Menu

News

Dai Manuel – Your Brand Amplified Transcript

00;00;01;05 – 00;00;19;29
Anika

Welcome to Your Brand Amplified the podcast where we interview marketers, publicists and brands to learn their stories, what makes them tick and tips and tricks that make a difference. Welcome to another week of Your Brand Amplified. I’m your host, Anika Jackson, and I am here with Dai Manuel, how are you today?

00;00;20;05 – 00;00;32;29
Dai Manuel

I am fantastic, Anika. It’s great to be here. I know we’ve had some back and forth, some reschedules, and I’m just like, I’m so excited. I’ve been really looking forward to meeting you and connecting with you and, you know, hey, you know, just having a good conversation.

00;00;33;06 – 00;00;33;22
Anika

Yeah.

00;00;33;26 – 00;00;40;05
Dai Manuel

The art of good conversation. It’s not as easy to find as I’d like to think it is.

00;00;40;11 – 00;00;50;23
Anika

Yeah. No, it’s really fun. That’s one of my favorite things about doing a podcast is I get to speak to really awesome people, hear their stories. You’re up in Canada. Yeah.

00;00;51;04 – 00;00;51;29
Dai Manuel

Yeah. The Great White North!

00;00;52;10 – 00;01;14;18
Anika

Yeah, yeah. Off the coast. Vancouver is beautiful. I’ve been there, have been through Whistler snowboarding and all that stuff. But yeah, I’d love for you to share a little bit of because you have so much energy and exuberance for life and your story so I’d love for you to share a little bit with our audience, who you are, how you got to be who you are today.

00;01;15;06 – 00;01;15;28
Dai Manuel

Oh, boy.

00;01;16;07 – 00;01;16;24
Anika

Now I know.

00;01;16;29 – 00;01;17;16
Dai Manuel

Now the pressure’s on!

00;01;17;18 – 00;01;18;10
Anika

Philosophical.

00;01;19;11 – 00;01;34;27
Dai Manuel

Right? Well, you know, we all have a story. We all have a sort of that origin story, like where do we come from and how do we get to where we are and I guess, you know, first and foremost, I’ve just completed 45 laps around the sun. And so for those that have to do the math on that.

00;01;34;27 – 00;01;48;17
Dai Manuel

Yeah, that’s right. I’m 45 and first and foremost, you know, I’m a proud father of two teenage girls there and I should, you know, I like to think of them as kids still, but they’re 19 at 17 now. So they’re like,

00;01;48;17 – 00;01;50;01
Anika

Mine just turned 14.

00;01;50;01 – 00;01;57;12
Dai Manuel

OK, so yeah. Yeah, not, not, I mean you know how it is, they hit 12 and they think they are, what, 32? like-

00;01;57;12 – 00;02;23;12
Dai Manuel

So you’ve already been dealing with it. So it’s, but it’s amazing and you know my wife and I, we’ve been dating each other for 22 years. Love that so that’s very intentional with the language and I’m sure we can unpack that later. But those are really the things that matter most. Yeah, but there’s been periods in my life where I haven’t honored that and as such, you know, it’s created opportunity for challenges to arise, especially internally.

00;02;24;26 – 00;02;49;15
Dai Manuel

Again, I’ll get to that in a second, but you know, I’m someone that came to business kind of by accident. Entrepreneurship, I think was always in me because I watched my parents growing up being entrepreneurs. My father had his own practice. My mom always had a side hustle, like always, you know, whether it was the Airbnb antique selling antique shop, you know, she always had a side business.

00;02;49;15 – 00;03;14;06
Dai Manuel

So grew up watching her, you know, with small business. And, you know, so there was always that attraction to it. And fitness, though, because most people that do know me or I, you know, we connect whether online or offline, they instinctively feel that I’m someone that’s into health and well-being because I am those values. But but to be fair, I didn’t come to it naturally.

00;03;14;14 – 00;03;28;21
Dai Manuel

Hmm. And this is my long habit way of saying, you know, as much as we like to tell our stories and there’s usually an A to a B and then maybe do a C, and then at then a D and we have these nice straight lines. But my line was was anything but straight to get to where I am now.

00;03;28;21 – 00;03;51;07
Dai Manuel

And, you know, when I go back to that sort of origin point of why I got into health and wellbeing and more so those became passions of mine. And very much values, if you will, was at age 15. I was at my largest, I was morbidly obese and a lot of people aren’t familiar with my background. They meet me and they say, Oh, you don’t understand what it’s like to be healthy.

00;03;51;07 – 00;04;12;11
Dai Manuel

You’ve probably never been unhealthy. And I’m like, Ha ha ha, By the way, I have. And you know, I went through and it took about almost two years of me going through some significant lifestyle changes and really doing a lot of things that were very different than what I was doing up to that point in my life and creating all this change for myself.

