Colin O'Brady, Entrepreneur & Explorer

Doer lets you talk individually with contemporary leaders across industries. Colin T. O'Brady is a social entrepreneur who holds two world records as an explorer. He takes Doer sessions at Learn more about Doer here.

Colin O'Brady loves a headlong foray into the unknown. But he also knows how to plan ahead. His most recent accomplishment was breaking the world record for the "Explorer's Grand Slam," an adventure challenge to climb the Seven Summits, the highest mountains on each of the seven continents, and reach the North and South Pole by covering the last degree of latitude on skis. He cut the world record time in half, completing it in just over six months. In doing so, Colin raised $1 million for children's health, and has now embarked on a variety of initiatives and large-scale speaking engagements to raise awareness about issues he care about. 

An impressive feat. But Colin has had incredible training in perseverance. After graduating Yale College in 2006, where he was a nationally ranked swimmer, he went on a trip to Thailand. There while jumping a flaming rope on a beach, he suffered serious burns over much of his body, that landed him in the hospital for months. After the rope caught around his ankle, he was saved only by diving into the nearby water. 

After Colin's hard-won recovery, he started training for triathlon, while trading commodities in Chicago. He became a full-time pro after winning his first two races. His long pro training hours gave Colin a change to unplug and explore natural environments all over the world. After pro racing, Colin set out to for a new challenge: climbing and fundraising around the health issues he cares about. “I just believe kids in our society are a little too plugged in,” O'Brady told People magazine, while on his world-record attempt. “There’s a time and a place for all that. But there’s also a time and a place for health and well being.”

Given Colin's natural gifts, it would be easy think his wins have come easily. But Colin's world record adventure wasn't without mortal danger. Indeed, the same day as he summited Everest, two nearby climbers passed away on the mountain. “What happened on Everest,” he told People, “is a reminder of just how close to the edge you are when you climb mountains.” Having experienced intense ups and down, Colin approaches challenged with a mixture of courage and wisdom. 

Throughout his career, Colin has benefitted from world-class advice. He offers his own at Get a technical question answered, discuss building a massive online audience or important brand partnerships, or just learn how to power through the toughest obstacles. He's there for you.

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