What mountaineering and rock climbing teach me about business.

photo12This year I had the opportunity to summit Mt. Rainier. And to train for it, went to the top of Mt Whitney as well. Plans still include a few century bike rides and a rock climbing trip to Moab to take on Castleton Tower. First. I love these adventures. They challenge me. I go into them hoping for a moment that causes me to really push myself, beyond what I think I can. But in all cases, I do the hard work beforehand to set myself up for success.

Same goes for how I approach business.

Do I seek the opportunity to push myself creatively? Check.

Do I work hard in advance – whether its strategic planning and gaining a new skill set – to set myself and my team up for success? Check.

Do I do the research to gain as much knowledge in advance as possible, to help all involved, the client and the team, to excel? Check.

Do I work with the best team members possible? Check.

In business, as in rock climbing or summiting a mountain, the preparation and the attention to detail is the difference between making it to the top or not. Success or failure.

But don’t get me wrong. I push myself. Sometimes I try the more challenging route at the climbing gym because I know Im ready for a bigger challenge. And even if I don’t succeed, it drives me to work that much harder the next time. Same goes for business. We don’t always succeed. But hopefully we learn from the times we try something new, step out of the comfort zone, or yes, even make a mistake. It all fuels us to do better the next time and to take what we learned from the experience to build our foundation for the next challenge, whether it’s at the top of Castleton Tower or developing a new campaign strategy to meet a client’s business objectives.