On this episode of The Hard To Kill Podcast, I brought on guest Ryan Fahey, a part of the national nonprofit, Physical and Health Education Canada. Our conversation covers a range of topics, including the importance of physical literacy and raising healthy kids, the future of holistic health education, and their personal experiences in the fitness industry.
Ryan also talks about his new book, How To Thrive In Remote Working Environments, for remote workers and shares insights about imposter syndrome. They also discuss the challenges of implementing national programs for education in different provinces and the importance of maintaining good health. Tune in to hear more about the progress being made in promoting fitness and health in Canada and raising healthy kids.
Listen to our conversation on The Hard To Kill Podcast
“…it almost took this pandemic for us to rethink things like health and health education. And a bit of that is the physical activity side. But these life skills that youth need.”– Ryan
One of the things that also came out that fascinated me was in Newfoundland. And in Newfoundland, they actually incorporated things like fort building and shelter building and being outside. I think they actually used the word like find a hobby and encourage your youth to get a hobby, preferably outdoors. And I found that really fascinating because it almost took this pandemic for us to rethink things like health and health education.
Welcome to the Hard to Kill podcast with me, your host, Dave Morrow. The goal of this podcast is to be a catalyst for change in the health and wellness of our military community and make each of you harder to kill. My mission is to help 100,000 veterans lose 2 million pounds by listening to the amazing wisdom and knowledge shared by my guests. Sit back and enjoy. Hey, folks. Sitting here with Ryan Fahee. Ryan is a three time author, speaker, and entrepreneur who is passionate about personal growth, education, and well being. He’s the owner of Fahee Consulting, which aims to help people and small organizations move from good to great. His latest book, how to Thrive in Remote Working Environments, which supports the well being of remote workers globally, recently hit number one on Amazon in Canada dude, that’s awesome. Congratulations. And cracked the top 40 books on entrepreneurship worldwide. Originally from Eastern Canada, Ryan has dedicated his life to pursuing wellness and is widely considered a thought leader in the wellness and education sectors. Ryan, welcome to the podcast, man.
Dave. Thanks for having me, folks listening in. This is going to be a fun little bit of time together. Thanks for spending your day with us.
Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for that, man. So initially, I believe it was because I was adding you as a friend on Facebook and bringing you into my orbit. Likely, I don’t know where I would have found you, to be honest. You probably just popped up as, like, somebody that would be an interesting contact. And then we started chatting on messenger, and then I looked into your stuff a little bit more and saw your title that you work for PHE, which is the Physical Health and Education Canada organization, which sparked my interest because you work within the youth sector. And I was a teacher, former teacher, and was always passionate about health and health education, in particular because I was a science teacher and taught other classes in the fitness space at my school. So I wanted to chat to you about that and see what the perspective is from a national level that’s a high level to see where things are going, what your experience has been like, and how we can better help our kids grow up healthy and strong.
Yeah, great way to start here, Dave. And again, thanks for having me on the show. So you’re absolutely right. I think there’s like four degrees of separation or whatever, and I think the star is aligned for us to connect. So it’s great. So if folks don’t know, physical and Health Education Canada is almost 100 years old, so the organization has been around for quite some time. It’s a national charitable nonprofit that basically supports, like you mentioned there, Dave, the health and well being of students in schools all across Canada. And we specifically kind of hone in on health and physical education subject areas. We also kind of look at the whole child approach, the whole school approach as well. So what can we do to impact intermurrals in schools? What can we do to impact after school programming, sport development, things like that? My role within the organization is I’m kind of the special projects guy. So we come into schools with a new project. Typically it’s funded through a partner, and my role is to kind of get it off and running into the schools and then to kind of figure out what’s working and what’s not working. So this is a great conversation to have because at any point, we’re kind of parachuting in with these projects in schools. And it really is an exciting job just because there’s so much happening in the space. But also it’s very nimble right, in terms of how we can support schools and how schools are also evolving. I really like what you mentioned there about kind of what are the needs and kind of where are things going. I’d love to chat about that. I’m a big thinker guy, so this is a perfect conversation to have. But one of the things that we’re really seeing right now is coming out of COVID-19 is this push towards health. What does health really look like? And there’s kind of your curriculum outcomes in schools. There’s the expectations that go along with that. But then what are some of the broader pieces that we need to think about with youth? So, for example, when COVID-19 hit, one of the first provinces out the gate that had an at home learning mandate was Prince Edward Island. And Prince Edward Island had a really nice kind of look at how do we keep our students well during this pandemic while they’re at home. And then other provinces started looking at that, and then they kind of hand picked what they wanted. But Pei was a really good model for that. And folks can Google and take a look at it. It came out through the piano government. One of the things that also came out that fascinating me was in Newfoundland, and in Newfoundland they actually incorporated things like fort building and shelter building and being outside. I think they actually use the word like find a hobby and encourage your youth to get a hobby, preferably outdoors. And I found that really fascinating because it almost took this pandemic for us to rethink things like health and health education. And a bit of that is the physical activity side. But these life skills that youth need. So prior to that. Were youth going outside of Newfoundland and building a fort? I don’t know. Right. Were they building lean tos in the woods? I don’t know. But the fact that the government, the ministry actually endorsed that was huge. And I think that there’s probably going to be a lot of really cool ripple effects from certain decisions like that that were made that hopefully we get to see in terms of how youth value health and kind of some of those life skills that they can take with them when they go into their jobs and their career. Right?
