Risking It All For What Matters with Nigel Bennett

We have have had conversations with many small community and world wide change agents her on Men of Abundance. Todays Abundant Leader has risked his life for you and I, and our families, many times over. We owe it to him to at least share his story.

Meet our Feature Guest

At a young age, Nigel Bennett was shocked to witness first-hand the real impact of oil spills on our natural world. After almost being shot down by FARC guerrillas on the Venezuela-Colombia border and being forced to escape Egypt while working for his father’s oil spill contingency planning company, he decided to break away and start Aqua-Guard Spill Response. Aqua-Guard now provides equipment and services that protect water, the planet’s most precious resource, in 104 countries.

In 2012, Nigel set up his business to run without him, See what he did with his new found freedom and see how he (with the help of his coach) has been able to create a life that most people dream of.

His book “Take That Leap – Risking it all for what Really matter” recounts Nigel’s unanticipated adventures as an entrepreneur, emerging philanthropist and always avid outdoorsman. Get inside his head as he negotiates deals with the big boys and wrestles with the myths surrounding work/life balance and being an entrepreneur. Be there with him through the crazy challenges of simultaneously launching a startup and a family all the way through to the even zanier challenges of becoming a steward of Pachamama (mother Nature). Follow this daredevil as he tests his limits in extreme outdoor adventures, builds homes for the homeless with his wife and children, and discovers his big “Why?” with the indigenous people of the Amazon.

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Transcript
Nigel Bennett:

And, um, he said to me, he said, okay, we're going to drop these two guys off. Um, but he said, whatever you do just don't let them see your camera because if they do and they see you taking any photographs at all, they could report us and they could have us arrested and we could be arrested for, for spying and thrown in jail, et cetera. So I was scared to death.

Narrator:

Welcome to men of abundance, the podcast for those looking to level up their lives by hanging out with some of the greatest leaders and established professionals in our community, living a life of integrity honor, and the abundance mentality prepare to pay it forward with your host. Former army medic turned lifestyle entrepreneur, Wally Carmichael,

Wally Carmichael:

What is going on? You're amazing abundant leader, right? I am Wally Carmichael, your founder and host of the men of abundance podcast, the pay it forward community proving to you that you can in fact, live a life of abundance and family, faith, finances, and fitness on your way to having more. This is yet another amazing conversation today because it feeds right into what I was talking about last week before I got into the conversation and episode. Three 37. So make sure you go back and listen to men of abundance.com forward slash three, three seven, because that's where I talk about finding your own pie or finding another pie. Well, today we're actually talking about creating your own pie and doing whatever it takes to create that pie against all odds, even if it's putting your own life into danger. So hold onto your seats because this is going to be a good one. Now. As usual, I want to give you the opportunity to be abundant in your actions today, by paying it forward and sharing men of abundance with others, you are definitely going to want to share this conversation. Take a screenshot of your phone, share it on social media has tagged men of abundance, hashtag MOA tag, me and tag others who need to hear these conversations. I assure you, they will thank you for it. And it only takes a couple of minutes, maybe even a couple of seconds. Well, it might take just a few minutes more for is for you to go over to iTunes and leave a rating and review, click those stars, leave a review, let us know how we're doing so that we can bring you more guests. And more importantly, more people can find. Men of abundance. I can't tell you how important it is for you to leave reviews over on Google and anywhere else. In real soon, I'm going to have an opportunity for you to leave a review on Google my business, because I'm going to be putting men of abundance on Google my business. So it can be found even more that way as well. Now, our feature guest today is an award-winning entrepreneur, author, and philanthropist. He's also the founder of Aqua guard spill response, incorporated. A global leader in oil spill control that works to protect water. The world's most precious resource in a hundred plus countries around the world. He and Aqua guard have received multiple awards for their innovation business excellence. And entrepreneurial-ism he has received the British Columbia Institute of technologies, 2018 distinguished alumni of the year award. He has devoted his life to environmental and social responsibility and boldly advocates for risking it all for what really matters among the entrepreneurial tribes, for which he belongs. He speaks and consults with entrepreneurs and young people worldwide about bringing their talents and solving some of our planet's most pressing challenges. As an active philanthropist, he donates all profits from his book, sells, take the leap, risking it all for what really matters and speaking engagements to organizations that support poverty, alleviation, human rights, social services, and the environment, men of abundance. It is my honor to introduce you to Nigel Bennett, Nigel. Welcome to men of a bonus brother. How you doing today? I'm

Nigel Bennett:

great. Great, Wally. Thank you so much for having me on your show. That was a pleasure. Where are you at in the world? I'm in Whistler, Whistler. VC. Yeah. Yeah. It's a beautiful day up here today. Right?

Wally Carmichael:

It's actually gorgeous today too, here in Florida. It rained like crazy yesterday and we needed it. So now it's just an absolute gorgeous day.

Nigel Bennett:

Yeah, we did too. We had a really dry April and it's been a little bit wet, but the mountains are just loaded with snow still and blue skies and it's just absolutely stunning. And, and the crazy thing is, is that, you know, we've got grizzly bears in the mountains around here, but last week they had a grizzly walking through town. Oh, wow. Because it's so quiet. There's nobody around. So all that is coming back. Very good

Wally Carmichael:

point. I never even considered that in places like that.

Nigel Bennett:

Yeah. Oh yeah. Insane. Gotta be careful out there.

Wally Carmichael:

Absolutely. I did see a picture. One time somebody posted it was down in Africa where a bunch of LA pride of lions were hanging out on the road because nobody was there, there, and nobody was there. Normally wouldn't be.

Nigel Bennett:

Yeah. I mean, I see, I see a black bear black bear and a black bear cut almost every day. You now. And I would, I would see maybe a couple of years now, I'm seeing one every single day. My wife and I were hiking, uh, two days ago. And there was a black bear waiting across the river, right in front of us was going right across the river. It was the coolest thing. Well, I wonder

Wally Carmichael:

if they know anything about, I don't call it social distancing. I call it physical distancing. I wonder if they know anything about that, I'm just not concerned or they, they don't care. They don't care for them. Good for them. I like to start out with an attitude of gratitude, man. It sounds like you have a lot to be grateful for, but what specifically are you grateful for

Nigel Bennett:

today? Yeah, I'm just, I'm just extremely fortunate at the, the biggest thing is, you know, my family, I'm just so, so fortunate. Uh, my wife and I we're in our 31st year of marriage here, we've got three great kids, 25, 23, and 20. And just been really fortunate to be able to raise them as, uh, as global citizens, you know, and, um, Yeah, and I'm just super fortunate, super fortunate. And I got my freedom back out of my, not out of my business, but I set my business up a few years ago, so I've, I've got a lot of freedom and, uh, yeah, so I'm just really, really grateful.

