Last week I took part in the Epic Week organised by Warren Mauger and Phil Smith of Epic Challenges.
Warren and Phil had set out to undertake 7 Ironman Triathlons in 7 Days (an Ironman triathlon is a 2.4 mile swim, a 112mile cycle and a 26.2 mile run) and raise money for 2 charities, This is Epic and Guernsey Mind.
They had also challenged the community to push themselves out of their own comfort zones and do a daily swim, bike or run challenge for 7 days. As a cyclist I was naturally drawn to a bike challenge and chose to ride 100 miles a day. Of course running my own business gives some flexibility in your day but not enough time to ride for 6 hours, 7 days of the week. So I decided to get up at 3am to complete my rides and still get enough time to do some work during the day.
I completed the challenge on Sunday with a total of 718 miles ridden. But what’s this got to do with business and great customer service?
Not much at first glance, however there were several lessons learned during the week that can relate to both business and your personal life.
Lesson #1 – Failure is an option. Warren and Phil set themselves a massive goal. The numbers are staggering when you total it up, swim 16.8 miles, cycle 784 miles and run 184.4 miles in 7 days! To achieve this would require a superhuman effort, but that’s the goal they set. Neither Warren or Phil managed to complete the 7 triathlons. You may think they have failed because the goal was too ambitions. But if the goal had been 3 or 4 Ironman’s and they completed that easily then they would never know if they could complete 5! Set yourself audacious goals, big goals, impossible goals, because you never know what you might be able to achieve if you don’t.
Lesson #2 – Training is everything. If doesn’t matter if you have years of experience or are a complete newbie. Unless you train your are not going to achieve your goals. I’m a very active cyclist and have been training for races all year, but not long distance endurance events. I really struggled at some pointed with the distance and time in the saddle because I hadn’t trained for it. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing your job or running your business, unless you look at new ways of doing things, or refreshing you existing skills you won’t be able to move forward.
Lesson #3 – Your support network is everything, without the support of our friends and families, we wouldn’t have been able to take part, let alone succeed in our challenges. The same for our businesses, you’ll need a network to help you grow, support you when things don’t work out how you want or even just to you positive support along the way.
Lesson #4 – Never Give Up – this was the hashtag of the week and it doesn’t really need much more explaining. To succeed, you must be prepared to push through the adversity and difficult times, but also recognise if you are beaten. Defeat isn’t giving up.
As with all things in life, apply these lessons to your business and how you treat your customers and teams and you will deliver great customer service and your business will thrive.