I’ve mentioned this before, but I believe that there are many links between swimming (especially open water swimming) and business. In fact I believe that there are many lessons from open water swimming that can be applied to business.
I’ve set up a new blog to explore this further – http://open4bizblog.wordpress.com/ – and my goal is to write a book on this topic.
To help me with the book I’ve set up a crowdfunding page and it has just gone live. I’ve already received some great feedback for this and the project has been backed by people already. Please check it out: https://www.sponsume.com/project/open-business
And here’s the launch post I wrote on the other blog:
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I wrote the text, shot the video and submitted the forms. And now my crowdfunding site is live. Please check it out here:
As you can see I’ve chosen Sponsume as the platform I use, hopefully you’ll like it, find it easy to navigate and back the project.
The reason behind the crowdfunding is to fund additional research for the book, additional swimming (as part of the research) and allow me to spend some time dedicated to actually writing it.
For you, what it means is that you you’ll be able to pre-order the book, or if you represent a business be a sponsor with your company details included online and / or in the book itself.
Please do have a look at the project here – https://www.sponsume.com/project/open-business – and if it’s not for you, please do forward it to any friends or colleagues that might be interested.
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I talk quite a lot about the community of swimmers in my presentations and I mentioned it on the radio the other week too. Over the last few weeks in the disappointment following my Windermere swim I’ve had chance to witness it first hand.
One of the most obvious ways was in the support I received at the end of the swim itself. For many people the fact that I suffered and took longer than I had anticipated made it an even better swim. I received plenty of pats on the backs and hugs and people wanted to congratulate for overcoming it all and completing the swim. At the time I couldn’t really accept it all as I felt like a failure. But the community of swimmers understands that it is actually the swims that you complete even when what feels like your entire being is begging you to quit – those are the ones that take a greater effort and should be recognised as a greater achievement. So apologies to anyone I may have brushed off that evening.
This community and show of support was repeated online. Again I brushed it off at the time, and while I’m still not happy with my swim (or myself), I can now see what people mean.
But even greater than that is the fact that some of the stars of the support are willing to help others out. Soon after the swim I reached out and asked a two-time channel swimmer if I could have some of her time to chat to her about where I went wrong and what I can do to put it right. She responded almost immediately and was very generous with her time and advice.
I do feel better after the swim now and am starting to plan for next year – thanks in part to the great community of swimmers I feel lucky to be part of.
I’m honoured to be allowed to write an occasional article for the wonderful H2Open Magazine, especially after having met the editor Simon at a few events this summer.
The articles I write are all about the lessons that can be applied to business from open water swimming – or to put it another way, you can be Open for Business. In the latest article I write about not feeling like a ‘proper’ swimmer, or businessman.
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Although I’ve been open water swimming for three years and completed some of the sport’s most iconic swims, I’m still never quite confident enough to call myself a ‘proper’ swimmer. As a child I could always swim, but I was never a member of a swimming club. I never did the early morning training sessions before school and the gala meets. I never had a coach or even had any coaching of any sort.
Even now when I watch some of the other swimmers at the events I go to and take part in I don’t feel like a proper swimmer in comparison. And that’s not even mentioning comparing swimming times – which I hate myself for doing after every event, but I can’t help depressing myself by working out just how much faster nearly everyone else was.
And yet, even though I don’t think of myself as a proper swimmer I’m welcomed in…
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You can read the full article here.
And read more of my articles here.
On Tuesday of this week, instead of my usual 3 hours of swimming up at Activities Away I was filmed getting in and out and swimming around. It’s all part of my Open for Business plan and I’ll be able to reveal much more soon.
But in the meantime here’s a short clip of me swimming.
As you can see, we’re using a GoPro camera. For the first bit it’s strapped to my head, then Tracey from Orange Media filmed me from under water. I think it looks great.
When I’m not swimming I run a PR and Communications agency (actually the agency came before the swimming as I’ve been running it for six years now). As my swimming has developed, improved and grown in stature so too has the business. I’m convinced that not only are those things related, but that there are wider parallels that everyone can draw between open water swimming and business.
Many of the lessons that we get from the swimming can be applied to our business lives – and can help us to create better and more successful businesses.
So I want to bring those lessons to businesses and have started to present to businesses for an internal meeting, or to groups of businesses or start-ups at business events and conferences. If you’d like to find out more about this get in touch, or see more here.
I have also started to write a guest blog for the excellent open water swimming magazine H2Open. In these posts I explore the themes and lessons that we can take from open water swimming and apply to business:
Nothing Great is Easy – using Captain Webb’s quote I show that, like a channel crossing, businesses can be affected by outside factors, but that doesn’t have to mean you are blown off course.
Time to Get Your Face Wet – practice for the experience, but sometimes you just need to get on with it – in swimming and in business.
Taking the plunge in business – “Both open water swimming and running your own business, while growing in popularity, are outside of the norm. They both require a degree of bravery to set off and, if you will excuse the pun, take the plunge…”
Let me know what you think.
Telling people that we’d completed our Channel Relay, the response from nearly everyone was: “solo next?” By that of course they mean do I want to swim across the channel on my own, without a team, swimming it all myself. And my answer has always been a resounding “NO!”
It’s not that I don’t want to, but I just can’t see a time when I could commit enough (money and effort) to completing a swim of that magnitude. I am in awe of the solo swimmers!
But I do want to do more swimming and face more challenges. But rather than swim further, I want to swim ‘more interesting’.
What I’d love to do is a series of [ideally global] swims that are iconic and interesting. Two on my list are the Escape from Alcatraz and Hellespont swims.
Can you help me out and recommend any more?
I’m also keen to do some presentations / speaking on the links between open water swimming and business. Please check out this link – http://bit.ly/jpropen – and if you know any business events that need speakers let me know. I’ve also written a couple of posts (here and here) for H2Open magazine and will hopefully do more soon.
Ok, self-promotion over.
Filed under Swimming, Work