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Every journey starts somewhere – why not right now?

Chris

Hey there, I’m Chris.

 

Servant leader, coach, entrepreneur, mountain man, and owner of Placers, one of Delaware’s 50 fastest growing businesses with a mission of igniting the spark between businesses and next-level talent.

 

I’m a firm believer that everyone we come into contact with has lessons to share – from strategies for successful entrepreneurship, to how to live a balanced life – mind, body, and soul.

 

Outside Insights is a platform for sharing those lessons and ideas so that we may all close our personal gap. At its core, it’s a community of individuals who know that there is always progress to be made – big or small.

 

As a business owner, I encourage my team to operate under one simple yet extremely powerful idea: that the best results come when you push the limits. Last year, I trekked up the glacial landscape of Mt. Rainier – a bucket-list climb. It wasn’t easy. When a blizzard hit at 11,500 feet, we spent a tough night in frigid temperatures with tents blowing and a mix of freezing rain and snow billowing into my tent. While nature ultimately decided it was time for us to descend, we were left with a life-changing experience reserved only for those who dare to step outside of their comfort zones.

 

Epic journeys wait on the other side of comfort zones. Outside Insights will give you the inspiration, tools, and aha moments you need to get there.

Stories, thoughts, and lessons for closing your gaps.

Check out the Outside Insights library

Workation in Wydaho

Recently, I read one of my Outside Insights articles from two years ago where I wrote about the importance of appreciating the small stuff around you. Reflexively I thought, who was that guy? And how did he get to a place where he had time to actually appreciate the small things in life? Two years […]

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What We Actually Need from Our Leaders

The election feels like the exclamation point on the end of a long run-on sentence (otherwise known as the year 2020). We have been through a range of emotions and sticky situations this year. Many of us have gone from fear to frustration, to now what feels like a general sense of anxiety. With so much […]

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What Ted Lasso Taught Me About Life

I am not sure how you’re choosing to distract yourself these days – lately the world seems to be oh so serious all of the time. If you listen to or read Outside Insights content, you’re familiar with my journey and my recipe for living your best life. I read, meditate, do yoga, work out […]

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What is Your Legacy?

How you conduct yourself along your life journey, determines how your story will unfold. This is a basic law of the universe—we get what we give and, ultimately, we are what we believe. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy. If we think negatively, we open ourselves up to negative experiences. If we lead from a place […]

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What Got Me Here Won’t Get Me There

This visualization represents my work/life story over the past 30 years. I imagine many of you can relate. To me work equaled independence. I started work early. From the age of nine, I had a paper route which I had until I was sixteen. It was hard work; I got up before school to deliver […]

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What Are Your 3 Critical Life Lessons?

I am frequently asked about what gives me sustainable motivation and energy. How do I continuously keep my long-term goals top of mind and how do I recover from life’s setbacks and get back on track? When it comes to reaching our goals, all of us have setbacks – we get sick, we lose steam, […]

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What 2009 Taught Me

In 2009, many businesses ground to a halt – almost a complete stop. Corporate customers stopped buying. Consumer sentiment was down, and people stopped spending. In the U.S., this was our entire economy. Most leaders found themselves navigating uncharted business waters, and leadership became narrowly focused on one thing: survival.   I am proud to […]

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Unlock Your Potential: Live with Intention

Are you where you want to be in your life? Did you cross all the items off your bucket list? Have all of your dreams been chased? If the answer is yes, yes and yes – congratulations! You can proceed with the rest of your day. But, if you’re like me, you probably answered no […]

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To Move Forward, You Must be Still

If you’ve been part of the Outside Insights community for a while, you know how important I view goal setting and developing actionable steps to make them a reality. We set our sights on outcomes that we want to reach and then act with intention, every day, to achieve them – knocking tasks out one […]

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Tired of the Pandemic? Sleep on it.

