Dubliner Kris Goodbody is the co-founder and majority shareholder of BigStyle–a water sports and adventure travel company and its sister company BigStyle Media House–a video production agency specialising in adventure filmmaking.
BigStyle has a watersports centre in Dublin, the Atlantic Lodge in Killadoon, Co. Mayo and a kitesurfing centre in Tanzania. Kris divides his time between his canal boat in Grand Canal Dock, Mayo and East Africa.
What was your first job?
Waiter in Mao restaurant in DunLaoghaire at age 16. Three weeks in I swept a table clean (plates and all) with the brush I was using to sweep the floor in front of a packed restaurant.
I was politely asked to leave.
What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?
I’ve never held much in the way of financial goals but there was one lifestyle goal I held since the beginning.
This was to reach a point where I could comfortably divide my working life between Dublin, Mayo and Tanzania and take two full months off a year–and since January this year I’ve managed it.
In three words or less, how do you define success?
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Enjoy the ride, the end goal is a myth.
How do you motivate yourself and your staff?
Day to day motivation isn’t hard in our game, there’s always an adventure to be had, new people to meet and challenges to be taken on.
The tricky part is keeping the best staff on board for the long haul as outdoor adventure is often a seasonal business and not seen as a viable long term career.
This means offering my best employees the chance to earn equity along with the freedom to pursue projects within BigStyle. Ben and Rob set up BigStyle Media House, George is setting up our kids camps and Shane is allowed massive creative freedom in running the Atlantic Lodge. For myself it’s the same, projects keeping me going, my new baby will be the Dun Laoghaire surf/coffee shop-come-yoga studio we’re looking to set up next year.
How do you relax?
Historical fiction, not talking to anyone and turning my phone off…None of which happens enough.
What’s your motto?
Abide by ‘the be sound rule’. Essentially it means striving to treat people and be treated be fairly, honestly and thoughtfully. I reckon it’ll get you everywhere in business and in life in general.
Basically being sound
What are your aspirations for the future of the business?
The more I talk with people working in different offices the more I get the impression that there are a lot of uninspiring and unimaginative team building events and offsites going on.
While we’ve done plenty of B2B events over the years I know we’re now ready to become the to go-to company for any business even considering doing something adventurous with their staff.