Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview with Caspar Craven
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Introducing Caspar Craven
Caspar Craven is my guest today, on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview.
He is a man who really believes in going where the heart leads.
At the age of 14 he launched his first business catching crabs and lobsters, and wow what a success.
By the age of 16 he was exporting 1/2 tonne of crabs a week to Spain.
Realising that catching crabs wasn’t going to make an impact on the world, Caspar then went to University and for the next 8 years worked in the corporate world.
First as a Chartered Accountant and then as an Investment Banker at KPMG.
In 2001 he returned to entrepreneurial life as an e-commerce entrepreneur, and over the following 15 years, raised money for, built, grown and sold businesses primarily in the technology sector.
When The Dots Started Joining Up For Caspar
Caspar says “I’ve made mistakes. I’ve fallen over. I’ve got up again and carried on.
I’ve had some great successes and some failures.” which is of course what life is all about.
But how do you take that feeling of…ok, things could go a bit wrong.
But hey we can deal with it and have fun in the process too?
Well he has done just that and in 2009, along with his wife he hatched a plan to sail around the world.
Along with his young children and spent the next 5 years planning how to make things happen.
Now in 2016, he successfully completed his circumnavigation having experienced amazing highs.
He also had to make heart-wrenching decisions and agonising lows on his 7-year voyage from idea to completion.
He has been on a journey of discovery, not least to find the strength within himself to take forward and inspire others to take action and go for it.
Now he is on a mission to be a truly inspiring leadership and team building speaker.
He wants to give actionable advice on how to achieve amazing results both professionally and personally, changing lives for the better.
So how do you take your own passions and convince the family that its also a great idea for them to get involved in?
And when it goes wrong, is there always an answer or sometimes just a different direction to the end goal?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Caspar Craven
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Caspar Craven such as:
Caspar shares how he was advised by his father to become a chartered accountant as it was a safe job.
He can now see was never the right place for himself to end up.
We talk with passion as to the delight he has found since he got back to land.
How he loves taking people on a journey of discovery, through his talks, presentations and leadership lessons.
Caspar reveals the moment when he sat with his wife and asked her “Is there more to life than this….and if there is, lets go out and get it”
Why he now teaches his children to focus in on what they are most interested in and go deeper and deeper into the subject to find the path.
How To Connect With Caspar Craven
If you were inspired by the conversation with Caspar Craven, then why not check out other motivational and fun conversations with Felicity Aston, Sue Stockdale and the amazing Croix Sather to name just three.
Every other episode to enjoy and consume can be found at Join Up Dots Podcast Archives
Audio Transcription Of Caspar Craven Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. join up dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK David Ralph
David Ralph [0:25]
Yes. Hello, good morning and welcome to a join up thoughts the show you never know what you’re going to get. And today is a guest who is is quite simply one of those guests. I’ve been thinking, looking forward to talking to this guy, trapeze, we’ve got a record at the same time, I’ve got to be professional. That’s not what I want to do. I just want to sort of get into the dirty stuff and find out the ups and downs what has made his life Well, he is a guy who really believes in going where the heart leads. At the age of 14, he launched his first business catching crabs and lobsters and a Wow, what a success. By the age of 16. He was exporting half a ton of crabs a week to Spain. now realizing the catching crabs wasn’t going to make an impact on the world. He been went to university, and for the next eight years worked in the corporate world, first as a chartered accountant and Ben as an investment banker at KPMG. That in 2001, he returned to entrepreneur life as an e commerce entrepreneur, and over the following 15 years raise money for built, grown and sold businesses, primarily in the technology sector. As he says, I’ve made mistakes. I’ve bought an oval, I’ve gone up again, I’ve carried on. I’ve had some great successes and some failures. And that is of course what life is all about. But how do you take that feeling of Okay, things could go wrong, but hey, we can deal with it and just have fun in the process to what he’s done just that and in 2009. Along with his wife, he hatched a plan to solve and the world with these young children and spent the next five years planning how to make things happen. Now in 2016, he successfully completed his circumnavigation, having experienced amazing highs having to make hardware decisions and agonizing lows. On a seven year voyage from idea to completion. He has been on a journey of discovery not least to find the strength within himself to take forward and inspire others to take action and go for it. Now he’s on a mission to be truly inspiring leadership and team building speaker giving actionable advice on how to achieve amazing results both professionally and personally changing lives for the better. So how do you take your own passions and convince the family that it’s also a great idea for them to get involved in it too? And when it goes wrong? Is there always an answer or sometimes just a different direction to the end goal? Well, let’s find out as we bring them to the show to start joining up dance with the one and only Casper Craver. Good morning Casper. How are you sir?
Caspar Craven [2:48]
Good morning. I’m fantastic. And it’s great to speak to you. And thank you very much for that kind introduction David
David Ralph [2:53]
you are an absolute delight to have on the show because you are somebody that I can say this first thing and I’ve been wanting to slay this, probably every single episode. So at the age of 16, you had a problem with crabs. Now, I never thought I would start with that. But I’ve got two with you.
Caspar Craven [3:13]
They was funny about the the crabs thing is when I started catching crabs, and sounds terrible and sad, isn’t it. But I hadn’t had to leave these crabs and lobsters. And I thought that everybody would be sort of rushing to my doors come and buy them. And I had to learn about sales and marketing. So back in the day, when I was 16, I got these t shirts made up and I wrote on them crabs for sale. And I’d be walking around the local beaches and people would see it and they’d start laughing. And the moment that I had someone laughing, then I knew I could use to get a sales.
I could play on the craps for sale there.
David Ralph [3:47]
And did you end up selling any t shirts?
Caspar Craven [3:50]
No, I never sell t shirts. They were I still got them actually, that’s Google t shirts shouldn’t sell there’s actually you should
David Ralph [3:56]
have done if somebody was laughing and smiling. There’s a business opportunity. So you somebody that is born entrepreneurial, because we see on join up dots time and time again, that the born entrepreneur doesn’t really exist, it seems to be somebody that just grows into being able to accept bigger and bigger risks, calculated risks.
