Ten Lessons Hiking the Inca Trail Teaches You About Your Business

What are you doing this summer?

I'm analyzing business case studies. My first was in Peru on a four-day hike along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with my daughter (JJ).
I have a theory that all things in life can teach you how to run your business better.
Because business is about people. Psychology is the fundamental tool of business. The more you learn about people (customers, competitors, vendors, advisers, bosses, employees, and contractors) the more tools you have to be successful.
That's why everything we do in life can teach us valuable business lessons. Of course, you can't learn anything, if you walk around wearing a blindfold or keep yourself locked in a closet. You have to get out into the world and look and listen to learn anything. And remember, that talking only helps you learn, if you stimulate other people to talk to you. Monopolizing the conversation impairs your ability to learn. Maybe that's why people who talk continuously seem to know so little.
So, what lessons did I learn from looking and listening on my journey into pre-Columbian South America along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?
But before I answer that question, let me note that this article focuses on the struggles of the trip, because business is about facing challenges, winning some and minimizing your losses when you aren’t successful. Despite the challenges of the trip, we also had a lot of fun.
  • We saw glacier covered mountains that looked like Switzerland.
  • We walked through lush rain forests where the tree canopy blocked the sky.
  • We walked along mountain streams where the sound of the rushing water energized our spirits.
  • We climbed in solitude over the ruins of an ancient civilization scattered along the Inca Trail far from the crowds at Machu Picchu.
  • We met wonderful people from Peru and around the world.
  • We enjoyed the five star central square in the former Inca capital of Cusco that matches the best town squares in Tuscany and France.
But we often learn more from our struggles than from our pleasures. So, let's jump into the challenges of this trek and the lessons these challenges teach us. 
Read on...

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