00;04;12;16 – 00;04;30;06
Dai Manuel

And in that process, I really went from being a victim of change to really becoming a champion of change to to the point where, you know, I remember one day my friend of my mom’s came to the house and we’re like knocking on the door with this old screen door on the back porch, my mom being the antique kind of lady.

00;04;31;01 – 00;04;46;08
Dai Manuel

She made sure that we always had these old homes right? This old rockety porch on the back, this old screen door, and people would come up through the back door and it would see into our kitchen. And they would my mom would often have conversations through the screen door, like, why didn’t you just come and sit down?

00;04;46;08 – 00;05;01;02
Dai Manuel

But now, you know, it’s just sort of that small town vibe. And I remember them coming over there. Like, it’s always been the I’m like, oh, yeah, she’s in the back do some gardening. You can go talk to her there. And, you know, meanwhile, they stood at the door. They just stayed there. And I’m like, OK, you know, she’s in the back.

00;05;02;00 – 00;05;20;17
Dai Manuel

You need I’m like a 17 year old kid. I’m trying to make some food for myself. I’m like, What are you waiting for? And, and they’re, they’re just looking at me. And they’re like, Well, actually, I. Can we ask you a couple questions? And I’m like, Oh, man, an adult. It wants to ask me questions. I’m in my brain.

00;05;20;17 – 00;05;40;25
Dai Manuel

I’m like, What did I do? You know? I’m thinking, What did I do? I’m in trouble. What happened on the weekend? And oddly enough, you know, they came in the house and they proceeded to just mention, you know, these last couple of years, we’ve seen you literally change. You know, you’ve become so much more healthier and you’re happier and you’re more energy.

00;05;40;25 – 00;06;01;03
Dai Manuel

And I’m really it’s been inspiring watching you do these changes. And I’m like, I mean, that night I was feeling really good. I was like, you know, what am I love languages is words right for me? So far. So I was feeling very full OK through this interaction. And and they said, you know, do you think you can help us?

00;06;01;09 – 00;06;01;28
Anika

Wow.

00;06;03;13 – 00;06;23;08
Dai Manuel

I’m 17 year old boy at this point, right? And I’m like, wait a minute, you’re talking to me? And I’m like, looking around the room because I’m the only one in the kitchen, right? And I’m like, are you sure and and so it was just wonderful. I was filled with this feeling of fulfillment which up to that 17 years of my life, I can’t recall ever feeling that way about anything.

00;06;23;25 – 00;06;46;03
Dai Manuel

We’re here, me helping these people get their health in order so they can start to live into the life that they identified. They want to be living, but they feel that their health is preventing them from achieving that. And I was able to play a small little part in helping them get on that road, on that path, and it was right then and there I was like, I’m going to be helping people in some sort of capacity for the rest of my life.

00;06;46;06 – 00;07;07;18
Dai Manuel

I know, I know. This is my path! This is the journey now where I go now. And and that sort of set in motion a bunch of stuff that sort of is opened up as a result of just being in the right place. And I think for the right time and for the right reason. And I’ve sort of just evolved into this space of supporting people with change, you know?

00;07;07;18 – 00;07;07;27
Dai Manuel

Yeah.

00;07;09;02 – 00;07;09;11
Anika

Yeah.

00;07;09;21 – 00;07;16;11
Dai Manuel

There’s lots of stuff in between, but I skipped over about 30 years, but I figured, hey, we gotta leave some more for the convo.

00;07;17;00 – 00;07;41;19
Anika

Yeah, well, there’s a couple of things that really stood out when I was reviewing all your information, looking at your profile, and we were talking about you coming on the podcast, and one is your energy. It’s really obvious, like even just reading stuff about you, how much energy you bring to anything that you do, that exuberance that you love life, you have this big like happiness bubble around you, right?

00;07;42;15 – 00;08;04;00
Anika

And so you can see that you really have you are a champion for change. You are a champion for others. And that like just looking at you, I’m like, yeah, you know, I buy into it completely because you’re being authentic. I mean, that’s who you are. But the fact that you’re able to take something that you were doing just for yourself and then other people recognized, Oh, I think that he can help me change, too.

00;08;04;05 – 00;08;38;18
Anika

And that kind of set you off on this journey in this path. And there are two things that I really want to touch on. One is the five Fs that you live your life by, because I think that’s really important. And then the whole life fitness manifesto and what that means because I think often entrepreneurs forget that we have to take care of ourselves spiritually, mentally, physically, you know, it’s really easy to like get stuck just in meetings all day working, trying to set up the next deal for your company to make sure you’re taking care of all of the different things that it needs.

