LET GO

It’s not natural for busy executives in todays world to let go of our stuff, particularly with all the chaos going on the world.

We often focus so hard on maintaining old patterns, that have served us in the past, but we frustratingly hold onto these patterns, behaviours, habits that served us in our 20’s

It’s like playing style of football that won the championships in 1980 and believing tactics will win in 2020.

Why do we cling on so tightly to the business tasks as if it is the true measure of life’s success – we become so focused on seeing the task through without truly understanding what the result is going to be.

I don’t mean just in our businesses, but in our health, our relationships and mindset?

So today, let’s keep our goals in perspective. Let’s focus on what makes us truly happy and healthy, not just what keeps us busy.

I am confident that we let go of our frustrations at work and focus on body, relationships and mindset, and trust that business will take care of itself, we will thank ourselves in years to come

Or we will pay the price

The choice is ours

What’s the biggest thing you have had to let go of?

daily-blog-template

It’s not natural for busy executives in todays world to let go of our stuff, particularly with all the chaos going on the world.

We often focus so hard on maintaining old patterns, that have served us in the past, but we frustratingly hold onto these patterns, behaviours, habits that served us in our 20’s

It’s like playing style of football that won the championships in 1980 and believing tactics will win in 2020.

Why do we cling on so tightly to the business tasks as if it is the true measure of life’s success – we become so focused on seeing the task through without truly understanding what the result is going to be.

I don’t mean just in our businesses, but in our health, our relationships and mindset?

So today, let’s keep our goals in perspective. Let’s focus on what makes us truly happy and healthy, not just what keeps us busy.

I am confident that we let go of our frustrations at work and focus on body, relationships and mindset, and trust that business will take care of itself, we will thank ourselves in years to come

Or we will pay the price

The choice is ours

What’s the biggest thing you have had to let go of?

daily-blog-template

It’s not natural for busy executives in todays world to let go of our stuff, particularly with all the chaos going on the world.

We often focus so hard on maintaining old patterns, that have served us in the past, but we frustratingly hold onto these patterns, behaviours, habits that served us in our 20’s

It’s like playing style of football that won the championships in 1980 and believing tactics will win in 2020.

Why do we cling on so tightly to the business tasks as if it is the true measure of life’s success – we become so focused on seeing the task through without truly understanding what the result is going to be.

I don’t mean just in our businesses, but in our health, our relationships and mindset?

So today, let’s keep our goals in perspective. Let’s focus on what makes us truly happy and healthy, not just what keeps us busy.

I am confident that we let go of our frustrations at work and focus on body, relationships and mindset, and trust that business will take care of itself, we will thank ourselves in years to come

Or we will pay the price

The choice is ours

What’s the biggest thing you have had to let go of?

daily-blog-template

It’s not natural for busy executives in todays world to let go of our stuff, particularly with all the chaos going on the world.

We often focus so hard on maintaining old patterns, that have served us in the past, but we frustratingly hold onto these patterns, behaviours, habits that served us in our 20’s

It’s like playing style of football that won the championships in 1980 and believing tactics will win in 2020.

Why do we cling on so tightly to the business tasks as if it is the true measure of life’s success – we become so focused on seeing the task through without truly understanding what the result is going to be.

I don’t mean just in our businesses, but in our health, our relationships and mindset?

So today, let’s keep our goals in perspective. Let’s focus on what makes us truly happy and healthy, not just what keeps us busy.

I am confident that we let go of our frustrations at work and focus on body, relationships and mindset, and trust that business will take care of itself, we will thank ourselves in years to come

Or we will pay the price

The choice is ours

What’s the biggest thing you have had to let go of?

For more advice on career performance, you can find The 4 Keys on Amazon.

Andrew Sillitoe is a business psychologist, author, and speaker. His innovative approach to leadership and work-life balance has earned him invitations to work with a range of global companies, including Pfizer, Nationwide, Virgin, and the BBC. Today Andrew runs the UK’s number-one training company for entrepreneurs and business owners who want to succeed in business, health, relationships, and mindset.

The 4 Keys on Amazon

daily-blog-template

It’s not natural for busy executives in todays world to let go of our stuff, particularly with all the chaos going on the world.

We often focus so hard on maintaining old patterns, that have served us in the past, but we frustratingly hold onto these patterns, behaviours, habits that served us in our 20’s

It’s like playing style of football that won the championships in 1980 and believing tactics will win in 2020.

Why do we cling on so tightly to the business tasks as if it is the true measure of life’s success – we become so focused on seeing the task through without truly understanding what the result is going to be.

I don’t mean just in our businesses, but in our health, our relationships and mindset?

So today, let’s keep our goals in perspective. Let’s focus on what makes us truly happy and healthy, not just what keeps us busy.

I am confident that we let go of our frustrations at work and focus on body, relationships and mindset, and trust that business will take care of itself, we will thank ourselves in years to come

Or we will pay the price

The choice is ours

What’s the biggest thing you have had to let go of?

For more advice on career performance, you can find The 4 Keys on Amazon.

Andrew Sillitoe is a business psychologist, author, and speaker. His innovative approach to leadership and work-life balance has earned him invitations to work with a range of global companies, including Pfizer, Nationwide, Virgin, and the BBC. Today Andrew runs the UK’s number-one training company for entrepreneurs and business owners who want to succeed in business, health, relationships, and mindset.

The 4 Keys on Amazon

Why Working Out Isn’t Working Out with Darryl Edwards – Part 2

In part one of my conversation with Darryl Edwards, we explored his journey from ill health to celebrating his body with playful movement.

The second half of our conversation was just as fascinating, but we turned our attention to how we might cure an illness which is plaguing us worldwide and has done for many years – racism and the injustices that arise from it.

Our conversation was open and honest. Frankly, these are the conversations we all need to start having if we want to rid the world of racism, and create a genuinely fair and just world. If we can do that, we will all see the benefits.

Read on to learn more about Darryl’s experiences of racism, what’s changed and what hasn’t, and the reasons he feels optimistic.

