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, Jamil Qureshi , Kevin Gaskell 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


 

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. 

The final stretch was flying back to San Diego, then catching the trolley to Tijuana and walking back across the border into Mexico (took about 2 minutes compared to 2 hours in the other direction). Then an uber back to Baja Naval in Ensenada where Aretha was waiting for me along with two crew from Team Aretha.

For the next part of this expedition, we are rejoined by Paul and Jani. Both have been part of Team Aretha from Day 1 (and indeed before when Jani used to call me Mumbo Jumbo for having this crazy idea to sail the world). Jani was there on the shake down sail when my back went and couldn’t walk. Both joined us sailing the Atlantic from the Canary Islands to St Lucia, and then from Cape Town to Brazil. They know Aretha as well as anyone and it was lovely be welcomed back on board. They had arrived the previous day and had already been busy on board fixing things and provisioning Aretha.

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In my absence, the team at Baja Naval had been at work and had replaced the canvas work on the sprayhood and bimini and together with the new paintwork and varnish, Aretha was looking stunning and like a new boat.

We planned to leave the following day. Our next destination was San Diego where we’d clear into America and get our Cruising Licence.

That gave us 24 hours to do 3 important things:

  1. To catch up on stories and what we’d all been up to 
  2. To clear out of Mexico (took half the day) and most importantly..
  3. To take a trip down memory lane.

Here in Ensenda is a boat called IronBarque. She used to be called Quadstone. She is in fact the boat that Paul and I were on when we circumnavigated on the BT Global Challenged in 2000-01. 

To say it was emotional is an understatement as we the Captain invited us on board and we walked the decks and stirred a thousand memories in the galley where meals were cooked, the saloon where sails were mended, the sail locker, the bunks, the nav station and much more. 

I asked Paul what made the memories so special.

His answer was the people. 

It’s always about the team.

The people you spend time, the experiences you share, the memories you create.

After receiving our final paperwork, we slipped lines in the afternoon and headed out into the Pacific. The breeze was light, too light to sail and we had a night of motoring ahead of us.

It’s some 80 miles to San Diego and after a fairly uneventful night, we see the lights of the City ahead of us. There is a good amount of shipping around and we have to be alert.

We can the lights of one large vessel close by on our starboard side. We are slowly closing on her. Worryingly she does not show on AIS (that's the digital tracking system that is mandatory for all larger vessels). I slow down to let her pass in front of us.

A  minute later, the VHF crackles into life.

Sailing Vessel Aretha, this is Warship. What are your intentions?

No caffeine needed. That fires a shot of adrenaline.

It makes more sense. Warships don’t want to show on AIS.

I call back and let them we are waiting for sunrise to enter San Diego and clear in.

Warship satisfied she turns to port and slowly edges away.

As the light comes up, we can see she isn't any small ship. She’s an aircraft carrier.

We find our way into Customs and Border Patrol and spend the next 8 hours clearing in and arranging our paperwork. By mid afternoon I’m feeling a little jaded from both lack of sleep and officialdom. 

One of my life hacks is to ask and then follow advice on Facebook. One recommendation we had for here was to go to La Jolla. An hour later after an uber ride and we are surfing in the warm waters and soaking the sun on the beautiful La Jolla Beach. It’s the perfect wake up moment and is followed by a memorable supper at a local restaurant.

This stretch of coastline is relatively windless being sheltered by the large land mass that stretches inland from Point Conception. 

Our next stop is Newport Beach and is another day of motoring. It’s uneventful and we arrive just before sunset and manage to pick up a mooring buoy.

We have chosen Newport Beach as I’ve been booked to be Keynote Speaker here for a brilliant fast growing technology company, Kareo for their annual Customer Success Event. It’s also relatively close to LA and that evening Nichola and the children are flying in to join us for the sail from here to San Francisco (and making the most of all that California has to offer).

I meet a tired and excitable family as they arrive via Uber and I dinghy them to Aretha. They children waste no time in charging all around her and rediscovering toys, bunks, hatches to climb in and out of and get back into boat life. It’s lovely to just watch and see their fluency with this world where digital devices fade in importance and family life and shared experiences magnify.

We are all on the boat for 24 hours together before I have to pack my speaking clothes and get in the zone for speaking to Kareo. I head off mid afternoon to the hotel some 5 miles away leaving the family happily playing on Kayaks.

The evening is spent meeting lots of interesting people and learning about the opportunities, issues and challenges that everyone faces. I’m always fascinated to learn from others and everyone is willing to share and be very open. A highlight of the evening is taking a “Duffy Boat” ride, a tour in an electric boat around the harbour and we go past Aretha.

My speaking slot is before lunch and its lovely to sign books and hear many kind words over lunch. 

As my time with this amazing team draws to a close, my head now needs to shift gears again back to boat life and prepping Aretha the following day to head back to sea and our next destination of Santa Catalina Island.

More adventures await as the whole family team are back on Aretha…

Still riding high after Friday’s keynote from Caspar Craven! Caspar, it was a pleasure having you speak at our Kareo Success Summit this year in Newport Beach. Your keynote was very insightful and valuable. Thank you for sharing your perspective on how culture and values play key roles toward working better as a team. Many thanks from all of #TeamKareo
— Malinee Chum - Brand Marketing Manager at Kareo

When it doesn’t go to plan

From the desk of Caspar

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What do you do?

I’m was in Mexico. Clearing customs. Waiting for 3 hours in stifling heat. Sent away twice for not having the right papers.

Specifically for not including middle names on the crew list.

The hand edits not enough.

It needs fresh forms from the other side of town. Copied 5 times. Bureaucracy at its finest. And no common language.

Do you throw your toys? Or think of it as feedback?

Their rules. Their language. I’m a believer in the Theory of Reality. No *it should be like this*.

Just deal with what you have. Patience. A smile. Some humour.

Some perspective {I wouldn’t envy his job in a suit in this heat filling in forms for people who don’t speak his language}.

Some humility. Some appreciation.

And remembering that life is what happens to us and what we make of it.

It’s all perspective and feedback.

(Note: we finally got there after 5 hours!)

In the Spotlight

It’s been a busy two weeks of media activity.

I was interviewed for the TV show Impact Theory by Tom Bilyeu in LA. Previous guests have included Seth Godin, Tim Ferris and Gary Vaynerchuk. The episode airs on October 2nd.

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Alec Wilkinson (from Sky Sports) interviewed me on the Sailing Uncovered podcast - it was great fun - the full interview is here.

I also appeared in Quintessentially Magazine, an interview was published in KPMG’s latest newsletter and also in Latitude 38 Magazine in North America.

Simmering Summer Holidays

Summer holidays **should*** be a time for playing, laughing and enjoying life together as a family.

A time to create memories for you and your children.

That CAN happen. And it should. But it doesn’t always.

When we started our business and we first had children it DIDN’T in our world.

Together 24 hours a day.

Emails and telephone calls with work continued with snatched moments with the children.

Just as we were enjoying family moments the magic would be interrupted as we would be jolted back to reality with the emails pinging.

Instead of family being first and centre it would be telling them to be quiet, watch tv or give them the iPad in order to buy some quiet - getting irritable when they didn’t want to be quiet.

Simmering arguments were brought to the surface.

Ice Creams and Beach time would reduce them.

Evenings and a few drinks and often the same *long running sores* would come to the surface.

We think the kids didn’t know. But they did.

Kids always know and pick up on atmospheres and what’s really going on.

That was our story until the summer of 2009.

August 1st 2009, 9 years ago was a significant date in our world.

We set a date of August 1st 2014. That was the date we carved in stone into the diary. Unmovable. Like a rock.

We gave ourselves 5 years to change everything.

