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Nick Bradley was so stressed from his corporate job that he literally broke his teeth in the middle of the night.

And you know what?

Most people are in the same situation as Nick was — trapped in a job you don’t like with no leads on living a better life.

But that’s okay. Nick used to be in that spot too.

In today’s episode, I’m sitting down with Nick Bradley so he can share with you how he went from shattering his teeth from stress to living an intentional life for his wife, his kids, and his consulting businesses.

Show Highlights Include:

  • How too much stress can cause all of your teeth to crack in the middle of the night (2:43)
  • The stupid-easy thing you can do today to eliminate all the unnecessary stress from your life (5:49)
  • The real reason you’re a slave to your past and future (8:10)
  • The Tony Robbins documentary you need to watch if you’re unsure about what you want in life (11:20)
  • Why listening to what society says about living your life is the quickest way to end up empty and depressed (12:41)
  • How to “ethically steal” from more successful people to make yourself more successful and fulfilled (16:53)

To find everything Nick is involved in, head over to https://NickCBradley.com. And don’t forget to check out his Scale Up Your Business Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts at.

Are you a highly-driven dad who needs help creating your legacy? Then go to wherever you listen to podcasts, subscribe to the show, and leave a 5-star review to help other highly-driven dads find this show.

Tag me @Riverathan on Instagram and tell me what you learned from this episode.

Read Full Transcript

No! Don't go in there! Daddy's working.

Jonathan: You are listening to the only show in the universe that helps dads like you and me find harmony in the four pillars of purpose, family, faith, fitness and finances. This is the Daddy's Working podcast. I am Daddy. I am working. But I'm enjoying every second of it.

Today I have a special guest. I brought someone on to share their adventures in daddying. And, in fact, I met this guy on his podcast and he was kind enough to have me on, and no, no, no, it's not one of those filthy little podcast swaps. This is a guy I genuinely enjoy. Do you like that? [01:01.4]

Nick: I like that. I like it.

Jonathan: I wanted to talk to you about that in a little bit. But, all right, so I've got Mr. Nick Bradley here. This guy is the real deal. Buys and sells businesses. He is a coach. He is a consultant. He helps people make millions of dollars, maybe even billions of dollars. And most importantly, he's a dad. What is up, Nick?

Nick: Hey. Great to be here, Jonathan. Fantastic to be on the show, man.

Jonathan: Dude, so why was that filthy podcast swap thing so funny to you?

Nick: Because it happens a lot. And do you know what the funny thing is, man? It's kind of like you can sort of see when it happens really overtly. And, listen, I'm not against collaboration and all that sort of stuff, but I genuinely wanted to come on this show to talk about stuff I don't normally talk about, which is being a dad and all the stuff that really matters.

Jonathan: When we were on your show, I know we went off the rails. I mean, I don't know how far we're going to go here, but I'm going to let you take it as far as you want to take it, brother. Like I said, family, faith, fitness, finances is what we're about here, finding harmony. [02:04.6]

And so, Nick, what would you say is the hardest part of finding that harmony between family and business? Because you said you were just in the U.S. You live in the UK. You travel. How do you do all that?

Nick: Yeah. Okay. I mean, I'll get into this a little bit with my story if that's cool.

Jonathan: Yeah.

Nick: Because I had a really full-on corporate career and what I mean by that is I did sort of 15, almost 20 years actually—it's a bit longer—working for sort of big, large companies around the world. And back then, we're talking probably five, six years ago now before I gave all that up, I just wasn't really present with my family. I was always focused on work. I was focused on the next big thing, and all this stuff was in my head, right?

And it was one day, actually two things happened. First thing, I went to bed one night, I had a really stressful couple of weeks trying to close a deal, and I woke up the middle of the night and I cracked all the back of my teeth, literally on the right side of my jaw.

