Hi everyone, my name is Rod Janz and you’re listening to Get Inspired Talks podcast. For this episode of Get Inspired Talks podcast, we visit with Terry Barkman. Terry creates momentum and connection through shared adventure outdoors. The impact of what Terry does is to help people feel empowered, to impact the world in creative, meaningful ways. Terry loves connecting with people, adventuring and doing things that light up his brain. He loves intelligent and engaging dialogue fueled by the right questions. Terry dislikes wasting energy on two-sided arguments and he dislikes the lack of gratitude. Now, please help me welcome Terry Barkman to the Get Inspired Talks podcast.
Interviewer Rod Janz
Hi everyone welcome to the Get Inspired Talks podcast, on the line with me today is Terry Barkman. Welcome to the Get Inspired Talks podcast, Terry. Thank you, Rod! I’m excited to be here with you. And so what part of the world are you in today? I’m in Kitstilano, Vancouver, Canada. Nice! And is that where your business is, where you do most of your training and sailing and that kind of thing? Well, I certainly meet one-on-one coaching clients in Kits. Ok. But the sailboat coaching happens around the world. We’re going to be in Greece later this year. We were Spain last year and we’re looking at Fiji. Cool! Wow! That sounds interesting and exciting to be able to go to all of those different and do your coaching. You’re living the dream. Living the dream, Rod.
So, it’s been super interesting, I’ve been asking all of my guests, what their upbringing, how it influenced what they’re doing today. So, I’m just wondering with you, if you could tell us a little bit about your childhood and your teen years and see if there’s any correlation. Did your upbringing and what you went through as a child affect and lead to what you’re doing today? I mean, I learned how to sail as a kid as and so I guess that’s definitely a factor. I learned to sail small boats on small lakes and that’s translated into bigger boats on bigger oceans. Really the first strong hit of my coaching journey, I feel like it was when I was 19 and blonde. I was working at this wilderness camp, in the mountains and it was great. I could just go outside everyday with fun and inspiring people and give them the tools and the knowledge that they needed to succeed at something like ice climbing, which maybe they never imagined themselves doing before. Cool! So you’re not just doing sailing, you’re doing different adventure activities, is that right? Well, I mean, I would like to be. I feel like all of the kinds of free-range coaching fell into my umbrella but really I focused in on the sailboat coaching specifically. So my time at Adventure Lodge would connect more from a coaching perspective than from the activity that was happening during the coaching.
Ok, let’s get some history here. You’ve talked about free-range coaching, I’d like to explore that a little bit. I’m not sure what you mean by that even though I’m a coach myself. But tell us a little about your coaching and sailing history, like how did you get into it? What were you doing prior to doing this and how did you get into what you’re doing today? Yeah, I mean, that’s a lot of questions. Let’s start with free-range coaching. It seems obvious to only very few people. I think coaching should be done outdoors. So I’m talking to people who are coaching on canoe trips and people who are coaching in the Alpine doing mountaineering style coaching and really utilizing the power of the wilderness and the power of journey to bring clients into a deeper coaching experience. I’ve latched onto sailboat coaching as being my one thing. Because Rod, I glamp. I’m not … Ha ha! I hear ya. I’m not much for..(inaudible) Boats are comfortable; you can bring an ice maker and an espresso machine and some of the creature comforts that we’re used to from home. And you can bring them with you on the journey and so that’s really working well for myself and my co-leaders. So you’re not into that suffering so much as a part of the experience necessarily. I’m used to be much better at suffering. Ha ha! I hear ya! The older I get, the less I’m into that myself as well.