Our husband/wife relationship.

Our family time. Our wealth.

It wasn’t a tactic. It was a sea change in our philosophy. In our approach to life.

We literally turned life on its head and made the deliberate choice to think about things in a very different way.

It marked the start line.

The start of a 5 year journey ending on 1st August 2014.

The date when we said we would be setting sail from England as a happy contented family having easily created the wealth and transforming our relationships and lives.

That choice is available to every single person.

The choice to change how you look at life.

The choice to create a new shared story for your life.

From this point on, there are 3 choices:

  1. Carry on doing what you are doing. As one of my mentors says “if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got”
  2. Figure this out yourself (what we had to do - 5 years of making mistakes and hitting roadblocks and finding ways around them)
  3. Find someone to show you the short cuts and put you on the fast track

If you’re craving more.

More for your family. More fulfilment.

More wealth. Without the agony and the heartache.

Come and join us.

We are running only one more 2 Day Thrive Workshop this year. It’s on September 11 and 12. There aren’t many places left.

If you are ready to grab life by the scruff of the neck and change your wealth, relationships and family, this is for you.

 

Details are right here..

Teamwork at its finest - The Great Mexican Adventure - Part 1

It’s the midnight to 3am watch. The moon is full and the stars are sparkling in the sky. 

You can feel the boat lift as the next big wave barrels down from behind you and you square up as the white topped crest rolls forward. 

You feel the surge as she accelerates fast down the wave. The mechanical autopilot whirs into life and corrects the course as the boat reaches the bottom of one wave and readies for the next one.

We’ve been at sea for over 30 hours since passing underneath the Golden Gate Bridge and have just passed South of Point Conception. 

It’s one of the windiest points on American Pacific coast - affectionately called the Cape Horn of the Pacific Ocean.

We have a brand new crew assembled on board Team Aretha for this passage. 

Read the full blog here...

Be a Better Leader

Think Different: Today’s leadership tip of the week comes from the Mexico/ American border crossing.

Upcoming Adventures

August 8 - 25 - Sailing Mexico and Southern California

August 10 - Keynote Speaker, Long Beach, CA

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

 

The most inspirational hour I’ve spent in a long time. Thank you Caspar
— Michelle Kilgore - Events Manager

Teamwork as its finest - The Great Mexican Adventure - Part 1

It’s the midnight to 3am watch. The moon is full and the stars are sparkling in the sky. 

You can feel the boat lift as the next big wave barrels down from behind you and you square up as the white topped crest rolls forward. 

You feel the surge as she accelerates fast down the wave. The mechanical autopilot whirs into life and corrects the course as the boat reaches the bottom of one wave and readies for the next one.

We’ve been at sea for over 30 hours since passing underneath the Golden Gate Bridge and have just passed South of Point Conception. 

It’s one of the windiest points on American Pacific coast - affectionately called the Cape Horn of the Pacific Ocean.

We have a brand new crew assembled on board Team Aretha for this passage. 

I’d arrived a week earlier to prepare the boat and get all the final checks prepared to make us safe for sea.

First to join me is Oliver. An entrepreneur from London with a quick witted reply, a wry smile for all occasions and an appetite for saying Yes to life. 

This is his first time offshore sailing and he’s understandably a little apprehensive as to how his body would find the conditions. 

Pete arrives next. A former US Navy Admiral with quite literally millions of miles of ocean experience. Dry humour, a romantic love of the sea and who seems to lose years every time he steps on a boat.

Last and by no means least was Neil. A vast amount of sailing experience - both cruising and racing under his belt with an eye for details and always kind hearted and looking out for other people.

It was the first time they’d all met.

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Of course there is always an element of uncertainty when you bring together a fresh team for a new expedition challenge. 

Our mission: a safe and happy passage from San Francisco to Ensenada in Mexico covering some 600 ocean miles.

Read the personalities wrong and you’ve got a tough job with a team in what can be challenging conditions.

It’s the same as building a team in business. 

Getting clear on the story of where you are going and why, how you’re going to work together and building on the strengths of each person in the team.

Our story as a fresh team unfolds.

In the day prior to departure I run safety briefings on the boat and walk through the equipment, how to use it and how we set the boat up. 

Each of the team are encouraged to work their way around the boat, finding the fire extinguishers, the first aid kit, the emergency equipment, the valves to shut down the gas, getting lifejackets that fit, learning the boat rules and getting used to the new environment. 

On a boat safety always comes first and getting everyone comfortable with systems and processes is key.

The weather is checked and rechecked. We are looking good for our passage South.

No matter how well prepared you are, you always feel a little apprehensive before any expedition. I reason the butterflies are there to keep you on your toes - complacency is always dangerous in any situation.

The evening before I have a call with my normal co-pilot, my wife Nichola (who was out here some 6 weeks earlier doing the first part of boat preparations) and we run through our checklist and make certain nothing has been missed. 

Happy that we have thoroughly prepared and are safe to go, we set our departure time as 0900 the following morning. We time it to catch the ebb tide flowing out underneath the Golden Gate and to pop us out like a cork into the Pacific.

Its a windless morning and everyone is awake early. Neil arrives with fresh coffee and Ellie his wife brings a fresh notebook complete with an inspiring quote for us to use as our logbook to record the journey.

We are ready ahead of time and slip lines at 0845 and reverse out of our berth. The water is flat calm and as we motor out of the marina there is excitement as we are finally underway.

A classic San Francisco fog hangs in the still air. We hope it lifts to allow photos as we pass underneath the iconic bridge that stands a testament to the Gold Rush here back in the day.

Fortune is smiling on us and as we motor underneath, it lifts enough for photos and Facebook lives to capture the moment. 

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For the next 24 hours we are windless and our diesel engine does the heavy lifting as we clock up the miles heading past Half Moon Bay and Monterey. 

At midday we move into our watch system. Ollie, Pete and Neil will each be responsible for a watch of 3 hours. 3 hours on watch and then 6 hours off watch.

I’ll be joining Ollie for all of his watches and part of the other guys watches and getting rest when things are settled. 

Rule #1 of the sea if that there is always someone on watch - especially when you are close to shipping channels. Cooking and cleaning is shared between us.

Absent of wind to sail, expectations shift to looking for wildlife. This coastline is famous for migrating whales of a variety of species and we are hopeful.

We are about to get the finest wildlife show on earth.

The first humpback whale is sighted a mile or so off the Starboard bow. The unmistakable spout of water signalling its presence.

Within half an hour we have humpback whales all around us. One passing in front of us causes us to slow and then stop the engine to avoid any risk of collision.

In the milky calm waters, the only sounds we can hear are the spouts of the whales and the slapping of huge bodies on the water as these magnificent creatures launch themselves from the water and slam down.

It is as though they are talking to us.

Sea-lions stop and watch as we glide by looking up at us with curiosity.

It is a magical moment and we count upwards of 6 Humpback whales all around us.

As we continue South for the evening, our escort of whales and sea-lions are joined by dolphins. We are the only boat for miles around and our team are taking in the magnificence of what we have experienced.

The calm weather helps our crew to find their sea-legs with the exception of Ollie who is looking a little green and takes to the cockpit with a blanket and pillow to be in the fresh air. We have a compassionate crew and he is well looked after by all.

Over the next 24 hours the wind starts to fill in as predicted and we are able to hoist sails and move from being a motor boat to a sail boat.

We past Point Conception during the night and make the choice to run with the wind rather than cut inshore and pass via the Channel Islands and the Santa Barbara passage. There is less shipping this way and the need to gybe (changing the boat direction) will be easier in the day and when we have more sea room so that we can take our time with a crew who are less experienced in sailing Aretha.

