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Daring Greatly

Scott's Column

I returned to the scene of the crime last weekend–the Manitou Incline.

The Manitou Incline is a beast. It’s a stairway that rises over 2,000 vertical feet straight up the side of a mountain in less than a mile. (It’s 1,454 feet to the top of the Empire State Building.)

In September, I climbed it with my friends, Skip Schweiss, Karl Frank, CFP®, and Christian Mills. I arrived at the top 51 minutes and 37 seconds after starting up.

As a first-time Incline climber, I was happy with my time. Truthfully, I was just happy that I made it to the top without having a heart attack.

But standing at the top of the Incline trying to catch my breath, I started wondering if I could break 50 minutes. I was so close.

Later, Skip Fleming, CFP® told me he’d climbed it in 48 minutes. That sealed the deal.

On a fine sunny October day, Schweiss and I returned for a rematch. I completed the ascent in 47 minutes and 5 seconds. He crushed it in 43 minutes, beating his goal of 45 minutes.

It got me thinking.  Everyone talks about the importance of goal setting. And certainly, without goals it is hard to accomplish anything meaningful. But anyone can set goals.

The world is full of smart, talented people with big dreams. But it’s doing the hard work to achieve those dreams that sets people apart.

Give me a team of dedicated, hard-working grinders over a team of dreamy geniuses any day.  Fortunately, I work on a team of extremely bright grinders—nothing beats that.

In any difficult journey there will be a point at which you wonder if you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. (Mine came about halfway up the Incline and almost every step thereafter.)

But if you just keep moving forward and taking one step at a time, you just might surprise yourself. Certainly, if you don’t give it a shot, you will never reach your goals.

As Teddy Roosevelt said in his Man in the Arena speech, ultimately, it’s not important whether we succeed or fail, but whether we dare greatly.

Thanks to both Skips for the motivation to dare greatly!  And may you get into the arena and dare greatly as well.  We are here to help in any way we can.  We are not afraid to get dirty.