Craig Wachholz never dreamt of becoming an Entrepreneur. He only wanted to be a musician and play his guitar. But after falling in love with the charismatic and power surfing woman, Brenda Miley, Craig co-founded and became the marketing force behind the iconic surf school Let's Go Surfing. He refers to himself as the accidental entrepreneur "we didn't think let's go out there and run a business and make money. We were bumming around on the beach. We thought let's teach girls and kids how to surf. And then it began from the back of a combie van".
Co-founding Let's Go Surfing with Brenda set him off on the business path wheeling and dealing with the mighty and powerful leaders of Tourism Australia. Twenty years ago there was no such thing as surfing tourism. But Craig changed all this by lobbying Tourism Australia to dedicate resources into surfing. "First we showed up to the meetings at Tourism Australia in suits. We lobbied and lobbied. Then once we won them over with our charm, we took off the suits mask and showed up in boards, thongs and rashies! It was controversial at the time but they let us in. Now surfing has its own division and budget at Tourism Australia"
Craig has good honest to goodness advice for those who want to grow their small business:
1. You got to look at your business like surfing. In business, there's never a perfect day. Things are always changing. Every time you go out for a wave it's never a perfect wave. You get smashed with a big set and if you want to enjoy the incredible moment where you can stand on a wave and ride it to the shore, you have to work your butt off to get the perfect wave. That's the same with business, if you want to enjoy the fruits of the business you need to work hard and bounce back when you fall.
2. You need to surround yourself with a cheer squad - your partner, employees, accountant, business mentor, financial adviser.
3. You need to keep one eye on the sales and one eye on the costs. It won't work if you take your eyes off both or one of them.
4. There is no point making millions and you leave relationships behind. Look after your employees and the people who support your business and balance your life between business and family.
Craig shares that he feels guilty when he leaves his family for work. This guilt is not only the woman's domain. But he tries to include his 14 year old daughter with their business, attending trade shows and
Enjoy listening to an amazing man who loves his business, surfing, music and his family. What more would you want?