Imagine being up in the air 120 feet and staring down an almost vertical drop that will propel you up to 60 miles per hour in 5 seconds?
Now imagine you are only 8 years old?
What do you think? Would you do it? Or would you take the “Walk of Shame” and go back through the 45 minute line you just stood in to get to the top and have every one look at you knowing you “Chickened Out”?
Well that’s what my son and I did this weekend at the infamous “Summit Plummet” at Disney’s Blizzard Beach!
We both hurled ourselves down the slide and created a powerful bonding moment and a life lesson that will last forever.
My son, who was only 8 kept saying that he felt like he had to do it but was afraid. So I told him that courage is not feeling fear but rather facing and overcoming your fear. I shared that he had to stare fear in the face and growl at it and teach fear to be afraid of him.
As we neared the top of the slide I shared again not to think about it but to growl at fear and conquer it by not letting it control your life. I shared once he had done it that he would be so excited that he would want to do it again.
Well here see for yourself?
He did it. And now he’s excited to go again and again!
So what in the heck does this have to do with business building?
Well let me share one more story that happened this weekend.
After my three day jaunt in Frankfurt Germany I came home and took my kids to the beach for a few hours of family & dad time. We decided to take the skim board and I proceeded to teach my 8 and 10 year old how to hurl their bodies across the sand and enjoy the rush of skimming across the thin layer of water into an on coming wave and then surf it back in.
But before we actually attempted the real deal I first put the board down in the sand and had them practice mounting the board in a stable environment. I had them learn how to jump in the air and land properly with both feet in the proper places on the board so they would have the best chance of success.
My oldest son, a little embarrassed by what others might be thinking, only attempted it one and said he knew what to do and so I tried to tell him, “Son don’t be worried about what others think. They are too busy worrying about what others think of them and they are too scared to learn to do this” I then proceeded to tell him that he did not quite have it down yet and that he should try a few more times where it would be easy.
His response… “I know dad how to do it.”
So I said “Okay well then let’s give it a try in the real world where falling down HARD is more probable” To which he saw my wisdom and said “Okay dad” and then he proceeded to practice a few more times in the stable sand.
After a few more tries I felt it was time for him to “get his feet wet” and try for real.
Now there is an art to doing this sport. You run at almost full speed and then have to throw the skim board down at just the right angel so that it will skim along the thin layer of water that is left behind when the ocean recedes (To much water and whoop you end up on your butt. Too little water and you run aground on the sand and do a painful face plant) then as the board pulls away from you, you have to sprint even harder to catch up with the board and jump on.
Sound fun right?
Well if done right you have the ride of your life and experience an incredible exhilaration as you scream across the sand and slam into the oncoming wave and spin the board around and surf it back into the shore.
So again how do these two stories relate to business building?
Many people fail to really enjoy the thrill of life and build their own business because they are bound by fear? They miss valuable experiences and lessons that come when you step out of their comfort zone. They end up looking back with regret?
Worse yet is they fail to enjoy the fruit of their labors.
The trick is to set your life up so that you could first practice your “Skim Boarding Technique” (Marketing approach, product launch, business venture) and try different approaches to see which one worked best for you before hitting the real waves (the market place) then you would end up having better results [ crash less hard 🙂 ]
Now the key to realize is that you learn by trying, falling (failing), and trying again. The faster you fall and get up and do it again the quicker you will be back in the game to try it again and the sooner you will get good at it. After repeated crashes, multiple scratches and cuts, and little successes you begin to get the hang of it. After a while you get good enough to compete with the big kids.
It’s no different in business. But you cannot be afraid. You should not worry about what other people may think about your technique or what you look like when you fall down. Besides most people are too busy worrying about what others think of them to be worrying about you.
Funny thing is all those folks on the beach are really not having as much fun as you and, truth be told, they would admit they are too afraid to try because they are worried about getting hurt or what others may think of them. They are living life in bondage. The bondage of fear? That’s why they are “SITTING” on the beach.
But those who dare to try enter a club that is held for the adventurous in heart and spirit. In this case they are branded as surfers, athletes, winners, champions, entrepreneurs.
But the neat thing is that all us entrepreneurs, while we are in line to drop down “summit plummet”, will help hold you accountable to follow through by reminding you of the pain of regret, the “Walk of shame” if you will. Of course 30 seconds after you have left we forgot about you and are getting ready to plummet down ourselves.
It’s better to at least try, then to have not tried at all and wish you did.
Of course all those people will remember the little 8 year old guy who put them to shame!
Would love to hear your story of overcoming fear and your thoughts to see if this article helped you. Share your overcoming stories below.
If you have been holding back on that idea and afraid to venture out on your own business, or there is that special some one you have had your eye on, or even give your life over to the divine, give it some practice tries first in some thing like the http://EntrepreneursPitStop.
Then after a few attempts give it a go in the real world with more of the variables to spice things up a bit.
Then when it’s time, go for the “Summit Plummet” and hurl yourself down full speed ahead. You’ll be so glad you did that you will want to do it again and again.
Of course there is always the “Walk of Shame” 🙂
See you at the top next to my two champion skim boarders!