5 Business Lessons I Learned While Shoveling Snow

shovel boots

So we here in Minnesota got hit hard with a blizzard last night and I did what any Minnesotan would do, and got all dressed up and went out to shovel. Dragging my boots a bit, knowing that this task is not much fun, but necessary. Feeling a little defeated because its March and spring is so close. I was becoming more and more thrilled with the sight of some dry dead grass, because that even gave me hope that the season is changing and the warmer weather is on its way. But nope, here I stand on my front steps, bundled up like Ralphy from the Christmas Story, shovel in hand, staring at what seems like and a never ending walkway of snow.
I quickly get through the top thin layer on the steps, and think, “hey, this isn’t so bad.” Then I move down the the actual sidewalk and it begins. I’m in the deep super wet snow that you can only push like a foot at a time before getting stuck. Sigh! Yeah, this is gonna suck, but i have to do it. It’s just me and my shovel against this heavy annoying snow. As I slowly pace myself and go what feels like inch by inch, my mind begins to wander. And WOW, did I hear my ego screaming at me. I realize I’m in the middle of a lesson. A business lesson no less.

I’ve been working on a network marketing business for about 8 months now. And I’m doing it in a way this a bit unconventional. But it feels more authentic to me, but its a huge learning process everyday. There are days where you have so many ideas, days where you have none. Days where you need to learn a new skill ( and that can take a few weeks to get the hang of), and days where you need to really sit and think about why you are struggling doing something that may seem simple to someone else, but it is a block of yours and you alone have to break it down to get past it (and that too can take weeks…and help from a few other people and books).

So as I shovel, I start to get tired and I can hear the excuses in my head of why I could stop and come back later to finish, and maybe if I only get to the edge of the walk I could take a break, seriously?!?!? Part of me is convincing me that it’s too hard and just not worth it, and the other part of me is like, “Bitch keep going because it needs to get done”. I actually took a second and laughed out loud, looked up at the sky and said, “I hear ya, I get what you are trying to tell me!”
As many times as you want to stop, as hard as you think it is, as much as you want someone else to come do it for you…it’s up to you! Find a way to keep going.

It was deep, heavy, wet snow. I started shovelling off layers at a time to make it less heavy, so I could keep making progress. That helped. But I got to the dreaded section where the snowplow from the street piles it up in big clumps and is higher and heavier than the rest. Yeah…that part is always the worst. And I almost left that a few times, but started laughing again. How could I stop now, I’m so close. So I began chipping away at the big pieces of packed snow, and taking them down what felt like one by one. I’m starting to feel like I’m actually going to do this. I struggle to keep pulling this pile apart, then jump over the top of it to the other side, and thought ,”HA, maybe if I come at it from the other side it will be easier to bust through.” And walla….I had shoveled through the mountain of snow and got a path all of the way to the street. Now my sidewalk is not all that big, but my ego tried to talk me out of finishing a half dozen times. No wonder people struggle with their businesses if this kind of “talk” happens all day long when faced with tasks that aren’t our favorite things to do or even have never done before.

Seems like a weird experience shoveling and business, but I got a few great business building lessons and maybe you will too. So if you start to hear that voice, remember:

  1. You have made a goal for yourself, and there are several ways to go about it. What works for others may not work for you. Be authentic and follow what lights you up.
  2. When that task seems overwhelming, break it down into smaller more manageable parts. Achieving small accomplishments creates momentum, toward bigger ones.
  3. Sometimes a shift in perspective or scenery can change how you approach the problem and even solve it.
  4. When you feel like you want to quit, that’s when you really need to push harder. There is a breakdown right before a breakthrough, so just keep going. A great coach
    (Kris Britton) once told me, that when you think you’re done you really have 40%
    left….that’s a lot!
  5. Now that a big goal has been accomplished, go and make another one. Always keep yourself moving forward by having something to work towards.

 

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