Q&A with adventurer and entrepreneur Jamie Clarke

On Thursday, January 9 we were honored to be joined by 2014 Hearing Innovation Expo speaker Jamie Clarke for a Twitter chat on the adventure of business! Jamie is an adventurer who has summited Mt. Everest twice, an author, filmmaker, inspirational speaker and business leader. He is the co-founder of an outdoor gear retail shop called the Out There Adventure Centre, located in Calgary, Alberta, and is also the CEO of LiveOutThere.com, an ecommerce company that was recently ranked by Profit Guide Magazine as one of Canada’s 50 Fastest Growing Companies.

For an hour Thursday afternoon, Jamie took questions from Starkey Hearing Technologies as well as other fans and followers. Enjoy this recap of the fun and inspiring Q&A!

Q: What’s your earliest outdoor adventure memory? via @MarieRayma

A: A family dog sled ride. On Red Earth Creek fire road in Banff National Park. Nanook was pulling. I was enjoying the view.

Q: What does it sound like all the way up at the top of Everest? via @AudioBudi

A: Usually like a freight train rushing by since it’s often very windy. But once in awhile, when it’s calm, you can hear snow landing.

Q: Which peak of the 7 summits was the hardest, in your opinion? Is it always Everest? Perhaps Denali? via @jimboyle8

A: Everest is probably toughest for all obvious reasons. Denali/Vincent are second toughest. Vincent is the most fun.

Q: You’re an inspiring speaker; I got to see you speak twice. Any tips on adventure storytelling? via @kirkstweet

A: Practice – there’s an art to good storytelling. I’m always trying to get better. You’re your audience in mind – why should they care? Never underestimate the impact of your story. Tell it well and it can be meaningful and helpful to others.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your businesses. via @starkeyhearing

A: I was born and raised in Calgary. I still live there with my wife, two kids and two dogs. I’m refusing fish, gerbils, cats and any other creatures that live to eat and crap but my kids are relentless! My life mission is to inspire people to be adventurous. By adventure I mean engaging in life and pushing forward when the outcome is unknown. My speaking, my store and ecommerce company are manifestations of the mission. I call it adventurepreneurialism. I love time with my family, skiing, Bad Religion’s Christmas album, Nutella and Yoda, whose Pez form I carried to summit of Everest. I had the chance to climb Everest twice, the Seven Summits once and ride camels across the Empty Quarter. I’m cofounder & CEO of Live Out There, which, thanks to my team, was awarded the title of one of Canada’s 50 fastest growing companies. And I’m now officially a braggart!

Q: What was the most challenging part of switching from a life of climbing to starting your own business? via @burning_fish

A: I learned climbing was easier and made for better pictures! I have a passion for both so transition has been rewarding if not trying.

Q: What do you love most about running your own business? via @andrewtewksbury

A: Seeing my team come together and our ideas turn into something tangible. And the impact we have on customers.

Q: What other cool things did you carry to the summit of Everest? via @starkeyhearing

A: Snacks (Fudgeos, Canadian cookies like Oreos), St. Christopher medallion, cards from family, many hopes, one dream, extra mittens :-)

Q: You’ve become a great partner of Starkey Hearing Technologies. What keeps you coming back? via @kgspa

A: Starkey has been very generous to me for starters. The company makes good products. The people are quality folks.

Q: When choosing members to join your team (adventure or work) what do you find to be most important? via @kgspa

A: Of course, commensurate skills – can the person do the job? After that, compatibility. What kind of person are you? Are you passionate?

Q: How did you feel after reaching the top of Everest? Did you leave anything behind? Via @maria_dero

A: After reaching the summit I felt relief then peacefulness. I left nothing behind. Took a few photos though.

Q: Who inspires you? via @kathleensimek

A: I’m inspired by anyone who undertakes a challenge where the outcome is unknown. This is adventure! I love it. Watching a master at work inspires me. A climber, a painter, a dancer, a musician. Mastery inspires.

Q: Have you always had the adventurepreneurial spirit? What obstacles have you had to overcome to follow your dream? via @DrPinkAud

A: I made the choice that I wanted wealth of experience, not wealth of material possessions. Happiness is a rich life, not a rich lifestyle.

Q: Do you have a bucket list? If so, is there anything left on it that you want to accomplish? via @Dream_Achieve

A: That bucket is full. Not so much with things to do, but new things to learn like stuff with family i.e. Surfing.

Q: Do you foresee doing another trek to the Everest summit? via @CJavenkoski

A: Nope. My wife and kids came last time after which they asked me to stop. Enough said.

Q: Being Canadian, why not pursue hockey? via @starkeyhearing

A: I love the game, but my mom thought it too dangerous/violent. She suggested mountains. Calgary is 60 miles from some impressive ones. But mountains are dangerous, I protested. But not violent, she argued. Losing battle. I’m all the better for it.

Q: What was the biggest challenge as start-up business that you didn’t anticipate? via @katebraschayko

A: Time and money. Just like a Himalayan expedition everything takes twice the time and double the money.

Q: What would your advice be to someone looking to start their own business? via @katebraschayko

A: Harness the power of passion. Any adventure will test resolve. Are you ready to suffer? Are you passionate? Yes? Climb on! Also, research, prepare, make plans B, C and D. Find people who share your vision and who make you look dumb. Don’t fall in love with your ideas.

Q: What have the mountains taught you? How do you share that with your children? via @belufleming

A: How to be tough in the face of adversity. Sounds simple, but being able to endure a sold butt-kicking is one of my best characteristics. I let the mountains teach my kids. My job is just to get them out there (not easy due to Xbox, etc.).

Q: Wht’s your favorite place you’ve either climbed or explored and why? via @starkeyhearing

A: Canadian Rockies. They’re close to home and I can bring my family with me now. Otherwise Nepal/Tibet.

Q: Where is your next adventure taking you? Any mountains you’re hoping to climb in the next few years? via @maria_dero

A: Building Live Out There into Canada’s leading active-lifestyle online retailer. And adventures with my family.

Q: What are the key differences in running a brick and mortar business vs. online? Via @starkeyhearing

A: Driving traffic (feet vs. visits) and merchandising (sales staff vs. conversion). Brick and mortar success does not guarantee online success. Online, you don’t get face-time with people. You rely on content to educate and inspire – it’s a very different animal.

Q: Can you give us a quick preview of what you’ll be talking about at the Hearing Innovation Expo? via @starkeyhearing

A: It’s been snowing a lot in Fernie, BC and the skiing has been great so I don’t have a clue; there’s been no time to work. Just kidding (sort of). I’ll be talking about how successful adventures/Everest/the desert have led to business success. The pressure is on! Look at that Presidential sandwich. Yikes.

Q: What are you the most excited for at the Hearing Innovation Expo? @starkeyhearing

A: The other speakers – such a great wealth of experience to learn from and all in one place. And the Starkey juju. They’re good folks (really). My son Khobe is coming along so he’ll take in the speakers too, as well as gambling, Marquee Nightclub – regular 13-year-old old stuff!

Q. Chipotle mayo or spicy mustard? via @belufleming

A: Spicy Mustard. Know what I’m saying? (Of course you do, you’re awake and you speak English!)

Thanks again to Jamie for his time and to everyone for the great questions! Stay tuned for more fun Twitter inspiration from Starkey and Jamie next week at the Expo!

By Starkey Hearing