What's in your way?

From the Desk of Caspar

The Curious Story of the Crabs

I was struck by a story close to my home this week. Well, actually about 4 miles from my home where I grew up.

It’s about the South Devon crabbing industry.

For many years, the price of crabs has been in the doldrums and it’s been tough to make a living as a fisherman.

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My first business was as a commercial fisherman (in the pic attached) albeit at a micro level as opposed to the large commercial boats.

About a month ago, a friend pointed me to this podcast.

It was a fascinating insight about the up turn in the fortunes of the crabbing industry. As the podcast peels back the layer, it turns out the shift came from one significant thing.

The opening up of a new market.

Specifically, the Chinese market.

Turns out there is a seemingly unquenchable demand for South Devon crab in China.

I was back at home several weeks ago and spoke to former fishing colleagues.

The demand is stronger that ever with virtually all the crab being shipped to different parts of China each week.

(It has actually got to the point where demand is outstripping supply by so much that local restaurants and bars are challenged to have crab on the menu as the price is so high. This time last year, a pound of picked crab meat was £12 a pound. Today it's £22 a pound. In round numbers 3 drinks and 3 crab sandwiches sets you back the best part of fifty quid.)

Leaving aside that us Brits might have to get used to some different seafood or pay the higher prices, what’s the business upshot?

For entrepreneurs, always be looking for that opportunity. New markets can change things dramatically. The speed and scale and size can be breathtaking.

Tip: What’s the big overlooked opportunity in your business? What new markets could you tap into that you don’t currently.

Daily Habits

Your daily habits matter. They matter a lot.

The most common daily habits I observe across people I admire include

Exercise

Learning

Meditation/mindfulness

Expressing gratitude/ appreciation

Cold showers (it’s a shock to start with!)

Time connecting with whoever is most important to you outside work)

Watch this brief video on one way to instil habits that you want.

Tip: What you do every single day is what will shape your life.

In the Spotlight

It's been a busy start to the year. Truly grateful to have had the opportunity to share stories and insights on stages around the world. And equally grateful to the 18 people who've kindly written testimonials for me in 2019...

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Find me on LinkedIn

Great to be on several podcasts this week.

The first was with Jonathan Levi on his Becoming a Super Human Podcast.

And the second was with Alan Stevens on his Media Coach Radio Show (I was first on Alan’s Show many years ago - it was great to chat to Alan again).

Sleep Deprivation Shrinks Your Balls

For all the sleep warriors out there... Sleep deprivation shrinks your balls.

Shorter sleep = shorter life.

And much more. If this talk by the incredible Matthew Walker doesn’t shift your mindset on sleep, nothing will.

Key takeaways:

Regularity of sleep is super important

Keep the temperature low where you sleep.

Watch his TED Talk here

(His book equally worth reading - Why we Sleep).

Be a Better Leader

Distracted? People on their phones in meetings?

Today’s leadership tip of the week is one simple hack to deal with this. Tip inspired by the #hrprofessionals at 4th Rewards and Benefits Summit in Barceona

PS. If you like this, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight.

Thought of the Day

Building a team? At Home? At Work?

Same principles. Think like a farmer. Nurture what you want to see more of. Apply sunshine and water. Be patient.

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Upcoming Events

June 6 - Keynote, London

June 7 - Keynote, London

June 10 - Conference, London

June 8-9 - Lisbon, Portugal

June 27 - Keynote London

June 28 - Keynote London

I recently attended a talk by Caspar during a Reward conference in Barcelona. I went into the session with a bit of apprehension as I had often seen these sessions devolving into sermons. Not this one though! A brilliant speaker and an inspiring orator, Caspar had carefully structured the talk with his own life events providing enough meaningful learnings that one could then incorporate in either their professional or personal lives. He is also an affable person making sure to interact with participants before and after the session
— Ayan Majumdar - Director Total Rewards at Pearson

What story are you still carrying?​

From the Desk of Caspar

What story are you still carrying?

When I was 13-14 at school, I was surrounded by people that I thought were smarter than me.

One of the smart kids could do the Rubik's cube. Truth is he got the book and figured it out.

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I had the fixed view that if I couldn't figure it out quickly and on my own, it wasn't for me. I know I know how crazy that sounds.

As our 7 year old was playing with her rubiks cube last week the story popped into my head again..."only the smart kids can do the rubiks cube"..

What better time to call out that BS.

My challenge for the past week (aided by youtube) was to figure out how to do the

A week on with Plenty of help from YouTube videos, some persistence, a few swear words, lots of 7 year old help (here daddy try it this way!) and finally nailed it.

Tip: It’s never too late to explode stories that you’ve carried for years “I’m not the sort of person who can do that...” What challenge did you once think was too hard for you that you would take on?

It’s a State of Mind

Leadership is a state of mind. Not a title.

6 simple leadership tips anyone can use no matter their age, title or role.

Share your enthusiasm with the world - it’s one of the most valuable gifts you have to share.

Notice and appreciate the small details of what other people do

Plant seeds of kindness and encouragement.

Do what you say you are going to do

Be present. 100% present.

If you ask a question, make sure you really listen to the answer.

Tip: Encourage leaders at all levels in all areas of your life.

In the Spotlight

I’m looking forward to delivering my Keynote Talk "Transforming the Culture in your Business” as the opening speaker at the Rewards and Benefits Summit for leading HR Directors in beautiful Barcelona this week with the brilliant team at Summit Events.

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Mental Health

Guy Tolhurst, Founder of Intelligent Partnership is doing a brilliant job raising the conversation around mental health. It’s something that is clearly an increasing challenge of our time. He’s been making a series of short films. Watch this one where Michelle Morgan shares her story of depression, anxiety and burnout she experienced in running her business and taking on investment. Learn why she is now able to talk more openly about her mental health, at home and at work.

Be a Better Leader

Getting truly connected to why you are doing something is right at the heart of making things happen. I was reminded of this process we went through some years ago to make plans of ours when speaking to some super successful entrepreneurs today.

PS. If you like this, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight.

Thought for the Day

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Learning

Be Intentional. Redesign Your Life To Make Good Use Of Time

Upcoming Events

May 15 - Keynote, Barcelona

May 19 - Keynote, London

May 20 - Keynote, London

June 6 - Keynote, London

June 7 - Keynote, London

June 8-9 - Lisbon, Portugal

June 28 - Keynote, London

Caspar delivered a 90 minute keynote presentation to our leadership members at PRogress and the feedback has been exceptional! Caspar delivered what was one of the most inspiring stories bundled with numerous leadership lessons that can be applied in your personal life and at work. One of our members described themselves as going through all the emotions through Caspar’s talk and one even described it as life changing. Caspar you were truly exceptional, like your story, like your family and like your success. To top it all off, Caspar is a genuinely lovely guy! Thank you for speaking at PRogress.
— Rohan Shah - Founder and Managing Director at PRogress UK

I wish I'd read these

From the Desk of Caspar

Which self shall I be today?

That’s a line from the film Darkest Hour. It’s the moment where Churchill has received the telegram to call him to the Palace to meet the King to be appointed Prime Minister.

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As he prepares to take the mantle for his greatest challenge yet, he stands in front of his hat rack and asks himself the question "Which self shall I be today?” and then selects the appropriate hat and walks out of the door.

It’s a revealing moment.

It’s a moment in which he shows the power of having different identities. Identities and stories that we can use to empower us in different scenarios.

These things don’t happen by accident. They are as a result of thinking through the different parts of your life and who you need to be in each different situation.

Ever found yourself come home with a head full of work and 100% in work mode and you speak to your partner / children in a clipped work tone of voice {I’ve fallen into that trap more times than I care to remember}.

It’s worth reflecting on. For the different roles you play in your life, who do you need to show up as? At work, at home, with friends. What do you need to do to change your perspective.

Tip: Who do you need to be for each part of your life. Be intentional about it (we’ll be talking about how to do this at our upcoming Thrive: Life Summit later this year)

In the Spotlight

One of the organisations I’m proud to be involved in is the Charity, The British Exploring Society. Their belief is that challenging experiences can transform lives. They do this by taking young people on expedition to some of the world’s wildest and most remote locations.

I’m super excited that my friend Conrad is speaking at this evening event for them. Conrad has an amazing story including being part of the Mutiny TV Series re-creating Captain Bligh’s adventure. For details of the event, its here.

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6 Books I wish I’d read when I was much younger

I used to be a reluctant learner: the bare minimum to get to the next stage.

That shifted some years ago and I’m now 100% committed to lifelong learning.

