There once was a mountain climber who became separated from the rest of his group while they were making their way back down a mountain. Terrified and alone, he trekked on making his way slowly inch-by-inch. Now surely this brave climber was going to make it because, as you know, “slow and steady wins the race.”
Did he or didn’t he?
As the climber ventured on, darkness began to fall. With no light, every step was like moving into the unknown. Then it happened! He fell. Luckily his belay system held fast and he only dropped about 20 feet. Yet, dangling by his rope, he did not know what to do. “Maybe I should wait for help.” He thought. This was a logical solution, save for the fact that the winds had picked up drastically and the snow was flying at an unstoppable rate. If they didn’t find him very soon, he would surely freeze to death. The only other option was to take action, one of which was to cut his rope and hope something below would break his fall.
What did he do?
As most of us would be, the climber was not anxious to cut a rope and potentially fall to his death, so he did nothing and waited. His fingers started to freeze and he knew that time was running out. He waited longer. Time passed and there was no question that his frozen toes could not be saved should he make it out of this alive. More contemplation, yet still no action. Being far too afraid of the unknown beneath him, the climber finally succumbed to the elements and died. He was found first thing in the morning by the mountain rangers. They stepped out of their base camp only to see a frozen climber dangling 2 feet above the ground. Had this man cut the rope he would have fallen a measly 2 feet. He literally didn’t take action and froze.
Like a mountain climber, business owners often feel alone and in the dark. We feel as though we are dangling by a rope, not knowing if we should wait it out or let go. Here is a tip for you: If waiting longer assures death, wouldn’t you rather cut the rope in the hopes of living.
Is this to say that you should always bail on your strategy if it is not working for you? The short answer is no. There is validity in holding on a little longer to a strategy if you feel like it will pay off in some way. Marketing your company is that delicate balance of knowing when it is simply a tweak that you need verses an entirely new plan. It is that beautiful blend of creativity and logic. Your stats will help guide you in knowing what theoretically will and what won’t work. Your experience and intuition will help with the rest.
Will you always get it right?
Absolutely…NOT! But getting it wrong makes it easier the next time…that’s where the experience part comes in. Remember, failure isn’t truly failing if you’ve learned a lesson.
When in doubt, putting one foot in front of the other and continue to take action is your best bet.