Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Entrepreneurs built the active outdoor lifestyle market and entrepreneurs will carry them forward, no matter what the changes are. Hell-bent on watching, scaling, and continually leveling their businesses, to create amazing lifestyles, that are supported by a kick ass business. You’re listening to the Intrepid entrepreneur podcast, the show for entrepreneurs and the outdoor, bike, snow, endurance, travel and health and wellness markets. This podcast is a production of the Intrepid entrepreneur, the place to be for passion driven founders, and if that’s you, you’ve found your people. At intrepidentrepreneur.net, you’ll discover market fluent resources, built just for founders in our markets, including content, trainings, networking opportunities, community and coaching. The Intrepid entrepreneur also offers the A game alliance, the world’s first private mentorship and training opportunity that empowers founders to launch and continually level up. For more information, head over to intrepidentrepreneur.net and click on the A game alliance icon. Founders in the outdoor active lifestyle markets are the definition of passion driven and the Intrepid entrepreneur podcast exists to share their stories.
Hey everybody, Kristin-Carpenter-Ogden here. Thank you so much for spending time with me here today on this podcast. We are about to dive into the episode number 68 and this is a solo cast, and I am really stoked to be here with you today I haven’t done one of these in a while. I always feel like we’re having a visit, like I’m coming to your house and we’re out on the patio having a beer. I do have something to talk with you about that would be perfect for that environment and I’m gonna start by sharing a story. First, I wanna share a quote. It is by Shunryu Suzuki: “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind, there are few.” And I feel like that is a perfect quote to be looking at so many things within our markets today, in the outdoor active lifestyle industries. Specifically the changes we’re seeing in how we do business in the wholesale realm, and also just the opportunities that are out there for founders, entrepreneurs, small business owners and independents.
The opportunity is here and there’s a lot of change. I’m afraid of change, we’re all afraid of change, I mean, who loves to have their cheese moved. Not me. But our cheese is being moved folks, and it’s just sort of the way it is today. So, I wanted to do a solo cast about what I’m doing about that, because I have a lot of what I want to give back to these amazing markets of outdoor, bike, snow, endurance, travel and health and wellness. Without these markets, God knows where I would be so I have created a couple things to give back and I’m putting my heart and soul into them, in addition to my heart and soul going into my baby, Verde brand communications, which is now obviously being parented by an awesome team.
So things are good at Verde, things are good within our markets, right. But things are changing, they’re changing all over the place, so let me read this quote one more time: “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind, there are few.” And let’s just keep that in the back of our mind as I talk today, for a short solo cast about essentially the opportunity at hand, with all of the change that’s happening and we can look at it like it’s scary and we want to run the other way, or we can look at it with the beginner’s mind, which honestly, when we entered this market and when we started our businesses or when we woke up this morning, I mean really… We have got to have a beginner’s mind, because nothing is set in stone. We get used to things, things seem to be staying the same for a while but, really, things are always changing and we’re seeing that just 10x right now in our markets. So I’m gonna go ahead and share my beginner story. I never shared this with y’all on and it’s very important I think for what I’m about to share with you, that you know where I came from.
Okay so: back in 1994, I moved to Durango Colorado with a job that paid minimum wage, which was nothing at the time, at the local newspaper, the Durango Herald. I also brought with me a freelance proofreading and copy editing job from a book publishing company that I was working for. So basically, graduated from UC Davis, with a degree in raft guiding. Just kidding, it was political science and Native American studies, but loved my raft guiding experience and the gateway drug it was into mountain biking and climbing and all things river sports. So, anyways, hit the road, ended up in Austin Texas for about six months, worked at an REI there and decided that it wasn’t where I wanted to be. Packed up my little red pickup truck, put my dog in the passenger seat. I had no shell on the back of this thing, I just had about five or six hefty bags full of clothes, a microwave oven and a few laundry baskets full of things, and literally like, tied it down with a few ways to tie things down and I went on the road for five or six months, I believe, looking for my perfect little mountain town and I went all the way from Austin, through the Rocky Mountains and ended on Friday Harbor Washington, I kid you not. And that’s right where I ran out of money. I applied for a job as a reporter at the paper, how rad would that be, at the Friday Harbor. I didn’t get it and I ended up going back to Southern California, to live with my parents for a year to save up money and moved to the favorite town that I saw on my road trip, which was Durango.
