You must have a VISION that is so powerful, that nothing can get in the way of making that vision come to life. The path will unfold for you only by knowing precisely where you want to go. To write the last chapter first. When you write the last chapter first, you wake up and align yourself towards that vision every day. You set yourself on fire.
Wade Critides grew up in Boston and like many in the area, was groomed and funneled into the finance industry. He earned his bachelor’s degree and continued on to earn his Master’s degree before going on to work for an investment management company. Even with all the perks, predictability, and safety of a finance job, Wade was still looking for something more: passion…and control of his life.
When the opportunity to start his own health and wellness company presented itself, he realized this was the chance for him to stop trading time for money, and do something that truly made a difference in people’s lives.
He jumped into the uncertainty of entrepreneurship and started a business in an industry dominated by women. As an “outsider” in the industry, he faced ups and downs, stigmas, criticism, and uncertainty, but pushed forward with a clear vision and a plan that skyrocketed his success. He believed that opposition meant opportunity, and rejection presented a chance to learning. Since then, he has started multiple businesses, an investment company, and a podcast — all with his wife. Each business is thriving and has exponential growth on the horizon.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Hey hey! My name is Wade Critides and I am a lifestyle entrepreneur. I live in Orange County, California with my beautiful wife Sandy, who I’ve actually known my entire life! I love living an active, healthy lifestyle, full of adventure and travel. I’m actually training to run an IRONMAN race in Switzerland this July (pending travel restrictions), which Sandy and I are using as a great excuse to pick up life and move it to Switzerland for the summer! We got engaged in Switzerland and Sandy has Swiss heritage, so we are excited!
You know how there’s a debate on whether entrepreneurs are born or made? I believe the latter because, well, I certainly don’t feel I was born an entrepreneur. I grew up in the Northeast, outside of Boston, where there was certainly pressure to get good grades and go to a prestigious school. Not necessarily by my parents — they supported me no matter what — but more the culture was driving me in that direction. Early on I knew I wanted to be “successful,” but at a young age my formula to success was quite simple, it was money. I looked around and saw businessmen around me who seemed to have money so I figured I’d better go to business school. And that’s what I did, with the help of a partial football scholarship, I attended Bentley University where I earned my BS in Economics / Finance and my Masters in Finance while earning All-American honors in football. From there I figured I’d better use my degrees and went into finance, believing it would be a good way to make a good living, and all would be well when I climbed the corporate ladder to making six figures.
Well, five years into my career that happened, and that fulfillment I was hoping for…it wasn’t there. I decided to re-evaluate my definition of “success” and realized it had morphed from making a lot of money to just being happy. I sought out high achievers whose life I’d actually want to live and realized there were patterns in their lifestyle: They were all healthy and vital, they were making a big impact in the world, they were doing something they were passionate about and they were entrepreneurs. The seed had been planted.
The study of successful people led me on a journey of personal development that consisted of listening to podcasts on the way to work instead of music, changing out some TV time for reading books, and networking with successful people. This personal development opened up a whole new world for me…a world of what was possible beyond my corporate desk.
What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?
Now it’s not like I had a realization one day and went from a corporate employee to lifestyle entrepreneur overnight. There were years of developing myself into who I needed to be to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish. The only problem was, I didn’t know what I wanted to accomplish… until I was on a flight home from a business trip from New York to San Diego.
Side note, I had moved to Orange County with my wife where she was born and raised, and in that life-changing move, it opened my eyes even further to the fact that the people who had lives that I wanted to live were entrepreneurs and were making a difference through their work.
So on the flight, I was listening to a podcast “Entrepreneurs On Fire” and heard a guy named Nick Unsworth being interviewed. You know when you meet or hear someone and there’s this magnetic energy and you think “I’ve got to get to know this person”, I had that moment on the plane. Nick spoke life over me without even knowing it, he was a business coach. I looked him up and he happened to live in San Diego, where I was currently flying into. Interesting…And even more interesting, he happened to be putting on a 3-day conference — and I was landing just in time to catch the last day! I knew I needed to land and head straight to the conference and meet this Nick Unsworth guy. I landed, called Sandy, and told what I learned and that I was heading to this conference. Always supportive of me, she agreed it was a good idea. In attending, my suspicions were right! Nick was the man and I wanted him to coach me to do what he did: help people through the work that we call “coaching” today. I hired him on the spot (making by far the largest investment in myself aside from college) and told him “teach me how to do what you do.” I did a 6-month coaching program with Nick and his company Life On Fire and launched my own coaching business in that time frame. I definitely did not feel ready yet and had a sense of “imposter syndrome,” but I jumped in.
