March 17th, 2010
Skiing, Entrepreneurism and Market America
While on the Blitz Tour we took a four-day break in Aspen to brainstorm, ski and to help build a new group with our Argentine friends and skiing instructors, Carlos and Mariana Saloraz. It was great to be there with Dennis and Nancy and their daughter Katie (beginners), Joe Bolyard (expert skier), Kevin Buckman (intermediate and a tough guy advancing), Paulina Rubio (beautiful and adventuresome intermediate) and her husband Nicolas (expert with old time European style). By the way, Nicolas and Paulina are very interested in doing the business and Paulina is using the ma MyWorld Music Portal. They followed me off the slopes to Milwaukee to see us on the Blitz Tour there.
I couldn’t help but be reminded of how similar skiing is to entrepreneurism and the ma business. People are at all different levels with different strengths and weaknesses and are all working on different things. Most importantly, everyone who lasts is having fun. To a large extent, it is what you make of it. And regardless of the level, it is an exciting challenge and experience. The mountain has a challenge for everyone no matter what level and there is nothing better than conquering a double black diamond at a 45% incline with bumps and powder. I find it interesting that it is just as exciting to a beginner conquering the first green or blue run from the top of the mountain.
Skiing is so much like entrepreneurism and the business. To begin with there are all different levels of skiing as there are in the business. The hardest part is beginning. It is a two-year investment that once you experience it and learn certain skills gives you a new found freedom. Everyone is awkward when they first begin. Once you master certain fundamentals it is addictive and an experience that lasts a lifetime. The more you do it, the better it gets and the better you get. It is so important to enjoy the process and the climb. It’s natural to be anxious or even experience a little anxiety or fear, but by just trying and doing it, soon it will fall beneath its own weight. Those who not try gain nothing and experience nothing and stay where they are.
The one thing that the experts have in common is that they DO IT A LOT. The same is true in business and Market America. You can be good at anything if you do it a lot. Every level is rewarding and a challenge and there is never an end to how far you can go. There is always more. The further you advance the more exhilarating and rewarding it is. People who get good quickly “cheat.” They get an instructor all the time and practice when no one knows because they want to look good. There is a residual benefit to this practice of “cheating,” because a ski instructor gets you to the front of the line, knows the best snow, prevents going down wrong trails, helps you improve twice as fast, teaches you shortcuts, and knows everyone on the mountain. That’s a lot like the business, too! It is also important not to try to learn too many things at once. But the further you advance, the more you’ll realize that it is the little things that make a huge difference in performance. This is just like business. Master one thing at a time. It’s all about progress (getting a little better each time or mastering something new) and having fun. Like business, entrepreneurism and Market America, skiing is a journey, not a destination. They are all a process. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Taking that single step is the key to discovering the journey! There are many mountains in life to climb and conquer! Choose one and enjoy the experience.