Caspar Craven [4:19]
Well, it’s interesting. So you know, I started life as an entrepreneur. And then my dad was said to me, you know, you need to go and get a profession under your belt. So I trained as a chartered accountants, and I can’t think of anything less suited to me now. And then I had five years working in an investment bank. And, you know, back in those days, I was doing what I thought I was meant to be doing and what I thought was the right thing. But instinctively, I’ve always known that I wanted to go and create my own path and you know, again, create my own direction rather than following somebody else’s. So I think that entrepreneurial instinct was always there. But I think I got sort of persuaded to go into the traditional world. And that was certainly valuable. I learned a lot from it. But back to what I’m doing now, actually, what I’ve been doing for the last probably 1015 years now is being entrepreneurial. And that just feels very natural to me. So I’m in the right place.
David Ralph [5:13]
It’s funny when you realize that you are in the right place, I spent 10 years doing insurance. And I spent another 15 years doing banking, I hate banking, and I hate insurance. And I did 25 years of it. And now I’m doing this I kind of thing. I don’t know why I don’t know why I was so off track all that time. But of course, as we see Casper, you never really off track because there’s learnings in everything. And that’s one of the sort of metaphors of join up does, you may not be on what you think is the right dot. But that don’t actually leads to something else. So can you see sort of synergies or connections with the Chartered Accountant when you think Well, actually, I don’t didn’t realize I was going to take that skill to where I am now. But because I learned to do PowerPoint presentations, I’m now a better speaker because of it and that kind of stuff.
Caspar Craven [6:00]
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I look back in those eight years in corporate world, they weren’t me. But what I learned from it was immense. And actually the network and the connections that I built from that were invaluable. And actually, you know that there’s a lot of things that I am using these days that came from that. I love the whole the whole saying that there’s two important days in your life, the day you’re born, and then the day work out why. And I think it’s really only been the last year that I’ve truly found my purpose. And it’s exactly what you said about you know what you’re doing now, and those 25 years before that, that when you find it, it’s just suddenly everything feels easier. And it’s like you just know that you’re doing the right thing that you’re meant to be doing this. But
David Ralph [6:46]
yeah, I’m gonna be devil’s advocate on here. Because yes, you’re right on the feel that there’s a thing that you do that you do better than anybody else, Casper, and there’s a thing that I do, and every single person out there has got a thing, actually transferring that thing to be profitable. That’s difficult, isn’t it, to get the marketing to understand how you can actually get people to believe in that thing. Because more often than not, that thing is just kind of a natural thing you do you just kind of you can just do it.
Caspar Craven [7:16]
Absolutely. And yeah, so you have to be practical about it. Because you know, we all have to pay the bills. And so it’s linking those two things together, that thing that sets you on fire? And is what’s your true purpose and passion is and then being able to be practical and pay the bills from it. And yeah, that the sweet spot between those two, that is absolutely critical thing, which I think everybody has to find.
David Ralph [7:40]
And how long did that take you to get there? Obviously, you’ve got the background history, the adventure, the seven year voyage, all that kind of stuff, which is great. But I’ve had many different people on the show that have done amazing things in this kind of adventure environment, and actually been making money out of it afterwards. And we get to the point where it’s good. That was difficult. How long did that take you to cross that bridge?
Caspar Craven [8:05]
Here, so so it’s interesting. So joining up the dots getting back to my corporate world, that’s kind of where this fits in. Because I’ve been back from the SEC, our last second adventure for a year and a half now. And after I’ve been back for about three months, and I got asked to go and do an after dinner talk. And then a couple of other keynote talks after that. And I just found that just one of the most amazing things that I’ve ever done is to be able to take a room of people, and to take them from one place, and then leave them in a better place afterwards with ideas and inspiration. And the moment that I started doing that, it’s like, you know what, this is exactly what I need to be doing. And I guess for the last year, year and a half since since I’ve been doing this, I’ve kind of been building my profile in that space. And this is where that the whole corporate thing is worked from the past. Because a lot of the people book to me for speaking events have come from my previous corporate world. And also because I know and understand that world as not that I’ve just gotten done adventure. I’ve been sitting in their seats. Yeah. And you know, I’ve been the most junior team member I’ve worked my way up to as running teams. So I kind of getting identify with a lot of the issues that that people are going through. So So yes, it’s interesting joining the dots in that way. But it says that, yeah, taken about a year and a half become profitable,
David Ralph [9:30]
which is quite quick, really isn’t it? It is quite quick, because most people on the show talk about a three to four year journey before it really comes on. And the way they always describe it is the first year they plow into it with all the passion that they’re going to be an overnight success. The second year is kind of like, Oh my god, nothing’s really happening. Then the third year is clarity. And I untangle the weeds of the first two years and then four or five it they’re sort of up and running off the bat. And everybody seems to talk about this 3d four years, because it’s not the doing is the upscaling.
Caspar Craven [10:03]
Yes, yeah, absolutely. And it’s funny because you know, you go into a world like speaking and and just written a book was just coming out as well. And that whole thing of sort of writing and speaking, it’s then the new skill sets to learn. So you get a now as I’ve done all my different ventures, the the way I approach it is go and find the people who are literally the very best in the world and to go and pay them the money, spend time with them, be humble and and learn from what they’ve done. So I’m always looking for those shortcuts to find the fastest way through it.
David Ralph [10:37]
Ah, good stuff. And what about actually, on your adventures? This is going to be a Segway? Was there any shortcuts? Or did you just have to plow through but difficult times?
