One of my real passions is racing surf skis as part of the Masters group at my local surf life saving club.
There is a great bunch of guys and we have a lot of fun training and competing over the summer – and being in my third season of competing – I thought I was finally getting my head around how to tame this 6 metre long beast.
To date – my competitive surf ski career at the State Titles – has not been filled with success.
In my first year – I fell off at the start of the race, lost my paddle and ended up a solid last place in my heat – failing to make the final ( which has always been one of my goals).
In my second year – I got a better start but was just too slow compared to the more experienced paddles – so once again missed the final.
However – at the 2018 New South Wales State Masters titles – after a solid year of training under my belt – and a brand new BOS ski – I thought this was the year I would break through and make the final – or maybe even pick up a medal.
So I get to the start line – 2 heats of 16 competitors – with the top 8 from each heat to go through to the final.
Surely I will get through this year – lots of training, new ski – what could go wrong?
The start whistle goes and I get away to a solid start – so not far away from the leading guys.
Then we all get smashed by the biggest wave of the day – and I get thrown from my ski – and into the water.
My first thought was – “Oh no – there is no way I can catch the leading guys now”.
But I look around and out of the 16 guys who started the race – only 4 made it through that wave – the other 12 ( including me ) are skittled like ten pins and spread across the beach – all trying to get back onto our skis and try to make the top eight.
Business Lesson Number One – no matter how bad it seems in your business – there are always other business owners in the same – or worse – position than you.
So – I frantically get back onto my ski – and head back out to sea – only to be hit again and again – by what felt like 10 waves – one after the other.
Over the next minute or so ( which felt like hours) – I fell off multiple times, sent my surf ski into orbit, and essentially flailed around going nowhere – before finally getting a break from the surf gods – and being able to get past the break and around the course.
So finish a very solid and slow – LAST PLACE – again.
Business Lesson Number Two – Dont Give Up
Whilst I was disappointed to come last in my race – I learnt later that 2 competitors in my race turned around and dragged their skis back up the beach – so they did not even complete the course.
I was never going to do that – and whilst finishing a very distant last – at least I made it around the course – eventually.
You must do the same thing – never give up in your business – you must commit to your business and give it everything you have.
After the race I was speaking to lots of people who saw my race and the mentioned things like:
– you were unlucky at the start as you were at the bad end of the beach where the waves were bigger
– the starter of the race sent you guys in at the worst possible time
– if you had just got over that first big wave you would have been out and made the final.
All the above may be true – but at the end of the day – I was not fast enough at the start to have the momentum to get through that first big wave when it hit.
Four other guys got out – it was possible – if I was good enough and fast enough.
Unfortunately – I was neither good enough or fast enough – end of story.
Business Lesson Number Three – Accept 100% Responsibility for Everything
You can whinge about the economy, your staff, the government and blame these issues for the problems in your business – but that is the easy option.
Whilst your business may be struggling – at the same time – there are other businesses in your area and even in your industry – going gangbusters.
They have the same issues with the economy and government that you do – so why are they doing great and you are not?
So get to work on increasing your business skills, learning how to market your business better, or spending more time training your team – accept responsibility for your current position and fix it.
Business Lesson Number Four – The Sun Always Comes Up Again
On Day Two of the New South Wales Masters Competition I had the chance to make up for my poor Day One result – and see if I could do better in the ski relay and in the doubles with my long suffering double ski partner.
By the end of Day 2 I had a 4th place on the double ski ( in a hot field) and a 4th on the ski relay.
Just out of the medals – but a solid result for sure.
So the lesson from this is clear – there is always another day or another competition – in sport and in business.
Don’t dwell on your bad days – we all have them.
Get back on the horse ( or surf ski ) – and have another go.
I hope this helps you in your health business.
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