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Enjoying the Journey: Entrepreneurism and Family with Caspar and Nichola Craven

Husband and wife team Caspar and Nichola Craven are an intrepid pair of entrepreneurs. Caspar is a long-time entrepreneur and former managing director at a technology business, and Nichola was a criminal barrister for 12 years before joining forces with Caspar.

Caspar decided that what was holding him back in business was that he wasn’t focusing enough time at home. So, he took what he was learning in his business–having a purpose, having core values, having goals–back into his home life, which lead to the couple’s decision to take the family sailing around the world for two years.  

Listen as they both share their story and how they’ve created a new business working together to coach entrepreneurs in the importance of focusing on family first to enjoy the journey, working together as a team toward a common goal.

On today’s podcast:

  • A family first mentality
  • “Nothing ever happens without a deadline”
  • Values-based approach in business and at home
  • The benefits of spending quality time with family
  • Don’t defer happiness

Links:

Don’t Defer Your Happiness: A Family First Approach to Business and Entrepreneurism

Caspar and Nichola Craven are the co-creators of The Brave You, a business all about helping entrepreneurs put family first, encouraging people to build strong, thriving relationships at home so they can be more successful in business.

Family first mentality

Caspar is a long-time entrepreneur, and in 2009 his technology business wasn’t doing well. He found himself coming home after long shifts only to have some kind of argument about money or life.

He and his wife Nichola, who worked as a criminal barrister for 12 years, were on divergent paths. It was then that Caspar realized he needed to start putting family first.

The first step was creating an exciting story that engaged both of them so they both knew where they were going. After that Caspar still worked just as hard, but they had an endpoint they were working towards, and there was a shared understanding, so there was a strong, supportive environment at home.

Through this shift into a family first mentality, Caspar and Nichola decided to take their three small children on a trip to sail around the world for two years.

“Nothing ever happens without a deadline”

They made the plans, set a definite deadline and date, and announced their decision to friends and family. By having the goal to work toward, it forced them to create the wealth that gave them the financial freedom they needed to fulfill their plan.

“It was literally locked in stone,” says Caspar. In April 2014 he injured his back, and he had major back surgery in July 2014. Friends and family assumed it meant they would cancel the trip, but he didn’t accept that.

Having a clear idea, having a date, and also telling everyone was instrumental because they had made a public commitment and it kept pushing them on. Telling their children was also important to them.

Their ‘plan A’ was to sell the business before leaving, but when that didn’t work out, they had to look at their resources and do it another way. Nichola worked on building up alternate revenue streams through online platforms they had and together they were able to make their goal a reality.  

Values-based approach

Before leaving on their trip, they spent time working on their values. A values-based approach was key in transforming the business, so they applied values at home, and they engrained those into how they lived with each other on the boat.

They built themselves into a family team. Everything Caspar was doing with the business to build the corporate team, they were taking back and doing it at home with the children, and they believe it was essential to having an amazing experience during their trip.

Talking about values as a family was useful. They each selected half a dozen values for themselves, shared examples, and then created rituals and habits to make sure that the values were incorporated into their daily lives.

Rather than getting caught up in telling their kids what not to do, they praised them for the right behaviours and helped them build up their skills. They found humour in tough situations and gave their children a blueprint for how to react when things went wrong.

Don’t defer happiness

After returning from the sailing trip around the world, Caspar has been a keynote speaker talking about leadership, teamwork, and resilience, which he is passionate about.  

Together, Nichola and Caspar are launching The Brave You as a joint venture, helping others incorporate these concepts around vision, values, and how to work together as a family team and thrive in business.

No one talks about the impact of relationships on business, and Caspar and Nichola want to shine the light on this topic.

So many people get so focused on work to the detriment of home life. Driven entrepreneurs often assume they’ll sort the business out, and then there will be family time afterwards. It’s a common misconception that spending too much time with family can be a distraction in business.

However, with The Brave You, Nichola and Caspar hope to show people the importance of having the family clear vision first. Not only is it not a distraction, but it gives you that extra energy and purpose.

Don’t defer happiness. You can still be driven in business, but when you put family first, you have a reason behind what you’re doing, your family is behind it, and you are all working toward the same goal.

Book Recommendations

Caspar and Nichola recommend the following books that have been influential and inspirational for them:

    F**k Plan B

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