4 Ways Running Can Help You Run A Business

Are you a runner or is shopping your cardio? 😉

The author finishing a 5k

I started running later in life (i.e. post-school), and I’m so glad I did. Besides being excellent exercise, it’s fun to be a part of such a wonderful community. The running community embraces runners of all capabilities and provides support in the form of running partners, groups and tips from more experienced runners.

A Supportive Community 

A supportive community is one way that running translates to running a business. As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you’re probably working alone. Tapping into the entrepreneurial community can help you grow and manage your business. Whether you frequent a co-working space or join an online community, fellow small business owners can give you advice, help you brainstorm ideas and offer support from someone who understands what you’re experiencing.

Related: Is collaboration the new competition?

Long-Term Plan

Runners tend to have a long-term plan, incorporating when they’re competing in races, rest days and specific things they’re working on (i.e. a stronger kick, running technique). Small business owners need to plan as well, so they can run their business effectively and look for growth opportunities. Looking at your bigger picture helps when making decisions about what opportunities to pursue and which areas to focus on at specific times. Of course the best plans should always be adjustable.

Rest Days / Down Time

As noted above, part of a runner’s long-term plan is incorporating rest days. They’re vital to performing well, in running and business. Small business owners tend to wear a lot of hats, which can make it difficult to unplug. It’s important to your long-term outlook (and health) that you take time for yourself so you can be at your best when focusing on your business. Don’t burn yourself out and short circuit your business before you’re able to achieve your dreams. Running a business is a marathon, not a sprint.

Related: How to Take a Break from Technology Without Moving to the Woods

Aha Moments 

When I run, I listen to my tunes and try to empty my mind (or think of inspirational movie scenes if I need an extra boost to reach the top of the hill). I’m not thinking about customers, business issues or other important topics. That’s probably why I come up with some of my best ideas or feel confident making a decision I’ve been thinking about after a run. The combination of physical activity, clearing my mind and the euphoria of finishing my run seems to spark creativity and clarify my decision-making process. The next time you’re struggling with a business decision or client project, go for a run. It may spark an ‘aha moment!’

Running translates well to running a business on several fronts. Runners can draw inspiration and insight from their hobby while they tackle the tough task of running a business. Not a runner? It’s never too late to lace ’em up and hit the pavement or trails. Couch to 5k can help you get started, or find a running community to join. You’ll find the same support, camaraderie and inspiration as you find in your entrepreneurial or small business community.

Happy running (a business)!

Just a (small biz owner &) runner from Akron,
Jaime

Let’s chat (about small business life, running, your marketing needs or otherwise):

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What inspires you?

Inspiration. It’s a beautiful thing but can be hard to come by sometimes. Where do you draw inspiration from?

Need inspiration? Look at nature.

Typically, I hit the ground running. Physical activity, especially in serene natural settings, does wonders for my creativity and mind (not to mention my health). Today, it was a candle-lit bubble bath with a great book. Delving into another world opened up my mind to blog topics and content marketing ideas. Other days, a quick meditation may do the trick.

Related reading: Need an Idea? Just Walk Away

So, what inspires you? Whether it’s an intriguing piece of art, an upbeat Zumba class or a person you hold dear, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Chime in and help inspire us all to greater things.

Humming the Rocky theme song,
Jaime

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A Picture’s Worth A Lifetime of Inspiration

crossing the finish line of my first half-marathon


This picture shows me crossing the finish line of my first half-marathon in 2011. It was so much more than just a race though. At this moment, exhausted and hurting, I realized that I could achieve so much more in life. No more just accepting the status quo. Since this picture was taken, I’ve completed two more half-marathons (and dozens of 5ks & 10ks), continued on my healthy journey, started my own business and sat down to think about what I wanted out of life — not just what everyone else wanted from me.

What was your aha moment? What’s your picture that’s worth a lifetime of inspiration? Please share! I’m looking forward to being inspired.

Cheers,
Jaime

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Embrace the Suck (Because What’s the Alternative?)

