Ditch the trends and focus on a startup with longevity potential. In very rare cases, a shark might offer a means of increasing profit margins with his or her own expertise, but don't count on it. There are too many other opportunities that don't require the sharks to do that. The s of a product can instantly cut out huge portions of the population--and thus the potential marketing demographic.
Now I know this is only one operator and there are others who do things differently, but this is part of the problem. There are no regulations in place and a general lack of concern for safety is why I now worry about the future of shark diving in Florida, and the implications it may have for the rest of the shark diving industry. Once viewed as mindless killing machines, the public perception of sharks is thankfully beginning to change.
There is no doubt that the thousands of images of humans swimming with sharks that have appeared in the last decade have helped, but now some people are taking it to far and seem to have forgotten that they are potentially dangerous animals capable of causing real damage. Having spent quite a bit of time underwater with sharks, I am confident that they do not view humans as food. In fact, they can be incredibly tolerant of our presence as long as there is an incentive, and the fact that so many divers, many with no previous experience, are able to enter the water every day without incident is in itself a great indication that sharks have no interest in attacking people.
That, however, does not mean that they are harmless animals that want to be hugged and love interacting with humans. Operators who constantly handle sharks as part of their show claim they are demonstrating to others that sharks are misunderstood creatures and that it does the sharks no harm, so there is no problem. Does giving the shark a nose rub, which seems to be the current trend in Jupiter, cause it permanent damage? We now find ourselves in a position where certain operators and divers think it is perfectly acceptable and safe to swim up to large apex predators, even without basic safety equipment, and mess with them for entertainment.
What happens when one of these sharks does not want to be touched and lashes out? This pointless attention seeking will then result in a well-publicised accident that will permanently damage the reputation of the entire industry.
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If these people care as much about the conservation of sharks as they claim, then it is time to stop all the nonsense and start showing the animals a bit more respect. I want to be completely clear that I actively support and agree with responsibly operated baited shark dives. I do not have an issue with the feeding of sharks in Florida, I just believe it must be done in a more sustainable way.
As long as strict safety protocols are established and enforced, shark diving is statistically very safe and it would be great if the operators could at least get together and agree on a common code of conduct. Tried and tested procedures already exist and it surely makes sense to follow in the footsteps of other successful dive operators such as those connected to the Global Shark Diving alliance, who have set the bar for what should be considered responsible shark tourism. Another great resource that will hopefully encourage shark diving operators to abide by best practice recommendations is www.
Here you can read reviews and ratings about companies all over the world and find out for yourself which ones you should trust to take you shark diving. Even in creative businesses today, I often see one manager for every two or three employees. The shark smells all that high-paid meat and just swims faster. But as in nature, the shark is a vital part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The shark actually made mine a stronger company. I learned to swim both faster and better. One of the key tenets that I share with other CEOs is that growing your sales often just grows the shark. That can cost you current customers; and sharks smell that blood a mile away. Deepen the relationships you have; they are the best platform for growing your services.
The new coach has no time to swim, and no training for management. Chaos erupts.
The shark is drawn to your thrashing in the water. Channel their inner entrepreneurs. The laws of natural selection apply in business much as in nature. The shark helps to keep healthy companies focused.
By taking fat, slow companies out of the market, it helps leaner, self-managing teams learn to swim faster, gaining on their own momentum. As long as you keep your team in shape and remain focused, you can swim with the shark forever. In the end, it will make you a better entrepreneur.
Jack Skeels. Guest Writer. June 29, 6 min read. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
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