Tactical Travel: Season 1: Episode 5: Adventurepreneurship, with Business Coach Derek Loudermilk

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In this episode, we dive deep into adventure and entrepreneurship with a special guest with a unique science and exploration background.

The episode features a deep conversation between John and Derek about identity, problem-solving, and the transformative power of experiences. Derek shares insights on shifting perspectives from seeing problems to embracing challenges as experiences, drawing parallels between personal identity shifts and professional growth. The dialogue delves into Derek’s book “Superconductors” and his upcoming project on ego death and identity transformation.

Highlights:

{01:30} Blending Adventure and Coaching

{02:48} Challenging Trips and Personal Growth

{13:20} Navigating Controversial Topics

{21:00} Empowering Entrepreneurial Mindsets

{25:00} Unleashing Potential

{45:00} Adventure Quests

{50:15} Magic Tree Experience

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Derek Loudermilk Bio

Derek Loudermilk is a multifaceted Professional Adventurer, Quantum Business Coach, Consciousness Researcher, Telepathy Trainer, Bestselling Author, Speaker, Digital Nomad, Father, founder of AdventureQuest Travel, and Host of The Derek Loudermilk Show. He aims to help individuals break free from the ordinary and embark on extraordinary adventures, transforming their lives into the most amazing journey possible.

With a unique blend of practical wisdom and metaphysical insights, Derek bridges higher-dimensional understanding with everyday tools for living and creating. His transformative journey began in 2014 on a beach in Bali, where he realized he had lost his identity amidst a series of setbacks, including job losses, a brain injury, and the dissolution of his marriage.

Determined to forge a new path, Derek embarked on a quest to reconstruct his identity and create a career and lifestyle aligned with his true purpose. Inspired by the question, “What does it look like to be the hero of your own life?” Derek launched The Art of Adventure Podcast in 2014, aiming to become the foremost authority on adventure. The podcast quickly rose to prominence, covering topics ranging from location-independent business to peak performance.

Throughout his journey, Derek interviewed over 300 adventurers, delved into the top 100 adventure books, and designed exhilarating experiences that culminated in setting a world record. His coaching framework, the “Adventure Mindset,” laid the foundation for his bestselling book Superconductors, empowering individuals to embrace uncertainty and seize opportunities.

Transitioning into a digital nomad lifestyle in 2014, Derek explored 15 countries alongside his wife Heidi and their family, immersing themselves in diverse cultures and environments. From Zadar, Croatia, to Baja, Mexico, Derek pursued his entrepreneurial endeavors, launching seven digital businesses while working from coworking spaces worldwide.

In 2022, Derek made history by creating the world’s first science-backed non-local consciousness training program in collaboration with Ditte Young. Building on this success, he continues to push boundaries, offering transformative retreat experiences, including an adventure, ayahuasca, and psychic skills retreat scheduled for 2023.

 

Links:

https://derekloudermilk.com

 

Recommended Books:

Antifragile by Nassim Taleb: https://www.amazon.ca/Antifragile-Things-That-Gain-Disorder/dp/0812979680

The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb: https://www.amazon.com/Black-Swan-Second-Improbable-Incerto-ebook/dp/B00139XTG4?ref_=ast_author_mpb 

Superconductors: https://derekloudermilk.com/books/ 

 

Sponsored Links:

https://therootbrands.com/product/zero-in

https://newulife.com/hk/en 

https://trufinco.com 

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John

Hey, everybody. Welcome to the tactical traveler. I am super honored and excited for our guests today. I’ve been following him on social media for almost three years, and he is one of the people responsible for inspiring me to become a travel entrepreneur.

And Derek, I am so excited to have you on the show. You’re a professional adventurer and an author, and I just want to say how inspiring you have been a personal experience for me. I can’t wait to hear from you today and introduce my crowd to you as somebody they can look to for inspiration.

Derek

John, thank you for having me. And that means a lot to me to hear you say that. That’s incredible. I hope what I’m doing has benefited you, and I’m happy to hear that.

John

Yeah, it has, and I. You know, the very first post I saw from you was about a client you did on Mount Kilimanjaro, and I’ve done Mount Kilimanjaro twice. And then when I saw that you were organizing adventure trips and taking people on like world-class, not tourist stuff but adventure stuff, I was like, oh my God, this is the guy I want to be. Yeah.

Derek

Yeah. And we, you know, I’ve taken entrepreneurs. It’s so funny. I take entrepreneurs into the wilderness to blend coaching and extreme adventure activities, and a lot of these people, there’s at least one day where we’ll do something, and they’ll tell me. That was the single hardest. It’s the thing I’ve ever done in my life, and I’m kind of waiting for them to tell me, and I never want to talk to you again. But they’re like, and it changed my life forever. And like I never knew I could do something that hard. It’s like, OK, good that no one was injured. We got to the top of the mountain.

I was talking with our mutual friend Chase afterward, and he gave me this idea, which I hadn’t, you know, I had always wanted. I was like, uh, hiking back down after, you know, climbing Kilimanjaro or another volcano is, you know, half the journey is back down and. I was like, oh, I wish I had a helicopter, and he was like, why? Don’t you just get a helicopter? That’s a good point. That would be an amazing surprise, right? You just climb a huge mountain, and you’re like, I don’t want.

John

Right.

Derek

To walk home. Well, here you go. Hop on in.

