If you’re looking for inspiration and motivation to start living intentionally when it comes to your career, your relationships, your health, and all aspects of your life - this episode is for you!
As an entrepreneur, it can be challenging to balance life and prioritize your health and wellbeing. You may feel overwhelmed and as if you're always playing catch-up. So how do you stay resilient in the face of all these pressures?
In this episode, I'm joined by Dai Manuel, a father, husband, entrepreneur, TEDX speaker, and award winning digital thought leader and author. Dai chats about his journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur, how he's managed life's ups and downs along the way, and how he taps into his natural resiliency to stay motivated.
He also shares useful strategies for personal growth and transformation, practical tips for taking action towards success, and the techniques to cultivate resilience in the face of challenge.
Join us as we discuss:
(1) The wake-up call Dai had at 15 years old that pushed him to focus on his health
(2) How to be a champion of change for your own life
(3) The importance of being flexible, intentional and resilient when it comes to success
(4) Why you should listen to your gut instinct to make choices that you won't regret
(5) How to create a life of intention with the Five F's
(6) Why having strong relationships, community and fun in your life is essential
(7) Tips for navigating the sometimes tricky concept of “fake it till you make it”
(8) Dai’s biggest piece of advice for entrepreneurs on following your “bliss” to live the life you want
**How to Make Money on Fiverr: A Masterclass for Freelancers**
To kick off the new year, I'm hosting a masterclass on Jan 4th to teach you everything you need to know to make money on Fiverr. You’ll learn how to set up your profile, optimize your gigs, get your first few clients, and more! Head to lindsayhanson.com/fiverr to register now, and kickstart your freelancing biz in the new year!
Connect with Dai
Get the Book: The 5 Regrets of the Dying
Get the Book: Power of Myth
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Lindsay: Freelancers.Imagine waking up every morning to new orders and clients in your inbox ready to work with you. That is what I wake up to every morning on Fiverr, all because I decided to create a free profile and set up a $30 gig back in 2019. That one gig is now making me nearly $2,000 a month as a part-time income stream.
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Lindsay: Hello everyone and welcome back to the podcast. Today I'm chatting with Dai Manuel, a lifestyle business mentor and high performance life coach who's here to help you up level in all areas of your life. Dai is an award-winning digital thought leader and author, distinguished Toastmaster and TEDx speaker,
Lindsay: former partner and chief operating officer of a multimillion dollar retail company. He understands the struggle of trying to balance it all while keeping your health and happiness a priority. He models his work based on five F's, fitness, family, faith, and finances with an overarching roof of fun built on a rock solid foundation of health.
Lindsay: So get ready for some nuggets of wisdom and inspiration to take action to be your best self. Dai, welcome to the podcast.
Dai: Thank you, Lindsay. I, I, I appreciate being here. This is awesome. And talking about lots of my favorite things, you know, and, obviously entrepreneurship, being one of those. So yeah, it's an honor to be here.
Lindsay: Yeah. Well, I'm excited to dive in. So tell us a little bit more about who you are and what it is that you're doing now.
Dai: Ah, geez. . I was gonna say an existential question just to start us off. No, but I think it's a great question. You know, it's, it's, and it's interesting cuz it's a question I don't think a lot of us create space for ourselves to.
Dai: Well, really to, to ask ourselves or to reflect on as entrepreneurs and I, and I, at least, you know, not to, to make this sound like a cliche, but I, I feel it's like that the more conversations I have with other entrepreneurs is that, you know, we, we have a tendency to just hurry up and get onto the next thing, you know?
Dai: Mm-hmm. Rather than reflect and celebrate on the good things that we have accomplished along the way. And so, in asking that question, thank you for the opportunity to sort of backtrack a little bit and, you know, I, I didn't come to entrepreneurship naturally. It was sort of one of those things where I found myself in a situation where it just happened,
Dai: you know? And, and I, I think that a lot of us entrepreneurs have similar origin stories, you know?
Lindsay: Yeah. I can relate.
Dai: And, and you know, sometimes it comes from a, a necessity or, or just becoming aware that there's a problem that we have a unique solution to, or a perspective on, or a way to serve or support
Dai: people. Through something and, you know, if I think back to one of my first challenges that, which brought me to the fitness industry many, many moons ago. You know, to date myself, I'm on my 45th lap around the sun right now and you know, it was like 30 years ago. I was at my, my. I'd say one of my most challenging parts of my life, you know, at at age 15, I was classified as morbidly obese and very, very overweight
Dai: unhealthy. All the cliches and the stereotypes that come with somebody, and that per, you know, when that person is at that state of un health like I was then it's, you know, a, as much as it's a cliche or, or stereotype, it's, it's rather accurate. You know, I was very isolated, very depressed, very withdrawn.
Dai: Dealing with a lot of social anxiety and, and you know, I learned to self-medicate with food, movies, and video games. So dopamine and, and sugar rushes right. So it was that was, that was my, my go-to. And you know, things got really hard and, and eventually it got to a place where I was more afraid of not changing than of changing.
Dai: And I think that's the important piece to note. I think for any of us on entrepreneurial journeys, we, we find ourselves at periods in our life where, you know, we're more afraid of, of not changing. Than the prospect of, of the unknown of change. And, and it's a really weird place to get. It's like I'm more afraid of staying as I am right now, you know, and than I am of, of entertaining doing something completely different.
Dai: And, and so at 15 I, I encountered that, that place. And made some changes that took over two years to, to realize. And in that process I learned a lot, discovered a lot of stuff about myself, but ultimately sparked a bug with the passion for fitness and, and also helping others navigate those physical and mental changes themselves.
