Caspar Craven: Anchor Your Success | E14

Caspar Craven: Anchor Your Success | E14

#14: Anchor Your Success with Caspar Craven

Ahoy, Young and Profiters! In this episode we’re yappin’ with Caspar Craven, a man who is famous for sailing around the world with his wife and 3 small children. Caspar is a British entrepreneur, adventurer and motivational speaker who has built several million dollar companies from scratch. He currently spends his time speaking with businesses and leaders from around the world, and helps them become more successful through better collaboration and teamwork. January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month! Find out your slavery footprint:

[00:00:00] Hala Taha: This episode is sponsored by Audible. If you like podcasts, then you'll love Audible. To download your free audiobook today, go to This is a public service announcement. January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month to help support the cause. We're kicking off every show this month alongside Mick McEwen, a former US Department of Homeland Security Senior Official. 

[00:00:23] Mick, tell us what is human trafficking and how big of a problem is. 

[00:00:27] Mick McEwen: Human trafficking is modern day slavery. It involves the use of force fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. It's a huge problem, Hala. It is the second fastest growing criminal industry in the world, even though it's illegal in every country on the planet.

[00:00:44] It's hard to get exact numbers, but we think 79% of human trafficking is in the form of sexual exploitation, and the International Labor Organization estimates that there are 4.8 million people trapped in forced sexual exploitation globally. Other [00:01:00] organizations quadruple that number. The victims are mostly women and girls.

[00:01:04] In fact, almost 20% of all trafficking victims world are children. 

[00:01:08] Hala Taha: That's absolutely terrible, but there's gotta be something we can do about it. What are some of the indicators of human trafficking that can help us potentially identify a victim? 

[00:01:18] Mick McEwen: There are definitely some red flags to look out for. While the victims are sometimes kept behind locked doors, many times they're hidden right in front of us in places like hotels, construction sites, and nail salons. Here are some indicators that you should be paying attention to. Are there poor living conditions or signs of physical abuse? Do you see multiple people living in a cramped space? Is there an inability to speak to someone? And if you do speak to them, do their answers appear to be scripted and rehearsed?

[00:01:42] Lastly, employers or some other people are holding onto their identity documents. People often wonder, when would I ever see this occur? Great example would be at a pharmacy or a bank if you witness someone showing their identification and then handing it right back to someone else. Think about it, they're giving their identification for safekeeping to [00:02:00] someone else who really does that without being forced to do it.

[00:02:03] Hala Taha: Got it. All right. That's really helpful. So what happens if I witness a few of these red flags? What do I do next? 

[00:02:10] Mick McEwen: Don't be a hero. Contact law enforcement by calling 9 1 1. Do not try to attempt to rescue a trafficking victim yourself. And if you identify a victim who's no longer in harm and has escaped a trafficking situation, there are a number of organizations who can help with shelter, medical care, and legal assistance.

[00:02:27] If this is the case and you're in the United States, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1 8 80 3 7 3 7 8 8 8. You don't need to remember the number. Just Google it if you ever need it. 

[00:02:40] Hala Taha: Thanks, Mick, for helping us raise awareness of human trafficking. To all my listeners, let's be sure to be on the lookout for anything fishy, and together we could combat this issue.

[00:02:50] You're listening to YAP, Young and Profiting Podcast, a place where you can listen, learn, and grow. I'm your host, Hala Taha, and today we're yapping with Casper [00:03:00] Craven, a man who's famous for sailing around the world with his wife and three children. Casper is a British entrepreneur, adventurer, and motivational speaker who has built several million dollar companies from scratch.

[00:03:12] He currently spends his time speaking with businesses and leaders from around the world and helps them become more successful through better collaboration and teamwork.

[00:03:24] Hi Casper. Thanks for joining Young and Profiting podcast. 

[00:03:27] Caspar Craven: Hi, Hala it's a pleasure to be here. 

[00:03:30] Hala Taha: Very excited for this interview. So let's get started. One of the main things that you're known for is sailing around the world, an excursion that took two years, which you embarked on with your wife and three small children who were just, nine, seven, and two. And I really think that sharing this story will give a good introduction of who you are, and it's a good flow for sharing the message that you have for the world, both personally and professionally in our lives. So let's start from the beginning. Take us back to where it started. What was your [00:04:00] life like before you decided to set sail around the world?

[00:04:03] Caspar Craven: I used to have what I would call a conventional or regular life . So I left college and worked my way up through corporate worlds. Got up to middle management by my early thirties and then set up my own business when I was early thirties and ran that for probably, what was it now, about five or six years.