Here’s 6 books that I wished my younger self could have read, understood and appreciated:

The Growth Mindset - Carol Dweck

Principles - Ray Dalio

The Magic of Thinking Big - David Schwartz

Psychocybernetics - Dr Maxwell Maltz

The Star Principle - Richard Koch

The Talent Code - Daniel Coyle

Which books would you prescribe to the younger you?

(And at what age would they have been most helpful? I think that at ages 21 through 23 these would have been most valuable for me).

(Plus the obvious caveat that some of these books weren't around when I was that age!)

Be a Better Leader

As I read the book that I talk about in this video for the third time, I discover new insights. There is no such thing as a pure fixed mindset or a pure growth mindset. I believe we are all triggered at certain times to a fixed mindset - Carol Dweck does a remarkable job

Thought for the Day

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Learning

In the Leadership tip of the week, I talk about the Growth Mindset and Carol Dweck. If you’re not familiar with this book, I urge you to find out more about it. Want the quick version? Here’s Carol Dwecks TED talk on it.

Its one of the most powerful concepts for our children. And all of us.

Upcoming Events

May 2 - Keynote, Dublin

May 15 - Keynote Barcelona

May 19 - Keynote London

May 20 - Keynote London

June 6 - Keynote, London

June 7 - Keynote, London

June 8-9 - Lisbon, Portugal

I would like to recommend Caspar Craven on behalf of Schools North East as a fantastic inspirational speaker. Caspar delivered the opening keynote at the Schools North East annual leadership Summit in October 2018 to over 500 Head Teachers and school senior leaders from across the North East. Caspar not only was a great speaker but he was also able to adapt his speech in order to fit in with our conference theme of ‘Changing the Game’. Caspar’s speech was titled ‘Changing the Game through Great Leadership’. I would highly recommend booking Caspar to speak at an event
— Samantha Murray - Events Manager

How to build an awesome team

From the Desk of Caspar

5 Ways to Build an Awesome Team (at Home or at Work)

Understand what each person wants. We all do things for our own reasons, not your reasons. Link each person's goals to the team goal.

Find each persons strengths. Make them stronger.

Genuinely care about each person and their development.

Identify the skills gaps as a team and figure out how to close them.

Celebrate little wins and enjoy them as a team. Small wins lead to bigger wins.

Tip: Always be thinking about how you can build a stronger team with those around you.

In the Spotlight

Personal development titan Brendon Burchard did a podcast episode featuring an earlier interview with us this week. The podcast is right here:

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Caspar spoke several weeks ago to the Managing Partners of a range of UK Professional Services Firms at The Strategy Summit. The write up for the Managing Partners Forum - its all here...

What Limits do you Impose on Yourself

Just imagine.

You have to solve 3 Rubik’s cubes in less than 5 minutes.

Whilst you juggle them.

The immediate reaction is of course it’s impossible.

This guy did it.

Hard work and perseverance. Relentless action.

Be a Better Leader

If two people disagree, don’t you want to know if it’s you that is wrong?

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Upcoming Events

April 25 - Thrive Workshop, London

April 26 - Training Workshop, London

May 2 - Keynote, Dublin

May 15 - Keynote Barcelona

May 19 - Keynote London

May 20 - Keynote London

June 6 - Keynote, London

June 7 - Keynote, London

Nichola and Caspar spoke at our financial year kick off event “The Purpose Driven Public Company”. They told a very powerful story of how a team bound by a powerful vision can achieve amazing things.
— Neal Gandhi - CEO and Co-Founder - The Panoply

Distracted

From the Desk of Caspar

Clear Thinking

Just how distracted are we all? How much clear thinking do you really get?

An experiment I've been running for 2 weeks (which you might want to consider). It was inspired by a fellow speaker Ronan Harrington after speaking at the same event a couple of weeks ago.

I switched off all notifications on my phone...

WhatsApp (probably the worst offender)

Telegram

Texts

Twitter

Email

FB

LinkedIn

Any apps which send out alerts.

Result = Significantly less distractions.

Had my productivity gone up? Probably. In truth I’ve not been totally scientific about it and I still feel "the lure" of checking in on my phone.

Give it a go. It takes a few minutes to set up in the Notifications setting (on an iPhone and I’m sure it's similar on Android).

In an attention deficit world, it can only help.

Tip: We get our best and clearest thinking when we minimise distractions. Be intentional about how you use your time.

In the Spotlight

As seen in the Daily Telegraph this week:

How do you keep a business the right size? “Create a clear story as a family team of what you want your lives to look like”. The article is on the challenge of sustaining business growth …

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Also in the spotlight...

Nichola (my brilliant wife) and I delivered our first shared keynote this week. We were speaking at the annual kick off for newly IPO’d technology services business The Panoply. They are raising the bar on what it means to be a “Purpose Driven Public Company”. A brilliant and super engaged company and audience and great fun to be part of their day.

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Inspiration

In this brilliant clip of Steve Jobs, he shares two things on what you need to be successful. One is around Passion. The other is around people if you want to grow an organisation capable of running without you.

If creating an organisation capable of running without you is something you would like, we have created a 12 week course that takes you through exactly what you need to do.

Tip: Fill your world with the most powerful influences of people who’ve already got the results you would like.

Be a Better Leader

Leadership of the week inspired by Alan Turing. He went to work on Enigma, the crypto device used by the German Navy because it was deemed too hard and no one else was working on it.

What’s the biggest challenge in your organisation / world / life and who’s working on it?

If you found this valuable, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight.

Thought of the Day

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Upcoming Events

April 10 - Thrive Workshop, London

April 11-14 - Keynote, South Africa

April 25 - Thrive Workshop, London

April 26 - Training Workshop, London

May 2 - Keynote, Dublin

May 15 - Keynote, Barcelona

May 19 - Keynote, London

May 20 - Keynote, London

June 6 - Keynote, London

June 7 - Keynote, London

Caspar has a highly unique, fascinating, compelling and thought provoking story to tell. He is an outstanding speaker and gives highly pertinent takeaways. Book him - I would!
— Roger Harrop - The CEO Expert

3 New Ideas that can shape the next decade

From the Desk of Caspar

3 New Ideas that can shape the next decade

Regular readers will know my belief that there is nothing more important to achieving your goals in life than the influences that you allow into your world.

Last week, I had the privilege of spending 4 days with 60 of the sharpest minds on the planet whilst skiing and debating ideas in Courmayeur in Italy.

This global group were from technology, science and the investment community and came together to share ideas and inspiration. Here’s 3 ideas that I learnt that can shape the next decade :

Idea 1 - From NeuroScience

Moran Cerf runs one of only 3 neuroscience labs in the world where they undertake studies using up to 1,000 probes inserted into peoples heads to study brain activity in real time. In research on sleep, they’ve found that at a certain stage in your sleep cycle if you expose a person to certain aroma’s you can dictate what dream a person will have. Literally you can hijack someones dreams using the power of smell. The research into how the brain works and how it can be developed and used is just fascinating. Moran and his research are certainly one to follow.

You can watch more about Moran being interviewed on Impact Theory

Idea 2 - Learning and Education

The amazing ShaoLan has built an incredible service Chineasy teaching people how to write and speak Chinese. It’s incredibly simple and literally within 24 hours, my son was writing out characters on our board at home. His words “it’s so simple and so logical - I love it”. Simplifying complexity and making education available to all is a mission that ShaoLan is on.

Watch ShaoLan explaining the system in her highly watched TED Talk here.

Idea 3 - Medicine and Technology

Perhaps the most impactful talk was from Stefan Roever - an incredibly successful entrepreneur in the field of technology and genetics. Born out of his own experiences to treat his own cancer he is on a mission to use AI to give cancer patients a better shot at living. His sharing of his story and what him and the teams he’s built around him is just mind blowing.

To paraphrase his approach to cancer. If you have a problem with your computer or software, you don’t pour acid on it to fix it (what we currently do with Chemotherapy). With software you work out what software update you need to run in order to fix it. Why shouldn’t it be the same for health?


I’m certain that the advances he and his team are making will have an insanely powerful impact on the world making millions of people live better quality lives.

Here’s a an interview Stefan did with Dr Jack Kreindler (also at the event in Italy)

Tip: Surround yourself with the very sharpest minds you can - you simply cannot help but lift yourself to higher levels.

In the Spotlight

Plenty more podcasts coming up - this one minute clip from Mark Metry’s podcast Humans 2.0 is something I believe many of us (me included) need reminding of regularly)

There is little greater reward for what I do than getting customer feedback - this one’s from Sheona Griffiths - Head of Marketing at WPM Education where I was Keynote Speaker at their Edinburgh Event this Feb.

