A $3 million dollar speed boat
A year or so ago I had the privilege of taking a tour on the River Gorge Explorer, which docks at Ross’ Landing in Chattanooga, TN. The River Gorge Explorer is not an ordinary boat. It is a $3 million dollar high-speed catamaran that can exceed 50 mph. Lots of small boats can lay claim to this speed, but this is a 70-passenger touring boat; the first boat with these performance specs that has been allowed, by the U.S.C.G. to operate on an inland waterway.
It was a beautiful day. I was with my wife’s family, and as we boarded I was greeted by yet another acquaintance, Captain Hicks, who is long time friend of mine. The tour is about two hours long. We headed down the Tennessee River towards the beautiful River Gorge, a 26 mile protected stretch of the river. It is an absolutely beautiful canyon, especially in the fall, and the fourth largest river gorge in the Eastern United States.
Everyone was excited as we left the dock and picked up speed. As we got into the middle of the river, it was time for Captain Hicks to show us what she had. Amazing to say the least. We were all told to sit tight as he accelerated the large boat up to over 50 miles per hour. We travelled along for a few minutes like this, cutting back and forth in the river. This boat can turn on a dime, and of course, we needed to experience this.
All of the sudden the boat came to almost a stand still. We wondered why we had to slow down. After a few minutes we took off again, then just as suddenly we slowed down again. We looked out our window and saw small fishing boats near the shore. Because this boat had an enormous wake, it has to slow down so that it would not rock the smaller bass boats we were passing. The Captain slowed down at docks where boats were docked too.
Captain Hicks invited my wife and I to come up and check out the pilothouse, while he explained why we had to slow down. By law they had to. A boat this size can easily capsize a smaller boat. Another problem that is a concern with a high speed boat on an inland waterway is the erosion it causes on the shoreline. The boat tours the canyon several times a day, and the effects are evident in some areas of the river.
Dr. Henry Cloud, in a book I highly recommend, Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality, popularized the wake concept. He goes to great lengths to explain how our “wake” affects everything around us.
“The wake is the results we leave behind. And the wake doesn’t lie and it doesn’t care about excuses. It is what it is. No matter what we try to do to explain why, or to justify what the wake is, it still remains. It is what we leave behind and is our record.” ~Dr. Henry Cloud
Like the River Gorge Explorer, we have to be aware of what our wake is doing. How are people reacting to your actions, attitude, conversations, and body language? Are you leaving people with a negative feeling, or a positive one? When you hang up the phone or walk away from a conversation, do they say, “What an ***”, or “Wow, she’s really nice. I can’t wait to talk to her again”.
Everything you do has an affect on something else. Like it or not. It’s a universal law. Being nice to the cashier that’s assisting you, has an affect. Smiling at someone you pass by on a walk can make their otherwise lousy day a good day. Complimenting someone for a job well done, makes them feel good to part of the team. Having a positive outlook and being enthusiastic when you talk to your staff and crews, has an affect. You may not know what the affect will be, but you can rest assured, there will be one.
The point is to be aware that you influence the world around you. If you are unaware of this, you cannot control it. Without awareness you are powerless to modify and improve certain aspects of your existence. As you become more open to new ideas, you have the opportunity to utilize them in your business and in your relations. It’s not easy to listen to and learn new things. The older we get the more we want to sink deep into our “easy chair” and just sit there. When you feel stagnation and atrophy setting in, take these feelings as a warning that it’s time to get out of your “chair”, learn new things, network with new people, and keep an open mind to the possibilities that exist all around you.
We live in a wonderful and incredible time. We have more information at our finger tips than ever. As with all information, it can be ignored, used for evil, or used for good. How will you use your knowledge? Will you leave a wake that refreshes and inspires everyone you meet, or will your wake erode the banks of the river and capsize the smaller boats you leave behind? It’s up to you. You can’t blame others for your wake. You will make a difference in the world – be it good or bad.
Wishing you the best of fortune, Randall
This article was written by Randall Soules, remodeling coach, adviser, educator, and creator of the Scientific Remodeling System, showing you better ways to advance your business, raise your profits, and improve your life, through the use of superior remodeling processes. If you would like to discover better ways to run your business, click here. He also provides his uniquely customized one-on-one coaching to a select group of contractors. Feel free to contact Randall at Randall@scientificremodelingsystem.com.
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