Welcome to the Join Up Dots Podcast with Steve Reed
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Introducing Steve Reed
Steve Reed is todays guest on the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast.
He is an English author, who believes totally that “Small Habit Changes Lead To Massive Results Over Time.”
But he didn’t start his career by putting pen to paper, and delivering book after book to the shelves of Amazon and other popular book shops.
No instead he spent many years studying Chinese martial arts, was a professional firefighter, entrepreneur, and a UK based Certified Personal Trainer and Sports & Exercise Nutrition Coach, gaining this nutritional qualifications from the esteemed Precision Nutrition.
But you might think that means that he is a self development nut, looking for the ultimate version of himself.
But no think again.
How The Dots Joined Up For Steve
Because as we see time and time again, that when someone focuses in on improving themselves it will more often that not lead to them looking to share their knowledge with the world.
And he is no different, as he has found a passion and a commitment for educating people on the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle.
He gets huge amounts of joy and satisfaction from educating people on the benefits of living a healthy, vibrant, meaningful, and playful life.
So did he always want to be the finest physical specimen that he could make himself?
And what is the biggest mistake that people make in trying to get their own momentum going.
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, with the one and only Mr Stephen Reed
During the episode we discussed such weighty topics such as:
How he realised that his key strength was not focusing on one thing, but being eclectic and juggling many balls which excites him daily and brings greater success.
How he sees the creativity that links through his work, as the key thing that he needs to focus on and will bring the greatest results.
How it is so important when you begin to have a good level of knowledge of what needs to be done, but not necessarily to become an expert in that subject.
How being employed in a job, is no different than being self-employed with just one client. How do you know that the client will say goodbye to you?
How there is no such thing in life as failure. As a perceived failure is only data that we can use to find a better way to do something in the future.
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Full Transcription Of Steve Reed Interview
David Ralph [0:00]
Today’s show is brought to you by podcast is mastery.com. The premier online community teaching you to podcast like a pro check us out now. podcasters mastery.com
when we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:37]
Yes, hello bear world is David round it is Join Up Dots. I feel like singing today. It’s a lovely lovely day in United Kingdom The sun is shining. It’s a bit frosty, but you just feel that summers on its way. And so for all of you people out there who are feeling a bit sluggish after winter, today’s guest is going to be one of those kind of guys. That he is basically going to chase you around your house and get you fit and, and get you punching beyond your weight because today’s guest is an English author who believes totally that small habit changes lead to massive results over time. But he didn’t start his career by putting pen to paper I don’t know and delivering book after book to the shelves of Amazon and other popular bookshops. Instead, he spent many years studying Chinese martial arts. He was a professional firefighter, and now an entrepreneur and a UK based certified personal trainer and sports and exercise nutrition coach, gaining this nutritional qualifications from the esteemed precision nutrition. But you might think that this means that he’s a self development not looking for the ultimate version of himself. But no think again. Because as we see time and time again, that when someone focuses in on improving themselves, it will more often than not lead to them looking to share their knowledge with the world and he’s no different, as he’s found a passion and a commitment for educating people. The benefits of living a healthy lifestyle, he gets huge amounts of joy and satisfaction from educating people on the benefits of living a healthy, vibrant, meaningful employee for life. So did you always want to be the finest physical specimen that he could make himself and what is this biggest mistake that people make and trying to get their own momentum going? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Steve Reed. How are you Steve?
Steve Reed [2:28]
Hey, David. I’m good. Thanks for having me.
David Ralph [2:30]
It is lovely to have an English man on I always liked the English man. It’s funny I didn’t realise how much I love English men and that’s a strange place I yeah to say on the show, but it’s it’s funny we have a different way of looking at the world don’t way the English have a kind of, I don’t know. Self depreciating sarcastic humour. But that goes down went on podcast for some reason.
Steve Reed [2:52]
Well, let’s hope so. People will let you know at the end of the show, I’m sure.
David Ralph [2:55]
So wherever bounce are we speaking you are obviously in the United States. Kingdom but sort of give us an overflow of what your life is like on a daily basis.
Steve Reed [3:06]
Okay, well I’m actually this is where I’m from. We talked before the show I’m from from Sussex down on the south coast. And I’ve lived there. I’ve lived in Australia for a few years. We came back in 2010 to West Dorset. So I’m sure you’ve got a lot of English listeners who don’t know where Dorset is, but for anybody else, find the map of the UK, find the blue bit at the bottom and go about two thirds to your left and I’m pretty much there. Beautiful day in Dorset as well today actually, it’s it’s very sunny. frosty as you said it was but it’s quite pleasant. So my day I work from home, I work online pretty much most of the time. And over time I’ve chopped and changed a little bit which we’ll talk more about to finding something that enjoy doing on the on the regular basis, I get up at about six in the morning, I do an hour couple of hours of work, head into town, hit a coffee shop with my laptop usually and do some writing and come home, fiddle around on the computer a bit more doable. The training. And the day is pretty much me own. And it’s I haven’t got it perfected. I don’t think I ever will. It’s always a journey. You always want to achieve something more, or do something different over time, your aspirations change, your passions change. But that pretty much sums up an average sort of day for me.
David Ralph [4:39]
So if for the listeners out there if they met you in that coffee bar, and I said, Mr. Reid, how would you describe yourself? What do you do for a living? We’ve always kind of things going on and the fact that you fiddle around on your computer for a while. How do you actually describe what you do?