Yeah, that’s a great point. And one of the things that I’m hopeful about and you mentioned it with respect to COVID-19 is that we all take a deep look at what does it actually mean to be healthy? And health doesn’t come in a box. Like, health is an approach you need to ensure your own health and what does that look like? And for me, I’ve always been concerned, I guess, at the most fundamental level with kids right. And just realizing that the statistics don’t look very good and COVID-19 didn’t help. Right. And the interventions seem to be because it’s a necessity that we start doing something. From your point of view, what is it that you think is causing and COVID-19 aside, what do you think that is causing the inactivity levels and the reduction in activities either outside or just in general with Canadian youth right now?
Yeah, great question.
We could be here for a long multifactorial problem.
Yeah. I will say I’m also a very privileged individual. I grew up in a good home, a good community. I was healthy, physically active. I know that’s not the reality for everyone out there, but I will say that we live in a very easy time here in Canada in a lot of different ways. So as young adults, we can get food delivered, groceries delivered. We don’t even have to leave a condo or our apartment to really live or do anything. Everything is kind of provided for us. And I think that really became clear for me during COVID-19 when I was kind of forcing myself to get outside. Wait a second, I went outside today. I got to get out and do something. And so I think that’s something that we need to think about as a society is how do we simple things, right? Like, do we really need to park that close to the grocery store? Can our kids really walk to school? Do they really need to be driven? What does community look like in terms of other maybe you establish, like, a walking school bus. We’ve seen that kind of take off in different areas in the past, but communities coming together so that all the kids can walk or take active transportation to and from school. Maybe it’s a bike lending program, something like that.
And I think where life sometimes gets really easy and convenient, we can sometimes just fall into that and actually kind of step back from that sometimes and say, okay, well, maybe it’s okay to actually be doing some things. That are physically active here because it’s better for our health. And maybe we should be making meals more together versus ordering skipped dishes just because it’s so easy. Right? So, again, I know that’s not the reality for all, but that’s just one thing that I think I’ve seen. Yeah. And I think another thing that really has come up for me recently is I sometimes feel that we’re really in this entertainment industry, right when we look at what youth are engaged in the most, it could be things like TikTok, it could be instagram, it could be gaming, whatever it is, and that’s really entertainment. And how does education compete with that? How does health education compete with that? Because you kind of are we only have so much bandwidth in the run of a day, and youth even more so. I mean, you and I, we were youth once. You know what that’s like? And you don’t really have a lot of bandwidth sometimes to absorb everything that’s coming at you. So I think that’s something that we need to make some space and have conversation on is okay. So if we acknowledge that youth are really in this perpetual entertainment industry, how do we, as education evolve so that our programming and our pedagogy and our approaches and whatever it is that we do within our schools? Make students want to come to school, make students want to be involved in school, to be motivated in physical activity and physical education, to be engaged, engage learners and to take control of their own health. And I think there’s a lot there, but I think that that’s one of the things that I’ve I’ve at least thought about quite recently.
Yeah, that’s a great point. The great thing at the school that was at before I quote, unquote, retired from teaching, from teaching in the classroom, I should say, was that their sports programs and their dedication to physical activity was very high. And that’s something that I valued as a teacher, and a lot of the students valued as well. And just observing, I mean, this is just anecdotal observation having worked in public school and having worked in a private school, this private school in particular, so shout out to Loyola High School in Montreal. The rate of obesity seemed to be quite a bit lower. And I attributed that to just the fact that the culture of sport and activity, even if we weren’t on a sports team, there was plenty of extracurricular intramurals. We had an incredible ultimate frisbee league, and it was teachers and students, and so we play against each other, and it was good. It was a lot of fun, and that was like the highlight of the spring. And often I think, well, if they’re doing that here and they’re getting seemingly good results. What are other schools doing? Because having seen what was going on in some of the other schools, it just wasn’t the same, at least. But when I was in high school, there was tons of intramurals. Even the sports teams, even though they weren’t really that competitive, they were still the sports teams. Is it just the fact, like you said, they’re being outcompeted by entertainment? And if so, is it more the responsibility of the parent to kind of get a grip of that and realize what’s actually going on? Because we’re so busy and I’m a parent and my kids are young and they still don’t have phones or anything, but they still see me on my phone, they still see my wife on their phone. They want to be on a phone because it’s what we do. So do you have to also educate parents on this as a means to kind of get a grip of well, hold on a SEC. This is entertainment and they don’t want to do the stuff that kids in the used to do, which was go out and play and have fun and it’s going to impact their health long term. I was curious to know, is that something that you have to tackle as well?