[00:04:23] And by then I was in mid to late thirties with my wife. We got married and we had a couple of kids, and life was kind of okay. To the outside world, it probably looked amazing. You're married, you've got two kids, you're running your own business. Isn't that the dream, right? . But on the inside, it felt really tough because you're working sort of 16, 18 hours a day in the business.

[00:04:46] And back then I would have earned more money stacking shelves down at the UK equivalent of Walmart. The life was dominated by arguments about money, feeling guilty, not spending enough time with the children. And we hadn't figured out how to really grow our [00:05:00] business and create a profitable business.

[00:05:02] So when we had our first idea, we were in a pretty challenged place emotionally, financially, and time wise. So that was the breeding ground for us to say, hang on a second, this probably looks great. But we were asking ourself, is this all there is to life? 

[00:05:18] Hala Taha: That's so interesting. So then how did you guys come up with the idea to sail around the world?

[00:05:22] Caspar Craven: We sat down with each other and we asked ourselves the question. It's what's really important to both of us in life? What do we really want to go and do? Because if this was what everything was cracked up to be, then it wasn't that great. So we started to really understand and really listen to each other in terms of what we wanted to go and do.

[00:05:46] And some months previous to that, my brother-in-law, we'd been at a birthday party and he told us about this family who sailed around the world and then went on to say how ridiculous it was. But that just peaked the interest for me [00:06:00] and Nicola. And so you know that would be quite cool to go and do that.

[00:06:03] So when we started to listen to each other, what was really important to Nicola was going and traveling and what was important to both of us were spending time with our kids. Cause our kids were growing up and we just weren't seeing them at all. And we're thinking, what's the point of having kids if you don't end up spending time with them?

[00:06:21] And so that was the starting point and we talked about what was important. And for me, I love time on the water. I love traveling as well. And the more we talked, we started to hatch this plan to go, and we wanted to go and sail around the world for two years and literally go and experience the world with our kids.

[00:06:41] Back then it was a crazy idea because Nicola, she had been on a boat twice back then, and she'd been seasick both times. We didn't have the money. We didn't have a boat. So there are all sorts of reasons why it was just a ridiculous idea, but it still caught our imagination. [00:07:00] We created a whole narrative of the future for us that involved this sailing plan. So let's go and do that. 

[00:07:06] Hala Taha: So you literally sailed around the world to save your marriage? 

[00:07:09] Caspar Craven: So we gave ourselves a five year plan to change everything, and what saved our marriage was the process we went through to go and have the amazing family experiences because our marriage was saved in the five years beforehand, not during the sailing, it was the idea of doing something together. It could have been going on a road trip across America. It could have been backpacking across Asia. It could have been anything. But having a shared goal. Rather than, Both going off on our own different career paths. And I think that's what happens to so many other people.

[00:07:49] It's you go through college and you get the ideas you wanna gain what career you want to have, and people get together. But people grow apart because they're going on different paths and different trajectories. And that was [00:08:00] us. But by creating this shared story and uniting us with where we were going it, that was the thing that changed everything.

[00:08:06] Hala Taha: That's very romantic. I don't know how anybody could top that . So I heard it took five years to prepare for this trip. You just mentioned previously that it was very expensive to sail around the world. So let's talk about that. How did you achieve your financial goals and what were the mind shifts that you had to take to make this trip a reality?

[00:08:27] Caspar Craven: Two big questions there. Okay, so the financial goals. When we had the idea, I had this small consulting business. We had sales probably about half a million dollars and losing money. So in that five years to turn things around, I spent the first two years where I thought I was doing things, but really I wasn't doing anything at all.

[00:08:51] I was fooling myself in my previous businesses, I'd always said, I'm gonna build the business up in five years time. I'm gonna go and sell it. But that five years, it always stayed [00:09:00] five years away. And because we put a date in the diary, so the 1st of August, 2014, we're gonna be heading off. That now was getting closer.

[00:09:07] So now in 2011, it was three years away rather than five years away. And that forced me to start thinking about it differently and previously I thought I could figure out all the answers on my own to all these different things, and then I realized I had to go and find people who are way smarter than I was, who'd had success.

[00:09:29] Go and be humble and to go and sit down and learn from them and say, look, tell me what you've done. And that was the start of the big mindset shift for me, realizing that I had just had to surround myself with people who'd been on this path. So that was the first step. And then I filled my mind with these different ideas of how to really grow a and make a successful business.

