Blog The Extraordinary Ordinary

Episode 14 – Bastien Parizot: The Extraordinary Ordinary Series.

I first met Bastien almost a year ago today, when he interviewed me for my current job and I travelled out to Switzerland for the occasion. That’s right, this episode and interview is with no other than my current manager and therefore I think it’s quite clear how and why I am inspired by Bastien when it comes to a professional basis, as he is setting an incredible bar and standards for the next steps in this field.

But there’s so much more to Bastien that’s extraordinary, and this is why I really am excited that he’s carved out the time from his incredibly busy life (more on that later) to answer these twelve core questions and give us some insight into his life, passions and priorities.

Bastien has had an incredible career, spanning across multiple industries from sports wear to consumer goods, his background even includes launching his own business and moving to Florence whilst doing so. Would you be brave enough to do that? I have a lot of respect for Bastien as he manages to balance an incredibly successful career, with a very time and energy consuming role, with being the best he can be personally and for his family, and ensuring everything he does is aligned to his core values and goals. For someone who is in a new country almost every week with work and likely receives over 400 emails a day, it’s refreshing to see how to truly balance a very successful career at a young age, with an enriched personal and family life too.

He’s always seeking new adventures, opportunities to learn and discover more with his family in tow, and does it in such a simple way which really get’s back to nature, and close to wildlife. This outlook, always learning, seeking simplicity, and finding opportunities and moments to experience with his family is something I think we could all carve out more time for and could adopt. You just need to talk to him for five minutes about his recent campervan adventures, or upcoming planned excursions, to see how genuinely excited and refreshed he is following one of his short trips away.

Lastly, as well as all the above, Bastien is really good fun to be around. Both himself personally but also his incredibly lovely family. It’s nice to see someone who can balance both personal goals and success with a good grounded attitude and behavior, and joy for life outside of work. He loves sports, good food and of course good wine too (though don’t try and serve him a Swiss red!)

If you take anything from the below and his answers, I really hope that it’s that it’s so important in life to always keep learning, discovering and know what you want in life, know your core values and dreams and then always ensure everything you are doing matches up with this. Otherwise, it’s only yourself you’re fooling in the long run.

Oh, and maybe get a campervan!

BP

So here are his answers to my twelve questions:

What makes you happy?

What makes me happy is on one side experiencing, discovering with loved ones. On the other side learning new things and challenging myself to be a better person (from core values to being able to achieve my goals). This leads me to be very happy when I travel with my family (and friends), when I eat, share moments with loved ones.

I’m also very happy with a sense of achievement, whether it’s in sports (I could not live without) or learning a new skill. Could be perceived as being competitive which I won’t deny.

What book had the biggest impact on your life?

La horde du contrevent from Alain Damasio. Unfortunately not translated in English (keep learning your french just to be able to read this), it’s the story of a group of elite characters trying to find the origin of the wind in a fantasy universe.

It tell their epic adventure,quite literally, and their quest to find the meaning of existence. It leaves you with the true purpose of reading: triggers your imagination and more questions than answers. Not sure I could say it had an impact but that’s my all time favorite.

To really answer the question, Sapiens is really making an impact – thanks for lending it to me!

What quote, or saying, do you live by?

Don’t do to others what you would not want them to do.

I must believe in Karma somehow.

Also, if you’re not happy with something make a change, it’s tough but I really believe in will power.

How do you remain, or regain, your focus?

Tough one…

Perhaps two ways. One, Get the steam out through sports. Going for a run and pushing yourself for instance is helps to get rid of the noise.

Other way is really to step back and ask myself a few basic questions like:

  • Do I understand why am I doing this?
  • Is what I’m doing in line with my core values ?
  • Am I sure I’m not hurting or doing damage through what I’m doing?
  • Am I learning something, making an impact or contributing to my goal?

If the answers are no, then usually I make a change.

What inspires you?

People who stand to a set of core values regardless of what they do, who they talk to, how high they go in the corporate ladder…consistence in behavior is what guides me,  and therefore I guess inspires me.

What are your top three priorities?

Be happy / be healthy / be successful (towards my goals)

What’s the biggest misconception about you?

People think I could be cold and distant (at least at first sight). It’s just that I like to listen first, also when I have nothing to say I’ll be quiet, very simple. I have empathy therefore I need to listen, have time and question things.

What two purchases have you made this year that you really value / had most impact?

I’ll cheat and pick one made last year: a campervan. With a quite intense lifestyle at work, having two young energetic kids, sports and friends…the only thing I want to do in my free time is driving to a wild location (be it next door or far away) and enjoy the luxury of simple living with my family – no planes, no fancy hotel, just the bare minimum to visit and explore.

Second one is a bike I can use to ride with my kids, meaning not a full on carbon, clips-on, racing bike. Just a normal bike to go and visit with them. Of course it goes on the campervan every weekend and holidays !

Top tips for someone who wants to do what you do?

I do plenty of things so I’ll take assumption it’s generally about my lifestyle, work, hobbies. Do what you enjoy and makes you happy as long as it’s not to the expense of others, respect your core value (don’t fool yourself) and you do it until you achieve what you set in first place (does not need to be the best, just your personal achievement). Set step by step goals and reach them, it helps making your wishes a reality.

Always question your « routine » so it does not become one. Embrace change and make it positive. Make good around you, it’s changing the world in a concrete way. Be persistent, resilient but don’t be stubborn, accept failure and adapt. Have fun and find in everything an opportunity to learn !

What are you most proud of?

Every single new achievement or skill learned from my kids. Nothing more fulfilling than transmission – whether it’s reading, cycling, cooking or simple how to behave with others. Exhausting but fulfilling.

An unusual habit of yours?

Nothing unusual to me of those who know me!

What do you do every single day?

Of course not when traveling for work I eat with my wife and kids. Breakfast and dinner. Cooking and eating with my family is the single best moment to share, discuss, be together and disconnect from the rest.

 Bastien, thank you so much for taking the time do to this. Your answers are refreshing, and speak a lot of truth about knowing what’s important, doing what makes you happy, and prioritizing what really matters to have the best life. 

His Key Advice:

  • Embrace change and make it positive. Accept failure and adapt. Have fun and find in everything an opportunity to learn!
  • Always question your routine so it does not become one.
  • Know your core values, and stand by them no matter what you do, where you go in life or who you are talking to.
  • If you’re not happy with something make a change, it’s tough but you can do it.
  • Happiness, health and family are top priorities and drive most of your happiness. Don’t neglect them.
  • Set step by step goals and reach them, it helps making your wishes a reality.
  • And most importantly, do what you enjoy and makes you happy as long as it’s not to the expense of others

If you want to follow more from Bastien and see his outdoor adventures, wildlife pursuits and van travels, you can find him on Instagram (@Bast_bp) or if you want to really learn from someone genuine and driven in business, you can seek out his LinkedIn.

 

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