We had the good fortune of connecting with Travis Lindley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Travis, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I’ve always had an adventurous spirit! Its hard to be adventuresome without taking any risks. As a teen I fell in love with rock climbing despite living in Oklahoma, a relatively flat state, and later became a wildland firefighter and then a park ranger before starting my business. When I think about risk I first think about perception. My professional life has been spent doing work that many would call “risky”. But I always felt that I was given the education, knowledge, skill, and ability to safely accomplish the demands of my career.
When it comes to real risk, I’ve learned to balance my experience against the task or decision at hand honestly and weigh loss vs. gain without getting distracted by the perception of others. Breaking through the barriers of perceived risk is half the battle. With my ranger career behind me I’m relearning how to measure risk as a business owner. But I’m applying the same lessons of real tangible risk to business and finding that they’re not all that different.
Owning an outdoor adventure based business, these lessons of “risk” are something I get to revisit often. I’ve come to find a lot of satisfaction in seeing our clients confront perceived risk and identify what is real, and come out on the other side with new skills and confidence.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My business is Element Outdoors and Overland. We rent overland adventure vehicles including Jeeps and campervans to adventuresome travelers from around the world. We understand that everyone has a different sense of what the word adventure means and we strive to help create memorable experiences that exceed expectations. We are often part of the first camping experience that our clients have and we hope to build knowledge and experience that fosters a skilled and responsible user of the outdoors community and public lands. My hope is that we can be part of as many “shoutouts” as possible for others. If we can be part of a memorable family camping trip, or be how you feel in love with the a special place that would be an incredible reward for the risks we’ve taken to bring the business to life. I just want people to know that more than being about cool vehicles or amazing places we’re here to focus on them.
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.
Colorado is filled with so many amazing spots and people. I like to checkout new places and experiences so I try to avoid having favorites. But of course thats almost impossible! If I had a day in Denver I’d definitely do my best to get us to a Rockies game and visit the Natural History Museum. Being a public lands lover we’d probably have to spend the rest of our time on a national park tour. We’d get out to Rocky Mountain NP and hike up to Sky Pond and stop at the Wheel Bar in Estes Park. I know some great campsites near Buena Vista we could hit and spend a day at Great Sand Dunes and drive Medano Pass while in the area.
Maybe the next day we could head towards Gunnison and visit Black Canyon and stop to have a beer at High Alpine Brewing. The next day we could head for Colorado National Monument to look for bighorn or go for a mountain bike ride on some trails around Fruita and end the day with a pizza at Hot Tomato in Fruita. We’d have to hit a hot spring so perhaps a trip to Ouray Hot Spring or Iron Mountain in Gleenwood springs would be in order the next day. Lets do Ouray so we can go do some of the Alpine Loop to finish off the trip. An alternative would be to drive across the state on the Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people that helped make me who I am. My parents and wife top the list. They’ve always encouraged me despite my attraction to adventure and pursuit of so many “risky” endeavors. They’ve always had confidence and trust in my abilities to tackle challenges. I also found a lot about myself by just being outside. I’m thankful for being able to spend my career in national park and public lands. It was on my first big climbing trip to Rocky Mountain National Park that I made up my mind to change career paths and pursue a career where I could be outside and help build a community of responsible public land users. So a shoutout to public lands is certainly in order.