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This week, at 6 pm on Friday, I am taking on a 100-mile run. The hard work of training (681 kilometers of running since January and 8,884 mins of total training) is done. There is not much more I can do aside from staying healthy, working on some niggling aches and pains, preparing my gear and getting to the starting line with the right frame of mind: knowing I’ve shown up, worked the plan and embraced the adventure to get here. 

How and why did I end up here? Quite honestly, I am not 100% sure! 

My favorite quote is “Live life on the edge or you are taking up too much space.” I have always pushed myself and those around me to face audacious challenges. The creation of VECKTA is a perfect example. We have a massive mission of accelerating the deployment of onsite energy systems for businesses globally and playing a key role in positively disrupting the energy industry, which has operated similarly for over 100 years and is not well positioned to meet our needs today, let alone for decades to come.

I have always loved endurance events and have taken on an Ironman, adventure races, multi-day mountain bike events, Spartans and more – but this is the most daunting. I have spent 6 months training up from being a very casual runner (5-10 km/week) to completing 50km training runs and 100km training weeks. Now it is time to translate that to a 100-mile (160km) single effort! 

The challenge is not just a physical one but a test of preparation, discipline, and determination. Around Christmas last year, a few things were going through my mind as I reflected on the year, planned for the year(s) ahead and thought about how how well I was living in alignment with mine and VECKTA’s core values to challenge limits, adapt purposefully and empower co-creation:

 1) Was I sufficiently challenging my limits? At the time, I considered this in the context of pushing myself physically as I had been consistently challenging my limits as a business leader and founder.

2) What could I do to inspire work-life integration and empower co-creation? How could I encourage myself and those around me to take on the most audacious challenges while having families, full-time work commitments, navigating industry/economic challenges and status quo mentalities all around us. How could we motivate each other and have fun along the way? 

3) How could I better adapt and adjust to an environment that is changing around us more quickly than it ever has in history, without getting stressed and seeing opportunities where others saw risks. I wanted to explore the concept of no-regret decisions to propel us forward and show myself and others that big goals can be achieved by committing and taking the first step. 

Throughout this endurance adventure, I couldn’t help but draw parallels between it and the journey businesses must go on to transition to profitable, reliable and sustainable energy. Both require vision, commitment, and a step-by-step approach to achieve seemingly insurmountable goals. Not everything will go to plan but the process and outcomes are worth it. 

Here are my reflections:

Embracing the Challenge

Just like embarking on a 100-mile run, the decision for a business to start on an energy transition path is daunting. It’s a leap into the unknown – up until now we have been largely able to rely on utilities to take care of it. That has changed – we now need to take more direct control to manage our costs, commitments and position in the market. However, just as I discovered through my training, the journey is rich with lessons, growth, and opportunities. 

For businesses, the shift towards renewable and reliable energy and sustainable practices is not just a moral imperative but a strategic one. The initial steps of any race are committing to the goal, breaking it down into surmountable chunks and taking the first steps.

Training Insights: Preparation and Adaptation

In training for my run, I learned the importance of being prepared and adaptable. Weather conditions, physical health, changeable terrain and life required constant adjustments to my strategy. Juggling work schedules and travel, family time and life commitments is hard while trying to train up to 15 hrs per week. It is all about tradeoffs and focusing attention. A lack of time is no excuse – if you don’t have time it is not a priority!

I had a plan, shared it with family, friends and colleagues and I worked it every day.  I was comfortable knowing that it would not all go to plan. Some sessions would be cut short, some would go way too long, I  would run out of food/water, I would get the flu, several minor injuries and manage everything from jet lag to training while friends partied or the fam went off and had fun. 

Similarly, in business, the energy and business landscape is ever-evolving: tariffs, incentives, utility rates, cost of capital, supply chains, and more. Leaders must educate themselves, remove the excuses, see through the noise and misinformation, realize the opportunity, focus, commit to a plan, and execute with flexibility. They need to be ready to adapt to a dynamic environment. Having a roadmap and game plan is the basis for everything. 

The Psychological Battle: Commitment and Resilience

Running a 100 miles requires more than physical endurance. It’s a psychological battle. The commitment to continue despite fatigue and setbacks iscrucial.

In business, the transition to clean energy may involve creating an internal multi-stakeholder energy council, taking on unplanned investments, adopting new commercial models, and evaluating operational processes, which can be daunting. However, the long-term benefits—operational resilience, cost savings, and the positive branding and positioning associated with sustainable practices—will create wins that can be celebrated and used to propel progress. 

Compounding value is key. With every win, no matter how small, it gives you and your team confidence to do more, take on more and see the opportunities. Leaders must foster a culture of resilience, see risks as opportunities, challenge the status quo and recognize the opportunity to embrace change, improve and create a differentiated business, team and culture.

Community and Support: Leveraging Collective Strength

No endurance race is a solo effort; I have had incredible support from my family, team VECKTA, meditation apps, great podcasts, music, and in recent weeks physios and masseuses to ensure my body makes it to the start line. 

For businesses, the journey towards sustainability is also a collective endeavor. Engaging with stakeholders—your board, executive team, customers, expert partners, employees and investors—and collaborating on energy initiatives creates a shared sense of purpose and momentum. Moreover, businesses can form alliances with other organizations to share successes and lessons learned, advocate for supportive policies and develop new incentives and rewards to amplify their impact.

Milestones and Feedback: The Power of Reflection

Each segment of my training was a chance to reflect on my progress, physical state, and strategy. I leveraged my Garmin to track and monitor progress and with access to tailored data, I was able to make smart adjustments to maximize results or know when to back off, recharge, rethink or change course. The key is to have a single and central source of truth, customized data and insights and a repeatable process against which you can execute. Businesses must set clear milestones in their energy transition journey and regularly assess their progress by leveraging real-time data and intelligence. This iterative process helps identify successful strategies and areas needing adjustment, ensuring your business remains on track toward its long-term goals, while realizing and celebrating short-term wins.

The Finish Line and Beyond: Continuous Improvement

Crossing the finish line after a hundred miles will bring a profound sense of accomplishment but also the realization that every race is a preparation for the next. This will not be the last. In business, those that win embrace change and leverage the latest opportunities to differentiate themselves. Likewise, achieving initial goals in this energy transition will not be the end but a stepping stone. The business landscape, economy and industry advancements are continually changing, and sustained success requires ongoing adaptation, learning, committing and delivering.

No Regret Decisions: Building a Legacy

For me there have been no regrets in preparing for this event – increased fitness, solo time to think, training runs with the fam, time to explore, time in nature, healthy body-mind, mental growth, passion and inspiration to name but a few. Each step towards a profitable and sustainable business is a step towards building a lasting legacy. Implementing clean, reliable and cost-efficient onsite energy systems is a decision that pays off immediately and in on-going dividends from improved brand reputation, customer and employee loyalty, and investor interest.

The First Step: Beginning Your Journey

Above all, this process has taught me that the most daunting part of any challenge is the decision to start. For business leaders contemplating the energy transition, the time is now. The journey will be filled with learning and growth. Every step forward will create compounding value and growth for your business, you personally, your team and your community!

As business leaders, we have the opportunity and responsibility to lead by example, to take bold steps that reflect our commitment to creating thriving our businesses and communities. Let’s lace up our shoes, set our sights on the big goals, and embark on this vital adventure. Collectively we will create a future we can be proud of.

Thanks to everyone who has helped me get to the starting line My journey to this point has been incredible. I am about to venture into the unknown, I am nervous, excited and all in! Stay tuned and I will let you know how it goes!