"It's like the total opposite of social media!"

This morning I was in Jan Juc, a quiet beach town that is bookended by Torquay--where most of the big Australian surf brands have their head offices--and the legendary surf spot Bell's Beach which is known to most non-surfers as the location of the last scene in the film Point Break. This area called the Surf Coast is about an hour drive south-west of Melbourne which makes doing a day-trip a reasonable adventure--if you take the V-line train from Southern Cross station to Geelong and then hop on the Number 74 bus to Jan Juc it won't take you much longer but you'll skip the 8 fixed speed cameras and thus avoid being sent an unwelcome postcard a few weeks later.

Like many shots in Point Break this final scene (not actually shot at Bells Beach) was fake.

I was down in "Juc" as my mate Tim whom I was staying with calls it so I could have a "catch up" with the Southern Ocean. We've only met once before and that was 3 years ago so I was hoping this time we'd get some quality time in together but I think I was the only one who got a good nights sleep the evening before and I wasn't going to waste my clear head on the blue and white tantrum so instead I organised to meet up with an "internet friend" instead. 

Overlooking the blue and white tantrum at Jan Juc.

Overlooking the blue and white tantrum at Jan Juc.

Lincoln is the editor of Empire Ave (named after a street in Jan Juc), and the brand manager for Bellroy Wallets. We "met" back when I was living in New York City and working as the Marketing Manager for Network A. Part of my job was to spam website's like Lincoln's in the hope that they would embed our newest videos, and not only did Lincoln embed a few of our videos he even emailed me back and from there we kept in contact, I even contributed an article, and he was so kind as to give my Kickstarter project some attention in this post. We organised to meetup at Swell Cafe which is one of about 5 businesses in all of Jan Juc, they all sit next to one another so it wasn't hard to find (a country cafe with city prices--$16.50 for Avocado, Feta, and Tomato on toast--was a bit shocking but the food is great and the service warm and prompt).

Lincoln spotted me sitting outside the cafe and almost immediately we were chatting away at a faster rate than the cluster of lycra-clad local mums who were also at the cafe. Eventually Lincoln asked about Konichiwang and I told him the synopsis of my last blog post: Yes it's still happening but it's not being printed, and I want to shift the focus onto talking with my interviewees about failure. It's at this point I start explaining to people why I think talking about failure is important but Lincoln beat me to it, and better than that he said something sublime "It's like the total opposite to social media!"

I was stunned for a moment because I thought he'd missed my point and had just heard what he wanted to hear but no, he understood what I wanted to do better than I did, so he went on "Social media gives you anxiety that your life is not good enough compared to someone else's so by focussing on the failures made by successful people you're bringing your readers up, you're inspiring them and showing what's possible." I was very impressed with the economical phrasing of his insight.

Social media has created FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and it sucks: I'm both a victim and a perpetrator, so with Lincoln's crisp explanation of an idea that was muddied inside my head I now feel more confident about the direction I'm taking Konichiwang and I will ensure that my expressions and outbursts onto social media are there to bring people up instead of just to bring me up.

PS- Thanks to Lincoln for hooking me up with two great wallets. I didn't know too much about Bellroy before yesterday but after playing around with them I'm really impressed by their clever features.

 

After a few months of screwing about and a survey later Konichiwang is...

...Not going to be printed however the magazine will be made available online in exchange for filling out a survey with 10 questions. Even though issue 1 will be a digital magazine only 1000 copies will be available.

I chose not to print the first issue because even with the generosity of friends, family, and readers like you who believe in the magazine the money available to me is not enough to print a  vessel of information sturdy enough to withstand being stuffed into bags or resilient enough to remain looking beautiful on your bookshelf so until I can raise the funds to print the magazine the way I feel it needs to look and feel Konichiwang will stay digital.

After issue one has been released Konichiwang will shift focus from asking entrepreneurs about success to asking entrepreneurs about their failures, big and small, and what those failures taught them and may teach you the reader, the wannabe entrepreneur, the one with the great ideas. 

By following this new map I hope to make my interviewees and their stories seem more relatable, and their level of success attainable. Success is great, it's what most of us a striving for but it only comes through making mistakes, failing, and then learning but weirdly so many of us are afraid of that four-lettered word starting with F. Why? It should really be embraced, I mean one should never try to fail without having the end goal of eventually succeeding, even if that's making a new recipe in the kitchen, but trying and failing and trying again is a good thing it's how each and every great human achievement has ever come about from discovering how to make fire to finding the cure for polio so let's get comfortable with the word FAIL, I had to do it last year when my crowdfunding project to print issue 1 on Konichiwang failed and now by getting comfortable with failing I'm closer to success.

Here's to Konichiwang version 2.0

 

 

What surfing has taught me in the last week

 For the last week-and a-half I've I've been living in Mexico at a hostel named Frutas Y Verduras on the eastern end of Playa Zicatela. The beach stretches from Puerto Escondido---a small city of about 20,000 people---in the west and wraps around bout 2 miles to where I am at La Punta---a town where many of the streets are unsealed and just a few hundred people live in the area. 

[If you're curious as to why it seems like I'm taking a vacation in the middle of launching a project through Kickstarter then go back and read this blog post I made]. 

 

La Punta [The Point]

La Punta [The Point]

It has been costing me about $40USD per day for my own room with a desk, a shared bathroom, ok WIFI, and 3 healthy meals...The beautiful environment, relaxed vibe, and consistent waves are gratis.

And this blog is about those waves, specifically some of the life lessons I've learnt from surfing those waves that have helped me stay cool-headed even though my Kickstarter project has gone flaccid. 

[Just so you know when I arrived in La Punta I was---and still am---an absolute beginner surfer.}

 

Last night La Punta wasn't far off having 14-16ft faces

Last night La Punta wasn't far off having 14-16ft faces

Here are a few things that I've learnt in the last week of being out in the water, I think they're also valuable lessons for business and for life:

  1. Surfing is fun and there's plenty of waves so be friendly and respectful to everyone out in the water, the friendships you make will score you more waves and more smiles than being greedy and possessive. 
  2. Observe what makes the best surfers in the lineups the best and learn from their experience.
  3. Catching waves and failing on them is good, it means you're trying. 
  4. Get out of your comfort zone and scare yourself by paddling out into bigger waves than you thought you could handle because it will accelerate your learning process. 
  5. Wipeouts that leave you gasping for breath will make you stronger because you just proved to yourself that you could survive a beatdown. 
  6. Be patient and paddle hard for the waves you really want so you can stay out longer instead of paddling for everything and wearing yourself out quickly 
  7. There's always another wave coming, if that's not today then it's another day but it's going to happen so don't get too upset about missing an opportunity.
  8. Leave the beach better than you found it, pick up some trash on the way home.