Have you noticed that everyone deals with challenges differently? Some people freak out while others appear to be completely unfazed. There is a reason for that. Whenever something negative happens, your brain remembers. The bigger the challenge, the bigger the emotional response, and the higher it gets ranked in your brains “Gigantic Catalog of Challenges”.
As you live your life, without consciously thinking about it, you are constantly comparing current challenges to past challenges. When I started MyBike it was out of my apartment, then I moved it to the worlds sketchiest basement in South Boston where I hired Steve. Steve suggested moving from the dungeon to somewhere more visible. A good idea, right? Seems pretty straight forward. I was FREAKING OUT. This was a HUGE CHALLENGE. He wanted to move from the $500/month windowless bike shop cave and move to a $2600 beautiful store front on the main drag in South Boston. The biggest thing that was keeping me up at night was figuring out how were we going afford it if no one got their bikes repaired. Steve convinced me that the positives outweighed the negatives so in 2014 MyBike made the move from 516 E 2nd Street to 391 W Broadway. I was a ball of nerves, questioning everything. Then we opened up the new spot. Our revenue increased dramatically immediately. My fears were gone. It was crazy. The challenge of biggering MyBike was met.
So in 2015 when me and Zach were finalizing where to build the Viking Activity Center, I already went through it with MyBike. My level of stress was nonexistent because the whole Viking experience didn’t surpass the MyBike experience in my “Gigantic Catalog of Challenges” at any point. Zach was a little more like how I was when moving MyBike during the Viking brick and mortar experience. When we opened our doors, his fears went away because Vikings growth become exponential immediately.
This is just one small example to show my point. During the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 a lot of my friends were genuinely concerned for my mental well being because Viking had to temporarily close down. I told them the challenges of the pandemic on my business were significantly less in my “Gigantic Catalog of Challenges” than the challenge of moving MyBike AND less than my 2 years of knocking on doors. I could not be any less stressed about businesses. Other business owner friends of mine who have shied away from any significant business challenges are completely freaking out. They simply were not mentally prepared.
To keep Viking prepared, me and Zach work to make things uncomfortable when business feels too steady. We embark on a new project, take on new types of clients, or expand to new markets. This way when an unexpected challenge happens, the whole Viking team is mentally prepared to met the challenge head on.
Challenges are crucial because they prepare you for bigger challenges.