Become one of the Flying Wallendas for Your Business

Once again Nik Wallenda has captured the attention of the world with another death defying stunt. At only 34 years old, this daredevil completed a tightrope walk over the Little Colorado River Gorge (Grand Canyon), 1500 feet in the air with no net or harness, on a steel cable that was only 2 inches thick. As I was reading the article about the stunt, I realized that we can relate to our businesses.

Wallenda’s Discovery Channel Imprinted T-Shirt

While watching a video of the stunt I noticed that Mr. Wallenda had on a Discovery Channel t-shirt. This sparked my curiosity so I went to the Discovery Channel website and there it was, Skywire Live with Nik Wallenda and his post walk interview. If it wasn’t for the t-shirt I may have never known that there was an in depth special on the tightrope walk. What an ingenious way to gain ratings and followers. The equivalent to this would be gaining new customers and with new customers comes profits. Sometimes in business we need to take a longer look at how we promote it. A promotional product like the custom t-shirt Mr. Wallenda wore is still one of the top 3 ways to gain exposure for your business.

Before Walking the Tightrope

I cannot begin imagine the amount of planning that went into the tightrope walk Mr. Wallenda embarked on. However, he put a lot of practice and preparation into this stunt. He talked about how he was in control of everything except for Mother Nature. Each element from the wind speed to the cable itself had to be accounted for. Every business needs a plan. Often we see businesses fail because there was not enough planning. In addition to having a vision for your business, every business needs a strategy. Next it is important to take your recourses into account. Once you have figured out what you want out of your business, have evaluated what you have to offer and taken advantage of all of your resources then you are ready to create a realistic budget. Ever heard of a business going “bust or belly up?” Corporations close everyday in this country simply because they never had a realistic budget and over or under spent.

Nik Wallenda

“Everything We Do is Dangerous”

As Wellenda said and “everyday you walk out of the house is a risk” but Thomas Jefferson said it best, “with great risk comes great reward”. Mr. Wallenda took a risk that many of us probably won’t but in doing so he gained great rewards. Mr. Wallenda has been televised for the world to see, once again becomes a Guinness Book World Record holder for the only man to cross the Grand Canyon on a tightrope wire and is a name in many households. Mr. Wallenda could never have accomplished any of this without the risk that came with his endeavor. When is the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone and took a risk in your business? So you may not walk a tightrope but maybe you can paint your office or extend your product line. Often risk is a scary word, but just being in business is a risk in itself. Opening your business took courage and you have accomplished that so what’s a little more risk to maximize your profits?

Learning from Successors/Being Undeterred

Mr. Wallenda is a seventh-generation high-wire artist and is a member of the “Flying Wallendas” which is a famous circus family. No stranger to tragedy, the Wallenda family has much suffered loss. Karl Wallenda, Nik’s Grandfather died in 1978 while attempting a tightrope walk but this still did not deter Nik, instead he decided to use it as inspiration and studied the mistakes make by his Grandfather. Nik then forged ahead to see to it that his dream was realized. When interviewed Mr. Wallenda said that it had been a dream of his to cross the Grand Canyon ever since he was a teenager and first visited with his family. There are many lessons that can be learned from our predecessors in business. Taking the time to figure out why a predecessor may have failed is equally as important as studying their successes.

How has planning ahead helped make your business a success?

What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?

54 thoughts on “Become one of the Flying Wallendas for Your Business

  1. Hey Arleen,

    I watched this on the news the other night because our local preacher, Joel Osteen, was there saying prayers with Nik before he made that walk. Of course with Joel there with him that definitely made news for us here in Houston.

    I could never see myself doing anything like that. Of course I don’t have seven generations of that in my family either so who knows. I did notice his t-shirt too so Discovery got a lot of advertising from that and I’m sure they were part of his backers as well.

