The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nada Lena is the founder / CEO of Rise Up For You, a two-time TED speaker, a #1 bestselling author, and a leadership and career confidence coach. Nada’s time as both a college professor and a former top executive for an education corporation gave her an intimate understanding of how education, empowerment, and leadership fuse together for massive transformation. 

She has toured the world as a singer, has a Master’s degree in Administrative Leadership, and has coached and mentored 50,000+ individuals around the world on self-empowerment, career strategy, and soft skills.

Nada has been featured in media all over the world, has spoken on some of the most renowned stages, and her company, Rise Up For You, has been featured in and worked with brands such as CBS, LA Fitness, and Google.

Nada believes that in order to create change within our communities, companies, and households, we must first create change within ourselves because the world needs all of us at our best.


Check out the YouTube or podcast version where Nada Lena does the Win the Day Rocket Round, answering questions about her favorite quote, what advice she’d give her 18-year-old self, the one thing on her bucket list, and a whole lot more🚀


In this interview, we’re going to talk about:

And, if we have time, we might even be able to ask Nada about how she found herself performing in the Russian circus. 

Before we get started, remember that the right bit of inspiration can completely change the trajectory of someone’s life, so if there’s a friend or loved one who needs to hear this episode, share it with them right now. 

Let’s WIN THE DAY with Nada Lena!

James Whittaker:
Nada, it's great to see you! Thanks so much for coming on the show.

Nada Lena:
Thank you for having me!

To get started, why don't you take us right back to where it all began? Is there a particular memory from your childhood that's still so vivid for you today?

Wow, that's a huge question. Honestly, my parents and my background has been so amazing, and I would say that all of it really contributes to who I am today. One thing that really stands out that I write in the book is my mom always did affirmations with my brothers and I. So when we would drive to school, she would be in the front saying, "Today, you're going to be amazing."

And my brothers and I would sit in the back, "Today, we're going to be amazing." We would repeat all of these affirmations, which at the time, you don't know, "Why are we doing this, mom?" But as we got older, we recognized that it was really countering the negativity from the outside world.

It's very easy to latch onto something and just believe it. He really encouraged us to go do research, find the answer, figure out what fits for you.

So when a teacher or somebody said to us, "You're not good enough," we already had that affirmation on our mind that we were amazing. We said, "No, that's not true." And we would move that belief out of the way. So that was really, really important for us.

Your father came from a small village in Lebanon, and I know you've had a great relationship with both your parents. Are there any lessons, particularly from your father, that are still so strong and that you still apply today?

Yeah, there was two that I really apply today. The first one is that he always taught my brothers and I that, "No one's better than you and you're not better than anyone." It didn't matter if they were a teacher, it didn't matter who they were. And so he always taught us to love ourselves and put our best foot forward; to always treat everybody kindly, and you should always get kindness back. It doesn't matter who the person is. And that was really, really important.

Then the second is that he always had us question the world. Whenever we asked questions, he never said, "This is the answer." He really encouraged us to navigate, to explore, even when it came to questions about God and religion, like, "Dad, what's heaven?" He always gave us this very philosophical answer that really made us curious and wonder, which I think is very important today, especially with all the consumption. It's very easy to latch onto something and just believe it. He really encouraged us to go do research, find the answer, figure out what fits for you. And that was a game changer.

The power of independent thought.

Absolutely.

And teaching children the ability to solve problems seems to be so much more practical than the simple comprehension of facts.

Yeah. And it created conversation — conscious conversation — and that's something that we had a lot of growing up. If we asked a question, then we ended up having a conversation about it. It was never a, "This is the answer, black and white. Now do." There was always something going back and forth, which was, I think very important.

What did success look like to you when you were young and what career paths did you naturally gravitate toward?

Success for me, even when I was younger, I really resonated towards kindness. I didn't know what that looked like in a career when I was younger, but when I got into high school, I really took to music and I started singing in choir. And so instantly, I was like, "Okay, I to be a singer." That was my first career that I wanted to take. Now, I wanted to be Britney Spears at the time! But that didn't happen. So I went to college, I got my bachelor's in music because I wanted to follow that path. And then that catapulted me into my first career, which was as a performer internationally.

At 19 years old, there you were, ready to tackle the world stage as a performer. What did that career on stage teach you about the power of the mind?

Everything. It taught me everything about emotional intelligence that I talk about today. And people skills came from performing, because there's a discipline to it, a really strong discipline. So what I realized and hopefully the audience and everyone that's listening resonates is, at some point, everyone's technique is the same. You walk into a room, there's 1,000 singers, and I'm like, "Well, they're all really amazing singers, so who's going to get the role? How do you determine who gets casted?"

People skills came from performing, because there's a really strong discipline to it.

And so the art of discipline was really, really honed in at a young age. There would be times where the other performers would be partying and doing all this stuff, and I would be in my practice room till 2:00 AM or 3:00 AM, practicing the songs, memorizing the songs, looking in the mirror and trying to critique myself as if I were the audience member.

I would watch myself sing and then say, "If I was in the audience, I don't know if I would like that or if I would be entertained by it." So discipline was a huge thing that it taught me, but also just that emotional intelligence, because there were so many times where I was performing in an audience that didn't speak English. Therefore, what I was saying out of my mouth or singing didn't necessarily connect because the language wasn't connected. So then how do I make an impact? How do I create any inspiration or change, simply by using my eyes, body movement, tone of my voice, or the emotional connection? That was really critical.

Yeah, the ones in my experience who have the most charisma and confidence come from a background in performing. In an earlier episode, we had Emily Fletcher [founder, Ziva Meditation] who — like you — has this amazing presence. The discipline of doing those reps for many years behind the scenes provides those skills that you can then take to so many other areas.

Yeah, and you have to be on all the time. If I do a show 100 days in a row, it's the same show, but I have to remember that my audience is different every single night, so I can never be on autopilot, because I have a new audience, a new energy, something new that's always going to happen, whether or not I'm singing the same song. And so that was really important to understand like, how to show up.

You're a walking billboard. I learned that as a performer, I was a walking billboard. Especially in Japan and Russia, I would walk and there would be a huge poster of my face on the circus building, which I'm sure we'll talk about later. And I'm like, "Wow, everyone in the city has seen my face for the past month." So you just have to be really conscious of that.

Let's talk about it now! How did you find yourself in Russia performing, and what was the craziest thing that happened?

The performing arts organization was invited to go there and perform. It started with a really small group. There's only about six of us. Typically, we tour with a group of 40, but only six of us were invited to go and perform. And we basically did a two-hour show with six people.

More pressure!

That was the hardest show I've ever done! I was singing and dancing and changing. It was intense. But when we got there, they booked the show in a circus that was a full-time circus, so we were the act. We went in there and we performed. But it was so wild because as we're standing there getting ready, there's tigers and cages right behind us and we're just looking around and I'm like, "What's happening?" All the animals were still there in the cages and we have our microphone getting ready to go out and perform. So it was super interesting.

You started your TED Talk singing a song, which I thought was very cool and certainly unique. That TED Talk is called ‘Commit to Workplace Transformation: People Versus Profits’ — we've included a link to that in the show notes, so everyone reading this should check that out.

Even with your extensive career as a performer, how nervous were you to walk on stage singing a song to begin your TED Talk?

I have never been more nervous, honestly! Doing a TED Talk is like a marathon for runners — you really have to prepare and prepare and prepare because you have to stay on topic. It's being recorded. You get one opportunity to make sure that you're getting that message across. So it was pretty intense.

But I had to really channel my dad and remind myself when I was a performer when I was younger. He taught me that whenever you are nervous, people may or may not disagree with this, that it's actually a selfish quality. And I remember asking him, "Why is that?" And he said, "Well, the second you go out on stage, it's no longer about you, it's about the audience. Otherwise, you can speak and sing by yourself at home. But now when you're making that conscious decision to say, 'I want to step out on stage and deliver my message and impact people,' now it's about people."

The second you go out on stage, it's no longer about you, it's about the audience.

And so I remember doing that TED Talk, I was really, really nervous right before I went on, because they chose me to be first out of the 14 speakers. They were like, "You're going to be number one." I'm like, "Okay."

My legs started shaking, so I started doing squats. Then I just remembered what my dad said. I was like, "You know what? This isn't about going online, this isn't about anything other than the 150 people who are in the room right now. I want them to really understand this message because it's so needed." Instantly, the nerves just calmed me.

I remember when I started speaking years ago — which was after my performing career — I would get nervous to speak. I'm like, "Why am I getting nervous to speak but I never get nervous to sing, never?"

So I thought, "You know what, when I speak, I'm going to start by singing: a) Because it'll be engaging. People are going to wonder what the heck is happening; and b) Because it's an instant nerve reliever for me." So it's like another strategy for me to really get in the flow of speaking.

How interesting! I never would have thought about that. And most people sing in the shower or in the car, everyone is comfortable singing, so that's a really great tip.

Obviously, you do a lot of work on stage, speaking, appearing on podcasts. And when you're approaching a situation where the stakes are very, very high, they could be very influential or significant moment for you or for your career, what is your routine to get in your optimal state for that beforehand?

First, I always remind myself that it's about value. I never want that value to go away, that it's about serving and adding value. So I really try to take away any unnecessary pressure and remind myself that it doesn't matter what the outcome of it is. What matters is that in the moment, I'm going to provide as much education, as much service as possible to give back. That's the thing that's always on the top of my mind.

The second thing is, I do a power mantra, and it's something that I teach my clients. I'll look in the mirror before I walk in. I was in the car before I came in here, I looked in the mirror, I was like, "All right, you got this. Be your best, put your best foot forward, add value." That's it.

And I do that all the time. I talk to myself all the time in the mirror, whatever I need to do. I'm not afraid of that.

Yeah. It's really, really powerful. I'll do something similar where I take a deep breath, think about what success looks like, what energy I want to bring in, and what the optimal result is from the situation.

Obviously, success leaves clues, and there are themes for people to pick up about taking that pressure off you and instead transmuting that into the value and service that you are going to have for the audience. It's just so powerful.

Yeah. Well, at the end of the day, that's what it's about. And I think that when people can really shift that mindset to be an educator, that's how I think about, I'm coming in and providing education, and hopefully it adds value. That really makes a shift on how you deliver. Again, it takes the lens off of you onto, what do you need right now? And whatever you need is what I'm going to do.

So much of your confidence seems to come from your upbringing and your work as a performer. If you were working one on one with someone who had literally zero confidence, what steps would you take them through to get them heading towards creating bulletproof confidence?

That's a great question. The first thing I would do is something called reverse engineering. See, most of us, our thoughts about ourselves and our confidence, it's an accumulation of our life. And we know that. It's our experience as a child, it's the first job that we had, it's the first relationship that we were in, it's the teachers, it's the people that surround us.

What we forget sometimes is that, over time, all of those experiences and people, they've had thoughts about us. And a lot of times, we believe those thoughts and then we carry them as we get older. In order to rebuild confidence, because we're all born with it, we have to peel back all these different layers to understand: where did these thoughts come from that hinder our confidence? What are the different experiences that we've had that have impacted us today?

In order to rebuild confidence, because we're all born with it, we have to peel back all these different layers to understand: where did these thoughts come from that hinder our confidence?

Then we need to break those down. So the first thing we need to do is reverse engineering. It's not easy, but it's really important for us to understand that this journey is evolving and it's not meant to be easy. It's meant, for you to really have that self-awareness and understand, "Why do I have this thought? Where did it come from? Is it still serving me or is it hindering me now?"

And now I get to make that conscious decision of, "I don't want this person, place or thing to keep affecting me," and then break that down.

People from the outside looking in might think you have this amazing confidence and that you never have any bad days. You and I know that every single person on the planet has bad days. How do you handle it when you wake up and you're just feeling off or there's something in life that's knocked you off course? How do you handle those bad days?

You've got to have expectations for yourself that are okay. So I acknowledge it, and I allow it, but I have a standard. I say, "Okay, if I wake up one morning and I don't feel great, fine, I'm going to take the day off," but I'm not going to allow myself to take three weeks off or a month off or a year off of where I'm just constantly waking up that way. So I really acknowledge how I feel, I figure out where it's coming from, then I try to make the shift if I could pinpoint why I feel the way I feel, but I wake up once a month and I'm like, "Oh wow. I just feel really tired. I feel really beat up today." I'm like, "Great, I'm not going to do anything today. I'm just going to relax. I'm going to maybe watch a little bit of Netflix or go get my ice cream," whatever I want to do.

And I think that's so important for people to allow that to happen. I know people that go for years without doing that for themselves, and it's just not realistic. We're all human beings, we're not robots, so we need to have those self-care days and we need to be able to acknowledge them within ourselves, and that's totally fine.

There's a word that you mentioned there: standard. It's about setting that standard and living by that standard. Even if you do have a bad day, as you said, one day does not turn into three weeks because for a lot of people, if you have that bad habit and you don't recognize that higher purpose for you, it's so much easier for that one day to turn into three weeks. But because you're extremely specific and clear on your mission and how many people you want to impact, which for you is 50,000 people through coaching and mentoring.

Yeah, more than that now. That was about three years ago, but we've done so much great work in the past couple of years with the company. But even with my thoughts, I do the same thing. We all have negative thoughts. It would be ridiculous to say that people don't have self-doubt, everybody does — Tony Robbins, Oprah, it doesn't matter who it is — but it's being able to, again, set that standard of, "I'm not going to let that negative thoughts sit in my brain all day long."

Even if I get upset, it's like, "All right, Nada, you got one minute, feel the feeling, get upset, throw a pillow, do whatever you need to do." But then after a minute, it's like, "Move past it. Find a solution. What are the next steps?"

In your book — I'm holding it right here, so you can see it if you're watching this on YouTube. In your book, you mention that the greatest tragedy is wasted human potential. Why is it that so much of our potential goes to waste?

It's really about confidence. So it's that question, how come some people are more successful than other people? Well, again, at the end of the day, at some point, your knowledge and your technique cap. But what makes you push beyond that? It's your ability to take action.

I know so many people, and I'm sure you do too, James, that are super qualified, they have 10 million degrees, a ton of certifications, but they're still stuck, there's resistance when it comes to action. Ask yourself, professionals that are climbing the career ladder, entrepreneurs, people that want to build their own business, so many people that want to do things, but they don't. It's not because they don't have the knowledge, it's not because the strategy is not there.

It's being able to set that standard of, "I'm not going to let that negative thoughts sit in my brain all day long."

Anybody can go on Google right now, there's a ton of books. You can figure out how to take action and do something, but why aren't we taking the action? That's the resistance that we need to find out, and it typically comes from a lack of confidence, self-confidence, or fear.

I know a lot of people will say, "Well, just jump into it and do it. You just have to motivate yourself, or you're lazy." But that's not actually it. When people don't take action, it's because there's something there that's resisting them to move forward, and that's what we have to figure out. And in most cases, that resistance is a thought of, "What if I'm not good enough? What if I fall short? What if I fail? What if someone makes fun of me? What if I don't do a good job?" And those are the things that hinder us from taking action.

When I ask people, "How come you didn't build your business that you wanted to build that you told me three years ago?" They say, "Well, I don't really have time." I'm like, "Yeah, what's the real reason? What's the real reason that you don't have it, because you can always make time?" They say, "Well, what if I don't do well?" It always comes back to that confidence piece — that self-confidence factor — and that's what we have to master so that people can take more risks and really start to take more action.

And what I love about the work that you do is, it's going back to the root cause of all those things, which enables that sustainable change.

Sustainable change, yeah. And I call it macro versus micro confidence. And I talk about this in the TED Talk, and I actually talk about the greatest tragedy is wasted human potential because we don't push ourselves forward: a) Because we have blind spots, so we don't know what we don't know; and b) There's that fear that stops us from taking a step, even though we know it can be such a powerful step in our life, we stop ourselves because of 'what if?'

I always say that many of us live in the past or we live in the future. When we do that — when we have one foot in the past and one foot in the future — we piss on the present. We sabotage the moment to really take action, and it really comes back down to the thoughts that we're feeding ourselves. When I first started building my business, I didn't know anything about business, nothing, zero. I didn't run a business, my degree wasn't in business, but I still took action because of that confidence that I had in the inside that said, "You'll figure it out. You'll figure it out. And if you really want it, it'll happen.

How does someone recognize how much potential they have and what can they do to unlock their full potential?

Yeah. The first thing that I would do is, you know this, is, who you surround yourself by a super, super important. I always talk about having a personal board of directors or a counsel — five people in your life who you can trust that are going to give you honest feedback. So the first thing that I would really recommend is, first figure out your assessment of yourself. Is it accurate or is it not accurate? So there's a lot of people, for example, that think that they have really low confidence or that they're not great at what they do, but then you ask five people that know them well, and it's the complete opposite. So I think the first step is understanding what are your strengths and what are your weaknesses, not necessarily from your perception, but from five to seven people that you really trust, because you're going to be surprised what they tell you.

When we do that — when we have one foot in the past and one foot in the future — we piss on the present.

There's going to be things about yourself that you wouldn't have recognized. And so that's the first step, is understanding, "How do other people view me?" Of course, they have to be people that you trust, otherwise it can go south really fast. And we do this with the leaders too that we work with as an accurate self-assessment. We actually do a 24-point emotional intelligence assessment. They take it on themselves on empathy, confidence, coaching, mentorship, motivation, all these different competencies, and then they pass it on. And you'd be surprised when they get the results back, they think, "Wow, I didn't know I was that great of a coach. I gave myself a four, I got 10s across the board."

And that's really the first step to understanding what are some of those hidden gems that you have that you might not be able to see?

The second thing is really having an honest conversation with yourself and then building that self-awareness. So if I were to ask anybody, "Write down what your ideal day is and what you want in your life," and then what they're actually living, it's quite different for many people. The first step is knowing what you want in your life, and writing that down. Then asking yourself, why do you want it? And then how do we take steps to get there? And what are some of those little comfort zones that we have to break through in order to get you there? And I think that's really important.

That's where that self-awareness comes in is, if I want to build the business, but I'm not, why? Because building that business might be that extra push in your potential, because you don't know how to do it, you've never been there, but why aren't I doing it? And that helps us push our potential.

Awareness, relationships and feedback. You can do incredible things in the world with those three attributes.

The personal development industry is one that's morphed into different variants over the years. Is there anything that personal development industry as a whole should be doing to start creating more sustainable transformations for people?

I love this question. Strategy. It's all about strategy. And I think that's one of the reasons why we've resonated so well with our community and just with our team, is that self-help, we have to make it tangible. It can't just be "Wake up in the morning and be your best, just be motivated" because we know that doesn't work. It doesn't work for the average person, but there really has to be strategies and clear steps and tools. I like to call it a toolbox that you can go into to really change the behaviors, to change the cognitive behaviors. And that's really going to be critical with self-help. So it's, "Okay, great. We have this morning routine one, two, three and four that we do every morning, but then how do we stay accountable to that morning routine?"

For me, I really think of self help and anytime we deliver self help, I also deliver it in the same way I would a business strategy or a marketing strategy is, what are the actual tools and tips that we can use to implement, to make a shift in confidence, to make a shift in emotional intelligence to really move forward? That's how you build sustainability with self help.

And I always do it in threes. Everything that I do, there's always an empowerment part to it, because there's be got to be an emotional connection. There needs to be an educational part to it, because people have to understand the knowledge and the process. And then there has to be a strategy or an action plan attached to it.

So what are we talking about and how does that connect with you on an emotional level? Here's the education around it to you understand it, now, what are your next steps, so that in a week from now, the empowerment doesn't die down, or in a week from now, you don't have all these notes, but you're like, "What do I do with all these notes?" So it's really bridging them together and now having a plan that says, "All right, here's my step one, my step two and my step three."

