Peter Radcliffe is the Founder of Skillful Mind and merges personal transformation and coaching with the ancient disciplines of meditation and yoga. Having completed several long solitary retreats he knows the importance of a still mind as the basis for the busy life as an entrepreneur.
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John Lee Dumas: Fire Nation, the countdown has commenced. John Lee Dumas here and I am fired up to bring you our featured guest today, Peter Radcliffe.
Peter, are you prepared to ignite?
Peter Radcliffe: Oh yeah. Put the fire department on alert.
John Lee Dumas: Yes. Peter is the founder of Skillful Mind; it merges personal transformation and coaching with the ancient disciplines of meditation and yoga. Having completed several long solitary retreats, he knows the importance of a still mind as the basis for the busy life as an entrepreneur.
Peter, give Fire Nation just a little insight, so share more about you personally, [inaudible] [00:00:41]
Peter Radcliffe: All right. Thanks, John. And first of all I want to say thank you very much, I’m honored to be a guest. I love your show –
John Lee Dumas: Yeah.
Peter Radcliffe: – and I’m glad to be part of the team.
Yes, a little bit about me. I’m married with three little kids, I live in beautiful Australia and I live down here next to a surf beach, which I enjoy, and I know you do too out there in San Diego.
John Lee Dumas: Yeah.
Peter Radcliffe: I was an engineer for 20 years; I worked all around the world. And at a ripe old age of 40 I decided to become an entrepreneur, so that probably puts me in among some of the late starters that you occasionally interview on your show.
John Lee Dumas: Give or take. But you know, it’s never too late to start, Peter.
Peter Radcliffe: That’s right. And I probably am an example of that.
But yeah, so I run two businesses. The first is I run yoga and meditation retreats. I’ve been fascinated in meditation for a long, long time. I remember even as a young boy I was just fascinated by the Eastern traditions and some of these yogis that can levitate and all of that; those stories, you know that you hear.
And I also found myself wondering – you know, in the world of course as a young person you want to be rich and famous and all of that, but then you hear stories of rich people, you know get on drugs and are depressed. And famous people that have, you know lives, and problems in their lives.
And there just seems to be no correlation between, you know rich people who are happy, and then there are rich people who are sad. And there are poor people that are happy and poor people – and there’s sort of this [inaudible] [00:02:21] correlation by what we normally chase and – you know, happiness and success in life. So, I was always fascinated by that.
And then I had the chance as an engineer actually to work in Asia. I worked in Southeast Asia for a long time and I got to know the people over there. And I guess their religions, whether it’s Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, whatever – really fascinated me, so I learned to meditate. And as you introduced, I spent long times doing meditation and [inaudible] [00:02:54] meditation [inaudible], you know. And yeah, I was fascinated by that.
So I started teaching – I’ve actually been teaching meditation for 20 years, you know, just in community classes. But like four or five years ago I decided to really shift gear. Engineering had been good to me, but I’d had enough I really wanted to do what I was passionate about. So I started out these meditation retreats. And at the same time I did a training in an area called Neuro-Linguistic Programming. And I think from what I saw, you had done that course as well, John. Is that right?
John Lee Dumas: I have read a lot of books on NLP, but I’ve never done that course.
Peter Radcliffe: I’m guessing that a lot of listeners will know what I’m talking about, but there’ll be a whole bunch which also don’t know. So just as a real quick explanation, it’s just a series of really practical techniques that you can use for communication skills or in communicating with other people, and also for personal mastery. And I think if you want a further example, then everyone knows Tony Robbins, right?
John Lee Dumas: Yes.
Peter Radcliffe: So like about 70 percent of what he does is NLP, and he learned from one of the founders of NLP. So what I found is that NLP is very quick, like you know, with meditation you’ve got to sit for years and years in a cave somewhere in the Himalayas, you know. I’m being sarcastic here, but you know, it sort of is slow, whereas NLP is quite fast. And I find the two works really well together.
So my second business – I’m an NLP trainer and I really like that as well.
John Lee Dumas: Very cool. Well I love how those two do work together, you know I’m a big believer in both NLP and meditation and everything in between. You know, really just taking time to be present, to be in the moment. And that’s kind of what I really want to talk about today, Peter, as we get further along in your journey. Because you know that’s what we’re doing as entrepreneurs all the time.
We’re running a hundred miles an hour in a hundred different directions. And you know, before we know it, you know, it’s just like we feel like the weight of the world is on top of us, and how can we stop that. And you know, there are some things that again, you and I are going to be able to chat about later that can really help you, Fire Nation, so stayed tuned.
