From the archive: This episode was originally recorded and published in 2019. Our interviews on Entrepreneurs On Fire are meant to be evergreen, and we do our best to confirm that all offers and URL’s in these archive episodes are still relevant.
David Wood built the world’s largest coaching business serving huge audiences worldwide. He now coaches high performing leaders to play the best game they possibly can and living a regret-free life.
Discovery Session – Request a FREE discovery session with David!
3 Value Bombs
1) Be more expressive and share your thoughts so you can be more connected and related.
2) You cannot lose by putting attention on connection.
3) If you don’t do the caring in business, health, and relationships, it will break down.
**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.
Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: How to Live a Regret-Free Life with David Wood.
[01:01] – David shares something about himself that most people don’t know.
- Even though David is a successful entrepreneur, he went through an anxiety and depression stage in his life.
[02:03] – Do we tell the truth to one another?
- We want to people to like us – that’s why we tend to show the shiny stuff. It’s not wrong, but that doesn’t lead to the deeper connection or what we really want.
- David is an advocate of identifying the things about ourselves that we’re not embracing, and then sharing more of that with world.
[03:38] – What’s one tactic we can use to be more truthful with one another?
- Notice your inner dialogue; start to notice what’s happening that’s not being named, and just name it.
[05:58] – You say small secrets are big problems… why is that?
- David shares an example of why small secrets are big problems.
- Be more expressive and share your thoughts so you can be more connected and related.
[09:30] – Why is playing it safe the most dangerous thing you can do?
- Because you are risking to have regrets.
[11:57] – A timeout to thank our sponsor!
- HubSpot: Building a business is challenging enough; your tech stack shouldn’t make it harder! Learn how HubSpot can help your business grow better at Hubspot.com.
[14:30] – How important are connections in living a regret-free life?
- David was a transactional guy, which caused him to miss out on how to connect with humans.
- He decided to have a deeper connection with people around him because he wanted to make a difference for other people.
- Let’s see to it that while being super successful in our business, we’re also making time to cultivate deeper connections.
- You cannot lose by putting attention on connection.
[16:51] – You have a model called the Play for Real Model. Where does caring fit into your definition of a regret-free life?
- David created a simple 4-step model that can change your life.
- Real Goals – Write goals that you want to achieve.
- Real Plan – Create a plan/timeframe to achieve the Real Goal.
- Real Action – Work on the important things each day.
- Real Growth – If you’re not growing, then you’re missing out.
[20:41] – Let’s talk about caring…
- If you don’t do the caring in business, health, and relationships, it will break down.
[22:55] – David’s parting piece of guidance
- Put some time and attention towards checking in with yourself: are you on the path that you really want to be on?
- Listen to podcasts, hire a coach, join programs – and continually check in with yourself on whether you’re fully living life so that on your death bed you can say: ‘I gave it everything.’
[23:46] – David’s final call to action.
- Discovery Session – Request a FREE discovery session with David!
[26:37] – Thank you to our Sponsor!
- HubSpot: Building a business is challenging enough; your tech stack shouldn’t make it harder! Learn how HubSpot can help your business grow better at Hubspot.com.
John: Boom, shake the room, Fire Nation. JLD here with an audio master class on how to live a regret-free life. I have brought David Wood to rock the mic, because he has built the world’s largest coaching business serving huge audiences worldwide.
He now coaches high-performing leaders to play the best game they possibly can and live a regret-free life. And some things we’re gonna be talking about today, Fire Nation, is do we actually tell the truth to each other? Why are small secrets big problems? Why playing safe can be the most dangerous thing that we actually do, and a four-step plan to a regret-free life.
Fire Nation, all that and so much more when we get back from thinking our sponsors.
David, say what’s up to Fire Nation, and share something interesting about yourself that most people don’t know.
David: Well, what’s up, Fire Nation, and something a lot of people don’t know about me is they see all this success and they see the shiny stuff, but they don’t realize that I really got to some dark, struggling places. I’ve had anxiety. I’ve had some deep, dark depression in my life. So, don’t just be full by all the shiny good stop and the success. Now that there’s a complete picture as I suspect there is to all of us.
