On Mental Wealth #6: It's a marathon and a sprint 👟🏁👟

On Mental Wealth is a weekly publication created by Anthony Ware, Principal of AWare Catalysts. It's the fusion of mental health, culture, and business based on his experiences working with Black, People of Color, Women, and LGBTQ+ aka “underestimated” startup founders from around the world.

Left right left to the finish line

This was written on the back of the shirt of the person that I followed from Mile 18 to Mile 22 during my first marathon in Chicago in October 2005.

"It's a marathon, not a sprint." This is how many people describe the process of starting and growing a business. I think it’s more like a series of marathons. 

When the series of marathons are combined with the time for training (run, rest, speed, etc.), they create one big marathon. In the context of the one big marathon, the individual marathons are sprints.

@PHABSTUDIO on nappy.co

Along the way, things happen that can make you trip and fall. 

In business, it could be losing a team member or delayed payments. 

For the 42.195 km (26.2 mi) of a marathon and even more during training, you can experience stress fractures, GI tract issues, or worse. In 2005, I had painful blisters on both feet and bloody nipples during my first marathon.

We must finish the marathons...sprints...to finish the bigger marathon. Along the way, the only real competition is us against ourselves.

A bump in the road to the finish line
This week, I learned about Jaime Schmidt, Founder of Schmidt's Naturals. The time from the start of the business until Unilever's acquisition was 7 years.

Part of her early training for the startup was choosing to take a leap and drive across the country after college. Those early miles helped create the foundation for launching her business.

In addition to the mental challenges of running a company and being a new mother, one of her mid-race challenges was when a semi-truck, full of her products, overturned and caused major delays. Jaime, Chris Cantino, and the rest of the team had to endure and keep going...left, right, left. It was a moment in time that could have ended any chances of crossing the finish line.

You can watch the new documentary here. (7 minutes)

Mental Wealth Deposit of the Week

@mayamediahq via nappy.co

A gift from your future

Let Jaime's story be your person to help get through the tough miles of building your business with a little more ease.

This week, here's your challenge:

  1. Make a list of 5-7 events, as major as the truck accident, that could happen for your business in the next 3-5 years

  2. Write each one of events on a Post-it note or index card

  3. For each event, spend 5-10 minutes thinking through the range of feelings that would come up

  4. Imagine solutions for each event

  5. Rip up or burn the cards after the 5-10 minutes of future tripping

I recommend that you work on one card/event per day. 

By doing this practice, you're taking away the power of the event. Even if it does happen, you already have seen it and can endure through your finish lines :)

Deeper Dive

Mind Over Matter by Mackenzie Lobby: I dig this article because it speaks to the connection between of mind and body, and why we must train both. I see parallel in being an entrepreneur.

The Impact of Entrepreneurial Resilience on the Success of Small and Medium Enterprises in South Africa by Olawale Fatoki: This is a study on the connection between entrepreneur resilience, and organization and individual success in South Africa. I think it's important to study trends in other countries to be able to learn from new perspectives.

Who is Anthony?

I help underestimated startup founders who are struggling with imposter syndrome, or mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion, create their Mental Wealth Toolkits, so they can: get out of their own way, regain confidence, hire the right people, accept the right investors money, create generational wealth for their families, and find joy in the journey.

You can find out more about my life here.

What is Mental Wealth? Mental wealth is a key part of the foundation of the next evolution of humanity. It's the collection of intentional thoughts, behaviors, and experiences —mental wealth deposits—someone uses to make a positive impact on their mental health. These deposits have a cumulative positive effect, especially useful during times when you’re challenged with mental illnesses and external events.


This post originally appeared in On Mental Wealth, a weekly creation by Anthony Ware, Principal, AWare Catalysts.