That time I didn’t get pushed into the ravineSep 21, 2023
Years ago, I was invited to join a group of friends to hike Mount Washington. This isn’t an easy hike by any stretch. Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeastern US and also holds the world record for the highest recorded wind speed not caused by a tornado. We went in August and it snowed for two days.
Wanna know how I trained for this effort? I spent two weeks eating and drinking my way through Italy. Then I borrowed a backpack, crammed too much stuff into it and joined the group. It was nearly a disaster - I had no business going on this hike given how seriously I didn’t take it. I won’t get into all the details, but let me just say that this hike ranks as probably the most miserable experience of my entire life. And I’ve had cancer.
Looking back, I realize my big mistake was not giving any thought to who I needed to be in order to do this. Instead, I showed up with zero respect for the mountain, my group and myself. I wasn’t a hiker, I wasn’t even a good walker. I couldn’t carry my own gear and slowed our descent so much that the estimated three hours down turned into seven long, painful hours. It’s a wonder no one pushed me into the ravine.
What they did do was plan a hike the following year into the Grand Canyon and made a point of telling me I wasn’t allowed to join them. “This trip is for hikers,” they told me, “and you’re not a hiker.”
This flipped a switch in me. I pleaded my way into the group and promised to show up differently.
And I did. I bought my own pack and new hiking boots. I actually hiked regularly this time, getting stronger and fitter each week. The me who stood at the top of the Canyon could truly say she was a hiker. Not only did I not hold the group back, I led the way up to the top on our last day.
Yes, I showed up in much better physical shape, but the biggest difference was understanding who I needed to be in order to succeed. I had to be someone who took the challenge seriously. Who could take care of herself and not endanger everyone else. And who could have fun while doing this. Hiking is physical, but I’d say it’s actually more mental. Showing up with my head in the game allows me to do all kinds of fun & challenging hikes.
It’s the same for running your own business. The only way to have lasting success is to know who you have to be in order to be successful. It means taking a hard look at the gap between who you are now and who that future person is, and understanding how you’re going to bridge that gap.
Who do you need to be in order to succeed? Who’s the you who runs the business you want to have in the future? How does she think? What does she believe about herself? How does she see herself? Envision this future you, then start doing all the things she’d do.