This month changed my life

By Kim Browne

A year ago our family started planning a diving holiday along the unspoilt Kwa-Zulu Natal coastline. We had loads of time to get our diving qualifications. But as John Lennon lamented: “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans”. Before I knew it, we had three weeks to go until departure, with no scuba-diving qualifications in sight…

Then Starcom’s Gordon Patterson and his better half Sonja Basson came to the rescue. In just three weeks they helped our family to qualify as PADI open water divers. This means we were ready to hit the big blue. Qualifying proved to be an incredible amount of fun, combined with useful learning. We are now totally hooked.

But what’s the point to this back story? With everything we’ve been through in this short space of time (it was pretty intense — no shortcuts on Gordon’s watch), I’ve been reminded of some important life lessons that also apply to business:

• If you put your mind to something and do it, you will be rewarded

• Nothing comes easy, you’ve got to put the work in

• Always start with a plan

• There are going to be naysayers — ignore them!

• Even if you’re short on time — do things properly to reap the rewards

• Have the right equipment

• Listen to your gut, as well as trustworthy people

• If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t

• Never hold your breath

• Always have a buddy, who has your back

• Don’t be scared to ask for help

• Prepare properly and do a post-analysis

• Have fun

I could go on — but will stop at 13. (We’re twisted like that… and have a thing for numbers.)

Most of all, I’ve enjoyed the journey so much I almost don’t need the holiday anymore. (I’m hoping the destination lives up to the road trip.)

It’s my mission to meet new people and do new, exciting (business-related) things. Let’s dive in!

Happy Freedom Day. I hope to see you on the other side of Worker’s Day.