How Taking Opportunities Will Help You To Reach Your Own Everest

Whether you are thinking about making a career move, or expanding your business, it is all about creating and grasping opportunities, trusting your instincts and not being afraid to take the next step. No one knows this more than Bonita Norris, the youngest British female to successfully climb Mount Everest.

On Thursday morning, Bonita was the guest of The Chilworth Partnership for its Business Breakfast event at the Chilworth Manor Hotel. They were joined by more than 80 finance professionals and business leaders, all eager to find out how a 20-year-old student from Wokingham with no climbing experience could go on to join a very exclusive group of elite mountaineers, just two years later.

Bonita was inspired after attending a lecture about mountaineering whilst at University and from that moment she was driven by the ambition to see for herself the curvature of the Earth, from the top of the world’s highest mountain.

En-route to becoming reported as an overnight success in every national newspaper was a journey of determination, that involved an initial visit to a climbing wall, learning the ropes (quite literally) by climbing in the UK and Himalayas, before being invited to join an Everest expedition. She then embarked on a race against time to find the £50k needed, making more than 1,000 phone calls to British companies looking for a sponsor. “Taking the first step is the hardest thing,” commented Bonita. “You have to create your own opportunities. You make your own luck.” Sentiment that rings true whether you are planning to scale a mountain, or make a change in your career. “It is only when you get to the other side that you wonder what all the fuss was about!”

“In our professional lives we all have summits that we want to reach. The difference between those that achieve their goals and those who don’t is being open to opportunity, listening and trusting the advice of others and knowing when to say yes,” comments Richard Carter, Joint Founder at The Chilworth Partnership.

He adds: “If you are just starting out in your career, or have been an accountant for decades, why not aspire to be the CFO of a blue chip organisation or help your existing business achieve its true potential? If that is your ambition, then start working towards that goal, one small step at a time, and with hard work, determination and a little luck you will get there. As Bonita explains: “It doesn’t matter whatever your time of life, you can always start anew. What if I had never attended that lecture! Sometimes it only when you look back that you realise just how far you have come.”

At over 8,000 metres, Everest may be the tallest mountain, but as Bonita rightly observes: “The biggest mountains are in our minds.”