SOME people that read this business article each week would know that I am into triathlon.
Apart from my family, my spare time is dedicated to training for crazy triathlon events.
There are three legs of any triathlon event - the swim, ride and run legs.
A triathlon can take you anywhere from one hour to 17 hours, and the longer ones are gruelling, extremely challenging, experiences.
It has got me thinking that a triathlon is a lot like business. Let me explain.
In business or triathlon you need to make sure you have done your preparation and your research, so you know what to expect, and how to manage challenges.
The swim leg is actually the shortest one section of any triathlon, it is just the start of the event.
It is the excitement stage. In business, this is the early days of your journey.
Then, it is onto the bike, for a long and hard ride.
The ride is the longest part of the event. In business, this is when you have gotten over the honeymoon period, (or just won that tender) and you have to get down to the grind and deliver the project or the outcome for your clients.
It is struggle street. You actually feel like it will never end, you feel like pulling out and everything hurts.
But, if you can just get through this part of the race, you will be out on the run, and heading for home.
In business this is the part of your journey where you deal with all the challenges and difficulties that come with being in business and delivering on your commitments.
Then, after you are completely beat...your whole body is hurting, you get to go and run to the finish line.
This is the fun bit, still hard, but you know that every single step is taking you closer to the finisher medal. Nothing can stop you at this point.
With every breath, through every drink station, with every cheer from the volunteers or spectators, you know that in a short time, the pain will be over, and your celebrations will start.
In business, this is the period where you are finishing a major project and getting ready to submit your invoice and be rewarded for all your hard work. This is the fun bit.
So, there you have it. Triathlon, like business, is a journey.
Be prepared before you start, or commit, knuckle down, and do those hard yards, even when it gets tough, then run to the finish line and deliver that project on time and under budget.
And, life rocks!
Anton Guinea is business manager at The Guinea Group, which supports businesses by providing staff to fill positions. Visit theguineagroup.com.au.