Kicking Out the Ladder

I was referred to this website today,, this has a few short films on it regarding Honda. Needless to say while watching the video I was itching to input my two bits in about “Kicking Out the Ladder”. It is a term that is not used very much, probably because it sounds a little harsh at first. No one wants the ladder kicked out from under them as they progress. However, I do believe that if the ladder is not kicked out from under us in life we will never really know how it feels to survive. When there is no safety net, it is make or break time. I think this is the reason why many individuals do not choose to climb tall ladders. The fall from a short ladder leaves one slightly bruised with minor injuries. The fate of a person falling from a taller ladder is very different. To achieve excellence in life we have to choose to climb taller ladders. As entrepreneurs we need to acknowledge that many times we will not have a safety net and if the ladder is taken out from under us, we will need to find another way up.

I remember one venture earlier in my journey when I invested in a pet store. The person who had been selected to run the store was a capable person who had a lot of experience in this field. The location was set, renovation works started, and things were coming along well. One day halfway through the launch phase I get a call from him telling me that he had overlooked a particular zoning requirement and we would not be able to sell animals from that particular location. Talk about getting the ladder kicked out from under you! I vividly remember the following 2 weeks being highly stressful. I had to find another person to take over the store and find a new location to set up our store. We managed somehow to get it done, and looking back at it now, I often wonder how we did it. The important lesson is that when we find ourselves in positions where there is no other option to turn back to, we are capable of doing amazing things. We will undoubtedly suffer some really nasty falls, but along with that , we also put ourselves in positions to achieve great things.

Whatever your occupation in life may be, it is important to gather courage to climb these tall ladders. Life is too short to live with mediocre results. Each and everyone of us is unique in our own way, we need to find how we can use our strengths, and then choose the right ladder to start climbing.

I would really like to hear stories of how and where the ladder was kicked out from underneath you. How did you react? What were some of the difficulties you faced? How did you overcome the challenges? What advise would you give to people who have the ladder kicked out from underneath them.

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