Today, as I write this, I am sitting on a veranda with the most magnificent views of Jamaica. I came here to speak at the annual Business Summit event in Kingston, and my wonderful host has me staying in a villa at Strawberry Hill. My room sits on top of a mountain (a hill for Jamaicans, a mountain for New Jersians), overlooking other mountains in all directions. The drive up here was fascinating.
I am not sure if you have ever navigated the back roads of Jamaica. But, for myself, I consider it old hat. (That is, as much as a passenger can say “old hat” when it comes to driving.) I would never drive these roads myself. They are fast, they constantly twist and turn, 18-wheelers careen down them, people drive on the left side (which gives any American driver a heart attack every time another car approaches), and there are mammoth potholes everywhere. If that doesn’t get to you, there’s the fact that mere inches to your left or right are gorges that drop as far as the eye can see… and railings seem to be optional here. Yet with all that, the drives are the most beautiful and invigorating thing you can experience.
During this particular drive to Strawberry Hill I noticed something. Almost every time we completed a turn and the road leveled out, I was momentarily convinced we had finally reached the top of the mountain. But then, another turn would come, and we would start to climb again. We’d level off, I would think that this time we were in fact at the top, and that’s precisely when the next climb would begin.
I couldn’t believe how high up in the mountain we were, yet we always climbed higher. When we reached the summit (I thought) we entered the Strawberry Hill property, and I was assigned my villa. From there I walked up higher! Climbing 30 plus steps to get to my room. I entered. It was gorgeous. I walk onto the veranda to look down. But I had to look up. The distant mountains were far higher than I.
Welcome to entrepreneurship. Or a drive up a Jamaican mountain. It’s basically one and the same. The climb never ends for entrepreneurs. There is always a higher summit for us. When you think you are at the top, you haven’t even started yet. You can always climb higher. You must always climb higher.