00;08;38;18 – 00;08;51;01
Anika

But if you’re not nourishing yourself, none of that matters. And so we have to remember to schedule that time and take that time out. So I would love to get into your philosophy and how that’s become kind of a cornerstone of what you do.

00;08;52;06 – 00;09;07;15
Dai Manuel

Thank you. Well, to be honest, it again, as much as we can theorize and it makes sense to us a lot of these ideas, you know, it’s the constant application of the idea of the actual action part.

00;09;07;15 – 00;09;08;08
Dai Manuel

Mm hmm.

00;09;08;08 – 00;09;14;18
Dai Manuel

That’s where the challenges lie for a lot of us, because a lot of us can rationalize all day long, like I get what I’m supposed to be doing.

00;09;15;13 – 00;09;39;07
Dai Manuel

But it’s just the actual doing that seems to escape me. Right? And and listen, we’re all victims of that at some point in time, if not more, than we care to admit. And for myself, it very much a case in point. When I got into entrepreneur, you know, really developing my business is you know, I became a personal trainer late in my teens.

00;09;39;08 – 00;09;58;22
Dai Manuel

And and then as I was working as a trainer, I was getting really frustrated because I was young and just very naive and not very empathetic. Which is interesting if you think about where I came from. Right. And but I was start to coach people that were older than me saying that they want to achieve these changes.

00;09;58;22 – 00;10;12;29
Dai Manuel

And I’m like, well, you just got to do the work, you know, like, you just got to do the stuff. Like, if you do this stuff, you’re going to get results. And but but yet they just weren’t getting the results. And I was like, you know, rather than saying, what could I be doing differently? How can I maybe support them differently?

00;10;12;29 – 00;10;30;23
Dai Manuel

You know, I just presume that I just can’t get it. I’m going to fire them now. I don’t need this client, you know, like just really bad. And like, really, I when I think back, you know, I’m like, I’m such an idiot. You know, like, just because I just really didn’t understand and I didn’t know how to relate to other people.

00;10;30;29 – 00;10;51;20
Dai Manuel

Given different health challenges that they might be working through, because I just couldn’t empathize because I hadn’t had a lot of big health challenges other than, you know, my, my obesity. And that created some other challenges. But that was when I lost all that weight, and I started to work out and eat differently. Everything got better. So I was just presuming that, hey, that’s the solution for everybody.

00;10;51;20 – 00;11;14;20
Dai Manuel

Just work out and eat better. And of course, we all know there’s so many more elements to whole life fitness. And so I’m sort of just building from context here to understand where the idea came from. Because I think we all have certain values that we honor and that we try to prioritize. Or I go one step further and say, we want to make them a non-negotiable you know?

00;11;15;00 – 00;11;45;28
Dai Manuel

And in particular, what I mean by this is I hear a lot of people say that, you know, family is a core value, meaning that they prioritize things in life around family. And I agree. And I think that’s one of my pillars as well. So I respect that when people share that. And where I used to run into challenge was as I started to build my business, you know, got into retail, had an opportunity to be a co-founder of a company and, you know, over 17 years scaled up to about eight figures a year.

00;11;45;28 – 00;12;11;25
Dai Manuel

And it was great, was fun and really lots of learning. Lots of learning and during that process, though, as much as I was trying to honor some of these values, like family, like even my health, now here I am selling fitness equipment, accessories, apparel, really the possibility of changing one’s health and wellbeing. And yet I was to at times find it a struggle to maintain my own health.

00;12;12;03 – 00;12;24;17
Dai Manuel

Wow. My own health commitments. And so that’s what I mean. As entrepreneurs, I know what it’s like. We prioritize everything else inside of us. And then when eventually it comes time to turn the focus back on ourselves, we got nothing left.

00;12;24;23 – 00;12;25;02
Anika

Yeah.

00;12;25;24 – 00;12;47;12
Dai Manuel

I, we got to have a life. We gave it, gave it to everybody else. My business got some, my family got some, you know, like the dude across the street. Then you know, he got so ready, and it’s like, I got nothing left to give myself, you know, and and of course, we find ourselves tired, fatigued, unmotivated, to take the action to do the things that we know will make us feel better.

00;12;47;24 – 00;13;15;07
Dai Manuel

Think a little bit differently. Maybe show up a little bit more differently, and it’s this interesting catch 22. Right. And so the long and short of it, you know, after these 17 years, I was struggling with a lot of different things. And one of the things was alcohol because as much as I’d had these very depleted moments at the end of the day, and I hadn’t honored my own health, especially my mental health.

00;13;15;16 – 00;13;15;28
Anika

Yeah.

00;13;16;07 – 00;13;34;17
Dai Manuel

It was really easy to escape some of those little voices in my head that were very judgmental of me, very critical, you know, that imposter syndrome. Oh yeah. It’s alive and well, you know, and, but I learned early on in life that I could quiet some of those voices and at least create a little bit of a repose.