Unknown Speaker [4:58]
Well, people ask My wife what I do and she she’s not able to give them an answer, actually, perhaps she’s just disinterested. So essentially, I’ve got I’ve got a couple of things and they, in the past they’ve ever done flowed as my passions for them have gone up and down a little bit. I’m still running a nutrition coaching business with a few clients. And that’s purely online. And I’m doing a lot less of the personal training. Now I was doing it a lot, and going back 18 months, couple of years. But now I think if I had to describe myself, I just would say that I was mainly an author, with a few other online related things going on. I’m very much into the idea of having, for me anyway, multiple streams of income but also multiple interests. businesses, because I’m, I’ve tried to do the one thing I’ve tried to find my purpose in life. And to be perfectly honest with you, once I realised that that was probably not going to happen, I got a lot happier, things became a lot easier. And I tried to just do what I love doing but altering is probably my main thing at the moment. And I’m also involved in a an online book promotion company, where we promote Kindle books to a big audience every single day. And I pretty much run that side of things. And that has allowed me to interact with some incredibly awesome and well known people not gonna do any name, drop, go
David Ralph [6:45]
and go and do some name dropping, that’s what we
Steve Reed [6:48]
got. But basically, you know, I’ll go
David Ralph [6:50]
on and on, give us one name Oh, an impression of someone don’t go and do it.
Unknown Speaker [6:55]
Well, I mean, basically, now I’m not gonna I’m not going to start. But basically what we do is really responsible on the whole nonfiction side of things. So, so attend to book promotions and interact and communicate with nonfiction authors, and a lot of them are in the entrepreneurial sort of space, if you want to call it that. So I fought some really great connections. And I’m also being inspired by being around and communicating with people who have taken life by the horns and are actually, you know, successful, passionate pushing forward. So that will be one tip that would maybe talk about later is I’ve managed to surround myself with people who are passionate, and that brings out the passion in me and creates a success mentality. So So that’s basically I mean, there’s, there’s, there’s all sorts of people there’s, there’s hundreds of authors that I’ve communicated with some of them just starting out, some of them more well known. So that’s my A sideline, but it’s something that I really enjoy. So, there’s another aspect of my life.
David Ralph [8:06]
The interesting thing about that I really jumped out on me was very differently. You found that your thing was multiple things. So many people look for passion, a focus and just do that one thing, but you actually got to a point where you went, well, I can’t decide what to do. So I’m going to do all of it and doing all of it is actually making me happier than just being one thing. It was that always the case when he was a small kid. Were you always somebody that that that wanted to try different things all the time, I was very interested about balancing and juggling different balls.
Unknown Speaker [8:38]
Well, I guess, I guess looking back and and we may talk later about the little book that I’ve doing quite well called lean in. How to create a life less ordinary or the art of creating a life less ordinary, and are talking there a little bit about ways that you can find things that you are passionate about. By By going back, looking at your childhood, and for me, if I actually really sort of sat down and thought about and I have done this, there were certain things that I enjoy doing. And you know, when you’re a kid you kind of do what you like doing anyway apart from the whole school thing, but I was very, very interested in mechanical stuff. I used to like building push bikes, playing around with motorbikes as I as I got a little bit older, and, and that was something that permeated through my early adult life I was very much into motorcycles, rebuilding them, stripping them down, re spraying them, making them good and so that that when I when I look at that, and then I look at things I like doing now. I don’t really play with motorbikes. I haven’t got one at the moment. I might get another one. I’ve got Holly on the minds, you know, I might be for a couple of years down the road midlife crisis, Steve. Yes. Well, thanks I was a serious motorcycle enthusiasts all through my teens. 20s. So I just kind of think like, you know, you get married, you have kids. And then yeah, maybe you get you get towards sort of, you know, like 40s 50s kids are growing up and you think, oh, maybe I could go back to that. But what I found I like doing now as I write and I write, you know, 20 30,000 word short books, etc. But one of the things I really like about it is the graphic design side of things like creating book covers, making something creating something from scratch, and then tweaking it and getting an end result and that’s not the same as building a motorbike. But what I’ve realised is that there’s some links there, you know, starting with something, or starting with nothing and turning it into something that is potentially attractive, beautiful, it works. I’m not I’m not a graphic designer, but if I had to spend My time doing like one aspect of what I do. It’s tweaking website design it’s you know, playing around with WordPress and themes, etc. and creating book covers etc. So there is something that’s permeated through and I’ve realised that I’ve really tried to do the one thing and I spent many years in the in the fire service down in West Sussex. And I did about seven years as a retained as a part time firefighter. And then about 10 years as a full time firefighter and I, I enjoyed that and I loved the job aspects of it. But, but then something else came up and by my father had emigrated to Australia, and we had the opportunity to go, and some people would say, well, Steve, you know, you always think the grass is greener on the other side. And it’s not always but I’m very much a person who wants to at least have a look at the grass.
David Ralph [11:58]
Yeah, to see if Grass can be greener on both sides, don’t you?
Unknown Speaker [12:02]
Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. And having there’s an interesting you said about multi multi interests, there’s actually quite a thing coming out these days is that there’s a guy who’s got a, a website called party like it’s, I’m not going to give it a plug because I haven’t really followed. But she coined this phrase of multi potential lights and, and these are people who, yet they want to do multiple things. They haven’t just got one thing. And they struggle to be boxed and typecast as I do this, they and the one thing with that is, if there is one thing is that it can be quite depressing when you think that you’ve got to find your thing. And it’s a sort of, maybe it’s a societal thing, a cultural thing, find what you like, or even these days, you know, just find something that pays well and do it. And for an awful lot of us. We’re just not wired that way. I mean, I don’t know if it’s anything to do with being left handed. Probably not. But I’m a left hander. I’m just not wired to have one one job or one interest. But I do feel that within my, my realm of interests, I can find a number of different factions, or areas that I can create income from, and that I can enjoy doing. And the biggest thing for me is needing to get up and look forward to it, because if I’m not looking forward to it, I’ve been a terrible procrastinator in many aspects of my life. And if I don’t look forward to it, and I don’t enjoy it, bang, two weeks in, it’s gone. And I’m I’m looking for something else. So
David Ralph [13:42]
did you use you in a firefighting then?