In your opinion, were you a natural born entrepreneur or did you develop that aptitude later on? Can you explain what you mean?
I feel that entrepreneurship is a muscle that we have to grow, develop and exercise over time to become successful entrepreneurs. Are some people born more apt to sway towards entrepreneurship? Sure. But I believe entrepreneurs are made and that is certainly my experience. I grew up and was basically funneled into the rat race of corporate America and before I knew it I was in my late 20s, seven years into my career and realizing that I was caught in this rat race and it would be fully up to me if I wanted to get out of it. It took intentionality and went against all the “muscles” I had developed to date, muscles that were comfortable in the safety and security of my cushy VP role at a finance firm.
I also believe there is really only one way to develop aptitude as an entrepreneur and that is by simply just doing it. Just taking action. You can read all the books, study all the business models, run all the numbers, NOTHING replaces actually going out into the market and doing what an entrepreneur does. So it is my belief that entrepreneurship is a muscle that we develop through use!
Was there somebody in your life who inspired or helped you to start your journey with your business? Can you share a story with us?
My wife Sandy has been my biggest inspiration to date. In part because she is someone who throughout her life has refused to settle for a life and a calling that she was not passionate about. In addition, proximity is everything. You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with and I spent most of my time with Sandy…which rubbed off on me to believe I could be an entrepreneur. She had owned a small business, a healthy juice shop, while we were dating. That was her first step into professional entrepreneurship (she rocked out plenty of lemonade stands as a kid). She sold that business and moved through a few different jobs before landing in her passion: coaching people in health and business. She started her coaching business a few months before I started on a very similar path! We started out with different businesses but ended up partnering together. And now there is nothing we love more than building a life together through our passion for helping people. We help people become the best versions of themselves through their health, through their personal development, and through their business.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Starting businesses is a lot of fun (and a lot of work!) so we have several businesses. I’ll focus on one, in particular, we have a business and brand we’ve built around helping network marketing professionals develop daily habits to help build their businesses. It started with us solving our own problem and then realizing if it helped us, it could help many more people. And from there a business was born. We were on a flight home from a leadership retreat and were discussing how we wish we had something to track everything we did for our business in a given day, all in one place. An idea was born.
Everyone has ideas, entrepreneurs take action.
We started jotting out ideas on a napkin, literally, and the 90 Day Habits Journal was born then and there. What makes it stand out is that it is the only journal like it: built by network marketing professionals, for network marketing professionals by helping one track and build daily habits over a 90-day business cycle.
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
- Start before you are ready, and embrace failure as learning opportunities. When I first started coaching people I did NOT feel ready. I did not feel qualified. I remember shortly after I set goals and announced I was launching a coaching business I was scared. Really scared. Wondering how on earth my lofty goals would come true and who on earth would believe I was qualified enough to coach them? But I stayed committed. I did the work. It wasn’t always pretty, but I was growing with each day and each misstep. Not long after truly committing to this calling, a path unfolded before me to achieve all of my goals and more. It would have never happened if I let doubt and fear take control of my destiny. So just start, commit fully, embrace failure, and know that who you become along the way is everything.
- Lock in your vision. Cast a vision for your life, move towards it every day and watch it come true. If you don’t have a vision for your life you’re letting the world, your environment, and everyone else dictate your life and where it’s headed. Once you have a clear vision for where you are going, the world steps aside and a path unfolds before you. The world will test you to make sure you are committed to your vision, but once it feels that energy there is no going back. I cast a vision for my first business, as previously mentioned setting lofty 6-month goals that scared the heck out of me. I made a vision board of these goals and put them in my office. I had NO idea how they would come true, but I committed to them and was willing to put one foot in front of the other every day. Reflecting back ALL of my goals happened, just not in the exact way I expected them to. The lesson in that was that I won’t always know the HOW, but when I know WHERE I am going and WHY I am doing it, a viable path will unfold.
