How new hiking poles help me make better business decisions

Posted on May 24, 2011


hiking_poles_help_business_decisionsIf you’ve read my other blog posts, you know that I love the outdoors. There’s something about being outside, whether it’s hiking, kayaking or snowshoeing, that works both my body and my mind. A recent experience with new hiking poles taught me a lesson in making better decisions.

Here’s how my new hiking poles have helped me with decisions. There is nothing new or earth-shattering about these lessons, but they’re good reminders.

1. Assumptions can hold you back.

I kept resisting hiking poles since I thought they would make my hikes less intense. In reality, they make the hikes more intense, yet more comfortable.

The reality of hiking poles:

a. They take a lot of stress off your knees and hips when going down hill. This is a good thing.
b. On flat and uphill terrain, they work your upper body so you’re getting a better workout. This is also a good thing.

Lesson learned: Testing assumptions will help you make better decisions.

2. If you really want something, you find a way to obtain it.

I’m not at all materialistic. If I was so, I’d still be working in New York, making lots of money but with no life and no friends. I choose to have a more modest life style that is filled with friendship and family. For the longest time, I couldn’t justify spending money on something I didn’t consider a necessity.

My favorite store, LLBean, was having a big sale, plus I had several reward coupons. I ended up buying a really nice pair of poles at about 1/3 of their cost. The reality is that as I grow older and my hips and knees act up, the poles will allow me to hike longer.

Lesson learned: Make a firm decision and go for it!

3. Ask a lot of questions.

Who would have thought there were so many different types of hiking poles? Trust me, there are. I had a very nice conversation with the LLBean phone rep and learned a lot about poles. I was able to make an informed decision.

Lesson learned: Asking lots of questions can give you the information you need to make a good decision.

4. If you have a tool, use it!

So I went to try out my new poles. I didn’t want to get them wet or scratched, so I didn’t use them as I was crossing a stream. End result is that I slipped on a wet rock and endedup tearing open my arm – ouch. Lesson learned here is pretty obvious – use the tools you have at your disposal!

Lesson learned: Don’t be afraid to use what’s available to you.

Have you had any experiences that have helped you with other aspects of your life?

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Posted in: business