12 Business Lessons I Learned When Surfing

I’m not very good at surfing. I will probably never surf big waves like this. Or maybe one day I will. At the very least, I’ll try.

Here are 12 business lessons I learned when surfing.

  1. It’s all about showing up. Show up in different conditions, catch waves or don’t, just get on your board and be right there in the ocean. Don’t cancel. Best things (and waves) come to those who show up, day in and day out.
  2. You don’t always win, but you try your best and you learn from your mistakes.
  3. You can’t control everything. In fact, you control very few things in this world. The ocean teaches you to relax and enjoy the process. You can try your best to steer the board in the right direction, but remember that ocean currents are always stronger than you are.
  4. Paddling for waves that look too big is scary as hell but you do it and you grow.
  5. Sometimes you will paddle for a wave that’s TRULY too big for you. You fall, you get your butt kicked, and you learn that sometimes if you take too much risk, you fail. But here’s the thing: you still learn from it.
  6. If you can ride a piece of plastic on a unpredictably moving mass of water, you can pretty much do anything, you awesome human being you! Go out and rock the world!
  7. Surfing isn’t about how cool you look or how expensive your board is. It’s about having fun and being happy. Catch as many waves as you like, ride any board, look as stupid as you want. In the end, if something doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it. And if you do something, be happy doing it!
  8. There are other people paddling for the same wave. Lots of people. The one in the best spot and with best skills gets the wave. Being in the right place at the right time is key.
  9. Sometimes you can cut in front of someone and get the wave. You’ll get your butt kicked. Or not. Better make the most of this wave.
  10. But seriously, don’t be an asshole. Don’t screw people over. It will come back to you.
  11. People will help you. Ask for advice. Don’t be afraid to look like a total noob. You are. So shut up and listen.
  12. And when you become great at what you do, help others. Let the noob take the wave. Help them when they’re in trouble. Pay it forward.

See you at the lineup!

P.S: Here’s me surfing a tiny wave with a friend and having lots of fun. I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m super excited. We’re all just figuring things out as we go. No shame.