I only learned to ski about 6 years ago. And as an adult, it was difficult and painful!
I’ll admit, I watched with some amount of jealousy as my son – a small and nimble child – would bounce right back up after each tumble into the snow. And his young, sponge-like mind picked up the skill so quickly that, in no time at all, he wasn’t even falling over anymore!
Myself, on the other hand, had much further to fall when I slipped on the skis and therefore took a lot longer to get up, and earned a lot more bruises. Trying to learn this obscure way of moving my limbs was also a much more difficult and lengthy process for us.
However, during this last winter we took our son for a skiing holiday and it felt really, really good to be able to soar across that picturesque landscape. After quite a few years of painful endurance, the perseverance was paying off as I zoomed across the smooth snow with the cold wind whipping my face alongside my son who laughed with infectious joy.
There’s a good chance, however, that that feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction may not have been so salient had learning to ski been easy. My appreciation for the joy of skiing came hand-in-hand with the initial difficulty of learning how to do it.
There were a few learnings from this experience that I realise makes it an apt metaphor for the process of running a business:
1. You’ll take tumble after tumble into the snow
When you’re running a business, you should expect to fail fast and fail often. You will make mistakes because that is how you learn what works.
This is especially intense as you near the boundary of one ‘level’ of business to the next – the growing pains in getting from a medium-sized business to a big business is a difficult experience and you can expect to endure a number of bruises (but remember that bruises are temporary!).
2. You need to learn to move in a different way
At some point, a part of your brain clicks, and your body physically realises that the way you walk isn’t the way you ski. A new ‘system’ develops in your brain and your improvement begins.
In your business, there eventually comes a point when you cannot operate your business the way you have been doing everything else to continue on your path. You need to adopt a different system (or set of systems) that works for what you are trying to achieve (which is usually growth). New skills need to be acquired and new processes need to be implemented.
3. The pain you endure correlates to the pleasure you get
Clients usually come to us when they are fed up of ‘falling into the snow’ over and over again. We teach them the systems and tools they need to learn how to glide along the mountain of success.
And without question, it is those who put in the most effort, who push through the hardest of times and most difficult of lessons, that have ended up the most joyful and contented when their systems start working the way they want them to.
The ones who enjoy the struggle of learning are the ones who achieve the most and feel the most satisfaction in the end.
So, shall we hit the slopes?
Want to tackle the hardest mountain?
As a successful business owner, you’ve managed to get your skis on and take on some of the lower slopes.
But when you want to get up to that massive mountain with the sharp turns and the steepest of slopes – you will do much better if you have someone helping show you the best ways for you to do it.