We had the good fortune of connecting with Charlie Engle and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Charlie, how do you think about risk?
I think that risk-taking is a truly essential part of both my athletic career and my business life. Risk takes many forms. If I’m running a 100 mile race, there is a certain amount of inherent risk physically but for the most part I know that I’m not actually risking my life. The risk is more about how much I’m willing to suffer and how important the lessons I will learn are. But for me, the far greater risk is not putting myself out there and opening up to new opportunities. The same is true in business for me. All of my risk-taking is somewhat calculated. But at some point, no matter the size of the risk, I have to commit to the project. That is the absolute best moment. Whether it’s hitting the enter button on the computer when I decide to enter a race or signing the paperwork needed to launch a new business, that moment is exhilarating and well worth the risk. There was a time many years ago, early in my running career, when I was very satisfied running marathon after marathon after marathon. I was learning about the art and sport of running. But there came a moment when I realized that what I was missing was that feeling deep in the pit of my stomach, the questioning of “am I capable of doing this“? I already knew I could do it, the only question was how fast I could go. I missed that unique feeling that I got when I was taking on something for the first time, that feeling of the craziness that overtakes me, wondering if I am actually capable of doing this. I need that feeling in my life. Whether it’s sport, business or personal, I need to feel like I’m risking something to achieve a goal. In fact taking the risk is more important than achieving the goal.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I learned a long time ago that I’m not an ideal employee! So I started my own business. In fact I’ve started several of them. Many that you’ve never heard of because they failed miserably. But through those failures I learned that I would rather do what I’m deeply passionate about and do it for myself, rather than focusing on making money in a business that I am not emotionally invested in. I’m not willing to compromise on the things that I want to do for money alone. That said, I am willing to take on projects with partners that could lead to greater opportunities and still feed my passion for adventure and growth.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
That’s an easy one. When I lived in Hermosa Beach, I would head right down to the water for a run and some beach volleyball. Then I’d take them to The Spot for a great vegan meal.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This is a tough question for me but I try to connect with where my heart goes when I think about mentorship. One person that I’ve always felt a kinship with is the famous explorer Ernest Shackleton. While there have been many living people who have helped me along the way, many of Shackleton‘s exploits and the words he wrote about them have helped me continue to explore my own limitations. My favorite quote from Shackleton is “optimism is true moral courage“. I think this sums up the way I feel. In the heat of battle, anyone can be optimistic when everything is going your way. But who you really are can only be revealed when everything falls apart. Can you remain optimistic when things are not going your way? That is the question that I am perpetually seeking an answer to. And Shackleton‘s words have always inspired me to keep exploring.

Website: Www.Charlieengle.com

Instagram: https://instagram.com/charlieengle?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/charlie-engle-3644676

Twitter: @charlieengle

Facebook: @charlieengle

Image Credits
The only credit needed would be for the photo of me in Ecuador, it is the one where I am wearing a race bib and there are flowers in the photo. Zandy Mangold too that photo.

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