The racism Darryl has experienced

It didn’t take long for Darryl to first experience prejudice based on nothing more than the colour of his skin.

“I grew up in a very multicultural environment – I wasn’t really aware of cultural differences, I knew there were certain things that were different to my neighbours, but I just felt like another human being.”

“It was when I went to primary school, at 5 or 6 years old, I do remember another kid using a racial slur. I went home to my parents and explained what happened.” With a sigh, Darryl recalled his parents explaining: “Son, this is what happens and it’s going to continue to happen and we’re not always going to be there to help you navigate this, but here are some realities you need to be aware of. Here is your history.”

Darryl left university with exceptional qualifications and was ready to apply himself in the working world. He recalled his parents saying to him: “Work hard, get your education, and you can do whatever you want…” but “doors were slammed in my face left right and centre.”

Darryl acknowledges that struggling to get work isn’t always about race, but when being promised a job over the phone and then being turned away when they saw his face, it’s hard to believe he was on a level playing field.

And it didn’t change as he found more professional success. He would be stopped just as often driving his Aston Martin as he was driving a beaten-up old Rover. Even to this day, Darryl finds himself being singled out by security guards in shops.

Things have changed…but racism has stayed the same

Darryl readily admits that we’ve made progress and the landscape has shifted, “It is easier for someone like myself to progress in many ways than it was before, no doubt about it.”

He sees this in personal interactions with friends, colleagues, and strangers, “It would be ludicrous to say that every white person I meet is racist. I certainly know if I went back 50 years, there’d be far more overt displays of racism. The National Front marched in front of my house when I was a kid. That doesn’t happen to me now, so there’s significant progress.”

But whilst individual perceptions of race, racism, and justice have shifted, there are still deeper-rooted issues that show no signs of abating – yet.

“What hasn’t changed so much is this systemic racism – the bias, the things that mean I am more likely to get stopped when I am driving my car, I am likely to be questioned walking down the street.”

Darryl has to consider when and where he goes on runs, after experiences of being stopped by police in the past, with incidents like this occurring “so many times.”

“There is loads of research out there that shows exactly the same CVs with the names changed” and, incredibly, the CVs that use foreign-sounding names perform worse than those with familiar names.

“It is not about an individual’s actions, this is about the fabric, the DNA of our history that affects us today.”

Darryl’s reasons for optimism in the fight against racism

Whilst Darryl is firm in his belief that racism is still prevalent and affecting us in our day-to-day lives, he is “optimistic”.

“I feel, on this occasion, this is the first time that I’ve witnessed more uncomfortable conversations.”

Darryl referred back to our conversation in part one: “It’s a bit like our health and wellness chat earlier, about embracing discomfort and the challenge of taking the difficult path. There’s more of that happening now… We probably wouldn’t have had this conversation a year ago.”

These conversations and people’s willingness to engage in them indicates a deeper consideration for the change that we need to make as a population.

Darryl believes it’s something of a moment of reckoning, “Those who will always continue to feel the way they do will probably continue to feel that way, those who have always wanted to champion this have got even more reason to feel as if it’s worth doing, and those who are on the fence are fed up of getting splinters and decide to follow what’s right for humanity.”

Can I set you a challenge?

You don’t have to accept it, but I’d love it if you do consider it.

Have a conversation like this.

Ask someone you know if they feel ready and up for a difficult conversation about race, about racism, and the part we all play in these systems that oppress people for completely unjust reasons.

Just a with our health, the only way we’re going to make the progress we so desperately need to make is if we start doing what’s difficult.

On the other side of difficulty is health, wealth, and happiness.

Interviews with Game Changers

I have had the opportunity to interview the worlds leading minds on business, health and mindset. You can read the highlights of my podcast interviews by clicking here

Read Game Changers Now

Podcast

The Scale Without Burnout podcast is for business owners who want to learn how to devote equal time to their business, body, relationships & mindset to bring their life into balance.
Get weekly tips and feel empowered with Business Psychologist and host Andrew Sillitoe

Listen to the Podcast

Why Working Out Isn’t Working Out with Darryl Edwards – Part 1

Play isn’t just for kids – it’s one of the most effective ways we can craft healthy habits, happier lives, and productive workplaces.

Darryl Edwards is proof of that. Darryl is The Fitness Explorer – an international speaker, coach, nutritionist, author, and health commentator. But Darryl wasn’t always the picture of health – his journey to whole-health wellbeing started in the early 2000s when he was told he was on a crash course to major health conditions and a potential early death.

Since then, he’s learned how important play is in creating a healthy mind and body. Darryl was kind enough to join me to discuss some of the things he’s learned, so that we can pass them on to you.

Why we need to start sooner rather than later

Darryl only came to his realisation about the importance of mental and physical wellbeing when he received some startling news in an annual health check.

“I got told that I wasn’t well. I had pre-diabetes, one step away from Type 2, chronic hypertension, elevated risk of cardiovascular disease, a really poor cholesterol profile.”

But illnesses like this don’t appear out of nowhere. The truth is Darryl’s lifestyle had been slowly creating these conditions over the course of years.

“We feel bulletproof for a significant amount of time while these conditions are slowly creeping up. In my 20s, I partied hard and worked long hours…It meant sleep deprivation, it meant eating on the go, it meant that time in the gym was an impediment. We could lose millions of pounds with me not sitting at my desk.”

“I put my health and being to one side because I didn’t feel the impact of those things. I felt fine on a few hours sleep and drinking Red Bull for breakfast.”

Self-development is a long-game, though, and Darryl realises now that we have to get started before we are forced to start. It’s why he’s so passionate about spreading his message of wellbeing.

Starting is the hardest part, but it doesn’t have to be huge

“There are ways you can very quickly start on this path of improving your health,” believes Darryl.

And none of them require you to “live like a monk or a nun” – which is welcome news.

The best way to start, according to Darryl, is by “taking a small step down a path that feels sustainable to you, that you can maintain… Once you do that, the scope of that change may widen to incorporate other areas.”