Unknown Speaker [13:45]
I did. I really, at the start, or for for most of it, to be perfectly honest. I loved the there’s a couple of aspects that I loved. I loved the camaraderie and the teamwork and I enjoyed the operation. No side of it, not because when you go to incidence, somebody else’s suffering one way or another, either physically personally or their property or whatever, so it’s certainly not the case. It was never a case of war, loving and loving that but as a professional firefighter, you’ve trained for years to better do a job effectively. And doing that job is very rewarding. But there are also interestingly a couple of aspects of that job that I really, really liked. And one of them was when I first started, full time I worked up at holy fire station which is up near Gatwick Airport right on the border. And a lot of the new guys came in ankles and trained and was stationed there for a number of years. And we used to do an awful lot of training. And what I really loved was the the training that we did when it was like a team building exercise or We were asked to use equipment in a slightly unorthodox way to maybe create a mechanism for lifting equipment or getting from A to B without touching the ground with limited equipment. So, that stuff I absolutely loved and I always felt that I was quite attuned and quite good at coming up with solutions and ideas. And then when I look at that, compared to my enjoying, building motorbikes enjoying building stuff, enjoying creating stuff, it’s creating, I think, for me, a bit of a theme of the sort of stuff that I enjoy. The Fire Service did change a lot, we went on strike in 2002. And things change quite a lot and the drawer to stay with it. For me became less and the drawer to move to Australia and experience living in another country etc. grew. And for me what once that idea is in my mind And it builds and builds and builds then it’s going to happen. So So I’ve enjoyed all my jobs that to a certain extent and but sometimes you just move on and and things change, aspirations change, passions, change the things that you thought you would always do forever.
Unknown Speaker [16:20]
Change so and
David Ralph [16:22]
did you feel actually when you was a firefighter and this is this is provocative questioning at its best. Did you feel that your table tennis skills couldn’t get any better your ping pong skills because I work next to a fire station and in the summer I never saw the fire engine move but I saw them playing volleyball and table tennis ping pong constantly for hour upon hour upon hour. Was it was that similar at your station?
Unknown Speaker [16:50]
Well, I would say no, it wasn’t and truthfully, No, it wasn’t. There was always requirements to be physically fit. The Fire Service although you look at some of the older guys, you know, and you’re, you’re sort of wonder, but there was definitely a sort of, I think a new breed of younger people coming in who were fit and wanted to remain fit and we had, we were given an hour’s worth of physical training time, each day we were on duty so that was two days and two nights and volleyball was actually banned on a lot of fire stations in the end because of the the injuries to digits, you know, people getting their fingers broken, etc. And, obviously taking a slightly reactive stance on this, you know, the Fire Fire Brigade, we can’t do that. So we used to do a lot of gym work, physical training, revolver and circuit training, etc. And you did on the weekends, there were stand down periods were on an afternoon and also on bank holidays. You had to get your work done. Get all the checks, done everything done, but then you did get a certain amount of free time but that wasn’t the norm. For us, we train every single day. We did for safety inspections we did community fire safety fitting smoke alarms, visiting premises that needed one inspections but also to make us more knowledgeable in the in the event of an incident. So the idea that fireman firefighters should I say now just lay around all day doing nothing is really should is not the case. In the majority of cases. I can’t speak for individual stations of course or brigades, you know,
David Ralph [18:35]
where you know where I am because I told you and so yeah, you’d be able to narrow it down but I’ll tell you what, they got good suntan they really did. I used to look out the window every day and think to myself go well What a life. But is that key point to you know, working together as a team. What you’re doing now seems to have isolated yourself in some ways, but then you seem to want that that kind of team. camaraderie, which is one of the reasons why at the beginning, you were saying that you’re proud of the connections you’ve built up the people you’ve surrounded yourself with. And the fact that you go to that coffee shop every day about interaction, is that a key part that stimulates you as well?
Unknown Speaker [19:15]
Yeah, I think, again, it’s one of those things that it’s as we as we get older, and I’m not playing this sort of old, middle aged old guy thing. But Holly Holly, David, yeah, well, absolutely. But as as we get older, we, sometimes you you tend to reevaluate things and you tend to look for some, some meaning or some some purpose in your life. And, you know, is, is this all there is to life. I mean, I’ve got a lovely wife, I’ve got two great kids. We’re all healthy, all these things. So I’ve got a lot to be grateful for. But, but I have realised that interacting with people and being around other people, yeah, that’s that’s the golden life. Some of the because I’ve also stopped Quite a lot into the whole nutrition, longevity type side of things. Some of the healthiest people in the world, who, interestingly, don’t always live in the healthiest environments. Some of these people are a lot of them these cultures, longevity, seems very, very much related to interaction and community. So you hear about a lot of these Asian cultures, for example, aka now or being being one, one of the islands of Japan. And funnily enough, those those people, they fish and get a lot of their food, they caught a lot of fish from some of the most polluted rivers in Japan. But they, particularly the elders, obviously as the newer generations that are coming along, where they’ve got a far more westernised lifestyle. They’re getting the same diseases of modern living as the rest of us, but the older people lived a long time With very little illness, and obviously they ate. This isn’t like a nutrition podcast, but they ate predominantly unprocessed Whole Foods, sweet potatoes, vegetables, fish, a bit of meat, blah. But one of the things I have was connection, and you’ll often hear about the grandparents in their 90s, looking after the kids and also being respected by the kids as well, I certainly in the UK, I mean, you’ll know, the outlet, a kind of they’re not revered for their knowledge and their stories and their wisdom. They’re kind of seen as, as a it’s almost like a bit of a shame. You know, we’ve got all these old people and they end up in nursing homes and their families move away and they end up isolated, whereas in a lot of countries where, where there is a lot of longevity and a lot of happiness and less stress that That connection and communities is vitally important. And for me, I need that. But that said, I do work from home a lot. I use the cafe as a way to get out and meet people. Sounds a bit sad doesn’t sound like a dating thing. But, um, but also, I work online, I do quite a lot of Skype interaction with various people. I’ve got another guy I’m chatting to today and another friend of mine, we’re working on a little project. Tomorrow, he lives over in Tanzania. And I’m doing a lot of email stuff backwards and forwards as well. So I don’t, I don’t feel isolated. Although I’m not always talking to people face to face. I feel that I am interacting, and I’m getting a lot of pleasure and joy out of that. So
David Ralph [22:45]
but isn’t a team work? is did you like to be part of a team or are you a lone wolf doing your own thing?