Yeah, absolutely. And you’re speaking exactly where I was hoping we would go at, talking about that whole school approach. Right. Parents are a part of that. The community outside the school is a part of that. How the playground is designed next to the school is a part of that. Everything is a part of that. Right. One of the things sticking with health is one of the projects I’m working on right now is a vaping project with youth, and it’s really a health empowerment project, but it’s understanding the impacts of vaping and commercial tobacco.
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But in the research we were doing for that project, what we actually found was that both smoking and vaping rates are on the rise with young adults. So going back to what you’re saying about parent education, really, you have maybe young parents in their twenty s, and maybe they’re vaping and smoking. And so what is that behavior? How is that behavior then mirror or reflected with their kids? We’re actually coming in with this project and talking to youth and listening to the youth, and a lot of the youth are saying, yeah, this is in my home. And I didn’t realize that it was as harmful as it was, and I didn’t realize that I have the power to bring this up in my home and to have conversation on it and to remove the stigma around it and just talk about it. So I think that’s part of it, too, is how do we empower youth to be those change makers? I think the other side of it as well is the role modeling, right? Like, you’re a huge role model. A lot of listeners are huge role models. If you have kids and they’re watching everything, they’re like little sponges. And whether it’s explicit or not, they’re picking up on those cues and what’s happening in their environment. And we know that environment shapes the behavior, right? So I think there’s a lot we could do as adults, hopefully as listeners and in our broader communities, to really provide that education and just awareness for parents. And I think a great organization that does that well is participation here in Canada. And they just do so great at making it simple. Like, okay, if you’re physically active, you’re going to sleep better, you’re going to eat better, you’re going to poop better, everything’s just better. And I love that because it’s so tangible. It’s like, oh, okay, yeah, this makes sense for the average adult. Right.
That was Hal and they’re married couple, right? Hal and what’s her name?
Yes. Joanne. Right?
That’s a Hal and Joanne. Yeah, it was from the was so influential, like me growing up in the was it participation in Body Break? Wasn’t that the whole, like it was the body break. And so that was like on TV just a means to say, like, hey, did you get up and go today? And then it kind of died out. And then they brought it back, which is cool because I think we need it more than ever, man. I don’t know. It doesn’t look good out there. So it’s cool that your organization is out there doing the thing that needs to get done, which is getting the information out, but also, like you said, try to improve role modeling. Some really depressing, I guess, research that I use when I talk to the guys that I’m trying to help lose some weight is that from what I can tell from what the research is showing, like, obese men that, like, obese fathers significantly increase the chance of their kids being obese later on in life. And apparently it doesn’t correlate with mothers, but men have a strong correlation if they’re obese to increasing obesity in their children. And the majority of us are obese now, so it’s a trickle down effect. Mom and dad aren’t doing well. Mom and dad might be stressed out. They’re turning to things like smoking again, which you know what anecdotally I see a lot of people vaping, and I think it’s the concept of, well, this isn’t as bad as smoking. So I’ll pick it up and start smoking. Right, and you can do it at the table and it’s like socially acceptable. And then on top of that, throw in the obesity, and then you’ve got a cocktail of, well, mom and dad are smoking and out of shape and obese. I guess I could be too. So that’s not good. But tell me on the horizon, give me some hope, what are you seeing so that we can get over this hump? That’s partly why I do what I’m doing here. I’m no superstar athlete. I’m not a guru. I’m just a guy that consistently goes out and takes my health and fitness seriously and try to talk to the best people on the planet to convey those messages as best as I can. From what you see at your level, what is optimistic about the future, especially with relation to the kids and their health?
Yeah, that’s a great question. Some of the things that I’ve seen there are really interesting is I feel like there is this kind of I mean, the bad side of this is.
The cost of food, right?