[00:09:52] And I then came back into my company and I started changing everything, hiring staff, new [00:10:00] products, new services, just like getting nuts in the business. And that worked for about three months until the rest of my team turned around and they said, look, you carry on doing that. We're all gonna leave just because you are being a nightmare.

[00:10:13] So that was my second turning point because I realized that to build anything amazing, I had to create an awesome team of people, especially because I knew that we were gonna be on a boat at some point, and therefore, the team had to run the business. I couldn't jump in and go and fix the problems. So right from that three years before going, I was asking the question, how do we build a business that can run without us?

[00:10:40] So I then had to go through quite a humbling process of learning how to be a leader, how to engage everybody based on their strengths, rather than saying, I'm right. I had to listen to all the reasons why other people had, and I realized actually, the secret was just surrounding myself by really smart people, creating the right [00:11:00] culture and encouraging each person to be brilliant to whatever they were expert at doing.

[00:11:06] And that really started to transition that business. So that business carried on growing. We put an amazing team of people in place. We ended up selling that business for seven figures whilst we sailed across the Pacific Ocean. But what was quite cool was the processes that I had learned to, A build, a successful, profitable business, and B, built an amazing rockstar team. We applied that and we created two new ventures from scratch. One was online marketing, one was in property, and so in that final three year period, we created the three different million dollar businesses just by following the same processes. So that was how we hit the financial goals.

[00:11:49] To go and do it. But the mindset shifts were one, finding people way better than me being humble and then building a team based on everybody's strengths rather than me saying I'm right. [00:12:00] 

[00:12:00] Hala Taha: Yeah. I think this really speaks to the importance of having an ego free environment. I read that your company goes by the mantra' it doesn't matter who is right, it only matters what is right'. And I really adore that. 

[00:12:13] Caspar Craven: Yeah, it's funny, I'm reading Principles at the moment by Ray Dalio and the whole idea he talks about and that about the idea meritocracy, the best ideas float to the top. It's exactly the same thing. And the traditional way of doing things, how I've been brought up in the corporate world was, there's the hierarchy and the people above best.

[00:12:31] But yeah, that really worked for us. Yeah, it doesn't matter who is right, it only matters what is right. That became the through line in the company. 

[00:12:38] Hala Taha: Very cool. And so earlier you mentioned that you had a date in the diary and it was locked in stone from my understanding, for a very long time until you had a back injury and an operation and you had to push it back about just three weeks.

[00:12:51] So why was it so important for you guys to stick to a deadline? 

[00:12:56] Caspar Craven: Okay, so look, one of my fundamental beliefs is nothing ever happens [00:13:00] without a deadline because there'll always be a reason to push things out. So in that last year before we went away, there were loads of reasons why we shouldn't have gone.

[00:13:10] We hadn't sold the main business yet, and everyone said, you're crazy. If you go now, the business will go bust. And yeah, my back injury, you mentioned if we had allowed it, Any one of those reasons could have stopped us. But by having that date in the diary, it forces you to think about things in a different way, to think creatively.

[00:13:35] And it is the skillset that we had to develop for doing that was the same skillset that helped us in challenging situations when we're in the middle of the ocean, because you have to get super resourceful. It's just, it's an easy. Answer to say, just give myself more time and I'll go and do this, or I'll go and do this.

[00:13:54] But when you really put yourself to the sword, then that just unleashes [00:14:00] creativity and resourcefulness, which we've all got. But by moving the deadline back, you let yourself off the hook, basically. . You have to force yourself with a deadline. 

[00:14:08] Hala Taha: Yeah. I love that. I think that's really great. I recently put up a post on LinkedIn that I feel like reminds me of this, where I said, when it comes down to it, whenever you're faced with a decision, you always just have two choices. It's either make an excuse or make progress. Those are your two choices. . 

[00:14:25] Caspar Craven: Yeah, exactly. Absolutely, there's nothing else in between. One of my mentors always used to say to people who are good at making excuses are generally not good at making things happen.

[00:14:35] Hala Taha: I do a ton of research on my guests, and what I found is that over the five years while you guys were planning on this trip, you told many people in your community about it, and you were known as the family that was gonna sail around the world. So you made it public. And I was wondering if that was on purpose or did that just happen naturally?

[00:14:53] And do you think that spotlight put pressure on your family to really make it happen? 

[00:14:58] Caspar Craven: A hundred percent. It was a [00:15:00] core fundamental strategy and that whole thing of going public with what you are going to go and do. It really tests, whether you mean it or not, and yeah, by making yourself publicly accountable, it increases the pressure, it increases the certainty that it's going to happen.

