Climbing YOUR Everest: Why so many businesses FAIL
This time 3 years ago, Jacki and I joined Keith Crockford’s Bucket List Company on an eighteen-day trek to Everest Base Camp, climbing a height of 5,364 metres.
My comfort zone is the boardroom, I love the cut and thrust of strategy, spreadsheets, performance management and everything that can go wrong and does go wrong in a business.
HOWEVER, other people are like rabbits in headlights when entering the ‘metaphorical’ boardroom. Yes, they are highly skilled in their subject matter but since sacking their boss they have had to become a marketer, salesperson, accountant, HR specialist, project manager, agony uncle/aunt, strategist, fortune teller, leader, manager, customer service expert…
I love working with businesses and business owners when things are a bit chaotic, when the plan does not always work, where the marketing yield little results. This is my happy place.
However, I am not a great outdoors person, my comfort zone is stretched to a maximum when faced with a Bucket List type adventure!
Our Adventure Leader Keith on the other hand is in his element in the great outdoors as I’m struggling with my backpack, altitude, and everything else the trip throws my way, Keith is there skipping up the mountain helping us conquer our fears and trepidations as though he could do this in his shorts and flip flops!
I’d previously worked with Keith on his business, and at the end of the trip he said how our roles had reversed!
We employed Keith and his company to help us get to Base Camp; we had a safety net of experts there to help with skills, knowledge, encouragement, accountability, there to challenge us physically and mentally. I am not trying to do this all on my own. They will help me succeed by understanding my limitations and mental fears.
I would never have dreamt of getting on a plane landing in Kathmandu then travelling to Lukla to start my trek on my own, cold, with no preparation, maps, equipment, or plan.
Nobody reading this would do. But we do though in business.
We start our business because we are the expert, then we bluff, cajole, push our way through it trying to be everything to everyone without the core knowledge of how to run a business, employ people, create products/services, sell them, and keep an eye on the money for the business we have created. Is it a wonder why most businesses 96% never see their tenth birthday and why only 5% grow above 10 staff?
I was once asked what I thought the reason was why most businesses do not reach these two milestones and my answer was simple – they just don’t know enough about what needs to happen to run a business. Added to this trying to do it all themselves, so it’s no wonder why for most business owners’ success is like going to Everest Base Camp or beyond.
I knew I was in safe hands with Keith to help me get to my summit. What about you? Who is helping you reach yours whether that is on knowledge or skills or activity?
What I do know is the journey is much nicer with a great team whereas on your own its lonely, cold and pretty damn scary.
Investor | Business Mentor at Advocate | Author of I don’t work Fridays