If you lose a mitten, you die.
Most people don’t know this, but I used to be a professional climber and high altitude mountain guide.
I’ve lived a large part of my life on the side of a mountain or hanging on the edge of a cliff in the world’s great mountain ranges, and leading clients to the tops of remote peaks.
We even produced an Emmy winning film on the topic, VALLEY UPRISING, the predecessor to Oscar-winning Free Solo and The Dawn Wall.
Climbing is obviously risky. And the riskiest of all aspects of climbing, aside from climbing without ropes, is ‘the first ascent’.
A first ascent is being the first to climb a peak or route that no one has climbed before.
It’s both exhilarating and daunting. You’re in uncharted territory. You can see a path, but it’s not totally clear if you have the capability to make it.
But you go anyway. Into the unknown.
We call it being on the ‘sharp end’ of the rope. And it’s the gold standard of climbing.
There’s only one mindset that really functions on first ascents: total commitment.
Anything less doesn’t work. If you think too much about failure, and constantly look down or worry too much about falling, you will.
Your mind starts playing tricks on you, and almost immediately a cocktail of chemicals runs through your body, causing it to tense up, fatigue, and falter.
Slowing your breath helps. It’s one of a very few things you can do in the moment.
But the real objective is to never get to that state at all.
The real work is preparation.
On expeditions, we refer to it as “The 6 P’s” (it’s actually 5 but I added one. Guess which):
Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
You have to have the right equipment.
You’ve got to have the right training and experience.
You must know your team, trust your team, and have great communications protocols.
You have to manage your health and nutrition.
Not only do you need to know how to go up, but also how to back off and go down.
And how to rescue yourself if you or someone on the team gets injured (imagine being two days and 1000 feet up an overhanging rock wall on the side of a mountain, and with a climbing partner with several broken bones… that’s a story for another time).
When you’re on the leading edge on a big mountain, it’s also important to know you’ve got a well-stocked and well-staffed basecamp…
With food, shelter, medical supplies.
Yes, climbing is an inherently risky endeavor, but you do have control over managing your preparation.
I often use a “If you lose a mitten, you die” analogy with my current Voyage team while talking about the importance of self-reliance and paying attention to details.
When you’re on the sharp end, preparation is what allows you to maintain the right mindset: calm, focused, and committed.
This is how you make it to the summit.
What does this have to do with Voyage? A lot.
Business is risky. It’s full of unknowns, pitfalls, and hazards. It’s hard work and takes perseverance.
The good news is that it’s not as risky as climbing. Whereas in climbing you can only mitigate some of the risk with preparation and planning, with business you can mitigate a lot.
Voyage is an audacious mission. Our objective is to forge a new and direct path for storytellers in Hollywood.
This is a monumental undertaking – the industry is 100 years old, and with entrenched mindsets, agendas, and structures.
It’s a big mountain.
But we’re prepared. And we are committed.
And we’ve been at it for a few years now, are on solid footing, and have proven our model works and that both storytellers and the industry want it.
We’ve got an incredibly well-staffed basecamp of expedition planners and resource managers.
Our rope teams are guided by highly experienced professional climbers, who have climbed mountains together already have proven that this new style of climbing works.
We’ve guided several clients to the tops of peaks already.
And we’re going further.
Your investment further fuels our mission.
It enables us to invest in our equipment, our team, planning.
And most importantly it frees us up to focus on the task at hand, knowing that our basecamp is fully stocked, the equipment is in good working order, and we have the right amount of fuel to fire the stoves, cook the food, and that our team is in tip top shape.
Our summits are shared victories.
By owning stock, you own a piece of the action. And you’re a part of our journey.
We’re all in this together.
If you want to capitalize on the growing demand for original content…
If you have a story of your own, or simply want to support others…
If you believe in the mission of forging a direct, efficient, and friendlier path for storytellers in Hollywood…
Please invest. And if you’ve already invested, please consider adding to it.
This is the final week. We close for good on Friday, Nov 15th.
See you at the top!