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Turning Your Passion Into Your Profession

By January 25, 2015January 31st, 20246 Comments

What can mined from the abyss that separates ordinary from extraordinary?

Although he’s never pedaled a single stage of the Tour de France as a professional cyclist, Mike Cotty has done things on the bike that would make even Jens Voigt (the consensus hard man of the pro peloton) cringe.

Here’s a taste. Last summer Mike rode his bike 1000 kilometers non-stop across 21 mountains in the Dolomites, Eastern Alps and Swiss Alps, from Conegliano, Italy, to Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France. That’s over 21,000 meters in elevation gain. That’s 54 hours of riding without sleep. That’s like riding 8 to 10 stages of the Tour de France without stopping.

How is that even humanly possible?

Mike also rode 684 kilometers for 30 hours straight across the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. A feat rivaled only by his 33-hour, 677 kilometer ride that ascended 16,000 meters of elevation gain across the Alps.

Obviously I wouldn’t characterize Mike as normal. Far from it. But there is a very relatable everyman aspect to Mike’s story that captured my fancy.

Mike’s path has hardly been linear, but today he is not only an extraordinarily accomplished athlete, he is a respected filmmaker, brand ambassador, media & marketing consultant and entrepreneur. Through his company Media-24, Mike creates compelling content and develops marketing strategy for top tier organizations like Mavic, Cannondale and the Cannondale-Garmin professional cycling team. Mike’s latest passion project is The Col Collective, a high quality online video resource dedicated to helping inspire and educate cyclists to reach the summit of the most spectacular mountain passes in the world.

Mike’s is also a path without ego, well grounded in a true desire to educate, positively impact and inspire people to overcome their own barriers. All these elements make for great conversation about passion. About pushing past that voice in your head that wants you to quit. About what is required to break through seemingly insurmountable barriers. And about the self-discovery incident to attempting something personally unprecedented.

This is a conversation about the value and importance of hard work over the life hack. About the pain, suffering, joy and pride that comes with embracing the journey. About living in balance with nature. About faith, having a strong conviction about yourself and the path ahead. And it’s about what’s required to turn your passion into your profession.

I sincerely hope you enjoy the conversation.

Peace + Plants,


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Production, music & sound design by Tyler Piatt. Additional production by Chris Swan. Graphic art by Shawn Patterson. Thanks boys!


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  • NateM says:

    Great podcast! One again inspired…especially to get on a bike and climb!

  • Benny says:

    Reading the introduction, and listening halfway to the podcast make tour de france a child’s play.

    I’m going to finish this podcast on my way home later today

  • Guy L. says:

    Very inspiring life story. Mike doesn’t look 35 at all. More like 25. đŸ™‚ Tall and lean like a pure climber.

  • Tommy F says:

    Incredible journey. Mike demonstrates such an ability to PUSH through, just when the mind and body are telling him to STOP. And hearing his path with food/nutrition has been “clean”.. ultimatly navigating him to a plant-based diet (Go RRP!).. it’s no wonder he’s had the fuel to continue and become victorious in manifesting his relatively inconceivable dream. Wonderful inspiration of the human spirit in action!

  • Jeff says:

    Hey Rich, great episode (again!). Just one little point, though. “Col” is not pronounced like “cole”, but rather like “cull”. It’s French for a mountain pass. Not meaning to be a snob. I live in the French alps, so it’s a very common word here.

  • slorunner says:

    Ha, my home country (Slovenia; small country, 2 million people) is mentioned at the end. Also, athlete from Slovenia, Miro Kregar, was mentioned on one of the previous episodes. Feels nice to hear that on the podcast that is made on the other side of the globe.

    I started listening to this podcast last year so I’m still behind, but great content almost every week. Keep up the good work, Rich.

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