    Now this might be a little more of stepping outside your comfort zone but as Joel told Nik before he got up there he told him if this is what your heart desires then don’t listen to anyone else. Go for what you believe and just remember that God is with you all the way. Whatever happens will happen. I was just so excited that he made it across.

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    • Adrienne,
      I watched the event on Discovery TV on Sunday night. The preparation was incredible. There were so many messages here. Believing that there is someone greater out there than you, follow your dreams, believe in yourself and conquer your fears and be prepared. I could never do anything like that and I am happy that is not one of my dreams, besides I have a fear of heights. Not ready to conquer that one. What a small world that it was your preacher saying the prayers. Thank you for your time
      Arleen recently posted…Become one of the Flying Wallendas for Your BusinessMy Profile

  2. Hi Arleen,

    Great Post and a great analogy.

    I love watching Nick Wallenda but it makes me nervous all the time I am watching him as if he is going to fall and I am right there trying to catch him. lol. I watched him when he crossed the Niagra falls but I couldn’t make it this Sunday to watch him cross the Grand Canyon. But I know he is amazing and really inspiring.

    Indeed, we need to make plans as to where we want to go with our business and also to get outside our comfort zone and take some risk in our business. It’s part of doing the business and moving forward with it.

    Thanks Arleen for a great share and a timely reminder! Have a great week ahead.

    Be Blessed,

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  3. My weight loss journey puts me outside my comfort zone. I ate what I want (still do but portion controlled) and shied away from most physical activity. Starting this journey, weight fell off immediately. Everyone around me is applauding my efforts.
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  4. Oh my gosh, I think I just had a heartache with that view looking below! Eek! This guy shows tremendous courage imo. There’s no possible way I’d be able to do it! Thanks for sharing that. Truly an inspiration.
    Bren recently posted…Guest EtiquetteMy Profile

  5. Wow, I can’t believe Nik Wallenda put his life on the line. (no pun intended). Just watching
    him walk across that line was so intense. This is amazing, I had no idea he was a 7th generation, “Flying Wallendas”.

    Like what Nik said, he had to focus and overcome any obstacles and focusing on the end result, which is what we as entrepreneurs need to do on daily basis. We take risks every single day and faced with challenges.

    We’re problem solvers and we think outside the box when a challenge comes our way.

    Thank you for sharing Arleen. 🙂

    • Everyday there are obstacles of some kind to overcome, but at the end of day that is what makes our business flow. If I didn’t take the risk to start my promotional products business and put it up on the internet in the early 90’s I would be still selling real estate in a poor market. It was the best risk I took.
      Arleen recently posted…Become one of the Flying Wallendas for Your BusinessMy Profile

  6. Have to admit I have never even heard of Wallenda. Can’t help thinking of David Copperfield that I used to know before he married Claudia Schiffer. Their motivation is different from what motivates most business owners.

    But despite that, you are right that if we are not prepared to take risks we will not succeed. Or to put it another way, if you are not prepared to take risks you will risk yourself. Not only does it apply to our businesses but to us as human beings as well. Good analogy with learning from his grandfather’s mistakes.

    By the way, I sincerely hope I don’t end up in the Guinness Book of Records:-)
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  7. I’ve often wondered what goes on in a person’s brain who is as big a risk taker as Wallenda is. The footage of the walk was amazing, and I saw a clip where the mentioned how once he got started he had to adjust to the grit from the canyon that had settled on his balancing pole. He hadn’t accounted for that dust, but he just kept on going. I’m not much of a huge risk-taken or thrill seeker, but there is that something in me that always refuses to quit.
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  8. I saw this on the news and while I agree about risks Arleen I think it is about calculated risks. Weighing up the options, whether you have the right inputs or resources, skills, experience etc. While you can be comfortable staying where you are if you don’t take calculated risks you may never know what you or your business can achieve.
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  9. Never been much of a fan of daredevils, but I do think they beautifully put our fear into perspective. When you watch a feat like those performed by Mr. Wallenda, it makes you wonder why you’re afraid to take much smaller steps in business. How can our day to day decisions seem scary or unsafe when we compare them to his business decisions? 🙂
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    • I couldn’t agree with you more. We are so afraid to try something that is outside of our comfort zone but it might be worth taking the risk. I am not a fan of daredevils either but growing up my parents would discuss the Wallendas, so naturally I was curious to see what Nik was planning on doing. I am familiar with the Grand Canyon so I also understood the risk he was taking.
      Arleen recently posted…Become one of the Flying Wallendas for Your BusinessMy Profile

