A University Ski Trip: Business and Life Lessons For Ambitious Graduates

A week of drinking… and learning… I was also surprised!

10am. Gatwick Airport. Spoons. Larger’s on deck.

“Lads, Lads, Lads, Lads, Ladsssss’”

Lads need to show to the outside world… that they are, well, lads.

Weatherspoon’s is the perfect lad haunt. The larger cheap and the women easy.

Not taken from my mouth, in fact, Fat Dave in the corner. Crystal Palace shirt and the Ankle tattoos to match. His battalion followed suit, Gold chains, Receding barnetts and Smoker’s coughs.

These fellas were Veteran’s of the ol’ lads holiday. Judging by appearance this battalion was to be stationed on the Benidorm border. MISSION: WINTER SUN.

Like passing through the Vietnamese jungle… we ordered our fry ups , raised our glasses and gave a cheeky “OI, OI” to our seniors.

David responded “It’s dangerous out there, stick together, keep the chants strong, make sure you’ve packed protection ;)”

OHHHH FUCK OFF YOU OLD SEEDY PERVERT!

Plane to Grenoble:

Or Watering hole at 40,000 feet. (Code Language specifically for Lads)

To our disbelief… there was another LADS TRIP on OUR flight.

We looked across to each other, bemusement and anger strapped across our face.

“This can’t be right??! I thought we were the only lads on the flight”

“FUCK! These lads are dabbing too, they’ve got their chants on lockdown and their drinking the trolley dry!”

As Captain of the group… I organised an emergency meeting.

“Right lads, come in close now… We’re gunna stand our ground…”

“When that Dorris comes down with the drinks trolley… we’re gunna ambush her… Vodka’s all round, straight. NO MIXER’S ON THIS TOUR. I REPEAT NO MIXER’S ON THIS TOUR”

Then we bring out our weapon of lad destruction. Our national anthem. Our very being, our blood, our body and our soul wrapped in a poetic chorus of joy.

Stand tall fellas. At the top of your lungs now…

Jaaaaaaamiee Varddyyy’s Haviiin a partyyyy. BRING YOUR VODKA BRING YOUR CHARLIE!!

Wiped out those dabbing sods with a clean cut to throat.

With confidence in our hearts and minds. Passport control was a breeze.

A cheeky wink: “Dimitiri mate, it’s totally Kosha, no naughty stuff here pal… just some lads on tour”.

Before we knew it we were nestled in a bus up the treacherous mountains to base camp.

What I learned from a Piss Up in the Alps?

UNPLUG FROM SOCIAL MEDIA.

Before I went away. Social media was becoming my life blood. It was rank.

I felt like something out of the Matrix, my very being was fuelled by Likes, Shares and Comments.

I had just launched The Start Up Hunter. Constantly putting out Instagram content, blog posts, Facebook updates.

In the entrepreneur world, the notion of grind, hustle and show up everyday is prolific. I was worried that I would lose momentum and lose my passion.

I did. But I also learnt a lot.

Due to O2’s sheer inadequacy: I had no data. (Darren in the Bradford call centre, expect my call).

No data = No Social Media= New perspective.

By unplugging. I’ve learnt a few things.

1. I hate Instagram.

2.I LOVE Writing.

I was wasting so much of my time trying to build an Instagram account. Eating away at my ability to write. I want to be the best writer I can be, not an Instagrammer bathing in likes.

From now on. I am going to put Instagram on hold and Double down on what I WANT TO DO: WRITE.

Every single blog, book or Growth hacking thing I’ve read talks about doing X, Y and Z. However, doing X ,Y and Z made me unhappy. I just want to focus on my writing and bang out even more content.

So…I am going to write more. Publish EVERY SUNDAY WITHOUT FAIL… but throw in a few mid-week for good measure.

So the lesson I’ve learned whilst on the old piss up. Do what you enjoy… even if an expert is telling you to do something, if you dislike it ultimately you’ll get annoyed with it and sack it off anyway.

