Climbing Your Everest: Why So Many Businesses FAIL
Four years ago this week, Jacki and I embarked on an eighteen-day trek to Everest Base Camp with adventure expert Keith and his The Bucket List Company.
We climbed to a height of 17,598 ft…
We took off on the shortest, foggiest mountain-side runway Lukla, the world’s most dangerous airport…
We avoided clumsy yaks as they passed us on narrow mountain edges…
We crossed rickety rope bridges above chasms…
All this whilst trying to breathe as the oxygen got less and less.
It truly was an adventure of a lifetime.
But why am I telling you this?
Well, I learned A LOT about myself.
In my business, my comfort zone is the ‘boardroom’, I love the cut and thrust of strategy, numbers, performance management and everything that can go wrong and does go wrong in a business. I look at business as a game where I can set the rules and play to win.
However, I am NOT a great outdoors person! My comfort zone was stretched to a maximum when faced with a Bucket List adventure.
Keith on the other hand was in his element in the great outdoors as I struggled with my backpack, weather, altitude, and everything else the trip threw my way. I ‘employed’ Keith and his company to help me get to Base Camp for the three weeks. I had a safety net of people there to help me with skills, knowledge, encouragement, accountability…
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 that. But we do in business!
We start our business because we’re the expert. Then we bluff, cajole, push our way through it trying to be everything to everyone without the core knowledge of how to actually run a business, employ people, create products and 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 and absolutely relied on Keith and his team 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