Three years ago I was not a runner. I was somewhat athletic but I certainly was not a runner. Now, here I was, approaching mile 22 of my first full marathon and self doubt was starting to creep in. “What was thinking? The longest I had ever run during training was 20 miles. What made me think I could get to the finish?” Every ounce of my body was screaming in pain. The worst part was the pain was so much more than physical; it was total mental and physical exhaustion beyond anything I had ever felt before.
So what could I do now? I had visualized myself finishing this race everyday for at least 100 days. I had given up so much of my summer fun to train and push myself to complete this challenge. I had recruited the support of my friends and family. So what could I do now that my body was screaming NO? I let my vision guide me through the pain.
With my little sister running alongside me, pushing and encouraging me, there was only one answer; just get to Todd. You see Todd is my husband and he was waiting for me at mile 22 so that he could “bring me home”. In preparation for the marathon, I had asked various members of my friends and family to run alongside me during consecutive segments of the race so that I would always have someone to help pace me. It turns out, Todd and Sarah’s job was about much more than pacing. They were great support to help me through the toughest physical and mental challenge of my life.
Why did I choose to run a marathon? It is simple, the search for constant and never ending improvement. I have learned to always keep challenging myself and to make big goals that both excite me and scare me at the same time.
For me, becoming an entrepreneur and starting my own business in specialty medical sales was one of the biggest and scariest goals I had ever set.
I was a nurse. I had transitioned to medical sales after a few years and I found that I was pretty good at it. I had a strong work ethic and I related well to the people I was selling to. But, I was educated as a nurse. I really knew nothing about starting a business. The self talk and self doubt were very loud voices in my head.
These voices are built over time from past experiences. These voices are there to keep us in our comfort zone. I believe most people listen to their inner voices when they have a big idea. A person might see a beautiful house and think “boy, I would love to have a house like that”. And then in the next thought they would have cancels that idea, with a negative like “I could never afford that”.
Well that’s exactly what I did at first. I pushed the idea of having my own business away as quickly as it came to me. But something different must have happened this time. I started to have thoughts about owing my own business; I started to see myself enjoying the work I was doing. I imagined the freedom entrepreneurialism would bring me.
This idea started to expand and consume more of my thoughts. It’s like a seed was planted and I couldn’t stop its growth. I began to notice all the entrepreneurs around me and I engaged them in conversation about what it took to become a business owner. The excitement of the idea was overwhelming but it also scared the crap out of me.
I must have gone back and forth on the idea for 6 months. Todd and I discussed the pros and cons and we discussed the risk involved to our finances. For 6 months I could not get myself to take that final step towards commitment. However, I kept researching the subject, planning, talking to bankers, attorneys, and accounts. Still, the final step of commitment wasn’t there.
The turmoil of the back and forth was terrible. I felt stuck, like I wasn’t going anywhere. The doubt was like a virus trying to find a way to keep me in my comfort zone.
However, as much as that doubt was trying to keep me in my comfort zone, that vision of freedom as an entrepreneur was growing much stronger and more powerful. I could not stop thinking about it. And then it finally happened. One day, Todd and I were floating on the pool and a decision was made. We decided that we had to take the risk, mortgage everything we owned, to see where this would take us.
You see, I believe, once the mind is expanded by a big idea, it will never return to its original shape. If we did not take the risk and the action to start TLC Medical, we would have forever wondered, “what if”.
The next few years proved to be the most exciting time of my life. I learned anything is possible if you first believe it is possible. My vision and my belief kept me focused on why I decided to become an entrepreneur. Every day I spent time visualizing the results I wanted and committed to taking action so that I am was towards those results. I had absolute belief that I could make this work. Even when times got tough, I kept looking forward with belief.
If I could share my most treasured lesson of this whole experience, it would be to see yourself with the results you want. To become completely, emotionally connected to those results. Because, with a vivid and powerful vision, the steps forward will become clear. Then it is up to you to start taking action in that direction.
I feel so incredible about my accomplishments now. I have learned to keep challenging myself to experience new things; to go beyond what I ever thought was possible, to Dream Big! The excitement of a big dream will guide you towards amazing results that will change you.
I believe most people dream too small and this is why they stay the same. They create self imposed limitations. They never internalize the thought of owning the beautiful house, owning a business, or running the marathon into something that is possible.
I finished the marathon in 4 hours 44 min and 44 seconds. I trained for 4 months and just 4 years earlier I would have thought “no way in hell!”
In this same way, my business is growing in ways I never could have imagined when we started it. Todd has now joined me as a full time partner and we can see unlimited potential in our future.
I will forever be changed by the marathon. The same way as I will forever be changed by the decision Todd and I made floating on the pool. I have proved to myself that once I commit to something and become emotionally involved with it, I can achieve anything.
Dreaming big has become much easier. My thoughts are expanding to places that fill every cell of my body with excitement. Each time I make a goal and see it through, I become more confident to use that experience as a building block towards the next big goal.
Now I am an author and building my business into something even more exciting than I could have ever imagined when this all started.
If you are truly connected to your vision and goal there is no way you will be able to give up. A bump in the path to success will quickly be overcome by your subconscious mind pulling you over it and continuing on.
There really isn’t a big difference from those that succeed and those that don’t. It is a mind thing. It’s really all just the way we think. Those that feel connected, make the little changes, and take the action steps, will move closer to the success they are seeking. Success is assured the moment the commitment is made.
Success is a choice. You choose your thoughts. You choose your behaviors. You are in control of your outcomes. Every choice matters. Believe in your vision. We are all capable of greatness.

By Laura

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