So, yeah how did you get into coaching? What brought that on? I really do feel like it’s a strong echo from the time at the wilderness camp. It didn’t sink in right away what was going on there for me. At the time if you would have asked me, I would have said, well, I love teaching ice climbing and mountain biking and telemark skiing but it was deeper than that for me. And I kind of lost my way and I became an entrepreneur of the very very vanilla variety. I was an electrical contractor and it just wasn’t where I wanted to be. I felt like somehow off of my purpose and I couldn’t figure out what it was but I did some digging and I realized that my time at the wilderness camp what was really powerful for me was being able to empower somebody and be part of their journey and their change story and see them realize a deeper potential for themselves. And when I realized that, the switch to coaching was obvious and intuitive. So it was that part of helping people reach their deeper potential that really sort of resonated with you and you kind of thought, hey this is something I’d like to do for the rest of my life? And maybe what else was going on or maybe what I hear you saying is that being an electrician wasn’t necessarily doing it for you. I’m sure the pay was pretty good but there was still something missing, maybe. Yeah, I mean, there was money to be made there and I enjoyed the challenges and I enjoyed being an entrepreneur and I certainly don’t want to talk down the life of an electrician. There are many members of my family who are leading that life but it wasn’t my A-1. And so when I discovered sailboat coaching, I really feel like I came home.
And so how did that evolve? One of the ways that I think we can discover this is how did you find your first client? Like what was the first sailboat coaching experience that you had? I feel, I want to tell you that I was the architect of this vision. I feel like I fell backwards into it. For over a decade I’ve been taking friends on sailing trips and it just sort of became something else. It became something more and I was in coach training and using my vacation time to teach people to sail and in the British Virgin Islands. My coach asked me, if you could do anything, what would you be doing? And I said, well, I’d be coaching people on a sailboat. And when that landed for me, it felt right. It felt like this is my one thing. I don’t even know what part of that means and yet I need to make sailboat coaching exist and I set out about doing the work. That’s great! What’s the response being, I’ve been to the British Virgin Islands by the way. Gorgeous part of the world, actually had the opportunity to go there twice. If I was going to be coached, I would choose the British Virgin Islands. That’s the place to be coached. I see what you mean by glamping. Yeah, BVI the British Virgin Islands is really a place to go when you want to live the good life.
Yeah! So just tell me…I’m sure people are wondering, what’s the process? What do you do with people when you’re on the boat and what’s your coaching process like? Well, there’s a little bit of individual coaching that happens when the boats actually underway. I feel like the wind and the waves in the water just adds something to deepen that experience, to deepen the connection between the coach and the client and to deepen the connection between the client and their heart or their soul if you will. There’s also coaching that happens through the teaching of sailing and we use the boat as a metaphor of your life. And there are some real powerful connections there. And then there are group coaching experiences that we will drop the anchor at a small bay or tie up at the dock in the evening. And myself and my co-leaders will take a group through a coaching exercise. I feel like those three things come together as a powerful trifecta.
You said a word earlier; you said, coaching should be done outdoors. That really caught my attention. Why the emphasis on should and outdoors? Well, I mean, I like to have the emphasis on outdoors. I’m not going to tell other people how to coach but I feel like coaching is powerful in the outdoors and maybe it’s because I’m powerful in the outdoors. I feel like that is where I’m connected and that’s where I’m grounded. And for my friends who are coaching on canoe trips and in the Alpine, I feel also like when you have a resonance with a space that you are comfortable in and that you can invite clients into that comfort, to be safe and yet possibly outside of their comfort zone. Yeah, there’s something unique that happens in that.
I would imagine being on the ocean kind of, you’re so not in control and you just kind of have that feeling of weather and just stuff happening and there are things that happen beyond your control. I would imagine that’s an element of your process and just what naturally happens with people, hey? Yeah, you’re completely right, Rod. There are many things that we can’t control, like what the weather is going to be but we do control where we are when that weather happens. We make sure that, you know, if there’s going to be a big blow, we’ll tuck into a harbor and do some coaching on the boat or go on a hike, go on a shore exercise. One of the things we deal with when we’re out sailing is patience. You know, can we get there as quickly as we thought we were going to be able to? Will the winds and the waves cooperate? And I think it was Edward Gibbens who said, the winds and the waves are on the side of the ablest navigators. I bet people feel that, I bet an element of what you do as well is just that additional connection to nature. Like we’re so disconnected from nature these days, we’re so, you know, it’s well-known how connected we are to our phones and media and all of that kind of stuff.