00;13;34;17 – 00;13;40;21
Dai Manuel

You know, I got a little bit of a, a temporary break from that. If I’d have a few drinks

00;13;40;21 – 00;13;41;26
Anika

mm hmm.

00;13;41;26 – 00;14;05;08
Dai Manuel

And of course, you know, you repeat that habit enough, and that becomes more of a ritual and not necessarily a positive one. And that’s sort of where my TEDx talk that came out last year sheds light on a single story that happened about 13 years ago when I made a decision similar to that at 15 years old, when I made a decision to get healthy, I made a decision to get healthy again.

00;14;05;29 – 00;14;39;03
Dai Manuel

But it involved me changing and challenging that habit around alcohol. And because it was affecting me professionally, but especially personally. The relationships are really challenged and so I made a big commitment, you know, and I can get into that if you want. But, you know, I want to honor the questions you said about the 5 F’s. And after I made these changes and removed alcohol from my life, I started to realize I had a lot of personal growth yet to do, and I didn’t have the tools or the resources nor the understanding of how to do that.

00;14;39;03 – 00;14;47;17
Dai Manuel

So I had to learn how to ask for help. And believe me, at 33 years of age and I was not skilled in asking for help.

00;14;48;10 – 00;15;23;09
Anika

People rarely are. I don’t I don’t think very many of us are very skilled at asking for help. And I think, you know, I’ve experienced the peripheral, I guess, side of alcoholism with family members and different people. And there are so many things that we can use whether it’s alcohol or something else, to mask how we’re feeling. And then it is really hard to when you take those things away, to have to look at yourself and figure out, oh, wow, what do I, you know, what do I need to work on?

00;15;23;09 – 00;15;27;13
Anika

And you really see it. And then you have to decide if you’re going to take action right?

00;15;27;23 – 00;15;28;02
Dai Manuel

Yeah.

00;15;28;06 – 00;15;48;22
Anika

Or if you’re going to go backwards and I think it’s funny because my the podcast for the previous week to your episode one of the things we talk about is moving from you have an idea, you know, you need to take action. How do you actually take that step and take action? And we didn’t even we didn’t quite get to that finish.

00;15;48;22 – 00;15;53;03
Anika

So this is I love how this works out that like, oh, we didn’t even know we were going to go there.

00;15;53;03 – 00;16;16;17
Dai Manuel

But and to be fair, I didn’t know I was going to go there either. But when I saw the five Fs, I realized that without understanding some of the context of what I worked through or what it was, you know, challenges I was presented with, it can seem like a very let’s just say a rose tinted, you know, lenses, you know, rather than maybe overly optimistic.

00;16;16;17 – 00;16;41;04
Dai Manuel

And I don’t believe it as such, but it is rather simplistic as far as a philosophy is concerned on how we can prioritize things in our own lives. And so I and I think, you know, to get to your point of the action; I had to go through a period of really self-discovery again. You know, I had to get clear on some basic questions like who am I?

00;16;41;20 – 00;16;41;29
Anika

Yeah.

00;16;43;29 – 00;17;09;02
Dai Manuel

What do I want? Why am I here? What is it I want to be doing? You know, who do I want to be associated with, whether the experiences I want in my life, what kind of dad do I want to be like you know, just clarity. Yeah. And actually create some space so I can not only ask the question and think about it, but actually respond to it, you know, and not just simply invent an answer, but rather truly discover it through that introspection and reflection.

00;17;10;02 – 00;17;26;14
Dai Manuel

A lot of us don’t take time for that, right? I mean, I’m guilty of it. Like, trust me, I never make time for that stuff. You know, even whenever I hire business coaches, we’re talking about vision and stuff and I mean, like, right now, you know what? I’m just going to go do this. There’s this and there’s going to create this result.

00;17;26;14 – 00;17;32;25
Dai Manuel

You know, I was just so scientific about it rather than leaning into more of the what if space yeah.

00;17;33;08 – 00;17;33;17
Anika

Yeah.

00;17;35;17 – 00;17;57;26
Dai Manuel

And that was all based on where I was and because I was very limited, you know, I was dealing with a lot of stuff, let’s just say. And but everybody was because I know this now because I had to learn how to ask for help. It’s just I asked for help. And as soon as I started to share what I was struggling with, it was the weirdest thing there was like other people saying, Oh, you know what?

00;17;58;14 – 00;18;18;17
Dai Manuel

I got that same problem. And I’m like, what you do? I’m like, for how long? What? Like, forever? And, like, what? You know, because I talked to a couple of guys, and it took me a bit to share with that because I’m, you know, gosh, I’m like looking at guys as competition, not as allies. Right? Like, often that’s how I would just think about it, even though we would say we’re friends, we’re friends.

