Motivation & Mindset, Entrepreneur

The One Crucial Business Strategy You're Missing Out On

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I drop the word ‘gratitude’? Maybe you think that gratitude is something you do once a year at Thanksgiving. Or maybe you think that gratitude is something you do after business hours, like writing in your gratitude journal before bed. Well, babe… if that’s the case then you’re missing out.

Gratitude does have a place in business. In fact, it’s the one crucial business strategy you’re missing out on. Here’s why…

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I drop the word ‘gratitude’? Maybe you think that gratitude is something you do once a year at Thanksgiving. Or maybe you think that gratitude is something you do after business hours, like writing in your gratitude journal before bed. Well, babe… if that’s the case then you’re missing out.  Gratitude does have a place in business. In fact, it’s the one crucial business strategy you’re missing out on.   |  Think Creative Collective

Gratitude Should be Your #1 Business Strategy

Now, if you’re the kind of business owner that sees their customers simply as walking wallets, this blog post is not for you. It’s best if we break up. Hint: it’s not me, it’s you.

Having gratitude as a business strategy means putting people before money. It means consistently thanking and celebrating your clients, customers, and community. Gratitude should be the cornerstone of your business. Make gratitude part of your mission and brand values, let it be the heart of your company culture, and incorporate it into your communication style.

I realize that online businesses need to make moolah to stay in business, but celebration and gratitude will come right back at you when you consistently celebrate your clients, customers, and community. Gratitude breeds gratitude. There are a number of reasons why the ‘people first, money follows’ formula works.

1. Gratitude Draws People In

Gratitude is something that’s nearly impossible to fake. If you express gratitude, then you’re authentic by default. This authenticity draws people in. Nobody likes a Debby Downer, so seeing a positive outlook sparks an interest. People will want to see more and figure out what it is that you can help them with.

2. Gratitude Fosters Connection

People want to be noticed and appreciated as much as you want your business to be. It makes your community feel good when a business they support supports them back. When they feel that emotional connection to your business, it encourages loyalty, which usually results in future sales.

3. Gratitude Humanizes Your Business

When you show your gratitude, it lets your community see that there’s a person behind the business plan. It shows that you have a heart (and know how to use it!). When people feel seen and valued by a real person, not just used for profit by a faceless corporation, they are more likely to work with you again or purchase more products.

How to implement gratitude as a strategy

Physical shop owners can meet their customers face-to-face, shake their hands and personally thank them for their purchases. Online businesses owners need to find more creative ways to show gratitude and celebrate all the amazing people who contribute to their business. Here are a few ideas, all of which you can totally steal.

Employees

Just as gratitude fosters a connection with your community, it creates a connection with your employees and contractors as well. Throw a (virtual) Christmas party. Praise those team members who go the extra mile for your business. Send them Valentine’s Day presents. Make sure that showing gratitude and celebrating achievements is part of your team meetings and your annual performance review. Celebrate the wahoo out of your employees and and they’ll never want to work for anyone else.

Collaborators

Did you love working on a certain project with a fellow business owner? Were you featured on a podcast? Did you host a joint venture webinar with your dream collaborator? Send those people a thank you note or a small gift to let them know how much you loved working together. Buy them a cup of their favorite coffee when you happen to meet up at a conference. And why not leave a stellar review on iTunes for that podcast?

Clients and Customers

If a customer needs to wait a few weeks until the start of your project or until a new product is released, send them a Starbucks or Anthropologie gift card to help bridge the gap and to let them know you’re excited about working together.

Wrapping up client projects is the moment to show clients your appreciation. Add a personalized message to your ‘goodbye packet’. If you sell physical products, include a heartfelt thank you card before shipping out the product.

A great way to show clients and customers that you care about them is to follow up with them and check in on how they’re doing. It can be something as simple as a short, nice email letting them know you’re thinking about them and encouraging them to reach out if they have any questions.

Thank your clients or customers publicly — on social media or in your newsletter —  for saying nice things about you and your services or products. This is the moment to really celebrate that person and put him or her in the spotlight.

Once a year, send a handwritten card to the clients you worked with that year telling them how much you’ve appreciated working with them. As much as we all say we love digital, everyone enjoys getting snail mail (that isn’t a bill!). If you sell products, take a picture of your handwritten thank you note and email that picture to all of the lovely people who purchased from you that year.

