Things Aren’t as Big as They First Appear

“That’s what she said” – Michael Scott

Sorry, couldn’t stop myself.

The first time I went mountain biking was epic. I had been road biking for a couple of years when my nephew, Randy, invited me to go on a ride with him and his friend John. He had an extra bike so I decided to tag along. It always had looked fun and how much harder could it be than what I was already used to?

We started out and I got 30 yards into the trail and encountered the first obstacle. There was a downed tree across the trail. As I got closer, I kept my eyes on the tree. It looked huge! How was I going to get over it? 

Just as my front tire got to the tree, I panicked. I hit the brakes.

My momentum, along with the front tire hitting the log, took me over the handlebars. I ended up with a plate and ten screws in my wrist.

Two Years Later

A couple of years later, we went to ride the same trail. I was apprehensive, especially riding into the trail for the first 30 yards. 

We rode in and before I knew it we were 100 yards into the trail.

Wait! What happened to the log that led to my demise a couple of years ago? I turned around and rode back to the beginning of the trail. There wasn’t a giant log across the trail. There was a little branch, maybe six inches in diameter across the trail. I hadn’t even noticed it this time.

Then it dawned on me.

Things aren’t as big as they seem the first time you encounter them.

When you start out mountain biking, you tend to focus on every rock, log, and obstacle that is in your path. 

In business, we do the same thing. Not having experienced a problem before, it always seems bigger than it really is. Think about it. How did you feel the first time a customer complained about a product or service you delivered? 

I know, for me, it hit me hard. I took it personally.

As you think back, it’s kind of funny now, right? 

When problems or obstacles come up in business, the key is to not focus on the problem. When we do, we make the problem seem bigger than it really is.

You have to look at the problem as a piece of the whole business. It is just a small part of your business and you’ll get past it.