Steve Reed [22:53]
Yeah, like wolf. It sounds a bit a bit sinister as well. A little bit on the seedy side. But now I’m not The thing that I’m involved with it, let’s mention it. It’s a it’s a Kindle promotion site called buck books. And that’s at buck books.net. And, and we promote authors and their books to a large subscriber base, and help them launch their books and promote their books, etc. Now, I’m actually part of a team with that I run the promotion side of things, but the guy whose business it is Matt, I’m, he’s in the States, I interact with him an awful lot. And there’s a number of people involved in that business, regarding event building, etc. So I do feel I am part of a team there and what I do on a daily basis impacts the team. So yeah, I think teamwork is vitally important. But I also have this thing that I want to create a a lifestyle that is freedom based and location independent. So if you want to do that, you know there has there has to be it has to be to some extent a business where you’re not necessarily interacting on a face to face level with people every day. Because if I build a bricks and mortar physical business, then I don’t have the freedom of doing what I want when I want working when I want. So I think I think there’s a possibility that in the future, I may do that. And but it needs to be a business that is is scalable, and where I can remove myself from the day to day running of it if I want to, and it’ll still work. So that’s the kind of thing I’m working towards with with pretty much everything I do.
David Ralph [24:41]
I agree with that. Totally. And the reason I posed that question is, since I’ve been doing this show, my focus on teamwork has changed very much. I came from a corporate environment. I worked up in the City of London, I managed teams and I was always under the impression but I should know More than anyone else in my team, if I was leading boom, bang is about I had to know the nuts and bolts of everything. Now I’m doing this in the online world. It’s totally changed. And I am working with two or three people. And I pretty much say to them, can you do this, this and this and this and bass? And I go, yeah, I can do that. And I go, will you love doing bass, bass, bass, bass? And I go, yes, and I go, Well, I hate it. You’re my man. And that’s how I’m sort of building my my sort of team around me at the moment, which leaves me with the time to do two things that I love. And you have got that the fact that you’re talking to people in Tanzania, you’re talking to people in America, you’re talking to people in Iceland, all across the world. I’ve now believe for the listeners out there. If you’ve got an idea of what you want to do, but you don’t know how to do it. key thing, start networking, start networking and try and find the people that also have a dream of doing Something similar, and then fine tune it to find the people that love what you don’t and can’t do what you can. And then you’re starting to cook on gas. And it is amazing how easy it becomes in many ways. You know, I talk on a microphone, really how hard is this? And all the other stuff I don’t like doing other people are doing better way to live life, isn’t it, Steve?
Steve Reed [26:22]
Well, yeah, of course it is. One thing that I think is important, and you’ve you’ve obviously, obviously, done this as well is that I do think, particularly with the whole idea of business and outsourcing and delegating responsibility. I think that it’s kind of as an example. I’m not necessarily the greatest person at producing book covers, although a lot of people would like the one that I did recently. And it was it was relatively simple and easy to do. But I do think it’s important when one’s first starting out with kind of anything is to develop some knowledge of what you do unless, let’s say for argument’s sake, it’s HTML. If you want somebody to create a static website from scratch, and you have got absolutely no idea that I think learning HTML in its entirety to, before you outsource, it would be kind of foolish, and you’ll spend a lot of time doing that. But I think having some idea of what you’re asking somebody else to do, so that when they ask you questions, or when something doesn’t go, right, you you don’t just look bewildered as if you’ve got absolutely no idea. So I think I agree, I definitely think that find what other people like to do, and there’s always going to be people who love doing what you hate doing. And if there’s not then if there’s nobody else in the world, he loves it, then you gotta kind of think Well, perhaps is anybody else gonna like it? But yeah, definitely find. Find a passion, build a business if you want to. Getting overview, learn the basics, and then give away the stuff that you’re not productive and focus on the stuff that you do that adds the maximum value to the, to the listener or to the customer. So
David Ralph [28:08]
this is a blueprint for success. I hope you’re all making notes on this, because also the way I think about it, Steven is the fact I’m a bit tired. I don’t like spending money where money doesn’t need to be spent. And so I always make sure that I know that job inside out before I delegate it off. So that when somebody says to me, oh, yeah, that’s gonna take three hours, I can go now it’s not it’s going to take 20 minutes I’ve been doing in the six months, I know exactly how long it’s going to go. So I always like to know it inside out before I hand it off. But that that’s the sort of long route, isn’t it? There is that trust that you can build up with people. And somebody once said to me that you don’t realise that. If you’re doing something but you don’t like, then actually somebody does like doing it. And you’re actually helping them you’re changing people’s lives by passing that work halfway. I always used to think, oh, who wants to do this? I don’t want to do so Who else wants to do it? But the bottom line is somebody is out there and they’re looking for you. They’re looking for you as a client and you don’t even have to pay Do you? You can you can use a bartering system. So you can say, Okay, I’m gonna do this for you. If you’ll do that for me, I’ll make a book cover for you because I don’t know how to do it and and you can sort of share your knowledge base, can you?
