Top tips from Dai Manuel.
1, Everyone needs to commit to memory, whenever they’re feeling that sort of inkling that there’s a change on the horizon.
The three questions everyone needs to commit to memory, whenever they’re feeling that sort of inkling that there’s a change on the horizon. And maybe you want to be more proactive in that change in your life, you know, rather than feeling like you’re reacting to change in your life, I always say it’s like Indiana Jones, right? Remember, Raiders of the Lost Ark, there’s that big boulder chasing them down the pathway? Well, I think that’s a metaphor for change, right? Like, we’re Indiana Jones. Boulder is change. Right? And we’re wondering, but But all joking aside, you know, these three questions I find to be very instrumental and helpful and clarifying, for those that want to navigate change doesn’t matter how small or how significant
2. I do actually do this, and I started, say, moving my body with a little bit of purpose, you know, this idea of intentional weight release, rather than just simply going through the motions.
The second question is like, Okay, well, if I do actually do this, and I started, say, moving my body with a little bit of purpose, you know, this idea of intentional weight release, rather than just simply going through the motions. But if I do that, will it actually work? And for me, it was like getting magazines and getting books from the library and looking at success stories of other people that have done it. Like, well, if it worked for them, it’s gonna work for me. So if I do the same stuff, do you think it will work? Yeah, I think it will. So I’ve got a yes. And a yes. Now, my confidence starts to go up. When you feel confidence and clear, you make more decisive action and you procrastinate less? And the third question, you know, am I worth it? There was days where I didn’t feel that way. But that was the days that I would make sure I got around a positive community. I also made sure I had my family, and those are cared for me unconditionally, around me, because if I ever felt like I wasn’t worth it, they were there to remind me that I was, you know, and to support me.
3. Is it worth it?
The third question is, is it worth it? And you know, if I’m talking to a team or an organization accompany Sure, I can say, is it worth it? And we’re talking in general terms as a group, but when I’m talking to individuals, you have to frame it, am I worth it? Am I worth the change? You know, that first one, really, it’s all about the confidence, right? Like, can I do this? Can I actually make the change, like at 15 years old, I want to get healthy, I’m morbidly obese, I’d never played sports, I was the kid that would pretend he was sick. So I didn’t have to go to phys ed class, you know, physical education, like I was very good at not doing anything. And, you know, when I decided to make the change, and I’m like, I want to get healthy. And I’m like, can I get healthy? You know, and I’m like, I’m, like, 15 years old. I’m capable, I can do stuff. I can move my body, I’m sure I can, I can do this.
talk, life, business, sharing, great, alcohol, love, remember, started, change, drink, years, kids, realized, podcast, wife, outward bound, good, dealing, navigate
Debra Chantry-Taylor 00:00
Welcome to the Better Business better life Show. I’m your podcast host, Debra Chantry-Taylor. In this podcast, I interview business owners, iOS implementers, and business experts who share with you their experiences, tips and tools to help you create not only a better business, but also a better life. At the end of each show, you will have three tips or tools that I get share that you can implement immediately into your life. If you want more information or want to get in contact, you can visit my website, Debra dot coach, that’s D B ra dot Coach, please enjoy the show. Today I am joined by Dai Manuel is from Vancouver over in Canada. And when I asked what I should introduce him out, he said I don’t like title. And I went Yep, I’m with you. So this is just the guy from Vancouver, you’ll find out a whole lot more about him on the podcast. We’ve had a great little chat beforehand. And I’m really looking forward to sharing for him sharing his story because it’s some really fascinating stuff in there. Welcome to the show die.
Dai Manuel 00:56
Thank you, Deborah, I’m just honored to be here. It’s exciting. I loved our preamble before we hit go. And just you know, I just feel like we’re from the same cloth, you know, like just a lot of similar beliefs, similar similar, similar journeys and stories, you know, or at least the lessons that we’ve learned, you know, so I’m excited to have this conversation today. This is great.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 01:17
Yeah, yeah, me too. Hey, look, we were just talking about your journey. I mean, you’ve done a lot in your years so far. But can you just give us a little bit of a potted history of your, your journey to where you are now, some of the challenges you kind of faced on the way and I guess what you’re most proud of as well. So from a professional and personal point of view?
Dai Manuel 01:32
Yeah, okay. Well, you know, I’m a way back, you know, I’m 46 staring down the barrel at 47 right now, so it’s coming this fall, but you know, if I go way back, those that know me, or when they learn about me, they they instantly believe that I’m someone that’s been around health and wellness my entire life. You know, people you know, the the adage, the cliche, you judge a book by its cover, right? So people meet me, they see me they see how my actions are and how I live my life. And they just presume man must have always been like this, you know, have you fitness people were like, yeah, you’ve probably always been fit, you don’t know what it’s like to be unhealthy.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 02:10
I’m gonna be honest, when I looked at your profile, I saw your photo, I thought, What does this guy know about being unhealthy? I mean, so I’m guilty of exactly the same. And it says, Anyone I chatted to is like, okay, different story.
