Kasten Spethmann, What Entrepreneurs can learn from Athletes – InnovaBuzz 535

Kasten Spethmann - InnovaBuzz 535

Kasten Spethmann, Your Startup Life

Our guest in this episode is Kasten Spethmann, of Your Startup Life. Kasten is a retired professional windsurfer, a recovering Venture Capitalist, a non-conforming, near death surviving, adventure seeking, lifelong learning, nomad entrepreneur that now coaches founders (with a focus on athletes that want to become entrepreneurs), with tactical advice, tough love and experiential insight with the hope that she inspires others to break societal expectations, stop sacrificing their true identity/calling and live by their own rules as they build exceptional businesses.

In our conversation Kasten talked to me about

  • Why athletes make good entrepreneurs and what entrepreneurs can learn from athletes.
  • Why it’s important to differentiate between what you do and who you are.
  • Building a career or business around your dream life.

Maxine Cunningham in episode 306 introduced us to Kasten.

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

Listen to the Podcast

Support the Show

To support the show and join our Flywheel Nation Community head over to innovabiz.co/flywheelnation. This is where you can meet and talk with our guests and other fans of the show. The only way to access this community is through the purchase of a digital access token – it’ll cost you less than a cup of coffee! Permanently bookmark this episode by purchasing the episode token here. 50% of all revenue from this episode token will go directly to our guest; the other 50% goes towards supporting this show. Think of it as a way to support the guest and tell them that you loved their show.

Be very firm with your goals and flexible with how you get there. @yourstartuplife on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Show Notes from this episode with Kasten Spethmann, Your Startup Life

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

  • Raising capital can be the scariest part of owning a business, but it doesn’t need to be .  Also it’s not always necessary, as there are alternative ways to quickly get to revenue through a variety of creative means.
  • Be very firm with your goals and flexible with how you get there.
  • When you have an idea, first find out if there is a market for it.
  • If you have a unique product, system or process, it’s worth patenting. Get a good patent attorney to guide you through the patent process. Ideally keep it “patent pending” for as long as possible to protect the information.
  • An idea is nothing without execution. The way you execute an idea may well be unique.
  • No one else can duplicate your business and its many elements – products, services, processes, people, culture, connections.
  • Athletes make very good entrepreneurs because they understand long term goal setting, they understand sacrificing to reach their goal and they are good at bouncing back from adversity and setbacks.
  • Being an entrepreneur is like surfing – most of your time is spent paddling, waiting for just the right wave.  Then you are up for 10 seconds and it’s over, and you go do it all again.
  • Differentiate between what you are doing and who you are.  Each thing that you are doing can be a separate chapter of your life and you can always write the next chapter.
  • Be really clear about what motivates you – write down the best things about your dream situation and then explore all the options that can give you that motivation.
  • Covid showed the world that many entrepreneurs can work remotely, location independently and get the work done.
  • If you are really motivated to do something, you’ll figure it out.
An idea is nothing without execution. The way you execute an idea may well be unique. @yourstartuplife on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round 

Here are Kasten’s answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative – Question things that have become the status quo. E.g. Who said that? When was it said? Does it still hold true today? Does it fit for me?
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Have insatiable curiosity.  Try something new even though you might be bad at it.
  3. Favourite tool for innovation – Listen to podcasts. Let my brain wander. Listen to music.
  4. Keep project/client on track – Write things down in the morning – four things you want to accomplish that day. Have an accountability buddy.
  5. Differentiate – Be true to who you are, don’t worry about other people’s opinions or the competition.  Decide what you want from your product and build that.


Take a blank piece of paper and at the top, write “I want my life to look like…..” and describe that in as much detail as possible. Work out how you want your life to be and pick a career that fits that lifestyle.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Kasten through her website.

Suggested Guest

Kasten suggested we have a conversation with Pamplin School of Business Professor and President of Crafting a Strategy, Sam Holloway on a future InnovaBuzz Podcast episode.


Cool Things About Kasten

  • She was a professional windsurfer, travelling to many countries to compete.
  • She spends half her year in Portland, Oregon, USA and the other half in Baja California, Mexico
Differentiate between what you are doing and who you are.  Each thing that you are doing can be a separate chapter of your life and you can always write the next chapter. @yourstartuplife on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Listen to the Podcast


Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.  


  1. Christy Maxfield on August 18, 2022 at 05:42

    I’ve noticed that when people experiment with art, sports or hobbies they are totally ok with practicing, trying new things, starting out as a newbie and sticking with it until they acquire and hone their skills. But when it comes to leadership or entrepreneurship they have zero tolerance for their learning curve. It’s not so much about being willing to fail as much as it is about being willing to experiment, try, learn, and evolve. Thank you Kasten for reminding us to embrace being bad at something, knowing we can get better with practice. “Suck at something new!”

    I also really appreciate the reminder to stay firm in your goals and be flexible on how you achieve them!

    • Jürgen Strauss on September 11, 2022 at 16:46

      Yes, exactly, Christy. The frustration of not knowing, making a mistake, looking silly often weighs more heavily than the curiosity to learn! Time to put ego aside.

Leave a Comment