Steve Reed [29:23]
Yeah, absolutely. And I think that’s, that’s it’s a good way of doing I mean, obviously, you know, if you’re, if you’re using somebody as like a virtual assistant or to do a lot of stuff that you know, you’ve got got to pay him but, but having, like you’re saying a bartering system, and just something based on mutual mutual sharing of information and skills, etc. I mean, it’s a really good thing. And I think it’s very sound because you can often find people then who you would never have thought of as maybe becoming a co founder in what you’re doing or or building a business. with them. As a slight example, I’ve met a guy by the book promotion sites. And we’re now talking and seriously getting involved with starting a business, which is going to be around repurposing content for people. So this is not a plug or anything but podcasts, to try transcriptions to PDFs, to SlideShare presentations, to YouTube videos, etc. Getting people’s content out there in front of as many eyes as, as we can. And that’s something through just meeting somebody chatting with him, finding out that we’ve got skills that are compatible. He’s interested, he loves doing stuff that I’m probably not so good at, and I’m good at doing stuff that he’s not so good at. And we’re just about to launch something and and interestingly, what you were saying before we got this conversation about launching stuff Quickly being a procrastinator, by by default, as I have been for a lot of my life, what really got into now is we’re launching this thing over a period of a couple of weeks, we’re not going to spend 12 months analysing and, and particularly creating a complicated business plan or a complicated customer avatar etc. We’re going to launch it, we’ve got some connections, we’re going to see if we can sell some services. And if if we don’t, then we’ll just iterate and create services until we do. And for me, that’s what it’s about. It’s about getting passionate, getting excited, doing it. If it doesn’t work, no big deal, just just move on, but you have to give stuff time to work a lot of people give up too early. And I think that’s that’s the sort of the barrier that stops people succeeding and, and where you only get a very small percent of the population who actually do reach any level of success, because this natural barrier to entry is the keeping going, when it seems tough when things don’t seem to be happening, and that’s another thing that’s, that’s become really interesting to me the whole idea about taking very, very small, almost insignificant actions on a daily basis, which compounds over time, and you get exponential growth in your success. And I’ve experienced this a number of times with things that I’ve done. So I would say to anybody, don’t think this whole idea about take massive action. We’re really for most people, taking massive action lasts about two weeks, and then they give up far better to take moderate or small steps every single day, multiple times a day towards a goal and just chill. And if you keep doing it, then things are going to happen.
David Ralph [32:54]
When eventually the next place somewhere words that really emphasise what you’re talking about and I focused in On this every day now basis, one of those speeches I first heard and I thought, yeah, I’m gonna bring this into the show. But now I listened to it every day is actually changed my life. This is Oprah,
Oprah Winfrey [33:10]
the way through the challenge is to get still and ask yourself, what is the next right move? not think about, Oh, I got all of this stuff. What is the next right move? And then from that space, make the next right move, and the next right move, and not to be overwhelmed by it. Because you know, your life is bigger than that one moment. You know, you’re not defined by what somebody says, is a failure for you. Because failure is just there to point you in a different direction.
David Ralph [33:42]
Now, I love and I love the punch. He says just do the next right thing. Just think about it and think, okay, I’ve got all this to do. And oh, don’t know when you feel stressed. Don’t worry about that. That can take care of itself. Just do the next thing and then once you’ve done that, Ben dude in Next thing that’s in Oprah words. That’s exactly what you said in your book isn’t it’s more habit changes lead to massive results over time.
Steve Reed [34:08]
Exactly. So, and that’s a really great thing from Oprah. And the thing that’s I think’s really important about that implies that failure, you know, we’ve we’ve got this, this definition of failure in our in our minds, but failure is really just a result. And it may not be the result that you were hoping for. But at least it’s data. It’s something that says, I did this, and it didn’t produce the outcomes that I expected it to. So perhaps I need to think about pivoting a little bit, changing the way I do things or potentially go off in a slightly different tangent, but one, there was a book, and this is very similar to the Oprah thing. There’s a book by Jeff Olson called the slight edge, which I don’t know if you’ve read but I I’ve read and it really, really had he he spent an awful lot of time looking at success and entrepreneurs. And he’s actually created a version of this book for, for people in their teens for young people. And, and the whole premise of this is that any any goal, however large it is, once you start focusing on the end product, it makes the the daily, small, miniscule actions that you do seem exceptionally insignificant. And he thinks that the problem that people have is that doing it or not doing it on a daily basis. The results are virtually no different. As an example, weight loss, which is something that I’ve been sort of involved in over the years with clients, etc. If eating a salad made you lose five pounds, bingo, everybody would be doing it. If eating a sticky bun gave you diabetes bang there, and then nobody would be doing it. So it’s just as easy not to take positive actions as it is to take potentially negative ones that move you further away from your goal. And another daily basis. The results going to be virtually no different. You’re working towards anything. You do this one thing tomorrow. Are you rich? Or are you, you thin? course you’re not. It’s, I mean, it’s so intuitive. But we kind of missed the point that if you were to just say, I’ve gotta go. Let’s break it down. What do I need to do each day. And then let’s forget about the big picture. And let’s just do the things a little bit at a time. I used to, I made some quite good money. Or just want to say that I don’t think that wealth and happiness is inextricably linked to money, although it kind of helps quite a lot. I used to build some on some online businesses, some micro niche businesses around Google ads and Amazon associate income. And I think the Google Ad sides, it’s a little bit spammy, but we’re going back to sort of 2010 and for the first six months, of four to five months, I think I was writing a couple of articles every day, like 500 words of product related content, quite short. And really, nothing very much happened. I got to making about six to $10, maybe $15 a day, which you know, you’ve done the work, it’s not too bad, but then between six months and 12 months It went from six to $10 a day, up to 100 to $200 a day, we’re talking US dollars. And I hadn’t actually done, I didn’t start working harder to get that success. I just kept going, doing the same sort of thing every day, five days a week, probably. And you hit this point that things seem to explode exponentially. The income is no longer linear, the graph it suddenly goes up. And I believe that that’s, that’s the same for almost anything you want to do in life. If you can just focus on the little bits. Do a bit, do a bit, know that it’s going to take time and take a slightly longer term approach to it. Rather than trying to lose 40 pounds in a month. Say, I’m going to enjoy my life. I’m going to take some small actions every single day and it’s gonna take me a year, but realistically if it takes you that long length of time, and you’re making some fundamental changes to your
eating habits and your your connections with food, you’re likely to keep it off. Whereas if you crash diet bang, a month, 30 pounds, nearly everybody puts it back off. So there’s some real simple things and, and small actions every single day, they’re going to be so insignificant, you’re not going to notice them. But over time, they’ll create something magical.
