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Friday, August 17, 2007

Lessons From 14,000 Feet: Part 2

Oh, if only I'd packed my laptop, or a voice recorder with me I could have had 20 parts to this series of lessons learned at 14,000 feet, but alas, when your brain is oxygen deprived you tend to forget and I have managed to forget all of them except 4.

The second lesson I learned is that when you start your journey, in my case an 11-1/2 mile journey, things start out easy. We walked along up the hill with energy and excitement about the day. We took notice of everything around us. Squirrels were cute, trees were pretty, the morning sun shining through the aspens with a golden radiance that seemed magical. However, as the morning progressed, the pace slowed and the pulse rate quickened as the fun and exciting journey became a burden. It was no longer fun. There was talk of quitting and how much longer could this go on. The end was often no where in sight, hidden by obstacles, trees and rocks. We literally had to force ourselves to take the next steps.

The analogy of business is that our hike is like all of the people starting their businesses. In the beginning, things seem fun and exciting. Everyone has dreams of making it to the top looking out at the vast world from a sense of accomplishment. However, as people encounter obstacles and the journey becomes more difficult, people quickly loose sight of the objectives they once had. They stop thinking about how much fun it was in the beginning and only think about how hard it is right now. Many quit and give up, never making the summit.

My brother-in-law asked me if at any time I ever thought I wasn't going to make it. The question never even crossed my mind and I was surprised to realize that not once in the entire climb (even while puking) did I even wonder could I keep going or was I ever going to see the top of this mountain. It was something I set out to do and it was something I was going to accomplish.

That unquestioned determination is what it takes to be an entrepreneur. You have to start with your goal in mind, and you have to stay so focused on reaching it that you never once question whether or not it is possible.

If my father told me once he's told me a thousand times that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. So can you.