Caspar's presentation was described by our customers as 'captivating' and 'inspiring' with almost all rating the session as excellent. Caspar was one of the most professional and personable keynote speakers I've ever had the pleasure of working with. Really went the extra mile to understand our audience and then gave up his own time to chat further with our customers in the evening, which they really enjoyed. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Caspar - an incredibly talented and genuinely nice man.

Slow Down

Once in a while I’m reminded to stop by some powerful words.

Whilst at sea with our kids we read and wrote lots of poetry - I first heard this poem from a dear friend Paul Covell as we crossed at Atlantic.

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round, or listened to rain slapping the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight, or gazed at the sun fading into the night?

You better slow down, don't dance so fast, time is short, the music won't last.

Do you run through each day on the fly, when you ask "How are you?", do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed, with the next hundred chores running through your head?

You better slow down, don't dance so fast, time is short, the music won't last.

Ever told your child, we'll do it tomorrow, and in your haste, not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch, let a friendship die, 'cause you never had time to call and say hi?

You better slow down, don't dance so fast, time is short, the music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere, you miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day, it's like an unopened gift thrown away.

Life isn't a race, so take it slower, hear the music before your song is over.

If you’re a listener, my incredibly talented actor friend Peter Seaton Clark did a reading of this poem. It’s right here:

Tip: Slow Down. Be present in the moment.

Leadership tip of the week - Real life Resilience tests.

When you’re on your way to deliver a workshop and a keynote and the train in front of you breaks down and you’ve no idea how long it will take to clear.

What do you do?

The video explains it all.

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Upcoming Adventures

March 21 - Keynote London - Wellers Accoutants

March 28 - Keynote London - FY Annual Kick Off Meeting

April 10 - Thrive Workshop, London

April 12-14 - Keynote, South Africa

May 2 - Keynote, Dublin

May 15 - Keynote Barcelona

May 19 - Keynote London

May 20 - Keynote London

In our conference Caspar helped us find how we become awesome, how to become exceptional. For our group this means daring to change, to take risks, to be bold, to embrace both success and failure.

What a way to end our residential Conference to be enthused and inspired by Caspar Craven, sending us off with a spring in our step and a determination to be the best Leader we can be!
— Jeff Dawkins - PiXL School of Leadership

An Impossible Decision

From the Desk of Caspar

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I had a flashback last week.

I walked past the Cromwell Hospital in London.

It immediately took me back to May 2014.

I couldn’t walk.

10 weeks before “planned departure on our sailing adventures” and Mr Mendoza gave me my options.

He was a back specialist surgeon.

Option 1 - Back surgery and possible complications.

Option 2 - Delay our plans by a year and things might heal.

It was agonising.

No-one else can make a decision like that for you.

Remember this.

There is always a way.

We made 3 adjustments to our plan.

We found a way.

I had the surgery.

We set sail in August 2014.

You either find a way or you make a way.

Tip: There is always a way forwards. You either find a way or you make a way.

In the Spotlight

This week, a podcast I recorded with the brilliant Chris Thompson from Wellers Accountants. I’m looking forward to speaking at one of their events later this month.

It’s all here.

And we had this beautiful message from Hilary who attended our recent Thrive Workshop.

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What’s Coming Next

Over half term, we spent the week in San Francisco.

Whilst there we met up with some very dear friends who shared a glimpse of the future with us.

The future of gaming and virtual reality.

We got to play with the latest immersive technology in the world using games and literally flying around the world using Google Earth.

It’s stunning just how quickly noise fades into the background and you become immersed in the virtual world. To the point I almost fell over as my foot “clipped” a mountain over the Himalaya’s.

Sometimes we become so immersed in our own worlds its important to look up and see whats coming next.

The only certainty is change and there is plenty more of that coming.

Here’s our 6 year old totally in her own world playing Virtual Reality games.

Leadership tip of the week

Why personal fulfilment leads to greater business success (and greater purpose in your work).

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Upcoming Adventures

March 6 - 10 - Courmayeur, Italy

March 13 - Thrive Workshop, London

March 15-16 - Leadership Workshop, Northumberland

March 18 - Keynote London

March 21 - Keynote London

April 10 - Thrive Workshop, London

April 12-14 - Keynote, South Africa

Wow! His story was inspiring. Delivered with great passion, humility and openness.
He captured the imagination of the audience, and translated his journey into a series of credible and recognisable business messages. Absolute pleasure to listen him and to learn from him
— Mike Blackburn OBE

Are you getting enough?

From the Desk of Caspar

Are you getting enough?

How many hours sleep do you get?

“The number of people who can survive on 6 hours sleep or less and feel no ill effect rounded to a whole number and expressed as a percentage is precisely zero”

That's from Professor Matthew Walker from his brilliant book “Why We Sleep” {highly recommended}

There was a time when I was a so called sleep warrior surviving on 6-7 hours a night. I’m now a good 7-8.

The ideal target that science is showing is between 7 and 9 hours.

What’s your number?

Tip: Are you managing your sleep? Better sleep = Better performance.

In the Spotlight

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In the spotlight this week was Nichola Craven interviewed on BBC Radio Oxford talking about the impact of Brexit on business.

“Where The Magic Happens” was profiled as one of the “must read books” for 2019 by US based Practical Sailor Magazine. Here’s what they had to say:

“You find yourself in the middle of a promising career, with three kids, a mortgage, and another 30 years of work ahead before retirement, and the questions inevitably arise.

Is this all there is?

And if there is more, how the heck do we get off this train?

Craven combines an around the world travelogue with an insightful how-to guide for a family hoping to escape the gravity of the “normal” life.

A great read for the young family needing concrete advice.

Not read it?

Get the first chapter free here.

It’s also been a busy fortnight with 7 different speaking engagements - Matthew Siddell captured the sentiment at one in London with words and images right here.

Be a Better Leader

Why Leaders are overrated

Leadership tip of the week inspired by the gladiators at the Colosseum in Rome whilst dodging photobombers!

PS. If you like this, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight

Thought for the Day

There are few greater gifts that you can give yourself than space to think, pen and paper.

My wish for you today.

Find 10 minutes. Switch off your devices. Get pen and paper. Write. Think.

Enjoy the silence.

One tip to save you time

Who else has a backlog of books and audio books to read?

Here’s a shortcut.

Search for podcasts where the author is interviewed about the book.

You’ll get many of the key points in a dialogue rather than a monologue which I personally find easier to digest.

My latest one: the insanely brilliant Professor Matthew Walker on why we sleep in a 2 hour Joe Rogan interview.

Upcoming Adventures

February 6 - Keynote, Ascot

February 7 - Leadership Workshop, London

February 11-13 - Thrive Money 3 Day Summit

February 16-23 - San Francisco

February 27 - Thrive Workshop - Reading

February 28 - All Day Event - London

Caspar is a consummate professional and one of the safest pair of hands on the speaking circuit. He did a superb job at our annual awards for 470 of the small business and investment community. An insightful, genuine and inspirational storyteller that was bang on message for the evening.
— Guy Tolhurst - Small Business Champion, mentor and leading practitioner on SME and Alternative Investment

What's Next?

From the Desk of Caspar

The Next Mountain

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"There is always another mountain to climb"

One of the most common questions I get at talks is what do you do after you've had "the adventure of a life time".

My answer is simple.

It was never the adventure of a lifetime.

It was a stepping stone.

There is always something beyond.

There is always another mountain to climb, an ocean to sail, a business to build, a mission to take on.

We are not designed to stand still.

We are designed to take on challenges. To struggle. To fail. To learn. To keep moving forwards.

What's your next mountain?

Tip: We all need a goal to be striving towards. It’s the struggle that we learn from and shapes our character.

In the Spotlight

Super fun interview with Hala Taha on the Young and Profitable podcast this week sharing stories around how clear values and better collaboration can improve you personal and professional lives.

And great to be one of the entrepreneurs featured in the guide published by the Supper Club - “The Exit Journey: Preparing for Scale, Sale, and Beyond” where founders share stories and insights on how they’ve built and sold their businesses.

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Refuse to accept Mediocrity

This is perhaps one of the most powerful interviews I've watched in a long time.

David Goggins has gone to lengths virtually all of us would find unthinkable.

How he describes his mindset and approach is truly fascinating.

(strong language warning too)

Tip: Always be learning and find people who you can model and learn from.

Don’t Miss The Boat

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Unless we said we were leaving on a boat on August 1st 2014, we would have found reasons to delay. And we'd still be living the same life we were before.

