We’re trail running, in step, crunching yellow leaves with every foot fall. The trail looks so different from the last time we set out, so it’s almost like a new run.

I enjoy these talks, these runs, but we have silent moments, too — I need to conserve my energy and my breath so I can persevere through this longer distance.

Lately, all I seem to have to talk about is work.

I’m sure my running partner, Laura, has had her fill of my whining and stressing. Yes, I’ve been whining and stressing.

About the whining and stressing, it’s all growing pains, how to manage the increasing demand for my company’s services while still enjoying my children and family.

So as we run, I share 6 ideas about how I can fix my business. To be honest, of the six ideas, I really only like one or two of them, but I share them all as we run.

When I share number three, Laura turns to me and gives me that look.

That look says “Are you crazy?” That looks says “No way.”

And with her look, and the encouraging words that follow, I know she’s right. Of all the ideas I brainstormed to fix my business, number 3 is the one I couldn’t possibly pursue. Aside from the truth that no one would likely want to acquire my business, I am not building this business to sell out. I am building this business to make a difference.

“This business is yours,” she reminds you. “This is your baby. What else would you do?”

“Work for whomever buys me out,” I try.

“No, that’s NOT you.”

And in our ensuing conversation, I suddenly realize what a treasured friend Laura is. She really knows me — she knows and sees my drive, my ambition, my focus. She sees it; she identifies; she values it; she accepts it; she honors it.

I see it in her, too, and it’s why she’s the perfect friend/running partner — in drive, ambition, and focus, we are well-matched. As a result, on those days that I want to skip the run, she won’t let me. When she wants to stay home  because it’s cold and rainy, I don’t let her.

And when I want to give up, give in, quit, or sell out, she reminds me of who I really am, and why the most important thing I can do is keep going.