John

Here, here, you go. Right. So it’s interesting that you brought that up. What would you say is the most exciting, dangerous, and hard trip you’ve done with clients before?

Derek

We try to, you know, try to do a diversity of different trips. We do rock climbing, we’ve done canyoning, we’ve done surfing, we’ve done climbing volcanoes, a lot of different stuff. And it’s done in such a way that a beginner could do it, but it feels. Especially when you’re repelling down a waterfall, right? You could teach somebody to do that in 15. Minutes.

But if you’ve never done that before. It cracks your mind open. Like, what am I doing? I’m hanging over this waterfall and—a rope. There’s water. Flowing over me, you know, I’m 50 feet up in the air, and it’s really scary, but it’s also totally safe. 

And so your perception of how much risk you’re taking is much higher than your actual risk, such as rock climbing, which is pretty good at shaking people out of their comfort zones. 

And then what happens is that when we get to. In the in-classroom workshop, for example, I usually alternate days on these trips where I’m doing a classroom day where we’re doing business or interpersonal relationship work. It makes them already there; they want to take risks in the classroom. They want to push the limits of their creativity. They want to, you know, take their business to the cutting edge once they’ve done this sort of risky stuff outdoors, so it translates well into other aspects of your life.

John

Yeah. So, what do you think has been the hardest trip you’ve done with these guys and girls?

Derek

Well, the single hardest day was when we were climbing a volcano in Bali, and it was not too high. It’s 12,000 feet. 

So, you can do it in a day. And they told me that. The guys I had only climbed half of it myself, so it was fresh for me to climb the full volcano with clients, and they said Oh, you’ll do it in nine hours. And I was like, oh, that’s a pretty long day of climbing a volcano. But we’re better than everyone else. 

You know, that sort of you overestimate your confidence. You’re like. I’m sure we’ll do it in six. I’m sure we won’t be tired at all. Well, it took us like 10 1/2 hours. It was already dark by the time we were done. And, you know, we were underprepared. 

You know I didn’t tell people to bring lights. So here we are. We’re like creeping down in the darkness, and everyone’s exhausted, and it was, you know, one of those, like, you’re crossing your fingers that everyone’s. I will make it, but everyone’s committed to it at that point because you go uphill for six hours at hour 5. You’re like, hey, do you want to turn around? The top is still an hour away, but you’ve done five hours up, and at that point, everyone sort of has to dig within themselves and say, Is it? Is it worth doing this like I could go home?

We could send a group back, and then when everyone commits, you know it’s just a matter of taking all the steps, getting to the top, and joining the top. The steps back. Down there’s a really good analogy about any large project, you know, launching a business or launching a new online course in your business or something like that, where it’s like, Oh my gosh, there are so many steps. It’s months away from happening, but it’s all you have to do. It’s just going through the steps. There’s a there’s a big meal in front of you. All you have to do is chew it up. It’s inevitable, but you still have to do it, and there’s that moment when it’s like, here we are all enjoying it. 

And then there’s a moment when Everyone’s just concentrating on their energy like everyone turns internal as all the chatter stops after a few hours, and because everyone’s exhausted, they’re just like, I can do it. I can do it. You can see it in their faces, but nobody’s talking, and they’re just moving themselves. 

And that’s also a cool place to be with a group. Like, we’re all suffering together. You know, the band of brothers. It’s the type of thing, but it’s different from the first, a couple of hours. We like. Look at that crazy tree. Look at that crazy bug. And like, you know, look at all this interesting stuff, you know? That’s what I love about it. These things are because you see people in different states of themselves.

John

Yeah, yeah. And you know, for our listeners who haven’t met you before, you’re definitely in better shape than most people, but you’re not a world-class athlete. And the people you’re taking are not world-class athletes. You do a lot of biking, hiking, and climbing, but you do stuff that everyday people could do if they set their mind. Right.

Derek

Yeah. One of us, I took this group caving here in Saint Louis. There are a lot of caves in Missouri because. It’s lime, limestone topography, and Tennessee, too.

John

Oh, I love it. Yeah.

Derek

This woman had been in a car accident when she was a kid, and she has metal in both of her femurs. And she was like, there’s no way I can do it. Like, I’ll just sit this one out. And I was like, why don’t you just try to see how far you could turn around at any point? Right. And she was the one by the end of The Cave who was like, let’s explore this tiny little passage. We had to crawl through the mud to an A1-foot hole. Like I will lead the way, she was like, this is the first time I’ve ever been dirty. And I was like, what are you? What are you talking about? She’s like, yeah, I I’ve never been dirty before. And I was like, this is amazing, right? Something as simple as that can shape what you think is possible in any area of your life.

John

Yeah. Let me back up here because it’s an interesting and compelling story. How the hell did you get started? Did you just wake up one day and climb a mountain and go, hey, I want to do this for a living and show other people how to live or, like, where did this all come from? Cause it’s not I’ve, I’ve. I never really heard your original story right, right?

Derek

Yeah, maybe I’ll start with. Before I was an adventurer, I was in academia. I was a scientist. I was a virologist studying viruses in Yellowstone National Park. I was looking to find the beginnings of life.

John

No way, man.

Derek

Yeah, we call it extreme biology. So it was kind of adventurous. The fieldwork was, you know, working in Yellowstone. Super cool. And you know, I discovered a new virus, MSV Metellus Farah Yellowstone. It’s a spherical virus. It’s one of the simplest forms of life, unrelated to any other known form of life. And that was super cool. But I spent most of my time not in the field but in—a dark room with a microscope. You know, 12 hours a day looking and looking under an electron microscope. 