On Feb 11, 12 and 13 we will be sharing the ideas and strategies we used to create multiple successful ventures that created the money that we didn't have before.

If money stands in the way of your dreams, you need to be at this event.

Don't miss the boat.

Secure your place here.

Tip: Nothing ever happens without a deadline. What deadlines do you have in your world?

Be a Better Leader

Remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint (and a touch of humour too)

PS. If you like this, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight.

Thought for the Day

"We only have one life. Make yours a masterpiece."

Upcoming Adventures

January 23 - Keynote, Cambridge

January 24 - 2 Keynotes, London

January 26 - Keynote, Oxford

February 1 - Keynote, Rome

February 5 - Keynote, Edinburgh

February 6 - Keynote, Ascot

February 7 - Leadership Workshop, London

February 11-13 - Thrive Money 3 Day Summit

There is no greater reward for what I do now than getting messages like this. This was an email from a Primary School HeadMaster in the Middlesborough area ..

”Caspar, I was with you yesterday morning, and would just like to see how inspired I was by your story and how you drew so many valuable lessons for us all from it.

Your book has landed on my desk (Amazon Prime is a great thing) and I spent time last night sharing your story with my wife and children. There are so many metaphors for professional life, but what chimes most with me is that we have one life and we need to seize all opportunities to make it wonderful for ourselves and family.
Thank you.”

What's your Story?

From the Desk of Caspar

What’s your Story?

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Last night I was reading a bedtime story (it was the Royal Rabbits of London) to our 6 year old.

I was as engaged with the adventures of the rabbit Shylo as she was, wanting to learn about his character, his ups and his downs, and the mission he was on.

I reflect.

What is it about the power of a story that engages us all?

From our earliest years we are taught through the power of story.

It’s innate to all of us.

It’s an easy and engaging way to take on information.

If done well, its exciting and creates the space for powerful messages to enter and stay in our minds.

So, if story telling is so powerful, why don’t we do more of it in all areas of our lives?

Maybe because we don’t give it the time, attention or importance that it needs?

Here’s 4 areas where I believe you can fundamentally influence your world by using the power of story.

Create your own personal story.

Create your relationship story.

Create your family story.

Create your business or mission story.

A story. Simply told. Stays in your mind (and that of others).

And if its powerful enough, can quite literally change the direction of your life.

Creating a story is something we can all do.

But so often we don’t.

Why not start 2019 with a blank sheet of paper. Create, craft and weave the story that excites you (and those in the teams around you). And then go create it.

(and if you want to put rocket fuel into your stories, we literally have some of the best story tellers you are likely to meet running sessions at the Thrive Money Summit in London - details later in this email)

Tip: Creating a story in all areas of your life that guides, direct and influences you could be the most powerful you ever do (it was for us).

In the Spotlight

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Over the New Year period, it’s been lovely to see our book Where the Magic Happens appearing on so many reading lists and review of the year lists (like this one from Dylan Brits in Cape Town along with 10 things he learnt in 2018).

It’s been a busy period recording podcasts too - here’s three of the latest where Caspar had been featured over the past week or so.

On the 3 Blind Mice Podcast, top speaking agent Maria Franzoni showcases 3 of her top speakers.

Former MD of L’Oreal, Minter Dial interviewed Caspar for the second time on his podcast (the first time was 6 years ago)

And the final one is on the Work Hard Play Hard podcast talking about how to put family first in business.

Process Wins

How do you achieve what you want - in business, in life?

It’s not creating a unique idea.

It’s not being the smartest person in the room.

It’s not being the best business mind.

It’s not being the most confident person.

It is being totally clear on what your goal is.

And then creating a process so that you put one foot in front of the other every day to move forward even when you don’t want to.

Tip: Get someone in your team (family and business) who owns the process of making things happen. It’s the only way to create sustainable growth.

…Might kill the boss…

Just one of the lines that stands out to me from this incredible documentary about Sir Richard Branson.

Here's the insanely cool bit about this.

The marketing genius behind Sir Richard's exploits was none other than Chris Moss.

Chris will delivering a keynote at our Thrive Money event on Feb 11, 12 and 13 on how entrepreneurs can disrupt and challenge their markets.

The insights and ideas that Chris has changed industries.

Watch the full documentary on Netflix (it's called Don't Look Down) to see what Chris did with Virgin.

Want to meet Chris and hear his ideas for your business?

Thrive Money Summit is the place to be.

Ticket prices go up soon.

Watch the Trailer here…

Secure Your Place here.

Tip: Learn from the best. Surround yourself with the smartest people you can.

Be a Better Leader

Why you won’t achieve your new years resolutions (and what to do about it)

PS. If you like this, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight.

Thought for the Day

"Replace the joy of being right with the joy of learning what's true."

- Ray Dalio

Upcoming Adventures

January 9 - Keynote, London

January 10 - Keynote, London

January 14 - Thrive Workshop, London

January 15 - Keynote, Newcastle

January 16 - Keynote, London

January 17 - Keynote, London

January 22 - Keynote, London

January 23 - Keynote, Cambridge

January 24 - Keynote London

January 26 - Keynote, Oxford

February 1 - Keynote, Rome

February 5 - Keynote, Edinburgh

It is my privilege to commend Caspar Craven as an inspirational speaker.

I oversee the School of PiXL Leadership and Caspar led our 50 delegates and 12 Leadership Coaches on our Flagship ‘Exceptional Headteacher’ Programme.

In our conference Caspar helped us find how we become awesome, how to become exceptional. For our group this means daring to change, to take risks, to be bold, to embrace both success and failure.

What a way to end our residential Conference to be enthused and inspired by Caspar Craven, sending us off with a spring in our step and a determination to be the best Leader we can be!
— Jeff Dawkins School of PiXL Leadership

Happy Holidays

From the Desk of Caspar

Make the most of the time off

The holiday period is the perfect time to think about this idea...

If you don’t know where you are going, you will end up somewhere else.

I’ve seen many people carefully plan their 4-5 weeks of holiday way more than their other 47/48 weeks of the year.

So instead of being guided by their own plans, they often flounder for lack of clear direction or purpose.

Your best chance of ending up where you would love to be is to know precisely where you are going.

Take some time over the holiday period and ask this question:

What's truly important to me and my family.

Create an exciting shared story.

Then (and only then) start trying to figure out how to do it. One piece at a time.

Have a wonderful Christmas and thank you to everyone who’s connected with me, watched, liked, commented on and shared my ideas and videos.

To an amazing 2019 for you.

Tip: Take the time over the holidays to ask what’s truly important to you and your loved ones.

In the Spotlight

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My last event of 2018 was a literary event where I find myself signing books next to legendary BBC World Affairs Editor and Author John Simpson (he was launching his latest book Moscow Midnight).

Having read several of his books over the years, it was a real treat to meet and chat with him and to then sign my final book for him.

Also this week, loved being featured in the Guardian talking about the power of telling stories to make you and your business famous.

An Undervalued Quality

Persistence

How many of you have this as one of your top 5 qualities/ values?

I think it’s one that’s often overlooked.

John Harrison, a clock maker solved the greatest scientific problem of his time.

His H3 clock took him 20 years to create/ build.

How many of us would have given way to self doubt, procrastination and tried something else.

The power of persistence is truly remarkable.

The same way that water cuts through rock given enough time.

In an increasingly instant world, it’s worth remembering the power of persistence.

(The problem he solved was that of Longitude. Figuring out where we are in the world)

What does it take to Thrive?

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The full agenda for the Thrive Money Summit has now been released and is at www.thrivemoneysummit.com

We have some amazing people joining us who have made the decision to make 2019 the year that things fundamentally shift for them.

If you are craving more from life and money is standing in your way, then this event will be a life changing moment for you.

Secure your place here

Be a Better Leader

One simple idea over the festive period.

PS. If you like these, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight.

Thought for the Day

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.

- Nietzsche

Upcoming Adventures

January 8 - Coaching Day, London

January 9 - Keynote London

January 10 - Coaching Day, London

January 14 - Thrive Workshop, London

January 15 - Keynote, Newcastle

January 16 - Keynote, London

January 17 - Keynote, London

January 22 - Keynote, London

January 23 - Keynote, Cambridge

January 24 - Keynote London

January 26 - Keynote, Oxford

Caspar gave a fantastic speech at a recent Eagle Radio business event we hosted. Not only was his story inspirational and exhilarating, but it was also a great lesson in the importance of strong leadership through delegation and teamwork. Thank you Caspar!
— Beverley Hunter, Radio Presenter at Eagle Radio

Stories from the High Street

From the Desk of Caspar

Imagine for one moment you run a restaurant.

