BUILD by Zach Settje

February 1, 2017
Build by Zach Settje

Build- perhaps the most difficult and time consuming pillar of the Engler Experience. Most people have passion; everyone can aspire to something, however, it takes the best of the best to have the courage and grit that is required to build an enterprise. To “build” takes the best partnerships of mankind, the most effort, and more strategic planning than any other endeavor in the world of entrepreneurship.

Take a moment to compare the pillar of build to the endeavor of climbing Mt. Everest- the most challenging and respected climb in the entire world. Base camp of Everest is located at 17,000 feet above sea level, higher than anywhere in the continental United States; most likely higher than anywhere you have ever been. This base camp is the ideation process of entrepreneurship. By aspiring to and planning your venture, you are already reaching higher than 99% of the people in this world.

On the Nepalese side of Everest, there are four major camps that are located above base camp. Camp one, at 21,300 feet, is the stage of researching and consulting with your mentors about your business venture. Sherpas, the mentors of the journey that most climbers cannot survive without, almost always guide those who attempt Everest. Find your Sherpa in your journey of entrepreneurship, and do not be afraid to rely on them when you hit your breaking point.

By the time you hit camp two of Everest, you’ve got an adequate feeling of the journey ahead of you. You’ve got a plan laid out, which comforts you at times, but you are more excited and intimidated at the same time than you have been in your entire life. Brace yourself, because the next parts of your journey will get rocky.

You continue your climb upwards against the odds of human nature and ability. At camp three, the only thought in your mind is to turn around now before you risk it all. Camp three is desolate, many climbers do not make it this far, and those who do are not who you expected. You expect the most confident and able climbers to make it this far- but what you cannot measure is the willpower and grit that is needed to get this far. Now, you’ve got your time, your reputation, and your own money on the line after you leave camp three. There is no turning back now.

Camp four: the most desolate gathering of human beings in the world. These individuals are different in nature- they have one goal in mind and will not stop until they reach it or fall while trying. Camp four of Everest is on the verge of the Death Zone at 26,000 feet, where the air is so thin that you will slowly die without supplemental oxygen. For the entrepreneur, this oxygen is your team, your financial support, and your inner fire to reach the summit. Without all of these resources, your journey will not be a success.

Past camp four, your journey into your business launch is literally “fly or die”. You’ve got limited time, limited supplies, and the only thing pushing you forward is that flame inside of you that is reaching for the top. There are two major “steps” on the route to the top of Everest after camp four. These steps are sheer rock shelves that are seemingly insurmountable, and can be compared to the risk of going all-in on your business launch. You must plan your route with exact precision, but be ready to pivot in any situation. These rock shelves are equipped with mounted ropes and ladders to assist you- but you better know how to use them. These ropes and ladders are your mentors, your funds, and your resources, but without an inner drive to overcome these obstacles, these resources will not be enough. Be prepared, because climbing these steps will be the most difficult and risky moments of your life.

So here you are, a thousand feet from the top. You are absolutely exhausted, on the verge of breaking down, and are questioning everything you have done to get this far. The only thing in front of you is a narrow, winding ledge of rock and ice, and that fire in your belly is the only reason you push forward against all odds. Choose each step carefully, do not rush yourself but do not idle in place, and you will reach the summit.

You’ve now accomplished what is seemingly impossible. You are at the summit of Mt. Everest, the highest place on the planet that only few have accomplished. Many have failed next to you along the way; many have given up and turned around. This is your business, and no one knows it better than you. But make no mistake in understanding that your climb is not over yet…



Zach Settje