In October 2021, Candor once again ran in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon as a relay team. It’s a tried-and-true team tradition dating back to 2016; however, this year was different for many reasons.
It was the first time in over two years our company was able to participate in-person, because the pandemic cancelled the 2020 event and pushed this year’s race from April to October. Running with other community members following a difficult year of isolation and social distancing was both figuratively and literally a breath of fresh air.
The feeling of rejoining our community was electric — and it paid off in fun and celebration throughout the weekend.
Besides honoring the victims and survivors of the April 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the race reminded me of lessons which apply outside endurance sports.
Practice Provides Results
Prior to the expected race in April 2020, I had a consistent training schedule and was prepared to set a personal record. For this year’s race, I was unfocused, trained in artificial conditions, didn’t put my heart into it and took breaks on long runs.
The result? My time was even slower than when I previously (and begrudgingly) raced with an injury.
LESSON 1: You get what you prepare for.
This applies in professional settings, too. Whether setting up for a presentation, business development meeting or just a networking event, doing one’s homework gives anyone in the marketing industry a leg up. Performance mirrors practice.
At Candor, we plan ahead (when given the appropriate lead time). If an event is six weeks out, we can strategically decide what content we need, when it will go through approvals and when we will distribute. The structure allows us to provide our best work to our clients.
Set Goals and Go Forth
My mental game on race day included a lot of “run to the next mile marker” and “you can walk through the next/water stop.” Despite my slower-than-usual time, the race seemed to go quickly.
LESSON 2: The best way to conquer a large project is to focus on smaller milestones.
We’ve all gotten to the end of the day and looked at our never-ending to-do list. “Impossible,” you think. With that attitude, it is. Every Candor team member usually has a heavy workload; we like to stay busy. With organizational tools such as Monday.com, internal communication platforms (We are Slackers! No, the messaging platform) and constant check-ins with project managers, no task is too tall for a Candorite.
When faced with a tsunami of projects and a ticking clock, take a deep breath and focus on your next task you can accomplish, not the entire campaign.
Optimize, Thrive, Repeat
Because of a less-than-stellar training regimen, I had almost no pace control. I ran too fast, leading to very rapid fatigue and walk breaks every mile. However, this surprisingly resulted in an overall pace close to what I had expected.
LESSON 3: Be prepared to adjust.
Optimization is key in the business world. Pivoting to improve relations, performance and quality is essential to success. For example, our social media team doesn’t just turn on a large social media campaign and leave it running. They constantly monitor results and tweak certain elements — like ad creative, budget and targeting — to give clients the best possible result.
When encountering the unexpected both on the course and in the office, don’t be afraid to shift in strategy. The results may surprise you.
Looking for someone to help your company go the distance with marketing goals? Call Candor.