And what had happened, because I went to the dentist, actually went to the doctor first and then ended up at the dentist, they said to me, “Listen, you're just stressed. Literally, you go into sleep and you've had all this stuff going on in your head, and you've cracked. You’ve cracked your teeth. [03:08.0]
So, that happened. At the same time, I was also having a few conversations with the real boss, the real boss being my wife.

Jonathan: That’s a fact.

Nick: She was saying, “This has got to change. This isn't working for us. Two young girls.” And I had to stop it. I stopped it. I stopped doing all of it. I made the decision to go and sort of, okay, make my own path, because I was out of balance.
So, in answer to your question, How do I find that now? Because I'm super focused on it, I'm super intentional about it and I make sure that even if I am going away and doing stuff, which you would call work, but I love my work these days. It's more of a passion than anything else. Whenever I'm home and whenever I can be with my family, I am absolutely there.

Jonathan: Wow, so there's a lot to unpack there and the first thing that I want to talk about, because I say this show is for dadpreneurs, but I know there's dads out there listening that still have jobs. And so, you've got a beautiful young family. You've got a boss wife. You have all these people to take care of. How the hell do you pull the plug on the job security and say, I'm going to do something different. I'm going to, I'm going to let all this go and start something new? [04:14.0]

Nick: Yeah, so if I sort of go back a step, when I said I made the choice, I made a decision when I had the teeth incident, I made the decision literally that day. Literally on that day, I made a phone call to a mate of mine who had gone through a similar journey many years beforehand and I've got a bit of perspective from him, but I didn't go into my kind of day job, if you like, my job at the time and quit that day.

I made the decision, but then I had planned out what I needed to do, because I was earning some serious cash. I was working in private equity. I was going into businesses and turning them around, and making a lot of money from that stuff. But I was usually unfulfilled doing it.

So, I started doing some side hustle stuff. I'm sure I broke my contract, but considering it was a while ago now, I think we can share that. But I got really resourceful. I thought, Well, hold on. What do I need to do? Because I don't want my family to suffer. I want them to have the same quality of life. [05:01.9]

My wife was hugely supportive because she could see the change in me just by making that decision. The work I was doing was just bringing me back so much. I kind of went away, did some personal development stuff, some Tony Robbins stuff, got some coaching around this. I kind of thought, Hold on. What do I want my life to be like?

And, literally, I'd mapped it all down. I wrote it all down. I want to spend this amount of time at home. I want to have businesses like this. I want to get better at these things, the things I need to develop. And it took me a year, a whole year of executing that plan before I was at the point where I stopped, I suppose, working to take this salary from my corporate career.

Jonathan: Okay, so you made the decision and then you built the bridge. You're not one of those who burn the bridges just yet.

Nick: It was difficult work. It's difficult work because, at that point in time, the difference is this is a really cool thing I think that can help people, because once I worked out what was going on in my head and I made the decision, I wasn't stressed anymore. I mean, I didn't like necessarily what was going on, but I had a different purpose. I had a different meaning to it.

Jonathan: Talk to me a little bit about that. You said that today you don't really feel like you're doing work because it's something you love to do. So, how did you end up loving what you do? Is that something that you always had a passion for or that you just learned to love the grind? [06:15.5]

Nick: No, because what I was doing in the corporate job in many cases was leadership and coaching. I ran some pretty large teams, and when you're kind of director or VP or higher in some of these large companies, most of what you need to do is get things done through people, so it's about influence and it's about leadership.

And I kind of realized I had a passion for that anyway, so I was … I mean, I coach people now. I coach entrepreneurs and business leaders, helping them to grow and scale their businesses. I was kind of doing that, but I wasn't doing it on my terms. So, the first thing was, hold on, I need to feel that this is something that I have a little bit more say in and a bit more control. I actually liked what I was doing. I just didn't like the environment.