But I could see the writing on the wall for science. I could see how, you know, you had to cater to corporate interest to get funding essentially, and you’re competing, and it’s just what it seemed like. It was an area of research that had sort of been corrupted, and there wasn’t a chance to make a lot of money or a big impact. 

And so I kind of already started to know that I needed to chat. But there was a year when. I basically lost everything, and that prompted me to leave my Ph.D. program as well, so I lost my house in a freak flood, like a once-in-1000-year flood in Colorado. It’s not a place that floods. I had a traumatic brain injury, and I got divorced.

John

How did you get the TBI?

Derek

It was. It was a blood clot in my brain, also a very, very rare and unknown thing, and as the guys do, it was getting worse and worse. And I was like, I should probably see a doctor because it was just a headache. And the blood clot itself was growing bigger and bigger and pressing on the side of my skull, and it eventually was debilitating. 

And so I said, OK, I can no longer function. I should probably go. I probably got this checked out, and I went to the hospital, and I was still not treating it seriously—still, just sort of. Of joking around, I did the CAT scans and CT scans. 

So they sent me home, and I hope you guys didn’t find anything. And they called me, you know, right as I was leaving the hospital. They like, you’re about to die. Like, turn around, come back in right now, and they immediately.

You know, immediately stabbed me with, you know, blood thinners, and what that did was just really shove my mortality in my face. Like, hey, you know, you’re like, you go at any moment, and when you’re faced with mortality like that, you say, am I doing what I want to be doing? Is it? Is this really how I want it? To be spending my time. You know the answer was I love science. I love discovering things and researching, but. It’s way too slow to make a difference. It takes two years to publish a scientific paper sometimes, and that’s just me wasting my time. I decided to. I had just read about our work week and decided to move.

John

Oh, come on, man, that is a great book.

Derek

Yeah, that was. And I read it was right when it came out back in. Oh. It came out on 08/07, so it was always on my mind. I got four clients at $250 a month as a cycling coach. They were. It was paying me so. $1000 a month, and I moved to. The cost of living is estimated at $1000 a month in Vietnam. 

So, all of a sudden, I have this sort of infinite runway to experiment with different types of entrepreneurship. At that point, I didn’t know if I would be an author or a coach or exactly what I would do if I were going to sell stuff on Amazon. But I said I’ve got at least a couple of years to figure it out. This out living in two places, like anywhere in Southeast Asia, and we’re off to the races.

Yeah. Yeah. And you’ve done a lot of biking, I’ve. Have you seen that? So just. Another curiosity: did you get a patent on that bacteria or virus you found? Do you get royalties for that kind of stuff?

Derek

No, and so again, this type of science is not driven by profit; it’s driven by just increasing the stuff we know it’s called basic research, and because it’s not profit motive driven, the funding is much harder to come by. 

But it’s very valuable to understand. You know how life evolves and all these things. But the money is in—patentable genes, patentable pharmaceuticals, patentable, you know, virus drug delivery vectors. And so, I didn’t get anything from it: just a paper and a master’s degree.

John

Sure. So, with your science background, I normally wouldn’t do this just because it’s a very controversial topic, but with your science background and your passion for travel, what is your view of COVID then?

I mean, because you have a, you you’re really.

The juxtaposition between the two fields that you live in, like you have such a unique perspective, and you know, for the listeners, I don’t give a **** what? Which way do you believe your opinion? At least, to me, it would be super valuable because you sit right in the middle of those two fields. That collide.

Derek

Yeah. And I’ll tell you, you know what? I’m when I so first of all, I haven’t followed all the nonsense as much as I can. I’m trying to Stay dry, right? Like there’s like, whether you’re, whether you’re waiting into the virus in the vaccine or you’re waiting into gun violence in my city or whatever it is like, there’s all these causes that you could jump into. Right. But do you want to spend your energy trying to fix them or trying to?

John

Right.

Derek

You just, like, learn a bunch of things. So that’s been my approach with many things, politics, etc. But I’ve noticed a lot of data, cherry-picking, and both sides. Like either, you know, people pushing the vaccine or people saying we shouldn’t take the vaccine. Both sides are cherry-picking data, and there’s a study, right, a study that says, like, here’s what we see In children. That gets the virus, right? So that’s just like the basic study. But then both sides will take some little data and try to spin it to their objective. 

So what’s important is to go back to the original data and spend some time with it to see if you agree. With the findings that the researchers are presenting.

John

Right.

Derek

And I think that’s where, before I was in grad school, I wouldn’t have had the experience of parsing a lot of data from a paper about a vaccine trial. So, I think the public right is largely relying on. Experts parse their data for them, but these experts may have outside influences, be imperfect, or because we’re dealing with complex systems. 

John

Or it’s motivated by profit like you. We were talking about.

Derek

Exactly. Yeah. So. I was just watching this great YouTube discussion with the guy who invented the M RNA vaccine technology, and YouTube deleted it because they said it was dangerous. 

And so we’re dealing with, you know, what’s going on, you know, why is this discussion not allowed to happen because. Because it’s sort of anti-the standard narrative, but any discussion should be allowed, even if it’s wrong, right? 

