Climb Without A Rope
admin / Robin Robins
In the Batman movie, “Dark Night Rises,” there is a remarkable lesson on success: Bruce Wayne is given a worst sentence than death by his nemesis Bane, whose intention is to torture him with the ultimate punishment: despair. He is put in a prison that is described by Bane as the “worse hell on earth.” It’s made of a deep cavern that has an opening at the top that reveals a clear, blue sky, taunting prisoners with the impossible hope that they can climb the treacherous cavern walls to their freedom. As the story goes, many have attempted to escape from time to time, all with a rope tied around their waist to catch them bungee-style from falling to their death.
The walls of the prison have a few protrusions decent enough for your hands to grip; but at one particular spot of the climb, they must make a giant leap from one foothold to another. It is at this point that most fail and fall. Only one person has been successful at making the leap – a child – who climbed without the rope. Bruce Wayne attempts the climb twice with the rope, and fails. He’s then given a sage piece of advice from a very old, blind prisoner: make the climb as the child did…without the rope.
The lesson given is that the rope acts as a safety net, removing the fear required to make a successful leap. Many try hard, but don’t give it their all simply because the consequences of losing aren’t that high. The rope is simply a metaphor for the complacency that ultimately keeps people from “making the leap” to a greater level of success by giving them a safety net, a comfort. Most can climb to a certain point – but when the stakes get high, they don’t give it everything they’ve got.
That’s why people who attempt to start a business hoping to leave their day jobs often make half attempts at their ventures. Their salaries pay for their mortgage and food, so they’re not forced to make it work. I often see this as the biggest detriment to success: MILD motivation. Everyone wants more money, more profits, more ease in selling, more top-shelf clients, more time off, less stress…but most aren’t motivated enough to do what’s necessary to make it happen. To be successful you can’t just plant flowers…you need to pull weeds, many of which are fear, self-doubt, slothful behavior, industry norms and limiting beliefs about money, what people will pay, etc.
A brand-new client wrote in outlining his intention of securing over 40 new clients within 30 days of marketing – a very lofty leap. But even MORE so when you consider he’s a brand-new start-up with no clients, no sales leads generated to date, no list, has no clear niche in mind other than “small businesses” and has only done a little bit of Facebook advertising with no success to date. As many of you know who sell outsourced IT services, it’s going to be damn near impossible just to hire the staff required to support 40 clients in 30 days. Can he do it? I suppose it IS possible, depending on the resources he might have that I’m not aware of; but I can tell from one of the questions he submitted that it doesn’t look good he’ll make the leap. His question was, “How do I overcome my fear of talking to people?” which is the proverbial “rope” tied around his waist that if he doesn’t shed will send him crashing down.
Now of course we’ll help him and I’m not suggesting he’s a whack job or stupid or lazy or anything like that. However, I will point out that they started this business with insufficient research in that they didn’t attend any industry events to talk to their peers about common metrics, obstacles, averages, etc., and certainly didn’t do market research to find a niche market, who their competition was, etc. Point is, lofty goals can only be achieved when accompanied by accurate preparation, research and actions; just like you can’t jump to the moon simply on sheer will-power and want, no matter how bad you want it.
Maybe your rope is a belief about what your clients will and won’t pay. Maybe your rope is a belief about how hard you’ll need to work or the sacrifices you’ll need to make to succeed. Maybe your rope is the comfort you take in delivering technical work versus the leap to salesperson and business owner. We all have one…but maybe it’s time to untie that rope and remove the safety and comfort to make the leap.