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"Most men die at 27, we just bury them at 72." 

Mark Twain


Is that the story you want your life to tell? Most of us grew up with some kind of big idea about who or what we would be in life, what adventures we’d have, what we’d accomplish, things we would see and experience. But how many of us are actually living the life that we dreamed?

And why aren’t we?

Chris Barras is passionately committed to asking the hard questions, hearing the hard answers, and taking up the challenge of life change. And he knows a thing or two about change. 

He calls himself a "perpetual starter". In 2005, at the the age of 29, Chris quit his comfortable desk job, left his office with a view, and went to work for $8 an hour, slinging lattes and wiping down tables at a local coffee shop, because he had a dream to pursue. The next year, he and his wife and their two young boys moved to Richmond. Two years later, while supporting a family of 5 on a barista’s salary and raising funds for a startup, they opened a playplace and coffee spot in Carytown, called Cartwheels & Coffee. One month later, they realized their dream when they opened the doors on Area 10 Faith Community, a non-denominational church that meets in the historic Byrd theater. In the 9 years since, in addition to leading Area 10, Chris has started a non-profit dedicated to advocacy and action for kids in foster care, developed a life-change seminar and begun writing a book. 

And in many ways, he’s just getting started. 

All of this dreaming and starting is fueled by Chris’ desire to live a life of adventure to the very end. And he wants to help you do the same. But daring to change isn’t easy. It usually takes tremendous pain or compelling vision to get us there. And usually, it’s both. 

Chris’ mission is to help people and organizations move from pain to vision- from stuck to starting something new, while living a life of adventure and purpose.



— Keynote —

Unstuck: Turning who you could be into who you are

Are you stuck? Start telling yourself a new story. 

We all have a story about the way things are and about why they are. We tell our stories to help us make sense of the world and to understand where we fit in it. But what if the story you’re telling is keeping you stuck? And what if that story can change? None of us can change history, and we can’t control the market or other people. But we can change how we relate to our work, to each other, and to ourselves. And changing the story is the first step toward changing your life, your relationships, your organization, and your future.

Let’s re-write your story together.

In this keynote, Chris digs deep into the anatomy of transformation, sharing how and why people change. Using interactive, hands-on prompts, he will help orient you to the now—why you are where you are—and crystallize your vision for moving forward. Offering several practical tools, this engaging keynote will illuminate your path to producing new and different results for you and your organization.