Even if you’ve got the data wrong, if you’ve got backward thinking, if you’re interpreting it missed correctly, it’s still OK to have a free and open conversation. That’s where I’m coming from because that allows you to build a complete understanding of. What’s going on here, and that’s what we did in my research, you know, we would see different things. We would see like, oh, wow, it seems this, you know, this virus seems to be growing in these couple of different environments. You know, why is that happening? 

So I don’t know if that’s it. That’s helpful, but.

John

No, it is because I appreciate that because I’ve also unplugged from all that stuff. Because I don’t feel like I can trust anybody, like left or right scientist media, it seems to me that everyone is so motivated by an agenda that’s just not the common good of the people that I just kind of checked out, and, you know, and it’s gotten to the point to where a common citizen I don’t know who is right. 

And to make it into a passionate issue is that when you look at our economic system and the tax system right, you have experts on both sides of the political spectrum that will, like you, cherry-pick and get to a point where, as a common citizen, Like I don’t know which one of you is telling. You know, I’m horrible at that.

So, I can only look at it from a very small perspective as a small business owner and see how the policy would affect me personally. And I think it’s the same with the virus. And you know we’ve gotten to a place where. We’re so disconnected from the source of the information. But at the end of the day, you have to decide who you will trust. And I don’t know that we can trust anybody.

Derek

Yeah. And so, to bring this back to travel and adventure. One thing you get as an adventurer is, let’s say you’re just walking down, you’re in. I don’t know, Rio de Janeiro. And you’re walking through the slums, right? It’s kind of a potentially dangerous place. You’re going to be relying on your Instincts. You’re going to be relying on your discernment a lot. And when people get into their rational thinking, right? 

So, I will argue that I either want you to get a vaccine, or I don’t want you to. That’s an emotional argument backed up by rational arguments. But the baseline of I want to do this, or I don’t want to do this, is important because. We can sort of back up with potentially rational arguments about what we want or don’t want to do.

John

Right.

Derek

But it gets dangerous when you start doing things you don’t want because of somebody else’s or your rational argument. You convince yourself to do something you don’t want to do. It’s outside of your best interest. Even though deep down, you know this isn’t right for me. That’s what happened to me. You know that we were married for a year and a half my first marriage. I was just kind of doing it to be nice because she wanted to be married, and I was like, well, I like you and want you to be happy. And so I’ll get married. But I didn’t really. 

My heart wasn’t in it, so it wasn’t a great reason to get married. There are so many things where we surrender our knowledge of what we really should be doing. Due to some outside pressure, narrative, or reason, I think if people can take away, like coming back to trusting themselves and their intuition and discernment, that can be beneficial here.

John

That’s great, man. That kind of really, you know, helps me transition too, because man, that whole piece you just talked about is so important in coaching. I mean this idea of surrendering away from your internal decision-making system. Right. In your deepest, darkest, you know parts of your soul that you should or shouldn’t be doing something. And as a coach, you’ve got to dig in and help people draw that out.

Derek

Yeah, my mentor calls it being domesticated, and essentially, what’s happening is that as kids, we’re just trying to soak up as much as we can to navigate the world; we’re learning how the system works. We’re learning how language, schools, family systems, and all that stuff works so we can play by the rules, and all of a sudden, you’ve got a whole society full of people playing by a set of rules, and you’ve become. Domesticated, and it becomes this process through coaching or, you know, a lot of people in the self-development, you know, on their path, of unlearning their thinking of unlearning their domestication. 

And that’s how entrepreneurs push the cutting edge. It’s how you get to a place. There, nobody’s done anything before, and you, you. It’s almost a different identity, right? The obedient person, the person who’s getting A’s in school, or their boss loves them because they’re always, you know, on time and punctual and like delivering everything that’s the opposite identity to someone who discovers something new or sets a world record or takes a, you know, takes a public risk by doing sort of a controversial piece of artwork or something like that. 

So, you have to ask yourself, do I want the identity of someone who is? You know, keeping their head down, playing nice, trying not to be noticed, and just skating through life. Or do I want the identity of someone who will make a huge contribution, bring something new into the world, and simultaneously take on that discomfort? That risk of, you know, being on the cutting edge?

John

Yeah, I mean, what you just said is so amazing. You could spend hours just there. Imagine a Society of all free thinkers who want to push the norm, who want to push the envelope, and whose only motivation is to improve themselves and those around them. What does that country look like?

Derek

And you know a good, good country, right? You want a whole diversity, right? Do you want some? Some people make sure the laws are followed, write good laws, and things like that. 

So you do want some rule followers, I think. But you also want some rules—breakers and for the people that want to be rule-breakers. You have to train like a positive reaction to discomfort, right? If you’re never outside your comfort zone, you’re never outside your comfort zone, and you have to. You have to associate benefits with yours: taking on a physical challenge, getting outside your comfort zone to a new country, or even, you know, just. If there’s something you want to say but you’re. You are holding it back well. If you can train yourself to say it, that’s very uncomfortable. 

But it’s, but it’s often, you know, like actually speaking your truth. Right? Speak truth to power all these things. But you have to associate that with like. This is my identity. This is what I want to be doing. It’s a positive thing, even though it’s uncomfortable.

John

Yeah, man. Talk to me a little bit about your coaching program because what we’re talking about now is so important to me that people grab hold of it. What you’re saying? Please talk about your coaching and how you’re bringing our conversation right now to your clients.