David Ralph [39:29]
I think what you’re saying is absolutely spot on. And I think everyone fundamentally believes that, and that the problem is, but somewhere along the line after that initial passion for the task becomes a task. So your passion is gone, and you’re just slogging your way through it. That’s the sticky point, isn’t it? You know, if you had a scale set of scales, bathroom scales or whatever, and on one side, you had a check for 1000 pounds. And then on the other side, you have a bucket of pebbles. You say, right, okay, every day, put a stone on that side of the scales until it tips and the check goes up. And once you that happens, you can have that check. People would do that every single day you just put money in because you knew that that was going to come to you because you could see it. But the problem that people have is bad because I can’t see it back creating it. By don’t keep on putting those pebbles in today. They give up somewhere and then they got now I go to another set of scales. That’s going to be easier. And I talked about it a lot and I talked about it before we started recording with you. This show literally killed me at the beginning. I look back on it now and I think I can’t fathom how I managed to push through. And every day be going Hello, this is David Ralph from Join Up Dots. I didn’t feel it. I was thinking oh my god. This is David Ralph from Join Up Dots. But I knew that it was the foundations. What I was setting up was not visible. But it was getting me stronger. It was building my network. Getting more people to the show, and getting noticed. So I do think there’s that middle ground, isn’t it? passion starts you off, you set off, but when you can’t see what you you want to achieve anywhere close to you, people just turn direction.
Steve Reed [41:16]
Yeah, they do. And I think also the interesting thing, it’s interesting you’re saying about the scales and I’ve written written a couple of the health related books one about intermittent fasting, which is kind of kind of popular these days, the whole five to diet and the this diet and that diet and and realistically, they all work, all these things can work. So why is there such an obesity problem? Well, one, there’s an issue with the types of foods were eating and about food rewards, etc, etc. And a lot of this stuff is manufactured by the food companies. Yeah, they got chemists in there, producing all this ultra palatable food that makes us want to eat more and more of it, which then then damages our metabolisms, etc. But realistically, any diet can work. But most people, we live in this instant gratification, world and society, and you’re in the UK as well. There was something else on the TV about diet the other day, and, you know, I look at it and I think, unless we fundamentally get a change, and unfortunate This is going to have to be probably direction from government because most people which I don’t think necessarily a good thing, but most people don’t seem to have the ability to, to research and make their own decisions on that. But unless we get a fundamental change in the types of foods we should be eating, I think obesity epidemics ever gonna go away. But everybody tries and I personal trained people for a long time. I was also a kettlebell instructor and did a lot of group sessions. And there’d be people who would have gone through 12345 different diets. That doesn’t work for me, that doesn’t work for me. What is because you want instant results, and you give up before you start making any progress. Now, I definitely think with anything, you need to look at the data that whatever you’re doing, provides, I don’t think one should dogmatically carry on doing the same thing forever. Because you think that’s the right thing to do if the if the results aren’t in your favour, but just take a longer term approach and try not to do too much at once. And I think realistically, that’s that’s the way we’ve got to go with anything and everything and it’s not it’s not pretty, it’s not trendy. That stuff might take a bit of time. But I don’t think there really is any other way of doing it. certainly nothing that’s going to be sustainable for anybody for the long term.
David Ralph [43:59]
Well, what I am Lava now I was talking to my son this morning. He’s gonna be 13 tomorrow. So there’s a big thing in our house about there’s another man in the house. No, I don’t think that’s the case. But still, he thinks that he’s now got the same level and ranking as he’s dead. But I was saying to him, you know, oh, it’s 13. Tomorrow, there’s another man in the house, not what what you gonna do when you sort of get older, and he’s still kind of, Oh, I don’t really know what I want to do. And I said, Well, all I would say to you, Dan, is look for something that is fun. Because if it’s fun, it’s going to be enjoyable. And I now believe that you can literally make money wherever you want, as long as you’ve got a passion for it. And you can sort of take that task forward every single day, as we’re talking about, and my wife said, Yeah, but, but but work isn’t supposed to be fun. And I realised that even in my own household, there’s two camps. There’s me going, come on, you can do anything you want, but you can see what I’ve achieved already. You know, why can’t you do something similar? Why can’t you, you know, be the new Top Gear host if that’s what you want. And for my side of the fence, It’s, if it’s hard, and it seems hard at the beginning, then great, because less people are going to go for it. And you can beat them to the top, when the rewards have got to be greater, it just seems sensible to me, where my wife is the other side going, no holy, easy route, because the hard route is gonna, you know, she just doesn’t see that she’s somebody that would go by, how do I get a job? I’m going to go to HSBC, and I’m going to put my CV in with 1000 other people and hope that I get it. That’s the easy route. That’s the safe route. Do you think my listeners out there? And this is a million dollar question, really, but in your heart of hearts? Do you think that would be opportunities now but they’ve got by pressing some buttons, creating some niche sites that you’re talking about becoming knowledgeable in a very, very small area? Do you think that they can actually land on my side of the fence where you think you can actually have a life that you enjoy? And you can earn some good money at the same time? Or do you have to go to The other side of the fence where work is hard work has to be a chore.
