12 Lessons We Learnt In Our First 12 Months
Today marks one year since Zorali launched.
It’s been an amazing journey, full of sunny days filled with passion and and rainy ones filled with doubt and unknowns, but it’s days like these where we're reminded to stop and celebrate how far we have come... Seriously, it's been one wild ride.
Growing (like the trees) is one of our most important values at Zorali, so here are the 12 biggest lessons we’ve learned along the path of our first year:
1. Start before step one
With any dream or venture, it is super important to take a step back and look at the big picture view before you do anything else. What's your vision? Why are you so passionate about it? What are you willing to sacrifice to make it happen? What's your intentions? What's the future you wish to create? Start with these questions and allow them to guide you - even before you've taken the first step.
2. Follow your "why".
After you have identified your "why" - the purpose behind your venture - follow it. Keep it front of mind at all times. Make every decision through the lens of that mission. And make sure it can be explained in one simple sentence - this is so key! When we were starting out, we had so many dreams for Zorali that it was hard to explain the "why" in one sentence. It was deep and complex, but until we were able to distil it down to what it is today, we didn't have complete clarity on what it was that we were actually trying to achieve. And if we didn't, how was our community suppose to understand it too. Remember, keep it simple (stupid) 😉
3. Jump into the dream
When we were still dreaming about Zorali, I remember asking Elise if she was sure she wanted to leave the comfort of her job (which she loved) for the unknown path of where we felt called towards. She just simply looked at me and said, “Cam, we weren’t created to be comfy.” I had never heard such true and impacting words.
You see, humans naturally seek comfort and stability. And without some source of inspiration that disrupts your comfort, you won’t enter into something new. It’s almost like you need to jump into the dream — into the discomfort and the fear — otherwise the dream will never happen.
4. Find "laser focus"
One of our mentors since before we launched has always urged us to find "laser focus" - in our dreams, in our ideas, in our mission, in our products ranges, in the way we manage our time, in everything... Laser focus means saying no to irrelevant tasks and acting on what's most important. It means aligning your thoughts, your beliefs and your actions with the future you wish to create. It means not looking at two paths, but focusing like a laser on the one that's calling you. It means relentless pursuit of a singular vision. It's the key to great work and a productive life.
5. Know who you're for and what you stand for to create shared passion.
Aim to connect this shared belief to your product or service in a real and practical way. This is where authenticity and deep bonds are created. and how you will be able to forge connections between like-minded people who share your values. This has been really key for us. Before launching, we spent a lot of time understanding who we're for and what we stand for. And this has really helped forge connections with our community which is brimming with the "outdoorsy" types. Not the dehydrated food, straps and buckles, must-defy-death adventure types. Just the deep-breathing, road-tripping, camp-firing, hug-a-mug-of-hot-chocolate kind. Those who just want to get outside. Any way they can. To recharge, restore and enjoy the muesli.
Note: This is not about leaving people out, it's about creating a powerful feeling of inclusion among those who deeply share your passion. Find laser focus here and you'll unlock the ability to create a community of passionate insiders.
6. Learn to listen to the right voice.
We believe we all have two main voices competing for our head space: a voice of fear and a voice of possibility. And we believe that everything you want in life - purpose, meaning, significance, fulfilment - will come to pass by learning to listen to the right voice - the voice filled with possibility.
Being aware of where the stories in your mind originate from is super important, because we believe your life will always move in the direction of your strongest thoughts. So if you're going to do everything you aspire to achieve, you must replace that voice of fear with the voice of possibility… And allow this voice to expand your imagination and vision - to help you to see things as they could be, not as they are.
7. Momentum matters.
It opens doors and unlocks opportunity. There's no set formula to generate it, but embracing your uniqueness and creative helps! So when you find it, keep focusing on whatever it is that makes you, you and do whatever it takes to keep the momentum rolling.
8. Get your daily #naturefix
Pursuing your dreams is exhilarating and exhausting all at the same time. So it's really important to make space for rest and recreation (in the great outdoors of course). For us, outside nurtures us, inside. There's just something about the perspective found outside, where the planet feels so vast. So much bigger than us. There’s a lot of solace to be found in that, on the inside.
Our days usually start with a cold ocean swim or surf (even in winter!) Yes, we are the crazy people you see out there on the cold and rugged Victorian Coastline! Starting our day this way and ensuring we've had our daily #naturefix keeps us happy, healthy and inspired.
9. Reject fear.
Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and life we imagine. What stands between these two is the voice of fear. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of what could go wrong by following our heart. The list goes on… Donald miller says it best, “Fear isn’t only a guide to keep us safe; it’s also a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life … the great stories go to those who don’t give in to fear.”
Reject fear. Follow possibility.
10. Fix your eyes on the horizon
Elise and I are visual people. And being the outdoor lovers that we are, we tend to speak with metaphors that relate to adventure. And one of the biggest ones we talk about is the importance of keeping your eyes fixed on the horizon. Because in any adventure, there is going to be road blocks and obstacles along the path. But as long as you fix your eyes on the horizon and keep moving towards that place, you will reach your destination. So don't sweat the small stuff. Lift your head and keep walking with purpose.
11. Celebrate the wins. No matter how big or small.
Just like hiking, it's easy to reach a milestone and instead of looking how far you've come, you only see how far you still need to go. But when you take a look at the rear view mirror and celebrate the progress you've made (big or small), confidence and moral rises. And I mean, life is made to be enjoyed people! Find reasons to celebrate every step of the way and don't take yourself too seriously.
12. Keep things in perspective.
We have big dreams. And I’m proud of the way we’re walking towards them. But none of it matters if we don’t have love. Love for life. Love for people. Love for the planet. And most importantly, love for each other. Thomas Merton said it best, "People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall." So as you pursue your dreams, make sure you're climbing the ladder that leans on the wall of all things that are good and true. Schedule in regular dates with yourself to check in and keep your heart, your mind and your intentions happy and healthy.
Thank you for always cheering us on and supporting us. We couldn't have come this far without you guys.
Cam and Elise Greenwood