Sam Ovens is the remarkably direct founder of OVENS International, a digital marketing consulting firm focused on e-learning and strategic training programs designed to help clients build a wildly successful consulting firm of their own. Sam built OVENS International by ignoring traditional guidelines and advice for starting a business and instead followed his natural instincts, a decision that ultimately allowed him to enjoy an enterprise that earned over $10 million in a period of just four years. Sam, who is not completely averse to pragmatism, reinvested some of his earnings in OVENS International while allocating some of the remaining capital into a startup venture he called SnapInvest, which became an instant success and was eventually sold for a price representing a significant return on Sam’s initial investment.

What is your hobby?

I love being in and around the water, so fishing, swimming and diving are all hobbies of mine.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

My interest was rekindled during a long vacation to Aitutaki in the Cook Islands, which was not all that long ago. It was so invigorating to be back in the water and being able to enjoy a relaxing swim or an exploration of the sea floor.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love my job and am very passionate about what I do, so I sometimes forget to take time for myself to just get away from the office. My hobbies remind me that being in the water or near the water can supply the kind of energy every entrepreneur needs to succeed.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

I’ve gone on a few group scuba dives in both New Zealand and the US, and I like to keep in touch with other divers to discuss future plans or to relive past adventures.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

I actually had to buy a whole new set of scuba gear when I got to the US despite having all the equipment I could ever need back in New Zealand. It’s worked out well since now I don’t have to travel with all of my gear.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

Other divers mostly, but there are a few local shops in New York and New Zealand that are pretty good about having everything a diver might need.

Are there any good books for beginners?

For beginners it is always a good idea to start with a book on dive safety, but I’m also a fan of “Ocean Soul,” by Brian Skerry.

How has this changed your life?

It has served as a reminder that time away from work or any other responsibility is absolutely essential. I always come back from a fishing trip or a diving adventure with a renewed sense of vigor and determination.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

No matter where you live, you don’t have to go very far to find an amazing place to go scuba diving.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

Like I mentioned, I really enjoy anything having to do with the water, including diving, swimming and fishing.