Team Aretha Sailing the World and into San Francisco. What happened next?

9th November 2016.

Ok. Ok. Ok. I know. 3 emails a week when we’re at sea and then I’ve gone completely silent for almost 6 months since we arrived in San Francisco. It’s been a while since I’ve written a Team Aretha update, so here goes…..

I’m sitting on a plane. I’m bound for San Francisco. About 8 hours ago we heard the news that Donald Trump had just been elected President of the United States. These are strange times indeed. Life was certainly simpler at sea away from politics and the real world.

I last wrote on this blog in May 2016 almost 6 months ago. We were sailing en route to San Francisco to complete the current stage of our world voyages.

Much has happened in that time. I’ll keep it to headlines.

We had originally planned to get Visa’s and move to immediately live in San Francisco. During the course of June and July we worked to submit visa applications and develop business plans to launch a variety of new ventures.

By the end of July, it became obvious that moving to the States immediately was not on the cards. A combination of not ticking the right boxes for visa applications, only being able to secure one school place rather than three, the plunging value of the £ post Brexit and the sky high cost of living in San Francisco.

We decided to base ourselves in the UK for a period of 6-12 months whilst we got new ventures up and running in the States and to take the opportunity to have at least two of the children at school in the UK. After two years of home schooling, I think it’s fair to say that Nichola and I were pretty much done with homeschooling for the time being. It’s not without it’s challenges!

So it’s now November, what’s happened and where are we are up to?

Well, we’ve got Bluebell and Willow into school. They are both thriving and enjoying having friends around them all the time. Bluebell hasn’t missed a beat and has slipped back in as though she’d never been away. Apart from the self assured confidence, the organisation and a mindset and approach to life that I’m super proud of. Willow in her first year of school, the reception year has taken to it like a duck to water. Confidence and happiness exudes as does a headstrong manner that she’s not for turning! We are still waiting for a school place for Columbus but he is making great headway with home schooling and if any of the children were going to right for continued home schooling it would Columbus. He’s started back at rugby and is enjoying having friends around him again.

As for Nichola and I. We love spending time with each other as much as we have ever done. Our relationship is as strong as it ever – of course there is the odd difference but that’s just normal life (for us anyway).

We’ve been enjoying reconnecting with friends and family and have been pressing on with our plans with four different ventures underway.

Nichola is working on her Loose Paper business – helping busy women to be more organised, and is pouring her energy also into re-energising our online marketing business.

I’m working on two things – our bread business, Gorgeous Grains with my good friend Frank. We had a soft launch in Utah in September (Bluebell and I did the road trip to Utah from California driving some 700 miles through the stunning Nevada desert). It was a complete success and we had some fabulous feedback and created our Gorgeous Grains jingle with a local musician. Right now, we’re developing things for a more formal launch and aiming to get products in San Francisco shops by the end of the year.

What has been taking most of my time has been developing my speaking career. Having spent the past 6 months reflecting on whats the biggest contribution I can make to the world and what do I have real deep experience in that I want to share with the world, I finally came to see the obvious thing that was in front of me already.

I realised that I’ve developed quite a deep expertise in leadership, team building and dealing with stuff when the shit hits the fan. It goes back some 30 years to when I launched my first business at the age of 14 and had a small team working with me, right through to building teams in global corporates, in start up businesses, in failing business, in high growth business and on both a trophy winning round the world racing yacht and my hardest challenge by far with my family on this around the world adventure.

Without using too many sailing metaphors its not been plain sailing by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve screwed up, made mistakes and had times where I’ve felt very lonely and isolated. I’ve learnt from my experiences and gotten help when I needed it so that I could develop and grow as a leader.

I realise my style and approach is unconventional and I’m quite happy challenging the status quo and finding different ways to do things. My favourite maxim is test and measure. Try things and see what works. If it doesn’t work, do less of it. If it does work do more of it.

I’m on a mission now to turn my expertise into a digestible format that both inspires, engages, provokes and teaches people some of the valuable lessons I’ve learnt along the way. My goal is to become a world class Corporate Speaker providing Key Note talks on Leadership with the occasional after dinner talk too.

So, with that in mind, over the past month I’ve been in Colorado working with Joe and Alison Williams (Joe was Tony Robbins Head Trainer for the past 20 years) and developing my story and speaking expertise. I’m like a novice starting out again and I’m loving every single moment of learning and engaging with a new skill set and approach.

Since returning from Colorado, I’ve relaunched my website and a Facebook page dedicated to my speaking – I’d love you to come over and like my page and let me have any feedback on the website : )

I’ve been re-connecting with old colleagues and my diary is now rapidly filling up – I have my first 16 speaking engagements booked in from a standing start and did my first ever after dinner talk last week. It went very well and I got some very kind words of feedback.

My book is making progress – I’ve been working with my agent Jen Barclay and we have two publishers interested as well as a Business Book publisher interested in my leadership and team building approach. I’m also designing an online training course with the advertising geniuses from advertising group Ogilvy and Mather.

Nichola has just come back from 10 days in San Francisco continuing to build our network there, to re-connect with Aretha and to have some peace and quiet to work on her plans.

So that bring me full circle and I’m now flying out for the start of a 3 week speaking tour which will take me to San Francisco, Hawaii, Iceland and then after that onto Cape Town.

Life is full. It certainly isn’t boring. There is plenty going on and we’ve loved spending time with friends and are very much looking forward to catching up with the many people we haven’t seen and reconnected with yet.

We’d love to hear from you and hope that all is well in your world.

Have an awesome day everyone,

Caspar and all from Team Aretha, Out.

PS – I’m considering creating some online training programmes to share some of what we’ve learnt and have a small talk I’ve been working on called: “Idea to Reality – My surprising life discoveries from sailing around the world with my family”. If I were to run an online webinar, would this be of interest to anyone? It’d be a free webinar. At end of the event , I’d offer you the opportunity to join me on a small training course (there’d be a cost for this) sharing some of the most important practical steps we did together with a workbook for you to walk through and create your own winning team whether thats in business, at work or in your family life. There’s absolutely no obligation and I’m certain it won’t be for everyone. In any event, I’ll pack in and share as many stories and experiences for you in the free webinar so it won’t be a waste of your time.

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