Wally Carmichael:

Wonderful. That is a great place to be your sound. You're pretty close to me, except for I have a 26 year old, a 20 year old and a 10 year old. Wow. Yeah, what's that of my retirement plan. I just turned 51, so I should have already had them all out, but you know, that's another little guy. That's my that's my buddy man. So the other two are off doing their own thing. Yeah. Oh, that's great. That's wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. So, you know, before we got started here, I talked a little bit about what you got going on and that's your professional side, and here are men of abundance. We really like to get to know the man behind the abundance. So if you would, how would you describe yourself?

Nigel Bennett:

Oh man. Um, I I've kind of later, later on in my years, I'm 58 now. Uh, just from 58 and I've really realized that one of my unique abilities is connecting amazing people doing in doing amazing things. So I just love connecting people that are making a big difference in the world. And, and, and the more that I step into that space, the more the energy ball and things just start happening. So I love that. I love. I love adventure. I, I, you know, I love travel, um, lots of sports, uh, adrenaline, I'm an adrenaline junkie. So I was always a big rock climber and back country skier. And, you know, I started surfing when I turned 40 and I'm addicted to surfing. And so, but I would always find it that it would, um, cause I would live in such a stressful world. That was w it was my reset. So I would get away. I was scape. I would reset my brain and then I would step back into my stressful world and have a lot of, uh, problems and issues solved. If I was able to remove myself. And, um, but then, but then I also had, um, What I would call, is it a bit of an imposter syndrome? I would get into these business groups and thing, entrepreneur. I joined the entrepreneurs organization. I was actually dragged into it by a friend of mine. And, but I always, I never felt that I belonged. I always thought that I was the dummy in the class because I was I'm dyslexic and I've got add, and I always had a tough time. Um, so yeah, I've always kind of lived with that bit of this, um, a friend of mine, Todd calls it the imposter syndrome, so yeah. Yeah.

Wally Carmichael:

Familiar with that. Definitely familiar with that. Oh yeah, absolutely. I mean, I got over it. I've had the opportunity because of this show and many other things doing what I do. I talk to people all the time that I've had on pedestals for years. And I, after a conversation with them, I don't feel like I'm any smarter than them. I'm just like, you know what, why the pedestal? I mean, honestly, they're just normal people, just like I am. And they got fears and concerns and imposter syndrome as well. Yeah.

Nigel Bennett:

Yeah. Anxiety and yeah, I know. I know. Yeah. But yeah, I've always lived with that.

Wally Carmichael:

Yeah. Very interesting. Very cool. So speaking of connections and being a connector, Tom swab introduced the two of us and got us connected with, and he's with interview valet, master connector actually made a business out of it. Absolutely. Yeah. How did you, how did you guys get

Nigel Bennett:

connected? Uh, I got connected through a buddy out of my class at MIT. Um, I go to this entrepreneurs organization class at MIT called the gathering of Titans. I've been going it's are, was supposed to be our 16th year this year, but, uh, it was canceled because of, uh, the COVID-19 outbreak. And, um, so one of my classmates and my former group members there introduced me to Tom. Yeah, he's a, he's in Detroit as well. So. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Wally Carmichael:

Tom is absolutely missing Tom and his wife. Karen. They're just absolutely wonderful. People. Love them, love

Nigel Bennett:

them to death. So he does what he does with passionate. He does it for the right reason. So, you know, I just, that's what I love working with people that are really doing cool things in the world and for the right reason. And I, I just. You know, I I'm like a reborn kid, you know, I just jump out of bed every morning. If I get to hang out and talk to like you, you know, it's like people doing really cool stuff. I just love it. I love

Wally Carmichael:

it. Yeah, I do too. I'm I've always been intrigued with people. I've always been a people watcher. And in fact, when I was a kid, I used to spend a lot of time sitting in the malls and just watching people in general, as I got older, it was just that creepy old man sitting in the corner, watching

Nigel Bennett:

my daughter says. You're just a creepy

Wally Carmichael:

old man, you know, so I gotta be careful with that, but that's why I do it here. And I don't have to, you know, I get to have all these amazing conversations. That's very cool. So, you know, one of the things we we'd like to get into is that kick in the gut moment. And I, and I imagine, you know, with everything you've done in your life thus far and being 58, you've got a few kick in the gut moments. If you would share one with us and really make us feel that. Oh

Nigel Bennett:

man. Well, um, yeah, I, I, when I was a young, a young young guy, I mean, right. The high school, uh, my dad had a environmental mapping company and, um, so I was on the next day after graduating from high school, completely hung over. I was on a flight to Venezuela and I found myself hanging out of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft and photographing, and we were mapping the coastline and we were occasionally getting, um, uh, I actually, our helicopter. We're we're S uh, serving Lake mare KIBO, which gets quite close to the Colombian border and the fart gorillas were operating there and they still are to this day, 50 years later, um, uh, they were taking pot shots at our helicopters. So that was a pretty scary moment. And then I found myself after that in Egypt for quite a while. Now, were you stationed in the Sinai? I was,

Wally Carmichael:

I was in six months. Uh, it was like 98, 99 timeframe. No, I'm sorry. It was 96, 90, 96, 97 timeframe.

