I am writing this the day after a storm with waves I have never seen or felt before. People, unattended cups and glasses all flying around. I myself was caught by a wave pounding the deck – good job I had followed safety instructions and had two hands on the safety line. I have never felt that much outside of my comfort zone.
Today, however, is a sunny day, and it is my birthday: I was welcomed by the crew with a birthday song. I received the beautiful gift of watching a large group of dolphins accompanying the ship, majestic Albatrosses effortlessly sailing over the waves and all around me the wide-open ocean with no land in any direction for a thousand kilometres. Today we crossed 40th parallel south, we are entering the roaring 40’s.
The journey in itself is a journey to myself. Facing nature by sailing the South Atlantic with its famous weather conditions. After the roaring 40’s come the furious 50’s and finally the screaming 60’s. Living for 39 days on a 50m ship, together with 57 people I have never met before. Crossing new zones of discomfort, gaining new experiences, growing. Combining this with all my previous adventures and what I have learned from nature to integrate this in the way I support my customers. This is what my business The Adventurous Entrepreneur is all about!
I still remember my excitement a year ago, sitting behind the computer waiting for the 12 o’clock noon to press the registration button, hoping to get a place on the ship. Yeah, late in the afternoon came the confirmation. I got a bunk on the Bark Europa! Sailing through the South Atlantic on a Tall Ship, like hundred years ago, to Antarctica. To explore the majestic 7th continent at the end of the world. Learning about the amazing animals living in harsh conditions. Enjoying the fairy ambiance created by clean air and eerie lights.
Here’s what happened. One morning in Spring I woke up and felt terribly stressed. What am I doing, leaving my business alone for more than six weeks?
You may think why is that a problem? It isn’t the first time that I am going on an adventurous trip. Three weeks is still no problem. I learned that from my other adventures like kayaking in Greenland and Alaska. But six weeks gave me the creeps. It cracked my head.
Around Antarctica there is no Wi-Fi, no internet, only radio and satellite telephone.
On the ship I am disconnected from the internet. Very unusual nowadays. How can I run my business during that period? I cannot support my clients, they will feel neglected. Visibility decreases while not being on social media. I can’t answer requests, will miss out on leads.
I felt I am putting several years of hard work building up my business at risk.
If you ask me now “but Anja, you have known all along that it will be a long journey, haven’t you?”
Yes, I agree. But how often can you say no to such an opportunity? I don’t want to wait until the so-called right moment, because the right moment is now. Not tomorrow. Tomorrow you could be sick, you could have lost your business and have no money to pay for such a trip, you could even be dead. To go for your dreams needs courage!
From experience, I knew that if I kept focussing on my problem -no internet- that would not solve anything and only give me negative energy. So I managed to tell myself “let go and trust that somehow you will find a solution”. I know it has happened before, so I trusted and could let go. That is, most of the time. I’m not saying I had no moments of doubt anymore, but then I was strict to myself, repeated my advice to myself and concentrated on all the positive things I could do for my business before the start of my adventure.
The answer to the problem I felt six months ago came only shortly before I left. I could start my personal adventure without stress about my business. I am glad that I trusted myself that I would find a way.
Well, the deciding moment for me was when I realised that I really wanted to do and live both adventures. Both my business and my self-journey. Both are priority to me. When you recognise this, doors are opening by itself. I had made a mistake doubting the importance of one of the two. Thinking if I go for the one, I would have to forget about the other. Then, I decided that the one is no more important than the other and I let go of worrying about the hurdles I still had to take to realise both. Taking such a decision is part of the natural leader in you. Trust yourself, have an open mind, and opportunities will arise.
Please share with me how you would approach such a situation!
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