So much of what Nick and I do is very similar: we’re both helping entrepreneurs work to the best of their potential through a focus on health and mindset. Nick’s approach is all about learning the skills, techniques and ways of thinking employed by great athletes, and applying them to the life of an entrepreneur.
I’m excited to say we’ve recorded an episode of Nick’s podcast Elemental Health, where I’ll be in the grilling seat, sharing my thoughts from the coach perspective, sharing what I see as I work with lots of health and wellness entrepreneurs.
But for today it’s Nick in the hot-seat, answering the questions and sharing the big changes he’s been through on the path to setting up his own wellness business.
Who are you, what is your business and what job title do you have?
Hello my name is Nick Quinton and my business is Elemental Health. We are a coaching brand helping entrepreneurs and turning them into athletes. My job title is simply… ‘coach’!
What were you told about work growing up? What career advice were you given?
What jobs were recommended to you / what job did you do before you started this business?
I think when I was growing up, now I reflect on it I was in quite a poverty mindset. I was always told you had to work hard and that money doesn’t grow on trees. I was brought up to believe you had to follow the standard route in order to be successful.
That mindset is probably something that’s quite familiar to a lot of people. And personally for me, it led to a sort of desperation, because I didn’t feel bright or successful academically. That meant the path was undefined and I didn’t think I was doing the right things that it took to ‘succeed.‘
That clouded thinking hung around all through my 20s. I was basically wandering and meandering around what to do as a career. Really when I think about it, that mindset was a massive amount of limiting beliefs around my academic abilities and that held me back for years.
How has your mindset changed around work since then?
The work I’ve done on my mindset since then has been totally transformative. I’ve evolved to become an individual and realised that the only limitations in terms of work, vocation and success are the stories I am telling myself. That’s a quote from Tony Robbins, and it really rings true!
I am the only person that limits myself.
If I can change that narrative, I can do whatever I want. I no longer think there is a structure I need to conform to in terms of what hours I should be working or what income I am capable of generating.
How do you prioritise your own health as a busy entrepreneur?
Looking after my own health is something I struggled with originally. It might sound obvious but we all know the only way you can prioritise something is the make it a priority! So now I block out the first part of my day – usually the first hour – and dedicate it to myself. I give myself that time to stretch, move, do a work-out and set myself up for a day.
In terms of a routine, it works backwards. if I need to be with a client at 7am then I’ll be getting up at 5am to fit this in. It has to happen first thing for me and it has to be a priority. Otherwise I won’t be showing up for my client in my best state. I also won’t be congruent with the messages I’m putting out – I want to be an example of what my clients can do.
How is your relationship with food? How does food feature in your life and what does it mean to you?
My relationship with food has changed massively. That started with a long rugby career where I pumped the wrong type of calories into my body and I didn’t even realise it. And carried over into my time in the military where we just thought volume was the answer.
Now I’m much more focused on what to eat and when. I try to be honest with myself about what I’m eating and reflective about what I consume. Generally, I try to eat in a fairly disciplined way for 3-4 days and then I’m more relaxed and less focused on my food for the rest of the week.
I definitely have a more relaxed approach to food now than I have in the last few years. I was previously focused on calorie counting but now that isn’t part of the way I eat.
I try to have a mindset of eating for longevity. That’s what is always in the background now, instead of the calorie counting. I try not to live in an emotional state where I’m just reacting to food. Instead its about forethought and trying to use tools or barriers to separate emotion and food intake.
What is your favourite meal, something you would recommend others learn to cook or prepare?
A few years ago this would have been a very different answer! But right now I’m 80-90% plant based. So I would say a paleo vegan lasagne. I know it sounds extreme! But it’s simple to make, includes basic whole foods ingredients and it tastes really good. I make it pretty much every week.
I recommend everyone tries it. It might sound extreme with a name like that, but if you learn to make it regularly, it’s cooking something at home that is nutritious and healthy and you can repeat over and over until it becomes easy.
The voice in your head - we’ve all got one! What negative thing does it say to you most often and how do you deal with it?
Mine is definitely the imposter voice! It’s always sowing doubts and insecurities and telling me that I’m not experienced or qualified or knowledgeable enough to do what I want to do.
It’s a constant battle. The voice is always there. For me I have to reinforce the successes I have had in my life. And personally it’s about being fit and strong because I am a living breathing message of what I teach.
I’m not sure where the quote is from but there’s something about ‘the messenger is more important than the message’ in some instances. I try and think about it that way. That I want to be an example, I don’t necessarily have to know everything.
I also try to draw on my experience. I find it helpful to say out-loud all the things I have done and the years of experience I have if I were to ever be questioned. It’s a way of vocalising to overcome the insecurities which is really powerful and tactical.
Success – what does it mean to you? What is your version of success?
For me it’s about finding peace, if I can use that word. I think everyone’s on a windy path, and there is so much noise going on around us. Combine those two things – the windy path and the constant noise, and people find it hard to articulate what they’re looking for.
Success for me is peace and contentment in what I do on a daily basis. If you’re not happy on a daily basis then it doesn’t matter if you’re a billionaire or on the streets, or even if you’re super healthy, you’re not able to feel successful unless there is peace there.
Self-care. What does it mean to you and what self-care practises do you have to look after yourself as a busy entrepreneur?
The easiest way to answer that is I need to understand my weaknesses and insecurities and have a daily or weekly ritual where I’m addressing those things.
Self-care for me is looking in the mirror and being accountable to the bits that you don’t like about yourself. It’s about being prepared to go to those dark places and to find additional resources to help you move forward. It’s about understanding yourself and how to make better decisions.
Self-care is reaching out to the voices we don’t like, acknowledging them and understanding how they show us our weaknesses.
For example I force myself to do yoga and trust me, it’s hard! I’m not flexible! I watch people who are yogis, who move naturally and organically and I’m not there. But I also know if I put those yogis into different situations that they weren’t comfortable with, they would shrink. It’s all about stepping out of comfort zone.
What one book, video or podcast would you recommend to entrepreneurs?
Well obviously if I was to recommend a podcast it would be my own! [you can listen to Nick’s podcast Elemental Health here]
For other podcast recommendations it really depends on your character. My favourite one is the Rich Roll podcast– the quality of the guests and the level he goes into is phenomenal. It gives a really good look at health and the world.
I’ve read so many good books in the last few years. The book I read a bit from daily is the Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching (The Book of the Way).
I also love David Goggins. His story is phenomenal – the pain and torture he’s been through in his life. He intertwines the lessons he’s learned through his book. It’s so valuable if you want to suffer less.
Whatever is holding you back is just absolute noise when you compare it to what Goggins has been through. It’s inspiring to hear those stories from him and people like him. It really enforces what you’re doing.
What one tip, quote or resource would you share with other entrepreneurs to help them on their journey?
For me it’s the importance of building a morning routine that serves you.
That first 30-60 minutes of your day needs to be scripted and needs to be congruent to the way you want to be in the world.
If you can nail that down most days, then you’re going to be in good stead moving forward.
A routine takes the decision making out of what to do and it will become a habit that will serve you.
Find out more about Nick on his website www.nickquinton.com
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