I know I’ve done some power boating, I’ve done a little bit of sailing. One time was really cool, most of the sailing I’ve done has been on a smaller boat, so I was on a friend’s bigger sailboat. We’re under motor, getting out of the marina and then the sails go up and the engine goes off and this like ahhh! For those of you that are listening and not seeing, Terry’s holding his heart. It’s a beautiful moment, isn’t it? When all of a sudden you’re silent and your just under the power of the wind. It really is Rod and you are speaking the language of my heart I love listening to the quiet and hearing the sound of the water just slide along the hull and the wind in the sails. This is my happy place. This is my magic place and I just love sharing that with people.
So I’m touching on it a little bit on my questioning but one of the things we’re trying to get at with the Get Inspired Talks is what’s missing, what’s sort of societal challenges do you see that you feel through your coaching in your programs are addressing and really helping people with? That’s a good question. We are relatively flexible to the challenges that somebody brings with them on the boat because we are small coaching groups. But I think like you touched on a couple of them earlier with your comments on how plugged in we are all of the time. I love to be out on the boat and switch my phone off for a period of time, you know, maybe I don’t need to be on social media right now. Maybe that can wait until later. I think for a lot of people having, let’s call it a soft media fast, is already a big step towards getting back in touch with who they are and I think that you alluded to the fact that being out of touch with who we are is part of the problem we are running up against in society today. Where do you see this going? Yeah, what do you feel the future of your coaching business or even maybe for this industry. Wow! Well, I mean, I really see free-range coaching as being the future of coaching. I guess history will tell whether I was right about that or not. I think people are ready for more. The future of sailboat coaching, I hope I get to do this for a long time. Nothing makes me happier than when somebody reaches out to me and says, hey, we’ve been watching all of your videos and love what you’re doing and I’d love to be a co-leader on one of the trips. And so that’s really working with those people, getting to be choosy about who I work with and who I take as a participant is something that I love and have been very fortunate with I hope will continue. I have a secret dream of some of the people I like to coach with one day. And if you make a top 10 list of people that you would love to meet or coaches you want to emulate, I bet you a lot of them will be on my list.
I know I’m jumping around a little bit but back to the process because you have people like coaching, to me is sort of an ongoing process. I’m just wondering in your own process, is there some prep work then you go on the trip and how do you handle follow-up and stuff like that? Yes. So, in the ideal world somebody will coach with me on a twice a month or weekly basis leading up to the trip and then go on the trip and have a deep immersive, transformative experience. And then again, for the follow-up meet with the group once a month and continue to be plugged into regular coaching whether that’s with myself or whether it’s with one of the co-leaders from the trip. But continuing to do that deep inner work that sees them moving closer to their purpose.
Something that I love to ask my guests is for client stories and I know you, you know probably have an anonymity issues and stuff like that but I wonder if you could tell us a couple of transformational stories from people who have gone on trips with you and some of the results that you’ve seen. Yeah, I mean, I love seeing people change their lives and come into aligning with purpose that they have. I had one client who was running a thriving business and through an extended coaching engagements that shut it down and moved into a cabin in the woods. Almost a cocoon state for what was going to come next. And at the time we didn’t know what was going to come next, we just knew cabin in the woods. That’s all of the information that we had. And so it was powerful to stay in that journey with them and to be excited that they were on purpose even if we didn’t know where that purpose was taking them. So, sometimes I guess the fun ones for me are counter intuitive, they don’t necessarily take the client in the expected or anticipated direction but they still end up where they need to be and so that’s one example. Yeah, that’s the fun part of coaching isn’t it? Where you have those things that happen that you totally don’t expect and things just arise and you just work with them. And I would imagine that happens a lot with what you’re doing and especially when you’re out on a boat and that kind of thing.