Dai: And, you know, that sort of set my trajectory in, in motion and, and in my early twenties I had the opportunity to start in on fitness equipment retail. So not being a personal trainer anymore, but rather now supplying people with equipment, solutions, supplements, accessories, apparel and, and I loved it. You know, I loved it. Cuz it was my first time being in a performance base pay structure.
Dai: You know, where the more people I can help get healthy and fit the more money I make. I was like, mm-hmm. really, really is this how it works? And I was like, this is kinda cool . And it was my first time ever being in a commission environment and I was like, wow, this is crazy. This is like not just hours for dollars anymore, you know, this is where I can really leverage power of connections and community, but also knowledge and, and growing my own wisdom and, and knowledge with serving others.
Dai: And, and, you know, year after year I kept chasing impact and as I was chasing impact my income went up, you know? Funny how that works at times. And fast forward lots of changes have happened over those last 20 years in my entrepreneurial journey, and I exited outta that business quite a while ago, I'd say about, gosh, six years ago now, and started down my own personal passion projects, which are, you know, I build men's communities, but I also coach and mentor a lot number of people in
Dai: both business, but also in life. Tends to be the two things always, you know, they work synergistically right? And can't work on one without working on the other and vice versa. So I, I, yeah. Spend a lot of time doing that and speaking and, and just connecting with really cool people and communities like your own, you know, like it's, it's really cool.
Dai: That's, that's where I, I feel myself very fortunate today. Cause I got two teenage girls as well, and they, they are my life and, and my wife and I have been dating now for over 20 years. And so, life is very full.
Lindsay: Well that's an incredible journey. It sounds like you had a sort of a winding path to where you are now, which is amazing.
Lindsay: And I resonate so much with what you said right, of I was more afraid of not changing than of changing, cuz. And I think that that becomes that tipping point where it's like you're finally ready to, to do something about it, right? Like you might stuck in your job, hating it, wanting to make a change, but you don't actually wanna make a change cuz you're scared.
Lindsay: But then there just becomes a day where you're more afraid of what will happen if you don't make that change. And that's really what it was for me cuz I was like, I can live with trying this entrepreneurship thing and failing at it and going back to get another job. Cuz really that's the worst case scenario.
Dai: That's right.
Lindsay: But I can't live with never trying and having to get to the end of my life and look back and just regret it and wonder like, what if I had made that jump? And that's always, people ask me like, how did you overcome that fear and quit your job? And I'm like, it's not really that I overcame the fear.
Lindsay: I was scared, but I was more scared. Yeah. Of if I didn't do it.
Dai: That's right.
Dai: Ah, I, I love hearing you say that, Lindsay, because I, I think when we really reflect on some of those most significant periods of change in our life, and we all have it, like e every single person I know and I ever meet. At, at, at a period in their life, they've been a champion of change for their own life.
Dai: You know, like they have mm-hmm. , they've, they've had to champion the change itself that they were navigating. Otherwise they would've never made it through it, you know, and, and achieved the change. And, and I think we don't give ourselves enough credit that we have this, this, yeah. This natural ability to be resilient.
Dai: And it's in our dna. It's in our dna. It's, it's hardwired in us as, as a species, you know, because we do, we, we navigate hard stuff. And the millennia that we've expanded across this planet, you know, to 8 billion strong, my climate change friends say we're, we're too resilient. You know, we're, we're, we're doing a great job on population and using resources, but regardless, we are resilient through amazingly difficult things.
Dai: You know, and these last couple years, they've, they've been nothing short of other, past, you know, trials and tribulations we've had to navigate as a species and, and, you know, we're gonna get through it and we're gonna come out the other side and, and things will change. They'll adapt. They'll be different.
Dai: But, so life goes on, you know, and, and I think when we start to see our own version of that play out, day in, day out, we start to be more active participants rather than feeling like, ugh it just happens. Stuff's just happening to me, right? Because it's, it's really easy to get to that place where, where we just feel like, oh my gosh, doesn't matter what I do.
Dai: It just like this is keeps happening. It just keeps happening, you know? And we call it dumb luck. We call it the universe. We call it destiny. I mean, I, I just, Call it, you know, living your life, you know. It's just the, the, the unknown is gonna happen and, and there's sometimes known that's gonna happen and, and, but we have to put ourselves in certain situations or into motion to at least be getting closer towards a goal that maybe we've identified that is important to us,
Dai: right? And, and mm-hmm. And as I said, you know, it, it's simply direction, you know, when we make a choice, right? That we want something that just gives us direction. It doesn't actually give us the, the, the solution, nor does it give us necessarily the path to get to where we want to get to, but at least gets us started.
Dai: And, and I think that is also a challenging part cuz we know that once we make a commitment, for a choice. Well, does this mean we're starting on a journey? Okay, well here it goes. You know? And, and there's a lot of unknown with that, isn't there? Like Lindsay, with your own, like quitting your job.
Dai: Right. Your career.
Dai: I mean, did you have it all figured out when you decided to quit? Did you have a full plan in front of you?
Lindsay: I had almost nothing figured out when I quit.
Dai: I love it. I love it. I love it. Go into that.
Lindsay: I hired my first business coach, I think. The day after I put in my two weeks at my job.
Lindsay: Like because I knew that I had no idea what I was doing, but I I had made that decision that I was gonna figure it out and go on that journey. Yeah. That I'm still on. And here we are.
Dai: It's amazing though,
Dai: right? Like I is there now, let me ask you this. Is there anything that you've regretted by making that decision?
Lindsay: No, I mean, there's things I probably would've done differently in the beginning of my business, but I don't have any regrets about quitting my job or the way that I did that and just kind of leapt into entrepreneurship. I think that was the right path for me, for sure.