Caspar Craven [10:47]
shortcuts again, the I’m all about finding the shortcut. So you know, when we decided we were going to go and do our adventure. So center of the world with my wife and three kids. Back when we had the the idea dear to do. It’s my wife had sale twice. And she’d been seasick both times. And we didn’t have a boat. And we didn’t have the money either. So there were lots of good reasons why we shouldn’t have gone sailing. So what did we do? We just found people who done what we did already. We just immersed ourselves in their worlds, and just learned from people. And again, just ask questions, ask more questions, can try things do things. And when you get stuck, then ask questions again. So so that was kind of how we approach that, that that whole thing. Because, you know, when we embarked on that idea, we realized you know, that you need a huge amount of skills to go and sail around the world. And a lot of those skills we didn’t have, and we weren’t going to be Cavalier and you know, throw caution to the wind, we wanted to be careful, because you know, we had our three kids on a boat in the middle of the ocean. So you have to take every single precaution. So yeah, we just literally must actually work through all different things. So my wife and I were both trained to become ships, doctors, were both trained in all the different things we need to do on the boats. So again, just equipping ourselves with all the skills that we need for that for that next stage.
David Ralph [12:12]
I don’t understand how your wife could could make that decision. If she’s been seasick. Twice. I go on boats, every now and again. When I’m on a holiday. And I always look out and they’re doing while watching or something, I go, come on kids, this would be brilliant. And after about five minutes, I’m thinking, oh my god, I just want to get to shore. And there was one time in Gran Canaria, which I was literally about 300 yards off the Sure, with the worst seasick, and I could have jumped off and swam and I didn’t I just sat there with my eyes closed, wanting to die for four hours, looking for a while. And I think we found two condoms and a carrier bag. And that’s that’s all we saw. There was nothing out there at all. So how your wife decided, yeah, after two bouts of seasickness, this is a good idea to be on a boat for seven is? Is she meant? Or does she just believe in you?
Caspar Craven [13:05]
So silica have a backstory of how it all came about to what why we went and did our sailing trip. So take it back to 2009. And the we’re both in our mid 30s, then, and my business back then we were turning over about 400 grand. And we were losing money. Not huge amounts, but to it wasn’t it wasn’t profitable. And the consequence that I was working 1618 hours a day in the business. And I barely saw my wife barely saw the kids. And so life was pretty uncomfortable. And we were asking ourselves the question, Is this all there is to life? What else is there? And I know, when I was looking through some of your tools before you sort of saying about that thing, when you’re in your early 20s. And you think you’re invincible you can take on the world of energy and passion. About we can’t tell me about some miseries. We just see the background down at
David Ralph [14:04]
the 40s. May I tell you?
Caspar Craven [14:07]
Exactly. So. So basically, we just came. So we came up with this plan together and saying how do we want our life to be different? What do we want for our lives. And we just created this, this huge plan, and started with it didn’t really include sailing, it was all about going and exploring different countries and traveling around the world. I’d sell before itself around the world previously. And so it was Mikkel who eventually suggested Well, why don’t we get a boat and gain sort of join up the dots and sail around the world and go and do this. And that’s we spent about six months talking about our vision of how we wanted life to be different. I mean, to put that on the wall, and we had this big map of the world. And that was literally what we focused on for that five years of preparation and getting it ready. So how do I work it ever see sickness, because she had there was something there was a bigger purpose behind it’s of, you know, changing our lives for the better. And she knew that we worked out the ways to get over the seasickness of her to deal with that. And the payoff for her was going and having all these amazing experiences with the kids and getting these wonderful places and just experiencing life together. So that that was the trade off for her.
David Ralph [15:17]
And so do you need you think not just in the saving, but in all environments? Do you need a bigger purpose find yourself to pull through, because enjoy the outdoors, I always felt there was a bigger purpose, I felt like I was being dragged in a tractor beam to where I need to be. And it wasn’t just me doing it.
Caspar Craven [15:36]
Hundred percent. So let’s say you know, I was talking about you know, that I talked about the relationship and context of a relationship. Most people understand that is that you know, you’re there in the middle of if your life and you’ve got all these different things that are going all these different pressures, so money, work, relationship, kids, whatever those different things are. And often all you end up seeing is what those things are that are around you. And you know, Tony Robbins often talks about, you know, if you do what you did at the beginning of a relationship, then there won’t be an end to that relationship. And that’s great if you look back, but you know, through life, you change and you become different people. So I’m all about creating a narrative and a story of what does the future look like? What’s something that excites all of you, that literally is pulling you forward in the future, says exactly what you what you just said that David about having this sort of compelling thing that pulls you into the future. And that’s what we did when we created our planet. And that’s what we’re doing again, now, you just created this is this thing that excites both of us, and gets you bouncing out of bed in the morning with that energy that you have the early 20s say, Come on, let’s go and do this. This is exciting.
David Ralph [16:45]
Yeah, you might be able to bounce out like you got the early 20s. But you still have to get your socks on. That’s the problem. And then once you get to our age, get your socks on that. That’s an adventure in itself for me at the moment. But let’s play some words. Now. Then we’re going to delve back into to the starting point of this all when you launch the boat out auto ship, never known as a boat or a ship, but we find out he’s Jim Carrey,
Jim Carrey [17:08]
My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [17:35]
Oh, now I play about a lot. I pray that he every show. And that actually sounded like it was a conversation between you and your dad there.
So did you go to your dad now and go Dad, chartered accountant, what were you thinking? Or, you know, how do you phrase it when you sit down at the dinner table.
Caspar Craven [17:57]
So say, say it actually, once we, once I got past University, he would always be the person who encouraged me, actually to go and do what I wanted to go and do. So when I sat around the world the first time he literally pop up and every portion because he loves traveling. And he said that that was added, like five years ago. But you know, the plan and what we’re going to go and do, he was like holy behind that. And it was just it just appealed his sense of nature of saying, you know, let’s can do let’s go and disrupt things and do things differently to have the rest of the world awesome.
David Ralph [18:32]
So So why if he had that spirit in him, did he encourage you to go into the Chartered Accountants, which to be honest, this is one of the most boring jobs you can do in it. Even chartered accountants, I know a lot of Chartered Accountants. And they actually were they’re all gamblers, basically. Because I think they spend all their time with money and stuff, they want some excitement in their lives.
Caspar Craven [18:52]
Yeah, something like that. I think I think his whole thing was, you know, like, you know, have a safety net, something you can always fall back on. So I think that that’s that was his philosophy behind it. So that was where that came from.
