The Ironman triathlon is one of the world most challenging one-day sporting events. The challenge includes a 2.4-mile swim, a 26.2-mile run and a 112-mile bicycle ride. These are challenges most of us could barely tackle one at a time; these athletes struggle to do them all in under 17 hours. No wonder the term “ironman” has become synonymous with superhuman effort!
Most people struggle to overcome basic, daily challenges because they have no idea how to tackle the problem that faces them. Imagine asking ordinary people to push their own limits personally or professionally with anything approaching the focus and discipline demanded by the Ironman challenge. They’d be exhausted by the idea alone!
Jack Daly, in addition to penning best-selling books like Hyper Sales Growth, has also completed 15 ironman triathlons in his lifetime. Daly started his career as an entrepreneur at the age of 12 and has never looked back, successfully running a number of major businesses over the years. His goal of becoming an ironman was a 31-year journey that saw him overcome many challenges on the road to success.
Here are the seven lessons that Daly learned along the way that will help you in your own professional and personal growth.
1. Have a Vision
People rarely get into a car without knowing where they are headed. The same applies for any other endeavor in your professional and personal life. If you don’t know where you are heading, then you will never get anywhere. Daly spend 31 years thinking about completing the Ironman triathlon. “I woke up every single morning wondering ‘What’s it going to be like?’” he stated.
2. Have a Playbook
People often jump into activities or projects without any real strategy. The result is usually disappointment, if not major failure. Daly stresses the importance of having a detailed playbook to prepare you for the challenges ahead:“No sports coach sends his team on the field without a playbook.”
3. Employ Systems of Measurement
Just “getting things done” is not enough to develop efficiency and productivity down the line. Progress depends on having systems to measure everything you do. That way you learn which activities take the most time and how performance can be improved, which ones waste time, and whether people in your life are measuring up to the standards you require.
4. Train and Practice
Daly pointed out that many businesses have their employees train and practice their sales pitches on clients, essentially blowing opportunities. He stresses the need to prepare and practice any discipline in a safe environment where the mistakes can be amplified and altered to reflect the correct practices.
5. Have Coaches
“I have five coaches. They hold me accountable on my personal life,” he revealed. “I also have three coaches on my business and I had six coaches on the Ironman.” He related that at age 58 he had no idea how to swim. His solution? Getting a coach that would help him learn and excel.
6. Stay Healthy
People lead busy lives that often lead to a lack of emphasis on physical well-being. Daly noted that being healthy is essential to longevity and performance. Because he takes good care of himself, he gets tired less easily. His body demands less sleep, he can work longer hours, and make decisions more clearly. Physical health also makes him more emotionally fit to take on the challenges that inevitably come his way. “I can take rejection,” he explained. “It is because I am fit and [have proper nutrition].”
7. It's All About Attitude
“50 percent or more of success is in your head,” noted Daly, stressing the importance of the right attitude. At the end of the day, no amount of work will help you succeed if you don’t have the desire for that success, or don’t believe that you can achieve it.