…I stuck to the plan, but even surpassed most of my own expectations”
Many of you have come to know us as those people who make instructional videos for kayaking on YouTube. This has become a critical part of what we have done over the past 3 years at H2o Dreams and probably one of the harder things to maintain from day to day. We posted our first instructional video nearly 4 years ago in January of 2010, which was our “Roll Troubleshooting” video, which still is one of our most popular videos to date.
We have come a long way since then; writing, producing, editing and distributing our content over the internet. Nearly a dozen videos later we have met folks who tell us that they enjoy our videos and that they have helped them tremendously in the bumpy road of the learning curve in the early stages of kayaking. I pride myself on this, as this is the very cornerstone of what we are about at H2o Dreams. Helping build and educate a stronger community.
Our content doesn’t come out nearly as quick as any others content, and we may not have quite the same reach that others have had or still have. But we have begun to turn heads and effect some change in thought within the sport. I wrote a mission statement 5 years ago, before I ever produced my first instructional video, as seen below un-edited:
Personal Mission Statement
- Develop my personal website as a personal profile, calendar, curricula materials, entertainment, and solicitation for sponsorship.
- Develop personal marketing strategy.
- Become recognized program/curricula developer for whitewater kayaking, particularly for children.
- Continue to push my overall hard/soft skills for whitewater kayak instruction.
- Avoid dogmatic teaching methods and instead focus on an individuals needs even if teaching in a group setting.
- Train and compete professionally in freestyle kayaking and extreme racing.
- Seek out financial and material aid to accomplish my overall goals yet remain committed if such aid falls short.
- Continue to develop myself as a writer by documenting my experiences as a whitewater kayaker and instructor.
This was written as a five year plan, the first one I ever wrote. I have now come to the conclusion of this first 5 year plan and am extremely reflective on what has been accomplished and how not only I stuck to the plan, but even surpassed most of my own expectations. I think that it is important that no matter what part of your life it is, you set goals, and from time to time go back and revisit them to see if you are staying true to your intentions. None of this comes without experiencing adversity, and when you feel you are being knocked off your line, it is even more important to work harder and keep your target in mind. It also means you can’t be afraid to fail. And I have failed plenty along the way as well.
I am now in a new chapter with this goal setting that I now call a company. I still cannot believe I am a business owner. I CAN still believe that I am a a kayaker and instructor. I knew that was going to remain the same no matter what. I now have another that helps share in the vision of what H2o Dreams is, and for me to relinquish and share that vision can be a tough thing at times. But it is a shared vision. And through our experiences together not only does our bond through our shared experience grow strong, but so does her own individual vision and goals.
We have begun to write out our plan for the next 5 years. I think it will be best if Lydia writes an individual one for herself, I write one for myself, and then we of course write a shared one for our business. The latter being the most difficult as the scope of the initiative is getting larger. Before too long, we will be bringing more people into our world and involving them in this as well, and then the vision grows and is further shared.
Our number one goal however remains the same; helping build and educate a stronger community. I think strength is directly related to education and its accessibility. I can’t wait to share the results of what we continue to build as we move forward into the next five years and beyond.
A quick special thanks to everyone who has helped along the way. Especially, the folks who early on chipped in care packages or a little extra cash to help fund the initial adventure of self-discovery. I am not sure I knew the real potential or if you even knew the potential results of giving me that little extra push.