When I was fired in 2005, I was emotionally devastated. But I was saved from going down a dark hole of depression by a yoga practice that I’d had for the previous four years. Instead of sitting around feeling sad, I upped my practice and went to yoga classes twice a day, every single day. I’ll always be grateful for that practice. It gave me the space to rethink my life. Instead of rushing back into another teaching job, I became a coach and the rest is history…
When my dad passed away, 6 years ago, I was grief stricken. But I was saved from being overwhelmed because my Men’s Group had helped me have some very honest conversations with him, before he died. They were one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but I’ll always be grateful for those moments with my dad.
I’m in the support business. Because I know how much I count on support, myself.
I lead a team. I lead a community. I run two businesses. I have tens of thousands of followers on social media. I’m a husband. I’m a father. But I can’t do any of it alone.
I have all sorts of support in my life.
I want to learn, grow, be the best I can be, make a difference and enjoy life.
I’m great at supporting my clients but I need support to take care of me.
I do my best to take care of my Physical, Mental, Emotional, Social, Financial and Spiritual Health because I want to walk my talk.
Let me take you into my world…
I’ve set a clear intention to live happily and healthily to 133. If you think that sounds unusual, you should meet two of my friends and mentors—Peter Diamandis and Dan Sullivan. Dan is the founder of Strategic Coach, he’s 75 and plans to live to 156. Peter is the founder of XPRIZE Foundation and Singularity University, he’s 59 and intends to live to 700! Listen to the two of them talking on this episode of Exponential Wisdom to learn more about cultivating a Longevity Mindset.
In 2020, I continued to build the support team I need to help me with this mission:
- For over 5 years, Christopher Maher has been a member of my personal support team. He’s a former Navy SEAL, a former Olympic athlete and a member of 4PC. I use Christopher’s True Body Intelligence techniques almost every day, to remove stress from every part of my system—physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
- When I want to feel my best—physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually—I call Gabrielle Joyce Levy. I know how to push my mind, she knows how to push my body. In 2020, we trained 3 days a week—yoga, boxing, running on the beach and True Body Intelligence. Gabrielle also works with me every day when I’m running an Intensive, to keep me at the top of my game.
- I’m a Health Nucleus 100+ client. Their program uses world-class physicians, genomic scientists and cutting-edge technology to detect and help preempt cancer, cardiac, metabolic and neurodegenerative disease.
- I hired a nutritionist in 2020. We set my goals for body composition, as well as mental and physical performance, and they built an ideal nutritional profile for me. I have meals delivered every day, designed to help me hit that nutritional profile.
- Because I intend to live a long and healthy life, I surround myself with people who are older than me who are thriving. In 2020, two of my coaches were 75 years old and one of my mentors is still coaching and teaching in his mid-80s.
Emotional & Social Health
- Monique and I both work from home but in normal times we travel a lot. In 2020, not only did we barely leave home, we were homeschooling our boys, on top of everything else. It was an intense year and we had sessions with a couple’s counselor—a therapist—almost every week. She was an invaluable support to us. Not only did she help our relationship, it was her support that also helped Monique and I create and run our first every program together. We are really proud of that.
- My close friends and I restarted our Men’s Group at the beginning of the pandemic and we met virtually each week, for much of the year. Sometimes we’d do deep work—challenging and supporting one another. Sometimes we’d just chat and laugh together. These men have been in my life for over a decade. They mean the world to me.
- Teo Alfero is one of my best friends. He’s been a member of 4PC for 7 years. In 2019, our families traveled together. In 2020, we got together with our kids at his Wolf Connection ranch for socially distanced play, ATV driving and shooting bow and arrows.
- Adam Gilad is another of my best friends. In normal times we meet for dinner, great conversation and a movie, at least twice a month. In 2020, we hiked and ate take-out on the beach.
- Mike and David are two of my closest friends because we’ve known each other since we first met in London, when we were 16 years old. Over 35 years of friendship. That really says something. They know nothing about my world as a coach. Honestly, we still chat about the things we did when we were 16—picking up girls (we were never very good at it!) and bad action movies (we still love them!). In 2020, we caught up over Zoom for conversations about life, love, movies and politics.
I used to hide my head in the sand when it came to finances, because I felt overwhelmed at the thought of looking at the numbers. And believe it or not, I have a degree in Economics.
I never used to plan… In my 20s, I got really good at sweet-talking bank officials when I accidentally went overdrawn, to get them to refund my bank charges.
I never used to budget… At 21, I received my first paycheck from my first job. I immediately put a down payment on my first car. Within weeks, I realized that I hated the job and I felt trapped by the years of payments I was now committed to make.
I never used to think about the future… In my 20s and early 30s, I was an employee. I assumed that money would keep coming into my account for ever. And I paid almost no attention to managing my money.
Everything changed when I was fired from my job. Everything changed when I became an entrepreneur. Everything changed again when I got married. Everything changed yet again when I became a parent. And as my business grew, everything continued to change.
I’ve made lots of money mistakes by being afraid of looking at the numbers. I’ve been $100,000 in debt (credit card debt, which is the worst). I’ve had to pay an unexpected $300,000 tax bill. And I still remember what I felt, the first time a client asked for a refund. Ice rushed into my veins at the fear of how I’d ever pay back the money I’d already spent.
I’ve learned (painfully slowly) to get better at managing my money and to not be afraid to look at the numbers. One of the best investments I ever made was to hire money experts to support me. (Oh, and to marry someone who is more proactive in thinking about our money than I am!)
