In part one I shared a few rueful and special business- and life-lessons from spending a good part of the summer on my boat. Here are the final 4:
4. How do you handle turbulence? Reaching the beautiful and protected Gulf Islands requires navigating a pass that gets a lot of tidal action, and it can get pretty lively. On one of those days when there was a standing wave, aggressive currents, rip tides, and whirlpools. At slow speeds, it was impossible to manage – the boat would have been thrown off course. The only solution was to power up to transit the turbulence quickly. Over the years, I’ve learned that its tougher to steer a straight course and requires more effort when I’m going slow.
Do you put on the brakes during economic turbulence or when you have challenges within your business? Do you find that going slow sometimes takes more effort and means more zigs and zags? What would be possible if you powered up instead?
5. What do you do in poor visibility? I’ve hit more than a couple of very rough days crossing the Strait of Georgia, and I have what’s known as a “wet boat” – it’s not uncommon for spray to come right up over the enclosed fly bridge, making it very difficult to see. With the number of logs in the coastal waters of BC, that can be a recipe for disaster if they come in contact with propellers and rudders. Fortunately, I only have a few missing areas of bottom paint on the bow of the boat signifying some close calls this year. The only solution is to stand up at the helm station and keep a keen eye peeled despite not being able to see clearly ahead.
What actions do you take to “stand up” instead of being trapped behind your desk when you need more visibility in stormy weather in your business?
6. When to stand your ground, when to retreat? I was enjoying a blissful few days in one of my favorite anchorages, full of rocky outcroppings and turquoise lagoons, when 3 large boats anchored virtually on top of me, stern-tied, and rafted up together. That meant they wouldn’t be swinging in the same arc as me during the overnight tide change and high winds that were expected that night, and I felt the likelihood of slamming right into them was a bit higher than my comfort zone would allow. As the first boat moved into position I’d politely expressed my concerns, but to no avail. So I had a choice to make: stand my ground or move on. Upon hearing the forecast for 30-40 knot winds, the decision was easy. I left them to what promised to be a howling and lumpy anchorage that night, and took myself off to a nearby marina, where I slept safely and soundly tied to the dock. I have no doubt they had a sleepless night!
How do you deal with a “competitor” moving in on your territory? Do you risk a collision, do you simply retreat, or do you find a way to ensure your own comfort while letting them deal with the consequences of their actions?
Here’s a handy 2×2 Matrix of the lessons learned that you can use in your business.
Sometimes strategic plans go sideways – it happens in boating too!
Have you ever learned a business lesson from something you do for fun? Please share below!