00;18;18;17 – 00;18;37;27
Dai Manuel

But I never really, truly felt connected. I felt there was always this sort of surface connection. Right. And so it’s easy. You open up, you start to practice vulnerability. And I say practice like any skill, vulnerability, skill, too. I realized that, gosh, there’s so many of us, we’re way more alike than we are different.

00;18;37;29 – 00;18;38;11
Anika

Yeah.

00;18;38;15 – 00;18;56;29
Dai Manuel

We go about our lives thinking that no one gets me, no one understands it. No one’s going to understand this thing. I’m working through right now. But the crazy thing is this is you open up and people start putting their hands up like, oh, me too, me too, me. Like, you look at the MeToo movement. I mean, it’s a prime example of as soon as you start opening up, you start telling your story and as some people say, your truth, right?

00;18;56;29 – 00;19;03;06
Dai Manuel

Like other people are like, hello. Thank you. Me, too. Because it takes one person that’s got to go first.

00;19;03;11 – 00;19;30;12
Anika

Yeah. Well, and it’s as you said, it’s really hard to live in vulnerability. And it’s really hard, especially if you look like a highly successful person. People see your beautiful family a happy marriage, successful business, you know, all of the things, the outside stuff, they don’t think to look more inside and realize that you’re young, but you’re still a person and you still deal with different struggles every day like everybody else does.

00;19;30;28 – 00;19;45;09
Anika

And it’s you don’t need to be perfect. You just need to be authentic. And living in that authenticity and being vulnerable is what helps create change, long lasting change for yourself and for others. And eventually, hopefully, everybody, right?

00;19;45;09 – 00;19;46;06
Dai Manuel

That’s right.

00;19;46;06 – 00;19;51;22
Anika

And that’s how we get to where the good stuff like the OK, how do we help each other through this and how do we really connect.

00;19;54;00 – 00;20;14;15
Dai Manuel

And I love that you say it like that because it’s right to the point. And that is exactly what it is. And, you know, because in doing this, it’s also clarity right? Like we gain that clarity when you feel clear on direction, not saying you have to have the absolute goal of where you’re going, figure it out. Like that’s that may not be a realistic initially, especially when you’re just self-discovering again.

00;20;14;15 – 00;20;36;16
Dai Manuel

Right? Like just learning about what motivates you, what you want to do and start dreaming again. But clarity can give direction and so at least you start to feel confident that, hey, you know what? If I start taking these steps, you know, one after the other going this direction, it’s going to bring me closer to that area I want to get to, you know, again, we do not have pinpoint exactly where that is.

00;20;36;16 – 00;20;50;22
Dai Manuel

You know, like if you listen to smart girls, I know you got to be very specific, right? Like, fair and I get it. That’s appropriate, too. But when you’re just getting started, it’s really hard to sit down. And I’m going to write some smart goals right out of the gate. When you’re not really connected to yourself, what motivates you?

00;20;50;22 – 00;21;13;15
Dai Manuel

What you really want and especially when you can’t answer the question, Who am I, like, you know, handling these other questions? Maybe do this one first, you know, and because it’s that clarity that builds confidence. And when we feel confident, we take action and we procrastinate less. Right? Like if you think about when you progress to these often when we just don’t feel confident about what we should be doing.

00;21;13;21 – 00;21;14;01
Anika

Yeah.

00;21;14;22 – 00;21;34;06
Dai Manuel

You know, and so easiest way to kill procrastination is get confident and the only way you can build confidence is you have to get clear on what it is you need to do. You have to learn something might have to do something different, but either way, it’s going to involve a little bit of change but change, it’s it’s usually hard.

00;21;34;25 – 00;21;39;07
Dai Manuel

Hmm. Rarely easy, right? But it’s always worth it.

00;21;39;20 – 00;21;42;21
Anika

Yeah. It’s always a growth opportunity. Yeah.

00;21;43;03 – 00;21;43;15
Dai Manuel

Yes.

00;21;43;15 – 00;22;04;03
Anika

And even all those failures are those. I mean, they’re not even failures. The, you know, the issues, the things that you saw in yourself that were flaws or things that needed to be fixed or lessons. There are things that you needed to learn to be able to really enjoy and experience the next level of life. And family and be there for your family and, you know, more fully.

00;22;04;24 – 00;22;21;01
Anika

So and I think that is another thing. So it’s we have to take care of ourselves we have to understand and be in tune with what we need to feel healthy ourselves. And then when we’re looking at family, I think it is really easy to say, oh, you know what, I can’t spend time with you. I have to finish this proposal.