Gratitude can even help you deal with nightmare clients. The thing about gratitude is that it softens just about any message you give or receive. For example, “Thank you so much for wanting to work with me, but I’m not sure we’re a good fit.” or,  “I’m very grateful that you’ve thought of me to help you with XYZ, but the timeline isn’t convenient for me right now.” Gratitude helps you say no in a kinder and more gentle way.

Community

Get as excited about the successes of your community — visitors, readers, followers, subscribers, members of your Facebook group — as you are about your own. Do a gratitude challenge with your community on Instagram or in your Facebook group. Host a giveaway as a means to express gratitude to your loyal followers. Let your community in on special opportunities, like a meet and greet or an exclusive discount.

Small gestures go a long way, so always take the time to respond to blog comments and mentions on social media. Hop on Skype calls with people in your community. Do #followfriday shoutouts. Engage in conversation with someone who always leaves thoughtful responses on your Instagram feed and retweets your messages.

The key here is to share your gratitude with your community and tell them what they mean to you.

Your Personal Growth as a Business Owner

Don’t forget to show gratitude to yourself for rocking it as a business owner too! Gratitude will help you grow, both as a person and as an online biz superstar.

It’s important to practice gratitude to stay grounded through the ups and downs of business. It helps to keep things in perspective when you’re stressing out about your neverending to-do list.

Need help focusing on what’s important and not obsessing over what isn’t? Practicing gratitude helps you hone in on what’s important to you. It's so easy to follow outside voices, get sucked into perfectionism, and get swept away in society's view of success, but gratitude will help you figure out what your version of success looks like. It lets you channel your ambition to where it matters the most to you. It helps you find purpose and slay the goals you've set for yourself.

There are many more ways to incorporate gratitude into your business. I hope I’ve inspired you with these creative ideas. Gratitude strengthens the reputation of your brand and business, so be prepared for hordes of raving fans to come your way.



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Business, Motivation & Mindset, Profitability

Money Mindsets: Are Toxic Thoughts Limiting Your Business and Preventing You From Making More Money

We are labeled in all aspects of our lives. Our gender, age, income level, color, job status -  they’re all labels. We often use labels to describe ourselves on both a conscious and subconscious level.

Why we Adopt Labels

We use labels in business all the time. Sometimes out loud and sometimes subconsciously. We use them to find our tribe and relate to our audiences, to market our services and products, and write blog posts our readers want to read, and to find other business owners with whom to collaborate.

So business labels are a good thing, right?

We are labeled in all aspects of our lives. Our gender, age, income level, color, job status -  they’re all labels. We often use labels to describe ourselves on both a conscious and subconscious level. We use labels in business all the time. Sometimes out loud and sometimes subconsciously. We use them to find our tribe and relate to our audiences, to market our services and products, and write blog posts our readers want to read, and to find other business owners with whom to collaborate. So business labels are a good thing, right? | Think Creative Collective

I always thought so. Labels can work in a positive way, by creating connections between people with the same label. Labels can be comforting if you feel different from the norm and we can use them to connect with other people like us. This is why I recently argued for the use of the term ‘Mompreneur’. I identify very strongly with the Mompreneur label. For me it represents that I am first and foremost a Mum, that I am building my business around my family, and that my family will always have priority.

The other label I strongly identify with is being an introvert. Discovering that I was an introvert was like being given a life jacket (is that a bit dramatic? Stick with me….) Suddenly, instead of being too quiet and shy in a loud world, I was given permission to join a new one. One where deep thinking, being crap at small talk, and needing quiet to ‘get my head together’ was perfectly normal.

And so I was happy, building my business as an Introverted Mompreneur.

Until I got asked a deceptively simple question:

“What do you wish you could do more of in your business?”

Have you ever been asked that question? Did your answer surprise you?

Mine surprised me! Mine was, “I want to spend more time working directly with, and helping, people”. Yes, me: people-avoiding, introvert me. Wants to work with people. Urgh!

Why Your Labels are Limiting You

Labels are limiting your potential for growth in your business because they describe what you are now! And a lot of the time they’re not even that accurate or relevant. The labels you give yourself are your perception of what you are and have very little to do with what you are capable of becoming. Or capable of doing. And doing is really important for your business!

We are often encouraged to do personality tests to get to know ourselves, to discover how we work best, what our motivations are, and with whom we work best. This is really important if we are stuck, or need direction or a confidence boost.