But the good side of this is are we rethinking things like now creating home gardens and community gardens? And I’ve recently run into multiple people who I would have never expected, and they’re young parents, and I would have never expected them to have their own garden. And they do. And they’re growing their own vegetables. They’re not only growing enough for them, they’re growing some for their neighbors in the community. And then I started having conversations with some other folks and they’ve started doing that too. Even my parents, who ten years ago I was on them about raising their own chickens and food costs are going to go up, and now they’re gardening and they’re in their sixty s. And that’s something, a new learned activity for them that they actually really love, and it’s helping them and it’s allowing them to eat better. So I think we’re going to see, as things continue to stay high, we’re going to see maybe more people pushing for that, learning how to do their own herbs and their own gardening and things like that in the home and in the community. And I think that’s great. So I think that’s a positive sign that we’re seeing. And again, back to modeling, then children get to see that behavior not only in a school garden, but at home. And then it just becomes a way of life, which is great, and it really used to be a way of life. So that’s really nice. I think another thing too that I’m seeing is a lot of where I’m working right now is on the health side. And I will say that here in Canada, there is a lot of opportunities coming out, more so from the health side. So looking at health education, looking at comprehensive school health in schools, looking at supporting the health and well being of educators, I’ve seen a lot more pushback recently from things like a teachers union saying we really want this in this school, but we’re concerned that there’ll be teacher burnout as a result of this project. And I love seeing that because we need to protect teachers who are then educating those students. So we’re starting to see those mechanisms really be tested. And I think it’s great. So I think there’s different layers there from kind of the government layer, but down into the union layer that I’m seeing in schools. But I think overall there’s more of an opportunity right now in Canada for a brighter future just at that community level with things like gardens and outdoor spaces and things like that, but also just from a funding perspective in health. Like even in Princeton Island, I heard on the radio the other day that they’re creating for the first time ever here on the island, safe injection sites for adults who are struggling with addiction. So even that like breaking the stigma, providing a space, providing funding for that to help people. Huge, right? I think things are changing. It’s just slow, but I think over time that we can see some of those changes play out in a positive way.
Yeah, that’s a good point. You mentioned getting teachers healthy. That was something that I was really interested, especially once I was working full time because that’s something that I noticed and I was experiencing it. The level of unhealthiness within the teacher population is really bad because I guess the culture is focused around sacrifice and sacrifice for the kids, and then you sacrifice your own health. You’re up late, you’re correcting, you’re not doing well, your hours are really long, the stress is relatively high, and then you just start going downhill and you’re too tired when you come home to go to the gym. So you don’t you likely snack all the time in the teacher staff room is always full of cakes and cookies and crap. Right? So creating a little CrossFit club was just something that I thought, well, I’m going to be in the gym anyways, working out. Why don’t you guys come and we’ll train a little bit? And that was good. So I said, well, look, why don’t we create this and formalize this to the admin? But they had the exact same concern. They’re like, we’re worried about burnout and adding too much to their plate. And I get it. But I also counterargument was, well, cool. Yeah. Adding some more to their plate may cause some extra stress initially, but on a long term basis, getting healthy will just maintain a healthier workforce and create less burnout in the future because that was every few months. There was always somebody out on burnout leave, and being off in the summer just wasn’t enough. So it’s good that there’s initiatives out there, but it’s getting through to the teacher population that it’s fascinating. I was just having this conversation with my buddy who’s dating a teacher, and he’s like, what is it about teachers? What is it? He’s like, now I kind of get he’s like, I live with her and she’s home and she’s exhausted, and then she works more on the weekends. He’s a military officer. He’s like, I don’t work anywhere near as hard as her and I get paid more and I’m healthier. He’s like, how do you expect teachers to be good in the class if they’re this worn out and tired? So, yeah, it’s definitely something that would need to be brought into the culture, not just teaching. I mean, like nurses, doctors, everything. But I know that’s not in your purview. Okay, so there are some positive aspects coming out of this. COVID wasn’t all bad. That’s good to hear. The programs for the kids are there. I’m curious too, because for those that are American listeners, we don’t have a nationalized education system. What’s it like trying to implement things from a national organization down to the provinces? Is there a lot of negotiating? Because provinces get kind of prickly when there’s an organization. It’s like, hey, maybe we want to implement this across the board, or is it relatively accepted as something that is beneficial to the community at large?
