ANYTHING THAT CAN GO WRONG, WILL.
Toward the start of 2017, I was introduced to Daniel Flynn’s book, Chapter One, and I was instantly blown away. I couldn’t put the book down! It’s about three kids wanted to change the world simply by eradicating global poverty in one of the most creative ways possible.
The book brought a flashback to my own journey of creating a desire for something more from emotion. Similar to my story of creating something from nothing purely from emotion, it brings me to a flashback in my journey. It’s a story of what you wouldn’t believe was possible but is known for greatness.
Dan had noticed a staggering statistic of how over a billion people in the world were living in extreme poverty on ess than $1.25 a day. It’s a privilege to have clean water, shelter, and good food in developing countries around the world.
Dan came across another statistic: how the bottled water industry is currently valued at $100 billion per year. It’s a ludicrous number that could easily solve the global poverty crisis. Over the past decade, Dan built a social enterprise known as Thankyou with his best friend, Jarryd Burns and his wife, Justine that focuses on one of the biggest problems in the world. A social enterprise makes its money in a socially responsible way. These ventures are not necessarily formed to reinvest all profits into the communities.
Chapter One is full of hardships and momentum, where you think they are about to crumble and they miraculously solve the situations through sheer creativity. They’ve manage to tackle feats that other brands would foresee as impossible, but they never let that stop them. It’s resilience at its finest, which always gets my attention.
Being mesmerized with their story, I knew I had to collaborate with Thankyou. I sensed there was something about the rise and fall of building a brand that really resonated with the endurance group, The Wounded Pelicans, of which I’m one half of. I had to persuade Thankyou to collaborate with me. I knew it might be a mission in itself, since I had no direct connections. It took me two months just to get their attention, but the persistence paid off.
PERSISTENCE. PERSISTENCE. PERSISTENCE.
Thankyou is built on persistence so I knew what to do. If I could get in touch someone would listen to me. Then all of a sudden, I had their attention. “Your idea sounds great, Tofe. How would you like to collaborate with Thankyou?” I had an idea, but it had to be bold enough to blend with their efforts and align with both our visions. That’s when I came up with a ‘100km Water Walk’ where participants carry 25kg (55lb) of water on our shoulders for 100km (63mi).
Notice I said shoulders, not in a backpack where the weight is distributed on the hips. Why on earth would anyone want to do that? To represent those around the world who carry water from village to village over extensive distances. And their water isn’t clean half the time!
With the other half of The Wounded Pelicans, Antony, we were accustomed to tackling these absurd and extreme endurance events. I wanted to replicate the struggles of poverty-stricken youth, over a ridiculous distance during the coldest time of the year, finishing at the Thankyou headquarters in Collingwood in Victoria. Nothing like this had been done for Thankyou.
The 100km Water Walk was a one-of-a-kind event, an adventure in itself with all its failures. Things that didn’t go to plan during the 26-hour escapade included things like the water apparatus was falling to bits, blisters, road closures, and fatigue.
By the time we reached the halfway mark, every bit of weight had magnified to the extent that it felt like a mix of nerve damage and the constant pounding on the feet. I began thinking I’d rather be anywhere else but here right at this moment. The first 50km is always the easiest, or so they say!
Everything from having to change up the circuit because security wouldn’t let us through, to monstrous blood blisters, to below-zero temperatures at 3a.m. in Werribee, were only some of the hiccups we encountered. But you learn to adapt in spite of these setbacks on a project like this. All we cared about was getting to the Thankyou headquarters by 10a.m. the following day. We didn’t care if it was hailing or snowing. We were on a mission.
Arriving at the finish point at Thankyou had us feeling joy. It was the dopamine rush we needed to fuel that last thrust of energy up those office stairs. Team members from Thankyou as well as our main support guy, Travis Ireland, were there helping us push through those last few kilometres. It’s hard to explain that feeling of emotion after an event like that, it’s one that will stick in my memory for a very long time.
WHAT YOU CAN TAKE AWAY FROM THIS
Momentum is important. Where motivation is only effective to light the fire, momentum and discipline are what keeps fanning the flame. Remember when starting a project, business, or brand that there will be tough times but staying persistent no matter will have you stand out from the crowd because if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
Would love to hear your thoughts on this with your take on momentum and persistence.
MY UPCOMING BOOK!
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