David Ralph [19:05]
If you create your own safety net, when it’s yours, isn’t it, and you’re not sharing it with a load of other people that might pull it away from you at the very last moment. And that’s what that’s what I see now. And it’s never a case in join up dots with that we tell people to punch their boss in the face and just walk out and say, I’m going to I’m going to create resilience, always have do it as a side hustle before you can actually sort of get to their slide of faith, as we call it. But it’s got to be safer as having your own business where you’re controlling it and bringing your own money in and knowing what’s going out. And what’s coming in. It’s gonna be a Nick.
Caspar Craven [19:40]
Well, I totally I mean, I look at how, what’s the advice I would give my children now? And how would I approach things with them. And for me, it’s all about following the things that you’re interested in. We discovered this year with the homeschooling that we did with the kids on the boats. So tell the story about this. So before we left the UK, we we went and spent to the kids teachers about what we needed to do to keep up with the National Curriculum and all that sort of stuff. So we had a boat, which was just full of books. After about a month, we’re going down the the Portuguese coast, and I’m sitting there kind of get my son Columbus to learn about the kings and queens of England.
David Ralph [20:20]
Caspar Craven [20:21]
yes, it is. Yeah.
David Ralph [20:23]
You’ve all got the greatest names known to man, what was the other ones? Oh,
Caspar Craven [20:29]
my oldest daughter is Blue Bell. And my youngest daughter is called Willow.
David Ralph [20:32]
Things are fantastic names. You, you, you and Chris Martin are spiritually connected somehow.
Caspar Craven [20:39]
My wife always says that, oh, my kids always tell my wife that she’s the old one out because she’s heard she’s called Nicola.
Columbus learn about the kings and queens of England. And, you know, we’ve got this the most amazing place again past and we’re catching fish. And like there’s a lot of sailing going on. I can see his point when he says he’s not remotely interested in Islam after about two hours, looking down at the saloon table, and the piece of paper is still blank, as the pen hasn’t moved, says that. All right, well, we need a different approach to the same way. So basically, you know, we talked about the books chocolate over the side, and said, Okay, what are you interested in, and he said, I’m interested in fishing. So he said, fantastic. So we got all the fishing books out. And he started learning about all the different fish in the different oceans, how fast they swam, how big they got. And you know, within days, he was just reciting this huge list of information to us, we then started catching these fish. And he was now writing in his journal, he was drawing pictures of them, he was describing what we call them all he was wearing them, he was measuring them, he was dissecting them. So that’s interested in fishing led him to numeracy, literacy to biology, he then set up a business making and selling fishing Lewis and five sheets. And you know, that then took into sales to marketing and understanding profit margins, and so on. And then my whole thing is, you know, if you do find that thing that you’re passionate, interested in, if you follow that deep, just like with the education, then you will find something. And it’s just a question of uncovering what that is. So the advice that I give to my kids, is find the things that you find super, super fascinating, that you’re curious about, and follow that for as far as it will go and see what opportunities that uncovered, say that one single topic of fishing that just led to opening up the whole world of education for my son, and then let him on to learning about the natural world, and animals. And you know, he’s now said he wants to become a biologist. And, you know, so that’s kind of really opened up his world. But again, just by following that thing he was super interested in. I think that’s brilliant.
David Ralph [22:55]
I think that’s a brilliant story. And it’s one I can imagine if I sat there with my son and said, you know what you interest studying, let’s just study what you’re interested in. And he would probably say Tottenham Hotspur, and then I’d be spending all my time just looking at football. But even that he could end up being, I don’t know, a journalist about football, he could be anything, I think that’s absolutely spot on, find the thing that they really want to talk about, and bore the pants off of everyone else. And just keep going deeper and deeper and deeper. But that’s the clue, isn’t it? That is the gold there. Casper, you shared?
Caspar Craven [23:26]
That I think that’s exactly it. So when I talk about the advice for them for future life, see, they said, we’ve been back in the UK for a year and a half now. And Columbus has just taken the entrance exams, the local schools in our area. And you know, it’s really nice to see his past them all. But the school he chose, it wasn’t the best school. It was the school that had a beekeeping club, because he’s just fascinated with us. And because he’s engaged because he’s interested, his learning rate is just going to go up because he’s made the choice. He’s a good
David Ralph [23:55]
fit. Now, I think that is absolutely gold. And I say that to everyone really focusing on the thing that you’re interested in. When I started podcasting, I started it because I kind of vaguely thought it would be fun. But actually, as I got into it, I became obsessed by really and even four years down the line, we’re coming up to the four year anniversary. Now as we’re recording this, I’m really, really obsessed by it. And it’s it’s bizarre when you find something that grabs you, when you’re an adult, you know, because most of your passions most of the time I sort of young kids things where you flip from one thing to another, and you’re really into something, then you go off to something else, you kind of lose that Casper as you sort of go old get older somehow, don’t
Caspar Craven [24:35]
you? Absolutely. And as you know, one of the traps that I think I’ve always fallen into, or have fallen into is doing the thing that I thought I should do, rather than the thing that I truly wanted to do. So if I look back in time, I would probably have become an entrepreneur at a much earlier stage and gone and done things. But that’s the kind of advice that now foot for my kids is to go and you follow their passions right now.
David Ralph [25:02]
Right? Okay, so you’ve got this boat? Is it a boat or a ship? I never know the difference. It’s a boat, the boat. So what’s a ship?
Caspar Craven [25:10]
I’m not specifically sure. But I get a ship in my mind I associate with a much bigger thing. So yeah, bigger, big. That’s probably not very technical.
David Ralph [25:20]
Okay. So we go sort of boat, a ship, boat and like lie low or pedalo. That’s the three stages of nautical float devices. What I’m talking about, so you want you want your ship. Now Hang on, I’ve got confused. Is it a ship you want to a boat? You’re in a boat. Okay, right. So you’re in this small thing, but it’s still quite big. Give us an understanding of the movement on there. Are you literally sitting on top of each other? Can you disappear? Because I love my family. I love my family more than anyone Casper. But the thought of spending literally seven years we’ve been my daughter going through teenage life, I think I would have loved her over after about you know, by the time I got to Portugal, when you had those moments when, frankly, the family were a bit tetchy with each other. How did you separate each other?
