Welcome to the Join Up Dots Podcast with Fitness Guru Nick Holt
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Introducing Nick Holt
Todays guest on Join Up Dots is going to give us a different perspective to a story which we have already told back on a previous episode of Join Up Dots.
His girlfriend and business partner Julie Gohring, came on the show on episode 330, and told us how together with todays guest she has created a life splashing around happily on the beaches of Costa Rica.
But it isn’t all about having great fun and the life that he wants.
Yes, he is passionate about using fitness and health to enrich peoples lives.
As he says “I’ve been an athlete my entire life which has given me a unique set of tools to educate and motivate others to live healthier, fitter and more joyous lives.
I love training on the beach and getting after it in the gym. Good nutrition (most of the time) solid recovery, and a little mindfulness practice round out my core beliefs.
Surfing lights me up inside and motivates me to eat well, train hard, and stay well rested.
How The Dots Joined Up For Nick
I believe we all can find that activity that keeps us active and puts a smile on our face. And i’m here to help you discover it for yourself.”
But this isn’t a tale of someone just playing to their strengths and it all comes together effortlessly.
This is a story of someone making big decisions, and tackling his own mind chatter head on, as he transitioned from San Francisco and paradise, and a life that looks too good to be true.
So how did he free himself from the naysayers, and doom mongers that will have thought “You can’t have a life on the beach…..that is what vacations are for, not work?”
And does he see the beach as the ultimate place for building a business based on your passions, just for the fact that if you can do it there you will believe you can do it anywhere?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, with the one and only Mr Nick Holt
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Nick Holt such as:
How he loves the ability to provide accountability tools to clients across the world, monitoring their progress and setting targets from a far.
How his parents took years to really understand that he wasn’t just drinking beer and splashing around on the beach today, and actually is building a business, and one that he loves.
How he battled massively with the naysayers who couldn’t understand why he would want to move to a foreign country and start his life again.
Why it is so important to realise that the stars are never going to a line in the sky, but you can reach up and a line them up yourself by your own efforts.
How he recalls the famous Mark Twain approach to the secret of getting ahead in life “Is just getting started” and buys into it totally.
How To Connect With Nick Holt
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Full Transcription Of Nick Holt 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 at 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 there everybody and welcome to Join Up Dots. This is a David Ralph and this is another one of those shows but in its own funny way doesn’t only have a Join Up Dots element to the guests but has a Join Up Dots element to the show as well because he’s girlfriend and business partner Julie going came on the show on episode 330 And told us how together with today’s guest, she’s created a life splashing around happily on the beaches of Costa Rica. But it isn’t all about having great fun and the life that he wants. Yes, he’s passionate about using fitness and health to enrich people’s lives. Because as he says, I’ve been an athlete my entire life, which has given me a unique set of tools to educate and motivate others to live healthier, fitter, and more joyous lives. I love training on the beach and getting after it in the gym, good nutrition, most of the time, solid recovery and a little mindfulness practice around my core beliefs. Now surfing lights him up inside and motivates him to eat well train hard, and stay well rested. He says, I believe we can all find that activity that keeps us active and puts a smile on our face and I’m here to help you discover it for yourself. But this isn’t a tan of someone just playing to their strengths and it all comes together effortlessly. This is a story of someone making big decisions and tackling his own mind chatter head on as he transit from San Francisco to paradise and a life that looks too good to be true. So how did he free himself from the naysayers and doom mongers that will fo you can have a life on the beach? That’s what vacations are for not work. And does he see the beaches the ultimate place for building a business based on your passions, just for the fact that if you can do it there, you believe you can do it any anywhere? Really? Well, let’s find out as we bring on the show to start Join Up Dots with the one and only Mr. Nick Holt, how are you Nick?
Nick Holt [2:31]
I’m great. Great to be here, David and look forward to getting into all of it.
David Ralph [2:34]
It’s a fascinating story and it’s a fascinating way about the show is starting to join up its own dots. And I’m finding more often than not but guests say to me are you had someone so on and I know that person and I know this person. It’s not a big world is it when when when you get into the online environment, it’s quite a small world really. It really is. I mean, it seems like the more The more time you spend on online world, you know, you get to, you know, pretty much the people who are who are doing cool things, and especially in the, in the niche of fitness and wellness, it’s, it’s certainly growing, but it’s still a small, small kind of world and you know, a lot of the player so it’s, it’s exciting. It’s a strange thing for people who aren’t in the fitness world. I kind of think like, okay, think fitness gyms may be boot camps, all those kind of stuff and very much in the offline in the real world. But you you’ve actually tried to build something that works both sides online and offline. Was that a conscious decision? Or was that something but nowadays, you just have to have
Nick Holt [3:45]
it? Yeah, I think it’s a little bit of both. I think, you know, I think the biggest thing is the technology that we have today. It’s sort of ironic thing in terms of technology making us much more sedentary and in terms of We can get everything at home and we can get delivery and we can get drive through and you know, we have become so, so much more sedentary. But at the same time that technology has allowed us, especially me as a personal trainer and as coach, you know, I can communicate to someone in you know, halfway across the world using online software, I can provide them with it with a plan and you know, of exercise and what to do, I can give them some nutrition guy, I didn’t so it’s it’s allowing people to, to, you know, reach people across borders. And I think, you know, as I drill down and as I’ve learned most people, as you were saying, don’t need someone county wraps over you are there in person, they just need to kind of weed through what works for them and have that accountability piece, which which I think is huge and through software and through smartphones, you know, you can really, you can do that quite efficiently.
David Ralph [4:55]
But but you would imagine and I Well, I’m imagining that the listeners out here, but come to the show in their thousands on a daily basis would say, how are you doing that? How are you connecting with people who want fitness information, but don’t actually have to see you. It is a kind of mindset that you really have to get across. That is global. And people want that connectivity, but they don’t actually need you face to face.
