Chris Plough shares why he decided to walk away from a multi million dollar company with all the external indications of success including finances, accolades and possessions.
He talks about why he never felt “successful” and how his mindset and dealing with emotions both play a crucial role in his journey into the exciting unknown.
With his honest, direct style Chris shares how he has learned to move his emotions from just his head to his heart and then action.
Chris Plough's Bio
Having succeeded in both realms, Chris Plough connects the art of inspiration with the business of execution while guiding the Explorers who will shape the frontiers of our world. He explores what it means to be human to equip you for the world that is coming.
As employee 13 at the logistics software startup, G-Log, he created the technical architecture for Oracle Transportation Management. After G-Log was acquired by Oracle, he founded MavenWire which became the premium OTM services company (consulting, training, hosting). With his team, he grew it into an 8-figure global company – kicking butt against multi-billion dollar competitors. Along the way, he returned to college and received his degree in Theatre Arts, Acting and Directing. After graduating, he created and completed a pseudo-graduate program in theatre design – lighting, set and multimedia. He is also known for his adventures, which started in 2010 when he drove an ambulance 10,000 miles from the UK to Mongolia. This became one of the greatest inflection points of his life. His businesses have won awards, he has a slew of technical certifications and his theatre designs have been recognized. His true measure, though, is in his reputation and the company that he keeps. And that laugh – that infectious laugh.
Chris sees a world where we are all alive and fulfilled. Free to own our story, build our tribe, choose our own path and make a fucking difference. With the recent acquisition of MavenWire, he is focusing on guiding Movement Makers through his writing and speaking while creating companies that empower them to take their Meaningful Message forward and create impact.
Chris is known for leaning hard against limits in order to enjoy a great story — from performing naked on a stage in front of hundreds, to trekking across Siberia and massive sub-zero temperatures on a motorcycle to reach the Arctic Circle. Whether spending an evening laughing with friends while playing cards or trekking across the globe in an absurd vehicle, he makes the most of every moment.
TranscriptUnknown Speaker 0:03
Whenever you're ready
Unknown Speaker 0:10
Hey, what's going on Steven Christopher here with my awesome co host Loura Sanchez. And welcome to this episode of the exciting unknown podcast where we are connecting the dots from the interview that we did with the great Chris Clough, Laura, how's it going?
Unknown Speaker 0:26
Hey, what's happening I just settled back in from being in Florida for the last two months. excited to be back. I've realized that being at sea level for two months made working out a little bit more challenging. So I did a wit workout with our team. And I was dying.
Unknown Speaker 0:47
Oh, it's fat. It's it's amazing how fast you acclimate right. So now you're like, suck and a little weird. And now now you know, you know what happens when all those people come to visit you from sea level. They're like, I can't breathe. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 1:00
Yeah, no kidding. I guess I'll have a little bit more empathy for them.
Unknown Speaker 1:03
Yeah, for sure. For sure. Sure. You're talking about Chris today. Let's do it. Well, let's talk about what he shared with us. Maybe not talking about him specifically, we can talk about him to really find Okay, that's cool. Um, I have some really good takeaways with him, in terms of his journey, in particular about because he shared so much and he was so honest with us, in terms of that struggle early on, for him to leave his company. And, you know, I think one of the things he talked about was the shame that he felt because he wanted to have a life separate from his company. And how, you know, he, how we're all taught that you know, you should be happy you build this company, you're successful. You have all these external measurements of being successful in good at what you do and people rely upon you, they respect you. But and what comes with that sometimes is I have to keep performing that way, right? I have to be perfect and perfect is in his case, well, I have to love my company. And it has to be everything to me. And him recognizing that that was really limiting. And the struggle to get past that to be like, you know what, it's okay. You don't have to give everything to your company in the in his case.