Dai Manuel 02:23
And I get that, I totally appreciate that. And, and less than when I was a kid, you know, age nine, my parents separated divorce. And you know, I’m an 80s Kids, I was born in the mid 70s. So I grew up during those influential years, and impactful years in the 80s. And back then, you know, the divorce rates that we’re used to today, and statistically speaking, you know, over half marriages end in divorce now, or back then there was a lot of stigma around divorce. So, being as such, there wasn’t a lot of conversations to be had, there was not a lot of support and resources to be there to help my brother and I, and as well as my parents just navigate this thing, you know, and they did the best they could, right, they did the best they could. And, you know, my dad left and my mom looked after my brother and I, but she had to work more to support us. And my dad was still supporting us, too. But he was just, we had a lot of autonomy. And with this autonomy, this time by ourselves, I was dealing with a lot of emotions, a lot of emotions. And I mean, I’m, like barely 10 years old, I’m What am I supposed to be doing with all this stuff? And these questions, and I figured out really quickly, that I can influence my emotions based on certain things that I do, and especially certain things that I eat. And so I played video games, I watched movies. And I also learned to eat certain types of foods. And it wasn’t like I was there never saying, hey, Debra, more salad, please. None of that none of that it was eating very nutrition, poor food, yet very high in calories. And, you know, we understand the math on this one, you know, we don’t have to be someone that’s in the fitness or wellness industry to tell us, but five years of that being my regular normal. By the time I hit age 15 I very distinctly remember the day my mom took me to the doctor’s office, and Dr. Quinn pulls my mom’s side, it’s like Betty Ann, die is morbidly obese. And my BMI was willing to the 40s. And for those that are familiar with body mass index, and how that works, like, you know, as a teenage boy that was barely 15 years old, with a BMI well into the 40s. I was a very large kid. And it wasn’t by accident, like I had one poor meal and all of a sudden, it’s like, Whoa, I got a weight problem. It was a compound effect over years. And, you know, along with all those emotions that I learned to eat really well. I I dealt with a lot of mental health challenges as a result, you know, because there was bullying at school. I was antisocial. Like I didn’t, I was very introverted because I felt every time I was around If I was being judged, or if I saw people smiling or snickering instantly, I thought it was about me, you know, and it was just, it was really hard. It was just hard. Okay, and I can empathize with others that might be dealing with this right now. I mean, I’m just grateful that you didn’t have social media back then. You know, like, I just, I can’t imagine tense today. Like, why? And at age 15, I had this moment, you know, and it’s all I can say, is instant moment where I just made a decision after staring at myself in the mirror, and feeling so disconnected with the person looking back at me. Like, that’s just not me. That’s not who I believe I am. And I don’t want to be that that’s not my reality. As well, as I was afraid of the idea. If I didn’t make any changes, right then in there, things weren’t going to be any better. And five years from then, you know, so at 15 Thinking about why the time, I’m 20, and I’m going to university because we were having those conversations where I want to do with my life. And I’m like, Well, geez, I don’t want to be like this. And I made a decision. I was like, I just want to get healthy. Now. I didn’t know what that meant. I didn’t know how to do it. But I knew in me, I did not want to feel the way I was feeling anymore. And fortunately for me, my parents, they were very supportive went out. I said, Hey, I’d like to go get a bike. Can we get me a bike? Because I remember when I was a kid, I used to love riding my bike, I’m gonna go get a bike. I knew I liked that activity. And my dad’s like, Yeah, let’s go. And he literally went, that afternoon I shared I want to get healthy. He’s like, okay, what can I do to help this great we went, and they took immediate action. And I’m so forever grateful for them doing that. And I just started to move my body everyday, just a little bit. It was really hard. But I did it a little bit every day. And it started to make me feel better think a little bit differently. And then I started to educate myself on nutrition. And it took me five years to put all the weight on but it took me 20 months to take it all off. And so by 17 Debra, I had this just whole new outlook on life, and on myself. Yet, there was still some emotional trauma there that I never dealt with, you know, and a lot of people say, Well, hey, I understand your intrinsic motivation there. But what was the extrinsic, you know, what was driving you outside of yourself? And I was like, Well, I actually wanted a girlfriend. Like, I did full disclosure, I, you know, after unpacking that, I realized it was just because I wanted somebody to want me. You know, I wanted to feel wanted. And, you know, that was something that I sort of carried with me. And so, you know, once I got into my early 20s, or late teens, early 20s, I realized I was still very introverted, still dealing with a lot of self esteem issues, didn’t matter how I was changing on the outside on the inside still felt like that morbidly obese teenager, isolated, withdrawn, and dealing with a lot of other mental health challenges. And it was weird, but I remember going to a party and being offered a beer. I remember having a couple. And all of a sudden it was like all those inhibitions. And those little thoughts that I had, they just seem to go out the window. And all of a sudden, I found myself talking to people on being outgoing and energetic, and being invited to go to other parties. And all of a sudden, I started to believe that that person that I wasn’t I was drinking was the one that people wanted to be around. Now move into my 20s I got into business selling fitness equipment very quickly excelled at that got into a partnership arrangement with a mentor of mine. 17 years, we scaled the practice to eight figures a year, and really was omni channel. So it was online retail, it was manufacturing overseas, it was wholesale, and then eight retail locations as well. And I learned a lot doing that and I loved it. I loved it.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 08:38
How many staff did you have in that business?
Dai Manuel 08:40
Well, when you think about consultants and contractors and immediate full time, part time, it was in during high season, about 120 to 130. And then lower season usually in around the 80 to 90, you know, because there is a seasonality to especially to fitness equipment. You know, basically the fall and winter very busy spring and summer less busy, you know, so
Debra Chantry-Taylor 09:05
We will kind of look at
Dai Manuel 09:08
January is crazy. But it was great. But at the same time while I’m scaling this business, I remember meeting my wife, I remember having my kids and you know, really living into my ego wanting to be that guy. You know, like the identity was so tied to this idea of what I thought success was and I thought it was monetary I thought it was title. I thought it was just people looking at me and thinking wow, he’s got it all together like it was just very surface. And I was very good at putting up those filters, you know, and my drinking was getting worse and worse. But he was just more and more regular and and I found myself compromising my values quite frequently been able to sort of reason my way out of doing things that I normally are reasoning to do things that I normally wouldn’t do. You know like it turning my phone off. As an example, green at the pub with the friends purposely turned my phone off to say, oh, sorry, Dave, I didn’t know you called, oh, my phone died. Sorry. Like, just stuff like that, you know, my wife, my best friend and the mother of my children. And here I am lying to her
Debra Chantry-Taylor 10:19
Being a bit of a dick for honest. Yes, thank
Dai Manuel 10:21
You very much. So very big one, you know, and and it was, it was tough, because that also creates a lot of internal strife for us, you know, when we have certain values that we espouse all the time to others, and yet, we don’t show up like that. For others, especially for ourselves that accountability or agency, it creates this little void. And we often do things to either distract ourselves from that void or fill it. And it’s not usually healthy stuff, you know. And so I found myself drinking occasionally doing narcotics. I was even promiscuous. You know, I cheated on my wife, I am not proud, I still feel a little bit of shame around that. We’ve worked through it. I mean, this is now you know, 15 years removed. But at that time, in my early 30s, things are really crazy. And yet the business is still blowing. It was like crazy.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 11:07
Really? Well, yeah. And do you find that it kind of creeps up on you? Because we were talking about this before we came on the podcast, right? I mean, I think that my husband and I just taking a bit of a break from alcohol at the moment, because we actually realized that sort of literally, every day, when we came home, it was the first thing we kind of reach for, and then the the one glass became two became three became four, before you know, it’s a bottle at night. And for him, it’s more beer. So yeah, it’s the same with you. I mean, because I’m, and to be fair, sharing really vulnerably I’ve done narcotics in the past, too. And so you know, so we’ve, I think a lot of us may have actually been there. And I think you’ve got a high stress business, you can often kind of, you know, turn to other things, but did it creep up? Or was it you know, how did it how did it manifest itself? Yeah,
Dai Manuel 11:47
It was a? Well, okay, there’s a couple of things here. So one was, I was purposely doing it at home. So like, I would often open the bottle of wine or have a beer two or three, you know, half sack, by the time I get home at night, and justify that my day was tough. I’ve been talking and engaging with people and just running the business. So this is my way of decompressing, resetting, you know, like all sorts of stuff, I could justify it. Many, many ways. But I also found it was nice sociation, personally and professionally, that also fed into it. And what I mean by that was a lot of the personal association I had, it was always revolving around alcohol, and being social with alcohol always present, always. And so it was just, it was a social norm. You know, and it was everybody was doing it. It wasn’t like I had any examples or models of people that were doing it differently in my immediate circle. And so I was just doing what everybody else is doing, and not thinking anything of it. And professionally, it was interesting to hear I am in the fitness and wellness industries. And just thinking
Debra Chantry-Taylor 12:57
That your friends were also potentially in the industry, too.
