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  • Writer's pictureNick Klingensmith

Why Every Business Relationship Can Benefit from Obstacle Racing

Last week I wrote an article about the positive influences Endurance and Obstacle Racing can have on life and in business (10 Lessons in Life & Business I learned from Obstacle & Endurance Racing). I often share pictures and stories of my experiences and commonly parallels between that and my business.

I hear it from friends and acquaintances all the time: “Man, I got to do one of those mud run things with you sometime.”

“Great, I say. My next one’s in about 6 weeks. Sign up for that one and we can train together.”

“Uh… I think I need to get in better shape first. Then I’ll sign up for one.” Said Never to be heard from again.

But not this time.

We barely knew each other. We’d only met a couple of times. We were in the beginning stages of a business relationship that would soon be forged in fire.

Obstacle Course Racing, or “OCR,” are endurance events with varying terrain and obstacles designed to challenge both your physical strength and your mental fortitude.

“Nick has proven to me time and again that mental strength, will power and perseverance are more critical to success than skill and strength,” said Troy Bravenboer, CEO of Brave Freight & AriMax Logistics.

After hearing me endlessly talk about it, he knew it was something he had to experience.

He registered while still on the phone with me. I knew right then and there this was someone I needed to do business with.

Years back, an employee of mine had signed up to do a race with me as well. He committed and he showed up. I had newfound respect for him. I admired him for venturing out of his comfort zone, taking decisive action and following through. And even if it was just to suck up, there are worse ways to spend your time.

In fact, here’s 5 reasons why all business relationships can benefit from doing an OCR:

1) Building relationships with clients, vendors or employees isn’t about becoming friends. It’s about establishing trust. It’s about building partnerships. With that shared feeling of accomplishment of having completed one of these events, you’ll have an even greater confidence in the abilities of your business partnership.

2) Suffering is less, and successes are greater when they’re shared. No sooner did Troy and I complete our race did he begin scoping out another for a team-building event for his employees.

3) Seek to inspire and allow yourself to be inspired. That truly personal connection can transcend all fears, suspicions or doubts of each other professionally.

You aren’t trying to beat each other. Your goal is the same. A true win/win. Just like a business relationship should be.

4) It shows how committed you each are to the relationship. You see if you’re willing to step out of your comfort zones and how each other responds when things aren’t going as planned.

They will see that you won’t give up; and you’ll see that they won’t give up on you.

5) The bond that is forged in overcoming obstacles together; of facing the unknown together; of standing up to your fears together; doesn’t happen in the office, at Happy Hour or the golf course.

It happens when you reveal yourselves. There’s no buyer. No seller. No boss or employee. No customer or vendor. Just two people against the elements discovering who they really are.

As it’s said: You’ll know at the finish line. #gostride

**For anyone interested in trying one of those “mud run things” – I’ll be at Bonefrog Orlando Saturday, 2/29/20 and Spartan Race Palm Beach Sprint on Saturday, 4/25/20. See you on the other side**

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