Dai: I love it.
Lindsay: Maybe not for everyone, but definitely for me.
Dai: Well, I, I think you hint on something, Lindsay, cuz when you talk and, and you brought in the, the, the vernacular, you know, the, the word regret, right? Like this idea of, mm. I, I couldn't live with the idea of looking back, you know, at, at, at a ripe old age someday, you know?
Dai: We'll live to be 120 plus, right.
Dai: We'll be looking back and be like, yeah, remember that time I had that idea back in my twenties to, to go out on my own and do my own business. Like, gosh, I really wish I did that. Now, now that's, you've identified, that's a regret you aren't comfortable having.
Dai: And, and, and as such, you've chosen to be the opposite.
Dai: And I think there's much to be learned through, through this process. And what I mean by that is, is you, you're very astute that you, you came to that on your own because I don't think all of us ha have that , you know, it, it is not so, we don't discover it quite so easily, or we're not easily making the commitment.
Dai: I, I know for myself when it comes to regret, I sort of had things reframed for me a number of years ago when my father was, well, when my family and I had the opportunity to spend the last six months of his life with, you know, during that sort of end the life process while, while he was, you know, losing his battle with pancreatic cancer.
Dai: And, you know, it was interesting cause I, I had literally just left my former career of 17 years not really having a plan, or my wife and I and my kids had no idea where we're going next. We just decided to start traveling and figure things out as we go. And, you know, it was about 18 months into the travels that my father, you know, got the news that the cancer was back and there was no fighting it.
Dai: It was just a matter of time. But because we had set in motion, some of those choices gave us the, the, the opportunity to go back and spend that time with him during that final end of life and, and during that time.
Dai: And sorry, this is a long about way of just communicating to you what's something very important that I think anybody that's listening or watching this today, if, if you wanna dive into this, I think it can be very empowering as far as creating direction in life.
Dai: And there's a woman by the name of Bronny Ware that I came across when I was just working through my grief and just trying to reconcile really that transitionary period of, of, you know, going from having a father to not having a father. You know, it's a, it's a, it's a trying period for anyone to go through with any parent or, or a close friend.
Dai: And I came across this woman by the name of Bronny Ware, and she was an RN out of Australia now. She wrote an incredible book called The Five Regrets of the Dying. And what's super empowering of this, and I, I'm not sure if you're familiar with this, Lindsay, but what she did was she has this great relationship, this bedside manner with these end of life patients of all different backgrounds, different demographics, different socioeconomic backgrounds, like just really different cultural backgrounds.
Dai: Like just, but at the end of the day, they're all at that point in life where there it's end of. And, you know, all you're trying to do at that point. I mean, I remember what it was like with my dad in the hospice for those last seven to 10 days. It was, it was just trying to keep him comfortable, right?
Dai: Trying to mini yeah. You know, minimize pain and discomfort. And so here she is supporting these people and, and starts to ask them, you know, in conversation a question. And the question is, is there anything that you regret not doing with your life? You know, so give it context. You know, you get people that end of life now, you know, all, all they're doing
Dai: is lying in bed and, and quite frankly, just spending some time until they're here no longer. And so you can imagine how that thought process and that reflection period must be, it must be so intense, you know? And, and what was super interesting was of all the people, she asked and surveyed this question. All of them
Dai: had at least one, if not five of the same regrets. I mean, this isn't coincidence anymore. It's not just happenstance. There, there's something to be learned by this, you know, and, and these five regrets. One of the ones that always jumped out at me is, I wish I'd lived a life I wanted to live. Not the life others expected of me.
Dai: And I find us as entrepreneurs, that is one that we get trapped in, or the other one is I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
Dai: I wish I'd allowed myself to be happier. That implies that happiness is a choice and that we can choose to be happy you know? And so there's so many I wish I'd stayed in, in closer connection with friends and family.
Dai: These are very simple. They're accessible. They don't cost money, but they do take energy and intentionality, and I think it's important to note these things because again, we only get one, right? We got one go at this.
Dai: Well, maybe more, but I, I mean, it depends on what religious background you have, but regardless if we just look at this facts as it stands right now, we know for sure we got one go at this , you know?
Dai: So what do we choose to do with that one, go right? And, and what do we not want to regret whenever we get to that end of life period.
Lindsay: Yeah. It's so powerful and I can link that book in the show notes. I haven't read the book, but I have read articles online that we're basically summarizing it and I think, you know, time is so precious.
Lindsay: Like you said, we only have one shot at this and you can't go back. You know, it's the only thing that we can never get back. You can make more money. You can't create more time in your life. And so I don't know what it was honestly that had me thinking that far ahead at 23 years old, but I was. Like, I was like, I cannot keep doing this.
Lindsay: Like there has to be more to life. Than getting up and doing the nine to five and going to this job and doing something that feels so mundane and unfulfilling. There's gotta be more here. And I think it's unfortunate that a lot of times it takes some type of tragedy or someone close to us dying or, I mean, I've talked to so many people who
Lindsay: you know, have applied to work with me or just reached out to me. I remember one girl when I asked her like, why is it that you're wanting to make a change? And she said, I forget where her family was located, but her family, they're like, everything they had was destroyed in a natural disaster. And she was like, it just put things into perspective for me, you know, about like how little material things really matter and like , there's so many things that are more important and so many things I wanna do while I'm here and life is so
Lindsay: fleeting and it really is. And it's like, yes, there's, you know, a time for like saving up money and thinking about the future. But then on the other hand it's also like there is a chance that you might not be here tomorrow or next week. And like, are you gonna be happy with how you're spending your days now?