And then, the second part of that is I was sitting there looking at kind of investments or private equity. It was usually buying companies and then growing them, and then selling them to create value to create money. I needed to learn how to do that myself. [07:02.9]

So, part of my year was educating on how I could do that myself, not necessarily using my own money, using other capital and getting resourceful. And so, I kind of built three ways of looking at this, Jonathan. I looked at it from … I like coaching people. I like helping people and part of the reason I launched my podcast was that. I like the kind of investment and growing businesses. I like the game of that. That's fun. And I want to be home. I want to be home more and I want to be able to live my work life more on my terms, so I'm choosing when and how I do work.

And by putting those pillars together, if you like, and fitness and other things come into it as well because there was more to it, I just started to have different standards of how I wanted to live.

Jonathan: Standards. I like that. Another thing that I wanted to just to dig a little bit deeper into is it's something that's near and dear to me and I started 2020 with this idea, and I'm bringing it to anybody that'll listen. You said, “I want to be more intentional,” and so how does that show up in your life, intention? [08:02.9]

Nick: Yeah, I use the word, probably overuse it. It's such a powerful word for me because what it means to me, right, is I think a lot of people live life either having someone else's agenda—in other words, it's something that they think they should be doing—or they're always living in the future or the past, so they're always either worried about what's coming or they're holding onto something, which they can't let go off.

And so, intention for me and I use “intention” and “presence” in a similar vein, it's about being very clear about what you're trying to achieve and not letting it be someone else's mandate, not letting it be someone else's direction, because it’s no one else's life.

So, standards, intention, focus, purpose. I talk about this stuff and being present because, for me, it's about absolutely committing to the things that are going to make me feel both achievement and fulfillment.

Jonathan: Now, this is one that I see people struggling with all the time and I'd like to talk to you a little bit about it. How did you get clear? See, most people say they want something different. They don't know what different looks like, and so they stay in the same monotony. How did you get clear? How did you know? How did you develop that vision of what you wanted, what your purpose is? 09:13.8]

Nick: Yeah. Cool. Great question. I've got a very clear answer to it because I went through a few things that happened around the same time as my teeth story, famous teeth story. So, I hadn't met my father for something like … I think he left our family when I was two years of age.

Jonathan: Wow.

Nick: And I met up with him in my sort of late thirties, so it had been about 35 years of not really knowing who this guy was. And he came into my life around a pretty interesting time because I was sort of feeling this stress of work and trying to kind of grab something. I didn't know what I was going for. I kept trying to go as high as I possibly could, but I didn't know what that was. If I think back now, it was about trying to please or try and sort of fill a gap of what was missing from not having a dad in my life for so long. [10:02.1]

So, anyway, I meet him. Ends up being a totally different guy to what I thought he was going to be because, of course, my mom has had different views of what she thought of him versus what he really was, and, of course, people change over that time.

Anyway, he came into my life. He was a really engaging, caring, genuine guy, was a fantastic businessman, really entrepreneurial, and I had all these kinds of limiting beliefs beforehand, which were like, I can't be like that. I'm not like that. I don't have any patterns around it. He came in. Anyway, so I saw a different version of myself through him.
And then, this is the sort of uncanny bit. He came in and he died really quickly of cancer.

Jonathan: Wow.

Nick: So, anyway, I had this really short period of time with the guy, in fact, because he was living in Australia and I was living in the UK. I think I only saw him three times over that couple of years. But what happened, this is the cool bit, is I kind of realized that a lot of the stuff that I'd been told about and thought was true in terms of growing up and everything else, it was all stuff that wasn't congruent with what actually I saw was real now. [11:01.4]

And so, I started to question everything. I thought, Hold on. Perhaps I'm not doing what I'm supposed to be doing. Perhaps I'm doing what I think, and back to my point around intention, that other people think I should be doing. And then, I thought, This is a bit weird, so that's when I thought, I need to kind of do something here.

As weird serendipity happens, I was playing around with Netflix with my wife and I watched this Tony Robbins documentary that's on there and I remembered reading some of his stuff beforehand, and I watched the documentary and I thought, You know what? I need to do something different. I need to change my environment. There's been a whole lot of stuff that's happened in the last few months. So, I literally jumped on a plane to Chicago and I went to one of Tony Robbins’ events. It's called UPW, Unleash the Power Within.

