We live in world where business is driven by bottom line and profit, where the almighty dollar is the priority regardless of the effects. To endlessly fatten the pockets of our share holders regardless of the real world costs. This type of business can no longer be sustained, we must move forward, we must transcend this archaic and outdated way of thinking. We must begin to think of our businesses as extensions of ourselves. The illusions of race, border, religion, upbringing, sexuality are labels that divide us and cause us to forget the fact that we are one global family. Now more than ever we need conscious business leaders and one man’s commitment and dedication to his vision above all else has taught us that we can rethink business.
Looptail is the true story about how Bruce Poon Tip created the largest and most successful adventure travel company in the world. Bruce’s journey is truly inspiring and gives the reader courage to pursue their passion with zeal and commitment. Bruce acts with integrity always looking for ways to impact peoples lives all over the world. The amount of good and positive change he has created is humbling and his actions even inspired the Dalai Lama to write the forward to his book. I will share an excerpt here, “In Today’s materialistic world where people risk becoming slaves to money, Bruce seems to be one of those entrepreneurs who understand that human dignity, freedom and genuine well-being are more important than the mere accumulation of wealth.”
To drive this point home David W. Orr said in his book Ecological Literacy: Educating Our Children for a Sustainable World, “The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it.”
Bruce is driven by principles and vision, not by wealth. This does not mean they need to be mutually exclusive. It means he allows his inner compass to guide him and lives by the principles people, planet, profit, passion and purpose. He states frequently in his book that you need to engage your customer to a higher purpose and he has righteously achieved this. He has been faced with and overcome the impossible with regularity. He has been offered to sell out many times and chose not too. He is driven by purpose and he allows his values to guide him toward what he knows to be right despite facing certain adversity and opposition. This is what it means to live with integrity.
Happiness will never come from an external circumstance it always come from within. We must find for ourselves what our purpose is on this planet, we must search deep for what is right for us, how to act with integrity and to be a positive contributor to spaceship earth. Bruce has also founded a non profit organization Planeterra, which aims to improve people’s lives by creating and supporting social enterprises that bring underserved communities into the tourism value chain. Planeterra has already done amazing things including completely reinvigorated the Inca trail. The weaving co-op project brought tours through to learn traditional weaving from locals. This not only created an economy and jobs for the local people but it allowed them to continue their long lineage of native art, story and culture. Another example is the street kids’ initiative in India where poor local kids were trained to show tourists the city through their eyes. Allowing them to make an income and fund community centres that serve the youth.
These initiatives have massively changed the quality of life for thousands of people by one man deciding that his company can be of service. By realizing that he can combine both business and philanthropy and it can be profitable and sustainable. Planeterra currently has 29 projects listed on their webpage in locations all over the world. Oh and one small point, Bruce absorbs the administration costs through G Adventures so every dollar you donate goes straight to the cause you’re contributing too!
I had the privilege to meet Bruce in person. He is humble. He is Kind. He is not looking for praise or recognition he just wants to pursue his mission both relentlessly and selflessly. He wants to elevate his company to a higher purpose. He wants to be a contributor and he wants his staff to share his vision. G adventures has won numerous awards for being one of the best places to work in Canada and the world. He creates a culture of freedom, hard work, positivity and team work.
Bruce faces enormous pressure at times by big business to think and act a certain way but stands true in his mission. He believes that tourism can be a catalyst for wealth redistribution across the world as well as giving the traveler unforgettable experiences and real world knowledge. If you own a business, are a budding entrepreneur or want to read a real life story to restore your faith in humanity this book is for you!
I’ve attached some pictures below of basecamp the G adventures HQ. It doesn’t show the cool chairs, free icecream bar, or street fighter two arcade game that were also there 🙂 Our meeting was held in the best room at G Adventures, the Shatner room, it just felt right!
You can buy the book here
He has a second book that is super fun, creative and unique called Do Big Small Things.