Derek

I work with entrepreneurs in unique niches, seven- and eight-figure entrepreneurs, whether digital nomads, digital entrepreneurs, or people with, like one of my clients, who has a series of eco-lodges. And he’s pushing the limits on bringing sustainability to new indigenous communities. 

And so when I work with people, they hire me as their business coach. But we end up working on a lot of things like how they’re managing their self-identity, how they’re managing their energy, how they’re managing their relationships, right, how they’re connecting with their employees. 

And so there’s so many in the business world, right? There are all the business skills of running a business, like pricing and selling, and everything we cover. But what always ends up happening is that it’s these. It’s the expansion of self, like gaining more personal power to enact your will into the world. I think you know all these entrepreneurs, right? They have a vision, a future they want to see, and it takes. Power to make something like that happen, right? You’re. I like to think of it in metaphysical terms as well. Like you’re creating a future reality. You’re bringing your thoughts into physical form. 

So the type of coaching I do, you know, is blending business, metaphysics, adventure, and everything I’ve learned about peak performance from being an athlete. At any moment, it could be a mix of those things.

John

That was so much I wanted to focus on two things because I was trying to take notes, man. I love the part about how you said it—enforcing your will. Was that how you said that? On the world.

Derek

I don’t even remember what I said, but yeah, your intent, right, your will for something to happen, and a lot of times, I’m looking for the strongest emotional engine, let’s call it an engine because. The strength of your desire is what’s going to fuel the actions that you take a lot of the time, and so you know if they’re like, OK, I want to write a book, right, or I want to launch a program, or I want to build a lodge or whatever it is.

John

Right.

Derek

First, we’re getting. We’re just digging in to find. Out. Why? Why are you doing this? What’s in it for you? Like, what’s driving you? What’s pulling you? What’s making you feel alive with this idea? And when can we sort of illuminate that? What are they searching for? This feeling that they’re after? By doing this, we can then use that as fuel. To move us forward.

John

Yeah, did that, that, that segment. There was so jammed back. That’s just amazing, and I want to pause for a second because, you know, again, it’s mostly mindset. I think anybody who’s successful in any endeavor if you stack them up against anybody else. 

The key factor or the key difference is a mindset. What do they think? What do they believe? I want to point out that you said you’re working with seven and eight-figure clients. You know, like to, too many people, they can’t wrap their head around six figures, and you’re talking and having eight fingers. That’s amazing.

Derek

Yeah, I also, you know, love teaching business to brand new entrepreneurs as well. You know, I usually take a group of once a year. You know, entrepreneurs in their first or second year, and teaching them everything they need to know is also very fulfilling for me. But as you can imagine, they’re kind of different things, right? The focus is different for a six-figure versus an eight-figure entrepreneur.

John

Very different, very different. A good friend of mine is in a completely different realm, but he said there are days I wish I could return to my biggest problem: not having enough money. 

He was talking about how simple life was when your biggest problem was feeling like you didn’t have enough money. It was a fascinating conversation that when you start thinking in seven and eight figures, the problem sets are completely different. You know, I mean, just completely different.

Derek

Yeah. Look, I want to speak to that for a second because there are probably some people listening in the place of the problem, which seems to be that there’s not enough money if we can shift the thinking that that’s not a problem. Nothing is a problem, so if you imagine back to when you were in high school, the problems that you were dealing with then like who am I going to go to the dance with or am I going to get to hang out with the cool kids this weekend or whatever the problems you were dealing with? They’re no longer relevant. They’re not problems for you now, and you’re talking about these entrepreneurs who used to think money was the problem. But that’s not the problem for them now. 

And so it’s not a problem; it’s just a place you’re moving through. It’s just an experience that you’re having. And when you can stop trying to solve the problem. Then you’re not putting your energy into the thing you don’t have, right? You’re not focusing on not having enough money or not having enough. Contacts or not having whatever it is, and instantly, you become solution-oriented, you become more creative, you become less stressed, and you become more powerful. So many things happen when you can stop seeing problems. 

And so it’s a hard jump, I think, for people. To do that, oh my gosh, I don’t have enough money. But it’s just like climbing a mountain. All you have to do is the steps to walk from here to the top in a business; all you have to do is you. Make the calls, send the emails, create the products, and get the customers; the money comes in. It’s just moving from here to there. It’s not a problem; it’s just an experience you will have. Go through it, and instead of thinking about problems, you know you can dis. Instead of solving the problem, you can dissolve the problem.

John

That’s good, man. I love it. Love it. So we’ll talk about your books here in a couple of minutes, but because you brought up the four-hour work week, what are the three most impactful books you’ve read through this journey?

Derek

Oh wow. That’s a tough one. For a while, I was reading. So, I’ve read about 800 books over the last eight years. I was reading 120 a year for a while, and that slowed down because I have kids now. But any book that so for the first one that pops into my mind is Antifragile by Nassim Taleb, and that’s a book that changes. Anyone who reads its frame of thinking about the world, so systems or people or things that are fragile right can break easily, and you might think, oh, the opposite of fragile is resilient. So, a resilient system. 

You know, I could bounce back from something. So, like an electrical grid or financial system, when there’s a problem, a resilient system can make it through. But an antifragile system. It is a system that improves when it’s damaged, so like the superhero Black Panther’s exo suit, it takes on more energy whenever he’s hit. And so, it’s improving, and our immune system is similar. 