Lindsay: And I just believe there's ways to, you know, make money while also doing something you love. And I think, I just can't imagine spending 40 plus years in a career, that feels unfulfilling for me. And then looking back on my life, it's like, what was I even doing that for you know?
Dai: I love how you just, you know, you paraphrase that cuz I think it is important to take note, like personal stock of what are things that
Dai: by doing I know. I'll never regret doing them. You know, it's kind of a, flipping the switch a little bit because we're, we're in avoidance of doing things that we may regret, but it's like, well, what are the things that I will never regret doing?
Dai: You know, sort of to take a moral, kind of like a proactive approach.
Dai: It's like, because it's also creates a lot of intentionality, right? It's like, I can intend or I can choose to do more of these things. Cause I know it's not things that I'm ever gonna regret. And actually it's in a line things that I want to achieve or accomplish or, or do more of, or the kind of person I want to be, you know, the kind of father that, you know as a man who identifies a man, obviously, you know, when I'm sharing this kind of
Dai: I'm, I'm talking my own perspective, right? Like, those are some of the questions that went through my head just over 10 years ago.
Dai: And it's interesting when you get really clear on certain things that you know you'll always regret doing versus the things that you know you'll never regret. And as an example, you know, with some of my clients, it's like, you know, I'll encourage them to go for a workout or go for a walk or, or they eat a big, healthy salad, you know, something that has a kale scope of colors on it, of fresh vegetables, and on top you put some sort of lean protein.
Dai: I mean, if you're a vegan, go for some, you know, some tofu or something. And, and if you're, you know, a humanitarian, well, I have some lean chicken or some fish on there, right? Like, either way, build yourself this beautiful salad. And, and when I invite them to do this, I've never had someone message me after the fact
Dai: and say, Dai you know, you asked me to make that salad for lunch today. I really regret eating that . You know, like I've never had like clients said, I've never had them say to me, Dai I really regret the workout you asked me to do today.
Dai: I really regret going for that walk today. I really regret calling my mom and having that conversation with her today.
Dai: Like these are things that we don't typically regret, so why not fill life with more of this, you know?
Lindsay: Yeah. I think too, I know there's that saying, or I don't know if it's an actual, like, scientific thing that has been proven, but that you, you regret what you don't do more than the things that you did do.
Lindsay: And I think it goes back to what you were saying about how resilient we are naturally, like you said, it's in our dna. And so even though we try something and in our minds we think, oh, if I try this and it doesn't work, it's gonna be, I'm gonna regret it. It's gonna be the worst thing ever.
Lindsay: But then you're, when you're actually in it, you realize it's really not that bad.
Dai: That's right.
Lindsay: And you realize how resilient you are. And that's why I think the regret of something that you didn't do can be so much stronger than the regret of something that you did do. And it didn't work out because either way, you're also learning something
Lindsay: you know? Even if my business blows up and I have to go back and get a job for whatever reason that I don't anticipate happening I have learned so much. And like, I'm so much better off because I know I've, I've built up all these skills and I'm, I would move into a career I actually enjoyed at the very least.
Lindsay: And it's just been such a fun journey, you know? So like, even if it doesn't work out, there's so much to gain from just trying.
Dai: You're right. Oh, that's where we learn, you know, it's where we grow. It's where we adapt. We evolve. In the end there's gonna be challenges that pop up. But remember the challenges would have allowed humans to, to become so darn resilient.
Dai: You know, like you don't have to go and study Darwinism to understand this. But
Dai: start looking at evolution. It's like, Yeesh. Stress. Lots of it, you know, and, and, and through that stressful period, stressful times, it's amazing how we've evolved, you know, and, and, and come out on the other side, better versions, you know, or improved versions.
Dai: And, and I, I think it's, we're quick to forget that cuz we do get caught up in our, our own lives, our own moments in time. These, these,
Dai: Highly stressful moments and anxious moments and, and, and it's amazing. It's almost like a horse of blinders on, right? Like, We can't see anything other than what we're challenged by, and yet
Dai: We navigate it as best we can. Sometimes we'll ask for help , you know, we get help from those people around us, and we get our way through that. But then we turn around, we look back and we're like, wow, I just worked through that, and we have a sense of accomplishment. But then we're like, okay, next,
Dai: you know, it's like, without really reflecting, I'm like, well, what did I learn from that? You know, like if I encounter something like that again, , what am I prepared to do? So it's not as challenging as it was the last time because the crazy thing is as soon as we get through it, it never seems as bad as it was when we were in it.
Dai: You know, it just doesn't, it's like, oh, it's, that wasn't that bad. And it's like, it, it reframes us, right? And, and, and that's what life does for us. Like, it, it's, it, I mean, I, I think it's funny now because I, I, I mean, you know, it sounds like a cliche in itself, but at 45, I often think back is my kids are now closer to 20 than I am.
Dai: You know, so based on that, I, I often think it's like, you know, as I was approaching 20, like my two daughters are, I'm like, what, what would've been some things I would've really liked to have known or have done differently if I had to go back. And, and so now coming from that place and being able to have those conversations with them, to some extent it's been really for me, cathartic.
Dai: Cuz it also, it's, it allows me to reflect on some of the challenges I've worked through and, and how I got through those, but also it makes me feel really good that I'm able to instill in them maybe a little bit of wisdom. Again, maybe it's more knowledge. Wisdom comes through application of knowledge. So, we'll just say it's knowledge for now and we'll see what to do with it.
Dai: Right? But, you know, at least it makes me feel like fulfilled when I'm doing my part, you know? So.
Lindsay: Would you be open to sharing some of those things that you wish you had known or wish you had done differently in your twenties?