Unknown Speaker 2:32
Yeah, I mean, I think that that's, there's a great reminder here that there's a couple great reminders. One being that remembering that our companies also are supposed to serve us, right? It's not always just we're serving our company and so we can always grow and, and navigate that path to where we have to make sure we are also getting fulfillment. And I think That's really important. I know, I've started three, three companies over the last 15 years. And I'll always get to this part where I kind of feel the same way. I'm like, Alright, like, what? Now I got to be this way. And now I feel like maybe I feel trapped or like I don't have freedom because I have to continue being this person. And each time I've learned a little bit, I've learned more and been able to look at it from a different perspective. And, you know, now with when I'm looking at it from a much different perspective, but I just think it's important to remember that the company is also there to serve us not just to serve our team or just to serve our clients, it's there to serve us as well because a lot of times as the entrepreneur, we have, we have a gift we have this ability to, you know, a lot of us be visionaries, and kind of like see these next things in these next areas where we can we can give contribution and give back, but if we feel tied to something or if we feel like we have Have to continue being this person now we're constricted. And we're not continuing to be the best version of ourselves. And, you know, think about, like, people that work at the company, right? They start in one position, they learn and grow, and they end up five years later, a lot of them if they want and another position, so why can't we do that? as the owner, the founder, CEO, a
Unknown Speaker 4:22
well? Yeah. And whether that means that you stay at the company, right? Or it means that ultimately you sell your company as Chris did. And you move on to something different. Yeah. Why isn't that okay? We would, most of us would say we would want that for our employees. We would want them to grow and we would want them to advance whatever that advancement like might look like, whether it's in your company or outside of your company, but yet we don't feel the same thing for for our
Unknown Speaker 4:52
elves. Yeah. And when you when you ask your if you're an owner, and you ask your employees do they want you to grow and do they want To have more experiences and more freedom, the answer is Hell yeah. Absolutely. Like a lot of things that I felt guilty about in the past when you know, Andrea, our CEO at wet, who have a very close relationship with and that knows me very well. She's always like, what are you doing? You built this thing so that you don't have to do that specific thing anymore and you hate it and you're terrible at it. Like, get out of there. You know, they want the same for us as as we do for them.
Unknown Speaker 5:32
Yeah, yeah. The other thing that Chris talked about was once you make that decision of like, Okay, I'm ready to move to the next step, whatever that is, um, but if you don't know it, it's it's really scary, right? The the exciting unknown or the scary shit unknown, depending on your mindset and history sharing with us, you know, so he kind of wanted to keep kind of wanted to go Yeah, you you want to be out but you want to be in so, you know, I think he said he did like kind of this consulting job for a while and he's like, you know, he's like bottom line is is that didn't work. But I think that resonated with me to have, you know, it's kind of like where I'm at now with. I wanted to get out of law. I don't like law, but yet I, you know, I'm still kind of have my toe half in and half out. Why is that? Well, because the unknown is really scary. And there's some security but the bottom line is, is that it's not fulfilling?
Yeah. Yeah, I've been I've been thinking about this topic, actually a lot lately after the interview with Chris and here's something that I've started to realize, and just paying attention to entrepreneurs, right. Paying attention to business owners. It seems that there's this pattern, right, where you start a company, you're all excited about it, you build it, and then at some point for a lot of people that aren't, you know, fully conscious And really aware it, it flips and it becomes kind of a ball and chain. Now there are outliers that are like, Oh my gosh, I started this and I've been running it for 50 years. And I absolutely love every second of it. And that's great. That's fantastic that they found that calling and they're that passionate about it. But a lot of entrepreneurs don't go that route. They they go this route of they built it in the now all of a sudden it's a prison. And then a lot of them what they do is they end up selling, right? They're like, Oh my gosh, okay, if I could just get out of this, then I can go be this next big great thing and I can do this big thing that will contribute. And what I've been paying attention to and asking people about is what's really happening or what I believe is really happening is that they're looking for this deeper meaning right like they're trying to find out their why their mission, something like that like they're trying to find somebody way to give back and contribute more to this world community, whatever it is. And they think that the company is holding them back from doing that. And if they get out of it, then they can go find this big mission and vision and purpose, and put, you know, in go all in on it, because I have all this time. But what I've started to realize is that, that's not in a majority of cases, that's not the right way to do it. Basically, you need to be able to find fulfillment in the moment today, while finding future fulfillment, or maybe additional future fulfillment as well. And I think as entrepreneurs and I'm guilty of this, I've been guilty of this in the past, it's easier to get rid of it or to exit then turn back around to a group of people that know you very deeply and that have relationships with you and have you have this idea. identity with them of being this person for 510 1520 years, it's hard to turn around and look back at them and say, You know what? Now I am this person, I'm taking on this slightly new identity, because I'm passionate about this and this and this. And but I think that, you know, it's hard, right? Just like in a relationship, a lot of people leave marriages and relationships. And then they go find somebody else. And like, Oh, my gosh, it's great. We're doing all these cool things together, blah, blah, blah. But they could have just voiced those things in the in the past relationship, and maybe would have found just as much if not more fulfillment. So we're kind of running, right, like we're running from this thing. We're creating this identity. And we think that there's going to be some bright shiny object over here, as opposed to putting being brave enough to be vulnerable about what we really want, where we are with those people that have known us under a certain idea.
