‘Think outside the box if you want to achieve life goals’

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A MULTIPLE world record holder believes anyone can achieve their goals in life, they just need to think ‘beyond their core skill set’.

Mark Beaumont shattered the round-the-world cycling record. He was invited to speak to the Institute of Directors about the target-setting, planning and team-building aspects of such an operation. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 21908971)

Author, broadcaster and logistics expert Mark Beaumont, 35, was in Guernsey to talk to the Institute of Directors about the planning and dedication it took to undertake his most recent feat – a world record-breaking circumnavigation of the globe by bicycle, named Around the World in 80 Days.

He and his team of 40 battered the 123-day record by doing it in 78 days 14 hours.

The key points in his career are how he develops, plans and achieves his goals, often in the face of adversity.

These have included a robbery on his first round-the-world cycle at the age of just 22.

‘There were lots of highs and lows that time because I was unsupported, I was completely on my own.

‘It took half a year cycling 100 miles a day,’ he said.

‘Pretty exciting for a 22-year-old going through Iran, Pakistan, skirting Helmand Province, sleeping in mosques.

‘Two weeks from the finish I was in Louisiana when I was hit by a car and the back of the bike had buckled.


‘I was trying to get things fixed when I was attacked by a gang and mugged – they took all my kit, cameras, footage and money, but left me with my bike, so I managed to finish.

‘The only silver lining was that it took it from a local newspaper story to the national press.’

Having accomplished their goal on the Around the World in 80 Days expedition, on which Mark beat the record by riding for 16 hours a day, covering 18,000 miles in total, the team has had a lot of interest from businesses wanting to know just how they managed to organise such a substantial operation.

‘With due respect, we weren’t trying to break the record, we were really trying to create that in-group performance, and figure out the best team we could find, with an incredible amount of logistics and planning,’ he said.


‘I’m here as the business community are interested in the scale of that plan.

‘It was an incredibly expensive professional project and there was a huge amount of intrigue when we got back from the business community in the UK and beyond to know how we delivered.

‘So my obsession, if I have one, is building a plan and building a team. It’s not how you ride a bike, that’s the nuts and bolts of it.’

Mr Beaumont also suffered setbacks in the 80-day expedition, but said the idea to stop never crossed his mind.

‘On day nine I crashed, broke some teeth, and fractured my left elbow and on that day I still rode 210 miles,’ he said.

‘But there was never the thought to stop. The endorphins kick in, I think humans have the ability to carry on.

‘I think when you are doing stuff for fun in your leisure time, you are asking yourself will I or won’t I because it’s purely based on the enjoyment in the moment, but this is my job.

‘There is a huge amount or professional expectation in what I’m doing, so at no point in the moment would I turn round and say I’m not doing this.’

People may think Mr Beaumont is built differently to other humans, but he feels people are capable of more than they think.

‘I’ve built this up from when I was 12 years old cycling across Scotland,’ he said.

‘I think you can teach yourself over time to have the confidence to set your own agenda rather than just do what other people expect.

‘The biggest part is having the confidence in trying to figure out what we are capable of, rather than just doing a little bit better than last year or doing what other people are doing.

‘A lot of people define themselves by their education, their jobs, but leadership and building businesses is all about becoming valued for who you are rather than what you do.

‘I think people look at what I do and think how you can get to the point where you can think these things are possible, but there is a very clear chronology to my career.

‘There are no leaps in terms of the overall experience or mind-set in what I do, anyone can do this, and people do, just in different walks of life.

‘The bit that’s interesting is people who live their entire lives defined by their core skill set. They don’t realise that how you really drive change and apply ambition is to grow beyond that.

‘If you have an ability to do something, just get busy doing it.’


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