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Ep. 134 – Climbing mountains and entrepreneurial success – A few of the most amazing mountains’ stories you heard


Episode 134 Show Notes

Incredible mountain stories I heard from successful entrepreneurs I interviewed on my podcast

From the marathon monk course on a mount Hiei in Japan,

To climbing the Machu Picchu in Peru

to climbing the mountain of becoming a one-billion-market-cap company,

to work with a paralyzed young Mom with a two years old daughter, that had a catastrophic traffic incident and dreamt on skiing with her daughter one day

To climbing Mount Whitney in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. 16000 feet. The highest mountain in America (outside Alaska)

Or climbing the mountain of Depression and Anxiety – “The biggest mountain that I have climbed and I haven’t looked back ever since.”


What should you – as an entrepreneur looking for your breakthrough to success – take from their stories to help find the necessary step to reach your peak?


Many successful entrepreneurs climb mountains, while others use mountains as a metaphor to describe what is necessary to conquer the peak – including the fatiguing yet rewarding journey to the top. Still other entrepreneurs use mountains as an analogy for a significant goal they wish to achieve – such as becoming a billion-dollar-market-cap company. (See Mellissah Smith’s mountain story.)

For many years, I’ve compared the act of taking possession of your potential customers’ minds and of building awareness, likeability, and trust of a leading brand to the act of climbing the highest mountains.

You climb step by step to the peak, reach your position as a market leader and a leading brand, and then start climbing a new mountain with a new product line or another company.

The idea of mountains as representations of a strong position in the market is mentioned by Al Ries and Jack Trout in the excellent book, Marketing Warfare.

“In military warfare, mountains and higher altitude areas represent strong positions and often are used to present a strong defense. In marketing warfare, the question is one of who holds the mountains in the consumer’s mind.”

So, at some point after the launch of my podcast for entrepreneurs, I started to ask the successful entrepreneurs I interviewed about their habits or dreams of climbing one of the highest mountains in the world.

Listen to these inspiring stories, find which entrepreneurs and stories you identify with most, and review your entrepreneurial objectives, market overview, and plan. By making your business as strong as possible, you will be able to quickly and easily achieve entrepreneurial success.

Jeremy Liddle Headshot

Jeremy Liddle: Entrepreneur for 16 years. Co-founder & Exec Director of CapitalPitch. President, G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance (YEA) Aus-tralia for 5 years. Represents Australia in youth employment and entre-preneurship at the United Nations. Published author on startups and TEDx speaker

  • Ever since I was little, I watched this cartoon named City of Gold about the Aztec, Incan, and Mayan civilizations; it was about this kid searching for temples. I’ve been obsessed ever since with Machu Picchu in Peru, and I recently got to go there! Finally, after 20+ years, I got to go a month ago. I’d heard stories that the mountains would be completely clouded over and sometimes you don’t get to see anything. In thinking about this question, it’s kinda similar to the entrepreneurial journey.
  • I finally got there, it was cloudy and imperfect, and I was potentially going to be very disappointed. But there’s this old mountain that’s the most old Machu Pichu mountain, anyway, hundreds people up there each day and it’s 600 meters almost straight up, it’s super hard, it takes about an hour to hike up there. After I barely got a glimpse of the Machu Picchu temples, I hiked up this mountain and hiked it in 45 minutes, absolutely killed myself getting up there; you could see Machu Picchu peek through the clouds that looked like they were starting to clear, and then when I went back down, it was like the heavens opened, and it was just absolutely beautiful and couldn’t have been more perfect.
  • Sometimes, the heavens just open with entrepreneurship, and after a lot of hard work, things align and it all becomes easier for a while and that’s exactly what happened to me on my mountain climbing journey.

Jeremy on Machu Picchu Mountain

Jeremy on Machu Picchu Mountain

Kate Sheehan

Kate Sheehan a Director of The OT Service and Occupational Therapist specializing in environmental design and equipment provision

Biggest success due to the right customer approach

  • My greatest successes, the ones that have the most impact on me are my interactions with my clients, clients who had a catastrophic injury. There is one particular case that really had an impact on me. It was a young Mom with a two years old daughter, that had a catastrophic traffic incident and was paralyzed with her two legs.
  • I met her in the first two weeks after her incident, and I asked her (like I always ask) what her goal is? And she said she wants to be able to sky with mu daughter. And it was a very high goal, but I said, OK if that’s your goal this is where we are heading. She told me I’m the first person that said something positive to her. Until then everybody told her what she couldn’t do.
  • It was a long journey, getting her into a new property, get her back to work, find a new school to her daughter, and it took time. And she kept going. And I introduce her to the disabled Skying team. After two years, I got a text message with a picture of the client with her daughter on a top of the mountain with two words – “Got there!”
Tomas Laurinavicius

Tomas Laurinavicius is a lifestyle entrepreneur and blogger from Lithuania, traveling the world with a mission to empower 1 million people to change their lifestyle for good.