John: Yeah. And this is actually an example I bring up kind of often when this topic comes up, and that’s the Robin Williams fallacy. I mean it’s just like here you have this guy that’s accomplished everything. All the money, all the fame, all the fortune, yet he committed suicide. Fire Nation, you never know what’s underneath. You never know what that person’s life actually is.
So, don’t go through that compare-and-despair fallacy, because it’s just not reality.
As I mentioned in the intro, Fire Nation, we’re going to be talking about how to live a regret-free life. And David, I just want to start right off by asking you this question. Do we actually tell the truth to each other?
David: Not when it really matters I think. And I love the way we started this conversation, because I think that we tend to want to present the shiny stuff to people. We want people to like us, and we want to present the shiny stuff, and there are things about each of us that we don’t really want to let out to the light. And I think that’s sad, because it leads to disconnection, and it leads to us judging ourselves, and then we don’t tell the full truth. And that’s not wrong, it just doesn’t lead to the deep connection that I think we really want.
So, I’m an advocate, I’m an evangelist for firstly identifying of the things about ourselves that we’re not fully embracing or accepting or loving, and then step by step sharing more of that with the world so that it can come to the light of day, and we can actually be seen for everything that we are.
And I’m talking about powerful CEOs and rock stars and everybody. I’m not just talking about people who feel some kind of struggle. I’m talking about everybody. Let’s tell more of the truth, because at the end of the tunnel, there’s that deep connection that I say we’re all really craving.
John: Now what’s a tactic or a strategy that you can maybe share with Fire Nation where we can maybe dip our toe into this process, where we can maybe take the first step in being more truthful with each other?
David: Thank you. I’m a practical guy. So, I love the question. Start to notice your inner dialogue. The mind is always going, and if you can notice something that’s going on for you that you haven't shared with the person you’re in conversation with, so it could be in a board room. It could be hey, I noticed the energy just dipped it seems to me. Does anyone else feel that? You start to name what’s happening. Or hey, I notice I’m not really on fire today. I just want to let you know that I didn't sleep that well. I'm here, I'm ready to go, but if you notice there’s a drop in the energy, that’s what’s going on.
Start to notice what’s happening that’s not being named and just name it, so that you can be more in relationship with whoever you’re communicating with.
John: Now I love that specific example you gave about how I’m just not feeling on fire today, because obviously a) it’s super on brand for Entrepreneurs on Fire, but b) it’s like an actual personal experience that I’ve had where listen, today is my Super Bowl, David. You're one of nine interviews I’m doing for Entrepreneurs on Fire today. I’m doing all of the month’s interviews today.
And why do I do that? Because I know that I can wake up this morning, get myself in state, and be on fire all day today. But I couldn’t wake up nonconsecutive days in a row and ensure that was going to happen, because I’m going to have a down day or at day I don’t feel like super excited are on fire or however you want to say it, but I know I can do that for one day.
So, have a lot of people that are like John, you always have so much energy. You’re always so excited. And I love just being honest with them and truthful and saying that’s not the case. You’re seeing a glimpse of highlight. You’re seeing 45 minutes or 30 minutes or an hour of my day.
And of course I can be on fire for that, but believe me, after that, I go out and I lie on my hammock and I zone out or I read or I go for a walk, right, I'm by myself, and that honestly, Fire Nation, it will free you. Being true will free you.
Now one thing that you say, David, that I do love is that small secrets are big problems. What do you mean by that?
David: Yeah. Well, let’s talk about the cost of not being truthful. Let’s suppose you don’t just name that you’re not having an on day, and the other person feels it, and they walk away from that interaction going eh, you know, I didn’t really enjoyed that, and maybe they then tell someone else, yeah, that guy’s just not really switched on. You shouldn’t create an alliance with them.
John: That can snowball.
David: Yeah. It can snowball. So, I just had someone change a meeting on me. We've got this nonprofit that’s training people in – inmates in prison to be authentic and to tell the truth more, and she just changed the meeting. And I was frustrated, because we’d already had all this back and forth creating the meeting.
