Welcome back to another edition of ‘Meet the Outdoor Entrepreneurs’, the series where I go behind the scenes to learn more about some fantastic people who have struck out and started their own outdoor businesses. Hopefully, you caught the last interview where we headed to the US with Nathan, from My Freeloader.
This time around we’re back in the UK, more specifically, Newquay, and this week’s subject, Jorrin from Cornish Wave.
Jorrin Massingham is the owner of Cornish Wave Adventure Activities, who specialise in unique surfing, coasteering and wild camping adventure experiences in Cornwall. Born in South Africa, Jorrin moved to the UK aged 9 before setting out to gain skills and experiences further afield. Passionate about adventure, travel and the outdoors, Jorrin has immersed and centred his career path around this industry. For over 15 years he has gained vast and varied experience from around the world through travel and outdoor activities in a variety of personal adventures and job roles. Outside of UK summer time Jorrin can be found planning new adventures both at home and overseas with friends.
So let’s find out a little more about the story behind Cornish Wave.
Have you always loved the outdoors?
Yes. I’ve always been quite outgoing and loved being outside more than in. I was brought up with active parents so camping, paddle skiing, sailing, windsurfing, camping and hiking are some of the first memories I have. A warmer climate definitely lends itself to being outside more often than not. I guess that led onto discovering a passion for the outdoors, activities and the lifestyle and experiences that comes with it.
Where did the idea come from? How did your business start?
After working in the outdoor activity industry for a few years I came to realise the career paths suited to me and what I aspired to do could be quite limited. Owning a business that would provide and support the outdoor lifestyle for both my friends and myself seemed to be the way to go. I didn’t really care what the actual business would be – so long as it was within the adventure activity industry, which is something I’ve always felt committed to and something I could really work hard at and enjoy over my life. After working in as many areas around the world as I could, I realised that a magic business opportunity wasn’t going to happen out of thin air. Cornish Wave started as a side project, a mobile surf school delivering surf lessons in and around Newquay. – something that would allow me to learn about business, make mistakes along the way. Over the years Cornish Wave has developed into a full time job.
Proudest moment in business so far?
Seeing our Wild Camp experience come to life and tie into our surfing and coasteering activities feels like a huge accomplishment and continues to do so. The Wild Camp session is a unique idea, as were the obstacles and so now to see and hear guests remark on their enjoyment is certainly a proud moment for all involved. Another proud moment is running my first Surf Coaching Holiday overseas. The feeling of relief and accomplishment at the end of a week overseas with happy guests is amazing. Slightly stressful, but worth it.
What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge for me has been bringing something fresh or new to an already saturated and highly competitive town / market. I’m not the first person to try make a living from selling surf lessons in Newquay. The reality is tough, it takes persistence and a lot of hard work. For many businesses, winning the Google ranking battle and being found online before your competitors is part of this challenge. Learning the online skills and applying them takes time, and when your business is seasonal the time pressure to get found online in order to have successful season is very demanding. I wouldn’t say I’ve overcome this challenge, it’s an ongoing part of being a competitive business and is something you always chip away at in my mind.
Anything you’d do differently if you started again?
Thinking back there are a few decisions that given a second chance I’d like to say I’d give some more time to or perhaps think twice about, but we all know it’s your journey and the lessons you learn along the way that shapes who you are and how the business develops.
What’s your best tip for budding entrepreneurs?
No unique tips, it’s hard not to sound cliche or to simply repeat the common entrepreneurial tips everyone hears from the online murmur and generic media posts. If there was one tip I remind myself of, which relates back to surfing, is that I try to appreciate where I am now, and enjoy the stage that I am at both within the surfing and business. Your goals are forever changing, and are never ending. As long as the work is being done to the best of your ability, you are growing and enjoying yourself, then relax and try to put less pressure on yourself and have fun with your business and with what you are doing.
Do you have any business heroes? Is there anyone who has helped you along the way?
No particular business heroes stand out to me, I’ve certainly learned from and continue to seek out inspirational characters, outlooks and ways to view situations. A personal hero who is a huge help to me is my Father who is always so supportive of my goals and aspirations both personally and in business. I’ve got some great friends who continue to help and support me and to work alongside some of these friends and share in a passion is something that means a lot to me. I think it’s the same for many small business owners or self employed people, having friends and family around to help is the most valuable part of your business.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Part of my motivation and aspirations for running a business is to support and work alongside friends. I’d like to think we’d still be doing that, albeit in an ever stronger
What would be your one desert island luxury item?
I’d say a dog. Man’s best friend.
If you would like to be featured in a future edition on ‘Meet the Outdoor Entrepreneurs’ please drop me an email at [email protected]
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