Buy those carbon plated shoes and you’ll hit a PR. Do this specific workout that I’m selling and you’ll increase your lactate threshold. If you use this gel, you won’t hit the wall.
There are endless training methods and tips that promise everything from marginal to huge gains. This is also true in the world of business.
Use this customer management system (CRM) and see a 19% increase in your lead-sale conversions. Integrate this exact sales funnel and your sales will increase by 24%. Lower your operating costs by 10% by using this new software.
Will these training and business methods, products and strategies deliver on their promises? Who knows. Maybe… maybe not. The important thing to understand is that both the athletic and business worlds are saturated with this type of thing. Why? Because it’s very hard to monetize things that are not a product or service. Because of this saturation, it is very easy to believe that in order to be successful, you need XYZ product or service since that is all that you hear and read all day long.
Always Looking For An Edge
I get it. As an athlete (well, former athlete) and small business owner, I’m always looking for that piece of advice, product or service that will increase my efficiency and productivity to provide me with better results for UESCA. I have no beef with this approach.
I do however lament that these things are often sold as a panacea to everyone without knowing what these individuals are currently doing.
Here’s the thing…
In order to have any of these things produce anywhere near the desired effect, you MUST have a solid base to build upon and what does it take to get a base? Consistency is key!
In respect to bikes and equipment, there is often a trickle down effect from the Pro’s to the Joe’s. For example, pro’s use the most lightest framesets, wireless electronic shifting components, lowest friction lubricants, etc… Why? Because at their level where everyone trains hundreds of miles per week and where they are all at 1-2% of each other physically on any given day, these marginal gains make a difference. Conversely, for Rick Prince who sits his a** in front of computer for 8-10 hours day – a few grams lighter here or there, or if my bike has mechanical shifting versus electronic shifting makes absolutely no difference in my riding performance. Quite frankly, I probably won’t see much of a perfomance drop-off if I did my next training ride on my son’s Strider bike!
In summary, all these fancy bells and whistles that constitute marginal gains only make sense if you have a consistent base to build upon and moreover, are already at or near your highest physical condition which is derived from a consistent effort.
We’ve all been there. Things are crazy with work and family and you squeeze a workout in when you can get it. Let’s look at two scenarios:
SCENARIO ONE: Joe Runner believes that only workouts of at least an hour in duration will provide him with any benefit. However, due to being busy at work and with family obligations, he only gets in one to two workouts per week maximum for two months.
SCENARIO TWO: An equally busy person opts to workout for 20 minutes per day, 5-6 days a week for two months until their schedule allows them to increase their daily training time.
Regarding the runner in scenario one, It really doesn’t make a difference what type of workout he does for these workouts because the training adaptation will be at, or slightly above zero due to the infrequency of workouts. However, for the runner in scenario two, they will likely increase their fitness level throughout this two month period due to their consistency.
The same goes for building a business… and pretty much anything else (i.e., weight loss, education, etc…). If you only do things every once in a while, you cannot and should not expect to see any growth. I’m sure you’ve seen this with some regularity in blogs that only get new posts every 5 months. Will you want to read it? Probably not. I noted the time commitment aspect in the running example above because it is always better to do spend a little time on something on a consistent basis than it is to invest larger time blocks on a highly irregular and infrequent basis.
Consistency Creates Habits
It’s important to note that consistency can go both ways. You can consistently exercise and/or work on your business – or you can consistently not exercise and/or work on your business. Since consistency creates momentum and habits, these two scenarios are often self-fulfilling prophecies.
Raise your ‘virtual’ hand if you exercise/train on a frequent basis. It feels weird to take more than a few days off in a row right? It feels like you’re missing something (FOMO) and that you need to get back to exercising/training because you think you can literally feel yourself getting out of shape with each passing minute.
OK… now raise your virtual hand if you’ve ever taken a lot of time off exercising/training. Here’s how the mind, or at least my mind, often works in this scenario, “I could train today but I’ve already taken the last three weeks off so what will taking another day off matter (as I head to the pantry to binge on Cheez-Its).”
The point of this section is to demonstrate how powerful consistency is and how it affects you on a psychological level.
So before you go out and buy fancy carbon-plated running shoes or the newest CRM for your business… or if you’re ready to throw in the towel on your business or training program due to a lack of results, take good, hard look at the one variable that matters the most and ask yourself honestly – are being consistent with the effort that you’re putting in? Because I can assure you that when I look at the weakest areas of my business, they is largely a function of a lack of consistent focus, or no focus at all.
There is no secret sauce to success in anything. But if you create a plan, stick to it and stay focused, track your progress, pivot when needed and play the long game, you will put yourself in the best possible position for success.
Rick Prince is the founder of United Endurance Sports Coaching Academy (UESCA), a science-based endurance sports education company. UESCA educates and certifies running, ultrarunning, cycling and triathlon coaches (nutrition coming soon!) worldwide on a 100% online platform.
Click on the one of below links to learn more about our certifications!
Click here to check out our UESCA Triathlon Certification
Click here to check out our UESCA Running Certification
Click here to check out our UESCA Ultrarunning Certification
Click here to check out our UESCA Cycling Certification
Click here to purchase the Endurance Sports Nutrition Certification (Presale Price!)