Here is the next post in my series about business owners who run and why they do.

Meet Andy Sears, Director of the award-winning butcher’s shop, Andrews Quality Meats Ltd in Highworth, Wiltshire  www.andrewsqualitymeatsltd.co.uk @HomeofAndrews

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When did you start running and why?

About five years ago. It sounds a bit strange but I woke up one morning thinking I wanted to run the marathon. I spoke to my local running group and they suggested I run for a charity, so I did. And that’s how I started running. First three miles in a day, running for one minute and walking for two minutes, and then I switched to running for two minutes and walking for one minute, and so on.

Run solo or with a club/group? Prefer to listen to music on your run or listen to the sounds of nature?

95% of the time, I run solo for the simple reason that I don’t have to worry about anybody else, either keeping up with them or them keeping up with me. Also I like to run alone because I find I can put myself somewhere else and simply lose myself. I did try running with music once in a race, however I spent more time trying to find tracks. I switched off the music and kept running. So, no music, just me and the road.

What are the top 3 reasons why you love to run?

Think through challenges or ideas, alone. Exercise. The big buzz I get when I improve my time or complete a run or a race.

Describe the feeling of achieving a PB

Fantastic, really good.  If I miss reaching a PB I know I can always improve for the next race, whether a 10K or a marathon. You can push yourself, especially out of your comfort zone, to go the extra mile at a better pace.  A PB is great because you become refreshed again and obviously, the more experienced at running you are, the better you get.

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What effect does running have on your performance as a business owner?

Running is a great problem-solving activity. If there is a problem or situation at work, I can get through it and hopefully find a solution. I relate the effort I put into my running to how I run my business – the more you put in, the better performance and results you can achieve. Running and business go hand in hand. You train, you change, you improve, and you review your performance. It’s the incremental improvements added together that demonstrate how well you and your business perform.

How could you benefit from running with someone who can help you work through your challenges?

It can give you a different perspective on any problems you are facing, or you can work through and discover solutions for plans you have or those you need answers for. Another benefit is that you may even reach a better solution than you would have done by yourself.

Why would you recommend the activity of running to other business owners?

Running gives you a sense of release. It gives you a chance to stand back and analyse your business, without distractions. In my business, running a butcher shop, my role is very hands-on. From 7am – 5pm there are customers to serve, supplier phone calls to take, staff needs to attend to, or orders to send out. No time to think about the business as my focus is to take care of the immediate needs. For me, running provides an opportunity to look at the bigger picture of the business, what is or isn’t working, what needs to change and what we can do.

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