Nigel Bennett:

Yeah. One of your podcasts last night, you mentioned that I'm like, Oh my goodness. That's insane. Cause I was, I was in Egypt for about five years, uh, in the mid eighties. So I was, I was serving the coastline in Egypt and I remember. I drove from Suez down to a little, a little checkpoint called in the, um, on the, um, on the Gulf there, the golf is AZ and, um, there was a helicopter pilot, and it was going to take me for a survey and we're going to go survey the Sinai, fly over the Sinai. And where are we going to go up the, uh, the West side of the Sinai and, and, uh, Survey it for environmental sensitivities and oil industry activity. And I walked into the helicopter base and this guy was Johnny and he was a big, big, big lad. And, um, he was an ex Vietnam, uh, uh, pilot and he'd been wounded in the leg and he had a bit of a limp and he came out to me and he goes, you know, Nigel. Um, you know, I know, I know why you're here and I know what I gotta do, but you know, there's only certain areas that I can take you to. And, you know, that's it. And I'm like, okay, whatever, you know, take me to wherever you can. And then he said to me, he said, you know, I know why you're doing this, but do you really, really think you can make a difference? And because I was a young guy, I thought, hell yeah, I mean, a young, I was full of him and Victor, I thought I was going to change the world and I really thought I could make a difference. So we took off. And we flew over to the Sinai and we had two oil executives in the back and he told me, he said, Nigel, keep your, um, your, your camera between your legs. I was

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Nigel Bennett:

the, it was like I was in the co-pilot seat and I had the, um, the helmet on with the microphone so we could talk, but the guys in the back couldn't hear us. And, um, he said to me, he said, okay, we're going to drop these two guys off. Um, but he said, whatever you do just don't let them see your camera because if they do and they see you taking any photographs at all, they could report us and they could have us arrested and we could be arrested for, for spying and thrown in jail, et cetera. So I was scared to death and we dropped these guys off. We flew a little bit further North, and then he said, I'm going to take you to some areas I'm not supposed to take it about, but whatever. So we flew into some areas and I saw, um, oil operations, and this was on land. And there was pipeline after pipeline, after pipeline that had been ruptured and oil was flowing into the Gulf of Suez or the red sea. And I took photo after photo after photo. And it was just blew my mind that this was happening. I saw the same thing in Egypt, and I saw the same thing, um, in Venezuela. And I saw it in Malaysia and I saw it all over the world. I spent 10 years working for my dad's, uh, environmental mapping company. And so I landed back in raspberry and Johnny said to me, so can you take these photographs? And, and show them to the people that need to see them. And he said, you know, you know, go out there and make an impact. And that really, really, really infected affected me. But my big kick in the gut here was I'd been working for my dad for several years and. We had finished our contract in Egypt and I was in Alexandria. We had a, an apartment in Alexandria and I was going to meet my father in Cairo because he was finishing everything up. And I drove the old, I don't know if he ever drove the road from Alex to Cairo, but it was quite the crazy road at the time. Um, this is the mid eighties and I, uh, I got to the hotel and this guy grabbed me, put me, uh, dragged me up the stairs, put me in the room, turned off the light and basically said that my father had was missing. And, um, so I sat on the floor of this room, this dark room till about three o'clock in the morning. And there was a ring on, on, on the desk of the phone and he answered it. And he said, it's for you. And it was actually my father speaking in code telling me to get out of the country he'd been arrested and he was in jail. So, um, basically we decided that, uh, I had to leave the country as well to try and get him out. And so I left and, but the hardest thing for me is I left. I went back to Vancouver. He was still in jail for about six months in various jails in Egypt. And, um, He was released eventually, but what we've, what, we've what I say and podcasts and things is that my father and my ethics clashed, and it was a bit of an ethical thing going on there. And he was eventually released because one of the witnesses against him died in, in prison and they have to let them go. So my kick in the butt, but in the body, in the gut, in the butt, like you mentioned, having people on these, on these pedestals is my dad was on this massive, massive pedestal for me. And then. Cut knocked completely off. And my, I, I worked with my sister and we had to, had to, you know, we decided that we had to leave. We didn't want to be involved in any type of this stuff ever again. And it was really, really tough. So we, we left and we formed our own business called response. We had no money, we leveraged everything we had and. Uh, our father, uh, did not like us for doing what we did, but we had to do it. And I swore I'd never get involved in anything like that ever again. And unfortunately, my father is now 85 and he just served another five years in a us prison for a similar offense. So it's, it's tight. It's really tough. So that it's, it's been multiple kicks in the gut.

Wally Carmichael:

Yeah, that's a tough one, man. That is really a tough one. And I commend you and your sister for making the decision and thank you.

Nigel Bennett:

Thank you very much. No, it was just trying to break, break the break the cycle. I mean, I've been through lots of therapy and whatnot because of this and I, and I. You know, I'm 58 now, but I still have, you know, anxiety attacks and, uh, it's, you know, something that I can't explain, but you know, what I, what I do is I, you know, I meditate every morning. I get up and I meditate and I meditate for half an hour with my wife, both of us together. And, um, it really, that really helps with that. But I it's one of these, one of these things, everybody has their skeletons and that's, that's one of mine, for sure. So.

Wally Carmichael:

Yeah, I definitely get that. Having, having traveled as much as I have. And for those of you who have not had the pleasure of traveling, one is the best education that you will ever get, period. Um, but you're going to see, you know, those of us who live in the free world, we have a pretty damn good. Uh, there are some issues we got, we all got our issues, but I'm here to tell you, uh, like for instance, my wife, I spent four years in Panama wife, my wife's from Panama. Oh, yeah. Yeah. And, uh, right now they're they got a curfew. They're on lockdown. I'm I'm in full on lockdown. In fact, one of her nieces didn't believe that they, you know, would do what they said that they would do by detaining people. She was out past curfew, she got detained overnight. Uh, and it wasn't a very pleasant environment where she was detained at. And, you know, and they're following the rules and following the laws and all this kind of stuff, but, and as worse, even other places, you know, and. Beside co you know, besides COVID and other things, but just the way people are treated and the freedoms that they don't have. Um, it's different. So, yeah, it's, it's, it's get out guys get out. Yeah. I actually

Nigel Bennett:

have a, we have a small office in Panama and we were able to get our guys out of there, but it took a long time to get the mountain back, back to Canada. Um, that was right at the beginning of the COVID thing

Wally Carmichael:

here. Yeah, absolutely. Well, good. I'm glad you were able to. Get them out, at least get them home where they, you know, they're safe there in, Panama's just a matter of, uh, you know, you want to be with people you love and if you're going to be locked down and he said, no, that's it. Anyway. So anyhow, you know, I don't want to put words in your mouth, but it seemed like you had enough as enough moment and you, you and your sister had went ahead and started your, um, uh, your business. And what's it called again?

