A Conversation with Marshall Mosher
By: Peyton Short, Movement Maker Tribe Editorial Team
It’s something we’ve all done before: You know you need to get moving, so you start a new exercise routine. And, for a while, things are going great. You’re working out regularly and getting healthier. But then you really start feeling the “routine” part in “exercise routine.” Tired of your same old workout, you lose motivation and inspiration. Pretty soon, you’re right back where you started.
Marshall Mosher knew there had to be a better way to make healthy changes stick. He turned that conviction into a classroom project — and then into a thriving business. Along the way, he discovered his idea was even bigger than he first imagined.
From Classroom to Company
Mosher’s business, Vestigo, got its start when he took an entrepreneurship program as part of his public health MPA program at the University of Georgia. But its inspiration goes back much earlier.
For his entire life, he’s loved the outdoors. At UGA, where Mosher also completed his undergrad education, he became an adventure guide for the school’s outdoor recreation program. In this role, he took fellow students on trips to teach them how to live an active life by finding activities that they enjoyed. He noticed that when the students he guided found something they were passionate about, they made lasting — and healthy — changes.
That made an impression on Mosher. And his experiences as an adventure guide sparked an idea when his entrepreneurship course challenged him to solve a problem by creating a company. He and co-founder Daniel McBrayer envisioned a service that would help more people discover their own passion for the outdoors. After doing detailed research, forming a low-budget prototype and trying to sell it, they realized they had something more than a class assignment.
Forging Stronger Teams
Originally, they focused on personal sign-ups for adventure experiences. But then they noticed something interesting: The clients who were the most hesitant, self-conscious or uninterested at first ended up gaining the most. Through challenging themselves to do something they would have never done otherwise, they grew and created deeper bonds with other people.
The Vestigo team realized that the outdoor experiences they provided could not only spark personal change but also solidify team goals and values. So the company began specializing in group trips for companies and organizations.
Today, Vestigo is “known for creative and thoughtful experiences that are co-crafted with the companies we work with,” Mosher says. “We love the outdoors and the natural bonds that are created while rappelling, whitewater kayaking, hiking and caving.” Vestigo customizes experiences based on each client company’s needs. Activities reinforce clients’ values or mission, such as philanthropy, service or supporting each other. The Home Depot and Chick-Fil-A are just a couple of the companies that have experienced Vestigo’s ability to galvanize teams.
A Family of Adventurers
As Vestigo helps client companies build stronger teams, they’ve also built a powerful team culture of their own. Like Mosher, the other Vestigo team members are driven by their love of the outdoors, their adventurous spirits and the passion to spread the thrill of exploration. Thanks to continuously living an adventurous life together, the team members are like family, and they always go the extra mile for each other. When the company’s chief experience officer was brainstorming ways to propose, the whole team got involved to make it happen. A drone proposal with an aerial view made for the perfect moment.
Vestigo is driven by the idea that “life begins at the end of your comfort zone,” Mosher says. But there’s also one more mantra the team lives by: “If you’re not doing what you love with who you love, then you’re wasting your time.”
About the Author: Peyton Short is a recent graduate of Louisiana State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in mass communication/public relations and a minor in business administration in just three and a half years. She is continuing to work with my #MovementMakerTribe intern team while searching for a full-time position in the Chicago area.
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