Anything can happen on a mountain. My son was hiking in New Hampshire, and one of his team stepped on a hidden wasp hive. They had a swarm of very upset wasps. Almost everyone was stung at least once and a couple of hikers were stung multiple times. Fortunately, no one had allergies to wasps, but they had the Benadryl to treat if there was a reaction.
Being prepared for unforeseen possibilities is essential. Having a first-aid kit and knowing what to do in case of an emergency go hand in hand. This can be a matter of life and death.
When it comes to your business, ask yourself if you can perform first aid in situations like these:
- How do you handle that major customer who isn’t satisfied with the quality of work just delivered?
- What happens if that major customer (or any customer) defaults? Do you have a way to stop the bleeding?
- How do you handle the disgruntled customer or employee?
Knowing how to treat a broken leg can save a life on a mountain, and knowing how to handle challenges can save the life of your business.
When hiking or running a family business, you must also know how to take care of yourself throughout the journey. Exhaustion can overtake the business owner—and the employee as well—if they don’t take regular rests. Exhaustion also comes from work that is not interesting, energizing, or challenging.
It has been said that eighty percent of businesses fail in the first five years. In my belief, it isn’t from lack of revenue, customers, or plans. It is due to exhaustion. Business owners just don’t have the energy to keep going. They stop serving customers with quality. They stop caring about employees. They stop marketing, selling, and growing the business with the focus and determination they had when they started. Why? Because they haven’t taken care of themselves.
They haven’t taken a break (for example) to go backpacking, leaving all the stress, pressure, and frustration and focusing on something else. You don’t need to go backpacking; however, you do need to do something that doesn’t involve working, just sitting around the house, or doing daily chores.
Here is the bonus when you do get away: the ideas flow more quickly and easily, and your enthusiasm and energy return. The frustration is exchanged with clarity and usually an action plan. You return with that energy and clarity that got you started in the first place. I don’t care how much you love your job or your business: You need a break. So take one.