But Peter, we always start, not with the awesome stuff, but with the tough stuff, with the challenges and struggles because we need to be transparent here. It’s not all rainbows and roses, baby. Like there are some bad points in everybody’s entrepreneurial journey. So take us to your worse moments that you would consider, Peter, in your entrepreneurial journey. Tell us that story.
Peter Radcliffe: There’s up and downs and I always go by the adage, you know there is no failure, there’s only feedback.
John Lee Dumas: Yes.
Peter Radcliffe: And one example of that, you know a few years ago – so, when I started on the entrepreneurial journey it was actually after my first training, about 2009. And I was really motivated because, you know, NLP is very motivating. And I decided I’m going to quit engineering and I’m just going to go out there. And I knew I wanted to do something, but I didn’t exactly know what I wanted to do.
I had these skills. I was pretty good at meditating, I’d learned, you know, how to communicate well and how, you know – some of the basics of personal mastery and that sort of thing. So I set myself up as a life coach. And I did a whole lot of marketing stuff there – nothing. So then I decided, right, well I want to produce some online content and I spent ages putting together audios. At that time it was really just audios and programs together and written programs together and I put them online.
Long story short; nothing really. So I researched and realized, you know you need to be right up on social media. So I did a whole lot of research, and you know, I’m not really a social media – you know, I don’t gravitate totally towards that. I don’t mind it, but I’m not like on Facebook 24/7 sort of thing. So I realized that wasn’t for me.
So then I decided, you know, I was going to go and I did some stuff on corporate work. And that worked a little bit so I had some contacts in the corporate – I did have skills on – communication skills, receptionist, that sort of thing.
But by this time I’d spent the better part of a year trying to get my business off the ground and just nothing was working. And I literally after about a year, the money was running out and with my tail between my legs I actually had to go back to the engineering companies that I knew in LA where I live to look for at least part time employment just to cover the expenses. And so, you know, that was a really humbling experience.
Not a good point, but wow – I learned a couple of good things. And there are two things I really learned out of that. First of all, I had no clarity – you know, I had no clarity in my – what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to do something, but I had no idea what that was. And that was really missing. So I’d just try something for a little bit, and I wouldn’t push hard enough, I just let it fall and try something else and then try something else.
And I think when you have a passion, when you’ve got something that you really want to achieve in life; you’re willing to push past everybody else. Whereas I wasn’t ready at that stage because I didn’t really know what I wanted.
And the second thing, which sort of is out of NLP is they say if you want to do something good, find out who’s doing it well out there in the world and copy them – model them. Okay? Look how they do it and copy them. And so those two things are what I did the next time out.
So, just to cut a long story short, I worked for about a year, I got retrenched, and then I decided well, I’m going to have another crack at this, and the second time I did it so much better. I did – I modeled someone here in Australia that was doing really well; I had really fine-tuned what I wanted to do in the world.
John Lee Dumas: Clarity, Fire Nation, you know, it’s a beautiful word, but it’s so hard to achieve. And something that I really want to pull up here that you are talking about here is you were trying to resonate with everything and resonate with everybody on a very shallow level. And when you do that, you resonate with nobody and nothing, Fire Nation. Like when are you going to go one inch wide and one mile deep on something to just become the master.
And there’s a quote, Peter, that I just really love that to me sums all of this up when you’re first starting and you are making those mistakes. Every master was once a disaster. So no worries. Don’t worry that you’re stumbling at the beginning.
And you might have cringed a little bit when you heard Peter saying that, you know, he was looking for people to copy, but that’s the reality, Fire Nation. We are all standing on the shoulders of giants. So look around, see who’s out there doing great things, doing things that you want to be doing is where you want to be, and then model them. And you know, you’ll start to get some traction there and see if this is something you want to do. And as you’re doing that, you are also simultaneously establishing your voice, establishing your USP, that unique selling proposition.
And Peter, I want to shift now, and I want you to talk about another story in your journey, another moment. This moment’s going to be your ah-ha moment, your epiphany moment. And you’ve had a bunch of them; I know that – that’s cool. But what’s one that you can share with us right now?
Peter Radcliffe: You know absolutely, I agree with that. And it is about finding that epiphany. And I’ve got to say just on that last point that you know, it’s okay to flounder sometimes because that’s the nature of it. People do spend some time, you know, in the media so to speak until they kind of find their voice and that’s why it’s so good to reach out to mentors and to try that.
But this next ah-ha moment really was that as well. It’s kind of where I find that, you know USP as they say. And what happened for me was some years ago originally I started doing the meditation retreats on the same website as the NLP training, and it was causing some confusion.
