Derek is one crazy dude. After graduating from Montana State in 2014, he went on a little adventure to explore the world. And by little, I mean travelling to 27 different countries and visiting all 50 states. He is also the host of his own show, The Art of Adventure Podcast, who’s main goal is to teach others how to learn what they need to know to navigate each new ecosystem of life.
STRATEGIES USED TO FUND BUSINESS
When I was in grad school for microbiology, I was experimenting with a lot of businesses. I had experience as a cyclist so I started coaching athletes, selling other people’s sporting equipment on eBay, and teaching artists how to build an online presence so that they can sell their art online. I decided that cycling coaching was the first business that I would bring with me as I traveled abroad in 2014.
I did this all on my own. I heard about the rock star business model where you use your personality and your personal brand as the business. As the rock star, no one can really copy them and so they always have a unique value proposition.
DESCRIBE A MOMENT WHEN YOU FELT LIKE GIVING UP
The first time I tried recording a podcast I was in a crappy hotel room in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, and I had a famous pro athlete on the phone. The interview went great, but I had realized that I had not recorded his half of the audio. As I played it back, it was just me talking to nobody. I was so embarrassed I thought I would just scrap the whole project and never talk to anyone again because I didn’t want to make the same mistake again. It took me 2 months to get over that and try again.
As a podcaster, a great success was the first time someone comes up to you and they say, “Hey, I recognize your voice. Are you the host of Art of Adventure?” To be recognized by your voice, and to hear that I am helping this woman in her career, it makes it all worth it.
I would say that skill acquisition is my greatest strength because I’ve worked in many different fields and I’ve studied so many different things. I’m able to take in new knowledge and assimilate it into my existing knowledge.
There are so many good ideas out there, and they all seem so tempting and perfect when you hear about them. The problem is that there are too many to do in a lifetime. I have a lot of unfinished projects, and so good ideas are my kryptonite because I get so enticed by them.
IF YOU CAN HAVE ANY SUPERPOWER…
I’d say the ability to heal myself and other people because that basically eliminates any excuses and barriers that prevents you from doing your best work.
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WHAT IS YOUR STARTUP LIFE HACK?
I do an annual review each year where I look at what worked and what didn’t work, and I set goals for the next year.