Dai Manuel 13:01
Yeah. And, you know, I remember going to conferences and trade shows, and it was crazy how unhealthy these people are. And I mean, I’m one of them. Hey, listen, like I Oh, I was okay, I was one of them. And, and I remember, like, we would do business on the conference room floor, right? We’re doing our buys for the next year or something like that. And it’s like, okay, we inked the deal sign off, and it’s like, okay, where we partying tonight, you know, like, and it was just like this. It was this just normal. That was what we did. And I, it just became such a big part of my life, you know that it was always present. And when I started to really recognize that, I would often take you know, even staff out for reward them for a great month, we had some targets, or maybe take some guys up for a lunch here and there. I would be the one encouraging to get a round of drinks. I’d also be the one that would be like, Hey, don’t worry, I’m here treating, let’s get another round. And I would do that physically making sure everybody else got another drink only so I could get my own and not feel so guilty about it. So I started to see these patterns, these little kinks in the armor were showing up and there was pretty apparent but it’s amazing how we got to sometimes get to that moment where we feel like we’re rock bottom. And then you realize, well actually I can pick the rock up and I can crawl under it. And I that’s really where I got to you know, and it was this fateful day getting home and my wife’s looking at me, you know, the way she woke me up because I passed it on the floor beside her bed the night before. I don’t remember how I got home. I was like 11am The next morning and she’s downstairs unloading the dishwasher with extreme passion. Waking up everybody. Yeah, like, I know what she was doing. She was doing it. You make me wake up and I got up I came down and she’s looking at me like she’s never looked at me before. You know, this period of her life. We’ve been together for 10 years. And she just had this look and I was like, Oh my gosh, there’s something really wrong here and I’m We should meet to the table, we sat down and one of the first things out of her mouth was like, we have to talk about what we’re going to do about the kids. And I’m like, Well, what do you mean? Well, this isn’t an environment, I’m willing to raise them in anymore. Let’s talk about what it’s going to be like to co parent our kids. Let’s talk about where you’re going to be living. And I’m like, what, what, whoa, like, yeah, and it was like this, this instant, like, what is going on here. And I’m really hung over at the time to, which doesn’t make anything better, but, and it’s just, it was just like, this bomb was dropped on me. But, you know, truth be told, it wasn’t like, it was a surprise. I knew what’s common. I mean, eventually, she’s a very strong willed woman. She’s a redhead tinge of ginger all the way. And she’s fiery, right? She’s gonna tell you the way it is. And so and that’s why I love her. That’s why I love her. And, and she asked me a question, Deborah. And in this conversation, we sat at that table for a couple hours, you know, and there’s tears being shed both directions. And, and, you know, we both love each other still very much at that moment, but she was not loving the situation. And she wasn’t loving how I was showing up regularly. And she asked me, die, are you being the type of man, you would want to marry your daughters? Yep. It was one of the most, pardon the pun, but sobering questions I could have ever been asked, you know, is in that instance, I realized, well, I mean, if you think about Derek, because I know you can speak to this really well. You know, how do we all learn as human beings? Well, we learn through role modeling, and through mentorship, you know, those are really the two primary ways that we learn. And, you know, when she asked me that question, I started thinking, Well, what am I modeling to people, my kids, my family, my friends, my communities, my employees, my my business partner, you know, like, what am I modeling? And how am I mentoring people? And I realized, like, man, if somebody like me showed up on my doorstep, there’s no way they’re coming in, like, no way as that guy that I was. And yet, that’s what I was saying to my kids is a man is a father is a husband is a brother as a business owner. And, and it was written that moment, similar to how you and your husband are taking a break, I decided, and I committed to taking one year without drinking. And I know there’s gonna be people like one year, it sounds like you were an alcoholic. And then it was like, No, I was fully conscious of my decisions every day, I chose to mute my phone or turn it off, I chose to get another round, I was aware of every decision I made. I never really felt out of control, unless I purposely got myself under control. You know, and so I’m fully conscious that alcohol wasn’t making me drink it. I wasn’t powerless against it. I was knowing what I was doing. And, and yet, I kept saying yes to alcohol and say no to my life and everything that I’ve been working so hard for. And and literally in that instance, I decided to take one year off. And in the first three months ever, I realized, oh, my gosh, what have I done? This is hard, you know. And back then I wasn’t a very vulnerable person. Because again, all my circles of influence, nobody was vulnerable. All the guys were like, very. We’re men. We don’t talk about that stuff. You know, like it was just rough and rough and grit and you work hard. You talk about business all the time. You talk about life very superficially, but it’s all about just that. And so that wasn’t being modeled. So I didn’t know how to be vulnerable. I didn’t know how to ask for help. And three months in, I did a big verbal dump on my wife. I literally, it was the first time in our 10 years together that I told her exactly how I was feeling and everything I was struggling with. I had never done that before with anybody to be honest. And she’s looking at me and thank goodness, you know, she was very kind. She looked at me and she she heard me she was very present. With me sharing didn’t interrupt me. Let me just get it all out. And she looks at me, she says, Well, thank you, you know, it’s going to be okay. And I think you should talk to somebody. Oh, okay. That’s that’s where we’re going. Because it’s true. I know. You know, she can’t be all that for me. She can’t help me with that. But. And up to that point in time, I’d never thought about I always thought that would be a weakness to go get mental health support. Go see a mental health professional, a psychiatrist? No, I don’t do that. I don’t need that. I’m not crazy. Like that was what I was thinking, right. And my belief system and I started working on psychologist for six months. therapist was a relationship therapist for my wife and I in one session, and she’s like Christie, think die should come back by himself. Like, this is full disclosure. I got no problem sharing this story now