Caspar Craven [26:14]
Yeah, great question. So like the I would say, the best thing about our two years on the water together, we’re spending 24 seven with my wife and kids. The hardest thing about what we did was spend 24 seven with my wife and kids. So today, you’re gonna have arguments, the kids are going to have tantrums, whether you’re in London, whether they do whether you’re in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, there’s going to be exactly the same dynamic, just because we’re all people. And yeah, the challenge is, then how do you deal with that? Because you know, you know, we knew this when we were planning, but we’d end up some points and we’re like, 2000 miles away from land, one of the kids is going to turn around, so we’re nearly there yet. And like the answer, they’re gonna throw a tantrum, right, just like, just like we did driving down the most of it. So yeah, the boat was relatively small, it was 53 feet, so 60 meters long. And yeah, we had our own cabin. So my wife and I had our cabin at the back. And then the two girls share the bunk room and Columbus had had his own room. So there was a little bit of space, but not a huge amounts. And, you know, you just have to your parents your way through it, and the you know, but one of the things that we did beforehand, there was a lot of work on values. And this was the key thing that I used to transform my business was doing work on values, so building on people’s strengths and telling them what they’re doing, right. Because you know, that whole thing with kids, we say, don’t do that. And all they do is the thing that you tell them not to do. Yeah, because the brain can’t process negative command. So here’s the thing you don’t want it to do. So the reverse of that is telling people what they’re doing, right and building, building on their strengths. So, you know, we agreed the set of values as a family, and every day, we would do values, prizes, and we tell the kids what they were doing well, and yeah, I kind of like my my frame of reference for this. It’s like a farm. And like I’m planting seeds about the different behavior that I want. And if I plant a seed today, and I expect a tree to appear there tomorrow, the only person is being diluted as me. So it’s doing these things consistently. And planting the seed saying this is the behavior that we want. Did we get that right? The whole time? Did we say kids will stop doing that? Of course we had, we had that. But you know, the you just deal with it. And I mean, it for me, actually, the one that my escapes was the peaceful times at night when the kids would be asleep. And I’d be up on deck. So to save the boat under the stars need have, you know, a few hours of peace and quiet yourself. You could sit and think so? Yeah, I mean, just just just like normal parenting in the real world. So
David Ralph [29:06]
I can I can imagine you’re doing value prizes, and you’ve set off from Dover, and you’re about half and half a mile out. And okay, we’re going to give a value prize to Columbus. What is it dead? Fish? Okay, right. Okay. And the next day, what we’re going to do today, we’ve got a fish, that is going to be a fish, isn’t it? After six months? How did you how did you find different prizes other than the obvious.
Caspar Craven [29:31]
So our values, they were defined by the word love, so love, action, understanding, get prepared and happy. And what we did in the preparation was we talked about all the different scenarios of you know, when we display this value in our very best, this is what we do. So for example, when we display the value of understanding, it’s very best when you sit down and you listen to what the other person is saying. And then you repeat back to them what they said to you. And so what we would do is every morning over breakfast with you these values prices, and then we get the kids to spot different behaviors. So we got them to run the values, prizes, and tell everyone else was doing well. And we have this thing, encourage them to try and pick a different behavior or different thing they’ve seen and dislike pulling out really small details. But the underlying underlies all of that is trading to focus on what’s right. Yeah, appreciate other people. So that was that was the underpinning. And then they got stickers for doing it. And it’s funny because my brother joined us in the middle of the Indian Ocean, flew out to one of the islands. And he’d read about this in our blogs. And before he turned up his slider, and then his values, price just sounds like a whole bunch of we will nonsense stuff. And like after a week on the boat, he would be the first person sitting at the breakfast table. Because who doesn’t like being told something nice that they’ve done? everybody appreciates that. And actually, it just became one of our rituals, we still do it now. And if we miss it, then the kids will say what we haven’t done the values crisis. And yet it’s just become one of our family traditions. But one of our traditions,
David Ralph [31:09]
and it’s not so much now life has pulled us apart. So we don’t sit having dinner every single night. But we always used to say what was the good thing, a bad thing, and you had to start with the bad thing, and then end up in a high. And it just gave him a chance to think and my daughter’s boyfriend used to come in. And they used to go, oh, they’re not going to do that good thing, bad thing. And my daughter say yeah, yeah, that’s what they do. That’s what they do. And even faith kind of got into it. So we don’t do as much. But when all the family get together, good thing, bad thing. And you’ve got to end on a high. And it just gives you a chance to tell a story about your day because otherwise the days just passed only.
Caspar Craven [31:47]
Exactly. That’s exactly I love I love what you just said that that’s really nice to like, because it’s the thing about this is simplicity. And yeah, it’s just like, you know, three things like a bad thing. Good thing ends on a high. I like that. And yeah, it’s just, it’s just a way to Punic curated conversations.
David Ralph [32:03]
So you buy your boat, and I’m still confused if it’s boat or ship. So we’re just gonna go with a boat and get out there and you’re sailing? Did you actually have to go on a lot of tuition? First of all, how much training is it to sail a boat?
