Editor’s Note: My buddy Bill Pipes is more than our master sales trainer and presenter of Sales Edge. He’s an adventurer always pushing himself to conquer new goals, and he recently experienced one of the most harrowing adventures of his life. Along the way, he learned some amazing lessons for life and business. I asked him to present these to our coaching members a couple weeks ago, and today, I’ve invited him to share these lessons with you in this guest blog. -Tom
By Bill Pipes
We’re often told “It’s the journey, not the destination.”
I have a deeper understanding of that phrase after my quest to conquer Aconcagua, the highest peak in both the Southern and Western Hemispheres. It’s part of the Andes mountains and known to many climbers as “Mini Everest,” rising to a pinnacle of 22,421 feet above Mendoza, Argentina.
My trip took place in January after many months of planning and preparation.
All told, it was a 24-day journey.
Make that a humbling 24-day journey.
But also a very fruitful one in terms of life lessons learned.
Full disclosure: I didn’t make it to the top of Aconcagua. In fact, only two of the 10 people in my group reached the summit.
Still, I consider it the greatest success in my life where I didn’t actually reach my goal.
And I came back with seven extremely valuable lessons to share with you that I believe can make a major difference in both your life and your business.
Lesson 1: Never Underestimate Your Challenge
For context, it’s important to know that I climbed Kilimanjaro several years ago. At 19,341 feet, it stands approximately 14 percent shorter than Aconcagua.
To be generous, I expected Aconcagua to be 20-30 percent more difficult than Kilimanjaro.
But I quickly learned that with wildly important goals (WIGs), the goal you set will be harder to accomplish than you ever imagined.
In reality, Aconcagua was twice as difficult as Kilimanjaro.
I ended up making it to High Camp at an elevation of 19,736 feet. On the morning of the hike toward the summit, I didn’t have it in me. I was only 3,000 feet from the goal, but I stopped.
I realized big goals require a massive change within you, including sacrifices you have to make that will challenge you.
I knew it would be difficult. I had prepared by doing local climbs, watching YouTube videos, talking to the guide company who would be leading our expedition and more.
Yet I still underestimated what it would take.
When you set a WIG, it’ll demand more of you than you ever imagined. If you know that going in, you can commit yourself to that idea and prepare yourself better than I did.
Lesson 2: Triple-Down on Training
When you fully grasp lesson one, lesson two becomes crystal clear: When pursuing a WIG, you must train two to three times more than you believe is necessary.
I trained 20-30 percent more than I did for Kilimanjaro. And I ended up reaching about the same elevation.
In hindsight, I know had I trained harder, I would have been better mentally and physically prepared for the challenges we faced – bitter cold conditions, a blizzard that left a foot of powdery snow that made hiking infinitely more difficult, the mind-testing rigmarole of repeatedly climbing up and back down the mountain again on “carry days” and “haul days”… just to name a few.
I now know this: I can never be too prepared.
Applying this lesson to your business, I’m curious… What do you need to double or triple down on? Your calls? Role playing? Your mental outlook? Being prepared for the day the moment you wake up? Let me know in the comments below.