Nick Holt [5:23]
Yeah, I think so. And, you know, I don’t think it’s for everybody. I think there are still those people that that need that that motivation of someone next to them or in that class environment, to sort of push them to that next level. And I think that’s, that’s absolutely legitimate and real. But I do think that people are really opening up to this idea that you know, just like every industry is sort of adapting to the times. You know, there’s certain software that you can literally log into and you can see on Monday at, you know, 10am when your schedule workout is you have to do for specific exercises and, you know, if you don’t do them I’ll your trainers gonna is going to see that you didn’t check in and I think it bring that accountability part that it doesn’t require you to be there in person. So I absolutely agree. I think there is a mindset sort of switch but I think a lot of people are catching on to it. And I think it’s it’s going to be a growing trend that we’re going to see really explode here in the next few years. I think
David Ralph [6:26]
the accountability, certainly when you’re starting a business and it’s hard, hard slog that’s a that’s a big win, isn’t it? And if you can have somebody that is monitoring your process, whether it is on a fitness side, or just building a business so that when you get home, and it’s the side hustle, you’ve had a hard day’s work and you think the last thing I want to do is spend two hours doing that tonight. It’s it’s a brilliant way, isn’t it to actually say no, I’ve got to do it because Nick Hall in Costa Rica is going to check in on me and I don’t want to sort of say Well, actually, I fancied watching three episodes of 24 tonight.
Nick Holt [7:04]
Exactly, yeah, there is this it’s a funny dynamic because I’ll see, you know, I still train clients in person here in Costa Rica we have a quite a big expat community that I train here and, you know, I’ll see people out at night or at restaurants and, and you know, people will start to hide their drinks for me or, or change their behaviour because I’m in their presence, which I kind of think is silly, but if that’s if that’s able to motivate people, and help them achieve and get closer to their goals, and then I’m up for it.
David Ralph [7:39]
But I think I do that as well, because you’re a big chap, I’m six one. And in the picture, you look at at least 626362 or
Nick Holt [7:50]
Yeah, six to 190 pounds. So I you know, I do have sort of a big presence. I used to be much larger You’re like figure I played high school football and was quite athletic. And now I’ve sort of fallen in love with surfing and that sort of requires a different sort of body type and being a little bit leaner so I’ve been able to get a little bit leaner over the years to help my surfing out.
David Ralph [8:19]
So So is it a fitness that you love at the moment or the business building because it is a kind of drug isn’t it when you start building something financially but starting to pay the bills, and it becomes bigger and bigger and bigger, it becomes a drug to you and you think oh, I’ll do this next day and I do BAM I start pushing in that direction. Did you like that more than the fitness or the fitness more then lead the business.
Nick Holt [8:48]
I think the fitness has always been been a core part of of who I was just as a as a kid growing up and just being so much of my identity at you know as as I grew up, and I I’ve been sort of given some some gifted talents, athletically and it’s just been my identity. So it’s always been this sort of passion for, you know, fitness and it’s allowed me to, to explore and hike amazing places and travel all over the world. So it’s given me this sort of empowerment and that’s always come first i think i think the business side has sort of been a byproduct of that of that passion and just mastery of of that craft and and trying to inspire and lead through example, with the business part definitely gets gets exciting and as you grow as you as you sort of see what you’ve created, I think that’s you know, it especially having the past history of works for an employer in sort of a desk job and having not really seeing too much for my for my labour and now you can you know, that being an entrepreneur building the business From nothing that creation is, is really powerful and it sort of drives me to want to build more and get better and absolutely. So it definitely feeds it’s definitely can be addictive in a good way.
David Ralph [10:14]
Well, you always entrepreneurial, or was it simply that you wanted the lifestyle that you’re building and you knew you had to go down that route to get you free from the corporate gig?
Nick Holt [10:25]
Yeah, the ladder, definitely. It was sort of how can I achieve this lifestyle? And what are the potential sort of routes I can take and, you know, talking to people seeing the sort of different various routes that others have taken. It seemed like do an entrepreneurial thing, especially around something that was so gifted at and had these sort of talents for. That was, that was definitely the case. So it was sort of bread from a desire of that freedom, that lifestyle. Designed to have that to be able to do sort of as I please, on my own
David Ralph [11:07]
schedule. It’s one of those things, isn’t it? Nick back when you look at that lifestyle design, and I mean it at the moment, and I’m designing my life, so I buy totally into what you’re saying. But yeah, it’s gonna take years, maybe generations until people totally can see, but you can have your cake and eat it. And we talked about this a lot on the show, where you hear people like yourself, and you’re splashing around on the beach and you’re surfing and you’re earning a living. And 90% probably more of people will go, Well, that’s not work, work. It’s got to be hard work. It’s got to be boring work. It’s got to be this and that. But you can’t earn a living splashing around on the beach. Do you? Do you think that’s ever going to change? Or do you think we are so entrenched with that thought process that’s been handed down from generations to generations, but we’re always going to see the anomalies like yourself and myself, I suppose who are playing while they’re having a good life?
Nick Holt [12:07]
Yeah, yeah. You know, I mean, that’s it’s a great question. I think that that trend, that needle is definitely moving. You know, in terms of, I think there is more awareness and there’s more belief that people who seem to be stuck in in professions or jobs. You know, without that, that feeling of them being able to do what, what they desire and getting into more of that play that you talked about. I think that’s moving. I think technology, I think the ability to, you know, for the people who were were self motivated, who are really driven, I think there’s, you know, the internet and the resources that we have these days, I think, allows people to learn, you know, learn crafts and hone their craft and kind of learn the best practices from from across the world. And so I do think it’s, it’s going to change But I think these things take time as you said, these, these principles have been ingrained in sort of both, you know, the American and the European, British culture for sure.
David Ralph [13:11]
Well, what what does your mom and dad think that they’re in America, they living in America, and their son is in a different country? Basically on a vacation that Does your mom and dad see as something that’s a bit bizarre or in the old style mindset?
