Feeling the rain, getting wet and an unconventional strategy

​The famous line wasn’t crafted by a famous Bob. Dylan or Marley. It was Roger Miller who said it first:

“Some people feel the rain; others just get wet.”

I’m in the latter category.

I spent two summers working at festivals. Wandering around in the heat and the cold, the dry and the wet. Eighteen hour days fighting through mud swamps and trying fruitlessly to keep everything in my tent dry. Since then, walking in the rain has calmed me. Soothed me even.

I don’t understand why.

But a few days ago I noticed an advantage this gave me.

I was at a National Trust site. A beautiful, protected area of untouched countryside. I was walking with Molly. As we arrived it started to rain, heavier and heavier. Everyone else fled to the shelter of the central coffee shop and restaurant. 

We didn’t.

We stayed out in the pouring rain. What would have been particularly crowded walks and trails were empty. No one wanted to walk in the rain.

Because we could tolerate something that most people find uncomfortable, we had the place to ourselves.

Which got me thinking.

What if rather than firing bad customers, you specialised in working with them? What if instead of choosing the obvious winners as clients, you only worked with those with a long shot at success?

What if your main strategy was executing and being comfortable in environments and situations that make everyone else uncomfortable?

Two related items I had to include:

1) A few weeks ago I listened to Josh Waitzkin’s second appearance on Tim Ferriss’ podcast. Josh was discussing fatherhood. He said that he and his son made a point to go outside and play in the rain. In his words, they “never missed a storm.”

What a beautiful idea.

2) I was discussing the quote above with a colleague. He told me a story about a friend he has in Zimbabwe, where when it rains, it pours. Think monsoon.

His friend came to the UK and my colleague moaned about the rain. His friend turned to him and said:

“Dude. It’s only fucking water.”

He has a point.