How Business is Like Skydiving…


In 2017, I jumped from an airplane 15,000 feet above New Zealand…

…on purpose.

Here’s a picture at the moment of truth. Those are MY legs, hanging out of the airplane, 2.84 miles above Lake Wanaka.

Here’s another picture…

…after I jumped, freefalling at about 200 feet per second. The plan: Freefall for 60 seconds, pull the chute, and spend the next four minutes floating to earth.

That guy on my back? He’s the bloke from the skydiving company. He’s the one who trained for this moment, who knows what he’s doing, who pulls the chute at just the right time, who keeps us from going “splat.”

I’m glad he paid attention during training.

At the United States Air Force Academy, 80% of the cadets receive freefall training.

Alan Parrington, the guy who ran the Academy’s training programs in the 1990s, recently described how US lawmakers used to gripe about the budget. They asked why the Academy taught 80% of cadets to freefall when half wouldn’t fly, and fewer than 5% of those who flew would ever bail out from an airplane.

Parrington’s reply: “During their first two or three jumps, the cadets were so scared they remembered nothing of the experience and only did what had been instinctively drilled into them during their training. In so doing, they learned to believe in their training, their leadership, their equipment, their service, and themselves which extended later into combat itself. I can’t tell you the number of letters I received five, 10, 15 years later…Graduates related handling combat stress to jumping out of that airplane the first time.”

Training breeds belief. Training relieves stress. Training enables you to act with confidence.

Navy Seals have a saying: “​​We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.”

So it goes in combat.

So it goes when guiding a tourist safely from an airplane to the ground in New Zealand.

So it goes in business.

Business feels like combat for many people. How does it feel for you?

When it’s time to write an email or blog post, do you freeze, or do you march ahead with clarity and confidence?

When you’re about to launch a sales presentation, do you feel like you’re freefalling, and fumbling to release the chute, or do you fall back on what’s been instinctively drilled into you and drift gracefully to the ground?

I spend most of my time these days training others to discover and craft powerful stories to help them grow their businesses.

But I continue to invest time and money in my own training.

Without that training, I might set high expectations, but I would fall more and achieve less.

Training breeds confidence. Confidence breeds productive action. Productive action breeds business success.

Don't go away yet..

p.s. Coaches, authors, and consultants hire me to power-up their creative content and storytelling to captivate prospects, stand-out and book more business.

Whenever you're ready, here are several ways I can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you'll land more clients without pitching and prodding:

1) Get the Story Power Profit Pack -- 52 Strategies, Tips, and Tactics  to Transform Your Content from Ignored to Adored.

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4) Work with me one-on-one: If you’re interested in working directly with me -- to discover, assemble, and deliver powerful, business-building stories -- simply reply to this email and change the subject line to "Private Client." Tell me a little about yourself, your business, and what you'd like to accomplish, and I'll reply to discuss options.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.