Tag Archives: business

The Adventure of…..Building Brands, Blogs, and Brains

So its been awhile since we did an actual blog. Still trying to figure out the best way to post the podcast on here…it does an autofeed so I really don’t see it until its posted up.

Much of our work has been focused on helping other adventurers with understanding their strengths, assisting in mind mapping books and articles for others, and helpingnteams set up their own personal branding.

All of this has been exciting to work in, and although it has taken us from our own adventures, we have grown from it as well.

This morning I worked with a client who has had a steady career, but due to the still struggling economy, has faced not only job loss, but a cut in hours at her new gig. All of this as she prepares for a major expedition. Our main focus shifted from understanding her leadership and thinking preferences to defining and communicating her personal brand.

Most of this has not been on the forefront of most adventurerures….but here is why we think it is important….

Personal Branding

For most of us, our expeditions and journeys are paid for through the hard work of our daily gig. Doctors, retail clerks, teachers, the guy who hands out baskets at the local discount store….we don’t have major sponsors, we work, save, take on extra hours, sell our stuff on craigslist. When we lose a gig it not only impacts rent, mortgage, and repayment of loans…it its our ability to do that trip we have been planning.

When we have to get a new gig, everyone out there has a resume. The difference maker is what we do while we have a gig. I strongly recommend networking, but more than that, getting involved in social media. Having a solid presence on Facebook, a sepperate page from your personal one, where you can share your insights, “like” pages that share your interest or places that could potentially hire you, network with others in your field, etc. On top of that, post often…if you are a mechanic or a welder, show off your work, post info about the latest trend in your industry, tell about a class you went to…. This is all good information for the next fab shop to have in the front of their mind when you post up after your shop closes down and you need a job.

Linking facebook, twitter, tumblr, and other social media is important. If you like to talk, do a podcast and publish that as well. Are you a nurse, do a youtube video series on packing a firstaid kit….and don’t forget about other sites such as Linked In.

The point is, be an expert. Have 15-20 topics you can easily discuss, and do a video, blog, or a podcast. Be sure your local network has access to this info…

Emergenetics

We have been intrigued by this work and use it specifically for helping both teams and individuals understand how they think and behave. I won’t go into detail here because we have already featured this, but it is a service we offer. We believe that this is the single best tool to help adventure and expedition teams as they prep for an upcomming journey. Our focus is specific to adventure and expedition, although the bulk of our work is in the corporate environmnet.

Strong Presentation Skills

The ability to talk about your adventure, an expedition you have just returned from, an elevator pitch to a sponsor, or asking someone for a gig is important. I am amazed the same people who polish their skills and expertise, travel the world with expertise, are sent out by churches, non-profs, and humanitarian groups absolutly suck when they are asked to present. At best you get boring, more boring, and completly disinteresting….

We recommend a presentation workshop that is tailored to your specific needs. Sorry, that org that has you mastering toast falls way short of the skills you need to present to a sponsor, give a mission recap to the folks that invested in you, or the 30 second pitch you need to give when walking a resume in.

Understanding how to sell yourself and your ideas, get a new gig, and building your own personal brand is just as important as knowing how to build an emergency fire, put in a clutch, or plan a mountaineering trip.

Questions About China and Korea (part 1)

Just returned from a great trip to Shenzhen and Seoul. As always, I get several questions on my trip to Korea and China- and specifically on subjects like crime, food, censorship, fear of the government, and language.  Since all of these can have some pretty in-depth answers I will answer them in several blogs. In the mean time since I still need to get out a blog or two on gear we have been testing, I will focus here on China.

Let me provide some of my background on the below subject area before I dive into it. I spent 13 years of my life traveling to both the brightest and darkest places on our planet. I have been in just as many 5-star hotels as well as hell-holes where life seemed to be one big eclipse. In that time I provided both personal and property protection to some of the most important resources for my country. I have degrees and certifications in law enforcement and resource protection, trained with some of the world’s top experts in counter-terrorism, and have a working knowledge in second and third languages. Those days behind me, I enjoy travel for different reasons…now back to the blog…

China is a wonderful place to work and visit. Beyond getting warned about drinking with young girls who have my body parts removed as I sleep, I guess the biggest question I get upon returning, is if I was afraid of getting mugged – specifically in China. I have to say, not once was have I ever been fearful of getting hurt or robbed. I have been in situations in Shanghai where a counterpart and I were getting targeted, but I took positive control of the situation. Like anything large city though, Shenzhen can have its share of petty crimes. So does any other city. What I have found is most of the time, you are in control of the situation. As I travel large cities, I find purse snatching or pick-pocketing to be the most invasive. This can be controlled by how you place your items. By the way, the story about a businessman having his kidney stolen and waking up in an ice bath is complete urban legend.

I carry a backpack with me everywhere. Really good pick-pockets can get into your zippered bag without any difficulty. Because I do strap my pack to me and buckle both the waist and sternum straps to prevent snatching, the back part of the bag is at risk of being tampered with. One method I use is to place a small carabiner to secure the zippers. This makes it difficult to un-zip. Additionally, I make sure that when in a crowd I give myself plenty of space, and when I find someone camping out directly behind me I will either move or turn to face them momentarily.  If I have an opportunity to place my back to the wall I will do so. This gives me protection from any wrong doing that I can’t easily detect.