But making significant changes to the way you live your life and treat yourself isn’t a quick fix or an overnight project.

“There is no silver bullet, there is no one thing that will make all the difference,” explained Darryl.

“The cumulative effect of improving your diet a bit, getting more physical activity in, thinking about your sleep quality, reducing unnecessary stress… You add all those things together and it’s like compound interest.”

But it all starts with one small step in the right direction. Don’t try and get started on perfecting every facet of your wellbeing at once – that’s a recipe for burnout and a feeling of failure.

At the other end of the spectrum, Darryl “would definitely guard against trying to focus on perfecting one thing,” like 30-day cleanses or other short-term, intensive programmes.

Starting small means starting smart and sustainably – ticking off small wins as you go along and setting sensible goals.

Where does play come into this?

Before we go into why play is crucial, I think it’s important to use this moment to share a brilliant explanation Darryl gave:

“Play is not a subservient of work. It isn’t superfluous, it isn’t something that should be sought out as an exception to getting the serious work out the way.”

Play is not something that is reserved for children on their lunch breaks at school.

“As adults, we assume play is fun,” Darryl said as he explored this misunderstanding. “That is not the entirety of play – that’s the smallest fraction of play that exists for children when they are given the option to free play.”

“When you free play, you seek out challenge, difficulty, and what is going to be really risky. You calculate risk because there’s a significant reward if you achieve that objective. You’re not seeking out the easy stuff to do, you’re seeking out the things you may have never done. You’re working out ‘I wonder what will happen if I do x or y’.”

Clearly, the power of play extends far beyond just having fun.

“Play should be elevated in far more areas of our lives. It can help improve performance, it can foster creativity, it can increase and improve human social connection, and build teamwork.”

“All the things we are trying to achieve professionally as individuals and collectives benefit far more from a play-based state to delivering those objectives than we do a hard-working state.”

And play is a great addition to our physical activity regimen, too.

“We have higher levels of positive hormones through play. If you’re doing the same activity but doing it in a playful way, you get even more of that feelgood factor. If you’re doing it with other humans, these levels increase even more.”

That means the physical activity we do in a play-state is ‘stickier’. We’re more likely to do it again and make it a sustained effort.

Those small steps referenced earlier are extended when we take them with playfulness.

Why Darryl believes we should all play more

If it wasn’t clear why play is so important at the start of this post, it should be now.

Darryl’s passion for play, and the science that backs up his belief, are abundant. I think he summed it up best when he said:

“If we have a play-based mindset, we remove barriers. We remove boundaries. We become more open to ideas. We are not thinking about what we can’t do, we are thinking about what we can do, so there are more opportunities.”

If you’d like to learn more about Darryl, check out his website Primal Play.

I highly recommend watching Darryl’s Tedx Talk. It’s one of the most powerful talks I’ve ever listened to!

If you want to learn more from Darryl, you can also grab a copy of his fantastic book, Animal Moves.

Interviews with Game Changers

I have had the opportunity to interview the worlds leading minds on business, health and mindset. You can read the highlights of my podcast interviews by clicking here

Read Game Changers Now

Podcast

The Scale Without Burnout podcast is for business owners who want to learn how to devote equal time to their business, body, relationships & mindset to bring their life into balance.
Get weekly tips and feel empowered with Business Psychologist and host Andrew Sillitoe

Listen to the Podcast

How to Create an Unbeatable Mind with Mark Divine

Do you want to learn how to strengthen your thinking and develop an unbeatable mind?

Mark Divine is a former Navy SEAL, New York Times bestselling author, and the founder of multiple million-dollar businesses. He’s also a lifetime Martial Artist and Ashtanga Yoga teacher with a passion for helping others discover and develop a warrior offensive mindset to help deepen their willpower, make better decisions under pressure, and focus on the mission until victory.

Mark has so many incredible lessons and insights to share and he was generous enough to discuss a few with me so that I can share them with you and help you to build a truly unbeatable mind.

Mark Divine on finding his purpose

Although Mark is fully aware of his purpose to be a warrior and help others build an elite mindset, it took him years to come to make that discovery. He grew up in a family whereby negative thinking was the main meal of the day and everyone expected him to join the family business. There were no other options and without knowing it, Mark had been intellectually and psychologically groomed into thinking that that was the only viable option he had.

He soon found himself in a suit and tie, living the same day over and over again. He was chained to a desk, but because he was an athlete, he actively sought opportunities to keep improving himself. He woke up early and ran six miles each morning and during lunch he worked out at the gym.

Then, one day he was walking home, and he heard shouts and screams coming from the second floor of a building. This caught his attention and he turned back to read the sign outside the building that said, “Seido Karate HQ.”

He walked into the building, went up to the second floor, and saw a 5.4 ft Japanese man with a stern expression on his face. Then, unexpectedly, he told a joke and burst into a fit of giggles. As it turns out, that man was Kaicho Tadashi Nakamura, the founder of Seido karate.

Mark signed up on the spot and started to learn not the physical side of martial arts, but he embraced the zen side of Nakamura’s teachings too.

Here are a few kind words Mark shared about Nakamura:

What I saw when I watched Nakamura was a human being, unlike anyone I’d ever seen in my entire life… he had power, humility, leadership, and he had a love for all of his students.”

Mark learned how to calm his mind and concentrate for a lot longer than he ever could before. Doing this completely transformed him and led him to discover his true purpose. He realised that he wasn’t living his story, he was living his parent’s story. He had to break away from that and find his purpose.

I asked… what is my calling? Ironically, I also learned at that moment that if you ask that question, you will get the answer.”

Mark learned to have the stillness necessary to hear the answer, which told him that his purpose was to be an elite warrior.

Your calling is never something that you do, it’s something that you be.”

Nature Vs Nurture

Mark embarked on a journey of self-discovery whereby he became comfortable being alone in nature. He didn’t fear the stillness and instead, sought it out. Being able to be on your own and being content with your own company is so important, especially if you’re into endurance training or sports.