because again, we’re I’m coming on, you know, it’s been a long time removed, but it was such a critical moment in my life. And this is the long winded answer to your question my personal and professional. The thing I’m most proud of was making that one year decision. A decision to go one year without alcohol because At the end of that year, my wife’s looking at me, and she’s like, Oh, die. You did it. And I’m like, looking at her. I’m like, I did do. Like, I’m like, holy smokes. And she’s like, Well, why don’t tonight we share a you know, a glass of wine and watch the sunset. And I’m like, Wow, that sounds really nice. But then I was like, you know, Christie so much has happened in one year, like so much it changed so much, like not only my health, my energy, how I was showing up at work, how I was leading our company, and our teams, the feedback, I was getting, even suppliers, and even my personal passion projects that because also I had all this energy and extra resources, I started doing things that I’ve always wanted to do, but never done, like Toastmasters and, and I had a couple other networking organizations that I started to participate in. And, and all of a sudden, I was just feeling fulfillment from all these different ways. And I was like, You know what, so many things have changed in one year? What do you think would happen if I guess kept going? I’m coming up on 14 years now, since I last had a drink, you know, and, and I have no qualms that I could pick up a drink, and I wouldn’t have any problems with it. But I just, it’s just not part of my life anymore. And I just don’t feel I need it. You know, like, it’s just like, Yeah, I’m good. And, yeah, and that that was honestly, the thing I’m most proud of, you know, was being able to now look at my wife. And when she asked me that question, are you being that kind of man, you want to marry your daughters? Like Hell yeah, I am. Hell yeah. And that’s, that’s really where, you know, things sort of stand now. Because everything changed. You know, after I went through that big change, I realized that the path I was on professionally wasn’t fulfilling anymore, because I changed so much. I ultimately left that career after 17 years, you know, I’ve just, I’ve been pursuing other things ever since.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 21:48
Fantastic. I look, thank you so much for sharing particularly. So vulnerably. I have to say, I think your wife sounds like an amazing woman. And I’m really pleased that she Yeah, that you guys are still together, because she’s obviously very good for you. And, and you’re probably good for each other. So yeah, well done. Okay, so that is, I mean, I think I would think a lot of people listening, you can probably relate to this. I think that even just in a couple of weeks of taking off from alcohol, I’ve just found that I’ve got a lot more clarity of thought, it does sort of get more time as well, because you’re not sitting down. I mean, I’m not so much an outgoing person in terms of going out to the pub, but we would sit at home, we were drinking, and the evening we’ll be drinking, sitting in front of TV eating, that was kind of it. Whereas now we’ve actually got time to other things. I think that the environment things really fascinating because of course, in a lot of business situations, it’s not just the the gym industry. But you know, a lot of networking events are based around alcohol. And I was really, really relieved when I went to I do a talk every year at university. And I actually talk to the students that I talked to that in the science and technology, the stem, the stem part of the business, because that’s my background. And I talked to him about networking. And I went to this networking event to talk about networking with them. And they had no alcohol. And I was like, wow, this is actually pretty cool. Because back in the day when I was at university, and a little bit older than you, you know, everything was based around alcohol. So it was actually really good to see they, they served healthy food, they had no alcohol, and they were encouraging that kind of healthy way of life, which I think is great.
Dai Manuel 23:13
That’s wonderful. So cool. I wish more people would adopt that.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 23:19
So it was, it’s tough, though, isn’t it when you’ve got those industry, things that you’re getting together with. And that’s expectation, I actually got to the point where I used to actually because I run an actual connector community where we all get together once a month. And we have some education, we have some networking, we have some strategy stuff. And then we have the drinks and nibbles afterwards. And I got to the point where I now take a bottle of zero alcohol wine with me and I give it to the barman and I say when I come over for a drink, just pull me this one. So it feels like I’ve still got a glass of wine in my hand, it looks like a single glass of wine in my hand. But I’m not actually drinking alcohol.
Dai Manuel 23:50
I love that that’s a wonderful strategy. And I think everyone should take note of that, because I was similar, I had sort of moved to just having bubbly water or club soda with lime in it. And often, you know, people look at that they like can be a gin and tonic for all they know, you know, like it’s this. It’s simple enough. And it’s weird, right? Like I think, you know, if we’re talking about sort of the social norm aspect of just how do we interact with others when they’ve made this kind of decision? I find it early on and especially, you know, this is going over a decade ago when I would share with people No, I don’t drink or I’m not, you know, I would say no, you know, everybody else has already an alcohol I’d order or something else. Instantly. People would presume. Okay, why don’t you drink? You know, like instantly do have it’s like, Oh, I wonder it’s got a drinking problem. You know, like it was just like, yeah, it was just so quick for people to judge where now I am finding that more and more people are just choosing to have a lifestyle where they’re prioritizing health and that just doesn’t fit in the equation right now. You know, I’m not saying it’s an ever thing. I’m not here to vilify alcohol. You know, I’m not here to say it’s a bad thing and don’t do it. I’m not that’s not my purpose. My purpose is to say like, Hey, if there’s certain areas in your life that aren’t measuring up to what you like, They’re going to be, you’re going to start looking at certain things that might be holding you back from being optimal. You know, mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and also financially, you know, what’s holding you back from being optimal in those areas? And chances are things like alcohol might be holding you back a bit.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 25:15
Yeah. Take a pause. I
Dai Manuel 25:17
Think just because like what you’re doing, Deborah, I think you’re being a wonderful example. For people what’s possible is just taking a pause, you know?
