They were the most magnificent peaks I’d ever seen.
We had been hiking up the mountain for 4 hours and scrambling over rocks for another hour after that.
Clothing layers came off and went on again as the scenery changed: windy mountain faces led to wet forests, and finally to a glacial lake where rain turned to snow.
All to see what we had traveled to Patagonia to see: Torres del Paine (pictures below). They were incredible.
And that was just day one.
I just got back from trekking in Patagonia (pics at the end of this email) – several days with 35 lb. packs across dozens of kilometers and hundreds of feet of elevation.
10 days away from my computer. It was glorious.
If you’ve traveled too then you know that being in a new environment — and especially being in nature — brings tremendous clarity and focus.
And when you can bring that clarity back to your business, you can be unstoppable.
So this week I wanted to share 5 lessons from the trip that I’m going to apply to my business, and you can too.
- Create space for a quiet brain
If you’re anything like me, your day-to-day brain is noisy: filled with thoughts about work, family… etc. But when you can create space for a quiet brain, things become clear.
As I was hiking for 7-8 hours each day, I tried not think about work and simply be present.
Of course, work snuck in, but this time it snuck into a quiet mind, not a noisy one, and I had about 8 major epiphanies and amazing ideas (… that I can’t wait to share with you! Stay tuned.)
So whether it’s going into nature, meditating, or whatever suits you… create space where your brain can be quiet.
- Shed extra weight
Hikers have a saying when it comes to packing for a trek: “Ounces make pounds, and pounds make pain.” That thinking also applies to your business: the extra things you “carry” slow you down and can cause a certain type of pain.
If you’re working on too many projects, spreading yourself too thin, or continuing to put effort into something that’s not working, you’re carrying too much.
Shed the extra weight, and edit down to what’s going to increase your revenue.
- Be like water
Sometimes it can feel like we’re muscling our business: trying to force things, push them ahead, make them go faster, etc. We also worry about finding the right way to do things.
But as I spent time hiking along streams, past waterfalls, and over rivers, I saw that the best guide for moving forward comes from nature: it’s water.
Water always finds the most efficient way. It changes direction if it encounters too much resistance (one might say: if it doesn’t feel right). And when it doesn’t see a natural way, water makes its own way.
So when you feel like you’re muscling your business, instead let it flow. Be like water.
- Do a physical challenge
On this trip, as I ended my days physically exhausted, I was reminded that there’s nothing like a physical challenge to inspire and propel you.
In 2008, after I did my first AIDS ride (545 miles from SF to LA), I felt absolutely invincible. I had tremendous clarity on what I wanted to do, and I started my first company the next month. Years later when I was training for triathlons, that was an incredibly productive and innovative time in my business.
If you’re feeling stuck, or just need a boost, try focusing on a physical challenge. Accomplishment is contagious.
- Stop and enjoy the view
Oftentimes we’re so “heads down” in our business that we don’t look up to take stock of our achievements, to see how far we’ve come, or simply to take in life around us.
On the trek, even though we were watching our steps, we paused at every turn to simply see what was around us. It was in those moments that we could appreciate the stunning views of where we were.
So while you’re working hard to build your business, don’t forget to look up and take it in.
Now I want to hear from you: which of these 5 things speaks to you the most? Which could you start to work on first? Write back and let me know.
To your success,
PS: Whenever you’re ready, here are three ways I can help you focus and increase your revenue this year:
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