Change, The Marine Industry and You


Written by Stephen Bullard, PierVantage Director

I have worked with and for many marine businesses in my 40 years in the marine industry and have found that the companies and individuals that are passionate about adapting to the ever-changing world around us are hands down the most successful. 

Change is difficult for people, myself included. For some, it’s because of pure laziness, but for others, we don’t like the lack of control or uncertainty of worse outcomes, bruised egos, embarrassment or failing. People also seem to hate losing more than they love winning.

In this business, if you don’t learn to embrace change and if you don’t move forward, you will be left behind. Whether it’s changing the focus of your business, having to invest and learn new technology, or replacing a prized employee that is dragging down others, you need to know how to deal with change.

A few reasons change is good:

  • Change occurs in everything.
  • Leaving your comfort zone can lead to growth and positive change.
  • Change breaks stagnation.
  • Change brings adventure to life.
  • It takes far more energy and effort to resist change than it does to accept and embrace change.
  • Change is learning, learning is growing and growing is living!
  • Change is opportunity.
  • Change breaks boring and harmful status quo
  • Change is exciting and forces one to move forward.

Some suggestions on how to embrace change:

1. Learn to be successful in failure: Most of us were never taught to fail. Think about our school system for instance, it is set up so that success is given a gold star and failure is mocked. Of course, you need to learn from your failures so that you do not repeat them down the road. “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy.

2. Know that you are not alone in feeling doubt or fear: Everyone has fears and insecurities that stop us from making a change. These doubts and insecurities are normal and you can overcome them by learning to embrace them. There will rarely be a time when we are completely absent of these thoughts and emotions, so you will simply have to learn to move forward anyway, regardless.

3. Change encourages development: Because we resist change, we sometimes go through life without realizing our full potential. Change is going to happen and no matter how happy we are with things at any given time. We know this and understand that our environment today cannot stay the same forever. We are forever growing, expanding, aging and changing. Embracing change is key to our success and overall happiness.

4. Do not wait for change to happen: It is better to initiate change ourselves before change happens and takes us down a negative path or affects us in a negative way. When you are in control of change it becomes far easier. Seek out the possibilities available to you and find new opportunities. 

5. Break down change into small actions: When you look at any change in its entirety, it can be completely overwhelming. When you get your mind wrapped around the concept of embracing change, the first to do is to break it down into small steps. Just recognize one small thing that you can do to get to the end game. These small steps will make the change easier to accomplish.

Change is an inevitable part of life. Some shy away from the challenge to change, while other lean into the opportunity. Software can be the missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to navigating change, especially in the marine industry. Inviting and encouraging change can inspire growth both personally and professionally, and the sooner that idea is accepted, the sooner the change can begin. 

About the Author:

Stephen Bullard, Senior Sales Director, PierVantage

Steve BullardStephen Bullard is Senior Sales Director for CorVant, primarily responsible for PierVantage™ sales and marketing efforts. Stephen brings to bear his considerable marine industry experience to provide insights on new features and functionality to our development team. He is also actively engaged in providing advisory services to our boatyard customers. Stephen has over thirty years of marine industry experience, with over twenty years directly related to the management of well-known marine service facilities in New England and the Pacific Northwest. Prior to joining CorVant, Stephen spent six years providing professional services and promoting marine operational software to boat yards, boat builders, dealerships and marinas throughout North America. These positions have led Stephen to a high level of understanding in the marine services arena in the following areas: project management, yard operations, business process & procedures, service management, customer account management, financial analysis, forensic accounting, inventory set up and inventory management. Stephen completed a 12 month course in boat design at the Landing School in Maine and has spent his entire life on the water logging more than 15,000 miles sailing in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. He also enjoys offshore fishing and is licensed to handle power and sailing vessels up to 100 tons.