  10. I just want to say I am really impressed with your writing style. You have a new fan. Excellent information as well as comparisons for personal business improvement and success. Makes me want to take a chance soon as possible.Can’t wait for your next article.

  11. Hi Arleen,

    I watched this on the news and was absolutely enthralled – and I did, at the time, think about the meticulous practical planning that must have gone into making it a success.

    I know I’m guilty of not having planned sufficiently well before setting up my blog, which is why I’m taking a pause from publishing posts at the moment, in order to re-group. I think when it comes to something like blogging, it’s only too easy to get caught up in a lot of frenetic, time-consuming activity that doesn’t actually get you anywhere. We’re often told that those who succeed are those who take “massive action”, or words to that effect – and although there’s truth in that, we also need strategic planning, otherwise all our efforts could be in vain.

    Thanks for a very inspiring post – and great pictures 🙂

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  12. I simply love the analogy of success and the tight rope walking. Like you said, is a great analogy for risk/reward. It needs intricate planning to succeed, intense focus and concentration, knowing what your obstacles are and how to overcome them and of course the desire and passion to get it done. Literally everything I can think of to create and run a successful business.

    As a side note, between the Flying Wallenda’s and Evil Knieval, it is tough to decide which family of daredevils has the cooler name. 😉

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  13. Hi Arleen,

    I am just catching my breath after watching this lol! You have made a wonderful analogy with Mr. Wallenda and business.

    Sometimes we do feel like we are walking on a tight rope. The anxiety could be that stressful …if you let it! But Mr. Wallenda had a well thought out plan and stuck to it. He knew that it did not include mother nature!

    In business it is sort of the same thing. We do need to step out of our box, even if it causes that anxiety! We need to plan ahead and ask ourselves what could go wrong? Answer those questions and have a plan B.

    I’ve had and still have an off line business and now an internet one. I have taken risks that people thought I was crazy to take. But, I only did it because I had a long term plan. This post resonates with me so well, expect the tight rope ..he he he

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    • Donna,
      I won’t look for you on a tight rope anytime soon but I know you have taken risks to be successful. I was one of the first companies selling promotional products on the internet. I knew nothing about the business but after selling real estate for 25 years I understood the importance of service. I left a field that I was very good in to something that was foreign and also was a man’s business at the time. I am so glad I took the risk and I don’t ever look back.
      Arleen recently posted…Become one of the Flying Wallendas for Your BusinessMy Profile

  14. Hi Arleen,

    Your post was definitely a great correlation between what Nik Wallenda did and being able to use the same type of ideas and principles in your own business! Having a plan, doing all the basics and small things that need to be done, they are needed in both cases.

    I only caught about the last 20 minutes of that special, but I remember afterwards he was talking about how the cable was moving up and down, while the wind was blowing side to side, and the wall was not moving at all, and made it almost impossible to see where the next step on the cable would be.

    Although the things he was facing were between life and death, you can definitely see the correlation between business. When things got tough for him, he could have kneeled on the wire and had someone come in and pick him up, but he kept pushing and put his faith in greater hands. Even if it was scary. It’s the same thing that people operating a business need to do as well. When things get tough, just have faith that your plan was strong enough to get you through the hard parts.

    Starting a business or operating one is incredibly scary. One has to be able to take risk, and put their faith in something that could either work, or completely blow up. It’s a little bit un-natural since our brains naturally try to stop us from getting into anything that could potentially harm us.