Dai: Well, yeah, sure. Lindsay. I mean, some of the biggest ones, and I, I, I, this sort of steps off into, you know, I, I, Did a TEDx talk last year, and I, I, I talked about vulnerability being a human thing, you know?
Dai: And, and that more so, like, vulnerability is a, i, I believe it's a skill, like any other skill that can be developed. But the problem is, is most of our relationships with the, the understanding around what vulnerable means, it is, it's a negative connotation, right? Like we, we don't necessarily have
Dai: fuzzy feelings about being vulnerable. Oh, vulnerable is a good thing. You know, like now, even though there's a lot of people out there speaking to the power of vulnerability and how it can be something positive, I think most of our own personal experiences on the negative side, so we, we have this sort of unconditioned, or I should say this conditioned bias that we're trying to overcome.
Dai: And, and that's fair. I mean, that's like, a lot of things in life, right? Like we, we have these certain conditioned belief systems. And if we ever came to a point where we could actually say, why do I believe what? I believe it, we'll probably actually get to the point where we are like, oh, it's what I read.
Dai: It's what I saw online. It's what my friends told me. It's my parents told me. It's like, well, but do I really know why I believe that? You know, have I ever had any personal experience that, and when you really come to that awareness, it's like, whoa, hello?
Dai: Why am I doing what I'm doing? You know, like, why do I believe this?
Dai: And, and, and I think back to my twenties, I was very quick to take things at face value.
Dai: You know, I was very quick to get around certain peers, friends, I, I'll go as far as to say at that time, you know, and, and find myself getting caught up with what everybody else was doing, you know, wanting to fit in.
Dai: Wanting to be accepted.
Dai: And you know, I, I've done a lot of reflecting on this and, you know, going through that morbidly obese period of my life and, and that isolation that I had during that period, you know, like, and it's, people often say, well, what was your main motivation for getting healthy? And I was like, well, one, I didn't want to feel the way I was feeling anymore.
Dai: I didn't want the smallest things in life to be painful or hard. And I didn't want to imagine what life could be at 20 if I didn't make any changes. Cause that's what I was thinking of, right. And I was like, I can't deal with that. I gotta run away, you know, run away from that as far as possible.
Dai: Well I gotta change things. And you know, through those two years I, I changed and I did gain some confidence, but not really like, because my main motivation was I wanted girlfriend, I wanted somebody to want me . You know? Like that's really what it boiled down to. You know, I was 15 and almost 17 and during those two years, that's all I wanted.
Dai: I wanted to be wanted, you know? And, and go as far as say I wanted to be loved. Right. And then when I got into my twenties, because of making those changes and I moved across the country from Toronto to Vancouver, cause I was trying to run away from my. , you know, I grew up in a small town. Yeah. So everybody remembered me as the morbidly obese fat kid.
Dai: But you know, even though I changed all that, that stigma still remains.
Dai: So I was like, I gotta get away. I gotta start fresh. And I'm sure there's people out there that can relate to that. And I moved across the country, you know, at, at 18 and almost 19. And that's what I set up to do, was to sort of rediscover who I was and, and set, started a new, but I realized I had a lot of unconditioned
Dai: and conditioned beliefs about myself.
Dai: From that teenager year. And, and as such, I learned ways to navigate some of that anxiety and depression and stress that I was feeling and, and unsureness and I learned to deal with it with alcohol. And that became a really big habit in my life up until my early thirties.
Dai: So for, for about 13, 14 years, alcohol was my way. It wasn't food anymore. It wasn't video games.
Dai: It was now alcohol. And and times narcotics, you know? And even though I was in the fitness space, the health industry created a lot of that doubt for myself. A lot of uncertainty and a lot of guilt.
Dai: And shame.
Dai: And it was a bit of an endless cycle, right? And long and short of it, my biggest thing I like to say to my kid, It's is, you know, just do what you feel is right, like really listening to ourselves, you know, that gut instinct we all have, we do know what's right and what's wrong. Like we do, I, I remember all those times making those decisions.
Dai: Like people often will say like, oh, well, were you an alcoholic? I was like, no, I wasn't. I chose, I was aware of my choice every single time.
Dai: I never felt like I was having to do this because, you know, the alcohol was holding a gun to my head, said, drink me. Like, that was never the case, you know, it was, it was me making a choice.
Dai: And I think, you know, it's, it's that ability to get vulnerable, to be able to be okay with asking for help. Had I been able to do that earlier on, I, I think things would've been very different. Now I don't regret it. Please note that. I don't regret it because it opened up a whole bunch of cool things that have happened over the last 10 years that would've never happened had I not gone through that trial and tribulation period
Dai: right. And so, yeah, that's, that's one thing I like to share with my kids is like, just remember, feel into your gut, your gut instinct, you know what's right and do what's right. You know. Do the thing that you know you won't regret tomorrow morning when you wake up . You know, like,
Dai: Lean into that.
Dai: And if you do more of that, it, you know, you can't be misguided. You're you're gonna do great. You'll be okay. And, but again, I, I remember how I was at 20 and if my 40 plus old parent had said that to me, I feel like whatever dad, whatever mom , you know, like so, you know, to whatever, to teach his own. Maybe it's just the, the, the, the wishful thinking of an older man.
Lindsay: Yeah. No, that's so good. And I think it's also an example of how, when we're not addressing what's really going on under the surface, like maybe, you know, you overcame obesity, but then the thing just switched from food to alcohol. So like, until we're really getting vulnerable. And look vulnerable with ourselves even.
