3 Things Surfing Will Teach You About Business

July 9, 2014

{This is a guest post by my incredible client Karen Pery.  She is taking her passion for leadership development through experiential learning to an entirely new level.  Surfing + leadership + business development? Yes please!}

The stakes are high. You have a lot on your plate. You have a unique vision of the way things could be in the world, you’ve made it your life’s work, and it’s working.  Well done!  How are you managing the pressure of all of that?  How do you stay focused on what’s most important, when EVERYTHING is important?

I’ve struggled with this, and the answer I have discovered to help me focus, balance and be more graceful in my business? Surfing.

As a Leadership Coach, I realized I can’t just TALK about leadership, I have to DO leadership.  As an incredible business owner, I bet you do to.  Here’s what I’ve learned through surfing that’s made me better at running my own business.

Lesson One: This above all: to thine own self be true.

Shakespeare reminds us of a leadership lesson we often forget when we’re successful and working really hard for our clients and customers. You’ve got to know what you want to create for yourself before turning your focus towards others.

So, let’s take that to the surfboard. Before you even dip a toe in the water, you need to be self-aware. How you feel physically, mentally and emotionally are all going to factor into your surf session. Knowing where you’re feeling strong (or not) gives you information to make smart decisions in the water.  That honesty and connection with yourself can lead to your success…or wipeout.

Lesson Two: Wait for the right opportunity.

As I’ve been growing my business, I’ve followed a lot of paths that seemed lucrative and turned into nothing. I’ve also passed on amazing possibilities because they weren’t a good fit for me. If I don’t give myself space for insight and stillness, I tend to react to what the world is throwing at me. With quiet reflection, I am more able to choose wisely.

Surfing teaches patience and discernment. You can’t possibly ride every wave, there are too many, they are too close together, and they’re not all right for you. So you wait. There is a lot of time to reflect while you’re sitting in the middle of the ocean, and nowhere to be but exactly where you are. You might actually sit still for quite awhile – which isn’t always an easy option in your day to day. When it’s the right wave for you, you paddle out and ride it. Surf’s up!

Lesson Three: Try, fail, rinse and repeat.

When I’m delivering a workshop or coaching a client, I give everyone – including myself – permission to experiment and make mistakes, which is great in concept; but in real life, mistakes can be costly. The Pacific Ocean in Malibu is a magnificent playground to try something new.

When you’re surfing, you need to get balanced on the board – too far forward and you’ll get bonked in the head when you fall and the board hits you, too far back, too far to either side, you will fall off.  Which is SO TRUE for business, and the more time I spend on a board, connecting with myself and the ocean, the more attuned I am to this balance in my business and my life.

IMG_9430Karen Pery, MA, ACC, CPCC, Leadership Coach.  If you’re ready and rarin’ to hop on a board with her, she’d love to have you at Into the Fire Surf Retreat.

It has been created specifically for you to play at the beach, practice leadership and learn to surf. It’s a once a year pause button on your life, a place to hit reset and create your life and work exactly the way you want it to be.  Join us in Malibu on August 2.

Your life is an adventure. Make it excellent.

Put more you in your business

(regardless of your myers-brigg)

4 thoughts on “3 Things Surfing Will Teach You About Business

  1. Love the reminder that I can’t ride every wave and by extension, that I can’t agree to every opportunity that comes my way.

  2. Pingback: Surfing Makes Life Better, Surfing Makes Better Leaders | Excellent Adventures

  3. Pingback: Chasing Gidget: The Beginning | Excellent Adventures

  4. Pingback: KarenPery.com | Chasing Gidget: The Beginning

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