Nick Holt [13:29]
They are, you know, I’ve been I’ve been chipping away at them day by day, year by year. So I think at first it was definitely okay. You know, Nick, is is checking out and I think you get a lot of people in Costa Rica especially, that are sort of running away from things sort of, okay, can’t can’t swing it in the US. So I’m going to go run away to the to paradise. And so I you know, I think over the years, as they’ve sort of noticed my business growing And I’ve gotten some some notoriety online and TripAdvisor and all these positive sort of reviews and accomplishments. I think they’re they’ve always been supportive. So I’ve always been been been super fortunate to have supportive parents. But it’s definitely what it took a couple years for them to to understand that I wasn’t just frolicking on the beach and drinking beers under the under the hot so it you know, I think a lot of the hard work that goes into building these businesses aren’t, you know, people don’t see it until it’s, you know, it’s viewed as an overnight success, but they don’t see the seven years of writing or or or connecting or networking, that it has gotten to that place. So it’s take them some time, but you know, they get it now, I think
David Ralph [14:51]
up ahead, but I still
Nick Holt [14:53]
think I mean, they’re
David Ralph [14:55]
on the beach. Don’t they having a beer?
Nick Holt [14:58]
Yeah, they’re they’re both not Beach beach people either so they think that’s you know the idea of living a bit there you’re not they’re not really ironically they’re not really fitness or health. I mean they’re certainly healthy but they’re they’re not as sort of fit centric and they don’t derive as much enjoyment out of physical activity as I do. So they they still think it’s a little bit weird, but I think they’re starting to get it.
David Ralph [15:24]
When when he was a young chap, we always like to go back a long way in Join Up Dots. But when he was a little Nick, eight year old 10 year old, were you one that was always outside running around? Were you always the active guy? Could could you almost imagine yourself where you are. Now, if you were having a one on one with that younger version?
Nick Holt [15:46]
Oh, that’s that’s tough. I mean, I was I was Yes, I was always, you know, playing outside an older brother, one older brother, and always either either fighting with him or we had a little basketball hoop that was on this crooked Hill. We, you know, begged and begged my dad to put up a light so we could shoot baskets at night. You know, I grew up outside of New York City about half hours. So we experienced you know, some pretty intense winters and so playing playing snow football and just kind of always outdoor always playing the dirt always just, you know, getting getting homework, getting chores done as fast as possible. So I could I could get outside and kind of roam free. Yeah, so it’s it’s been a part of me since I was very little. Absolutely. And can
David Ralph [16:34]
you remember what one of the first things that you want it to be when you when you grew up? What you’re going to be when you get older, Nick,
Nick Holt [16:42]
you had that? That ultimate question that we seem to lose sight of, as we age.
It was Yeah, sports basketball player.
You know, just love everything about the sport when I was a kid and I just had this That, you know, that dream of being an NBA. Being an NBA baller being being an NBA professional. So, unfortunately, I was about, you know, six to eight inches short for that and my jeans aren’t exactly favourable for for jumping high, but that was my my childhood. Lifelong, early dreams. So I, yeah,
David Ralph [17:24]
it’s strange. I have so many people say to me that I wish I was a basketball player, but I’m too short. And from the UK, I think to myself, okay. These basketball players are really tall. So that means that they’re basically freaks of nature. So most people are basing their dreams on becoming a freak of nature. You’ve got to be really at all also really good at basketball. It must be one of the hardest things to be able to get to the top in, wasn’t it?
Nick Holt [17:55]
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, there’s a lot that’s that’s certainly out of your control. So I don’t know, I would say, yeah, I mean, if you look at a there’s been a couple good books written about this topic, but it’s something like you know, point 000 1% so it seems like quite a lofty goal and most of which is it her direct control? I we don’t know that when we’re eight, right?
David Ralph [18:23]
Well, you know, you gotta dream big. And the interesting thing was, but you you said the statement, which is so true, but we we don’t realise it. We kind of had that question posed to us when we’re young. But for some reason we lose track of it. We we forget those passions. How do you think now we can start getting people to realise but by having that gift as a youngster, we can nurture it, we can treasure it so that the next generations don’t lose track of it and don’t just go into jobs, but they know that they’ve got the opportunities to be Businesses build futures based around those childhood passions, because that’s got to be the way forward, isn’t it?
Nick Holt [19:06]
I think so. It reminds me.
Yeah, there’s been a few quotes, but it’s that idea of doing, you know, if we can get through and doing things that make us come alive, I think that’s, that’s really powerful. And it’s not, you know, you’re not doing something for your mom, your dad, your peers, your spouse. So if we can find a way to to instil that, you know, level of excitement and into beyond, you know, I think it’s possible. I think that, you know, the resources that were technology and resources that we have today, I mean, we’re making it as easy to do that as I think it’s ever been. Absolutely. Well, I thought so
David Ralph [19:45]
I say to people, you know what I’ve done, I created a radio show. And you think myself, could you have done that 10 years ago? Touching go, you might have been able to 20 years ago? No, I can’t imagine it at all. Could you do it in Maybe it’s time I bet it’s so easy in five years time it’s untrue. So the opportunities that people have got to build those virtual connections and build a business where you only need a very small, tiny, tiny little percentage of clients, and you can make a good living, it’s gonna be that I’m really passionate about trying to get this message out, but it’s only our limited thinking that stops you having the life that you want.
Nick Holt [20:29]
Yeah, I mean, you’re, you’re you’re doing it. I mean, you’re the fact that you’re at 350 I mean, 357 today. So that’s, I mean, that’s, you know, those numbers are that’s prolific. I mean, I think what you’re doing is testament to exactly that. And, yeah, I mean, I couldn’t I couldn’t agree more.
David Ralph [20:52]
But would you have little Nick on I’m not saying that you and Judy need to go and create little nicks and little Julie’s, but just imagine it in my mind. Nick, it’s gonna happen, would you would you want them to have a corporate life? Would that be a safe route? Or would you try to instil in them that if you can create your own economy, then that’s actually the safe of where do you see safety now? Because you’ve been on both sides of it?
