Sometime in July 2000 I found myself not wearing any shoes for a few weeks; a mere 25 years of age and still in many ways behaving like someone ten years younger still.
I’d been drifting around south east Asia and was happily washed up on the Shores of Bottle Beach, Kho Phangan, Thailand.
I got stuck.
It was, after all, pretty nice.
Each morning I would wake up thinking, “I really must leave this beach, my visa is going to run out and I’m sure I should explore more”.
Each day at sunset, I would slunk down in my hammock and listen to the sounds of the waves crashing on the shore in perfect stereophonic sound…
Bottle Beach is only accessible by boat, meaning it had remained pretty isolated compared to other beaches. Every day, a long-tail boat would arrive carrying new arrivals and also picking up day trippers from the beach who needed to head to the local town of Chaloklum for supplies.
As I was barely getting myself together each day, the most energetic of these boat men would run up and down the beach front shouting “CHALOKLUM, CHALOKLUM, WE-GO-NOW…. YES YES WEGONOWWWWWWW!!!”
I liked him. He was a man of action. He had a deadline. He was going places and he was going places now and we’d better all be on the god damn boat now if we wanted to get anywhere today…
…except I was never on the boat. I was having breakfast.
But the imminence and power of his energy and his demand for collective action stayed with me. It became something I mused on for years after I (eventually) left the beach. I took on “wegonow” as the prefix to every personal email address I could from that day onwards and its resonance has never left me.
I was hooked on the idea of ‘wegonow’ – it became symbolic not only of a time I felt really relaxed, but also of a time when I felt anything could happen (and it frequently did!). The word became more than a reference to a sun kissed travelling memory. It became something along the lines of:
we = collective
go = movement / action / direction
now = imminent / happening
And that, my friends, is all there is to it.
N.B. …that’s all there is to it except that this particular escapade on Bottle Beach was where I first ran into this man; who, while I haven’t seen him for several years, remains someone I consider to have been something of an inspiration and key influencer on my journey into the world of management. Although don’t tell him I said so.