AÂ good friend of mine has recently returned from a ten day commercial walking expedition to the North Pole. He described theÂ adventure as the greatest experience of his lifetime so far. This was despite having to deal with extreme physical stress,Â near blizzard conditions at times and an air temperature that never rose above minus 15 degrees C. In his account of the epic journey, ThomasÂ reports that he was extremely fortunate to complete the trip with all his digits intact, having suffered bad frostbite after just a few moments of accidental exposure to the savage environment.
The team had the benefit of helicopter support, GPS and other modern equipment on their 120 km odysseyÂ hauling sleds across the ice from Barneo in the far north of Norway. It puts into context what the early polar explorers must have endured. Despite this, it was a huge undertaking the likes of which most of us will never experience within our own lifetimes.
Entrepreneurs have much in common with polar explorers. Like the explorer,Â a successfulÂ entrepreneur is prepared to take on calculated risks in the knowledge that there is a rich reward to be claimed. An explorer trains for the physical challenges ahead and carries out a great deal of logistcal planning. An entrepreneur writes up a plan of action andÂ learns as much as possible about the product and the marketplace before launching into business. Both make use of expert mentors and have a healthy grasp of their own personal limitations.
I guess where intrepid explorers part company from trail blazing entrepreneurs is that if you make a mistake in a blizzard in the Arctic, then you are dead. Entrepreneurs get to learn from their mistakes and live to fight another day.