How to succeed Alaska style – 5 lessons from a dog sled.
I have a friend, Angie Taggart, who is a local school teacher. But Angie did something amazing.
A few years ago she volunteered to be a dog handler for one of the Iditarod Sled Dog racers.
The Iditarod, in case you don’t know is called “The Last Great Race”. It is a grueling 1000+ mile race by sled dog from Anchorage to Nome Alaska and happens every March. It follows a trail blazed by dog sleds who raced to Nome with medicine for an epidemic that was killing people. The race draws “mushers” from all over the world to compete. Not because it pays a lot but because it’s the most challenging race in the world. The term “musher” is given the people who drive a sled powered by dogs. The word “mush” is used as the “go” word by the mushers to let their team know it’s time to go. It’s an ancient skill.
Angie was so inspired by her experience with the musher that a dream started to bud in her mind.
She wanted to race the Iditarod. As her dream grew, she began planning how to do it.
So the first success lesson is – Have A Dream. Let it become so big and all-consuming that it MUST happen. Difficulties in making the dream happen become mere mosquitos to swat and are never enough to stop the dream from happening. She would succeed.
Angie’s difficulties were immense but small compared to her dream. It costs thousands of dollars to run the race and takes months of training and preparation. Also, she would have to take time off from her job with no guarantee she would be re-hired back. And she would have to move north to the Anchorage area to train her dogs. It would take dozens of fund raisers and promoters to get the funds to do it. But her dream was getting too big to stop like a boulder rolling down a hill. Angie took leave of her teaching job and moved.
To get the rest of the success story, listen to this podcast.