But you discover what you are really capable of when you do the things you don’t want to do, when you’re in the situations that make you uncomfortable, when you’re outside of your comfort zone. The whole, “what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger”, thing!

How to Identify Your Limiting Beliefs

Identifying the labels that are limiting your potential for success is the first step in working through your limiting beliefs.

And the first step in identifying what beliefs are limiting you is to allow yourself to dream. Ask yourself:

  • If all your business dreams had come true, what would you have achieved?

  • What would you do in your business if you knew you couldn’t fail?

  • If there was nothing standing in your way, what would be your ultimate business goal?

I’m guessing you came up against some resistance while doing that exercise. That little voice inside your head saying, “but you might fail”, “but there are things in my way”, “but…. but…. but…”.

And it’s those voices in your head, arguing with you about what is and isn’t possible, that appear when you believe in the limits you’ve placed on yourself.

The second step in identifying your limiting beliefs is to acknowledge them. Yes, acknowledge them. Bring them out into the open. Into the real world! The arguments, the barriers, the recurring ‘dream downers’ that get in your way when imagining business success beyond your wildest dreams; write them all down.

And now they’re written down, you can start working on busting through those barriers!

How to Bust your Limiting Beliefs to Reach your Potential

Now for the fun part - shifting your mindset to get past your limiting beliefs.

Now is a good time to remind you of something I said earlier; your labels are often not accurate. You don’t have to ditch your labels that help give you your sense of identity and belonging, but you need to remember that your labels aren’t all that you are.

You are more than an introvert, more than a student, more than a Momprenenur, more than a side hustler. You need to step out of those boxes, away from the excuses and away from your comfort zone. Busting through your limiting beliefs is about making choices and those choices aren't always going to be the easy ones.

Identify the Patterns

Did you notice any patterns in the barriers you just identified? Any common themes that relate to a certain part of your life?

For example, time (or, more accurately, the lack of it!) is a common barrier if you’re a mom. For me as an introvert, the thought of jumping on a Skype call with a stranger is pretty nerve-wracking.

Maybe your limits are financial, or knowledge related.

The common patterns will help you identify which labels are holding you back.

Turn Negatives into Positives

Now you've identified the ‘life labels’ that are causing your biggest blocks, it's time to turn the negatives into positives.

Instead of allowing your inner introvert to tell you that you're incapable of face to face coaching calls with strangers, remind yourself that you will be working with your ideal clients. Clients who will energize and inspire you.

Instead of focusing on the qualification or experience you haven't got, work with what you do know. How can you use the experience you have got to write blog posts or create a service or e-product. Could you collaborate with someone who has complementary skills or experience?

The next time your inner critic tells you that you can't do something, ask it why not? Imagine you can and do it anyway! I'm 100% sure you'll surprise yourself with what you're capable of!

Look for inspiration from others like you. Facebook groups (such as the Think Creative Collective community) are great places to ask for advice on how to make the most of your situation.

There's a pretty good chance that there's more than one person who's been there and, even if there isn't, the Think Creative Collective community is full of amazing biz ladies who are always willing to share their insights.

Take Control

The final step is to remember that you're in control. It's your business. You are free at any point to change things that really aren't working for you, to work with the clients with whom you want to work, or to change your services or products.

If you need to, ditch or re-define your limiting labels. Recently my twins started nursery 5 mornings a week. All of a sudden I got the chance to put my business first for those 15 hours a week. And with that extra time came a mindset shift.

I was no longer trying to run a business ‘in my spare time’, I can now prioritize my business activities, making me feel like a ‘real’ business owner. With the feeling of being a real business owner, comes more confidence and lots more progress.

My Mompreneur label no longer means that I am a Mum trying to fit in a business. It now means I am both a boss and a mom!

The final point I want to make is that identifying your limiting beliefs is an essential step in making huge progress in your business. When you don't believe your dreams of success will come true there is very little motivation to put in the hard work required to make those dreams a reality.

Believe you can and you will!