Nick Holt [21:18]
Yeah, great question. I think, I think there’s certain, you know, there’s certain skills that that you do acquire when you’re working in a corporate environment and in terms of, you know, professionalism and built building rapport and, and, and developing sort of interpersonal skills. I think those are valuable, you know, in any business that you sort of end up in. I think I would, I would definitely advise, you know, again, just coming back to that question of what excites you and what, and what really turns you on and makes you come alive. So, um, I think having a little bit of experience I would probably Push, push showing into a, you know, some kind of structured environment. So there’s, you know, you keep learning some, some discipline and some of those interpersonal skills. But just, you know, always be asking that question of what, what excites you and and, and turns you on and makes you come alive what would be my advice?
David Ralph [22:20]
That’s a good point that you made for that. I haven’t heard anyone say that before. Most people would go, No, go into the entrepreneurial route, create your own economy. But what you’re saying there is by working for the main going to a corporate gig, you learn responsibility, you learn the tools to make sure that you get there every day, which is quite difficult for an entrepreneur when they can take their own time. So to get them at the desk at nine o’clock and you work till five o’clock. It instils that those foundations but ultimately, if you’re not using them, you can still take with you to the entrepreneurial world.
Nick Holt [23:00]
Yeah, and then spot on. And I think that, you know, I think you can’t, you can’t under appreciate, I think a lot of the entrepreneurs, especially online these days, it’s a very isolated world. And you know, and I think, I think having, I think if you can develop those, those personal skills and develop the ability to build rapport and empathy and, and and get through to people, you know, you’re going to really have a leg up, because I think a lot of the entrepreneurs and online, you know, people that are doing business, it’s, it’s isolating, and I think those skills are are challenging to cultivate. So I think having that experience, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be, you know, working working for the man or working in a big corporation, but, but as you said, having those those foundational skills I think would really, you know, get translate
huge, huge dividends down the road. For sure.
David Ralph [23:59]
So someone Did you end up in the corporate gig? If we speak to the younger version of you, you wanted to be running around on the basketball court, if we talked to the older version now, you want to be splashing around on the beach, but you ended up working in a corporate environment in San Francisco. How did that happen?
Nick Holt [24:17]
You know, I think it’s sort of what we’ve touched on a little bit, um, you know, about loss as, as I sort of grew older and got into my early 20s, I, you know, lost sight of that, that dream and, and sort of just succumb to, to what I thought I should be doing sort of what peers were doing, sort of getting into that mentality of culturally what you should be doing as a college graduate, getting a job building a career, working your way up to it, you know, on and on and on. So I think I just fell into that, that mode. That’s what peers were doing. That’s sort of what I thought Parents, you know what my parents thought I should be doing. So it was sort of I was living as a theme that I think’s come up in some of your other pod, your other interviews and sort of living something that didn’t really feel authentic, but it just it was, you know, thought it was what I thought I should be doing. So that that’s what happened.
David Ralph [25:20]
Because Because your girlfriend Julie, she said, quite openly, but no matter how much success she got in her corporate gig, it kind of didn’t matter. He just felt flat from it, and that the money was getting better. prospects were getting better, but it didn’t lighter up inside. And is that a key thing that people should look for? If I go, right, okay, you got a big promotion coming next week. If you don’t go We’ll run around the office. You just mean Oh my god, that means more responsibility more work. You’re actually on the wrong path.
Nick Holt [25:57]
Um, yeah, I don’t know. I mean, it’s totally Individual I think I do think at a certain level, and I think there’s been tonnes of studies that they would corroborate this, you know, the money in the material success doesn’t really translate into fulfilment or happiness or any of those, those those feelings so yeah, I think I think it comes down to asking why why you know, and if it is for supporting your family and creating a sort of financial freedom then then I think that’s great. So I think it’s so individual so it’s hard to answer that but but i think i think it culturally we get, you know, especially in some of these industries, kind of get those those golden handcuffs as they say, you know, you get you get proceeds you get status, you get money and and sometimes that can sort of blind you from from really going after what you want.
David Ralph [26:53]
So a chap comes along to you and says, Nick, I like what you’re doing. I like the baby. fitness and and everything you’re doing. I want you to run a gym in my office. I’m going to set you up it’s going to be your own gym and an office I will double whatever you’re earning now. But you got to be there nine o’clock in the morning and undelete at five o’clock five days a week would you do it?
Nick Holt [27:17]
No way No it
is it said if they set up maybe a good Skype connection and some a good screen so we can do remotely but but absolutely not. I mean I think at this point, it’s it’s a matter of of lifestyle choice and, and I you know the the idea that the lifestyle of being on the beach and being able to to enjoy the beauty, the ocean and all that it offers is is just so powerful in such an appeal to me that it’s not really worth
that, you know, that monetary
David Ralph [27:56]
trade off. A lot. A lot of people would take that wouldn’t know they died instantly go Yes, doubled my salary bang and not think about what you’re saying. And with with this show, I emphasise this a lot. It’s not about entrepreneurial route, it really isn’t. It’s about happiness. And it’s about finding the thing that lights you up inside. And whether that’s doing your own thing over working for a company or working for your mom and dad or whatever. It’s about being happy. And you believe really, that you’ve got something that not only makes you happy at the moment, but will grow with you and as you get older, and maybe an hour to do as much as you can now personally, it is still something that’s going to be right for you because you feel it in your heart.
