Dream Job Ready
Business owner, C7 quadriplegic, author and one heck of an inspiration - Darren Longbottom chats with Dane Sharp about life and leadership in a wheelchair | Dream Job Ready EP45
Business owner, C7 quadriplegic, author and one heck of an inspiration - Darren Longbottom (Owner of Zink Surf) chats with Dane Sharp about life and leadership in a wheelchair | Dream Job Ready EP45
Ready to be inspired, shocked, moved and motivated in one short interview?
Darren 'Daz' Longbottom was born into the surfing industry. Growing up on the beach in Cronulla, Australia, he and his brother witnessed surf industry and business success first hand via their father, who was a surfboard manufacturing pioneer in the 70s and 80s. Coming of working age, it didn’t take Daz long to forge his own identity in the surf industry and business world, eventually becoming the owner of a surf shop in Kiama on NSW's south coast.
The business was successful and enabled Daz to live a happy, easy-going and casual life, but all that was rocked in a split second by a freak surfing accident in the remote region of Mentawais, North Sumatra.
The freak surfing accident broke Darren's neck and resulted in instant paralysis. Alone in the water and semi-unconscious, Daz fought to stay alive until he was rescued by his friends, returned to the boat and stabilized (by getting strapped to a surfboard). But that’s just the beginning... What follows is a 25+ hour ordeal (I stress the world ordeal) returning to the mainland and reaching the safety of a hospital... You're likely trying to guess or imagine what went wrong and what happened... Think worse and times it by x 2...
Today, Daz still runs his successful surf store in Kiama, but now does it from a wheelchair because of his C7 quadriplegia and spinal cord injury. His co-authored book Beyond the Break explains his unbelievable, life-or-death escape to safety in impeccable detail and reading the book inspired me to interview Darren for Dream Job Ready. For it's not simply the inspiration, motivation or advice on mindset he shares, but the importance, reliance, and motivation he put on work, his job, and on his company, even in the hardest times of his recovery. His 'dream job' really meant (and continues to mean) something to him, personally and deep, and there's a beauty in that which I hoped he would share in this interview. He does.
Be present for this episode, because it's worth it. Not because Daz is a quadriplegic and in a wheelchair, but because he shares thoughtful, truthful and humble leadership and business ownership insights and advice of the likes we all need to hear before we clock in or clock out of work for the day.
Please note, I visited Darren at his home in Kiama for the interview (Covid-19 safe) and we had a small sound issue with my microphone. No biggie, you'll make out and understand everything I say, but I'm just calling out that the audio is not as crystal as it normally is or as Darren's microphone audio is, which is perfect.
If you want this episode to be a deeper level of personal, check out the video version on YouTube.
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Music: ‘Funky Sunday’ composed and performed by Mark Matthews.
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