My Lessons in Entrepreneurship From Adventure Sports
Position yourself for growth in 2017—join us live at the Entrepreneur 360™ Conference in Long Beach, Calif. on Nov. 16. Secure Your Seat »
It isn’t just about the adrenaline rush. Adventure sports bring you face-to-face with your biggest fears and nudge you to overcome them – just like entrepreneurship.
And once you start to love being an adventure sports junkie, you don’t even want to stop – quite similar to what it is like being an entrepreneur. My love for adventure sports has also taught me a number of valuable lessons for business. Here are just five of them:
Wilderness and outdoors teaches us to be patient, as good things take time to happen. It teaches us to be calm in difficult situations; not all can be anticipated and foreseen so if things do not happen as planned and there is bad weather, stay put and weather the storm, as they say. I learnt to be patient. Weather is weather; it’s neither good nor bad.
When you move into the outdoors, you have to prepare well since you know you are out there alone and without the ecosystem that you are used to in urban environments. Your phone signal will not be there, Google maps won't work, you have limited rations, gears to carry, and so on. I learnt to be prepared before taking up any task, doing analysis of the course of action and consequences, considering what is available, and what the limitations are.
In the outdoors it’s the people who matter most. Your technical gears, your branded equipments and so on are as good as the person using it. There you do not rely on electronic gadgets or gizmos – it’s the people who are with you that you rely on. They might not be the best dressed or the best educated, but they know their jobs and do it well. My faith in people increased tremendously and I would rate people above all.
Outdoors teaches you to be hands-on. You need to know how to pitch a tent, you should know how to start a fire, how to identify a safe camping location, how to safeguard yourself, know the weather patterns, know the flora and fauna of the region you are venturing into. And you need to know your mind and your body. I learnt there is no other option but to know my product or service inside out.
When you are in the outdoors you get the time and moment to reflect back on yourself, your life, what you miss, and what you enjoy. You reflect upon your relationships and decisions; in urban environments you simply do not have time even to think about such things. I learnt the importance of pausing my life and reflecting back on what I have been doing -- my relationships (both personal and professional) and the decisions I have taken.