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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Running Helps Entrepreneurs Succeed

Comments (10)

Ah – two of my favorite topics – running and entrepreneurship. Lucy Sanders – the executive director of The National Center for Women and Information Technology – sent me an article on a study from Ball State University that found entrepreneurs who ran regularly were more successful in sales, external goals, and internal goals. The study also found that regular weight training was positively correlated with success on external and internal goals (but not sales).

Time for a run.

  • http://www.attention.ai Ian

    Be careful not to confuse data with a conclusion. Running and weight training are probably not important factors here, it is more likely that the important nugget is that the motivation, dedication and perseverence required to run and weight train *consistantly* are also important elements of being a successful entrepreneur.

    In addition running and weight training differ in their intended results. People who weight train will be a little more aggressive and weight training will boost this. Perhaps that aggression is good to push teams but does not help sales?

    Running on the other hand allows time for mental relaxation and could be like meditation, both of these help strengthen the brains ability to control impulses (going for short term rewards at the expense of long term goals).

    Time to meditate after your weight training.

  • Dave Jilk

    Agreed with Ian, the conclusion is not justified — correlation does not equal causality. More likely (and the article does hint at this), both running and sales success are caused by a third factor, goal orientation and discipline.

    HOWEVER, it does point out a useful selection criterion for a VC — if the two are correlated, you don’t necessarily care about the cause when you are evaluating an entrepreneur.

  • http://mgoldberg.typepad.com/occams_razor/2005/01/back_on_the_run.html Occam's Razor

    Back on the running trail

    A recent study pointed out by Brad Feld indicated that entrepreneurs who run do better in sales Lacing up the running shoes is a powerful asset for small business owners, says a new study from Ball State University. A survey

  • http://mgoldberg.typepad.com/occams_razor/2005/01/back_on_the_run.html Occam’s Razor

    Back on the running trail

    A recent study pointed out by Brad Feld indicated that entrepreneurs who run do better in sales Lacing up the running shoes is a powerful asset for small business owners, says a new study from Ball State University. A survey

  • Scott Bergquist

    I believe the correlation is valid, not incidental. I have found running on a treadmill to be the best form of running, as I don’t dodge cars, stumble on curbs, focus on other runners. I think in the savannahs of our primitive ancestors, the most success humans ran long distances to capture game, and those that could combine running with simultaneous problem solving (e.g. strategies for final “kill” as the landscape/circumstance changed) passed their genes on. When we run, we can enter a “beta state” of heightened problem solving (personal observation). I do a lot of creative thinking while on the treadmill. I am certainly no success, and I leave tons of projects undone! Yet while I am running, tons of ideas, tons of abstractions flow. I think the torrent of ideas, the fine focus running seems to bring to the “reasoning process”, when -coupled- with a driven personality, is bound to be a “CEO-success” combination.

    Even before you put out this article on your blog, I was espousing running on a treadmill as the “ultimate in historically-valid meditation” and viewed running in a “simulated savannah” lope, as a valid and useful connection to our primitive past.

    best regards, an old VM-Nomad programmer!

  • http://www.tjacobi.com/archives/run_for_your_money.html TJ's Weblog

    run for your money…

    Marc writes: "A recent study pointed out by Brad Feld indicated that entrepreneurs who run do better in sales Lacing up the running shoes is a powerful asset for small business owners, says a new study from Ball State University….

  • http://www.tjacobi.com/archives/run_for_your_money.html TJ’s Weblog

    run for your money…

    Marc writes: “A recent study pointed out by Brad Feld indicated that entrepreneurs who run do better in sales Lacing up the running shoes is a powerful asset for small business owners, says a new study from Ball State University….

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