I don’t know how many of you have every run – or walked – a race. Even if it’s only a 5k there’s always an aid station at the end to help you refresh, recoup and reignite. They’re a necessity for so many reasons. If you run a 10k you’ll have two or three aid stations along the route to help you replenish your liquid intake. Usually the stations offer water or a power drink of sorts. When you run a longer race – a half-marathon or a marathon – the aid stations are every few miles; they’re a necessity for the runners to survive the race and to finish in good stead.
Companies, co-workers, managers, mentors, supervisors and C-level personnel are your aid stations. They are there to help you along your route, to replenish your body, soul and mind when you need it. Those aid-station workers are there whether you utilize their aid or not. During a race I may not stop at the first aid station – the two-or two-and-a half-mile mark – but I will at the next one. Some runners actually stop, rest, take the drink, then continue on. Others just grab the cup, swig down the water or Gatorade/Powerdrink and keep on running – little interruption to their stride or pace.
Do you take advantage of your aid stations at work, at home, in your community, in your association? If not, why not? You may have the luxury of a company backing that gives you opportunities to attend a conference or convention, to take a training class, to have an IT person at your computer and desk within minutes, to discuss a problem; you have multiple brains and brawn to aid you along the way. Some entrepreneurs don’t have that luxury, yet we have aid stations within our reach, such as MasterMind groups, monthly association meetings, other conferences and fellow entrepreneurs in the same line of work. Do you take advantage of these aid stations? I do, but not as often as I need to.
My friend Jay is brilliant and has offered to help me with putting some technology pieces of my business together. He’s spent time here in my office and then offered to follow-up. I put him off for a few days, then weeks, now it’s been over a month. Why do I wait? Am I concerned that I may take advantage of him? If so, why does he offer? He’s a gem. He’s my I-so-need-a-drink aid station and yet, I don’t drink. Confusing? To me too? So today, I call Jay and ask for his help.
We need to replenish our soul, spirit, minds and bodies continually. Vacations are a huge aid station, and yet, during any given week you can use a mini-vacation aid station, which is at your disposal: co-worker help, mentor coaching, on-line learning, even a walk around the block – weather permitting – helps refresh us for the rest of the day and evening.
Friends and family are also your personal aid stations. They help replenish your soul and spirit with love and laughter. They give when you need taking, and they ask when they need you to give. Asking is a great aid. Some “Type A” personalities abhor the thought that they need to ask for help: They can do it all themselves. Then…bam! They face a health issue or a personal issue that demands their being taken care of…it’s a different mind set. Humans need humans. We’re here to help each other.
Locate your personal and professional aid stations. You don’t have to drink from their cup every day or every time, but know where they are so when you need them they are indeed a bright spot in your day, week or month. Ask for help before you suffer a mental or physical downturn. Aid stations are there for a reason.