Yeah, great question, Dave, and that’s a really good point. So even though we’re a national organization that supports education in Canada, you’re right, education is territorially and provincially mandated. So we actually convene a table. So we have what’s called the Council of Provinces and Territories. At that table sits a president from each of the health and Physical Education Teacher Associations. So it’s incredible. The unification across our country at the Teacher Union Association level is probably the best in all the G seven countries out there, to be honest. We meet three or four times a year, twice, virtually twice in person. The meetings go from coast to coast because as we know, Canada is massive. And there’s a real effort to kind of galvanize together around common issues. So, for example, Saskatchewan may show up and say, hey, we’re really dealing with this in Saskatchewan. Is anybody else dealing with this? So then there’s a space for a little bit of empathy. Maybe another province is also dealing with that. And there’s kind of a collective action that comes out of that challenge to say, okay, so we know this is happening, but, hey, Newfoundland, you already crossed this bridge two years ago. What did you do and how did you make it work? And at the end of the day, we’re all trying to support healthy learners, right? And healthy schools. And so that group really helps us at the national office understand what’s happening on the ground. But we can also then mobilize resources, supports advocacy letters, whatever they need to make it happen. So we’ve done that. Like COVID-19 is a great example. We provided letters to every minister to advocate for health MPE at home, and it worked. It worked. Not in every province, but pretty much every province. We got a response, and it worked. So, like I say, as a country, we are very unified, even though at least in the health and physical education sphere, even though the education system is provincial.
Okay, right on. Good to hear. Good to hear. Some things are working at a national level. Yeah. All right, so let’s change gears, and I want to talk about your books. You’re a prolific writer, three books down. That’s amazing. Your latest book is thrive in a remote working environment. Did I get that right?
There we go. There we go. Cool. Okay, so give me the cold notes. This is literally all I do, but I’m all self taught, so turn this into like, a mini master class so that I can start thriving rather than wondering, am I going to do this the rest of my life in this environment? Is this it? Is this really it?
Yeah. Well, you’re checking off two of the things that talk about the book. One of them is stay Social, which you do right, via social media your communities that you have, which is phenomenal in your podcast. The other thing is. You’re already a long hauler. So in my book, I talk about we need to almost wear that as a badge that we can do this, right? And I talk about crossing a threshold. After six months of working remotely, you kind of become this long hauler, right?
Six months. Four years, man. Four years.
Four years. You’re like platinum level long haul.
I did it for the company, for my own business, but I also did it at Department of National Defense, too. So yeah, I’m kicking ass and taking names. I’m going to write an addendum to your book. How about that?
Yeah, absolutely. A part two, for sure. But no, I mean, the book was really I guess I’ll share with how it came forward, but basically I knew I was going to write another one. But when COVID-19 hit, I was fully in the office, like many folks that had white collar jobs, even some blue collar jobs. But then COVID hit and it was like, okay, if you’re not an essential worker, you’re going remote. And even though remote work was a big industry globally prior to the Pandemic, it wasn’t as big as it’s become, right? It’s become a real beast. And I mean, our country thrived on the backbone of remote work for two years, right? Our federal government was all remote. So anyway, when COVID hit, my job, like most people, went 100% remote. And I think a lot of people felt this is going to be like three weeks and then we’re going to be back to work.
This is all two weeks of flatten the curve, man.
Two weeks back to work, right? And back to quote unquote, normal. But what I found was that’s probably not going to happen. And so I started writing. I took the time that I would typically spend on my commute. I poured it into the book. I actually went into I pulled a little bit of a Mark Twain and I got into a cabin in the woods in the winter and I wrote this thing in twelve days. But essentially it just grew out of, hey, if I’m struggling remote and figuring all this out, I imagine a lot of people are struggling because I am kind of a wellness guy and it’s always been a part of my life and physical activity has been a part of my life and running and doing things like that. And I was really having a hard time with this transition because it was so abrupt overnight. And so I started putting this piece together and I had worked remote kind of part time in the past and done that, but being full time is a different beast, as you know. Right. I started putting some pieces together and published the book. But essentially it’s designed for the remote worker. It’s not really designed for research or sorry, researchers or even maybe higher executive level. It’s more for the freelancers out there, the entrepreneurs out there folks that are just jumping into this space maybe for the first time, just to really help them to understand what is it that they need to be well and to function well and to thrive throughout their career as a remote worker. So it really is built for that practitioner. I’ve recently endorsed another book, actually called The Power of Remote, and it’s coming out in 2023. And that one’s more focused on the executive. So it’s kind of great because it’s a nice compliment to my book. So I’d encourage listeners to check that out. But, yeah, just maybe I’ll share three quick anecdotes from the book