Three western states in the past month. Three magnificent sets of mountains, rocks and terrain in Nevada, California and Arizona. Three conferences with different groups, but surprisingly, the issues and dreams were remarkably similar.

What I found participating in sessions for authors, entrepreneurs and business organization leaders were the following common themes:

  • How do I best make my book, business, product, service, or organization stand out from the pack?
  • Social media is overwhelming, and I know I need to use it, but how?
  • Where should I spend most of my time to be effective and profitable?
  • What’s the secret to getting people involved and willing to help promote me or my group/cause?
  • How do I deal with those negative folks who undermine what we’re trying to accomplish?

In future blogs, I’ll do my best to share answers to some of these communication challenges, sharing what I learned at the conferences.

One of the highlights for me was my first ever early morning hike up a mountain trail in Phoenix. I almost never do anything at 6:15 a.m. except maybe go to the airport to catch a flight. Morning is not my favorite time of day.

Since it was really 8:15 am Eastern time for me, I decided to join a dozen other brave souls and climb up some charcoal gray rocks overlooking the city, just before the sun came up. We used the light from a cellphone to help us see where we were walking.

It was a perfect example of the ideal team communication and bonding. The experienced hikers (including two stalwarts from Bank of America), went first, planting their feet firmly in places where they could easily ascend the rocks. They made it look simple. It really wasn’t! Even by following closely and trying to put your feet exactly where these other knowledgeable folks had been just a few seconds ago, I soon learned there was also the question of balance. Or the lack thereof.

Fortunately, behind me was another set of veteran hikers, and one in particular, seemed to sense when I was falling backwards. Emmy gently pushed me forward, preventing a major trail disaster.

Even though I consider myself in reasonable shape – I walk almost daily for two miles around my absolutely flat Miami neighborhood – I confess that I did start to get winded about two thirds of the way up. A few of us were reaching our peak, albeit not the mountain’s! So the local leader stayed with us, kindly urging us to catch our breath, admire the cactus-filled scenery and watch the glorious sun coming up. It truly was one of those “in the moment†experiences I’ll never forget. (Let me recommend my dear friend Achim Nowak’s new book, The Moment: A Practical Guide to Creating a Mindful Life in a Distracted World.) And I know I want to go hiking again!

Bottom line, with every new move you can expect some resistance and a few faltering steps. That doesn’t mean not to go ahead! Be open to accepting advice from those who have traveled your route before, and at the same time, keep pushing yourself forward. With persistence, you’ll find the way to your own remarkable future.