Last weekend I finished my first 50 mile ultra run.
With 4000 metres of climbing and a lot of mud in England's Lake District, it was the hardest physical challenge I've taken on yet.
When running ultra distances every step I run is crucial. How my foot lands and the terrain beneath it matters.
Landing well with good grip enables me to take a confident and strong next step.
Choosing the wrong place to put my foot risks slipping, twisting an ankle and ending my race early.
I visualised crossing the finish line to keep myself going when things got hard.
Parts of the route were steep and rocky; the kind of terrain where I couldn't sustain my pace for long. I knew that as long as I recognised this, I could get through.
I thought a lot about pacing my run and taking on the right food and water to sustain myself and reach the finish line.
To do this I broke down the challenge of 50 miles and made it into more relatable distances between rest stations.
I rewarded myself with food at those rest stations. These milestones prompted me to assess how I felt, helping me adjust my running as conditions and my physical state deteriorated.
The approach I took had a lot in common with leading a scaling business.
Leading a scale-up means recognising the long term vision and understanding the routes to take the company there.
At the same time you need a relentless focus on the next step in that journey. Each move forward is an opportunity to take stock, adjust and refocus for the next bit of growth.
To do this demands a wide field of view across the business. Company building involves moving different parts of the business forward together coherently.
Sustainable resilient organisations emerge from recognising this - and not allowing one part of the business to power ahead or lag too far behind.