Debra Chantry-Taylor 25:24
Yep, absolutely. I think for me, it’s about just knowing that it isn’t a habit, and that it’s actually something I can choose to do or choose not to do. That’s really important. Going back to your original story, I think also, you talked about you as a 15 year old and I think sometimes, I call it the spiral of doom, like when we get into when we get into a bad place in our business, it just, we just keep kind of spiraling downwards. And things get worse across all of our areas of our life. I mean, I’ve personally been there, where you know, the business isn’t going well. And so then you start to drink a bit more, and then you sort of start to do a whole lot of things that it feels like you’re just getting worse and worse and worse. And sometimes it can be hard to kind of pick yourself up and, and make a decision to move forward. I love that when you were a 15 year old, you basically went okay, I need to do something. You know, there’s no point in kind of pretending as a morbidly obese 15 year old that you can suddenly become a gym bunny overnight, but you went, Okay, what do I like? And what can I do? What’s the sort of the tiny little step I can take towards it, and getting a bike and going, Yeah, I like bike riding, I can start to move on the bike, you don’t have to become a Tour de France winner in the first week of doing it. But it is just about bringing in those small incremental changes, I mean, atomic habits, James, wherever his name is, he talks about it all the time. It’s like little things that will actually make a difference. Yeah. James clear. That’s his name. Thank you. So So in terms of business, you know, you must have also had challenges in the business around because going from, you know, two people to 130 staff is huge. Was it was it all plain sailing or really easy.
Dai Manuel 26:47
It’s actually kind of funny, because I mentioned I got hired on to this company. And that’s when I met, you know, my soon, you know, who would ultimately become my business partner, but also really a mentor of mine. And he was a joint venture partner with competing brand, like, ultimately, it became our competition later, but at that time, he was a joint venture partner in our trade market. So you basically had the rights to our province, you know, for those in the States, it’s like your state, you know, like, he had that rights, a territorial rights, so any stores that would open or any commercial b2b type enterprises that would be initiated, it would be him that would be overseeing that and sharing with his partners. And, you know, things were all good until they weren’t. And him and his partners, let’s just say they had a falling out. And there was a divorce. And they agreed to disagree. He ultimately left he had a couple of existing stores just a couple, there’s two stores specifically that wanted to keep, they took over everything. Like they literally took everything all we ended up having was just that inventory, because they had control of the bank accounts and all the assets except we had these two brick and mortar locations. And, and so during this transition, actually, a lot of us that worked for the company, were offered money not to show up because they were trying to sabotage him, they were trying to basically pressure him out to sell. And he’d already been doing this for a long time. He’s like, I’m not getting out of this industry, I got kids that are just growing up, and they’re gonna have to go to university, I’m not ready to just, you know, hang it up. And I remember him asking me, he’s like, Well, hey, you know, I was his number one guy, I had the relationship with Him, not with his partners that were out in Ontario. So way out East and other part of the country, it really had no relationship with us other than on our pay stubs. And I was given an opportunity, I was given an opportunity to basically be given, you know, what I sort of warmly relate to being the golden handcuffs later, but I was given a great equity position, because he knew I had 20 years as JR, had the energy, the fortitude, but also the skill set to be really mentored into being a replica of him, you know, and even then some, you know, because I had a lot of different views that are much better with computers. And then when marketing came around, like I just, I was more in tune with all that. And so that’s what started off. And obviously, as we’re scaling as we’re trying to grow, there was a lot of hurdles we had to get over, like establishing new relationships with new suppliers, because those existing brands were going to stay with the national company didn’t want to go off with just some little to store company, you know, in fear of losing that overall volume. So we had to regain those relationships over time by just doing what we do and doing it really well. And that was serving a customer base, helping them with their needs, getting them a great product, a great experience, but ultimately helping them get their health and wellness results. Because if they get the results everybody asks him What have you been doing? Well, actually, I bought some equipment from this town just down the street. You should go check it out, talk to di or talk to James or talk to you know, talk to one of the guys. They’ll help you out and So that word of mouth referral was just tremendous. And then, you know, as social media came about, I took an active interest in that both personally and professionally decided I want to learn it. I remember reading Gary Vaynerchuk, next verse printing of his book crush it, I remember reading it on the plane going Ontario, literally go visit my mom. And I was like, wow, this is a game changer. This is where everything’s going. You know, and by that time, we were advertising in the media, like on print, on radio, on TV, you know, and sponsoring events, and we still would do events, they were great. But those other three traditional media’s, you know, they were diminishing returns, year after year, we were spending more and getting less. And yet on social, I was just doing all this stuff organically through storytelling through and sharing, you know, stories of clients and their successes, and just, just having fun with developing relationships, the line in our business just kept growing. You know, but there’s hiccups, you know, there was like, 2008, a little bit of an economic crash, right? That affected our discretionary dollars, this equipment is discretionary. Come on, let’s be real, you know, definitely, you’re worried about losing, go buy a treadmill, you know, like it’s, and so we had to sort of navigate some of those economic ups and downs, but we were we were resilient, we were able to get through it. And when I left the business, it wasn’t a great time to leave. I didn’t get like a huge check, or an exit, you know, but I had enough that it gave us some space to do a couple of things and basically, lean into the things that I wanted to start doing, which was supporting people really in the one on one doing more speaking, offering digital online solutions for people and consulting, you know, like something that gave me a lot more flexibility with time in place. And, and that’s what I transitioned to that I’ve been doing the last eight years. You know,
Debra Chantry-Taylor 31:51
I think what’s really interesting about that story is, you know, I think that a great leaders are always reading and always educating themselves and always, you know, seeing what’s really going on, because it’s very, very easy. Again, when you get really busy with business, and you’ve got this all this other stuff going on good in bed, making time to actually read making time to do research, if you don’t do that you can get left behind. I mean, obviously reading Gary’s book, you know, it was it was it was an eye opener, there would have been other businesses in the same industry that didn’t read that didn’t kind of pick up on that and may have gone way too long still doing traditional media and not building up that, that social media presence and the online presence, would that be fair to say?