Nick Holt [28:44]
I think so. Yeah. I think I think some, you know, fall into that trap of, Oh, I have to, you know, quit my job and and start a business and that’s going to produce happiness. And and, you know, I think the cases that you I think there are a lot of ways that you can still maintain whatever job it is you’re doing. And, you know, maybe pursue and discover and explore another activity or passion that you might have on the side, I think and that can derive and generate, you know, that happiness that you speak of, because I, I certainly don’t advocate, you know, quitting a job and relocating to a foreign country, I think, you know, I’ve been able to make it work, but it there’s been a lot of hard work and there’s been a lot of preparation and there’s been a lot of struggle. There’s been, you know, cultural differences that have, you know, been quite challenging. And so, I think there’s ways to do it and not, you know, just kind of throw up the hands and say, quit, Okay, I’m done. And now I’m going to, you know, do this on my own. So I think you’re actually right, it is about happiness. It is about joy. At the end of the day.
David Ralph [30:00]
Well, let’s play some words that emphasise how things get done and how you actually transition from one thing to another. This is Oprah,
Oprah Winfrey [30:09]
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 [30:41]
Do those words work for you, Nick, is it as simple as just doing one thing looking? Has it worked? Yes, no, and then moving on and doing something else?
Nick Holt [30:52]
Yeah, I mean, that that’s powerful. I think that reminds me, I just thought of some quotes and you know, the famous Mark Twain Quote, the secret of getting ahead is getting started. And sometimes it can be that simple. And, you know, I see this, I see this all the time, especially around diet and nutrition and exercise, and especially the, you know, beginning of the year where people try and change, you know, 20 things and they try and exercise and they try to eat, cut out sugar, and they go into detox, and they cut out gluten and all these things. And, you know, I think, you know, a month later, none of its work, you know, they fall off the waggon. And they’re back to where they started. And I think what I tell people is if, you know, just do something, just drink some more water, do something so simple, and just get started and just be you know, be impeccable with that one thing. And, and I think, you know, that’s where the real change the sustainable change comes is being consistent with those small little things and just, and just getting started instead of, you know, as Oprah was saying, is are getting Wow, because it is easy these days, especially with, with so much information coming at us. So So how did you do
David Ralph [32:07]
it again? And how did you not get overwhelmed you in that corporate gig, you’ve got this dream, you want to go to Costa Rica, you want to live the life that you want. You’re probably surrounded by people that is like, that’s never gonna happen, Nick, what you’re doing, you’re throwing away all your education and whatever people always say those kind of things. How did you actually and you actually had that occur to you? Did you?
Nick Holt [32:33]
Oh, yeah. I mean, absolutely. I think it was it. You know, it took a immense amount of courage I think. I think a lot of it was was people’s envy or jealousy kind of projected on me that they maybe they want to do something like this and then for whatever reason, didn’t think they could. So yeah, I battled with that for a few months as I was making my my decision. And, you know, it was kind of a funny, the timing of it was 2008 2009. So, you know, if anybody was working in the financial world in those times, it was a very, very challenging. I mean, for every industry, it was a very challenging time. And so I think that was sort of a blessing in disguise and that it sort of allowed me to really sort of dive deeper into that into that question that we’ve sort of touched on is what what really excites me and what kind of makes me come alive and it was this, you know, fitness and I was doing some personal training on the side. And so it really just came down to a choice of this desire to, to want to live on the beach and, and live in a foreign place. And it you know, it took a lot of internal courage sort of listening to people but but not really hearing them, and not letting them sort of get through to my own sort of spirit of What I was focused on,
David Ralph [34:02]
but how did you do that? Because the people say to me, if you’ve got a dream, the first thing to do is don’t tell anyone until it becomes something that people can believe in. And then more often than not once they believe in it, but they will support you but at the very beginning, if you got that dream, just zip it and keep your mouth shut. So how did you stop listening to those people? Are you just very mentally strong? Are you just well tell tell us about it. How did you how did you stop that?
Nick Holt [34:34]
Um, yeah, I think there were a few things that they came up I
I don’t consider myself mentally strong at all. I mean, I think that there was you know, I was definitely on this path have always been on this path of exploration and curiosity and, you know, came across some, you know, some of Tim Ferriss work and other people who are doing this sort of lifestyle design stuff. And there was an exercise where, you know, you sit down and you you write out okay, what are the worst things that can happen? All right, I got it, you know, and and when I went through that exercise and a few others like that I realised that you know, two things that some of these things I was writing down, okay, I gotta, you know, move back and get a get another job and I might have to move in with a friend, I might have to sleep on a couch, I might worst case I might have to do some dishes, I don’t know, whatever. Those worst case scenarios were, you know, it, the reality was that those things, the likelihood of those things happening were pretty low. And, you know, it was kind of this, this just desire that I didn’t want to look back and say, What if, and I think that was part that was like, the powerful motivator. But doing those exercises of writing out those worst case scenarios was really powerful in the sense that, you know, I realised that it wasn’t if I fail, and I have to move back. Okay. You know, so I think that made that choice, that decision. A little bit easier once I went through that.
David Ralph [36:02]
I was reading your blog and there was a post, I think it was quite recently actually, that really struck a chord with me. And it was about the someday syndrome. To tell tell the listeners about that and why it is something that in this blog, it seemed to frighten you a lot.
Nick Holt [36:21]
Yeah, and I think I think it’s, you know, it’s prevalent everywhere, you know, just simply, it’s that idea that, you know, you you’re going to do do something someday. So I’m going to start, I’m going to start exercising, you know, when the time is right, I’m going to find that right. You know, now is not the time I’m going to find that, that dream job too busy now, I’m going to do it someday. Just that idea that, you know, tomorrow is better than now and that there’s, you know, the idea that you have to wait until all the stars align night. You know, I just don’t that I don’t think that ever going to happen. I think life is way too dynamic, dynamic. You know, there’s too many things going on. So, you know, back to that quote we talked about, it’s just doing something it’s doing, you know, one small thing that can propel you forward because there’s never going to be a perfect time. And I think that’s once I really got that.
That, you know, that was really powerful for me.
David Ralph [37:23]
I think it was Farrell Williams recently said something like I’m doodling it quickly, because it was in my head. Yeah. Don’t wait for the stars to be aligned, reach up and rearrange them in the way you want. Create your own constellation. That’s true. Yeah.
