Motorcycling? Paragliding? Climbing? All while traveling across the World, doing charity AND getting paid?! Adventure Philanthropy International is all about one such, very ambitious, journey. We are honored to profile ADV Philanthropy and co-founder Jeremiah Kavanaugh in this weeks: “10 Q’s With…”; our question and answer series that’s aimed at offering insight to our readers who are interested in the ‘Adventure’ of becoming: The Boss.
Q. Tell our readers about your business, your passion, and what it is that you do? What’s your story?
“Passion. That IS a good starting point! It’s actually the cornerstone of our business. Our mission for ADVphilanthropy is to Inspire and Empower Athletes to Integrate Passion and Purpose.
I think it’s important for entrepreneurs to start with the problem and work backwards to create a solution. The problem we saw was a disconnect between the adventure sports community and the struggling populations in the places we recreate.
We are looking to solve the problem in two ways. First is inspiration. We support athletes who are doing world class projects and incorporating philanthropy in their adventures. Our first group of ADVathletes (that would be me and my partner Matt Ayers) are doing a Motorcycle, Paragliding, Climbing, Humanitarian trip from the tip of Alaska to Argentina. Our adventures and charity work will be profiled in motorcycle and paragliding magazines, local special interest programs, our blog, and through social media outlets. We will support other athletes as our organization matures.
The second way we are solving the disconnect problem is by enabling athletes, not just high level athletes, but anyone who travels, plays and cares. We want to create a global knowledge-base of charities, projects, and ideas in places where adventure sports are popular. We want to make it easy for recreational athletes to find good works to be involved in as they travel and give them a platform to share their story. We are looking to develop partnerships with sports companies so athletes can do good deeds, earn ADVpoints and redeem them for discounts on gear they want. We want to celebrate and reward positive actions and caring people.”
Q. What inspired you take the steps to becoming your own boss? Is this your first/only business?
“I come from an entrepreneurial family, and have always believed that my success is linked to my ability to see problems, craft solutions and execute those solutions. Punching a time-clock never made any sense to me. Trade time for money? Are you kidding me?!?! I’d rather live in the woods and eat bark than work a job that sucks my soul. Desperation is a powerful motivator. When your back is against the wall, you WILL do what you have to do to bring you idea into the world. Failure is part of it, but you’ll at least be failing your way to success instead of accepting your lowest potential.”
Q. How much planning was involved prior to the startup of your business? Can you offer some insight into that process?
“ADVphilanthropy came to life very quickly, literally in weeks. The vision had been on our periphery for years, but when my partner and I decided to just go for it, things progressed quickly. At the beginning we knew what we wanted to do, but did not know how to pull it off. We charged forward anyway. The “how” took us close to five months to figure out.
Every business is about creating value as you solve a problem. We had to figure out who our customers were, and how we would create value for them. We have two customer segments; followers and sponsors. We have to create value far above the time and monetary input of both groups. Our job is to do amazing things, tell amazing stories and capture the attention of a large group of followers. This in turn allows us to create value for sponsors by giving them association and access to an exciting and positive brand with a committed following.
Just start doing your idea.
Figure out who your customers are.
Figure out how to provide world class value.”
Q. In terms of running your business, what does a typical day look like for you; or is every day different?
“Right now a typical day involves cranking through our strategic and business plan, crafting our sales approach to sponsors, talking with potential charities, and connecting with our followers through twitter, facebook, or our blog.
Once we are on the road, our daily routine will be ridiculous. In addition to traveling a ton of miles by motorcycle, paragliding off mountains, climbing cliffs everywhere, and volunteering with charities, we will be documenting and telling our story in as close to real time as possible. Writing, video and photo editing, ADVevents, and media appearances will be part of our daily job. Sounds fun to me!”
Q. How many employees do you have and what went into hiring on more to your team?
“Right now it’s my partner and I making all this happen. We have a part time webmaster who makes us look good. Once our trip starts we’ll roll a logistics coordinator into the mix and possibly a PR person to keep media alerted to our impending arrival in a community.”
Q. What has been the most challenging part of your entrepreneurial adventure?
“Split attention. That has been the hardest part of keeping this business trucking forward. In addition to starting up a new business that must be global and mobile, we have to shut down our current lives and business. We will be on the road for the next couple of years, and getting out from under everything else we are involved in is a real challenge.”
Q. Besides the obvious of being your own boss, what is the most rewarding part about being an independent business owner?
“I love the process of creation. To see an idea mature (dream – plan – action – happy customers – money) is astoundingly rewarding for me. It’s like getting pregnant and giving birth I think. It’s insanely fun at the beginning, but more work, stress and worry than you thought possible, followed by the tangible reality of your own business baby.”
Q. What motivates you? What keeps you going each day?
“When the work gets me down, I go back to my “why”. Why am I doing this? That’s why passion is so important in business. You have to have a “Why” that resonates with your soul and will make you move your feet when you just want to sleep in, say screw it, or give in to your fear.”
Q. How do you promote your business? Advertise? Endorse? Contests? Social networking?
“Social media is our promotion model. We have to go where our customers (followers) are and they are on social networks. We have to be sure our message reaches them where they are. Social media gives the small business owner a long and effective lever.”
Q. What advice do you have to those reading thebossstart.com that you feel is valuable?
“Show up. Just show up. Every day, show up to your dream. If your dream isn’t clear yet, show up and commit time to thinking, writing, and brainstorming about it. If your dream is clear, show up every day and DO something to move it forward. It’s the easiest yet hardest thing in the world. Just show up and DO what needs to be done. The rest will come.
We hope you guys will join our journey, be part of our movement, and share your stories and good deeds with us!”
To learn more and share in the journey of ADVphilanthropy, please visit:
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