I Thought I Might Not Make It

business life Aug 25, 2014

Last weekend was my 4 year wedding anniversary with my husband. To celebrate, we traveled to beautiful Southwest Colorado where we stayed in the adorable little mountain town of Ouray. While there, we hiked two 14ers: Mt. Sneffels and Handies Peak. Above is a picture of me on Mt. Sneffels’ summit.

I’ve received so many likes and comments on this photo, and it’s true, it’s quite a breathtaking shot. Isn’t it amazing what iPhones can do these days?! Standing there in real life was even more amazing…but this picture is not exactly what I want to share with you today…what I want to share with you is a metaphor that this picture made me think of:

Standing on the Mt. Sneffels summit was beautiful. People see it, maybe even you, and think, “wow, that’s amazing…she’s amazing…look at where she is. She is so high up, everything looks perfect in her world. I wish I could be where she is.”

Then if you’re like most people, including me sometimes, you start going down this spiral of thinking…”I could never do that…other people can do that but not me. I wish I was better, stronger, faster, smarter, fitter, wealthier, etc…”

Here’s the thing: we often put the people we admire on a pedestal. We see where they are and how awesome their life looks, but we don’t see what it took to get where they are.

Climbing that mountain was HARD! There were times when I thought I might not make it. There were times when I stood on the edge of a cliff and imaged what would happen if I tripped and fell. There was a time when I had to climb a steep scree field of loose rocks and once when I felt the entire earth shift beneath my feet - I feared I was about to slide down a rock avalanche and be buried alive, luckily I placed my next step carefully and all turned out ok.

The point is that I kept going, besides my fear, besides the fact that it was uncomfortable at times, besides the fact that I questioned if I could make it. I kept going. I kept going because my vision was stronger than my fear. This is the same in my business, and this is what differentiates successful business owners from those who are not.

Successful business owners hold their vision above their fear, and they keep going, even when they are scared and uncomfortable.

Now, they may have to reroute from time to time, just like climbing a mountain. If a storm comes in and it becomes unsafe, they may even have to turn back and try again the next day. This is ok because the next time they try, they make some adjustments based on what they learned the first time. Maybe they wake up earlier so they miss the storm, or maybe they hike a different route - a route that still gets them to the summit but that is more suitable to their needs at the time.

Just like hiking a mountain, we have to make judgement calls sometimes in our business. As great as it is to get to our next big level of success, it’s flat out stupid to plough ahead blindly when there’s obvious things that aren’t working. Sometimes we need to step back, assess the situation and then keep moving forward once we’ve identified what’s not working or we’ve figured out how to maneuver the obstacles in a smart way.

Where do you stand as a business owner? Are you more committed to your vision than your fear? If not, what will it take for you to make the shift?


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