Are You a Climber or a Builder?

Are You a Climber or a Builder?

“I am confirmed in my division of human energies. Ambitious people climb, but faithful people build.” —Julia Ward Howe

Not everyone needs to own something. A lot of that isn't based on passion or on solving problems, but being the person at the top of the mountain.

It all comes down to motive.

It was fabled that Steve Jobs once said at the end of his life, “I wish I would loved more and given more.” Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. It’s still a relevant quote for all of us.

We always want to be faithful with a fantasy and not reality.

Think about that for a second. Think about your fantasy of what life could look like if you got to the top of your mountain.

In reality, it’s just as much a grind each day whether you’re at the base or the summit. And if you know anything about mountaineering, the summit is 100 times harder than the base.

More Entrepreneurship and Less Entrepreneurs

There’s a global fad going around that everyone should be an entrepreneur and try to make it big. It’s ludicrous because not everyone was born an entrepreneur. It takes a specific type of person and personality type to start something from nothing and build it.

However, all of us can promote entrepreneurship and apply principles of being an entrepreneur wherever we are in life.

A few examples:

  • An employee solving process issues with their clients within a company. Boom! That’s entrepreneurship.
  • A parent thinking creatively to train their kids to read and making it more of a game. Bam! That’s entrepreneurship.
  • A government official deviating from bureaucracy and choosing to innovate within the law. You mean people pay more taxes if you incentivize them through meaningful reform? That’s a borderline revival! Also classifies as entrepreneurship.

What Drives You?

Are you trying to get to the top and make a certain salary? Or are you seeking to solve a problem with a team that you enjoy being apart of? This doesn’t mean it’s easy to get along with people. A breakthrough team has it’s challenges, all teams go through ups and downs. That’s the beauty of it.

Are you seeking status and awards? Or are you trying to make a difference where you are?

We must ask ourselves, do we want a nation of Climbers or Builders?

It starts with the power of one—you. You choose and decide if you’re going to be a climber or a builder. Then begin establishing that in your relationships and your sphere of influence.

  • A climber stabs a friend or partner in the back for a quick dollar.
  • A builder lets the deal fall apart for a long term vision of building a team with solid partnerships.
  • A climber is short-sighted and tries to get to the top as fast as possible—exhausting resources, relationships, and enslaving themselves to the mountain.
  • A builder thinks in terms of generations and creates resources for future innovators. The team grows naturally. And the mountain becomes a mountain range filled with accomplishments and fond stories of teamwork and perseverance.
  • A climber goes as high as fast as possible.
  • A builder spends his time on the foundation first.

We need more builders. Climbing to the top of Maccu Picchu is hard, but it’s short lived and over in a short period of time.

Building one of the 7 wonders of the world takes generations of dedication, faithfulness and sacrifice.

Let’s build.

(photo via lord the air smells good)