So I moved here in 1994. I told my dad I had a job as a sports editor at the Herald. In actuality, I had a job typing in handwritten letters that had arrived at the Herald. I had to type them in, typeset them and put them into the paper. That was my job and then I had the freelance job. But my dad and Nan, think you guys, I… They may have known that I came here for that, but honestly, within three months, I did have a sports editor jobs, so it was okay. And I told them I was only gonna be here for a year. And that was 21 years ago. You guys might have a similar story. But as I said, I was in heaven being here, living in the mountains and close to the desert, close to a river, close to lakes like, San Juan Mountains, rad, and discovered my people. And at that time I knew one thing, and one thing alone – I wanted to make life work in this town, in Durango, instead of working my entire life in a cubicle, in the city, with the hopes that I might be able to retire to this town someday. And I still believe in that wholeheartedly. And I guess I actually have two things I knew then, that I still know now, that I know make me happy. Number one: being in the mountains, on a trail, on the water, on the rock, it is as necessary as the air I breathe. And I know I need close access to my outdoor pursuits, in a beautiful environment to be happy and to do my best work and to be the best person I can be. And the number two thing I knew then and I know now is, being around my people that’s you, my bike people, my climbing people, my river people, my endurance sport people, my snow sports people, my camping people, my mountain and beach town people. These are my tribes and I need them. I need to be part of them to be happy. For us, passion comes first, it’s a way of life.
Now, I am getting to where I’m going today, but I wanted to share this with you, because I’ve never shared my story and I believe so much in storytelling. And I wanted you to know why I am doing what I’m doing right now, in addition to my first love and focus of Verde. I am obviously… You may have seen, but I’m launching a membership site for entrepreneurs in the outdoor, snow, bike, endurance, travel and health and wellness markets, because it’s needed and I want to give back. And our markets were founded by entrepreneurs in these markets and I hate to report in on this, but there just isn’t a lot of support and there aren’t a lot of resources for people like us. I’ve started three companies in these spaces. Each time I’ve started up, I have not had people to help me. I’ve had a community, I haven’t had mentorship outside of like, my network, like, my big brother Mike, thank you Mike, couple different mentors, who’ve stuck with me you know, through the last 20 years, but honestly, there just hasn’t been a community. And I was really hell-bent on creating that.
That’s ultimately why I wanted to talk with you today, okay, because if you happen to be somebody who might be in a job right now, working full-time at a corporation, wants to start your own company, or perhaps you’re just at a school, you want to start your own company or, who knows what phase of your life you’re in, but you love the outdoors, you want to start your own company. You don’t know where to go, or maybe you have an idea and you’re working on it, and you’re feeling like you’re kind of out there on your own – the alliance is for you, okay? And I chose to be an entrepreneur, because I intentionally wanted to live a very specific lifestyle, that revolves around the culture and sport of outdoors. It’s so, so important to me, and I know that’s why my people are here, following me with the Intrepid entrepreneur. They’re reading my content and watching my content and they want more, and I’ve responded by creating this membership community. And that’s what I wanted to talk with you about today, because I’m opening enrollment for the month of May. And I thought you’d want to know a couple things about finding out more information on it, so that’s what I’m doing here today. I know that you’re interested in the A game alliance, because you’re also interested in this very specific lifestyle that revolves around the culture and sport of outdoor and how it feeds into your passion and how that enables you to create innovation, remarkable services and products. I so get it and I have a great team, okay? So that’s my way and if you resonate with that way, then you need to learn more about this.
