Business Inspiration in Unlikely Places: The Hike That Helped Me Make a Tough Decision
Forging ahead on the trail was scary but turning back just wan't an option. The same was true for my business path.
Don’t you hate it when you're stuck in a tough spot and can’t decide which way to go?
I took my kids on a killer hike last week and I do mean killer. Thirty minutes in, I was gasping so hard I worried I would drop dead In the San Pedro Mountain Preserve, stranding my terrified and ill-prepared children.
I should probably be teaching these kids life survival skills instead of letting them learn completely inappropriate things from the Simpsons all day. Maybe I should start weekly drills:
“Quick! Mom clutches her chest and drops to the trail, what do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO???”
Two hours in, the conversation started getting whiny and I sensed a full-fledged revolt looming. I love hiking with my kiddos but I’m no masochist. I had no desire to be stuck in the middle of nowhere fielding complaints from disgruntled troops. My mind wandered to the tootsie pops I carry in my pack, but I strategically plan their disbursement for the last leg of a hike and a glance at my map told me we had at least another hour to go. It takes more licks than that to get to the center.
A split-second decision to take a shortcut, shaving off a considerable amount of distance, proved to be the most grueling and comically terrifying twenty minutes of my life.
After three minutes the narrow, loose-dirt trail lifted to near vertical and the embankment rose around us so that we were practically crawling on all fours up what felt like a narrow and winding canyon. Ten minutes in and my map showed we were only a quarter of the way through. A quick glance behind showed turning back to be equally scary.
We plowed forward. I was drenched, I could taste the gritty dirt in my mouth and I was sure my heart would fail. This was NOT What I had signed up for!
I was terrified a bike would come whipping around a bend and imagined the headlines: “Irresponsible Mother and Two Innocent Children Mowed Down by Mountain Biker” The comments section of the SF Chronicle would be off the hook.
Don’t worry too much, we obviously made it.
We finally emerged, with a collective cheer and blistered feet, at the trailhead. We dragged our exhausted bodies the final thirty feet to my dusty Jeep Cherokee and collapsed inside, too tired to mind the sun-baked interior.
We spent the car ride home complaining about our dead legs and fantasizing about ice cream. It was wicked fun.
So look guys, I’ve made a decision.
After approximately one million hours of internal debate, thirty-five thousand pounds of chocolate and countless one-sided conversations with my cats, I’ve decided to give up the massage studio I've rented for nearly fifteen years.
I’ll spare you all the finer details and endless circular arguments (that's what the cats and kids are for) and just cut to the chase:
Rather than continuing, for an undetermined amount of time, to pay Bay Area rent on a depressingly unused space, I decided to install a beautiful backyard studio space at my home that I will (when able to) work out of.
Relocating my business is a scary prospect. But when I turn around, the idea of being suspended indefinitely in limbo is equally scary. This was NOT what I signed up for! But I’m plowing ahead, doubts tucked safely on my back with the tootsie pops.
The truth of the matter is that I’ve fantasized about a practice closer to home for quite some time. So, rather than dwell on all of the things that haven't gone according to plan this year, I’m embracing the situation as an opportunity to make some long wanted, albeit risky, changes.
Doesn’t that sound all easy breezy and optimistic? Lies.
Look, honestly? I’ve been torn to shreds wrestling with pulling the trigger on this. But I’m also genuinely excited about the space I’m about to create and the long held vision of my practice that I’m about to (attempt to) bring to fruition.
If not now, then when?
It’s going to be lovely, it’s going to be quiet and the parking situation is awesome!
That grueling hike that almost did my kids in? We’ve been talking about how great it was ever since. Sometimes the scary, unplanned path is the right one after all.