[00:15:20] Everyone laughed at us at first and said that you're crazy. You can't do it, and gave us all the reasons, and there's some good reasons there to be fair, but by talking about it, It just became the most natural thing in the world for us. And the first time you say it, I thought, oh, that feels really uncomfortable.

[00:15:37] But by the time you said it like 50 times, a hundred times, then you start to really own that story and that piece of language. You become comfortable with it .And it was insanely helpful. All the feedback that people gave us, which sounded like criticism, saying you should be thinking about this, or you'd be crazy not to think about this.[00:16:00] 

[00:16:00] So actually people, although it looks like they're criticizing, actually, it was really helpful helping us think through all the challenges and issues we had to cover. So no fundamental strategy, making it public. 

[00:16:11] Hala Taha: Got it. And so do you that really made you stick to your goal?

[00:16:15] Caspar Craven: Absolutely.

[00:16:16] Hala Taha: Or do you think that regardless you would've?

[00:16:18] Caspar Craven: Oh, that's a good question. If we hadn't made it public, would we have done it? You know what? I don't think we would have done it if we hadn't made it public. Because I think the whole thing is all about belief. . And you've got to own that story in every single cell and fiber in your body.

[00:16:37] Hala Taha: Yeah. 

[00:16:37] Caspar Craven: And the only way to do that is to make it part of your internal dialogue and your external dialogue and the public accountability, of course, from everybody else forcing the issue, the fundamental. 

[00:16:49] Hala Taha: Yeah. And you know when so many people are giving you negativity or telling you, you're so crazy to do this, if you don't go, then you just have egg on your face.

[00:16:58] So I, I feel like that [00:17:00] probably was a motivating factor. So let's stick on the naysayers for a little bit. How did you deal with them? How did you deal with that criticism? 

[00:17:07] Caspar Craven: So whenever anybody gives you something, which sounds like criticism, My filter on the world is this, that I think there are very few people in the world who are genuinely really nasty, mean people.

[00:17:22] I think generally people mean and if I adopt that mindset, when I hear someone saying something, I'm saying, okay, so what are they frightened about? What are the fears? What's going on here? What's their belief? What's their thought process? And I get curious. Why are they saying that? And what I'm doing is I'm sifting through the words, the language, trying to understand if there's something that I can learn here.

[00:17:48] It might be. So I remember my mom saying what about the schooling and what about the storm? Or this happens? And it was just giving me different scenarios, think about and think, what would I do in that situation? So [00:18:00] if you like, it just helped us to scenario plan. Every time we heard all these different things.

[00:18:05] So yes, schooling, medical, and so on, we write them all down and we wouldn't ignore them because that would be crazy because they were, there were important considerations to think about. But at the same time, if we tried to address every single one of those upfront, we would've been overwhelmed and it would've stalled us and we wouldn't have gone anywhere because someone like early on could come up with the six reasons why we shouldn't do it. And because we didn't have good answers, then the danger is you kill it, but you write them all down and then you tackle them one at a time and you say, okay, so how are we gonna figure out what do we do about medical care?

[00:18:43] And then we came up with all our different strategies. We both ended up training to be ships doctors. We had a huge amount of medical supplies on board. We always knew where there was a doctor on another boat. We had a speed dial to a hospital in the uk, so if [00:19:00] there were ever issues, then we could get access to an expert really quickly.

[00:19:04] But it was only because we just took each one and just broke it down step by step rather than being overwhelmed by it. 

[00:19:10] Hala Taha: Very interesting. It seems like we could really apply this all in our daily lives, and it reminds me of something that Hillary Clinton once said. She said, "learn how to take criticism seriously, but not personally".

[00:19:22] So you really have to just learn from the criticism that you get. Not every critic is a hater. Some people are just genuinely interested to help you improve, or in your case, specifically, to be safe as you sail around the world. And if there's truth to criticism, you better just learn from it. And if not, just let it roll off your back.

[00:19:40] Caspar Craven: Absolutely. And again, go back to what Ray Dalio says, the principles, it's all about finding the truth and it doesn't matter where that truth comes from. So to take an emotional position and just create an argument is crazy because you're missing out on the what value there may be in finding that truth.[00:20:00] 

[00:20:00] Hala Taha: Exactly. So going back to making it public, part of making it public was standing your ground and making a firm decision about sailing around the world. And I believe that when you believe something, things can change quickly. So when you have a firm and clear decision, you start to take action. You start to keep taking actions and building habits that help you continue to make progress towards your goals. So can you talk about this concept of relentless action? 