Another question I ask coaches before, especially is, what sort of changes have happened and you got a big deal to go from traditional type of job as an electrician, what had to change in you and what has changed in you as a result of starting your own coaching business and doing it the way you’re doing it? I mean, I feel like I’m more alive than I was when I was trying to and I mean being, I don’t want this to sound like I’m complaining because being an entrepreneur was better for me in every way than having a J-O-B job, a 9 to 5 sort of thing. And yet I feel like it was a job for me and so to come into freedom and to be able to have creativity around what I want to be and how I want to show up. Has really been freeing and alivening for me. Excellent! There was a lot to that question, I feel like there was more there and it was juicy…say that again, what was that? The back half of your question, you ask me these intricate and complex questions and I always feel like I only answer half of it before… Ok, what’s changed in you? What sort of changes have happened in you as a result of doing what you’re doing? Well, my friends say that I’m happier. I love what the Greek’s say about happiness, which is not that it’s this moment of pleasure but it’s the ongoing joy that we get while we are pursuing noble goals. And so that is something that I have much more frequently than when I was pursuing, you know, financial and business goals.
If you had a couple things to teach us today or a couple of tips, what would you share a couple of things with us? What as a result of what you do? My number one thing is if you feel like something isn’t right in your life, if something isn’t working, if something doesn’t feel like it is the right fit for you, listen to that. That voice that’s telling you to try something else or to grow or to move away from a situation or relationship that isn’t right for you. When I moved into sailboat coaching, I don’t feel like I had all of the answers and I don’t feel like I would have gotten here if I would have waited to get all of the answers. But, I started taking steps and I followed that little voice in my heart and I feel like for some people, in some situations, following that little voice in your heart one step at a time is the only way to get to where you wanted to go all along to find out where it was you wanted to get to in the first place.
I love that, that’s great. And the other thing that we’re doing with Get Inspired Talks podcast is putting a challenge out there. If you wanted to challenge our audience to take one action that something they can do today. Maybe something simple, what would that be? Any challenge that I would give would be something around gratefulness. The difference that we get biochemically and in our hearts and our minds when we spend the day in gratitude as opposed to complaining and it’s easy to do. There are lots of things we can complain about. The news is set up to give us a stream of things to complain about for all kinds of reasons; they can sell you things that you’ll buy when you’re unhappy. And I feel like gratefulness is the big thing we need to practice, that we want to practice to have consistent joy in our lives. So, whether that’s sitting down and writing things every day that you’re grateful for or just practicing telling stories about what you’re grateful for, instead of stories where you complain, where you’re the victim. Yeah, just finding little ways of being in gratitude every day and I feel like that changes your outlook and your outlook changes your life.
So just before we wrap up, I just want to remind people that the Get Inspired Talks podcast is part of the Get Inspired Talks event. There will be different events taking place, I don’t want to give the date here because maybe someone will be listening to this two years from now, so just look up www.getinspiredtalks.com, people like Terry will be speaking at the events. So again, just a reminder Terry’s challenge to us today is to be more grateful and I hope you will take him up on that challenge and respond to us on the different social media challenges at www.getinspiredtalks.com.
It sounds awesome what Terry is doing. I have a love of sailing. I grew up sailing as well during the summer and I’m sure interested in what he’s doing. So, Terry why don’t you give us where we can get more information if we want to find out what you’re doing. Yeah, so Terry if people want to find out more what you’re doing and possibly go on a trip, I know that they are sold out. You told me in our pre-talk and interview which is a really good sign. It sounds like you’re doing something right. How can people get in touch with you? Like you said Rod, all of our trips sold out right now but we will be planning new ones. So, definitely get on our website, www.terrythesailboatcoach.com. Click on trips, that’s where the new trips will be coming out and also custom personal coaching is also available through that website as well.
Thanks so much for joining us, if people want to see links to the different things we’ve talked about in this interview, they can go to getinspiredtalks.com and we’ll have links to all of that. If you’re listening on itunes or YouTube or Soundcloud, you can find links for that in the show notes on getinspiredtalks.com. Thanks again, Terry! Thank you so much Rod. I’ve enjoyed talking with you and yeah, this has just been great.