Mark also embraced positive self-talk more in his daily life. Whenever something negative happened, he used to respond with sarcasm or turn to alcohol for comfort. He had to ‘override those patterns’ to change negative situations into positives and to transform fear into courage.

Any time I detected something negative, I zapped it mentally like a lightning bolt and redirected it into something positive or productive.”

Every human has all of the positive qualities accessible to us as people. We don’t need to learn them because they are natural. However, all of the negative qualities of being human such as anger, shame, guilt, and anxiety, are all learned over time.

How to integrate the power of visualisation

Mark believes that visualisation is very powerful, and it can help you to manifest good things in your life. While learning how to visualise properly, Mark adopted two key skills:

1. Controlling his breathing

Being able to control your breathing is so important. It can help you to de-stress and relax when you’re feeling uneasy or overwhelmed. The type of breathing that Mark practices are called ‘Box breathing’ (also known as square breathing). This is a breathing technique that involves taking slow and deep breaths. It is believed to heighten performance and concentration because you’re breathing in, pausing for a few seconds, and then breathing out again.

2. Feeding the ‘courage wolf’

The second skill that Mark worked on to help improve his visualisation skills was ‘feeding the courage wolf.’ This means taming the mind and replacing negative thoughts with positive counterparts. It’s about setting up vigilance for outside negative forces too, helping you to build a stronger mind that can fight off things like anger, shame, guilt, and so on.

Visualisation harnesses the power of subconscious minds. Visualising that you have achieved something that you desperately want and continuing to visualise it can help you to achieve it in real life. The law of manifestation comes into play when your thoughts and positive mindset can create your reality.

Everything in our life comes from some imagery. If you can take control of that imagery and create powerful imagery around your future, then you will create that future.”

Mark leveraged visualisation before he became a Navy SEAL. He visualised himself going to college, graduating, and becoming a Navy SEAL, even though the chances of succeeding were against him. Still, Mark continued to visualise it, and then, nine months later, the recruiter called to share the exciting news that Mark was accepted to join the United States Navy Sea, Air, and Land.

What it means to be an elite warrior

For an elite warrior, every day is precious. If you want to be an elite warrior, you must believe that each day that you’re alive and breathing is a gift. Each day is precious because you never know when it’s going to be your last.

Warriors do everything with total awareness. They don’t change their attitude or lose any awareness no matter who they’re talking to or what task they’re carrying out. If you want to follow the warrior path, you must also do everything with 100% awareness and excellence.

You must recognise that there is something new to learn each day. Each day brings opportunities to learn and grow and it’s up to you whether or not you’re going to seize those opportunities or let them pass you by.

Today is a self-contained life. Mark claims that there is nothing you can’t experience today in terms of humanity. You can either experience the worst of depravity or the highest level of joy and happiness, the choice is yours.

There is only one thing a warrior can control and that’s their own thoughts. They choose what thoughts are allowed to enter their mind and what thoughts can stay there. If you want to think positively and create an unbreakable mind, you must learn to control your thoughts.

The warrior must control the only thing he can control, which is the interior.”

How to know what goals you should focus on

If you’re like most people, you might have a long list of goals that you want to achieve. So, how do you know which goals to focus on?

Mark states that when it comes to defining what goals to focus on, you want to “use the rational mind, but you need to avoid the biases of the rational mind.”

Mark (and his clients) use a decision tool for goal and target selection called FITS, which challenges you to ask yourself these four questions:

  • Does the target or goal fit you and/or your team in terms of skills, capacity, and culture?
  • How important is this relative to the other potential goals or targets on your list?
  • Is the timing right?
  • Can you articulate and define the mission plan in simple enough terms that you have a reasonable chance of success?

Your answers to these questions will help you define your targets and goals. Through intentional breathing, mindfulness, and embracing what it means to ‘feed the courage wolf,’ you can create an unbeatable mind, whether you’re a professional athlete, CEO, small business owner, or still trying to find your calling.

Do you want to learn more from Mark about creating an unbeatable mind?

Find out more about Mark and the ‘Unbeatable Mind Academy’ here and read his incredible book, ‘Unbeatable Mind’ to help you forge resiliency and mental toughness to succeed at an elite level.

Listen to Mark’s podcast, the ‘Unbeatable Mind Podcast’ here.

Interviews with Game Changers

I have had the opportunity to interview the worlds leading minds on business, health and mindset. You can read the highlights of my podcast interviews by clicking here

Read Game Changers Now

Podcast

The Scale Without Burnout podcast is for business owners who want to learn how to devote equal time to their business, body, relationships & mindset to bring their life into balance.
Get weekly tips and feel empowered with Business Psychologist and host Andrew Sillitoe

Listen to the Podcast

How to Build a Network of Opportunities without having an Agenda with Jordan Harbinger

Networking is like marmite. You either love it or you hate it…and if you’re an introvert, it’s probably the latter. Attending networking events can seem daunting, especially if you associate them with pushy and overbearing people.

So, how can introverts (like you and I) build a network of opportunities without having an agenda?

Jordan Harbinger, often referred to as “The Larry King of podcasting,” is an interview talk show host and a communications and social dynamics expert. It’s safe to say that Jordan is somewhat of a networking genius, which is why I invited him to join me for an insightful conversation about how you can build a brilliant network that becomes your tribe – without having an agenda.

Jordan’s experience with imposter syndrome

If you have imposter syndrome, it can consume your entire thought process because you’re constantly doubting yourself and your abilities. Many of us have experienced imposter syndrome at some stage in our lives or careers and Jordan Harbinger is no different.

Before he became ‘the Larry King’ of podcasting, Jordan was a Wall Street lawyer. To get there, he had to work really hard and study harder to make sure he was the most prepared person in the exam room. However, when he got to Wall Street and became an attorney, everyone worked hard, and he felt like he lost the competitive advantage he once had.

