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  • Vicki Viall

Surfing as Boot Camp for Business Success?

This week is going to be a bit different than normal. Due to being under the weather, no research, planning or rewriting today. This week is completely off the cuff. So buckle up!!


I, as many of you did, grew up participating in sports. In fact, tennis helped pay for college.


I also learned to accept winning and success with true humbleness, and many of you are sitting there understanding what I mean by that.


Why surfing? Why not football, or some other sport? Simply because I am currently located near the ocean and spent time shooting (with a camera) surfers and getting to now them and why they love the sport.


First of all, surfing ain't easy. And, it ain't cheap! Still, those who jump in and give it a try are usually hooked.


With surfing, as in life and business, everything must be learned in stages. There are successes and set backs all through the journey. Yet, most stick with it. Why? They love what they are doing!


Oh!! I just hit on THE most key ingredient in business success, life success, and any thing else we undertake.


So, let me say it again: They love what they are doing!


That is the exact reason many of us fall out of bed every day. We are looking forward to something we love. If it's not work, itself, it is something else in our day, be it family, friends, hobbies, sports, or whatever.


Still, exactly what can we learn from sports to help us succeed at everything else?


Discipline, first of all. Without discipline as a foundation, we won't get very far. And, the rigor of learning, training and participating in sports requires discipline to avoid sure failure.


We also learn to build stamina so we can compete from beginning to end without quitting. No quitting allowed!


One of the best lessons sports will teach us for life is teamwork. How to work together, share the load, support and lift each other up, and yes, to fly in formation, if need be!





We learn that defeat IS going to happen, and we learn to accept it as a lesson on what to do better and how.


We also learn success. We have all seen a member of a championship team gloating, strutting, and attempting to take all the credit for a win or a winning season. BAD example, and do not follow it. If you do choose to follow that example, prepare to receive a different response from those around you!





Learning to handle success while being humble is an attribute that will definitely help in the business world. Don't we all find ourselves attracted to those who are succeeding, but who remain approachable and sure enough of themselves to share experience and wisdom? Of course! Still, we are allowed to throw in some razzle dazzle from time to time.





Sports also teaches us how to avoid injury and exhaustion, if possible. When not, it teaches us how to heal and rest. We learn to stretch to help us reach farther and go longer.


However, there will be (count on it!) those times when, instead of riding high on a wave, the wave will knock us off the board and off our feet. Big deal! Get up, stand up, get back on the board and find the next wave.




In business, we all have periods of success and seasons of failures. One day, our business is the hottest thing out there. The next day, it feels like we are on the Artic Circle.


If you watch surfers at all, you know they are not just out in the water and on their boards on perfect weather days. They are also at it on days when the temps have the rest of us bundled up and at home or in a nice warm office. So, sports teaches us how to adapt to different conditions and environments. We learn how to adapt to our surroundings to allow us to keep participating in what we love.


Now, as I said, this is totally off the cuff today. No research, which is scary for me since I love to research.


It also just scratches the surface of ways I believe that sports help us to prepare for and succeed in business.


Now, I would truly love to hear from YOU about your experiences, or what you have seen others do that came from a sports background that led to success in the business world. And, hopefully, with what you share will be your permission to amend this blog to add your input.


Until next time, as always, THANK YOU for reading and sharing this blog. And YOU keep flying high as you were meant to do!




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