How adventure can help build your business - Ta-Dah

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How adventure can help build your business

Would you like to hear how I accidentally started an annual event?

I wanted to do something fun… so asked my friends if they did too!

It began in 2022 when I added a ‘kayak day trip’ to my vision board.  I love the water and wanted a bit of a challenge.  Plus, I had decided to do lots of things in 2023 to encourage ‘movement’ (not exercise!) and bring more fun into my life.

I sent a WhatsApp message to a group of friends and networking colleagues asking if anyone would like to join me.  I thought I might get a few keen people, but was staggered to find 12 of us wanted to get together for a bit of a challenge and fun.

We booked a day trip along the River Wye

Last year, we booked a course to learn how to safely (ish) paddle on the river and followed it up with a day trip on the River Wye.

We love supporting local, so where better to go than Leam Boat Centre, where they supplied us with all the kit, and taught us the skills we might need to navigate rapids and general paddling. 

Lessons in avoiding a capsizing test

On the 2nd week, we had to show we could safely capsize!!  You’ve never seen so many women come up with so many excuses why this wasn’t going to happen.

From “I’ve just had my lashes done” (that was me!) through to a rather defiant  “Well, if we start paddling back now, they can’t actually make us capsize!!”

It was all rather reminiscent of school days when I would make up any excuse to try and get out of PE!

There is power amongst women

But do you know what… we all did it! We faught our fears, cheered each other on and actually… it wasn’t that bad!

The 2023 Kayak Challenge

Following the success of the River Wye day trip, we got in touch with Leam Boat Centre again and rallied the troops for another day out.

This time, we decided we were a bit braver and would do Matlock where there are a lot more rapids.  Sadly the unseasonable weather meant the water levels weren’t high enough, but not to be deterred, we decided to kayak from Stratford to Bidford in Warwickshire.

Wild Wees and Grumpy Fishermen

As you can see from the reel on my insta account here, we had a wild time!!!  And it wasn’t just on the water where we encountered a very grumpy and passively aggressive fisherman (who I think was trying to catch us as a fish as he threw his line in at us!!

As women of a certain age, and no toilet facilities, we had to embrace the wild and head off into the bushes for a wild wee or two.  But we weren’t concerned as we guarded one another to save our blushes!

Conversations Were Flowing

It was amazing how many different conversations flowed through the day.

As a group of women in business, we each have our own story to tell, different specialisms and unique experiences.  It was lovely to find out more around our personal lives and challenges (how we met our partners, dealing with ageing parents etc), and also help each other with business advice and tips (from managing time better, how we handle impatient colleagues – and even referring other businesses to each other).

It Wasn’t All Plain Sailing

As expected, we hit a few challenges. Weirs that were too rapid, meaning we had to navigate locks, getting in and out of the kayak and carrying our boats for a while (great team work and resilience!) Navigating the weirs that we were allowed to go down.  They were actually great fun, but a little nerve wracking and adrenaline pumping too!! Indy took one for the team and fell in the river whilst climbing out of her kayak at the lock – but she kept on smiling and laughing and was more concerned about her bag of sweets that were floating off…

Being Together Was A Great Mood Booster

What I loved most, was how everyone commented how good the day was for our mental health. Getting together with like-minded women, feeling that support and being on the water and out in nature really lifted our spirits. Boy did we ache at the end of it and the next day – but surely that’s a great sign!!

Enjoy Conversations In The Most Unlikely Places

Would these conversations and relationships developed in a networking meeting or on a Zoom call?  I doubt it. So I invite you to think outside the box when it comes to networking.

Building a community of like-minded people and sharing adventures is way more productive and fun.

Want to try something a bit different?

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