Caspar Craven [32:20]
So yeah, to be safe, there’s a lot. So you know, I’ve been on the water all my life, say, you know, I have a lot of experience. And I was a qualified yacht master. And, and so over the five years, we had preparing, we had to get Nicola my wife and the kids comfortable with being on the water. So we started off taking them out in kayaks and Denise, and just building up their level of confidence and awareness around tides and how the sea works, how waves work, and so on. And then from there, we took them sailing in the Mediterranean. And we take them from for a week at a time. And again, just build up the rituals on the boats. So for example, one of the rituals we had was that everybody at all time were the life jackets, adults and kids. And if anyone comes up on deck, you’re always clipped onto the deck. And nobody ever leaves the safety of the cockpit without someone else watching them. So we took a lot of time and care to build those rituals into place. And just get the kids and my wife’s experience level up. There were still lots of skills gaps that we had to go through. So we literally sat down and sort of worked out well, where do we need to develop. So you know, neither of us have done diesel maintenance. So we both went and trained and learn how to you know, take apart a diesel engine, we both went and learnt trained had become ships, doctors, we’ve learned how to read the weather has to rigging. And there’s so many different things you need to learn that you can I only do that by being structured and being organized. That’s by the way is the part that my wife brings to this. Because we have this joke in our family that if it was down to me, nothing would ever get finished. If it was down to my wife, nothing would ever get started. So we kind of complement each other really well, in terms of I’ll get the energy going and get things started. And then for that for the for the last three years, those five years, literally wherever she was going, she had this big file underneath her arm with all these spreadsheets and lists all the different things that we had to cover up. So yes, and then lots lots of preparation and planning in many different areas. And did you did you Casper no one listens to this podcast. But did you have assignment upon the fantasy? Did you did you sit right at the front of the boat being bombarded by the waves like the Duran Duran video Rio? Do you remember that video? I do you remember that video probably even got a video of me doing something like that sort of.
David Ralph [35:00]
I’ll be straight on there. I’ll be throwing kids behind me. I want the point up around. That’s where I’m going to be sitting.
Caspar Craven [35:07]
Yeah, I’m sure I’ve got photos of all of us doing that point to visit the front
David Ralph [35:10]
actually. And that is technical boat speak for anybody who is unsure about boat, just come to me and I will teach you the plump bit at the back the point up at the front. And it’s about it’s a ship is a lie low, something like that. That’s all we got to do. Now Casper, when the I had a guy on the show, called Jason Lewis. And he was the first guy who walked around the earth and basically self powered himself around. And he was saying that, actually through the process of travel. By the time he finished just looking at a map he wanted to throw up, he just kind of got him to a point where he couldn’t bear the thought of being on the go every single moment. He just needed a break from it. When you were sailing. Did you get like four years into it? God, this is brilliant. I never want this to stop or was four years into it. You’re thinking oh my god, I wish I was now how did you see for Uber?
Caspar Craven [36:03]
So we gave ourselves five years to get ready. And that will give us two years sailing until our oldest was 11. And started secondary school. with hindsight, we said we should have given ourselves three years to get to get ready, and four years to go sailing. And we absolutely loved it. And you know, we had some highs and some lows. But the overall thing was just remarkable. And, you know, we love the whole thing. And, you know, we’ve done some adventures since then. And we’ve got some more adventures or lots more adventures planned in the future. So, you know, this is this wasn’t just a one off thing. This was many, many things to come. Yeah. So
David Ralph [36:42]
when How will you feel when the kids are going to go now Dad, I’m watching Netflix, instead you go for your adventure. I’m just quite happy here on on talk face or whatever they do talking to their mates all over the place of what you’re gonna do.
Caspar Craven [36:56]
Well, it’s interesting. I’ve had that already. So since I’ve been on it myself speaking on the speaking circuit, I’ve been to lots of amazing places. But last year, I went to Hawaii for a week. And I said to the kids, is that right? He wants to come to Hawaii with me. And they’re like, now we’re right. We can anybody else in there, say mine to do that. So I think you’re kind of spoiled them a little bit with with the experiences they’ve had. But the this summer so our boats in San Francisco this summer, we’re going to sail down to Southern California and Mexico. And I told him about Disneyland or disney world which one it is. And so they’re quite excited about going there and doing that. So, so yeah, so the most more things coming soon.
David Ralph [37:36]
And how would you sell your boat to Disneyland? Because that’s in land. I know this. You’ve got to drive to that. So how do you do you actually have to book a parking space for your boat and been able to do it?
Caspar Craven [37:49]
I think it’s near LA, isn’t it? I haven’t done the research yet. But until until this near La La or something.
David Ralph [37:55]
Caspar Craven [37:56]
yeah, we’ll find the marina near there and get stuck in there. So
David Ralph [38:00]
now we boats it is prohibitively expensive. I I live near a very, very brief moorings, I live near the river Thames. And so there’s a lot of sort of fishermen people and stuff. And the amount that they actually have to pay just to leave their boat somewhere. Is Did you have a mortgage for buyers? But anybody out there thinking this sounds brilliant? Do you actually have to start bringing in money just to get it off the ground?
Caspar Craven [38:28]
Yeah, totally. I mean, it’s so I mean, it cost a truckload of money. There’s no, there’s no two ways about it. And so one of the pieces of the story was that when we had that, back in 2009, when we had the idea, I said we didn’t have the money, then the business was losing money, I probably would have done, I would have earned more stacking shelves at Tesco back then. So you know, the idea of buying a boat, which is crazy. But because we had that burning goal, that vision that was pulling us into the future, returned that first business around. And we ended up selling that for seven figures whilst we sailed across the Pacific. And we also created two other businesses as well, we both became you know, reasonably successful. So yes, it was all driven off that vision. And how do we can make this happen? Because, yeah, money, put bicycles money out of your pocket at a very fast rate. So
David Ralph [39:22]
it’s astonishing what you’ve done Casper, because what you’ve done, just disprove this episode, so far, you have taken a situation, which probably could have broken many families, and brought a family tighter together. But you’ve learned such simple ways of operating, which I can see will transition into leadership into management, I can see how what you’ve developed bear will create a different environment in most businesses, was that part of your master plan? Or did you just do this and then afterwards, thing, actually, I think these kind of things would transition,
Caspar Craven [39:58]
you know, comes back to yourself as your title of joining up the dots, the quite often you can only join up the dots when you when you look back in it for us back then the whole thing was, you know, our marriage isn’t particularly healthy, and you know, the business losing money, we need to create a more exciting future for us that one that you know, in your backs a bit sore, gets you bouncing out of the bed and putting your socks on. And it was that thing that started it. And I guess the other thing is that I’ve learned along the way and the things that we did, you know, things that we that we discovered, and you know, it’s my it’s my joy, my privilege now to be able to share what I’ve learned and help other people on that journey. Because, you know, I bet there’s a whole bunch of other people out there who are going through things where money’s tight relationship is tight. And your ask yourself that question is this all there is? And, you know, I find the most fascinating, enjoyable thing to be able to, you know, share that with other people and you know, have have an impact on other people’s lives. So yeah, that’s that’s what I’m doing now. But did I pre meditate that No, not really. It’s just kind of happens. So
David Ralph [41:03]
yeah, life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans or something john lennon think I think he said, It is so so true. So before we get to the end of the show, because we’re leading to that point, I’ve been holding off these two questions. And you’ve mentioned them numerous time you’ve had highs you’ve had lows, but what would be your two big ones what would be your highs and your lows.
