I don’t want to start off crying like a baby, but the truth of the matter is that life is not always easy. This week was a bucketful of emotions for me, with non-stop action—some of it good, some of it bad. I am going to share with you the reality of life for a guy like myself and the struggles, I face on a daily basis—but of course, I’ll also include the positive, because as my post is titled, my glass is always half-full. I have to maintain this positive attitude to be able to succeed at being self-employed and living a first-class lifestyle on a less than first-class budget. Here’s what happened:
The day after my last post, I was so pumped up—everyone who saw me knew I was on a mission that was pushing me harder than anything I’ve done in the past. With my dream and my mission, I was moving at lightning speed. And then I had five things happened back-to-back that day that were epic in my trek to develop my dream: Create the best surf/paddle/kite/community-friendly store in Malibu. At 8 A.M., I was in the water as usual teaching two out-of-state visitors to surf. I have a great format that I use and my students surfed every wave I put them on with perfect form and technique. When we finished they were so happy they asked me to take them again the following day, tipped me well, and wrote an amazing review on my Yelp page. Then, as I was on my way into the new store, I ran into a friend, the actor Garey Busey, and we talked about his son Jake. Jake is an old friend and we recently traded our goods to each other. I gave Jake one of my Carbon fiber/Kevlar SUPs in trade for one of his very custom Jake Bikes (If you haven’t seen or heard of a Jake Bike, they are custom-built motorized bicycles that are better than any I’ve ever seen). Anyways, Gary and I talked surf and his classic surf film Big Wednesday, and as much as I love to talk, he took control of the conversation. He ended up in the store and just hung out for a pretty long time. The customers flocked around him and he posed for several pics and just made everybody feel special. He is a class-act in my book.
About an hour later, in walks Clark Gable. Yes, Clark Gable, son of John and grandson of the greatest movie star ever, his name-sake, CLARK GABLE, and a good friend of mine. So Clark walks in and tells me how excited he is about my new store and asks if I’m doing kite lessons—he had an out of town guest that was super amped about learning to kite surf. I told him we could absolutely accommodate him and that I had a new kite instructor who was the best in the area. 10 mins later, in walks Clark’s friend, Ben, from Memphis, Tennessee. Within 10 minutes Ben ordered nearly $5,000 in kite gear and signed up for a 6-hour course in kite surfing classes. I had Grego, (the local kite master) take Ben to the beach to begin his new sport. Minutes later, Clark came back in to thank me and offer his time and anything else I needed to assist in the success of the new store… Wow, What a day… To top it all off, it finished with a call from my friend, Nina Segal, wishing me all the best with a promise to help in any way I needed along with a stern warning to slow down and not try to do everything in one day (She knows me too well). Then her husband, George Clout Sisino, the most controversial man I’ve ever meet, called me to tell me to not worry about anything and that I could count on him to help me with anything. That is an understatement—George has helped me in more ways than you could ever imagine. Without George I would have never even got into paddle boards, kite surfed , scuba, and most of all, landed a retail store in a premium location (pretty much as a gift). I love that guy and his wife Nina. I was fortunate to be the best man at their wedding 3 years ago. A few other extremely positive things happened that day. I felt it was the best day ever… but they say you can’t appreciate the positive without the negative.
The last five or six days have been very hard. It slowed down in the store, my employees quit or did not show up, and I had my Iphone stolen off the beach. Then, today while I was late for several appointments, I somehow lost my keys to everything—my home, the store, and my truck. No keys to duplicate and the locksmith said the GM site to code my truck was down so he could not code a key to my truck. I looked everywhere I could imagine for over 4 hours. I was so upset that I was thankful, at least, to be alone—I’m sure I would have embarrassed myself if I had an audience.
That brings me to this moment, the moment I decided to write about the Adventures of Radfish. As you may have noticed, I wrote several paragraphs about the great things, the great friends, the fact that I am so fortunate to be in this position in my life—how happy I am to be here. I wrote just one paragraph on the things that have had me scared, angry, frustrated, and any negative content. That is why I am here to tell you, I have great plans and goals that I will try to fulfill in my pursuit of the dream. I, regardless of the roller coaster we all ride, live a dream many wish they could live. I have a choice in my perception regarding my feelings. That is why my glass is always half full.. I hope yours is too.Tony Raffish