Nigel Bennett:

It's called Aqua guard spill response. What we do is we design, we design and manufacture kind of state-of-the-art oil spill, response equipment, like Marine oil spills. So for the BP horizon, that happened 10 years ago, last month, actually in the Gulf of Mexico. And yeah, it's, it's the equipment that we use to contain and recover. Uh, Marino spills. Yeah, we've got we're in about a hundred. We've done business about 104 countries, about 3000 clients now after, yeah. After. To break it off my, my dad's company in 92.

Wally Carmichael:

Well, and sadly enough, it seems like there's more than enough work for you out there

Nigel Bennett:

because never, it never changes. I know. I mean, we were, I was involved way back, uh, in the Exxon Valdez in 89 and then in the first Gulf war in 1990 and, um, yeah, with, um, the, uh, with the Kuwait, with Kuwait, remember the Kuwait fires and all that stuff. Yeah. We're involved in that too. So yeah. Yeah. Yeah, it's crazy.

Wally Carmichael:

It is crazy. It really is. And that's, that is an industry that's got so much corruption and there's so much, that's why Wars are fought quite frankly, just because of that industry, fossil fuels and whatnot and energy in general.

Nigel Bennett:

Absolutely. I know, I know. I think the next words are going to be fought over clean water. To be honest with you. I think the oil oil thing's dying off a little bit are going to eventually when we find alternative fuels, but, um, uh, alternative energy, but water is the next thing, but, uh, yeah, I've had, yeah, I've had a lot of enough, enough moments, as you mentioned. Um, Um, I lived what I call kind of the doorknob effect. So once I broke off, um, my father's company in 1992 with my sister and another guy, um, I live for, it was almost 20 years of being on a rollercoaster and I call it the door knob. Cause I would go up to the door knob of my office every day. And it would be, it would be vibrating, you know? And I'm like, okay, if I, when I touch it, I got to step through. And everyday I would step through, it'd be a complete. Bee's nest of, I need this nodule. Could you do this? I could you. And so I'd take a deep breath and I'd step through, but I lived like that for 20 years. And I mentioned earlier that, um, a buddy of mine, uh, saw this happening. He was a ex, uh, Canadian football league, uh, lineman professional football player is 330 pounds big dude. And, uh, he had just retired from football and he joined what was called the entrepreneurs organization. And you said, Nigel, you need help. Let me take you to a meeting. And I might know, I don't have time. I've got a young family. I, you know, I just don't have time for this stuff. And he literally grabbed me by the Scruff of the neck and he said, you're coming to a meeting with me. And he dragged me to this meeting and I got recruited and I was in first, you know, about 15 years in the entrepreneurs' organization, which, um, which was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Um, and then, um, I hired a coach, um, I'd, I'd had a coach, a coach coach help helped me break away from my dad's company, helped me set things up. And then I had another coach about five years later, I'm still working with them 15 years later, um, that, uh, I had a conversation with my coach the very first time he was with me. And he saw that I was having a hard time. And he said, you know, Nigel, if somebody came up to you today and offered you something for your business, What would you sell it for? And I said $1 like that. It was, I didn't even think it's a $1. I said, I want my freedom back. I

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Nigel Bennett:

my freedom back. I want to be able to go climbing in the mountains. I want to go skiing. I want to be able to hang out with my family. I'm sick and tired of living this, you know? Chaos for 20, 20 plus years. And so I worked with my coach over me over several years and we set up the asteroid belt of things that I was dealing with. And we started knocking off the little asteroids first and the bigger ones later. And, and, you know, we stepped through the minefield and, and eventually after so many years I was able to set my business up to run without me. And, um, yeah, and I, and in, and in, um, And in 2010, I was, I was offered to sell my business to a large UK competitor out of the, out of the UK. And I went to my class at MIT. I was, I was, I was there and a speaker came in. And I I'd taken the deposit, uh, for the business. And I was out, I was getting my freedom back. I was like, I can't believe this. I got to get a big bag of cash and I'm going to be able to go sell t-shirts on the beach. I'm going to go surfing or do whatever I want to do. And then the speaker came and she stood up in front of her class. Her name was Lynn twist and she wrote a book called the soul of money. And she invited myself and other members of my class to go deep into the Amazon rainforest with her and experience a tribe that had only been, um, um, had contact with the outside world 10, 10 years before, and only with her organization, which was called the Pachamama Alliance. And they work with indigenous groups in the Amazon to help preserve their way of life and basically keep the oil oil companies back. And so I put my hand up and I said, I'm coming with you and I'm bringing my family. And so I went. But I was right in the middle. So it was the, the BP horizon oil spill. It was happening. I was in the middle of selling my business or selling it, and I was invited to go to the Amazon and I went to the Amazon and, and I took place, uh, in a ceremony. There was a ceremony with, uh, uh, some elders and, uh, it took place in the ceremony was a hallucinogenic substance called Iowasca that I tried, I didn't even know what it was. And then this little voice in my head, I actually, I had this vision. I think it was my conscience talking to me. It said, and basically it said this, it said, Nigel, do not sell your business, take your business off the company off the table, leverage the business, leverage all of your contacts that you've made over the past 30, 30 years to do good in the world. And I was like, Whoa, that was. Pretty heavy, heavy stuff. And I was flying back to Vancouver and I really thought about it seriously. I thought I'm going to cash out and I'm going to sell business or sell t-shirts on the beach or what am I going to do? I don't know what I'm going to do. Um, so I decided to fly to London. I pulled the deal off the table. I bought out my partner and I've, that was in 2012. And now I've been leveraging my business and, uh, to do good in the world. And that's. Yeah. So I went from having enough as enough moment to being able to morph my way and, um, obtain all this. And the only reason I honestly believe is that joining a really solid peer group, but then having a really, really good coach that held me accountable. That was the only way that I was able to get there. And once I set my business up to run without me, my wife and I and our family, we, um, we took off for a year and traveled. We spent time in 17 different countries, very simple backpacks. We had, we had three t-shirts, one pair of shorts, bear, flip flops. So in every photograph that we're in. Uh, we're wearing like the same teach, the same clothes. It's pretty funny to look at. Um, yeah, we, we traveled for a year and, and I wrote a book while I was doing that. So yeah. So things really turned themselves around.