[00:20:29] Caspar Craven: Yeah, it's exactly what you just said. Basically, once you've got that crystal clear story, when you can be single minded about where you are going, then that cuts away so many different confusions you might face.

[00:20:43] Because each individual decision you are faced with, you say, is it moving me meaningfully, measurably closer towards my goal? And it's it's a yes no question then. So you can be really focused. And there were loads of [00:21:00] things that we tried to try and create the money to make it happen, and loads of things didn't work.

[00:21:05] But the simple mantra was you try something. If that doesn't work, you try something else. If that doesn't work, you try something else and you keep going until you get to it. So it's just that mindset that, You just haven't figured out the answer yet, and you will figure it out. You just might not know what it is right now.

[00:21:23] So that's basically what behind the relentless action, that once you're driven by something that's burning so powerfully inside you or inside you as a family team, then nothing's gonna stand in your way. What's the famous saying? You either find a way or you make a way, right? . And that's what's gonna get you there.

[00:21:41] Hala Taha: Very cool. So let's talk about the preparation that you took specifically with your family. So we talked about the financial, how you got ready, with your business and being able to let your business be on, managed by other people while you sail around the world. How about the preparation for actually going on this trip?

[00:21:56] From what I read, you basically treated it like a business plan. You had a [00:22:00] vision, a purpose, organizational values, and that's super interesting to me. So can you describe how you got your family ready? 

[00:22:08] Caspar Craven: Yeah, it's funny. This is one of the things I speak to a lot of companies about how do you take corporate or business principles and apply them at home, and also how do you take principles that operate in a home or in a family and apply them in a business. Because I think the thing that makes us successful in both business and family is exactly the same, but so often people have a mental separation. This is how I am in my work life. This is how I am in my home life. But it's identifying what are the core factors that make you thrive. So the key things that I found that transformed the business were around having the really clear direction, where are we going? The really clear understanding of why it mattered, having the really clear purpose and then having the values. So defining how [00:23:00] we act together, how we work together, how do we behave? Those were things that fundamentally changed the game in the business and just led to our stellar growth.

[00:23:10] So I observed that was working in terms of unlocking the human potential at work. So I thought. That would be interesting to try that at home as well. I've never seen that done anywhere, so we went through the same process with the kids of talking about the really clear vision and engaging them on a level they could understand.

[00:23:31] So creating pictures, cutting out pictures, and just imagining what the future looked like. Talking about the mission, why did it matter? And for us, on a family level, that was all about creating magical life changing experiences, and then the values, which were a core part of how we dealt with challenging situations.

[00:23:52] The same things that we'd done at work, we just. Did at home. And so we co-created a set of family values and then talked about [00:24:00] how do we show up when we live those values at their very best, and then just created rewards and prizes so that we would make sure that those values actually stuck. Because I remember doing values back in my corporate days and just thinking it was a whole bunch of BS and it was done badly as I think most companies do it, but when you do it well and you really engage people, then I think you just get incredible engagement with the team and with the people. So those were the business ideas that we were taking into family life. 

[00:24:31] Hala Taha: Okay, so now let's transfer it back to business. So if we have a team that we're working with, or maybe a business that we're starting, what's your advice on determining your values and then having, like you mentioned, people stick with them.

[00:24:44] Caspar Craven: So I'll tell you the way not to do it first. . Cause I've made every mistake in the book. So the way not to do it is for the CEO to go home. Sit down and write out six values and say, these are the values, and come up with a smart way of remembering them, and then go into the business and say, [00:25:00] here's our values.

[00:25:01] Because I did that and the business turned around to me and said, no, they're not. So we had to co-create them. And the value in the process is everyone feeling engaged, everyone having a voice. So I always imagine like you're cooking a meal, right? That you've got the big hot on the stove, and if everyone's like chopping up some measles and vegetables or whatever else, and they're putting it in and everyone's stirring it and adding and herbs and spices, once you co-create that meal, you have much more ownership.

[00:25:29] Same thing with values. That with an early stage team, you sit there and you talk about, what are the things that are important to us? How do we want to act, how do we want to engage together? And it's that process itself that creates the glue for how you work together. So the process is actually more important than the values that come out of it.

[00:25:49] Because nobody's gonna go and create values like, be evil, be nasty, they're all gonna be good things heading in a certain direction. So it's more important that everyone feels involved in [00:26:00] creating them and then talking about how do we make sure that those values live in the business. What's the process for how they actually show up?

[00:26:09] And again, co-creating that, so fundamentally important. And you see all the big successful companies, right? They all have strong culture and so many of them are values driven organizations, there are so many, the fast growing companies that I see very much values driven. And that was the principle. 

