We know a lot of you are still wondering if you are cut out for running an online business. If you don’t have any entrepreneurial experience, it can be hard to figure that out! So while we were on a family kayaking trip this past weekend, we were thinking about how regular life situations relate to running a business. You’ve probably had some experiences that demonstrate your ability to run a business, even if they weren’t business-related!
Today, we’re going to share some of our kayaking trip stories—and show you the business lessons that came out of them. If you can handle similar situations, you have what it takes to run an online business!
The trip started with a few different issues: with no cell reception, we weren’t sure the rest of our group got directions to the meeting point. Then we locked the keys in the car!
But this rocky start required us to use our problem-solving skills and think through what we could do better next time. When faced with a problem, list all your options, choose the best one, and move on. This helped us later on too, when we realized we had forgotten the coffee maker!
Once we solved our initial problems, we were ready to kayak! But...Darren soon flipped over.
No one wants to flip over their kayak. It makes for a bumpy, wet ride and slows you down. But we got that out of the way early, and then we knew we could handle it if it happened again. Instead of being fearful that we would flip and be miserable in wet gear for the rest of the trip, we could paddle confidently knowing that we could handle the worst.
It’s the same in business. When you stumble, regroup and then get back out there and keep pushing forward. You’ll soon realize that most of your fears don’t have a lot of merit and you can move forward in your business more confidently.
After our first day of kayaking, we were ready to choose our campsite to settle in and rest for the night. We stopped at the first available campsite which was surrounded by marsh and we soon became dinner for the mosquitos. We debated if we should continue down river to another campsite in hopes of better luck or grin and bear it (and lather up in bug spray) at this site.
We needed to trust our gut. And trusting our gut led us to a beautiful campsite with clean bathrooms and very few bugs. It was a great reward for our hard work of paddling on the river and being patient when we had to change campsites.
In business, if something doesn’t seem right, you need to take what data you have and the emotions you’re feeling and make a decision. Trust your gut. Even if it feels hard. Even if it will create more work for you right now. Trusting your gut more often than not pays off in the long run.
In business and in kayaking, it’s easy to fall into the mindset of “let’s get there as fast as we can.” This is even more true if your kayaking companions (or business partners) are extremely competitive and driven!
Taking an “as fast as we can” approach to these kinds of trips makes you miss out on some beautiful things. Oie took time to observe the beautiful natural surroundings and take pictures. And the whole group slowed down and barged together to rest, share snacks, and spend time together! It was a great time doing the things that really matter to us—exactly what we want our businesses to enable us to do.
In business, it’s also important to let go of the “go, go, go” mentality. You never know what opportunities or successes will pop up when you enjoy the business journey and don’t get so narrowly focused on the end destination. Remember, if you’re not having fun along the way, it’s probably time to change up some things.
On the last day of the trip Darren and I (Oie) volunteered to paddle our friends’ canoe down the river. This took us out of our comfort zone as we haven’t been in a canoe for years, the canoe was filled with lots of heavy gear, and we knew there were upcoming rapids we’d have to conquer. We had to practice navigating and make sure we were communicating well and looking out for each other.
We were both doubting ourselves during the trip, but looking back, we actually did very well. In fact, we killed it! There was a lot of pressure, with people depending on us to carry the majority of the gear and get it to the pullout safe and dry. That kind of pressure can be paralyzing—or it can push you to rise to the occasion and do an amazing job!
Getting out of your comfort zone helps you grow and do things you didn’t think you could do. In your business journey, don’t be afraid to try new things and see where they take you.
This is far from all of our kayaking stories and business lessons from our recent trip. We tell more stories and give you more insights in this week’s episode, so be sure to listen to hear about everything that happened.
If you’re still feeling unsure about your ability to run an online business, think through some of these lessons. There are probably situations in your everyday life where you’ve had to face failure, get out of your comfort zone, or solve an unexpected problem—and all of those skills translate to running your own business!
We hope this episode has inspired you and assured you that you have what it takes to become an online entrepreneur!
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