I feel that there are a couple things that make the alliance something that I think will make a big difference. I’m gonna go ahead and go over those. So, I see like five key attributes to the alliance, that really make it something that could actually create more innovation, more jobs and help further our industries, just by providing these five things. And they are: Market fluent training. Entrepreneurs and great business people are always training. Great athletes are always training. Same is true for great entrepreneurs and great business people. And I’ve built the alliance to have 10+ actually there’s 12 modules of training, that will be one release per month in a theme, created to help you launch, relaunch or continually uplevel your company in our markets, especially during the era of just consumer directed, the migration from wholesale, which is still very viable and strong, to direct the consumer. So instead of just having the theater of wholesale, we are now in that theater, but we’re also telling our own stories directly to consumers. So this… All of the modules are built to support that. And the training that I’m providing, I believe is really, really important because our markets continue to shift, and every month… The training will be posted and there will be coaching from myself personally but there also will be a guest mentor from our markets, helping us through this, providing additional perspective and training. So, you’re basically kind of getting a crash course and also solid training crash course, in that it’s evolving, and every month it’s updated, with what we’re providing from a live coaching standpoint. You’re also going to get point number two, which is a peer network. There’s nothing more powerful in a relationship and passion driven industry, such as our markets and outdoor active lifestyle then a network, and it starts with a peer group of highly motivated, highly focused and collaborative people. Your people, who are literally showing up to help each other get to that next place and go to where, as Wayne Gretzky says, the great one, where the puck is going, not where it is right now. That is actually really very important. So as I said, you’ll have the trainings, and you’ll have the network of peers and ultimately, that leads to point number three, which is confidence. And confidence is really important when you’re shepherding forward something new. I have two companies, two entrepreneurial companies… If I stop and think about, sometimes, on some of the risk I’m carrying or what’s going on the market and what I have invested in what we’re doing – it’s scary. And when I find I’m around a network of peers or a mastermind group, I feel way more confident, and I make better decisions and I just leave with a clearer focus and a better head on my shoulders. So, I definitely feel that networking and confidence go hand-in-hand. And confidence is something that you will get as a member of the alliance.
As entrepreneurs, our work worlds can be very lonely. I know a lot of CEOs feel this way. But entrepreneurs essentially are that. We wear a lot of hats, but we can feel quite alone, and I wanted the alliance to be a community that enables support for people like us, who are head down, running and gunning. It enables us to have a place to go to bounce ideas around and to start betting ideas and decisions, to really make the best next step as we’re moving our businesses forward.
So, point number four – professional coaching and mentorship. I’ll be your mentor. I have two live coaching spots a month, every month, as well as the mentor that… I will have more mentors in a guest role, for my alliance members. And, as you’ve heard, I have hard fought experience and a lot of industry fluency, from two decades of being entrenched in these markets of focus and, honestly, if I had had mentors and a community of my own, I would have made a lot less weird decisions and probably have gone to success faster, and that’s what I want for you. And now that we have digital platforms, we’re able to do these things together, in terms of having a community, where we’re definitely fragmented all over the place, but we’re tied to themes in the trainings that we’re doing and we’re navigating the course materials together, and we are working together to bring our businesses to a great new level.
And the last, but very much not least is, learning about the changing game of branding and marketing in the digital direct era. Our new customer pipeline is continually shape shifting. I can’t quite keep my finger on exactly where it is, but I can tell you that there are some core trainings in the alliance, that will literally teach you exactly who you’re serving and how your business serves them, in a way that only your business can, and also, enable you to develop storytelling threads that will keep you differentiated through the entire process of where you are, where you want to be, and you know, high seasons, low seasons, product introductions etc. You will learn how to connect emotionally with your target customer. And that is invaluable for you, to have a sales pipeline and to keep your existing customers happy and very satisfied with what you’re doing. So very, very important stuff, but we make it fun, and the community is there.