Lindsay: And looking at what's going on. Why do I feel like I need to lean on food or alcohol or drugs or like whatever this thing is, like what am I hiding from? What am I afraid of facing within myself you know? I think that's such good advice and just a really important thing to remind ourselves of yeah.
Dai: Yeah, it's, it's tough, right? I mean, it, we all deal with our challenges and the obstacles that we encounter in life differently, right? But sometimes I, I think back to how I navigated some of those challenges, and it wasn't the healthiest of ways, but it was what was role model to me you know. Like if I
Dai: absolutely fair and, and, you know, I'll give myself a little bit of grace is, is I think back to those times, and I remember who my association was, the, the closest relationships that I held at that time, and they were all doing it. All my male friends of that period were doing it.
Dai: Like that was the way we handled things, you know, oh, let's go burn, you know, go party tonight.
Dai: Let's just burn off some steam. You know, like that was just this awesome stress, you know, and whatever, just I mean, it could be any little thing, but it was just like, let's go up and drink. Let's go to the bar, let's, let's go watch usc, let's go play a round of golf, but just so we can hurry up the round and hang out the 19th, you know, and it was just this, this sort of cycle.
Dai: And, but that's what everybody was doing, so I just was following the herd, you know? And that was tough too, right? Because at times you're like, you're just sort of left thinking, huh? I, I don't know of any other ways cuz no other ways are being shown to me. And that can be really hard too, when we find ourselves stuck and, and feeling like nobody around us gets us.
Dai: And, and, you know, we might feel like we wanna make a change, but then we don't have support around us.
Dai: Wanting us to change, you know what I mean? Like we, we voice to some of our closest friends sometimes that we wanna change, even family. It's like, you know, I really wanna make some changes. And, and we go to them and we open up and we expect them to be really supportive.
Dai: And then when they're not, where we're like, oh man, what's going on you know? And we, we feel really alone and at times pissed off, you know. Like, yeah, you should be help. Yeah, you should be supporting me, mom. Like, what's going on? You know, unfortunately for me, my mom was always very supportive, you know?
Dai: My dad was, he was just very logical, you know? Very, very stoic. And he, he always liked to use logic and rationalize things and when, meanwhile, my mom was the opposite. Super emotional, right. And always been chasing life. Be happy and, and I love that too. So I ended up getting a bit of both and which can create some internal conflict at times, but it's all good.
Lindsay: Sounds a whole lot like me and my boyfriend right now.
Dai: Oh, how so? Wait what do you mean?
Lindsay: He's just a very logical and practical person, I would say. Funny thing is, so I used to be an accountant. That's what I did before I quit my job.
Lindsay: He is an accountant and he loves being an accountant.
Lindsay: I hated it, but I think that's just the way his brain is wired is like, logic and numbers and like practical things.
Lindsay: And I'm just like, if it doesn't feel good for me, I, I'm not gonna do it just because it's gonna make me money. And he doesn't understand that, but it's fine. It works. He provides the structure to my illogical business decisions that I make.
Dai: I love it. Well, it sounds like a good, good partnership anyways.
Dai: Nice yin and yang, right?
Lindsay: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. So I know that you kind of structure your work around those five F's, which I mentioned in the beginning, and I'm curious why each of those are important to you and why those are kind of the five key things that you like to focus on.
Dai: Well, I, I think for all of us, we, we like to have a bit of structure, you know, cuz structure gives us, direction.
Dai: But it also gives us clarity and confidence, you know, and that that's a nice thing. And when I say structure, that can be interchanged with the blueprint, a plan, a process.
Dai: You know, have, have some sort of semblance of order, because that gives us confidence, right? Like, it's like, I mean, nowadays, you know, we, we have our phones and they have gps, isn't it?
Dai: So we plug into destination where we get to, it knows where we're at, and it plots the chorus and, and makes recommendations and there's something to that. I mean, if we had to go back to maps again, I, I think we'd have a lot of very confused and lost people you know, like that is one type of technology I think would be awful for us to wear regress back.
Dai: You know, like I remember my parents getting pissed off in the car ride during road trips and my dad and my mom yelling at each other cuz they, the maps out stretched out in the front seat. I, man, I remember that like, and thank goodness we don't have that. I imagine we have a lot more marriages succeeding nowadays as a result of gps.
Dai: But, but that being said, you know that when we have clarity of direction, we can start to build some confidence because we feel sure of our footing and that we are, you know, at least tracking in the right direction. The neat thing is, is as we build that confidence by doing certain things that we've identified, This is probably a good idea to get us a little bit closer.
Dai: That too builds more confidence as well as brings more clarity and, and so we have this sort of clarity to confidence to action. Back to confidence, back to clarity. It's sort of this ebb and flow between those bookends, if you will. And everyone, you know, loves metaphors. I don't, I don't. Or similes, you know, like, and I'm a big fan of metaphors cuz it helps take complicated ideas and simplify things for people that get right away.
Dai: But also to get for themselves more importantly, that, that clarity we need to better understand ourselves and what motivates us, what inspires us, and, and what's gonna get us moving. And keep us moving. And for me, the, the five F's was simply a, a, a way of me identifying some of my key values. Imagine a home. I want people just close your eyes.
Dai: You imagine a home, and this is like going back to kindergarten and drawing a house, right? We'd go square. Triangle , right? On ground. So, but you, this post in lintel design, you got four walls and you've got a roof and a foundation. If you imagine your life and you are the architect of your life or your home of which you're building your life.
Dai: Foundation is key. Whatever you build for your life, if that foundation isn't rock solid, yikes. You know, earthquakes, tornadoes, you know, forest fires. I mean, there's lots of elements that can come in and challenge this life that you're engineering, but if you have a solid foundation, you can weather certain types of pressures, stresses, storms, if you will.
