My guest on Intrepid Entrepreneur today is none other than Doug Schnitzspahn. I feel he should be Knighted, like Sir Richard Branson. Why? Because there are few people out there in the active outdoor lifestyle markets with the work experiences and perspectives that Doug has.
He basically holds a Ph.D. in producing, editing and publishing content in a myriad of forms.
As a freelance writer and editor, he has worked on publications like National Geographic, Outside, Men’s Journal, The Chicago Tribune, The Denver Post, Backpacker, Skiiing, and The Mountain Gazette. In my opinion? Doug is one of the main portals educating newcomers to the outdoor active lifestyle markets while concurrently keeping existing outdoor fans stoked.
In a nutshell? Doug is super important to the outdoor recreation economy! Perhaps he should run for office? I know someone who could do publicity on that… :)
In this podcast, Doug and I get to talk shop. We’re old friends and we’re also entrepreneurs. We’re wired in a similar way and as we watch how the economy continues to be transformed by the digital direct era, we’re both wondering where the quality and topic alignment has gone.
There’s a sweet spot when the unique voice of the writer aligns with the topic, and the topic aligns with the audience’s and brands focus and interests. Brands should focus on making this perfect trifecta happen, and invest in content creation that really hits these three points. You can’t buy this type of approach from a content service or farm.
Doug has built a career out of creating amazing content, with a unique voice, that connects deeply with a specific audience: the outdoor market. His opinions shared in this episode can truly help your organization ensure that you’re not publishing “choss” (that’s our word for CRAP content).
You can also learn all about Doug’s perspective on the “freelancer’s economy,” and the role of sponsored content.
If you’re a freelancer, entrepreneur, or an outdoor enthusiast of any kind, you’ll find Doug to be a fascinating guy with sharp insights. Few people can offer the insights Doug can on the outdoor market today, or on how brands can pull off authentic content marketing.
Pull out a notebook and get ready to learn, and to be inspired, on this episode of Intrepid Entrepreneur!
The most impactful solutions are made when people unite to solve a problem. What’s more, Innovation soars when attention and focus are pointed at making the world a better place. When businesses take both on, amazing things happen.
We’ve seen this come to life in companies like Tom’s Shoes. Having “giving” as a mission is becoming more in demand and more common, but it hasn’t taken hold in the outdoor, bike, snowsports, endurance or travel markets.
Many companies in these markets have devoted incredible resources and time to protection of the environment. Few, if any, have taken on a solutions-driven, ‘giving based’ approach with global societal issues like poverty alleviation.
Until about 20 months ago…
Enter Cotopaxi; a company with an iron-clad commitment to using the power of business to drive social change.
Entrepreneur Davis Smith wanted to build an authentic outdoor brand equally devoted to product and apparel innovation as it is to making the world a better place in Cotopaxi.
Smith grew up in an adventurous family that lived all over the world and enjoyed outdoor pursuits along the way. He spent time in other industries prior to founding Cotopaxi, but kept being drawn back into what he loved: outdoor adventure. He began to study a way in and found a huge opportunity for a brand that resonated with the millennial consumer.
Smith and his team at Cotopaxi know that millennials need their own outdoor brand instead of adopting the brands of their parents and grandparents. The right positioning for this brand was clearly values-based, nimble with product innovation and launches, and ultimately, a brand that literally exists to improve the world.
This is no small undertaking.
Pushing a new concept like this forward required a different approach to distribution and marketing.
Cotopaxi as a brand is all about providing an experience to its target market, which involves great products and adventure. But Cotopaxi’s customer also wants to be part of the experience of a brand that’s eradicating global poverty and giving back, literally through its grant programs, which fund global nonprofits that focus on three key areas: health, education, and livelihood.
Smith explains how this is unfolding for Cotopaxi in this amazing interview. Additionally, we dive into the incredible backstory of Cotopaxi, how they’ve carefully used offline events (“Questivals”) to promote their brand when it seems like everyone wants to focus online, how a sense of adventure connects people, and how they plan on changing the world going forward. Get ready to be inspired to do more good, to help others out who need it, and to live an adventurous life, on this episode of Intrepid Entrepreneur!
There are a LOT of values-based and mission-driven companies in the outdoor, snowsports, endurance, cycling, health and wellness, fitness and travel markets. Being able to use our companies as vehicles for positive change is one of the biggest reasons we choose to launch businesses in these markets.
But launching is one thing. Growing is quite another. In fact, I’d venture to say that nothing makes founders recoil faster than making the association between accessing capital for growth and compromising their values.