here, Dave, for your listeners. But one of the big things to talk about is I created what’s called this what is it called here? I’m drawing a blank. The five step energy amplifier. Blueprint is what it’s called. And basically it’s a series of questions and actions that you can read and kind of ponder, think about through each section of your day to keep you in this thriving state. So I really start the Blueprint the night before. So what are kind of some of the things we need to prime the night before to kind of ensure that our pre morning routine, our morning routines and things like that kind of go off as planned? I know things come up, but that’s one of the things that I really emphasize in the book, is taking this blueprint and making it your own. So I provide a series of questions and suggestions, but it’s really on the reader to be like, okay, these questions are great, but I really want to take this concept and mold it to my lifestyle and the way I work, so it really can be tailored. The other thing that I really talk about quite a bit in the book is this idea of imposter syndrome. And I’m sure maybe you’ve dealt with it. I’ve dealt with it. I’ve learned that 70% of adults will deal with some form of imposter syndrome in their life. And it was a real thing for me early on in my remote work career, was just, am I enough? Am I doing enough? Am I adding enough value? Is my job secure? All these things were kind of bubbling under the surface with really no evidence to prove that I’m not qualified, I’m not adding value, anything like that. And that’s really what impostor syndrome is. It’s this cycle. And I talk about the cycle in my book, but it’s this cycle of doubt and anxiety which leads to low confidence, feeling like you can’t deliver, taking on easier tasks and not more challenging tasks because you’re terrified and things like that. And it really does become quite a cycle. And so it’s important if you’re a remote worker out there, whatever it is that you do, if you struggle with impostor syndrome to talk to somebody about it, it doesn’t have to be anybody’s qualified. It can be a friend, a mentor, someone you trust, but it’s really important just to have those conversations, because there’s a lot more people dealing with it than we probably think. But that’s just one of the other big pieces that I talk about in the book, too.
Oh, man. Imposter Syndrome. Yeah, I could write a book on that too. That was the first hurdle I had to get over to start a company. I’d never done it before. And to start a fitness company, the whole concept was scary, super scary, because I didn’t consider myself the fittest and because I wasn’t the fittest, whatever that meant, right? Like, what does that even mean? It was just rattling around in my brain like, well, I’m not the fittest guy in the world. Who am I to be a fitness guy? I didn’t do anything wild other than was in the army, and I did some Spartan races, and big deal, right? So it was a coach. It was a coach, a business coach that just rattled me into action, and that’s why I went there. He called me selfish, and I was like, that is not something I identify with as a personality trait. Like, I’ll give you the shirt off my back. I’m not selfish. He’s like, yeah, you’re selfish. He’s like, look at the experiences you’ve had. You’ve overcome a whole bunch of stuff. He’s like you’re fit. You’re health. You know how many people would appreciate what you’re talking about right now? And you’re just scared to talk about it.
And then there’s some other guys in the room. He’s like, hey, would you listen to Dave? And one of the guys was like, a Special Forces dude. He’s like, oh, yeah. Hell yeah. I was like, oh, man. I was like, really? I needed that unlock, and I still needed to work on it after that, because I still have it to this day. I still don’t feel like you’re talking about value, right? Like, am I providing enough value? Was that call good enough? Did I get to the root of their issue? Can I do more of this? And I don’t know if it’s an entrepreneur thing, and like you said, there’s a lot of people that’s a thing. Definitely a thing for me. So I definitely identify with that. So definitely cool that you address that in your book, because I think, for sure, even not in the remote space, but it’s so much more prominent in the remote space because I think you touched on it. You don’t have the tangible interactions with other human beings where you can read body language. You can have probably a little bit more meetings. If you’re feeling a little insecure, you can head over to somebody’s office and be like, hey, how was that last meeting? Unless you set, like, a meeting up on Zoom, you won’t have that interaction. So I’ve been on my own for such a long time. That it felt like I’ve been on my island.
So a lot of things kind of feel like, is this going well? Nobody’s saying anything. And podcasting, forget it. There’s no audience. It’s out there, but there’s nobody clapping after this last little interaction, nobody’s laughing. So it’s hard to tell. But I’ve gotten used to it. Like I said, four years. So tell me, how did you get to the point you’re good at what you do because you have your consultancy agency. You’re able to write content that people actually want to consume. But that’s one whole aspect of getting a market and finding people that want it. But the next thing is finding people that actually want to read your stuff. That’s really good and finding a means to actually push people so that they can see it, which is essentially marketing. You’re clearly good at it. How have you been able to establish your presence in the market while doing all the other things that you’re doing? I’m curious to know because I’ll do it myself.
Yeah, I should preface this too, also for listeners listening in here. I don’t have any kids, and I’m sure when the day comes that I do have kids, it’s probably going to take a lot of time.
Well, there you go. Okay, that’s it. We’re done. You don’t have kids. Okay, there you go. That’s like 10 hours of my day already freed up. Got it.
