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How to handle the big, hairy, and audacious

The physical, and the psychological

If you’ve ever read the book Built to Last by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras, you’ll know what a BHAG is.

A Big Hairy Audacious Goal.

The book examines what lies behind the extraordinary success of 18 visionary companies and the principles and ideas they've used to thrive for a century.

The best BHAGs require both building for the long term but also with a relentless sense of urgency.

Embarking on my December 2025 BHAG – rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic – requires more than just physical strength.

It demands a combination of physical and psychological endurance to overcome the obstacles that lie ahead.

I have to build them up gradually over time, but also with a relentless focus right now.

Here's what I've learned about building up both as a bridge to achieving a big hairy one like this.

Physical Endurance.

Physical endurance forms the foundation for any demanding physical activity.

This weekend, I’ve signed up for the South Coast Ultra Challenge and will be walking 60 miles over two days, carrying an additional 20 lbs in weights.

The plan is to push myself in ways I haven’t experienced before.

If you’d like to follow my challenge during the day, find me on Instagram: @tom.skinner_ocean.rower

This intense physical training helps to condition your muscles, improve cardiovascular fitness, and enhance overall stamina.

It prepares your body to withstand the rigors of long-distance rowing, where you face prolonged exertion and muscle fatigue.

Building physical endurance also aids in injury prevention.

By gradually increasing your training load and incorporating strength and flexibility exercises, you can strengthen your muscles, joints, and connective tissues.

This reduces the risk of injuries during the Atlantic row and ensures I can withstand the repetitive motions and strain I'll experience throughout the journey.

But you can be fit. And there are people much fitter than me out there.

What will hopefully give me an edge is an area others sometimes neglect.

Psychological Endurance.

While physical endurance is crucial, psychological endurance is equally important for conquering epic challenges.

The mental fortitude to push through physical discomfort, fatigue, and moments of doubt is what sets apart successful adventurers.

By walking 60 miles with weights, I'm not only training my body but also cultivating mental resilience.

During an Atlantic row, you face unpredictable weather conditions, isolation, and the monotony of the open sea.

Building psychological endurance through challenging training is preparing me to cope with these adversities.

It helps me develop strategies to stay motivated, maintain focus, and overcome mental obstacles that will arise during the journey.

The true power lies in the synergy between physical and psychological endurance.

As you push your physical limits, your mental strength grows alongside it.

I may come across as confident about the row but, in reality, I’m full of self-doubt.

But each time I complete a task, like climbing Snowdonia twice in a day last April – or rowing around a large out rock off the Cornish coast – I grow a little more in confidence each time.

Physical endurance allows you to withstand the physical demands of the challenge, while psychological endurance equips you with the mental tools to overcome obstacles and maintain motivation when faced with adversity.

I’m already noticing the benefits.

As a little cherry on top, daily life’s becoming a bit easier, too.

Running up a flight of stairs, carrying Otto around a water park, helping a friend move house – physical adversity makes life easier.

Remember, the journey to greatness is not solely about the destination but also about the strength and resilience you develop along the way.

In next week’s newsletter, I’ll share with you the story of a client who’s achieved their own incredible feat.

I’d love to hear from you as well.

Big or small, hairy and audacious or not – it doesn’t matter.

If you’ve got something planned, I’d love to know and I bet others would too.

Drop me a line.

Until next time.


P.S. If you've got a big idea you want to finance – or, you're simply ready to take the next step on your personal wealth journey, here's how I can help.

The best way to learn how to get from where you are to where you want to be when it comes to your lifestyle and your finances is to request a 1-to-1 Wealth Strategy Session.

During this session, we'll look at things like lifestyle planning, pension savings, investment allocation, risk & insurance, when you can retire, and with how much, and anything else that may be on your mind.

To request your free session, click here and fill out the form.

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