Be Glad That Business Is Never Smooth Sailing

Standing on our balcony, overlooking Byron Bay….

…. we could see the flotilla of kayaks bobbing gently on the ridiculously warm water out there.

bunched safely together, they looked quiet and at peace as they nestled and jostled in a blur of faded orchid red and banana yellow…
…presumably to be given more instructions by their gesticulating guide.

We could also just make out their arms and paddles pointing at the sleek, grey dolphins playing, leaping and teasing them, mere yards away.

“Ah!” Wendy turned to me. “That’ll be us tomorrow morning.”

And so it was.

Except, even the pre-launch preamble and training proved more testing than we’d thought.

At some time, I had to take out, and store safely, both (very expensive) hearing aids, and my glasses, on the understanding that - even if we stayed secure in our kayaks - we were about to get seriously wet. (Duh!)

Which meant that, being half-blind and almost deaf during the experience… was going to take the edge off my delight just a little.

And then there was the job of clambering into our craft.
Should have been lemon-squeezy, shouldn’t it?

But I have to tell you… these were Aussie Surfing Waves.
And they operate on crushing laws of their own.
In their domain, we were just bits of flotsam to be thrown and smashed.

Eventually, we trailed our two-person kayak after the rest of the group, a-puffing and a-panting like a couple of steam trains.
But at least we were doing that in sweet unison.

We did catch up.
And we did receive lots of interesting facts and recommendations regarding how to really enjoy this experience amongst dolphins, strangely elegant turtles and (of course) the occasional shark.

Though, I have to tell you…
I’m blow’d if i know what the guide said throughout the whole adventure!
I was in a little world of silence, all of my own.

And adventure it was.

The heaving of glorious, majestic waves threw us in the air like corks.
The strong armed, sleek-gliding, young folk in our midst soon looked pretty pathetic as they started to throw up.
They had to jump in the ocean, just to stop themselves feeling sea sick (it’s a wonderful and simple cure).

Then there’s a matter of fitness.
Now - I do like my daily 2-mile, 6:30 am walk.
And i do try to get to the gym to plod rhythmically on a treadmill for a virtual 5 mile jog.

But I haven’t paid attention to my spaghetti arms and birdlike torso for a number of years.
Which makes a 3 hour sea-borne journey in a kayak a bit of a nonsense… doesn’t it?

Anyway, after a while, my back screamed (or was that my mouth?) as if a thin, sharp knife was being plunged into it, regularly.

In front of me… Wendy’s arms were bravely pumping away…
But seemed to be merely tickling the surface of the waves.

I would be wrong to say that we were toodling around in circles.
But we never actually managed the semblance of a straight line in any direction.

Nor surprisingly, after a couple of supremely brave hours…
We eventually had to be towed (a very long way) back to the beach.

Now…
You think that’s feeble?

What really sealed the trip was what happened as we were staggering out of the kayak, having landed on the beach.

Just when we thought it was safe…
Just when a feeble smile started to appear on both of our countenances…
I caught a look of horror on the face of the lifeguard in front of me.

Next thing we knew…
another kayak - loaded with robust and screaming young women - was thrown sideways by the surf, and smashed into the two of us.

Our wobbly legs were cut clean from under us.
And we lay prostrate and groaning on the sand.
(Don’t you wish you had a camera?)

The evening saw us in hospital…
with Wendy’s leg enjoying torn ligaments.

Well. It was an adventure. Even if a questionable one.

But here’s what I thought when I returned to my office 9 days later…

Business looks so easy, standing on the sidelines.
Starting a business looks such a lot of fun.

And, however long you’ve been in business…
You’ll find critics and advisers galore, pointing out what you’re doing wrong.

But it isn’t easy.
Is it?

It’s tough.
It’s bloomin’ gruelling.
It demands grit and courage and risk-taking and uncertainty and chasms to leap.
And many tears and fears and Dark Nights of The Soul.
Meanwhile… we get it wrong as often as we get it right, on that uncertain road to accomplishment.

And only those who have walked this road really, really know what you’re going through.

So, let’s just cheer ourselves a little.
Particularly those who do what their peers dare not do.
Those of us who refuse to copy all that was done in the past.
Those of us who have different ideas about the future.

“Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. 
The ones who see things differently. 
Because they change things. 
They push the human race forward. 
The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world… are the ones who do”.

If you recognise yourself in this…
Here’s To YOU!

David Scarlett