This is a conversation about going off the beaten path, both literally and figuratively. Tom’s experience in the military and subsequent foray into business highlights loads of fascinating learnings that we can all benefit from.
Tom shares his insight on how that combination has benefitted him and what it brings for him to drive Secret Compass forward in its current guise.
We also discuss many of the skills he developed during his time in the military, from leadership to dealing with failure.
Tom started Secret Compass as a partnership with Levison Wood, and we get into the benefits and challenges of working with co-founders and partners and what happens when it’s time to separate.
And of course, there are numerous incredible stories from Tom’s expeditions over the years, visiting some of the most remote and challenging places on the planet and coming out the other side.
From both a business and a personal development point of view, this was a great conversation with lots of things to takeaway.
First interest in travel
Joining the army and life in the parachute regiment
First foray into business
What is Secret Compass and what does it look like now
What has the growth of the business looked like?
Switching focus during the pandemic
The co founder experience with Levison Wood
What makes a good team and a good team mate?
Marketing and attracting customers
Articulating business goals
Working with local partners
Challenges with the business, expeditions and the army
Where does he get inspiration from
Personal qualities that have led to success
Views on failure and what it means
How to be a good leader
The art of delegation
Routines and habits for performing at a high level
Coming up with new ideas
Recommendations for a new travel business
Future plans for Secret Compass
“Everything is only the sum of the little bits you put together. One thing at a time. You don’t need to do everything all at once. Start telling people about it. Deconstruct whatever it is you would like to do and turn it into the little steps you need to take to make it happen. Say it out loud. Saying it to other people makes it becomes real. When I told people about it it was real and existed. It takes a village to raise a business.”
Founder, Invisible Cities
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