Don’t disembark from yachting without an exit strategy

Mar 9, 2016 by Rob Gannon

Some days it just may feel like we’ve had enough. The day-to-day issues are starting to wear on us. There is a lot thrown at everyone in their professions, but sometimes in yachting, with the close quarters, the separation from loved ones and a variety of other issues coming together, we may start thinking about changing course.

One of the first things to understand is the difference between a particular situation being unpleasant and the whole lifestyle getting old. Are you just on the wrong boat? Or is it a feeling of being in the wrong line of work? If it’s the wrong boat, well, start your exit strategy. If it’s the wrong line of work, well, start your exit strategy.

Here is where we have to remember; there is a right way to head into this stage and a wrong way. Let’s just get the wrong way out of the way first. What we don’t want is our frustrations and emotions creating rash outbursts and decisions that leave a mark, a bad mark. If we start blaming and accusing and playing the victim or the martyr, there is a good chance we are creating our own stormy seas. I know it’s tough to control our minds during an emotional hijacking but we must try to slow down, breathe and direct our thoughts and actions to a better feeling place.

A place like the peace we feel when we think about being removed from the situation and we are free and we did it the right way, with our integrity intact and looking positively towards the future. This mindset leads us towards the right way to transition.

If the thought is to move on from the industry, chances are these thoughts didn’t just surface out of nowhere.  Contemplating change for a bit is much more common than an abrupt decision and usually better for us.

Some questions have been rising up inside us and it feels like time to recognize and address them. It may feel like life is calling and, if it is, it might be wise to answer. There is a lot going on here. It can feel a little unsettling but it’s also pretty cool and exciting. There is excitement in possibility thinking. We feel alive and there is good reason for this because this is the life force coming to the surface for us.

We are natural creators and always in the process of growing and becoming. We are best served if we can operate from this place. It will override the fears of the unknown that can pop up and mess with our focus and direction. What do you want? Let’s start to visualize this new direction and ride the currents that will move us along.

I must add here to always make sure the finances are in order to assist going in a new direction. Now let’s look at just a few possibilities for life after a yachting career. These are some areas I have seen others transition to in my work as a transition coach. One is entrepreneurial ventures, starting a small business of our own. Sometimes after doing things the way someone else wants them done we can have a strong desire to do our own thing. This feels pretty natural when we listen to that creator within. Couple teams from yachting can move into caretaking and property managing. We can also be led to something completely different. A stew may never want to make another bed, a deckhand may never want to clean or wax another thing. If a burning desire for something completely different is speaking to us it will probably not go away until given a good look. It comes from within, clear the way and let it shine through.

I remind folks of this all the time in my coaching; the answers are coming from within. If we just feel we need to change things up and don’t know exactly the how or what, understand those answers will come when we lower fears and doubts that can muddy the waters. If we can put to work that possibility thinking through a clear lens, the doors will start to open, forces will start to align. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes, “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” –Johann Von Goethe

Enjoy the Voyage.

Capt. Rob Gannon is a 30-year licensed captain and certified life and wellness coach. Contact him through at