So, this was a brand-new concept to me about what the system can improve through the mistakes or the challenges it faces. And if you can have an antifragile organization as an entrepreneur, that’s, you know, what’s going to allow you to succeed through a changing world or in any country or whatever it might be, so that’s just the book first book that popped into my head. But that is important because it’s a new way of thinking, and many books are just sort of. They’re just slight variations of thinking rather than a new way of thinking.

John

I’ll have to check that out. I’ve never even heard of that book.

Derek

 He also wrote The Black Swan, which shows how we’re bad at predicting rare events like the market crashing or a meteor hitting Earth. You know, we don’t have the perception to understand the real nature of the risk. And I think this probably applies to pandemics, vaccines, etc. Like we, we’re not good at assessing the truth risk picture.

John

I thought you were going to go with the movie, but apparently. Not right. Yeah, I was like.

Derek

Different.

John

I was trying to figure it out. That’s cool, man. I’ll have to. I’ll have to look at that. I’ve never heard of it. Now, tell me a little bit about your book. So you’ve authored a book now, you know. Tell us about your book. Tell us about what led you to the book and where you’re at with it now.

Derek

So I also want to tell you about a book that I’m working on because you’ll see that it sort of makes sense. Superconductors came out three years ago; that was everything I had learned from all the interviews and research I had done. What are the most important skills that you can use? You have to make a big impact to do something big, make a big contribution in addition to writing the skills you’ve acquired from university or your careers, like if you’re a good engineer or scientist like me. Whatever it is, what skills can you stack on top of that that will make a difference?

 So is your ability? These skills are meta-skills to have world-class relationships, such as your ability to learn anything quickly. You’re going to make you the only person in the world who can do what you do, and then you get into a place where you’re a monopoly, right? You’re the only individual. 

So you become rare and valuable in the marketplace so you can control the direction of your career. You can be highly compensated for the work you’re doing and that. This is why I wrote Superconductors, and so that book, you know, it’s my own story woven in with the actual research around why these skills are important. 

And then, so this is the book I’m working on now. It is also a blend. I guess this is sort of my style of writing. Where it’s like. I’m learning along the way. I’m going through these experiences. Is but the book I’m working on now is about ego death and how leaders develop through experiences like travel and adventure or psychedelics or traumatic brain injury. Whatever shapes their identity, the person they used to die, their identity is no longer Who they are, and at some point, they have no identity. Eventually, they’re a blank slate, and then they build a new identity. They build, through experiences, a new identity that shapes them into the leaders they will be. And so, in this new book, we’re looking at how identity is created or destroyed and what types of experiences shape people. So that’s my. That’s my latest project that I’m excited about.

John

That’s great, man. You know? And because it’s common. I’ve seen it so much; I’ve seen it in my own life. When you go through a divorce, how it tears down your identity, and you have to start all over again. I’m seven years old now since my divorce. 

At the same time, I feel like I’m just now coming to a place where I understand. And I feel like I have my new identity coming out of that, that traumatic phase of my life and, and it’s not just that, you know, so I’m in the military community and a lot of my friends to war. Improvised explosive devices have blown them up, and they retire and go through divorce and so on. You get the CD’s. Cataclysmic events in their life, and you get to see how they either destroy or reinforce who they thought they were, and that’s a really interesting topic. I would like wings that come out. I would love to buy them.

Derek

Maybe later this year, it’ll be published by Wiley.

John

Oh nice

Derek

I’m not sure. I’m not sure exactly when it will be done because I keep changing it around, but here’s a question I might pose to you and the listener if anybody’s going through one of these processes where you’re like. Trying to decide your new identity or having your identity stripped away, and I think many people, right? Because so many people couldn’t go to work because of the pandemic, etc. We sort of experienced this collective ego, that collective who we are as people, as individuals, as a community. When you ask questions like what the most powerful identity I could have is,

John

Right.

Derek

You know, even how do I want to be showing up in the future in my family? Who do I want to be, and am I just framing the questions to yourself to get you thinking about your identity? Then, you can start actively choosing your identity, and as you mentioned earlier, mindset is so important. 

But underneath the mindset is the identity. Right. If someone identifies as a military person, right? There’s a certain set of mindsets of actions and ways of being associated with that. If you say, I’m an adventurer, an entrepreneur, or I’m a, you know, whatever identity will be really helpful for you. Pick pick that. And then the thoughts and actions flow naturally. 

And here’s just one more example. So, if you identify as a smoker, right? It’s going to be easy and natural for you just to buy and smoke cigarettes. And if you identify as a non-smoker, well then, it’s also, you don’t have to think about not smoking you just you just don’t smoke. 

And so it’s the identity level that everything else is flowing from.

John

Yeah. So, this is such an interesting conversation for me. So, for 20 years, I trained special forces in hand-to-hand combat. That’s what I did. Shooting, fighting, knives, all that kind of cool stuff. And what I saw was those soldiers. And to stay in one place for the rest of their career. What I saw were the ones who identified themselves as soldiers. 

Typically, they have the greatest issue. They didn’t know who they were after 20 years of killing bad guys when retirement came. And many of them. When they retired from active duty, military service turned around and went right back into the contracting world to kill bad guys as civilians because they would say, I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know who else I am, and I would. I would have these—conversations with this elite. Top performers are some of the best people I’ve ever met and met in my life. 

