There are basic skills needed for hiking that translate into the entrepreneurial world of business. You may be working for yourself or you may be trying to advance in your job.
Really, these 5 skills could be used in many enterprises: you hold a pretty important position in your family after all!
If you are thinking of starting your own business or making a play for an advancement at work, before you do anything “Take a Hike!”
Just be prepared (rule #1). Read on.
What does hiking have to do with your business? Turns out, actually a lot.
1) Be prepared.
If you’re going for a hike, the number one rule is to be prepared.
When you hike, you start with the necessities.
Your business is the same, you start with the necessities – an idea, a plan, confidence, and faith. You map out your business plan, create a time-frame for business objectives, and stay committed to deadlines.
The difference is, on the mountain, you can’t give up. In your business, you may feel like you’re climbing uphill for a while, but don’t give up… there’s a great view at the summit.
2) Fear gets you nowhere. Move on.
There are predators in the woods. There’s also tough terrain, steep cliffs, and unforeseen challenges.
Once, I was solo traveling and met a sommelier at a wine vineyard in Carmel Valley, CA. He told me about a short hike to a private beach in Big Sur where “you’ll take your shoes off to cross a stream, and trek through the woods to the beach.” No big deal, right? Except when you’re alone, don’t know the area, and see signs at the trail head that read: “Do Not Hike Alone. Beware of Mountain Lions and Bobcats.” Honestly? That’s a bit scary.
I found myself running. Thinking, should I just turn back?I should turn back… until the woods cleared and the beach appeared. A private beach, all to myself, in Big Sur. One of the greatest moments of my life – awe like I have never experienced before.
Business is no different. Challenges, fears, and risk lurk everywhere. It’s crucial to understand how to manage your emotions and thoughts. When you don’t reach your destination as quickly as you’d like, then self-doubt and insecurity creeps in. Often times, it becomes easier to just quit. Fear gets you nowhere. Move on… don’t miss the private beach.
3) Tell people where you are and what you’re up to.
No one knew I was hiking Andrew Molera State Park. If I went missing, or something went awry, I gave myself no chance to survive. And, that’s bad business.
Your business survives when your target market knows how to find you and your network has a chance to support you. You have to make real connections and make it easy for others to find you. Share stories and ideas that inspire. Provide valuable content that naturally leads others your way.
4) Your mindset matters more than your muscles.
I think that the most important aspect of hiking is your mindset, not necessarily your muscles.
The body can endure a lot, but it’s the mind who plays tricks on us.
Your business is no different. You don’t have to be perfect, but you do have to take the first step. Climb the mountain, and get over yourself when things don’t go as planned.
Falling down – or “failure” -is just an opportunity to get up and prove how strong you are. Now, carry on.
5) Research Makes the Venture Worthwhile
Would you go on a hike without having a map? Would you head out without looking at the weather conditions or without an understanding of the terrain? Probably not.
Business ventures are the same. You must understand your target market and the unique terrain within that niche.
This is market research. All of this information is as valuable to you as food, water and shelter are on a hike. If you want your business to thrive, then do your research.