Jordan battled with a constant fear of ‘getting the ax’ and losing his job. This turned into imposter syndrome, which is something Jordan talked about openly during our discussion:

It feels like you’re the only person who slipped through the cracks and you don’t really belong here. And, it’s only a matter of time till you get found out.”

Jordan suggests that imposter syndrome is often triggered when we look at people who we perceive as being successful and “compare our blooper reel to their highlight reel.” This is magnified when our cognitive biases come into play and we assume everyone is as great as they seem. We end up “smoothing out their flaws” and compare ourselves to the polished version of others that we’ve created in our minds.

Jordan was so sure that he would be ‘found out’ that he thought the best way to avoid public humiliation was to work from home.

If I was able to work from home, it would take them longer to find out that I didn’t belong there.”

Eventually, Jordan discovered how to generate business by working on himself and his personal brand. He learned how to sell, read books on psychology, persuasion, and influence. A huge inspiration for him was Tom Hopkins who wrote the book, ‘How to Master the Art of Selling Anything.’

Jordan and others from his law school learned together. It wasn’t long before Jordan began teaching a small class that focused on the power of networking and how to build a network.

I started to break down the nonverbal communication. And they were like, Oh, so you can read people’s nonverbal communication. This is fun. Let’s do this!

“…and then the podcast started to take off because I started to give these talks…. I started to put the files on the internet, and that’s when I really started to see that there was magic.”

The truth about sales meetings

Many people assume they hate sales meetings because they see them as a shirt and tie event packed with awkward conversations whereby one person is actively selling something to the other (or others). This might be true in some cases, but the majority of modern-day sales meetings are not like this.

The best sales meetings happen outside of the conference room. They happen while enjoying a beer at the bar, having a nice meal at a restaurant, or a game of mini-golf.

Essentially, the best way to sell something to someone is by making a real connection with that person. People want to work with people they know, like, and trust. And, if you’re coming across as a sleazy salesperson with a terrible pitch (and an even worse attitude), you’re going to have a hard time selling anything.

It’s better is to sell to people that already know, like, and trust you, and you don’t have to have a formal meeting to do that.”

However, you must have a genuine interest in helping the other person and getting to know them. Jordan emphasized this more when he said, “you can’t dupe people into a sales meeting. You shouldn’t have to pretend to be social with somebody and then trying to sell to them.”

The best way to create a sales meeting is by doing business with people you know, like, and trust. They should know who you are, and it shouldn’t be a huge surprise to either of you.

You have to be very careful about that because people can really smell when they’re being sold to. But you also can’t and shouldn’t try to make everything super formal, because you’ll end up with fewer meetings, or people will cancel because you’ll be last priority.”

How to create a sales meeting

People who can create connections with others early without the expectation of anything in return, tend to make the best salespeople. Building relationships is so important. As Jordan said during our discussion, you need to “dig the well before you’re thirsty.”

In other words, take the time to cultivate connections and build relationships before you need them.

Yes, you do well by playing the numbers, but you really do need to be using and creating relationships before you need to use them.”

However, if you’re serious about building a network of opportunities without having an agenda, you need to create those relationships without the expectation of something in return. You need to make sure that you are not trying to figure out how to use your network to get something from it only looking at what’s in it for you, because you won’t create any opportunities for yourself that way.

At that point, you won’t see most opportunities from other people coming because even they don’t know that they can help you. You have to generate a relationship with people before you use it.”

Dealing with imposter syndrome & building connections

If you thought you’re the only person with imposter syndrome, think again. I asked Jordan who was the most ‘famous’ person he knows who has experienced imposter syndrome and his answer was comedian, Howie Mandel.

He told me that he often thinks about that or he often used to think about that.”

It’s not easy for successful people to admit they have or had imposter syndrome at some point in their careers. When Jordan knew he felt like he wasn’t good enough, he discovered that the magic formula of networking had three key components:

1. People need to know you

2. People need to like you

3. People need to trust you

Jordan invented a system to get people to know, like, and trust him. It involved becoming a lot more charming, funny, entertaining, and adding value in social situations. Building trust is about helping others and providing them with real value without necessarily wanting anything in return. Even if it was as simple as connecting two other people that he knew would work well together, he did it, and slowly, he began to build trust.

Help people without the expectation of anything in return. That is a formula that works for everyone. If people think it doesn’t work, it’s because they’re doing it wrong. There’s no scenario in which being known, liked, and trusted doesn’t result in business or opportunity.

How to be a great networker and avoid the ‘wrong people’

Jordan firmly believes that the best networkers give without the assumption that they will get something in return. If you want to be a great networker, you need to do the same thing. The more you can actively help others and provide value in this way, the more you can build ‘referral currency.’

But, is there such a thing as being too generous?

Of course, you can’t keep giving and giving to the wrong people. You can’t and you shouldn’t continue helping ‘takers’ who refuse to respect your boundaries. These are the type of people who keep asking you for favors but whenever you need them, they’re nowhere to be seen. It can be difficult to spot these people but usually, they’re the ones who are repeating the same type of behavior over and over again.

You can tell who these people are because they’ll repeat the same behavior.”

A person like this might ague ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t receive,’ which is true in many cases. But Jordan made a very good point when he said…

If you don’t give, you don’t get.”

Giving creates the foundation of a relationship. You won’t get very far in your career if you aren’t giving. Jordan advises that you stay away from ‘enablers’ and instead seek out people who you can make connections with and build real and meaningful relationships with.

To learn more about Jordan’s incredible work and take part in his free course, ‘Six-Minute Networking’ go to: https://www.jordanharbinger.com/courses/

Listen to The Jordan Harbinger Show here: https://www.jordanharbinger.com/podcasts/

Interviews with Game Changers

I have had the opportunity to interview the worlds leading minds on business, health and mindset. You can read the highlights of my podcast interviews by clicking here

Read Game Changers Now

Podcast

The Scale Without Burnout podcast is for business owners who want to learn how to devote equal time to their business, body, relationships & mindset to bring their life into balance.
Get weekly tips and feel empowered with Business Psychologist and host Andrew Sillitoe

Listen to the Podcast

Are You Getting Enough Sunlight for Health & Performance? With Matt Maruca

Very recently I had Matt Maruca on the Scale Without Burn Out podcast for an episode I was really looking forward too. 