[00:26:26] Hala Taha: I love that advice personally. After reading your story and all your emphasis around values, it inspired me. And now I have a team of eight who helped me work on this podcast. And so we're gonna sit down and talk about our values and outline them and I'm super, looking forward to that. So thank you. 

[00:26:41] Caspar Craven: I look forward to hearing what they are.

[00:26:43] Yeah, you wanna create a boot picture, right? So that's what we did both home and in work. Created a big picture, like we've painted it and all the values written up on there because once you have it visual in your workplace, and even if that's virtual, then if people have [00:27:00] a copy of it or something like that, it provides a visual anchor.

[00:27:03] The lovely saying in Daniel Carman's book, thinking fast and slow, that what is all there is. So it's having those constant reminders around you focusing on those things that are right. 

[00:27:13] Hala Taha: Awesome. 

[00:27:13] Caspar Craven: Enjoy, have fun doing it. 

[00:27:14] Hala Taha: Thanks. Okay. So let's get back to you in the trip. What are your best memories of that trip? And can you also tell us about a challenge that you had and overcame? 

[00:27:26] Caspar Craven: Okay. Best memories. One that comes to my mind is we were sailing down wind from the Marquesas Islands, which are in the middle of the Pacific Ocean to another set of islands called the Tuamotus. A beautiful, starry night, and as, you'd imagine the boat gliding down these waves and there's the phosphorescence coming outta the back of the boat. It's like this sort of, this trail running behind just lighting up where you've been and sitting up on the for deck at the front of the boat with my nine year old daughter. We were looking up at the stars and the planets [00:28:00] and we are wondering and talking about whether there's a daddy and her little girl somewhere else out there on another planet, and just talking about the universe and the world and just being present there in the moment. The magic was experiencing stuff together with our kids. So yeah, lots and lots of magical experiences like that. 

[00:28:19] Hala Taha: Could you talk about the Galapagos Island?

[00:28:22] How like all the animals were coming to you and not scared? 

[00:28:25] Caspar Craven: Oh, amazing. Yeah, so basically, so there's no natural predators in the Galapagos Islands. So as we were sailing towards this, they sit right on the equator. We're about, I dunno, 12, 15 hours away from the islands. And this huge great big bird is called red footed Booby, came and lands on the bows of the boats and literally me and the children, we would walk right up to it.

[00:28:46] So we're like literally a couple of feet away from it, and it just didn't show any fear at all. Because they've not been trained to be fearful. And then when we got there, we went swimming with the sharks and there's the sea lion everywhere, and the black iguanas and [00:29:00] the tortoises and yeah, it's an incredible place.

[00:29:03] It's a magical place. And actually, once you understand how Darwin came up with his theories of evolution there and about how the irons are developed, it's yeah real magic. Yeah, amazing place. 

[00:29:12] Hala Taha: Sounds incredible. So a challenge. 

[00:29:15] Caspar Craven: A challenge, yeah. Yeah. I've got a few to choose from . So what one should I talk about?

[00:29:21] I'll talk about one that's different. I don't normally talk about, as we were sailing across the Indian Ocean, my brother was actually on board at the time and we had Ken woke me up to go and watch on morning and he said, I don't want to worry you, but in the middle of the night something went twang, and things that make noises unexpectedly on a boat are really not welcome friends.

[00:29:43] So we went and investigated and we found that one of the rigging wires, which is the wires that hold the mast, in place, the master, the big stick in the middle of the boat, which you hang the sails off. It's got 19 strands of wire tightly woven together to [00:30:00] create each of the rigging wires coming down to the deck and one strand out.

[00:30:05] This 19 had broken and one strand on its own is, not terminal, but it's worrying because they're the 19 strands for a reason. So we spent the next hour or so just figuring out what do we do about this challenge? And we went up the mast and we took additional ropes and we were tying them back down to the deck.

[00:30:27] So to strengthen that side of the rigging. And then we put more repairs around the broken strands and we carried on. 24 hours later, we checked it again and there were three broken strands. Now, I think if a fourth strand had gone, the mast would've fallen over and then we wouldn't have been able to sail.

[00:30:49] We were about 800 miles away from Africa at that point that we would've had, a different set of challenges. And of course, you only have bad weather when things are going wrong as well. So lots of [00:31:00] wind, lots of big cities. So actually in that scenario, Soon as I found three strands were broken, we turned the boat around and we started to head back towards Australia.