Steve Reed [46:06]
Yeah, yeah, it is. It’s, I mean, for me, it’s not really a million dollar question. It’s, it’s blatantly obvious to me and obviously to you as well, David, because we’ve, as a slight aside, you’re talking about, you know, 1000 applications when I first joined, went full time in the fire service. They, they had for this particular round of jobs, there were 16 jobs available. And they had three and a half thousand paper applications. They took 500 or so of those people and put them through physical testing. They then ended up with a, I think, about 30 or 40, who they actually interviewed the 16 jobs and it’s still very much like that with with the fire service, a huge huge amounts of people wanting to get very limited amount of jobs. So I have was quite obviously didn’t do a bad job in the interview in the test. So that’s why I got the job. But all this thing of and my wife is probably not that different to you love her dearly, but she very much likes the the safe option. She’s She’s not huge on what would be considered risk. Although I don’t consider taking the bull by the horns yourself and creating something that you want to do. I don’t consider that to be risky, I consider that to be very, very sensible because there’s also a phrase that, you know, having a job and being employed is like being self employed, but just with one customer. And as soon as something goes wrong, as it has done in the UK and around the world. Over the last few years things are improving here a little bit. That one employer will just sweep you to one side and then you’re stuffed. So I think what we’ve got here is very much a societal norm which is perpetuated by the education system by the schools by government. And I find it a crying shame actually, because, you know, I’m not gonna cry. But when when we were kids, and when you were five, you said you were going to be an astronaut. You said you were going to be this so that you were gonna fly, you’re going to go to the moon, like, okay, some of those things are probably unlikely. But your parents and everybody, yeah, you can do whatever you want in life. And then all of a sudden, you get an age, maybe 13. Maybe that’s when it starts. But you get to an age and those aspirations or thinking, I want to do this, I want to do that. It’s going to be great. You’re kind of bent up, come on, let’s be sensible about this. Let’s be real. You know, that’s not reality. Just get on the ladder. As an example, when I talk where I’ve realised you sorry about this When my son was doing his options, he’s doing his A Levels now, but when he was doing his options, and I went for the options evening, all the teachers, this is the most important decision you are ever going to make in your life. This is these decisions here about which courses you do at 14 and 15 is going to be everything to you success, failure, you know, and I just wanted to say, Bs, you know, make some good decisions, but do stuff that you love doing and we can, we can pivot in our lives whenever we want to. I certainly think if you can find something that you love early on, and you’ve got more time to become expert to invest money to to create a life that you want the early you can do it the better. But But now, my daughter’s just doing her options or her practice options for her subjects. And she said that I really want to do dance. And I really want to do drama. And I really want to do art and obviously the normal curriculum subjects, math, science and English that you have to do. And she said, quite a few of my friends want to do dance, and they’re not going to put the subject on if they don’t get enough takers. And most of her friends parents have said, I’m not having you doing dance. You need to do something that is going to get you a job and dance wives. And I said to Mottola, if you love that, and you want to do that, I’d rather you were happy and excited about what you’re doing, than doing something you don’t want to do. And realistically, there are people online there are kids. Playing games live on the internet who are getting paid 50,000 US dollars a month for playing video games because They’re really, really good at it. This people, the younger, you’ve probably heard of a English girl who’s making a fortune with her makeup and beauty tips for teenage girls. And some people would say, I wish she’d be doing that whole body image stuff, etc. But there are 1,000,001 ways to add value and to give value to people. And if you can become expert in almost anything, people are prepared to pay you for it. And so I think don’t get I would just say to readers, listeners, sorry. You’ve got to find what you love to it’s a short life. But it’s long enough that if you’re doing stuff you hate, you’re going to be as miserable as said,
David Ralph [51:43]
there we go. Justin, that phrase that you said there about just be happy. It may I felt something go inside me and I realised that I’m doing what makes me happy. Just the fact that you said that and I realised that we’re sharing this content to the world. One person listening thinking, yeah, actually, that makes total sense, Ben, it’s all worthwhile, isn’t it? And the fact that your daughter is going to get up every morning, and put a damn shoes on and go and enjoy yourself, that’s gonna be so much more beneficial than going and learning physics or something that you your heart’s just not in a, it makes no sense to me at all. Why any of us and we’ve all done this in our time, go into a job just for the money. Surely, it’s got to be the case that we fancy doing it at the minimum that we fancy doing it. If it then leads on to loving doing it and really wanting to do it, then that’s brilliant, but just fancying that’s half the battle, isn’t it?
Steve Reed [52:39]
Yeah, I think so. And also what? Because we do we learn things about ourselves over time as well, that you may go into something, thinking, you know, I like this, I could do this. But then as you get further into something you find other little parts of the job, the one you didn’t perhaps expect We’re going to be there or to, you didn’t perhaps think you were very good at. And you can create all sorts of interesting things to do on a daily basis. And then you may well go into that, that business or whatever you’re doing and, and think we’ve got already thought I was gonna like this, but I actually didn’t like this bit, but I really love that bit. And then we come back to what you were talking about. You find somebody who loves the bit that you thought you’d like but didn’t get them to do it. And focus and that could change over time. I mean, the whole thing these days with, with the world we live in with the internet, you’re building virtual teams of people who could do this can do that. Is is so enlightening and so transformative for anybody who wants to start a little enterprise of their own or, or create create a life that’s, that’s more on purpose for them and it’s going to give them some joy.
David Ralph [53:52]
Absolutely. And that the hardest thing just before I send you back in time as I want to do that the hardest thing is just Getting going. Because you’re changing your lifestyle. You’re trying to find hours, but you didn’t think you had. You’re putting efforts into something you don’t know it’s going to be rewarded. But once it starts coming together, wow, it’s amazing. And the opportunities that come to you is is unbelievable. I get so many things thrown at me. Would you like to do this? Would you like to do that? And probably 90% of their money. Yeah, brilliant. But I don’t because I know I’m still sort of building towards space and those things can take care of themselves later on. But when I was in a corporate gig, it was just Will you do this? Well, yeah, I suppose. So. It was it was never kind of stuff that I went Oh, yeah, really fancy doing this? Because it didn’t play to my strengths. It didn’t play to my passions. It didn’t play to that, that get out of bed ability, but that we we want to have on a daily basis. That’s a good word for you as well.
Steve Reed [54:50]
Get that bed ability. Is that hyphenated or is it all one word, all one
David Ralph [54:53]
word on that it makes it easier to get a URL
Steve Reed [55:00]
Can you spell it? Yeah,
David Ralph [55:01]
get out of bed ability. That’s what this shows all about. Well, I’m going to play the words of Steve Jobs now, which are the theme of the show. And I’d really like to sort of ask a key question after it right. But you have delivered so much value so much a through the show, but I really want to sort of find out where your your key feelings on this. This is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [55:19]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards. 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [55:54]
Does it make all the difference, Stephen?
