Way back, over ten years ago, I was on holiday in Western Australia. Those wildflowers are amazing! So are the views. My husband and I took a hike in the Porongurups. We’d heard about the great views from the Granite Skywalk at Castle Rock.
Let me set the scene. I was obviously younger than I am now, but I was less fit. That didn’t stop me though. We set off up the hill to the lookout. It was a warm day, we had water and good shoes. We had time on our side.
The hike was steep. Thank goodness there were lots of beautiful wildflowers along the way to stop and take photos of. I frequently needed to catch my breath. I was hot and sweaty. I recall thinking “Are we ever going to get there?”
I was uncomfortable and mildly regretting the decision to attempt this hike. But then there came a point when a steely determination replaced that feeling of regret. I was not going to let this hike beat me. No matter what it took, I was not going to turn back. That resolve took me the rest of the way up the hill towards Castle Rock.
From the base of the rock, the view was great. But I knew my ultimate goal was to get to the Granite Skywalk. I could see a ladder and the platform above, waiting for me. What I couldn’t see was that the last 50 metres were the most difficult to access. Between the base of the rock and the Skywalk above lay the most difficult climb I’ve ever attempted. First a giant boulder separated me from my goal. I looked to me to be insurmountable. My short, fat legs were no match for it. There were a couple of handrails intended to help lift you up and over it. But this climb was built for people with longer legs and arms than me. It was a serious puzzle to solve how to get up and over the boulder.
But the steely determination that had brought me thus far doubled into a fierce fortitude and I did it. Getting over that boulder and through the narrow chasm leading to the ladder was one of my proudest moments. Climbing the steel ladder and stepping onto the platform was worth all the effort.
Now here’s why I’m telling you that story. I think of it often. I learned something about myself that day. I learned that when I set my sights on a goal and I work at it, I can achieve the seemingly unachievable. It has so much in common with being in business.
In business, the most important step is the first one. The second most important step is the next one. And so on. In business, there will be rests along the way. They are opportunities to catch your breath, look at the view from where you are, and perhaps reset your direction. In business, you will sometimes need a steely determination to get through the difficult times. And then just when you think you’ve made it, a metaphoric boulder comes out of nowhere and tries to block you. But when you’ve come so far, the most important step is the next one, even if you have to climb over a boulder to get to your goal.
If you’ve found a metaphoric boulder getting in the way of your next steps, give me a call. Let’s see if we can figure out your next most important step.