Mind the Gap - It's the distance between life as you dream it and life as it is." -Cate Blanchett
You might already know running puts me in my happy place, and I’m one of those annoying people who gets a runner’s high.
Running is how I solve my ‘problems’, where I go when I’m stuck on content, and how I clear my head and get my zen on.
But when I started running over fifteen ago, I dreaded every step of it. I could barely get around the block without wheezing. It was anything but my happy place.
I lived in LA at the time. I remember it was 105 in the desert summer sun and counting palm trees ahead of me, silently telling myself I just had to make it two more palm trees' distance and then I could stop. #truestory
I'd never experienced runner’s high before. There were a ton of good reasons not to go out in the California heat every day. But I believed somewhere on the other side of sweat, sore muscles, and the never-ending line of palm trees there was something I really wanted: that runner’s high, healthy lungs, a toned body, 'me’ time and space, and all the endorphins my brain craved.
Whether you’re planning on running a marathon, selling out an online course, or booking more high-level playing clients, I've found there’s usually a gap between the moment we think of an idea, begin implementing a strategy, and when we start to see results.
This gap is the chasm where most entrepreneurial dreams go to die. This is where most people sabotage themselves over and over again and keep themselves stuck in a business Groundhog's Day.
Business strategy isn’t that complicated. It's what's in-between our ears and this gap we're talking about that makes it complicated.
Sure, we need the space to figure out what strategy works the best for us. Yes, within every strategy there are details that need finessing to maximize our results. And, absolutely, there are often missed blind spots in most of my clients' strategies that we tweak and adjust so they can get the most from their actions and easily scale the gap to more income and impact.
But the strategy, the steps, usually aren't all that complicated and difficult. Just like becoming a runner isn’t that difficult.
To become a runner, you go out there and put one foot in front of the other and keep running, until one day, you’re no longer a huffing-puffing ball-of-sweat, you’re a runner.
Building a business and making money is the same. You go out there and put one foot in front of the other, huff and puff a bit until you proudly call yourself a successful business owner with money rolling in.
So why aren't more of us crushing it in business (or calling ourselves runners)? We’re burning down our efforts and stopping and starting before we ever give our strategy and business a fair chance.
This is something I have to coach almost every client through, and this is where I watch the most entrepreneurs online crash and burn.
It’s easy to get excited about a business idea, especially if it’s something we love and are passionate about. Just like it’s easy to get all hyped up about a new workout plan we’re going to start.
It’s easy to daydream about the freedom and money we’ll make when we quit our 9-5, just like it’s easy to think about how it will feel when we’re in shape, more toned, or rocking our new lulus.
Starting is a little trickier, but most of us can make it to the start line and run to that first palm tree. Some of us make it around the block.
What isn’t easy is being so committed to your strategy and results and believing so much in what you’re doing, that you keep showing up, for the same strategy even when there’s no evidence that it’s working.
That you keep showing day after day for the run even when there’s no real evidence that you’re getting faster. When there’s no evidence that you’re actually losing any weight.
Most people don't quit, believe it or not. I see lots of people hanging onto their dreams and goals with a death grip. It's not minding the gap and starting and stopping that's causing a hundred deaths to entrepreneurs' dreams.
It's starting one strategy and burning it down for another a few weeks later. And then another. And another.
It's not minding the gap that causes the standstill.
The gap is the space between where we are and what we want.
And most of us give up on our strategy and burn it down only to repeat the process and start all over in a new gap.
We quit running for a fancy new workout program we heard about that was guaranteed to deliver fast results, only to burn that down two weeks in for a new fitness guru we just know is the answer. We repeat this cycle with a hundred new gaps and blame it on the strategy when we don't get results.
It’s not easy having faith that something’s working when you’re not getting the feedback that it is. And this is the gap, the gap where most people fall.
But the strategy is rarely the problem. The strategies usually work. Running, that crazy new workout, even that guru all had strategies that work. You're just stuck in the gap.
Even with Amazon Prime, there’s a gap from the time I place an order to the time it shows up on my doorstep.
I don’t decide the next morning when I haven’t received my order that Amazon is full of shit, cancel my order, and get it somewhere else. That would be lunacy! And yet, this is what so many of us are doing every day in our business.
We’re starting, not seeing results, canceling, and ordering the same exact thing again somewhere else. The difference with Amazon Prime? We KNOW and TRUST that our package is showing up, so that two-day gap doesn’t mean a thing to us.
And that’s the same difference we have to bring to our businesses. We have to know and trust, like I did when I started running, that the results are there on the other side of the gap.
We have to trust that when we show up, what we want is coming, just like we trust our packages are coming when we hit ‘order’.
This changes everything. This is what gets us out of the gap and to the other side. This also speeds up our time in the gap.
When we quit burning down our strategies and stopping and starting the moment we feel discomfort and uneasy (because that’s all it is, your discomfort and mind stuff running the show), we can also start to refine our strategy and make that gap work for us.
Because magic also happens in the gap. The magic of seeing the data we need to fine-tune a strategy and make it work even better for us. The magic of getting clarity on the various mindset games we play with ourselves and the ways we try to sabotage our success. The magic of learning to trust ourselves and our work.
Of course, the irony is that the more we quit resisting the gap the shorter the gap becomes. The more we lean into the discomfort of waiting and patience, the more we’re willing to sweat it out one more time to the next palm tree, the quicker and faster we get to the other side because we stop getting in our own way.
This week, I want to remind you that you don't get to avoid the gap. I think there's comfort in knowing it's coming and everyone experiences varying degrees of the gap. But the more we mind the gap, the faster we get to the other side.
Wishing you your version of success!
P.S. Want some support staying out of your own way as you navigate the gap in your business, so you can see your blind spots and turn them into gold? This is exactly the sort of work I love helping my clients with, from mindset blocks to nailing messaging and copy that coverts, I've got you covered in the 'gap'!