The wind builds and it’s not long before we have 20-25 knots and are constantly surfing at over 10 knots.

What’s great to see is the way everyone has settled into life, watch handovers are seamless with strong communication sharing whats been going on and what to watch out for and we sail as a happy crew enjoying the experience (Ollie stoically maintaining all his watches and making the most of clear night skies).

We are covering miles quickly and by the following mid afternoon are far enough South to be able to make the gybe we need so that we can head in on one straight line to Ensenada.

The gybe manoeuvre is a little complicated. We need to drop the staysail, furl the genoa move the spinnaker pole from side to the other, re-run the lines, then gybe the mainsail and reset the genoa and staysail on the other side. 

We have a full brief before we do anything and work through each stage on step at a time making sure we are clipped on as we move around the boat. We aren’t racing and we have plenty of time.

It takes us a good 30 minutes to do the manoeuvre and to debrief afterwards. We are now on one long tack all the way in.

The sun shines. The wind blows. And we are surfing along in royal blue seas.

The only downside is the speed. The picture we all had of fresh sushi onboard is overboard as we are going too fast. At least that’s our excuse for a zero fish count. 

When I offer this paltry excuse to my son Columbus later on, he simply rolls his eyes at me. He is confident he’d have landed fish. Time will tell on the next part of The Great Mexican Adventure.

As we close the 200 miles or so to land we have to remain alert. There is more shipping, some shallow areas and a US Naval Ship undertaking firing practice not that far from us.

The wind gradually dies in the last 100 miles and once again canvas power turns to diesel power as the sails hang limp.

We call landfall in the last 10 miles through the hazy sunshine that we have become used to on this stretch of water and by sunset we have safely navigated to the boatyard Baja Naval where we will get Aretha taken out of the water and have repair work undertaken before the next stage of the Great Mexican Adventure.

The team started as strangers and we have all bonded as good friends with a host of stories and experiences. It’s with sadness that one by one the team have depart to their families and we all prepare for our next adventures in life.

Ensenada.jpg

 

It’s been a privilege to share time with this brilliant group of people and to have bonded in such a short space of time.

And so it is now that after a whirlwind tour of the US for TV and speaking appearances I’m now heading South in an Uber back to Ensenada listening to the theme tune to Top Gun. 

Part 2 of the Adventure is about to begin with some  returning members of Team Aretha…to be continued…

Caspar tells 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. Caspar thinks of himself as a Speaker, he’s more that that, he’s an extraordinary story teller
— Chris Hughes - Vistage Chair

What's the cost of a divorce?

From the desk of Caspar

£134,525

That’s the average cost of a divorce.

I’ve lost track of the number of friends who’ve lost marriages and relationships because they’ve been so focused on building a business or building a career.

We almost became one of those statistics.

My model of the world was this...

Build a business/ career.
Sell the business.
Make loads of money.
Then go spend time with family.

Here’s how that played out...

I was working 16-18 hours a day.
Not making the money.
Relationship under pressure.
Not seeing Nichola and the kids.
It was pretty rubbish.

It all changed when we put family first and went deep into understanding what we as a family truly wanted in life.

AND then we reverse engineered our life to make that happen.

That changed everything.
Changed our wealth.
Changed our relationship.
Changed how we live and spend time with our children.

We took 5 years to figure this out. 5 tough years with a lot of mistakes. We want to give you the short cuts.

We are intending to run only one more 2 day workshop in 2018. It will be on 11th and 12th September. 

The Outcome?

Build the business or career you want without feeling like you are sacrificing family and relationships.

Want to know more?

Here's the details

In the spotlight

It’s been a big 2 weeks in sport. The Football World Cup and the tennis at Wimbledon.

England surprised everyone by reaching the semi-finals - much further than anyone expected.

I was featured in this article by the Telegraph talking about what leaders can learn from England football manager Gareth Southgate.

Tip: Build on your group’s natural strengths, energy and enthusiasm, and get each member to be the very best that they can be.

The Dad’s Camping Weekend

Last weekend, I cancelled a potential business opportunity.

Why?

It was the Dad's camping trip with my daughter's local school - the prospect of toasted marshmallows with my little one wasn’t something to miss.

Remember, we only get 18 summers with our children before they leave home.

Tip: Put family first in the diary, then build your business/ career/ mission around the people that are most important in your world.

Willow Climbing.jpg

Setting Sail

Building a fresh team.

One of the most exciting things about building a team is when you have a new team forming together.

There is possibility, uncertainty, talent and excitement.

This weekend I'm setting sail on our sailboat Aretha from San Francisco to Mexico with a team of people who have not met each other before (they are all friends of mine but are unknown to each other).

We'll be at sea for some 600 miles and the forecasts are promising both light winds and strong winds (that's the picture of our expected wind patterns).

It all starts with a clear story of making a safe happy and fast passage and getting clear on where we are going exactly (much like a business).

Boat driving.jpg

Be a better leader

Today’s quick leadership tip of the week from the sea in San Fransisco

Thought for the Day

Small victories lead to big victories. Celebrate the little things to create a winning feeling.

Upcoming Adventures

July 22 - Set Sail to Mexico

August 2 - TV Filming, LA

August 10 - Keynote Speaker, Long Beach, CA

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

October 6,7 - Keynote Speaker, Nottingham

October 18 - Thrive Workshop, London

Keynote was outstanding. More than 500 people attended this event and everyone loved him!
— Agnese Žagata - Business conference organiser

School's out (and your Adventure Challenge)

From the desk of Caspar

Schools are about to break up for the summer.

Classic double edged sword for an entrepreneur.

Kids are going to be around. That equals short tempers and distractions when you are trying to get on with work.

Customers and prospects are starting to disappear so signing deals slows right down.

Your family are planning to be away for two weeks and you can only make one of the two weeks.

AND figuring out to how manage cashflow during the summer months and pay all the bills.

Sure.

Lovely weather (hopefully)

Time with the family (some),

And some downtime.

The days of a salary check come rain or shine not quite the same for an entrepreneur.

I've been there.

Want to figure out how to build that business that can run without you.

A business that lets you sit on a boat for 2 years and is more profitable than when you are not present?

A business that means you get to spend more time. Not Less time. 

With whoever really matters to you in life.

You need to come and join our THRIVE WORKSHOP.

If you don't plan your business and life, no-one else will.

We are intending to run only one more 2 day workshop in 2018. It will be on 11 and 12th September.

Details are all here

In the Spotlight

Last week I busted my son, Columbus out of school for the day. 

The reason? to go and spend 2 hours with Sir Tim Smit, Founder of the Eden Project and The Lost Gardens of Heligan.

Columbus is fascinated by the natural world: we spend time talking about the the 17 different types of Rhubarb. Who knew?

Tip: When opportunities to learn and spend time with inspiring people come along, you learn to grab them with both hands and do whatever it takes to make them happen.

Columbus and Sir Tim Smit.jpg

Back in time

Last Saturday I was in Plymouth. I was there speaking at my old school for their Speech Day.

It then hit me like a train. It was 28 years ago that I left there. 28 years. 

Where did that time go?

Here’s what it made me think. Time goes by in a heartbeat. And so much of the time we grapple with the minutiae of life. My wife calls it “living 1 cm away from our faces”.

We spend some much time in the weeds we forget to see the big picture.

And then you find out that 28 years have slipped by.

In another 28 years that’s a lot more life that will have gone by.

What would you do if you put family first and then decided to build your career, your business, your mission around what truly matters to your family.

Don’t let life slide past you and one day wake up saying where did those 28 years ago. 

Grab hold of it right now and make it happen.

We only get one shot at this thing called life - do everything you can to make it the very best that it can be.