Wally Carmichael:

Absolutely wonderful. That's the dream though. Isn't it? That's the dream that many business owners think they're going to have until they get into it and they realize, damn, this is taken up every single bit of my time. But listen, guys, listen to Nigel story. Listen to what he did. He listened to other people.

Nigel Bennett:

Yes, absolutely. I know I asked for help because, you know, I honestly think that we can't do life alone. We can't. And unfortunately, you know, I hate to say this, but my father didn't trust anybody and he did, he got very paranoid and, um, where, you know, I, and I, and the thing is I'm dyslexic and I've got add, so I've, I've always. Reached out for help. When I was, um, in school, when I was in technical college, I got kicked out of technical college after, after the first six months. But I begged the Dean to allow me back in if I was able to take day school and night school while the courses that I failed at night school. But the only reason I got through that is because I surrounded myself with really good people that could help me. And we all helped each other. And same thing in, in life, you know, with the coach, I. You know, there's things that there's absolutely no way I could have done it unless I was, you know, held accountable or, you know, made a deal that I was going to have something done next month. And if I didn't, I was going to hand them the keys to my car and, you know, things like that. Like it. You have to take it seriously and, and you get into a, I found for me, I got into a flow and I call it a life rhythm. I don't call it a life balance. Cause I always find that a balance, you have to give one up for the other, but a life like a real life rhythm, like you're almost in a dance. And once you get in the sweet spot, you're in this flow and the, and then things just start happening faster and faster and better. And you get connected with incredible people and, and, and you just it's that flow, man. It's for me, it's that flow and, and yeah. Just been like, like you said, I've been really, really fortunate. Yeah,

Wally Carmichael:

absolutely. I love the idea of handing over the keys to the car or something like that. And I had, I had a client at one time that, um, I won't say which party he was affiliated with, but he definitely didn't like the other party. He was far one way. And I said, well, look, dude, if you don't follow through with this, here's what you're going to do. And I had him sign a contract. You are going to donate $500 to the other party, political bully. And he's like, hell no. So guess what he did and what he didn't know. And the same thing with, you know, have somebody where, you know, the, the, uh, you know, opponents Jersey or something like that, you know, football or whatever the sport is, uh, you know, you gotta find out what the hot buttons are and his emotional hot buttons. That'll get it done. Oh, yeah.

Nigel Bennett:

I mean, I had, uh, I had a bet. I had a bet with some of the guys at my class at MIT and I'm so I'm the Vancouver Canucks, right? The, the hockey. And then he was a Boston Bruins fan of Boston. We had a beat, you know, we made it to the finals and, uh, we made a bet that if the other team won, the other guys would have that guy would have to go to class, stand up in front of everybody and sing the other. Teams national Anthem though. So I lost the Canucks, lost Boston one. I went there and in the pub that night I had to stand up and sing the U S staff national Anthem, which, which was awesome. But the really cool thing I found was is that, and most of the people, there were seven Canadians in our class and there's like 70 Americans and they're really. Beautiful thing was, is I, you know, I started singing, you know, and, and they kind of joined along in the, in the, in the U S national Anthem. But then when I, when I S and then, um, and then, uh, my buddy, Danny, who won the bid, he actually started singing the Canadian national Anthem. But the whole class of American started singing the Canadian national Anthem, all the guys that knew it because I guess a lot, a lot of hockey fans. So they, they knew and it was just incredible, you know? And, um, yeah. Yeah.

Wally Carmichael:

Very cool. Got to have fun with it, guys. It's all about having fun to live in a life. I mean, my goodness, we're just too serious about, you know, ourselves and just laugh at each other and have a good time. It makes everything so much better.

Nigel Bennett:

Yeah. Yeah. That's

Wally Carmichael:

so true. I know, I know. I know. Oh my gosh.

Nigel Bennett:

Oh, what was I going to say? There was something here. I just lost my mind here. Um, yeah. Anyway, uh,

Wally Carmichael:

well let me ask you this. I mean, the obviously paying it forward in a very, very big way, you know, with your business and taking care of all those oil spills with Aqua guard, uh, spill response and everything else, but how else are you paying it forward in the community or even in the world?

Nigel Bennett:

