On Monday, my son had the day off of school. We normally go out to breakfast, and then come home, and he lets me work while he plays. But this week, he asked if we could go to an indoor rock climbing gym. When I was a kid, I loved getting to climb the rock wall at summer camp. And I was fast and skinny and young, and I felt very brave when I reached the top.
But 20+ years later, I was very nervous. I didn't know if my hands, feet, muscles and mental space would let me participate. And so much of me wanted to sit out on the sidelines. Scott, a very young, quiet and funny employee, oriented us with high-fives and thumbs up. I told him I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to even get up the wall. He assured me that the first time is tough, but if I can be open-minded and brave, I could do it. As my son was zipping up the walls, Scott was helping me to clip in, and climb up, trusting both him and an auto belay system. This is a device hung high on the ceiling that you clip into, and it boosts you up as you climb, and catches you if you fall.
So now I had to trust Scott, the auto belay, and my own shaky hands and knees, and my brain that was shouting "are you sure?!". That feeling of being truly vulnerable was as exciting as it was scary.
I'm proud to say I climbed some walls, I let go and trusted the auto belay when I reached to top, and we had an amazing morning of bonding and sweating and cheering each other on.
It reminded me of those of us who have clients who put their trust in us. They are giving us their time, their money, and their faith that we will support them, raise them up, and make them shine. We are sometimes the literal safety net for someone starting a new business, or creating an event out of thin air. High-fives and thumbs-up all around.