So I set up a separate business which was just for the NLP side of things. And I remember I was working with a web developer and we were putting together a website and to sort of take – went around there looking at other people’s websites to say, you know, what’s cool out there now, what could we use, what would work for us. And I was also remembering I was writing a bio for myself because I think that if you’re going to learn NLP it’s important to really find a trainer that you connect with. Because if you connect well on an energetic level, you learn so much better.
But anyway, I wanted to write this, and I wanted to get away from this kind of meditation yoga because I felt it was, you know, a little bit too hippy and a bit too sort of out there, and I wanted to appeal a little bit more to sort of corporate type styles. So I was rewriting my bio and I was [inaudible] [00:12:16] over it with a web developer at the time. And he got really interested in my love of retreats, and he was kind of fascinated by that.
And he goes, you know, Peter, I don’t understand you. That’s amazing that the one thing that is so unique about you is there’s all these trainings out there, you know, or even the founders and, you know Tony Robbins and all that, that can empower your life, but no one has spent like literally months looking in and optimizing from the inside their own mind. None of them spent, you know, months in retreat so to speak. And that is such a powerful thing. And you know, for some people they’d rather go to you than even some of the big names.
And I sort of – it really hit me like a ton of bricks, and I said you know, that’s right. I shouldn’t be, you know, shying away from that; that should be something I’m putting forth because it will – sure, it might – there might be people who say no, he’s not for me. But it will really resonate with that certain segment of people which is right for me. And then from there I just had, you know, epiphany after epiphany that this is where – not only what I’m good at, but where I want to be.
Because for me it has been that combination of the meditation on the one side, and the very logical – I’m an engineer at the end after all, and I like that logical view of things and I know people are very much used to that. And that combination of the two has been what’s really empowered me in my life and given me those gains. And I just think it’s really suitable for a lot of Western people – a lot of corporate people; that combination of the two. So yeah, that was my big ah-ha moment and it’s still resonating today.
John Lee Dumas: Peter, let me ask you this – our listeners are entrepreneurs, they’re wantrepreneurs, they’re sidepreneurs, they’re amazing people that are either established or starting to get so, or are thinking about taking that leap; what message do you want them to take away from that ah-ha moment – that epiphany that you had?
Peter Radcliffe: Reaching out and going inside. So the two places where I get the biggest insights and epiphanies are one, in my meditation. Sometimes with meditation you’re not supposed to be thinking about the world, but at the same time when you reach that place of calm, you know, you’re connecting to a deeper part of yourself. And sometimes in those moments some of the most creative ideas can just bubble up out of nowhere.
And then the second one is, you know, talking to people and asking people. I’ve heard other people on your show say things like, you know, ask people – other people what your super power is. And I kind of really like that.
John Lee Dumas: Yeah.
Peter Radcliffe: You know, and so asking other people, what do you think I’m good at, what do you think works. And then those two combined, sort of going inside and listening to your deepest part of yourself, and then being open and connected with just everyone, but in particular mentors that you feel that you want to grow towards to be more like them. You know, reach out to those type of people and connect with those. And that too really is invaluable advice – just those two alone.
John Lee Dumas: So Peter, I’m throwing down the challenge flag to you right now, my friend, because we have a lot of stuff that I want to cover and I want you to be really concise as we move forward here. And the first question that I want – and these next five, we’re going to do them in 30 seconds or less, and fore warning, I will cut you off, my friend. What do the first 60 minutes of your day look like?
Peter Radcliffe: All right, so look, it’s changed because I’ve got three young kids, so I’ve got three kids jumping into bed on me, I get up and it’s all about them, them, them, them, them.
Now, previous to kids I used to get up – sometimes I actually had a routine where I would get up really early like about 4:00 and do a meditation for 45 minutes up to an hour, and then after that I’d go back to bed for an hour or so. And then I’d get up and have breakfast, and you know just the normal things that everyone does. That’s sort of been put on hold at the moment because of my family situation, but it’s something that I really want to go back to.
John Lee Dumas: What is your biggest strength as an entrepreneur?
Peter Radcliffe: In the talk I actually apologized for being too engineer like and explaining too dry and boring. And one of the people came up to me and he said don’t you ever, Peter Radcliffe, apologize for being clear and concise and engineering-like in your explanation of meditation because it is the best quality you have.
John Lee Dumas: What is your biggest weakness as an entrepreneur?
