DSCN0207fbookToday’s guest post comes from Sara Yelich, the author of Sara Spelled Without an H.

For the last year and a half, I’ve been blessed to work alongside my mom as she builds and develops her dream – a flower shop with a bright pink awning on Main Street of our small town.  In those 18 months, I’ve also conquered a year of college and soon-to-be three half-marathons.  I’ve found running is an outlet for stress on bad days, a quiet time to brainstorm, and a way for me to refresh and refocus on life. I’ve also found that the pieces of advice and encouragement I give to (and learn from) my mom tie directly to my time on the pavement – and I’d love to share some of those lessons with you.

  • It’s not easy. In all honesty, running sucks sometimes. Very few days are perfect, when the wind is blowing out of the right direction and it isn’t hot, but it isn’t cold, and your legs don’t hurt, and you find “the zone.”  Whether you’ve owned a business for a day, a year, or a lifetime, you’ve got to remember that it isn’t always going to be easy. Nothing worth having ever is.
  • Do it if you love it. I love running; my mom loves flowers.  It’s so much easier to roll out of bed in the morning when you’re getting ready for something you love.  Of course there are days when you want to hit the snooze button six or seven times, but when you’re passionate about what you do, it’s far easier to survive the early morning runs and the mile-long to-do lists.
  • Remember to say, “hi.” When I’m at home, I have to share the road with horses, deer, and tractors.  It’s nice to get back to school, because every day I run, I pass someone who is genuinely happy to be out there; someone who smiles, waves, or even says, “hello.”  That kind of genuine joy is hard to find.  Be genuinely happy to be doing what you’re doing.  Say “hello” to everyone – your customers, your wholesalers, your mailman.  Sincerity never goes unnoticed.
  • Treat every day like race day. There’s so much energy at the start line of a race – just like your first few months in business.  They’re exciting! After a while though, the fun wears off. Your feet start to ache and you’re bored and out of breath, and the bench on the side of the road looks really, really nice.  Whatever you do, don’t sit down. Quitting can’t be an option.
  • Don’t run on empty. Anyone who runs knows the joy of carbo-loading the days before a race, in an attempt to store up extra energy to use on race day.  Leaving the house for a ten-mile run is a terrible idea if your breakfast consisted of a cup of coffee. You’ll get exhausted. End of discussion. The same thing happens if you don’t take a day off every now and then. Leave work at work, turn your Blackberry off (I know, it’s tough!), and take time to restore your energy level. Your body and mind will thank you.

About Sara Yelich, this post’s author: Sara Yelich is currently studying Organizational Leadership & Supervision with a concentration in Sports Management at Purdue University, where she is the Director of Media Relations for Purdue Student Government.  After graduation, she hopes to work in endurance event planning, and eventually start a non-profit organization that places professional and college athletes in inner-city schools as mentors. You can always find her on Twitter as @sarayelich.