Business Seem Overwhelming? Lean Into It.

Sometimes business is completely out of control. Deadlines, emails, telephone calls, meetings, proposals, and then you actually have the work that you are supposed to deliver. In addition, competitors seek to take the next deal from you, you must keep your clients happy, and oh yeah, the economy is at an all time low. You are powerless against the external factors, so you might as well just lean into it.

We’ve seen tidal waves decimate villages, flood cities, and kill hundreds of thousands, but big wave surfers still seek to drop into these monsters for the ride of a lifetime. There is something beautiful about leaning into it. These monster waves  tower more than ten stories tall and carry the destructive punch of an eye wall. Nature in all its furry carrying millions of gallons of water draws creatures deep into the sublimity of its wake, and there are those that are daring (and stupid) enough to venture into the massive wall of the wave.

Watch as Laird Hamilton takes on monster waves.

It is terrifying and beautiful to watch this man take on the ferocity of nature. Here are a few observations:

1. It is clear that he is in the water for only one thing, to surf.
2. Despite the strength and terror of the waves, he must lean in.
3. Fear may be palpable, but he must show skill and strength.
4. When the world seems to be crashing in on itself, there is opportunity regardless of the seeming impossibility.
5. Timing is everything. Big waves appear a few days out of the year, so being in the right place at the right time is critical.
6. The goal is to make it out alive. You can’t plan for everything.
7. Surf the big waves, and people talk about you.
8. Oh yeah, have fun.

For the entrepreneur, the risk taker, I think there are lessons that we can learn from Laird. Most importantly, not all of the busy-ness is your business. When you lean into the area of opportunity you will neccesarily avoid and lose all focus on other aspects, and if you are lucky you will create something truly amazing.

Jeremy Floyd

Jeremy Floyd is the President at FUNYL Commerce. Formerly, he was the CEO and President of Lirio, Bluegill Creative, a marketing and communications firm in Knoxville, Tennessee. In addition to managing the digital strategies, Floyd was an adjunct professor for the University of Tennessee Chattanooga MBA program teaching digital strategies and social media. Floyd blogs at and tweets under the name @jfloyd. Jeremy is licensed to practice law in the State of Tennessee and holds a law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from MTSU in English and Philosophy.

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  • Mark W Schaefer

    How do I capture this beauty and power in a business plan? : )

    9. Make mistakes, but not TOO big!

  • Alice Gold

    I am contemplating naming a son Laird. Laird LeGrand Gold…sounds good. Maybe we will have to name a girl Laird.

    Love this post.

    You forgot to mention that all that surfing puts a man’s body in immaculate condition. He could never do that without that sixpack.

    What is a law office equivalent to the six pack..that’s what I want to know.

  • Great post, Jeremy. Also something I really needed to be reminded of at this particular moment in time. – kag

  • @Mark – You have reminded me of a GK Chesterton quote: “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly,” which in this analogy means that laird drank a few gallons of salt water and still does from time to time.

    As for the business plan, I think the beauty is captured in the execution of the business plan. The life, the energy and the art is the human interacting with the lifeless words on a page–making magic.

    @Alice – I’ve got the other six pack from surfing the web…LG and I are competing for the greatest circumference at this point. 🙂

    @Katie – Thank you. I have really needed some inspiration to remain vertical lately. I am glad that you got something from it.

  • The alternative, as I am seeing recently, is that you keep falling off the board, standing up, and getting pummeled by the waves over and over again. Leaning into it is so much more beautiful by comparison.

  • David Egnimatic

    At my age [76] whenever I lean—I fall off. If not for my water wings that board could get to be too much. The good news is that I’ve fallen into some really good investments. Sometimes it’s better to go with flow and live by faith. My newest investment is stock in a water wing manufacturer.

  • David Egnimatic

    My point is that when one retires— mostly your business is investing in someone else’s business. The only thing that I know about that is the prudent investment must be in a real time product manufacturer of a product that you have used and found to be useful and well made. “Can’t go wrong in water wings”, I say.

  • Nowadays, you must be super creative to have a good business idea that works.-*-

  • it is easy to get Business ideas, just look for a product or service that has demand and fill it~`~

  • i ran out of business ideas, but i mostly invest on stuffs related to food and real estate`”-