In this episode I interview entrepreneur, adventurer and storyteller Chris Plough. Here we learn about authenticity and being present, things that we can teach our kids to guide them to think about what we’re passionate about and what’s meaningful in life.
Growing up in a military family and moving frequently perhaps created the foundation for Chris’ ability to handle a variety of complex challenges with aplomb and also seek out adventures and challenges.
Educated in computer engineering and theatre arts, Chris started G-Log in 1999. Oracle acquired the company in 2005; the following year, Chris founded MavenWire, which provides a full suite of services around the product he developed at G-Log. MavenWire is the biggest brand in its niche and its success has allowed Chris to focus on his main passion — meeting interesting people and learning how to reset himself so the focus is on what really matters.
Chris participates in physical challenges that take him all over the world, meeting interesting people and raising money for charities that are meaningful to him. In 2010 he competed in the Mongol Rally, in which he drove an ambulance 10,000 miles from the UK to Mongolia. He survived the Tough Mudder in 2011 and in 2013 participated in a Rickshaw Run, a challenge that requires participants to drive a rickshaw across India.
Through all of this, Chris has developed clarity about his new business focus which is advising entrepreneurs and investing in startups, while supporting charities that focus on the three main tenets that Chris believes can affect change – children’s health, education and freedom of expression.
(02:54) When you hear the word “success,” what’s the first thing or person that comes to mind?
(03:22) Chris’ background
(06:59) You’ve had a ton of success as an entrepreneur, as an adviser. How did you get into that business coming from a Theater Arts degree that you had in college?
(09:55) One of the things that struck me when we met was how, in the midst of a bunch of these high performers and high achievers who were trying to develop as people, develop their brands, you seem to be really unique in how thoughtful, how present you were, and patient in your approach to whatever your next step was going to be. So I wonder, what were you like at that start-up? And when did you develop this patience?
(17:45) Do you believe that most people who want to make an impact or are aspiring high achievers, they deal with some aspect of anxiety?
(22:44) I would love if you could elaborate on the website. You’ve actually blogged about the values you’re trying to address, and the core tenets in trying to get there.
(25:21) What about daily habits and routines that you have that are important in driving towards those tenets?
(27:35) It sounds like you have certain habits and routines but you allow for flexibility on how to execute those habits
(29:56) You’ve had your success as an entrepreneur, in business. What is your relationship with money and building your next business, or what’s going to sustain you financially?
(33:22) How important are these relationships to you and how did you build it over time?
(36:39) How do you find these events where they’re really focused on community and relationships? How do you select those and how many do you go to per year to continue cultivating relationships?
(38:55) Do you have a model for how you want to live the rest of your life, as far as somebody you look up to, the way they designed their life and the way that you like to design yours?
(41:00) Do you have any books that have most influenced you that you would recommend to the audience, and why?
- The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships by Neil Strauss
- The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield
- As A Man Thinketh by James Allen