00;22;21;11 – 00;22;42;26
Anika

I have to, you know, get on this call at 8:00, whatever the case may be. But at the end of the day, it is those moments my daughter and I just took a road trip for spring break and her 14th birthday, and it was so fun. It was just the two of us on the road. We went, we stayed in like Ponderosa covered wagon places and went to went hiking and canyoneering.

00;22;42;26 – 00;22;56;17
Anika

And I will always remember that time with her and she will always remember that time with me. And nothing can take that experience away. Me being in the office for the week, you know, holds nothing to having that time with her.

00;22;57;11 – 00;23;28;01
Dai Manuel

It’s it doesn’t take much, you know, it’s really interesting. But these moments that we create and these memories that are attached to them, I they can happen in a simple, quick interaction, you know, like just bumping into somebody on the street and that person saying something kind you’re doing something contrary or vice versa, stupid sometimes. And that like that, that one little action can forever change that person’s perspective and their relationship with life.

00;23;28;05 – 00;23;49;04
Dai Manuel

Like it’s the smallest of acts that can often create the biggest ripples. And when you start to see this in action and you realize that we all are just pebbles ready to be thrown into that, you know, like that’s all it is. But, you know, why wait for someone to throw us? Let’s just jump in you know, let’s go make some ripples.

00;23;49;04 – 00;23;52;05
Dai Manuel

And and I think that’s the part we all want to get to.

00;23;52;13 – 00;23;52;22
Anika

Yeah.

00;23;53;05 – 00;24;17;13
Dai Manuel

We all want to get there. And what I try to tell people and this is, you know, long my way of finally getting to the five F’s is, I try I try to give people a framework, you know, and I’m a OK, so even though I’m in I went to school the university originally for the sciences and after the first year and failing calculus three times to the point of the Dean says, you know what we can’t take your money anymore.

00;24;17;20 – 00;24;26;18
Dai Manuel

Wow. You literally I got a dean’s letter like you can’t do this course again. And it was like one of the required courses for where I wanted to go- where I thought I wanted to go.

00;24;26;28 – 00;24;27;12
Anika

Yeah, right.

00;24;28;00 – 00;24;48;24
Dai Manuel

And I was like, well, you just made my decision easy. I’m moving into the arts. And so I got into English literature and creative writing but more important, my major was in philosophy. So just to give you some perspective, as much as I love life and fitness and all that stuff, my my passions lay in the arts, especially in the classics.

00;24;48;24 – 00;25;12;24
Dai Manuel

But where I’m going with this is I always appreciated good alliteration and metaphor and because it’s a great way to take complex concepts really simple, you know, relatable as well as accessible. And so when I think about my life because I needed to make it something simple. Simple to identify, but simple for me to remember and hold that place in my mind.

00;25;12;24 – 00;25;41;18
Dai Manuel

Because if you can maintain clarity of vision, it’s easy to maintain direction, you know, and that’s sometimes all we need. We just need to know I just got to keep inching forward in this direction. And I know good things are going to happen. And so I’m going to argue that no matter who you are, the foundation upon which anybody wants to build any type of lifestyle or life, it’s going to be a foundation of health.

00;25;43;03 – 00;25;50;00
Dai Manuel

All right. Now, people can argue me on this, but I’m like, OK, when you’re not healthy, how good is life? You know.

00;25;50;01 – 00;25;50;07
Anika

Like.

00;25;50;23 – 00;25;53;06
Dai Manuel

Really, it might be good, but is it great?

00;25;53;11 – 00;25;53;23
Anika

Right?

00;25;53;23 – 00;26;15;11
Dai Manuel

Are you limited? Is your quality of life limited now based on maybe vitality constraints? You’re not having the energy to do the things that you want to do. Like really look at how the health plays into all that. And so when you look at health, there’s different aspects, of course. But I like to think of this is the foundation upon which I’m going to build a home and that home is representative of my life.

00;26;15;28 – 00;26;35;22
Dai Manuel

There’s four walls, so I’m going to take us all back to kindergarten. And now we’re drawing the old stick for the house, right? So it’s really traditional here. So you got this square home, four walls, and you’ve got a roof, the walls all by a letter F you’ve got fitness, faith, family and finance. With an overarching roof of fun.

00;26;36;19 – 00;27;07;18
Dai Manuel

And so this whole metaphor, you know, on this foundation of house is this house that I represent. Those assets are really clearly, to me, values. I encourage other people. You don’t have to use alliteration. But yeah, clear. What is the home that represents your life? Those core values can represent the walls. I always invite people probably to have some sort of happiness or fun type of aspect as a roof, because if you’re not having fun with everything you’re doing, there’s room for oppor- or room or opportunity for improvement.

00;27;07;18 – 00;27;24;12
Dai Manuel

We’ll just put it that way. You can tweak things. You can change things if you’re not laughing and smiling at least once a day, there’s room for improvement. OK, that’s all I’m saying. And then you’ve got the four walls, right? What are those for? You don’t have to use what I’m using you know, when I say faith, it’s non-denominational.