There's something I wanted to share with you. On the show, in Episode 33, John Assaraf said, "Help the people who want the help, not the people who need the help." And in Episode 51, Yuri Elkaim echoed that. He said, "Often, those who need help the most often want it the least." And that's been a hard thing for me to try and understand over the years where naively, you think that you can go out there and help everyone.

How do you manage people who need help but you can tell through their lack of commitment that they're not willing to do the work or make the sacrifices to truly change?

This is such a great point, and I say this often in a similar way, that it's hard to change when you don't see the change that you need for yourself. Change is the hardest thing when you don't recognize that you need it. It's easy to say, "This person needs to change" and "This person needs to change." And then we can't see that we also need it. And I always say, you can't force anything, and that's the truth. You can't force, but you can always provide resources and hope that one day they meet you halfway. Everybody has their own process, and I think that's really important, especially in this industry with coaches and trainers as well, is that we also have to look with the lens of empathy.

Change is the hardest thing when you don't recognize that you need it.

So whenever we have a client or whenever we have somebody that wants to work with us but they don't want to, we know that they need it, but they're like, "Ah, not right now." There's always an empathetic lens of, "Okay, they're not ready yet. That journey isn't ready yet." And we see this with companies too. So we do a lot of work with corporations and we see team members that are like, "Oh, this is so amazing. We can't believe this is happening." And then we see team members that have resistance, "Why do we have to do this training on EQ? Why do we have to do this training on confidence?"

And it's not because they don't like it, it's because they might not be ready to do that deep dive. That's what we have to remember, is everybody has a different journey and sometimes it might just be not the right time to jump into that painful journey, or maybe they're not ready to admit that there's some things that have to be shifted and we have to allow that process to happen.

I think they're really good points. And also leading by example is something that clearly that you have done very well. Plus, if you keep one or two people in your network or in your circle of people who aren't willing to make that change, then rather than you falling down to their level, you can just continue to set that standard. Then when they're ready, they can open up and ask for that help.

Absolutely. When they're ready, and always just continue to provide value, even people that aren't ready, it's like, "When you're ready, let us know. But in the meantime, continue to grow yourself through these free resources or through these platforms?" Hopefully they come back. And most of the time, they do, and they say, "You know what, I wasn't ready a year ago, I am now. Let's do it."

You built your company with only $100 in your bank account. If you were dropped in a random city today with only $100 and a laptop, so we'll give you a laptop and a good internet connection, and you didn't know anybody, how would you spend that $100? And what actions would you take to grow your business as quickly as possible?

Wow. How would I spend that $100? Honestly, I would probably spend it on croissants and coffee!

I was going to say, "I'd probably start with a good coffee!"

Croissants and coffee! And cafés are the best places to build relationships. That's probably where I would start. I would probably bounce around from café to café, connect with people and meet people. I built my company with $100, but with thousands of relationships that I built.

I will never ever forget when I first started building it, I didn't have a name in this industry and I didn't know anything about business. I launched the podcast and I just sent these emails and I said, "I'm new, I don't have any followers. No one's listening to the podcast, it's just launching, but I would love if you can just share your message and add value."

99% of the people, and they were big time people, I wasn't just picking anyone, they said, "Yes!" They said, "You know what? Yeah, we're going to support you." So I would probably spend that $100, again, being in coffee shops and maybe buying a croissant and a coffee for someone here and there and just building relationships.

You've been able to achieve so much personally and professionally, but is there a particularly dark day that stands out for you on the life journey or the entrepreneurial journey that you're open to sharing with us today?

Yeah. The company came from it. When I was a performer and I got tired of performing, I came back and I was an executive as you mentioned earlier. And I was 27 years old when I was an executive. I had 200 people under me, and I did that for many years. Then when I got a little bit older, about four years later, I decided to resign. I resigned from the company, I sold my house on the lake, I had a brand new luxury car, boats, all the things that we think are success, I sold it all and I moved out of the country to get married. After two weeks, my husband decided he wanted a divorce and I lost everything.

So I went from a high functioning executive to $100 in my account and two luggage, is all I had. And I remember coming back on the plane and I was just shocked, embarrassed, crying, not really sure what just happened. All I knew is that I was going back to California. And I didn't tell my mom because sometimes parents, they feel more pain for their child than their child feels for themselves — I'm sure you can probably connect with that.

When I came back, I didn't have anything, I had to start over, but I had to remember, again, going back to that confidence is, "Well, I still have my mind, I still have my health, 10 fingers, 10 toes. I still have my two brothers and my mom. I can do a lot with that."

My father has passed, but he came to me when I was coming back on the plane and I was crying, and he said, "Everything you need is already inside of you, you just have to rise up for you." That is now the name of the company: Rise Up For You. So when I came back to California two weeks later, I started building Rise Up For You. I was like, "All right. I don't know what it is yet, all I know is that I would just want to help make an impact." And I've already been doing it before that with performing as an executive, but I did it in my way. So I started building the company.

After two weeks, my husband decided he wanted a divorce and I lost everything.

But what most people don't know, James, is that three months after building Rise Up For You, three months after coming back, three months after billing the company, my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer out of nowhere, and she passed away nine months later. So the first year of building Rise Up For You, I built it in a hospital, and I was taking showers at the 24 Hour Fitness across the street because I didn't want to miss anything. And I literally would sit in the hospital with the laptop up all day and all night sitting next to my mom and just building the website, interviewing people in the podcast.

I would run to the car and just do it there. And that was obviously a really hard and difficult time, but you can push through. If you have a bigger vision and you use your pain as fuel for growth, and you understand that confidence in you, that everything you need is already inside of you, you will survive.

Thank you for sharing that. I know that's obviously been a very difficult journey. Did that phase in your life give you an enormous amount of empathy for other people that you're able to help today?

A ton of empathy, because I'll be honest with you, empathy is something that is not a natural for me. Coming from a Middle Eastern family, my father from a third world country, I grew up with more of a mindset of, "Just do it. What's the problem? Make it happen. Why are we complaining?" But that's not realistic. So, really empathy was a huge component that built with me. But another thing is really understanding what success is. I remember when my mom passed, I'm the only girl in the family, the next day I was cleaning out her closet, and all these Louis Vuitton bags, all this jewelry, all this clothes that was passed down to me.

And it was that moment that I said, "I'm 31 years old, and I just lost my second parent. This means nothing to me. So what is success? What does it mean to build a life that you're proud of?" And that was the biggest shift for me. They say that sometimes when you have a breaking, there's an awakening. That was the biggest thing for me is, what does success mean? Is success the cars, the house, all this stuff that we think that so many of us work towards and then we get there and we're like, "I still don't feel happy. I still don't feel fulfilled"?

It was really understanding what success means on a whole level, a whole level. So career, self-worth, relationships, your community, building a lifestyle that you love, health and fitness, all of these areas, what does that mean? And I think that was really important. So I always ask that question is, what does it mean to live a life that you're proud of? And are you taking steps every single day to live in alignment with that?

Organizational culture is huge for you, can you give us an example of what it looks like when a company gets it wrong from an organizational culture perspective?

That's a big question. Well, the first indicator is employee turnover. When we work with companies that say, "We keep losing people," well, there's a reason why you're losing people, there's a reason why employees are turning over at a fast rate. We once worked with a company and they were losing people left and right, and I said, "Do me a favor, go to HR and ask them how much you spend on employee turnover." And they came back and they said, "HR stopped counting years ago because it was in the millions." I'm like, "Well, that's the problem! There's the problem is that if you have that much employee turnover and it's costing you so much money, you got to get to the core of why they're leaving." That's the first indicator that a culture isn't working the way that it should be working, and it's actually costing companies a lot more money than they realize, millions and millions of dollars every single year.

If you have a bigger vision and you use your pain as fuel for growth, and you understand that confidence in you, that everything you need is already inside of you, you will survive.

The second thing is if they're not developing and mentoring their people, a lack of communication is the biggest thing where you say, "Just do." There's got to be modeling, there's got to be wellbeing. We really have to grow our employees. We're no longer in this time period where the person comes in, they punch in, they clock in, they work and then they leave. The reality is that the professional is the person and the person is the professional.

So every day, whether you're a CEO or entry-level position, the human being is coming to work and human beings have a ton of stuff that they're dealing with, stress, kids, bills, medical things. All of these things come into the workplace, and as a company, if you're not acknowledging it or at least trying to support it, then you're really doing an injustice to the whole entire culture.

There's a Robin Williams quote I read recently, "Everyone that you see is fighting a battle that you know nothing about, so be kind."

What's an example of a company, or anyone that stands out of someone who's really nailed that organizational culture that really gets it right today?

I'm not going to say their name just for disclosure purposes, but there's a technology company that we absolutely adore that we work with. What they've done is they have actually infused it into their culture. It's a non-negotiable. For example, every single month they do an all-team training that has nothing to do with their technical skill. So it's emotional intelligence, confidence for the individual, how to have conscious conversations, stress management, all things that just have to do for the own personal individual to make them better. And all the team, it's mandatory, they come like clockwork.

Then they invest in their team with coaching. So then their individuals get one-to-one coaching. Then the executives also get consultation and coaching. What they're doing, which is the most important thing that we don't see a lot, is every single person in that company is getting developed. It's not just my leaders need coaching, or let's just start with the leadership team. Every single person feels like they matter and they feel like they're being developed in a way that's beneficial, not only to them, but also to the company.

When companies only invest in training that's only beneficial to the bottom line, to that dollar, team members don't do well with that. We have to also let them know, "Hey, we care about sales, but we also care about your mental health, we also care about your wellbeing, we also care about your confidence." And they're really doing it right. Every one of their employees is speaking the same language. They talk about EQ, they talk about confidence. They're able to keep each other accountable. They say, "Hey, let's try to be more empathetic." They're adopting the language and the strategies.

For many years, the prescribed definition of a company was to maximize profits for all its shareholders. How do we align individual interests with corporate interests? And is it possible that by focusing on people first that you can actually increase profit well above what you did previously?

That's the key, and that's the motto of Rise Up For You, is where people come first. Because when you pour into your people, your people pour into you. It's just like when you are a teacher, when I was a professor, when I was an executive, whenever I poured into a student and I was like, "You can do this. What do you need? How do I help you," they wanted to work harder for me. They wanted to get the A. And I didn't want them to do it for me, but they did because they saw that as a teacher, I cared, so they were like, "You know what, I'm going to do my best in this class."

What they're doing, which is the most important thing that we don't see a lot, is every single person in that company is getting developed.

And I had students all the time that said, "You're the only teacher I do all my homework for, or that I'm getting straight A's in." I'm like, "Why is that?" "Well, because you care and you give, and then that makes me want to give." It's the same thing in the corporate environment. When a leader pours into their team beyond just the numbers and the benchmarks, how are you doing? How can I support you? What do you need to grow? That employee is more susceptible to come to work feeling motivated and excited that there's a growth journey for them. People want growth, whether they're in their own company or whether they're in a corporation.

The reality is there's a lot of people that don't want to build their own company. I work with a lot of clients that are like, "I have no interest in building a business. I want to work for somebody. I just want to work for somebody that's kind to me, that grows me. I don't want to feel stagnant." And that's really the key.

How does someone in a massive company find meaning in their work? And is it up to the company to be able to initiate things, or should it be done at an individual level?

I think it's individual. And I talk about this a lot: personal leadership. You don't need a title to be a leader. Every leadership title I've ever gotten was because I was a leader before I got the title. When I became an executive, I didn't start as an executive. I walked into that corporation and I was just a normal team member, but I thought like a leader. I would walk into meetings and raise my hand and say, "Have we ever thought about this? What about this strategy?" Two months later, I was promoted to an executive. Two months. And so it's not about the title, it's just about you making an impact, so how can you make an impact?

Every single person can make that impact even when they're in a big company, you just have to start by raising your hand, and also by understanding your values. One of my values has always been just to contribute and add value. So even if I was a new team member, that was my value. So in a meeting if I wanted to say something, I would raise my hand and say, "Can I ask you a question? Can we talk about this?" And that initially it makes you a leader. It's all about the mindset.

From all the lessons that you've got on confidence, career, and organizational culture, is there anything that's applicable of it can be transferable to success and happiness in the home?

All of it. And that's the biggest thing is that we sometimes live in a world where we separate ourselves. We're like, "This is the workplace, this is my home life." But they're all the same, they're all connected. That is really the key. That's what success is for me. It's building a lifestyle where everything is in alignment. What I do at work, I'm the same Nada when I'm at home, I live the same type of life. And I think that's really important. So the values that you have as an individual, you have to have those same values when you're in the workplace.

You've coached and mentored now more than 50,000 people around the world. What's your process of helping your clients step into their best self and start getting some big wins in business and life?

Clarity first. I always ask these five questions. First, what do you want? And specificity is key. Second, staying power, which comes from knowing why you want to do this. Third, how are you going to get there? Fourth, who do you need to help you get there? So that personal board that I was telling you about, that council. Then, finally, what do you need to say "No, thank you" to in order to get there? So what do we need to remove out of our life to help us stay on track and stay focused?

You've worked with young people who have been in juvenile facilities for committing, in some cases, some very serious crimes. How has your perspective changed since you began that work?

Yeah. I have done a lot of volunteering in juvenile detention centers and working with unfortunately young men and women 13 to about 19 years old that have committed murder, really, really harsh crime. For me, it's always been about humanity, and the one thing that I can really affirm too, is that people will rise to the occasion when they're treated with kindness and like a human being.

That was the biggest thing. We would go in there and work with these kids and there was no hope, and they would act really tough and be like, "Argh!" and try to scare you. But then the second I was like, "How are you doing?" And I just connected on a human level, you'd be surprised, instantly consciously they would be completely different. And I cannot tell you how many times I've left the jail and a young man has stood up and said, "Thank you for treating us like human beings, because we don't feel like animals right now."

Every leadership title I've ever gotten was because I was a leader before I got the title.

When we treat somebody that way, whether they're in a jail or not, they're going to continue to act that way. When you treat somebody with kindness and you show humane kindness to them, they're going to act like a kind human being back. There's going to be hope, and they're going to see that there's more to their life, and they're not just some animal caged up in jail. And I'm pretty resilient when it comes to working with people because of these experience, because I'm like, "Hell if I can help a young kid who committed murder shift, then somebody that is living in a house with a job and a car and has A, B, C and D, I can help them too."

We are in an increasingly digital world, where things are moving faster than ever. What are the top skills required to succeed in today's world? And what is the role of soft skills in this new world we're in?

I would say the number one skill above all is emotional intelligence. And the reason why I say that is because part of emotional intelligence is something called AI, which is adaptability intelligence. And you're right, the technology's moving so fast, but the reality is that in five years from now, technology is going to look very different. And so the thing that's going to keep us moving forward is our ability to adapt, which is a soft skill, it's emotional intelligence. I know so many people right now that have amazing technical skill and they're like, "Oh my gosh, I have to go get this new certification because everything is changing and it's going to continue to change."

That's why I believe that the soft skills are more important than the technical skill, because when you have soft skills, you can learn the technical skill. You have that adaptability quotient or that adaptability intelligence to say, "Growth mindset. All right, I have to pivot, I have to make a shift."


Check out the YouTube or podcast version where Nada Lena does the Win the Day Rocket Round, answering questions about her favorite quote, what advice she’d give his 18-year-old self, the one thing on her bucket list, and a whole lot more🚀


What did you learn about yourself in the last two years, with the world shifting from covid?

That's a great question. What have I learned about myself is that I'm an activator, and I think I always knew that, but I guess I didn't know how fast I can work at making that happen. So when covid hit, for example, we were doing everything in person with so many people, and then everything shut down. And I think he was in the matter of two days where I said, "All right, let's go online." Just remember staying up and creating all these programs and building all this digital stuff within a matter of a week, and then it just took off and it continued to grow and launch. So I think that was one thing that shocked me is how fast I made the switch. Literally, within a matter of week, everything was functioning online.

How do you balance that hunger for future achievements with happiness in the present?

It's all connected for me. I really believe that we are put on this planet to elevate the human condition. And so everything that I do that's work, it's not really work for me, it's part of my lifestyle, and I really, really love it. And again, for me, there's not a number at the end of the outcome. It's not, "I'm going to do this TED Talk because I have to hit a million viewers." It's, "This is a great opportunity to share a message and hopefully somebody can resonate with it and make it impact from it." I'm also like that at home, I'm like that with my brothers, I'm like that with my fiancé, it's all the same.

When I walk into a market, I try to be as kind as possible. And sometimes if I'm not, I'll go back, I'm like, "Sorry. That wasn't my best." No one's watching me, there's no camera on me, but I think for me, happiness is all connected and it's being free here and being free here, and no matter what you do, you're going to have that happiness because of it. And also your values, what do you want in your life? And I've always been really, really clear that I want to live a life where I can explore, I want to live a life where I can help people, and I want to live a life that's in alignment with me.

And I do that every single day. If somebody comes into my life and asked me to do something that's not in alignment. I say, "No, thank you."

Having the courage to say no enables you to have the right energy and focus on the things that you really need to do.

Yeah. Even with corporations and clients, even when we have clients and corporations that aren't in alignment, if it doesn't feel right, say, "You know what, I really wish you the best of luck, but we don't have the same values, and we can't treat our employees the way that you are right now. So when you're ready to make that shift, come back."

Final question, what's one thing you do to win the day?

Every morning, I have a success routine. I wake up, I enjoy a cup of coffee in silence, I don't do anything. Then I write in my journal gratitude for the day and my intention for the day, I sit in silence, meditate and I exercise, and it really helps me jump into the day.


Remember, it doesn’t matter what you know, it matters what you DO with what you know, so get out there, step into your brilliance, and take some purposeful action.

That’s all for this episode! Remember, to get out there and win the day. Until next time…

Onwards and upwards always,
James Whittaker


Resources / links mentioned:

⚡ Nada Lena website.

✔️ Nada Lena on LinkedIn.

📝 Nada Lena on Facebook.

📷 Nada Lena on Instagram.

🎤 TEDx Talk ‘Commit to Workplace Transformation: People VS. Profits’ by Nada Lena.

📚 ‘Rise Up For You’ by Nada Lena.

📖 ‘A New Earth’ by Eckhart Tolle.

🚀 Win the Day group on Facebook.

🎙️ Have a podcast of your own and want to learn how to monetize it? Learn more about We Are Members, the world's #1 community for podcasters who want to generate attention, engagement, and sales for their podcast.

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our guest today is Nada Lena, who is the founder / CEO of Rise Up For You, a two-time TED speaker, a #1 bestselling author, and a leadership and career confidence coach. Nada’s time as both a college professor and a former top executive for an education corporation gave her an intimate understanding of how education, empowerment, and leadership fuse together for massive transformation. 

She has toured the world as a singer, has a Master’s degree in Administrative Leadership, and has coached and mentored 50,000+ individuals around the world on self-empowerment, career strategy, and soft skills.

Nada has been featured in media all over the world, has spoken on some of the most renowned stages, and her company, Rise Up For You, has been featured in and worked with brands such as CBS, LA Fitness, and Google.

Nada believes that in order to create change within our communities, companies, and households, we must first create change within ourselves because the world needs all of us at our best.


Check out the YouTube or podcast version where Nada Lena does the Win the Day Rocket Round, answering questions about his favorite quote, what advice he’d give his 18-year-old self, the one thing on his bucket list, and a whole lot more🚀


In this interview, we’re going to talk about:

And, if we have time, we might even be able to ask Nada about how she found herself performing in the Russian circus. 

Before we get started, remember that the right bit of inspiration can completely change the trajectory of someone’s life, so if there’s a friend or loved one who needs to hear this episode, share it with them right now. 

