Recently my kick-ass business coach wrote a blog post about the importance of staying on your toes as a creative entrepreneur. When I read it, I immediately thought of the importance of adventure in my business.
Adventure is one of Germinate Creative’s values. Adventure is truly important to how I run my business, and how I work with my clients and collaborators. I know it’s late summer, but here’s a story to remind you of the the beautiful snowy days of winter.
Winter Ain’t That Bad, or, How to Face Fears
The winter of 2015 I did something I was terrified of: I learned to snowboard. For years my husband wanted to get on the snowy slopes together. For many reasons, I was hesitant. Living out in the Pacific Northwest it’s a bit of a trek to get to the ski mountain in the winter.
Then there were the horror stories I heard from, now I know, inexperienced people: I’ll break a wrist! I’ll fall and fracture my tailbone! It’s so expensive and elitist, shouldn’t I spend my money on something wiser? And I believed them!
So what did my husband, Tim, do to help me out of my fears? He took me to the mountain.
Not afraid to step up buckle in
I was afraid. Very afraid. I took a few lessons to help me maneuver myself on the board. And it actually went really well. Better than I had ever expected. In order to progress I had to face another fear: the ski lift. OMG, was I afraid of that. Sitting on a chair 40 feet above the ground that maybe had a bar across my lap, moving while it blew around in the blustery winter wind. Luckily Tim has an immense sense of adventure, and was a brave coach. I shivered and not because I was cold. But Tim said “Get on the lift, or you’ll regret it.”
He was right. After the first day, I was hooked. I got off the ski lift without crashing and burning. I started to ride the beginner trails. I took ski lifts higher and higher, and even though I was afraid to be dropped off at 5000 plus feet elevation, once I got there, the view on a clear day was absolutely breathtaking. The winter I learned to snowboard was a shift for me. Something I had felt terrified of has actually transformed into a deep passion and love.
Being Adventurous Is Key to Running a Business
I started to go snowboarding every weekend, honing on my skills. As I improved, it became more than a sport. The passion to be healthy and fit became even more important to me. My body and mood started to respond to the activity. I felt stronger riding my bike and practicing yoga during the week. And my mood greatly improved. I felt energized, and although exhausted from a day sliding down the slopes, I loved it and was happy.
Learning to snowboard, like yoga, meditation, and drawing for me before, has taught me a lot myself as a creative entrepreneur:
Go with the flow. There will be bumps in the road. I’ve made mistakes with my clients. Instead of saying “That’s it! I give up!” I treat those mistakes as opportunities to learn more about how to operate my business.
I want to ski for a lifetime, not a season. Discipline is another Germinate value. Running a design studio isn’t about a temporary freelance lifestyle for me. It is what I do for a living. In order for me to keep up with the demands and changes, I need to stay on top of my form to be the best and provide the best work to my clients.
Remember to pause in nature. Being in nature makes creative connections. It also feels really, really good. Being at 7000 feet above sea level with a view of the Cascades — no Instagram picture can replicate that.
If you don’t try, you’ll never know. If I didn’t try snowboarding, I would have lost out on some of the most wonderful memories of my life: the outstanding scenery of Mt. Hood; riding up a ski lift with my husband, grabbing a chilly smooch; the confidence to teach myself something new, breaking in new muscles. I have re-discovered myself.
Is there and adventurous spirit to you? Is it in a sport, or traveling, or trying exotic foods? I’d love to hear about it.