“I’m looking for the most curious, interesting and challenging experiences, so I can have that wealth of knowledge… to navigate my life in the best possible ways.”
That’s Timmy O’Neill – rock climber, mentor, and captivating storyteller. He’s also a successful entrepreneur who founded Paradox Sports, a nonprofit organizing adaptive climbs for the blind and physically impaired.
Wise beyond his years, Timmy stops in to share his inspiring story on episode #77 of Xero Gravity. Listen in as he talks about his passion for climbing, what led him to start a nonprofit, and his authentic approach to life’s challenges. We were hooked on his every word.
When a childhood accident left Timmy’s brother paralyzed, the two brothers took a hard situation and turned it into an opportunity to grow – both mentally and physically. They began adaptive climbing, and crushing the sort of climbs most people wouldn’t even attempt.
“When you decide to make them [things] difficult, you’re more properly prepared when things are difficult involuntarily,” says Timmy.
That’s a recurring theme in Timmy’s life and those that he helps. He calls it elective challenge – making a conscious decision to be uncomfortable. Reaching the summit of Yosemite’s El Capitan is crazy difficult for anyone, but especially for someone who’s paralyzed. It’s the equivalent of doing 3,000 pull-ups.
“Go for it, make that first step. To attempt is to find out whether you can, to not attempt is to find out nothing. Climbing is inherently about problem solving – so to embrace the problem is to attempt to find a solution. I feel like that mentality goes into navigating really difficult terrain, and that’s an easy metaphor to the terrain of business,” Timmy continues.
The comparisons that Timmy makes between climbing and business also extend to failure as well. He reminds us that humility and failure are just part of the process and not something that should be avoided. ”Failure is a way forward,” he explains.
Tune in for more on this uplifting episode of Xero Gravity. Timmy’s bits of wisdom will leave you empowered and motivated to conquer your own mountains – whatever those may be. And if you’re feeling inspired, Timmy encourages you to send him a ‘life letter’ letter. Yes, he includes his personal address and guarantees a response.
If you enjoyed this episode, join us again next week when we chat with Hamish Pinkham, founder and director of Rhythm and Vines, New Zealand’s largest New Year’s Eve Festival. You won’t want to miss it! Be sure to check out all of our previous episodes for more small business tips, resources and insights.
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What would you like to hear?
Got a topic you’d like to hear discussed? Or a business expert you admire and would like to hear from? Let us know in the comments below!