[00:31:10] So sailing the wrong way because it took the pressure off that side of the rigging that was on the port side, the left hand side of the boat. So by changing direction and put all the pressure on the right hand side of the boat. And then that brought us some time to figure it out, and we tried putting more repairs in place, but the vinyl solution was actually, there were some friends of ours about 50 miles away and called them up and they had the piece of repair equipment that we needed, and so they sailed towards us.

[00:31:42] We did a mid ocean transfer of these little clamps that we needed to secure the rigging and get it in place. Just in case anyone is thinking, why didn't you have those on boards? If we took every single spare that we needed for every single situation, there wouldn't have been room for [00:32:00] us on the boat because you'd need to take so many things.

[00:32:03] Anyway, so we got the equipment and we repaired it and we carried on. We made it to South Africa. But it was a scary moment because it's like you're challenged and you've gotta sit there and think about how do you do this? But it's the same challenge we learnt when we were creating the money for it that, okay, no one else is gonna fix this, so what are we gonna do?

[00:32:19] And that you get resourceful. 

[00:32:20] Hala Taha: Can you talk about how some of the value work that you did, can you talk about a challenge where you channeled some of the value work that you did with your family before the trip? 

[00:32:30] Caspar Craven: Yeah, of course. So the one that comes to mind is when we had the power failure in the middle of the Pacific.

[00:32:36] And the instinctive reaction, I think if I'd been back in my old corporate world, would've been to turn around and to blame someone and start pointing out all the things that were wrong, saying, it's your fault. Why didn't you think about this? But because we'd spent so long on our values and ingraining our values, That, those are the things that just became first nature.

[00:32:59] [00:33:00] So rather than turning to blame, we just lived our values. We found the humor in the situation cuz we didn't have some working toilets, so we had to improvise with the buckets. And we just literally for four days, we had to figure out how do we work together as a team. And that was, I think, our defining moment for living our values together.

[00:33:20] We looked after each other. There was laughter, there was compassion, there was understanding. So literally just living our values rather than going to blame. But the only reason we were able to do that. Is that our values. We talked about them every single day. We'd done these values awards, we'd done these charts talking about what was right rather than what was wrong.

[00:33:42] So it was ingraining that behavior because most people in society talk about, all the problems. People who start a sentence by saying, the problem is, and our brains are hardwired to think that way around. By focusing on the values and telling people what they're doing, then that's what helps you, I think, in challenging [00:34:00] situations.

[00:34:00] So it goes against normal behaviors, but for me it's much more powerful to do that. 

[00:34:06] Hala Taha: Yeah, so all this talk about your challenges, it really just proves how your attitude, your actions, your words, they can all really make a difference. And it reminds me of a formula I heard you say in another interview.

[00:34:18] It's E plus R equals O. Can you explain to our listeners what that is and how it's relevant? 

[00:34:24] Caspar Craven: Of course. So the point being in life stuff will come up towards you, you'll have issues which arise, which you have no control over, and the only thing you can focus on is your reaction. So the formula, E plus R equals zero is E is the event something happens.

[00:34:43] So whether you have power failure in the middle of the ocean, whether you lose your job, whether you lose a key client, whether you run a project and it doesn't work. Whatever it is, that's the event. Something that happens to you. The only thing that matters is your reaction. What did you do [00:35:00] about it? And the formula is the event, plus your reaction equals the outcome, not what a lot of people think.

[00:35:06] The event, equals the outcome because there's what you are gonna do about it as a result. And really it's just about taking personal responsibility in any particular situation. It's getting beyond the emotion of it and saying, okay, so what are we gonna do? How are we gonna figure this situation out?

[00:35:24] And again, goes back to what we did in the businesses to transform those and it showed up at sea as well that it's exactly the same principles. 

[00:35:33] Hala Taha: Yeah. And your reaction really depends on how strong your emotional. Resiliences and your ability to adapt to stressful environments, and that's really not something that we learn in school or college.

[00:35:44] So can you help us with some key traits of emotional resilience and how we can learn to be better at it? 

[00:35:51] Caspar Craven: So it's funny, I do this with my oldest daughter who's now back in school and going through exams and things like that. So in any particular situation, it's just [00:36:00] pausing for a moment, just composing yourself.

[00:36:02] Taking some deep breaths and just stepping back from it and just saying, okay, so what's really going on here? The way you train yourself to do this is to do this in less challenging, less life threatening situations. And then the more you do that, the more you condition yourself to dealing with challenging situations, and it's finding the emotional anchors in your life.

