A real good family hike has become our Black Friday tradition, whether traveling or at home. This year we were home so we decided to check out Hanging Rock State Park in the North Carolina foothills which is inside of a couple of hours from home for us. I’ve never been there but have heard that it is a really good place to hike. So off I went this morning with my wife, our boys (age 5 and 11) and our girls (age 8 and 9). The park is named for a mountain top area that has a stretch of rock jutting out over nothing, basically hanging there. The hike up to that little mountain top area is not long, about 1.2 miles, but it is up hill and technical in spots. My wife and I could see the boys just ahead of us as we hiked up a steep rocky section nearing the top, but the girls had gone too far ahead so we couldn’t see them. We shouted out for them but they couldn’t hear us. I told her I’m sure there’s a fence up there so it’s no big deal. She laughed saying of course there must be, imagine the liability if not. As we reached the top coming through the trees….

We could see that….

There were no fences.

Standing at the edge of the rock literally took my breath away, in the scary falling nightmare kind of way. As we hiked back, I couldn’t help but think of what a great example this was of how life is better without fences (I did also wonder if anyone has fallen to their death from that mountain top, but will have to check historical records for that). In the recruiting business many of us are entrepreneurs and those who aren’t are pretty close to it. We also work with business owners and managers who run divisions of companies, so our world is one in which people are out on the edge and responsible for our own success or failure. There’s no net, no fence. There is no one to blame for failure, but the victories and experiences are greater. Life is better that way.

Todd Kmiec

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