Now if I didn't name that, like how often will we just gloss over that frustration and go ah dammit. She’s changing it around. This is pissing me off.
John: So often.
David: What I decided to do was name it, because maybe next week she’ll change a meeting again, thinking it’s no big deal, but here’s me frustrated by it. So, I created a little video, and I said to her look, I want you – you know, you've got a good reason for changing it. I understand. I just want you to know there’s a cost for me to doing it. I want you to know the impact.
So now, I got to be self-expressed with her, I feel more related with her, perhaps she can feel more related with me. If she’s got some – she doesn’t want to hear that, or she’s got frustration with something going on in her life, she can now share with me, and then we can be more connected and more related.
If you don’t do it, those small secrets, those small things, those small frustrations can grow and grow and grow, and I just think at the end of the day if we’re not – we’re missing out on the connection, and we’re missing out on results. I’m not just the touchy-feely guy, right? I am that. I am the touch – you know, like let’s get in touch with their emotions, but there’s a reason for it.
I want you to feel more connected, and I want you to have better results. I want you all to be greater leaders, and that happens when you are more connected and more related.
John: Fire Nation, what’s holding you back from living your truth? Answer: You are holding yourself back from living your truth. You have the power to be honest, to not have secrets to big problems. So, stop holding yourself back from living your truth.
I’ll be honest. People tell me all the time. They’re like John, you’re kinda blunt. Like you kinda just say it like it is. And I love when people say that, because I'm like damn right I say it like it is, because I’m going to be honest with you. And if that, for whatever reason, repels you or pushes you away or whatever that might be, guess what? We probably shouldn’t be hanging out with each other than. Because I’m being honest.
John: And I don’t need to hang out with every single person in this world, and I can’t. So, let me attract the people who I should be attracting, and let me rappel the people I should be rappelling, and for business –
John: – this works so true, David. I love this phrase. Love me or hate me, because there’s no money in the middle. And true to that, like that is a true statement –
John: – but let’s even maybe take it to another level. Like love me or hate me, because there’s no truth in the middle. Like there’s truth in the loving or the hating part of it, but that’s what we need to be, Fire Nation is being ourselves.
And now I want to talk about daring. And this is something that you are really powerful when it comes to sharing how playing safe can actually be the most dangerous thing that we can do as human beings. Expound upon that.
David: My background is in risk management. I used to be a consulting actuary to Fortune 100 companies in New York. And so I think in terms of risk. I think we’re all trying to manage risk in our lives, and we think uh, look, maybe I won't share on this podcast that I've had depression and anxiety, because then people go oh, that guy doesn’t have his together, and I'm not gonna work with him, right? That’s the risk.
Or maybe – I'm a single guy. So, maybe I won’t ask that woman out, because I’ll feel rejection. Or maybe I won’t go and do that speech, because it might not go well, and I’m going to do – people are going to think I’m terrible on stage. Whatever it is, we’re trying to manage those risks, and that’s valid. That’s fine.
But I think so many people are not looking at the other side of that risk. What about the risk that you don’t do it, and that you die regretting it? What about if you don’t go for that new venture or you don’t quit your job and go and get the job doing something you love. Or if you don’t go to the Bahamas and scuba dive, because you’ve wanted to for 20 years. What if you actually die a week from now or six weeks from now or 60 years from now without having done that? How about that risk?
That’s why I think playing safe is one of the most dangerous things you can do, because you’re risking dying with regret, and I don’t want that for anybody.
John: Fire Nation, if that doesn’t really resonate with you, if that doesn’t take you to your core, check your pulse, because that’s the reality. That is the reality of the world that we live in. I mean here today, gone tomorrow. What are you doing that’s true to yourself? Are you living life to the fullest that you want to live it?
And again, everybody’s gonna have a different interpretation of that, a different meaning of that. What is your interpretation of that? And if you think David’s done dropping value bombs, you couldn't be more wrong, Fire Nation, because after we get back from the break, we’re going to talk about the four-step plan to a regret-free life, as soon as we get back from thanking our sponsors.
So David, we’re back, and I first want to start off by talking about how important connections are. How important are connections in living a regret-free life?