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Profitability, Motivation & Mindset

7 Steps to Opening Your Creative Business

We see you! You have a dream, but you are waiting for some magical time to tell you "that now is the time to start". The timing is right, you are prepared and you are financially ready. We hate to tell you this, but there never really is an ideal time to start a business. Maybe you are like us and couldn't find a job so you started a cupcake shop (just ask Emylee). Or maybe you were laid off after just switching jobs 3-months earlier (just ask Abagail). Or maybe you weren't thrust into the fire like us and it has just been on your mind and burning in your soul for awhile. We challenge you to get started. We have laid it out in 7 easy steps and heck, because we want you to succeed so much we have even put together a FREE 7-day course to help you get started (see more about that below). 

You've got the dream and the drive. Let's make the creative business happen. BONUS: a (free) 7-Day course to get you started | Think Creative Collective

1. Find Your Passion And Purpose

Knowing you have passion is one thing, but giving it purpose is another. Passion is engrained on your heart with a carving knife; you just have to be willing to take a look. Deep down we all know our passion and where our heart truly lies. What is yours telling you to do? Does your job align with that passion? If not how could you change that?

When you use your passion the way nature intended, you start to feel purpose. You begin to see that what you do matters. I am not telling you to sell your house and move to Africa; I am just saying take baby steps towards making an impact.

2. Make a Plan

After you have analyzed that gut feeling of yours and realized it was more than just a daydream it is time to make a plan. You need to begin to build a plan to put that passion to work. How can you create a business focused on this central mission? (Totally stuck? Don't miss out on the free course at the bottom of the post)

Our mission at Think Creative Collective is to help people realize their dreams and put them into action. We do this because we are passionate about people! We believe you have dreams worth achieving. We want you to wake up everyday empowered to do what you love. We educate thousands of creative entrepreneurs (just like you) through our 180+ blog posts, free online workshops and through the Strategy Academy. We strive to create a path to achieving your goals. And reward yourself with a purposeful and profitable business. 

At Think Creative Collective it is so much more than just a cute Instagram feed or being popular. We strive to harvest a community built on giving. You can sit with us. We are about helping businesses become brands that make a difference. We’ll give you the kick in the butt you’ve been needing to grow your business, simplify and streamline your life.

Take your own mission and put it to work. Our first suggestion would be to build your own business plan. Never majored in Business in college? Don’t worry, there are lots of helpful resources out there to help you get started.

This is the business plan template we personally used to get started. Need help making some goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable and timely? Try this method.

3. Get Organized

Once you have your business plan in place it is off to the races. Time to start putting those immediate goals in action. This process can get pretty overwhelming. So instead of pulling out your hair over it, use some tools to get organized.

All of our personal favorite's are bundled for you inside the Biz Chic Co-op.

4. Set Up Shop

Time to make this business a reality. You have really started to nail down the specifics and check them off one by one (no multitasking folks). There might come a point where you just need more help and that is ok. Generally when starting a business, creative or not, you need certain staples like:

  • A logo
  • A website (with valuable and descriptive content about what you do)
  • A reason for people to keep coming back (perhaps using a blog or newsletter)
  • Social media setup, strategy and implementation
  • And the list goes on

Just need help with the strategy or perhaps a little one-on-one coaching, we can consult you on a way to implement the marketing wing of your new business.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help! 

5. Generate Buzz

You aren’t building an arch. No one just lines up two-by-two. You are in charge of generating buzz for your new business. I am a huge fan of doing this the organic way rather than paying for publicity. Especially, when you are starting out it doesn’t necessarily make sense to pay for someone to see what you are up to. The more you are ignited, the more your audience will be excited.

Here are 15 Organic Ways to Generate Buzz for Your Business.

6. Plan a Launch

Things are about to get very hectic!! Instead of pulling your hair out with no plan or direction - build out a marketing scheduled centered around your launch.

We will try to make it a little easier for you with these 9 Tips for Planning Your Next Launch.

7. Just Do It

Well believe it or not you are ready to rock it! You have made the plans, got them organized and put them in motion. Now it is time to take the ball and just keep rolling. Or if I were Ellen playing Dori in Finding Nemo, I would tell you to “just keep swimming”. The key to making this all work is believing you can do it. The body achieves what the mind believes! You are 100% capable of whatever you set your mind to and make happen.

If this all makes you feel a little queasy we highly suggest you jump into the free course below for a little confidence booster.


Stop wasting time and turn your dream into a reality. Let’s turn your side hustle into a soul fulfilling, goal-crushing, freaking profitable creative business. We get it. You work all day and then you come home and you hustle even harder. Balancing essentially two full time jobs is not for everyone. Let’s make a plan, simplify and start earning what you are worth. Get started with this free 7-day email course!


