So what can you learn from MY summer on the boat?  Perhaps more than you expect! Have you ever noticed how getting away from it all sometimes delivers the greatest clarity?  In case you’ve had your nose to the grindstone all year working long hours in your business and not taking the time to step back and regain perspective, I hope you’ll find this short series gives you renewed energy and clarity going into the Fall. As well as, gives you a few grins along the way as I share my own experiences  and ask you a few questions to get you thinking.

As my friends and business colleagues know, I’m a passionate boater on the coast of BC.  I’ve owned my 36 foot twin-diesel Trojan for 20 years, and I’ve been single-handing it for the past 7 years. You can only imagine the endless number of lessons that have emerged from “doing it all myself” – first one being: do you often do that in your business?

This summer had some particularly intriguing lessons to teach me:

  1. How often do you wing it? I have a “departure checklist” on board that never lets me down… when I use it!  On the first trip of the season I didn’t bother – and found the boat yanked back to the dock in a most embarrassing way because the power cord was still attached!  Try docking solo when you don’t have any lines ready, having just cast off.  My fellow boaters were amused at my expense!

How often do you add stress and risk into your business by winging it rather than having good processes in place that save time, wear, and tear for everyone?

  1. What’s dragging you down? I passed another boat heading out of the Fraser River – a Bayliner with all its fenders down, dragging in the water.  WELL!  Very un-seaman-like, and probably knocked a knot or two off their speed.  This could also have managed with a departure checklist.

What are the little annoyances in your business that slow you down but that you overlook or in too much of a hurry to deal with?  In your business, get your fenders up!

  1. What are you meant to slow down and appreciate in your business? Despite an inauspicious start, that first day was spectacular, so I slowed down to enjoy the moment instead of speeding to my destination, and almost immediately saw a humpback whale  slowly waving his flukes at me about 50 yards in front of the boat.  What a thrill!  In 20 years of boating on the coast, I’ve never seen that.  I slowed down even more and had to repeatedly change direction, even going in the opposite direction in order to keep him company for a while, and he responded by going into the gymnastics of repeatedly breaching.  It was a magnificent display.

You work hard in your business – what is the “whale” in your business or in your life that you supposed to slow down for, see and enjoy?

Pause.  Reflect

I’m going to pause this post right here, and continue with the final 4 and a handy Matrix for determining your best next moves in a subsequent post, because that really is one of the big questions to answer, isn’t it?

What IS the whale in your business or personal life that you should be pausing to enjoy?  For me, it’s the freedom and joy that comes from having a successful business that enables me to work from almost anywhere in the world, part of which includes spending 60 nights a year on the boat.  What’s your whale?  Please share your thoughts below.

Picture1Stay tuned for the next three lessons, coming out on Thursday!

#1 Bestselling Author, International Speaker, and Accelerator Anne C. Graham is on a mission to help 5 million business leaders and their teams double their profit per employee – or more – in less than one year, in less time per week than they’re spending on email per day. Her new book Profit in Plain Sight includes the 5-step proactive P.R.O.F.I+T Plan to do it.  Connect with Anne on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.