Matt is the founder of RaOptics and someone who is constantly banging the drum about the importance of getting more sunlight in our lives and the positive effects that this can bring to our lives.  

It’s about more than just getting a nice tan.

Matt speaks a lot about how sunlight can impact our health, performance and general well-being, even in the lesser-known ways such as its impact on the quality of our sleep or how efficiently our brains work. 

As business owners who are trying to thrive and be the best we can be we so much of what Matt talks about is pertinent, so enjoy, because in this blog we are going to take a closer look at some of the best bits of my talk with Matt Maruca. 

This blog has been edited for continuity and clarification purposes.

I jumped straight in by asking Matt to provide us with an overview of how he began talking about the importance of Sunlight and the development of RAoptics. 

When I started having some health issues a couple of years ago, I was completely flummoxed and didn’t really know what to do, so I took to the Internet, I started reading. 

Having skin problems and worsening gut issues or headaches, allergies, for me, it was becoming unbearable and so I started to just deep dive into the world of diet, and learn about that. 

It opened my eyes to how much our diet could not only just heal skin issues, but it could actually heal a lot more than that. Allergies, headaches, gut issues, food sensitivities, it was just a great entry into the health world. 

I started researching more because like many entrepreneurs I wasn’t satisfied with just hitting a certain achievement and then stopping there. I realized there must be so much more that I don’t know and so as I kept researching. 

I realised, wow, there’s so much more to this that I had never, ever considered and no one really considers, that our environment beyond our diet, exercise, maybe sleep and supplementation actually has as much or potentially more of an impact on our body than the food and the fuel we’re consuming because the environment and specifically our light exposure actually control how well we can utilise that fuel. 

So that just got me super interested in moving this whole ball forward and learning more. 

Matt mentioned that he had studied Mark Sisson and Brad Kearns amongst others who are closely aligned with ancestral health so I asked him to explore that.  

They’re more focussed on ancestral eating, they’re not really focussed on ancestral living. They’re just talking about what you eat and how you exercise, how you move. 

Only more recently have some of them begun to speak about the tremendous benefits of sunlight exposure, the importance of our bodies circadian rhythms, and about the tremendous risks of artificial light exposure which completely dysregulates our circadian rhythm, this essential rhythm that controls so many processes.

It’s so seemingly harmless to most people, so no one would think, oh, I’m looking at my phone before bed, that’s completely suppressing my melatonin, destroying the natural repair of my mitochondria and my overall cells and my organs and tissues, which is going to leave me tired, maybe anxious or depressed, maybe lacking energy, lower cognitive function, lower productivity the next day. 

No one thinks that when they’re looking at their phone at night, but that’s exactly what’s happening. 

As business owners, entrepreneurs and ambitious people, we want to be optimal and don’t want to be tired, anxious and low on energy, but some of what Matt said here goes against how many people traditionally work, so I asked him to expand on his points of productive working and working late at night, and how this applies to entrepreneurs. 

Everyone’s familiar with the Parado Principle, the 80-20 rule and one of these items would be getting good sleep and having higher-level brain function and maybe even higher level of consciousness and awareness. 

So you might get a couple extra hours of work done late at night but if you’re staying up late, you’re looking at an artificially lit screen and that’s disrupting the circadian rhythm, the body’s natural production of melatonin and our national sleep and repair, that’s actually really damaging the ability of the brain and the body to repair itself, to function optimally the following day. 

So you might think you got an extra two or three hours of work done and you very well could have, but at the cost of your optimal brain function and productivity, not just tomorrow, but for your entire life, if you do this on a regular basis. 

Theoretically, if someone is just functioning at 10% better in their brain, people are not just feeling 10% better, they’re feeling twice as good as they did before, from an energy standpoint, a clarity standpoint, cognitive function standpoint. 

So it’s just a matter of evaluating, you get three extra hours of work done or two or five extra hours of work done but on a consistent basis, your brain isn’t functioning as well and the brain is like a supercomputer itself so are you really getting closer to the things you want to achieve like health, energy, vitality, because that’s what everyone’s after anyway, is feeling good, and yet you’re staying up late every night, destroying your brain’s reward circuits in your dopamine production and by destroying our circadian rhythm and sleep you’re actively destroying what you’re trying to achieve on a daily basis. 

I found this example to be quite interesting and it got me thinking about wider health and gut health, but also how we as entrepreneurs, often keep irregular hours, to maintain optimal health, and in the process, could actually be doing more harm than good. Matt spoke about gut health first. 

 If you live in a toxic lifestyle, you’re indoors all day, you’re never getting out in the sun, you’re never getting out into nature then your gut might not heal. 

It’s supposed to turn over every 48 hours or somewhere in that range and that is only going to happen if our body circadian rhythm functions normally. 

If you’re chronically disrupting your circadian rhythm with artificial light exposure at night and not getting exposure to sunlight during the day, the gut cells aren’t going to be able to necessarily turn over with the proper speed and efficiency that they are designed to. 

Sunlight and our light exposure drives our gut health and could potentially be even more impactful than all the food and the supplements that people are trying to take on a regular basis.

Matt expanded on how getting up early to work out, in the dark, then getting the tube/train and staying indoors all day could lead to a toxic environment, are such things then a waste of your time? 

It’s not necessarily all wasted because you’re putting in an effort and if you believe that you’re doing yourself a favour and you’re stoked about that, that’s worth a lot. 

But, yes, if you are waking up that early and not getting any sunlight and driving your body really hard, it is for sure huge stress on the body to not have gotten a little bit of natural light exposure, you know, to signal our brain and our hormones and neurotransmitters to all really kick on for the day and yet to be pounding the body and demanding so much of it at that early hour,  I certainly wouldn’t recommend hard working out well before light. 