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Motivation & Mindset, Planning, Organization & Productivity

Getting Your Business in The 2016 Mindset

You’re wrapping your business year up in one of two ways: you’re either frustrated at the lack of progress of 2015 and excited for new strategies for next year. Or you’re totally overwhelmed with client work that you need 3 more months of 2015 and excited for new strategies next year (totally us). Either way 2016 will be here before you know it and we think it’s best to come at the new year strong and focused so 2016 can be your best (business) year yet.

So before you totally checkout with chestnuts roasting and mistletoe smooching let’s take a look at the best way we can get your business in the 2016 mindset. 

So before you totally checkout with chestnuts roasting and mistletoe smooching let’s take a look at the best way we can get your business in the 2016 mindset.  |  Think Creative Collective

Wrap Up 2015 First

It’s especially easy in the last stretch of a year to want to jump to next year a little too soon. Heck, we’re very guilty of this! We had to remind ourselves just yesterday to slow down and worry about checking off our current to-do’s before we make plans for new ones. We definitely don’t want to spend January playing catch up from the year before and neither do you. Yes, you only have a few short weeks left to squeeze things in, but how refreshing would it be to know you are finished once the New Year rolls around. Make sure you’re tying up all your loose ends:

  • Invoice or bill current 2015 clients (with due date of this year!)
  • Schedule out your blog posts or social media so you don’t disappear for the last month  
  • File and organize any 2015 clients or customers that are done for the year
  • Organize your receipts or paperwork you need for 2015 taxes (paid in 2016)

What worked, what didn’t?

Now is the perfect time to reassess what you’re offering. Once you take a look back at what worked this year or what flopped you might be taking some things away for 2016. Pay close attention to what did work for you in 2015 and ask yourself how you can replicate this (but even bigger) in 2016. Maybe you need to reach out to affiliates or sponsors?

This is also a good time to look at your pricing and figure out what your 2016 rates are going to be (businesses usually raise their rates every year). If you need help figuring out how to talk about raising your prices with clients be sure to check out this post

Ask for Testimonials

The end of the year is one of the best times to go back through your client or customer list and reach out to those that have worked with you. It’s an amazing feeling to read their feedback and go into 2016 with such positivity. 

Try using Survey Monkey, JotForm or Squarespace’s built in forms to build an easy questionnaire for your clients. Ask them specific questions about their experience and give them plenty of room to leave you nice long sentences. Pro tip: consider sharing these on social media to give yourself some social proof! 

Plan Out 2016 on Paper

When you’ve tackled everything above you can finally take a look at 2016. You’ll be able to go into it knowing what you’re offering, how clients feel about you and what you can charge or get rid of. Break your new year down into chunks and fill out your goals in between. Try looking at all the things that help your business be successful like:

  • Growing your email list
  • Growing your social media following
  • Booking a certain amount of clients
  • Selling a certain number of products
  • Speaking at events
  • Hosting or co-hosting a webinar
  • Guest blog writing
  • Collaboration with other brands

Give yourself realistic (but maybe a bit crazy too) goals for each of these that apply to your business - here's how to do that. Then ask yourself what is it going to take for you to achieve them. Assign yourself deadlines for your progress check so you can conquer them little by little. It always helps to have an accountability partner (and this is our absolute favorite thing to be for people) so don’t be afraid to reach out. Investing in your business for strategy, launching, planning and accountability might just be what you need for 2016.


We’d love to hear what you 2016 goals are so we can cheer you on! Leave us a comment telling us what you’re focusing on next year or one crazy thing you’d like to do (the wilder the better). We absolutely know you can do it. You are made for big things.


COME HANG OUT WITH US


inspiration, Motivation & Mindset

Running a Business is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri’s Strategic Symposium. This year’s keynote speaker was Jill Tupper, an international motivational speaker with boundless energy and a spirit that is infectious. Her approach is honest and captivating and left me feeling motivated. She spoke on Leadership. I thought her speech was so applicable to what Think Creative does that I have spun her original talk about leadership to the new tune of small business. Tupper's points are paraphrased below, but with an emphasis on business. 


Running a Business is a Marathon, Not a Sprint  |  Think Creative

What is Your Why?

