How Professionals Can Break Through the Menacing ‘Middle Mile’


By Daniel C. Steenerson 


If you’ve been in business any length of time, chances are you’ve “bonked” — a phenomenon that happens to marathoners around mile 20 that’s otherwise known as “hitting the wall.” Succeeding in business is much like a marathon: the start is exciting, with the thrill of anticipation swelling as you toe the starting line. You know where you want to go and you’re committed to getting there. The end is equally exciting. Actually seeing the finishing line in the distance brings on a surge of adrenalin. It’s much easier to finish the race when you’ve got the end in sight.  But between the excitement of the start and the rush of the finish is the toughest part of all: the middle miles.

Those requisite, unavoidable middle miles can be a desolate wasteland or they can be the most productive miles of the race — it’s how you deal with them that determines if and when you cross the finish line, and in what kind of shape…winning in business is no different.

It’s no wonder that during a business middle mile there’s a huge temptation to quit. This is the often precarious, volatile and risk-intensive stretch of one’s company or career that lies between the excitement of starting a new journey and reaching the end game objective, whether that be selling a business, taking a company public, becoming an executive or entrepreneur, securing a new position, pursuing a new career path, or retiring wealthy.

Here are 5 tips on how professionals can persevere through the business middle mile.

1. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize 

The middle mile is the stuff in between, and where the real work gets done. It’s the time in your business or career journey where you burn the most energy, deal with fatigue and hopelessness, work through budgetary and employee concerns, embrace setbacks and do your best to overcome burn-out. It’s in this period when there’s a huge temptation to quit. Lack of discipline, poor implementation, and failure to simplify are the three primary reasons, but beneath all of those symptoms is the underlying failure: Losing sight of the finish line. You have to keep your eye on where you ultimately want to go.

You didn’t get to the middle mile without effort. You’ve put in some hard work, but suddenly, the work you’ve done is not advancing you nearly as fast as you want it to. This critical time is when the best “athletes” trudge forward with new training methods, harder work ethics and a stretch of their imagination and willpower.


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About the Author 

flag-usapmwj16-nov2013-steenerson-AUTHOR IMAGEDaniel C. Steenerson


Daniel C. Steenerson imparts his success wisdom, principles and philosophies through his proprietary “Science of Visioneering” approach to help companies, entrepreneurs, executives and other professionals realize business greatness.   He may be reached online at www.DanSteenerson.com – an online community where business owners, executives and other career achievement-minded professionals go for no-nonsense, “tell-it-like-it-is” success advice.