Sometimes in business, you just have to seize the moment. Take a risk. Follow your instincts.
If you analyse any challenge for long enough, you’ll be able to find a reason to talk yourself out of it.
And you can be sure that, while you’ve been cautiously pondering the rights and wrongs, someone else will have jumped straight in, beaten you to the punch, and begun reaping the rewards that could have been yours.
Sometimes, to stay ahead of the competition, you simply need to trust your gut feeling. I’ve learned over the years to respect that initial thought which comes into your head when an opportunity presents itself – it’s usually telling the truth.
This is a big year for Waterworld, which I’m very proud to have established as the UK’s leading indoor tropical aqua park.
Our resort is 30 years old in 2019, and we are taking it to the next level with a huge three-storey extension, including some of the largest water rides and slides in the UK, and much more.
So why am I investing millions of pounds at a time when we’re told the UK is facing continued financial uncertainty? Because instinct tells me it is the right thing to do…simple as that.
My mindset has never been built purely on survival; I’m driven by a need to constantly strive for the next big thing, to take business to a higher level, and to keep challenging myself. Maybe that’s the entrepreneur in me, the nagging feeling that I still have a point to prove – or a bit of both.
With families thinking much more carefully these days about how they spend their hard-earned cash, and an ever-growing choice of leisure destinations out there, my instinct tells me the time is right to take Waterworld to the next level.
But saying that is one thing . . . doing it is something entirely different. When to start work? What to include in the project? And, most importantly of all, where to draw the creative and financial line?
There’s something about a task like this which really gets the adrenaline racing. It’s like a fine-tuned military operation, pulling together multiple pieces into a giant creative and logistical jigsaw.
When I first started discussing the possibility of this expansion, back in 2016, we were thinking about a couple of new flumes, and the possible addition of an on-site gym.
It’s fair to say that things have escalated quite significantly since then…that’s what happens when you get the bit between your teeth, and creative juices flowing!
The 75,000 sq ft expansion will now include four huge new water rides – among the biggest and fastest in the country – as well as a state-of-the-art fitness centre and spa, with swimming pools, plus a new indoor golf attraction, indoor children’s play area, front-of-house revamp, and upgraded changing facilities.
At one stage during the discussions, we had also been looking to include a trampoline park, but their popularity seems to have waned in recent times, so we switched focus mid-way through the project to concentrate on golf instead. Again, a gut decision, which just felt like the right thing to do.
Embracing the Waterworld expansion has made me realise that the time was most definitely right for a shake-up.
At the back of my mind was the need to embrace increased competition. To evolve, or risk going out of business. If you stand still for too long in this life, the only thing you’re guaranteed to get is overtaken.
The next few months are the truly rewarding part. Finally, the public can see the fruits of all the hard work which has been going on behind the scenes.
When you see the giant structure taking shape, it’s inspiring and rewarding.
So many people have contributed to the project – from the suppliers of our new rides in Turkey, to the construction team right here in Staffordshire – and it’s great to see our staff so motivated and excited about what the future holds.
A project like this is about more than just money; it’s about inspiring people to buy into our big new idea.
And above all, it’s such a great feeling to be part of something which is clearly important to so many people. That, alone, makes seizing the moment worth every penny.
Mo Chaudry: June 13, 2019
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