Taking Risks

My family in Hawaii in 1989

Many people wonder how Sub Sea Research got started, and my goal in this blog is to show you the roots of the company and how those roots have grown over the years. In 1993, my father Greg Brooks gave up his very successful swimming pool company in order to start a treasure hunting business (which was then called Silver Bars, but would later be known as Sub Sea Research). This was a huge risk, considering how much money my parents were making while building and maintaining swimming pools. They had been running Pool Creations since the early 1980s and had established a name for themselves as a reputable company, and one that could make beautiful pools. When I found out how much they were making during a typical summer season, I was a bit surprised. Here was a business that was a sure thing – they were pulling in a large amount of money for just several months of work a year, and my dad gave this up. It might seem baffling and out of the ordinary, for most people would not take such a risk.

My dad has always been a risk taker, though. I am told that as a young child he was adventurous and was always looking for new things. There is a particularly funny story about my dad when he was about seven years old. He decided to trade his bicycle for a box of garter snakes from one of the kids in his neighborhood. When his mom found out, she made him trade them back, but he was sure he had gotten the better deal! It was common for my dad to be out and about, exploring. I remember hearing about all the trouble he got into and the injuries he had, from falling off hills and cliffs as a child to blowing part of his hand up with a small bomb he found on the street as an older boy. He has more stories than anyone, and many scars to prove them! Many would wonder if he is accident-prone, but I think he is just more courageous than most people, and so he opens himself up to more surprises and injuries that way.

In his adult life, this attitude never changed. He never grew out of his pioneer’s spirit. He traveled extensively as a young adult in the Marines, fighting in Vietnam and spending time in the Mediterranean and Okinawa. Though he came from an extremely poor family with nine children, he managed to build his life into something successful. He was always taking risks for his businesses. In 1989, he and my mom sold everything they had and moved out to Maui, Hawaii to continue work on the swimming pool company. My dad had a business offer there that he couldn’t refuse, and despite any financial concerns he just went for it. Hawaii was a tropical paradise that would be ideal for work in the swimming pool industry, and at this point in time my dad was looking to save up money for his treasure hunting company. I was only two years old, and so I don’t remember Hawaii much at all. My mom loved it, and was a bit sad when we had to return to the mainland several months later. While that particular business venture didn’t pan out, my dad had more ideas up his sleeve.

As more and more money and investors came forward in the first few years of the 1990s, my dad was finally nearing on his goal of being able to purchase a ship and start his recovery company. He was enthusiastic and never waned when telling people about his idea. He was well studied and excited, and so he was able to share that excitement with many others. While it took him almost a decade to realize from the time he first had the idea to the time it became reality, he never lost sight of this goal. Did he and my mom have concerns? Sure. My mom says: “To be truthful, I was a little hesitant about starting a treasure hunting company.  It wasn’t like I thought we wouldn’t, or couldn’t, be successful at it, but more like, we already had a sure thing going in our swimming pool company that we had built up.  It was such a different type of business, and I wasn’t sure about the logistics and longevity of something like that.” Despite this, they took a chance and now have a very successful company. It wasn’t always easy, and times were sometimes tough, but my dad took a chance on his dream and made it into a reality.

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