How a great white shark changed my life

Life is funny at times. I always know to expect the unexpected. That has always been my life. Good and bad but all in all pretty good. I admit times have been hard the past year or so with the business. It’s never fun being in a slump. The great thing about a slump is that you start thinking out of the box and you tend to take bigger chances. The comfy life you got used to is no longer there and you realize that life is as fluid as water and makes some waves. The slump never stays for long if you make a choice to do something about it.

Despite my better judgement, I decided to do something outrageous this year and go swim with Great Whites. I’ve been meaning to do this for years but this year was different. I took a chance and and said screw it. I’m doing it this year NO MATTER WHAT.

Taken on the trip! How can you not love this amazing animal?!

It was THE best decision I could have ever made. I went completely out of my comfort zone. Going out in the middle of nowhere with not one person that I knew, sleeping on a boat, which I have never done before and taking a chance that there may NOT be sharks while I’m there and wasting my money that I did NOT have. I, of course, counted on my amazing travel luck to not have the last part happen.

What happened?! I took a 24 hour journey to the Guadalupe Islands. I had no phone. No internet. Barely on the computer. The waves were kicking both ways for 16hrs. I got sick on the ride out but waking up to calm seas, the sunrise and clouds moving over the island and the guys dropping the cages in the water.

What I didn’t know is that the first time I connected with a Great White shark would penetrate my soul. This trip was a bit of a soul search but it never hit me till I made it home. These beautiful amazing creatures have survived for 1,000s of years. Doing what they do best and adapting. Sure they may get their ass beat and met some competition but they are still around. The apex predator of the ocean. That right there deserves a whole lot of respect in my eyes.

Sure even the little guy gets the best of them and they adapt. The keyword here is they ADAPT.

I was able to adapt to the seas and on the way back in 10′ swells, I was able to enjoy it for what it was. One helluva roller coaster ride. That was exciting. I learned to trust the captain that swaying side to side we wouldn’t capsize. I am glad I had that experience. It was amazing and empowering. The guys that do that regularly are amazing and kudos to them. Takes a lot of guts and physical strength to handle that constantly. It’s not just for anybody.

The Great Whites swim around with a smile on their face and are just cruising. Maybe they have a lot on their mind but you would never know it. What I’ve taken away from all this is that life can be just that simple. However, being an adult and with all these responsibilities on our shoulders we end up complicating things where they don’t need to be. We get attached to the “things” in life without realizing how toxic they can be. We become comfortable in our situations because doing anything else even though they would significantly reduce the complication you are on auto-pilot.

As I was swaying back and forth on land when there was no reason to I realized just how simple life can and should be. I’ve been struggling with the business. I’ve done really well for myself for 12 years, unfortunately, I didn’t have a plan B when things would dry up and the economy would take a shit. I failed to take action on all the things I’ve ever done for my clients. I never followed my own advice. I was comfortable.

DIVERSIFY! That’s what I’m doing because I have decided to open up a handyman service. Sure, it’s the complete opposite of what I’ve done for 14 years in the industry but I can finally implement all the marketing and strategies that I’ve done for clients and also develop a business plan that works based on the failing in the current business. Now, my current business isn’t a complete failure but there is a big whole in it. A good friend once told me, if you are going to fail do it quickly. Seems simple enough. Rip off the bandaid quickly. It’s a solid business decision. I could get all emotional, which I have already gone through, but its time to saddle up and adjust.

I’ve started and failed at a few businesses. They say it takes at least 7 times to fail. Well, the quicker I get to that the better. Nothing in life is supposed to be easy. I have the marketing plan in place.

I will continue with the marketing and printing business but in lieu of sleep I will be working on the other business opportunities. It’s scary to be doing something this extreme but I have confident in my skills that I am able to diversify and find the niche for the market situation. I’m great with my hands and I have no doubt that I’ll do great in the handyman service. These decisions didn’t come easily but are easily handled. I’m lucky to have great friends to help support me in this new area of my life. I’m excited! I love new challenges.

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One Response to “How a great white shark changed my life”

  1. SCAScot September 30, 2010 at 1:47 pm Permalink


    Almost 2 years ago, I lost my job as office manager for a landscaping company here in Boise – the economic tailspin was just starting, and we were one of the first casualties. Homeowner associations (our bread and butter) were looking to cut costs and replacing us with companies that were bigger (and could afford to underbid us). Commercial contracts weren’t renewing in a similar fit of cost-cutting, and the individual service market was drying up as well. In short, we were sunk, although we held on to the bitter end.

    Suddenly jobless in an economy shedding jobs isn’t the place to be. I applied for everything, and months later, was handed the opportunity to start my own business with exclusive access to a customer base. I thought long and hard about it – I would be taking a great risk, starting a business in a failing economy, and worst of all, my client base (real estate agents) was at the forefront of the economic collapse. In the end, I went for it.

    They say the best way to learn how to swim is to jump into the water with the sharks.

    I did it metaphorically – you did it literally. Almost 2 years later, I’m here to tell you, it was one of the better decisions I’ve ever made. Leap of faith kind of stuff. It hasn’t all been wine and roses – there’s been boom months, and there’s been lean months. Learning the rhythm of the sea, so to speak. Hanging on for dear life, sure that the next swell would capsize the boat, while around me, those that do this for a living reassure me that everything will be OK.

    The parallels are many, here. But they’re equally valid, I think. Whether real or figurative, those great white sharks hold a great transformative power.

    Welcome to the shark tank.