Open water swimming and business success

As a relative novice to open water swimming, I had never imagined that open-water swimming would actually be so different from swimming in a pool. I found it really difficult swimming in a straight line. In fact, during the 2018 Serpentine 2 mile swim, I actually ended up doing 2.2 miles! So why did I struggled to swim in a straight line? …unlike pool swimming, lakes don’t have lines that help you to stay on track.

Author: Gary Morgan

…So, I had three choices:

1) continue to be an ‘also swam’ open-water swimmer

2) quit completely

3) get some help.

People who know me, know that I’m not afraid to ask for help when I need it (I’ve learned not to fear it and it’s changed my life), so I decided to get some open water coaching to help me.

These are the invaluable lessons I learned from the experience, and how I’ve been using them to coach my business clients since:

The Importance of Sighting

In open-water swimming, sighting is when you lift your head slightly every now which helps ensure that you are heading in the right direction. With no lanes to keep your aim in view, this is extremely important.

As my coach was explaining and demonstrating this to me, I couldn’t help but think of comparisons to running a business. As a business leader, it’s vital to take a moment now and again to look at your business and ensure that it is heading in the right direction.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Training is vital if you want to get it right. Nobody was born knowing how to swim (let alone in open water), so why should you? The same applies to your business, if you are not committed and consistent with your efforts, the path to business success will be that much harder. So, practice your leadership and sales skills, practice how to deliver powerful presentations, practice your elevator pitch, and eventually, you will nail it.

Don’t Freak Out

Many athletes panic the moment the gun goes off. They panic because they don’t know how to deal with the perceived (I insist, perceived) threat to their wellbeing or survival. The same happens in business: sometimes, things can get nerve-wracking.

So how do I deal with this, you might ask? First, find the root of your fear, what is your brain reacting against? Is it the unfamiliarity? Could it be the potential consequences of poor performance?

Whether in open water or business, try to rationalise your emotions…and breathe.

In the context of running your business, you will need to learn how to keep your need for perfection in check, how to delegate, and how to prioritise (there are others of course, but these are beyond the scope of this article!).

Your Coach is Your Best Friend

Whether in sports or business, your coach will become your professional confidante. A person who sees and believes in your potential. Someone you can rely on to see your goals through, whatever they are.

I love being that person for my clients. I always encourage the clients that I coach and train, to take time out each month to work ‘on their business ‘ rather than ‘in their business,’ and the results are overwhelming.

What about you? How do you reflect on your business to ensure it’s going in the right direction?

…by the way, see if you can spot me in the picture?

If you are experiencing any challenges right now whether business or personal and would like my help then please call me on 020 8337 5937 or pop me an email at

Thank you for reading.

Kind Regards,


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