“We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”―Virginia Satir, well known social worker and family counselor.
I heard a successful entrepreneur sharing in front of a room of 200 entrepreneurs. He was asked what contributed to his success in his newest venture. He said a lot of new entrepreneurs think you need investment and resources to be successful—and that’s true. But what I’ve found to be the most important for a new entrepreneur is someone putting their arm around you and encouraging you.
The Encouragement Culture
Encouragement is pivotal to success. It's oxygen to an entrepreneur. Sometimes it comes in the form of you believing in and encouraging yourself. Other times, it comes with a mentor or good friend making you the center of the universe for 30 seconds. Encouragement, affirmations, hugs (if you're into that), and maybe a “I believe in you" fist bump.
Develop the culture of encouragement. This starts by giving verbal encouragement to others. A team with encouragement in their culture is a powerful force.
I was watching a documentary about these snowboarders who were venturing into the vast wilderness and seeking out mountains that mankind had never before touched. They flew for hours into the most remote regions of the North Pole. Then they would camp at the base of the mountain range for 3 weeks in below zero temperatures.
If that doesn’t sound like hell, then they hike up the mountains daily—and I mean straight up the mountains. Until they get to the top of a peak and snowboard down the untouched powder. Sheesh!
After researching and scoping out the most ominous line to run down, the three adventurers trekked straight up the vertical for 5 hours nonstop. Nearing the top, with the flying snow stinging the faces of the climbers, the lead climber began shouting verbal encouragement to his team. “Keep going! We’ve got this guys. We are going to get off of this sheer face. You can do this! Don’t stop! You might be afraid, but your courage is more powerful than your fear."
Knowing when to embrace your fear, trust your gut, and press past it is critical to long term success in any venture.
A few moments later, the snowboarders summit the mountain, strap their boards onto their feet, and make one of the most epic documentary scenes I have ever seen. Straight down the mountain. Beautiful.
The Encouragement Culture helped the adventurers conquer the most ominous mountain in the North Pole. It made everyone rise above fear, and do more then they could have done without it.
How can you encourage your team, family, and friends more today?
You may not be camping in frozen tundra and climbing snow capped mountains every day. No matter your extreme, we all need encouragement. Start by leading by example.
And let’s make it a daily thing.
(photo via khongthe sport)