This past week we spent the day in Mount Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California. We sweat through a mid-day hike, plugged our noses at the sulfur springs, saw a mama bear and her two cubs play in the meadow, and played in the snow!
Our hike was the Kings Creek hike back to the Kings Creek Falls.
It was supposed to be a moderate, two hour hike — perfect for the kids! But that wasn’t exactly the case. Pretty far into the hike when we came across a trail sign telling us that the trail was closed due to all of the snow and that we needed to take a detour and hike the horse trail instead, adding about .2 miles to our hike.
Only .2 miles right? No biggie. So we kept on hiking, this trail was more rocky and much steeper. The kids were a bit afraid and we were all tired and hot. Then came another sign saying it was just .2 miles to the falls. We were almost there, or so we thought.
Then came another sign telling us it was just another .2 miles to the falls. We kept thinking we were almost there, and then we kept getting smacked in the face with signs telling us it was farther away than we thought. We were frustrated. As one point I know some of our hiking party wanted to stop, play in the creek and not worry about it … because all of our minds were thinking about the hike back. My youngest actually asked me at one point if there was an escalator we could ride down the mountain on! Imagine that! An escalator we could hop on and ride to the end to skip the hard part!
As I was hiking, I started laughing and thinking about how this experience parallels what business owners experience on a daily basis.
We work toward a goal, making more and more progress each day. We know where we are going. We are following the path. We can’t wait to get to our final destination. But it takes work. It takes sweat. It takes persistence, effort, and commitment. There are no quick ways to the end. There are no escalators to skip the hard work. There is no magic escalator to business success.
You’ve got to keep moving forward down the path, little-by-little, day-by-day, one step at a time, knowing that you are going to run into detours, ditches, and delays, knowing that reaching that final destination will make the entire journey worth the effort, sweat, scrapes, bruises, and tears.
I know I’ve hit my fair share of detours and delays — but staying focused on pushing through them and getting back on my path has kept me moving forward — albeit sometimes more slowly than I would like.
What about you? Have you hit detours and delays? How do you deal with them? I love to hear about it!