What backpacking taught me about my business – Part 1

My wife, Sheri, and I started backpacking together in December of 2010.  It was her first trip ever and my first trip since my son Jordan was in scouts.  We went with friends to a trail up by Lake Texoma.  Great time but we froze as the wind kicked up that night and dropped the temperatures down into the 30’s.  We’ve learned a lot since then and have purchased a little gear here and there as we’ve grown in our education of backpacking.

In September, a group of us from Dallas and a friend who lived in Utah met in Red River, New Mexico to backpack up Wheeler Peak.  Wheeler is the tallest mountain in New Mexico with an elevation of 13,167 feet.  We’d driven in rain from Amarillo, Texas to Red River.  Looking up at the peak we were going to hike that Thursday, we discovered it snowed overnight.

We started up in short sleeves and added layers as we climbed to our camp site.  I brought up the rear playing with the camera on my iPhone (it weighs a lot less than my 35mm Canon) and was truly enjoying myself when I found myself thinking about how heading up an insurance agency was not very different from what I was doing at that moment.  Here are the first three lessons I learned on that hike.

It’s not mine

  • There were 5 of us on this trip, Sheri, Susan, Irene, Matt & myself
  • Each of us had our own individual journey as well as our collective journey we were able to share together
  • Wise Insurance Group isn’t really my company but rather a collection of people we have the privilege and honor of serving
  • We exist because of our clients

Every journey has a start

  • Every hike has a beginning
  • There’s a first step, the first vista, the first stream crossing, the first night, etc.
  • The journey doesn’t begin until we take that first step
  • Every business is a series of first’s too
    • The first day
    • The first client
    • The first home, auto, and life policy
    • The first referral
    • The first blog
    • The first policy from twitter
  • These first’s, and there will be many more, are joyful experiences that keep the journey fresh as well as exciting. They fire the passion of what we do each day
  • Each day is truly a new beginning and a chance to build upon what we’ve already done

Friends for the journey

  • No one can hike the trail for us, that is each our own journey
  • Friends make the journey easier when the going gets tough (and it will)
  • Encouragement feeds belief and gives strength to the legs
  • In business, there a moments that are truly encouraging to me as a business owner
    • A heartfelt thank you!
    • A client referring a family member, friend, or colleague
    • Someone we’d written before coming back to see if we can help them again
  • Each of these is an encouragement when days can easily extend to 12 or 14 hours

I’ll continue to share what I learned next Friday.  Have a question about this post or trip, or maybe a suggestion on where our next trip should be?  Post it in the comments section or on our Facebook page!  All are appreciated.

Evie Wise
Evie Wise


Evie Wise
Evie Wise

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