- Grow yourself, and your business will follow. “Your success will rarely exceed your level of personal development” — one of my favorite quotes by my mentor Jim Rohn. I committed to doing everything in my power to grow myself as a person, as a leader, as an entrepreneur through reading books, listening to podcasts and audio/video of successful people, attending Toastmasters, hiring a coach, and surrounding myself with people who had achieved something I wanted to emulate in my life. As a result, I grew into a person capable of living out the life I desired and building a business accordingly. I’ve always found that as I grow, as I level up, my business follows suit. You want to build a million-dollar business? Become the person you need to be first, and let the rest follow.
Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. Can you share a story about advice you’ve received that you now wish you never followed?
This is a tough one because I feel like everything happens for a reason. The first thing that comes to mind is “if you want different, you have to move differently.”
Entrepreneurship is “different”. So when you first dive in, you’re going to face a lot of opposition, especially from people close to you. I believe this happens for two reasons. First, they are trying to protect you. The human brain craves safety and security and entrepreneurship is taking a risk, stepping outside of the norms and comfort zones we are accustomed to. The second is because they may see you growing and they don’t want you to grow away from them. So if there is any advice I’d say NOT to take it, would be the advice of anyone who hasn’t done what you are looking to do. When you step into entrepreneurship, there are going to be a lot of people cautioning you, even telling you it’s a bad idea. Yet they’ve never even tried it, thus their feedback can be appreciated, but shouldn’t be taken into account. Seek advice from those who have walked before you, not from those who have never stepped foot on the path.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them create a work culture in which employees thrive and do not “burn out” or get overwhelmed?
If there is one thing I have realized in transitioning from corporate America to entrepreneurship it is the importance of recognizing your team and casting a vision for your team. Jack Welch said, “A leader’s job is to look into the future and see the organization, not as it is, but as it should be.” A shared vision is one of the most powerful forces known to man, so ensuring your business has a vision for what it is looking to do is vital.
Create a culture where your team is working towards and excited for that vision to come to life. Further, recognize and be grateful for your team. The corporate world certainly lacks recognition. You as an entrepreneur have an opportunity to create a culture of recognition.
People will often work harder to be seen and be recognized than to get a monetary raise. Put a 10 on everyone’s forehead and acknowledge a job well done, repeatedly.
What would you advise other business leaders to do in order to build trust, credibility, and Authority in their industry?
Leaders must be willing to go first. Leadership and entrepreneurship are stepping into the unknown. John Maxwell said, “leaders know the way, go the way and then show the way.”
To gain trust, credibility, and authority in your industry you must go the way first. If you are creating a health product or service, have you experienced your own transformation? Do you embody and live and breathe your product or service, or are you just looking to sell it to others? When your product or service has changed you, you simply are sharing it. When you aren’t a product of your product, you are selling it.
Can you help articulate why doing that is essential today?
In this day and age, technology is so advanced, and it is such a great resource to help entrepreneurs build their businesses. But do you know what I’ve experienced? Word of mouth advertising will never go out of style. In fact, according to Nielsen, 92% of consumers around the world now say they trust word-of-mouth or recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising. That means developing trust with our clients and potential clients is everything.
How do we do that? By showing up as authentically us.
That starts by knowing who we are and what we stand for and then living into that. Your brand should know its values and how it shows up and do just that. You as the entrepreneur should do the same. Seek to build rapport, add value and be authentic, and you will gain trust, credibility, and authority in your industry.
What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?
Often times we start a business based on what we want or what we like, without thinking about what our client wants or needs. We spend time, energy, even money building out a business tailored to our desires and what excites us without testing the market first.