00;27;24;12 – 00;27;48;03
Dai Manuel

I mean, my faith is that humanity’s resilient. We’re great as humans and we have so much potential. I mean, when we can do hard stuff and we can evolve and it’s really cool, right? And for me, faith is just knowing that the day that I leave this planet, well, wherever that is due next I can honestly look back and say, I left better than I got here, you know, living here today better than it was when I got here.

00;27;48;03 – 00;28;07;19
Dai Manuel

So those are all little aspects, but they feed into that health foundation. Right? And one of the best ways to improve on your health foundation is you got to focus on the mental health, the physical health, the emotional health, as well as the spiritual health. Yeah, and and of course, financial health. But that’s sort of a given. That’s why I give finances.

00;28;07;19 – 00;28;15;20
Dai Manuel

It’s a wall because we live in a global economy. And if those aren’t if finances aren’t in a good place, we know how negatively that affects everything else.

00;28;15;20 – 00;28;16;24
Anika

Yeah. Definitely.

00;28;17;03 – 00;28;25;16
Dai Manuel

So I do bring that into the conversation, but that’s that’s it. That’s the five F’s. So Anika, what are your F’s you had to give your house, what would yours look like?

00;28;25;28 – 00;28;48;09
Anika

Well, I love fun. I think it’s really important to be with people that you can laugh with every day and just be goofy and silly. And there was something that you said that just reminded me, like the simplicity of life right? Those little moments are what bring us, I think, the most joy. That’s so. Yeah. So I love that.

00;28;48;09 – 00;29;05;13
Anika

I love being with my family and just having that time to make dinner together or to watch something silly on TV to like dance around and be silly. And I think that those are the things that bring me the most joy at this point in my life. You know, I’ve I’ve lived in a this is another story for another day.

00;29;05;16 – 00;29;27;07
Anika

I mean, I’ve lived in a lot of different places and had a lot of different experiences. And some of them been fantastic. But I moved back to L.A. right before the pandemic, and I’m really glad that I was here for that time. And I’m glad that I’m still here. And I also, you know, made everybody kind to take a step back and regroup and reassess or many of us did.

00;29;27;08 – 00;29;58;15
Anika

Probably not as- not everybody, but many of us. And my life before was so much busier. And it was, you know, I have to be out and do this. I have to go network here. And I just have to do a little bit of that but not nearly to the extent that I had before. And so, you know, that’s what I see now is like how do I keep enjoying life, do the things that I want to do, put all the put the good I want to into the world, but not but also be able to enjoy that time with my daughter before she is off to college and away doing her thing.

00;29;58;19 – 00;30;21;05
Anika

You know, how do I enjoy my nine year old dogs who just live to be with us all the time? And, you know, and you have to just realize, like, health issues are going to be their health issues. But you have to, like, just enjoy what you have with the people and the things in your life. So that didn’t really answer, but I think they’re pretty similar to what you are now.

00;30;21;05 – 00;30;47;11
Anika

I want to take a little bit of a different tack because I think this is lays a really good foundation for people to think about. Like, what do you want to have in your life? Right. And how do you find that fulfillment and how do you make sure that you’re integrating all of those health aspects? I love that you’re not just talking about physical health, but all of the other areas of health that we need to focus on, too, that we sometimes forget and during this time, you’re also scaling.

00;30;47;12 – 00;31;05;02
Anika

You said, you know, a company to eight figures successfully. Like how how does that play into where you are today and how what kind of journey and what kind of lessons did you learn along the way that you would impart to people?

00;31;06;19 – 00;31;27;14
Dai Manuel

Great questions. Well, so my last business, yeah, we scaled up to eight figures a year, and that was with commercial and retail so B to B and B to C as well as e-comm. And so we were selling equipment all across Canada online. And then and then our brick and mortar, which is predominantly in western Canada, and that was over a period of 17 years.

00;31;27;14 – 00;31;50;19
Dai Manuel

And to be fair, you know, the only reason my skill ability was there was because we had a great team of people, you know, we had some amazing leaders. We attracted some incredible talent and the company expanded as a result, you know, like we needed to expand because we had these people that wanted to expand you know, which, which made the growth even more exciting for all of us because everybody wanted it.

00;31;50;19 – 00;32;17;10
Dai Manuel

And, but, you know, during that process I realized as well that my, my partner at the time, my first real business mentor and I’d go as far as to say a life mentor as well who was 20 years my senior and this is the CEO of the company and my partner and you know, I started working with him and he had another company previously and opportunity came for him to separate that arrangement with his former partners.

