5 Motivation Lessons from the Life of Doug Tompkins

5 Motivation Lessons from the Life of Doug Tompkins

In just 25 years of being businessman and a highly successful one at that, Doug Tompkins, popular for co-founding global retail giant The North Face passed away at 72. The septuagenarian (person in his seventies till 79th year) created lasting business empires courtesy, co-founding The North Face(1964) and popular clothing line Espirit (1968).

In so doing, the lanky but gentlemanly American  combined erudite thinking, deep knowledge and a passion to club ideas with adventure, the latter defining his life and spirit to earn the respect from adventure enthusiasts, sports professionals and mountaineers.

It is important to reflect on the life of one of America’s most respected gentleman at the wake of his recent passing to attempt at describing what one can learn from the life of a businessman wrapped in the soul of a visionary and a deeply passionate environmentalist.

We share 5 motivation lessons from the life of Doug Tompkins:

1) The Importance of Exploring Nature:

Doug was more than just a business visionary. When the Ohio born American was merely 16, in 1960- 62 he traveled across South America, Europe and Colorado, in his native United States, thus embarking on a soul-searching entourage. During these intensely moving years of his life, he learnt more about himself through rock climbing and skiing.

These adventures where he literally mastered the art of otherwise testing adventures shaped the thinker in him. He learnt more about nature than what any layman could and can even today, despite having all access to information courtesy the internet.

Increasingly, we are seeing individuals from different spheres of life attempting to take to adventure sports such as the aforementioned so as to break away from the mundane.

2) You Can Do More Than You Think:

Dough Tompkins, smart, lanky but always gentlemanly never parted with his adventurous spirit. Together with fellow friends, from different parts of the United States, he spent days and hours together thinking, exploring and navigating deepest questions of life; all of which would shape the entrepreneur in him. One may very well note the prowess of his businesses, namely- The North Face and Espirit which Doug co-formed with ex-wife, Susie.

The perspective here being, did he think he could have done the same had he remained only etched to mountaineering or skiing, both of which he himself mastered so to speak.

3) Never Silence Your Hunger for Ideas:

Deeply etched in the DNA of popular brands, co-founded by the late Mr. Tompkins is a remarkable zest to club passion with creativity. Now, one may argue that isn’t that what all great brands about. But still, in the cacophony of today’s corporate life, the enthusiasm for exploring rich ideas often funnels out in front of the element of commerce.

Through simple yet amazing design ideas spun into his personal favorite The North Face, an American retail giant, Doug manufactured an idea that would soon bear an imprint of the American spirit. Whether you need mini tents, mountaineering equipments or subtle but trendy camping equipments and other gear, The North Face, powered by Doug’s visionary mind seldom disappoints.

On the other hand, Espirit, another popular brand that needs no introduction operates more than 900 retail stores worldwide and has already generated in excess of around 3.25 billion dollar worth of sales in 2009 alone.

4) The Resolve Toward Conservationism:

Doug Tompkins, part adventurer, part discoverer, but purely passionate was deeply attached to the environment around him, a habitat where he learnt more about himself and of his capabilities than he would have sitting confined within four walls. He relentlessly pursued the drive to expand national parks and conserve the rich green environs wherever he could in his often unrestricted bandwidth, especially Patagonia, a beautiful region in South America.

It must be noted, Patagonia shaped the thinker and conserver in Doug who in his formative years of life, ably juggled between corporate challenges and the need to protect, enhance and thus enrich world’s social environments.

5) Never Stop Exploring:

Born in 1943 and on foot in 1960, at age 16 and a half, the late Mr. Tompikns who never intended to present rich and pure ideas to protect and conserve the environment went ahead and did just that  in his beautiful and meaningful life.

Some, as they say are born to rule elaborate meeting halls in conventional starry corporate buildings, while there are some who are meant so scale greater heights. Must it be said, that in his legendary life, Doug stood clearly in awe of the latter, having brought the world closer in his own discovery of multidimensional and inspiring beauties seeped at the lap of mother nature.


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