Don’t walk. Run. Go make things happen.

P.S. If you are wondering what the photo is, its my old school gym where I sat my A Levels. A reminder that the skills I most needed in life were all the ones I developed after I left school.

My old school.jpg

Be a Better Leader

The glue to make great teams stic

Today’s quick leadership tip of the week (complete with the Tahitian shirt!)

Thought for the Day

"If you do the same as everyone else, the best you can expect is the average result."

Your Weekend Adventure Challenge

It’s summer time. We thought we’d have some fun.

We want to set you and your family a Weekend Adventure Challenge.

Over 5 days we’ll be giving the 5 steps to create your own amazing family adventure weekend.

Want to play?

Here’s Nichola and me talking about the idea.

Upcoming Events

July 12 - Keynote Speaker, Malta

August 16 - The next sailing adventure begins…

August 2 - TV Filming, LA

August 10 - Keynote Speaker, Long Beach, CA

August 29 - Keynote Speaker, San Francisco

September 10-11 - 2 Day Thrive Workshop, Surrey

September 18 - Speaking Event, London

September 20 - Book Event, London

September 22 -23 - Speaking Event, London

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

Why are you here?

From the Desk of Caspar

I looked down at my notes. 

My slide clicker was in my hand. 

My friend and former colleague was speaking and was sharing how we knew each other and why I was there.

It was almost time for me to take the stage.

It was 15 years ago that I left KPMG. Things felt like they had come full circle.

I was back, this time about to present to a group within KPMG in Boston to about to talk about culture, vision, mission and values. 

Back then, quite frankly I didn’t understand what culture, vision, mission and values meant. It was a bunch of mumbo jumbo.

Since then I have been on quite a journey from starting multiple businesses, selling one of them and a personal project - sailing around the world with my family. Over the last 15 years I have learnt the necessity of values, mission, culture as the difference between surviving and thriving.  

So it was an odd feeling going back to my corporate world and delivering a talk on this subject. Little did I know that I was about to learn something. 

I’d been doing my research and had done a deep dive into the culture and values of KPMG and what they were all about.

What I found truly surprised me but also resonated deeply with me.

The first question in their documents was this:

"What’s your personal purpose. Why are you here? What’s really driving you."

Here’s why it surprised me.

For the last 18 months I’ve been speaking to companies about leadership, teamwork, culture and values.

Although I know how fundamental personal purpose is, I’d been shying away from it.

Why?

Because from my own corporate days I had made the assumption that  companies would be reluctant to embrace that message of finding your personal purpose; because of the fear that some people might leave and go live their true purpose.

AND NOW.

Here was KPMG having it as literally their first question.

I could not agree more with the philosophy.

If you know what's driving you and you are clear on what's important to you and your family, it unleashes an astonishing amount of drive and energy.

Align that drive and energy with a powerful and meaningful mission for your company and you will be flying. Both personally and in business.

Ask yourself this question:

What’s truly important to you in life. Write it down and get clear on your purpose and drivers. So many of us fail to do this and go through life reacting rather than taking control.

Huge hat tip to KPMG for bringing this into focus for me.

PS It’s massively more powerful to do this with your partner - see the details below of the Thrive Manifesto.

Where's the fun?

I was in Dublin last weekend for a conference.

Whilst there I went to the Guinness Storehouse.

I loved learning the history of this iconic brand that challenged the rules and in particular to see it’s history of playful and entertaining marketing.

It’s a great reminder to be fun, playful and not take life too seriously.

Guinness.jpg

How you can impact others?

I attended my first board meeting for a while last week.

It had to be a good reason to get me back into a boardroom.

And it was.

I’m both honoured and excited (also with a little trepidation) to have been invited to join the Development Board of this incredible charity, which changes the lives of young people, typically from disadvantaged backgrounds by taking them on expeditions to remote places.

Their values of courage, challenge, self belief and community resonate deeply with my values.

British Exploring Society »

I’ll be sharing a few things over the coming months - stories of the incredible impact they have to change lives and exciting ways for adventurous minded people to get involved.

The board meeting was good, by the way. Some brilliant people all united by a common cause.

Can’t wait to help send more young people off to make a positive impact on the world.

Be a Better Leader

Are you (and your team) learning and growing?

Today’s quick leadership tip of the week from Harvard University.

Thought for the Day

"Nothing ever happens without a deadline."

Upcoming Events

June 30th - Guest Speaker, Plymouth

July 9-10th - 2 Day Thrive Workshop, Surrey

July 12-13th - Keynote Speaker, Malta

July 14-17th - NSA Convention, Dallas

August - The next sailing adventure…

August 2 - TV Filming, LA

August 10 - Keynote Speaker, San Diego

September 10-11th - 2 Day Thrive Workshop, Surrey

The Thrive Manifesto

Would you like to have a thriving business/ career without feeling like you are sacrificing your marriage or relationships.

Download our Thrive Manifesto - the 21 principles, a checklist that worked for us.

Click this link and you will be sent them via Facebook Messenger:

Caspar’s new book “Where the Magic Happens” is a masterpiece.

It’s an incredible personal development and business book all told through the lens of a gripping real life transformation and adventure story.

This book needs to be made into a film.”
— Dr John Demartini – International best-selling Author of The Values Factor

Curious

From the Desk of Caspar

I was struck by something yesterday.

As a family we were at the Royal Observatory at Greenwich.

Of the many stories told there, there is one which affects every single one of us every day.

It’s the story of John Harrison.

Anyone heard of him?

Not many people have.

He was the man who solved the problem of longitude.

The science of being able to work out exactly where you are in the world.

Something we take for granted now with GPS and google maps on our iPhones.
Back in the early 1700’s his breakthroughs revolutionised seafaring and being able to navigate safely.

Here’s the untold story.

Just how long it took him to crack this.

The breakthrough watch was called H4.

He took 18 years to build it.

18 years.

Just think about that.

How many times do you think he woke up in the morning and thought “I’m a disaster, I’m a failure, this is going nowhere, it counts for nothing”.

18 flipping years.

How many people would have given up in that time?

It’s a masterclass for me in patience and curiosity.

Being driven by curiosity to solve a big problem.

And the patience to keep going.

And keep going until you get there.

To create something that would save countless live and create the foundation for literally how all of us navigate the world.

What’s the message?

Be curious.

Be patient.

Encourage your team to be curious and learn.

We live in such an immediate gratification age with social media where everyone seems like an overnight success.

Find a problem worth solving, get curious and be patient.
18 years.

The pic is my 6 year old. I encourage all the “teams” I’m part of - both at work and family (because they all work the same way) to get curious and learn .

She’s here in the Christopher Wren designed Octagon room looking at the stars and listening to the audio of it what she’s seeing.

Have a curious week everyone.

Greenwich Observatory.jpg

In the Spotlight

As a teenager I listened to the Radio a lot. I guess like a lot of other teenagers growing up in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

One of the iconic DJ’s I listened to back then was Steve Wright in the Afternoon who at that time was on Radio 1.

Memories of summer afternoons pretending to be revising when sitting outside on the grass on Plymouth Hoe in the sunshine listening to Steve Wright playing Prefab Sprout, INXS and Deacon Blue come rushing back to me.

It’s therefore with a good amount of excitement that on June 12th I’ll be interviewed by Steve Wright in the Afternoon on BBC Radio 2 meeting and talking to one of the icons of my teen years.

In fact I could not be more be more excited.

If you could make a song choice from the late 80’s/ early 90’s? {clearly I have no influence over anything!}

I think I'm going with The King of Rock n Roll by Prefab Sprout.

Listen to Caspar being interviewed on the Steve Wright Show here.

