How Skiing and Business Are Related

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How Skiing and Business Are Related

Believe it or not, being a ski instructor can shape how you approach your business. In fact, in a lot of our recreational activities, there are major lessons in business and foresight that can be applied to how you run your business to succeed. Here are the top 5 lessons I learned as a ski instructor that have shaped how I structured and run my business.

Be Prepared. When you go skiing the first thing you have to do is to be prepared. You have to dress for the weather now and try to anticipate what elements you have to be ready to take on. When you’re on the mountain, you won’t have time to go back to your room or the car or the store. You have to think ahead and be ready to take on whatever comes your way. As a ski instructor, we always had multiple lenses for our goggles, so no matter how the weather changed, we were prepared to have the best optics. In business, you have to be prepared for the unknown. Sure you can plan most things, but you have to have back-up plans in case the landscape shifts and you need to rebound.

Take time to pause. Think about your time on the ski lift. This is time to reflect on the previous run and mentally plan out your next one. In business, you have to take time to evaluate your wins and losses to determine your next course of action. If you don’t take this time to learn from what has happened, you run the risk of repeating the same mistakes. And, doing this over and over again can spell failure for your business.

Know where you stand. If you’re skiing skills are not ready for a Black Diamond, then taking that risk could be very dangerous. You have to know your strengths and weaknesses and also know when to not take certain risks. With your business, if you are not equipped with the skills you need to launch a new product or if you don’t have the staff you need to truly ramp up your customer acquisition, then  take the time now to get the skills and training you need before you go out on a limb and take on more than what you can truly handle.

Continually learn. When I was not instructing people on the slopes, I was taking classes and practicing myself. I wanted to get better and the only way I could truly elevate my skiing ability was to keep learning – and to learn from the best. The same is true in business. Things change so quickly that you have to be on top of it and aware enough to know what is going on in your industry now and where it is headed.

Know how to execute. In skiing, having all of the expertise you need to conquer even the hardest slope is one thing, but being able to actually perform the moves you need to safely get down the slope is another. Anyone can read about how to ski, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be able to apply their knowledge when they’re actually on the slopes. In business, if you never act on what you know, you’ll be left behind. You have to learn how to execute, at the right time, with the right people, to propel your business forward. It is only through execution that you can learn and fail to revise your strategies.

So, this week I challenge you to think about these 5 principles and see how you can apply them in your business.

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