About Scott Dinsmore
Ok, so these pages where you write about yourself are always kind of awkward, but here goes.
Before we get into the formal stuff below, know this… That picture above just about says it all.
That’s Chelsea, my wife and Chief Balance Officer at Live Your Legend. She’s really what makes all this possible. And she’s also the only reason why that sign up there to right could ever be even remotely true. I’m incredibly grateful to have her, my parents and sister in my corner. Without their endless support (in spite of not always totally ‘getting’ my craziness at first – who does??), none of this would exist.
And to celebrate all of this, Chelsea and I are currently pursuing a dream we’ve talked about for over a decade – as we spend all this year traveling the world and visiting as many Live Your Legend Local communities as we can, including hosting dinner parties for our community along the way (Chelsea’s a brilliant cook!).
Now, for The Kinda Short Story…
I’m Scott Dinsmore, founder and Chief Experimenter at Live Your Legend.
I’m a 32-year-old entrepreneur, writer, husband, and (very novice and retired) ultra-runner who’s a tad obsessed with adventure, life experiments and learning. I also have a small problem listening to authority. And if we’re talking technical jargon, perhaps you could call me a Career Change Strategist. But I prefer Explorer, Adventurer or Experimenter…
I’m on a mission to change the world by helping people find what excites them and build a career around the work only they are capable of doing. Ten years ago, a demoralizing experience at a Fortune 500 job launched me on a quest to understand why 80% of adults hate the work they do, and more importantly, to identify what the other 20% were doing differently.
My research led to experiences with thousands of employees and entrepreneurs from 158 countries. I distilled the results down to our Passionate Work Framework – three surprisingly simple practices for finding and doing work you love, and they all happen to be completely within our control. You can see the full framework by watching my TEDx talk on How to Find and Do Work You Love, which has now been viewed by over 1.9 million people and ranks in the top 20 of over 40,000 TEDx talk.
Simply put, for the past decade I’ve run experiments on myself and others to better understand what makes us come alive. I noticed a process for making these discoveries, so I started helping others find their way through my coaching and writing and by documenting people already living their legends while getting into all kinds of wild adventures all over the world. It turns out to be pretty fulfilling work and pretty damn important.
Now I help people discover passion and purpose, explore their dreams and do work they love – all by teaching them to surround themselves with the people who make it possible.
I have a fundamental belief that drives what we do at Live Your Legend: We are all meant to make a difference. And environment is absolutely everything. The fastest way to change your outcome is to change your surroundings.
I have Jim Rohn to thank for that…
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
I believe this single line is the biggest life hack in the history of the world. I created this community to serve as your above-average crowd of five (and more!).
That’s why in 2013 we created Live Your Legend LOCAL, a network of local in-person communities that meet each month in 150 cities in 48 countries (from Kuwait to Keyna and Sydney to San Francisco) to help each other do work that matters. Chelsea and I are spending all of 2015 traveling the world to host LYL Local dinner parties and visit as many local communities as possible.
This picture from Ben’s community in Kisumu, Kenya sums it up pretty nicely…
Bottom line is I’ve had my share of soul-crushing jobs, and believe me, there’s a better way…
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The More Detailed Version…
Fifteen years ago, my dad gave me a copy of What Color Is Your Parachute. After reading it, two epiphanies hit:
Everyone deserves to do meaningful work that they’re actually good at.
In order to have a chance at finding it, you have to dedicate yourself to learning, improving and experimenting with all kinds of stuff. And by surrounding yourself with the people who not only make the impossible seem possible, but that make it seem normal. I call that “Brainwashing The Impossible.”
So my adventure began…
After university, I was rejected from my dream job, so I took the road less traveled to Spain to run with the bulls. My 7-week trip turned into a year, where I co-founded an English teaching company for businessmen and led tours through Morocco and Portugal on the weekends. Spaniards prioritized enjoyment over money and I realized life did not have to be lived the way it was in the States. Exploring, seeking meaningful adventure and limit testing quickly became a huge part of life.
I sold the business only to move back and fall into corporate hell, which I couldn’t stand a day over seven months. I fired myself in search of something I could actually screw up.
I launched my first blog, ReadingForYourSuccess (which has since been replaced by Live Your Legend) to document my experiences as I sought out work that mattered to me. I then stumbled on a preventive health care startup, BioIQ, with a product and team I actually cared about, and spent two years running their Market Validation team and learning what made a business tick.
I realized that I wanted something of my own that better leveraged my time, gave me balance, helped others and lit a fire in my belly. So I launched an investment partnership that recreated the way Warren Buffett managed investments for families in Omaha, Nebraska when he was 30 years old (I’m a lifetime Warren Buffett fanatic).
We launched in the heart of the 2008/2009 economic meltdown. Good thing my fire was lit, because it was a terrifying start. But looking back, the timing couldn’t have been better. Working for someone else in finance never crossed my mind because the lack of balance, ethics and widespread greed disgusted me – and they probably wouldn’t have hired me, anyway.
Meanwhile, my desire to learn and help people on a more personal level kept me up at night. I began writing and teaching speed reading, and I coached people frustrated with their jobs who were looking for something more.
After 8 years of running experiments on myself and others to better understand what lights us on fire, I noticed a process for making these discoveries.
