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.