'The physical and mental health benefits of hiking have been well documented for centuries, and if you’re looking for me at the weekends, you will most likely find me high up in the hills. Being in the great outdoors, removed from technology and social media, allows me the time and space to think about and process things in a way that isn’t always possible in the busy, overly connected world we live in today. During a recent hike, I reflected on my experience of running a small business over the past year and how my love for hiking has helped me on this journey.
What could running a small business and hiking possibly have in common?
To save or to splurge?
Before embarking on a hike, you need to equip yourself. While there are certain items you can save on, there are others that require a bigger investment. High quality walking boots and a waterproof jacket are certainly top of the list. While it can be tempting to buy cheaper items, spending your money wisely will give you a much better quality product and will save you having to replace them in the short to medium term.
Cost is a huge factor when running a small business or any project that requires time, commitment and effort but it’s so important to avoid false economies. Buying cheaply can result in more expense further down the line. Look at your quest and what tools you specifically need in order to provide the best results. Buy the best quality that you can afford and save on the non-essentials.
Find your tribe
I’ve only ever done one solo hike. It
was World Hike Day in November 2018 and my usual hiking group weren’t available. So I
took myself off to Glendalough and walked
the Spinc Loop all alone – in the rain! I enjoyed the hike and felt liberated for doing it alone, but
I was also taken aback by how lonely I felt. I
came to realize that part of what makes hiking
so special to me is the relationships that
have been built along the way, being part of a community where we spur each other on, encourage each other and pick each other up when we fall.
I’ve been so fortunate to have met some amazing people so far on my journey of life.
Some of them are local and can pop over for a cup of tea, and some of them I have met online, and they all have a number of commonalities. Community. Friendship. Support.My journey would be a lot less exciting without them at my back.
Enjoy the journey
Hiking is not just about reaching the summit, it’s about the journey. It’s about being at one with nature, chatting with friends, exercise, head space and so much more. When you’re working hard to get to the top, whatever your intended goal might be, take a moment every now and then to stop and take in the view. Look at how far you’ve come. And on those wet and misty days, where the views are a little blurred and harder to see, you can still enjoy the experience of the hike. As an entrepreneur, running a small business will bring daily challenges. It’s not about becoming a millionaire (let’s face it, most of us won’t!), it’s about the journey. Be grateful for the challenges you face in life and the many opportunities of learning that comes from them. Welcome them all and become a stronger person because of them
There’s more than one way to climb a mountain
Many mountains will have several paths to the top. There will be those well-worn tracks that many have walked before. They’re tried. They’re tested. They’re comfortable. Alternatively, there may be steeper tracks, with more challenging terrain. These tracks demand more time, effort, focus, and determination. They also offer adventure, new ways of learning and adapting, risk, reward, and exhilaration. There may be times when you want to experience the adventure of these steeper tracks, and there may be times when you just want the most straightforward route.
Decide which works best for you and remember that there is more than one route to the top!
Even when having the best preparation and using the best equipment in the world, there are some things you just can’t control. I’ve been on hikes where the wind speeds became so strong; I had to anchor myself for fear of being blown away. I’ve been on hikes where I’ve been completely soaked through. But do you know what? All of those experiences, although scary and uncomfortable, were temporary.
They all passed.
Both hiking, running a small business, or simply living life requires effort, endurance, and risk-taking. Neither are for the faint-hearted. But, when you are willing to make sacrifices and step outside of your comfort zone, the rewards can be endless.'
What an incredible piece shared with Aunua Academy. These insights into the comparisons between everyday life and the hike life have really hit home that anything is achievable! Thank you Marina Branigan.
Stay tuned this weekend, when I will be sharing a yummy food recipe!
Audrey & The Aunua Team
Welcome to your home for emotional health & well being.