Jonathan: Yeah.

Nick: And I spent … I'm not afraid to say this. I spent literally the three or four days crying my eyes out because I was hearing stuff around programming and NLP, and all these kinds of concepts that I never really knew much about, but it really made sense to me. And there's a piece in that program where he takes you on this kind of intervention, if you like, where you have to look at your life in the future and what would happen if you don't make the choices that are going to start to move you forward to where you're going to be happy. [12:05.6]

Usually fear stops people from doing stuff and I saw in the future kind of, What if I couldn't provide for my girls? What if I didn't face some of the things that I was scared to do like starting businesses and getting more involved in some of the things I wanted to do so bad? And I went through that experience and that's when I came back and I just planned everything.

So, there were a lot of things that happened, but the spark was there. I got very clear, wrote everything down and then I just executed it, and that's what's been happening. That's what got me to kind of what I'm doing now.

Jonathan: I want to touch on it because you hit this a couple times and I talk about this on the show often. I talk about it on my daily videos, this idea of what the world thinks you should do, what society says you should do. Be a good little boy. Be a good little worker. Do what you're supposed to do. First of all, how do you realize that isn’t for you and then what do you do to release yourself from it?

Nick: Yeah, I remember we spoke about this, and we said about the Matrix and the red and the blue pill. [13:02.7]

Jonathan: Yeah.

Nick: And it’s a great analogy, right, a great sort of story around this because it feels like that. It feels like you're in this world where this is what I was told to do for years. I don't blame my upbringing. I didn't come from any sort of wealthy family or anything like that. I got the best advice I could possibly get back then and which was get a good education, good education being school and university. That was the thinking and, in fairness, the funny part about that is no one in my family went to university. It was kind of like why they didn’t, because their stories were built up by seeing other people perceived successful and then get a job. That was it. Get a job.

And so, I don't think that was the right path for me. I did it and I did it for years, but I was always getting sacked. I was always getting fired. I was always saying stuff that I shouldn't say, right, whether it was the right thing or not. For me it was. And I think after going through that sort of experience and then realizing because I thought, This is not what I'm supposed to be doing, then the whole world opens up. [14:05.5]

Beforehand, it felt literally like the movie, The Matrix. Everything's closed. I’m in a game. And then, as soon as I started to see possibility, which was really just about my mindset—that's all it was, the ability to see things differently—everything else opens up. Now, that stuff was always there, right? So, the cool bit. That stuff was always in front of me. I just didn't see it.
Jonathan: Yeah, you were bending the spoon.

Nick: Yeah.

Jonathan: You got back into the machine and bent the spoon. That's right. You made your own reality. Oh, how nerdy I am. Ah.
So, let's talk a little bit about personal development. I'm sure the movie was, I Am Not Your Guru, by Tony Robbins. Tell me a little bit about your personal development journey and what you've done, because grow up in a world that programs you a certain way. You’ve got news. You’ve got media. You’ve got school. You’ve got teachers, all programing you a certain way. And in order to develop as a person, you have to put that behind you. And so, tell me a little bit … you said Tony Robbins. What else? What are some of the other things that you did to wake yourself up? [15:04.5]

Nick: Yeah, so there's a few different things. I deliberately gave up watching TV and sort of reading or listening to the news. I mean, not to say I don't put a movie on Saturday night and enjoy that, but beforehand as a form of escapism as to what most people do, which is come home from a crappy day at work and watch four hours of TV. I did that for years and lots of people still do it, right? And I decided that I'm not doing that.

And what was funny about that decision was because I had a new vision of what I wanted my life to be like, I didn't have time to do that anyway, but it was a more conscious choice, particularly around the news because, in these examples as we're recording this today, there's lots of stuff that's out there that you--

Jonathan: The coronavirus is going to get ya.