Nick Holt [37:40]
Yeah, it’s good stuff. Yeah. I mean,
I think we, you know, I think and what’s underneath that is, is certain procrastination, procrastination. You know, and again, it comes back to the mindset maybe, you know, we’re not ready for that success. We’re scared of that failure, whatever that may be.
Let’s back and so
David Ralph [38:04]
yeah, that’s that’s a good quote is another one I’m going through the Google world here. This is for our as well. He says, never give up on the things that can make you smile Even if it means you gotta crawl for 1000 miles Don’t you worry about how far to go enjoy the journey. Now that’s that’s a that’s a real mindset as well, isn’t it because I think we’re in. We’re in a kind of world that expects the instant success you press a button you get instant gratitude, you release a single you’re at number one, and all those kinds of things. But what that guy is saying and what you’re saying and every other guest who’s been on the show is saying that it takes an awful lot of work. But if you choose something that you love doing, and you really want to do it, even if money doesn’t come to you as quickly as you want, then you’ve got half a chance of getting approver if you start on something that you think are bad, it’s gonna be good. I’m gonna make a tonne of money there. But then you find it harder and harder and you lose your passion for it because it wasn’t there in the first place. That is where it all goes wrong, isn’t it?
Nick Holt [39:06]
Yeah, yeah. And again, that that dives deeper into that, you know, idea of focus and passion. And if you have that, that sort of guiding light and in in how you, you know, feel like you’re on that right path. I think that can that can get you through a lot of those tough times. If you really, you know, that takes work, though. It takes an immense amount of work to dive into yourself and ask yourself those tough questions and ask yourself that, that Dave, why
David Ralph [39:40]
how long did it take you until you actually fought? Yeah, it’s coming together. It’s not just something I’m working towards. It’s an actual business. Because it there’s always those times, isn’t it? When you starting on something that you say, right, in six months time, it’s going to be there and six months comes and goes and you’re you’re not really there because you’re building the foundation. And that’s the unsexy stuff. So how long did it take for you to leave San Francisco and actually look around you and go well, we’re covering the bills. That’s the first part. We’ve got a few extra pounds or dollars every month to be able to go out for a meal and have a few drinks. We’re kind of there. Yeah.
Nick Holt [40:21]
Yeah, did patients it takes time I would say as far as the number it was probably from the time I left to you know, getting comfortable with where we’re at it was probably at least I would say it’s two to two to half year process. And you know, I had been sort of pretty good always been been kind of a saver, so I had had some savings. So I never felt that I had to, you know, that I was on my on my last dollar. So I could always sort of invest that, that time and energy into into building those foundations. So I think You know, that’s another huge element there was, you know, I felt like I could really pour my my heart and soul into going to business and, and developing client relationships and building networks. You know, because I had a little bit of savings from a number of years of working so but but probably Yeah, it was until, you know, three years in where it was. It was comfortable and it was steady and it was cash flow positive. So I think it’s, you know, and requires a tonne of patience, and certainly not overnight.
David Ralph [41:34]
And did you remember when you started it having that kind of feeling of six months or a year or did you just think it’s going to take as long as it should take?
Nick Holt [41:44]
Um, no, I definitely had a sort of ambitious, sort of optimistic mindset is okay, six months, four months, you know, sometime within six months it would be it would be sort of humming along. You know, the There is some tricky elements in Costa Rica there. There’s some seasonal seasonality of where I live. So there was some some tough months where there’s just not a lot of people and so that that was a little challenging. But I certainly had Yeah, I was more optimistic going in. You know, by six months, I was definitely definitely had a few clients and we were doing okay, but it wasn’t nearly where I thought it would be.
David Ralph [42:27]
But again, I just had that that drive and that passion to get better. And that seems to just keep me keep me going. He’s a killer, isn’t it for dreams, it’s the expectation is like, I think some somebody once said to me, if you’re going for the gold medal in the Olympics, and everybody expects you to get the gold medal, and you end up with silver. That’s that’s a great result. But then you feel really disappointed because the expectation was greater than the actual achievement. And that is what kills so many people. Getting going, isn’t it or putting in that extra effort to push through, because they set their expectations much higher than the actual achievement that you’re going to get. It takes a while it takes a while.
Nick Holt [43:13]
It does take a while. And I think there’s, you know, unfortunately, in the online space, there’s there’s a lot of, you know, information or misinformation that you know, we get bombarded with every day that that it is easy that is, you know, you can, you know, sit on your couch and, you know, make money while you’re sleeping. And, you know, so I think, I think for to get over that and to realise that it is a process and it’s a journey, and it’s it’s certainly not going to happen overnight. I think you need to come in with that mindset or otherwise it’s, you know, it’s going to be a difficult road.
David Ralph [43:54]
But it’s the difficult road fair is the worthwhile road. I think I’ve got a little coaster up on a side of the bed. You know, when you’re laying in bed and you have a cup of tea and you just put it down on the coaster, and it says something along the lines of only those who are willing to go as far as they thought possible will ever find out how far they can go or something like that. And it’s it’s hugely powerful. But at my darkest moments, I look over and I see it and I go, yeah, and every morning I get out of bed and I see it and I think no matter how hard it’s going to be, and it is hard. Yeah, you can push through because about that tiny little motivation. So did you have anything? Do you have things pinned up to your fridge and and does Judy sort of quote words and D do play the rocky theme every morning to get going? What?
Nick Holt [44:43]
The Rocky theme is definitely on one of the moat the playlist that I have on my phone, so that gets played quite a bit. Yeah, you know, we have a few whiteboards where we live and we use those. You know, will I’m kind of a voracious reader, so I’m always died, you know, consuming information and putting up quotes and we got some, some some images and some destinations of places that we want to travel to and serve up on our up on our wall. So there’s definitely that constant, you know, dream of wanting to go and reminded of sort of what we’re working towards, to keep us to keep us motivated, because you’re right. I mean, there are those days where you’re just not feeling it. And I think having those, having those rituals are having those reminders, you know, to, to keep you going is is a necessity, for sure
David Ralph [45:44]
that that doesn’t feel that you’re living the dream, because a lot of people will look at you going, he’s living the dream. He’s got the vision board and he look at it every morning and go, that’s where I am. But you’ve actually got your own kind of vision board which is a big ago, so So does it seem like a dream? Or does it seem like life now?
