My friend, the late Paul Gruchow, is sometimes referred to as a modern-day Thoreau. Yes, Paul was a great writer.
He enjoyed hiking and he once described “the perfect hike.” At the beginning of any trail, hikers consciously or subconsciously take into account a hike’s variables, which can include: length of the hike, slope, elevation, air temperature, condition of the trail, the weight of the backpack, personal fitness level, and the number of stops that will be taken for rest or food. Based on that information, hikers set their pace. The perfect hike, according to Paul, is when you are able to set a pace at the beginning that never varies over the hike’s duration.
Paul could have been describing solopreneurship.
When we launch our solo businesses, we must consider the size of the market, competition, pricing, our own level of expertise, our definition of what success is, the lifestyle we want to live, how we want to take vacations, and much more.
From that information, we start our businesses — we begin hiking.
The most common mistake for hikers is setting too fast of a pace. The same is true for solopreneurs.
In our enthusiasm and eagerness as solo-business owners, we work incredibly long hours, we work on weekends, we let our exercise regimens slide, we decide to forego vacation or even a day off, we ignore our hobbies, we neglect our families and friends.
If we don’t slow our pace, we eventually get to a place where we can’t take another step, and we either have to walk back down the mountain or be airlifted from the trail.
Our lesson to take from Paul Gruchow is simple: the sooner we set a sustainable pace for ourselves, the more likely it is that we’ll reach our destinations.