Let’s WIN THE DAY with Nada Lena!

🎞️  For the video interview, click here.


Resources / links mentioned:

⚡ Nada Lena website.

✔️ Nada Lena on LinkedIn.

📝 Nada Lena on Facebook.

📷 Nada Lena on Instagram.

🎤 TEDx Talk ‘Commit to Workplace Transformation: People VS. Profits’ by Nada Lena.

📚 ‘Rise Up For You’ by Nada Lena.

📖 ‘A New Earth’ by Eckhart Tolle.

🚀 Win the Day group on Facebook.

In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”

- Eric Hoffer

Our guest today is Simon T. Bailey who is a Hall of Fame keynote speaker, bestselling author of 10+ books, and is in high demand from some of the world’s most recognized companies to help them transform their customer experience. 

But you probably know Simon from the Goalcast video that went viral in 2018 and has since amassed almost 100 million views.

Simon’s SPARK framework is based on 30+ years’ experience in the hospitality industry, which included working as Sales Director for the Disney Institute, based at Walt Disney World Resort. He was recently awarded a Doctorate of Science in Business Administration for his global impact. 

Simon’s purpose is to disrupt people’s mental habits so they can lead countries, companies, and communities differently. And, as I’m sure you’ll notice, there’s a level of authenticity, positivity, and calm that helps Simon instantly resonate. 

In this interview, we’ll go through:

Before we begin, remember that the right bit of inspiration can completely change the trajectory of someone’s life, so if there’s a friend or loved one who needs to hear this episode, share it with them right now. 

Let’s WIN THE DAY with Simon T. Bailey!

🎞️ For the video interview, click here.


Resources / links mentioned:

⚡ Simon T. Bailey website.

📙 Shift Your Brilliance by Simon T. Bailey.

✔️ Simon T. Bailey on LinkedIn.

📝 Simon T. Bailey on Facebook.

📷 Simon T. Bailey on Instagram.

🚀 Win the Day group on Facebook.

📚 An Enemy Called Average by John Mason.

💚 The Go-Giver by Bob Burg.

🎙️ Have a podcast of your own and want to learn how to monetize it? Learn more about We Are Members, the world's #1 community for podcasters who want to generate attention, engagement, and sales for their podcast.

In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”

Eric Hoffer

Our guest today is a Hall of Fame keynote speaker, bestselling author of 10+ books, and is in high demand from some of the world’s most recognized companies to help them transform their customer experience. 

But you probably know Simon T. Bailey from the Goalcast video that went viral in 2018 and has since amassed almost 100 million views:

Simon’s SPARK framework is based on 30+ years’ experience in the hospitality industry, which included working as Sales Director for the Disney Institute, based at Walt Disney World Resort. He was recently awarded a Doctorate of Science in Business Administration for his global impact. 

Simon’s purpose is to disrupt people’s mental habits so they can lead countries, companies, and communities differently.

And, as I’m sure you’ll notice (if you're watching this episode on YouTube), there’s a level of authenticity, positivity, and calm in Simon that creates an immediate connection. 


Check out the YouTube or podcast version where Simon T. Bailey does the Win the Day Rocket Round, answering questions about his favorite quote, what advice he’d give his 18-year-old self, the one thing on his bucket list, and a whole lot more🚀


In this interview, we’ll go through:

Before we begin, remember that the right bit of inspiration can completely change the trajectory of someone’s life, so if there’s a friend or loved one who needs to hear this episode, share it with them right now. 

Let’s WIN THE DAY with Simon T. Bailey!

James Whittaker:
Great to see you my friend, thanks so much for coming on the Win the Day Show.

Simon T. Bailey:
Good to see you as well, thank you for having me.

Also, a big shout out to Dave Wildasin and the team at Sound Wisdom for reconnecting us. I know in addition to an amazing energy, there's going to be a lot of great insights from you today!

Can you take us right back to your teenage years? How was your experience at high school and what did success look like to you growing up?

I was a total failure! I was in the bottom half of the class that made the top half of the class possible, if the truth be told. My freshman year I failed all the classes. I went out for sports, got cut from the football team, cut from the basketball team. Went out for track and field, they said, "You're too slow, maybe try cross country." If I was in Texas right now, even though I live in Florida, they would say bless my little heart!

I ended up moving to another school, because my parents decided I needed a fresh start. That's where I met my English teacher Miss Rita Lankes, and she said to me, "Young man, I want you to write a speech and give it before the entire school." And that changed the trajectory of my life.

So that was the foundation for the speaking career, right then and there!?

Totally.

Wow. It never ceases to amaze me how having one person believe in you can completely change the the course of a life.

We put so much pressure on kids at such a young age to figure out what they want to do for the rest of their lives, when there's a very good chance — it sounds like it was for you, it certainly was for me — that they don't even know who they are at that point. How did your personal experiences in high school shape the way that you parented your own children through that phase?

Well, I'll be the first one to say, I was guilty of that. I've been saying to my children, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" And I recently had to apologize to them and say, "That's the wrong question." In a world of artificial intelligence, automation and Alexa, the question is, "What problem have YOU been created to solve?"

The question is, "What problem have you been created to solve?"

I had to apologize to my children because I was doing that very thing to them. And I think for me, what happened in high school, once I found my swim lane, number one, it built my confidence. Number two, it gave me the ability to wake up every single day to say, "This is something that I'm really good at." And then number three, I stopped comparing myself to everyone else. And that has really informed who I've become as an adult.

Can you take us into that moment when for the first time you truly felt like you could do anything that you set your mind to — that you actually had so much more power than you had ever given yourself credit for?

I think when I finally stopped feeling sorry for myself about following the traditional path of finishing college in four years. It took me 10 years. And once I realized I didn't have to do it the way everyone else had done it or the way everyone else said it should be done, I woke up and said, "Light bulb moment. That's it! When everybody zigs, I should zag." Conformity robs you of creativity. It's recognizing I had that power when I had the epiphany to say, "I'm good, I'm okay."

How much of an attribute is having a creative mind, even if you maybe are not doing the right things as far as your teachers or parents are concerned? Is that a really valuable skill for people to move forward with in the world that we're in?

Yes. In fact, LinkedIn says the number one skill that's required by entrepreneurs and individuals right now is creativity. Number two, adaptability. Number three, collaboration. But that creative ability gives you the choice to figure it out, to say, "How can I see what others don't see?"

Conformity robs you of creativity.

It taps into your imagination, that invisible world, where you begin to ask questions and become curious. And the moment you say, "How can we? What if?" It opens up a whole array of options to you.

You served as sales director for the Disney Institute based at the Walt Disney World Resort. What magic did you learn being part of the renowned Walt Disney family?

I learned three things:

  1. It's all about plussing up the experience. Plussing up the experience, as you know, is that when the animators are creating things, they look for that little something extra that's phenomenal.
  2. Train for success. Training doesn't fix what an entrepreneur, leader or business owner doesn't catch. So, Disney takes twice as long to hire someone because they realize that families have saved thousands of dollars to maybe come to Disney for once in their lifetime. So, they got to get it right.
  3. Never, ever settle for anything that's less than excellent. If you can't do it right and you won't spend the money, don't do it at all. Because if you try to cut a corner here, cut a corner there, it ends up catching up with you. Make the investment on the front end, and it'll pay off in the long run.

Yeah, it reminds me of that mantra "Everything is everything" which I'm sure you've probably heard about as well. It's so powerful.

Your SPARK Formula is really interesting, and you created it after spending more than 30 years in hospitality and specializing in the customer experience. When it comes to the customer experience today, what are the biggest mistakes that you see business owners make?

I'll give you an example. I took my car to be serviced at an auto dealership. When I completed the service appointment, the gentleman says to me, "Hey, you're going to get a link with a survey, if you can't give me a five, don't fill it out. Call me back and let me know." And I was like, "Dude, dude, that's not the behavior that they want you to have!"

You might go out of business, but they're going to have all five stars on the survey!

But think about it, the five stars was tied to him probably getting a bonus, getting his paycheck. And if it wasn't a five, his boss would have a meeting with him. That's wrong. That's not the behavior or mindset you want.

What about business owners out there who say, "Look, I just don't have the money or the resources to be able to focus so much on that customer experience."? Is having an amazing customer experience almost a prerequisite for anyone who wants to be in business in 2021 and beyond?

Absolutely. Every business owner has to begin to embed the chip of what great service looks like. Because if you don't, you pay for it in the end. Here's why. You become very transactional in dealing with customers. And customers can easily sense that they are seen as a dollar sign, not a long-term relationship. Because when it's a long-term relationship, you're looking for opportunities to exceed their expectation and make sure that they come back and that they Yelp about your brand.

Every business owner has to begin to embed the chip of what great service looks like.

The second thing is, everyone that works with you realizes you have a 'don't care' attitude, just give them whatever. And that's the attitude that they're going to have. Because it's not important to you, it's not important to them. And then sadly, customers begin to tell their friends about the experience that they did or did not receive from your brand.

Yeah, and it's much easier to spend that time on retaining an existing customer, rather than go and find a new one, right?

Yes, that's what all the research says.

You mentioned a bad example before. Aside from Disney, what other companies out there do you see who are doing it really well from the customer experience side?

I think T-Mobile does it right. I learned from T-Mobile that customer service is a department, but customer love is a mindset. And that customer love mindset looks for a way to say how do I own the customer experience? If I hear it, I own it. And I solve their problem quicker and faster and do it with a smile. I think the other thing that I learned from T-Mobile is finding a way to say yes, instead of no. Because when you find a way to say yes and go above and beyond, that customer's forever grateful.

How do you go about injecting the human as early as possible in the customer experience side with balancing profitability? There are some companies out there who drive me completely bonkers because I know a human can resolve the issue in five seconds, but sometimes the automated voice, the machine, can't even figure out what you're saying or where to direct you. You can spend 45 minutes waiting, when the very reason you're calling is because they billed you incorrectly in the first place!

Obviously the companies need to be profitable. How do they balance that profitability with providing a great customer experience?

They've got to listen to the voice of the customer and then actually do something about it. It's not as if customers don't give feedback digitally and online. Some companies just don't care. And they don't do anything about it. So, they kind of do the window dressing of, "Hey, we're concerned about customer satisfaction." That's a smoke screen. Underneath it all, they don't do anything about it. And then eventually it catches up with them because you realize online reviews are kind of on there forever. Then people really say, "They tell us they believe in great customer service, but they don't live it." And customers will see that disconnect and stop doing business with that business.

I believe companies who are really committed and businesses that are really committed, they are the ones who will win in the end.

Yeah, and I bet they're led by great people. People like Keith Ferrazzi, who joined us on the show for Episode 30, he's the number one New York Times best selling author of books like Never Eat Alone, talks about that often.

If you had to really narrow in on the Simon T. Bailey brilliance, what one or two attributes would you say have made you so successful and contributed to that prolonged success that you enjoy today?

First of all, I really care about people; I really care about those that I serve. It's just not lip service.

The second thing is I still operate with that Disney mindset. And it's look for an opportunity to create a magic moment, whatever that might be for the customer. It's in delivering consistency. It's in delivering consistency and I know that's not some big a-ha, but it's delivering consistency every single day. Not because I have to, but because I want to. And our team, that's just how we roll. That's what we do.

Yeah, and that builds trust. It means that if anyone is looking for someone else and you have an opportunity to fill that, they're going to say, "Simon and his team are a perfect fit to come on board." Without you having to do anything, you've got a whole bunch of frontline brand advocates out there to start driving business your way.

Totally.

As we mentioned earlier, you're an incredibly skilled speaker. Yet, people see the end result, but they don't see the reps behind the scenes. They don't see the years it takes of mastery of that craft to get to being able to seamlessly deliver a presentation in front of tens of thousands of people.

How did you turn yourself into a masterful speaker? And how has that skill aided your career?

One day I woke up and I decided to be myself. I realized that I had listened to Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn, Mark Victor Hanson, and Les Brown and all of the greats. And there was a piece of them in me, but you never got to me. So, one day I had the epiphany, and I said, "You know what, I'm just going to be me. I'm going to be my authentic self and I'm going to show up and tell my story and be in that moment." That's when everything totally shifted.

There comes a time when you no longer want to be an annoying echo, but you want to be an original voice.

John Mason, who wrote the book An Enemy Called Average, says, "Most people are born originals, but they die copies." And I was tired of being a copy, or as I said at the National Speakers Association almost 15 years ago when I was blessed with the opportunity to be the opening keynote speaker, I said, "There comes a time when you no longer want to be an annoying echo, but you want to be an original voice." And that was my wake up call to really begin to understand how to be my authentic self.

What is your process to get in your optimal state before you walk out on stage?

I think remembering what my therapist told me a few years ago as I was on this journey. Her advice to me was, "Whatever you don't deal with will eventually deal with you and will show up on stage!" And I was like, "Hmm." So, a part of my process is to always go within and say, "How do I serve, how do I connect and how do I leave it all on the stage?" Literally that's the process that I'm going through in my mind.

I don't know if you've ever been to Italy before and gone to the Sistine Chapel. But when you walk into the Sistine Chapel and you see what Michelangelo did, you're kind of like, "How in the world did someone do this?"

And the reason I share this with you is because after I saw the Sistine Chapel, I just said a little prayer. I said, "God, before I go on this stage, would you simply speak through me like you painted the Sistine Chapel through Michelangelo?" That's my prayer. And I just release it and every place we go I'm never disappointed. Because it's not me, it's the light, life and love of God that comes through me.

Yeah, and I bet that removes any element of ego that you have a result of that?

Totally! It's so not about me.

People often think, "How do I get in the state to be the hero?" But on stage, and in many other forums, it's not about being the hero. As you said, it's about the opportunity to serve, to connect, and to give people valuable takeaways that they can use in their own way.

And I bet that probably removes a little bit of the nervous side too, since you're out there as a conduit to serve, to help people help themselves. It's going to be a much better outcome when you can step into that energy.

Totally. I've had opportunities when the PowerPoint didn't work, where the mic was cut, and I had to switch to a handheld. And what I realized in that moment, you know what, here I am, this is real time. I'm perfectly imperfect, I'm flawed, I've made more mistakes than I can count on both hands. And when I decided to come alongside the audience from that standpoint, it made me more human and more relatable. Because I wasn't trying to stand up and be so perfect.

Things will happen. How do you show up in the moment, in that human moment, and still be real with individuals?

Being a leader on stage is about the best thing that you can do, I believe, to build your influence at scale. What are the biggest mistakes you see amateur speakers make who want to get to that next level?

Number one, trying to tell the audience everything you know. If it's Googleable, they don't need to hear it from you. But what's your insight into what information you are presenting?

The second thing is trying to do all that those who have gone before you said, "You got to do this," and, "You got to do that." What happens is you end up being a floor lamp of diffused energy that's pulled in a million different directions. You never become laser focused. And I made that mistake, so I'm not saying anything out of school here.

And I think the third thing that amateur speakers make is they feel that they have to say yes to everything in order to get established. There are some things that you should maybe turn down and pass onto others who are truly that subject matter expert. And because of the law of reciprocity, what goes around comes around, you give it away and another door will open for you to walk through that was meant for you. I can't tell you how many times we have just turned things down. I said, "That's not my fit, that's not what I do. But let me refer you to someone." And totally being okay and letting that go.

You've spent decades shifting people into their brilliance. How can someone find their purpose and how important is that purpose in long-term success and happiness?

Finding your purpose is starting with what's right in front of you. So many times people think they have to do something really big outside of themselves. And it could simply mean walking outside your door and asking your neighbor, "How can I serve you? What is it that you need?" That's where your purpose starts.

Purpose is so critically important because purpose gives you hope that wakes you up to live better tomorrow than you did yesterday. I think everyone has to really begin to think about am I living on purpose, have I tapped into my universal assignment? And if I haven't, why not? And that's where people have to start.

Purpose is so critically important because purpose gives you hope that wakes you up to live better tomorrow than you did yesterday.

Because the moment you find a purpose, you are never late, you're always early. When you find your purpose, everyone that comes into your quantum field, they know that you're in the zone. When you find your purpose, it's not about what you can get in the form of money, but it's about what you can give.

When you find your purpose, you tap into kindness, love, and goodness. Because any person that is truly living their purpose, they realize that I can eradicate evilness and hatred on the planet by coming from a place of love. Because love starts with you. And when you're in your purpose, you have found your deeper love and people can feel it and connect with it and sense it every time you open your mouth or whatever you're doing.

A big part of my work is moving people away from wanting to be a spectator in life into being more of a participant in life. In your experience, do you feel that the thing that holds people back from really wanting to serve others and lean into their purpose is because they're so caught up thinking that changing the world is an insurmountable task so why bother?

That little task that you mentioned of being able to walk outside your door, and whether it's your neighbor or a friend or someone else in your network, just being proactive about asking how you can serve them. That's a really great way that they can start to participate.

Absolutely. It's taking that bold action to say, "I start with myself, I ask my neighbor, then together we impact the community, the community impacts the city, the city impacts the state, the state impacts the nation." But so many want to change the nation and they haven't started with themselves. But if I start with myself, we may change the nation. I believe that that bold action every single day consistently in a straight line, one direction saying, "Here's what I'm going to do today."

Bold action every single day, that's why you're on the Win the Day podcast, Simon! I love it, my friend.

One of my favorite quotes of yours is, "Brilliance is a decision." What is your process to get someone out of a victim mindset (e.g. "I can't") and into more of a growth mindset (e.g. "I can")? How can we shift people to actually be accountable, to empower themselves to take ownership of their circumstances so they can not only unlock their potential, but they can also sustain it for a long period of time?

Everyone listening to us right now should go and get a sheet of paper and imagine that a story is about to be written about you because your picture is going to be on the cover of Time Magazine as one of the top 100 most inspirational people in the world. What would you say in this interview?

And I want you to write out all the questions, all the answers. If you have photos, incorporate that into this story of you. The moment you do that, what you're actually doing is you are reframing whatever you've been through, to get a snapshot of what you're going to. Because the moment you begin to focus on what you're going to, you stop worrying about what you're going through.

The moment you begin to focus on what you're going to, you stop worrying about what you're going through.

Every person listening to us right now, you rewrite and reframe the story, as James Allen talked about hundreds of years ago, as if it's already happening. Because this life is not a do over, this is not a dress rehearsal, you can't get back the last year. It's gone. However, it's informed who you are becoming. And I believe when you come for this mindset, you literally live on fire every single day to say, "I can't wait to attack the day."

Powerful stuff, Simon!

Out of all the people that you've worked with, is there a particular transformation that you're most proud of?

Oh my goodness, I have had almost a dozen people who have reached out to me over the last few years to say that they have increased their income to six figures, many have increased their income to seven or eight figures because of something they read, saw, or some coaching that we did. And I've just been humbled by that.

When I started this journey and left Disney, I wasn't sure this was going to work. I believed that it was going to work, but I didn't know these people would show up with these results. And I think what's even more powerful, many of them have understood the power of a good mitzvah, the ability to give a deed, to help someone else, to give a hand up and not just a hand out. And that just absolutely blesses my heart. Because I think that is so important to reach back and pull somebody forward.

In 2018, a video of you on Goalcast absolutely blew up. In it, you spoke about the relationship with your family and how the wrong focus almost cost you everything. How did it feel to see that video just with such a powerful message just spread like wildfire?

It's humbling because it was totally organic. No boosting, no strategic meeting to say, "Guess what? We're going to make this go viral." It's humbling because when you tell the truth, you don't have to remember what you said.

