Video-Case 19 – Hydro Mind: Surfing Lifestyle Entrepreneurship with Effectuation
Author: Edmilson Lima
Lifestyle entrepreneurship is a growing trend that focuses on providing services and products related to leisure, sports, and overall well-being. While it has significantly improved the lives of many individuals, it remains relatively unknown as a widespread phenomenon. This article explores the concept, highlighting various examples, and delves into the entrepreneurial practices commonly employed by lifestyle entrepreneurs.
Lifestyle entrepreneurship involves individuals or groups venturing into entrepreneurship to sustain their desired lifestyle, often centered around sports, leisure, hobbies, or other well-being-oriented activities. It frequently includes a connection with nature like in surfing or in a bucolic way of life. Effectuation, a common approach employed by lifestyle entrepreneurs, involves using personal identity, networks, and pre-existing knowledge, all three aspects commonly taking advantage of their lifestyles, to create and develop their entrepreneurial ventures.
A key aspect of lifestyle entrepreneurship is the aspiration to generate both revenue and experiences that sustain the desired lifestyle for entrepreneurs, their families, and teams. Moreover, it has a ripple effect, promoting positive lifestyle changes and improvements within communities and even at a national level. Take, for instance, a surf school that not only provides its owner-entrepreneur with the means to live a surfing-centered lifestyle with their loved ones and employees, but also extend this experience to numerous customers and citizens influenced by its classes and social media presence.
There are varied manifestations of lifestyle entrepreneurship, for example, in sport schools, nature immersion businesses, sport and hobby associations, and healthy food restaurants. Under the logic of lifestyle entrepreneurship, the ventures are established and maintained as platforms to offer entrepreneurs favorable conditions to live their desired lifestyles and share it with others. Lifestyle entrepreneurship offers a unique opportunity to strike a harmonious balance between work, well-being, and pleasure in life.
The phenomenon of lifestyle entrepreneurship in connection with effectuation, despite being impactful in improving lives, is often overlooked in classrooms and discussions with students regarding entrepreneurship and career choices. However, by understanding it and exploring its various applications, we can shed light on the benefits it brings to individuals, customers, communities, and even entire countries. A prime example is the story of a surfer and his surf school. This case study focuses on Kiel Russ, who founded Hydro Mind Ocean University in 2014. His entrepreneurial journey exemplifies the reality of lifestyle entrepreneurship and its close association with effectuation.
Living in Canada, Kiel Russ struggled to find sufficient time for surfing and maintaining his physical fitness to fully enjoy his surf trips. Disappointed with the limited opportunities he had to surf due to irregular practice, he devised various training methods that could be performed at home. These methods included breathing exercises and simulating paddling using elastic bands while having a Swiss ball under the belly.
The positive impact of these training methods on his overall conditioning paralleled the experience of surfing almost every day, leading to increased wave counts and longer surf sessions whenever he had the opportunity. Over time, his training methods gained popularity among his friends and others, eventually resulting in the establishment of his surf training and coaching business in 2014.
Presently, Kiel Russ operates an international surf training and coaching business that serves a rapidly growing number of online customers worldwide. On his Instagram account, he utilizes a unique application of the effectual crazy quilt principle, which we encourage you to discover. To delve deeper into his story, visit his YouTube Channel and review the material he shared online in September 2022. As part of a group discussion, consider his approach and its significance. You may need to zoom in on the attached images to read their contents.
Although its impact is widely felt in improving lives, this phenomenon remains relatively absent in classes and discussions with students about entrepreneurship and career options. By understanding the concept and exploring its diverse applications, we can shed light on the benefits it brings to individuals, customers, communities, and even entire countries. For example, a surf school not only gives its owner-entrepreneur conditions to live a surfing lifestyle shared with her family and employees. It also offers this lifestyle to numerous other people, such as customers and citizens influenced by classes and social media attention it generates.
Precisely, this video case is about a surfer and a surf school. Kiel Russ founded his business called Hydro Mind Ocean University in 2014. His life and work help to illustrate the reality of lifestyle entrepreneurship as a phenomenon intimately related to effectuation. He lives in Canada and does not have enough time to surf and stay in good shape to make the most of being in the water when he did get away on surf trips. He was always disappointed with his wave and surf session counts in surf trips to fabulous beaches, because of his lack of regular practice in the sport. To solve that he created many training methods he could use at home, such as respiration exercises and simulating paddling with elastic bands while sustaining the body on a Swiss ball positioned under his belly.
The results for his body conditioning were similar to surfing almost every day, resulting in increased wave and session counts when he could actually surf. Little by little, his methods spread among his friends and others, slowly becoming the business Russ founded in 2014.
Today Kiel Russ has an international business of surf training and coaching, and needs new representatives to serve a rapidly growing number of customers around the world who are served online. In his Instagram account he seems to use a new application of the effectual crazy quilt principle we invite you to discover. Think about Kiel’s story and visit his YouTube Channel. Review the following material he published online in September 2022, mainly the information published on Instagram, and discuss his approach in your group. You may need to zoom in the Instagram images to read their texts.
Video with a brief history of Kiel:
Questions for discussion (teachers can use some or all of them)
1. What are the elements of crazy quilt you notice in the material above?
2. What are the elements of causation in the recruiting method Kiel Russ is using on Instagram? How might they work (or not!) with the effectual aspects of the case?
3. A kind of online crazy quilt is stimulated by Kiel`s hiring methods used on Instagram. What elements of crazy quilt can be identified in those methods?
4. Is the recruiting announcement asking for any effectual available means of the candidates? If so, which ones and how could their means be useful to Hydro Mind?
5. How is Kiel’s situation similar to those of most grandmothers (in relation to the fact that they always are ready to prepare something delicious out of the ingredients they have on hand in their kitchen to offer to unexpected visitors)?
6. What is Kiel selling in HydroMind? How has his sales approach changed? Do you think he is going about it in the best way?
7. Using some notions about effectuation, how could you try to convince Kiel to give you the employment position if you lived outside the Australia time zone?
8. Is Kiel a charismatic person? What role does charisma play or could play in the HydroMind business?
9. What effect would a video such as the following one (showing Kiel with his children) have on people who could be considering working with him?
More about Kiel Russ and his family’s lifestyle
10. Do you see any parallels between Kiel’s approach to encouraging his children to surf and the uncertainty of entrepreneurial ventures?
11. What about other ways of applying the crazy quilt principle – should Kiel seek partnerships with other stakeholders (people, organizations, etc.) in the surf community?
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