The BV Blog

Want to Get to the Top? Then Stay to the Left

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 28, 2014 8:03:00 AM / by Gwen Wiscount


Have you ever stopped to think about the purpose of an escalator? Let’s take the concept of stairs, getting from the bottom to the top, and make it more efficient. That’s the premise of innovation and creation, how can we take exhibit A and make it better, faster, stronger, etc.  Yet, when we are in shopping malls or sports venues everyone is just hanging out, riding the escalator to the top. Now, I’m not sure if it’s my struggle with patience or need to always be on the move, but I’d rather politely say “excuse me” and climb my way to the top (pass on the left!) then stand on my respective escalator step and wait until it’s my turn to reach the top.

Apply this same concept to business and your work performance:

Are you on the escalator standing still with the rest of them putting out only what is asked, meeting the requirements, waiting for the top to come to you?


Are you actively climbing to the top, exceeding expectations, taking step after step insync with the accelerated motion--allowing the climb to be more efficient and more effective?

I feel those of us who will not settle living the status quo find ways to propel ourselves into forward motion and gain traction towards the top. If you just realized you’ve been confusing movement with action (thank you, Ben Franklin for those words of wisdom!), I encourage you to take the first step and read on.

Steps to support forward motion:

  • Increase outreach: Sales is a game of numbers - the more you put out, the higher the return. More calls, more emails, more appointments than what your company/boss expects. Set your own goals.
  • Find a new networking event: It’s key to surround yourself with like-minded individuals. The discussions and people you meet are hinge moments, create them and act on them.
  • Collaborate: Grab a cup of coffee with your new acquaintances you recently met from your networking events. Learn their story, tell them yours. Ask questions. Business is about relationships.
  • Read a new book: Knowledge is powerful. End of story.
  • Watch or listen to a TEDtalk: I’m a huge fan of TEDtalks, I even listen to them when I’m running. The speakers and their findings are fascinating. Be prepared to ask yourself a lot of questions at the conclusion of these talks.
  • Get a mentor and be a mentor: Been there done that. Experience is extremely valuable, to both yourself and those who can benefit from your experiences. Share what you know and where you’ve been. We learn from each other.

Don’t get caught standing still, waiting for the top to come to you. Participate in the climb as you accelerate to the top. Success is not about waiting your turn.

Continue to create ripples in life and make your mark.

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Photo by Chris Whippet and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Topics: Sales

Gwen Wiscount

Written by Gwen Wiscount

Gwen Wiscount is a Partner at Blarney Ventures, and currently serves as the Director of our Boston office. With a background in both sales and marketing, Gwen's knowledge of growing companies is outweighed only by her drive and ambition.