I spent the last two hours in a coffee shop, working on a single document. It happened like this: I dropped a link to this project in a few Slacks that made sense, and watched as nothing happened. Almost no reactions, and almost no comments. That’s not a good sign.
Here’s the issue: It looks, on the outside, like this is a strange venture. Why on earth am I focusing on the money? Why aren’t I focusing on the value I provide?
Those are valid points, and it’s one of the main reasons I find this whole venture to be mildly distressing. But - the money isn’t the goal, it’s just a metric. So, what do I actually want to do?
This is where Adventure branding comes in. What I would like to do more is to get paid to go on adventures, expeditions, and treks. I want to hike long distances, climb tall mountains, swim far sees. This is one of my life goals, and something that I’ve consistently wanted for years. But, I haven’t done much yet, largely due to issues involving funding.
Now that I know a bit more about being an entrepreneur, I think I know a bit more about what it would take to build a successful business around your adventure. This has surfaced recently with my work last month with Carbon Zerow, a team of four of my friends who rowed across the Atlantic from the Canaries to Antigua. It was superb helping them, but I wasn’t able to be an effective social media person for a variety of reasons: we weren’t in contact enough, I wasn’t able to sit down with all of them well before hand to plan the trip, and I wasn’t included in their original funding plans.
What I’ve just done is build a document on how to market adventures. I want to use this to help Carbon Zerow see if there is anything they should be doing now, after their adventure, and to help myself with some of my own goals I have for this coming summer. I want to run a marathon in Zermatt, hike three peaks in Appalachia, walk or run all of the Adirondack 46 High Peaks solo, and perhaps walk across the entire length of Scotland. I’d like to do all of these things with funding, and also while keeping my businesses going. I think that might work.
But, I’ll need sponsors and partnerships for this to happen, and I’ll need a super solid business plan and branding website. I know how to build this. The question is - will I be able to?
So, my idea is to build a branding business to help out current adventurers, and start building a knowledge of the ecosystem and the best sponsors, gear partnerships, and trek helpers I can find. Initially, I can offer my social media and website services to prospective adventurers at a markup, and use this to bootstrap the entire business. Each successive client will be helpful.
Looking at the competition, I wasn’t able to find a lot of results that seem relevant for small, individual teams, while looking for the terms ‘market solo expedition’ and variations on that theme. I think there’s a gap in the market here.
Now, I am going to go have dinner, play a game, relax. Then, tonight, I’ll build out my favourite kind of business: a marketing website that sells a service, which I am willing to perform on payment and when people ask for it.
Time to rest and let this idea percolate.