And I would say, hey, if your identity is this. We all know that that time frame. It is going to come to an end. It has to be because you know you just can’t continue to perform that way in the military. You know, you’re not. It’s really difficult as a 55-year-old to be trained in through the mountains of Afghanistan, hunting al Qaeda like you physically just, you know, and I and I was like. So, don’t you think it would be important for you to begin identifying who you are? Want to be? So that when that phase of your life is over, you’re not lost going. What do I do? And I dealt with this a bit. 

So, I was a professional fighter, right? And as I got older. I had kids, and MMA wasn’t making much money then. And I was making good money teaching soldiers how to fight. 

And so, I decided to retire. When I made that decision to retire, I thought to myself. Who am I? Because MMA was such a thrill and such a part of my identity that I was, how do I replace that feeling? So many of those guys dealt with the same thing and are dealing with the same thing. Especially, you know, in 2021, as we’re trying to remove ourselves from the Middle East. No, there will not be a war for much longer. So, man, I find this book that doing it completely, you know, is exciting to me. Like, man, I want to get my hands on it.

Derek

Yeah, great. I mean, this is so perfect, right? Because I’m excited for these guys not to be deployed over there. But then, yeah, it could take decades for them to discover a new identity or build a new one, or it can be done. It runs much more smoothly, and they can enjoy life almost instantly. So.

John

Much quicker.

Derek

You know, this is this is a. It impacts a lot of people, I think.

John

And we’ll talk about it offline. But you know, there’s some security concerns and things of that nature, but I can connect you with many of those guys. Who is going through those? That kind of real-life destruction and rebuilding processes now they’re going to have a very different track, right, because it’s going to be military, it’s going to be, you know, an identity as a professional warrior. But a lot of them are going through that right now. It’s fascinating to me. It’s just fascinating. That’s what’s so cool, man.

You know, let me complete it because that was super deep. And so let me kind of back off and relax. It is a little bit. Sure. So you have traveled through, you know, a huge number of countries and had a huge amount of experience in everything from cycling to cave diving. To climb the mountains. What’s next on your list? What are some of the top two or three things that Derek says? I’m going to do it. This is what I have to do next.

Derek

Well, I like to have little missions, little quests that I’m going on, and some of them can be very local, which is great, right? For people who are not traveling internationally or don’t even have the desire, right? But some sort of framework for making. What you’re doing special? Right. 

So, I would go on pilgrimages. I saw, for example, a tree in National Geographic growing up around the temples of Angkor Wat. When I was a kid, I said, I’m going to go, I’m going to go there one day, and it took me 20 years to get there. But I went and touched the exact tree from the picture, and it was magical, right? 

And this long-term vision, this long-term quest of, like, I will see this place one day. That was, you know, sacred for me and these little mini-quests them. Thinking of so, the one that comes to my. Head is. For the first time, my wife has had a bicycle for a long time. She was like you’re the cyclist, and I’m the other. I do other stuff, but now she’s riding, and we’ve been doing these family bike rides. I plan for us to bike across Missouri and camp along the way. The family so we can pull the kids in the trailer, we can pull our camping gear and another trailer behind her bike, and you know it’s a four or five-day trip across Missouri and I, that’s that we’re shooting for, you know, maybe October to do it when the weather is nice. And that’s a little mini-quest, but what has to happen? To do that well, we have to have the gear. Heidi has to be able to ride 60 miles a day for five days. 

So there’s some physical conditioning. There’s the like, OK, we’ll have to get train tickets to return. So we’ll bike across and then take the train home. So there’s the logistics and then, you know, the. The plan of the adventure starts coming together.

John

You guys live in Saint Louis, right?

Derek

The little idea of a quest. In Saint Louis? Yep.

John

Yeah. OK, cool. Yeah, that’s right. You’re just four hours away For me.

Derek

Yeah, yeah. And the state, you know, it’s, we’ll ride all across over to Kansas City, which is on the other side. Of the state and.

John

It’s pretty flat, so that’s good.

Derek

It can be, yeah. Parts of the state, like along the river, the Missouri River, go all the way across the state. And so it’s a very flat grade near the river.

John

Yeah, right. Right. That is cool, man. You know, one of the ones I’ve had forever, and I want to swim with the great whites and kayak with the killer whales. Those are two of the top ones that I want to accomplish. I was within inches of getting to conduct or kayak with the killer whales. Then bad weather hit, and I couldn’t do it in Norway. I was so disappointed.

Like, I was like, oh. So those are some future ones that I’m looking at. So, with your coaching clients, what do you do in a Co-op? It sounds almost like a co-op where Sally might be on one track and Billy’s on another, but you pull them off into these adventures. Is that kind of how that’s working?

Derek

I coach one-on-one clients and have a group program called the League of Super. Directors are the same name as the book, so the League of Superconductors is specifically for thought leaders. And so these are authors, YouTubers, podcasters, people intending to become or are, you know, in the first few years of being a leader in their field. 

And so I’m teaching them. How to use social media? How to brand themselves, do sales and marketing, and create courses and all of these things to create an ecosystem of a business. That they can take anywhere and how all the pieces fit together, and then my one-on-one clients, there’s a lot more, you know, a lot more unique structure. But then we all meet in person for these adventure trips and in-person training. You know, they’re called adventure quests. We’d normally have them once or twice a year to get together, improve our business skills, and just go on adventures.

John

So you’re a microbiologist, then you become a cycling coach. And then you’re an author. Well, that then, because. Where did the adventure coaching slash group trip Slash, your group think tank, develop from?

Derek

Well, it’s kind of a crazy story, but magic, a magical tree in the jungles of Bali, told me to do it. The long story is it’s.