I soon became the go-to guy among friends and colleagues when they were tired of dreading waking up each morning. If they were in search of something more meaningful, I got a call. I was pretty much the guy people grabbed when they wanted to quit and just needed a push.
Eventually my Quit Rate became 80%. I calculated that after meeting with me, 80% of these seekers would quit their job within three months. I was damn proud!
I loved it, so I started helping others find the same through coaching, writing, documenting folks living their legends all over the world, and getting into all kinds of adventures.
I began measuring success on whether I could help even one person. So far, so good.
Things started to catch on, and my blog reached the top 1% of all websites. Turns out that other people cared about this stuff, too. My work has since been featured on some of the biggest websites in the world and have gotten to surrounded myself with some uber-passionate people (including a kettlebell workout with Tim Ferriss, some exchanges with Tony Robbins & Seth Godin, 50-mile ultra marathons with Leo Babauta and tequila tasting with Keith Ferrazzi). It’s been an amazing ride.
Then in the beginning of 2013, my Chief Strategist (my dad) casually passed along a sentence that now lives on my office white board…
“Focus is the key to the world.” – Bill Dinsmore
As the Live Your Legend movement hit over 50,000 Living Legends (that’s what we call our members) from every country in the world, I realized it was time to listen to dad (yet again). After five years in business, in September of 2013, my investment fund partner and I decided to liquidate the fund and return all money to investors. They were happy with their 48% total return over the past five years, and I was ecstatic to finally be able to go ALL IN with our Revolution here.
Along the journey I also bought an engagement ring from Warren Buffett after receiving a personal letter from him (he owns a great jewelry store in Omaha) and married Chelsea, my college love of seven years. This is my greatest success to date.
Chelsea is actually a big part of the LYL team. She’s a yoga and fitness teacher and is an absolute magician when it comes to vegan creations in the kitchen (you have got to check out some of her dishes and brilliant photography at The Simple Kitchen. She’s also the most calm and present person I know. All this has earned her the title of Chief Balance Officer. I’d be nowhere without her.
And for those of you interested in the love story, here’s a little trailer from our wedding. My favorite moment is at 2:10. Makes my eyes water every time…
Don’t see the video? Click here.
So that’s the story.
I now have the great fortune of owning my calendar and getting to spend my time doing things I enjoy with people I love and respect – while helping the world in a way that I believe is making a difference. I could not ask for more.
If you want to hear some of my behind-the-image dirt, check out… Painful Authenticity: 35 Honest Personal Stories, Fears & Facts You Don’t Know About Me. You’ll learn about my obsession with musicals, Taylor Swift’s success story and hand stands.
Here’s a bit deeper version of my story on Jonathan Fields’ GoodLifeProject TV Show…
Can’t see the video? Click here.
And in case that wasn’t enough detail…
I am fascinated with pushing physical and mental limits and sharing it with others. I especially love fitness challenges. Some of my recent experiments include swimming from Alcatraz to San Francisco and then the length of the Golden Gate with a group of 9-year-olds, trying out a vegan diet for a month (I’m now about 90% plants), gaining 10 lbs of muscle in 90 days with no supplements or meat, competing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments for a few years, summiting Mt. Shasta, finishing a 50k ultramarathon in my Vibram barefoot running shoes and following that up with an incredibly humbling 50-mile trail run at the North Face Endurance Challenge (after 13 hours and 48 minutes, I came 12th to last place). I’ve still never run a sanctioned marathon.
I learn something new with every adventure – turns out to be the best way to learn who you are. There’s plenty more to come.
I love to learn and have completed multi-day courses in Karrass Effective Negotiating, Iris Speed Reading, Spirit Rock Meditation, Toastmasters Public Speaking, Strengths Finder 2.0, Social Media Marketing, A-List Blogging Bootcamps and Tony Robbins Unleash the Power Within (UPW), Get the Edge, Relationship Mastery, Mastering Influence and Robert Cialdini’s Influence at Work.
I devote a couple weeks a year to this stuff and spend the rest of the year making it a part of my life. So far, the biggest life impact has been Tony’s UPW (and I’m grateful to have had the ex-General Manager of his company, Debra Russell, as my coach for the past six years. She’s got some pretty interesting stories…).
I have attended university at the London School of Economics, Universidad de Sevilla and University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). My Spanish is not as sharp as it used to be, but I can still get by and I love the language! Usually the cab ride from the airport into town is all I need to get back on it…
I am fascinated with everything that makes for a well-lived life including nutrition, health, fitness, relationship building, psychology, motivation, negotiating, personal rapport, influence, time management, communication, speaking, stewardship, gratitude and lifelong education.
I love learning from new people, making connections, traveling, teaching and building things.
I’m dedicated to the road less traveled. If you’re here, I’m guessing you are too…
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
I owe you tremendous gratitude (and well done for getting all the way down here!). It’s the support of this community, of YOU, that makes our revolution what it is.
So, I hope you’ll stick around!
If you like what you read and are looking to do something that actually matters – to you and to the world – you’re not alone. I hope you’ll join us for the adventure. You can do so by entering your email below. As a free member of our community, you’ll get immediate access to our Passionate Work Toolkit – all kinds of free tools to help you do work that makes you come alive.
More than anything, be sure to keep learning, experimenting and doing. Learn to love it. The results will blow your mind.
And make sure to choose your friends carefully. They dictate EVERYTHING.
Welcome to the adventure!