Entrepreneurship is solving a problem in the marketplace. Its adding value to the marketplace. So we must start there. We must go to the market and either find a problem to solve or test the market to see if our product has demand. Sometimes that looks like solving your own problem and seeking if others experience the same problem as you. Start a business by solving a problem for your ideal client, instead of chasing after something you feel is shiny and cool. Also, the best way to start is to simply test your idea/product/service in the market BEFORE going off and spending all the time, money, energy building the business.
Can you describe to our readers why no matter how successful you are as an entrepreneur, you will always have fairly dramatic highs and lows? Particularly, can you help explain why this is different from someone with a “regular job”?
In my prior career as a VP at a finance firm, there was a level of certainty. I’d be going to the office, Monday through Friday, I generally knew my hours, I would get paid the same amount every two weeks, I had health insurance and benefits, and I knew the potential raise and potential bonus I’d get at the end of the year. The human brain craves certainty, and that is why most people end up in the aforementioned scenario of a “regular job.”
Entrepreneurship is going against our brain’s desire for certainty.
With that said, entrepreneurship is the greatest self-discovery and greatest self-improvement program in the world. Better than any course, any schooling, anything I know of. Our business will never exceed our level of personal development. When you can find ways to add value to the marketplace, entrepreneurship also has the highest potential compensation package.
However, it is the road less traveled. It is a road that does not offer safety or security. It necessitates taking a bet on yourself. Taking risks. With risk, with a lack of certainty, lack of safety and security comes inherent highs and lows. It is also a journey. There is no arrival on this path. As you grow, as you build a successful business, you realize you have unlocked even greater potential in you, you can visualize new heights, and you start the trek towards that.
When you seek new heights, you put a whole bunch of obstacles in your path, and with that will come the highs of achievement and progress, and the lows of perceived failure, rejection, and setbacks. Successful entrepreneurs look at “failure,” “rejection” and “setbacks” differently though. We look at them as opportunities to grow, to improve, to learn, and to move forward. Entrepreneurs are resilient and find the balance of riding the wave of highs and lows that inherently come with the journey.
Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually high and excited as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.
My wife and I are partnered in a health and wellness business in which success is defined and celebrated ultimately by how many people we can help. Well, we were a little over a year into our business and aiming to reach the top level of our profession and we knew we had a LOT of work to do to get there. We knew we couldn’t do it by ourselves either. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
We rallied our team around the vision of creating a massive positive ripple of health, vibrance, of change in the world and got to work. We committed heads down to a 90-day cycle. We’ve found businesses work in 90-day cycles and the current 90-day cycle will be a result of the work done in the last 90-day cycle.
We knew for us to reach the top, we had to bring other people with us. It wasn’t about us, it was about helping everyone else. It was all we were focused on in that period and it ended up taking two 90 day cycles, but we finally achieved the top promotion. And we did it together. We did it by helping a lot of people grow THEIR businesses and reach new heights they had never seen before. We did so by generating that massive ripple of health and prosperity in the world. It felt GOOD! We were celebrated for it and got the opportunity to be recognized and walk the stage in front of 20,000 people from our company in the crowd. Walking the stage was an amazing feeling, but as soon as we stepped off that stage my wife and I looked at each other and both said “we’ve got to help other people feel that exact feeling!” That is now our mission. We have no more promotion levels to hit as we have reached the top, but we are now focused on helping others willing to put in the work to achieve the same.
Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually low, and vulnerable as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.
My biggest low in my business is directly connected to my highest high, which I don’t think is a coincidence. My high was achieving the top of our profession and doing so with a lot of other people. My low was the result of our first 90-day cycle pushing to reach that top level. We set our sights on achieving the top, we knew what we had to do and we got to work towards that. We really got to work. This was probably the hardest I’ve ever worked and it honestly felt like a GRIND.
I knew it wouldn’t be forever so we kept pushing. In entrepreneurship, you have to be willing to work like most people won’t (for a short period of time), so you can (eventually) be able to live like most people can’t (until long into their career). We went to every length to achieve this goal and everyone in our lives was aware of that.
I remember we were in Hawaii for a week with my Dad and we worked the entire time. I was aware of it, and I felt bad, but my priority was achieving this goal and we had to do it before year’s end to earn the award, earn the trip to Maui.
