Home > Business, family, Inspiration, Leadership, Self Help, Success > Rock climbing and growing your company

Rock climbing and growing your company

I’ve been rock climbing one time in my life.  It was a beautiful trip to Joshua Tree National Park in California.  I went with my Uncle who is a mentor and great friend.  He’s been climbing for about seven years.  He started when he was in his early 50s.  He has been asking me for years to join him and this past fall our schedules finally meshed.

Keep going.


I really didn’t have any idea what I was getting into.  I am in pretty good shape so I wasn’t afraid of the physical aspect of the climbs.  I just didn’t know what to expect.  I was unfamiliar with the ropes, harnesses, hand tape, shoes, helmets and the rest of the kit that goes with climbing.  Luckily we had a trained expert going with us, to literally, show me the ropes.

In business it’s nice to have some fundamentals under your belt.  Maybe you worked at your family store or maybe you have a business degree under your belt.  Those are the fundamentals that can help you grow your own business.   A little bit of training and a little bit of experience is a good start.  What helps you climb the mountain is having a support structure and a few experts at your disposal.  These guides and advisors should be experts in their fields to help you traverse complex issues.  Just know that you are still responsible for the climb. 

The rock climbing trip was an amazing four-day adventure where I was physically and mentally challenged.   It’s a lot like starting a business.  It is physically and mentally taxing.  I’ve earned some some bumps and bruises so far and I expect more along the way.  As I continue my climb I gain confidence but respect the climb and the power of gravity.  I’m also glad for the ropes that are there for an emergency.  I can’t imagine climbing without them.

Do you have experts and guides to help you as you climb?  Are you climbing without safety gear?  It can be an unforgiving fall if you aren’t prepared.  If you are prepared set your gaze skyward and keep looking for the next hold.  You’d be surprised what counts as a “hold” as you climb.   It may not be anything more than a flake of rock or the slightest impression that will allow you to get a toe or fingertip hold as you propel yourself upwards.

  1. ChrisT
    February 18, 2011 at 9:07 am

    You use such interesting analogies to bring your point to your readers. I always look forward to finding out what is in store in the next post.

    Absolutely agree that you need a good “model” when taking on new adventures. Preferably, someone who is accomplished at what you are trying to achieve.

    And if that was you in the “keep going” thumbnail, YIKES! You ARE a brave soldier!


  2. February 18, 2011 at 11:27 am


    That’s not me. I was much higher up!

    I’m trying to find inspiration in my everyday life and experiences. Writing five times a week is a tall order. I appreciate your reposts and comments. They help keep the fire burning.


    • ChrisT
      February 18, 2011 at 12:57 pm

      To your first comment – “Double Yikes!”

      And to the second, five times a week is a lot of thinking & writing. Mutual appreciation!

  3. February 18, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    It was pretty high up! The first leg of the climb was about 180 feet. When the three of us all made it to the ledge no bigger than a pizza box, a couple of hours later, the guide and my Uncle both agreed that was the longest single section of climbing they’ve EVER done. (you run out of rope at 200 ft i guess)

    I thought that was a “normal” climb. What did I know. Sometimes it’s better not to know.


  4. February 18, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Hi Matt,
    Your analogy of having places to connect as you develop your business is powerful, clear, and inspiring. I have done this for years and still.. yes still after 20 years need help when new skills arise.

    Social media — Twitter etc… — have been an enormous boon to just in time ideas and help.

    For anyone just starting out, remember to find make online connections through social media to help. Here is one of my posts that illustrates:


  5. ChrisT
    February 18, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Trust is a good thing! Especially when it involves your Mentor. Have a great weekend!

  1. March 3, 2011 at 2:57 am
  2. March 4, 2011 at 12:28 am

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