In the Chapter on Puffer Fish, or becoming a strong, powerful brand when you don't have the resources to actually get there, we talk about attitude and fear. Utilizing Eddie's legendary courage and willingness to put it all on the line is the ultimate example of how marketers and surfers must summon courage to be daring. Please enjoy the excerpt from the book in honor of tonight's documentary on the legend that is Eddie Aikau...
"Eddie Aikau was a legendary surfer from Hawaii. In 1978, Aikau was a member of the crew that ran into trouble in the Pacific when their boat began to sink. In need of help, Eddie took his surfboard and set off in an attempt to paddle to Lanai to get help. Unfortunately, he was never seen again. But his attitude, confidence, and flat out heroism spawned the mantra “Eddie Would Go”. I’m not saying that marketers should risk life and limb but you must also have the wholehearted belief that you can and will succeed based on your abilities.
One of the biggest flaws in business is self-doubt. Not providing the support, resources, or fortitude necessary to truly support a campaign, initiative, or new idea. While some people like your boss or CEO may sign off on the budget or give the green light, are they truly putting their wholehearted confidence behind the effort? Show me a surfer who drops in at Pipeline with 50% effort on a big day and I will show you a surfer who is going to wipe out 100% of the time.
The attitude of the Puffer Fish is exactly that; if you think you are big, you can be big. If you think you have the strategy, creativity, hustle, common sense, or just better offerings than the next guy, you need to exude confidence in that belief. While the saying “fake it ‘till you make it” comes to mind, I would suggest that we refer to being a smaller fish as our ability to hunt like a great white while trapped in the body of a minnow. (And hope we never get trapped inside the body of great white!) It’s not the size of the fish in the fight, but the size of the fight in the fish. I’d put those mean little Bettas that live in Dixie cup-sized containers at the pet store up against fish ten times their size. If you believe you are big, and have the ability to perform well beyond your current capabilities, then you are indeed a prime candidate to act like a Puffer Fish."
Eddie Would Go. Would you?