Recently our CEO Abhi Lokesh competed at CrossFit Gainesville’s local CrossFit Open for the 2014 CrossFit Games. The experience was one that got him to thinking about how to succeed at CrossFit and how similar it is to succeeding at business. He shared his thoughts, and we thought you’d like them too.
Mental endurance is what separates the elite from the average.
It’s that rare ability to ignore your body screaming at you and keep going that really pushes the best athletes to the top. A lot of people can’t tolerate the feeling of getting into the “pain cave”. It a dark and scary place, and you know it’s coming, and you can’t do anything to stop it. You either embrace it or do you don’t.
It’s funny how much this translates to our startup, and especially what we’ve been through as a company over the past few years. I don’t think people realize just how much adversity we’ve had to fight through, again and again and again, only to simply wake up the next day and do it again, knowing that it’s not going to get better now, or tomorrow, or next week. We work our brains out knowing that there’s a remote possibility that it’ll all be worth it a couple years from now. How many people can do that? How many people can do that for years at a time? We’ve had everything thrown at us that we could possibly have thrown at us, yet we keep coming back for more. We will kill ourselves for this because we believe. This is what I think makes us succeed.
Years of preparation equals minutes of glory.
I fully admit that I had some pretty naively high expectations coming into this. I thought I could crush the workout. But I didn’t. I was humbled by it. However, when I looked around at the people who did have high scores, I realized that every single one of them was either a professional CrossFit coach, or damn near close to it. They lived, ate, and breathed this. They spent the past year meticulously training, preparing, and conditioning themselves for this, all so that they could experience 10 minutes of glory. It’s amazing, and I have a ton of respect for them and that kind of discipline.
Again, I realized that this was almost exactly what we are going through at Fracture. No one has seen what we’ve truly gone through, the sacrifices we’ve made as individuals for this company, the nights, weekends, holidays, and years that we’ve devoted to the company, the blood and sweat. This past holiday season was a perfect example. One day soon ( I can feel it coming), we’ll have our true moments of glory, where people will marvel at what we did and how we were able to build such a great company. They may think it all came easy and that we did everything right the first time. They would never have seen the agony, the anguish, the doubt, the suffocating fear that Alex and I (and most entrepreneurs) go through on a daily basis. They may think that they could do it too, because “hey, how hard could it be to build a successful company?”
Well, it’s harder than making the CrossFit Games.
Stay humble and hungry.
I’m excited for the future of my CrossFit experience. I’ve got a lot to learn. For example, one of the reasons I didn’t perform to my potential was because my nutrition strategy was terrible. On the evening of the workout I hadn’t eaten anything since noon except for 2 slices of grapefruit and half a banana. I need to be much smarter and dedicated to nutrition and game day strategy if I want to maximize my potential.
In the exact same way, every mistake we make or roadblock we face as a company provides us with a fantastic opportunity to learn and to grow. We can see where we needed to be better prepared, and how we could be correcting our form and the business decisions we’re making. So we learn from the failures, and prepare that much better for the future.