You want to grow sales and margin.What do you do?

Here’s one smart strategy.

Invite all the 6 year olds from the local primary school to come and learn how to make a healthy meal.

Give them an amazing experience.Give them a branded apron. And a letter for the parents with a voucher for a free child meal.

All run in the morning when they have no customers anyway.

Genius.

Of course this level of thinking isn’t just for restaurant owners.

It’s for anyone in business.

Be creative. Be bold.

(and we have little chance now of walking past Wagamamas without our 6 year old saying I want to go there)

Tip: Take ideas from different places. Be creative. Be bold. And have some fun too.

In the Spotlight

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I spent time this week with Ben Saunders - the polar explorer best known for leading the first ever return journey to the South Pole on foot via Shackleton and Scott's route in 2013–14.

Watch Ben’s TED talk on the power of stepping away from what is familiar and comfortable.

Tip: Magic happens where you step outside your comfort zone and embrace change and uncertainty.

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It's a fact. Millions of us are working harder than ever. For less money. And feeling less fulfilled.

And that's why we have created the Thrive: Money Summit event in London this February.

What will we cover in 3 days?

👉 Day 1 - "How To"

Day 1 is super practical. It will be completely dedicated to specific strategy and tactics for building an extraordinary business.

This is the “How To” day.

We’ll be diving into actionable things you can do to shape a fast growth business.

It will be packed with examples, stories and specific blueprints which you can implement immediately in your business.

And as an extra bonus, we are bringing in an amazing speaker from the world of media who will give you ideas and tactics to make your business famous.

You will leave Day 1 with an array of proven strategies and tactics any one of which can transform your business.

You simply pick your favourite ones and go and make them happen.

👉 Day 2 - “Why” (for you and those around you)

Day 2 is all about finding the driving forces behind you, your relationships, your family and your business.

One of the biggest myths in life and business.

Is that we are encouraged to know and follow our passions.

This does NOT happen by accident.

It happens deliberately, specifically and strategically.

We will take you through the “Craven Technique” that will give you more insight than you’ve ever had into what really drives you and your teams.

We will wrap Day 2 up with an evening of fun and entertainment.

👉 Day 3 - "We and Who - Creating the Team"

This is all about bringing the WE together.

It’s making it fun. It’s creating the engagement with the people who will make your goals happen.

It’s all about integrating and pulling everything in Day 1 and Day 2 together.

AND we will have a guest speaker who will blow your mind. The only person

I know to have built 3 separate Billion pound businesses. No that wasn’t a typo. It was B for Billion, not M for Million. The strategies, tactics, insights and fun you will get from this session alone are just awesome.

If you don’t leave here fired up and ready to make 2019 and beyond the best year you have ever had, we’ll give you your money back.

So, really there is no risk for you here.

All you have to do is carve out 3 life changing days in your diary.

Feb 11, 12 and 13 Central London

Secure your place now to get the early bird rate which ends this Thursday and before tickets sell out.

Secure your place now

Tip: Make 2019 your best year yet.

We are half way through the Autonomy online training course for our Beta Group. Our first group are giving us great feedback on how much they are enjoying the course and what they are getting from it.

On last week's online training course, we talked about shaping the culture in the team. Ways not to do it and some things you really want to do.

This Forbes article picks up on things you want to do and is a great read.

Be a Better Leader

Always leave people in a better place than when you arrived.

A powerful story about the impact (and choices) we all make about how we show up in the world.

PS. If you like this, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight.

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Last Minute Christmas Shopping

Our book, Where the Magic Happens has been appearing in the media as one of the books you’ll want to read this season.

Who do you know who’d appreciate some inspiration and ideas for Christmas?

You can order the Hardback, Audio or Kindle version all from here

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Upcoming Adventures

December 13 - Thrive Workshop, Surrey

December 14 - Coaching Day, London

December 15 - Literary Event/ Book Signing - Oxford

December 19 - Training Event - London

January 8 - Keynote London

January 9 - Keynote London

January 10 - Coaching Day, London

January 14 - Thrive Workshop, London

January 15 - Keynote, Newcastle

January 16 - Keynote, London

January 17 - Keynote, London

January 22 - Keynote, London

January 23 - Keynote, Cambridge

January 24 - Keynote London

January 26 - Keynote, Oxford

I recently engaged Caspar to speak at our Datacore Sales Kick-off in Malta. Caspar did an excellent job engaging the entire team. It was a tough audience consisting of 85 Sales people from 9 countries with the majority not having English as their first language. The feedback from the team was overwhelmingly positive. Caspar provides a balance of practical advice and inspiration, the delivery is authentic and entertaining. I highly recommend Caspar.
— Amanda Bedborough - Senior Vice President, Operations EMEA at DataCore Software

It's not all about the price

From the Desk of Caspar

Why would you choose to compete on price?

So my wife got a new hair dryer last week.

Hair dryers. Not something I know a huge amount about (despite having big hair).

I assumed it was a commodity product differentiated only on price.

Not this bad boy.

This one is roughly 3 x the price of your usual hair dryer (and could be more than that).

How has James Dyson managed to change the hair dryer market?

By approaching it differently to just about everybody else.

By selling something different.

By making it about the experience.

If Dyson can do that with hair dryers what could you do to create something in your business that can sell for 3x the rest of the market?

Once you truly grapple with and get this level of thinking in your business you have the seeds of a business that is capable of running without you.

Tip: If you want an extraordinary business, one where you are NOT seen as a commodity interchangeable on price alone, then you need to shift the thinking in your business (see the link for our upcoming 3 day Thrive: Money event).

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In the Spotlight

It’s been a crazy few weeks of travel to Turkey, Greece and around the UK. One of the more memorable moments was to be talking about leadership and resilience at the British Embassy in Athens on the day that Britain shared it’s Brexit plans!

Hover Motorbikes

I can't think of a more exciting time to be alive: so many innovations in so many fields.

Just been watching this - hover motorbikes being trialled and autonomous flying taxis. Mind boggling stuff.

A brief story about belief...

It’s about an organisation called PiXL.

Some years ago a head teacher retired.

He was asked to help with 19 struggling schools.

12-18 months later the trajectory of schools was fundamentally changing.

He was asked to work with a further 35 schools.

All Government funded.

Same outcome: thriving schools.

Government funding dried up.

The head teacher was asked by the schools to carry on and they would find a way to fund him and the work.

That organisation now works with some 2000 schools in the U.K.

The head teacher is Sir John Rowling.

I had the honour of sharing stories with Sir John and 150 of those school leaders today.

I had the pleasure of half an hour chatting to Sir John before and after my talk today.

I also asked what was the single most important thing he did to transform schools.

Anyone guess what he said?

It was all around Belief.

Getting your team to believe they can be more, to be better.

Tip: What can you do to make your teams believe? Build on the things they already do well.

Surviving to Thriving

We are running a day event on February 11, 12 and 13 on how How to create a business that can run without you so that you can thrive with your own life changing experiences.

You will not want to miss this event if you can identify with any of these issues:

You feel you are doing everything on your own and aren’t earning enough money

You have a lack of belief or You don’t know to make it happen

You know your business model is broken - you are seen as an interchangeable commodity.

As with everything in life, you have options:

Do nothing and “hope” it gets better

Be Brave (both in business and life) and find a path through.

We’d like to be your guides and steer you through a path that will set your ideas and thoughts in a direction to creating a life where you are truly living on your own terms.

In a years time, you will be somewhere. The ONLY question is where that somewhere will be.

Find out more here.

Be a Better Leader

One simple thing you can do today

Don't wait for things to go wrong before you look to do things differently, look at everything with 'fresh eyes'.

PS. If you like this, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight.

Thought for the Day

Don’t wait for perfect. It will always keep you waiting.

Gaining Clarity

Working too hard.Earning too little?

That was the brutally frank conversation I had to have with all the team in my business.

Everyone knew it. No-one was saying it. Someone had to call it out.

And then figure out a way to do something about it.

The WORST part was living in denial.

Pretending it wasn't happening.

It was the same conversation at home. Or rather the lack of the conversation around it.

Be honest... Who else feels like that?

Working too hard AND Earning too little.

The **answer** I tried for a long time was piling on new things.

New ideas. New initiatives. New projects.

What happened? I got overwhelmed.

Worked harder. Nothing changed.

I banged my head on that brick wall for a LONG time.

The eventual answer was Counter-Intuitive. It started by taking things out.

What space can I create? To think. To learn. To get clarity.

