Success in Bunches: Riding The Waves As They Come In
As a teen I surfed a handful of times.
And by surfing, I mean I watched my best childhood friend and his older brother surf. I got to the point where I could paddle out and catch a few in a session, but was never good enough to ride a wave for any extended time.
It usually consisted of me, seeing a wave, setting up to where I could catch it, popping up on my borrowed board, riding the wave for about 10 seconds, and then falling into the saltwater of the Atlantic Ocean.
But what I lacked in talent and balance, I made up for in appreciation of nature and the sport. Sitting there on top of my board, I would look out on the horizon and try to see the waves setting up, searching for a swell that would turn into my next uncoordinated ride towards shore.
Now, I am talking about the coast of South Carolina, not the break of the North Shore. So waves that could sustain a good ride were rare unless a tropical depression was in the Atlantic. Sometimes I would spend more time watching than surfing. But just when I would think it was going to be a flat day, a set of waves would come in, and make it worth being out there.
It is that way in small business, is it not? Especially starting out.
Everything seems calm, too calm. You are trying to figure things out, nurturing the few clients or business that you have, wondering if you can make it to your next sale. The word “desperation” creeps into your mind.
And then the waves come in — new opportunities, new business, new things to learn…all at once. The word “hopefulness” creeps into your mind.
It is these ebbs and flows that make being an entrepreneur or business owner as addictive to surfing, golf, or anything that has extreme moments of success and deep troughs of stress and anxiety. The rush as you sign a new client makes you forget the 20 “no’s” that make you feel like maybe you should find a job where you punch a clock and trade hours for time, just to avoid the uncertainty.
My advice — keep your eyes out into the horizon. Use the time when it is flat and the waves seem sparse to learn, network, and get better at what you do. And when the waves of opportunities start coming, you will be prepared to have success in bunches.
Jan Michael Aldea is a jack of all trades finally making good at being well rounded. His background in marketing, consulting, business coaching & training, real estate, fitness, parenthood, marriage, and life makes Michael ill equipped to be in a cubicle, but very equipped to help transform people and companies one (sometimes humorously awkward) step at a time. He is the president and director of business development for Go Left Marketing based out of Charlotte, NC.