The Irish Independent

In other media, the Irish Independent voted “Where the Magic Happens” one of their recommended summer holiday reading books.

Read the full review here

And to top it all...

That feeling when you get off a plane and check your Amazon rankings and you're in the Top 100 of all books on Amazon (#87). And the #1 Mover and Shaker on Amazon.

That.

A huge, huge thank you to everyone out there buying Where the Magic Happens and for all the stunning reviews you are kindly sharing.

If you want to check it out and the 50 plus 5 Star reviews we've had it's right here.

We only hear what we understand

One of the biggest hurdles to progress?

Thinking that other people think the same as we do.

Remembering we all see things differently can be such a powerful tool for getting unstuck.

Our experiences and perspectives are unique to us.

Don’t fall into the trap of assuming other people think like you.

Remember: we only hear what we understand.

Be a Better Leader

Need more stuff? Nope. Didn’t think so. 

Who here needs more stuff in their life? 

Nope didn’t think so. Me neither.

One simple tip that you can action immediately.

Thought for the Day

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Coming up next time, we’ll be launching our Thrive Manifesto. Its about how to thrive in your business/ career without feeling like you are sacrificing your family and relationships.

Upcoming Adventures

June 12th - BBC Radio 2 Interview with Steve Wright

June 13-14th - Keynote - Boston, MA

June 16th - Keynote in Southampton, UK

June 21st - Leadership Masterclass in London, UK

June 22-24th - Event in Dublin, Ireland

June 30th - Guest Speaker, Plymouth, UK

July 12-13th - Keynote Speaker, Malta

July 15-17 - Event in Dallas, TX

August 2nd - Filming in LA

August - The next sailing adventure…

Caspar thinks of himself as a Speaker, he’s more that that, he’s an extraordinary story teller.
— Chris Hughes - Vistage Chairman

Time to Thrive

From the Desk of Caspar

The foundations for making anything happen as a leader starts with what you give permission to influence you.

Who you spend time, what you scroll through, read and watch.

Nothing has a greater impact than your environment around you.

Take a moment to notice what you are allowing into your world.

Why not find a quiet 10 minutes.

Get a pen and paper.

Scribble down who and what you allow to influence you.

Then think if it’s helping you move towards where you want to go.

Who or what can you “dial up” and spend more time with.

Who or what can you “dial down” and spend less time with you,

Your influences are choices that you make.

Have an awesome week everyone.

In the spotlight

It’s been a glorious few weeks in England with summer definitely on the way. Columbus, my son and I have been busy with gardening.

Tip: don’t forget to switch off your devices, get outside and enjoy time with family and friends.

Columbus.jpg

Three things I learnt that changed everything

It was a reasonably rare occurrence. Rare that we’d all headed away for the half term week with my wife and the children. It wasn’t anything grand. A week staying with my Dad at his home. I’d wrestled myself away from the business. Everything was set to be ok without me for those 4 working days.

It was then that I had the phone call.

It was the Tuesday morning after bank holiday Monday. One of my clients was set up to renew their annual contract with us. It was worth 22k to the business and was a chunk of the sales pipeline for that month. The boss of our client contact had pulled up our contract and was questioning the value.

Did they really need to use our services? What value was it adding? These were not questions we wanted when we’d put so much work in and from someone who didn’t know anything about the deal was now asking. We’d have to start again with the “boss" from scratch. My week away with the family now in tatters. We’d have to go through the whole pitch process again with the boss and take them through what we’d done, what we’d achieved and what we were going to do.

That day “on the beach with the kids” was now taken up with calls with my team, presentations and data back and forth getting us ready and lining up the call with the “boss”.

The following day I had the call.

My wife and the kids were at home and playing. I decamped to the nearby town and found a coffee shop. With my headphones on and trying to blank out the noise of the teenagers meeting there, I made the call. I *think* it went well. The “boss” didn’t really give me a clear answer. She had to go and discuss with the team. They’d get back to me next week. There was not much else I could do. Get back to the family and try to get back in the swing of the half term. All the time with the deal at the back of my mind.

Would the deal get signed off?

If it didn’t cash flow would be tight. We’d have to cut our already thin salary to make sure we could pay the rest of the team. The life of the entrepreneur. My life. As it was.

It wasn’t until later after more painful experiences like like that I learnt my lesson. It was to build the business that didn’t rely on me.

One where we had a strong product, a strong pipeline of prospects and a brilliant team of people.

I thought that business was meant to be hard. The type of thing you see on Dragons Den. The type of thing you see Gary Vee talking about and hustling. 

That was the blueprint I had.

If you’ve got that blueprint too, here’s the three things that I started to do differently that changed everything:

  1. Truly put family first. Work out what you want to do as a family together and make that the burning focus in our lives. Rather than work.
  2. Be Brave. Surrounded myself with people way better than me, learn voraciously and try lots of different things to find out what worked best.
  3. Realise it wasn’t about me. It was about we and building a rock star team all around me.

That was it.

That was the blueprint that shifted it all.

What blueprint are you working to in your business and life?

Happy half term week everyone.

P.S. We did close that 22k deal the week after we got back

The #1 International Best Seller

I’m delighted to share that Where The Magic Happens is now an International #1 Amazon Best Seller in a variety of categories and has been attracting a slew of 5 star Amazon Reviews (29 at the last count).

My favourite quotes from the reviews…

“a fabulous book for any manager in business as it gives a really refreshing perspective on defining purpose, and team work, and developing and living values, and tips on developing strategy and overcoming adversity”

“This book arrived on Saturday am - and it took up all my free time until I finished it on Monday evening. At first glance, you think it's going to be a heart-warming tale about a family coping with all matter of adventure and adversity sailing round the world. And for those, looking for that, you won't be disappointed. 

But it also cuts far deeper. The lessons shared are relatable to business and family - and will inspire and compel you to make changes. I'm an avid reader of business books, and yet, this story has compelled me in a very short time to take more action than many I read” 

“I expected this book to be a journal about the voyage but it was so much more - inspirational and thought provoking, and made me sit up and really think about purpose and the art of the possible . It proves that if you dream a little bit then show real grit and determination you can do just about anything . Highly recommended”

Read the full set of reviews here »

WTMH_square12.jpg

Be a Better Leader

Thrive

Want to make more things happen in your life?

Be the leader. Anyone can be a leader. it's a mindset. Not a title.

Here's my two pennies on why the best businesses and leaders act like families:

Thought for the Day

"Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to methose have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language."

- Henry James

Upcoming Events

June 5th - Live on Steve Wright BBC Radio 2

June 6th - Keynote - Guildford, UK

June 13-14th - Keynote - Boston, MA

June 16th - Keynote in Southampton, UK

June 21st - Leadership Masterclass in London, UK

June 27th - After Dinner Speaker London

June 30th - Guest Speaker, Plymouth

July 12-13th - Keynote Speaker, Malta

July 14-17th - NSA Convention, Dallas

August - The next sailing adventure…

I was recently introduced to Caspar through a mutual friend and was intrigued and inspired by his story and thinking around leadership.

Caspar was an obvious choice to deliver a key note speech at the Node4 Annual Sales Kick Off and I am really pleased to say that Caspar certainly delivered beyond my high expectations.

Caspar has a very natural style, and the way he distils key leadership principles from both his professional and round the world sailing experiences, makes it very easy to translate into practical leadership tools that are applicable in any situation.

I would certainly recommend Caspar and would certainly use Caspar again for key notes speeches.
— Tom Needs - COO Node 4

Stop

From the Desk of Caspar

Stop! ... And look up.

I was racing through Trafalgar Square this morning between meetings and caught myself.

It’s so easy to canter through everything focused on goals and being busy.

