Sports & Health

The Everest challenge: A chat with Marc Hodulich and Jesse Itzler

October 25, 2023

The Everest challenge: A chat with Marc Hodulich and Jesse Itzler

Marc Hodulich and Jesse Itzler

Co-Founders of 29029, the Everest Challenge

Catch this enthusiastic and insightful conversation with the legendary duo, Marc Hodulich and Jesse Itzler.

In a recent Walker Webcast, I had the pleasure of speaking with Marc Hodulich and Jesse Itzler, cofounders of 29029, The Everest Challenge. In addition to cofounding 29029 with Marc, Jesse has cofounded other successful ventures, like Marquis Jet, which was sold to NetJets, and Zico Coconut Water, which was sold to Coca-Cola. He is also part owner of the Atlanta Hawks and the author of a NYT bestselling book, Living with a SEAL. Over the past two decades, Marc has been an entrepreneur, management consultant, and endurance athlete.

What sets 29029 apart from other endurance tasks

While many would love the opportunity to climb Mount Everest, most will never be able to do so.  For those who are unable to travel to Everest to make the summit, 29029 brings Everest to them. Each year, 29029 hosts several events where the company rents out private mountains for participants to climb as many times as they can over the course of 36 hours until they have scaled a total of 29029 feet, the height of Mount Everest.

However, 29029 is not just an endurance sport. If participants wanted to do an endurance race, they would go do a marathon or a triathlon. What sets 29029 apart from endurance races is that it presents an excellent opportunity to challenge yourself with the strain of climbing a mountain like Everest in an unknown, yet safe, environment.

When should you sell your company?

“When should I sell my company?” Almost every successful entrepreneur faces the same question at some point throughout their career. Jesse’s a veteran in answering this question successfully, having sold several companies throughout his life. He also watched his wife, Sara Blakely, recently sell her company, SPANX, to Blackstone. Jesse shared that the right time to sell your company is when you have checked all the boxes that you wanted to check throughout your time running the company, whether they be philanthropic, financial, or political. Selling your company represents the closing of a chapter, which enables you to begin the next chapter.

The significance of having a driven business partner

At the end of the day, having the right business partner is key to running a successful business.  You could have the best business in the world, but if you have a bad business partner, there’s a pretty good chance the business will fail.  Marc and Jesse consider themselves very lucky to have found each other because they are both incredibly driven people who are willing to push past their own perceived limitations, whether that be in an endurance race or in business. This mindset has been what’s allowed them to create such large, successful ventures, both on their own and together.

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