I have received thousands of comments from men who say, "I now understand what my wife was trying to tell me." And guys who perhaps they're a little bit further down the path and they said, "You know what, I wish I would have done something differently." I had a guy reached out to me, he says, "Hey, I'm on the verge of divorce. I watched the video." We were trading Instagram messages back and forth, and I said, "Make sure you get in counseling, try to save your marriage. You don't have to go through what I went through." It's been very, very humbling because I didn't see it coming.

I double down on being a better dad first, a business person second.

But one of the things that even to this day, I double down on being a better dad first, a business person second. Because it makes no sense to stand on a stage to tell anyone anything, and your house is jacked up. I think it's so critically important every single day to continue to do the work. I just want to be a better dad. That's my focus.

A metaphor you use in that video is that people put their ladder up against the wrong wall. In a digital world that's moving at such a frenetic pace, how can people figure out what wall they need to put their ladder up against? And how often should they check in to make sure their ladder is still up against the right wall?

I think number one, it's starting with what are your priorities: what's most important to you? Is it quality time with family?

Second, being intentional every single day to check in, to ask, "How are you doing? What's going on? What can I do?" And schedule an appointment. I know this sounds so crazy, but block your time to say, "You know what, this is family time. That's it." Point in case, my daughter who just finished her first year of college started a job. We decided that it's not time for you to get a car yet, so I'm going to take you to work. And I've had to fit it in my schedule between everything that I've got going on. But can I tell you, it's that ride to work that she and I get a chance to talk and catch up. And she's telling me about her world. That's what it's about right there.

There's a quote that I've seen you post that says, "In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists." What does that quote mean to you?

First of all, let me give credit to Eric Hoffer, who is a noted philosopher, that is his original quote that I share. What that simply means to me is that wherever we are right now, we have to continue to learn and unlearn. And begin to ask ourselves, "The learning that I had last year, I may want broadband results, but am I using dial up methods when it comes to staying on the edge of where things are going?"

I'm constantly channeling, saying, "Okay, we got to move in this direction." And the team knows that I have probably an idea a minute because of something that I learn or something that I'm interested in! And I'm like, "Okay, let's blow up what we're doing and let's do this." Because I think you understand, in the words of John Maxwell, how to fail forward by learning and trying something, not just sitting and waiting for it to come to you.

On this show, we like to keep it pretty real from a mental health perspective, especially because of what's been happening in the world recently. If you're open to answering this question, is there a particularly dark day that stands out for you, where you really questioned who you were or what you were doing on this planet?

Yeah. Obviously when the pandemic happened, I lost six figures worth of business within seven days. And it becomes very real when you have two kids in college and you're paying alimony. And it's kind of like okay, "Uh oh, what are we going to do here?" And the phone's not ringing, leads were not coming.

For a moment, if the truth be told, I got bitter. But then I said, "I got to live out what I teach and it's time to get better." So, we decided to host a series of virtual events free of charge called Spark Hope. And we had almost 1,000 people show up over the course of just a few weeks. And we decided that we would give to the World Central Kitchen and a number of nonprofits. We said, "Hey, here is the link, go and donate."

So, even in the midst of feeling like my business has just disappeared, I said, "How do we lift others up? How do we care and share?" And the moment we did it, all of a sudden, something just happened inside of me to say we're going to get through this. Because hope is a super power.

On your best day, when you're in your most optimal state, what is an affirmation that you would write on a flashcard that you could show yourself on your worst day?

I am Simon T. Bailey, I am brilliant, I am loved, I am cared for. And every single day, in every way, I am brilliant.


Check out the YouTube or podcast version where Simon T. Bailey does the Win the Day Rocket Round, answering questions about his favorite quote, what advice he’d give his 18-year-old self, the one thing on his bucket list, and a whole lot more🚀


Bravo!

As we mentioned earlier, relationships have been the single biggest forced multiplier for you and I to get to where we are today and all of the opportunities that we've attracted and continued to attract. What can people do to start identifying the right relationships to focus on, and how can they leverage them for long-term, mutually beneficial gain?

I think if there's a relationship you really want to connect with, think about the value that you can bring to that relationship. Just don't go up with hat in hand saying, "Can you help me?" Coming from that place to say, "How can I be in service to you?" That's the first thing.

The second thing is when you're looking to establish a relationship, do more than what is asked for. Find a way to go that extra inch. I had someone who I've gotten to know over the last few years and he has more money than he knows what to do with. But his birthday was coming up, so we decided to make a donation to a charity that he supports. And we just did it and a note was sent from the charity to him that we made this donation, we heard from him, he was elated. He reached out and said, "What can I do for you?" It's always just looking for another way to build that relationship.

When you're looking to establish a relationship, do more than what is asked for.

And I think the third thing to consider is to go back to a relationship who has given you feedback or advice and say, "Here's what I did, here was the impact," and, "Thank you. What can I do to return the favor?"

We have two questions now from the Win the Day community. We've got Danny in Sydney, Australia who asked, "What did you do with your children from a young age to build positive relationships, establish resilience, and put them on the right path?"

I took my children as many times as I could, on trips with me, to expose them to the world. The kids have been to Hong Kong, they've been to Singapore, and just exposing them to what's possible.

The second thing is a couple summers ago, I actually hired my kids to work for the company. They had to listen to podcasts, read books, read articles, watch videos that I had sent to them already curated, and then write a report. It was my sneaky way of them hearing the best of the best from others, instead of dad telling them! And I paid them.

We had another question from the Win the Day community, from Will in Brisbane, Australia. Will asked, "How do you make time for the special moments, when you've got both work pressures and life pressures and you know you can't drop the ball on either of them?"

Yeah. I would say well first of all, I love Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney! I've been to all three places. Australia is one of my favorite places in the world. Great food in Melbourne, by the way.

Great food and coffee, too!

I have an app called the Day One Journal that I use. And in that app, I'm constantly tracking how am I doing? What am I going to accomplish that day? And I might write down a word or two, but it informs my state of thinking and it sets the tone for the day. I just looked at my Day One Journal app, and I have almost 1,000 entries in it. Because it's that habit of going to it and seeing where I was this time last year, the year before, that allows me to say, "Here's how we're getting better." But then the second thing, it also holds me accountable to say, "You know what, you've been stuck in this rut of thinking and it's time to shift gears and think in a new way."

Final question, what's one thing you do to win the day?

Every single day, wake up and I take a deep breath. And I say, "I am so glad that I have this day in front of me." Because somebody laid down last night and they didn't wake up this morning. So, the ability to pay attention to your breathing and getting centered, that's how you win the day, every day.


Resources / links mentioned:

⚡ Simon T. Bailey website.

📙 Shift Your Brilliance by Simon T. Bailey.

✔️ Simon T. Bailey on LinkedIn.

📝 Simon T. Bailey on Facebook.

📷 Simon T. Bailey on Instagram.

🚀 Win the Day group on Facebook.

📚 An Enemy Called Average by John Mason.

💚 The Go-Giver by Bob Burg.

🎙️ Have a podcast of your own and want to learn how to monetize it? Learn more about We Are Members, the world's #1 community for podcasters who want to generate attention, engagement, and sales for their podcast.

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

Winston Churchill

Our guest today is a New York Times bestselling author, former professional athlete, and the founder / CEO of Healthpreneur®. As one of the world’s top business strategists, Yuri Elkaim has helped more than half a million people to take ownership of their health.

And his pathway to health and business seemed inevitable. After dealing with a host of health issues as a teenager, Yuri eventually lost all of his hair at 17 years old to an autoimmune condition. This, along with his passion for sports (which led him down the path of playing professional soccer in his early 20s), propelled him into the health and fitness field.

Yuri’s authentic and caring approach allowed him to build a successful online health empire, while providing him the platform to write three bestselling books and share his message on major media outlets such as Dr. Oz and The Doctors. In 2018, after 13 years at the helm, Yuri sold this health business to focus on Healthpreneur® full time.

With Healthpreneur®, Yuri and his world-class team help health professionals and coaches leverage the internet to turn their expertise into high 6- and 7-figure virtual practices that create transformative results for more people without the grind.

Healthpreneur®’s mission is to help health entrepreneurs make their dreams happen in the service of others and eventually leave a legacy where every man, woman, and child has the opportunity to become the best version of themselves so that they can wake up each day with purpose, contribute through meaningful work that feels like play, and live freely and abundantly.

In this episode, we’ll go through:

Yuri is a super accomplished guy and there's a ton of value in this one.

Before we begin, remember that the right bit of inspiration can completely change the trajectory of someone’s life, so if there’s a friend or loved one who needs to hear this episode, share it with them right now. 

Let’s WIN THE DAY with Yuri Elkaim!

🎞️ For the video interview, click here.


Resources / links mentioned:

⚡ Healthpreneur website.

📙 The Strong60 by Yuri Elkaim.

📝 Healthpreneur on Facebook.

📷 Healthpreneur on Instagram.

🎥 Win the Day with Gabby Reece (Ep 43).

🎢 The Dip by Seth Godin.

📖 The ONE Thing by Gary Keller.

🎙️ Have a podcast of your own and want to learn how to monetize it? Learn more about We Are Members, the world's #1 community for podcasters who want to generate attention, engagement, and sales for their podcast.

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

Winston Churchill

Our guest today is a New York Times bestselling author, former professional athlete, and the founder / CEO of Healthpreneur®. As one of the world’s top business strategists, Yuri Elkaim has helped more than half a million people to take ownership of their health.

And his pathway to health and business seemed inevitable. After dealing with a host of health issues as a teenager, Yuri eventually lost all of his hair at 17 years old to an autoimmune condition. This, along with his passion for sports (which led him down the path of playing professional soccer in his early 20s), propelled him into the health and fitness field.

Yuri’s authentic and caring approach allowed him to build a successful online health empire, while providing him the platform to write three bestselling books and share his message on major media outlets such as Dr. Oz and The Doctors. In 2018, after 13 years at the helm, Yuri sold this health business to focus on Healthpreneur® full time.

With Healthpreneur, Yuri and his team help health professionals and coaches leverage the internet to turn their expertise into high 6- and 7-figure virtual practices that create transformative results for more people without the grind.

Healthpreneur’s mission is to help health entrepreneurs make their dreams happen in the service of others and eventually leave a legacy where every man, woman, and child has the opportunity to become the best version of themselves so that they can wake up each day with purpose, contribute through meaningful work that feels like play, and live freely and abundantly.


Check out the YouTube or podcast version where Yuri Elkaim does the Win the Day Rocket Round, answering questions about his favorite quote, what advice he’d give his 18-year-old self, the one thing on his bucket list, and a whole lot more🚀


In this episode, we’ll go through:

Yuri is a super accomplished guy and I know you’ll get a ton of value out of this one.

Before we begin, remember that the right bit of inspiration can completely change the trajectory of someone’s life, so if there’s a friend or loved one who needs to hear this episode, share it with them right now. 

Let’s WIN THE DAY with Yuri Elkaim!

James Whittaker:
Yuri, great to see you my friend. Thanks so much for coming on the Win the Day Show.

Yuri Elkaim:
Absolutely James. Thanks for having me buddy. It's good to be here.

You've had some big wins in the holistic health space, and it's also what changed your life. But there's so much misinformation about health, particularly these days with the internet and the rise of influencers who mightn't have the necessary qualifications for the advice they're providing.

To kick things off, are there any myths that need to be busted about exactly what holistic health is?

How much time do you have!? We could be here for a long time. When I got into nutrition, the deeper I went into it, the more I realized I had no clue what was going on. And the thing is there's so many different approaches, and I think every one of them can work for different people. I found an approach that worked for me which was mostly plant-based, and I just felt the best. But I also know that there's a huge population of the earth that is very keto based, animal product based, and that's totally fine.

In my journey of having done that for so long, I came to realize that you need to do what's best for you. And part of that is experimenting with different things to find out what's going to resonate most with you. But I think even beyond our food choices is the energetic intention, or the energy that we feel in that pursuit.

Do what's best for you.

If you're sitting down and having a supposedly healthy meal, and you feel shame or guilt around that food because it's not organic or perfect enough, there's an energy around that's not going to be great for your body. Contrast that with someone who's going to have a beautiful grass fed burger with zero shame and guilt, and enjoying that. In short, it's not just what you eat, but it's how you approach what you eat. That was a big thing that I learned over the years, and that's how I approach a lot of my stuff now. I'm less fanatical about my diet now than I was back in the day, because I've recognized how important that energy and that intention is.

Just before your 17th birthday you noticed significant hair loss, and were subsequently diagnosed with the autoimmune condition alopecia. Can you take us into those circumstances and how it changed your mindset at the time?

Yeah, I think it was the Universe's way of giving me a bit of a kick in the ass to be honest with you! At the time, I was like the jock in a stereotypical high school movie. But I was nice to most people except my brother. I was a bit of a Grinch to my younger brother and I think the universe said, "Dude, we've had enough of this. Here's your payback."

My brother would tease me and he teases me now, "Hey, remember back in the day when you used to spend 30 minutes in the bathroom doing your hair?" And I was like, "Yeah. Good days." Just for context, my dad's Moroccan so there's a lot of hair, bushy eyebrows, hair all over. And in the space of a couple of weeks all of it was gone. And it was weird because I was in my last year of high school, and just seeing how people looked at me was kind of odd. They were like, "What's wrong with this guy? He looks like an alien or is he going through chemo, or whatever?" That really again was awkward, but I think I handled it pretty well. And I think I've always been very mature, even from a young age.

That experience really allowed me to recognize it's only hair man, come on, there's far worse that could be happening. I had friends and family members who were like, "Oh my God, is everything okay? It must be so hard for you." I was like, "Well, I mean, whatever, it's not the end of the world. There could be worse things." I think my perspective was really helpful. But it was also in retrospect a blessing, because that was the impetus that really got me into the health space. Because the solution the medical community had was, "We'll just inject your head with cortisone." I'm like, "Are you for real?" I didn't really get any solid answers medically. And that really prompted me into studying kinesiology, because I had a really big passion for soccer and fitness, and then nutrition to learn more about what was happening in my body.

And those two things really made a huge difference for me. I was able to regrow my hair back when I was 24, because of a lot of the changes I was making from a dietary perspective. I obviously don't have any hair now, that's because a number of years ago, long story short, took my son to the doctor, my doctor's like, "Hey, while you're here, why don't you just get a tetanus shot or a booster?" I was like, "Sure." I didn't even question her and within two weeks my hair fell out again. I simply mention that so everyone knows what's going on, but who cares!? I don't really think about it anymore. And I think it's a blessing to be honest, because it's allowed me to put things into perspective and approach difficult situations with a lot more grace and perspective. That's kind of how it all started.

That attitude to adversity is critical and, in my experience, it's the most important difference between ordinary people and extraordinary achievers. And what I love about your journey is you really had to take the reins yourself. You had to dive deep into the holistic nutrition and health space to start uncovering some answers.

How was that condition not really on the radar of all the previous medical professionals you had seen? Why was it on you as an individual at the end of the day to try and figure out what the hell was going on?

I'm sure there were some tremendous health professionals out there who probably did have a solution, I just didn't know who they were at the time. My mom exposed me to a variety of practitioners, medical doctors, immunologists, traditional Chinese medicine... I actually remember going to a traditional Chinese medicine doctor and I remember having this weird concoction of tree bark, and I made this huge vat. It was a tea and I still remember the smell of it, it wasn't pleasant. And I remember drinking that for months and I don't know if that helped. I don't know. We tried all sorts of different stuff, but I think being relatively young, 16-ish, it's not like I was living on my own, I had my own resources to go to find my own stuff.

I just started really introspectively doing some thinking and research. This is back in the day when Encyclopedia Britannica was still the main thing. Google didn't exist, I don't think. Now it would have been a little bit of a different scenario, but it really inspired me to want to learn more about why was this happening. Because I didn't have any answers. If I went to the doctor and they're like, "Well, there's not much we can do but we can do this." I had really bad eczema growing up as well. And I always remember the solution to eczema was just putting more cortisone cream on, and it was never dealing with the root issue. That never really made sense to me and I really wanted to figure out what was going on.

It was never dealing with the root issue. That never really made sense to me.

And that's kind what eventually prompted me to get into these studies, and doing a lot more reading, research, and experimentation. Then I realized for a lot of medical doctors, they know what they know, and they're very good at diagnosing and prescribing, in a lot of cases, medication. There's others that are a little more holistic and functional based, and they might have an alternative point of view. I traditionally resonated more with that because growing up my body was pretty much a toxic wasteland from just very bad food choices because I didn't know better based on what I was exposed to — antibiotics, vaccines, it was ridiculous. As I started learning a lot of this stuff I was like, "Huh!? Maybe this is starting to make sense."

Then I said, "Well, what if I were to do this, and maybe eat a little bit better, and remove some of these problematic foods." That was the journey. It was just kind of learning, and experimenting, and seeing how my body responded. And I quickly recognized that how I felt was a really important indicator of the overall health of my body. Because I was really tired for a long time, half my life I spent sleeping pretty much.

And that's why I went on to write the book The All-Day Energy Diet, because as I made these changes the most profound difference I noticed instantaneously was my energy level was through the roof. And it just so happened that as that energy went up, my hair started coming back, my health improved and I was like, "Huh!? That's good to know. Energy first, those other outcomes second." That was one of the really big discoveries in my dream for sure.

There are people who have come on the podcast who are very well-regarded professionals. And a big trend that I've noticed them saying is that you are your best scientist. We had Dr. Michael Breus, one of the world's top sleep doctors, on the show. On the benefit of sleep trackers, Dr. Breus said, "I would argue that how you feel when you wake up is much better than any sleep tracker." Being able to experiment firsthand, and see in real-time how you're feeling, made a big difference to you.

You mentioned energy levels. I worry there are people out there who don't know that a healthier life actually awaits because of their information, their lack of energy, and any other symptoms that they might have, or just what they are used to. And as a result of that they don't know any different. I know this seems like a bit of a simple question, but how should a healthy person actually feel?

Good. A funny thing is I never really used to drink coffee. And I was like, "Caffeine is the devil." And I still think it's not that great. I don't know what happened, but along the way I started enjoying coffee. I'm now one of those guys who has a coffee every morning now! But back in the day when I wrote The All-Day Energy Diet and I was going through this whole process, I recognized how does it make sense that people say, "I can't start my day without a cup of coffee?" I don't understand how that's normal, that shouldn't be a thing. You should wake up and you should feel good. And if you want to have a coffee it's not because you have to have one to feel normal, it's because you want to have one.

I think most people don't know how good they can feel because they've never felt that. It's almost like The Truman Show, the movie with Jim Carrey. He's in his own world, and at that one point in the movie he walks up the stairs, and opens the door and there's something on the other side. It's like this whole thing has been a set. That's kind of how most people live. It's like we don't even know what's on the other side of the wall until we've been on the other side of the wall. And then it's like, "Oh, wow! I feel a thousand times better."

That's really important because any one of us can say, "Oh, do this and you'll feel better." But none of us clue into that until we actually experience it. And I think one of the things that I was always really espousing with our clients was do this for two weeks, just see how you feel. And then you can go back to the way you were eating before or not.

And at that point it's your choice. Just like, "Holy cow! Why would I want to go back and do what I was doing before if I feel this good?" At least now you can make a choice from a place of power where you've experienced it, and now you have the choice to go down your old path or the new path.

That's really powerful because it's coming from a place of you owning that, and having been exposed to how good you can feel. And now the responsibility of the choice is up to you based on that. Most people haven't even scratched the surface of how good they can feel. And I don't even think age matters, because we've had clients that have been in their seventies who in five days are feeling like new people, which is amazing.

Most people haven't even scratched the surface of how good they can feel.

