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Recently, I traveled to Harpers Ferry, WV with a friend. The town of Harpers Ferry is right in between the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers and walking through the little town is like taking a stroll back through history. It is full of quaint buildings and the fort of John Brown, which was a key site in an abolitionist raid during the Civil War. It is also home to Jefferson Rock, which President Jefferson declared to be the most beautiful view in West Virginia.

There is only one way to get around town and that is by walking, uphill, and you guessed it…both ways. HA! For this flatlander Florida girl that was something in and of itself. Part of the draw to Harpers Ferry is the hike to Overlook Point where you get a bird’s eye view of the entire town. To get to the trail, you have to cross the bridge going outside of town and pass under a “hiking trail closed” sign to get to the trail. I had read that the trail was a strenuous uphill hike. I took that under advisement, but I thought, hey, I know what we’re in for, and I’m in decent shape so I’m sure they exaggerated on the strenuous part.

So, under the closed entrance we went (hey, we were just following behind other people so……..). The first few feet were uneventful and then around one bend and bam, the first uphill climb. Even at that point I was thinking, uphill, level off, uphill, level off, like that. Surely!

I was wrong. They were right. I hate them. It was strenuous.

It was uphill, it was rocky, and it was full off branches sticking out everywhere. There were several points in the hike where we just had to stop and catch our breath. Not like stopping to chat and look at the scenery, but like panting to catch our breath. As we got further up the mountain the terrain got rockier and our rests became more frequent. Up, and Up. We were determined to get to the top!

We were passed by folks who were better prepared. They had hiking sticks and water (seriously, how did we not bring water?) and snacks. Dang, snacks would’ve been smart. The entire trip was tough. The view? Exquisite and totally worth the climb. Truly it was amazing to be on top of that rock and look down on Harpers Ferry and the confluence. In that moment we were part of that amazing creation and we joined a community of people who had traversed the same rocky climb to make it to that same vantage point.

We loved every minute of that view. The climb to get there was breathtaking (literally!) and there were times during the hike when we weren’t chatting or looking around at the mountain. We were focused on our feet and putting one foot carefully in front of the other.

The hike reminded me of our journey as business owners.

We have our mind set on a vision. We know people have gone before us and have attained their vision. There is NO easy way up. There is only sweat and exercising muscles maybe we are not used to working. On the way to obtaining our vision, we can lose sight because of obstacles in the way, but we just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and pay attention to what is right in front of us.

Having someone along the path, spurs us to keep going and makes the journey so much more enjoyable and manageable. Sometimes they are there to give you a hand. Sometimes they encourage you to take a step closer so you can see your vision from a different vantage point.

Taking breaks on the journey is necessary for your mental and physical health, ensuring you aren’t burned out when you reach the pinnacle and are able to enjoy that magnificent view.

Once you’ve reached your goal, don’t forget the journey. As you travel back down the path, encourage those who are on their way up to keep going, that the view is worth it, and that they are doing a great job!

Do you need encouragement or are you ready to encourage someone else? We have learning events coming up each month for our growing entrepreneur community.

Next week I am sharing tactics for developing and nurturing relationships that will help you on your journey!