There is a terrific new book out called SharkSense by Sharkie Zartman.  Sharkie was a professional volleyball player and a national champion.  She is winner who overcame the odds to succeed again and again.  I am happy to say that Sharkie had me write the Forward to the book and let me contribute a couple of things that you might find of interest.  You can get the book at Amazon.

Here is the Forward that I wrote.  I hope it gives you a feel for the book. And the picture attached is of that small Nurse shark right before I had the keen idea to pull him out so we could all get a nice look at him. Well…read the following and you see what I mean.


Sharks are winners.  They figured out what they wanted to do millions of years ago, learned how to do that efficiently and then continued to improve their game over all these years.  Try to get them to settle for less than what they want and you are in for a difficult struggle.

I found out recently just how dangerous a shark can be when you interfere with what they want to do.  What I did was just plain stupid, not shark or eco friendly and otherwise dangerous and dumb.  I am ashamed to admit that I pulled a good size Nurse shark out from under some coral so my friends could get a good look at him.

Turns out that Nurse sharks are really fast, very flexible and that small looking mouth can take off a hand in a hurry.  He was after me in a nano-second.  He took a good snap at my hand and just missed renaming me Lefty.  At that, he decided he had made his point and swam off calmly.  I swam off as well…not so calmly.  My buddies in the boat told me I swam away like a ten year old fighting off a swarm of bees.

The “sharks” I’ve met in the workplace are equally focused on getting what they want out of life.  They seem to win by refusing to lose.  You can’t discourage them, get them to quit or move them off course, until they have accomplished their goals.  And some of them are about as dangerous as that innocent looking Nurse shark.

Sharkie Zarkman is just that kind of person.  Her actual name is Sharkie.  Not surprising that she grew up to learn from shark behavior.  And learn she did.  When others told her she was too small to be a big time athlete, she just quietly went on to become an N.C.A.A. All-American, a national champion, a member of our National Volleyball Team and a volleyball professional.  When her competitors discounted her because of her size, she just beat them.  Having learned my lesson once, I will not be pulling her out from under the coral to show her off to my friends.  But I would like to show her off to you.  She has written an exceptional book on winning despite the odds, on making your dreams come true and on learning things from shark behavior that will serve you (and me) throughout our lives.

I am inspired by her story of winning despite long odds against her.  I am moved by what she has managed to accomplish thus far in her life.  But much more importantly, I appreciate the fact that she took the time to put down her ideas on winning in a succinct, witty and enjoyable book.

I wish I had written this book.  Of course, my name is Don and her name is Sharkie…so it is probably better that she was the one with the terrific idea to link the lessons learned from nature’s longest surviving winners…the sharks…with those practices that can help all of us win in life.  DonnySense just doesn’t grab one’s attention like SharkSense.  This is the second time I have narrowly missed writing a very commercially successful book.  The other was titled Donny Potter.  My wife had suggested Harry, but…no…I insisted on Donny.  My wife has the good shark sense in the family.

As near as I can figure, we only get one life to live.  We can live it small and seemingly safe or we can live large and accomplish absolutely anything we set out to achieve.  Sharkie chose to live large.  She set unreasonably high goals, defied the odds, never let herself get off track and put in the hard work until all of her goals were met.  She can give you the insights you need to do the same.  Some of the ideas are as old as sharks.  And that is not a bad thing.  Sharks have been winning for a very long time.

Enjoy the Sharkie sense.  I did.  And I really do wish I had written this book.

Donald J. Hurzeler

author of The Way Up: How to Keep Your Career Moving in the Right Direction