People keep on asking us how we manage working together, living together, raising a child and running a business together. We often laugh and say the most important thing is to know who the boss is 😉
All jokes aside, we do have our differences of opinion on some things, but I think the most important thing is communication. We try to have regular business meetings in our home office, while our little munchkin has a play with his au pair in his playroom. We talk about ideas, kayaking adventures, plans and how we feel things are going. When we leave the home office, we try to forget about work and concentrate on spending quality time with our little boy. This is often easier said than done. With all calls, emails and Facebook messages coming through to our phones, 24 hours a day from international customers and people trying to book last minute kayak tours or plan birthday surprises and corporate clean-up events on the harbour, it can be difficult to switch off.
We’re working on “Phone-free Family days” where we turn our phones off and just be present as a family. Enjoying a play in the park or a wander through the zoo. We have very similar life goals, too. We hope to build our dream home and our dream travel van, so we can do another amazing winter trip around Australia before Levi starts school. We’ll use this same van for our support vehicle when completing our epic Murray River Adventure next year, too. It’ll be our home away from home, on wheels. Whenever we have a busy day or are feeling tired and possibly cranky because of multiple days of 3.50am starts, we sit down and think about our future adventures together as a family.
Running double Sunrise tours and being on Sydney Harbour at the same time is working out really well, so far. I spend a little bit of time with Ben whilst setting everything up before dawn, we have a little friendly banter at the boat ramp, then we go our separate ways with our small paddling groups, kayaking across the harbour. Ben has found a great spot in Blues Point reserve to watch the start of the sunrise with his group, while I love my all time favourite Luna Park position. We both head under the bridge, but at slightly different times and our groups still enjoy that personable small group feel, listening to a few stories, but most importantly, enjoying the sunrise and getting great photos without heaps of kayakers sitting between them and the Opera House.
We end up coming together at the end of the tour, doing a big rainbow raft-up and a Mexican wave with Sydney’s icons in the background. Ben tells everyone his top picks for what to do for the rest of the day, a walk across the Harbour Bridge, soak up some history with a walk up the Pylon lookout, lunch in the Rocks and a cocktail up at Shangri-la’s Blu Bar, to name just a few. I share a few stories with the group and then we let everyone relax in their couples and enjoy the serenity of the sunrise on Sydney Harbour. I feel we compliment each other well. We even enjoy a baby-free chat/business meeting as we drive our two vans home to have breakfast with our little paddler. Life is good.
I can’t imagine running this business with anyone else. Ben looks very comfortable in his new role on the water and he strives to offer the same exceptional experience I’ve always tried to offer. His photos on Instagram are amazing and he’s even getting some great reviews!
One very happy Boss 😉