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Episode 60 — Mark Beaumont — Around the World in 80 Days: What it Takes to Break a World Record

"I want to just have one opportunity in my life to put all my cards on the table and say, ‘What is what is the ultimate?’ I was almost to the point where I didn't mind if I failed, because I just wanted the opportunity to just go, ‘What is my Everest?’ What if it was if all the unknowns were taken care of? What is humanly possible? I'm all in. Very few people in their careers have the opportunity to go all in. Most of us just get by and try and get through our emails. It's such a privilege to be able to say, ‘I'm all in.’" - Mark Beaumont

  • What drives Mark Beaumont to attempt these incredible feats of athleticism?
  • How do he and his team prepare for an 18,000-mile ride?
  • What roles do media and story play in Mark's expeditions?
  • How does he apply the lessons of his adventures to his work as an investor and entrepreneur?
  • What is Mark's North Star?

Breaking Away

Mark Beaumont is a Scottish cyclist, investor, broadcaster, and entrepreneur — though none of those titles really do him justice. Mark is the world record-holder for fastest circumnavigation of the globe on a bicycle, having completed the feat in just 78 days. He has made a career of daring adventures, like cycling the Americas or rowing across the mid-Atlantic. He has also broadcast his expeditions, producing documentaries for Global Cycling Network and the BBC, as well as books that chronicle his journeys. In 2019, Mark was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to sport and charity.

All that would be impressive on its own, but Mark is also a committed father and businessman. He joined Eos Advisory, an angel investment group that funds innovation to deal with societal issues, as a Partner in 2019. In addition, he has worked as a Corporate Ambassador with private equity house LDC since 2007.

Ahead of the Pack

Mark's capacity for endurance is matched only by his creativity. He's said many times that he's not the best cyclist in the world; he's simply the one who has the imagination to dream up crazy rides, the audacity to believe he can do it, and the organization to make an exceptional plan.

He attributes this creativity to his boyhood, growing up homeschooled on a farm in Scotland. There, he developed an independence of thought and a trust in himself. Mark knows the values that guide him, and he follows them whether they lead to the Arctic, the Atlantic, or the south of Africa.

Clear Eyes, Full Heart, Can't Lose

Though Mark's accomplishments have taken him around the globe, he's never forgotten that his inspiration lies close to home. The clarity of purpose that comes from Mark's commitment to family, work, and community, has spurred him to his many accomplishments.

These priorities allow him to live to the fullest even when he isn't on an exotic expedition. During COVID lockdown, Mark devised a plan to run every street in his hometown of Edinburgh with his 6-year-old daughter — that's over 500 miles!

Key takeaways:

  • Make a great plan, get great results. Each of Mark's amazing rides could not have been achieved without a strong plan that he and his team stuck to.
  • Shoot for the stars, but learn your trade. It's not enough to dream big. You've got to do the work to bring that dream within reach.
  • Calm under pressure. If you or your team can't perform when there's a storm, then you'll only progress on sunny days.

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