New in business

Having owned my business for so long I thought I had moved on from the ‘new in
business’. However, after giving it some more thought I realised we are never without the ‘new’ in our daily, routine lives.
When we wake in the morning it is a new day, bringing with it new opportunities, new challenges, new relationships, new lessons and a renewed chance. The ‘new’ (and everything it brings with it) is in fact the norm or the day to day things, without it our business doesn’t grow.
With this in mind I wondered what we experience when we venture into something new.
Unbeknown to me I would soon find myself in a very new situation! My husband and I have a rule – ‘try everything once’. If one of us decides we want to do something, the other is not allowed to say no without having tried it at least once. So here we are, venturing up to the Kruger National Park, a first for both of us, and my husband books a quad-biking experience for us. Now, some of you may be thinking, what’s the big deal about that? But I assure you, for me, this is certainly not my comfort zone. The adventure starts with me being given a host of instructions about a powerful machine I have never come close to in my life. The most exposure I have had to quad bikes at this point, are the horrific stories of injuries sustained and near fatal encounters. So with my sea of information we start on our course and within about 30 seconds I have managed to veer off the straight road and land up in the tall grass – introducing my mind to the fact that I may now encounter my number one phobia: snakes! Oh, and
yes, I have lost my shoe at this point as well. There were just so many new things to focus on between the accelerator, the brakes and the adrenaline, I neglected to actually steer the thing. With the help of the instructor I was soon back on the course, shoes intact, and ready to try again. I let my mind wander to how this relates to business and being a business owner (probably to distract myself for the two hours of discomfort that now lay ahead of me).

The lessons I took from this experience do not differ from a new to a seasoned business. We never know it all and never should. Here’s what I learnt:
• Listen and learn from those who’ve walked this path before you. Let them guide you. Heed their caution – they speak from experience.
• Go at the pace that suits you, but keep moving forward. Your confidence will increase the more you keep doing it. Abraham Lincoln was quoted as saying “I walk slowly, but I never walk backwards”.
• Surround yourself with a good support structure; they will help you when you get stuck.

After the first hour, still feeling somewhat uneasy, we reached an obstacle course. Despite being strongly encouraged to take up the challenge I opted to sit out of this one and leave it to the more experienced riders in the group. I stood back and observed the fun they had and the chances they took. After about half an hour I was back on the bike and we continued on our course. This time, with a little more confidence, I increased my pace a bit and actually looked up and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings.
Admittedly, had I been given the option of giving up and going back I may have taken it and I would have totally missed out. I was pleasantly surprised at the difference in my experience after taking a few minutes to regroup. About fifteen minutes before our adventure drew to an end my bike decided to give up on me, so I hopped on the back of my husband’s bike, hung on tight and got to experience the fun without the fear.

My thoughts from the second half were as follows:

• Don’t give up because you’re ’not getting it’ as quickly as someone else.
• If you’re feeling despondent, take some time out to observe those who’ve been in the game a bit longer. Let them show you what you have to look forward to.
• Step outside of your comfort zone – you might surprise yourself.
• If it’s not for you, that’s OK. You must enjoy what you’re doing.
• Let someone else be the driver from time to time. It gives you an opportunity to see all the things you were missing.

If we never try or venture into something new, then we don’t grow. Your business growth is dependent on you. New to me is to venture into the unknown, to venture out of my personal comfort zone and learn something new
about myself

Some rules to take into a new day – Just do it; have fun; be bold; challenge yourself; stand on your own two feet; live the moment; value family and friends; have respect.
– Richard Branson

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