As values-based business owners we’ve got a clear vision around how we want to make an impact with our companies. And going forward, that will stay in tact through the funding cycle if Alissa Sears has anything to say about it.
Alissa, along with Ted Ning, a leader in the Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) marketplace and Luis Benitez, founder of Endeavor Consulting and also the newly-appointed director of the Outdoor Recreation Industry Office for the State of Colorado, launched the AdVenturesAcademy.
The organization’s goal is to “harness the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship to revolutionize how to grow truly great, resilient companies committed to building a better world.”
Alissa is my guest today on the Intrepid Entrepreneur podcast. We talk about the inception and growth of AdventuresAcademy as a vehicle to evolve venture capital to work more effectively with mission-driven businesses.
With the advent of the sharing economy, peer-to-peer reviews and the Internet effectively providing a higher level of transparency than ever before, mission-driven companies are growing quickly. In fact, Alissa points to the growth needs of values-based companies being driven by a growing contingency of values-focused consumers.
With more options available to the buyer than ever, consumers will continue to gravitate more and more toward supporting the businesses and brands that align with their values. The companies with strong values who are able to convey that story to their consumers, with authenticity, will win.
Alissa also shares the vision behind the forthcoming “Colorado Backcountry Investment Camp,” taking place in Colorado in April of this year. AdVenturesAcademy’s event brings together select entrepreneurs and investors in a backcountry environment to learn survival, team building, leadership, and innovation skills together. Sears says that hosting the event in the backcountry is very intentional, as experiences learned together are highly relevant in outdoors and in business. And, she added, nothing brings out more of a person’s true personality than working as part of a team in the backcountry.
I couldn’t agree more. …
What Alissa, Ted and Luis are spearheading in AdVenturesAcademy is disruptive and the timing is fantastic. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Alissa Sears on this important episode of the Intrepid Entrepreneur!
This short episode kicks off 2016, Intrepid-style! After working with 25 innovative entrepreneurs in Q4 of last year in the successful, first ever A-Game Mastermind, and closing the year supporting Verde’s 53 brands, I’ve got some ideas about where we’re all headed in 2016. Plus, we talk smart cars, wearable tech, and drones just for fun!
This is the year for the migration from the Old to the New Playbook - that’s my terminology for how we connect with, acquire and convert our ideal fans, followers and customers. It’s a whole new world for customer acquisition and I’ll be using this as the basis of my free monthly content and trainings this year.
In this show, I also talk about the convergence from traditional brand storytelling (Old Playbook) into digital direct (New Playbook). In 2014, I spent a year earning a business consulting and coaching certification, during which time I immersed myself in the world of online marketing. So much of what I’d learned then that I never felt I’d use at Verde is now highly relevant.
Also, I’m also announcing my new, completely free trainings that will be coming to you on a regular basis in 2016!
Chris Warner, is a high-altitude climber, entrepreneur, author and sought-after corporate speaker. He also owns the successful indoor climbing gym franchise Earth Treks Climbing Centers. Obviously, Chris is a guy who goes big in business and life but he’s also very approachable and has a lot to teach us as business owners. That’s why I love today’s episode of The Intrepid Entrepreneur. And one more reason? Chris has a great sense of humor!
Chris has been guiding domestically and leading international climbing expeditions since 1987. He’s summited over 120 times on peaks of 19,000 feet, and his rescue of other climbers on Mt. Everest was featured in National Geographic Adventure. He knows a thing or two about facing fear and still jumping in with both feet. But Chris had a moment of clarity when a friend posed the question to him: “as someone who takes such risks in your personal life, why won’t you take a risk with your career?”
That was a turning point for him and since then, he’s been taking the knowledge and insight gained through years of climbing, and applying it to business. It’s working for him as an entrepreneur (he’s the founder of Earth Treks Climbing Centers) and it’s working for the hundred-million dollar companies who hire him to speak. Let it work for you today.
Chris is also the author of High Altitude Leadership, which is the platform of what he teaches. I saw Chris speak at the Bicycle Leadership Conference in Monterey, Calif., and he’s incredible! The parallels he makes between climbing teams and teams in business covers trust as a team, focus, culture, and commitment required in both business and climbing. In fact, Chris’ insight and knowledge about who benefits the team and who holds it back is so profound that dramatic personnel changes are often made very soon after he speaks at a company.
In this show, Chris and I dig into why the team has to come before the individual, how stories open people’s minds, why entrepreneurs are in the business of opportunity, not strategy, and why when you make people have fun, they do their best work. All that and so much more, so get ready to take notes implement what you learn, on this episode of Intrepid Entrepreneur!