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You’ve probably seen that inspirational quote hanging in your dentist’s office: “Life is measured by the moments that take your breath away,” or something close to that (I don’t know who said it first).

If we look at this from a parenting perspective, there are a LOAD of big moments. In fact, there’s is one super huge moment when you realize the sheer enormity of the road ahead.

For me, it was the morning I was discharged from the hospital with my son 14 years ago.

It went something like this:

(Internal dialogue): “Holy crap! They’re letting me leave with this baby?!! And all they’re giving me is a flyer or two and a tote bag with some free diapers? Really?!!”

That’s a true story. I didn’t even know how to change a diaper when my son Tobin came along.

And you know what? I didn’t know how to run a company when I launched my first one twenty years ago.

As founders, our businesses are our babies. And I’m here to validate the fact that the mixed bag of thoughts, fears and excitement of being an entrepreneur and business owner is very real. It seems that those moments that take my breath away are commonplace.

My pediatrician told me that babies are resilient. Mine were for the most part.

My business mentors didn’t tell me that about my companies, however.

I now know why. …

Running your own company and putting the foundational pieces in place does actually make the difference between success and failure. This is why most companies fail in their first five years.

Your business can be made resilient if you pay attention to doing the things you need to do, consistently.

It’s a process, not an event. You are truly training for the marathon not the sprint (but there could be a few surprise sprints in there too).

I thought that providing some care-and-feeding instructions written for us — outdoor-active lifestyle market entrepreneurs – would be of interest and helpful to you.

Three things we need to have hard-wired into how we parent our businesses as entrepreneurs are:

1 – You can’t be afraid to ask for help

  • Seek out mentorship and peer support to help you see around the corners, vet new ideas and trade advice
  • Keep in mind, if you’re stuck somewhere, there is very likely someone who has been there and who can help you through it! This can help you avoid pitfalls and problems, and enable you to get to a better place faster (and in tact).

2 – You need to mind the facets of your business that are most important

  • Cash flow and your financials (daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly ) – set up a dashboard and a way to have access to data in a format that underscores the major health indicators of your business. Here’s a great website that covers what you should be monitoring fiscally: entrepreneurship.org (Kaufman’s Founders School).
  • Make new customer acquisition a top priority
  • Continual caretaking of your existing customers must also be a top priority

3 – Keep learning!

  • If there’s one thing that helps us be our best and lead a company on the continual edge of innovation, it’s receiving ongoing training, coaching and education
  • This is always important, but it’s especially important today in the midst of the monumental changes we’re experiencing in our economy, culture and in how we do business

These three pillars were a struggle for me as a founder. Often, I was so stuck in the working in my business mode, that I didn’t work on my business. I also found that I was often working alone (meaning, I didn’t have a collaborative relationship with any peers or mentors).

I got into this habit because I was super busy keeping clients happy, making payroll, etc. But really, my vision and business were not thriving because I wasn’t aware that I needed to be leading the company instead of working for it.

I went through a lot of tough lessons over the past 20 of being a founder in these markets… A LOT!

And living through them is the reason why I created the A-Game Alliance – the world’s first and only private mentorship and training opportunity for entrepreneurs in the passion industries of outdoor, bike, snow, endurance, travel and health + wellness.

The Alliance offers the way to ensuring you’ve got your pillars in place, which sets you up to be successful growing your business. If you’re interested in dropping the clutch in your business, no matter where you are, go to the home page of this website and click on the A-Game Alliance icon. The Alliance is not always open for enrollment – it’s only open for the month of May, 2016. It will also open again in August, 2016.

I hope this article was helpful in terms of creating a dashboard of sorts for you to have as you grow your company. Joining the Alliance will truly resource you to create expansion and growth sustainably in your outdoor active lifestyle market business.

Hope to see you on the inside of the Alliance!

Until next time, GO BIG!

KCO