A few years ago I fell in love with the idea of surfing. I was listening to Ben Howard a lot and the surfy, coastal life was just calling to me as I sat on the cusp of closing the chapter to my life in Sweden. I had never even come close to trying surfing before. I wouldn’t have dreamed about wanting to do something as ‘full on’ as surfing before then, but when you voluntarily shake your entire life upside down, as I was just about to do, you get pretty gutsy.
I had no idea how or when I could make it happen, what with Sweden not being a particularly surfy area and all that.
But I KNEW I would make it happen at some point.
When that opportunity came along I wanted to be ready for it.
So I started training for it. I checked out what kind of skills you need and what exercises are good for a wanna-be surf chick. And I went for it. I started running to get my cardio going and did loads of power yoga for balance and strength.
I did this for YEARS before I finally got to try surfing. But it really taught me something.
Starting before you are ready means that when your opportunity does finally come among you’re giving yourself the greatest chance of getting off to a running start. Or surfing start.
Whether you’re waiting for an idea for your business or passion project, a chance to say yes to a physical adventure like climbing a mountain or sailing around the world, becoming a parent, or even meeting your soul mate, find out what you need to know and just start doing it. Do it today!
When your business idea does reveal itself to you, instead of saying ‘I can’t do this – I don’t know the first thing about to run a business’ you’ll have already started to learn about marketing and finance, you’ve started adopting healthy and effective lifestyle habits for busy business owners and you’ll at least know what you don’t know. So you can either outsource it or add it to your skill set.
Instead of rejecting that dream of sailing round the world because ‘you’ve never even stepped foot on board a boat’ you’ve already taken sailing courses, you nail your navigation and have a nice network of sailing buddies to support you.
This works on three levels:
1) Waiting for something that is out of our control – an amazing job offer or (ad)venture opportunity or meeting ‘the one’ – is so f***ing frustrating. Actually taking small steps towards it each and every day helps you feel that you are doing something awesome to make it happen. Which feels so much more empowering.
2) If you’ve already started work on improving your fitness and/or sharpening your knowledge and skills, when you are eventually presented with that opportunity, you’ll KNOW that you can do it. Otherwise it’s really easy to talk ourselves out of opportunities by convincing ourselves that we can’t do it– even if we have been dreaming about it for years.
3) It’ll probably take you further than you can ever imagine. In the beginning you’re motivated by the end goal. But getting in better shape for an adventure, for example, is going to give you more energy, boost your self confidence, prove to yourself that you can follow through. You might find your life changing far beyond what your original goal promised.
Luck is preparation meeting opportunity
As Queen O says: “I believe luck is preparation meeting opportunity. If you hadn’t been prepared when the opportunity came along, you wouldn’t have been lucky.”
So, challenge yourself right now:
1) Research what you’ll need to know or be able to do when that opportunity comes your way
2) Take the first small step. That might be buying a pair of running shoes or researching sailing courses or signing up for a free marketing ebook. Then take the next step. Book that sailing or marketing course. Go for a short run or even a walk, if that’s where you’re at.
3) Keep that end goal in mind when it gets tough. Feel the wind in your hair and the salt on your skin.
And me? Two years after I started training I did finally get to go surfing. So fun! But SO challenging – even with pre-training, so I was really glad that I started early.
But the sea (much like most adventures and running a business) teaches you a lot about yourself. And as a bonus I made friends with an amazing group of gals and chaps.
Chasing the waves even took me on exciting adventures to Morocco, Portugal and Sri Lanka. And it was one of the reasons I decided to move from London to Devon in 2014. SO much more than I could have imagined.
What are you dreaming of and what first steps can you take to get there?
Let me know below!