Step 1: Start a Paddle Board Business, Step 2: Learn How to Paddle Board
I’ve got to give credit where credit is due – today’s post is a shout-out to co-owner Matt Sheehan. As some of you may know, Matt is also my life partner, in addition to being my business partner, he has supported this venture from the beginning.
I began talking about starting a SUP company around the time that I first met Matt. Not only was I feeling homesick from working with Outward Bound canoeing expeditions in Florida, I felt that Louisville was missing a big opportunity in a unique outdoor recreation and fitness venue. My approach to help Matt get ‘on board’ was to continually, albeit casually, mention the idea of a SUP company. I trickled ideas of how much fun paddling would be, occasionally showed him instagram shots of beautiful SUP destinations, and in secret began collecting the supplies that would be necessary to conduct this venture.
I wish I could remember the day that he said ‘yes.’ Instead, it was a slow series of ‘maybes,’ or rather, ‘ Let me hear more.’ Creating Endless Summer Paddle Company was similar to using the stairs to get into the pool as opposed to jumping off the deep end. It started with dipping our toes in to get our feet wet, and then slowly progressed into our shared vision of a SUP business. By the time the water was at our shoulders, we had self-funded the project, started an LLC, and were working on the approvals for various sites. And then I remembered, Matt had never actually been on a paddle board before!
There was about a three week period in which we knew for sure we would be starting Endless Summer Paddle Company and Matt still hadn’t learned to paddle. During that time, my favorite question was, “what if you hate this?” It was a real possibility that he might not like it. Matt, like most other humans, doesn’t love every recreational activity.
On the cold afternoon of Saturday, April 10th, 2016 Matt Sheehan stepped on a paddle board for the very first time! Here’s the proof: