Business lessons learned from skydiving, part 1

(First of a series) IIt all started in 2013 when I was surfing YouTube. I came across a video of a man standing on a cliff wearing what appeared to be a flying squirrel suit. “Oh my God!” I thought. “Looks like he’s going to jump into that thing off the cliff!”

Three seconds later, that’s exactly what he did. He walked to the ledge, spread his arms and stepped into the air. For a terrifying moment he dove straight down like a bag of bowling balls, and then – he flew! I found other videos like that and soon learned that what I was seeing was wingsuit flying – a discipline within the sport of skydiving. These people fulfilled a childhood dream of mine: to fly like Superman.

I wanted to do it right away. At that time, however, there were no drop zones (airport with skydiving) near where I lived. So some things delayed the idea, but it was always in the back of my mind. In August 2019 I decided to look at it again and found that a drop zone had opened within 30 minutes of my house. I called and booked a tandem jump which means skydiving while being instructor certified. After my tandem I registered for the A-license course and became a certified skydiver. Now, nearly two years later, I’ve done over 330 skydives and as of June of this year reached my goal of flying a wingsuit. At the time of writing, I have completed over 30 wingsuit flights.

I can best sum up this journey in two words: life-changing. The business and life lessons I learned along the way were nothing short of profound. I just had no idea what I was in for when I signed up for this craze, but I’m really glad I made the decision to go for it. In this series, you’ll learn why and how skydiving lessons directly apply to your success in the flooring industry.

We live in a very tumultuous time in American history, like none of us have ever experienced. The pandemic has changed our lives and the face of business around the world in ways we don’t fully understand yet. There is enormous political unrest and division. Technology is advancing at a pace unlike anything in human history, and – both good and bad – nothing goes untouched in its wake. This ever-changing landscape can cause stress, anxiety and hesitation, especially when it comes to what the future holds for our businesses. It leaves some paralyzed, unsure of what to do.

But there are also endless possibilities. For the carpet dealer willing to be nimble, make the necessary shifts, and be open to new ways of doing business, fortune awaits. This series is about applying the lessons learned from skydiving to your business so you can move through the uncertainty and take bold, decisive action to achieve the big, transformative, exciting goals you set for your business and your life. want to live.

In the next installment of this series, I’ll explore the biggest obstacle to your future business success in a rapidly changing world, and explain how a skydiving technique I’ve learned can help you obliterate it. Stay tuned.


Jim is the founder and president of Flooring Success Systems, a company that provides floor dealers with marketing services and coaching to help them attract quality customers, increase sales, increase margins and work the hours they want. Visit FlooringSuccessSystems.com for information.

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