Then again, there’s Navy SEALs and professional athletes and warriors who march all night and train and they live really long, too. So it’s not like necessarily a one size fits all approach, just there’s some general data, good data indicating that being in line with a healthy circadian rhythm is really good for the body. 

I asked Matt what tips he has for business owners and ambitious people out there that want to make some changes. 

The key takeaway before we get into the practical tips is that our eye has two functions, one which is the camera, we see things just like we see things with the camera and it creates images in the visual cortex in the brain. 

The original function of the eye based on the data was to be a clock, a timekeeper of cues in the external environment. 

First and foremost, just start going outside, it’s that simple. We have evolved for such a long time in natural sunlight, it does power a whole host of functions in addition to just vitamin D, which more people are becoming familiar with it. So if we can go outdoors more, we can start to thrive more as individuals. 

Secondly, get blue light protection glasses. That’s why I started a company (RAoptics) making these because it’s such an important thing based on the research.

We need to block the light that’s emitted by our devices, which is around 450 nanometres in the blue light range. Anyone who’s selling clear lens blue blockers is selling something that’s not scientifically effective, not going to actually block it in a meaningful way.

So that’s kind of the basic takeaway that everyone can start to get some simple activities. 

It sounds simple, but for many people, it’s not that easy because they are grabbing their lunch and not even getting outside because of the office canteen. What would you say is the minimum effective dose of sunlight exposure? 

I love that question, Dr Alexander Wuensch said two hours minimum of unfiltered sunlight exposure is necessary for optimal health and that doesn’t necessarily mean on your skin as well, although that’s also beneficial if you can get out and get a little tan going on without burning. 

But the key is the eye. The eye doesn’t just receive visual signals, as we’ve described, but we can receive the energy from the sun that our brain uses to catalyse certain reactions, like any reaction in biology when it has more energy to proceed, it happens more quickly. The rate of reaction is increased and sunlight is effectively a completely free source of energy that helps increase the rate of every reaction. 

It does the same in our body and almost every organic molecule. 

So one could argue that every single process in our entire body, every single reaction, every single detoxing pathway, every single hormone production system, every single repair and growth and sexual, you know, organ function is all optimised by sunlight. 

Light is effectively free energy that our body can utilise to actually optimise a whole host of processes, so two hours a day, minimum, exposure on the eye, which could be as simple as just having the door, the window or the door open and working next to it or taking an hour walk.

 

Matt had mentioned circadian rhythm and blue light suppressers so I asked him to elaborate on that and what an ideal setting would be for someone when trying to go to sleep.  

The evidence is that sleep starts in the morning. What I mean is that morning sunlight exposure sets our circadian rhythm, which is a 24-hour cycle for the rest of the day. If we’re getting up and we’re not getting out and getting light on our eyes until nine or 10 o’clock as opposed to five or six or seven o’clock, our circadian rhythm is potentially already going to be lagged out a little bit, so it might be a little harder to fall asleep because of not having that exposure to the proper stimulus in the morning.

The more important factor here is that exposure to ultraviolet light. 

There’s evidence that ultraviolet light exposure helps to stimulate the production of key hormones and neurotransmitters such as serotonin and serotonin becomes converted into melatonin, which is our molecule of sleep. So the key metric here is that morning sunlight exposure helps our body to naturally create our melatonin stores.

Then in the evening, you know, turning off screen devices two to three hours before bed, ideally at least two and I would say even if you’re using blue light blocking glasses, still don’t use the screens in the evening because it’s still a lot more stimulating on the brain and straining on the eyes. If you have to do colour sensitive work where you can’t block the blue light, just do not do it during the evening, do it during the day, because otherwise, you are intentionally disrupting your circadian rhythm. 

Same with nightshift workers. That is a huge Trade-Off for health. 

People ask, how can I be a nightshifts worker and still be optimally healthy?

It’s like, well, you should quit your job if you want to be as healthy as possible. 

But if you want to do the best you possibly can while chronically being exposed to a toxin which artificial light at night for a diurnal animal is effectively a toxin, then there’s not too much you can do about it besides leave, then when you’re not working there, mitigate as hard as possible by sleeping better and having better sleeping habits, by getting sunlight exposure in reasonable doses throughout the day to build up your vitamin D and your natural immune function, mitochondrial energy production and so on. 

It was that was one of the questions that came through about limiting factors due to shift patterns and what you’d recommend for that, but actually, what I’m hearing is quit the job. 

Identify it for what it is, which is toxic, and then decide whether you’re willing to make that Trade-Off. If you love being a nightshift nurse as much as your own health and longevity, then definitely do it. 

I don’t want to make these blanket statements because I imagine there have been people who work night shifts, although the data doesn’t support this, but people who work night shifts, who have lived long and healthy lives, but in general, the data is very clear, nightshift workers have sometimes more than double the risk of almost every chronic disease from heart disease to cancer to you know, the data is actually kind of scary, that’s why I just recommend, become familiar with the risk and then make decisions from that place of genuine knowledge and understanding and not fear, but just understanding. 

I’d like to just build on the sleep thing. What’s your what’s your advice on that?

I go back and forth on that one because I always want the light to wake me up in the morning. Dr Jacques Cruz, he specifically says, of all the hacks that you can do, the most powerful is getting up every morning and watching the sunrise. That’s because that actual view into the sun when it’s hasn’t quite gotten very strong yet sets the circadian rhythm almost more powerfully than anything else, especially because there’s an increase in the blue light component of the sun so much at that early hour that it is like a boom. 

Get the darkness at night and the light coming in, in the morning, which is really what our bodies are looking for. 

What are your views on sunscreen? 

So sunscreen, I think is a flawed concept and sounds a bit strange, but let me explain. 

The whole premise behind sunscreen is that the sun is toxic and needs to be screened or blocked. 

After learning more, it became undeniably clear to me that sunlight is the driving force of all life on Earth and of all biological evolution and of all biological complexity, so the premise that the sun is somehow bad for us is entirely flawed at its core. 

That’s the best way to put it. 