I’d like to start this week’s email out with a question for you. If someone offered you a pill that could decrease your chances of cancer and heart disease by more than half, increase your memory and intelligence, decrease anxiety and stress and make you happier with no negative side effects – would you take […]

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The Story of the Bucket

  The world of business is fast-changing. Fickle, almost. Climates evolve rapidly, markets come and go, consumer demand is continually in flux. Any company that navigates these inherent trials and tribulations with grace isn’t doing so because of sheer dumb luck. They have a secret sauce: Their employees.   The lifeblood of any company is […]

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The New Rules of Work

In business, there are assets, things that add or increase in value, and there are liabilities, things that must be paid for or are a cost to the business. All employees have the opportunity to be real assets – but not all employees are working to their full potential. Be an asset. Grow yourself, be […]

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The Never-Ending Pandemic

Yesterday I read a meme that referenced the never-ending pandemic. “The new normal” had gone on so long that I had time to get in shape once…and then get out of shape again. I know this is how many of us feel right now. It’s like the pandemic 15 (which is a real thing), not […]

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The Master Puppeteer

“Recently, I was meeting with our recruitment consultant, Freddy, over lunch and I shared this story. Back in the early days of Placers 1.0 and the CBI Group, we set out to propel one of the key tenants of our culture: employee empowerment. We asked ourselves how self-directed our teams could really be. Would they […]

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The Importance of Knowing Yourself

Where does our confidence come from? How do I “fake it till I make it”? How do I know I am doing the right things with my life? I spend a lot of time with good people, customers, employees, friends, family and outside-inners that find value in our words and podcasts. The questions above are […]

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Thank you to the year 2020

Only in 2020 would we run out of Christmas trees! Yes, 12 foot pines are going for more than a grand if you can find one. We are all so desperate for some normalcy many started bringing in the holiday cheer a little early this year. We are all looking to lift our spirits, have […]

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Questions that will help you be a better teammate

At many points in our lifetime, we’re put into positions where others depend on us to be a good teammate. You’re a teammate to your colleague at the office, your partner on a college partner, your roommate, and your significant other. These people depend on you. How do you know that you’re upholding your end […]

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Outside Insights: The Lake of Life

As a member of the Scaling Up community, a strategic coach, and a business owner of a growth-oriented mid-market company, I have had the pleasure of learning life lessons from some of the best leaders and entrepreneurs on the planet. I discuss one of my favorites below – and how I’ve used it to better my life […]

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Outside Insights- Why Do I Hike Big Mountains?

Steve Jobs once said, “If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” Man, am I familiar with this phrase.   Many years ago, I decided to become an entrepreneur – my first company, the CBI Group, was born. At that time, I believed that every hour I worked would equate to future value. […]

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My View from the Road

For the last few weeks, I have been in Wyoming on my sabbatical (all Placers team members take one every 10 years). I’m accompanied by my wife, Kim, and two Aussie Shepherds, Ziggy and Gracie, in a small cabin-style rental.   Nature has welcomed us into its embrace as short-term guests in a place where […]

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My Life Would Be Incomplete Without…

Our Outside Insights community often discusses the importance of taking the time to reflect on where you’re at in life, the work that it took to get there, and how you feel about the journey. The next time you’re taking the time to reflect or journal, consider starting out with this prompt: “My life would […]

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Life, 20 Years Ago

I was 32 and had just left my big corporate job to start my first business, the CBI Group. My kids were 3 and 5 years old and with a growing family, there were many more conventional options than risking it all on a dream. But Kim, my wife, knew I would never really be […]

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Let’s Grow Again in 2021

We’re eight days into January and it seems like all I read about is habit building, resolution setting, and how wellness is the key to my happiness. Now don’t get me wrong, I rock a daily plan, have a gratitude journal, I even review every week religiously for my wins and areas of improvement. And […]

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Leadership by Temper Tantrum

As a history buff, I recently read a short story about the fall of Napoleon. Yes, the Emperor of France who conquered most of Europe in the 1800s. In a famous event, Napoleon raced back to Paris from the battlefields after receiving intelligence that his two top government officials were apparently conspiring against him.   […]

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Knowledge is Our Equalizer

While 2020 is a year we might hope to forget – we will always remember the realities faced and the lessons learned. Why does it seem like the issues, challenges, and obstacles keep coming relentlessly? That behind every crisis is another one waiting to greet us.First, a virus turned global pandemic, then the economic fallout […]

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It Takes a Second to Say Goodbye to 2021

As we rang in the new year last week, we also waved goodbye to 2021. Under the sounds of cheering, fireworks, and the classic Auld Lang Syne – it was hard not to feel a little hesitation amongst the hope. We’re two years into pandemic life and it’s easy to make a list of what […]