Life sucks. Not to be a pessimist, but sometimes it seems that everything goes wrong. Sure, there’s always that saying that someone has it worse than you somewhere, but quite frankly, that isn’t always the most comforting thought in the world when you have your own problems.

a cat having a bad hair day

We all have bad hair days;
it’s how we handle them that counts.
Pic credit: Melissa West

Today, I decided to run some errands. I ended up going to three grocery stores (plus Target, Walgreen’s and the mall), buying a few things twice and taking much longer than expected. Then I came home to put a new battery in my alarm clock (which I went to two stores to find), and it didn’t work. The clock itself is dying, which should have been obvious because the battery is only a backup. You think I would have thought about this while holding the alarm clock last night while it was still plugged into the wall. (If anyone needs any CR2032 3 volt batteries…) Wednesday night, I took a nosedive on our beautiful sidewalks during a night run. Last week, I missed Trick-or-Treat. Seriously, I completely missed Halloween this year. (If anyone needs any candy…)

“Accept failure. Enjoy it, even. Embrace the suck, for the suck is part of the process.”  –A.J. Jacobs

So you know what I did? I threw the unneeded batteries in my drawer and went for a 6-mile trail run followed by 100 jumping jacks, 60 squats, a 60-second plank and 30-second high plank (with stretching pre-and post-run). Then I came home, made a green smoothie, had some trail bologna (a specialty in my world), updated the CCC Facebook page and sat down to write this blog post.

kicking toward the finish line

Running (and writing) makes me happy and clears my mind. What’s your medicine when things go wrong?

Life sucks. You’re going to fail, fall down and get beat. You have to deal with it and get up — again and again. Sometimes it’s really hard to do that when it seems like the odds are stacked against you. But I believe that we are all dealt a winning deck, eventually. If you keep working and working, things will work out. They may not be what you had planned, but they will work out. (For a real-life example, listen to Steve Jobs’s inspirational commencement address at Stanford in 2005 below.)

Honestly, this week has just been a microcosm of the past year and a half (and I left a lot out for brevity’s sake). I knew it would be the hardest thing I’ve ever done to start my own business, be my own boss and and build my client base. It’s been even harder than I expected (which somehow I expected, if that makes sense).

A 6-month battle with insurance companies over a mistake in my medical records while setting up personal insurance. People not following through on their word time and time again. Anticipated projects (and the paychecks) never materializing. Working for free. Being asked repeatedly to work for free (subject of an upcoming post). Coming from a background and an area where nobody understands what I’m doing (or why). We all have things that beat us up every day. 

Are you feeling shitty? Down in the dumps? Do what makes you happy — whatever that may be. Don’t worry about what people think of you. If you’re a runner, run. If you’re a shopper, shop. If you’re a film connoisseur, catch a flick. If you’re a talker, call a friend. How long? Until the smile’s back on your face.

Cheer up. Yes, life sucks, but learn to embrace it. The suck is just one small part of this beautiful thing we call living.

What do you do when you need to cheer up?

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

p.s. If you need to vent and a friend’s not available, feel free to vent below or hit me up on a social network. Seriously, I’m listening.

p.s.s. If you’re having a bad day and can’t bring yourself to comment, just throw me a like so I know you’re there. 🙂

Embracing the suck,
Jaime

Embracing the suck or riding a wave, connect with me… 
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50 (More) Things I’m Grateful For…

It’s been too long. I’ve had it in my mind to write this post since I published my first 50 Things I’m Grateful For… post last year. I kept finding cool things to blog about, and before I knew it, more than a year had passed. So here goes…

I’m grateful for (take 2)…

The sun sets on Lock 3

     

I love classic cars 

Wilson -- my idea generator

water view

Alright, so there’s my second list of 50 things I’m grateful for. (If you want to browse the first list, here you go.)

Now it’s your turn. I would love to hear about what you’re grateful for! No matter how tough life gets, we can all be grateful for something. Share your list (however big or small) in the comments below, hit me up on a social network or tag me in your blog post.  Cheers!

Grateful & blessed,
Jaime

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My 2013 Bucket List: Six Months In

“Some people create a bucket list because they are dying; I created one because I want to live.”     –Lesley Carter

Earlier this year, I came across Lesley Carter’s 2013 bucket list and was inspired to create my own. (Ed. Note: If you haven’t checked out Lesley’s Bucket List Publications, please do so. What an inspiration!)