Whether you run a race or own a business, you have to have a reason to do it. There has to be a motivation behind you putting one foot in front of the other. 

  • What gets you going? 
  • What do you want out of work and life? 
  • What did you “actually” come for? 
  • What ignites your passion? 
  • What is it that you are all about?
  • Does that why, line up with your business?

You have to stay clear on that “why” and reflect on it often. Paint your “why” for others and let them see “why” you do what you do. People have always hungered for something bigger than themselves. What is your reason?

Be the Pacer

You are strong and you are capable. You are smart and you are able. You can do whatever you set your mind to. Set the rhythm and set the pace for others to track against. Be the example, not the follower. Everyone has his or her own pace, you just need to find your own. Embrace your pace. 

Believe You Can

Everyone has experienced grief and loss. Everyone has seen a loved one die. Everyone has struggled with disease or watched someone struggle. Remind yourself you are no different and no matter how low your low is that there is always more. Think of this as your resistance training. The bigger the struggle the more growth you will have!

You are meant to make a difference in the world. You are meant to leave your own mark. No one else can make the same mark that you can. It can’t be delegated and it can’t be forgotten. 

Recognize how blessed you are. See your victories and celebrate along the way. Stop believing you can’t and just do it. You are the one building the foundation for your business to be GREAT! Love on it, take care of it, exercise it and learn more about it. 

Set Your Sights On the Finish Line

Whether you can draw with markers or paint a beautiful picture, it is irrelevant. You are creative; you just haven’t tapped into it yet. You certainly know how to imagine every worst possible situation. So why not instead think about every possible AMAZING thing that could happen for your business and imagine that instead. Picture the possibilities. Give yourself 26.2 reasons to brag!

Set your sights on the finish line:

  • What do you see?
  • How do you look?
  • How do you feel?
  • What have you accomplished?

It is so easy to be distracted by the world we live in. We need to picture exactly how this could look in the end. Build an inspiration board; create some short and long-term goals. Get started on a plan. Legitimize what you are doing – even if that means starting to just believe in yourself. The body achieves what the mind believes. 

Visualize Where You are Headed

Now don’t just say you are going to do it… DO IT! And remind yourself often. Pin it up to a board in your office. Write yourself notes and leave them taped to your monitor or mirror. Leave a friendly reminder in your wallet. The more you can remind yourself of what you want, the easier that finish line is to reach.

Start to identify possibilities and ways doors can open. Stop saying “I can’t”, start saying “I will”. Illuminate the path you want to take and go for it. 

Find Your Cheering Section

Unfortunately in business you might lose a friend or two. Not everyone we started down this path with will be here through the rest of the journey. Find your cheering section. Who pumps you up? Who believes you can do it? Who helps hold you accountable? Who is your “running” buddy that gets down and dirty with you?

Often, we lean on friends and family and unfortunately they aren’t always your cheering crowd. Some will try to shelter you from your potential - either jealous they aren’t going after it themselves or scared that you can’t do it. Defend yourself and ward off the unbelievers. They will only make your journey harder and make you wallow in self-doubt. You need to believe you can make a difference. Everyone is going to give you a reason not to. Judgment is a precious waste of energy. Turn judgment into validation. 

Beat Your Best

Quit comparing yourself to every other runner in the race. The only one you need to beat is yourself. Create a personal record and strive to beat your own goals over and over again

“The greatest achievement is to outperform yourself”. – Denis Waitley


Build Your Core

Whether lifting weights or lifting the soul, you have to continue to work on that core. Your core is your lifeblood. If you don’t feed it, you won’t have the stamina to continue. What are you feeding the mind? Doubts for Dinner? Fill your body instead with healthy, beautiful thoughts and fill yourself with truth. Cultivate a training mindset. Though it can be tough, it is worth doing. 

  • How can you continue to feed your inspiration?
  • What motivates you?
  • How can you give yourself some grace and understanding?

Get on the Starting Line

You can plan and train for weeks, months or years. But, unless you show up to start it was all for not. Come prepared, stretched, geared up and ready for the long fight. You may get blisters, chaffing and some even more embarrassing ailments, however, other people running the same race with the same end goal will surround you. If you are ignited, people will be excited. 

Start strong, but know it will be a long journey. Prepare for the long haul and beware of potholes. Keep a steady pace, this isn’t a sprint, it is a marathon. 


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