An experience is more important to me than a thing, and virtually all of my experiences teach me something about running a business.
When Paul asked me what I wanted my response was simple. I wanted a family vacation. Last week we took all three kids, and Sammi’s boyfriend, Todd, to Arizona. We went canyoneering, rock climbing, hot air ballooning, star gazing, golfing, to the Grand Canyon, drove ATVs and even visited an old mining town. I feel like I need a week-long rest now!
Canyoneering was new to all of us. First, we went “dry canyoneering”. We rappelled into a magnificent canyon, and hiked through it. It’s amazing how your perspective changes being in the canyon as opposed to on top of it. The second day was “wet canyoneering”. We put on wetsuits, and trusted our guides. It was both terrifying, and thrilling. The water was very high. It was a lesson in faith. We needed to believe in ourselves, our guides and each other. None of us would have made it out otherwise.
I could go on and on about every aspect of the trip. What is important to me is that I get to keep these memories forever, and so will the rest of my family.
How does this relate to running a business?
If you know me at all, you probably realize that I always find some sort of correlation between what I’m doing, and running a business. Here are the top three things I learned last week.
- Be attached to the outcome, not the process. There were six of us on vacation. My overall goal was to have fun with the people I cared most about in this world. Sammi wanted to ride ATVs. Josh wanted to go rock climbing. Eric wanted to see stars. Paul wanted to ride in a hot air balloon. Todd wanted to play golf, and had never been to the Grand Canyon. I wanted to go hiking. Timing didn’t allow for us to hike (although we did go down into the Grand Canyon, and I guess canyoneering could be hiking). I would have loved to hike but squeezing it in would have short-changed the hike, and it would have felt like we were doing it to check it off a list rather than because we wanted to. My question to you is, where are you putting process before outcome?
- Build a great team and trust them. Wet canyoneering was terrifying at times. The water was very high. Looking back on it, I know that none of us had the skillset we needed to be in that canyon. What we had were two amazing guides. They believed in us, and allowed us to hold onto their faith in us to get us through. We trusted the knots they tied in ropes. We trusted the directions they gave us. We trusted that they would pull us out of the water, and help us when (not if) we got stuck. Running a business is hard. Don’t try to do it alone. You will not make it. Get expert help to guide you when it gets hard and trust them to guide you.
- Do things you wouldn’t normally consider. I’ve never played golf in my life. I’ve never been interested in it, and could not imagine using precious family vacation time to play golf. Yet Todd is an avid golf player, and it was important to him. If we expected him to play our games isn’t it only right that we play his, too? It could have been miserable, instead all six of us had a blast. We approached it with optimism, curiosity, and a willingness to learn. We respected the game. We did our best and we laughed a lot. Look around your business. What could you do that isn’t part of your normal routine? What would happen if you tried something new, and approached it with a sense of optimism, curiosity, and a willingness to learn?
I’d love to know your thoughts. Please share them with me in the comments below.