Nick Holt [46:05]
Yeah, you know, I, it’s a funny, it’s a funny question because I get you know, I have friends and, and colleagues, especially this time of year and working in the colder parts of the Northeast, who are envious, to say the least of being on the beach. And they say, oh, you’re living the dream and and, you know, you get a lot of tourists and travellers to come to Costa Rica. And, you know, I tell them about the business and so you’re living the dream and, and it certainly feels great. And I love what I do. But, you know, I, I feel like the dream is always growing and there’s always something bigger and better. And so, yeah, I feel like it’s it’s life. It’s the lifestyle that I’ve created. And, and I think that most people can and so in a certain sense, I don’t, I don’t look at it that way. I think that it’s always gonna be growing and and I think when people say that they sort of take their own personal power away.
David Ralph [47:06]
Well, they do. Don’t they say you’re living the dream? Like there was some kind of magic involved? Nobody ever says you’re living the perfect steps that you took to get to where you are no one ever quotes that it’s always that kind of magical mystical dream state but you you got off your backside you read and you hustled and you did everything to get that dream.
Nick Holt [47:30]
Yeah, yeah. And it’s, it’s a, you know, I think the people that say that they they can do that and they just whether they choose not to or whether they don’t believe they can is sort of two separate issues. But yeah, there’s work there’s hospital there’s, there’s their struggle. It’s it’s like, you know, their their bills to be paid and it’s, it’s the reality so I don’t think people really appreciate that way. They may say those words.
David Ralph [48:02]
It is a mindset gain isn’t a mind chatter because I had these conversations where people are going on adventures, and they’re getting in ambulances and driving over Mongolia and all that kind of stuff. And I think I’d love to do that. And whenever I’ve quoted, but people go, Well, why aren’t you and I go, I don’t really know. I just kind of say I’d love to do it, but I’m not really making any effort towards it. And that it’s, it’s strange to me, but I’m in this environment, talking to you guys doing something that everybody is saying to me. Well, you’ve done so well. But I’m actually looking at these other people going I’d like to do that but not doing anything towards it. All.
Nick Holt [48:44]
Right, it’s the human mind is those mind traps that we get into I think,
yeah, I think we all fall into those traps.
David Ralph [48:53]
Did this did this Julie is Julie your anchor? Is she somebody because she seemed very grounded. And I’m interested to see who is the person that drags the other person around? Or is it you always at her? Who’s the stronger one out of the two of you when it gets a bit tough?
Nick Holt [49:12]
That I think that’s a matter of perspective there. depends on who you ask. I think. Yeah, I mean, she brings, you know, so many vital skills to the table the strengths that I simply don’t have, you know, from, she’s definitely I seem to be the, the more even stronger, sort of emotional as far as I can. I can allow things to just sort of bounce off me and not take things as personally, just sort of the way that I’m wired it but but she’s the one who, who really gets stuff done and you know, gets fired up and, and, you know, but you better get out of her way or you’re gonna get run over. So Especially, you know, it’s a good skill to have especially surfing because you got a lot of competition out there. So she’s, you know, there’s a lot of testosterone a lot of times in the water, so she’s, you know, I’m proud of her every day out there fighting for her. So it’s
David Ralph [50:15]
because I’m fascinated by the metaphor of surfing and skating and all those because it is just folding is failure after failure after failure, isn’t it until you actually catch away even and you make a bit of momentum is a real metaphor for the entrepreneurial life, isn’t it?
Nick Holt [50:34]
Yeah, I think it’s a I’ve been there many good metaphors, but I think it’s perfect. I mean, there is, you know, it’s, you know, you see images of these beautiful waves and people surfing them, you know, effortlessly, but you don’t realise that in order to get to that level even to stand up on the board might take, you know, months and months and months, and then even when you’re standing up, you’re normally just going straight and you’re not really writing An open way as they’re called. So the Yeah, the failure even for someone like myself who was, you know, a decent surfer, I mean, I, I fail every day I fall. You know, I like to make the excuse that I’m that I’m tall and you know, I have long limbs, but as we know, that’s just an excuse. And there’s there’s plenty of pro surfers who were, you know, taller than I am. So. But yeah, you’re dealing with that, that failure constantly and you know, there’s the patience element, you know, you might sit and you might get one way of in in an hour. And so it takes an incredible amount of patience. And obviously, there’s this physical part, you know, that even when you might not be getting good waves, you’re at least moving your body, you’re in nature, you’re in this sort of unbelievable, you know, dynamic ocean. So, yeah, there’s a lot of similarities to entrepreneurship into life as far as You know, all those elements and then the idea of just letting go and allowing the waves to come to you and sort of sort of matching that energy and not trying to fight and and sort of push it too much Scott finding that balance.
David Ralph [52:16]
I was talking to a lady the other day, or now I was talking to a chap who was talking about a lady. And he, he was saying, you know, what, what would you like to do in life? And she said, Oh, I’d love to be a surfer. And he said, Why, why you’re not doing it, oh, it’s not going to pay the bills. And she’s actually set up a management sort of cooperation training course, on those, those principles that we were just talking about, about being on a surfboard. And she takes business managers out onto the waves and teaches them about, you know, it’s the moment but you’ve got to put in all the effort to get that momentum just when that waves coming and she’s built his whole business plan around teaching businesses how to actually perform better Find what she can teach him in the sea. It’s fascinating,
Nick Holt [53:03]
amazing man where she located
David Ralph [53:06]
somewhere in the water. That’s all I mean, he he was down in California, so, okay, can you make sense? Yeah. Can you do good surfing down in California?