Life is all around us.

Take 2 mins. Even if it’s just to notice the sunshine, the birds tweeting, the smell of the freshly cut grass.

Stop.jpg

In the spotlight

It's UK Book Launch of Where the Magic Happens, the story of how we as a family transformed our world to sail around the world.

The Daily Express ran this feature on our story this week.

The headline: Lots of people said we were mad.

When you come up with a brave bold plan for your life and your family.

Here's what happens.

People will tell you that you are mad.

Here's the thing though.

The people best qualified to do the research and come to your own conclusions are you.

Dream big.

Be bold.

Be Brave.

Don't let anyone else's limiting beliefs be the reason you don't follow what is most important to you and your family.

Imagine your future.

Then go make it happen.

Here’s the takeway…

It's all about putting family first and then getting your work, career and business goals to align to family life.

The surprising lesson I learnt from a Venture Capitalist

Several years ago I had supper with Jon Moulton.

He’s a Venture Capitalist. One of the UK’s top ones.

He said he asked any entrepreneur pitching him for investment three questions.

  1. What business are you really in.
  2. What do you need the money for.
  3. 3How many times have you been divorced?

The first two are certainly killer questions and drill to the heart of any fundraising.

The third goes to the heart of the people fund raising.

How good are you at balancing relationships and business.

His rationale.

If you chop and change relationships, that doesn’t bode well for a business relationship either.

It’s a red flag.

So many entrepreneurs I see get it wrong.

They sacrifice everything to create money.

What are you going to do with all that money?

Who are going to spend it on?

Relationships and family come first.

Of course work hard.

But keep your relationships in tact.

For me.

That is the number 1 thing. Everything pivots off that.

Put family and relationship goals first.

And THEN build the business that serves those needs.

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Be a Better Leader

Family First to Thrive

Do you wait to achieve success in business and your career before prioritising family? If so, you need to watch this 1 minute video:

Thought for the Day

"The grass always grows more when it gets water and sunshine."

Upcoming Events

May 17th - UK Book Launch

May 24th - Keynote, London

June 6th - Keynote - Guildford, UK

June 13-14th - Keynote - Boston, MA

June 16th - Keynote in Southampton, UK

June 21st - Leadership Masterclass in London, UK

June 30th - Guest Speaker, Plymouth

July 12-13th - Keynote Speaker, Malta

August - The next sailing adventure…

We invited Caspar to speak at The Magnetic Latvia Business Forum in Riga.

More than 500 people attended this event and everyone loved him!

His Keynote was outstanding.
— Agnese Žagata - Business conference organiser

Don't wait for perfect

Why?

It all kicked off on March 21st 2017. That was the date the ink was drying on my book contract for “Where the Magic Happens” when Bloomsbury (who publish Harry Potter) decided they wanted to have a little bit of our magic.

It’s been a roller coaster of a year of a thousand edits back and forth and I couldn’t be more excited that after our US launch, we now launch in the UK on May 17th.

Its often said we all have a book inside us. 

That I believe is true. 

We all have our unique stores to share.

The question then is “Why?” share the story. Whats the purpose of it?

Having a strong reason “Why” is the foundation for any venture, business, a book, a family adventure, a mission, anything.

It’s not always obvious and some times takes a little uncovering.

It was a key thing I needed to put in place in my businesses. A purpose that everyone could buy into.

It was a key thing that I needed to put in place for my family? Why were we working so hard to make our plans come together.

And it was a key thing I needed to put in place for writing “Where the Magic Happens”.

In my case, it was inspired by my friend Kate who said “Write the book that inspires people no matter how big or small their dream, no matter where they are in the world. Write the book that both inspires them and gives them real solid practical advice on how to make it happen”.

That’s been my pole star; my Why.

It’s a book about living with purpose, about putting family first and then making things happen in your world.

I’m very grateful that from the first 6 reviews on Amazon , it seems to be hitting the mark.

Here’s the key takeaway:

Are you living purposefully?

What’s your Why?

  • For you as an individual.
  • For you as a family team.
  • For you in the business or team you work with.

Answering the Why question is fundamental to how we all live our lives and make the most of our time in this world.

Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Rhubarb

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Whilst I’ve been away in the States, my son Columbus has been busy getting his next venture underway . The rhubarb crop has gone nuts. 

It’s amazing what a little sunshine, water and some care and attention delivers.

Much like people really; we develop in those areas we give the most attention.

 

In the spotlight

CNN.com ran this feature on our story this week.

We shared the front page along with the incendiary story about Michelle Wolf and Donald Trumps administration.

Thankfully ours was less contentious.

Its also helped to maintain our Amazon rankings where in America we’ve been consistently the #1 Hot New Release in at least 3 separate categories for the past month.

7 things I learnt about publishing a book

Publishing a book has been an entire adventure on its own. I wrote a blog post about what I learnt for the Business of Adventure run by the brilliant Cathy O’Dowd.

It wasn’t my first book. But it was what I call my first “thorough" book. I now fully appreciate what it takes to publish a book.

I’ve done both routes. The first time self-publishing. The second time with Bloomsbury.

When I self-published I wrote the book over several weeks (it was a business book about Crowd Funding). It got onto Amazon and I had great reviews and sold some copies. It gave me the “business card” effect of being an “author”.

The second time round, I went through the whole agent and publisher route. Based on what I learnt this time round, I've taken that first book down. 

Here’s what I learnt »

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It’s now gearing up for the UK Launch on May 17th when the Kindle Edition and the Audiobook also get released. You can pre-order yours here:

Be a  Better Leader: Don't wait for Perfect

Do you wait for things to be perfect before you can forward? If so, you need to watch this 1 minute video:

Thought for the Day

"Find your strengths. Build on them."

Upcoming Adventures

May 3rd - Keynote and Workshop in Kent, UK

May 12th - Keynote in Southampton, UK

May 17th - UK Book Launch

May 24th - Keynote, London

June 6th - Keynote - Guildford, UK

June 13-14th - Keynote - Boston, MA

June 21st - Leadership Masterclass in London, UK

June 30th - Guest Speaker, Plymouth

July 12-13th - Keynote Speaker, Malta

August - The next sailing adventure…

 

I’ve listened to more speakers than is probably healthy on the subject of “Building a Winning Team” - so when I saw this as subject for a session by Caspar my blood didn’t boil in anticipation.

As a speaker myself I know that most of us have content we want to deliver and we look for stories to humanise them.

Nothing wrong with that - standard practice. What lifts Caspar module is that he 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. Caspar thinks of himself as a Speaker, he’s more that that, he’s an extraordinary story teller.
— Chris Hughes - Chairman, VIstage UK

Are you a manager or a leader, The Bystander Effect and Woof Reviews

The Bystander Effect

I was in Annapolis in Maryland three weeks ago at the start of my book tour.

It was just after 9am. 

I’d just crossed the road and was walking down the street.

I was stopped in my tracks by a large noise.

I spun round and saw a person flying through the air. A car had skidded to a halt.

I was less than 30 metres away.

There were two people standing closer than I was.

I immediately had two conflicting reactions.

One was "there are other people there. They can handle this” And besides I’m catching a bus to New York in less than two hours and I still have a list of things to do.

The other was “my goodness some person is hurt. They need help”.

I reasoned with myself for a split second.

I remembered I’d trained as a ships doctor and had more medical knowledge than most.

Of course I had to go and help. There was no other option. It was quite simply the right thing to do. The only thing to do.

I’d attended Hero Round Table as a speaker last year and I’d recalled Ari Kohen (Professor of Political Science at Nebraska University) talking about the Bystander Effect. Where everyone stands around assuming someone else will handle things. And no one at all does anything. There are many such tragic documented cases.

