How to start and finish anything with Tom Boother - Brilliant Living HQ

How to start and finish anything with Tom Boother

How to start and finish anything with Tom Boother

If you ever wondered how to start and finish anything in life, then you can’t help but be inspired by Tom Boother’s story.

“Become the thing, complete the challenge!” Tom Boother

Tom Boother studied politics at the University of Leicester. And on graduating he did what all graduates do and sought to become a racing driver. Unfortunately, however, racing driving did not seek him and he was unsuccessful in securing the necessary funds to race at the level he wanted.

So he returned to college to study Law, at the College of Law in London. It was whilst here, and with no athletic ability that Tom literally stumbled into the bizarre world of Ultra running.

Ultra Running is an extreme form of running where runners typically cover large distances over rugged and challenging terrains.

Tom Boother finishing Mont-Blanc

Tom at the finishing line at the Tour Du Mont-Blanc

What’s a large distance, we hear you cry? Well, the official definition is anything over a marathon, though in reality the distances are considerably longer and the ground significantly rougher!

Using the metaphor of Ultra Running, Tom now speaks on how to start and finish anything – including big challenges and projects in life and business. It’s a unique slant and his stories though sometimes literally bloody provide valuable insights and illuminate how we can start big challenges, become the person who is capable of completing them and embrace the pain necessary to complete them.

“We’re always on a journey and that journey is what we want it to be. Running summarises that (journey), rather nicely.” Tom Boother

And it’s this starting and finishing which is so intriguing. Why do some people achieve what looks to others as impossible? And do we need challenges in life for fulfilment.

At the heart of it all, Tom outlines three key components needed to complete big challenges and in this order:

  1. Do it – To do something worthwhile in our lives we need to actually do it. To experience it first hand and discover if we actually like it. The like part, Tom would say, is critical because through liking it – some might say, having a passion for it – we are more likely to see it through and complete it.
  2. Become it – In the second phase, we transition from doing something to becoming something. Tom talks on how he became a runner in other people’s eyes and more critically his own, though this could equally apply to other disciplines – becoming a pianist, for example, or a social media marketing expert.
  3. Write a plan – Perhaps untypically, in our corporate worlds of business planning, this is the final stage. With the experience gained, write your plan, based on the pain or cost required to complete the task.

Business typically spend a huge amount of time writing plans and setting corporate and employee targets. Tom’s refreshing relook, emphasises the need to get in there and do it, exploring the overall importance of doing tasks to ascertain if we like them, perhaps prototyping them and learning what is needed to succeed prior to then formalising this in a plan of action.

“I look at the plan in terms of pain, which can easily be transferred to cost.” Tom Boother

Fascinating stuff.

Episosode 63 of the Changeability Podcast

Hear about all of this in episode 63 of the Changebility Podcast and discover:

  • Gory tales from running long distances
  • How running illuminates life
  • Becoming by doing
  • Winning the inner game
  • Rewards in achieving
  • How to overcome boundaries and reach for stretching goals in your life
  • The effects of sleep deprivation
  • When to quit
  • And if you have the capability of doing anything in your life


  • When not to go to hospital
  • Jelly babies or Marshmallows?
  • The film and book character that Tom is sometimes likened to
  • If Tom can run the equivalent of up and down Everest
  • Details of Tom’s craziest challenge yet
  • And more. It’s a cracker of an episode.

Links mentioned on today’s show:

What’s next for you?

If you’ve been inspired by Tom’s story let’s us know in the comments below. What lessons have you learnt? We’d love to know.

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