Dai Manuel 32:29
Yes, very well said, you know, it’s an even today, like, and I think that I know a lot about that stuff. But I really know very little, you know, like it because it’s changing so quickly. And now with this GPT and all the AI functionality, and I’m like, whoa, whoa, it’s hard to keep up with all that stuff. And, and I think, you know, this is one thing to take note on is, I remember, one piece of advice that we were given was this idea that, you know, there’s often people in your organization that might be younger, maybe don’t have the life experiences or the work experience of some of their senior associates and partners, but they themselves have grown up with access to technology, and they don’t know a world without it. And often, to them, it’s just normal. And so we were starting to allow a lot more input from those younger people that we were bringing on, you know, into our marketing into what we were doing in the stores and outside of the stores. And, and that was really valuable, you know, from a company, but also a culture standpoint within the organization, because now people felt like they had a voice. And it didn’t matter how long you had been there, and how old you are, and what you’ve done in your life. Like it was just everyone had an opinion. And we would weigh out the opinion and discuss it and, and it would influence a lot of the direction that we went. And sometimes it works. Sometimes it didn’t. But you know what, it was good. Because we were all going the same direction. You know, and I think that was the critical piece is allowing people on your team that are good at doing what they do and like doing what they do. I’ll give them the space to do it.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 34:06
Yeah, we call it delegating, elevate. And it’s really about letting people you know, elevate themselves up to their unique ability where they add the most value. And that’s the stuff that they love doing and they’re great at doing as usual, they add the most value to the business do but I think you’ve made a really valid point. I think sometimes particularly for us oldies, you know, to our thinking about letting the young ones kind of get control of things. But this is native for them. They’ve grown up with this, you know, you you my niece who’s just about to turn 16 I mean, when you watch her with technology, she’s always got ear buds and she’s always listening to something or there’s multiple things going on around her and I kind of go how you concentrate, but actually she does and she’s very, very smart. And she she passes all her exams and so you know, you can’t credit credit critique her because he’s actually doing very, very well but it’s a different way of living. And they have been brought up with it from you know, a baby effectively.
Dai Manuel 34:52
So true. Yeah, it’s like they won’t know without it. And if they do know a world without it, we’ve got bigger problems to worry about. So it’s like okay, Like, it’s here to stay. And it’s amazing what the the youth can do today that that I just think back to when I was at morbidly obese teen it was like, Oh, I am I’m serious. I’m I’m very grateful the internet wasn’t what I say, you know, it’s like, wow, that social pressure that they deal with is just immense.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 35:18
I’m actually a trustee on the Life Education Trust, which is a trust, that kind of helps kids be the best version of themselves. So it doesn’t have all kinds of things. It just deals with the drug issues that you have the alcohol issue it deals with, with ag education around food and fitness. And it’s basically the herald the giraffe is actually their mascot. And the reason why they chose a giraffe was that you’re always looking up at, you know, looking up rather, as opposed to being worried about what others are thinking of you. So yeah, it was just it’s really, it’s really interesting, because, you know, obviously, we’re bringing in programs now around online bullying, and around all the stuff that goes on. And I tell you what, I we had a great speaker the other day, who talked about some of the dangers of kids having access to the internet, and he was very, very strict about not letting his kids have a phone in their bedroom or any technology in their bedroom. And he started to share some of the stuff that they have access to. And I have to say, I thought I was open minded. My mind was blown. It was like, wow, okay, so it’s a different world, but it is what it is. We can’t you know, we can’t change it, we have to work with it.
Dai Manuel 36:16
True. True. And was those conversations captured like that presentation is that something that’s like available in third, the online ether I would love to hear that are
Debra Chantry-Taylor 36:25
Those actually those are real, they actually did a really interesting project where they are find the details and put it in the in the link from the podcast, I can’t remember what it is. But they they basically got this they pretended to be a young female online and put across all the social platforms, but was actually being run by an older lady. And it was just and they actually monitored. You know how quickly this young lady young young girl was contacted by older people, the kinds of things they were asked for the sort of the scams that they get drawn into, because it’s very, you know, they’ll go, I’ll just send me a nude photo, they send a nude photo, now they’ve got ammunition to actually hold them to ransom for a whole lot more. It’s like, it’s, it’s fascinating. documentary is actually really, really interesting. Wow, we’re getting a bit off topic
Dai Manuel 37:13
Scares the crap out of me.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 37:17
And so what was really interesting was, you know, and I love talking about boundaries in business as well, like, people need to know what the boundaries are. But we as humans, we actually quite like boundaries. And he will, he adds what would be considered fairly fairly strict ones, which is there’s no technology in the bedroom on your own. If you want to use a phone or a computer, you do it out in the open where everybody in the family can see it. And at first I thought, gosh, that’s draconian. You know, what is wrong with this guy? And then after hearing the presentation, seeing the document is I actually think that’s not such a bad idea. He said, Look, sometimes my kids hate me, you know, they get really stuck into me, you’re being restrictive, you’re you don’t understand what it’s like. And he’s like, Yeah, I’m okay with that. Because I know what the other the other side is. Yeah. And I think back to my parents, and I’m, I don’t know, you talked about you, I’m a bit older. But my parents also, in that era, when nobody ever got divorced, they stayed together. I’m not entirely sure they should have stayed together. There were times when you kind of went, you know, I think they were staying together because they felt they had to rather than they really enjoyed each other’s company. But one thing I will say is they were they were bloody good parents. I mean, they were they were very, very strict. And I hated them for it. But gosh, I am so grateful for them these days. It’s like, you know, the things I learned from them around values around morals. Very, very grateful.