David: I love that you ask [inaudible] [00:11:59] connection. You see, my life used to be about being transactional. Getting stuff done. I became an actuary, I became super successful at that, and I like results. Like let’s have success. But what I was missing was the relational piece. I didn’t learn as an Australian guy growing up how to really connect with humans.
I was able to get stuff done with them, but my heart wasn’t open. I didn’t know how to cry. I actually had some trauma in my life. When I was seven years old, I watched my little sister die in a traffic accident. And hopefully not everybody’s at something like that in their life, but I think all of us have had something which limited our growth and our connection at some point in our lives.
And then I discovered oh wait a minute, there’s a whole other world out here of actually being vulnerable with people, of sharing my heart, of being passionate and caring about other people, and I've decided particularly in the last couple years that yes we want results, yes we want success, but I know that each one of us wants deep connection. How do I know that? Just look at the movies that inspire us.
Look at the most popular movies. They’re all about deep connection. At the end of the day, when you are lying on your deathbed, sure, you’re gonna – might think boy I wish I was more successful, but I think what you’re really going to be facing is did I really connect with the people in my life? Did I share how much I love them and how much I care about them, and did I make a difference for other people?
So, let’s not lose sight of the fact that while we’re being super successful in our businesses, let’s also make time to ensure that we’re cultivating deeper connection. And the beauty of this whole thing is not only are you going to feel more satisfied and gratified in your life, but your business is going to do better. So, you cannot lose by putting attention on connection.
John: So David, you have a model that you call the Play for Real Model. Where does that fit in? And where does caring fit in for a regret-free life?
David: I'd call them two separate questions. The first one is model. It’s not sexy, right, and it’s not complicated, and it’s not rocket science. It’s just something simple that can change your life.
So, it’s a four-step model. Real goals, real plan, real action, and then real growth.
Now do you actually have written-down goals lets say for a 12-month timeframe that would put a huge smile on your face when you’ve achieved them? That’s real goals. A lot of people just simply don’t have that.
If you have the real goals, have you actually created a plan of what needs to happen between now and that timeframe for you to achieve that, and this is so rare that people do this, have you chunked it down into what has to happen each month and what has to happen each week for you to get there? It’s not rocket science. It’s just how things manifest in time and space.
The third thing is real action. Even if people have the goals and they have the plan, when they sit down each day to start work, are you working on the two most important things that have to get done that day, and are you focused or are you distracted by Facebook, text messages, email, people walking into your office.
Are you actually leading yourself, or are you being led by your circumstances? That is so rare for humans to have focused attention on getting stuff done.
And then the fourth one is real growth. It’s great to be producing the results and the success, but if you’re not growing, if you’re not practicing what we’ve talked about with truth, daring, and we’re about to talk about caring, then I think you’re missing out. You might have some short-term results, but you’re not going to have that connection that we talked about.
So, that’s the four-step plan of real goals, real plan, real action, and real growth..
John: And let’s go through this real quickly before we move onto the next part. And Fire Nation, think about these four steps. Real goals. Do you have a goal that in 12 months if you accomplish that goal, if actually can say yes, I did this, it’s going to put a big, fat smile on your face? If the answer is yes, then awesome. Pat yourself on the back.
If the answer is no, well what’s holding you back? What are you waiting for? Set this goal, Fire Nation that’s going to put a big, fat smile on your face.
And then step two, which is the real plan, it’s not rocket science. It’s how things manifest in time and space, Fire Nation. Having an actual plan of action and then executing. And that leads into the real action part.
Are you working on the two most important things every day that’s moving you towards that actual goal? Are you leading yourself, or are you being led by circumstances? And so many people, Fire Nation, wake up in the morning, turn on the phone, go into reactive mode, and they are led by circumstances for the entire day.
Then they go to bed being like huh, I was so busy today. Yeah you were. You were very busy I’m sure, and I’m sure you were “productive,” but guess what? You’re producing the wrong stuff.
And then the last part is real growth. Are you having real growth? Are you investing in real growth? And by the way, anybody listening to this podcast right now, you’re investing your time in real growth. So, congratulations.