John

No, not with you.

Derek

I made this. On this trip around Bali, I was searching for hidden waterfalls and came across this. I don’t know, 1000- and 1500-year-old giant trees deep in the heart of the jungles of Bali. I had a magical experience; I touched the tree and, essentially, it. It projected my consciousness to a different part of the world time. You know, I was operating outside of time and space for, you know, 20-30 minutes and essentially had this. It’s called a download of information. This tree bestowed West upon me to bring change-makers, leaders, and entrepreneurs into the wilderness for these experiences. 

So after that, I was like, well, let me try it, and it’s actually really fun, and it fits with the rest of my business and the rest of the things I’m doing. Yes, it came from a magic tree.

John

That’s funny, man. So, just so. Everybody knows there were no sidelights at that point, correct?

Derek

No psychedelics. This was just me walking, and I touched, you know, the tree. And it was totally outside of ordinary reality, yes.

John

Right, yeah. Yeah, just like purpose. Yeah, that that’s cool. You know, a story about purpose, right? You weren’t doing that in this one event in a faraway land by completely changing your destiny.

Derek

And I could have just said no thanks. Not interested. And that’s OK, too. But I think if that message was for me, I’m the right person to receive it and do something with it.

John

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I want to dig into that a bit more because, to me, that’s fascinating. Were you in Bali looking for one? For you on vacation, were you at a juncture in your life where we were talking about maybe just coming out of your divorce, like, what was surrounding you? Your life and that trip to Bali where you had that experience.

Derek

That’s a good question. I was living there. I had been living there. It was my second time living there, and at that point, I was single, and I had already sort of built an identity as a podcaster and an entrepreneur. On this particular trip, my girlfriend and I. I wanted to surprise her. It was.

John

OK.

Derek

Our Christmas present was a multi-day adventure hunting waterfalls. And what I see is there’s a lot of. There are waterfalls on Instagram in Bali. There are tons of people there, and they’re just really popular. Instagram has changed how people travel in many places because they just go to the most photogenic spots. It’s kind of like a quest, but it’s also, you know, you end up with lots of people there doing their Instagram photos. 

So we were looking for waterfalls that weren’t really common knowledge. So, I had to get out the topographical maps and find places off the beaten path where there could be. You know, it looks like looks like. Oh, here’s a huge drop here and A and a channel. Maybe there’s a waterfall there. So, we spent several days finding these hidden waterfalls in Bali, which was cool. And I probably don’t know if any local has done this, but I have been to more waterfalls in Bali. Then anyone on the planet because of this adventure. 

And so it was on the final day of our tour around Bali that we encountered this tree. And so, when I first touched the tree, it was like, you know, an electrical shock. It was like. And you know, I started sweating and crying, and I, you know, took my hand off the tree, and I was like, oh that, you know, kind of scared me and didn’t know what was happening, but my girlfriend. At the time said, I think you should. It would be best if you sat with this tree. It would be best if you spent time here because I felt nothing when I touched the tree. But you felt something. 

So I think you should. Take the time and just sit here and be peaceful. 

And so I sat down, you know, at the base of this tree, the whole thing was surrounding me. It’s like 30 feet wide at the base. You know, maybe even more. So throughout the next half an hour, which felt like, you know. Imminent, I had this experience.

John

That is, that is. So cool, man. That’s so cool.

Derek

It was. It was really. It is special. It’s special to have something like that happen when I wasn’t looking at all.

John

In that time frame, how many years ago was this?

Derek

Six years ago, five years ago.

John

  1. So, just the tablet. Before I found out about who you were.

Derek

Right.

John

That is so cool, man. I love it, I love it. That’s amazing. Well, listen, I don’t want to end the conversation, but we’re approaching an hour already. If you can believe that or not. What’s the best way for somebody to reach out to you to contact you? To find you on social media? What’s your preferred method?

Derek

My website is Derrick loudermilk.com, and I’m at Derrick Loudermilk on all the socials. And I have a show as well. It’s the Derek Loudermilk Show, formerly the Art of Adventure. We rebranded the podcast last year, so yeah, listen to that. We’re exploring a lot.

John

I remember when you—just called that, yeah.

Derek

It is a cutting-edge topic. I’m on there, John; being on your show has been a real pleasure and a privilege. Thank you.

John

Yeah, man. Like, I loved it. I want to say one more thing. Do you do you have any coaching spots left? Are you open to getting new clients?

Derek

Yeah. And I would say if someone’s listening to this and they identify themselves as such, that might be a good fit. I will give your listeners a free coaching session. And you know, at that point, if we say, like, OK, maybe we want to work together, that would happen.

 But I will extend an offer to your listeners if they want to send me an e-mail and say, hey, I heard you on John Show. Could we talk about doing a free session? That’s. That’s my gift to your listeners, and I’m happy to do that. So yeah, that’s. That’s how the conversations get started.

John

Great man. Well, listen again. It’s been an absolute honor for me to have you on the show. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this conversation. I’m. I stopped taking notes for the show notes, so I will have to listen to the podcast. It has been special for me all over again to take good notes for the listeners. So I just want to thank you for coming on and sharing everything you shared because.

Derek

There you go.

John

As I told you in the beginning, you have inspired me. So man, I just from the deepest, you know, parts of my heart. Thank you.

Derek

Yeah. Thank you, John.

John

Alright, great.

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