Today I came across this fascinating adventure story of a man, a wife, a car named Otto and this globe trotting journey lasting 20+ years that is beautifully told by BBC Magazine.
It's a mad and awesomely crazy tale that is ultimately a saga of love that demonstrates that when you pursue your passions they can lead you to unlikely places. More than anything Gunther loved life and he was tired of exploring the world from high above and not being able to fully touch, taste, experience, and risk it. So off he went to Africa and beyond. Quitting his job and launching his retirement by embarking on this ridiculus project that found him a companion and gave his life some extra meaning.
The journey was not destined to be a success and there were a few times where it almost ended in disaster. Nevertheless, there are some key things I picked up while reading the tale that certainly improved its chances.
Take a risk
Sometimes an idea may be totally crazy with no basis in reason. However, if you really believe in it you have got to be willing to risk it all.
Market your idea and choose the team wisely
Gunther put an ad out in the paper to find someone to share in his wild adventure. He only wanted a travel companion but ended up finding the perfect life companion. You may have to cast a big net but you have to choose wisely and be very selective with who you decide to let on the team.
Afterall, only a special person can spend all that time in the wilderness and alone with one person and probably some hyenas, lions, and God knows what else. Had he made a mistake the trip would surely have ended in misery and never lasted nearly as long.
Obstacles will come. You could become stuck in a mud pit or face off with some kalashnikovs. While we are not likely to face such dire interference, in business you will most certainly encounter some bureaucracy of the kind dealt with on this epic journey.
Come prepared. Plan ahead
All the patience in the world won't save you from poor decisions and lack of preparation. Have your papers ready. Document, negotiate, and plan even if it is months in advance of execution. You will be thankful later.
And in the end.
All the PMP techniques may not prevent your scope from growing and being blown out of proportion. However, even if you might not know where the dreams and the journey will lead sometimes it's worth continuing.
Because with patience, planning, the right team and some luck, it may very well end up in success.
To Gunther, Catherine, and Otto!