Problem Solving Like An Ironman

In less than 24 hours I’ll be entering the water to start the swim portion of my 7th Ironman World Championship.

Ok, entering the water probably doesn’t describe it right.  Imagine earth’s biggest rugby scrum as several hundred amped up triathletes make their way into the waters off of Kona for 2.4 miles of not drowning while heading towards the next stage.

Ironman Kona is something special.  It is different than all others Ironman events as it is designed more to kick your butt than to help you tally a new personal best.  It is, more than anything else, a test of your will and determination.


When do you face your greatest doubts and experience some of your deepest challenges and only you know the subconscious choices you have, and we all know one of them is to QUIT.

For me in the Hawaii Ironman, it normally surfaces around mile 65 to 80 on the bike.

My mind gets super conflicted, do I face the pain of quitting or is the reward of pursuing my goal greater than the pain I am enduring. Side note: there have been occasions where I wanted to duck into our condo, lay down on the couch and have a coke and one time, I even got off my bike, closed my eyes for 2 minutes while sat under a one leaf tree in blistering heat and rested.

A perspective: if you set a goal and have accountability towards reaching your goal, I believe the reward is greater than the pain and suffering but reasons to quit will not be whispers, those feelings and justification will be screaming at you, and the voice of reward and benefits will almost be whispers. It is in those moments we find out what we are made of, what we can achieve, and for me with Ironman’s, when I want to quit, I am reminded and fueled with a confident voice to keep going and it was my commitment to those 5am swims and lonely bike rides to put myself in a position to keep pursuing my goal.

As advisors, we face walls as well. Clients challenge us on fees, returns, they question the value they are receiving for the fee they are paying, market uncertainty. There are many times we are not sure what advice to give our clients, it is easy to doubt ourselves.

My advice: remind yourself of the incredible depth of intellectual intelligence you have built up over the years (your 1,000 of meetings, your multiple learnings, your life experiences, your licenses and your commitment to help your clients achieve their goals and maybe as important as anything, your ability to not be emotional to help your clients reach their goals. Don’t doubt yourself, you have put in the work when nobody else was paying attention, but you know in your head that you have done the heavy lifting.

I hope you’ll follow along during the race tomorrow or come to our facebook page later this weekend for race results. I am going to give my very best, what other “GOOD” options are there, just like with our clients, let’s always give them our BEST despite the challenges.

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