In case you’re just getting to know me, let me catch you up.
I’m a professional copywriter and marketer that helps connect brands with their customers. But I’m also an avid scuba diver and underwater photographer with more than 600 dives under my belt. In other words, if there is a warm body of water with a reef nearby, I’d much rather be exploring it than walking on land.
Now scuba diving is probably the last thing on your to-do list. I realize it isn’t a common hobby. Every person is drawn to different hobbies and pastimes that make us do a happy dance, which is what makes the world go round.
Think about these facts for a minute: 70% of the earth is covered by water. Of the 7 billion people on the planet, only 6 million are scuba divers. This fact means that a lot of people are not playing underwater tourist. (Guess that keeps the underwater-ways less crowded, huh?!)
As life tends to provide pivots and turns that are out of our control, this avid diver ended up on land without diving for six long months from the fall until recently. So you can imagine my deep desire to get back into the deep blue.
We planned our first dives of the year to occur Memorial Day weekend at our favorite “local” dive spot — Jupiter Dive Center — which is currently a quick 7.5-hour drive away from our house. Unfortunately, the forecast showed a possible tropical storm that could make diving a bit of a challenge.
Making a Choice
Just like every business faces continual decisions, we had a choice to make about our diving trip. Should we steer clear of the ocean altogether based on the inclement weather forecast, or should we push forward to see what would happen?
An analysis of the options helped us decide to stay the course and make the drive from Charleston to Jupiter. While that may sound simple, it wasn’t. Driving this distance for diving requires a dive gear checklist, as well as advanced planning to coordinate multiple things, e.g., the hotel, the dive charter, packing for ourselves and furry sons, etc.
Facing Your Fears
With choppy waters and 3-4 foot waves, the 40-foot boat took us away from land into an overcast day with patches of rain on the horizon. Like any business situation, at every step of the journey, we had a choice of stopping or preserving through the less than ideal situation.
Our three-tank dive started by diving the Deep Ledge. This dive site is where the big fish (aka sharks and Goliath groupers) are known to hang out.
This is also the same place Robert and I dove last year where I unexpectedly plummeted to the bottom of the ocean and got a nosebleed in my mask as two huge bull sharks were passing by. This experience brought on a bonafide panic attack that found me reciting every scripture I’ve ever memorized to get me through the situation. (You can read about that past adventure here.)
I knew that if I didn’t jump back into the blue and face my fears—I would never grow and learn from the experience. So I did just that, I dove in with a new mindset to overcome any previous challenges.
Oddly enough, while everything went smoothly, we never saw any sharks or Goliaths. In fact, the only thing we saw were …. other divers floating in the abyss. It was an odd feeling. Oh, and the water temp was 12+ degrees colder than we anticipated, which created an entirely different dynamic.
Amazing Dive Stories
When all was said and done, we chalked up this three-tank diving adventure to one of those amazing dive stories you share with others who will listen. You know, the kind of stories that begin like: “Remember when we decided to dive in a tropical storm?”
Of course, that raises eyebrows, and people typically lean in closer as they want to hear more. This is the pivotal point where you can embellish your “fish tale,” or tell it like it really happened.
In our case, we honestly had no idea the tropical storm—that was nearly 250 miles away—would have an impact on the waters we were exploring. Unfortunately, it did in, and in a big way.
The waters were cold. This is especially challenging when warm temps are expected. The visibility was cloudy, and it was dark like diving at dusk. The impending storm made the sharks ping around the reefs like popcorn. In the end, there were no underwater photos worth sharing, Robert got hypothermia, and I felt like a popsicle.
Planning Your Next Adventures
When you have experiences like these, you have a choice to make. You can stop dead in your tracks, sell your gear, and never go diving again. OR you can chalk it up to experience, reflect on what you learned, and start planning your next adventure.
Perhaps you’ve had similar experiences in the workplace? Have you prepped for a meeting with an important client, boss, or prospect—only to have hidden agendas appear out of nowhere. (Yeah, I thought so.)
Whether you’re in the ocean diving or the office meeting with someone—you must learn to face your fears, evaluate your experiences, and plan your next moves.
Here are some quick tips you may want to consider:
No matter what the situation in business, life, or the actual ocean—you can always persevere against the odds.
Does your copywriting and marketing help your business navigate your sea of customers? I can help you with that, by doing it for you or coaching you through the process. Let me help you.