Why Every Business Owner Should go Skiing
I spent a wonderful week in the French Alps last week doing a spot of skiing. It was fantastic. The snow itself wasn’t great, a bit icy in places but the clean air, the sunshine, the panorama and the chase down the mountain was breath-taking.
The clear air and open sky helped clarify a few things for me and so I now think that every entrepreneur who wants to get good at marketing should go skiing.
Here are four reasons why I think every business owner should go skiing
While I was being pulled up a steep slope on a draglift, I got to thinking about focus. For anyone who has never seen a draglift, it’s a little button that you put between your legs, almost sit down and get dragged up the slope. I’ve never fallen off, but I know friends who did and am absolutely terrified I’ll fall off. So I cling on for dear life.
One of those times last week, I kept repeating to myself ‘keep skis parallel, hold on, relax, bend your knees.‘ All I did was focus on those four items and I was fine. It was easy then!
Once you’re focused on an idea or initiative, then it becomes easy rather than a mountain to climb (excuse the pun!).
There is nothing quite like skiing down an empty slope, with the wind rushing through your ears. (Yes I achieved this a few times!). It gives a sense of anything is possible. Sometimes when we are working on our business and working for clients, we sometimes get muddled and don’t sit back and see the wood for the trees.
It’s difficult when there are so many demands on your time. But after reading this, can you just take time out and see what your high value priorities are? Are they the ones that you’re currently working on?
3. Continuous Improvement
It was my fourth full week of skiing. Every year, I have something to work on. The first year was simply standing up on skis; the second was aiming them down hill rather than across the mountain!, the third year was longer turns and this year was pole control…using the poles to turn easier when I’ve picked up a bit extra speed. (It also helps you to look elegant!).
There is always something to improve on. Even the advanced skiers were looking to improve on their technique.
It’s only when you go skiing that you know you’ve to learn more and improve more. Before you go, you’re so excited to go that you don’t think about improving your technique. But when you get there, you have this full week of enjoying skiing and improving.
In order for us all to get better at our businesses, we have to continually improve. Like point no. 2 – clarity – it’s difficult when you’re working on your business, working for clients, trying to get new business and everything else that needs your attention.
But make continuous improvement part of your plan for 2011. Your marketing will certainly benefit from it.
4. Acknowledge Pain
You know what? Part of skiing is falling down. Simple as that. Once you’ve acknowledged that, skiing isn’t difficult. You might get the odd bruise, your pride might get hurt if you do a silly fall in front of your friends but overall and by the majority, you don’t really hurt yourself. (I do acknowledge that skiing is a high risk activity sport).
But it’s the same in business, if we don’t push ourselves, then we’ll never encounter pain. But we’ll never encounter the success we want either.
If you, as a business-owner, don’t take a small bit of risk in your business or even your marketing, then you are missing out. You’re missing out on the exhilaration that comes from a campaign that works and you are missing out on potential profits and customers.
And your business bruise won’t be too big if you test your risk. So go for it.
I’d love to hear from other skiers about their thoughts on skiing and what lessons you’ve learned from skiing that you have brought to your business.
Share your lessons here.
(Draglift image courtesy of http://www.varianostravel.com/skileb.htm)