Long story short, we didn’t achieve our goal by year’s end. And it crushed us. We had worked SO hard. We had exhausted our resources. We weren’t sure what else we could have done. So it put us down for a few weeks. We were exhausted. We felt defeated. We questioned our leadership. But after a few weeks of feeling bad for ourselves, it gave us time to reflect.
We realized we were focused on doing this for the US. That’s not what it’s about. And never is. We lost sight of the fact that if we helped enough people achieve what they want, we’d get what we wanted and achieve our goal too. So we refocused and recommitted with an outward focus and that led me to my highest high.
Based on your experience can you tell us what you did to bounce back?
Entrepreneurs need time to think. Time to reflect. Time to live into their feelings. We did just that. We didn’t dismiss missing our goal; we put everything we could into and couldn’t move on right away. We sat in it. We reflected on it. We learned from it. We GREW from it.
We look back now and it was the greatest blessing in our business to date because it was a period in which our leadership grew the most after reflecting on it.
So in the end, our lows are our greatest opportunities for growth. Every achievement, every growth spurt, every miracle in our business first begins with a problem. So when you have a problem you are truly blessed, because you are a candidate for growth…for a miracle. And if you have a small problem, you are equipped for small growth. If you have a big problem, you are equipped for big growth.
Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “Five Things You Need To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur”? Please share a story or an example for each.
- You must have a VISION that is so powerful, that nothing can get in the way of making that vision come to life.
The path will unfold for you only by knowing precisely where you want to go. To write the last chapter first. When you write the last chapter first, you wake up and align yourself towards that vision every day. You set yourself on fire. Vision is the genesis of all greatness. Only those that can see the invisible can do the impossible. Some people around you, maybe even you, think that whatever is on your heart, whatever that dream or that goal is, feels like an impossible task. I’m here to tell you it’s not. There’s evidence of success all around you. But for you to do the impossible, you have to see the invisible. You have to see it before it’s there. You have to envision yourself living the life you truly desire, you have to believe it, visualize what it feels like, what the road looks like to get there. My wife and I were on a cruise with our family for vacation one summer. We were out to a one-on-one dinner on the cruise and naturally, we started talking about goals in our business. She is a dreamer, I’m the more grounded of the two, so we balance each other out perfectly! She had a vision for us going into qualification for the top level of the company in the next month. I told her no way, we’d have to DOUBLE our business overnight. I started to break down how it would have to happen and how unlikely that was in a month’s time. I asked her how she thought that would happen and she said, “I don’t know…magic?” At this point, we’re in a heated almost fight about this and I kid you not a MAGICIAN walks up to our table and says to me “Do you believe in magic?” My jaw dropped as I said “Uhhh yeah.” He took a half-dollar coin out of his pocket and he said “See this?” I nodded as he quickly moved the coin to behind my ear and snapped his fingers and came back with a dollar coin. DOUBLING the value of the coin!
Rewind…We had to DOUBLE the value of our business, and my wife said “I don’t know…magic?” and BOOM.
From that day on I BELIEVED. I had a VISION for where we were going. I didn’t know how we would get there, but I knew where we were going and we woke up every day committed to that vision. A successful entrepreneur has perfect clarity on where they are going. The average drifts along, hoping they land where they would like to.
Cast a VISION for your life, for your business. Make it crystal clear and then move towards that vision every day no matter what.
2. Know WHY you are doing what you’re doing.
When you have a strong WHY obstacles cease to exist. Your vision, paired with your WHY, will pull you through. You don’t have to push and grind through and motivate yourself all the time. You will be pulled by your vision. When “why” you’re doing what you’re doing is anchored in something greater than you — your family, your legacy, giving back, making an impact — that is when you will feel called and pulled to carry on through the highs and lows. My wife and I have our 21 reasons why we are building our business at our desks and we are able to speak to our WHY in one sentence always. Your WHY will evolve, but make sure you have one.
