Tech Talk column with Keith Macintyre

Tech Talk: Training for triathlon is good for business

While not technically a ‘tech’ article, the Penticton Triathlon season is kicking into gear this weekend, so I think this a timely subject.

Over the last year my business has been growing fast. It has been challenging and rewarding at the same time. At the beginning of the year I set a goal to complete my first triathlon at 40. I’ve wanted to complete one since I was a teenager, but never felt I could run and some injuries in my 20’s caused me to lose swimming and exercise in general. About five years ago I was at the Riverside Starbuck’s and I saw someone in their 60’s clearly in town for Ironman, and another in a scooter and unable to walk. I decided that I could choose which one I wanted to be and the time to choose was now.

What does this have to do with business? I’m a firm believer in setting unattainable goals personally and professionally. There are studies that show if you set a goal five to 10 times more than what you actually think you can achieve, you are more likely to achieve more than if you had set the original goal and it feels better achieving a percentage of a larger goal than 100 per cent of a smaller goal.

It shifts your mindset into thinking about the steps you need to take to achieve the larger goal, and you end up achieving more than you thought you could. For example, last year I set a goal to run 1,000 kilometres. Completely outlandish for my fitness level and amount of running I was doing at the time. I started thinking about how many kilometres I’d have to run in a week. I started choosing to run on the treadmill instead of the exercise bike at the gym, and joined a couple of running groups. By the end of the year, I ran over 650 km, probably 200 to 300 km more than I would have if I had set a smaller goal. This year, I’ve already ran 500 km and should get close to 1,000.

I changed my goal from one to 10 triathlons this year. Obviously, I’m not going to enter 10 triathlons in one year. However, it did focus my attention and I swam every second day for most of the year, did two warm-up Splash ‘n Dash races put on by the Penticton Triathlon Club, three 10 km races, a duathlon and my first triathlon in May in Kelowna. My second will be in Penticton on July 16, and I may do a third in Kelowna next month. Two more than if I set a goal of one.

Related: 35th Peach Classic generating more athletes

The other pleasant effect this had, aside from the obvious health benefits, is it gave me something to focus on other than my business. Growing a business, hiring employees, delivering products are things that can become all-consuming. When I was younger, I would have focused too much on the business and less on personal improvement. I now know that having a long-term difficult goal such as a triathlon, allows me to disconnect from the business and has improved my strategic and long-term thinking dramatically. It might seem counterintuitive to spend less time consciously thinking about my business, but it is extremely effective.

One of my 10x goals is to have 250 talented people working for me and 30 new tech companies in Penticton next year. Unattainable? Probably, but I’m curious to see where these goals are at in one year’s time.

Join us for the next TechBrew at Mile Zero Wine Bar, Friday July 21 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Keith MacIntyre is a tech columnist for the Penticton Western News and the owner of Big Bear Software Inc.

Just Posted

Penticton bookkeeper may face jail time for embezzlement

Sentencing stances ranged from three years of probation to six months in jail for $60k embezzlement

Penticton Lakers lose to Kelowna Owls in basketball provincial qualifier

Junior girls basketball provincial qualifier held in Penticton

Public invited to bring Smart Cities Challenge ideas to ExpOCP

Penticton residents can offer ideas at event held on Jan. 18

Video: Physicians salute Penticton philanthropist

Physicians say philanthropist, David Kampe, “single-handedly” changed patient care quality

Regular offender gets three more weeks in jail

Richard Meier, who has been through the revolving door, stole a purse and spent $800 on credit cards

Video: Documentary features Okanagan ice climbing

First documentary for Penticton filmmaker captures elusive Okanagan ice climbing

Senior randomly stabbed in B.C. mall food court

Woman arrested after victim, 71, suffers serious injuries

B.C. Liberal hopefuls begin final leadership push

Five MLAs, one outsider pitch policies to party members

Vancouver Island marijuana producer bought by Aphria in $230M deal

Aphria’s annual production forecast increases to 230,000 kgs

Lawyer says RCMP cleared in car wash shooting

Independent report into shooting of Kayman Winter not yet released to the public.

UPDATED: ‘Young, innocent’ teen hit during Vancouver shootout dies

15-year-old Coquitlam boy was in a car driving by the scene

Ontario man charged with selling Canadian’s usernames and passwords

Ontario man ran site that peddled billions of pieces of personal data: RCMP

David Emerson quits lumber talks as legal action begins

Former federal minister served as B.C. softwood trade point man

Men accused in Michael Bonin’s murder knew him: IHIT

20-year-old’s body found on a rural service road North of Hope in April

Most Read