Pat's extraordinary life includes more than its fair share of triumphs and disasters, both as a businessman and adventurer. There were many highs, but there were low points, too. His stories of survival against the odds in business and his adventure life inspire tens of thousands of people every year.
As a businessman…
Pat weathered booms and busts, and over his life as an entrepreneur he experienced the hunger for success, the yearning for more, the disappointment of failures, and the satisfaction of achievement. For his success, Pat also suffered great costs personally and to his family in a rags to riches story that finally led to a contented, balanced life.
As a world-renowned adventurer…
Pat has lead multi-lingual, multi cultural teams into the highest, coldest, harshest, most remote and beautiful places on planet earth. Places where even a small mistake in planning, communication or teamwork and decision-making may cost the ultimate price: DEATH.
As a concerned citizen of the world…
He has seen firsthand a changing planet. These changes hold frightening consequences for us as humans: the effects of global warming, climate change, population explosion and the destruction of ethnic cultures by colonizing forces.
Pat’s life has been a roller coaster: colourful, unique and definitely varied right from the start.
From an early beginning
At only seven years of age, Pat’s mentor and grandmother Mary B. O’Callaghan set him up in his first business. Mary purchased a baby’s pram for Pat to collect second hand clothes for her to sell. Pat then turned his pram to further good use by collecting turf (a fire fuel) from a nearby coal merchant, and selling kindling from his fathers building yard to old age pensioners. At the age of ten Pat was the wealthiest kid in his area and had a thriving business.
A hunger for success
With a hunger for success and business, Pat left school at just 15 years old “to become a millionaire.” His occupation began as a bricklayer. With enthusiastic zest, and with mentoring from his father, Pat had 20 people working for him in a construction company by 17 years old. At the age of 18, he became a property developer in a rising market, and within a year was building over 200 houses a year.
From here Pat followed his dreams and goals with focus, determination, passion and belief. By the age of 21 Pat had achieved his objective: he was a millionaire. Life and business were moving fast. Success after success led to him becoming one of Ireland’s leading young business entrepreneurs. Then, when Pat was 29, Ireland entered a severe recession. Pat took his eye off the ball, overtraded, and cashflow dried up. The banks, who had given an umbrella while the business climate was fine, took it back while it rained. Pat lost everything and went broke. This period of life was traumatic for Pat and for a short period he lost his self-confidence, self esteem, and in turn got depressed. But with belief from family, friends and the business community he bounced back with even greater vigor. The lessons Pat learned would help lead to future success in business, and in an unforeseen and exciting new career. From a state of depression and total loss of self-esteem, new ideas took form. Bouncing back at the age of 29, he launched a finance company, rebuilt his construction and property development firm and at 40 retired from the construction and property market to lead a life of a different kind.
A new beginning
To relieve the stress of his dire circumstances, Pat took up hill walking and fell in love with the challenges it presented him. On only his second climb – reaching the summit of Ireland’s highest peak Corran Tuathail – he was so stimulated that he turned to a friend and (with a glint in his eye) declared he was going to climb Mt Everest. Of course everyone thought he was crazy and just a dreamer. He would prove his critics wrong. He took the disciplines learned from his business career and adapted the skills required to succeed in his new career. He trained hard and learned all the techniques required, not only to be an efficient and competent mountaineer and adventurer but also to become a world-class expedition leader. He honed his skill by climbing with people that had a similar passion for self-sufficiency in the wilds. He perfected his technical skills in being a member of the Kerry Mountain Rescue Team for 9 years, and became involved in a number of spectacular rescues.
A journey of adventure
A new course began to unfold that would take him from the depths of depression to rebuilding his self esteem and confidence, leading to a lifetime of adventure all around the world. With renewed determination and focus he rebuilt this new business, and went on to complete over 65 thrilling and exciting adventures around the world, crossing glaciers, mountains, deserts and jungles to make his dreams a reality. As an expedition team member and leader Pat has climbed on Mt Everest four times, reaching the summit twice, crossed Antarctica to the South Pole, traversed Greenland over shifting ice flows, as well as completing many more life-changing expeditions. He also became the first person in the world to have twice reached the highest peak on each of the seven continents, including Mt Everest from both Nepal and Tibet.
