No surprise you clicked on the ABOUT link!
Whenever I discover somebody new and interesting online, it’s one of the first things I want to know too. Who is this person – really?
Are you a person who will feed me BS? Or do you show up with honesty and integrity? Can I trust what you tell me? Are your actions congruent with your words?
It just so happens that figuring this out is my professional wheelhouse as well. These are usually the first questions that run through my mind when I sit down with somebody to interview them on their lives and professions. For over 20 (gulp) years I’ve been paid to ask questions. Imagine that!
Pressed for time? Here’s my short bio:
Bettina Gordon is a journalist and adventurer. Originally from Vienna, Austria, she left Europe to conquer America in 1996 and never looked back.
As at ease in a pair of hiking boots as in a pair of high heels, she lives the life of a busy journalist while making time to shear sheep on a remote Australian farm or trek across the southwestern US visiting sacred sites with an Apache Warrior Woman.
Bettina has written for multiple leading European magazines primarily covering Wall Street, politics and notable celebrities, among them New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, NY Times bestselling author Daniel Pink, Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman, celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, AVEDA founder Horst Rechelbacher, health pioneer Dr. Christiane Northrup, investment guru Jim Rogers, self-made investment billionaire Ken Fisher, Whole Foods founder John Mackey, “Rich Dad Poor Dad” author Robert Kiyosaki and media icon Walter Cronkite and author Norman Mailer.
Bettina loves to spend time with remarkably interesting people and to “peek behind the curtain” to see what drives them to have the impact that they do. Here’s what some of these highly accomplished individuals have to say about her.
Bettina’s articles and travel stories have been published in international print and online magazines. She is also a documentary film maker. And total dog lover.
The Full Monty:
At the beginning of my career I was the speechwriter to a famous Austrian Industrialist – Georg von Mautner Markhof – who was also a member of the Austrian parliament. He was an older wise gentleman, with bushy eye-brows and an impressive collection of pipes. He was constantly cloaked in a cloud of sweet and soft tobacco and I usually smelled him before I saw him turning a corner. Once Georg asked me to research what seemed an impossible amount of information given my deadline of less than 30 minutes. “This is impossible!” I blurted out. He looked at me as only a sage could look at the rooky. He warmly, but sternly answered: “Impossible is a word you need to scratch from your vocabulary, Bettina.”
I am forever grateful for this lesson. That mindset gave me resolute outlook on life:
Journalism became my door to the world. It suited my genuine interest in people and their challenges and victories. I quickly was hired by the biggest media publications in Austria. This allowed me access to people I would otherwise not have met, let alone sit down with to interview. I became fascinated with human nature and studied hundreds of individuals I came in close contact with.
In 1996 I left my home town Vienna (and a bad relationship) to move to New York City to pursue my career as a foreign correspondent and columnist. I’ve written written for multiple leading European magazines primarily covering Wall Street, politics and notable celebrities, among them New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, NY Times bestselling author Daniel Pink, Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman, celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, AVEDA founder Horst Rechelbacher, health pioneer Dr. Christiane Northrup, investment guru Jim Rogers, self-made investment billionaire Ken Fisher, Whole Foods founder John Mackey, “Rich Dad Poor Dad” author Robert Kiyosaki and media icon Walter Cronkite and author Norman Mailer.
I also spent multiple days with inmates in an all-male prison in Helena, Oklahoma. For a story, of course. The guys taught me the secret oath of the Black Panthers, showed me Arian Brotherhood tattoos and allowed me a glimpse into life behind barbwire fences. Half of the time I had no idea what they were talking about. Frankly, I still don´t know the appropriate reaction to “No parole soon. I pissed dirty. AGAIN.” I have a hunch I was nevertheless popular with the prisoners.
For a little while I was head of communication for a Managed Futures fund in New York City. Money, status, long hours – the works. I tremendously enjoyed the steady and hefty paycheck. At the end, my longing for an independent lifestyle that fits my personality won and I left the office on Park Avenue.
I´ve raised money. I´ve lost money. I value it for the freedom it offers. And I remember well when I attached my own self-worth to the amount of dollars I made each month.
Three years ago I co-authored a book on corporate social responsibility called “CSR 2010” (published in German) and became fascinated with conscious capitalism and conscious business leaders. Curious? Check out ConsciousCapitalism.Org, for example.
I´ve dedicated over a decade to the hands-on study of consciousness, self-actualization and a variety of wisdom traditions. It all started in 2000 when I embarked on an amazing 10-day journey with a Native American warrior woman called Oh Shinnah Fast Wolf. It showed me how limited my science oriented and intellectual mind had been until that point and marked the beginning of my personal spiritual quest and huge growth spurt.
Subsequently I became a filmmaker, producing and directing the documentary “All is Made Beautiful”. The last decade was a natural and organic progression for me to focus my reporting on conscious business and lifestyle.
I launched this website on 11.11.11 so I will easily remember. First I focused on conscious business, lifestyle and travel. Then I – and as an extension also the website – underwent a pretty big personal growth spurt so that I re-launched on 3.3.13 with the current focus of “Explore the World, Discover Yourself.”
If I learned anything in my life it’s this: we discover our passions and strength when we DO things and get out of our usual lives and comfort zone and NOT when we stay home just thinking about it.
For me, traveling is not a frivolous pastime, but a conscious choice for personal growth and for furthering my career and business. Seriously, I have the best business ideas when I am on the road!
And that’s why I created this website: I wanted a place where I can find a fun mix of inspirational travel stories and life lessons from beyond the comfort zone and where I can read interviews with adventuresome business people that might possibly change the way we think about our own lives and work. Since you are here, I am assuming this is right up your alley, so join the community!
What I do for fun? I like to hang out in remote places of the world like the peak of the highest mountain of South-East Asia (in Borneo); an island as big as a New York 3-bedroom apartment off the Australian Great Barrier reef; a sheep farm in New Zealand where I was enlisted as a sheep sheerer; an 1860 like Rendezvous (a meeting of settlers and trappers) in the high desert of Nevada; the aforementioned all-male prison in Oklahoma where the inmates tamed wild mustangs; a hidden place in Bali where the infamous cock fights take place; and Ted Turner’s Flying D ranch in Montana, where buffalos roam free. Unfortunately, Ted Turner was not roaming free when I visited. He is still on my list of people to interview.
I deeply love animals and people. When I arrived in New York in ´96 I had no friends; no contacts; no office. I accosted people in the elevator of my apartment building to get at least some social interaction going. My neighbors, Joe and Marilyn, eventually became my surrogate parents. Joe walked me down the aisle at my wedding. He was a dignified stand-in for my beloved father, who had passed five years earlier with me at his side. My mother still hopes I return to Austria one day. I suspect that´s because she truly respects and loves my husband. I don´t blame her.
If you wonder what makes me happy: hand me a photo or video camera and turn me loose in a part of the world I’ve not been to before. For where to send cameras and tickets, please email me and I’ll hook you up!
With a big smile,