When all it matters is winning the race

Athletes know it extremely well.

Entrepreneurs are very familiar with it too.

It’s the most critical moment in everyone’s career yet one that is overlooked. The planning and preparation phase get more press. But the glory of the end result is what gets everyone’s attention, of course.

But what about the prestart? I’m talking about the thin line between being ready to run and when you actually start running. One that requires extreme focus while waiting in a steady position for your inner voice to say: “go”.

The prestart is not just the moment prior to the beginning of a race. It’s a defining moment. A feeling that compares to nothing else.

Because you know that -the way you launch- defines your chances to win.

Why the Prestart Is the Defining Moment

“A run begins the moment you forget you are running.” — Adidas

Entrepreneurship is like a track and field race. Regardless of the type of difficulty, athletes know that winning is all that matters. Beyond their super focused faces, you can see the joy. The love of being there, being fed by their own adrenaline while waiting in the starting line.

Preparation is important. But athletes know more than anyone else that the prestart is what really matters. Few races are won at the start, but many races are lost there.

Then you move into the acceleration phase. You want to take as much advantage as possible, making sure that the runner closest to you is your own shadow. But getting there depends on a successful prestart.

Having an effective start is a critical part of the short sprints. And this applies to startups too.

That defining moment can turn any regular day into one you will never forget.

Are You Ready to Launch?

“Divide the race into thirds. Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality, and the last part with your heart.” — Mike Fanelli, running coach

The way you start the day, determines your chances of success for that day as I wrote here. The same applies to your new venture. The way you launch will have a deep impact in its future success.

Your determination, your relationship with the unknown, your true spirit — basically if you’ve got what it takes, will be tested. There’s no room for doubts. Lose your focus and you’ll lose the race.

Avoid distractions by following these tips:

1. Have clear priorities: it will help keep your mind clear and focused.

2. Have a plan: know how you are going to win the race before if starts.

3. Prepare ahead: entrepreneurship is a mental and physical challenge.

4. Have the right team in place: a good athlete doesn’t succeed on its own. You don’t want to be distracted thinking if you’ve built the right team when you are about to launch.

5. Timing is everything: your reaction time, the fist step, when to accelerate, will define success from start to finish line.

It doesn’t matter how much you practiced or prepared for launch. Your mindset at the prestart will determine if you’ll reach the glory or not. It’s the difference between being successful or becoming just another soon-to-be-forgotten name who bites the dust.

Ready, Set, Launch

You’ve been preparing for this moment for a long time.

You are about to start your new company. Or launch a new product. Or start a new initiative against everyone’s advice.

You rehearsed this moment hundreds of time. Standing in front of the mirror talking to yourself. You practiced all the right moves until they felt natural.

Now you are on your own. Your heartbeat provides testimony of that. You left all your excuses at home.

Rehearsal time is over.

It’s just you against the other guys standing in the same line. Your feet are ready. Your hands are in the right position, close to the start line. You are all set.

That’s the second that counts. The prestart. The one that divides trying to win from reaching glory. Your heart beats faster and faster. The adrenaline rush feels like you earned a new life.

It’s a defining moment. The one in which you finally launch.

“Ready. Set. Go.”- you say to yourself. And your feet start moving like crazy. Your feet hit the track, covering everyone with dust. But you can’t see it. You are too focused anticipating the magic moment: crossing that finish line.

Prepare for the prestart. Celebrate that unique feeling.

Happy launch.

Before You Go

To learn more about our Change Leadership School, go here: http://liberationist.org

Follow our Medium publication: Stretch for Change for thoughts on Leadership, Innovation and Culture Transformation.

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