We all have life lessons that we apply to our business.
For many years, I lived abroad co-captaining a sailboat. During those sailing days, I learned many lessons, lessons that translate well to business. I’ll share my top lessons with you here, to both inspire you and give you a peek into why
I use lots of nautical terms.
Lesson 1: Take risks
The first lesson from my sailing days is that taking risks allows you to live life to the fullest. Looking back now, I realize that if I hadn’t taken the chance of leaving behind everything I was familiar with, I wouldn’t have experienced the simplicity of living in a faraway place and being one with nature.
I also encountered some pretty remarkable things! For instance, one day, while anchored in the middle of the Sea of Cortez, hundreds of miles from civilization, what appeared to be five BIG blocks suddenly rippled upwards—as if the Borg from Star Trek were coming! We didn’t know it at the time, but we had just witnessed a rare phenomenon called Fata Morganas, where you can see land or boats over the horizon!
Another time we saw hundreds of dancing manta rays flying high into the sky (click here to watch video) and then belly flopping onto the water, seemingly in tune to the music playing on deck. And another time we had the unearthly pleasure of listening to a mother humpback whale sing with her baby (click here to watch video) as the pair followed and swam around our sailboat. We dropped a 25-foot line into the water so people could hang on and listen to the songs underwater. One guest popped up from the line and yelled with pure joy that he had just made eye contact with the mother humpback.
Business is all about taking risks. If you’re in business now, you took a risk to start. If you’re ready to take the leap, you’re also taking a risk.
In Confident Marketing Every Day, I will challenge you with Action items. I’ll challenge you to push yourself. Leave your comfortable surroundings. Do what might make you shiver. The beauty awaiting you just over the horizon will make it all worthwhile.
Lesson 2: Patience is a virtue
I learned to have a lot of patience when sailing from port to port. At times, although we might have been only 60 miles from our destination in the next town, it could take 10-15 hours to reach it. We’d tack back and forth with the wind for hours, sharing watches at the helm, two hours on and two hours off. To make our trip smooth sailing, I’d plan our meals in advance, and make sure we had easy access to books, audio tapes, and, back then, CD’s. Then for 10-15 hours, to stay on course, we’d watch for BIG boats, fishing nets, pirates, and enjoy the sea life.
Similar tactics apply to business. Plan strategically to move forward in small increments and measured steps to ensure you reach your business goal. Confident Marketing Every Day will help you do this.
Lesson 3: Be alert and ready to act
While at sea, it’s always smart to watch weather patterns and record barometric changes, and changes in wind speed and direction. I remember once seeing an incredible, big ring around the sun at noon. Because I recorded the barometer readings, I knew the atmospheric pressure had dropped, and that trouble was brewing. I mentioned my findings to the captain, and we immediately hoisted the anchor.
We told other boaters we were leaving for a more protected area of the bay, but they chose to stay. They didn’t want to bother with having to raise their anchors, secure everything and leave a beautiful view. An hour or two later, they were dealing with 40 knot winds while we were enjoying celebratory drinks in a protected bay.
The same thing happens in business. You need to be prepared for unstable conditions by listening to your intuition or gut feeling. People who succeed know how to read signs of change and make the appropriate adjustments. They know how to heed warnings and take action. I’ll help you do the same through Confident Marketing Every Day.
End of night watch sailing off the coast of Central America
This picture was taken at the end of my watch. We use to do shifts of 3 hours on and
3 hours off when sailing over night and for longer passages.
Have a Smooth Sailing Week