I went to a rock-climbing gym this past weekend.
It was my first time bouldering… and I was surprised at how challenging it was.
It was a physical challenge, which I expected. I anticipated tired shoulders and burning arm muscles and tired legs.
But I didn’t realize how much it would challenge my thinking. And, as per usual, when something challenges my thinking, it often drives home important writing and business lessons as part of the bargain.
Bouldering Lesson One — Rely on Your Core Strength
When you’re clinging to a wall by a couple of oddly shaped handholds and two footholds that are almost too small to mention, your instinct is to keep your body close to the wall. When you do, you end up keeping your arms in close to your body, and that means relying on your arm muscles and even the muscles in your fingers.
It works better if you let your core muscles do more of the work. But that means keeping your arms wide against the wall, or even letting yourself hang out away from the wall a bit. That doesn’t feel natural!
But it’s much less tiring.
In writing and marketing, it’s easy to get distracted by a shiny new trick or an exciting new trend. Integrating those things are fine, but don’t forget your core skills. Writing well. Writing persuasively. Continually listening to your audience. Those are what will deliver one success after another.
Bouldering Lesson Two — Think Ahead
When you’re bouldering, you have several options for getting from your start point to your end point. Taking the easiest first step may box you into a harder climb farther up. It pays to think ahead two or three moves. Doing a somewhat difficult step in the beginning may open up an easier path higher up.
The same is true with writing projects. Tackling the tougher steps first will often make the whole project go smoother. Leave those till the end, and you may find yourself scrambling to do your best work… or to even hit your deadline.
Bouldering Lesson Three — Switch Your View… A Lot
It’s important to pause and consider what you’re going to do next. That means pulling your view out a bit and considering your options.
But when you actually make your move, it’s important to focus intently on where you’re placing your hand or your foot, how you’re shifting your weight and your balance, even what part of your foot you’re putting pressure on.
With your business, it’s the same. Sometimes you need to pull out and think about the best way to move forward. But other times, you need to zero in on the task at hand.
Bouldering Lesson Four — Agility Is Preferable to Stability
Being rigid while climbing a rock wall doesn’t work very well, but it feels safer and more stable. The problem is, it’s much more tiring and it limits you from trying things that might work if you’d just give them a chance.
In your business, staying agile, trying new things, and being able to make quick adjustments when needed are all things that will serve you well.
Bouldering Lesson Five — Don’t Box in Your Thinking
And the most important one. On a rock wall, certain things are considered “handholds” while others are considered “footholds.” But you can use handholds as footholds and vice versa. You can even skip the holds altogether and leverage your feet against the smooth face of the wall. But when you’re new to climbing, it’s easy to see things based on their labels and to not consider how else you might use them.
That’s something that’s easy to do in all aspects of life. So don’t forget to think about how you might apply a writing skill or marketing skill to a situation where it’s not usually used.
Also… go out and try new things. Taking a day to do something completely unfamiliar (like rock climbing was for me) can trigger all sorts of mindset shifts about your business… and even life in general.
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Mark Your Calendar
July 15: Do you have a blog? Have you thought about launching a blog? A blog can be fun and rewarding even if you never decide to earn money from it. But if you do decide to earn some money from your blog, you have a lot of options for how you might make that happen. In this webinar, you’ll learn about the easiest way to monetize your blog… the most profitable way… and one of the best strategies for long-term earnings. If you want to make money from writing, join us and see how a blog can help you do it.
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That’s all for now. Make it a great week!