For every entrepreneur out there I hope you enjoy this article. Much of this also applies to intrapreneurs!
via Forbes from Susan Peyton- Contributor
When I’m not running my content marketing firm, I like to travel. Recently, I took a three-week trip to Italy, where I hiked the Dolomite Mountains (part of the Alps) in northern Italy for a week. My friend and I hiked from hut to hut, and let me tell you, it was the most physically challenging thing I’ve ever done.
But I always feel better when I find lessons in the difficult. Not only did I find a few that relate to me personally, but I also found some that apply to the business world.
1. You’re Stronger Than You Think
At the end of every day, as I gingerly pulled my hiking boots off, I tried not to think about how utterly exhausted I was, and instead reviewed my successes. I’d climbed mountains all day, for Pete’s sake! I’d done what I didn’t think I was capable of. And that made me feel powerful.
Micropreneurship can also have you doubt yourself. You look at your flaws, not your wins. But you know what? Relatively few people in this world are brave enough to start their own business, so you’re already ahead of the game. Know that this takes strength, and honor that in yourself.
I was lucky to be hiking with a friend who had experience going on long treks. Without her, I wouldn’t have undertook such an endeavor. She metaphorically pieced me back together when I had a panic attack as a storm was pressing down on us. It’s good to have friends.
I don’t have a business partner, and you might not either. But there are so many people who can help you grow your business, or whom you can bounce ideas off of. Having a business mentor or coach is one way to get that assistance.
3. You Need the Right Equipment to Succeed
I’m not a girl who likes to travel light, but this trip had me down to the bare necessities. I had a large backpack for the hike—that was it. So it was critical that I had only the things that would get me through the hike: Blister pads. Sunscreen. Water. Copious amounts of water.
Likewise in business, you also need the right tools. I’m not just talking about a computer and printer, although those are essential. You need to invest in software that will make your work easier. Freelancers or employees who can take some of your workload off your back. And the right attitude to understand that scaling this mountain—this entrepreneurial journey—isn’t going to happen in a day.
4. Sometimes When You Reach the Summit, It’s Not That Rewarding
On a particularly hard day of hiking (the day of said panic attack), we reached the mountain hut we would be staying in. When we were led to our sleeping quarters, my heart dropped when I saw we’d be sharing a series of sardine-like beds in the attic (low rafters; I even hit my head) with a couple of snoring Germans. Oh, and did I mention the toilet was outside, and a squat toilet at that? And that there was no shower?
It was far from my hopes and expectations, and yet that’s what I got after all my hard work. Sometimes it’s like that. Sometimes you work super hard and then wonder, “Why did I work so hard for this?”
Maybe you secure a major client but then realize he wants you to be on call 24/7. Or maybe you take on a project and the pay isn’t that good. Let it go, my friend. It’s all part of that bigger game.
5. There’s Always Another Mountain to Climb
Mountains are tricky. It may look like you’re climbing just one, and you may keep your sights set on the crest. But when you get there, catching your breath, you may be dismayed to find out that was just the first crest in a series of about a bajillion of them! There’s always another crest to climb, another mountain to conquer.
This is a pretty obvious metaphor, I think, but it’s one we need to remember as micropreneurs. Celebrate the small victories, but know that tomorrow (or even in an hour) there will be another mountain to climb.
6. If You Slow Down and Look Around, What You’ll See Is Breathtaking
I had to remind myself to look up occasionally. That of course required me to completely stop hiking, otherwise I’d nosedive into the scree. But when I did, I would be overtaken with the beauty around me. This—these gorgeous mountains that surrounded me, colored in every shade of nature’s palette—was why I put myself through such hardships.
Running a business is understandably one of the most challenging things a person can do in life. But if you take the time to look up from all your hard work and see what you’ve built, you’ll realize that it’s totally worth it.