Learning to go with the flow
How a lifetime of action sports prepared me to be an entrepreneur.
I have had several conversations the last few weeks where I was struggling to articulate a concept that is so wired into who I am that words do not express it very well.
I see the issue pop in in small businesses, and again and again it pitch decks and presentations. I keep trying to find the right words but so far the best I can come up with is , “stop fighting so hard and go with the flow!”
My own personal relationship with ‘the flow’ goes back to my lifelong pursuit of actions sports, be it skateboarding, mountain biking, rock climbing, and most recently, kayaking.
I am constantly pushing myself in all the sports that I engage it. I have found, that in each and every sport, when I let go and learn to work with ‘it’, things come much easier. When you stop fighting whatever it is you are fighting, be it the waves, gravity, the wind, and instead go with ‘it’ then things start to go more easily. The forces or nature are a force multiplier, and when you work with them, the power that they add exceeds what you alone can accomplish by sheer force of will.
As this relates to entrepreneurship, it has become ‘baked in’ to who I am — to look for the wind, the current, the ‘whatever’ that will sweep me up in it and I can just surf it.
I look for the currents that will carry me forward. It has become second nature to me. When reviewing pitch decks, I am trying to somehow impart this little bit of wisdom.
If you pitch deck looks like you alone, through sheer force of will and effort, are going to make something happen — what will probably happen is that you will run out of energy long before you get any sort of traction.
If you instead show me the current, the strong wind that will fill your sails, the change in the market that will propel you forward, effortlessly, just by harnessing the current, I become excited. You have discovered a situation where the forces of nature will carry you forward, with astonishing speed and power.
I am still trying to find better metaphors. For now, this is the best I can do.