Yeah, I guess there's another little thing. I'll mention that I had a, a, another speaker in my class and his name's Simon, Simon Sinek, and he talks about why and he got up and he goes, you know, why you do anything is why you do everything. And I, and I never really got it. And he says, what is your why for your business and my wife or my business? I, you know, I clean up oil spills. I clean up the oil industry mess, but I thought about that again on the flight home, back to Vancouver. And I go, no, no, no, no, no, no. The name of your businesses? Aqua guard. AquaGuard we protect means protect water. We protect the world's most precious resource. My why for my business is. To protect the world's most precious resource, which just blew the doors right. Open. It just expanded everything so much. And, and that's what I do with the business. So that, that that's cool. It's protecting water, but, uh, on a personal note, um, um, I I've, I've always been kind of wired to wanting to give back, but I never really knew what to do. And. I had a really cool R hat. I have a really cool, um, made a mine, um, David Ash, and he was a former member of my entrepreneurs organization group for 15 years. And he was doing incredible things. He was building a shelters downtown for homeless women and just pouring his heart and everything into giving back. And I asked him, I said, Dave, We're in San Diego. We're actually at the Coronado hotel sitting in San Diego, outside having lunch. And I said to him, I said, Dave, I don't get it. How do you, how do you do what you do? Like I'm just in all of you. And he goes Nigel. It's, it's not a big deal. He says, just take that first little step. And I said that first little step, like what he says, Oh, you see somebody sitting on the, on, you know, a homeless person on the side of the road. You'll sit down and have a little chat with them, find out, you know, find out what they're about. Give them five bucks, just, just a little, just a little thing. And, and, and, and you'll, and you'll figure it out. And I'm like, okay, fine. That's, you know, that's, that's cool. And then he invited me and my family to go to Mexico to help, uh, build homes for the homeless. And the first year I said, no, no, no, I'm too busy. I can't go. He came back. He showed me some photographs of this amazing experience with his family. And the next year I went and two years later I went again and then, um, our kids were giving presentations at their school, uh, from their experience. And I'd get home at night. And our phone would start ringing off the hook. You know, people wanted to come, they wanted us to lead a trip and I'm like, well, I don't li I just go. And they said, well, could you lead a trip? So I talked to the organizers and our first trip, I couldn't take, there was 80 people that wanted to come and I couldn't take them all. So we took 50 and then we took another 30. We went twice that year and we built and. My daughter was three years old. The first time she went and now she's 20. And, um, we were going every year or multiple times a year, leading these trips to Mexico to help, help build. And it's just been the most incredible thing. I've found that giving. Is one of the most incredible things we can do. Giving money is great. Giving of yourself is, is very, very powerful. But giving as a family, as a family unit is probably one of the most powerful things that I've ever done. And so we've. We've gone. Probably 18 times probably led 700 people now to Mexico to build. And it's just, and then, and then things, other things spur off. You know, we do a lot, my wife and I do a lot of work for youth, um, with covenant house there's covenant house chapters in pretty much every city in North America and they help at-risk youth. So we do a lot of work with them and, um, during our journey around the world, um, I got. W I'm a, I'm a crappy surfer, but I love to surf, but my kids are good surfers. So we're in Indonesia and ballet and we're surfing. And we found that when it would rain, the oceans would fill with garbage and plastic because they would, the rivers were all dry and then they would flush all the garbage down into the ocean and you'd be paddling to catch a wave in your Scag and everything would be, uh, in garbage. And so I. My son and daughter and I, we decided, you know, we need to do something. So we created a movement and an app called true beach, T R U B a C H. And we have an app so people can travel the world. Or if you're traveling with your kids and family, you can report a beach contamination. So it's, it's to bring awareness and hopefully change to, um, uh, the condition of our beaches and oceans. And then my son and I, and my coach. Um, founded another group called gift, add.com where we were helping to dispel the myth that people with ADHD and dyslexia were not, uh, cursed, but were actually gifted. And we're sharing stories of successful people, not necessarily entrepreneurs, but humans that are successful that have, you know, uh, ADHD or dyslexia. And, um, yeah, so, I mean, there's a whole ton of other stuff, but I just find it. I find that I get more joy in my life. Now giving than any contract or anything that I've ever been able to get in business. I it's just, and being able to do with my family is, you know, there's, there's nothing, nothing that comes close.

Wally Carmichael:

Yeah, absolutely. So, so basically to sum all that up, you're just really not doing a whole lot in your life and not doing well. The fact of the matter is all the studies point to the fact that the highest form of happiness comes from giving. 100%. It all circles back to that giving of your time, churches or talents or the above if possible. That's why I talk about being an abundant leader and being abundant because the more abundant you are not just in resources, but in, in time and to knowledge and wisdom, the more you have to give.

Nigel Bennett:

You do, and the more it gets attracted to you and the more you have to give, and then a friend of mine, Lynne twist, she wrote the book, the soul of money. I mentioned, she said that, um, uh, money is like water. It, um, it flows in or was it. It kind of trickles in and it flows or, sorry, sorry. It can trickle out, but it can flow back in, you know, so the little bit you give things just flow back in and I, and I've, I've really found that when you step into that space and you accept it and, and, and get into that rhythm and that life rhythm and that flow things just start going crazy. I mean, you, you, you, you know, this it's, uh, it's really hard to explain. I mean, I was stuck for so many years. I was stuck, stuck, stuck, and I just thought I would never be able to get out of this. Craziness that I was living. And then all of a sudden, when I stepped from one side

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into

Nigel Bennett:

the next and got involved in things just started happening and it started happening for my business and it started happening in my personal life and relationships. And.

Wally Carmichael:

Yeah. Yeah. Some of the longtime listeners have heard it. It's exactly what happened to me. As soon as I took on this abundance mindset and started enjoying my life a little bit more and then giving so much more came into my life in the forms of relationships, connections, opportunities, money. It's just

Nigel Bennett:

amazing, man. I know it sounds like a cliche, you know, and I I've heard people say it for years, you know, the more you give, the more that comes in, I'm like, yeah, I don't believe it does it really, really does. I, I, you know, I don't know. Yeah, for sure. The universe, I guess.

Wally Carmichael:

I don't know. So brother we're at the point where we're going to pay it forward, you're better to do that.

Nigel Bennett:

Sure. Yeah. You bet. Excellent.

Wally Carmichael:

One of the many things I noticed during the 2020 lockdowns is many business owners became very conscious of where they were spending their money. As a result, you started reducing costs and rightfully so. And one of the cuts most business owners make is in the area of marketing. Now on the surface, one would say, well, why would you reduce costs on the one thing that is supposed to bring clients and customers into your business? Well, it's simple, the marketing wasn't working, or you weren't tracking where your customers and clients are coming from, and if they were coming from your marketing, you didn't know, but chances are, they were not coming in from the marketing. Most have told me they come in from referrals. And they're not predictable. I can't predict the referrals that come into my business. You can't predict marketing when it's done. Right. Which brings up the other problem. Those that were tracking their marketing and seeing if it was effective. Quite frankly, it wasn't effective. Sending more traffic to their website was not more effective placing ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google pay-per-click billboards, newspaper wasn't effective. So the question becomes why. Why is it that a business will spend so much money on marketing and not get a return on the investment? Well, the reason is simple. Most businesses out there, and I mean, 90% or more of the businesses that are out there are doing, what's referred to as institutional or brand building marketing. It is not effective for the small business owner. It's only effective to put your name out there, like all the big name brands that you see on the Superbowl commercials and whatnot. When you as a business owner are putting ads up on billboards, newspapers, TV ads, radio ads, Facebook pay-per-click, regardless of what it is, chances are, you are literally throwing your money away because those strategies that you're using is not the mediums is not the billboard and it's not Facebook and it's not Google. Pay-per-click, it's what you're saying in the marketing and how you say it. I remember this one, write this down, what you say and how you say it is almost always more important than where you say it. So where can you find out more information? Where can you find out how to do effective marketing while you're in luck? I've got a link for you to go check out for a training that I'm just going to give to you. Absolutely free. All you have to do is go to a P mastery coach.com/wrong. AP mastery, coach.com/wrong. And you'll find that link in the show notes of this episode. I promise you, after you watched that training, you will never look at your business and your marketing of your business the same way. Again, one more time. AP mastery, coach.com forward slash wrong. Now back to the conversation. So share one to three actionable steps that men of abundance can take today.