Related reading: My 2013 Bucket List: What’s On Yours?

It struck me a few days ago that we’re already half way through the year. Crazy, isn’t it?! So I wanted to post an update and see how I’m doing so far.

Without further ado… (items crossed out have been accomplished:

  • Attend a Kent State University basketball game (my alma mater!)
  • Go ice skating
  • Watch a hockey game live
  • Attend a professional networking event
  • Go for a twilight hike
Lake Erie Monsters hockey

I love Zambonis! Watching the Lake Erie Monsters

  • Enter a trail running event
  • Register for my first triathlon
  • Get together with my family at least monthly <So far, so good!>
  • Celebrate special occasions with family & friends <Just celebrated my sister-in-law’s birthday and Father’s Day this past week! Next up, my brother’s birthday.>
  • Watch the inauguration festivities for the first time
Valentine's Day wreath

A slightly different take on a Valentine’s Day wreath…

  • Bring on 5 new dream clients <On pace, lots of activity right now…>
  • Read 100 books! (Yep, full fledged book worm here.) <I need to start counting!>
  • Write the first chapter of my novel
  • Make time for me 🙂
  • Jump out of another airplane!
Dark Tower Series

Finished 6 of 7 Dark Tower books by Stephen King… along with a few others.

  • Go to the theatre
  • Pay It Forward
  • Learn a new skill
  • Take advanced coding classes
  • Attend a NASCAR race
KSU + Haven of Rest = Pay It Forward

Proud to join the KSU Alumni crew at Haven of Rest for National Day of Service 2013

  • Spa day 🙂
  • Finally bring home a furry friend
  • Travel, travel, travel — across town & across the world
  • Watch the sunrise
  • Watch the sunset
sunset at Canal Park

Watching the sunset at Canal Park

  • Step outside of my comfort zone
  • Watch the fireworks at an Aeros game
  • Book a spontaneous getaway
  • Unplug & connect with nature for a day
  • Laugh often
  • Create with my hands
Mother Nature's beauty

Enjoying the serene Alder Pond at Gorge Metro Park

  • Swim in the ocean
  • Walk on water again –> paddle boarding 🙂
  • Get up close & personal to the octagon at a UFC event
  • Be ready for my next great opportunity & pounce on it
  • Get muddy often

How about you? How are you doing on your 2013 bucket list? It’s not too late to create one! Leave your thoughts in the comments below or hit me up on social media.

Dark Tower books photo courtesy of The Dark Tower Official Website
All other photos from my personal collection 

Smiling in the sunshine,
Jaime

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What makes you smile?

I’m sitting here polishing my toenails while making updates to my website and a squirrel just ran across my windowsill, stopping to peer in. (Don’t feed the humans!) I realized that I was smiling despite the damage that the little critters can cause.

What makes you smile?

Sometimes a midst the frustration and minor annoyances of day to day life, it helps to take a step back and remember what makes you smile. Then seek out those things, however small, so you smile more and more. It’s amazing what it does for your mood!

Here are some things that make me smile!

my Starbucks #sipface

Showing off my Starbucks #sipface while enjoying some espresso on a beautiful day.

after a day of trail running

I ❤ trail running (and a little mud)!

hitting my goal in the Akron half-marathon

In my 3rd half-marathon, I hit my goal (with the help of my blue toenail polish)!

relaxing on the beach

Soaking in the rays on Hilton Head Island…

I'm contemplating life

Just another day in the life…

Now it’s your turn –> what makes you smile?

Drop your list in the comments below or share your blog post link. I’m looking forward to your responses. Enjoy the weekend, and remember to smile!

Cheers,
Jaime

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Run For Boston: #BostonStrongAkron

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, look for the helpers, you will always find people who are helping.

This quote by Fred Rogers (of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood fame) has popped up across social media networks since the horrendous news broke of the bombings at the Boston Marathon.

In the wake of tragedy come inspirational stories of courage, people rushing to help the victims in whatever way they can. At the scene. By donating blood. Financially. Keeping those affected in thoughts & prayers. 

