Today we have a slightly different and more personal episode. Last week, I had the incredible experience of climbing Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales.
This challenging endeavor not only pushed me to my limits physically, but also provided valuable insights and lessons applicable to running a business.
So in this episode, I'll share with you why I was there, the parallels between mountain climbing and entrepreneurship, as well as practical strategies to implement in your own business.
So whether you've climbed Snowdon before or not, get ready for an inspiring and insightful discussion.
Topics Covered In This Episode:
[00:00] Introduction to climbing Mount Snowdon and its relevance to business.
[02:02] The importance of being part of a supportive community in business.
[03:00] Why I was in Wales, climbing Snowdon
[03:55] The climb was way harder than I thought but it also reminded me of the importance of enjoying the journey.
[05:05] Highlighting the importance of teamwork and collaboration in business.
[05:59] Personal accomplishment and the lesson of reconnecting with vision and perseverance.
[07:25] Importance of celebrating wins along the entrepreneurial journey.
[08:03] Reminder of the need for proper planning and preparation in business.
“Having a community around you pushes you to achieve more than you think you could. When your brain is saying STOP,, having a community around you who are supporting you and willing you on is so absolutely important.” - Rob Da Costa
“It's really important that we stop and enjoy the journey and don't just focus on the destination. This was true when climbing Snowdon and is true when running an agency” - Rob Da Costa
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Rob Da Costa [00:00:00]:
Hey, everybody. I hope you're having a fantastic week so far. I must admit that I'm feeling a little bit achy today, and that's because last week I climbed Mount Snowden. Now, if you don't know Mount Snowden, it is in Wales and it is the highest mountain in England and Wales, measuring 3560ft or 1085 metres high. It was done as part of a group coaching programme that I am a member of, and I found it both super challenging, pushing me to my limits, but also super inspirational as well. So I thought I would share with you today some of the learnings that I got about myself and about my business and some of the analogies and comparisons we can make between climbing a mountain and running a business. And also some of the lessons I've learned and some of the practical things that I am going to implement in my business that you could implement in yours as well. So if you've climbed Mark Snowden before, you're going to relate to some of this.
Rob Da Costa [00:00:57]:
If you haven't, I'd highly recommend doing a challenge like this that definitely pushes you beyond your limits. So let's jump into today's episode and get started on a slightly different and maybe a more personal episode than normal. I'm Rob Costa, and this is the agency Accelerator Podcast. As someone who has stood in your shoes, having started, grown and sold my own agency, I know just how it feels in the ups and downs of agency life. So this podcast aims to ease your journey just a little by sharing mine and my guests experiences and advice as you navigate your way to growing a profitable, sustainable and enjoyable business. Now, I know I'm old and grey, but I am part of a group coaching programme and almost all the time of running my business, I've been part of some kind of group coaching programme. Because there is nothing like being surrounded by other entrepreneurs who are doing something similar but different to you and are going on the same journey as you and are there to support you, so that you don't feel alone. I know for a lot of agency owners, it can feel really lonely at the top.
Rob Da Costa [00:02:02]:
So having a supportive community that understands what you're going through is super important. And whilst it's great having your partner, your husband, your wife, your friends, and your parents to support you, they don't quite understand the journey you're going on. So having these other fellow entrepreneurs in a community is super important and I'd advise everybody to be part of a group to get that support. Anyway, once a quarter, the group that I'm in gets together face-to-face to do some planning for our next quarter. In fact, in my group, we're just about to do our Q Four planning as well. Now, this face-to-face meeting was a little bit different because instead of meeting for one day in London, we met for three days in deepest, darkest North Wales, which is an absolutely stunning place if some way to drive to get there, a good six-hour drive. Part of our three-day retreat was on day two to climb Mount Snowden and then on day three to do our Q Four planning. Now, I like to think of myself as a fairly fit person indeed.