Yeah. So I do recognize the realities. Right? I kind of operate in this bubble of I have a bit more time right now. And that really happened during the Pandemic was like, I wasn’t you know, my commute would be an hour and a half. I, you know, 3 hours a day. I I had extra. So I was able to, you know, okay, under, you know, study the market a little bit. Understand. I did a lot of research around. Are there any books out there on thriving remotely? And there was one and it was written in 2015 by a guy named Jason Fried. It’s a great book, by the way, but there was none in the market. And so I saw the opportunity in the market, and I had the time and the dedication and the means to make it happen. So, yeah, I just put pen to paper and just grind it out every day a little bit. Some days I get a little bit of a block, but I’d say, okay, just give me 250 words today, or just give me a paragraph today or whatever. And then by the end of it, like you say, you got a tangible product for market. I definitely made a few mistakes along the way, but you kind of correct course correct as you go. And you kind of take at least I took more of a progress over perfection mindset because you can easily just get so terrified to release it to the public that you don’t do it, right? And I think you got to cross that chasm too. So that was one thing, but yeah, I would say the way I try to balance it all is I make sure every day I’m getting at least 30, 60 minutes of physical activity in, you know, I try to schedule things as far out as I can in terms of meeting with clients, with the book. I do a lot of I’ve done a lot of research with Amazon in terms of how do their algorithms work to get eyeballs on your product, because that’s one thing, right? It’s like, you can write the most amazing book in the world, but if you don’t know kind of the marketing process there and how to get it in front of eyeballs, it won’t go anywhere. So that was another piece. But yeah, at the end of the day, there’s always more you can do. And this is something I’ve talked about with other entrepreneurs, is that you kind of get in a cycle of like, oh, you need this, you need this, and you just get going all the time. Even podcasts, like, I have a frequency now where I do one a month. So Dave, you’re my guy for this month. And I’ve had people be like, oh, Ryan, you should do like, three or four more. But I’m like, I just don’t that will throw me out of balance. And my whole thing is wellness, and if I can’t be well, why, I enjoy this process and I continue to add value to the different markets that I work in, then I’m doing it as just what’s the word? I’m not doing justice for myself or for my community. So I try to do everything in stride and just kind of pick and choose my battles, I guess, and not get too hung up on. There could always be more, right? You could always be doing more, but consistency over time, right? Just like a fitness routine or whatever you’re doing. Can win the day, right?
The long game is the only game in town, man. Oh, I like that.
I’m going to use that.
Every time I get spun up. I’m like, I got to get this done now, guys. I’m a long game. Thinker long games is the only game in town. I’ve only been in this for four years, like I said. So I’m still young, right, in the online fitness space. I used to be a trainer, like, way back in the day. I’ve always kind of been in the fitness space, right? And I was a trainer in the army, so I’ve been in the coaching space for a long time, but officially four years as a business. But I’m looking ten years down the line, where do I want to be? And even I’ve just only been in four years. Guys have started around the same time I have, or even just a little bit later, and they’re already out so the way I see is like, well, and the business leaders I listen to, it’s like the only way to fail at business is to give up. You just need to stay in the game, learn from your mistakes. And iterate, iterate, iterate, iterate and it’s not a two year process. It’s not a five year process. It’s a 1020 year process. And so I’m committed to the game. I love it. I really do enjoy it. And what you’re saying here is exactly what I take in as like a philosophy. It’s like, yeah, I mean, I get it done today, but I will get it done. And I’m going to keep on plugging away at it. And I’m curious to know for writing your book, because I’m actually writing a second, I guess technically a third, but I mean, my second book was just a revision of my first one. Do you have a method? Because I came across the Pomodoro method, I don’t know if you’re familiar with it. That changed the game for me because I use it for everything. So it’s basically it’s 50 minutes of non stop work, no correcting, no editing. And you just put on typical I put on the Gladiator soundtrack because there’s no lyrics and I just go hard and it’s ten minutes break and then you do some PT. So I do like squats, push ups and then I get back in another 50 minutes and I can do that for about three cycles. So it’s about 3 hours of work. And then after that I’m just like spent. And that helped me get a substantial amount of work done. Like substantial amount of work done. So when you were locked away in like your, in your cabin in the woods and twelve days, like, that’s impressive. That’s really impressive. How was it that you were able to keep yourself motivated? Was it because you’re like, look, I’m getting this done in twelve days. Come hell or high water, it’s going to be done and you’re just disciplined enough? Or is there just enough intrinsic motivation that you love it so much that you’re just like going through the process and sometimes you’d write for like three, 4 hours straight and then take a break. I’m always curious to know how authors write.