To come up with better strategies for moving forwards in life and business.

SO... One simple action.

What can you stop doing today that will free up more time for you to get greater clarity on where to go from here?

Just one thing. What is it going to be?

Upcoming Adventures and Events

December 3 - Surviving to Thriving Workshop

December 5 - Autonomy Program, London

December 7 - Keynote, London

December 12 - Coaching Day, London

December 13 - Thrive Workshop, Surrey

December 14 - Coaching Day, London

December 15 - Literary Event/ Book Signing - Oxford

December 19 - Training Event - London

What started out as an interesting story about making a life-changing decision to sail around the world with a young family turned into something much deeper for our team. People opened up to him about their own families and goals, their hopes and fears, and the light bulb went off: our personal values and purpose aren’t necessarily separate from those of our organization—in fact, they should be complementary. If not, the notion of a satisfying professional and personal life will remain elusive.
— Gavin Geminder - National Sector Leader, Private Equity, KPMG USA

Who needs some magic?

From the Desk of Caspar

Be More Sherlock

What can you learn by watching what you do?

Once in a while.

Just stand back and watch what you do.

Don’t think. Just watch and observe.

What do you tend towards?

What always gets done?

What doesn’t get done.

How do you fill your most productive hours in the day or night?

We so often fill our lives with ***shoulds***.

Where you spend your time naturally is quite a good clue as to what you might be doing more of and playing more to your strengths.

**said he after putting off writing the next presentation for the past hour to speak to people and write copy**.

Tip: Be more Sherlock. Look for the clues in your work and life. They are already pointing you towards what you most want to do.

In The Spotlight

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One of the core themes I talk about is applying business leadership principles at home. And using family principles in business.

Thrive in Family to Thrive in Business.

Thrive in Business to Thrive in Family.

This was a message that I shared in this Keynote at the Investor Growth Awards in London last week.

The Founder of the Awards, Guy Tolhurst is doing a brilliant role championing the role of investors to make sure that more attention is paid to this important area and specifically around mental health.

(... and on a personal note, I loved sharing supper and being intro'd on stage by MC Claudia Winkleman and following in the footsteps of Lord Bilamoria, founder of Cobra Beer who previously keynoted this event.)

How do you free climb 3,000 feet?

One of the big things with creating your goals is seeing it in your mind before it happens.

Those who’ve been on our training programs or past courses will already by familiar with the "Theatre of the Mind" exercise. It’s a specific approach to rehearse the future.

This TED talk provides a brilliant insight into the use of this technique with free climber Alex Honnold talking about his 7 years of preparation for the biggest free climb (no ropes) in the world.

The climbing material will have you on the edge of your seats.

The mental preparation is something we all can and should be using.

There are no overnight successes.

Just lots of preparation, clarity of focus and hard work to get there.

Always be learning.

Fired up by my 11 year old son’s fascination with drones I'm seeing them everywhere now.

Here's a great article on what drone technology can learn from wasps »

One of the biggest things to shift my business was learnings definitely outside my sector.

Being exposed to a wide range of ideas and inspiration and applying them to your world is SO powerful.

Tip: What ideas can you take from outside your sector to create breakthrough thinking?

Who needs some magic?

A slew of book reviews this week including my two favourite being on the recommended Christmas list in the RNLI Magazine, and Professional Marketing Magazine.

Here’s what Simon Slater, CEO of City Law Firm Pemberton Greenish had to say:

“This is a book about the human spirit.

Why review this book in PM (Professional Marketing) Magazine?

Simple: it is an analogy for business"

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Who do you know who’d love to unwrap some business and life inspiration as a Christmas Gift?

You can get the book right here.

Be a Better Leader

The heart of leadership

Leadership isn’t a title. It isn’t something you are awarded. It’s something you simply demonstrate and this one simple tip is right at the heart of being a great leader.

PS. If you like this, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight.

Thought for the day

No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars.

Or sailed to an uncharted land.

Or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.

- Helen Keller

Upcoming Adventures

November 14 - Keynote, Athens

November 15 - Keynote, Athens

November 16 - Keynote, Istanbul

November 22 - Keynote, Wales

November 23 - Coaching Leaders, London

November 27 - Keynote, Guildford

December 5 - Autonomy Program, London

December 13 - Thrive Workshop, Surrey

It’s a great story and the book is really, really good. I was so impressed. It’s brilliant.
— Steve Wright, BBC Radio 2

How do you deal with criticism?

From the Desk of Caspar

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Withering or Flourishing?

At the start of 2018, my son was in his vegetable allotment several days a week.

Planting seeds, weeding, nurturing, pouring his heart and soul into his seedlings.

That continued through the spring and early summer.

In summer, he got frustrated as he couldn't find time, juggling exams and the allotment became overgrown with weeds

His head dropped. He got frustrated and by late summer he'd barely visit.

Yesterday. We went together to the allotment.

What we discovered took him by surprise.

He saw the tomatoes first.

They had flourished but because of the lack of time and attention they had withered on the vine.

A completely lost crop.

He then saw the rest of the allotment.

Much had flourished.

Rhubarb, beetroot, runner beans & carrots.

He was lucky.

Another month of neglect & that crop would likely have been wasted too.

Isn't this just life your business and your life

Everything in fact.

We start off with brilliant intentions & provide the sunshine, the water & the nurturing to let things flourish.

We then get distracted with life & other things come up.

We take our eye off the ball.

Things get neglected.

The hard work goes to waste & it withers on the vine.

In YOUR business & life.

What are you neglecting?

Tip: Make sure you are covering all the areas in your life. So often we over focus on one area to the detriment of others.

In the Spotlight

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Following in the footsteps of Tim Ferris, Gary Vaynerchuk and Seth Godin I was interviewed by Tom Bilyeu on his US show Impact Theory.

We discuss:

Intentional living

Building a business that can run without you

Breakthrough thinking

Dealing with failure

Relentless action

And so much more.

Tom is so brilliantly prepared and had read the book in so much detail that we could really drill down to some powerful messages.

That and his summing up at 40 minutes and 42 seconds left me speechless (which is rare).

One Simple Idea

Unfollow all the people and pages on Facebook/ Twitter {insert social network of choice} who make you feel negative, or where you end up spending loads of time and it doesn't move you forwards.

Promise it will make you feel better.

(Roughly a year ago I did a mass unfollow of sites and people who for me overly post negative views and political posts: made my world a lot happier AND productive.)

Trailblazers

We closed the doors last week on the Beta launch of our program Autonomy and over the next 3 months will be working with a brilliant group of entrepreneurs to help them make transformations in their businesses and lives so they can remove the roadblocks to doing what is truly important to them in their lives.

We’ll be sharing stories over the coming months and details of the 3 day event we’ll be running on February 11, 12 and 13 in London where as well as doing a deep dive into Autonomy, we’ll also be having some brilliant guest speakers sharing their expertise.

You can now pre-register your interest for when we launch Autonomy next year:

Join the Waitlist

Do you Trust Yourself?

As in really truly back yourself?

A short story.

Before we left the UK on our sailing adventure, we only had 10 weeks to get our boat ready.

Was everything perfect?

Hell, no.

There were a million things going on. It was messy. Crazy.

Handing over the running of 3 biz. Renting our house. Packing the boat. Safety checks. Managing 3 kids.

If we had waited for perfect, we would NEVER have left.

We trusted ourselves.

We backed ourselves to figure out the answer to whatever came up.

If you are waiting for things to be perfect before you start, you will always be waiting.

"I'll do this WHEN this happens".

The Truth.

There is NEVER a good time.

Only NOW.

Regret is heavy. We only get one shot at this thing called life.

Work out what is truly important to you and your team.

Be Brave.

Grab hold of it.

Trust yourself. Back yourself and your team.

Tip: Trust yourself. Work out whats really important to you and your team. And go for it.

Be a Better Leader

How do you deal with criticism?

“So when people told us all the reasons that we couldn't do it, sometimes those reasons come across so powerfully they sound like facts.

But they're just opinions.

And it's really important to remember that distinction. That they are only opinions.”

PS. If you like this, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight.

Thought for the day

Perfection is the enemy of progress.

Don't overthink.

Do your best and then get moving.

Upcoming Adventures

November 1 - Keynote, London

November 2 - Keynote, Oxford.