Steve Reed [55:56]
Yeah, that’s that’s a very, very poignant Part of the speech from Steve Jobs and it to me, it has made all the difference. And I really feel sure I’ve got things I want to achieve things that I haven’t achieved. Of course, we all have those things and life is a journey. But I think the biggest problem for most people is, you know, without, you know, stop being critical at all, but the majority of people never try to connect the dots because they feel that their path is pretty much mapped out already in what we’re expected to do in our lives. And I’ve got to the point where, if it doesn’t make me happy, most of the time, I won’t do it, and I’ll find something else to do. But that, as I mentioned in the book, it’s very similar. I mean, I’ve tried to connect up everything from my previous life. What can I take from those things? What, what direction is that making me think I should go in and it’s been absolutely amazing and inspiring the fact that the now I feel like I’ve got some purpose and I do multiple different things. But joining up those dots from the past has been transformative for me. So yeah, I would say, if the least that people do is sit down, get a bit of paper, spend a few days doing it, don’t try and do all in one, go and try and join up those dots between your childhood, your teenage years and your previous life and the work that you you did, and also importantly, in the present, what is it that you love doing now that nobody ever asks you to do? Or you’re not paid to do? Or you’re not expected to do if you can find those things? Then that can be very, very informative for moving forward. What’s your big document, Steve, when you look back, what is the big dot that really started to change things for you?
Well, interestingly, I’ve looked back and I’ve looked and I’ve talked about this idea of a creation of stuff, which has been a source of love throughout my whole life. But even fairly more recently, I read some books, by a couple of books by a couple of people, which were really very much against the concept of goal setting. One of them is by a guy Matt, who I work with, and it’s called goals suck. And he talked very much about how every time he set these lofty goals, the things that he was doing, became exceptionally boring and miserable. And he’d always give up and he, he discovered that as long as he just followed what he enjoyed doing on a daily basis, he was exceptionally productive. And, and things move forward big time. And I looked at that, and I thought, well, I’ve been trying to do it the other way around. I mean, I think there’s anything fundamentally wrong with having an idea of where you want to be in three months time and working backwards. But my biggest thought was looking back and saying, let’s put this whole fixation on end games and end goals, let’s put it to bed and do what I love doing every day. So that there’s been a lot of things but on a more recent aspect, that is one of the things that when I started doing that, things, things got good.
David Ralph [59:44]
You did I love that because that’s how I feel. Now I feel goals are good. Goals give you focus. But if you focus too much on getting to that goal you miss out on the gems on the way somehow and I think it’s that flexible. ability on the journey that really is the power and that’s where the incredible stuff happens. And I think that’s when the magic happens. And if I, if I was just focused on going from A to B to C, I wouldn’t see all the good stuff in between. And I think that’s what life is. It’s a journey, isn’t it?
Steve Reed [1:00:16]
It is it is. And, and I’ve also had times where I’ve, I’ve thought about that and, you know, it’s, it’s made me feel emotional, because I’ve been throughout a lot of my life very much about the destination, and you know, missing out on a lot of the journey, and when you actually look at it and think, how am I gonna feel in 3040 years time and I mentioned this perhaps when we get a little sermon at the end, you know, I want to make sure that when I go to my grave, I’ve, I’ve got really good memories about this life and not regret.
David Ralph [1:00:52]
Well, we’re going to find out now because we’re at that little sermon bit. This is the bit that we call the Sermon on the Mount when we send you back in time to have a one on one with us. younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young Steve, what age would you choose? And what advice would you give? Well, we’re gonna find out, because I’m gonna play the theme tune and when it fades, you’re up. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [1:01:20]
With the best bit of the show.
Steve Reed [1:01:35]
Hi, younger version of Steve Reed. This is the bigger, slightly wider version of your former self. I’ve got a few tips here, which I’ve learned over time, and I’m certainly not preaching to you. But with some hindsight, I think I could perhaps have done things a little bit better. hindsight is a wonderful thing, and it’s It I would say one of the most important things you can do is learn every single day, about the things that you love. The things that grab you the things that you do, without needing to be asked and find those things. Don’t be a slave to what people want you to do, what the education system wants you to do, what your peers want you to do what your parents want you to do. use their experience, pay attention, and learn from what they have to offer. But there’s only one you one version of you and you’ve got a long time on this earth and you’ve got to be as happy as you possibly can. I would say, find the things you enjoy, have some aspirations and take small, seemingly insignificant actions every single day and overtime over a year. Five years, 20 years, 50 years, those small actions will compound and produce huge amounts of happiness, and also potentially huge amounts of wealth if that’s what you want. I wish I had done what I loved all the time. And much of my earlier life I did, I would say, Steve, take a long term view. But don’t fixate too much on the long term. Enjoy the journey. It’s a hell of a ride. And if you can do that, you’re going to be a much happier, more useful, more valuable and more vibrant version of what you’re you could have been and that ends my sermon. There you go. No, I didn’t cry.
David Ralph [1:03:55]
Steve, how can our audience connect with you sir?
Steve Reed [1:03:58]
Right. Okay. So I’ve got a websites which I am giving away a free version of my AUDIO BOOK OF leanin that’s available on the website at real wealth project.com and I called it real wealth project because for me, wealth isn’t particularly about money. It’s about freedom. It’s about lifestyle, it’s about connections, and connectedness with other people as well as well as the money side of it and doing what you love. You can get me on email@example.com real wealth project, and you can probably just find me on my Facebook personal page as well, which I think is Stephen m read or Stephen read. I’m happy to connect with people. I’m on Twitter at the Stephen read. Not I’m not being a big deal about that. But I wanted to change it and I couldn’t just get same read server on the front sounds good. My book is called lean in the art of creating a life less ordinary. that’s available on Kindle. Do on the UK and US all the Kindle stores. And it’s also available in paperback. And as I said, there’s a free audio version, which I’m giving away on my website. That’s pretty much it. You can find my email in the book. And on the on the website, drop me an email Connect, always happy to talk. And I’m on Skype as well. So you know, always happy to chat on that.
David Ralph [1:05:23]
Well, we will have all the links in the show notes to Steve, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots. Please come back again when you have more dots to join up because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Mr. Steve Reid, thank you so much.
Steve Reed [1:05:39]
Thank you for having me, Dave. It’s been a joy.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become so he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing Guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.