The exploration of man
Pat also lived with and studied over 20 tribes of people world-wide, from western man, to nomadic tribes in Africa, to the stone-age tribes in the jungles of West Papua New Guinea. From them, he has discovered fascinating similarities and traits in all of mankind: to challenge, to change, set goals, and to achieve. Among these various tribes and cultures he has studied what exactly has driven man to succeed since the evolution of our species.
Never one to rest on his laurels, Pat has since formed many exciting new businesses and adventures that keep him busy and stimulate his keen interest and passion for people, places, and wildlife.
Pat is Ireland’s leading motivational, inspiration and business speaker and CEO of Pat Falvey’s LIFE LONG LEARNING development courses and training modules for the corporate world. He is a business consultant in team development and in achieving maximum results.
Taking all the experiences of his lifetime in business, extreme adventure, travel and leadership, Pat has created a no-nonsense formula for success. He and his team of corporate trainers have developed a range of presentations and courses that encourage people and companies to realize their full potential.
Pat is CEO of Ireland’s premiere adventure company, Irish and Worldwide Adventures. With his team of dedicated staff, they offer expeditions, treks, and skills courses as well as walking, wildlife, holistic, de-stress and fitness tourism holidays and activities in Ireland and around the world.
Golden Circle Adventure Club
Pat is the founding member of the Golden Circle Club, which specialises in adventure for those of mature age. Believing that life really begins after fifty, Pat and his team have developed specialised adventures in travel, fitness tourism, education and wildlife. These activities cater for all fitness levels for age groups over 50 – from beginner to those that are more experienced travellers or adventurers.
Pat Falvey TV and Film Productions
Having spent a lifetime in business, adventure and exploration in the most beautiful, remote, awe inspiring places on planet earth and with a variety of different tribal cultures, as a natural extension of his knowledge of these wild places, Pat has developed media partnerships to bring the magic and adventure of these experiences to the general public.
He now works with partners in Ireland, Washington DC and South Africa as a producer and presenter, as well as a safety and location logistics consultant to develop and produce educational, environmental and adventure documentaries and videos. See also Works in progress at the bottom of this article.
Four part TV Series, Beyond Endurance
A story about ordinary people setting themselves a target that most would say was impossible. The program follows their journey as they prepare, train, and endure some of the harshest conditions known to man. They retrace the journey that Ernest Shackleton made across South Georgia to save his men stranded on Elephant Island in the Antarctic.
The controversial ad for participants read “Ordinary men and women wanted for extraordinary expedition; we train you may die.” Seven thousand people applied and 32 where chosen to make this adventure the biggest group ever to undertake this task.
The message was clear: with a good team, belief, passion and leadership we are all extraordinary given the right circumstances. Nothing is impossible given the right conditions. Through sheer determination, positive attitude, self-belief and passion for life. Pat has conquered negativities and the fear of failure by always having a go for it attitude and has achieved his ambitions in all he has set his mind to. Go to our Gallery to see this series.
Adventure Based Learning for Youth
Pat founded the Beyond Endurance Adventure Based Learning Experience (BE ABLE) under his Corporate Social Responsibility Charter, which uses exploration of the outdoors to create awareness of global issues, climate change, population explosion their affects. He also hopes to encourage active citizenship in young people, and in particular to nurture an understanding and interest in science and technology.
Education for children, Freddy T. Bear
Pat, with friends Dr. Clare O’Leary and Mary Curtin set about developing the character Freddy T. Bear. Freddy has a loyal following of over 220,000 children as he chronicles his adventures on expeditions around the world. This adventure bear is an innovative approach to teaching children (and adults) the geography of the world. Through Freddy’s adventures and discoveries, as relayed in his journal, e-mails, photographs and video coverage, children can learn about the cultures and traditions of the countries he visits. His travels have taken him to many countries around the world, including Nepal, Tibet, Peru, Argentina, Chile, America, Antarctica, Canada, Norway and Europe. He has completed the 7 Summits Challenge and many other adventures alongside his mentors Pat Falvey and Clare O’Leary. Freddy is also an educational initiative by Pat, Clare and Mary to teach children to have dreams, goals and aspirations and not to be afraid of failure. Freddy is 7 bear years old, lives with Pat in Kerry, and has written a number of books with Dr. Clare and Pat.
