“Control of my time is the greatest privilege I have now.”

“For many years I didn’t. In business you get on a treadmill and you’re not always in control as much as you think you are,” Craig Heatley.


I admire the fact that Craig Heatley created real businesses on his way to creating his wealth. The key (not a pun) points in the whole Stuff article  are already cut-and-pasted above.

(What garbage in the rest – $350 million would not even buy his private jet)

The Sisson Kayaks treadmill prior to the 1996 fire was a life-consuming vortex. Many months after the fire I paid off the staff and closed the business. My Japanese customer Matsumura encouraged me to re-open as a ‘hobby’ “Just to make our container load”. Zero time pressure from the nice people at Kleenex Japan Inc.

The ‘new’ man enjoying the process of making nice stuff – without time-pressure

About the time the above Press photo was taken I had ordered a very expensive website. Those who clicked on “About” were faced with

“For the past twenty years the customer came first. No more. From now on I come first, my family tucked right behind me, and you the customer are third”. “Those seeking to change this arrangement will simply have their orders cancelled”. “I assure my customers I will not treat you badly – but I will once again enjoy my work – and have a life”.

The LCL export orders flowed in from all over the globe. Mainly the West Coast of North America and Scandinavia. Absolutely lovely customers. An average year saw 85% of my production exported. Pushy Auckland ‘customers’ were encouraged to get a Hamilton address!  All others respected my new life.

One morning I downloaded the emails and I noted that the President of the Twin Disc Corporation in the USA (they manufacture marine gearboxes) had ordered an Evolution Edge. That afternoon I received a phone call that went something like this

“Did you receive my kayak order?”  “Yes”. “I do not kayak at all – but I have decided that I need a bit of your attitude hanging on my garage wall – to daily remind me what is most important”.

WOW Michael! One of the business high points – that will always be remembered.

Posted in: News


Contact Grahame

For all enquiries and orders please contact me directly:

Phone: 027 2755 499

Email: grahame@sissonkayaks.co.nz

Phone: 027 2755 499Email: grahame@sissonkayaks.co.nz

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