[00:36:29] So I remember with my oldest daughter when we were in the island of Tonga, there was this underwater cave, which she wanted to dive into, and she had to dive down two meters and swim along four meters underneath this rock formation and then come up two meters. Inside this underwater cave. And she was a bit fearful about doing it beforehand.

[00:36:50] It's quite scary, right? Understandably. But she just said, you know what, I'm gonna have a go. Am I gonna go and do it? And she did it and she came outta there. And she showed amazing [00:37:00] courage to go and do it. But I've really anchored that moment. So whenever she's fearful at the times, I said, do you remember that time when you did this?

[00:37:08] Because all of us. We've had times with scary times in our lives, and it's going back to that moment and saying, okay, how were you in that moment? What did you do? And it's all about shifting your mindset to, I can do this, I can figure out a way through it. Wherever the mind goes, the body will follow.

[00:37:28] So it's finding those triggers, those anchors, to be able to take yourself back to a place where you could be more resourceful and helpful. 

[00:37:37] Hala Taha: That's really sound advice. So this trip, since the planning of it seems to have really helped you understand the fundamentals of leadership and teamwork, and you've evolved to be such a great businessman.

[00:37:49] In fact, you've built three separate million dollar companies from scratch, and considering that 90% of startups fail, that's a really huge accomplishment. So tell us what is your [00:38:00] secret sauce for being a good leader and running a successful business? 

[00:38:03] Caspar Craven: I've spoken to so many people, different views on this, and I guess, you know what I've learned from other people, what I've found works best for me.

[00:38:13] It comes down to one thing, and it's caring about people, and it sounds really simple, but it really is just listening to people, understanding what's really important to them, helping them find their value, their purpose in the world. And sometimes it might mean that person is not right for you and your business, and that's okay because then that creates the space for the right person to come in.

[00:38:40] But all businesses are built on people. People, and it's just, yeah, really. Giving a shit and caring about people and looking after them and helping them to achieve what they want. If you help other people achieve what they want, then they will help you achieve what you want. So I would say that's what it comes down to for me.

[00:38:59] Hala Taha: Very cool. [00:39:00] So do you have any upcoming adventures planned? 

[00:39:02] Caspar Craven: Yes, lots . Boats in San Francisco. So I spend a good amount of my time in the States doing speaking events. Last summer we sailed from San Francisco to Canada and back, and then we did San Francisco down to Mexico and back. And currently planning another trip to Mexico and back.

[00:39:19] And then potentially after that, going to do to look at doing a northwest passage. So over the top of the Americas from the Pacific into the Atlantic Ocean. So plenty more adventures planned. 

[00:39:30] Hala Taha: Wow. And where can our listeners go to learn everything about you? 

[00:39:33] Caspar Craven: Okay , so my name's pretty distinctive. Casper Craven, c a s p a R, Craven.

[00:39:38] So my website, And then the same at LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all the usual things. 

[00:39:46] Hala Taha: And he's everywhere. And his story is everywhere. And you've got a book, right? And what's your book about? 

[00:39:50] Caspar Craven: Yes. So basically the book is called Where the Magic Happens. It's on Amazon. It was hard back book and audio book as well, but it's in two parts.

[00:39:56] The first part is the five years of preparation, which I think [00:40:00] is the most interesting part because that's the part that anyone can go and take and apply to their lives no matter where they're up to. And it goes through all the steps that we had to learn by trial and error. And then the second part is about the sailing adventure and then what we learned from that.

[00:40:15] So it's like a self-help book disguised as a sailing book if you like. 

[00:40:19] Hala Taha: Yeah, it's very unique. Awesome. Casper, thank you so much for sharing your story. I feel like we've got a ton of gems out of it for our listeners, so I appreciate your time and thank you so much. 

[00:40:29] Caspar Craven: You are very welcome. Thank you for the lovely questions.

[00:40:31] Really enjoyed it. Thanks 

[00:40:33] Hala Taha: for listening to Young and Profiting podcast. Follow YAP, on Instagram at Young and profiting, and check us out at And now you can chat live with us, every single day on our new Slack channel, check out our show notes or young for the link. You can find me on Instagram at YAP with Hala or LinkedIn.

[00:40:51] Just search for my name, Hala Taha. Big thanks to the YAP team, Tim, Danny, Steve Nicholas ,Christian, Stephanie, Kayla, and Brian. Until next time, [00:41:00] this is Hala signing off.

Subscribe to the Young and Profiting Newsletter!
Get access to YAP's Deal of the Week and latest insights on upcoming episodes, tips, insights, and more!
Thanks for signing up. You must confirm your email address before we can send you. Please check your email and follow the instructions.
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.