Making your hobby your profession and, extensively, the core of your life is a great way to smash it like a #girlboss. Doing what you love makes you feel involved with all your flesh, heart and soul, and gives you the energy and the confidence even when things don’t go smoothly. I cannot imagine a life lived the deepest without putting your energy into something you are truly passionate about. Some of us spend years in trial and error until we find what really clicks. Others have known it since they can’t even remember. But, what about the ones that have not only one passion… but two, or three? That’s what happened to Australian pro surfer and wave goddess Sally Fitzgibbons. Currently in the 6th position of the world’s top female surfers rank (and aiming for 1st, of course!), she started off considering becoming an Olympian middle-distance athlete. Running or surfing, that was the question.
But she finally professionally opted for the water. And even though you’re not fully into surf, you’ve probably heard of Sally. And if you have not, you just got to the right place (start by checking out this exclusive interview with fierce surfwear brand U&I). So here we are now. With Sally. The fact that The Collective Magazine featured her in a recent issue was just another reaffirmation of the kind of material this girl is made of. And we all know it is through doing, not through saying, that we truly show who we are. And this is exactly what Sally has been doing since… forever.
On other occasions, I have shared with you my other women inspiration: god-entrepreneur Lisa Messenger and fashion designer Kit Willow. But here I go holly holistic! Because wisdom knows nothing about age. Sally is only 25, but the way she provides people with inspiration is ageless.
Here are my top 3 reasons why Sally Fitzgibbons is a real smasher (and not only on the ocean) – and that will hopefully bring us with extra motivation to surf our waves:
#1 She learns by any means
As a child, Sally was highly committed to becoming a pro surfer. But growing up in a small town in New South Wales (Australia), she didn’t have the facilities nor the mentors to provide her with the knowledge and the guidance required to become a professional surfer. So, what did she do? She didn’t let circumstances stay in between she and her dream. Sally spent even more hours teaching herself broadly to become fully acknowledgeable and ready for the world surf championships. With firm determination, commitment and discipline, she made it. And now she can be twicely as proud.
Even nowadays, Sally is combining her surf career with being an entrepreneur and a business woman. She has published her book Live Like Sally and will soon launch a fitness program. Ok, ok… but what does surf have to do with entrepreneurship? How can she be prepared to run a business if what she knows (and really well, for that matter) is surfing the waves? Well, this is why I think Sally gives us a tremendous lesson: in any new venture you must bring what you have… and ask lots of questions. Whatever you have done up until where you’re today has surely provided you with invaluable knowledge that will help you swim in your next career step. Don’t underestimate what you already have within you. And if you don’t know something, as Sally does, just ask the ones around you that will have the answer. Sounds easy, right?
#2 Her mission goes beyond herself
One of the most rewarding effects of what we do is sharing it with others. And I don’t mean just sharing our successes or outcomes, but instead including others at the very mission of our projects. The surf industry, as many others, faces many gender inequalities: women surf competitions have a much lower prize money, men have priority in competitions when surf conditions are good and female surfers also have to fight against a sexualised image via sponsorship ads. Sally is one among many women in the surf pro community that actively calls for a fair change in this industry’s situation.
In parallel, and knowing that 1 out of 4 Australian kids is overweight or obese (which leads to more risk of diseases in adulthood), Sally promotes an active lifestyle among children through her Foundation DREAM. She knows the benefits of sport not only physically but also mentally, and personally collaborates with Australian communities to spread the magical word!
Other times, I’ve highlighted the relevance of making conscious choices in fashion. It is essential that, even though it’s a small grain of sand we’re putting in, we do something to make our world and its people’s situation a better one. We’re all on the same boat!
#3 She smiles, smiles and smiles
You’re allowed to laugh at this one. Ok, I even require you to laugh. Please. But here is probably the best advice. We all have heard of the power of smiling for not only our inner emotions, but also for its effects on people around us. Putting a smile on our faces makes us feel different and, eventually, read what happens around us differently as well (and by that, I mean positively different!). You will not find many pictures of Sally where she isn’t owning a healthy, beautiful and sincere smile. Then, let’s smile back!
What other female souls have inspired you lately?
Image source: Collective Hub.