Unknown Speaker 10:01
For so long, yeah, you know that the whole thing about being vulnerable as a leader? I don't know if you've read Brittany Brown, her latest book is called dare to lead, which is really designed for the business owner and talking about how to bring that vulnerability into your leadership leadership position, whether you're the owner or not, which is really hard, right? Because it is not the identity that most business owners or most leaders have. We're there because we know the answers. We're the visionary, we've got the passion, we've got all those things. But right the bud is but wait a minute, but there are times in which we don't have that. We are scared we are uncertain. And how do you bridge that gap? And I think that's exactly what you're talking about is being able to bridge the gap between I started this company I felt like you were faking who you Were for the last five or 10 or 15 years, you have just now evolved and there are different things. And again, that's okay. But sharing that as opposed to just saying, Okay, I'm gonna throw the bath out with the baby out with the bathwater, right? And be like, Okay, I gotta get out of here so that now I can be who I really am.
Unknown Speaker 11:18
Yeah, yeah, I mean, I think we have so much opportunity as entrepreneurs, to influence the people that already trust us and that we've already built relationships with and bring them along in that mission. And look, it's okay to change your mission, and it's okay to change the mission of a company. And it's okay to allow more of your true identity to show up along the way. And I think, again, we get in our heads, right. We think that as owners A lot of times, oh, I don't want to show weakness or show that I was maybe wrong or so that I feel like oh, now there's a different and better path over here. That they don't care about that they love. They love us fo
Unknown Speaker 11:59
that. Right. Right. The other thing that Chris talked about that, and I'm not going to get this right, but we were talking about feelings. And I think, you know, a couple of our guests have have talked about how important being in touch with your feelings and your emotions, and not just being in your head, right. And he had some saying about, you know, once you tap into those feelings, then it goes into your gut and it becomes wisdom. It goes into your legs, and then you're able to move with it and live by that. Do you remember anything more around that? Because I made that in my notes, but I was like, yeah, you know, I really like that concept.
Unknown Speaker 12:39
eah, I mean, I think the general of it was, you know, like, first we become aware, then we have that in our head, right? We become aware of something and then we can conceptualize it. And then as we start to sit with it longer, it moves down like into our heart and it becomes something that we can feel. And then it continues to move down. It moves down into our gut, and that's where it becomes not just something that we can feel. But now that's when it starts to become wisdom. And then yeah, then it moves down to your legs. And actually you put it into practice.
Unknown Speaker 13:09
Thinking about that then so once it moves from your head to your heart once it gets into your gut, it seems to me then that that wisdom is then part of what helps us have intuition. Right? Because it's not just this like hunch. It's a, there's something deeper there of like, wait, wait a minute, I know how this feels. I know what this means. I can start to trust my gut, I can start to trust my intuition.
Unknown Speaker 13:39
Yeah. Yeah, I think for me, that would that would equate to like, the, the, the poll, or the calling would be so strong that it could not it could no longer be ignored. Right. When it's in my head. I'm like, Okay, yeah, like I, you know, I feel like I should probably do that or, you know, maybe pivot or turn this way a little bit or You know, whatever that thing is, and then when it gets into my heart, I'm like, Oh, yeah, like, okay, I should really pay attention to that. But by the time it gets down to like, my gut in my legs, it's like, you can't, you can't ignore it. It's so much bigger than you. And I think that ties into the intuition part. So it's this cultivation of awareness around that and allowing it to move through those different levels. So that it becomes so powerful that it moves you just in stay, this is somewhat of a side question. But when you have that, that deep gut feeling, is it really in your gut? Or where is it at in your body? What do you experience? That's a great question. So let's see. Um, yeah, mine is kind of close. It's it's maybe not necessarily just in my gut, but it's like my lower back as well. Like it's just kind of my whole midsection and, and that's where I that's where I can tell like, if it's Say, if it's like a pull towards, it's this like soft tingly kind of feeling. And if it's an away, it's it's like ache and construction.
