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The Starting Line

By: Michael Blankenship |

“You can beat 80% of the competition just by showing up.”

– Harvey Mackay

At every marathon, a certain percentage of people sign up… but don’t show up

The exact percentage is hard to nail down because marathon organizations aren’t particularly keen to share the number of people who pay but don’t play. 

But people don’t only renege on their commitment when it comes to 26-mile races. The same is true for any opportunity that requires effort. 

It sounds good before we have to put the work in. 

But when it’s time to take action, our sofa starts to look really cozy


Because there are a million good reasons not to do anything. And if we go looking for those reasons, we’re sure to find them. If we give them a chance to speak, we’ll find them to be oh-so-convincing. 

Showing up is hard… and because it’s hard, doing so sets you apart from those who don’t show up. Just by arriving at the starting line you’ve already beat everyone who stayed home. 

The best part is, once you’ve taken those first few steps, the following steps aren’t so hard. 

No one starts a run, goes 5 steps, and quits. They run half a mile, 2 miles, or 10 miles (depending on their previous training). 

You’ve built momentum. 

You’ve harnessed the laws of inertia. 

It might seem like showing up to the starting line is insignificant. But that first step provides a disproportionate amount of momentum for the effort it requires.

The key is to become the type of person who shows up to the starting line consistently.


By fulfilling one commitment at a time — and by getting better at making the right commitments (and saying “no” to the wrong ones).

P.S. Sorry for all the emails relating to marathons… I’m currently training for one and there are lessons to be learned! 😄

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