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How to Deal with Self-Limiting Beliefs

Self-limiting beliefs are the assumptions or perceptions we have about ourselves and the way the world works. These assumptions are “self-limiting” because by holding on to these beliefs, we are in some way holding ourselves back from achieving our goals. An all-too common example of a self-limiting belief among young leaders often sounds like: “I […]

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How to be a hero in the year 2020

Superheroes of comic books and Marvel movies wear costumes and save the world from evil. Most come from humble beginnings and experience the injustices of their world first-hand. Their experiences forge their character and will in ways that enable them to later protect and fight for the rights of others. Think of Superman as he […]

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How Jeremy Saved My Vacation, Summer of 2020

My week in Block Island was planned when 2020 was looking like any other year. Right now, the idea of a vacation or time away is causing real consternation for many. Those lucky enough to have jobs find themselves exhausted from six months of heads-down work where time off just feels weird – “bad” even? […]

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How Do You Measure A Successful Life Lived?

At face value, the definition of success can feel pretty narrow. Growing up, many of us are told that to be successful we need to go to college, land a well-paying job, work up the ladder, receive hefty raises, contribute to our 401(k) and then retire with a healthy retirement and time to finally do […]

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Finding Peace in Chaos

Here’s the truth, friends – I have a war in my mind that gets fought every day.I am going to bet that I am not alone. 2020 seems to have done this to me and to most people I know – probably even you. We are in a constant state of angst, recharged with every […]

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Exhaustion in the Age of the “New Normal”

It’s officially August – about six months since news of a formidable virus with a strange name infiltrated the headlines. For six months, we’ve seemingly been in a constant state of alert while adjusting to a “new normal” – one that will never really feel normal. A reality where we’re continually asking ourselves, what comes […]

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Eight Books for Your Best Life

I have a confession to make – I’m addicted to reading. I find few things in life that enable me to calm my thinking mind, stop the to-do list, and create space like reading does. It soothes me. I love my reading space because it’s a form of meditation for me. I ideate when I […]

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Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

Over the past two decades, my personal secret to success has been a simple one. To outwork and outlearn everyone else as best I can. This is so much a part of me; therefore, it is also a part of our Placers DNA. Part of our purpose at Placers is to serve our customers, including […]

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Build Your Top 20

  Build Your Top 20   We often think of being “results based” as simply achieving outcomes. Getting shit done. Hitting your forecast or sales quotas. Winning. You get the picture. But before you work full-steam ahead towards these outcomes you must clearly and succinctly understand what you’re trying to accomplish. What is the desired […]

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Ask Yourself: Who needs what?

This is a quick and simple reminder to add value to your important relationships today. I am sick and tired of politics and the divisive nature of the times. I am not right nor wrong for my views. Nor are you. And how I feel about you does not change when I disagree with you […]

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Advice I Would Give My Younger Self

Where will you be two years from now? How about 20? What short-term and long-term goals are you currently working towards? About 19 years ago, at age 32, I put it all on the line and became the fourth generation in my family to take the entrepreneurial plunge when I started my first company – […]

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A Sit Down With Megan Roudebush – Outside Insights Podcast Episode #24

In present, professional networking spaces, “careful, cautious, methodical relationship building” is the through-line of purposeful networking, said Megan Roudebush, founder, keepwith, an enterprise platform that helps the world network and build relationships better. In this week’s Outside Insights Podcast, Megan explained that sustainable networking requires reciprocity. She offers five, trending networking processes that deliver professional […]

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A Sit Down With Ed Wallace- Outside Insights Podcast Episode #23

Author Ed Wallace, in this week’s Outside Insights Podcast, shares a personal, family story that illustrates it’s not always formal training and education that shifts career-changing moments to meaningful work. Worthy intentions with a conscience create profound thought leadership strategies that facilitate workplace processes. Ed Wallace’s book, “The Relationship Engine,” and the steps detailed in it, spotlight connections — how to […]

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A Life Without Limits

Close your eyes and imagine what life would be like if you woke up each day and lived life as if you had no limits? As if closing the gap between where you are and where you want to be was well within your reach. The system of life keeps us “on the rails”. As […]

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