Layne Pollard, Central Bark franchise owner in Gurnee, IL has always been an adventurous soul, but conquering Kilimanjaro was never even a thought. As the proud owner of a Central Bark, his days are typically filled with wagging tails and playful barks. But deep down, Layne yearned for something more – an epic challenge that would push his limits both physically and mentally.
An avid hiker, Layne, and his youngest daughter Jorie have conquered mountains and trails from the Grand Tetons and across the Western U.S. The family’s vacations are usually planned around hiking opportunities. Then Covid happened. And the world changed.
A Glimpse of the Peak
The idea of climbing Kilimanjaro was not new. It had been talked about at the family dinner table and during many of those hiking vacations. But it always seemed too much or too far out of reach. One evening as the world was opening back up, Layne sat down to research a new hike. He couldn’t get the image of Kilimanjaro out of his head. It was as if the mountain itself beckoned him.
Determined not to celebrate his 60th birthday sitting down, he decided to embark on a life-changing journey. He would climb Mount Kilimanjaro. And his daughter Jorie will be joining him. On June 11th, they will begin their climb and summit on June 15th. If all goes according to plan, Layne and his daughter will be off the mountain on June 16th and flying home to Gurnee on June 17th. He’s also going to celebrate his 60th birthday coming down Kilimanjaro on June 16th.
What it Takes
As Layne began his preparations, he quickly realized that climbing Kilimanjaro was no easy feat. Standing at a staggering 5,895 meters (19,341 feet), the mountain presents a myriad of challenges, from extreme weather conditions to altitude sickness. It demands physical endurance, mental strength, and meticulous planning.
Likewise, running a Central Bark requires similar traits. Layne experiences the ups and downs of entrepreneurship every day. That path to success often resembles an adventurous climb. He knows that his experiences as a Central Bark owner will equip him with the indispensable skills he will need on his journey up the mountain.
Resilience While Conquering Kilimanjaro
Layne knows he is in for the climb of his lifetime. There will be battles against steep inclines, potentially icy winds, and thinning air. He realizes that resilience is the key. It’s the same resilience he has cultivated as a small business owner. Just as he has weathered Covid, customer challenges, and competitors, Layne has pushed through each difficult step, keeping his eye on the ultimate prize – the summit.
Adaptability and Decision-Making
Throughout the climb, the terrain will constantly shift. One moment, Layne will navigate rugged trails, and the next, he may find himself traversing snow-covered landscapes. His ability to adapt will be crucial, much like the way Layne adapts business strategies to changing market conditions. As he trains for the climb, he realizes that the same nimbleness he hones in his professional life will help him make quick decisions on the mountain, ensuring his safety and progress.
Teamwork and Collaboration
Mount Kilimanjaro is not a mountain to be conquered alone. Layne’s journey will be made possible by a team of skilled guides and fellow climbers. He’s climbing the Lemosho Route with his daughter and a group of 8 other climbers. They will rely on each other for support, encouragement, and even the occasional push forward. It’s the same kind of teamwork you need to run a successful small business. Just as Layne has built a reliable network of employees, suppliers, and fellow franchise owners, he will rely on his fellow climbers to help him reach new heights.
Determination and Perseverance
Layne understands that he will face exhaustion, headaches, and even doubt when summiting and conquering Kilimanjaro. But his determination to succeed will fuel his every step. He will be able to use his countless moments as a Central Bark owner when he faced obstacles and setbacks, to persist, and never give up on his dream.
He’s training 5-days a week in the gym and at home and is in the best shape of his life. This month, he climbed several peaks in Colorado with his daughter to get acclimated and prepare.
The Summit of Success
When Layne stands on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro on the morning of June 15th, we can only imagine the profound sense of accomplishment that will wash over him. Not only will he have conquered the mountain, but he will have proved to himself the qualities he possesses as a small business owner are transferable to any challenge he sets his mind to.
For More Information and to Follow Along
Layne is going to try and post during his ascent of Kilimanjaro on Central Bark Gurnee Facebook and Central Bark Gurnee Instagram if you would like to follow along. If you’re interested in learning more about Central Bark, the services we offer, or even becoming a franchise owner like Layne, check us out at centralbarkusa.com.