As I got closer, the windscreen was smashed and the man was lying in the middle of the road. Teeth smashed in, blood running down the side of his neck. Clearly not in a good way.

No one was doing anything.

I knelt a foot or so away from the guys head and asked if he could hear me.

I asked several times before he replied.

I reassured him he’d be ok and asked his name.

He told me.

I looked to the guy standing to my left. 

You sir in the red jacket, please can you call 911.

I carried on talking to the guy.

He asked if I could call his Dad. 

I got the number and asked the red jacket to call his Dad while I continued to talk to him and re-assure him.

Within a few minutes the paramedics arrived and took over.

Did I do anything medical?

No.

I simply reassured him. I can only imagine he’d be absolutely terrified. 

That and making sure that the emergency services were being called.

Why do I share this?

In case you are ever in a situation like this, don’t be a bystander. 

You don’t need to be medically trained. 

I didn’t use any of my training.

I simply reassured the guy and made sure the emergency services were called.

Don’t be the bystander and assume someone else will do this. Evidence abounds that we assume that others will step in and reality shows that so often someone doesn’t.

(Only sharing this now as it's taken me a while to process it and I was reminded of the Hero Round Table training from Matt Langdon as their next event takes place in San Francisco this week).

Here’s the key takeaway

In your business, in life, in everything, don’t assume someone else will do something. Being a leader means being the person to step in. 

Woof Reviews

Amongst all the reviews I’ve been getting for my book, this one made me smile the most.

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Trooper voted “Where the Magic Happens” was a woofing good read. And fell asleep on it.

My three week American book tour ended yesterday after a brilliant time both on the East and West coast. Lots of media picked it up with the likes of the New York Post and WGN Morning News in Chicago doing a 6 minute live interview with me as well as lots of podcasts and sailing press. 

We’ve consistently been ranked #1 Hot New Amazon release over the past 3 weeks in a variety of categories and lovely reviews have been flowing in.

The final event in San Francisco was at the Book Passage where it was fun to be centre stage and flanked by details of Obama’s new book and a book on the American Cuban underworld.

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It’s now gearing up for the UK Launch on May 17th when the Kindle Edition and the Audiobook also get released. You can order it here.

Are you a manager or a leader?

Thought of the day
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Upcoming Adventures

April 18th - Keynote in Bristol, UK

April 19th - Keynote in Northampton, UK

May 3rd - Keynote and Workshop in Kent, UK

May 12th - Keynote in Southampton, UK

June 6th - Keynote - Guildford, UK

June 13-14th - Keynote - Boston, MA

June 21st - Leadership Masterclass in London, UK

June 30th - Guest Speaker, Plymouth

July 12-13th - Keynote Speaker, Malta

August - The next sailing adventure…

This was one of the most fascinating interviews I think I’ve ever done. Caspar literally blew my mind and compelled me to set new standards for myself, my family, and my businesses.

— Kylon Gienger, Founder - SuccesfulDropout.com

Diversity of Thought, Snow in New York and Book Launches

Diversity of thought

Have you ever noticed that you read, watch and follow the same things week in, week out?

I did.

What that means is that you are at risk of not having diversity of thought. Of being exposed to different ideas. Different viewpoints.

Something made me rethink that this week. Or rather someone.

I had the privilege of having supper with Sir Tim Smit. He founded the Eden Project, a stunning ecological project in South West England.

Here’s a couple of the rules he has in his business.

Every month you have to read a book selected by your peers as being exactly the sort of book that you wouldn’t read.

Ditto for films watched and going to plays.

It’s brilliantly simple. It takes you out of your normal bubble and exposes you to different ideas.

I’m challenging myself and our family team and doing the same thing. Letting Nichola my wife and the kids suggest things for me. And me for them.

Here’s why I think is so important. We increasingly get personalised media channels based on our preferences and previous likes. We cannot help but be influenced by what we engage with.

Unless we encourage diversity of thought our worlds will simply get smaller and it becomes harder to appreciate the perspectives of different people.

It’s also good for business. It just helps you understand other people better rather than being entrenched in your own views.

Right. I’m off to read some science fiction. Something I’ve never done before.

Here’s the key takeaway:

Keep your ideas and influences fresh. Think about feeding your brain different ideas and approaches to maintain diversity of thought.

Snow in New York

Having thought I’d done a cheeky number on the UK and escaped to the USA for some warmer weather, it only went and decided to snow in New York.

As they say: There is no such thing as the wrong weather. Just the wrong clothes.

Wishing now I’d packed for colder weather.

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Launching a Book

It’s been a roller coaster of a journey launching a book. The book tour has taken me so far around the East Coast of the USA. New York has been my home for the past week as we’ve hit a variety of Amazon #1 rankings and been featured in the New York Post, the Daily Mail and a host of podcasts with excellent hosts and a slew of sailing press.

Here’s been one of my favourite podcasts on leadership, with Dov Baron whose show is the #1 rated leadership podcast for Fortune 500 Executives.

It’s been fun doing book signings in Annapolis and New York and hanging out at the Amazon physical book store (isn’t that ironic!).

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More online and TV coverage to come as we head to the West Coast of the USA.

If for some reason, you've missed the link for how to get it on Amazon, its here :)

Alongside doing book launch things, its been great to hang out on Wall Street, see the Statue of Liberty, be moved at Ground Zero and inspired at the Guggenheim Museum.

Be a Better Leader

Remember that you are running your own race. Look for how you can improve you and help your team every single day. With a little bit of inspiration from Madison Square Garden.

Thought for the day:

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Caspar Craven has been inspiring business leaders ever since he returned from sailing around the world with his wife and three small children.
— The Director Magazine

Coming to America, Learning from my children, Annie Lennox and more.....

Coming to America

I couldn’t be more excited that I’m flying to America this Friday for the launch of my book “Where The Magic Happens”. I’ve got a 3 week long book tour starting in Annapolis, then Washington DC, New York and San Francisco (and potentially a few other locations too).

If you’ve not pre-ordered your copy - either in Hard Back, Kindle version or Audiobook (read by me), then now would be the perfect time :). It’s got plenty of colour images and the first critics reviews in have been very kind and lovely to read.

The pre-order Amazon link is here:

Some companies have been placing large orders for their teams. Maybe your company would like to do this too?

If you’re in any of those locations between March 24 and April 14, it would be brilliant to connect.

Learning from my children

We sat round the dinner table last night listening to our children sharing what they’d learnt at school.

My oldest daughter talked about gymnastics and dance.

My son talked about science.

It made me think about each child and how they are all uniquely different.

Several days earlier I’d watched for the umpteenth time the humorous and memorable Sir Ken Robinson talk on why schools are killing creativity. His take is that we need to encourage each child to follow their natural skills and talents.

Why is this advice just for our children?

Isn’t it good advice for us all?

As we watched my two daughters dancing their version of the Charleston after dinner, it made me smile seeing them totally in their element.

Here’s the key takeaway

When was the last time you questioned whether you are fully using your natural skills and talents. The things you love doing. Even if its just for 5 minutes a day, finding that thing that lights you up.

 

This made me smile…Sweet Dreams ..(are made of these)

It’s almost as though Annie Lennox wrote these lyrics for us..

“Sweet dreams are made of these…I travel the world and the seven seas”

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Learning Emotional Resilience

Joe de Sena, Founder of spartan.com interviewed Caspar for his podcast which went live this week and has already been watched 40,000 times on YouTube.

Here’s what Joe said…

Would you leave everything to sail the world?  Caspar Craven did...twice! In this week's podcast, we discuss how sailing the high seas taught Caspar and his family emotional resilience and how you can learn it too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqjvrfY-Kho&t=54s

Be a better leader

Why do you do it?