November 6 - Leadership Workshop, London

November 7 - Keynote, London

November 14 - Keynote, Athens

November 15 - Keynote, Athens

November 16 - Keynote, Istanbul

November 22 - Keynote, Wales

November 27 - Keynote, Guildford

Where the magic happens…for your business!
Our business is like a family and we were keen to make sure that we were building a business that not was not only great for our customers and was operationally healthy but that also supported our employees and associates to live their lives they wanted. We asked Caspar to help us with this challenge – taking the essence of where the magic happens and applying to our business. The result was one of the most amazing, productive and I have to confess emotional development sessions in my 22 year career. The result of carefully listening to each other’s personal (and extended family) needs, we were able to pick out the things that out business needed to do to support us all – there were the words you would expect such as flexibility, profitability, learning but there were unexpected moments of magic such as creativity, nurturing, mental and physical health. From this built we have built a three year vision statement which we all believe in and that embraces both our professional and personal ambitions. A unique experience and massive thanks to Caspar for his insight, guidance and patience.
— Helen Curtis - Managing Director Coterie Marketing

Two men and a lion

From the desk of Caspar

A short story about 2 men and a lion...

2 friends are driving through a game reserve in South Africa seeing the lions.

The car breaks down.

There is a lion close by.

They wait for a day to see if someone will report them missing and rescue them.

No one comes.

They are getting hungry and thirsty.

They get to the point where they decide they have to walk to the nearest lodge.

One of the men takes his shoes off and starts to lace up a pair of running shoes.

The other man laughs.

What are you doing that for?

You are never going to outrun a lion.

To which he replies: "Mate. I don’t have to out run a lion. I only have to out run you."

Tip: In your business, you have to be learning and implementing FASTER than your competitors. What are you doing to learn and stay ahead?

In the Spotlight

It’s been a busy week of speaking events. One of my favourites was speaking at an organisation consistently voted one of the best places to work in England.

Here’s what their Head of Communications and Engagement said afterwards:

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In amongst a very busy few weeks, I’m feeling very honoured to be taking the main stage at the Professional Speaking Association annual event, Inspire 2018 in Nottingham.

It’s one thing to be standing on stages. It’s another in front of your peers who are perhaps the toughest audience! I’ll be sharing stories on how to turn family stories into powerful business insights.

Tip: Always find a way to push yourself outside your comfort zone. It’s almost always where we learn and grow the most.

Who do you sell to?

I’ve been reading a brilliant book, Unsexy Business this week by my friend Jamie Waller. The book shares stories from 12 entrepreneurs who have grown and sold businesses in ordinary sectors and yet they have transformed their businesses into extraordinary businesses.

One of the stories comes from Lara Morgan who made a fortune selling mini bottles of shampoo to hotels. She made the choice to transform her business by changing WHO she sold to. This meant cutting away over 50% of her existing customers to make the transition.

We had to do a similar thing in my last business when we transitioned from being an ordinary business to an extraordinary business.

Changing WHO you sell to is one of the 6 strategies you can use to transform your business into an extraordinary business.

Tip: If you want extraordinary results, you need to challenge industry norms and do things differently to most people.

What Crabs Can Teach Us

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In my teens, I was a commercial fisherman.

I ran a boat catching and selling crabs. (I had a lot of jokes about that).

You may not know this but every few years, a crab sheds it’s shell.

It’s outgrown the hard shell.

It needs to shed that shell.

Underneath that hard shell is a soft shell which takes time to harden up.

It does of course and the crab grows into it until it the next time it needs to shed it’s shell and grow again.

I’ll get to the point. The shell that we all have is the identity and story we carry about ourselves. Now.

Do you have the same story and identity you had 20 years ago?

Or have you shed a shell or two and grown?

A personal story: In 2012 I had to shed a shell. We’d made a decision to sail round the world.

I’d asked myself the question “How do I create a business that can run without me”

That question really challenged me. Why?

Because I had to break out of my world as an entrepreneur who was good at

Marketing and Finance.

It meant I needed to develop new skills.

AND most importantly a NEW STORY of who I was. I had to let go of old labels. And create new ones.

That was both scary and empowering.

Looking back.

Without questions. The best business decision I have ever made.

To shed one shell and grow into another one.

If you are ready to shed your shell and grow into the next one.

Come and join us in our free Facebook Group.

I’ve got your back.

I know what it takes to help shed that shell and turn soft shell into hard shell.

If you are ready to take the next step, come join us

Tip: When you are ready to grow, make sure you have the right team around you who have your back.

Be a Better Leader

A single lesson from one of the UK’s best workplaces

Today’s leadership tip of the week is filmed inside the offices of an organisation voted one of the best places to work in the UK.

PS. If you like this, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight.

Thought for the Day

Make your life an extraordinary masterpiece. No-one else will.

Upcoming Adventures

October 4 - Thrive Workshop, Manchester

October 5,6,7 - Keynote Speaker, Nottingham

October 18 - Thrive Workshop, London

October 23, 24 - Workshop, London

October 30 - Keynote, London

November 2 - Keynote, Oxford

November 6 - Leadership Workshop, London

November 14 - Keynote, Athens

We recently invited Caspar Craven to speak at the annual user conference for my company, Kareo. Caspar shared the lessons he learned through building a successful business while preparing for an extraordinarily audacious goal to sail around the world with his wife and three young children. It was an inspiring, uplifting, and enriching speech about leadership and life that made a profound impression on our customers, employees, and me. As a member of YPO, an international CEO organization, I’ve had the opportunity to hear many amazing speakers over the years and I think Caspar is among the best I’ve seen. I’m a big fan of Caspar and enthusiastically recommend him to leaders in business and community that want to create a unique and powerful experience at their next event.
— Dan Rodrigues - Founder and CEO, Kareo

Surround yourself with people smarter than you.

I'm a great believer that the best way to grow and move ahead is to surround yourself with the smartest people that you can playing at the highest level.

Last night, was one such time. I felt very privileged to be part of a "Meet the Speaker" event run by Maria Franzoni and her brilliant team to meet both her clients and other top speakers like Mark Stevenson, Penny Mallory Jamil Qureshi , Kevin Gaskell, Amy Brann and Beau Lotto.

I can't think of many better ways to spend your time than to be talking and sharing stories with so many interesting and inspiring people. And to be part of this cracking magazine with stories and insights.

Maria and I recently recorded a podcast. You can listen to this here.

And for speaker bookings, you can go here.

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We held a 3-day conference in California with Caspar as the closing motivational speaker. Having Caspar there sharing stories and applying those lessons to the business world was truly magical.
— Michelle Kilgore - Event Manager

How to create a business that can run without you

From the Desk of Caspar

A short story from last weekend...

Black, Grey or White?

A thought / reflection occurred to me.

I’m sharing as it may be helpful to you too.

Your time. Is it black, white or grey?

What do I mean by that? It’s about clarity of thought.

Black time is where you are 100% focused on the mission/ work task in hand. Distractions are removed. Your attention is laser focused.

White time is where you are 100% focused on family, yourself, being 100% present with whoever you are with.

Grey time is where you juggle the two and do neither particularly well.

It’s endemic as our iPhones travel everywhere with us. Work seeps into family life. Family seeps into work life. Neither gets done particularly well.

Am I perfect at this? No.

Am I half good at this? No.

Is this a note to myself as much as sharing the idea? Absolutely Yes.

My wife reminded me of this earlier. Her words: "I’m spending the day with the girls."

I’m not working. I’m being present.

We all need the reminders as it happens by osmosis as it’s all around us.

And with that…

I spent the rest of the weekend with my son and going fishing.

Have a spectacular black or white day. Not a grey one.

Tip: whatever you are doing, be 100% present. Switch off distractions.

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In the Spotlight

We ran our latest 2-day Thrive workshop last week for a brilliant group of entrepreneurs all hungry to create the business that can run without them.

Here’s what Charlotte, one of our attendees had to say about it.

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Challenging Industry Norms

Why Ford Cars are challenging “industry norms” aka Turning an ordinary business into an extraordinary business

Ford Cars announced this week they are launching their new electric vehicle.

Not at a car fair, but at a gaming event.

This is smart. Very smart.

I’m certain that it will have caused hours of internal debate at Ford.

Why?

Because it’s challenging an “industry norm”

As in, “this is the way we do things”

What did they change?

They changed WHERE they launch / sell.

They will have zero competition and therefore a significantly increased chance to get mindshare and affinity with a very distinct group of customers.

It’s just one of the 6 strategies that you can follow to turn an ordinary business into an extraordinary business.

And if you want to create a business that can run without you, the first step is to turn it from an ordinary business to an extraordinary business.

Tip: If you want extraordinary results, you need to challenge industry norms and do things differently to most people.

Upcoming Webinar

How to build a business that can run without you

We’re running this online workshop next Wednesday 26th September, 8pm.