Dai Manuel 38:31
We’re fortunate that way. Because it’s I mean, I love that you’re saying that because I also think it’s, it’s important for us to remember and reframe sort of those histories that we’ve had. Because as much as it was such a brief period as kids that we actually in our whole scope of life, it’s such a small period, right. But it’s amazing when you sort of think back to that emotions that we dealt with, as teams, right? Like, I know, I keep reading studies that talk about, you know, girls and use brains aren’t fully developed till they’re like 25. I’m like, well, that actually explains a lot because in my early 20s, I was still just immature and doing stupid things. And then that’s why okay, I still don’t think my brain structured but I’m working on.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 39:16
My husband often reverts to being seven, it’s all good. But it’s interesting Trevor Grice, who actually founded the Life Education Trust, he did a whole lot of research on the brain and how the brain works. And it actually, men or boys develop a lot, take a lot longer to develop as well. So that frontal lobe part of it, yeah, so 25 years before, they’re actually full. And if you if you start using any drugs or alcohol before that brain is fully formed, it can have an impact long term on you as well. So it’s really important that and yet if you think about it, I mean, gosh, I don’t know about you. I mean, I at 17 I was starting to rebel against my parents, I was doing things I probably shouldn’t have been doing and, and all the way through my early 20s and probably didn’t really settle down until I I got married and then even then, I’d say there was some some moments that I hadn’t really quite settled down. But you know, that’s that’s the time when when we hit with the formative years that we shouldn’t be putting stuff into our body, but we do. But yeah, anyway, that’s wild.
Dai Manuel 40:08
Right. I know, it’s always hindsight. It’s not always 2020. But it sure could be if we
Debra Chantry-Taylor 40:14
Let it. I mean, I do think that though, and the same goes with business, right? I think that actually, sometimes the mistakes that we make give us much greater lessons than then the successes that we have, because, and this is why the part of the reason I started this podcast is I think that we see lots of success stories out there. And don’t get me wrong. I love success, and I love celebrating success. But there’s also you know, I think a lot of us learn more from our mistakes on the way than we necessarily do from the successes. And certainly that’s been my story. Yeah. Yeah. So now what so what are you doing now, you said, you know, you had this kind of epiphany, this no longer was for you, you’re doing the talking, you’re doing the one on one coaching, you’re doing the online stuff, what is the kind of person that you love to work with? What’s your ideal person,
Dai Manuel 40:58
I like people that perform at high levels in areas of their life. And when I say that, like professionally, especially like, people that are really just, I mean, it takes a lot of grit to be an entrepreneur, you know, and resilience, like it just it just does. It’s not smooth sailing, I mean, talk to anybody with a startup, they’ll tell you, it’s like, I mean, I’m part of a startup now as a fractional CRO, and, and I’m like, wow, I forgot what it’s like to be doing this stuff. And I’m like, wow, it is like every day, right? Putting on the boxing gloves, stepping in the ring, and let’s go another round, you know, like, it’s, and you have to have that, that grit to just keep doing it and be okay with the big nose that you continuously get, right. And, and so, you know, I like connecting with people like that, because I know that they already have a certain ability to do hard things, you know, things that are going to make them feel uncomfortable. Because that is one thing we have to get somewhat comfortable with, okay, if we want to navigate any significant changes in our life, like any changes that we navigate, it’s rarely easy. But it’s almost always worth it. But when you’re going through change, it’s like awful. Sometimes it is, it’s just awful, right? Like, it’s like you can’t see, you know, three inches in front of your face. But then you get to the change, or you get over that first big hump and you turn around you look at where you’ve come from, and you realize, you know what, now looking back on it, and actually wasn’t that bad. But it’s just that perspective shift. And, and so I find that people that are working really well professionally, sometimes are underperforming or feel sheepish in their personal life. So they will retreat and do more in their professional. You know what I mean? Like though, they’ll they’ll just take whatever time they would have and they become workaholics. They become obsessive with just working in their business. And it creates this lack of harmony between personal life and professional life. Because it’s it’s all about harmony, it said you and I had a great conversation before we started today, you know, talking about this idea of balance, right? And it’s like, Well, we think of a balance, you know, like a teeter totter. You’ve got the weight over here on this end. Well, I’m shifting my attention to where the weights down. Oh, now I want to get the other end up. Okay, I’m going to turn my attention to the other side. Oh, inevitably, it goes down. And it’s like, I can’t keep my eyes on two different separate places at the same time. So it’s not about trying to balance them. It’s about how do you get them to work together to create the greatest amount of fulfillment, joy and happiness, you know, and, and I think that is the person I love connecting with most is the one that’s struggling with that harmony. You know, and because that’s, I love helping them find it, you know?
Debra Chantry-Taylor 43:41
And I love you said it’s not easy, but it’s worth it. I actually I was very fortunate, very grateful to have gone and done Outward Bound, which I’m not sure if you have in Canada. Yes. Yes, you do. Okay. Yeah. So I was 1443 years old, I think at the time, probably the oldest fattest person on the course. But I did it and and after I finished doing it, they actually asked you would you like to sponsor a brick, they have this, this walkway of bricks that have little messages on them and spots and stones. And I didn’t want I didn’t want my name on it because it wasn’t that bad for me. But I actually literally had stamped onto the brick. It’s not easy, but it’s worth because that was my take out from Outward Bound. That’s hilarious.
Dai Manuel 44:17
Yeah, I love it. Because it’s so true. Yeah, great thing
Debra Chantry-Taylor 44:21
To put I mean, I had to I had to run 12 kilometers on the last day of Outward Bound and I’m a I’m not built to run Bo, as I say overweight and and certainly not fit. But there was no I learned that you could do it. If you put your mind to it. You absolutely could do it. I could do anything I wanted to. And that was the biggest takeaway that I took away from Outward Bound is that yeah, yeah. Still not all that great at climbing rock rocks. sheer rock faces are meant to do that. Good. So it’s called so called pushing the boundaries. Okay, brilliant. So I’m not going to ask you because I always ask everybody you know, top three tips or tools for these people because I’m sure a lot of people Listening in are very, very high performing. I think a lot of us I’m speaking of personal experience, we do struggle. When things go bad, you focus more on the other, and then you get out of out of out of whack. So what are your top kind of three tips or tools?