Caspar Craven [41:25]
Okay, so the highs that start with a very
high I told you that
Unknown Speaker [41:33]
I was gonna say I was gonna say I’ve got to
Caspar Craven [41:37]
say the low so, so soft that there were quite a few. The the first low, probably the toughest time we had during the whole thing was what was it in the we left in the August 2014. In the April 2014, I did the London Marathon. And I raised about five grand for the NSPCC. But I’ve pushed myself when I probably shouldn’t have done and I ended up completely do my back in that we bought the boat took a for a test sale. And halfway down the English Channel, my bank went, and literally my crew had to carry me back. And I went against see my doctor who referred me to a surgeon, this is in May 2014. And basically said, Look, you know, this might heal itself. Or you can have pretty major back surgery sorted out. And it was one of those things. It’s like, you know what, there’s this thing that we’ve been working towards for five years, and you know, I’ve got to be safe, I’ve got to be fit to get my family safely around the world. And my back is not in a great place. And I wasn’t particularly thrilled with the idea of having surgery and having someone messing around with my back. And that was an absolutely agonizing decision in terms of what do we do with our lives, you know, when I, when I have challenging decisions soundscape for run, things, things things sort of sort themselves out, clearly couldn’t do that in that situation. Anyway, I ended up having opting for the surgery. So literally, on the 14th of July, just two weeks before our planned departure date, as had about three hours of reason, we made it back surgery and Karen cross hospital. It turned out to be success. And that works just fine. And we had to put our departure back by by a few weeks so I could start to move again. Being a right just before the start line, we had that thing where it’s like, you know, what, are we going to be able to do this at all We just bought the boat and it’s not now my back and gone. So so that was a pretty agonizing decision to to have to make. So that that was that was a low but you know, bounce back into a high because it because it worked quite successfully.
And then just another day, or should I go straight to a high,
David Ralph [43:56]
a high go for the high character high.
Caspar Craven [44:00]
I think one of the most magical times that I had, we’re in this tiny little island called Makarova in French Polynesia. And I just paint your picture. I mean, it’s just the clearest sandy beaches, coconuts and palm trees, and French and French Polynesia. And I managed to find the local school and I got a conversation with the head teacher. And I managed to get my kids enrolled in school for the day there. So I have this lovely memory. It’s like so Willow. She was then three, her first day at school in this beautiful tropical islands. And you know, we get into Disney and take them across from where the boat is Moore’s. And there’s manta rays swimming underneath the water. And there’s all the local kids there. And the kids scary. And there’s also all in French, my kids didn’t speak French. So they’re just making it up as they go along. But just the most wonderful experience just meeting all these local kids. NTT DATA SIG our kids and local kids, they’re just playing just having fun, the language wasn’t an issue. And, you know, just lovely fluffy memories like that just sort of spending time together as a family and just experiencing the world.
David Ralph [45:13]
And but that’s gonna get boring afterwards. Because I, I know people that have been doing the London commute that 1015 years I’ve been, they suddenly get a job where there’s a bit of traveling bold, and afterwards, I never seem to be settled. They always seem to want more. Now you’re sort of going to your home every day, and you’re getting on buses, while you’re to push for buses, get you know, whatever you get on camels, a fleet of camels outside your place. Is it a bit boring to you to have itchy feet all the time.
Caspar Craven [45:43]
I remember when we when when I said well the world in 2000, I remember coming back from that. And finding myself three months afterwards sitting in the bottom of my dad’s garden with a bottle of whiskey at three o’clock in the morning. So you have an amazing high then you get a low afterwards. So this time ran, we knew that we had to plan for what came next. So for us, this was never just a one off adventure. This was had we fundamentally change how we live our lives. So the whole thing of reinventing myself as a speaker. And you know, we get to travel the world now as a family. So this is a continuous series of different things about how enjoy life together as a family, what are the things that we were really important to us. So it’s a continuous stream Ralph and going from one big adventure to another adventure
David Ralph [46:33]
is that that is the thing that I don’t like about big adrenaline fueled, washes, a sat down afterwards, it was flat. Even in this we’ve joined up dots. At the end of the day, although I’m exhausted because I’ve had about 10 or 15 interviews back to back to back. I’ve been on such a sort of inspirational ride through the conversations I’ve had, I find it very difficult to sort of do anything the next day, I just feel slightly depressed the next day. So I can imagine with every morning you get up and there’s a wild as adult, then there’s a condom floating past you wherever you want to spark your interest. And then suddenly you’ve got, you’ve got sort of nothing, you’ve got a toaster. I think it must be really difficult.
Caspar Craven [47:16]
I think the answer is that how I deal with that is just giving yourself the time and the space, and just appreciating the little things around you. So I’m just at home today. And yeah, just sort of, you know, to sit, I’ve just been sitting outside working this morning. And just sort of you know, this is beautiful, beautiful sort of spring day at the flowers are all atom bloom. And it’s just noticing the small details. And you know, big, big presence, because you know, I find exactly what what you just said there, I get to a speaking gig. And suddenly it’s like you’re on this massive high and then the next day, it’s just suddenly you’re back home again. So it’s it’s exactly the same thing. So the only answer I find is just focusing on the small details and giving yourself the time and space to recharge and recover.
David Ralph [48:00]
Well, that was probably the words now of a guy who was very focused on this more detail sometimes to focus, but he did leave a legacy is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [48:09]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [48:44]
I like the kind of words that you live by now Casper.
