Working out in public

For many of us, particularly when we first get started, the idea of letting others see us struggle through a physical exercise program fills us with dread.

We might be self-conscious about the way we look or embarrassed by what we think is a paltry rep count. Perhaps we feel a bit ashamed as we compare ourselves to those who fly by us on the running trail or log countless minutes at a furious pace on the elliptical machine nearby.

When it comes to a personal fitness plan it’s a choice whether to start one at all and it’s a choice where and how we work out.

Alas in business neither of those are good choices any more.

It used to be your that marketing plans could be studied and honed before the big reveal of a new campaign. But opportunities to do that now are few and far between.

It used to be to that new ideas could be test marketed in carefully controlled environments that allowed for precise measurement and rigorous forecasting. But good luck making that your predominant mode of bringing new products to market today.

It used to be that a brand got to decide how fast information about their new product or service got disseminated to the world. Today that notion seems increasingly ridiculous.

The new reality is that, more and more, you have no choice but to work out many of your strategies and tactics in public before you feel totally ready. You have to be set up to test and learn, to rapidly evolve your plans and to dynamically respond to whatever the market throws at you.

And you have to accept that from time to time you may look foolish. You have to risk that your competitor is better at some things than you are and that the market might notice.

But just like your own personal fitness program some things are true. If you don’t start and persevere through the initial, most challenging phases you will never achieve a high level of performance.

And reps do matter.

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