Our family loves to hike. We have hit hundreds of trails, throughout multiple cities and National Parks. Each is unique and memorable in its own way. Sometimes there is gorgeous scenery along the entire path. Sometimes, we invest the steps and hours to arrive at a particular destination such as a huge waterfall or rocky cliff. Most of the time, our hikes are out-and-back, along the same trail.

And every single time, I’m struck with the same surprise: The experience always looks different going back the other way!

Granted, the experience IS different. When passing the first time, everything is new – twists, inclines, foliage, ponds, crags, etc. are fresh discoveries because we are seeing them for the first time. So, on the way back, we tend to know what to expect. And YET, I’m still surprised at some views or observations I missed because I was looking at it from the other side! Perspective changes everything.

I think this is so true in business and in life. The first times we travel any road, everything is new, so there are bound to be both pleasant surprises and unwanted challenges. If we are lucky and get to have a second-go at something, whether it’s another sales call, another trip to plan, or speech to give to a new audience, we are bound to notice and do things differently because we are coming at it from a different perspective. We see more and can have a bigger return.

There are other times in life, when we have to nail something the first time – perhaps because we only get one shot, or because the investment has been so great. In these circumstances, it is helpful to bring in your trusted few who have walked that trail before who can offer you that necessary different perspective. I seek it out often from my husband in business and homeschool veterans for schooling our kids. It’s always proved invaluable.

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