  • I’m really fascinated by mountains. You know there isn’t a logic reason why people climb mountains; you get nothing, it’s existing, climbing Everest costs a fortune, but people still do it and I couldn’t understand it until I climbed my first mountain volcano in Bali.
  • I was completely exhausted and suffered from the cold when we reached the top and watched the sun rise. But I felt it was completely worth it, and I asked myself why; it’s not that I didn’t want to prove anything to myself, but I think it’s really beautiful to see the capabilities of humans and to see there is much more in life than sitting at home, scrolling your Facebook feed. You feel more connected to the world and you see how beautiful it is. So I’m fascinated by mountains, and I would love to climb Everest one day; maybe not to the top, but to one of the main base camps.

“I’m trying to conquer my fear of heights in Gran Canaria, Spain”

Mellissah Smith Headshot

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert, author, writer, public speaker, and technology innovator who worked with more than 300 companies, and then founded Robotic Marketer an AI based technology that develops marketing strategies.

  • I haven’t climbed any significant mountains. I do go up to the mountains to ski but I always do so on a lift, so that doesn’t really count, I guess. But I suppose that I have a business mountain that I’m looking to conquer. I never thought it would be possible and it was never my dream but when it became a reality, it made me think differently: to have a business with a one-billion-dollar market cap. It’s really something that I’d never thought about but, with this technology company, things have suddenly changed.
Mark Schaefer Headshot

Mark W. Schaefer is a globally recognized author, speaker, podcaster, and business consultant who blogs at {grow} — one of the top five marketing blogs of the world.

His many global clients include Pfizer, Cisco, Dell, Adidas, and the US Air Force.

  • I grew up in West Virginia, which is called the mountain state. A few years ago I had an opportunity to climb the highest mountain in America outside Alaska. Mount Whitney in California in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. 16000 feet, which is very difficult. When you stand on the top of the mountain, you can look down on planes! I did OK until the last 1000 feet. At that point, I felt I couldn’t continue, but I couldn’t stop either because I was with my friends. So, I just watched the feet of the person in front of me and kept going. I had to find a mental framework to keep going, even when my body was ready to quit.
  • It was one of the most profound lessons I have learned; consistency is more important than genius. I never would of made it if I had quit.
  • You have to find a way to keep going.

Mount Whitney, California

Mount Whitney, California

@LanceScoular THe Savvy Navigator

Lance Scoular, AKA The Savvy Navigator, an International expert who has been involved in International Trade, export, import  and Transport for 50 years;

Over the last nine years, he has developed and expanded his social media networks exponentially (especially LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, and beBee) with more than 300K followers.

  • Sandie and I went a five weeks vacation in Europe, and Sandie loved the 1959 film, “Third man on a mountain”, which was filmed on the Matterhorn. So one night we arrived at the mountain resort Zermatt near the Matterhorn. We went out to the small balcony of our room and we could see the glistening summit of the mountain, the snow was glistening in the moonlight, Sandie was overwhelmed, and this was the other hand of the spectrum of the valley we fell to when we had to sell our house. It was this magical moment for us.
The Matterhorn from Zermatt Switzerland - Lance

Third Man on the Mountain poster

Christopher S. Penn

Christopher S. Penn is a recognized thought leader, best-selling author, and keynote speaker. He has shaped four key fields in the marketing industry: Google Analytics adoption, data-driven marketing, modern email marketing, and artificial intelligence/machine learning in marketing.

  • In the martial arts tradition I practice, there’s a spiritual component as well. One of the things I will be doing in the next 10-20 years of my lifetime is going to Japan and doing the marathon monk course at least once on a mountain called Mt. Hiei in Japan. There’s a course that is approximately 26 miles, or about 42 kilometers, and that, as part of the ordination, you have to walk that circuit every day for 7 days for the basic ordination, which is a heck of a lot of walking! But the reason for it is that it helps take you on a journey. Here’s the funny part: climbing the mountain is not the big deal; yes, it’s a long path but because it’s a circuit, it is the journey that is the important part, not getting to the top. There isn’t a destination.

