Welcome to Serendipity Soup! The antidote to celebrity success podcasts.
What can we learn from extremes? This month I’m talking to Oliver Dudley who has experienced probably the most extreme career I’ve covered to date in terms of its highs and lows. He’s a property developer who lost 95% of his wealth during the 2008 financial crash but has – if you’ll forgive the pun – rebuilt his company from the ground up. He’s an amateur sportsman who rowed across the Atlantic despite a deep-seated terror of cold water. And he’s a motivational speaker who coached the world’s number one croquet player.
As will become clear during the interview, I have no desire to emulate Oliver’s amazing physical feats, but I really want to understand what drives someone to constantly push themselves to try something different: to fail over and over and keep going. Because that’s ultimately what Oliver’s story is about. As he says himself, his is a career “riddled with failure”. His honesty is intense, refreshing and inspiring.
There’s plenty more to Oliver’s story and you can find links to some of the things he and I talk about below:
- ‘Through Hell and High Water’, the documentary covering James Cracknell and Ben Fogle’s Atlantic row in 2006: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Through_Hell_and_High_Water
- Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find a link to the Surrey Advertiser article Oliver refers to or the ‘Ocean’s 14’ documentary, but there’s a little bit about his record-breaking row here: https://barnwellprint.co.uk/charity-fundraising/la-mondiale-atlantic-ocean-row/ and here: https://www.worldrecordacademy.com/sports/Fastest_row_across_the_Atlantic_world_record_set_by_La_Mondiale_80124.htm
- Oliver also made the news on another rowing expedition, when he and his teammates broke off their record attempt to help a pilot who had downed his plane in the Irish Sea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhxLrW2xLNI
- Gary Ward “the human horse whisperer”: https://findingcentre.co.uk/
- Reg Bamford: https://worldcroquet.org/reg-bamford/
- ‘Race To Dakar’ by Charley Boorman: https://www.wob.com/en-gb/books/charley-boorman/race-to-dakar/9780316731928?gclid=CjwKCAjwsJ6TBhAIEiwAfl4TWMNsEaauxgpmgJY0zgYxeqlr2ZLJ56Gp_CcBoUR_n4w_7XxKkAKz2BoCGNIQAvD_BwE
- Oliver’s company, In5 Group: https://www.in5group.co.uk/