My second blog in my Arctic series is looking at overcoming setbacks. I mentioned in the first blog that there are many comparisons to be made between personal and business challenges, and I think the topic of overcoming setbacks really highlights this well.
When I decided to take on the Arctic challenge at the beginning of the year, I obviously set out a training plan, much in the way that you would set out a plan to achieve goals in your business. Now the one area that I overlooked, and I believe is often forgotten when planning, is how to plan for the unexpected. It is inevitable that setbacks will occur and in my case I have experienced just that with injury and illness over the last few months, not just mine but family members too. This has caused several delays in my Arctic trek training. As small business owners this can also impact on your business development. At some point we all get sick, and allowing for this in your planning can make it a lot easier to take the time you need to recover, rather than panicking about the time you are losing.
There is also life! When setting out my training plan I did so with the best of intentions, but intentions can sometimes go astray! Family commitments and a social life are all important pulls on your time, and this has meant that sometimes I haven’t put in the hours I had hoped for. It is the same in business. We cannot work all hours of the day and whilst, as small business owners, we can choose to work whenever we want, there will still be weeks and months where other commitments in life take over.
If you accept from the outside that even the best laid plans can go awry then you won’t feel so guilty and will be able to get back on track much quicker.
Give yourself the best chance of success
Planning was obviously a big part of the initial stages of my Arctic trek. It would have been foolish and downright dangerous if I hadn’t planned what kit I would need, how much training I would need to do, what resources and support I would need etc. I’ve had to source the right clothing for the expedition. Easy, you might think. There are plenty of outdoor clothing stores out there. However, the choice for women is somewhat limited and it took me a lot longer to find what I needed.
Getting the right footwear was also a very important consideration early on. My boots I now wear every time I go out walking, and when I started to experience pain in my feet I got it checked out. It turned out that I needed orthotics. The extensive kit required and the orthotics have meant I am significantly poorer, but I think it’s fair to say I am worth it to survive in the -30 temperatures. That’s bloody cold is it not? Well to me, it sounds it.
With any life changing and challenging event, planning and giving yourself the best chance of success, is imperative. However, many of us fail to do this in our own businesses in a consistent and meaningful way. I think many small business owners also fail to financially plan so that they can afford the tools and kit needed to successfully grow their business. If you compare it to my Arctic trek preparation there is no way I would skimp on clothing that would do the job properly and help me achieve my goal. Why would you not do the same for your business?
One of the main motivations for taking on the Arctic Challenge was to take me right outside my comfort zone. By doing that I am learning so much about how far I can push myself, both my body and my mental strength. Starting a business can produce very much the same reactions. To begin with it can feel very daunting, but as you overcome each hurdle, you realise that you are more than capable of dealing with whatever challenges are thrown at you and you get better at learning when you need help too.
I have just 3 months to go now until the trek and I am stepping up my fundraising efforts. If you would like to read more about my training so far, the charity Dreams Come True, or are interested in helping my fundraising efforts, please click here.