Mount Hiei with Cherry Blossom Japan

Mount Hiei | Japan

Roy Sutton Headshot

Roy Sutton is an experienced C-Level executive, board director, and former CEO in the telecommunications and digital media.

Based in London, Roy is currently a business consultant,using his skills and experience to help people make the most of their lives.

His objectives are achieved by creating digital products designed to offer people solutions to the many common problems they face.

  • I wouldn’t describe myself as a mountain climber, but in the 90s, I was in a degree program at University of London, and one of my fellow students was the adventurer, Bear Grylls, who I’m sure is well known to many of your listeners. While we were in that program, he climbed Everest, and at the time, he was the youngest person to ever reach the summit. I was speaking with him afterwards, and he said that the reason he was fascinated by Everest was because nobody could put you there; no train, no plane, no automobile could put you there, the only way to get there was through your own efforts, your own determination to reach the summit. You had to take it one step at a time and you had to wantto get there.
  • I thought this was a wonderful metaphor for success. There is no elevator to success, no shortcuts; you have to take the stairs and be determined, you can only get there through your own efforts and you get there one step at a time. So, for me, I was impressed with Bear’s determination to get to the top of Everest and I think if I were to climb a mountain, that would be the mountain I’d want to climb, because it’s the ultimate challenge and you have to get there through your own efforts, there is nobody to do it for you, you can only get there by doing it yourself and I’m all for testing myself and trying to stretch myself as far as I can and reaching my full potential.
The Kid who climbed Everest
The Kid who climbed Everest

Mount Everest Base Camp
Mount Everest Base Camp

Deepak Shukla Headshot

Deepak Shukla is the Founder and CEO of Pearl Lemon, a 4x award-winning SEO agency in London. 

Deepak has been featured in TEDx, SEMrush, BBC, Chelsea FC, Appsumo, Bright Talks & more. 

When he’s not running his agency, you’ll find him running marathons (25 so far) completing Ironmen (2 so far), getting inked (40% body coverage) or playing with his cat Jenny.

  • In 2014, I lived for 3 months in Lisbon. As part of that trip, I journeyed over to Madeira, which is an archipelago off the coast of Portugal. The reason I was there was to climb the mountain, the formerly active volcano of Madeira and when I say climb, it was to run in a 150km ultra marathon. It ended up being a 27 hours run, it’s started at midnight on a Friday and I finished, battered and broken, on Sunday morning around 5am or so. It had a 50% finish rate; half the people who started did not finish. You had 7200 meters of elevation gain.
  • So, close to 10,000 meters up and down, up and down. That whole journey was a lot like businesses. You start off at midnight, excited, happy, chirpy. You get going, things are exciting and interesting for the first 6 hours, there’s lots of chatter. As time passes and you begin to get a bit weary and you begin to get a little bit less buoyant, you see the herd start to thin as people spread out, as people go at their own velocity, and the realization of what waits in front of you begins to slowly ease its way into the run. You team up with a person here or there, some don’t quite make the checkpoint for the cut off, then you find yourself alone again.
  • You’re 15 hours in now and it’s 2am, it’s raining, you’re up so high you’re in the clouds, and you ask yourself: why? Why am I here? Why am I doing this? The next 5-10 hours will be just relentless pounding, just doing the same action over and over. Boredom, pain, distraction, all these things enter your mind and you try to find as many reasons as you can to give up or go back.
  • For most of us, that’s the journey of entrepreneurship.

Pico Ruivo, Madeira

Pico Ruivo | Madeira

Ofer Shayo Headshot

Ofer Shayo is a passionate tech entrepreneur who Co-founded Tvinci in 2007 and developed a world-class team of talents with a diverse, innovation-driven culture. Tvinci was acquired by Kaltura in 2014.

  • I have a great story because of the first and the last time I climbed a mountain in 2004. As I mentioned earlier, I met my co-founder Ido Wiesenberg on Tajumulco Volcano mountain in Guatemala, and while climbing this mountain, we discussed what largely became the basis of our startup, of Tvinci. And we didn’t know of course that we would become such good friends and establish Tvinci based on our thoughts that day on that mountain.

Volcán Tajumulco

Volcán Tajumulco

Brian Mawdsley

Brian Mawdsley has 20+ years in the IT and digital space along with a flair for sales.