Rob Da Costa [00:03:00]:
I go to the gym a few times a week and for the past few months, I have been going on the very painful stairclimber to get some steps in, to get used to the idea of climbing up the mountain. And if I'm honest, I didn't really know too much about climbing Mount Snowden. I hadn't done a lot of research besides what I needed to wear and sadly, the weather wasn't particularly on our side. It was a bit rainy, but it was very windy. Now, it turns out that the winds towards the top of the mountain were 50. They stop people from going up the mountain because it's too dangerous. And probably the scariest thing for me was that feeling of being blown off the mountain when you're on fairly narrow ledges. So there were about 30 of us at the retreat and probably 20 of us were doing the climb and the other 10 were opting to take the train, which, sadly, didn't run to the top of the mountain in the end because the weather was too bad, so they didn't get to see the summit.
Rob Da Costa [00:03:55]:
But the rest of us set off with two experienced climbers and we were told that the beginning of the climb would be more challenging. Well, it actually turns out that pretty much the whole climb up was challenging on the route that we went. And a lot of the time we were scrambling across the rocks, which were wet because there's water everywhere. But when we got a chance to take our breath, we got to see some stunning views. And that was a really good reminder that when we are running our business or going through life, that it's really important that we stop and enjoy the journey and don't just focus on the destination. It would have been very easy on this climb just to focus on putting one step in front of the other and getting to the top of the mountain, looking down at where you're going, rather than just taking those moments to enjoy the beautiful views of the mountain, of the lakes that we saw. Now, the people I was climbing with are all fellow entrepreneurs, all running their own kinds of different online businesses and at different levels of climbing experience and at different points in their entrepreneurial journey of creating their online programmes. But one thing we all had in common was the challenge to get to the top of the mountain.
Rob Da Costa [00:05:05]:
And the way we did that was by helping each other out and stopping and making sure everybody was okay, that they were drinking enough, they were warm enough and they weren't getting left behind. And I think this is, again, another metaphor for running a business, that we want to make sure that we are working as a team, because when we work as a team, we get to our destination, rather than just trying to be a superstar and leaving everyone else behind. As they say, teamwork makes the dream work. And that was definitely true on the mountain and that is definitely true when it comes to running your agency. I can't tell you how difficult this was, both physically and mentally for me and how accomplished I feel having made it. Although, if I'm honest with you, I'm not sure I ever need to climb Snowden again. That is definitely something I've ticked off my bucket list. But let me just share with you a few other business lessons learned from making this climb.
Rob Da Costa [00:05:59]:
First of all, well, quite frankly, if I can climb Snowdon, I feel like I can do absolutely anything in my business. And when those little things kind of get you down, you have to reconnect with your vision, your why, to keep you focused and aligned. And in this case, that was climbing Snowdon. But for us, on a day-to-day basis, running our businesses, it's whatever our next quarter's plan is, whatever our year plan is, or whatever our bigger picture vision is, we can keep persevering. Just put 1ft in front of the other and before you know it, you have got to the top of the mountain. Something else that I learned was that teamwork is so important, and parking your ego is also so important. As I said, this group I'm working within, this coaching programme is fantastic. There is no ego there.
Rob Da Costa [00:06:44]:
Everybody wants to succeed and everybody else wants everyone else to succeed, and that is true in our businesses, but it was also true on Mount Snowden. No one was going to be left behind and there was no one trying to be macho and get to the top of the mountain before everybody else. It's really important that we celebrate our wins along the journey. Yes, getting to the top of the mountain was super important, but so was setting off and having those various stages where we stopped, took stock, enjoyed the view, took a break, refreshed ourselves a bit and then moved on to the next part of the climb. So it's really important that we celebrate our wins. And last of all, I think it's also really important to recognise that we need to plan. Now, I didn't plan enough for this. I should have known more about what the conditions would be, and what the weather was going to be like.
