Breaking Barriers & Achieving Excellence: Drawing business lessons from Jasmin Paris

So often in endurance sports, feats of astonishing human achievement often leave us in awe of those who accomplished them.

Among these, the story of Jasmin Paris stands out as a shining example of inspiration, not only for athletes but also for businesses seeking to excel and continually improve in an increasingly competitive business environment.

In March this year, Jasmin Paris became the first woman to conquer one of the World’s toughest ultra-marathons by completing the ‘Barkley Marathons’ at the ominously named, Frozen Head Lake Park in Tennessee. The race involves 5 loops of roughly 20 miles (32Km) and over 60,000 ft (about 18,000 m) of ascent / descent.

Not only did she have to battle against unforgiving terrain, including mountains, rivers, rocks, and razor-sharp brambles, but also the fear of missing the 60-hour cut-off point, which if not met would be marked as a failure to complete in the allotted time.

She beat the deadline by just ninety-nine seconds, becoming only one of 20 people over 4 decades to have completed the race, which has been compared to climbing up and down Mt Everest. Twice.

Clarity of Purpose

There are certain parallels between Jasmin’s endeavors and what it takes to succeed in the business arena. Just as Jasmin meticulously planned her race strategy, businesses must meticulously strategize their own routes to success. This could mean penetrating new markets, launching innovative products, or surpassing revenue targets.

Jasmin’s triumph also underscores the importance of resilience in the face of adversity. Enduring, treacherous terrain, and relentless fatigue, she exemplified the resilience needed to overcome challenges. Likewise, businesses encounter many obstacles on their journey including economic downturns, intense competition, supply chain issues and other negative impacts. Embracing resilience as a core value empowers companies to ride out tough times, adapt to changing circumstances, and emerge stronger.

Moreover, Jasmin’s victory underscores the significance of continuous improvement. To achieve her success, she sharpened her physical and mental capabilities through rigorous training and meticulous preparation. In business, a culture of continuous learning and innovation is essential for staying ahead of the curve. Whether it’s fostering employee development, embracing new technologies, or refining operational processes, a relentless pursuit of improvement drives sustainable growth and competitive advantage.

Jasmin’s groundbreaking achievement also highlights the power of a positive mindset. Throughout the ultra-marathon, she maintained an unwavering belief in her abilities, and refused to succumb to doubt or despair. Similarly, businesses must cultivate a growth mindset that champions resilience, creativity, and a willingness to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth.

Furthermore, Jasmin’s victory is testament to the importance of teamwork. Behind her individual success was a dedicated team of supporters, including her family, friends, and sponsors. In the corporate world, fostering a culture of collaboration, trust, and support is essential for unlocking collective potential and achieving shared goals.

By nurturing strong relationships and adopting a sense of belonging, businesses can harness the collective talents and energies of their employees to drive innovation and performance.

Jasmin Paris is not the first endurance athlete to shine as a positive example for business, and she won’t be the last. There are certainly many attributes to be gained from her triumph and in celebrating her success, we could all learn, and be inspired by her achievement, be it on a business or a personal level.


Photo credit: – credit: Paul Dobson