Unknown Speaker 15:14
Yeah, interesting. I don't have I don't know that I can I have to pay attention to this. This is a good thing. I have to pay attention to whether there's a difference in mind, whether it's pulling towards or backing away from, but mine also is it's lower, I would say it's like kind of like pelvis region. That's where I'm like, Okay, this is just meant to be I just know it. It's not in my gut, either. That's interesting. Yeah, we should do a survey someday and ask people where they feel and I wonder if there's a consistency there.
Unknown Speaker 15:45
Yeah. Well, if you're listening this depending on where you are, if there's a place to put comments in, put it in the comments. That'd be awesome.
Unknown Speaker 15:51
Yeah, shoot us an email, go on Facebook, something that'd be fun. Awesome. Cool. Any other things from Chris that jumped out for you?
Unknown Speaker 16:00
think the only other thing that that that I want to make sure that we talk about or at least that we we bring to light is, you know, this is somebody who had a company of over 100 people, it was an eight figure plus business and somebody who, who truly cares very deeply about people and and also for himself, he cares about experiences and living life. And so from the outside looking in, he's the epitome of like, the most amazing person ever right runs a great company is super happy, loves the connections, loves doing experiences, cares about others and their well being and them having experiences. But yet in the interview, we talked about how there was still this huge underlying thing of I don't remember if you use the words imposter syndrome in the interview, but I know he has shared that with me, but very specifically talks about like scarcity, right. Yeah. So you're talking about a big company that's making a lot of money that is getting, you know, accolades. I mean, he's working with fortune 50 Companies, amazing connections, amazing mentorship opportunities, but still had this feeling. And so the reason why I want to pinpoint that is because for myself and others that I've talked to, and Laura, I don't know, maybe you too. We, a lot of times we can feel like, oh, when I get to here, I won't feel that anymore. And this is a perfect example of how, no, that's not true at all. You can get to, you know, when you get to there, you're still going to have those feelings and stuff. So if you don't start to address these things now, and work on them, again, like finding fulfillment in the moment now not waiting for something else. If you don't start working on these things now, they will stay with you forever. I don't care if you're running 100 million dollar company. Because we have I mean, we have friends that are doing you know well over $200 million dollars, and they share some of these same things. So even though they have more money than they could ever spend They're know what to do with, they still have this massive scarcity mindset. And they're always worried that it's all gonna go away, and that they're not enough. And so you've we've got to start working on that stuff now.
Unknown Speaker 18:15
Otherwise, no external thing is ever gonna fix it. Yeah, I think that's a really good point. You know, I think particularly scarcity in your beliefs about money, right? I mean, you know, money is it's, it's a piece of power, we need to have money in our lives. Because it allows us to do other things, or perhaps our upbringing. We didn't have that. And so it's super important. And then we tie Okay, well, if I have enough money to do this, then it will be fine. And I won't feel that scarcity anymore. I know for me, like, you know, after selling my law firm, I did well, I'm in some of my friends Look at me. They're like, Why do you worry about money, you could do anything you wanted. And I'm like, hold on. sounds good to you. But deep down inside of me, there's still this belief that, but it could all go away tomorrow. And do I have a I also have a belief that, you know, I could make more money. I know that I know I could make more money, I know that I'm not going to starve, I'm not going to be homeless. However, I've not really addressed where that scarcity comes from and where that belief comes from. And being able to understand that it's not logical, right? My head knows that it's not logical, but my heart and my gut don't know that. And it continues to present itself time and time best. Awesome. Well, you know, look, maybe that's something we'll talk about soon because I certainly have some of that still as well, but I've spent a lot of time addressing it and looking at it and Just consistently coaching myself that hey, look, I believe and I know in my heart that, you know, money isn't energy, right money's money is technically really nothing. But it's this energy. And we can create as much of it as we desire based on our thoughts, our beliefs, our actions.
Unknown Speaker 20:18
And so yeah, that's definitely a conversation, much deeper conversation for some other time. Yeah. Awesome. Maybe we'll have a glass of wine one night and talk about that. Cool. All right. Well, Hey, everybody, thank you so much for checking out this episode of connect the dots from the exciting, unknown podcast. Make sure to check out the next episodes coming up. And if you enjoyed this, we would greatly appreciate it if you would share it with somebody or comment on whatever platform that you are listening on. That really helps us out. We're doing this for fun and we're doing this to help others so until next time, embrace the exciting unknown!