Nick Holt [53:18]
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, California, Southern California. Well, all of California is pretty good. Southern California is going to be a little warmer as far as the water goes. But yeah, that whole West Coast even up to, you know, to Washington state their wage year round.
David Ralph [53:38]
There’s a good business plan for you.
Nick Holt [53:41]
You have some waves too, though, don’t you? And you got some words of Cornwall. Yeah,
David Ralph [53:45]
yeah, it’s too cold to go in, isn’t it? I
Unknown Speaker [53:48]
know that you’re not a beach guy. I hate
David Ralph [53:50]
the beach. I passionately hate the beach. It’s all Sandy. It’s just, I don’t mind a nice pole because you jump into porn. You get out and you don’t have to sort of brushes down and wash yourself down the beach at all. But I do hang around sort of UK beaches that are pretty, but they’re they’re just cold.
Nick Holt [54:09]
Yeah, you probably haven’t been to Costa Rica then I haven’t
David Ralph [54:12]
you invite me over?
Nick Holt [54:15]
Absolutely I might, it will change your perspective on the beach because I mean, these beaches are pretty special here. And
David Ralph [54:22]
we’re taking a load of selfies drinking beer, and we’re, we’re send them to your mom and dad.
Nick Holt [54:27]
There we go. There we go.
David Ralph [54:29]
Well, let’s play the words now that our whole theme of the show and he is, you know, it’s somebody who found probably more times than most of us, but he achieved greatness no longer with us. But the words are, this is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [54:43]
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 connecting 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. Can you see that
David Ralph [55:19]
in your own life? Nick, did those words apply to you?
Nick Holt [55:23]
Yeah, they do. They do. I think I there are a few few dots that I’m able to see now. I also think that they’re, you know, I’m excited for the for the gospel that have yet not come. I think there’s there’s, you know, it’s going to be a wild ride going forward. But absolutely, I see that.
David Ralph [55:43]
And what’s your big.in life? what’s what’s the one that if you had to pinpoint one that really changed the course of what you were doing at that time?
Nick Holt [55:54]
Yeah, I think that that’s that blog that you mentioned earlier, there’s this no cross country. Sort of journey that I took when I was 23 in Australia, and, you know, drove drove a car with a buddy that I was working with at the time, I was doing a lot of travelling and, you know, drove through the outback of Australia and just got exposed to, to some of the most amazing, you know, people and cultures and just that perspective change and, and seeing sort of what was out there and sort of just lit that curiosity under me. You know, and I think that sort of driven this, the sense of exploration and adventure in me, you know, that I better have still now. So I think that was a sort of a big, a big deal. For me. Getting that exposure
David Ralph [56:46]
is interesting, isn’t it? But a vacation a road trip can be life changing, if you want it to be it could also be just putting up off the bar after bar, having a few beers and having a good time. But if you’re right that That moment that message that that inspiration or whatever you get at that time, it can literally change your life forever. You never know when it’s going to strike Do you?
Nick Holt [57:09]
Yeah, you don’t, you don’t. And I think that trend is I mean there’s the trend is is definitely growing and people wanting to go out you know I see it every day people go on a vacation and and learning to surf and and and having that experience changed their lives and the idea that going and just sitting up by the pool and drinking a bunch of cocktails and you know getting a get a nice tan which nothing wrong with with drinking a few cocktails but but that idea of learning a skill and just getting out there and trying something new. Because if you find that right thing it can be it can be a total game changer. Absolutely. And is out there
David Ralph [57:49]
but you’ve just got to look having you that’s the key thing. And the fact that the the listeners are listening to this show, it makes me realise that people are wanting something that they’re aware of And the fact that they’re clicking on this and listening to it will mean that they’re hopefully going to be flicking around blogs and websites, while they’re listening to it and seeing what other people are doing. And the fact that you’re doing that on the beach, somewhere in Australia or something, somebody might go, I could do that. And it just gets that those juices going and those passions, but you’ve instilled that belief, you’ve already done it, and so it’s more believable because they can see the tangible results.
Nick Holt [58:28]
Yep, yep, that’s right.
David Ralph [58:31]
Well, this is the end of the show. And this is the part that we call a sermon on the mic when we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young Nick, what age would you choose and what advice would you give? Well, we’re gonna find out because we’re gonna play the theme tune and when it fades you up. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [58:55]
We go with the best beer on the show.
Nick Holt [59:14]
Okay, I’d have to say I have to go back to my 1819 years old, in Atlanta, Georgia, but halfway through a university. I would, I would just tell myself to fully engage and go after it and and, you know, do what makes you come alive and don’t just, you know, there’s going to be people, they’re going to tell you what you should do and what right to do. But don’t worry about those things and just go and do what you want and really go after engage, slow down, think and just and just do it and be an action. But those would be my words to my own. yourself,
David Ralph [1:00:01]
Nick, how can our audience connect with you, sir?
Nick Holt [1:00:05]
Yeah, absolutely. Thank you, uh, two places mainly is Nick Holt fitness. And that’s, you know, where I talk, I talk training, you can see some pretty cool pictures of training on the beach. That’s sort of the offline you know, personal training stuff. And then salt water fit is our online website. Julie and I, that’s where we do all sorts of blogging and content creation, nutrition exercise tips, and we also do some coaching, some virtual coaching that we touched on earlier. So Nicole, fitness and saltwater fit calm.
David Ralph [1:00:45]
We’ll have over links in the show notes. Nick, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining those dots. And 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. Nick Holt Thank you so much.
Nick Holt [1:01:02]
Yeah, thank you, David. It was it was a pleasure. It was great.
David Ralph [1:01:07]
Thanks for listening to today’s episode of Join Up Dots brought to you exclusively by podcast is mastery.com. The only resource that shows you how to create a show, build an income and still have time for the life that you love. Check out podcast is mastery.com.
Now, David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you or 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.