Dai: If we continue along those metaphors. So for me, I've identified my foundation as health. Now I know when I share this analogy or metaphor with people, like they relate to that very well. Once they really grasp it, it's cuz without health, what do we have, right? Like, yeah. When we're feeling sick, all we can think about is feeling good again.
Dai: It's exhausting being sick, you know. And, and to be able to focus on anybody else, let alone ourselves when we're sick is really challenging. So, you know, it doesn't matter if you have certain goals financially, professionally, and you have certain family goals and certain personal ambitions.
Dai: If your health isn't in a good place, it's gonna be really hard to to, to attain those. Really hard. And so health being the foundation, now you've got four walls and a roof. For me, I like alliteration. Using all s helps me remember, it helps me keep this front of mind and, and this concept present. And for me, it's fitness, faith, family, finances.
Dai: Fitness only because if you wanna improve your health and those health markers, the easiest and quickest way to do that is through fitness. Through how you move your body with purpose. It doesn't take a lot, but you gotta be consistent and frequent.
Dai: You know, and I always say to people, minimum 15 minutes of movement with purpose every day, minimum.
Dai: People are like, is that all I I need? And I'm like, it's the least you deserve. Like, yeah, hello. Like, if, if that's all you got, that's great. I'm always gonna ask people a little bit more if they can. But just to get 'em started, 15 minutes a day is good. That's 1% of every 24 hours, 1%.
Dai: You can't tell me you don't got 1% for yourself
Dai: you know? And so that's the fitness piece. And in that would also tie in like nutrition. You know, cause that's that energetic piece that ties [00:37:00] into our health and our wellbeing also influences that health. Now, finances, listen, we live in a global economy and we need to be financially responsible. And why? Because, gosh, finances are a huge, well, it's a huge stress from, for pretty much everyone
Dai: you know. Pretty much everyone. I, I, I say pretty much, cuz I'm sure there's some people, I heard that maybe money doesn't stress 'em out and that's great. But I find that the majority of people, especially the people I tend to connect with, even myself at, at periods of my life, you know, those finances, if they're not in a good place health-wise, it, it creates a lot of undue stress, which can affect the rest of the integrity of that home or life that you're building.
Dai: So that's finances. Then we have faith. Which is your, that, that idea of something greater than ourselves, whatever that may be. For some people it could be a denominational religion.
Dai: Or someone like myself. I, I tend to be more non-denominational, where I look at more of humanity, human beings. A species.
Dai: And, and the greater good that can be created if we all get pointed in the same direction. And ultimately for my own accountability, it's just every day I'm like, what can I do today that's gonna make a positive impact on the world that I live in. So at the end of the year life, when I'm there, I'm bed and I'm like, okay, yeah.
Dai: I would love to check out am I checking out, leaving this place better than was when I got here?
Dai: If I can say yes, I've lived a good life. You know, and, and so there's that intention around the faith piece and then family is, that includes relationships, connections can include community, but really the close relationships and connections we have with that in our lives, those are so critical.
Dai: We are social beings by nature, you know? And if we take at the social aspect, well that's a slippery slope. You know, it doesn't lead us to a great place from a mental health perspective, physical health, emotional health, psychological health, even financial health without that strong connection. So those are those walls.
Dai: And then the roof is fun because if you're not smiling every day, there's room for improvement. Okay? There just is. And, and, and so that is sort of how I use the five F's to help me prioritize my values and make decisions more quickly. Because when you know your values, you know what you can say yes to, and you know what you're gonna say no to.
Dai: There's no more let me think about this. Oh, well, maybe like no, if it doesn't align with the things that are important to me and the things that I'm choosing to prioritize and fill my life with, it's an easy no, you know? And if it does fit in there, that's an easy yes, you know. And, and it's allowed me to be much more effective and, and also connect with people much more authentically because it's no more wasted time.
Dai: It's getting right to the meat of it. You know, trying to find the common connections initially right from the get-go so you can create the bonds right away rather than, you know, sort of pussy footing around it. You know, like I just, yeah. Life is too, Let's, let's all get pointed in the same direction and have some fun with this, right?
Dai: And so, you know, with that all being said, anybody that's out there, just imagine what your home is. Your life that you're developing. You don't have to use the s like I have. Okay? You don't have to. Maybe those resonate with you. Great. If they don't. Well think about your life as a house. You've got a foundation.
Dai: You've got four walls and a roof. Think about the roof and those four walls as your primary values. Get clear on what those are, you know?
Dai: Start to build intentionally. You know, the life that you want. And start doing the things that align with that. And it's not simple. I know people are like, it can't be that easy.
Dai: I'm like, that's it is. You just gotta start acting as if, I mean, Tony Robbins been talking about this for, for, you know, 20, 30 years you know. A lot of people have this whole idea, fake it till you make it. I'm like, yeah, no. I mean, I know that's got a bit of a negative connotation to it. Because, you know, it brings up this idea of a imposter syndrome and everything else, but really it's the idea.
Dai: It's like start acting as if.
Dai: You know, you wanted to be an entrepreneur, you wanted to go out on your own. Lindsay, I'm sure you started doing certain things that would be important for you to do because you are being an entrepreneur. It's not like I'm going to be an entrepreneur. No. I'm gonna start being an entrepreneur.
Dai: Well, what would an entrepreneur start doing right now? Why'd start doing this, this, and this. Start doing those things.
Dai: Build the clarity, build the confidence. Right. Because it also allows us [00:41:00] to procrastinate less when we feel more confident. When we're not feeling confident about what we're doing, we'll do everything but the thing that we should be doing, you know, it's, and it's awesome.
