Reputation or financial performance?
May 1, 2017
Telling your story
May 1, 2017

Beating the Swiss Wall

Picture the scene…

You’ve been skiing all day with friends. And now you’re standing, heart pounding, at the top of a steep, very steep, mogully, icy piste, so long that you can’t see the bottom of it. It echoes when you shout into it.  Two friends have started to go down, one totally lost nerve,has taken skis off and is currently crawling back up the slope, and the fourth has refused point blank even try it.

That was me earlier on this year. At the top of the Swiss Wall, (black piste with an inclination up to 55° in places and moguls the size of 4x4s), wondering whether or not to take the plunge. Literally.

Are you ever faced with that sort of challenge?

Not necessarily skiing, but that sort of ‘inner wrestle’ challenge? You really long to do something but are petrified?  In my case, I knew that once I’d started I’d have to continue down, I wanted to do it, but doubted my ability to ski well enough. Hey, I was scared!  I could have stayed safe and warm at the top with a coffee, but then I’d have so regretted not trying.

I shouted to my friends ahead. ‘What’s it like there?’ “Er, very slightly easier than there” they replied.

So I bundled up my courage and began the decent.

Once at the bottom, elated and without broken limbs it occured to me that in business we’re faced with similar decisions.

Petrified to do something, knowing how much you’ll regret it if you don’t….

And it wasn’t all smooth going. I side slipped down the first, seemingly vertical part. Did some clumsy turns on massive icy humps. Headed downhill, rather fast. head-first at one point. PIcked myself up and skied the rest of the way down.

But you know what? I did it. I beat the Swiss Wall.

In business too, there are things we want to try. And sometimes we take the plunge, yet others we metaphorically have that coffee.

So what things keep me moving forward in business? (as gravity did, in skiing)

  • Asking for the support and encouragement of others
  • testing that inner core of belief
  • Just making a start and seeing what happens – believe me, no step in business has EVER been as scary as that first one onto the Swiss Wall
  • Not just taking the easy option
  • Making your own decisions about your own skills.
  • Learning from your mistakes.

A marine friend says ‘the scars will heal, but the regret of not doing something, never goes’
And I quite agree.

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