Peter Radcliffe: My biggest weakness is getting sidetracked, you know, by those distractions. I sometimes have people I really admire and they suggest to pull you in a certain direction and I do get pulled in that direction, and then after a while I suddenly [inaudible] [00:17:47] and say, hey, I’m starting to get off track to my purpose. That would be my biggest weakness.
John Lee Dumas: What is a habit that you wish that you had?
Peter Radcliffe: This is a habit that I’ve partially got, but I really wish I had it more, is whenever I meet someone, to initially meet them in a stillness and openness, to be just a hundred percent open to what they have to say. Because sometimes you miss that by having your own agenda.
John Lee Dumas: We’re always having our own agendas it seems, and you know, we’re always interpreting things coming from us, and I love that. Just being open – really just being open to taking in what’s coming at you from the outside. I really like that.
And, Peter, you have a lot of things that obviously have you fired up right now, but what is the one thing that has you most fired up?
Peter Radcliffe: All right. So the one thing that’s fired me up now is this combination. So after spending a couple years and doing meditation retreats and then the NLP trainings, again, rolling on from this epiphany I had it’s like how can I combine these together? Because that’s worked for me.
So, earlier this year I took a retreat in Bali where I brought together meditation, yoga, and personal development all together in the one retreat. And man, was it just – you know, talk about on fire, people just had huge shifts in their lives. And they look back and, you know I’ve sort of put it here, if you want a point where your life will change, then this is it. And it just went so well that I really want to, you know push that forward, the combination of both looking after you – the spiritual side of you, and then looking at the transition to also success in life.
You know, I’ve got a little quote – it’s a quote which I’m sure you’ve heard before, but I’ve plagiarized it and I’ve changed it around a little bit. And the quote is – I’m sure you’ve heard of this – it’s be significant and success will surely follow.
John Lee Dumas: I have definitely heard many variations of that, but I’m glad that you’ve really crafted that to be you, Peter Radcliffe. And Peter, I’m not going to let you go yet. We still have some greatness coming up in the lightning round, but before we get there, let’s take a minute to thank our sponsors.
Peter, welcome to the lightning round where you get to share incredible resources in mind-blowing answers. Sound like a plan?
Peter Radcliffe: Sure does.
John Lee Dumas: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Peter Radcliffe: So, this is a good question because I didn’t become an entrepreneur until way [inaudible] [00:20:36], and the answer is that I spent a long time traveling around the world, and so I just really didn’t think about being an entrepreneur. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing, like I enjoyed traveling and going off to, you know, monasteries and things like that. And working as an engineer really helped me.
And it wasn’t until I settled down and something happened to me, John, what’s called a baby. This little girl. But I knew that I was going to be staying in Australia for a long time, and so it was at that point that I [inaudible] [00:21:11] and decided to become an engineer. I had so much going on.
John Lee Dumas: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Peter Radcliffe: This is something that I started to do this one day – something that worked for me is if you need to write some emotional correspondence, like you’ve got an email, is I never send that off straight away.
One of my great mentors when I was very young said, you know, if you’ve got an emotional email, sleep on it and reread it the next morning and it’s surprising that in the moment – and in this day and age with Facebook and social media, people are so quick to just blast and fry people and things like that. And you feel so embarrassed the day later when you realize what you’ve written. So that’s my biggest advice.
John Lee Dumas: Peter, share one of your personal habits that you believe contribute to your success.
Peter Radcliffe: I think it has to be meditation where like it just is – you know, obviously it for me – I do it daily and – you know, there’s nothing more to say. It’s meditation every day.
John Lee Dumas: Do you have an internet resource like Evernote that you can share with your listeners?
Peter Radcliffe: So I’ve got a lot of resources, but most of them have already been taken by pre-past guests and an Entrepreneurial Bible. One which I hadn’t heard of which I use quite a lot is a resource called YouCanBook.me. And I’ve got a free account – start up account. And if you take bookings, consulting sessions, it works really well with Google Calendar and [inaudible] [00:22:47] to use and it’s great for, you know people booking you – [inaudible] booking for coaching sessions or other whatever.
John Lee Dumas: Very cool, yeah. I’m all about the scheduling software. And Peter, if you’d recommend just one book for our listeners, what would it be and why?
Peter Radcliffe: All right. So I’m going to be a bit different here, and I’m going to recommend a book which is 1,200 years old. So it was written by Santideva [inaudible] [00:23:14] Century, and it is a spiritual book. It’s called The Boddhisattva Way of Life. So it is a sort of a Buddhist book, but it’s a thousand really verses, and each verse can be like a little quote or a little saying. And you know, so many of those, which I’ve taken forward and they’ve had a profound effect in my life. I just love it; it’s a great book.
