Climbing the second mountain

Written by: Martin van Asten

A couple of years ago, I consulted a life coach. I had just left my job as a retail company manager and needed some advice to find out what I wanted to do with my life. I really liked my job, though, but I always felt a lack of appreciation, because it wasn’t my own company. That ongoing feeling kept me awake for some years now.

After a couple of sessions, she told me to make two mountains out of cardboard. These mountains represented the phases I was going through. The first hill was all about finding out what I wanted to do, and once I figured that out, I was ready for the real challenge, climbing the second mountain, Starting.

Climbing the first hill told me what I already knew for some years. To start something of my own. Standing on the top of the mountain with a backpack filled with ideas and enough energy to climb the second mountain, I began to descend.

Once I reached the base of the 2nd mountain, I noticed this one was way steeper and higher than the first one. I could not even see the summit. I realized that the only thing I could do was to get up there and start walking. So I did.

The slow progress I made was so rewarding. My company started to take shape, step by step. I enjoyed every bit of it. Even the toughest of sections of the climb didn’t slow me down. I just knew that the view was getting better all the time.

Once I welcomed my first customer, it already felt like reaching the summit, and maybe that’s what it was. I started the climb to realize my own destiny, and although the climbing is pretty tricky at times, making progress is what it’s all about.

Many people want to go from the bottom to the top of the mountain without the journey. However, you miss the most essential part, the views, and the experience along the way.

I am still on the slope, and I am enjoying every step of it. Will I ever reach the top? I think I am already there.





There will be moments in your working life that it becomes clear to you that you need to get out of that place, career, or business. Internally caused by personal feelings or externally forced by management.

Scared fearless

Scared fearless

You’d expect me to write a very conquest-driven start-up story, but nope like most people, I was filled with doubts and fear. Let’s back this up, so you understand where I was coming from.

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