Yeah, great question. I’ve never heard of that method too you mentioned. I really like that. But for me, I will say I took lemons and made lemonade because I was in technically quarantine. This was early on COVID and basically it was like, you do not pass Go, do not collect $200. So I had to isolate. So I was like, well, I got internet and I have, I think it was, yeah, twelve or 14 days early on. So I was like, well, if I grind this thing out, I got 14 days of no interruptions, no nothing. I can’t even leave this property, so I might as well do it. And it was winter. So it was interesting because the property was big enough that I run around it every day. And so my strava, you just see these laps. So I ran the perimeter of the property, and then I go in, shower and start writing. So, yeah, I guess for me at the time, my motivation was, I have this time I have this space to do it, and it’s probably never going to happen again, so I just try to capitalize on that. But I think for me, it was also the solitude. I was in a new environment. I was in a mostly outdoor environment surrounded by nature. You couldn’t help but to feel inspired. And I know one of my favorite authors is Robin Sharma, and he’s really big on that. He just wrote a book, The Everyday Hero, which is amazing, by the way, but he’s all about going and finding, like, a cabin in the woods and just writing or spending three months sometimes in these cabins. So I think that there’s something to be said about that while keeping your fitness routine going at the same time. And that’s just kind of the way I did it, and it worked out. I also got a little bit lucky, but I think, yeah, at the end of the day, it was just get it done and bring it to the world. Right on.
If it’s good enough for Einstein, einstein just love going for walks in the woods to get them inspired and come up with the theory of relativity. Relativity. I think it’s good enough for any one of us. So there’s definitely something there, for sure. Ryan, before we wrap up here, do you have any parting words of wisdom?
Yeah, good question. So I was actually thinking about this, so I came back to reread a book called Green Lights by Matthew McConaughey.
I’ve been meaning to read that. Okay, cool. I’m glad you’re talking about it.
Yeah, you got to put that one on your list now. I’ve heard the audiobook is incredible because he narrates it serious.
I love his voice, man.
Such a cool voice. Okay, cool. Yeah, sold. You may want to check that one out. I wrote it down here. I just want to make sure I get it right. So basically I’m rereading it. I got the book two years ago, and actually it was a memory popped up on my phone of me, like, narrating this book from our apartment, trying to act like Matthew McConaughey. So I was like, oh, I should pull this book back out because there’s so many nuggets of wisdom in this book. And honestly, for any of your listeners who are young men and even older men, it’s just a really good book for young men, I find. And it really met me where I was at at that point in my life. But one of the things he says in his book that I really love is this he says, life, when designed well, works. It’s beautiful and requires little direction. It just needs maintenance along the way. And when you start thinking about that and what you said earlier, davo, the only game is the long game. I think that speaks to that, right? And that you design your life, you create systems, routines, and habits that work for you, and then you maintain that. Right. And it’s a beautiful journey when it’s designed well. I think a lot of us think maybe things will happen to us, but sometimes we need to create that. When we create it, good things happen, and we can maintain that. So any of your listeners out there hope? That some good advice, but definitely check out Green Lights by Matthew McConaughey. Sounds good.
Yeah, I’ll definitely add it to my list of audiobooks. Something about the last few years. I just have a really hard time sitting down and actually reading, probably because I read a lot on a screen all day and I have a reading fatigue. So audiobooks have been my go to for the last few years, so I’m glad that medium exists. And the fact that Matthew McConaughey is narrating it. Oh, man, that’s a sweet and the deal. Thanks for that. So where can folks find you? You’ve got all kinds of good stuff on the Internet. What’s the best means to get a hold of you?
Yeah, I love Twitter. Hopefully it still exists by the time this episode airs. I don’t know what’s going on with it, but, yeah, people can find me there. Just at Wellnessrf is my Twitter handle and then Facebook as well. You can just type in Ryan Fehy and connect with me there. I would love to chat with folks, so if you have questions or you want to just learn more about what I do or my books or what we do at Peachy, Canada, just, yeah, hit me up, send me a message, and stay social. Right. And I think it’s important that community stays connected, so reach out anytime.
Right on, Ryan. This has been a real hoot. Thanks for your insights, man. It’s going to help the community out substantially, and it’s good to know that there’s hope on the horizon when it comes to making sure our kids are nice and healthy. So thanks again. And folks, don’t forget, train, heart, fight easy. See you on the next one.
All right. Just stay.
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Dave is a retired infantry officer and Afghanistan war veteran. He’s the creator of the HRD2KILL training programs that were built on the principles that got him from not being able to get out of bed to competing in the Crossfit Open, Spartan Races and the Ironman. You can find more mobility based exercises in his new book, “The Nimble Warrior”, now available on Amazon or tune into his new HRD2KILL Podcast