I’m going to try and be the best writer I can be. If you want to be the best Instagrammer, then go for it.

Regardless, it’s each to their own… so do what you enjoy. Get really good at it.

LIVE IN THE PRESENT.

Look at the state of that thing.

Clear. Serene. Untouched. Peaceful.

When your “trying” to “bomb” it down a mountain. Your not thinking about the past or the future. Your in the present.

I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. Mediation is like skiing. Its utterly peaceful.

However. Let’s combine that serene slope with the thought of WORK.

When we think of work: the anxiety of the future or the anger of the past comes in like a big fat poo dragon and craps all over our slope.

Its horrible to look at. It’s a bit of a sticky situation (The Dragon had had a curry the night before). It’s hard to ski down, avoiding all the Dragon Poo as you go…

Thinking about work, life and stress can pollute the mind, leaving you with a crap infested slope. If you’re trying to ski through your day or life and there is crap all along the slope… it makes things difficult.

Meditation though. Is like summoning a Hippie on a Snowplough to come up the mountain and clear away all the crap.

When you meditate it makes it easier to ski through life.

Everyone has Problems. Stress. Anxieties. Insecurities.

No one meditates.

Do the math?

Meditate.

WE ALL NEED A COLLECTIVE IDENTITY.

As I was in the Alps. I couldn’t help but notice groups of people all connected by a collective identity.

In layman terms or Google: collective identity refers to the shared definition of a group that derives from its members’ common interests, experiences, and solidarities. It is the social movement’s answer to who we are, locating the movement within a field of political actors.

As I galavanted around Val Thorens (or VT for the people who do a season) I noticed groups of collective identities and it got me thinking.

First.

The obnoxious ski instructors… Red uniform. No helmet (because they are that good)… they are connected together by something: how fucking sweet they are at skiing!

Second.

The “doing a season mate” folk.

You can spot these guys a mile off. Rebillious little munchkins.

Everything they say and do, gives off the impression that “we do a season mate”.

We know this town better than you! We know the slopes better than you! Look at our Panda eyes! We run this town!

Maybe I’m just feeling insecure… but regardless they were connected by a collective identity… to band together, to dress the same, to act the same they want to connect with other “doing a season mate” people.

Next.

I pulled in (haphazardly) to a gaff called Bar 360. Panoramic views I may add.

I lay on the slope and observed everything that was going on around me.

The chitter chatter of rah rah, har har was only just eclipsed by the sound of some minimal techno.

When I heard the Sloaney accent I expected to see a bunch of Made In Chelsea fellows.

Wrong.

A sea of Captain Jack Sparrow Esque (after a few sherbets) characters. Reebok Vintage was their collective identity. The Leeds University ski trip.

Each person was acting, thinking and dressing the same way… to show they are part of a collective identity.

Now although I’d like to say “Please for the benefit of humanity, Fuck off back into your k-hole”. I will resist.

Despite this they were all connected by a collective identity: edgy garms and dodgy barns.

Equally… they were probably thinking: WHO THE FUCK ARE THOSE LOT?

That group of lads over there thinking they’re part of some battalion out of Saving Private Ryan.

They raise a valid point.

Regardless. I’ve learnt this week that collective identities are powerful. Almost tribal.

Collective identities are ubiquitous.

United fans want to be, well, United fans “Manc accent and Red shirts and Old Trafford to house them”.

Corporate workers want to be a collective “all wearing suits and ties”.

Religion is a collective identity.

However… there is NO COLLECTIVE IDENTITY for students who want to think different, be different and act different.

  • Who don’t want the cubicle job.
  • Who want to create and constantly learn new things.
  • Who want to challenge the status quo.
  • Who embrace being the out one out.

I am going to create a collective identity for those students through the Screw Corporate. Think Entrepreneur blog.

Please do me a favour… share this on your social channels to people who you think this could benefit. Mucho’s Gracias