I know what you’re thinking…who?

Like me, Alex Honnold is in his thirties (but not quite as good looking!) and likes big challenges. He’s a mountaineer, or more accurately, a rock climber who goes free solo – ie, he doesn’t use ropes or any protective equipment. Basically he’s a total nutter!

In the gripping documentary film about him (called Free Solo of course!) we follow Alex as he makes the unbelievable ascent up El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. 3000 feet. Without a fucking rope. Or a harness. Or a safety net!!

It’s an incredible, inspirational watch and got me thinking about business – naturally 🙂

Alex risks literally everything with every step. There’s one absolutely heart-stopping moment where he can’t climb any further without actually jumping from one rocky crag to another. In that split second he has to trust himself completely – not 98 or 99.9% but 100%. He’s putting into practice everything he’s ever learnt about climbing so he doesn’t make a mistake. Any mistake would mean certain death – as some free solo climbers have tragically found out to their cost. 

There’s an obvious message in what Alex does. That’s to go for it, commit to everything. Take a step into the unknown every day – all the cliches, the sort of messages you see stuck on people’s living room walls.

That’s all well and good, and I always say people should push themselves to be the best they can be, but surely there’s another, deeper message here. 

If you’re not someone who climbs up rocks without ropes for a living, what is there to be afraid of? We’re all climbing our metaphorical mountain each day, but we’ve got safety nets. One small mistake won’t mean the end for us. 

Alex 2

This is good news! We can take a chance, and if it doesn’t come off, learn from it without the end being fatal.

EVERYONE makes mistakes, the key is to be honest enough to admit them. Because without admitting them, how are you going to avoid making the same ones again?

Unlike Alex, we don’t need to face every day without a rope – but we can still take risks, and whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or the owner of a huge business, that’s something that is absolutely key to corporate success. 

 You’ll never get anywhere doing things half arsed or just trundling along. Wake up every day not loving what you do? Change it! On the wrong path? Change it! Take a chance and it could just be the best decision of your life, and change your life immeasurably for the better.

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