Published by

The gun goes off!


     No, I’m not suggesting some form of warfare is needed for starting a business (though, at times it can feel like being on the edge of a military engagement). I’m talking about a starter’s gun, the kind that’s used to start events, that shoots blanks? Whew! Glad we got that straight.

     Starting a new business, or a new venture spinning out of an existing business–in case it’s been a while and you’ve forgotten–is very much like the beginning of a crew race. Okay, you live in the desert or the mountains and haven’t the foggiest idea about a crew race.

     Maybe you saw one once on TV? Crew races take place in rivers, lagoons, bays, and lakes. Skinny, lightweight 62-foot-long sculls (boats) with 8 rowers (each with a two-handed oar: 4 on the port side and 4 on the starboard side). Yes, there are also 4 and 2 and 1-rower sculls.

     Each oarsman/oarswoman has his or her feet strapped in, and each slides forward and backward on little butt-snuggling seats that actually have each rower precariously perched in such a manner as to practically hang out over the boat edges just inches above the water.

     There’s a “coxswain” (usually a featherweight athlete with  heavyweight vocal cords) in the bow (front) who steers the boat with guide wires and pounds the rhythm into blocks on the sides of the boat. This little person does a lot of yelling through a megaphone. Oh, thatcrew race! Sooo?

     Competing boats get positioned on the starting line, standing still, dead in the water. Oars and rowers ready. Let me try that headline again: The gun goes off! Every rower slams their oars as fast and furiously as they can in and out of the water in order to get some starting momentum and get the boats moving from their dead weight standstill positions.

     Once some forward motion is established (and assuming no capsizings or tangled oars with other crew teams), the coxswain starts in with a quick paced rhythm, calling “in” and “out” for rowers to coordinate oar placements in and out of the water.

     This builds the pace of movement in a smoother, more team-coordinated manner. The coxswain eventually calls out “stroke” as the pace lengthens out into longer harder quicker pulls.

     The coxswain is all the while banging on the boat because rowers cannot always hear the shouted ins and outs because of wind, but they can feel the vibrations of the pounding and respond to that.

     Rowers slide forward and back in time with lifting their oars up out of the water, twisting the handles so the oar blade skims back across the top of the water, then plunging the blade back in for the exhausting pull through the water, then repeating the motion again and again.

     Rowers must concentrate on staying in tandem (from a head-on view, an observer should see but one single rower when the team is in perfect sync). They must also focus on working to not “catch a crab” (getting an oar stuck out of rhythm with the other seven oars, going into or coming out of the water, and creating a splashy puddle).

“Catching a crab” can be serious enough to “catch” an oar blade and take the oar that’s fastened into the oarlock beyond the point of recovery. This will likely turn the entire boat over, which –aside from losing the race and likely damage to the expensive fragile boat– is not a fun thing in 50-degree water with a hooded sweatsuit!  

Are you beginning to see why this athletic ordeal reminds me of starting a business? Are you paddling fast and furiously to get some forward motion? Are you trying to row and steer your fragile, expensive boat at the same time? Are you missing hearing the steps you have to take but feeling the vibrations? Have you “caught a crab”? Are you lengthening out? Capsized?

Hey, there’s always another race!

  # # #  

Input welcome anytime: (”Businessworks” in the subject line) or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals, good night and God bless you! halalpiar  # # # 

FREE BLOG SUBSCRIPTION? Click on ”Posts RSS Feed” (Center Column), or now on your AMAZON Kindle for just $1.99 a month after a free trial.

FEELING CREATIVE? Add your own 7 words to the end of the 288 POSTS:  Click under “7-Word Story” (center column)


Click Here to Comment On This Post

Please Feel Free to Leave a Comment Below


Tag Cloud