    Like you said though, with a great plan, anything is possible! If Nik Wallenda can walk across a part of the Grand Canyon, risking life and death if something goes wrong, we should be able to risk a little bit to try to achieve great things!

    Many could learn by “Becoming one of the Flying Wallendas” in our own businesses.

    Great post! Looking forward to the next
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  15. Arleen,
    Relating business and the Flying Wallendas is a great analogy. A business plan and adequate resources (financial, technical etc.) are essential for any business to be successful. I think the biggest obstacle bloggers face (and one of the reasons that so many blogs are abandoned within 30-days) is that many bloggers don’t treat their blogs as a business. That’s fine if your intention is to simply journal for fun but if you ever have hopes of monetizing your blog, it’s essential to have a plan, set up goals, implement tactics, measure and adjust accordingly.

    Thanks for another great article. I enjoyed reading it.
    Sherryl Perry recently posted…Friday Finds – Blog Reader Engagement, Google Penalties, Mobile WebsitesMy Profile

  16. Hi Arleen,

    Happy weekend. It was good to see on my blog 😉

    Now, this walk by this guy is terribly amazing. In some societies, this will be attributed to some super natural ability. But I think it requires a lot of practice and ‘dexterity’ to be able to walk on such a tiny robe. Most of us can’t even stand, not to talk of walking. Looks like something only a god can do 😉

    The risk in doing this is almost immeasurable Arleen and I like how you relate it to business. I don’t think there is any movement on earth that does not involve some risk. I agree with wallendas on this. Going to bed sometimes is risky. some have gone to bed and were unable to get up the following day. Looks like risk is everywhere around us 😉
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    • Enstine,

      Supporting one another is what is it all about. I will be back to visit your next blog. Nik spent a lot of time conditioning. In business we must think of taking a risk in order to keep up with fast pace of life. Yes there are risks all around us, but it is the degree that makes the difference.
      Arleen recently posted…Become one of the Flying Wallendas for Your BusinessMy Profile

  17. I love the way you link a business concept to things that are current and entertaining. It is refreshing to have a new approach to things that could be considered boring if written in such a way.
    It’s funny I was saying to my husband that I couldn’t be that man’s family who were watching and waiting at the end. But, I guess he is right in that it is dangerous to walk out your front door. I will still keep just a little closer to my comfort zone, I think 🙂
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  18. Hi Arleen

    Wow thanks for sharing this and I love how you have tied it with business. It is amazing courage and focus.

    There is risk in business and in life in so many ways. In one of my husband and my previous businesses we abseiled as part of a team building exercise with our staff. I was at the time terrified of heights. I am still not good with them but the abseiling reduced my fear.

    I can still remember the feeling of that first abseiling experience. I was so full of fear but then once I did it I was on such a high. I still have a photo of me in my office when I was half way down. It reminds me of overcoming the fear and doing it.

    You can take many lessons from this type of accomplishment by Nick.

    Thanks for sharing this great video and analogy Arleen.

    Sue Price recently posted…Storytelling In Your Online BusinessMy Profile

    • Sue,
      I have a fear of heights and I don’t think anything would help even abseiling. I give you credit to try to overcome your fears. I think I will be happy taking other risks which I have and have paid off. At least there are good lessons to be learned by something who is taking a major risk and has reaped the rewards he was looking for.
      Arleen recently posted…Become one of the Flying Wallendas for Your BusinessMy Profile

  19. Hi Arleen,

    Sorry for stopping by late, though I’m glad I finally made it after my recent vacations 🙂

    This is an inspiring video indeed and the more you see of Nick Wallenda, the more you wonder as to how he manages to take such risks in his life. It amazes me. But I guess that’s what we all need to do, whether it’s in our life or business – take the risks and challeneges and face them because that’s how you proceed ahead in life – isn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
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