#BostonStrong

A runner and blogger who goes by the handle Pavement Runner wanted to do something more, something he could feel. What do runners do? They run. This avid runner organized a community run in San Francisco, #BostonStrongSF, and invited runners across the world to unite and run for Boston on Monday, April 22nd. [see A Week After: A Run For Boston In Your City]

News spread. A friend of mine on Twitter created an event in Long Valley, NJ, and I noticed it in my Twitter feed. I checked out Pavement Runner’s blog post and was inspired to create #BostonStrongAkron to get a group together here.

#BostonStrongAkron

If you’re in the Akron area, please join us at 6pm EST on Monday, April 22nd at the Sand Run Metro Park Towpath Trail (near the N. Portage Path & Sand Run Pkwy intersection). All ages and running experience are welcome. If you’re a walker, then walk! Can’t make it at 6pm EST? Run or walk on your own and chime in on the event page. Photos and thoughts are appreciated from attendees in person and in spirit.

Not in the Akron area? Check out the other 80+ events around the world or host your own. Or just go for a run with a buddy and think about the brave people in Boston who reacted heroically to this situation.

>>>Whatever you do, I’d love to hear from you.<<< Leave a comment about your run, walk or event that is honoring the victims and those who rushed to help in Boston. If you don’t have an event near you, you’re welcome to participate in spirit at #BostonStrongAkron. Jump over to our event page and say hi!

Please help spread the news about #BostonStrong, so we can invite and inspire as many people as possible. Remember, look for the helpers. You will always find people helping.

#BostonStrong banner courtesy of Pavement Runner

Grateful for the helpers,
Jaime

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My 2013 Bucket List: What’s On Yours?

What’s on your bucket list?

I was thinking about adding another (overdue) 50 Things I’m Grateful For.. post when I came across Lesley Carter’s entry about entering a contest to fulfill a bucket list trip. Lesley’s Bucket List Publications is one of the blogs I follow, because her updates about checking items off her always evolving bucket list inspire me. As she notes, “Some people create a bucket list because they are dying; I created one because I want to live.” That’s exactly how I feel about life.

Without further ado, my 2013 bucket list:

  • Attend a Kent State University basketball game (my alma mater!)
  • Go ice skating
  • Watch a hockey game live
  • Attend a professional networking event
  • Go for a twilight hike
  • Enter a trail running event
  • Register for my first triathlon
Akron Marathon 2012 "Blue line, blue toes"

Celebrating hitting my goal in my 3rd — and final — half-marathon in Sept 2012

  • Get together with my family at least monthly
  • Celebrate special occasions with family & friends
  • Watch the inauguration festivities for the first time
  • Bring on 5 new dream clients
  • Read 100 books! (Yep, full fledged book worm here.)
  • Write the first chapter of my novel
  • Make time for me 🙂
  • Jump out of another airplane!
skydiving crew!

The skydiving crew — Sean, Steven, Yours Truly & Greg (celebrating his bday!)

  • Go to the theatre
  • Pay It Forward
  • Learn a new skill
  • Take advanced coding classes
  • Attend a NASCAR race
  • Spa day 🙂
  • Finally bring home a furry friend
  • Travel, travel, travel — across town & across the world
Hilton Head

Lounging on the beach in Hilton Head listening to the ocean

  • Watch the sunrise
  • Watch the sunset
  • Step outside of my comfort zone
  • Watch the fireworks at an Aeros game
  • Book a spontaneous getaway
  • Unplug & connect with nature for a day
  • Laugh often
Laugh often

Having a ball at my brother’s wedding

  • Create with my hands
  • Swim in the ocean
  • Walk on water again –> paddle boarding 🙂
  • Get up close & personal to the octagon at a UFC event
  • Be ready for my next great opportunity & pounce on it
  • Get muddy often
trail running

I love trail running — and mud.

Because it’s February, I’ve already crossed a few of these off my list.

How about you? What’s on your 2013 bucket list? Leave your list in the comments below or hit me up on social media.

Watching the snow fly-
Jaime

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