Climbing Mountains

The company I work for is located in Colorado.  And for recreation, we climb mountains.  While climbing one, it occurred to me that you can’t always see what’s over the next one.  There are plenty of obstacles to block your view.  Maybe the next one will be easy.  Or maybe it will kick your butt.

Running a business is like that.  At startup, you’re anxious and ready to go!  You take each hill with blind ambition.  Nothing seems impossible.  You see a few mountains on the horizon, but feel certain they’ll fall by the time you reach them.  But the things you can’t see nag you.

Business is like a mountain


A few years into the endeavor, and you are sure it’s licked.  But you really don’t see anything beyond the nearest hill.  Some of your biggest obstacles are yet to come.  And you don’t even know it.  That’s when you need the real stamina.  And the faith to push up that next hill, however high it may be.

What are some obstacles your fledgling business might encounter?  How about this nasty list:

  1. Well-entrenched competitors
  2. Market changes
  3. Economic downturns (remember the dot-com bust and financial meltdown?)
  4. Personnel loss

They say 80% of all businesses fail within 5 years, and 80% of those remaining fail within the next 5.  Who’s they?  I don’t now, but my little startup is nearing year 9.  Does that make it better than 96% of the rest.  Well maybe, but I still feel like we’re just wandering in the mountains like everybody else.  🙂


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