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Ten Lessons Climbing Mountains Has Taught Me About Running a Practice

Business success need not be an unassailable summit.

Climbing mountains was my favorite form of social distancing long before COVID-19 came along. There is peace in the mountains. You can let your mind wander.

This past Sunday, I set a particularly aggressive goal for myself. I decided to climb one 14er—Mt. Sherman (14, 035 ft.)—and two nearby 13ers—Gemini Peak (13,951 ft.) and Mt. Sheridan (13,748 ft.) in Colorado. I knew it would be a challenge but decided to give it a shot.

I wasn’t far into my trek when it occurred to me how many parallels there were between my alpine adventures and my work life. As I said, in the mountains, minds wander.

Scott MacKillop is CEO of First Ascent Asset Management, the first TAMP to provide investment management services to financial advisors and their clients on a flat-fee basis. He is an ambassador for the Institute for the Fiduciary Standard, the winner of the Investments & Wealth Institute’s 2019 Governance Insight Award, and a 45-year veteran of the financial services industry. He can be reached at [email protected]

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