I listened to an amazing interview today on NPR’s “How I Built This”. The interview was with James Dyson who invented the Dyson Vacuum.

He gave a great analogy between business and his experience as a long distance runner in High School. He said that part way through a race I’m always tired, but I know that everyone else is tired too, so I accelerate.

He believes accelerating when you’re tired, when you least feel like it is the key to success. After building 5000+ prototypes he still found that burst of acceleration to keep going and out-last the competition.

As a side note James Dyson still owns 100% of the company and is a multi-millionaire…

We’re pretty comfortable in business these days but as our small town goes through a little sleepy period, I’ll be accelerating. Trying new things, pushing to acquire new and interesting clients and not sitting on my laurels.

I hate the word “grinding”, a word that everyone seems to use these days to describe business. That word invokes the idea that business is hard and you have to put metal against metal and make people and things bend and move unnaturally. That should never be the case. I don’t even really like Dyson’s word “accelerate” because that makes me think of rushing or hurrying. I like “pushing”, leaning into the business and moving it forwards. Improving and upgrading my skills.

People are drawn to businesses that are on the move. The harder that people see you try, the more they’ll naturally want to reciprocate. While everyone else rests, I’ll be pushing.

I’m tired, you’re tired but I’m not going to stop.