Nigel Bennett:

Wow. Okay. Well, for me, this is my mind was, um, I joined a really, really good peer group, um, which was the entrepreneurs organization. And then I got into the gathering of Titans at MIT. And then, uh, there was another one called tiger. 21 peer group was key key for me. And then biggest of all for me was, uh, hiring a coach and having a really good coach to hold me accountable. And something else that I've really learned is never sacrifice, uh, your family for business crisis. Because as entrepreneurs, we're always in a business crisis every day and it's, you can always make up an excuse, not to go to your kid's football game or soccer game, but it's so important to, to not give up on your family and, uh, create a life rhythm. Yeah.

Wally Carmichael:

Excellent. Thanks for that. I greatly appreciate that. We already mentioned a few rituals that you do on a regular basis, mean just a few things, but what specific rituals make the biggest impact in your life that you feel. Yeah, I just find,

Nigel Bennett:

I really enjoy the quiet space. I mean, right now with, with COVID going on, there's a lot of quiet space. Um, but for me, I wake up first thing I do when I wake up in the morning, I go and I do a 30 minute yoga stretch stretch. And then I do some jumping just to get the, the, the, um, my body going a little bit. And then I do a 30 minute meditation. And uh, it's and I do it with my wife, my wife, and I do it. We sit together and we have some very quiet music and we meditate and it really grounds me for the day. I do it before checking any, any social media, anything? I don't do that until like, you know, I have a, I have a deal that I don't check anything until, well, after nine o'clock in the morning and I grab a copy coffee and then. See where the day leads. Yeah. Sounds very familiar. Yeah.

Wally Carmichael:

What are you reading or listening to the you'd recommend to men of abundance and why?

Nigel Bennett:

Um, one of the books that really changed me was the soul of money by Lynne twist. Um, again, it's all about giving. It's all about giving she's incredible woman. She worked for mother with mother Teresa in India. She ran the hunger project globally for many years, and now she runs the Pachamama Alliance and incredible credible woman. She's about 75 and one of the most. Incredible women I've ever met besides my wife. Um, and on the business side of it, I would say I like, I like Jim Collins. Good to great. Um, the whole hedgehog thing, getting the right people on the bus, in the right seats and the right person driving the bus in your business. Um, and Michael Gerber's E-Myth was always, uh, uh, as a good one as a, you know, the entrepreneur back in the old days for me and start with why, you know, Simon Sinek finding what your business, why and what your, why

Wally Carmichael:

is. Yeah. The only one of those that you mentioned that I have not, did not personally own is the soul of money. So I'm going

Nigel Bennett:

to have to get, check it out, check it out. Very good. That's very good. Yeah, all the

Wally Carmichael:

others are basically study guides for me that I've used over the years.

Nigel Bennett:

I know that's like, it's like me and all my buddies. Yeah.

Wally Carmichael:

What do you feel holds most people back from living a life of true abundance?

Nigel Bennett:

Um, I think fear, fear, complacency. Feeling comfortable with where you are and you know, you don't want to rock the boat to try anything new. Um, you know, it's easier to stay with the status quo than actually going and sticking your head and pinging around the next corner. I, yeah, I, I, yeah, I think

Wally Carmichael:

that's what it, what do you think that fear is derived from? Or what do you think that they fear specifically?

Nigel Bennett:

Um, I think it just, just a fear of not knowing what's coming for me, not knowing what what's coming next is actually I get a big charge out of that. Um, I, you know, I get scared, but I've learned over time that, um, that's a good thing, you know, to be in that space, kind of stepping outside of your comfort zone, but I think it's just, people just don't want to step outside of their comfort zone. They're just too, too comfortable. You know, even, even if it's an, even if it's a terrible relationship, it's just, it's too much of a risk to go take that step.

Wally Carmichael:

Agreed. I was so much in, in the comfort zone at one point, and it wasn't too often long ago that I put myself into a homeless situation for 48 days. What was that right? Yeah. To get out of my comfort zone and uh, Oh boy, did I get more than that? I bargained for it. Great experience. I'll have to say I'm a very eye-opening experience on many levels, but I don't want to get into that right now. Now. You know, what does it mean for you to be a man of abundance?

Nigel Bennett:

Wow. I I'm just being, I'm being so fortunate, um, to have the freedom, um, that I've got now and, um, yeah, just to have my freedom, you know, my, my, my goal, uh, with my coach that I work for is I, as I said, I want my freedom back and. When I got it back, I realized that, you know, with the freedom comes a lot of responsibility. I mean, you know that, right? It's like, it's like, I've got this freedom. It's like, but now I need to help. I need to share. I need to give back. I need to, um, Uh, share my wisdom. It's it's like, it's like the indigenous cultures of the world, you know, the, um, you know, the kids in the youth would all sit around the fire and listen to the wisdom of the older, older people, the wisdom. And I think I'm that part of my life where I, I, um, you know, it's, it's up to me. It's my duty. It's actually, I feel this is for me only, but it's, I feel it's my duty to

Wally Carmichael:

give back. Hmm, as do I, that's where I'm at right now in my life as well. Yeah. Uh, very important now that freedom that a lot of entrepreneurs are looking for and being able to check, you know, check the clock on your own, basically. Yeah. That can be a hindrance as well. Uh, I've seen with a lot of entrepreneurs it's that once you, you on your clock, you know, you own it. And if you're not performing, guess what.

Nigel Bennett:

Yeah. I mean, I, I I've know, you know, it's, everybody's dream is to, you know, to like in the E-Myth, you know, set up a business and set up the systems and sell it for a big bag of cash. But I know so many people that have actually done that and done extremely well, but two, three years later, you check in with them and it, and it hasn't been so good. And it was somebody that, that spoke, uh, last year at my class, he had sold his business. He had a really, really rough time. And after, after he sold it personally relationships. And, but he said, unless you know exactly what your life purpose is, don't sell your business. Hmm. No crystal clear what that purpose is. And so, yeah, because there's this big void and there's a lot of people with, you know, all your, all your friends are, you know, working or whatnot. And, you know, people that want to hang out with you may not be the right type of people that you want hanging out with you and things can spiral out of control. So knowing, I mean, I, I really took that to heart is, you know, know your life purpose.

