Startups and Families are HARD. They both require a lot of inward reflection to learn from the journey: the fun, the scary and the oh so hairy moments to yes - we are moving in the right direction. From Alison's journey I pulled a few things that spoke to me that I hope will encourage you for your journey.
1) You must have a Base Camp. In Mount Everest this is required for the basic needs of food, shelter, hydration and strength. In life "Base Camp" is the group of people that are your emotional and business support. They bring you encouragement, connections, confidence, celebration and give back. Family life truly is your emotional support required to make it through the hard times and celebrate all your successes both big and small. It is where you should feel you belong, are valued and most importantly loved no matter what.
2) Complacency will get you into trouble. Per Alison, her experience on the ice is that when the sun came up the ice was melting that caused the boulders, which are the size of houses, to shift around. That meant you had to pay attention to the boulders shifting and take your steps carefully. The future is unknown, therefore you must be keenly aware of what is happening around you in order to keep moving in a direction that doesn't kill you. The goal is to survive the journey not die in it prematurely.
3) Be flexible as change is guaranteed. You can set forth the plans you want to accomplish, but you never know what life will present to you in a day. Instead of focusing on the situation at hand and how you do not like it, keep looking for ways around or over the issue by pressing forward. In other words, don't get your heart set on the specific way you want to accomplish something because sometimes things happen that prevents that way. Instead, focus on the end goal of getting it done. Keep your eyes open for plan B just in case plan A isn't successful. Attitude is critical to flexibility. You have to be willing to go with the journey in order to learn a lesson that makes you stronger in the end.
4) Storms are temporary. Weather or Mother Nature is the most unpredictable event we face from volcanos, earth quakes, twisters to flooding. Devastation can be at your door in an instant. Know that storms will come. No one really enjoys them, but these are the moments that force us sometimes in a different direction be it back down the hill instead of up. But that doesn't mean that you have to stay going backwards as this is only a temporary condition. I believe storms are the #1 reason we search within ourselves to dig deep and bring out who we are at the core. As we adjust to the storm and take cover, as we do learn something. These lessons are the nuggets we learn along the journey to hold on to as they remind us of the good does come from hard times.
5) Keep going step by step. For me personally I like to have things all at once. But the process of life is step by step. We can look at our circumstances and become overwhelmed by it. But there are a few old phrases that tell us success is a step by step process: "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time", "How do you move a mountain? One stone at a time". The key in both examples is one at a time. To reach the top of the mountain, one step at a time. Set small milestones and celebrate those successes. Eventually you will achieve what you set out to accomplish.
6) Critical decisions are not always made with total clarity. Unfortunately this is so true. You can analyze things to where potentially the moment of opportunity is gone. Or you can make a decision with a specific outcome expected only to find out a term called unintended consequences. Here is where I think your core values truly shine. When there isn't enough information to make a well informed decision but we have to make it, be true to who you are. If nothing else, you will learn a lot about who you are.
If I can inspire you at all, I hope it is this...
Keep your eyes focused towards your goal. Don't let the challenges that come your way be your enemy. Embrace them because they help you see you for who you really are. Can't never could so look for another way to achieve what you are after. Don't go it alone but always have a "base camp". It is worth it in the end to see that you are more than your realized and you do have great people around you.
Teri and I had a the privileged to go to NYC again. Then I headed to the Lone Star State (Texas) to get refreshed from my "Base Camp" friends. Here are a few snip it pictures of those moments.
Enjoy the journey!