Nick: Yeah, that’s right. I mean, God, you know. But the point is that I made a decision about this. That was one thing. Then I got really, really focused on my broader health. I was always quite fit from sort of running an exercise. That was always a big thing. I used to run marathons and ultramarathons, but I know now I do mainly as a form of escape. [16:07.0]

But I started to meditate. I started to bring meditation into my world, which I never did previously. I started to read more. I started to go back a bit. I went into the kind of the world of Jim Rohn and some of those guys, and just started feeding my mind with other thoughts. So, I committed to doing at least some time per day doing that.

And getting up earlier is another thing just so I could get more stuff done before the family wakes up. Back to intention and purpose, I just started to create more routines and habits, which were starting to show me a different paradigm, yeah, because beforehand I was literally just get up late. I would have probably had some bottle of wine before going to bed. I'd get in the car or get in the train, go to work, work, come home. It was a cycle and then weekends I'd be exhausted.

So, I needed to break all of those patterns and I just started to bring in, as I said, some more what I call “performance habits” into my life based on seeing what other people were doing who I could see were more fulfilled and more successful in both their work and their life. [17:08.3]

Jonathan: Dude, I'm so excited. Tell me about some of those performance habits.

Nick: Okay, so I started off following some of the stuff that Tony talks about. He talks about a few years back, he had a couple of recordings called Hour Of Power, where you literally get out of bed in the morning and the first thing you do is you get outside and you walk. You walk or you run. So I did this for a while. I still have something similar to this, but I've changed it up a bit now.

And I would go out there and I would firstly start as soon as I do some power breathing. Again, I'm just waking my body up, getting out there, walking the dog. I would do some visualization about where I was going, so I was very clear on this. Now I'd written it down. I had the vision. I just needed to execute.

So, I would visualize what it would feel like to be in that place and I'd mixed into that gratitude, so, again, to ground me. What I've got now is all I need. And I would introduce some affirmations and incantations into that. Not too many, but just a few that would take me forward. [18:00.7]

And what’s interesting, one of the things I say at the end of my podcast is “Be grateful. Be brave. Have faith and show up,” and that was one of the incantations, one of the affirmations that I created back then because those four points—be grateful for what you have now. Have faith that where you're going it’s going to be there and to be brave to take the decisions, make the hard choices, because there are going to be tough times, and showing up is about taking action and being present every day—was one of the things that came out of that work, that sort of unlocking of my mindset.

Jonathan: I love it. I love it. I've heard about those audios, but I’ve never heard one. But I do get up in the morning for a nice walk, so I’ve got some of that Tony Robbins in me.

Nick: What I started to do was I started to hang out with different people and this is kind of a weird one because as soon as your eyes were opened up to some of this stuff, some of the relationships you have with friends, they change. They evolve. And I started hanging out with some different people and people who just genuinely were more kind of alive. It's probably the way to say it.

And after I started doing that, it wasn't just the Tony Robbins stuff. It was other places I went to, other people I hung out with, and I started to see a pattern of what these people were doing and it was stuff like meditating every day. It was exercising every day, eating better, having the energy to be able to be more and do more. [19:13.9]

And I realized that I had to change, make quite a lot of changes, if I was going to move everything to something that was going to be a lot of fun, but also be the right transition for my family as well.

Jonathan: Yeah, I like that “Be more. Have more.” I think … who is that? Brian Tracy? Be more, have more and do more. I had to give more to it, but, yeah, I liked that concept.

Nick: Yeah.

Jonathan: Guess what? Time is up for this week. I know you were just getting into that and I don't blame you because it was just getting good, but we're trying to keep these episodes under a half hour, so we slid it up into two. We'll be back next week with Part 2 of this interview. Make sure you tune in then. [20:02.2]

And if you love what you're hearing, why not share this episode with someone who will also love it?
Thank you. Daddy's out.

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