgh marathons, along with many halves and 10ks. Then, three years ago, my life changed and I stopped running. Last month I returned to the Brighton Marathon for a second time. Even though I love to run, it felt like starting over. Worse still, my training was disrupted by two separate injuries, a busy work schedule and a short illness. All of these meant I was frustratingly ill prepared. The race was incredibly challenging, messy and nowhere near any previous time I’ve completed other marathons in. Having said that, it was fun, energising, life affirming and a reminder of the tenacity that we can have to triumph in the face adversity. Running a marathon is a lot like being in business. There are moments when it feels like a breeze and others, when no
matter how hard you try, you don’t seem to be getting anywhere. There are times when you have no idea where your energy comes from. Sometimes things don’t go to plan and you feel like giving up.
Time is man-made One of the best ways to ruin a run is to get hung up on finish times. It’s the same with your business. It’s important to remember that the numbers are just measurements. They are not who you are, nor are they an indicator of your value or self-worth. Time doesn’t exist outside of human kind. It is literally man-made. As is its meaning. It was near ‘mile eighteen’ on the marathon when everything inside me screamed “STOP!” My energy was gone, my inadequately trained legs were struggling and all I could think about was ducking through the barriers and walking the short 500 metres to my home. As in business, you have to accept the reality of your situation. Especially when it’s hard. You then have to decide to stop or Above: Often running a business is like running a race. Left: If your task takes longer than estimated, simply reassess your goal. A Gardeners’ World design from Abacus.
keep on going. If you choose the latter, you need to be realistic and reassess. I realised that I had to forget about achieving a timebased goal. I simply had to focus on completing the race. Accepting my fatigue, I thought about how I’d feel quitting and then how I’d feel completing the race, regardless of time. I decided to stick it out and began to walk for 50 steps and run for 100. Counting the steps kept me focused on a very simple task: each step. That was it. For you, it might be counting the greeting card sales you make - card by card.
Keep it fun One of the things that’s wonderful about marathons like Brighton’s is the number of families out on the streets offering sweets, orange slices and fruit to the runners. When you run a marathon your glycogen (sugar) stores deplete after 2-3 hours. If your training has gone well your body will have learned to burn fat at a rate that holds this off for as long as possible. Once your glycogen is spent, your energy levels drop and you feel like you’ve hit a wall. It’s the hardest part of running a PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE