Going Native (the soul of a whelk)

(From a book I’m writing called Exaggerations And Lies Of A Sailor’s Life In Advertising)


Part of Going Native involves becoming true to oneself in business and at home—balancing both with perfect synergy.

I’ve worked with over a hundred entrepreneurs, VPs of marketing, company presidents, and CEOs. In my opinion, the best of the breed—the ones not only most successful but also happiest, even-keeled, and prepared for the long haul— understand that sometimes you have to go sideways in order to go forward.

They have what author John Irving would describe as “the patience of a time bomb.”

[Imagine, now, the situation of an actual bomb tick-tick-ticking calmly ever closer to a last moment; the grand finale of chaos and calamity –inching toward it quite surely, yet without even an eyelid twitching a little …a soul resembling that of a whelk from which, way deep inside, matches the soft yet unfaltering whispers of the sea and the infinite world beyond.]

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The entrepreneurial spirit is not just a matter of confidence.

It’s self-awareness.

Syncing up with things “out there” beyond where eyes can see.

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The best of the breed understands that the straight line sometimes isn’t the most effective and efficient way…

Sometimes the course, for the long haul goal, requires zig-zagging against the wind.

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I appreciate minds that reach out beyond where eyes can see to gather subtle clues instead of quickly passing them by impatiently, too sure of only one way being the right way, too quick to risk the long term to satisfy the short.


For sailors, time and space are multidimensional. In a sailors world a broad range of factors influence success—many of them beyond one’s control, beyond the radar screen—yet sailors become tuned to them instinctively across moments and hours, months and years.

The sound of water and wind have special meanings under sail versus the mindless droning on of motors.  Valuable information of use now and later on.

True, the motoring types get there sooner. But they arrive with less information having done less thinking through and having depended too much on unreliable bits and parts: electronics, engine components, fuel and electricity gauges. They become less engaged and less interesting.Less likely to have lively tales and deep channeling insights when I ring them up to meet on the veranda for Costa Rican coffee and Cuban cigars.

# # #

We (all of us) can leverage an entrepreneur’s outlook, can be masters of life…

…away from the office

…and away from business altogether…

through the patience of a time bomb and by finding the whelk-like soul deep within.


Bottom line: Going Native is a “zest for living” thing…

that frees us (all of us) from the mundane.

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— Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill




GOING NATIVE in Business (lesson #82)

I’ve been collecting thoughts for a book on brand development related to new business start ups and product launches.  I like to think of entrepreneurs as GOING NATIVE, a mind set that requires stamina and persistence to succeed. A high level of confidence and ambition to push it all the way through …from the earliest kernel of an idea …to planning and launch …to benchmarks/enhancements …and to a planned escape (i.e., retirement …or selling out to develop other concepts. Going native means be willing to rough it, willing to scrounge, beg and borrow if needed, and to push aside things you hold dear. My plan is to pull together case studies from the clients I’ve helped over 20+ years as a consultant. for each one, I’ll identify the one thing that, to my way of thinking, made them successful and enabled their business to stand out from all others. More to come…

–Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill