Do you look forward to the Hard Days?

Picture from Official US Navy Imagery

Picture from Official US Navy Imagery

It’s funny what you can learn from your kids.

My daughter is a freshman in high school and has really developed a passion for distance running – she loved Cross Country in the fall (made Varsity and qualified for state as a freshman!) and now practice is starting for spring track. I’m not sure where her talents came from – it’s not like we’re a family of distance runners, but whatever talent she’s got has certainly been maximized by her approach to training.

She works hard.

I mean really, really hard.  On a nice day, she’ll go out and run a few miles just for something to do…even after practice. And on a nasty day…she’ll do the same thing and reluctantly go work out in the gym if it’s not practical to go outside.

I’m certainly convinced that her success to this point is driven primarily by her effort and attitude.

However all of that zealous training from fall to winter has caused her some problems and she’s had to take some time, do some physical therapy to recover from an injury…which means that track practice started last week and she wasn’t able to fully participate.

It was on one of those days where she couldn’t practice that she shared some wisdom as I was taking her home…the coach had the distance runners doing some really challenging speed drills…which most of her teammates dread.  My daughter, however, has a very different perspective:

“I hope I feel better soon – I’m bummed out I missed on the speed drills.  I love the hard days!”

Wow – is that a telling phrase?  I love the hard days.

My daughter prefers the days when she’s challenged – either by another runner…by her coach…or if that doesn’t happen, she’ll find ways to challenge herself.

Do you love the hard days in your business?

I’m not talking about the days where nothing seems to go right. We all have those and generally there’s nothing to love about it.

I’m talking about the days where you get a great opportunity to really focus in on a juicy, meaningful challenge…and you get to solve it.

For me – I love working with a client who’s got a big dream or idea and is looking for the best way to get there. It’s generally not an easy or quick answer, we’ll talk through lots of possibilities and ideas before things start to come together…it takes time, research, a lot of effort, but the payoff for me, is to help my clients reach that next big step, whatever it might be – those are the hard days that I really love.

What’s the big challenge that you love to solve in your business?

What are the kinds of things that keep you up at night – in a good way because your mind is racing with possibilities?

Do you have those kinds of challenges on a regular basis?

If not – I’d suggest that maybe you need to consider a career change. Life is too short to not get excited about what you’re doing. Sure there are lots of aspects of your business that aren’t going to be any fun – I know very few people that like to collect money from clients…or even do billing for that matter.  But if you’re playing to your personal strengths for most of what you do, then it’s a pretty good bet that you have some great challenges that you love to solve.

It’s a good bet that you also love the hard days.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this – if you have a second, share them in the comments below.

Shawn Kinkade  Kansas City Business Coach