Another threat is when you are standing at a red light – waiting for the light to change. I will back away from the street so that everyone else is in front of me. This takes away the opportunity to tamper with my bag and gives me a few feet of comfort area.

Getting scammed is probably a greater threat. I was fortunate that when coming into Hong Kong to have a driver pick me up. Shenzhen is a growing city and even though there is access to any place you want to go by bus, rail, or taxi, you need to be careful about the taxis. The authorized taxis in Shenzhen are red and grey/white. They will have a meter in them. Getting into any other cab can result in getting scammed and a 20RMB ride can cost a few hundred RMB. BTW- there is a small surcharge for fuel that won’t show up on the meter and you will need to get two receipts when you exit the cab.  As another side note, depending on your sense of adventure, the cab rides can be interesting. You may feel unsafe- but in reality you are ok. These guys are better drivers than most of us. Also- the horn is a device for communication and not aggravation. You will get honked at- don’t get offended.

Another way to get in trouble is if you are asked to go somewhere with someone. If they want you to see their shop, go to their apartment, go see a watch collection, etc….don’t follow them. I am amazed at people who allow them selves to get involved in a scam so quickly.

Finally, if you want to find trouble, you will. Again- amazed at people who insist on getting involved with drugs or prostitutes- and then wonder why they got robbed. Stay away from trouble (people/situations) and more than likely you will be safe. Both prostitution and drugs are illegal in China. Not only do you risk your own personal safety, but you also risk arrest. It’s simple…enjoy China and don’t be stupid.

I enjoyed my time in both Seoul and Shenzhen. The people are fantastic and curious about westerners. I walked in many streets, back-alleys, parks, and shopping areas and not once did I feel I was in danger. I will cover more about food, weather, getting around, and other subjects in my blog, podcast, and v-log. Both Korea and China are great places to visit and work and I enjoy each opportunity I get.

Mission Specific GeoAdventuring

Today we took our Communication Skills workshop outside. Their objective was to recover secret documents held at various cache sites in Seoul. They were responsible for all mission prep, communication, strategy, and execution.

Prior to the team meeting we met with the leadership team to ensure they understood the mission for the day, provide them some insight to each target, advise them on our expectations, and a few clues on potential pitfalls. What I love about the team here is their openness to teaching.

The team assembled for a final meeting to discuss the plan. Each member was able to provide input. I enjoyed the fact that much of the strategy for execution was given by the team, with final approval coming from the leaders.

The team hit their first cache area within a few minutes after departure. The original plan was to find the first cache together and then split into teams of two. This was so they could find all the objectives. They are Asian, they wanted to complete all 25 targets in the three hour time frame. When I did this exercise in Europe a few years ago they hit the second one and went for a latte.

In the area they quickly found that even though their smart phones got them on the objective, it was not specific enough to get them on the cache. I then handed them my Garmin so they could get closer.

It was a great feeling finding the first one. Though one of the rules was for them to use stealth, you can’t blame 10 new cachers to be so secretive on their first find.

The energy level and excitement increased as the team continued to find several targets. After 4-5 finds and one unsuccessful find, I had the team break for lunch on the road. Interesting note….team was great at finding secret cache site with stolen company documents…team struggled finding a place to eat. Its Korea, you can’t swing a stick without hitting someplace to eat. Then again, its Korea, food is a big deal. We eventually found a great little place where we were treated to spicy octopus and rice. Very spicy. Very good.

We returned from the mission, did a debrief, and when class had hit a point of exhaustion, we broke a bit early.

It was great to be back in a role I am very familiar with. I got excited as we got deep into the mission planning phase. I found myself falling back into those good habits you learn while on a combat or recon patrol. If you have been in this role you know what passage of friendly lines is. Imagine now you are doing your head count as your troops cross the wire….out of the elevator…..

20120613-175317.jpg

20120613-175344.jpg

20120613-175404.jpg

20120613-175417.jpg

20120613-175444.jpg

20120613-175456.jpg

Shenzhen Day 1

Not even sure if I can get this to publish from here but will give it a shot…

Left Boise in the early hours of Friday and boarded the first of many flights, drivers, and a short walk through Chineese immigration, and finally into Shenzhen. Slept for only a few hours, wide awake at 6am so I decided to eat a huge breakfast and begin exploring the city today. The primary target was to find the Stone Trees, a pertified forrest located in Fairy Lake National Park, about 8 miles or 30 minutes in a crazy taxi…..

I found a really interesting park in my quest and was able to knock out another goal and see the Hong Fa Buddist Temple.

The taxi dropped me at the gate, I paid my 10 rmb, and decided to walk up and through the park instead of taking the bus. Inspite of spraining an ankle, I had a great workout and according to the GPS, walked about 4 miles. That is 4 miles of inclines, declines, humidity, and dodging cars, bikes, and anything else with wheels.

I saw a procession of monks reciting their creedos as the walked up hill to the temple. I made good time on them since every 5-7 seconds their walk included stopping to lay prostrate and then get up and walk again.

I will do a more detailed write up later, still tired from the trip over and I need to see if this will even post up. BTW….no facebook or youtube this week…. China bans it….

Also best American hamburger….. 4 Points Hotel in Shenzhen…. I wish we would back to making burgers like that again.

Off to watch the Stanley Cup playoffs I down loaded…. and find some dinner

20120610-214547.jpg

20120610-214621.jpg

20120610-214638.jpg

20120610-214704.jpg