3. To step into who you want to be, you need to know who you are!
What is your identity? Success begins with self-awareness. And the trick is, you will naturally live into your identity. If you identify as a thriving entrepreneur, you will subconsciously and consciously start to work to make that true. If you identify as “I have a small side business or a hobby” you will act as if. The greats know who they are! You can feel their presence, their certainty, their identity — Michael Jordan, Muhammed Ali, Martin Luther King, Warren Buffet, Tom Brady, Oprah — they know who they are!
We have used affirmations to consciously mold our identity to who we want to be. We practice daily affirmations both together and individually to either affirm traits that we have, that we want to maintain or bring things that we do not possess yet that we want to. A few examples are: I am an incredible leader. I am a super attractor. I am attracting amazing people into our life and business. I am changing the world. I am building a legacy. I am a money magnet, money flows easily and freely to and through me. I am a multi-millionaire, I am making over six figures per week.
Affirmations may feel funny at first, especially the ones that aren’t true at the time, but when we repeatedly practice them and practice what it feels like as if we are those things, we subconsciously and consciously start to work to make them come true.
4. Get familiar with failure and rejection.
Look at it as an opportunity for growth. What is failure? Failure doesn’t even exist. You don’t fail if you learn from it and keep going — the only way to fail is to quit. If you stumble, if someone burns you, if you bomb a presentation, if you go for a goal and fall short again and again, it’s not failure. It’s learning lessons, sometimes it takes time to realize the lesson, but as long as you keep going it will never actually be a failure. Get comfortable with failure. Learn to seek failure, because that means you’re growing.
I have worked to train my brain to not even think of things as a failure. If you ask me about business failures none come to mind. Not because everything I’ve ever done has been a success, but because I’ve re-classified failure as growth and learning lessons. If I get a “no” from a potential client or investor, I know that’s just a “no” for now and I take something away from that meeting having learned a lesson and expanded my network.
5. Be CONSISTENT.
Everything we want is on the other side of consistency. The business has cycles. Life has cycles. It all ebbs and it flows. There are bull markets and bear markets. Winter always comes after fall, as summer always comes after spring. The next 10 years are going to look a lot like the last 10. It will get dark every night as it will get light every morning. We can’t control these things.
What we can control is our consistency.
It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently. If you sincerely want to change your life: RAISE YOUR STANDARDS! What changes people’s lives is when their SHOULDS become their MUSTS!
Successful entrepreneurs are molded by their daily actions. They master the mundane, they are willing to do consistently what 99% won’t do. If we put forth the consistent effort, build habits and systems into our business that we live by…that”s when we can ride through any storm, any high, any low and keep going. I think of what my wife and I did when we were pushing for the top of our company — we committed to a 90-day cycle and consistent daily effort and non-negotiable. We missed the goal the first time around. We committed to another 90-day cycle doing very much the same actions and we blew past our goal. Same action, but the timing was right. In the second 90 day cycle, the harvest came. All the seeds we had sowed in the prior 90 were sprouting and flourishing. When we stay consistent we set ourselves up to persevere through anything.
We are living during challenging times and resilience is critical during times like these. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?
The only way we can truly “fail” is if we quit. If you shut the back door on quitting, you remove failure from the realm of possibilities. You’ve likely heard the story of Captain Hernán Cortés burning the ships when he and his army of 600 arrived on the beach to battle a far larger army. He burned the ships, their only option to retreat. There was no plan B. It was fighting and win, or fight and die.
We must remove the option to quit and we will inherently be resilient beyond what we even believed we could do. Resilience is just that. Resilience is easy when retreating is not an option. There will still be setbacks, problems, “failures,” but when the option to quit is removed we WILL push forward.
Further, you’ve got to know WHY you are doing what you do. When your WHY is big enough, obstacles cease to exist. If I am building a business for my family, for my legacy, well my WHY is then far larger than any obstacle I will face. When you are building a non-profit, your WHY will be far larger than rejection from potential donors. Burn the ships, and know your WHY.
Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Would you mind sharing a story?
Absolutely! So in high school, I was a pretty good and natural athlete. I excelled at football and was able to get a scholarship to a business school I wanted to attend. My first day on campus I realized that everyone in college was really good in high school and I could no longer get by on my abilities, I would have to be willing to outwork everyone to get ahead.