Dai Manuel 45:13
Okay. Three questions. And these are the three questions everyone needs to commit to memory, whenever they’re feeling that sort of inkling that there’s a change on the horizon. And maybe you want to be more proactive in that change in your life, you know, rather than feeling like you’re reacting to change in your life, I always say it’s like Indiana Jones, right? Remember, Raiders of the Lost Ark, there’s that big boulder chasing them down the pathway? Well, I think that’s a metaphor for change, right? Like, we’re Indiana Jones. Boulder is change. Right? And we’re wondering, but But all joking aside, you know, these three questions I find to be very instrumental and helpful and clarifying, for those that want to navigate change doesn’t matter how small or how significant. And the first question is, Can I do it? Now, can I do it being the change? Right? Second question. If I do it, will it work? Really well at work? And then the third question is, is it worth it? And you know, if I’m talking to a team or an organization accompany Sure, I can say, is it worth it? And we’re talking in general terms as a group, but when I’m talking to individuals, you have to frame it, am I worth it? Am I worth the change? You know, that first one, really, it’s all about the confidence, right? Like, can I do this? Can I actually make the change, like at 15 years old, I want to get healthy, I’m morbidly obese, I’d never played sports, I was the kid that would pretend he was sick. So I didn’t have to go to phys ed class, you know, physical education, like I was very good at not doing anything. And, you know, when I decided to make the change, and I’m like, I want to get healthy. And I’m like, can I get healthy? You know, and I’m like, I’m, like, 15 years old. I’m capable, I can do stuff. I can move my body, I’m sure I can, I can do this, you know? And then the second question is like, Okay, well, if I do actually do this, and I started, say, moving my body with a little bit of purpose, you know, this idea of intentional weight release, rather than just simply going through the motions. But if I do that, will it actually work? And for me, it was like getting magazines and getting books from the library and looking at success stories of other people that have done it. Like, well, if it worked for them, it’s gonna work for me. So if I do the same stuff, do you think it will work? Yeah, I think it will. So I’ve got a yes. And a yes. Now, my confidence starts to go up. When you feel confidence and clear, you make more decisive action and you procrastinate less? And the third question, you know, am I worth it? There was days where I didn’t feel that way. But that was the days that I would make sure I got around a positive community. I also made sure I had my family, and those are cared for me unconditionally, around me, because if I ever felt like I wasn’t worth it, they were there to remind me that I was, you know, and to support me. But those three questions, I don’t care what kind of change, you’re navigating, they’re gonna help. They’re gonna help. And when you get clear, you get confident when you get confident you take action. And those are what I would like to offer people today.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 48:21
That is absolutely fantastic. I absolutely love it. Okay, so can I do it? If I do it? Will it work? And is it worth it? Or am I worth it? It’s a personal decision, you’re making brilliant, hey, look, we’ve covered off so much more on this podcast as well, some little tips and tools about that, that’s a great way to finish off, hey, die, if anybody wants to get in contact with you and would like to, you know, work with you or look at your online courses, whatever they want to do, and engage with you as a speaker until they find you.
Dai Manuel 48:43
Well, the cool thing about having a unique name, I’m pretty easy to find if you can start right?
Debra Chantry-Taylor 48:49
Yes, that’s true. I’m very
Dai Manuel 48:51
Active on on Instagram and Facebook. But I also recognize that a lot of people I work with aren’t on social, but they are on LinkedIn. And as such, I’m very active on LinkedIn as well. So I always say reach out, it’s a wonderful place for us to start a conversation and let’s just, we’ll talk about change. We’ll talk about what’s got you excited, and what’s holding you back from realizing the excitement, you know, and I just gotta say, Debra, thank you. You know, it’s amazing that you create this platform to share these conversations with not only your audience, but the world. Because we all benefit from this. We all do. Yeah. And I just want to say thank you, thank you. Really,
Debra Chantry-Taylor 49:27
Thank you. As I said, a lot of my guests that I love doing these because I sit here and I take copious notes, I’m gonna waste some has been absorbed. And it just reminds me as well, because, you know, I think I like to think that I’m doing most of the right things. But we all get distracted. We all kind of end up losing track of things. And so it’s always a really great reminder. And plus I get to meet awesome people. So now I know next time I come to Vancouver, I can get a diagram here. Please
Dai Manuel 49:53
Be counted on it. So when you get here you better be saying we’re coming in because there’s some great restaurants and some great walks you Have some fun, it’d be a wonderful.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 50:02
Yeah, no, I actually I came over to Toronto, early on this year. That was my first time ever in Canada. But I heard amazing things about Vancouver and I just didn’t have chance to do it. So next time, I’ll see I’ll be there for sure. I looked like I really, I really appreciate that. I know you’ve been like super vulnerable. I really appreciate that. I appreciate everything that you shared with me and, and just thank you. Thank you for being you.
Dai Manuel 50:23
Thank you, Debra. Really appreciate it.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 50:25
Thanks for listening to the podcast show better business better life. My name is Debra Chantry-Taylor. I’m an EOS implementer family business advisor, business and leadership coach podcaster and speaker. However, I’m also a business owner with several current business interests. I’m fortunate to have lived the high life with all the lifestyle, the toys, you name it, and then I’ve lost it all. Not only once but twice in two spectacular train wrecks. I know what it’s like to experience the highs and lows. I came across EOS when they launched into New Zealand using my entrepreneurs playground at an event center in Parnell Auckland. I love the simplicity of the tools and their philosophies fitted my personal brand statement perfectly. The brilliance is in the simplicity. I’ve always been passionate about seeing entrepreneurs live the life they love. And now I help them live that EOS life doing what they love with people they love making a huge difference in the world being compensated appropriately and with time to pursue other passions. If you want more information or want to get in contact about using EOS and your business, you can visit my website at Deb Deborah dot coach that’s dub dub dub Deborah D B R A dot coach. Thanks for listening.
Professional EOS Implementer | Entrepreneurial Leadership & Business Coach | Business Owner
Professional EOS Implementer New Zealand
Professional EOS Implementer Australia
Professional EOS Implementer UK
Professional EOS Implementer NZ