UPGRADING TO BUSINESS CLASS. Ten Lessons I Learned from Aviation.

There’s something about flying that always feels so exciting. Maybe it’s the #avgeek in me, but its such a fascinating industry how so many moving parts come together for a common purpose to get that plane in the sky.

My corporate background is in aviation. After twenty years in the business from frontline to working in headquarters with airports across the globe; I learned a lot both professionally and personally. I now take those lessons learned into my own entrepreneurial endeavor. 

So, I thought I would share my top 10 lessons learned from flying.

Fasten your seat belts, return your tray tables to their upright and locked position and let’s get started.

1.   It takes 40% of jet fuel to get airbourne. It’s the same thing with business. It takes a tremendous effort to get it off the ground, but once you hit cruising altitude, you can relax, check out the scenery and start to enjoy the ride.

2.   Plan for the destination. I know the journey is important too, but knowing where you are going and being excited about the destination will keep you steady when times get turbulent.

3.   Trust in the flight path. Flying a plane is a constant series of adjustments, watching the monitors and being aware of conditions. It provides direction and navigational re course. Sometimes it feels like you’re heading in the wrong direction, but you WILL end up in the right place.

4.    The view from the top. Just because you can’t see the sun through the clouds doesn’t mean they don’t exist. You know when you’re ascending and the weather is miserable and it’s a bit bumpy? Somehow 36,000 feet in the air, you pop out through to the other side and all you see is blue sky. This is true with business and life. When things feel shaky, stay the course.  Clarity comes though inspired action.

5.   Please put on your own mask before helping others. This is essential. So much energy is required in starting up and gaining momentum. If you don’t look after yourself, you won’t be able to support others: your team, your clients, your family and friends. Self care for you; self care for your business. 

6.   You can’t land all of your planes at once. Did you know an aircraft takes off or lands every 37 seconds at Chicago O’Hare's International Airport? Like an overcrowded landing strip, our task list can be overwhelming. It's the same with your work. You must focus on your high priority items to get traction.

7.   Structure provides freedom. Before flight, a pilot checks out all systems to be certain the aircraft is air worthy. Flying absolutely requires rigour, discipline, self-control and the ability to operate within a framework. And with that comes the freedom of flight.

8.   Take care of your passengers.  Airlines must ensure that passengers are happy and safe at all times. Your passengers are your customers and clients. They choose to “fly” with you.

9.   Pilot In Command. Pilots are responsible for guiding and controlling the aircraft. When pilots lose control of the plane, it can crash. In a business, the pilot is you; the founder. You know everything that's going on with the business and make the right decisions to ensure you are moving in the right direction.

10. Travel is adventure. Adventure fuels the soul and can often be the best way to learn new things. It’s a state of mind and everything starts with a mindset grounded in possibility.

There are many things that need to happen in order for an aircraft to get off the ground. And likewise for business.

What is your favorite thing about flying? What will you incorporate in life/ business?