What Does Running A Marathon In Mongolia Have To Do With Your Marketing? - The Active Marketer

What Does Running A Marathon In Mongolia Have To Do With Your Marketing?

Marathon marketing

So I had a goal this year, a new years resolution. That was to run a marathon.

I had run one previously about 12 years ago. Even though I completed it, I always felt like it ‘beat me’ and I had the notion that I would run one again someday.

I decided that this year was going to be ‘someday’.

And it wasn’t going to be just any old marathon, it was going to be through the mountains….in Mongolia.

Yak In Mongolia

Why? Not because I wanted to get fit, not because I am a glutton for punishment (ok, maybe I am just a little), but because I want to increase my capacity as a human being.

Not just physically, but also mentally, within my business and within my relationships.

Here is a snapshot of where I was in December. I was running a couple times a week, just because. Not with any goal in mind, but just because I thought I should do something to avoid getting fat.

December Run

…not exactly a laser focused target.

Running a marathon (42.2 Km or 26.2 miles) represented a 10x increase in my capacity, and that doesn’t even take into account the mountains and the elevation I would be running in.

So how do you 10x your capacity and what does this have to do with marketing?

Well there are a lot of similarities actually.

I use a What, Why, When and How methodology to figure out how to make things happen. Notice the how is the last thing to consider.

Firstly, WHAT do you want to accomplish?

This needs to be highly targeted. Think sniper rifle, not machine gun. You need to have a concrete goal not just some aimless notion of “more leads”.

There are many goal setting strategies, but an easy one to remember is SMART





Time Bound

“I am going to be able to run 42.2 km through the mountains by August 3rd”


“I want to run a marathon someday”.

Or when it comes to your marketing...

“I want to add 1000 people to my mailing list in the next 60 days using a targeted lead magnet and Facebook ads”


“I want more leads”

Secondly, WHY are you doing this?

If you don’t have a big enough why, you are going to give up when things get tough.

This is often harder to come up with than you might think. I suggest you tie it back to something that is important for you.

“I want 1000 more leads so that I can double my revenue, which will allow me to spend more time with my family” is a much stronger why than “I want 1000 new leads”

Thirdly, and the one I see people frequently overlook is, WHEN.

I don’t care what anyone says, there is real power in deadlines. If I know there is a race coming up on the 3rd of August, I can’t fuck around and find reasons to put off, delay or half-ass my training.

If I am not ready on the 3rd, it is going to hurt. Bad.

I see so many people dither over some product or funnel, fretting because it is not 100% perfect, and it ends up never getting launched, because they lose momentum, get too scared, waste too much time.

You know what? Screw perfection. I am not saying put out rubbish, but an 80% solution today, is vastly better than a 100% solution never.

Even the Navy SEALS work off the 80% solution. During my race prep I listened to the audio book “Unbeatable Mind” by former SEAL Mark Devine.  Which I highly recommend by the way.

When it is time to go, it is time to go.

Lastly is the HOW.  Once you have your What, Why and When sorted, now you need to figure out how you are going to pull this off.

Where am I now, where do I want to get to and what is the gap between those two places?

What resources do I have at my disposal that can help?

What else will I need to acquire (skills, software, people, etc) to make this happen?

Where can I find those resources?

In addition, the part of the HOW that I see most people stumble over is the notion of the home-run. They want the one big hit that is going to bring them all riches straight away. They want the big easy button that will make it all happen like magic.

Here is the thing. That notion is bullshit.

You can’t train for a marathon by just saying “hey I think I sit around doing nothing for a few months, then I will just go run 42 km."  This is not the land of unicorns and happy fruit.

The home-run doesn’t work, you will miss more than you hit.

You need to focus on consistently getting up and hitting singles everyday. It isn't sexy, but it is the only way to win. 

Monday - Crack! Single.

Tuesday - Crack! Single.

Wednesday - Crack! Single.

Every day after that you are driving in a new run, while the home-run crowd are swinging at empty air.

Each week I was out running, slowly adding to my distance each time. Hitting single after single.  Most of those runs weren’t anything that was crazy difficult (well maybe a couple). They just built on what I did yesterday and the day before that and the week before that.

There are lots of fancy marathon training programs and nutrition plans. I didn't do any of it. I just got up and ran a little further each time.

Hitting singles everyday.

Eight months later I had 10x’d my capacity as a runner, without any Herculean effort and without any injury that would have certainly resulted from spottier, ineffective, ‘home-run’ type training.

Your marketing efforts need to be the same.

There are lots of gurus out there to follow and lots of $997 programs to to buy, but you know what? You can win without any of them. Just get up and hit singles.

Each week focus on one thing you can do to make some aspect of your marketing a little bit better.

One new email sequence, tweak the copy on your landing page, one new module in your online course, one new Facebook ad.

Don’t try to swing for the fences every time, you will just end up twirling around in circles until you fall over.

As my wife always says, use the 1% rule. If you do something to increase your position by just 1%, in 100 days you will 100% better off.

Now I don’t have the heart to to tell her the math is a little off, and that given the compounding nature of that 1%, it would only take about 70 days to get to that 100% increase, but you get the idea.

Did you know that a domino can knock over another domino 1.5 times its size? That means if you start with a tiny little 5mm domino, 29 dominos later you are knocking over a domino the size of the Empire State building.

Momentum is the key.

Where could you be 29 weeks from now if you knock over a new marketing domino EVERY week?

Which brings me to my last point, accountability.

You need someone to be accountable to, whether that is one person or a group of people.

When I decided I was going to do my Mongolian mountain marathon, I told everyone about it. Knowing that if all those people knew, there was no way I was going to back out of it. I was committed.

So the moral of the story is to go through your What, Why, When, How exercise and then get up and hit singles everyday. Everyday.  Watch the momentum build while you leave behind all those fools looking for the magic button home-run.

If you need help and want to accelerate your progress, I urge you to check out the Active Marketer Academy, a private community for smart business owners like you, who want to jump start their progress with training, live coaching calls, blueprints, template and shared automations.

Oh yeah, and a whole lot of accountability.

We even have a "Weekly One Thing" thread to keep you on the right track.

If you are interested in joining, you can use the coupon code MONGOLIA (all caps) to get a 20% discount off the cost of your membership.

It also comes with a 30 day money back guarantee, if your aren't happy or it is not for you, no hard feelings, I hit the refund button and everyone stays happy

So now you really have no excuses, get out there and start hitting singles.


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Barry Moore

Entrepreneur, aviator and former eCommerce and technology executive, Barry Moore is the founder of TheActiveMarketer.com. When he isn't geeking out about how sales and marketing automation can help your business, you can find him in the surf or in an airplane.

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