Leadership tip of the week - it’s all about finding personal purpose and why its important to help your team find their personal purpose.

 

Thought for the day

“We thrive when we gaze deeply into the future ...so we can continue to invent in behalf of customers before they ask”

Words that form part of the DNA at Audible (owned by Amazon).

 

Adventures

I'll be speaking in these locations. Get in touch if you're around you'd like to meet for a coffee.

March 24th Annapolis, MD - WCC After Dinner Speaker

March 27th - April 13th - Various in the USA for the Book Launch of Where the Magic Happens covering Washington DC, New York and San Francisco

April 14th San Francisco, CA - The Book Passage

April 18th - Keynote in Bristol, UK

April 19th - Keynote in Northampton, UK

May 3rd - Keynote and Workshop in Kent, UK

May 12th - Keynote in Southampton, UK

June 21st - Leadership Masterclass in London, UK

June 30th - Guest Speaker, Plymouth

July 12-13th - Keynote Speaker, Malta

 

I listened to Caspar yesterday as he outlined his journey around the world by yacht, with his very young family. Everything from the concept, planning and execution.

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.

Thank you Caspar.
— Mike Blackburn OBE - Chairman at Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership

Slow Down. What my 5 year-old daughter reminded me about leadership

From Caspar's Chart Table

My 5 year old recently reminded me what leadership is all about.

She had a friend over for a playdate. Her friend was struggling to understand how to play a game (it was Cat Bingo). She stopped what she was doing. She went to understand where he was stuck and to help him.

Isn’t that the key attribute of leaders?

To show empathy.
To understand those around you. 
To help others develop.
Leadership isn’t a title.
It’s something you live by virtue of your actions.

It doesn’t matter if you are 5, 35 or 75.

Here’s the pattern I’ve noticed.

I’ve seen it in the research I’ve read, from brilliant leaders that I’ve spent time with and learnt from, and from my own experiences.

It's that that the single most important characteristic of any leader is empathy. 

Showing real and genuine concern for those in your team, for those around you.

Here's the advice paraphrased from my little one:

Slow down a moment.
Take notice of those around you and what they need.
Show compassion and help them on their journey.

This made me smile

I got to spend time with British acting legend, Joanna Lumley this week. How can you not smile when you are with one of the most inspiring people I know. She was utterly charming, energising and full of interesting questions like “who did I want to play me in the film about our story”. My answer to her amusement was that I think Nichola would quite like Colin Firth.

Joanna.jpg

Be a Better Leader

Leadership tip of the week, my new book, and a lot of snow.

 

Thought for the Day

I delivered my new Keynote, The Brave You to a brilliant audience in Chelmsford, Essex this week. Here’s one of my thoughts from this:

Brave is when we make decisions and choices in the face of uncertainty. It’s one of the highest skill sets we need today and in the future.

We all have a Brave Part inside each of us - The Brave You.

To find out more about The Brave You and how I believe we can train ourselves to be more Brave, stay tuned.

Upcoming Events

I’ll be speaking in these locations getting ready for the launch of my book Where the Magic Happens which Bloomsbury are publishing.

Get in touch if you’re around and you’d like to meet for a coffee.

March 12-14th London - IOD Open House
March 17th Guildford - WCC After Dinner Speaker
March 24th Annapolis, MD - WCC After Dinner Speaker
March 27th - April 13th - Various in the USA for the Book Launch of Where the Magic Happens
April 14th San Francisco, CA - Book Launch Event
April 18th - Keynote in Bristol, UK
April 19th - Keynote in Northampton, UK
May 3rd - Keynote and Workshop in Kent, UK
May 12th - Keynote in Southampton, UK

Having wasted many valuable hours in different networking events and coaching sessions on a number of occasions, it was most welcome to discover that reverse was true with Caspar. The combination of the simplicity of his system and the experiences he had shared with us gave me the WOW factor and made me discover the BRAVE in me.
— Yusuf Tokgoz - Head of Development at Iceberg Digital

Time to reboot

From Caspar's Chart Table

We’re 50 days into 2018 (at the time of writing). Two weeks ago I noticed that my energy was flagging and I decided to reboot.

I’d been making progress against my 90 day goals and plans for the year, but I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted more and faster progress.

I kicked myself up the backside. I hired my fitness coach, Niki, with the brief that I want more energy and to be able to do more. I took on a business coach to help me work on my next mission and to keep me accountable. I got more rigorous with managing my time.

So what’s message? Well its twofold.

Usually we only stop to take stock of things like this at designated dates, New Years Resolutions, Year ends, quarter ends, birthdays and so on. Why? Why not take stock at any time. There is no right time. If you’re not doing everything you want to be, then when would “now” be a good time to kick up into another gear?

Second. The habits that I used when I hit my reboot button. Coaches, focusing on energy, people who can guide you are things that were fundamental to making our previous plans happen of creating multiple successful businesses and getting my family team ready to sail the world. 

Tip: Look at what you’re doing right now. Does it need to kick up a gear and who is best placed to help you?

 

What happens if you don’t get enough sleep

A sleep expert explains what happens to your body and brain if you don't get sleep (it’s 4 1/2 minutes well worth watching).

This made me smile

“Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she'll give you a baby.. If you give her a house, she'll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit!”

- William Golding (and added to by Erick S. Gray)

 

Be a better leader

My leadership tip of the week on how to get maximum value from each thing that you do (and a dose of nostalgia at the Ministry of Sound)

Tip: What are the opportunities that you are missing that are right in front of you?

 

Thought for the Day

"The most important lesson life has taught me is, "to be patient and keep picking away at the end target"

- Sir Ranulph Fiennes

It was a pleasure to attend your session yesterday, Caspar - a brilliantly unique look at leadership and one that has certainly added value to my thinking and actions.
— Iqbal Kanji - Driving organisational performance by developing Boards and Directors

Something New and The headline I could never write

From Caspar's Chart Table

One of the hacks I discovered when building my last business was to surround myself with people with energy, purpose and ideas. 

It just rubs off and you lift yourself to higher levels than you were before.

Last time round as I was building a B2B business in the UK, I'd go to B2C Conferences in the States to get fresh ideas and energy. That led to some major breakthroughs to grow that business.

Last week, I went to a 2 day event totally unrelated to what I'm doing.

Why?

Fresh ideas, inspiration and I know the people presenting there are playing on a high energy and impact level.

I left there buzzing with even more energy. Perhaps unsurprisingly the last 3 days of the week were exceptional with new opportunities and connections. Amazing things really do flow when you put yourself in the flow of energy and ideas.

Not only that. Live in your own markets and ideas, the best you'll get is the same as everyone else.

Step outside and you'll find new cool stuff to lift you to higher levels.

The headline I could never write

There are definitely some words a British person couldn’t write about themselves. It’s very humbling when someone else writes them.

Read the Institute of Directors Article: Why 30 Minutes with Caspar Craven could change your life.

This made me smile

Perhaps the most brave and audacious marketing launch ever performed. The sight of Elon Musk’s Tesla floating through space, Space Oddity by David Bowie playing and the nod to HitchHikers guide to the galaxy with Don’t Panic on the dashboard. Don’t miss the humour value of the name too - it was called Falcon Heavy. Try saying the sentence: It's so Falcon Heavy, man. 

Pure genius.

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Be a Better Leader

Thought for the Day

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back-- 

Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. 

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. 

A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. 

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. 

Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now."

- From the genius pen of Goethe

 

His ability to catch and keep the audience’s attention throughout the speech was magnificent.

He went far beyond my expectations.
— Vadims Koroļovs - Finance Director at Antalis