John Lee Dumas: Well, Fire Nation, I know that you have audio, so I have teamed up with Audible, and if you haven’t already, you can get an amazing audio book for free at EOFirebook.com.
And Peter, this next question’s the last of the lightning round, but it’s a doozy. Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand new world, identical to earth, but you knew no one. You still have all the experience and knowledge you currently have, you have food and shelter taken care of, but all you have is a laptop and $500, what would you do in the next seven days?
Peter Radcliffe: Okay, John, yeah, I like this one. And when I first heard this one, there were a few words that jumped out at me; I knew no one and food and shelter taken care of. And I thought man, that would be so cool for just for the moment. And I thought if I did that, the first thing I would do because it’s something I’ve wanted to do since I did my previous retreat is the tradition of Tibetan retreat is actually three years, and I’d love to be able to take the time off to do a three-year retreat.
But I know that doesn’t answer your question, so [inaudible] [00:24:45] come out of retreat and it’s, you know, day one, here’s what I would do. Day one, I would identify my passion. It is so important to have a passion because if you’ve got passion, you’ve got enthusiasm; you seem to just attract like-minded people, so I’d work on that on day one.
Day two, I would identify my strengths. And this is when you go out and try to ask as many people – and I know you don’t know anybody, but try to find out what other people find are your strengths. Because sometimes other people can tell you your strengths better than you know yourself.
So then day three I would identify what people are asking for in this new world and try to connect it to one and two. So if you can find a need that is out there that is in line with both your passion and your strength, then that is your golden – your center, and you can go with that.
So then day four, I realize that, you know finding your passion and finding your strength is actually an amazing thing to do, and I believe that it’s indispensible to have mentors. So, on day four I would find a mentor. I would start spending some of that $500 and I would find myself someone who I looked up to who could help me solidify my passion and my strengths and what people are asking for.
Day five, I’d start producing content. Content, content, content, and start getting it out there so people have got something that they can start to, you know, indulge in and get to know you through your content.
And then day six I would help somebody. We’ve talked about, you know, being a – you know, apprentice to people, but anyway, go out there for free and start helping people hopefully in alignment with your passion. And that would, you know they call it pay it forward, right? That will return in spades. And day seven is digressed, right? So I’d meditate.
John Lee Dumas: So you meditate, and you’re going to end that week, Peter, on fire. And let’s end this interview on fire with you sharing one party piece of guidance, the best way that we can connect with you, then we’ll say good-bye.
Peter Radcliffe: All right, John. Thanks very much. And my piece of guidance is to reach out. People love helping people. And so don’t be afraid to, you know ask for help. And in terms of connecting me, there’s three ways. First one, I’d love to see you on one of my retreats, so I’m doing retreats pretty much every month here in Australia, I’m also doing an inner growth retreat in Bali, and later this year we’re going to do our first one in the U.S. So, if you’re interested, come in and register your interest for that.
The second is if you feel that you resonate – and look, I know that there’ll be listeners out there that don’t resonate with my message, and that’s okay. I mean there’ll be those that do resonate with; you know some of the things I’m saying. And so for those people, look, I’d love to connect, and if you’re looking for coaching, then we do coaching through that.
And finally I’ve got a new website up. Peterradcliffe.com. It’s literally gone up in the last few days, and that is going to be packed full of meditations and tools to use whereas to get out of procrastination or to find your, you know passion or anything that we’re talking about. So there’s a whole lot of free resources on that.
So go to Peterradcliffe.com/fire. And there’s a reason we go to there is because if you go there and sign up then I’m giving away one retreat for every 50 sign ups that come to that event, so –
John Lee Dumas: What?
Peter Radcliffe: A learning retreat.
John Lee Dumas: I have a really large Australian contingent, so that’s going to be pretty cool, Peter. And I know there are some people listening right now that aren’t in Australia that are going to want to go to Australia, and that might be just the impetus that you need. So, Peter Radcliffe with an E – that’s R-a-d-c-l-i-f-f-e.com/fire, and you can get on that list, Fire Nation. It’s exciting stuff. And we’re going to have all this linked up, Peter, in the show knows page.
And Fire Nation, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You’ve been hanging out with Peter and JLD today, so keep up the heat and head over to EOfire.com., type Peter in the search bar, his show knows page will pop right up.
And Peter, thank you my friend, for sharing your journey with Fire Nation, and for that we salute you, and we’ll catch you on the flip side.
Peter Radcliffe: Thanks, John.
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