This is what this isn’t…

A story on how to run a business from a laptop sitting with a view of the beach.

Did that in 2005.

Here's what it means…

Being connected to your laptop for 8 hours a day but just in a different location.

That is NOT a business that can run without you. It's a job.

Just in a nicer location.

Neither is a business where you can only afford to take 2 weeks holiday at a time,

We're talking a business that can truly run without you.

We sailed round the world for 2 years and I promise we were not tied to laptops.

How you approach building this type of business is fundamentally different.

Want the shortcuts?

Register here to join us.

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Be a Better Leader

Why “Hustle” is a terrible idea

Today’s leadership tip of the week challenges what many thought leaders are telling us to do.

PS. If you like this, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight.

Thought for the Day

One year from now you will be somewhere.

The only question is who gets to decide where you will be?

Why not take control and make the conscious choice?

And then make it happen.

Upcoming Adventures

September 20 - Book Event, London

September 22 -23 - Speaking Event, London

September 26 - Online Workshop: How to build a business that can run without you.

September 27 - Keynote, London

September 29 - Keynote Speaker, Southampton

October 4 - Thrive Workshop, Manchester

October 5,6,7 - Keynote Speaker, Nottingham

October 18 - Thrive Workshop, London

October 23, 24 - Workshop, London

October 25 - November 1 - San Francisco

November 2 - Keynote, Oxford.

Caspar’s ability to break the ice, catch and keep the audience’s attention throughout the speech was magnificent
— Vadims Koroļovs - Finance Director

Back to School

From the Desk of Caspar

I feel a collective sigh of relief across many of my friends. They’ve had an amazing summer with the family. And now kids are heading back to school. 

New school uniforms. Shoes cleaned. Fresh notebooks. Pencils sharpened.

And a focus back to making things happen.

It made me reflect on some of the best advice I’ve been given. This is what came to me,

One of mentors used to say this to me:

  • Tell me a person’s income for the last year.
  • Then show me the 5 people they spend most time with.
  • And the last 5 books they read.
  • And I will make what experience has shown to be a highly accurate prediction of what their income will be in a years time.

Some may disagree. I think there is a lot of truth in it.

For the next 30 days:

  • Who are the 5 people you will spend most time with?
  • What books will you read?

There is little more impactful things on your world than the influences you allow into it.

Tip: take conscious control of what you allow into your world as Autumn kicks in.

In the Spotlight

My friend Sophie just wrote this article on the Business of Parenting. It’s about books with lessons from work for home and Where the Magic Happens is featured in-between books by Matthew Syed and Martin Seligman. It’s good company to be in!

You might also want to watch out for Sophie’s new book: SuperFast - Lead at Speed which is already hitting Amazon highs and it’s still pre-launch. From what I’ve seen and know of Sophie, it will be a cracking read.

I have a dream

I was stopped in my tracks yesterday.

It's rare.

I had an email out of the blue.

It was from someone I hadn't met before.

One that left me with a tear in my eye by the time I had finished reading it.

I've extracted a few parts from it.

It summarises exactly why I shared our story in a book .......

"I have had a dream since I was 16.

Now at 45, at times I have been guilty of not thinking it possible due to lack of money and had started to talk myself out of my lifelong dream.

"Where the Magic Happens" has done exactly what you intended - it has inspired and provided the practical steps on how to make it happen.

As you put the hours of effort into writing, editing and speaking your book you never quite know how many lives you are going to touch with your story. Thank you, there are three people excited (and a 4th being 16 months old is too young to appreciate what is being mapped out for him).

As I left home at 6am this morning to travel to my work I downloaded your book onto my wife’s phone as she promised to listen to the early chapters. I am delighted to say that during this morning images have mysteriously appeared on our family Pinterest dream board.

It looks like my wife has also being inspired.

The magic is already starting to happen.

Thank you for inspiring my family and for providing me practical how to steps that have built my confidence and re-birthed my dream."

This.

Want to read the first chapter free? It's right here.

Want to be part of a community where you ignite and make your dreams happen? It's right here.

Want to join our last 2 Day Thrive Workshop of the Year? It’s next week - details are all here.

The Great Mexican Adventure Part 3

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At 3am on a still and clear night, our family team sailed back underneath the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco.

It marked the end of another epic expedition covering:

  • 1,200 miles at sea
  • 3 different teams
  • 10 brilliant team members
  • 0 wind right up to 30 knots of wind.
  • 6 weeks from start to finish.
  • Countless whales
  • 3 speaking gigs
  • 1 TV interview
  • Some challenging times and many amazing highs.

There are many stories to be shared still which I need to pen.

As I reflect on what is the essence of building a winning team, here’s some things to think about.

  • Leadership isn’t a title: it’s how you show up. The most impactful leader in our world can sometimes be our 6 year old.
  • Care about the people around you.
  • Put family first and build the life, business and career that  meets your family needs.
  • Remember that magic happens when you step outside your comfort zone and are brave and push yourself.
  • It’s all about we. Not me.
  • Enjoy the magic moments and take the time to celebrate them.

Inspiration from Walt Disney

Today’s leadership tip of the week straight from the genius of Walt Disney.

P.S. If you like these, you can subscribe to my YouTube Channel to get these every week rather than just every fortnight.

Thought of the Week

Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it.

- Salvador Dali

Upcoming Events

September 10-11 - 2 Day Thrive Workshop, Surrey

September 18 - Speaking Event, London

September 20 - Book Event, London

September 22 -23 - Speaking Event, London

September 27 - Keynote,  London

September 29 - Keynote Speaker, Southampton

October 4 - Thrive Workshop, Manchester

October 6,7 - Keynote Speaker, Nottingham

October 18 - Thrive Workshop, London

Caspar tells an ongoing story - an amazing real life story - from which leadership principles emerge naturally. You’re not being ‘presented to’ or ‘talked at,’ you’re being told a story and learning from it as you go along
— Chris Hughes - Vistage Chair

Shortcuts

From the desk of Caspar

An overheard conversation last week.

It struck a chord.

One guy was on the phone.

He said the words to whoever was on the other end of the  📞...

“I guess he got burnt out trying to sell a shitty product for more than its worth”

Took me back to when we were building the last business.

It was about the balance between:

 1.  persistence and belief to gain traction
 2.  the need to evolve the proposition to truly serve customer needs

AND managing your energy whilst you either persist or adapt.

Now. That applies to building your business, building your family or building your career.

Here are 9 shortcuts I found worked every time:

 1.  Surround yourself with people playing at a higher level than you.
 2.  Invest in your learning and personal development - its the best investment you’ll ever make.
 3.  Either learn to manage diet and exercise. Or get someone to guide you and hold you accountable.
 4.  Get enough sleep
 5.  Be humble. You’re on a well trodden path and ask for help.
 6.  Put family first. Remember why you are doing this and don’t forget the most important people in your life
 7.  Remember success is a team game. Find the things you are brilliant at and fill the gaps with brilliant people.
 8.  Celebrate the little victories. They lead to bigger victories.
 9.  Smile and enjoy the journey.

In the Spotlight

Last week, I was the Keynote Speaker for Kareo, a high growth technology company in America. It’s always lovely to hear feedback like this:

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Say Yes

5 weeks ago we’d never met. It's crazy when you think about it. And empowering at the same time.

This is a story is about taking decisions.

It’s a brief story on how things can change in a heartbeat.

I was at London Bridge running a half day workshop for the Supper Club on how to create a business that can run without you.

Ollie was one of the 35 people in the room.

Read the story here (it's a 2 minute read)
 

The Great Mexican Adventure Part 2

I don’t think I was long enough in any one place to feel jet lagged.

The route was Mexico to LA to London to Washington to  San Diego to Mexico. All in the space of 5 days.

Read the full scoop here.

Be a better leader
What’s Your Brave? Today’s leadership tip of the week comes from the top of the mast on the latest expedition.

P.S. If you like these, you can subscribe to my YouTube Channel to get these every week rather than just every fortnight.

Thought for the day

If there is something you really want, you will either find a way or you will find an excuse.

Upcoming Adventures

August 22-28 - Sailing Monterey to San Francisco

August 29 - Keynote Speaker, San Francisco

September 4 - Keynote Speaker, London

September 10-11 - 2 Day Thrive Workshop, Surrey

September 18 - Speaking Event, London

September 20 - Book Event, London

September 22 -23 - Speaking Event, London

September 27 - All Day Thrive Workshop, Peak District

September 29 - Keynote Speaker, Southampton

October 6,7 - Keynote Speaker, Nottingham

October 18 - Thrive Workshop, London