Now let’s move into caring, David. Talk about that.
David: I don’t think caring is a sexy topic. And I resisted it for a long time, because I like I went and paraglided the Himalayas solo.
David: And I'm not afraid of heights. I'm afraid of abandonment. So, I explored open relationship and being in polyamorous relationships. I tend to be like the spiritual warrior, and I thought I can do anything, and I have no limitations.
And then I found out that that’s not true. I discovered a bit of humility. I discovered that if I don’t take care my body, if I go and do things that are too far beyond the limits, then my body will whack me. Like I can – that’s when I went into deep depression and anxiety. My body just said no. That’s not good for you. You cannot date someone who’s dating someone else. It just doesn’t work for your makeup, David.
And I said no. That’s not true. I’m a spiritual warrior. So, if you’re – let’s say you’re a CEO or you’re running your own business, and you decide that you don’t have to take care of exercise. You don’t have to take care of your nutrition. I’m saying at some point your body will whack you, and so it’s counterproductive.
If you’re not taking care of your relationships, say you’re married or you've got a partner, and you’re not nurturing that relationship, you’re not putting some attention on your partner, then at some point, the relationship may disintegrate, and is going to cost you.
Same in your business. What about the relationships with your customers? Are you nurturing those. Are you putting attention on your staff and having them feel great.
How about your vendor relationships? How about your boss? It doesn’t seem very sexy, but if you don’t do the caring, then the systems in your life, including relationships, can break down, and it will be way more expensive than if you just put some attention on making sure they’re taking care of. And that includes you.
John: Fire Nation, David has just walked you through and entire master class on how to live a regret-free life. I hope he’s kind of shaken you to the core a little bit on some things that you’re just letting slide in your life that’s needed to stop and end now.
And David, before we go, just take a minute. Share what you really want to make sure Fire Nation gets overall from our chat today, and then of course, I know you have a really, really generous and special gift for our listeners, so we’ll get to that part next.
David: Thank you. I think we’re all animals. And it’s easy to get into patterns and habits. And what I really want for you, for me, for everybody else is that we have some time and attention on checking if that’s the pattern that we really want.
So, listen to podcasts like this. Thank you. Get yourself a coach. Go into a program that puts you on your edge and gets you out of your comfort zone just so that you’re continually checking and I'm fully living life? So that on my deathbed, I can say I gave it everything.
That’s what I want for you. And here’s my offer. If something on this call resonated with you, and you feel like a coaching session with me could have a big impact on your life, then I invite you to request a session. I don’t charge for the discovery sessions. One, because I love doing them, and two, because it’s how I find the right clients to work with long-term.
So, if you’re interested in taking advantage of that, I can’t say yes to everybody, but I can say yes to a lot of people. Go to PlayForReal.life, that L-I-F-E. PlayForReal.life, click on request a session, and there’s a great discovery process called The Life Assessment, it takes about 5 to 10 minutes, that you’ll get a lot of value from even before you book a session on my calendar. So, that’s the offer today.
John: Fire Nation, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, and you’ve been hanging out with DW and JLD today. So, keep up the heat. And Fire Nation, this is such a generous offer from David. I mean a free discovery session. He’s going to give you his time to have a no-strings-attached conversation where he’s going to help you. He’s going to listen to you. He’s going to hear you.
And yeah, it might make sense for some of you down the line to work with him on a more intimate level. That’s just going to be the case. And that’s going to be a great opportunity for some people, but this is a free discovery session with David. He can’t serve everybody, so take action when you’re hearing my voice, because the people that come to him first are going to have a much higher likelihood of getting that yes.
And you can visit PlayForReal.life, and then click on Request a Session. That’s the correct URL, right David?
David: Yep. That’s right.
John: PlayForReal.life, Fire Nation. Take action. Start that today. And David, I just want to say thank you, brother, for sharing your truth, your fire with Fire Nation and for that, we salute you, and we’ll catch you on the flip side.
David: Thanks man. I really enjoyed it. And I just love you and how you speak. It’s like a man after my own heart. [Crosstalk] [00:23:09].
John: I love it. Take care, brother.
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