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Climbing Your Mountain.

Succeeding in business is tough.  Actually, that is quite an understatement.  If succeeding in business was merely “tough”, a lot more people would be involved in it. “Extremely difficult and frustrating” would more accurately describe the entrepreneurial lifestyle.

But you know what?  People who climb the highest mountains in the world would describe their passion the same way!  Avid mountain climbers spend thousands of dollars just to be transported to a mountain where they will experience “difficulty and frustration”.  We just get out of bed in the morning and we’re already there!

You can imagine the thrill and satisfaction of reaching the top of one of the world’s highest mountains after spending weeks planning, climbing, slipping and sleeping on its treacherous sides.  The wind, cold and snow would be constantly hampering your progress.  As you gain altitude, your lungs would be screaming for oxygen.  Your strength and stamina would be tested to the limits.  Nights would be spent in a tiny, wet tent perched on the edge of a cliff.

Then, one morning, when you doubt if you could go on another day, you take the final steps to the summit.  The air is crisp and clean.  From your vantage point, you can see for hundreds of miles.  You conquered the difficulty and frustration.  The feeling of exhilaration that overcomes you will live with you and inspire you the rest of your life.

Now, it seems that there is a far easier way to get to the top of the mountain than spending all those cold days and nights on the side of a big piece of granite.  Wouldn’t it be quicker just to have a helicopter fly you to the top and let you shimmy down a rope to set your feet on the mountain’s peak?   The helicopter could hover around for a while while you enjoy the view and take some pictures.  Then grab the rope, be pulled up into the warm helicopter again and go home and have a slide show to entertain and impress your friends.

Even if you have never climbed a mountain, you know why mountain climbers never take the helicopter route.  Because they are mountain CLIMBERS!  It is the climbing, the getting there that makes the memories!  The very things that cause the difficulty and frustration are the things that make a climb memorable.  And when they are conquered, the climb becomes unforgettable.

Imagine a mountain climber who said that he never experienced any wind, snow or sleet while climbing.  He just went climbing when the weather was nice.  He never slipped or fell because he made sure to never get in a situation where he felt uncomfortable.  He never became exhausted and was never afraid because he never pushed himself beyond his limits.

It would be hard to keep a straight face!  We would be laughing out loud.  He is no mountain climber!   Maybe he is fooling himself, but we know that hardship, difficulty and frustration are an integral  part of mountain climbing and he has not experienced any.

The entrepreneurial climb is no different than the mountain climb.  Our hardships may not be battling the weather, but trying to make payroll.  Difficulties might not include falling off the side of a cliff, but there is daily rejection and disappointments when things do not go exactly as we plan.  Our frustrations do not include avalanches, but mountain climbers don’t have to file all the government forms that we do.

But we are not complaining.  These are the situations and problems that we conquer on a daily basis.  These are the hardships that define the entrepreneurial lifestyle.  We could get a job and make good money.  But then we would be like the guy who took the helicopter to the top of the mountain.  We’d think that we did something neat, but it would be empty compared to the guy who actually did the climbing.

Savor your daily hardships.    You are a true mountain climber and you are going to the top!  Keep charging!!!   Scott

Mountain climbing - difficult, frustrating and exhilarating!

Mountain climbing - difficult, frustrating and exhilarating!

Copyright 2009 by Scott Robert Alexander

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12 2009

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  1. LESLIE S.S. #

    scott ive got to say u r brillant with your way at looking at the hardships for self employed folks… it also serves as looking at life in this way… as ive climbed many moutains in the last 56 years…those on the edge moments, scarey when your hangin, fun to chat about when they r over!
    i want to know who the brave young lad is, if u know, who dared to rock climb in those flat tennies….: ) thank u for the encouragment.. L.

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