Walk To The Top…
So, this is what I get up to when not thinking or writing for a living.
In town or city. By river or canal. Along the coast. In the countryside. Up hills and mountains.
Solo. With friends. In a walking or holiday group.
Wherever and whenever the mood takes me.
I’ve walked, hiked or trekked. In the UK and overseas in countries which include Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Canada, Pakistan, Peru, Jordan, India, Nepal, Australia and New Zealand.
The more uphill the better.
There is a connection with business – which I will share with you in a moment.
First, you may be wondering why I love walking… and prefer the tougher terrains.
I blame Poland…
A trip there in the early 90s gave me an opportunity to walk in the Tatra mountains, close to the border with Slovakia. A thrilling week of half and full-day hikes in beautiful, lakeland scenery.
From that point I knew I wanted to do more of this every year.
I enjoy being in the outdoors. Even a bit of rain doesn’t put me off. So much of my career has been spent at a desk in front of a computer screen and keyboard. To get out into the fresh air feels good. Energising. Relaxing.
It’s great exercise. Some research suggests it’s even better for you than jogging.
You can walk at any level you choose. Stroll through your town or city. Take a walk in the park. Along the promenade. By the canal. By the river. In a country park. In the countryside. Fields. Lanes. Footpaths. Hills. Corbetts. Munros. Mountains. Mountaineering mountains.
It’s all walking…
It’s a wonderful way to relax. Unwind. Take time out from your day. Forget the stresses of work and life.
It gives you time to yourself. Time to think. Time to un-think. Time to allow your creative brain to play (have you ever been out on a walk and just had a brilliant idea or solution strike you?).
It gives you time with others. A higher quality time than you would get elsewhere – say watching the TV or sitting in a hotel box.
It gives you a different perspective. Just make it to the top of a hill and look around you. Does it feel the same as looking up at the summit from the car park? There, told you so.
A Simple Message For Business
And here’s how it relates to business – and possibly your business.
The photo you see is of me on top of Roseberry Topping. A distinctive-looking hill in North Yorkshire. It’s not a big hill yet a popular one.
For someone who does not know the area, it would usually take a bit of research online or knowing someone in the area to arrange a trip to the small peak.
I took an even easier option. I joined members of a local walking group, the Northallerton Striders, for a half-day outing.
I could have done it on my own, of course. But it would have required research and planning. Find a suitable route, check the terrain and work out how I would get there and back from my base town.
That could have taken me a couple of hours. Instead, on finding the group’s site it took just a matter of minutes.
So here’s a perspective you can apply to your business.
You can choose to do it all yourself (even the things you know you are not good at). Or you can call in expert help when you need it. Or want to speed things up. Or wish to avoid hassle.
With this organised group walk all the hassle was removed from me.
The route was planned. A leader would guide everyone. No map (or compass) required. No chance of getting lost or left behind. A route checked in advance. At a pace that takes into account faster and slower walkers. Someone to tell you what a particular plant or flower is. Someone to point out landmarks and attractions from the hilltop.
Transport sorted. Meet at meeting point at a given time. Get the relevant bus to the village where the walk begins.
All I had to do was walk. Everything else taken care of.
Imagine how that might work in business…
Someone to show you the way – with strategy.
Someone to guide and help you to reach your target – with tried-and-tested marketing that works.
Someone to show you ways to get even better value for your investment.
New perspectives. New connections. New opportunities.
On this Roseberry Topping walk – part of the ‘walk for health’ programme – it was clear members had varying levels of fitness. So, two took the option just to walk around the village of Great Ayton. Three chose to skip the optional summit. Four of us went for the top – and made it.
Everyone gathered in the village at the end – all pleased with their chosen walk.
Just time for tea and a snack – plus a quick trip to the pie shop – before catching the bus back.
At the beginning of the day this group of people was a bunch of strangers to me. That changed very quickly. They made me feel very welcome. Within just a couple of hours we were chatting like old friends.
Groups like this deserve to thrive. Social. Sociable. Fresh air. Exercise. Exploration.
I do help charities from time to time. Maybe I’ll give this club a few marketing tips for free. My treat.
If you want my help you’ll have to pay, of course. But when your investment brings a sweet return you’ll realise it’s never a cost. Just a simple value exchange. You know where to find me.