Wally Carmichael:

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. You can get bored real quick. I did. I retired from the military. I did a lot of nothing for about, for about four months, four or five months. And then I realized I just got to get back and do something. And so he really, we, you know, as, as human beings, we have to continue adding value some way, somehow, even if you're not working and you're just volunteering in your community or the church or whatever the case may be, you got to do

Nigel Bennett:

something. You do. Yeah. Yeah. So then I ended up writing, you know, I, I did my big journey with my kids. I started writing a book and I've, I finished it and I'm dyslexic and, and, um, but I wanted to write my own book and I did and took me three years and I worked with a really good editor to correct my spelling, mistakes and everything. And, and so I've been having so much fun, so much fun. I never, ever dreamed that I'd have so much fun after, you know, putting the book together and speaking to amazing people like you and. And, um, I I've also formed this group. I don't know if I mentioned it earlier in the pre-talk or now, but I've formed a group. Uh, it's called the three ceos.com and we're, we're speaking to entrepreneurial groups all over the world on, you know, on our lessons from the edge. And it's just so intriguing to me, you know, sharing what I, what I've learned. What I've learned, and I'm assuming that everybody knows this, but they don't. And when you share the stories and then you get messages from people saying that, Oh my gosh, this, the light bulb went on. When you said this, I had tears in my eyes when you said this. And I thought I was just sharing, sharing a story, but it, and it can affect so many people in so many different ways that I'm just getting such a high out of that. That's the reason I'm doing it. All the proceeds of my book, all my speaking, if they want to pay me all goes to various charities and causes that my family support. But for me, as on a personal level, the biggest thing is is that getting, getting that feedback saying, Oh my gosh, you changed my life. Oh my God. For me, I thought it was just something that everybody knew. Yeah.

Wally Carmichael:

And that's what I refer to as the curse of knowledge. Uh, we don't have these experiences and we have this information and I just expect every entrepreneurship, no, the information that I know and the more business owners I talk to, I just happened to, I know they don't, so I don't take anything for granted anymore at all. Even some of the guys who've been in business 20 some odd years. It's like, you didn't know, dude, seriously. This is when it broke. Um, so let's get it. Let's talk real quickly about your book, because take that leap, risking it all for what really matters is a great title. And I absolutely love it. This is getting into that real quick and share what that's all about. So the guys can go get a copy of that.

Nigel Bennett:

Yeah. I mean, it's a, it's a life journey book. Um, it's take that leap, risking it all for what really matters and what really, really matters in life. And so it's a life journey. It share some stories about, uh, my I'm starting up a business as a young young guy and leveraging everything to my stories of, you know, uh, why I got the coach and, and, and my experience with that. And there's a lot of adventure in there. There's a lot of, uh, Kind of crazy rock climbing stories and mountaineering stories and, and, uh, a lot of stuff like that. And, and what I wanted to do is I didn't want to write a book, um, uh, how to book, because a lot of people write how to book, how to become a billionaire. How do I didn't want to do that? I wanted to. Um, share my wisdom and, and share life stories and, and have people read it and be able to get the nuggets out and then hopefully use those nuggets in their, in their own journey. And so, yeah. And it's just been, it's just been a riot it's on Amazon. I've did an audio version. We're actually read, read it in a studio and, um, yeah, it's just been, yeah. Yeah. Your, your readers can grab a copy. And again, like I mentioned, all proceeds, um, go to various charities and causes that we

Wally Carmichael:

support. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Well, thanks for sharing that. And I love the idea of the story line behind it. Instead of the, how to I was just having this conversation with one of my clients today, who's doing the same thing. She's writing her book in a, in a fable type of thing, but it's just very valuable information. People will gravitate to. So guys, you can find that at, and we're going to have it linked up at Nigel J Bennett to ans two T's Nigel J bennett.com. So we'll have that linked up in the show notes, but Nigel, before I let you go, man, what did we not talk about today that you want to ensure that our abundant leaders get out of our conversation? And how can we find more view other than your amazing website?

Nigel Bennett:

Wow. Um, let's see what, um, I talked about our three CEOs, um, which has just been a lot of fun, a lot of fun doing this. And, but there's actually another group that we're talking to and it's, um, it's, uh, entrepreneurial vet veterans. Um, and so we're going to be speaking with entrepreneurial veterans and, uh, sharing our lessons from the edge, uh, as well. So that's probably something that you didn't know. Um, yeah. Yeah. And I'm really excited about that because right now we're, we're speaking with mostly the entrepreneurs, organizations, EO, and YPO and groups like that. And now, um, our friend is, uh, connecting us with the ultra entrepreneurial veterans, which should be super cool. I'm really excited, excited about that.

Wally Carmichael:

Yeah, that sounds fun. That's a, that's a great time for sure. Definitely, uh, sharing the wisdom. I greatly appreciate it, man. I love this conversation. God live your life of abundance. Keep paying it forward because you are seriously doing it in a huge way. And I

Nigel Bennett:

greatly appreciate no, you are too. Thank you so much. I

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really,

Nigel Bennett:

really appreciate it. Thank you. It's been a pleasure. Absolutely.

Wally Carmichael:

So what do you want to change in your life and your community or in your state? Country or in the world, what would you like to see change? Do you think it's too big for you? I'll bet. It's not. There are multiple stories. Many of them told right here on men of abundance of men and women who have taken on all odds for something much bigger than themselves. And they did whatever it took and they're doing whatever it takes to make a difference in their life and their family. At their job in their business, in their communities, in their States city, even in the world, you've heard many of these stories. And if you haven't gone back and listened to a few, it may inspire you to do what it is that you wants to change in your world. Now. Well live your life of abundance and be sure to pay it.

Nigel Bennett:

That's all for today. Abundance leaders for more about our guests and the powerful information we shared with you today. Be sure to sign up for our mailing list@menofabundance.com. We appreciate your time and look forward to hanging out with you on our next episode. So until then be sure to pay it forward and live your life of a button Gates.

About the author, Wally

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