For those not in the know, Felix Baumgartner is the man who free fell from the edge of space in a spacesuit earlier this week for Red Bull Stratos. It was an awfully impressive feat, and it took him four minutes and thirty seconds of terrifying and exhilarating falling to get back down to Earth. He broke the speed of sound falling.
When you’re trying to pull off a feat like this, you need a lot of help. There was a ground control, safety crews and a cast of dozens who did a lot of meticulous planning to ensure that Baumgartner’s long fall was successful and safe. Even with all that planning, Baumgartner’s helmet still fogged up during the descent, which could have meant big problems as he plunged through the stratosphere.
Due to his planning and the help of others, though, the fall went off without a hitch and Baumgartner set a world record for longest freefall. It was, to put it mildly, awfully impressive.
What does this have to do with small business? Consider the fogged helmet. There are times as a small business owner where you won’t be able to see where you’re falling, where you’re going or what’s coming next. In those times, you have to trust your employees, your customers and your plans.
Trust can be challenging to have, and that fog has a habit of showing up at the right time. With the margins between success and failure being so thin for small businesses, you have to craft a plan, hire those take the jump. There’s no other way to do business and succeed today.
Here’s three ways you can emulate Baumgartner:
- Have a “mission control.” Whether it’s a partner, advisor, key customers, a friend, have someone who can guide your decisions with an outside perspective. Sometimes, you need to be guided through a process from a different angle.
- Don’t be afraid to take the plunge. Small businesses do not often achieve a high level of success without taking risks on new products, a radical approach to customer service or just something so mind-blowingly unique or simple that people have never seen it before. Caution is good up until a point, but you can’t stay safe forever. Start with your “high altitude” goal and work backwards to see what is needed to make it possible and how much time it will take. Even if you don’t jump from that height – you’ll be better informed with the plan that you do end up going with.
- Keep that helmet from fogging. Whenever you can, try to anticipate where your business is heading. Keep up on trends in your market and learn from your past mistakes, and you’ll see the future more clearly than you would otherwise.
Is any or all of your business planned and run like Felix Baumgartner’s jump? Three…two….one…we’d like to hear your thoughts!
Photo credit to iStock