I did put this course material out to a group of fantastic, dynamic entrepreneurs in Q4 of 2015 and it was a great, great experience, but they did all of the course materials in 3 1/2 months and it was too much. It was a lot for them to handle, and so that’s where I came up with the idea of having a membership site, which is an ongoing experience. So, as I said, I have 12 months of themes. You can stay in for 12 months and you can stay in longer than that. So there’s an upfront fee to join, as well as a monthly fee to stay in the program, and you will have carte blanche access to the trainings, and to the peers network and to the mentors and to my coaching through the duration of the program. So, it’s an ongoing program and I will keep updating the monthly content and adding more, as your needs develop around different stages of your business.
For example, probably we will likely be covering creative funding actually very soon here. Well also cover how to scale, when to scale, how to leverage investments around tradeshows events, deeper dives on things, like social media, email as growth, marketing etc. All of these things will be presented as they keep evolving, which I think is also super valuable. And I just want to remind you that the reason I’m doing this, again, is because I would be selling vacuum cleaners, toupees… I don’t know! Who knows what the hell I’d be selling. I know I’d be selling, because I’m pretty good at selling, but all I have to say is, I’m so damn thankful that I found my people, back at outdoor adventures at UC Davis. And I knew that I found my tribe and I knew that I was gonna be with my tribe and work with my tribe, and that’s what I’ve done. And I’ve been able to build an amazing life, here in Durango Colorado, for my family and I. And I am wanting the same for you and in today’s era, with everything that we have at our fingertips, to build businesses in places where we want to work, and to have the capability to network, even though we’re not at the same place or the same office, and find the people we that want to work with and sell to and engage… We’ve never had these opportunities that we have now, to be successful entrepreneurs in the active outdoor lifestyle markets. And I want to remind us all, entrepreneurs built the active outdoor lifestyle markets and entrepreneurs will carry them forward, no matter what the changes are in these markets. That is the truth. Mark my words, and that is why I have built the alliance, the first and only membership community for entrepreneurs, who are hell-bent on launching, scaling, and continually up leveling their businesses, to create amazing lifestyles that are supported by a kick ass business.
I invite you to go to intrepidentrepreneur.net. Right up there, at the top of my website, is an icon that says A game alliance – click on that. You’ll get more information. I encourage you to apply, or reach out to me at membership@Intrepidentrepreneur.net – that’s membership@Intrepidentrepreneur.net. If you have any questions and every Friday of May, I will be doing a webinar, where I will answer your questions, or talk with you more about the alliance and the opportunity it presents. Because, if we get the right entrepreneurs in this community, we are going to crush it with this. And that’s what I want. I’m so, so excited about it. It’s something I worked really hard to build, it’s something I’m really committed to. I have a great team backing me up, so that I’m able to continue to be at Verde and enable my team to be great there and enable my contributions to happen there. But I also have this new company, that’s set up and ready for you. And I’m inviting you to come check it out.
Again, the two main things I believe you need to be successful as an entrepreneur in these markets: ongoing training and peer group and community support. And that is what the alliance will offer to you. I am really, really stoked that you’re spending time here with me today. Thank you for learning more about the alliance. I’ve put my heart and soul into this, just as I do with Verde. And I am so fortunate to be able to serve larger, more established brands, with my team at Verde, and startups entrepreneurs in these, with the A game alliance and the Intrepid Entrepreneur. It’s all coming together and I can’t wait to give you an opportunity to join me in this awesome, new, private mentorship and membership community. Again, head over to intrepidentrepreneur.net, click on the A game icon and apply. Or shoot me an email, letting me know if you want to talk, or have questions and keep in mind, every Friday of this month, I will have a webinar, that you can sign on to right on the homepage, where I can talk more about you. You can ask questions and all that good stuff, about the alliance. I’m only to open the alliance two, maybe three times a year. This is the very first window and it’s only for the month of May. And it will be closing right after that, so apply now folks.
Thank you so much, have a great rest of your day. I really appreciate spending time here with me today and let me know if you have any questions. All right, until next time everybody – go big.