At the very minimum, give yourself an opportunity to cut away some of the distractions and vices. And if it's uncomfortable, it's going to be uncomfortable, but just give yourself that opportunity to feel how good you can feel. Do it for a week or two and then be like, "Well, do I want to go back to the way I was before? Or should I continue on this way?" And then you can make a choice from there, but I think it's important to at least experience it once.

There are teenagers out there who might be naturally lean or more active. How do we get teenagers to start to understand that their health decisions have very real consequences and the earlier they can implement strong health rituals the better?

There needs to be some type of technology developed that can fast forward them to where they're 50. Because I was that guy. I was that guy, and I worked as a coach at the University of Toronto with the men's soccer program for seven years, so teenagers 17 to 21. And every year it's the same thing. I was the guy who ate McDonald's to get ready for a game. That was me when I was a teenager, and I was still a really good soccer player.

When I was coaching at the University of Toronto, one of my proudest legacies — if I can call it that — is the fact that instead of guys coming to the stadium with gummy bears and McDonald's, they were coming into the stadium with green juices because there was a vegetarian restaurant not too far away.

And a green juice is $10 so for a student that's not cheap. And it was really cool to see these teachings start to resonate. I was like, "My work here is done." What's the saying? Youth is wasted on the young, something like that. And that's the way it is. We don't realize how good we have it until we don't have it anymore. And I think we're like, "We're invincible when we're young." I've got four boys under 10, they never get tired. I'm thinking they're like dogs I can just wear them out, they just keep going! And that'd be cool if you could do that forever, but I think by the time you're 35, 40, things start to change a bit.

We don't realize how good we have it until we don't have it anymore.

I'm not too sure... I think there's a certain aspect of maturity that comes with it. I think there's certain teenagers who are a little bit more forward thinking, they're a bit more mature. They realize because they're a bit more tuned into themselves in performance that they can't get away with that forever. But I also do think a lot of high level athletes that they look up to can be really good role models. Because if you're growing up in the '70s and '80s, and your role models are John McEnroe's and... I love John McEnroe.

John Daly on the golf course!

Yeah, totally. It's a very different role model than the Novak Djokovic's, or the Roger Federer's, or other role models who are maybe be a bit healthier in the way that they approach the game. Christiano Ronaldo, these are all great examples of guys who are not just great athletes, but they live a very clean life. Those are great examples for teenagers who want to emulate in their footsteps. Again, whether they're athletes or not, I think it's important to have good role models that really espouse that, because we become a reflection of our environments.

My kids are getting into skateboarding and there's a skate park by our place. And I'm very fascinated by the culture of skateboarding. I think it's a really cool sport, I'm terrible at it, but kind of sitting there and observing it, it's like they all dress very similarly. They all have their Monster energy drinks. One guy last week, he's on a skateboard, he's got a cigarette in his mouth as he's going up the halfpipe. I'm like, "This is a very different culture. Or hopefully not role models that my kids will be exposed to." I think it's important to look at who our role models are and what that environment looks like.

Yeah, and helping encourage the discipline that can lead to the goals and outcomes that people want.

We had Gabby Reece on the show earlier this year, and she had some amazing insights, but one of the big ones she shared was that the best way for people if they're truly grateful about something is not to talk about it, but to actually take care of it to the best of your ability. Yet people want that magic bullet to success. People want to be able to lose 10 pounds of fat overnight, or gain 10 pounds of muscle in a week, or whatever it might be.

How do we actually get through to people the importance of sustainable change in such a transactional world when everyone just wants that magic bullet?

The same thing happens in business as well. I think it's what people are seeing. They're seeing the 'after' on Instagram for instance, but they don't see the journey. And I think that's a major issue, and it's something I was actually speaking to my clients this morning with about.

Seth Godin has a really good book on this topic called The Dip. And the whole idea is that there's very few people who are amazing at what they do. And they're more valuable because it's more scarce, there's fewer people that are at that level, like the Gabby Reece's, the Laird Hamilton's, etc. And the difference is that everyone says they want to do that. They want to become that person, but as soon as the dip happens, which is that, "Oh, this is hard" they give up.

The difference is that the select few recognize that either before or during, so they say, "I'm just going to keep going and figure it out until I get through that dip." That journey needs to be highlighted in some way, shape, or form in a way that it's not right now. And to be honest I don't know if that ever will be, because humans want what we want. We're very compelled by things that are new, and shiny, and alluring. Although we're inspired by courage on the journey, that's not the thing that really grabs our attention right away.

And I do think if you look at the example of P90X, which came into the market at a time where infomercials were promoting six-minute abs, and sauna belts, which are these overnight magic pills. And here comes P90X saying, "This will be the hardest thing you do for 90 days, but it's going to transform your body."

They've done pretty well — about $1 billion in sales as a company. And I think that goes to show that there's always going to be a segment of the market that understands that the quick fixes don't work. At some level I think everyone needs to come to that epiphany, because they've done the diets, they've done the pills, they've done all this stuff. They've tried one business model, one tactic, and it hasn't worked out.

At some point, and where that point is in someone's life I don't know — it could be early, it could be later. Everyone will come to a realization: if you want to do something great, it's not going to be easy. And if you're not okay with that you should quit before it even starts, as opposed to quitting halfway through. And if you are okay with the fact that it's going to be challenging and full of ups and downs, then recognize that and find a way to get through that.

If you want to do something great, it's not going to be easy.

Whether that's through coaching, mentorship, being in a surrounding that's going to inspire you, have the right support, I think those are all really important. But it would be like someone who's never worked out before and the trainer's like, "You know what, we're going to help you get an amazing shape. You're going to feel amazing. It's going to be so good." And then the next day the client is so sore they can't even move, because they've never done half the stuff and they're like, "What's this all about?" You say, "Oh, sorry about that, I forgot to mention there's this thing called delayed onset muscle soreness."

I think it'd be a service to the client to be upfront and say, "Listen, here's what it's going to take to lose 20 pounds. It's going to be hard. You're going to have moments where you want to quit. There'll be times you want to cry, there'll be times you will be swearing at me, and there'll be many times where you want to give up. Are you okay with that? Because if you're not, you're not going to achieve the goals that you want."

And I think in today's day and age, hype and hyperbole, people see through all that stuff and it's just overdone. There's a lot of value in just the honest truth. Just being honest with your market, or your clients, or your messaging or whatever it is you do, yourself. I mean it just becomes so much more believable from a business perspective. But also as an individual pursuing a goal it becomes a lot more believable. Be like, "Cool, this is going to be tough. How do I prepare for the challenges and get myself okay with meeting those?" I think that's really important, because otherwise everything is a surprise and you're like, "Oh shit, I didn't think it was going to be so hard." I think that mindset shift is super important.

That's probably the perfect segue now for us to switch gears and focus on the business side more specifically.

Have you ever had any experiences where you thought that you were able to help everyone, but most of the people you were seeing just weren't committed to their goal and that journey? And as a result, you were not only unable to bring them up but they ended up pulling you down, to a degree?

Oh yeah, totally. That was one of my biggest crises as a health expert was that I wanted to help everyone. It took me a long time to swallow the pill that the people who need it the most very often want it the least. And I was like, "That sucks." But it's the reality.

Even now, when we help clients in the business front, we don't even talk about sales. For us it's interviewing. We're only going to hire this client if they fit our criteria, because we don't want someone's money, we want their transformation. And we're very clear with people upfront about how challenging it's going to be. But it's going to be challenging either way — the difference is that you're going to have guidance, coaching, and a proven model, versus doing it by yourself.

But I think it's a major disservice to people with a lot of over the top promises, like "You'll make 100K in a month" or whatever, and they focus on the shiny without the dirt along the way. It's like, "Hey, just go into the mine you'll find gold sitting there." It's really important to have that conversation with people before you even consider engaging with them. Because otherwise you're just taking people down a delusional path, and we want clients who are committed to the transformation.

It took me a long time to swallow the pill that the people who need it the most very often want it the least.

I think that is maybe a bit more applicable to a coaching type of environment. If you're selling widgets it's a little bit easier, a little bit different. But I do think it's honest communication and being transparent about the journey is in your best interest, but it's also in the client's best interest. Because you're going to have better clients who are like, "I understand that and I'm willing to sign up for this." And there's no surprises because you've laid everything out, you've laid the gauntlet in front of them.

And they probably appreciate that transparency. They might not like hearing it immediately in the present, but they also know then that you're focused on the transformation rather than the transaction.

You had seven years working as a trainer and nutritionist, working with people one-on-one but you hit a wall with that career. What was the turning point for you in recognizing that there had to be a better way than seeing people one-on-one? Which is essentially exchanging time for money.

Well, if I hadn't lost my hair when I was 16 I probably would have lost it after doing all that! Working from 7:00 in the morning until at least 7:00 at night, and then I was actually working at the university as one of the coaches with the soccer team, so that was an extra three hours on top every day. And I realized as much as I loved helping my clients transform, and hanging out with them was great. I realized there's a really low ceiling here, that I'm not even going very far in terms of impact, income, etc.

The big turning point for me was 2006 when I went to Europe with my girlfriend (now wife), and we were over there for six weeks. But trading time for dollars for so many years, I had to save up a bunch of money for the trip. And then when we took the trip, every single time we went out to eat or purchase something that money was going down and nothing else was coming in. And I'm like, "I never ever want to experience this again."

I was just committed to finding a better way. The questions I was always asking was, "How do I make more money? How do I help more people even if I'm not present with them?" It was never about how do I make more money without doing any work. That was never the conversation for me. It was how do I make more money in the service of more people, to help them get even better results but without relying on my time because I love helping people. And I remember toward the tail-end of those seven years, I was working with a client and he's huffing and puffing. He's like, "Why don't you put your voice on tape?" And I said, "Hmm, that's interesting!"

This is just when the iPod had come out and I was like, "I don't know what that means, but let me think about it." And what I eventually ended up doing was I thought to myself, "How would I help my clients get results if I were not with them, but kind of still with them?" And what I did is I actually recorded a full 90-day workout program, where my voice was on their headphones guiding them through their workout as if I was with them right there. And we were actually one of the first companies back in the day to even have that type of technology.

It was awesome because essentially what it allowed me to do is it allowed me to productize my service. And without even knowing it, that was my first step into extracting intellectual property, and creating value in transformation for people without me being present every step of the way. Is an audio guide to workout as effective as working with a trainer? No, but it's pretty darn close instead of doing it by themselves.

That was my first step into extracting intellectual property, and creating value in transformation for people without me being present every step of the way.

And that's kind of how things started with the online side of things. Even now with our clients all of our coaching is group-based. And we have hundreds of clients who get amazing results, but I don't want to spend one-on-one time with every single one of them every second of the day. And the reason, really, anyone's able to do that is by stepping back and really assessing how do I do what I do? What's the recipe through which I help people achieve an outcome? And really starting to extract it, articulate it, and then map that out in some type of curriculum that they can follow, but then you come on top with accountability, support, and coaching.

It's just incredible to see the transformation that people get. Because with my health the thing that I realized as I went from the one-on-one, which was just I'm like, "I never want to do coaching ever again." I went the complete opposite to, "I'm going to go online and live the laptop lifestyle! I'm going to sell eBooks, and all that kind of stuff, and kick my feet up." Didn't happen, it's a lot of work.

And what happened is eventually when that business took off, I got so disillusioned from it because we helped so many people on paper but I didn't know any of them. If someone purchased a workout program, or a book of mine, or a course, the likelihood of them actually doing it and getting the results? I don't know. They're on the other side of the world, are they actually doing it? And I became very disconnected from the people that we were serving, and I wanted a way to come back to really impacting people in a way where I actually knew them, where I could see their transformation. And with Healthpreneur, that's where we come back to. I went from one-on-one, kind of despising it all the way, to the other side which is very product based.

And now coming back to the middle, which is high-touch coaching in a leveraged format with those elements of productizing our service, and bringing the best of both worlds together. Again, everything happens for a reason, but I only if we learn from it and improve our future.

A lot of the stuff that you're talking about here is by going back and questioning the underlying assumptions that people had made; that you can actually have more of an impact and earn more of an income without having to exchange time for money, which I think is a really great lesson for people to think about.

Is it possible for everyone out there to be able to duplicate themselves so that they can scale?

It's both possible and impossible depending on how they choose to see it. We had a client this morning who was a naturopathic doctor. She loves traveling and she was just like, "I love the fact that I can help people when I'm in Hawaii, or Alaska, or wherever else." And she said this several times and I know this to be true. It's like her clients get better results virtually without the one-on-one, so in more of a group setting than they were coming in sort of a clinic. And I was like, "It's amazing. It's so cool."

We help health professionals, so chiros, naturopaths, health coaches, etc. That model is very broken, it is fundamentally broken because it's transactional. Let's say I've got a bummed back, I go see my chiro, he gives me an adjustment, I give him $50, and I leave. And then the next time I have an issue I come back, same thing.

It's very much tit for tat and there's no journey. There's no, "Here's what we should do between sessions, etc." It's not good for the patient, it's not good for the practitioner, and it's not sustainable. The thing is we speak with quite a few people who are like, "Well, I'm a bit different. My situation's a bit different because I do something that no one else can do." And I'm like, "Awesome, that's amazing. You've got two choices: you can let that story shackle you to the situation you're dealing with right now of low-income, no freedom and tell yourself you're a special snowflake. Or you can find a way to extract that magic and figure out a way to help more people."

You have two choices, that's it. Because we help practitioners build their virtual practice, we had a lot of chiropractors, physical therapists, really hands-on practitioners, especially during COVID who came to us who are like, "Hey, my clinic is shutdown. I got to figure out how to go online."

It's both possible and impossible depending on how they choose to see it.

And then they're like, "Well, I don't know how I can do this." And I'm like, "You've got two choices, you go out of business based on your current situation or you figure out a way to do this." And some people are like, "Let's do it." Charlie, one of our physical therapy clients, the most he made in a month in his clinic was $10,000 a month. Since he's been with us online, he's doing $30K - $40K a month regularly. And his clients get better results with sciatica and back pain.

In this fashion you have to change the way you help people, the delivery, which means the client has to show up in a different way. They become more empowered in their own journey as opposed to just kind of showing up, laying on a table, getting a crack and leaving. It really benefits the practitioner or the coach, it benefits the client because the delivery is based on the outcome. Not just, "Hey, I'll see you for half an hour" etc.

Every single person can help people in a virtual manner, but also in a way that's not necessarily one-on-one. Unless you're dealing with deep traumatic stuff, if you're a psychotherapist as an example. However, there are still ways to do that in a group setting because not every single interaction with your clients needs to be with you. If you brought 10 women together who are all dealing with the same issue, they have a community now. They're part of a tribe of other women who are like-minded and they're like, "You're going through this too!? Let's support each other."

Isolation kills, community heals. I think it's in our client's best interest to put them in a supportive environment. And then whatever way that looks like in terms of your support and coaching, there's tremendous ways to help people beyond the one-on-one. There's definitely ways, all it comes down to is being creative and willing to adapt as opposed to being very stuck in ways that may not support you.

What about those who want to serve an audience who don't have the capacity to pay? How do you provide the support that you need for an audience that you might be super passionate about, but you obviously don't want to burnout in the process? I mean if you're spending all of your time servicing clients for a dollar a day, you're going to reach a point where you burnout and you're not able to help anyone.

Who you choose to serve is one of the most important questions that's going to determine the success of your business and your life. Because if you want to help everyone who doesn't have money because you have a connection to that, that's amazing. But you have to understand that if they don't have money they can't pay you.

A lot of the typical marketing or business advice is start people low and then build them up an ascension ladder to a higher point. Our philosophy is the exact opposite. For people to get transformational results it doesn't come from a $7 ebook. It comes from a higher level coaching program where you work with them, they get an amazing result, you fill up your cup financially, they get amazing results. You now have more social proof that can feed back into your marketing and attract more clients like that.

Who you choose to serve is one of the most important questions that's going to determine the success of your business and your life.

If you fill up your cup first, let's just use dollars and cents as an example, then you have more dollars and cents to then give back to the 95% of those other people who would not be able to afford your services in the first place. It's almost like a Robin Hood type of approach. I don't even want to say you take from the rich give to the poor, but you work with people at a higher level who can afford your services, who signup because they see the value in it at least.

First and foremost you have to take care of yourself because, if you don't, you can't take care of anyone else. But then you'll reach a point in your business where you can take a portion and give it to charity, or you set up a foundation. I think so many people get caught up in all these little products, $10 here, $97 here. I was that guy, I had hundreds of products in a previous business.

And with Healthpreneur we have two: we have our coaching program and our mastermind. Pretty much everything else is free because we can give it all away, because we don't need to make sure that everything turns into some funnel or a book sale or whatever. It's like if it helps people we can give it away for free, mostly because we're ticking, we're good because of this stuff. That's my approach. It's worked tremendously well for us, it makes a lot of sense for our clients because a lot of our clients feel like martyrs in the service of others. And that's not a good place to be. I think we're all here because we want to help a lot of people, but you got to help yourself first.

You've worked with so many high achievers all around the world. What's the difference between the top 0.1% of people who might be 7- or 8-figure entrepreneurs, or at the absolute pinnacle of their industry — what do they do differently? Or is there a common trait that they have that other people don't?

Such a good question. I'll give you two very clear examples of this. We have a client who last February as the whole pandemic is just about to start, he's interested in working with us and I told him, "I think you're a little bit early." And he was making about $800 a month at the time as a health coach. And he told me, "I can do this. Watch me." And I was like, "Okay."

Twelve months later he's doing $100K a month, and helping thousands more people than he ever was. That statement says everything, "I can do this. Watch me." Embedded in that statement is a massive amount of self-belief. That is the single most important ingredient anyone can have to achieve success. If I see someone and their answer is, "Well, maybe." You're finished, it's that instantaneous. Versus someone who's like, "I'll figure this out, watch." That's the big thing right there.

Self-belief is the single most important ingredient anyone can have to achieve success.

Second quick example is we had a client who in November 2019 was on the verge of bankruptcy. He was a chiropractor, had six people in his office, five daughters at home. He had to take a $40,000 loan just to survive. He comes across our stuff at the end of November and he's like, "I need to do this, this makes a lot of sense." He starts working with us, and the first post he made inside of our Facebook group was celebrating that he was negative $14,000 in the hole.

I was like, "This guy gets it." He's like, "I'm so excited we spent $14,000. While we haven't seen a single return yet, we have 300 prospective client calls on the books for the next month and a half. I'm like "This guy's going to kill it." By July of 2020 they're doing $1.5 million a month.

And what's the difference? The difference again in his case was a belief in himself that he would do this and he would figure this out. The example of the first client I gave is the same thing. Self-belief is huge, and the second thing is courage. Especially as an entrepreneur there's no guarantee, if you're like, "Hey, what's the guarantee for this? I want to know it's going to work out." The very fact that you asked that question tells me this is not going to work out for you. Because people who have courage and belief in themselves know they're going to make it work, and that's a big thing.

The courage to step into the fear, to step into the unknown, because you believe in yourself enough to make it work with the right type of support around you. I think those two things beyond anything else make the biggest difference at least in my experience.


Check out the YouTube or podcast version where Yuri Elkaim does the Win the Day Rocket Round, answering questions about his favorite quote, what advice he’d give his 18-year-old self, the one thing on his bucket list, and a whole lot more🚀


The courage you mentioned there reminds me very much of faith, which is one of the principles of Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich, which I'm sure you're aware.

That first one that you mentioned, self-belief, how coachable is that in your experience? Is that one of those things where it's like you have it or you don't?

I'm sure parenting has a piece in this, for sure. If you're brought up at a young age with parents who are like, "I believe in you, you can do this." That probably helps a lot. But I think the thing is if we really think about this, we all have many wins in our life. It's just those I think who have a little bit less on the self-belief side, they tend to focus on the things that didn't work out as well for them. Because self-belief I believe is something that you can dial up or dial down, and it changes based on the situation. I don't have a lot of confidence in dancing, but you put me on a soccer pitch and I'm very confident.