That was a humbling realization and I realized if I wanted to level up, I’d have to do and become someone I had never been. However, I had a setback. A big one. I must not have been listening close enough and missed that for our first physical tests of strength and endurance, there was a mandatory 15-minute warmup so my roommate and I got there two minutes “early”, which was really at the end of the warmup. We got reamed. Bad.
Our coach made us sit outside and wait for him to finish with everyone. Well, an hour and a half later we realized he wasn’t coming for us. I was in the doghouse. My coach had it out for me all year. He tried to get me to quit daily, weekly. But I knew I wasn’t going to quit. So I worked. I worked hard. I worked in silence. I took every opportunity I got. Through hard work, resilience, and a bit of luck I was able to work my way out of the doghouse!
My coach actually left that year. With a new coach, I had a clean slate. I had been working hard to be the best version of me through that first year, and that next year I played a prominent role on the team and continued to grow every year for the next 3 years. It turned into a very solid career. If I had quit, I think my life would look a lot different than it does now, so I always look back at that moment as an inflection point in my life and an experience I am forever grateful for.
In your opinion, do you tend to keep a positive attitude during difficult situations? What helps you to do so?
I think I have a genetic bias towards positivity, so yes I tend to stay positive during difficult situations. What helps me to stay positive is a simple idea: we don’t control life, we control how we react to it.
When we truly think about it, most things in life are out of our control. We don’t control the economy, we don’t control someone rear-ending us, we don’t control the weather. So if I have no say or control in it, I’m not going to let it get me down. Simple as that. Now I’m not perfect in that sense, but I generally live by this principle.
Can you help articulate why a leader’s positive attitude can have a positive impact both on their clients and their team? Please share a story or example if you can.
As the leader goes, the team goes, the business goes. I believe business, teams, and the world rise and fall on leaders. So being a leader that is positive, that can hold the vision in front of him/her, even through tough times, is vital to the health of the organization.
We can all agree 2020 was a monumental year for all of us. There were a lot of factors outside of our control. What was in our control was how we handled it. Our attitude. How we pivoted as people and as entrepreneurs. As a leader in our business, I looked at 2020 as an opportunity to either use the outside factors as an excuse or use them as guidance to pivot and adjust accordingly. We emphasized within our organization how everything that was happening in 2020 was hard, it was changed, but through it, we would grow.
We cast a vision. We stayed positive. We shut out negative noise (the news) and we held fast to the belief that if we kept going we would serve people and serve the world. 2020 was a year of explosive growth for us professionally and personally and while it certainly had its lows, it had more highs. And from a business standpoint, we had our best year yet. I attribute it to maintaining a positive attitude and a positive outlook that was contagious.
Ok. Super. We are nearly done. What is your favorite inspirational quote that motivates you to pursue greatness? Can you share a story about how it was relevant to you in your own life?
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
When I first heard this quote it gave me full-body chills. It spoke to me. I didn’t fully understand it at first, but it spoke to me. Now I receive it as our deepest fear is not actually that we are not good enough, our deepest fear is our potential. We know we hold vast potential inside of us and we’re scared of that potential because we know deep down our calling is to live into it, but it won’t be easy. That was a realization for me.
I heard someone once say “the richest place in the world is the graveyard.” That’s because most people go to their grave with their ideas and their potential, having never fulfilled it. That has always been my deepest fear; not reaching inside myself and pulling out my true potential. I always feared living an average life and it’s driven me to go the extra mile in everything I do. Further, I’ve learned as we are liberated from our own fears and we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. When you change your life it’s pretty awesome. And when you change other people’s lives, well…you just left a legacy that extends beyond you.
How can our readers further follow you online?
A couple of places! My wife and I have a personal website www.sandyandwade.com, and our 90 Day Habits Journal I mentioned has a website here www.90dayhabitsjournal.com. I’m also on Instagram @wellnesswithwade and we have a podcast called “Getting Magnetic with Sandy & Wade” where we drop 2 episodes each week.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!