In Make Your Own Waves, Louis Patler explains that those starting their own businesses can learn a great deal from the rules followed by Big Wave surfers. Like surfers, successful entrepreneurs must have confidence and an understanding of their own unique strengths. They must prepare carefully and take calculated risks. Success comes from going all in. The marketplace, like the ocean, is unpredictable, so both innovators and surfers must constantly adjust to changing conditions. For those looking to move from start to startup, the surfers’ rules offer a strategic roadmap in 10 steps.
Innovators and entrepreneurs looking to move from start to startup can learn from the rules and strategies of Big Wave surfing, which include:
- Learn to swim. Before a person can surf, he or she must learn to swim. Innovators must start with an understanding of their situations, including the trends, competition, and full potential of their products, among other things.
- Get wet. In order to be a real surfer, a person has to leave the beach and get in the water. Innovators must take action to make their dreams come true.
- Always look “outside.” The best surfers scan the horizon before committing to a wave. Innovators should watch for what is coming next before they take action.
- Commit, charge, shred! There is a moment in Big Wave surfing in which surfers must rely on their preparation and, despite their fears, force themselves over the ledge. For innovators and surfers, success comes from going all in.
- Never turn one’s back on the ocean. Business owners should never take their customers for granted, just as good surfers know never to turn their backs to the ocean, because they can never predict how conditions might change.
- Stay stoked! Those who have the most success in surfing and in business are those who love what they do.
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