My ski flew off, I hit the ground hard…

In your growth forward, you need to always sit back and look at what you’re doing in your business as a chance to learn from the mistakes you made.

It was an awesome 5 days in Mammoth as Anna and I got away for Valentine’s Day and so we could get our annual ski trip to Mammoth in. It’s one of our favorite mountains!

The weather was epic, it was snowing non-stop for 4 days, before we had a break in the snow to catch a ½ a bluebird day. We had great friends, great food, great wine, and great times.

But, there’s a moment from the trip that I gotta share that lets me drop a few bombs of wisdom on you that can help you grow your business. You know me, no event in life goes by without a teaching lesson for my crew!

So, there I was, on our last day of skiing; feeling slightly empowered from a decent black run I had done the day before. This fact sounds much more impressive when I let you know that I’m most comfortable skiing blues, as I’m an intermediate skier at best. I only started skiing 4 years ago, so doing a black run felt like I was stepping up, yo!

But, there I was, last day of skiing, and I decide to try a narrow blue/black run called Lower Dry Creek, which feels like skiing in a wooded ravine. It’s got this cool look and feel to it, you’re literally in a crevice of the earth, tall pines like sentinels watching you, and in winter, white powder snow that calls you to adventure.

But, there we were on the lift; I look down and say, “this is the year I got this!” Anna gives me the thumbs up when I share my plan, her only words, “it’s challenging for sure, but you got this.” I think she knew what was going to happen to me and purposefully sent me into the darkness 🙂

But, back to the story…

If you’re a skier you know that when you see a chunk of nature that just looks beautiful and memorable, and peaceful and serene, you hate when you can’t go into it and soak out the spirit of that magic place. I had for 2 years avoided this run because it just looked beyond my skill level. And that was denying me going into that little spot of nature and feeling it.

But, remember I was empowered from the fact that I had skied a black run, Blue Jay, the day before, and I had actually skied it decently enough, to start thinking maybe I can hit some more blacks, is this the year?!

Oh not so fast the ski gods said…

Because from a skiing perspective, due to its narrow nature, Lower Dry Creek, feels like you’re in a chute, that could very well just spit you out smoothly or leave you stuck, crippled with broken legs at the bottom of the ravine! And that’s what almost happened 🙁

The thing is this, because of the high sides and corridor like reality; Lower Dry Creek requires skills to ski mogul like territory, turn fast and carve more, avoid other people if need arises, you simply don’t have the room you do on the groomers to traverse, or go around people.

Now, there I was, on the lip of the run about to start the descent into the ravine; Anna, Kelly and Kevin all took off nice and comfortably and were carving down the slopes. 

Those 3 bastards all have better skills than me. Being the worst ski level amongst our little ski crew, requires my ego to sit down and shut up. A lot. It’s actually quite annoying I’m used to talking smack all the time and with skiing I ain’t got shit to day.
But, that day, standing at the top of Lower Dry Creek, I said to myself somewhere in the weird recesses of my head, “no growth comes without being uncomfortable” and pushed off.

In your growth forward, you need to always sit back and look at what you’re doing in your business as a chance to learn from the mistakes you made.

About 3 turns in, if that, I hit a mound of hard snow, buried, because there was 20+ inches of powder covering the mogul I wasn’t prepared for and I went over like a tumbleweed in the wind, landing on my shoulder, a ski flying off, and my face buried in the snow. I was lucky the ski popped off easy and didn’t do any damage to my knee besides some soreness the next day.

Flash forward…

Later on that night, deep in wine, hiding away from having to talk to Kelly (HA! That’s just for you Kelly!) I was thinking about how to share this experience and attach a lesson for you and your business. I try and find the lesson in any experience, they are always there, you just gotta look for them. 

Here’s what I came up with:

1. In our pursuit of growth we must do things that make us uncomfortable.

Let’s break this down, Seth Godin, taught a long time ago that the best work is being done not in the safety zones, but out at the fringes of what is uncomfortable for us. 

Your business growth is going to have to come from a place where you do what you have never done, and you do it for one reason only- it stretches you and your skills to what is possible inside you. I wanted that challenge of skiing an area I’ve avoided so I could finally feel that spot in nature and know I did it, I went in.
Building an online business is going to feel this way to you. It’s going to be something that makes you uncomfortable. You’ve been doing what you do for so long that you are comfortable there. It’s the green runs in life. 

But, if you’re going to finally get more of the 5 freedoms in your life, it’s going to require you get more uncomfortable in order to feel what you have never felt before. 

And you have to choose this willingly, meaning you want that feeling, you want that challenge, because only with the power of intention behind you; will this owning an online business, one that is paying you to do what you love, from anywhere in the world and running around the clock, is going to become your reality.

2. Taking risks is part of our growth.

Taking risks is the only way you’re going to do something special, something that requires a new level inside you, something that scares you, something that challenges you. I had to take the risk to go ski that area knowing at best I’m only an intermediate skier and this area required you to be more of an advanced skier. 

So, what?! That’s the attitude you gotta have. So what? I’m willing to go in and risk myself in order to live, and live now! So many people are waiting for life to be lived at some distant time, when they retire! 