Created, developed and launched the ‘Social Media Formula’ ,that embraces multiple platforms to achieve optimum success online.

  • I think that I would rather use the marathon version, as I am a runner. The beauty of a marathon and only runners will truly understand this; I’ve done a few half marathons, I’ve never done a full marathon but, once you are fit enough to do a race, you actually get into a zone, where everything is working the way it should be and you just keep going, and it is… I personally find it after about three kilometers, which means for the first three kilometers, almost any excuse to stop, I will. But once I get past that 3rd kilometer, I feel this shift. It’s so apparent that I know it’s happening, and my breathing slows, my pulse slows, and I get into the zone. I think that from a metaphorical point of view, I personally think I’m in that zone at the moment with my business. Now, it’s a matter of pushing to get a personal best on my metaphorical marathon.
Andres Pira

Andres Pira was homeless at the age of 16, sleeping on the beaches. today he runs over 19 companies, employs over 200 people, and is one of the largest real estate developer in Thailand.

  • Mountains are one of my biggest passions! I’m a mountaineer, I climb mountains all over the world, I do treks and hikes through many different continents, I’ve been in active volcanoes;
  • I just came back from Kilimanjaro, which was one of the best treks I’ve ever done. I get my biggest inspirations and motivations when I’m away from civilizations, when I’m away from phones and faxes and emails, that’s when I have time for myself and think about my next vision and goal and strategy. All of this creativity comes to me when I’m up with nature all by myself.

Mount Kilimanjaro

Mark Metry

“Many Founders should adopt Mark Metry’s ‘limits don’t exist’ mindset. It reminds me of Elon Musk.”

– Huffington Post

Mark Metry is the host of iTunes Top Charts podcast, Humans 2.0. Mark’s show features innovative and talented guests like Jay Samit, Neil Patel, and David Meltzer.

Mark was Quora’s Top Writer 2018

  • I think all of us, deep down, love mountains; because they resemble something. Personally, I have never climbed a real mountain; I definitely want to, I don’t know which one.
  • Probably the biggest mountain that I climbed, and I want to take it a bit personally, two years ago I faced a pretty serious depression and anxiety. I think that the main cause was that I didn’t follow the life path that I was built for, and instead I tried to live another person’s life.
  • Really climbing that mountain for me has pushed my own personal life to greatness. Even though I did very successful things, I never thought of myself as successful. I never thought of myself as a good person.
  • Climbing that mountain showed me another way and it totally changed my life. I started to be more positive and I started to caring more about other people.
  • I would say that’s probably the biggest mountain that I have climbed and I haven’t looked back ever since.

Climbing the Mountain - Depression and Anxiety

Depression and Anxiety – “The biggest mountain that I have climbed and I haven’t looked back ever since.” (illustration)

Ep 126 - Ilan Missulawin

Ilan Missulawin

  • My mountain is actually an island.
  • My dream is to get to a place where I have been able to optimize every part of the business to the point that it can be managed from anywhere in the world and specifically from an island in Thailand.
  • I believe that at the end of the day we are all working and building a business because we want more time, all I really want is to spend more time with my kids.

Island as a Mountain

Island as a Mountain (illustration)



These are our most educational and inspiring mountain stories from the past two-and-a-half years of interviewing successful entrepreneurs about how they achieved their remarkable success.

Now, after having watched this episode, you can choose what you would like to do next.

As I see it, you have 4 options.

First, you can, of course, do nothing in regards to this show. Simply do whatever you had previously planned, or just switch to the next podcast.

Second, you can enjoy the stories, be inspired by them, and gain the courage and strength necessary to take your entrepreneurship to a much higher level than you did in the last few months.

Third, you can choose one or more of the inspiring, successful interviewees and their stories – or choose me – to connect with and ask questions about so that you can learn from them. (They all have plenty of free professional content on their sites.) You can even enquire about whether they would be interested in being your mentor, if they offer that service.

And last but not least, you can download my free guide to the 7 Elements of Entrepreneurial Business Success. This will help you create the best plan for the coming months – one that will help you achieve your goals during the first half of 2020.


Until next week’s episode … bye-bye.



More resources for Entrepreneurs

  1. Don’t Miss – Customer Focus Strategy & Execution: Market Analysis for Fundraising
  2. Hayut Yogev’s Latest postIs there a formula for reaching Entrepreneurial Business Success?
  3. Former interview: The formula for reaching Entrepreneurial Business Success


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