Sailing the Waves of Life with Trenton Carroll
Meet a modern-day Poseidon: Trenton Carroll.
Written by Gwendalyn Augustine
A Tuesday afternoon with perfect weather and I was headed to Marina Del Rey in southern California to meet with Trenton Carroll, a prominent luxury sailboat & yacht businessman. I should have known that when you meet with a renaissance man like him for lunch, it isn’t going to be just any ordinary lunch.
Trenton is a distinguished man with a very good-looking appearance that clearly reflects his healthy, happy lifestyle. He’s a silver fox if you will. He has spent his whole life studying the dynamics of people and in turn, how the world works. The enlightenment he has attained from this shows through in a very ‘as a matter of factly’ sort of wisdom, and you immediately feel his peacefulness and exhilaration for life.
Once I arrived, the two of us boarded a dingy for a ride across the Marina. I swear the air is never ‘fresher’ than when out on the water. As we navigated through the some 6,500 boats docked at the Marina that day, I learned about the history of the local yacht clubs and was given a small glimpse into the beautiful, dynamic lifestyle of sailing.
Trenton wasn’t always living such a sweet and breezy life though. Most of his life, it was the corporate world he navigated. A fastidious and tenacious businessman, Trenton worked hard in his earlier years and became very experienced in all facets of sales, business development, marketing, training and education, and operations management. He has spent a significant part of his career teaching in university, helping start-ups and turnarounds, and even building companies from the ground up.
It was during these decades he had done very well for himself. So, what could have brought him from the corporate world into this outdoors, water lifestyle? Well, it wasn’t a process or random coincidence; there was actually a pivotal moment and a life changing decision.
“It was 9-11.” He explains. “I always ironed my shirts, even after having them laundered. That morning, I was ironing my shirts when the news came on behind me. I turned to look and saw the first tower ablaze. Then I saw the second plane fly into the other tower.” He shakes his head recalling the devastation. “I put the iron down and said ‘I quit.’”
“I had already made enough money that I could live – if I didn’t do anything crazy. That moment showed me how short life really is, and I couldn’t help but reflect on what I wanted out of it. All of those people that went into those towers to work that morning, they had no idea what was …. they were just gone.
I just remember saying ‘I’m going to go do what I want in my life.’”
Trenton had always had a passion for everything outdoors; rock climbing, paddle boarding, motorcycle racing, sail boats – really anything outdoors oriented. To him it is “an elixir of life” and “keeps you dialed in.”
Already having a spot in his heart for sailing, it was a pretty easy transition for Trenton when he became involved with Beneteau & Jeanneau, luxury yacht and sailboat companies. “When I was in corporate, it was very cut throat. The lifestyle that I ended up migrating to, in the boating industry, has given me more friends than I’ve ever had in my life. The first thing that really captured my attention was having people call me up just to catch up and see how I was doing, with no motive, just genuine interest.”
Sharing this glimpse into the world of sailing that Trenton was able to bestow is better told through his words.
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