But the reason I'm confident in soccer is because I played it for so long, and I had so many wins and reference points. But I also had many failures. I also got a really good because of those failures and the mistakes. I tell my kids, "Guys, as a goalie, when I was 10 years old, I was playing on teams and we lost 15-0." That's 15 goals against me! That kills your confidence but again it's perspective. It's like, "Hey, I got the benefit of facing 25 shots. 15 of them went in but I saved 10." The other goalie maybe didn't have one.

I don't know. I think perspective is a big thing, it's like how we see a coin, is it this side or this side? I think makes a huge difference now into the future but also in the past.

Confidence is all based on momentum.

For those who are a little bit low on self-confidence or self-belief, try this simple exercise — and you can do this every day. Look back on your life and make a note of three moments that were, let's say, big successes for you. It could be a sporting success, it could be an achievement in school, it could be giving birth to kids — whatever it is. And don't discount those. Really think about, "Man, that's a big deal. That was remarkable."

Understand that if you do that there, that success leaves clues, and success is transferable. Building that success muscle I think is important, because the more you can do that, and then on a daily basis focus on what three wins you had today, it's going to build. Because confidence is all based on momentum. And if we focus on the right things, and we do it more, that's going to build our self belief, and we're more likely to have courage to take on more things in the future. That's what I would recommend for that.

Love that. Great advice.

You and I are both very much focused on continuing to grow. Is there anything that you include in your calendar to make sure that you're getting out of your comfort zone on a regular basis to keep growing?

Yeah. First thing I do every morning at about 4:00 AM is I jump in a cold plunge. Four degrees Celsius and I sit in there for three minutes. And I do that for the health benefits, sure, but for me it's like if I can do the most challenging thing of my day at 4:00 in the morning, everything else will be a little bit easier. That's the first thing.

I like putting myself in situations where I'm sympathetically challenged. In a cold plunge, it unleashes fight or flight, and that's where I try to find my calm. I call it the calm in the eye of the storm. Trying to center with my chaos. I've got four kids under 10. That's 24/7! How do I center myself and stay calm with the chaos? I'm not perfect, I lose my cool sometimes, but I think that's one thing I do. I like to get uncomfortable first thing in the morning.

In a cold plunge, it unleashes fight or flight, and that's where I try to find my calm.

The second thing I would suggest from a growth perspective is that I listen, or I read, a tremendous amount, or listen to a lot of podcasts. Growth is a major value of mine and our company in general, and so always learning and growing has been huge.

I'd say what's even more challenging by an exponential amount than sitting in an ice bath is having hard conversations with other humans. That's always been my Achilles heel and I've never wanted to ruffle feathers or whatever. And that's cost me a lot of time, frustration, and maybe some team members in the past that maybe should have gone a little bit sooner than they did. And I've really been aware of that and started to nip that in the bud to be like, "Hey, if I have to have a conversation with someone it's got to happen now, because I'm not going to tuck away this problem and expect it to go away."

That for me personally is probably more challenging than a tough workout, and more challenging than a cold plunge. Because of that I really have to be intentional about making that maybe not daily but a few times a week type of thing.

Final question, what's one thing you do to Win the Day?

I get my most important work done first thing in the morning.


Resources / links mentioned:

🌱 Want more Yuri Elkaim? Check out the YouTube or podcast version for the full interview, including the Win the Day Rocket Round.

⚡ Healthpreneur website.

📙 The Strong60 by Yuri Elkaim.

📝 Healthpreneur on Facebook.

📷 Healthpreneur on Instagram.

🎥 Win the Day with Gabby Reece (Ep 43).

🎢 The Dip by Seth Godin.

📖 The ONE Thing by Gary Keller.

🎙️ Have a podcast of your own and want to learn how to monetize it? Learn more about We Are Members, the world's #1 community for podcasters who want to generate attention, engagement, and sales for their podcast.

Each day, if you do not make the decision to win, you have automatically made the decision to lose.”

– James Whittaker

Welcome to Win the Day and today is a special one – this is Episode 50!

Before we dive into all the good stuff for today, I just want to say an enormous THANK YOU for listening to this podcast, watching it on YouTube, and sharing it with friends. Your support means the world to me, and we’ve got some seriously kickass episodes coming up! So if you haven’t already, hit subscribe on YouTube or follow on Spotify. Together, let’s bring more and more positive energy into the world.

Because this show is about growth. It’s about recognizing that, while we might’ve faced adversity, challenges – even serious trauma – in our past, all that matters is what we decide to do from here. That’s why to truly win the day, we must begin every morning with an acknowledgement that the day – THIS day – is there to be won.

When I’m bringing these guests on the show – who are some of the most accomplished individuals on the planet – I’m trying to hone in on what they’ve done different:

With that information, I can learn, you can learn, and together we can inspire others through our example. That’s growth. Every day, we get better and better, so we can make the world – and everyone in it – a better place.

But this show is nothing without ACTION, so make sure with every episode you think about what 2-3 things you’re going to do as a result of what you’ve learned to level-up in your relationships, in your health, in your business, so the world knows how serious you are about what it is you want. Because, as Napoleon Hill said, “Action is the real measure of intelligence.”

Today, in honor of our 50th episode, I’m going to share with you my 12 favorite takeaways from the guests’ we’ve had on the show. These are the value bombs that have stood out to me the most, and I know will be enormously impactful for you too.

And because of this milestone, I’ve got a special giveaway just for you. Make sure you check out the podcast or YouTube version of this episode for more info on that.

The quote for this episode is one I put up at every speech:

“Each day, if you do not make the decision to win, you have automatically made the decision to lose.”

If you can figure that quote out, and turn that into a habit, the rest is easy. 

In fact, I started saying “Win the day” because I wanted something more succinct from that sentence that I could use for my podcast. And the rest is history! Here we are 50 episodes in, and you and I are still making the decision to win because the alternative, which is slowly losing every day, eroding our progress, and sabotaging our dreams, is not something we can tolerate. We’ve got ONE life to live and we’re going to unlock every little particle of potential inside us so our time on the earth is well spent.

So are you ready to win with me? I hope so! And if there’s a friend or loved one who wants to join us, share this episode with them right now.

In honor of our 50th episode, here are the 12 best tips to win the day, every day. Welcome to the Win the Day All-Star Edition. 

We'll go through:

NOTE: This episode contains exclusive clips from special guests who have come on the show. For the best experience, we recommend checking out either the podcast or YouTube version of this episode.

🎞️ For the video interview, click here.


Resources / links mentioned:

Success Plan.

🎥 YouTube version of this episode.

Episodes mentioned:

Win the Day with Gabby Reece (Ep 43).

Win the Day with John Assaraf (Ep 33).

Win the Day with Rob Angel (Ep 48).

Win the Day with Keith Ferrazzi (Ep 30).

Win the Day with Kerwin Rae (Ep 31).

Win the Day with Emily Fletcher (Ep 29).

Win the Day with Coss Marte (Ep 32).

Win the Day with Dr Sonja Stribling (Ep 37).

Win the Day with Brandon T. Adams (Ep 35).

Win the Day with Adam Carroll (Ep 38).

Win the Day with Michael Fox (Ep 26).

Win the Day with Marcus Smith (Ep 42).

Each day, if you do not make the decision to win, you have automatically made the decision to lose.”

James Whittaker

Welcome to Win the Day and today is a special one – this is Episode 50!

Before we dive into all the good stuff for today, I just want to say an enormous THANK YOU for listening to this podcast, watching it on YouTube, and sharing it with friends. Your support means the world to me, and we’ve got some seriously kickass episodes coming up! So if you haven’t already, hit subscribe on YouTube or follow on Spotify. Together, let’s bring more and more positive energy into the world.

Because this show is about growth. It’s about recognizing that, while we might’ve faced adversity, challenges – even serious trauma – in our past, all that matters is what we decide to do from here. That’s why to truly win the day, we must begin every morning with an acknowledgement that the day – THIS day – is there to be won.

When I’m bringing these guests on the show – who are some of the most accomplished individuals on the planet – I’m trying to hone in on what they’ve done different:

With that information, I can learn, you can learn, and together we can inspire others through our example. That’s growth. Every day, we get better and better, so we can make the world – and everyone in it – a better place.

But this show is nothing without ACTION, so make sure with every episode you think about what 2-3 things you’re going to do as a result of what you’ve learned. As Napoleon Hill said, “Action is the real measure of intelligence.”

Today, in honor of our 50th episode, I’m going to share with you my 12 most memorable takeaways from the guests’ we’ve had on the show. These are the value bombs that have stood out to me the most, and I know will be enormously impactful for you too.

And because of this milestone, we've got a special giveaway! Make sure you check out the podcast or YouTube version of this episode for more info on that.

The quote for this episode is one I put up at every speech:

“Each day, if you do not make the decision to win, you have automatically made the decision to lose.”

If you can figure that quote out, and turn that into a habit, the rest is easy.

In fact, I started saying “Win the day” because I wanted something more succinct from that sentence that I could use for my podcast. And the rest is history! Here we are, 50 episodes in, and you and I are still making the decision to win because the alternative, which is slowly losing every day, eroding our progress, and sabotaging our dreams, is not something we can tolerate. We’ve got ONE life to live and we’re going to unlock every little particle of potential inside us so our time on the earth is well spent.

So are you ready to win? I hope so! And if there’s a friend or loved one who wants to join us, share this episode with them right now.

In honor of our 50th episode, here are the 12 best tips to win the day, every day. Welcome to the Win the Day All-Star Edition. 

NOTE: This episode contains exclusive clips from special guests who have come on the show. For the best experience, we recommend checking out either the podcast or YouTube version of this episode.

1. The best way to show you’re grateful for something is to take care of it.

I’ve noticed that the word “gratitude” has become hijacked lately, a little bit like the “self-love” movement. People talk a big gratitude game and post their fancy snaps on Instagram, but what Gabby Reece shared during Episode 43 of the show is that the best way to show you’re grateful for something is to actually take care of it.

That means, behind closed doors, when the phone’s away, you’re looking after the things you’re grateful for – whether that’s your physical health, your mental health, or the most important people in your life.

Here’s what Gabby shared:

“I don't need to lose my health to covet it.

The other thing I'm doing is I'm practicing. When people talk about gratitude, the best way I can show that, "Hey, I'm really grateful for my health," is to take care of it. That's ultimately what I'm doing.

The other side of that is it's a level of sanity. I am a better functioning organism if I can also take care of the physical avatar to the best of my ability. It's a law of the universe. It's the truth, and so I don't need to keep relearning that lesson. I know what the lesson is, and I'm just ahead with it.”

So if, like me, you’ve been bitten by the gratitude bug, that’s awesome! Just make sure you’re doing the reps behind the scenes. Those daily reps add up to massive results over time.

2. Actively pursue calm so you can thrive in chaos.

If there’s one thing the covid pandemic has emphasized in bold, italic, and underline, it’s that the world is shifting faster than ever before – but, most importantly, it’s going to keep getting faster and faster, as George Chanos reminded us in Episode 27.

When the covid pandemic started, there was an entrepreneur in Australia who saw it coming months ahead of time, and that was Kerwin Rae.

In Episode 31 Kerwin came on the show to reveal those insights with us, but what I found most impactful was his emphasis on pursuing calm at all costs. As the world is getting faster, more chaotic, more transactional, more automated, and more digital, we’re faced with sensory stimulation like we’ve never even imagined – and that’s an absolute recipe for disaster where our mental health is concerned.

Yet, Kerwin reminds us that we need to shift away from passive sensory overload, and instead shift to more proactively putting ourselves in situations that get us out of our comfort zone in a good way. And if we can do that regularly, and train ourselves to be effective and calm in complete chaos, we will not only be extremely well positioned to benefit from the rapidly changing world but we'll also insulate ourselves from failure that could be completely demobilizing for most people.

Here’s what Kerwin said:

“The more you can regulate stress in a healthy way, at levels that other people can't, the more you’ll enable yourself to go further than anyone else can.

That’s the beautiful thing about being human. We all have this capability to grow. We all have this capability to change and transform.

The only difference between someone who plays here and someone who plays here is their ability to expose themselves to information, in some cases, stress, at a level that they can regulate in a healthy way. That's why not everyone's going to be able to build a multi-billion-dollar company because not everyone could cope with the mental stress of even considering working with those denominations and those values.

And that's why you'll always find where your limit is, and wherever that limit is you'll be constrained by some level of fear that triggers a level of stress.”

3. Tie your financial goals to your definite major purpose.

Most people recognize the importance of proper goal-setting in achieving what they want. (And to start practicing what I believe is the most effective goal-setting system available, download my Success Plan. Free instant download; no opt-in required). But when it comes to your financial goals, the secret sauce is how you tie them into your definite major purpose.

Your definite major purpose is the core goal you have that most of your other sub-goals stem from.

Anyone can put “$1 million” on a goal sheet, but tying it into your definite major purpose, backing it by emotion, and then outlining the steps you need to take to get there and how that will impact the world is going to make it 100x more likely for you to achieve that goal.

In Episode 38, personal finance expert Adam Carroll shared this with us:

“My parents were very positive-minded and they talked about opportunity a lot. My dad was big into Deepak Chopra back in the day. And he would tell me growing up that I was a wizard, and I didn't really understand what he was telling me at the time. I had visions of Harry Potter-esque kind of wizards.

But what he was telling me, I believe, is that I could create whatever environment I wanted to create; that I had the ability to manifest my own desires. And so when I read Think and Grow Rich the first time – which you are obviously well-versed in – I realized how important the messages of definiteness of purpose, and of focus and attention, were. I have a saying up on my door up here and it says “The definiteness of purpose for acquiring wealth is necessary for its acquisition.”

And I kept reading that over and over and over again. Think and Grow Rich was one of the first books that got me on the path. Then I went down this unbelievable rabbit hole of finding all of the quantum physics and law of attraction books that were out there. I realized that we are all constantly, consciously or unconsciously, creating our own environment.”

So powerful.

Remember, Adam is the guy whose TED Talk on playing Monopoly with real money has 6+ million views. So if you’ve got big financial goals – and you should because the more resources you have at your disposal the more you can contribute to the causes you care about the most – you need to tie it into a higher purpose or mission that you have for your life.

4. Your past isn’t your future.

If we’ve been brought up in an environment that doesn’t reward creativity, growth or love, we might feel that we’re doomed to continue that cycle. Or worse, we might never recognize that a problem even exists because it seems “normal” to us.

But in Episode 37, Dr Sonja Stribling – who’s one of the toughest and most resilient people I’ve ever met – stated:

“When you hear me say that 'If you didn't come from a wealthy family, let a wealthy family come from you,' it empowers you to realize that just because you came from nothing doesn't mean your family has to carry on that tradition. It means you get to create whatever lifestyle you want. That's just been my mantra. I don't want my children to suffer the way I did or the way my mother did.

And it's not just about the money. Being rich is more about teaching different ways that your children don't have to always go get a 9:00am to 5:00pm job and always have to go to school because school is not for everyone. There are other means to create wealth. You just need to know where to find those ideas and the strategies and the tips and tools to do so.”

While, at times, you might feel that your future is pre-destined because of the circumstances where you grew up, it’s never too late to be what you want to be, lead by example, and inspire future generations to take ownership of their lives. And while the goal of flipping the script of generational poverty in your family and turning it to generational wealth might be great financially, never forget that it’s the lessons, the relationships, and the attitude to handling adversity that are the most important things.

5. There is no excuse for you to remain mediocre.

This might seem harsh, but I’ve interviewed enough people now who have overcome the most horrific circumstances imaginable and gone on to incredible success. To see firsthand what they’ve been able to do with their lives but, more importantly, how grateful they are for that adversity, has been the biggest blessing I've had on this journey. In some of their deepest pain, they were able to use those experiences as fuel to live a life of compassion, meaning, and impact.

Some of those people are Janine Shepherd, who I mentioned in chapter one of Think and Grow Rich: The Legacy. Her story as a walking paraplegic is extraordinary. Remember, she had qualified for the Olympic Games, only to have her athletic dreams and physical being completely destroyed through no fault of her own.

There’s Jim Stovall who, at 18, went totally and permanently blind, before going on to write 30 bestselling books and become the founder of the Narrative Television Network – while blind. Todd Love, who became a triple amputee at 18 years old after being blown up by an IED in Afghanistan; Todd views the explosion as a “gift” and has since completed the Spartan Race on numerous occasions to inspire others.

Or Sonja Stribling, who we just mentioned in the last tip, who was born into a family as the youngest of 12 children, to parents who only had a second-grade education. At age 15, she gave birth to her first child. And just two years later, at 17 years old, she was raped and left for dead in a field. Sonja is now an internationally regarded female empowerment coach who helps millions of people around the world.

There are too many examples of this.

Make no mistake, how you respond to adversity when it INEVITABLY strikes is what separates ordinary people from extraordinary achievers.

And in Episode 30, #1 NY Times bestselling author Keith Ferrazzi shared a very succinct approach for those who want to become extraordinary:

“There is no excuse for you to remain mediocre. If you want to be extraordinary, you chart your path. If you hold onto your individual title, you'll never have enough resources under your control to really break through. You need to go to Peter Diamandis, you need to go to Jim Kwik, you need to get James Whittaker who knows everything about podcasts to teach you about podcasts, right?

You need to expand your view of team. If you don't redefine your view of team, you will remain mediocre with mediocre resources.”

So think about what you can do to turn your individual mission into a shared mission.

There is no excuse for you to remain mediocre. If you want to be extraordinary, you chart your path and build the team to get you there. That’s it. It’s so empowering.

Rather than dwell on our misfortune, or people who’ve wronged us, or whatever it might be, we instead need to channel that energy into constructive means so we can create the very circumstances we want.

That all starts with a recognition that a better life awaits (irrespective of what has happened to us in the past), followed by a focus on detailed plans to make it happen, then a commitment to seeing it through with the right people around us.

6. Regardless of what happened yesterday, wake up ready to win today.

Like most of these tips, the real growth comes when you can turn them into a habit – that way, when the voice of doubt kicks in, it’s quickly overridden by habit and you do what needs to be done.

One of the best habits to have is waking up and recognizing today as a clean slate, which means you leave any drama, frustration, or stress in the past where it belongs. And you wake up excited for another opportunity to do exactly what you want to do.

In Episode 42, ultra athlete Marcus Smith, who was almost killed after being hit by a vehicle while cycling, shared this:

“We ALL have tough days. We ALL get overwhelmed and we have to be honest with ourselves on that. But I think what the difference is from what you said and from what I see in my life is that no matter how bad today is I'll wake up tomorrow and it's a new day, and I'm ready to dominate and you're ready to win the day.

If I can just encourage people that every time you go to bed, when you get up the next day, you've been just gifted this unique opportunity to do amazing things. You've got a fresh mind. And if you start the day with this great positive mindset that you're going to have an awesome life, you can just rinse and repeat that. It's beautiful.”

And there’s a level of peace that you can see in these people. They’re at peace with themselves and what has happened to them, and they’re even at peace with the people who were responsible for their most brutal pain.

But more than peace, they also know exactly who they are, what they’re capable of, and how they will inch closer toward their mission.

7. Always take time for yourself.

There’s been many moments in my life – too many to name – where I’ve reached a pretty dark place and felt overwhelmed and frustrated, and the negative self-talk got noisier and noisier.

Inevitably, in every one of those instances, it was because I either did not know about the daily rituals for success, or I had become so overwhelmed with work that I neglected those daily rituals of success.