It was the 30s, 40s and 50s, researchers were trying to understand why people were starting to get skin cancer and so the researchers would take ultraviolet lights and irradiate rats, which are a nocturnal animal, not even really designed to be exposed to a ton of sunlight, with ridiculous amounts of ultraviolet light, isolated from a manmade bulb, not the same as sunlight, not composed of the same spectrum, including the healing red and Infra-Red light, which can balance and potentially offset some of the more damaging, higher risks of the high energy ultraviolet light. 

From this, they did find that excessive amount of ultraviolet light caused these cancers, and so that became the theory. 

These premises all come from flawed, poorly conducted experiments where they weren’t using natural full spectrum sunlight as a control, they were using artificial manmade lighting that was very different from the composition of the sun. 

Now we can further evaluate the real-life data and not just some studies we can see that since people have started exposing ourselves to less sunlight, living a more indoor lifestyle wearing sunglasses and so on, skin cancer rates and rates of cataracts and macular degeneration, all things attributed to sun exposure have all increased. 

So, it begs the question, is it the sun that’s causing these issues because the recent data from the U.S. government shows that the average American spends 92% of their time indoors, it’s about 6% in the car and 86% in an actual building behind windows. 

So if the sun caused skin cancer, shouldn’t the rates be lower than ever since we moved to an indoor lifestyle? Whereas they’re higher than they’ve ever been. 

Could it be that people are getting their two weeks vacation and then they just take advantage so that they’re out in the sun and then the body’s not used to it? 

That’s exactly what it is, but when we say the sun causes skin cancer, it’s like, well, the sun also caused the evolution of the eye and the skin so we’re getting into messy territory. 

The answer your question is yes, people who are weekend warriors, who go out and just get fried and then go back to their desk job all day, their body isn’t producing melanin to protect from excess damage. 

I’m not advocating by any means to go out in the strong sun. 

I’m in San Diego right now, I’m not in the sun for more than probably a couple hours tops a day and I’m more focussed on the early morning in the late afternoon because that’s when there’s more of the healing red and Infra-Red light and less of slightly more damaging ultraviolet. 

To answer your question about sunscreen a little more concisely, we have the best national sunscreen ever in our body, it’s called melanin. Our brain stimulates it just like pretty much everything else but our body makes it in response to ultraviolet light, so if you build up your exposure, slowly, like if you’re a Brit and you go to Spain in the winter or the summer or whenever for a week vacation, take those first two or three days, get 5, 10, 15 minutes on each side of your body, maybe spaced out throughout the day because your body can heal. 

The other key is not wearing sunglasses because the transmission of ultraviolet light through the eye stimulates melanocytes stimulating hormone, which is this hormone that stimulates the production of the melanocytes, which make melanin, so if you’re wearing sunglasses, you’re asking for skin cancer because you’re going to destroy your body’s ability to make its own protection systems for protection against the sun. 

I highly recommend against ever wearing any form of sunscreen except non-nano zinc oxide since I’m a surfer, I’ll use non-nano, but the best is also physical protection, like a hat.

We briefly touched on a few things that people can do to help them to assimilate light better, which prompted Matt to outline what he refers to as the ‘light diet’, here is a brief overview. 

  1. Sleep with the sun. Set up your evening properly, block blue light, avoid screens just one or two hours at least before bed. 
  1. Wake with the sun, expose yourself to natural sunlight in the morning. 
  1. Expose yourself to sunlight throughout the day. Work on your deck, drink your coffee outside in the morning, sunbathe for 15 or 20 minutes if you possibly can.
  1. Drink un-fluoridated clean water like spring water so you’re not getting all those chemicals in your body.
  1. Consume a seasonal diet primarily based on seafood. 
  1. Take advantage of cold exposure, so taking ice baths like Wim Hof style. 
  1. Avoid non-native electromagnetic fields and mitigate the risk of that, so Wi-Fi, Bluetooth,  there’s a lot to that. The simplest thing to do is turn off your Wi-Fi while you sleep, use your phone on speakerphone, keep it on aeroplane mode when it’s in your pocket. 
  1. Cultivate our inner light. If you’re worrying all the time and you’re freaking out and you don’t have something in your life that you love, that motivates you, then all that external light you’re taking in through these methods we’ve described isn’t going to help if you’re chronically stressed. 

This could be the first time people have heard this stuff and could be very concerned about it, so how do you how do we find that balance and cope with these fears and concerns? 

There are different philosophies on this and I’m not an expert on how to psychologically manage the knowledge. 

There’s a purpose of these emotions, they can stimulate us to do better things, so I would say let this be a short intermittent bit of stress. 

You’ve now learnt that there’s a lot of things that we’re doing in the modern world today that are very antagonistic to our wellbeing and our proper biological functioning. 

Make the changes you can based on the new knowledge, let that knowledge be a stimulus to make decisions. 

As the interview drew to a close I asked one final question. 

Matt. If people want to find out more about you and connect with you, which we send them. 

My Instagram is @thelightdiet, that’s my personal Instagram. 

The other place would be RAoptics.com, my business and their Instagram is @ra_optics. 

Final thoughts

There was so much thought-provoking information in this episode, some of which may challenge our traditional thinking and go against some of our natural urges as business owners and entrepreneurs, certainly the idea of working out early or finishing work before bed and how this could impact our bodies. 

To get the full breakdown of what Matt had to say and to listen back to our conversation in real-time, I highly recommend you listen to the podcast episode (INSERT LINK TO PODCAST HERE) where you can also listen to a few other areas that didn’t make it into the blog. 

Interviews with Game Changers

I have had the opportunity to interview the worlds leading minds on business, health and mindset. You can read the highlights of my podcast interviews by clicking here

Read Game Changers Now

Podcast

The Scale Without Burnout podcast is for business owners who want to learn how to devote equal time to their business, body, relationships & mindset to bring their life into balance.
Get weekly tips and feel empowered with Business Psychologist and host Andrew Sillitoe

Listen to the Podcast