Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Heaving to...

Sometimes, when there is nothing else you can do, when you have no control over the situation, you just have to stop and rest. At sea, during heavy weather, we call this heaving-to. What heaving-to means is to stow all the sails except for a small storm sail tied against the wind. We also tie the rudder in the opposite direction to the sail. This pretty much stops the boat's forward movement. The only action the crew will feel is an up the down motion, pretty much like a cork. The waves slip harmlessly beneath the boat allowing the crew to rest, cook, eat and recover their strength from the challenges posed by the rough weather.

Days 40 through 50 were interesting in that, like being in a storm you can do nothing about, there was nothing to do until the weather changed. So I hove-to, waiting for prospects to make decisions, waiting for a strategic partner to finish a project, and waiting for appointments to be confirmed.

There are times when we just have to wait.

In the past I would have beat myself up worrying about the seeming lack of progress. But during the past ten days I decided to heave-to. I enjoyed every day, and every moment planning, fixing equipment, updating lists, cooking great meals for my wife, Frances, hiking, visiting past clients and being on television!

Being on television - you remember Sweet Lou and Friends - was an amazing experience. I went to a TV studio where they had it set up like a living room with Lou sitting at a desk and me sitting on the couch. I felt like I was on Johnny Carson! There were two co-hosts, a small audience, a band, the cameramen, the grips, the producer, the guys in the control room, and me.

Once Lou asked me a question it was like friends having a conversation. I never thought it would be so comfortable. In the past, when I saw the red lights on the cameras I would freeze. But not this time. This time I was fully engaged, and so was the audience and everyone else in the studio. After the show, the band, the grips and the audience wanted to know more and I even sold some books. I really have to do more of this! I didn't make any money to speak of, but I definitely savored every moment of my heave-to week.

Sail On!

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