If we fall out of alignment, that’s when those dark feelings emerge, and it’s a horrible feeling to find yourself in a situation where you’re saying, “How did I get here AGAIN?”

It can be a difficult road to come back from.

In Episode 48, Rob Angel – who was the creator of the world’s bestselling board game, Pictionary – mentioned how he had to take a leave of absence from his own business because he was totally out of alignment:

“As entrepreneurs, they say you've got to push hard and make sure you're working 24/7, and you've got to push, push, push. Well, that's what I wound up doing. And about 5-6 years in, I changed my mission from giving Pictionary to the world and people having fun, to how do I make more money and push this game.

It wasn't just burnout. It was complete and total anxiety. I wasn't comfortable with myself. My authentic self had left and I was so off balance. I was so out of alignment. But I didn't know how to deal with it. So for a couple of years, I was getting in fights with my partners over nothing.

And I wouldn't show up for work periodically and it just became untenable. So I took a leave of absence. That's all I could do. I had to remove myself and recalibrate and took about six months. I came back to the business and the partners accepted me and took up the slack. But you don't have to do that. You can pre-warn.

Make sure you take an hour for yourself every day. Whether it's meditation, watching television, working out, or whatever it might be, where you don't think about your business. Because guess what? If you're not there for 20 minutes, it's going to be there when you get back. It's not like it'll fail if you take time for yourself.

I do believe in meditation. But if that just sounds so woo-hoo and off the wall, take a walk, anything, but you've got to take care of yourself mentally, spiritually, and physically to be more productive and make more money and be more successful. You have to.”

So make sure you stay in alignment. And the best way to do to that is: to always have an idea of what success looks like to you in ALL areas; and, second, make sure your own cup is full at all times, because the more you have the more you have to give.

8. Give yourself time to heal and re-align.

A surprising theme I noted from most of the people who’ve come on the show is that a deliberate break has been the springboard to their greatest achievement. In Episode 26, Australian entrepreneur Michael Fox (founder of Fable Food Co) shared how he raised more than US $30 million for an exciting business venture that was backed by some of the most established retailers and venture capital firms in the world.

But after losing everything – his business, the $30 million in investor money, 10 years of his life, and even his marriage – Michael took six months off in Europe where he allowed his intellectual curiosity to go where it wanted to go.

In that moment of massive internal transition, which didn’t have any boundaries or time constraints around it (like he’d had with the rigorous demands of running his own business), Michael became drawn to one particular topic, which became the foundation of his new mission: to end industrial agriculture.

Michael went all-in on that mission, and in a few short years has created a high-end meat alternative that uses mushrooms, which is now available in more than 1,000 supermarkets and has partnered with people like acclaimed chef Heston Blumenthal.

Here’s what Michael had to say:

“My wife and I, with our one-and-a-half-year-old, went to Denmark. For me, it was a great period to have a reset – I didn't have any pressure to find a job or figure out what I was going to do next. I just knew, okay, there's six months, I can focus on being a dad and do whatever I feel like doing.

I ended up reading a lot of books. And because I've been vegetarian for four and a half years, I just ended up reading more about industrial animal agriculture. There were other areas that I was really passionate about and started exploring too, like community living and some different areas like that. But I just ended up reading all these different areas that I was passionate about.

Then towards the end of the six months, I started thinking, “Well, there's two or three areas I'm deeply passionate about, is there a business model or something that I could do?” Well, actually, I didn't even want to start a new business. I was thinking that maybe I could work for someone else in in the meat alternative space because it’s a space that's been growing really quickly.

That six months allowed me to explore whatever I wanted to, wherever my intellectual curiosity took me. That really helped me narrow in on what my passion was and what industry I might like to enter. We added lifestyle decisions around that, and got to work."

So if you’ve gone through a very difficult period, make sure you take a defined period of time – without any boundaries, constraints, or pressure – to allow your intellectual curiosity to go wherever it wants to go. You’ll likely find answers to what you want with much more clarity than you’ve experienced ever before, which could be the perfect springboard to your next chapter.

9. The most important opinion is how you feel about yourself.

All those who do great things have one fundamental attribute: unwavering self-belief. In a world, where haters come with the territory, and everything we see comes with a like, share, and comment button, it’s more important than ever to recognize that there’s only ONE opinion that really matters and it’s how you feel about yourself.

In Episode 32, a truly unique guy, Coss Marte, came on the show to share his story. Coss was brought up in very difficult circumstances, before finding massive success on the wrong side of the law. As one of New York’s most prominent drug dealers, Coss was earning more than $5 million a year at 21 years old and needed eight mobile phones just to store the sheer number of customer contacts. Eventually, he was sentenced to a lengthy prison sentence, but was able to use his time inside to start a new career as a fitness entrepreneur.

There was one quote that stood out to me during our conversation: “My mentality was nothing is going to stop me.” Even in a prison cell, Coss was going to turn his dream into a reality, and I would never bet against someone with that level of faith in themselves.

Here’s how Coss describes what happened next:

“I started realizing that I was affecting not only the thousands of people that I sold drugs to, but I started thinking about their families. I started thinking about my family. I started thinking about this web of destruction that I'd created, and I felt so much regret. I said, “I want to give back in some sort of way.”

I came up with the idea of ConBody in that cell. Then, I lost 70 pounds in six months, while helping 20 other inmates lose more than 1,000 pounds combined. So, I started this whole workout program in the prison yard. I knew then that it’s what I wanted to do when I came home: a prison-style bootcamp. In my cell, I wrote a mini-business plan and a 90-day workout plan.

I said to myself that I would do what I wrote, and I did.

About a year later, I came home and put it into action. I started training classes in the park, then rented out studios, then eventually opened up my own studio. It escalated to building an online workout platform where I now train thousands of people all over the world. Today, we've trained more than 50,000 people. But the most beautiful thing is that we've hired over 40 people coming out of the prison system, and none of them have come back into the system.”

So next time you’re faced with an opinion about what you’re not capable of, whether it’s from a family member, a friend, or a total stranger, remember that those comments are based on THEIR limitations. The most important opinion is how you feel about yourself, so take action on your dreams and what you know you're capable of.

10. Create imagined memories to manifest your ideal outcomes.

That might sound a little woo-woo, but what Emily Fletcher shared in Episode 29 blew me away. Emily is the world’s leader in meditation for high performance, and one of the most valuable takeaways I got from her episode was that the mind doesn’t know the difference between imagined memories we create for the future and actual memories from our past.

So if we’re serious about creating a life we love, a powerful method is to consciously remind ourselves of the outcomes we want and have the discipline to do it every day. We literally visualize an important moment – whether it’s a client meeting, a keynote presentation, a guest appearance on a podcast – and play out the entire event in our most optimal state.

That way, when it happens in real time, we’ve already trained our subconscious to deliver at the highest possible level and made sure we’re perfectly prepared for that opportunity.

Emily uses a combination of meditation and manifestation to reduce the impact of previous trauma while empowering us to get the absolute best result from important events we have coming up in the future:

“Mindfulness is really good at dealing with your stress in the now. And then the manifesting piece is all about dealing with your dreams for the future. So it sounds a little hippy-dippy. It sounds a little woo-woo. Maybe not to you or your audience!

But I would define manifesting as consciously creating a life you love. It is reminding yourself of your dreams. And what I've found is that the combination – and this might really be the thing that keeps you committed to meditation – the combination of meditation and manifesting is so much more powerful than either one alone. Because you could meditate all day, but if you're not clear about what it is that you want it's very hard for nature to give you the thing.

And conversely, you could manifest all day, lining your walls with vision boards, but if you're not meditating and your nervous system is riddled with stress and trauma, and limiting beliefs that you can't even see, then again it's going to be a lot harder for you to achieve your dreams. But when you do them together, you get rid of the stress in your body, you peel away these subconscious limiting beliefs, and you remind yourself of your dreams every day, twice a day, and things start to show up a lot more quickly.”

It’s one hell of a bio-hack, yet so few people do it. If now is the time to massively level-up with what you’re doing, create imagined memories for future events to manifest your ideal outcomes.

11. Help the people who want the help, not the people who need the help.

This has been a lesson I learned the hard way. Naively, I thought I could help everyone, and you might have felt – or still feel – the same way. But if we try to lift people up who don’t even want to be lifted, not only are we NOT going to be able to lift them up but they’ll likely end up pulling us down to their level.

But in Episode 33, mindset expert John Assaraf mentioned:

“On many occasions I’ve worked harder at helping somebody achieve their goal than they have. But that brings me back to a couple of things that I've discovered over the years. First and foremost, help the people who want the help, not the people who need the help.

Number two, don't be in the convincing business, because if you've got to convince somebody, then they're not sold on themselves doing it.

Number three, every person I work with I ask the question, “Are you interested or are you committed?” And if they tell me they're committed, and they're willing to do whatever it takes, and be radically honest with themselves, and radically honest with what they do, or don't do, then I'm willing to help you.

But anybody else, I have no interest in helping. I don't want to spend my time trying to talk somebody into what they should be doing.”

Powerful, right!? And I’ll never forget it. John shared a TON of gold in that episode.

12. Action is everything.

There’s a quote we mentioned at the start of this episode from Napoleon Hill: “Action is the real measure of intelligence.” Hill also mentioned “It doesn’t matter what you know; it matters what you DO with what you know.”

And when Brandon T. Adams came on the show in Episode 35, he said this:

“Action is what gets results. The number one thing holding people back is they think about something and they strategize all day. At the end of the day, an idea is shit unless you actually take action towards it, and that's what I learned in Think and Grow Rich. You've got to take daily action, even if it's one thing you do every day, every single day, just one thing you accomplish. It'll build up, it's the compound effect. It'll slowly build up over time, and eventually, get you your bigger opportunity.

If you take action, get outside your comfort zone, and become comfortable being uncomfortable, you will find opportunity. And then follow up on the opportunity; don't just get it and then let it go. You have to follow up and keep taking action, every single day.”

And that’s success in a nutshell. Eventually, you have to get your hands dirty. You’ve got to get out of your comfort zone. You’ve got to take action. So a question I want you to ask yourself right now is:

Who do I need to become to succeed in this rapidly changing world?

There might be skills you need to get, relationships you have to establish, limiting beliefs you need to overcome. The world is changing faster than ever, so it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re clear on who you need to become so you can figure out what action you need to take.

__

I hope you’ve enjoyed those 12 tips to win the day every day! If you wanted to dive into those in more detail, you can check out the full episodes, available in video on YouTube and in audio on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Amazon, and everywhere you listen to podcasts.

What was your favorite tip? Let me know in either the comments on the YouTube video or in a review on Apple Podcasts. We’ll then pick out THREE lucky people to receive a signed copy of Think and Grow Rich: The Legacy delivered to wherever you are in the world for free.

Is there someone in your life who needs some help winning the day? Share this episode with them now. They’ll thank you for it later, I promise.

To finish, I want to leave you with the quote for today’s episode:

“Each day if you do not make the decision to win you have automatically made the decision to lose.”

Imprint that on your mind so nothing can knock you off course ever again.

That’s all, folks! Remember, to get out there and win the day. And think about how strong you'll be when we hit 100 episodes 😉

Onwards and upwards always,
James Whittaker

Resources / links mentioned:

Success Plan.

🎥 YouTube version of this episode.

Episodes mentioned:

Win the Day with Gabby Reece (Ep 43).

Win the Day with John Assaraf (Ep 33).

Win the Day with Rob Angel (Ep 48).

Win the Day with Keith Ferrazzi (Ep 30).

Win the Day with Kerwin Rae (Ep 31).

Win the Day with Emily Fletcher (Ep 29).

Win the Day with Coss Marte (Ep 32).

Win the Day with Dr Sonja Stribling (Ep 37).

Win the Day with Brandon T. Adams (Ep 35).

Win the Day with Adam Carroll (Ep 38).

Win the Day with Michael Fox (Ep 26).

Win the Day with Marcus Smith (Ep 42).

“No matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.”

Dr Carol Dweck

Nick Shaw is the co-founder of Renaissance Periodization (RP), a multi-million-dollar health and fitness company that has improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of clients around the world. Through its leading programs, technologies, and team of PhDs on staff, RP gives its subscribers an easy to follow nutrition plan that fits neatly into your schedule so you can achieve your health / fitness goals. 

Over the years, the RP team has sold hundreds of thousands of books to help people with their nutrition, training, and recovery, and to help create healthy habits. Nick has also personally coached numerous world-class athletes including CrossFit Games champions, international weightlifters, UFC fighters, Navy SEALs, and Olympians.

Last year, Forbes published a feature story that documented Nick’s journey and RP’s meteoric rise from a small business into an influential tech company with an industry-leading mobile app available on both Apple and Google. 

However, tragedy struck in January 2020 when Nick’s wife, Lori Shaw, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Lori is not just the mother to their two children, but also an instrumental part of the RP business.

Shortly after the diagnosis, the COVID pandemic swept the world, forcing the Shaw family to juggle homeschooling, chemotherapy treatments, and navigating the business landscape in the most uncertain time our generation has faced.

In November 2020, Nick published Fit for Success, a book that outlines the seven foundational habits for achievement to help anyone, irrespective of background, chart their path to success. It also delves into some of his favorite books, most valuable takeaways, and key lessons from his rollercoaster journey, to complement the insights gained from working closely with the most accomplished individuals on the planet.

In this episode, we’ll go through:

Before we begin, remember that the right bit of inspiration can completely change the trajectory of someone’s life, so if there’s a friend or loved one who needs to hear this episode, share it with them right now. 

Let’s WIN THE DAY with Nick Shaw!

🎞️ For the video interview, click here.


Resources / links mentioned:

📙 Fit for Success by Nick Shaw.

📝 Renaissance Periodization on Facebook.

📷 Renaissance Periodization on Instagram.

🧭 Nick Shaw on Instagram.

⚡ Renaissance Periodization website.

📚 The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson.

🎖️ Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.

🎙️ Have a podcast of your own and want to learn how to monetize it? Learn more about We Are Members, the world's #1 community for podcasters who want to generate attention, engagement, and sales for their podcast.

No matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.”

Dr Carol Dweck

Nick Shaw is the co-founder of Renaissance Periodization (RP), a multi-million-dollar health and fitness company that has improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of clients around the world. Through its leading programs, technologies, and team of PhDs on staff, RP gives its subscribers an easy to follow nutrition plan that fits neatly into your schedule so you can achieve your health / fitness goals. 

Over the years, the RP team has sold hundreds of thousands of books to help people with their nutrition, training, and recovery, and to help create healthy habits. Nick has also personally coached numerous world-class athletes including CrossFit Games champions, international weightlifters, UFC fighters, Navy SEALs, and Olympians.

Last year, Forbes published a feature story that documented Nick’s journey and RP’s meteoric rise from a small business into an influential tech company with an industry-leading mobile app available on both Apple and Google. 

However, tragedy struck in January 2020 when Nick’s wife, Lori Shaw, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Lori is not just the mother to their two children, but also an instrumental part of the RP business.

Shortly after the diagnosis, the COVID pandemic swept the world, forcing the Shaw family to juggle homeschooling, chemotherapy treatments, and navigating the business landscape in the most uncertain time our generation has faced.

In November 2020, Nick published Fit for Success, a book that outlines the seven foundational habits for achievement to help anyone, irrespective of background, chart their path to success. It also delves into some of his favorite books, most valuable takeaways, and key lessons from his rollercoaster journey, to complement the insights gained from working closely with the most accomplished individuals on the planet.


Check out the YouTube or podcast version where Nick Shaw does the Win the Day Rocket Round, answering questions about his favorite quote, what advice he’d give his 18-year-old self, the one thing on his bucket list, and a whole lot more🚀


In this episode, we’ll go through:

Before we begin, remember that the right bit of inspiration can completely change the trajectory of someone’s life, so if there’s a friend or loved one who needs to hear this episode, share it with them right now. 

Let’s WIN THE DAY with Nick Shaw!

James Whittaker:
What was 'success' to you when you were a teenager? And when did the possibility of owning your own business first come on your radar?

Nick Shaw:
I was really into sports and anything fitness-centric. Although, I will say the one thing that I realized pretty early on that has always stuck with me — which is really important in fitness — there's never a place that you arrive at. You're always just doing it because you like it, there's always a little bit more you can strive for, and you can work really hard.

Typically, if you work really hard (like with fitness), results come. So I guess those were two really good things to be drilled in my brain early on. And they've always stuck with me because there are so many similarities between business and fitness, and I love seeing how those they're alike.

You're right, people get way too focused on a quick destination, rather than the journey. If they carry that attitude to multiple areas, their life can quickly become a mess.

Totally. It will. I can give you a great fitness example. A lot of people, they get so stuck on a set number, "Hey, I want to lose 20 pounds." And then they get those 20 pounds off, but then what? Or they don't develop those good habits because they are so focused on the outcome. What they need to focus is on is setting good habits.

They don't develop those good habits because they are so focused on the outcome.

If you focus on setting good habits, you're eventually going to get to a good outcome, but maybe that good outcome is you lose 15 pounds, but you don't have to do anything super crazy at the end. And, for most people, that's probably a better trade-off.

You need to love the process, rather than being so focused on the outcome.

What was the gap in the market that you saw for Renaissance Periodization (RP) and how were you able to assemble this amazing team of 20+ PhDs and eight registered dietitians to help make your vision a reality?

My buddy who started RP with me was always really smart guy. I met him in college. And he went on to get his masters and later he got his PhD in sport physiology, essentially studying how do you make athletes as best as they can be. That research requires you to take a look at a lot of finer details.

And so, we started out working with a lot of athletes. You would see some folks that could just skate by with genetics, but maybe the stuff that they were doing wasn't really the best. But if you have really good genetics, you can do that; you can skate by. But if you take someone with really good genetics, and then on top of that, you combine an evidence-based program that has the best methodology behind it, you get some really crazy outcomes.

Think of someone people like Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, who are very genetically gifted, of course, but they are also just tenacious hard workers — probably some of the hardest workers of all time. If you combine genetic gifts with a tenacious work ethic, you get the best athletes of all time. So, that's really what we were just trying to combine. If you have just one or the other, that's okay. But if you combine both of them together, then you really have something. So, that's really what the gap was in the market about a decade ago.

What is an 'evidence-based approach' to nutrition and training for people who don't know?

You can find one study out there that can say pretty much anything, right? And so, if you only go by one study, you could be really led astray if you only go by that. But an evidence-based approach looks at all the combined evidence out there. You take a look at a meta analysis. You take a look at literature reviews, which can combine hundreds and hundreds of studies.

So, when you have hundreds of studies and it starts pointing you in one direction, you know that you're probably on the right track. Yet, if you only rely on one study, you may be heading in the wrong direction. And so, when you pool everything together, it just helps point you in the right direction. That's really what evidence-based is about.

In 2015, your wife Lori quit her successful corporate job to support you at RP. I'm married, you're married, so we know that marriages can be tough without the added complexity of working together at the same time! What did you focus on as a collective to make both your business and your marriage a success?

We were just really struggling in terms of the help we needed. You know how it is as a one-person business early on, where you have to do everything. I didn't know what it looked like, but I knew I needed help. Over time what we did, because as you said it can be tricky working with a spouse, right!? We focused on how we could compartmentalize things where Lori could do the things she wanted to do and is great at.

Because she left a fantastic corporate job and is a super, super smart, incredibly accomplished woman. We said, "You specialize in what you want to specialize because you're fantastic at doing that." And that's what led her into doing all of our cookbooks and recipes, and all that stuff, because she's a phenomenal cook, top-notch, and I'm very thankful for that, of course. Our approach was to give her a couple of areas that were all hers.

