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The 3 secrets to wakesurfing every entrepreneur should know

The 3 secrets to wakesurfing every entrepreneur should know

August 10, 2011

Wakesurfing in Tahoe! Although nerve-racking, scary and freezing cold water, I learned a few valuable lessons that will help you in your business!

One of the best things about my business is that I get the opportunity to travel and visit some of the most beautiful areas of our country and try things I would never get a chance to do such as wakesurfing in Tahoe!

I've got the video to prove it ' don't laugh, it was my first time.

But it also got me thinking about why some people try it and fail ' and why some people do extremely well ' much like we see in business today.

I'll share with you the lessons I learned and the video that has my family cracking up'

I never thought I'd be wakesurfing in Lake Tahoe (yes, I was 'in' the lake as much as I was 'on' it) when I accepted the invitation to speak at the National Association of Catering Executives annual convention in Reno but boy was I glad I did.

If you're not familiar with wakesurfing it's similar to wakeboarding in which you stand on a board and you're initially towed by the boat. After a few minutes you actually surf in the wake of the boat ' with no rope!

Oh, and did I mention the water is freezing in Tahoe? I'm a pretty thin guy so I don't have much to keep me warm so thank goodness for the wet suit. (By the way, I'm not skinny, I'm density challenged ;-) But when I say the water was cold, I mean it was bone-chilling, ice cold.

I learned how to surf from the great Buzzy Kerbox who is famous for surfing the mega wave called, "Jaws." That's him (not me!) in the picture. You make a mistake you die. Buzzy taught me how to be patient and read the water. The issue is dealing with your fear.

I've been surfing in Hawaii' so I was eager to give this a shot. My friend Nick Waller and I hired a guide to take us out on the lake and teach us how to do it. But I noticed my excitement began to wear off quickly. Did I mention how cold the water was? Not only that, but Nick kept trying and kept falling, which didn't inspire much confidence that I could do it either.

Maybe I wouldn't be cut out for this (Nick is down again) ' maybe I'd do better if I was 20 years younger (Nick is up for a moment and down) ' maybe this is something you need to practice a lot ' maybe if the water wasn't as freezing cold! All these thoughts raced through my mind as Nick struggled to get the hang of it.

But I also realized 3 things:

1. I had to trust myself that I can do it.
2. I had to trust my mentor ' my teacher ' who demonstrated step-by-step how to do it and he too believed I could do it. And
3. I had to trust the system and his training. If I just followed his instructions and let the board follow the wake, I could probably do it.

I see the same thing happen in business all the time. In fact, there are really 3 reasons why business owners fail:

1. They don't trust themselves. You really do have to believe that you can overcome obstacles and find solutions to even the most challenging problems. And if you can't, find someone who can help.
2. They don't trust the mentor. Every business owner should have a mentor or coach they can trust for guidance and advice. As great and knowledgeable as Tom Brady is on the football field, he has a coach. Tiger Woods has a coach. Bill Gates has a coach too in Warren Buffett. It doesn't matter how great you are, always place someone over yourself to guide you.
3. They don't trust the system. Every business should have a system for generating leads, converting those leads into sales and following up with customers to create additional sales. Although every business is different, there are certain fundamental truths that you need to apply and can't ignore.

Meryl Snow, owner of Feastivities, learned to trust herself, trust her mentor, Mike Roman, and trust the system he taught her to grow her business into one of the leading caterers in Philadelphia.

My friend Meryl Snow, owner of Feastivities, a catering business in Philadelphia, now runs one of the most successful companies of its kind in the city since applying these same principles. She put her trust in Mike Roman, owner of Cater Source, who taught her to transform her business so instead of simply operating as a simply a vendor/caterer she's also now a subject matter expert in the bridal business.

Here is her event targeted to hungry fish (brides) that generates hundreds of thousands of dollars for her now. She did it because Mike believed in her and convinced she could speak. He knew the system.

Feastivities took its catering service to another level by turning itself into an educational tool with seminars and tools to teach brides-to-be how plan for their wedding event.

She holds free seminars for brides and teaches them how to plan the biggest event of their lives and prepare for the wedding. This was a huge step from Meryl who, like 75% of the population, is very afraid to speak in front of a crowd.

But she put her trust in Mike, who also believed she could overcome her fears and today brides-to-be from all over Philadelphia attend her workshops ' and her business is now thriving as a result.

So what do you think happened when I tried wakesurfing?

Wrong! I got right up ' and then fell! (Trust myself ' trust my mentor ' trust the system.) The next time I got up and this time I was surfing. It felt great! I was wakesurfing on beautiful Lake Tahoe! What a rush!!

Here's something else that's interesting. When Nick tried it again, he got up right away ' and kept going! Why? He saw for himself that it really could be done and all his doubts and skepticism disappeared. His trust was restored and he was wakesurfing!!

Hopefully, next time we try wakesurfing it's in the Bahamas where the water isn't freezing!

If you are stuck ask yourself, "Where is my lack of trust and why?"

  • What do I need to do to trust myself?
  • What do I need to do to trust (or find) my mentor?
  • What do I need to do to trust a system?


Always taking you from where you are to where you want to go,


Jon Goldman, President