Rob Da Costa [00:07:34]:
But I did plan in terms of making sure I had the right clothing with me, making sure that I had the right water and refreshments with me, and also exercising to build up as much stamina as I possibly could because I wasn't naive enough to think, as a nearly 60-year-old, I'd just be able to saunter up the mountain. But on the other hand, I didn't realise that I would literally be on my hands and knees or sliding down the mountain on my bum at times because it was that steep. So making sure that we are prepared and we are planning for the road ahead is super important in our business and it was important on the mountain as well. And I think the last point is having really good perspective on what you're doing on a day-to-day basis. Not just enjoying the view at the top of the summit, but also just celebrating those wins along the way and having some perspective on where you're at in your business and what your next challenges and your next goals are. And that's why, as I say so many times, it's so important that we all have a documented living vision that we translate into our year plan, our quarterly objectives and our monthly plan as well, and that we're reviewing that plan regularly because we never know what's around the corner. And there are a few times on the mountain where we had to make different decisions about which way we were going to climb, which deviated away from the original plan, but made the most sense based on the capability. Of the climbers and also the changing weather.
Rob Da Costa [00:08:59]:
Because the further we got towards the summit, the colder windier and rainier it got as well. So we obviously needed to make sure we were all safe. I want to wrap this short podcast up by talking about the power of community and how you really build bonds with people when you have shared experiences. I made lifelong friends with the people I was climbing with and of course, we've got lots of shared stories that no doubt we will be revisiting every time we get to see each other. I think that community pushes you to achieve more than you think you could. I think when your brain is saying Stop, it hurts, and you're in that fight or flight mode, having the community around you who are supporting you and willing you on is so absolutely important. And when I heard some of the stories of other members, of some of the adversity that they've been through, some people who are conquering their fear of heights and people who've had negative experiences before in climbing, yet they're still at it, it is just so inspiring and it puts your challenges into perspective. I learned the true meaning of mind over matter when your brain is saying stop that you can keep going.
Rob Da Costa [00:10:07]:
And when people injured themselves on the mountain, yet they kept going. It's truly inspiring and it puts everything that we do in our business into perspective. And as I said right at the beginning, if I can achieve that, then I can achieve anything. And that is one of the biggest lessons that I learned from climbing Mount Snowden. Now, I know I've been talking a lot about community and I'm not just saying it because I run a group coaching programme, but I am saying it because I know so many of us feel like we are on our own. And I know full well that if I were climbing Mount Snowden on my own, I probably wouldn't have made it. And having that community around me was super important. And that is so true in your business as well.
Rob Da Costa [00:10:45]:
So if you're interested in finding out more about my group coaching programme called the Self Running Agency Implementation Group, then check out the links below. Now, it's called an implementation group because it's all about getting stuff done. It's not about learning, it's not a training programme. It's about getting things done and building accountability into your business so that you are allocating enough time to work on the agency and move forward so that you can deliver the agency that you want and so that you can build an agency that is less dependent on you. And one where you get the flexibility and freedom that you always wanted without losing control. And one where the whole world of responsibility doesn't just sit on your shoulders, but you actually get to build a team and then collectively, that team climbs the mountain to deliver the vision for your agency. So if you want to learn more about that, then check out the link in my show notes. Other than that, this was a bit of a different episode.
Rob Da Costa [00:11:39]:
I hope you found it useful. There really were a lot of metaphors and a lot of lessons to learn from climbing Mount Snowden, and I still am buzzing from the sense of accomplishment that I got, the inspiration from the other people and the plans that I now need to put in place the following day where we worked on our Q Four plans. So I really encourage you to find your own Mount Snowden, whatever that might be, and then really think about how you can apply the lessons you learn from your Mount Snowden back into your agency. And remember, if you can climb Mount Snowden, then you can do anything in your business. So, other than that, have a fantastic rest of your week. If you enjoyed the episode, please do let me know because, as I said, this is a bit different. Do consider leaving a review and of course, share this episode with your colleagues so I can reach and impact even more people. But other than that, have a great rest of your week and I will see you next Thursday for the next episode of the Agency Accelerator Podcast.