Yeah, the importance of having that discipline around each other's lane, so you can each focus on having the impact you want to have without feeling like you're stepping on each other's toes.

That's a real good summary. Because I mean, it is just another normal work setting, where sometimes you have to tell people what to do a little bit here and there. And if you mix that in with a spouse, you can carry over when the "work day" ends. So, it can be a little bit of a slippery slope, and that's why we wanted to segment things as best we could.

Well, it's a testament to both of your characters that you're still able to create such a successful business and have a great family at the same time. So, well done on keeping all of that together.

2020 was a year of enormous transition for the whole world, but in January 2020 your family was facing a lot more than the pandemic. Can you take us into that difficult time for your family, and perhaps what your mindset was like when you first received the news about Lori?

First of all, I'll say she's doing great now, a year and a half later, which is phenomenal news. In January 2020 she was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer, just five days before my son's eighth birthday. And then she had surgery in February. In March, she started chemo.

And then what happens in March 2020? COVID, the pandemic, and everything hit. And we had to take it incredibly serious because she's gone through chemo and was immune compromised to basically the highest level you can be. So we had to be really, really careful.

We're just not the type of people who are going to sit around and let life dictate what we're going to do. We don't want to sit around and be victims or whatever. So, we were just like, "Well, how do we make the most of this?" And we focused on things that we could control.

We're just not the type of people who are going to sit around and let life dictate what we're going to do.

We looked at the handful of things that you can do each and every single day that you have control and impact over. And that's what we did. That's what we focused on. And ultimately, that's what led to me writing the book Fit for Success because I was like, "I'm not going anywhere for the next three or four months. Literally, I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to take this time, I think I have some know talking points to put in the book."

I created the Success Pyramid. And everything just came together from there.

There's a mental health pandemic happening behind the scenes right now, and a lot of people are really struggling. On this show, we like to try and keep it as raw as possible from that mental health perspective to give people those insights. And totally feel free not to answer this question, if you don't feel comfortable doing so. Is there a particularly dark day or dark moment that stands out in the last year or two that you can think of?

I think just the day that my wife found out, because really it's one of these things where you just... I mean, my wife is a healthier person than I am — and I run fitness company. So, that just gives you some perspective as to just how luck, genetics, or whatever it is can play a role there. But instantly overnight, it literally just changes everything.

What I like to tell people is, it's entirely different when you're just thinking about these things. And then when you're truly thrust into having to put them into action every single day for months, if not a year on end. That was a big turning point where I was like, "It is really time to put all of these things in the practice more than I've ever done before."

That was even before COVID hit. Then you throw in COVID on top of that, and now it was like this just complete windfall of things.

Perhaps the second day was March 12th, and funny enough where we live here in North Carolina, my kids didn't go to school that day, because there was some weird water boil thing. I was driving my buddy to the airport because he was in town to visit, and that's when everything unraveled that day, and I'm just like, "Holy crap." We have all this stuff going on, of course going through chemo and all of that, that's enough.

Now, you throw in all of this!? It was a recognition that there was no time to mess around and feel sorry for yourself. It was about getting back to, "What can we control? Our kids are going to be homeschooled now, what can we do? What are the things that we can do each and every single day that are going to turn this around, so it's not just this really rough year?" And I think, knock on wood, we were able to make the most of it.

What one or two books have contributed most to the mindset that you've got today?

So, the first one that jumps out at me is called The Slight Edge. And ironically, it did not make it in the book, because I had my draft and everything completed. But this is one of the books that, when I read it, it was life-changing. Nothing in there is new or crazy, but you see that these little incremental things each and every single day — if you are consistent and disciplined with them — add up over time and you just get this snowball effect eventually.

That was when I started writing down a handful of things that I would do every single day, no matter what's going on.

And I love reading. I don't know about you, but I actually get really physically excited. Sometimes I'm like, "Oh my gosh, I got a new book here! I can't wait to read it." I know that's a total nerd thing to say, but do you get that at all?

I do. And literally every single book that I've read has changed my life in some capacity — every single one. If you just get one ideas, insight, or solution, as a result of reading that book, it can change everything for you.

Do you do audio books or hardcover?

I'm a little bit of both. So, actually I have to make a road trip tomorrow, which is a five hour drive. I was actually really excited because I have 10 hours of audio books. I know that that's probably going to cover me all the way there and probably back too, so I'm really excited for that. So, I do audiobooks if I have road trips.

When I'm done with a book, any book, I write down what I believe is the primary concept from the book. It doesn't have to be pages and pages of notes. I ask myself, "What would the author think is probably one of the most important points here in this book?" And I try to just make a list of those. Every now and again, I'll just flip back through it. And so, this is a really long-winded answer, if we circle back to you had mentioned two books.

The other book that has made a big difference for me in terms of my mindset is Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink. When you think about it, anything that happens is on you. And when you think about it that way, it doesn't matter if someone is five levels below you in an organization, if they mess up, it's on you because you should have taught them better. At the end of the day, all roads lead back to you, the choices you make, and how accountable you are.

At the end of the day, all roads lead back to you, the choices you make, and how accountable you are.

So, if mistakes are made, don't blame other people. This is something that my kids tried doing and I'm like, "No, no, no, no, no. We're not going to blame other people." They're nine and seven years old, so, maybe it'll sink in eventually! Or maybe I repeat it enough that they do get it. Hopefully one day they'll catch themselves and think, "Oh, I'm not going to complain. I'm not going to blame other people. What can I do to fix the issue?"

You touched on the victim mindset, which greatly undermines any ability people have to be able to create whatever circumstances that they want. What do you do from a practical perspective to help get people out of that victim mindset and into more of a success or growth mindset?

This goes back to the second principle in my book, which is the 'internal locus of control.' So, if you have an external locus of control, you tend to be more of that victim mentality where things are happening to you and there's nothing that you can do. I just, I don't agree with that. I mean, I don't care what your circumstances are — and I definitely understand and have lots of empathy for people who are in bad situations — but if you take that external locus of control, it does not lead to good outcomes in terms of your mental health, physical health, and all this stuff. It just doesn't. And this has been proven time and time again in all sorts of studies.

So, you have to look inside and be like, "Okay, whatever's happening, it might be objectively bad, but what can I do about it? There has to be something that I can do." And maybe it's really small, but even those really small things starts to put you back on the right track. If you can do those little things, probably gain a little bit of momentum, probably start to feel a little bit better about yourself, probably become a bit more hopeful, because now you know that what you do really matters, and now you're on the better track. So, that's really, I think just the biggest key, if I had to give one that would be it, hands down.

You've worked with UFC fighters, Navy SEALs, Olympic athletes, a whole bunch of different people. What is the common trait that the top 1% of people have and how coachable is that trait?

They are tenacious hard workers. And I like to think that I'm a hard worker, but being around some of these folks is another level.

Tomorrow my road trip is to visit Rich Froning, who's like the Michael Jordan of CrossFit. The amount of work he puts in puts me to shame. So, we mentioned earlier, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, and it's like that with Rich Froning because he trains literally 4-5 hours a day, pretty much every single day.

They know what it takes to be the best, so they just always put in that work.

And if you really stop and think about it, if you work out an hour a day, you're doing well, multiply that by three or four, and it just, I mean, it's crazy, not to mention just how disciplined they are.

They know what it takes to be the best, so they just always put in that work. And it really doesn't matter how they're feeling, they just do it anyways.

You talk a lot about the importance of self-belief in your book. What role does environment, like where you live, where you work, and the people you hang around, play in that self-belief?

Yeah, it definitely plays a role. And if you're in a bad environment, it's going to be tougher. The odds are stacked against you. Now, we can acknowledge that. But at the same time, there are things that you can do. Again, this goes back to the internal locus of control. I guarantee there's little things that you can do to start to fix that. It may be that the odds feel overwhelming against you, but then it goes back to The Slight Edge principle — just start doing the little things.

It's going to seem like you're probably not getting anywhere, but if you have a long-term time horizon — and you're prepared to just do these little things each and every single day — you're going to be better off. And I'm not guaranteeing success of course, because we can't do that. But if you approach it the right way, your odds of beating those circumstances are going to go up exponentially.

What about your own process for setting goals personally or for your business? Is there a certain system or structure that you use to set those goals?

With your business, we have a roadmap of what we need to get done and the North Star we're aiming towards. We then break that up into chunks of what needs to be done in a given month and quarter to get there. We also implement feedback we can see in real time on the app store for our mobile app based on what our users are telling us.

On the personal side, it's a mix of short and long goals. Usually on the physical side, I'll need something to train for. On Memorial Day, there's a workout called "Murph". That's my couple month thing that I've been training for, just so I have something. After that, it's like, "Hey, how fast can I run a mile?" Just something to guide me on that right track. Because if you don't have any specific goals, it's easy to get lost — a day goes by, a week goes by, a month goes by. So I really think goals are helpful on the business and personal side.

For entrepreneurs, the ability to duplicate themselves seems to be the difference between average entrepreneurs (who are always on the brink of burnout) versus those super high achieving entrepreneurs. What was the biggest step that you took to be able to duplicate your own expertise so the company could grow without hitting a ceiling?

Well, I was definitely guilty of what you said, of not knowing what to do early on, and that's where we got to the point about burning out, because we thought that we had to do everything ourselves. One of the biggest things was realizing that we know a little bit about a couple of things, but there's so much we don't know, so let's bring in some other people — other experts — because that's what they specialize in, that's what they're good at, and that was really the biggest change.

The other thing would be some automation stuff that opened up our world to being able to focus on other things. And it just became this snowball effect that once we had more time, we're able to better focus our efforts elsewhere. And that's a great thing to do all around.

Yeah, to help make you redundant, so you can take some time off if need be.

Absolutely. I would agree with that a hundred percent.

Fitness often talks about a 'recovery phase' but many people people — especially entrepreneurs — very rarely do a good job of incorporating a phase of recharge and recovery in their regular routine. What does recovery look like in a business sense? Have you ever implemented something like a de-load or recharge phase for you as an entrepreneur?

If we go back to 2015 and 2016, our kids were pretty young. And if you have kids, you understand that's a full-time job, having small kids. They take up a lot of time and energy. So, if you factor in that with trying to train and trying to grow your business, and we were teetering definitely on the point of burnout. We needed constant help because it just seemed like we were always so busy. And by 'busy' I don't necessarily mean in a great way, but just busy. Whether it was customer service, or little things here and there, and we had to really fix that.

Once we were able to fix that, I looked back and I thought about where I'd been the last couple of years. And it's like, "I have this." And I think this is the end goal for a lot of entrepreneurs. Not that this is an end goal for me, of course, there's always more to achieve and strive for, but at the same time, I just have a lot more flexibility and freedom over my own time.

Before this podcast, I was picking up my kids from school at 2:00PM. I was sitting in the carpool line for literally 30 minutes. Before that, I was reading. It's like you have that freedom. That's my downtime, I make sure I have that time every day where I can read and do these things. I make sure I workout every single day.

For entrepreneurs, and I understand, it's a really delicate balance — because in the beginning you have to go, go, go, go, go, if you want to be successful. You have to put in that work to create that initial momentum and success. I get it. Been there, done that.

But at the same time, you eventually realize that if you don't take some of that time off and step back a little bit, your output goes down. You're not putting out very high quality work. And if you, instead of just cramming the night before and skipping on sleep and all that stuff, if you maybe just got the sleep and relaxed a little bit, you wake up in the morning and the amount and quality of work that you can now do is better. And it's a hard thing to learn. I did it wrong a million times and probably still do, of course. But once I started to realize that a little bit, I was like, "Wow, this is where I'd probably need to try to trend towards."

Let's now switch gears and focus on the health and the nutrition side. What are the biggest myths about health and nutrition that need to be busted in 2021?

Do you have six hours!? No, it's alright. So, we want to talk about, I guess a couple of main ones. One would be the idea that carbs are bad. They're not really inherently bad. In fact, there are very few foods out there that you could classify as "bad". Trans fats are an example of something that is probably very, very bad for you. Other than that, it's this balance and moderation thing. And if you understand that, everything else is so much simpler.

Because the nutrition industry is crazy. I'm telling you, it's crazy. People love this dogma, and they just get in these camps and they're not willing to change their mind or anything. And it's like, "No, I'm keto. And if you're not keto, you are a bad person." It's like, "Oh, okay."

So, if people ask me, "Hey, what do you think of keto?" we start by talking about the good. We might mention how, because it's low carb, it's probably helpful in that it will make you feel more full, because you're eating more proteins and more fats, and you'd probably be still eating a good amount of veggies. So, these are great things.

It's not that carbs are inherently bad, but guess what? Most things that taste really good have a lot of carbs, have a lot of sugar and salt, and usually have a lot of fat. Think about donuts and pizza, and ice cream. It's not that carbs are necessarily the fault behind them, it's just that they are very calorically dense, which means they're very easy to overeat because they taste delicious. Our brains are wired that way and we want to keep doing it.

The best way to be healthy — and have a normal, healthy body weight — is to eat high quality foods.

And so, that's probably the biggest one, because people like to say that, "Oh, calories don't matter." I mean, calories do matter. At the end of the day, it's probably the biggest chunk of the puzzle. But the best way to be healthy — and have a normal, healthy body weight — is to eat high quality foods. And if you do that, you don't have to get crazy restrictive. You can follow the 80 / 20 rule. And again, if you do that, you eat mostly higher quality foods. I always do air quotes around "good foods" — lean proteins, fruits and veggies, healthy fats, things like nuts, avocados and healthy carbs, rice and sweet potatoes. If you eat mostly those things, it is almost impossible to over eat.

Some of those fad diets that seem to pop up every year, would they be an example of something that would not be as evidenced-based as what you just mentioned there?

Typically, here's how something like that works. You can find some studies on some of these things, or maybe there's some evidence that points towards that they might do something, but people love to extrapolate these things to the nth degree. And they're like, "Oh, well, if it showed this tiny promise of evidence approved then, well, obviously that is the main thing that you must be doing, and you must fast for 24 hours. That is the magic key to everything in the world." And I go, "Okay, maybe."

Here's the good thing about fasting. When do most people tend to overeat? Usually it's later on at night. You're out with friends, family, or you're sitting down and watching Netflix or whatever. And all of a sudden, a bag of chips has gone before you even realize it because you just watched two hours of TV.


Check out the YouTube or podcast version where Nick Shaw does the Win the Day Rocket Round, answering questions about his favorite quote, what advice he’d give his 18-year-old self, the one thing on his bucket list, and a whole lot more🚀


Again, there's nothing really magical about fasting. It's just, does it help you stay on track? Does it help you stay more compliant? And if the answer is yes, then great, it's an awesome strategy for you.

But again, it goes back to these diet camps that people love to get in and someone's like, "Oh, well, I did fasting and had these awesome results. You must do this now." You're like, "Well, what if I really like eating breakfast?" They're like, "No, no, that's stupid. It doesn't matter." And you're like, "Well, don't we have some wiggle room in there to meet people where they're at?"

The health and fitness space is just crazy at times, man. It's crazy.

In your book you mentioned how beneficial it can be to find a healthy activity that you love. For me, I love nothing more than going surfing or having a hit of tennis. We can burn through a whole ton of cals, and it's actually really fun. You're not forcing me to go and do something that I hate. So, as a result, you can stay fairly fit by doing some of those endeavors.

So, what type of exercise should people be doing when it comes to health goals?

Yeah, you nailed it. This book is more intended for people who are not your hardcore fitness folks. So, if I were to have written in this book, you must lift weights and you must do these things, people are going to say, "Look at that advice from Nick, that's stupid." I don't even like doing that. I don't like being in the gym.

If someone liked doing tennis and surfing, I would say, "Hey, that's awesome." Because you can do those things, and you can be in really good physical shape because they're very active, and that's a fantastic thing. So again, really, it's finding what you like to do. Because if you said, "Hey, Nick, do you want to go play tennis? And then go surfing." I'm going to be like, "I've played tennis one time in my entire life and I've never surfed." So for me, that's going to be a terrible day! "But hey, I'll meet you in the gym and we can go pump some iron." That's my idea of fun. So, we are two different things, right? You like different things. So, it'd be silly for me to say, you must do this.

Now, on the flip side of that, I would say, if you wanted to give some bare bones advice, try to lift weights at least twice a week. It doesn't have to be crazy heavy or anything like that. And then, just try to find some activities that you like, whether it's sports, hiking; all that stuff is great. There's no kind of one thing for every person.

I would suggest the lifting because I just think there's so many benefits around it, but again, you also have to realize not everyone likes it. For example, my sister doesn't really like lifting weights. She prefers to go run. I'm like, "Okay, cool." I have no issues with that. I'm not going to tell someone that it's mandatory to lift weights, but I think there's a lot of benefits that come from lifting weights.

Is there any technology or research that's come out in the last year or two that really excites you in terms of human performance?

There's just, there's a lot of that stuff coming out now. It seems like everyone's focusing on that. There's this rise of home gym stuff, and you have things like the Mirror or the Tonal.

I've been getting hammered by Facebook ads for the Tonal!

You and me both. I don't think I'm their target market, but I'm getting those every single day. Listen, I think something like that would be great for people. And here's the thing, a lot of people are scared to go back to the gym. I have a home gym, so it's totally different. I might be maybe a little skeptical of going back into the gym. I understand that. So, I think that's a really cool trend that Peloton and companies like that have done. You connect and you join these online classes, and it gives you that sense of community.

We work with a lot of CrossFitters. And the cool thing about CrossFit is they just have this really tight knit community behind them. My mom had never worked out for her first 60 years of her life. And I said to her, "Mom, why don't you go try CrossFit? I'll buy you a membership at the gym." It's 20 minutes away. And she loved it, because she could go and she could socialize a little bit. Of course, this was before COVID. It's been a little tricky to get her back in there. But it's one of these things where you're going to get some lifting, and you're going to get a lot of cardio. If you're moderately interested in those things, it might be worth checking out.

What are you focused on as a parent to ensure your kids grow up motivated, happy, healthy, and adaptable?

So, I consider myself extremely, extremely fortunate, because my kids love to read. And I don't know if they got that from me. My son could read at age four. I mean, it was phenomenal. I can't take much credit for that. I wish that I could!

My wife was out of town and I took my kids to Target. I told them, "You can pick out whatever book you want." And I knew they would be excited by that, but also they can have a book, and they'll sit and read it for like an hour or maybe even longer. And I think that's probably the coolest thing that I could possibly hope for. My son almost has never really played video games and he's like nine. So, I'm just super fortunate about some of that stuff that they love to read.

Other than that, I try to just make sure that they're active a little bit.

So, the one thing that actually, so this goes back to the whole control thing, when COVID hit, I had them trained in jujutsu, just because I think it's such a good skill to learn, self-defense for life and it just builds confidence. It helps develop that discipline of just being a good person. If you're going to train jujutsu, chances are, you're probably a pretty good person, because if you're not, you're going to get choked out a lot at your gym or whatever. So, we made it a thing. We tried to train... No, I'm not going to say every single day, but we kept training. And I just want him to be active. And if they read beyond that, I think that's pretty good start.

Final question: what's one thing you do to Win the Day?

Read, every single day.


Resources / links mentioned:

🌱 Want more Nick Shaw? Check out the YouTube or podcast version for the full interview, including the Win the Day Rocket Round.

📙 Fit for Success by Nick Shaw.

📝 Renaissance Periodization on Facebook.

📷 Renaissance Periodization on Instagram.

🧭 Nick Shaw on Instagram.

⚡ Renaissance Periodization website.

📚 The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson.

🎖️ Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.

🎙️ Have a podcast of your own and want to learn how to monetize it? Learn more about We Are Members, the world's #1 community for podcasters who want to generate attention, engagement, and sales for their podcast.

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