When I was a teenager I worked at a Boy Scout Summer Camp, Camp Steiner which is the highest elevation scout camp in the country at 10,397 feet above sea level. I taught the Wilderness Survival Merit Badge. I spent each week teaching a new set of boys about hazards they could encounter and first aid skills they might need in survival situations. We talked about priorities and what you should worry about first, ways to avoid panic, and steps to survive in different conditions. We built basic survival kits and taught about how each item could be used in multiple ways. They learned how to start fires using multiple different methods and how to signal for help. They learned where to find and treat water and to build shelters. At the end of the week I would take them on a hike to an area away from camp and they would build a shelter and spend the night in it. I still have an interest in survival skills to this day.
Survival in business is similar to a wilderness situation. You have to remain calm and not panic when something goes wrong. You need to make a plan and set priorities. You need to know what resources you have available to you and where to find them. You need to know about potential hazards you might face and how to get through them. You need to know what to do when there is no help and how to signal to get help.
Many businesses start and fail. They fail to survive for any one of numerous reasons. Most of them could be summarized as they didn’t know how to survive.
As business owners, we don’t want to just survive we want to thrive. Surviving is continuing to live or exist despite hardships. Thriving is to grow and develop well despite hardships. How do we get out of survival mode and into thriving mode? In the wilderness, the move from survival to rescue is the ability to find and get help. I think it is similar in business. I think as business owners we need to recognize when we need help and then find and get it.
Help comes in a variety of ways. Sometimes it is an encouraging word, sometimes an advisor, a coach or consultant. Other times help is studying different topics and strengthening weak areas we each have.
Richard L. Evans said, “There are some things you can give another person, and some things you cannot give him, except he is willing to reach out and take them, and pay the price of making them a part of himself. This principle applies to studying, to developing talents, to absorbing knowledge, to acquiring skills and to learning all the lessons of life.” To accept or seek help requires us to reach out and take it even if it is uncomfortable. To move from surviving to thriving requires it though.
This blog allows you to experience the raw, gut wrenching drama of human conflict through accounting in each of its three stages: preparing to do battle, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.