Dai: I mean, when we really start to become that self-aware, it's like, whoa, holy. I have a good way of just getting myself outta stuff all the time.
Lindsay: Yes. Well, I wasn't lying when I said there would be some good nuggets in here for you guys. That was so good. And before we wrap up, I'd love to ask you, Dai, what advice do you have for someone who's feeling stuck in their career but they're scared to make a change, whether that means a new career path or jumping into entrepreneurship?
Dai: Wow. Great question, Lindsay. Well, I, I think a lot of this comes down to that idea that there's a gentleman by the name of Joseph Campbell shared this a long time ago. He, he wrote a book called Power of Myth. People look it up online, you can see lots of interviews with him. He, he passed away, unfortunately back in the eighties, but he's known for his consulting work that he did on the movie Star Wars, where George Lucas, people don't know that story, but he wrote this thing and we've heard it.
Dai: Many entrepreneurs have heard this, especially people in the marketing space, the Hero's Journey. Probably heard the Hero's Journey, and so Joseph Campbell's the one that coined it.
Dai: And when we look at any Hollywood movies, any successful stories or novels, you'll see these different arcs in these stories, and they're very much any one of a number of eight or nine different story arcs, but they're all these little journeys and all of us are on our own journey. And Joseph Campbell uses a question and he says, are you following your bliss?
Dai: And what he meant by that is, are you choosing to live a life that allows you to maximize your experience of happiness, fulfillment, and joy?
Dai: Because at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what you do if you're not feeling fulfilled, happy and joy for the life that you're living. I'm gonna invite you that there's probably some changes that you're ready to start making.
Dai: You're probably thinking, gee, well what are the changes I wanna start making?
Dai: That's okay. You know what? You're gonna have 1,000,001 questions, but you have to get honest with that first one. Am I following my bliss right now? And if the answer is no, then I invite you start to dip your toe in the water of change. And that could start with just one thing. Maybe you're feeling disconnected with your health, meaning that you're not feeling as energized, you're not feeling as focused.
Dai: Not feeling as clear on mission, on purpose. I find that often has to do with energy and attention.
Dai: You know, and, and a lot of people say to me, I just have no energy. I go, well, no, I think you have energy. But I think it's what you, you know, what you're paying attention to with that energy. And if you start to reassess where we're investing our energy, you'll start to see things start to happen.
Dai: So do less of the things that are zapping your energy and not making you feel very good about life. Start applying a bit of attention and energy to the things that you've identified are probably gonna bring you a little bit closer to some of the changes. We're not looking to make 'em all, but just start with one and that's it.
Dai: Because with that one little change, all of a sudden, that whole idea of being impossible or not being possible to make changes, you start to realize how I can change and I can change on my terms. And that is a beautiful thing. You know, when you realize that change is possible because you choose it to be, whew, watch out.
Dai: Because that's when you become unstoppable, really. Like you, you, you do. It's just like, yeah. You become much more in tune with your own natural resiliency. So don't worry, you will get knocked down. You will fall over. You will have mistakes and you will run up against big obstacles, but you know what?
Dai: You're gonna bounce back more quickly every time. Why? Because of that natural resiliency that you're developing. And, and that's all I can say. You know, that's what I wanna leave you all with is just like, embrace your resiliency. Because you all got it. Every single person's got it. I got it. You got Lindsay. Everyone's listening to watching this and you got it.
Dai: Like, just tap into it and it's gonna be okay. It's gonna be okay. You know?
Dai: And with that, you know, just this has been such a pleasure. Thank you for the conversation today, Lindsay. Even though at times I feel like I was standing on a soapbox and preaching, but , you know, my apologies for that. But thank you so much for that.
Lindsay: No, it was, it was so good. Thank you for being here Di. Where can the listeners find you? If they wanna get connected or if you have any resources, feel free to share them as well.
Dai: Well, thanks Lindsay. Well, you know, I'm most active on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Those are my three social platforms.
Dai: I tend to be the most active and consistent on, so I always say, if you wanna have a conversation or just reach out, connect those three platforms. Really easy to find. If you can spell my name, D A I M A N U E L. It's, it's funny, nowadays I recognize my parents were visionaries. You know, this is all before SEO you know, now post Google.
Dai: I'm like, yeah, my parents were visionaries. You know, gimme something dirty, unique, easy to find, and very unencumbered. But regardless, I also have a website with noted articles on it. Now, I, I've been blogging for about 14 years. It's all content geared to help people level up. in all areas of life. And I always say that's a great place to start.
Dai: Lots of free resources. I've got my book there as well and just tons of stuff. And you know, every journey as cliched it, it goes, starts with a single step, right? But what you don't realize is it's actually starts with the choice that we made to take that single step. It all starts from within.
Dai: And that's all I want to say is that if you're on that verge of starting, just take that first action. That's it. That's all you gotta do. That's all you gotta do. Right, right. Lindsay, like, I mean, really it's just that first action, you know? Absolutely. It's wild by doing that one little thing, you just, you, you open up a whole world of change and, and you got it started.
Dai: And I think that's just awesome. It's just awesome.
Lindsay: Well, thank you. And what was that link for your website?
Dai: Oh, just daimanuel.com just my name dot com.
Lindsay: Nice and easy. I'll link all of that in the show notes for you guys. I'll also link the books. I know we mentioned a couple books throughout the conversation, so I'll link those as well.
Lindsay: Dai thank you again for being here, sharing your story, sharing all of your insights. This was such a great conversation and I know people are gonna take a lot away from it. So thank you.
Dai: Thank you, Lindsay. It was a pleasure.