Caspar Craven [48:47]
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to that Ted videos, Steve Jobs giving that address? Exactly, absolutely right. So I should say the words live by. But in 2001 or two when I did the the BT challenge the race, the I was interviewed by such a big life. And he said some words to me that stuck with me ever since he said Casper, there will come a time, a time when he looking down at your toes. And he said just before you draw your final breath, you’ll ask yourself, have I done everything that I want to do in life? He said, If the answer’s no, you’re going to be pretty bra stuff. So stop messing around, work out what you want to do, and go and get on with it. And that’s pretty much how I’ve lived my life ever since he said that to me?
David Ralph [49:33]
And is would that be a big.in your timeline when you look back on
Caspar Craven [49:36]
it? Hundred percent, hundred percent. That was a massive turning point, actually. Because the experiences that I went through the people that I met. And today is funny to listen to Steve Jobs words there as well. You know, trust yourself. That’s one of the things that I will say is, you know, don’t wait for perfect. get an idea of where you want to go get moving. Trust yourself, you’ll figure out the answers as you go along. And after share this message with the businesses, everyone’s waiting for things to be perfect, waiting for things to be aligned. And you know, I think one of the highest skill sets we need these days is to make decisions in the face of uncertainty. And trusting yourself. You’ll figure out those answers. I think if we’re right at the heart of that start trusting yourself.
David Ralph [50:16]
Yeah, I agree with you 100%. And if you’re out there, and you’re thinking of doing a business, and you’re comparing your website on cappers or whatever, just get one up, just get one up as a star doesn’t even have to have traffic, just just start doing stuff. And things change naturally. And things get sexier as they proceed through. But I do think Casper, a lot of people look at you, they look at their sort of movers and shakers, and they think you started with the end product, but you didn’t Did you started with something and then just built from there.
Caspar Craven [50:48]
Absolutely. Start with something and you know, surround yourself with people who will give you feedback, kill and encourage you. I think that’s the single most important thing. So I’ve started a new movement called the brave you. And the fundamental be the underpinning of the whole thing. It’s about building your foundations. And that’s the people you spend time with what you watch what you read what you listen to, because that has such a big impact. So put those things in places start moving. But listen to people who have been there before, because there’s very few things in this world where someone hasn’t trodden that path before. And they’ll be able to guide to get back to the story about my kids education. You know, Columbus followed his passions, but I’m there sort of staring him saying, Well, what about this? What about this, and you know, encouraging him in different directions. And that’s the thing that opens up the possibilities. So that’s the tweak, I guess, on the following your passion space, is having mentors around you who can suggest things to you that you might not have seen otherwise.
David Ralph [51:51]
Great advice, great advice all the way through the show. And I’m now know that we’re going to get even better advice, because this is the part of the show that we called a sermon on the mic. When we’re going to send you’re back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young Casper, what age Casper would you choose? And what advice would you like to give him? Well, we’re going to find out because we’re going to play the music. And when it fades, you’re up, this is a B sermon on the mic. We go
Caspar Craven [52:23]
with the best.
So here’s the advice that I would give to myself probably in my mid 20s. And the advice is to trust your own inner voice, your own instincts and your own intuition. And for so many years, I did what I thought I was meant to do what I thought was the right time sing. And I overruled that voice inside my head. And it said maybe I’m 45 now. And it’s only been since for the last year. So in 44 and 45, that I’ve completely trusted myself to follow my own instincts on what I think is the right thing to do. And I found that the single most rewarding thing that I’ve ever done. So the advice that I would have, for my younger self is to say, Okay, what are the things that are truly important to you get a piece of pen, get a piece of paper and pens out, write them down, scribbling down, revisit them regularly, put them up on the wall, and focus on those things that excite you that energize you, because that’s where the truth for each of us lies, and those things that set our souls on fire. So you know what, that’s what I was put on this earth to do. So give yourself the permission to just go for it. And surround yourself with people who can help to guide you who will encourage you and give you the advice. So I think that’s what I would that’s what I would advise my younger self.
David Ralph [54:08]
And you being he would listen Casper
Caspar Craven [54:12]
depends who was Spencer was saying it to him. If it was me, then quite possibly I would listen to myself. I think one of the things you got to be careful as he do listen to So yeah, I would probably listen to myself.
David Ralph [54:25]
Yeah, listen to him and listen to join up dots when you get older. That’s the only two people you need to listen to. So Casper, what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you.
Caspar Craven [54:35]
So it’s through my website, Casper craven.com, is the best way and can also mention that my my book is launching in the in the UK on May 17. So you’re just about to come out. So if you put my name into Amazon, then the book is there, which tells the whole story which I just touched on. And it’s also got a blueprint in there. For anyone else who’s asking that question is this all areas to life? And literally we we reverse engineered everything that we did. So that, yeah, there’s a manually you know, it’s not just if you want to sell around the world, if if you want to change anything in your life, then that then the blueprint is there,
David Ralph [55:14]
we will have all the links in the show notes to make it as easy as possible. Casper, thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. And please come back again when you’ve got more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past it’s actually the best way to build our futures. Casper, thank you so much.
Caspar Craven [55:33]
Thank you very much David really enjoyed that
David Ralph [55:38]
Craven. So he gets a boat, he gets a ship, whatever it was. And he sets off with his family. And he knew he knew that he had to set some kind of rules and regulations. And how he did it was finding the good stuff in people making sure that they respect each other, making sure that they have a structure that work order stuff that he’s now transitioning in to leadership. So if you are somebody out there and you’ve got a team that isn’t functioning, been get Casper to come and present to you and if you’re somebody who fancies sailing around the world on a boat, ship a lie low wherever he was on, once again connect with him and I’m sure he will be able to help you. And of course he’s got his book coming out but you can go over to Amazon and type in Casper Craven or come to the show notes and we will have a link as well. Until next time. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you so much for everybody who listens and to my special friend habits employed. There you go make that inspiration for you get your boat and sail around the world like you want to look after yourself. Cheers. Come on
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to join up.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on join up dots.