Retire is not a word I’m probably ever going to experience. This mission demands I keep going until the light goes out of these eyes. It might not be as hard charging as now, but the mission goes on. And so risks are necessary in order to experience life now.

Retire is not a word I’m probably ever going to experience. This mission demands I keep going until the light goes out of these eyes. It might not be as hard charging as now, but the mission goes on. And so risks are necessary in order to experience life now.

In your growth forward, you need to always sit back and look at what you’re doing in your business as a chance to learn from the mistakes you made.

What about you? Where do you need to be more risky? Stop playing it safe? Pick it up a notch?

Maybe for you, your message is risky, and you’re scared to put it out. With the volume full.

Maybe for you, it’s finally running ads that scares you because you’re investing money, and that’s a risk.

Maybe for you, it’s running a focus group launch, and being ok with it not being a hit right out of the gate. But you did it! You stopped talking about it and just did it.
Maybe for you, it’s restructuring your teaching curriculum and knowing you got to do the work to rebuild that versus giving up.I don’t know what risks will define you’re next level, you do!

Ask yourself what risks are necessary for your growth this year and tackle it with a vengeance! Then go make a plan to do it.

3. A coach helps any situation.

I’ve been putting off, well, not so much putting off, as I haven’t been able to get the next series of ski lessons I need in order to develop the next level skills that would make me more confident and skillful on the slopes.

In your growth forward, you need to always sit back and look at what you’re doing in your business as a chance to learn from the mistakes you made.

This year I was dead set on getting a ½ day of lessons to finally get some new instruction in so I could have stuff to implement and practice, but, the day I wanted to get lessons in, the mountain was closed due to blizzard like conditions, and then the rest of the time I wanted to ski with the crew versus hang with a ski instructor. 

Yes, I fell into my own trap, and came up with an excuse as to why I should bail. I should have done it anyway. But, we only get together with the crew once a year on the slopes so I wanted to spend time with them.

But, I know a reality that if I want to start skiing at the next level the only way I’m going to get there is when I finally stop doing what I’ve been doing, and get a coach to teach me what I should be doing.

A coach almost always helps you get better faster than if you try and build skills alone. You can get marginally better on your own, but a coach helps you make drastic improvement in what you want to accomplish.

In the Visionary Planner, we are your coaches, we are helping you build your online business muscles, your marketing skills, you course building prowess, your CEO behavior, and more. 

We are here to help show you small nuances, slight tweaks, and move that can, when implemented and practiced, develop you to the confidence required to always push to take risks and get outside your comfort zone so you can own that dream online business that gives you all you dreamed for, got you out of the 9 to 5, or simply gave you more time to live.

I don’t know what an online business means to you deep in your soul, but to me it meant living life on my terms so I could be on the ski slopes living this memory versus at a job somewhere.

For you right now, you got a choice to dial in more and raise your hand and say “coach I want in! I want more playing time! Show me what to do and get me in the game!” 

Or you can keep playing the game with the same skills you have and it could have you head first buried in the snow of life like me on that slope on Lower Dry Creek.
Which are you going to choose?

4. You survive and learn from your mistakes.

Even though I bit it hard, I survived, luckily.

In the game of business it’s not a matter of life and death like the ski slopes can be, but your business is always a place where you learn from your mistakes.

I learned on that slope a few things I could’ve done better when I went in, for example, I could’ve read the terrain better, and if I had… I would’ve picked my turns further ahead. But, alas no. Instead I ended up laid out on the slope.

But, I could’ve learned nothing and would be no better for it. There are people who do shit in life and learn nothing from it. They think it’s just a day. When it could’ve been a moment.

In your growth forward, you need to always sit back and look at what you’re doing in your business as a chance to learn from the mistakes you made.

You’re going to make them, and to deny that is simply a fool’s wish.

You should expect them. Welcome them. Embrace them. They are a chance to learn so you can keep doing better and better because you’re not in business for the sole purpose of business, you’re in it, for the mission you willingly chose to make a part of your time on this planet! And that demands we push ourselves to see more than what is on the surface. We always look for the lesson learned.

Make sense? If you apply these 4 principles to your everyday, there is nothing that is going to stop you from achieving the vision you set out for yourself.

I want to leave you with this thought, the work you’re doing now will shape you and define who you become.

You can do it with purpose and intention to be the best you. The one that is required to fulfill the vision you have inside. Use lessons like these to help make sure you are not just saying things, but you are becoming them.

Everyone can talk a good game, very few go BE it.

You need to become the Visionary, you need to become the marketer, you need to become the entrepreneur, you need to become the CEO of your business, otherwise, this is all just stuff.

And being a part of the Visionary Family isn’t about stuff, it’s about the body of work we leave behind as a testament, a footprint, we leave behind for others to follow.

Get after it, 

– Vito

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By Vito LaFata

As a certified High Performance and Funnel Optimization Coach, Vito La Fata, is the NO BS business & personal brand coach to the wellness and fitness professional or company that is looking to get outside the box of the industry and start learning how to grow a personal brand online and offline utilizing a hybrid business model of offline and online marketing strategies that deploy customer value optimization systems in order to create as much benefit and offering for the customer and as much profit and lifestyle for the company as possible.

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