European Adult Education Project
In September 2009, Pat and his team successfully established a research partnership with eight universities and research institutions across Europe, funded by the EU Lifelong Learning Program and are coordinating the two year EU-funded Grundtvig Programme Project.
The purpose of the project is to build a consortium of experts that will share their knowledge and expertise about informal adult learning in various EU countries. The emphasis of the project will be making various subjects available to the public (adults) through informal learning contexts such as long-distance courses, internet courses, environmental parks, natural history museums, science centres, galleries, nature trails and others.
Corporate Social Responsibility Program
Under Pat’s awareness program he has been heavily involved in numerous charity projects and has helped raise over 750,000 euro in Ireland over the years. He is also patron to the Suicide Aware Charity in Ireland as a mentor to help others see that in life there is always hope.
AwardsPat and his teams have also been presented with many awards and accolades for their contribution to the environment, education and human endurance including:
Polar Medal, presented by Mary Crean O'Brien the daughter of Ireland’s unsung Polar hero Tom Crean. In honour of being the First Irish team to trek to the South Pole.
Cork Person of the Year 2008
Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year - Nominee for Special Category Social Entrepreneur.
On three occasions, Pat and his teams have been honoured by the President of Ireland for leadership, endurance and national pride for their unique achievements.
There have been numerous other civic awards for Pat and the teams he leads on expeditions around the world, in recognition of his leadership and the successes of their achievements.
National PPI Radio Awards “Ask the explorer” won a bronze award in the category of Specialist Speech Programme. Explorer and Adventurer, Pat Falvey, answered questions put to him by presenter Deirdre Walsh and by school children from all over Kerry - about the expedition which he successfully led on foot to the South Pole. Pat stated, “I am delighted that in a small way I can contribute to education through this form of program, and I’d like to thank those at Radio Kerry for the initiative of running with this idea of “Ask The Explorer”, which gave children an insight into Antarctica, its history and wildlife in an exciting format.”
Inspired Information Technology Awards.
Pat and his team won the Green IT project of the year 2008 at the Inspired Awards for their innovative approach to education and the environment during the Antarctic Voyage of Discovery.
Pat’s Beyond Endurance Education Program received an award under the Green IT Project of the Year for their TYACT project which links science, technology and active citizenship in Transition Year students by bringing them on an inspirational Voyage of Discovery to Antarctica. Students worked as research assistants with scientists on a three-week journey in Antarctica. These awards have now been established as the focal point in Irish information communication technology calendar, highlighting the achievement of IT executives and their teams in Ireland.
IT Awards were created by iReach to recognise heads of IT and their teams for their strategic role in helping to drive competitiveness, and place Ireland at the forefront of knowledge creation and IT innovation globally. In 2008 iReach recognised 12 category winners across the Irish marketplace representing all types of companies: government departments, SMEs, global multi-nationals and leading indigenous companies.
Books & TV
Reach for the Sky - Biography
A Journey to Adventure - Stories I never thought I'd tell
A photo journal full of the stories and images of Pat’s explorations. See our shop for more details
Works in progress:
Upcoming motivational and self help book:
We all have mountains to climb. The Psychology of Success, Finally meeting years of popular demand, this is a book that conveys Pat’s formula for success in people lives. "We all have an Everest no matter who we are and we all have the ability to make it a reality.” To be completed in May 2010.
The Three Poles Expedition - Documentary
Currently in progress. An adventurous, moving, motivational story with breathtaking imagery that will follow Pat and his team’s journey into the harshest, most remote and dangerous places on earth. The North Pole in the Arctic, The South Pole in Antarctica and the “third pole”, Mt. Everest. These journeys are man’s greatest physical and mental challenges and the book deals with the psychology, planning, leadership, team, training, history, and that the drive that challenges us as humans to achieve such goals. To be completed December 2010. Go to our Gallery to see more.
Pat Falvey has lived an amazing life by following his philosophy, which is:
"Believe in yourself, have dreams and goals, be positive, don’t quit, and change with changing circumstances. Go for what you want with all of your capacity, strength and tenacity. I believe if you have these attributes your dreams and goals will in life become a reality. My mentors have taught me this from a early age and I have succeeded in making all my dreams come true.” Pat Falvey