Mountain Climbing


Many people considering opening a brewery gaze in awe at the enormity of the task ahead of them. I had that same feeling. I faced that same mountain. From a distance, it looked enormous. A mountain I thought I might never climb. My worry, like so many before me, was that the cost of starting the climb would still be significant. If I didn’t the top, that failure would be quite a burden on my family.

Therefore, it was with great trepidation that I began my climb. As the mountain loomed ahead, I became even more uneasy, especially as the costs of climbing gear began to mount. The first part seemed so steep that it made me hesitate; perhaps it wasn’t too late to turn back?

I fought off the doubts and pressed on only to find that what I thought was the start of the mountain was just a hill. Beyond that hill was another and another. Some were steeper, and some were higher, but there was no mountain after all. It was just a collection of hills, which from a distance had seemed unattainable.

The first hill turned out easier than I thought and I gained confidence from that first climb. Others were much harder and I struggled. Some were so easy I barely broke a sweat. If I felt strong, I ran after that next hill. If I was tired, I rested and tackled the next hill when fresh.

By focusing on the hill under my boots, I wasn’t discouraged by the enormity of the entire task. It took awhile to reach my goal, but standing at the summit of the final hill gave me a great sense of pride in what I had accomplished.

The same is true for you. The enormity of the tasks involved in opening a brewery may seem huge, but you can tackle it one little bit at a time. If you keep putting one foot in front of the other, you will reach your goal.

I can hear the question now, “But how do I start?” Start anywhere. Find a hill that you know you can climb and knock that out of your way. Then, with success under your belt, assess the remaining hills. It doesn’t matter if you can’t see them all. If you think you know all the obstacles to opening your brewery, then you are mistaken anyway. If the sum of the parts seems overwhelming, make your next hill an easy one. If you are feeling particularly bold and fit, go for that big one all covered in cactus.

If a hill defeats you, don’t give up on the climb.  Rest and tackle a different hill tomorrow. Your goal is just ahead if you don’t give up. Just keep telling yourself it is only one more hill. Keep telling yourself there is no mountain you can’t climb, because you know it is really just a bunch of little hills. When you get to the top, you will find great beer there. Beer you made.


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