Over the past few years, I have built a team of people to support me. A bank manager, a bookkeeper, an accountant, a tax specialist, an insurance agent, a corporate attorney, an estate attorney, a wealth manager, and an investment manager.
If you want to be a great writer, you need to be a great reader. I love to read physical books but I also read on my Kindle and I listen to audiobooks. These are some of the more interesting books I read in 2020, in the order I read them.
- ConCom by Rory Miller – a fascinating book on conscious communication by a man who served in maximum security, mental health and as a combat medic.
- Living in a Real-Time World: 6 Capabilities to Prepare Us for an Unimaginable Future by Jim Selman – Jim is one of the founders of the coaching profession. He literally introduced coaching as an aspect of management, back in 1984. This was a very timely book for 2020.
- 100 Truths You Will Learn Too Late by Luca Dellanna – this was a book that really made me think—and a book that I wish I’d written.
- Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration by Keith Sawyer – I have been creating community for over two decades and I never stop learning about the gifts and the challenges of collaboration.
- The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel – in the author’s words, “Money is everywhere, it affects all of us, and confuses most of us….” This is a great book.
- RISK! True Stories People Never Thought They’d Dare to Share by Kevin Allison – if you want to be a great storyteller, you need to read great stories. This is based on one of my favorite podcasts.
- Disunited Nations by Peter Zeihan – Peter is one of the most fascinating geopolitical thinkers I have come across in recent years.
- Bored and Brilliant by Manoush Zomorodi – mindfulness can be a valuable tool but mind-wandering is even more valuable if you want to be original and creative.
- The Max Strategy: How A Businessman Got Stuck At An Airport and Learned To Make His Career Take Off – this is a business fable, written 25 years ago, about the simple concept that experiments never fail.
- Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too by Jonny Sun – this is a lovely illustrated story of a lonely alien sent to observe Earth, where he makes super sweet observations on life, love, and happiness.
- Oversubscribed: How To Get People Lining Up To Do Business With You by Daniel Priestly – Daniel is a riveting writer and thinker on entrepreneurship. I was honored to be featured in the second edition of this book.
- The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters by Priya Parker – a great book on how to create transformational gatherings.
- Marketing Made Simple: by Donald Miller – how to use the StoryBrand framework for marketing.
- The Uncertainty Mindset by Vaughn Tan – this is a great introduction to the distinction of handling uncertainty vs reducing risk.
- What Do You Do With an Idea? by Kobi Yamada – the story of a brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world. I gifted this to every member of 4PC. I also highly recommend his other books, What Do You Do With a Problem? and What Do You Do With a Chance?
- 5: Where will you be five years from today? by Dan Zadra – if you help your clients create their future, this is a great book to inspire their thinking.
- The Long Win: The search for a better way to succeed by Cath Bishop – by every measure, Cath is one of the most successful people on the planet. She competed as a rower at three Olympic Games, she won the World Championships and an Olympic medal, she was a senior diplomat and she’s a coach and consultant who teaches at Cambridge University. The book was a little long but I love thinking about how to reframe success and better metrics for success.
- Sapiens: A Graphic History by Yuval Noah Harari – this is a graphic novel version of the book Sapiens. I liked the original but it was really heavy going. This version of the book was such fun that I read it to my kids every night. They loved it and we all learned a lot.
- A Letter in the Scroll by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: Sacks was the Chief Rabbi of Britain and he passed away last year. This book explores how—in the face of great adversity—Judaism has lasted and flourished and made a mark on human history. I was raised Jewish but I have never been religious. Last year I began exploring spirituality from a Jewish perspective. I also read Why Be Jewish by Rabbi David Wolpe, Judaism’s Ten Best Ideas by Dr. Arthur Green, and Parenting on a Prayer by Rabbi Amy Grossblatt Pessah.
- Mind Over Matter: Why Intellectual Capital is the Chief Source of Wealth by Ronald J. Baker – your business will transform in direct proportion to the power of the intellectual capital that you create.
- How To Raise Entrepreneurial Kids by Jodie Cook and Daniel Priestley – my dad was an entrepreneur who tried really hard to raise 3 boys who did anything but become an entrepreneur. Turns out we watched his actions and didn’t listen to his words! My brother, Peter, is now a strategic advisor to family offices and businesses. My brother, Andy, is an independent film producer. His most recent project, Roadkill, with Hugh Laurie was one of the best tv shows I watched in 2020.
- The King Within by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette – a little dry and dated but I am interested to explore this archetype of the male psyche.
- The Art of Problem Solving by Russ Ackoff – this book is over 30 years old but I’ve been pouring over it to gain ideas for solving problems, living life and coaching top performers.
- Mixed Up by Tineka Smith and Alex Court – this is a vulnerable and intimate audiobook about the relationship between an African-American woman and a white British man.
- Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks – as you may gather, I never stop learning how to become a better storyteller.
Some of the books I read for fun this year (mostly mysteries) included:
Blue Moon by Lee Child. To Kill a Man by Sam Bourne. Wedding Wipeout by Jacob M. Appel. Agent Running in the Field by John le Carré. The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly. Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang. Oscar Wilde and the Return of Jack the Ripper by Gyles Brandreth. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. The Evening and The Morning by Ken Follett.
As the saying goes,
The healthy person has 1000 wishes. The sick person has only one…
Let me know what actions you are taking to increase your physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual and financial health.
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