Marcus is an entrepreneur, motivational speaker, extreme athlete and coach. With a clear vision of making people's lives better through health, culture and environment, he has developed and established two successful businesses, including international performance company, InnerFight; and Paleo food provider, Smith St Paleo. Prior to establishing his first business InnerFight, he spent 10 years in the sporting goods industry, with over five years as a sales director at Adidas.
With a competitive sporting background, having played professional rugby from the age of 18, he now competes in CrossFit, Cycling, Running and numerous extreme endurance events and challenges. He believes that developing mental strength through physical challenges is one of the keys to a successful life and having multiple challenges and ultramarathons to his name, including the toughest footrace on earth, the Marathon Des Sables, which saw him run 250km self-supported across the Sahara desert in 2015.
What’s your golden rule?
Control what you can control, pour all of your energy, time, passion and emotion into that and don’t stress about the things outside of your control.
Who has been your biggest influence?
My family. The environment my parents brought me up in the and opportunities they created for me have made me who I am. My wife Holly is the most amazing person in the world and creates a unique environment and energy in our home for us to both have an amazing life.
What is your most hated business expression?
ROI! It’s like a buzz word these days but means something so different to everyone. People try and use it to sound smart as it’s an acronym and they try and attach measures to it which for the most part are nonsense. Yes for sure in a number of cases you can easily measure ROI but often people fail to look at the bigger picture.
How can marketers be braver?
Stop caring so much about what others are doing. We spend so much time on “the competition” and forget to play our game the way we would like to. I used to work for one of the biggest sports brands in the world and senior management would always debate what our competition was doing, one day I bravely stood up and asked why we were not investing more time and effort into what we were doing and start doing what we do better. It got some funny looks but things started to change.
What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?
I left the world's biggest sports brand, the safety of a monthly salary and all the benefits that came with it and a pretty certain future to pursue my passion, to do what I loved doing in “making people better at life.” I built my own fitness business from a scrap of paper and 10 years later wake up everyday super happy and excited about what the day will bring.
Which leader do you admire most and why?
In the business world I have a huge amount of time for Richard Branson but closer to home I have learnt so much from my Dad, he ran a very successful company for a number of years and I remember when I was young talking to him about business and he explained things in a way I could learn even at a young age.
What’s your favourite word?
Simplicity. Pretty self-explanatory in that I see way too many situations massively overcomplicated and often the best way to deal with things, to live life and to find happiness is the simplest.
Tell us a secret?
Despite perhaps coming across as quite planned out and people thinking I have massive bucket lists of challenges or things to do I am actually quite spontaneous in these things and also in business. I have a very simple decision-making process and if something feels right then we will do it in the business even if it's not in the plan for that month or year. The same with my challenges, people will send me ideas and I will just decide on the spot. I am pretty sure it is related to my desire to be as present as possible and it seems to work well for me.
Marcus is speaking at our Dubai Bravest Conference on 12 November