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    FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY

    WHAT CAN BUSINESS LEARN FROM A BIG WAVE SURF DUDE? 

    Meet Andrew Cotton. Surfing since the age of seven he knows all about the fine line between risk and recklessness.

    Catching waves and being around the ocean has been his life. Andrew has firmly put Britain on the surfing map.

    At first the Plymouth-born surfer focused on helping pioneer big-wave spots in Ireland, but more recently he turned his attention to Nazaré, Portugal. Numerous Billabong XXL entries followed. He came to wider attention in 2012, when he towed American surfer Garrett McNamara into what the Guinness Book of World Records confirmed as the biggest wave ever surfed.

    In 2021, Andrew featured in HBO’s blockbuster doc series 100ft Wave. It followed his old pal McNamara as he attempts to hunt down the ‘Everest of surfing’, the 100-foot wave. Check it out. It’s amazing.

    There have been lows too. While surfing in Nazaré in 2017, Andrew broke his back on a horrific wipeout. Since the accident, Andrew focused on regaining his strength to make a return to surfing – and to Nazaré. His determination means he’s one of the most talented big wave surfers around on the international stage. Always searching for that next big wave. The next challenge.

    Andrew has made a lot of sacrifices to get to where he is today. Something he has in common with many entrepreneurial business owners.

    John Maffioli and Ben Eason of HUB CP sat down with Andrew to chew over the question ‘are entrepreneurs mavericks or artists of calculated risk?’. Founding and then growing a successful business can require a certain amount of risk taking. Seizing opportunities can make all the difference. We wanted to explore Andrew’s attitude and how they align with entrepreneurs’ attitudes to risk, success and failure.

    You can watch the full film of Andrew in discussion with John and Ben here. Short of time? Take a look at some key insight moments from their conversation. You’ll also learn some amazing things about the sport of big surf riding. Real adrenaline junkie stuff. There’s some great footage of Andrew in action.

    WORST REGRETS ARE THE THINGS YOU NEVER DO

    Ever had that feeling that the worst thing is the thing you haven’t done? Particularly if it’s something you knew you could? Andrew talks about the need to push pass all the fear and anxiety so as to not to pass up an opportunity. It’s this positive mind set which means even if things don’t go to plan, he still feels like he’s won.

    SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITIES AND PUT EVERYTHING INTO YOUR GOAL

    Even as a child Andrew knew he wanted to be a surfer. There were doubters. He was continually told ‘it’s not possible’. Even when trying other jobs, he never let go of his dream. Many businesses start in the same way. With a dream. Seizing opportunities and going for it. Grab hold of the positives and put everything into achieving your goal. Listen to the people who tell you ‘you can do it’ along the journey.

    AMBITION IS BIGGER THAN FEAR

    Whether you’re building a business or surfing a big wave it’s fine to be have fear. You need to accept it might not go to plan. But what really matters is that you have ambition. Ambition should always be bigger than your fear. Fear is healthy. Fear makes you competitive and you’ll always overcome it if your dreams are bigger.

     

    PUTTING IT ALL ON THE LINE

    There are certain days when its worth putting everything on the line. Others when you should walk away. You need to know what’s right for you. Is this an opportunity that will happen again? In Andrew’s view you have to push through and get on with it. Tomorrow could be too late. You’ll have missed your chance.

    CALCULATED RISK OR RECKLESS BRAVADO?

    Much of what Andrew talks about in relation to big wave surfing has parallels with the world of business. In Andrew’s world he has a ‘wingman’ in the form of a jet ski rider to pull him out before things get too hairy. Who does an entrepreneur call upon for support? Where can they go to have a no holds barred honest, open conversation about how their appetite for risk impacts growth and performance?

    Well. HUB CP was created to celebrate and bring together the most adventurous, rebellious and entrepreneurial minds. Get in touch if you’d like to know more about the business community we’ve built and continue to grow. We host thought-provoking natter and unmissable networking for business leaders. Get in on the action. And the opportunities.

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    AUTHOR

    Ben Eason, Head of New Business Relationships

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