00;32;17;10 – 00;32;30;08
Dai Manuel

And he wanted to go off as an independent. And I was his best guy, you know, and he’s like, here’s the deal. We’re going to go out and do our own thing. You want, you in? You can be my partner and we’ll do this thing. And I’m like, All right. I mean, you know, I did because he’s my mentor.

00;32;30;18 – 00;32;50;01
Dai Manuel

It’s like a very influential person in my life. And the thing was, you know, this is in my early twenties and I got into this not even realizing that this would become such a big part of my life, you know, 17 years, right? Like a lot of us said, oh, you know, what an idea. And we think this is sort of what I think I want to be doing.

00;32;50;01 – 00;33;09;12
Dai Manuel

And then we get down the path and all of a sudden it’s like, be careful what you ask for because you just might get it. And and that was exactly it. So it was very quickly it became a very big pull on my life. Which took a lot of time. Like, a lot of my time. A lot of my energy.

00;33;09;17 – 00;33;30;23
Dai Manuel

And you feel that responsibility for the businesses that we start or were a part of, you know, and will often and especially for those that are entrepreneurs and running your own business or consultancy agency, whatever it may be, but, you know, you’re running your own thing. The buck stops with you. There’s that pressure that the company doesn’t perform.

00;33;30;23 – 00;33;55;06
Dai Manuel

Whose fault is that? It’s my fault. Right? And so that added pressure makes us want to do more. We feel this obligation that we have to do more. And we get to this place where we put on this nice shiny badge and it says, I’m so busy, you know, and it’s this nice little badge. And we show it off to everybody, people to, you know, running up to us on the street.

00;33;55;06 – 00;34;19;12
Dai Manuel

How are you doing? I’m so busy, you know, and and and we’re proud of that. And that, Anika, is the biggest realization I had from those 17 years is that I really got to a place where my ego drove my decisions. And it was often formed around me wanting people to see me as something other than who I actually thought I wanted to be.

00;34;19;13 – 00;34;39;15
Dai Manuel

Now, I know it sounds a little confusing, but let me put it this way. It was like, I just got so good at putting up this facade of trying to be the guy the dude, right? Like the man, you know, like this. It’s so interesting, but wanted to be perceived as this thing, you know? And that’s what I mean by, like, living in my ego, you know?

00;34;39;15 – 00;34;42;22
Dai Manuel

And this was also a great way for me to mask insecurities.

00;34;43;01 – 00;34;43;10
Anika

Mm hmm.

00;34;43;17 – 00;35;08;11
Dai Manuel

Yeah, I was pretend I’m just going to pretend I’m this, like, dude, you know, and and it was weird because it just I, you know, at the time, it limited my ability to have deeper connections with people. Because I wouldn’t open up and if I did open up, it was typically very inauthentic. All right. And so those are some of the things that I really took away from the experience.

00;35;08;25 – 00;35;24;19
Dai Manuel

And I got very mindful, too, that I didn’t want to do that anymore. I didn’t want to be that anymore, because that was also what sort of led to more drinking as well because it was more lack of fulfillment. It would be the perfect of this. You know, I was what used to fulfill me wasn’t fulfilling me anymore.

00;35;25;21 – 00;35;46;25
Dai Manuel

And you know, when you start waking up and you start resenting the business and you started from passion you know, that’s usually, you know, it’s time to have a change or you’re literally already burnt out at that point. It’s probably burn out more than anything. Where we’ve just we’ve given so much to the business. We have nothing left for ourselves.

00;35;47;29 – 00;36;06;07
Dai Manuel

And and I say this and in this game, people listen this and they may not like this, but it’s one of those things like we can theorize about it all day long. We can say, Oh, never happened to me, believe me. You know, just wake up one day and you’ll be there. You know, that’s that was what happened to me.

00;36;06;07 – 00;36;17;04
Dai Manuel

I’m like, no, because I’m a health guy, right? I’m like, I know I didn’t do this. I don’t set boundaries and I know what I should be doing, and I’ll just do everything you know? And, oh, gosh, I just, you know, you can’t do that. You can’t.

00;36;17;04 – 00;36;18;22
Anika

That’s a whole other podcast. Yeah.

00;36;20;09 – 00;36;39;01
Dai Manuel

So burnout, though, is very real. And when you get to that place, you start resenting your business. That’s when you really know it’s time to make some changes. Yeah. Like you just know like, it’s like you get to this place is like, I cannot take one more step in this direction because I really do recognize now it will kill me.

00;36;39;19 – 00;36;59;15
Dai Manuel

You know, and and life’s worth so much more to me than this. And I know it’s a really fearful place to get to because then we’re left thinking, gosh, now what am I going to do? You know, what can I do? And and sometimes getting to that place can actually be one of the best experiences that we ever endure, because it forces us to get clear again and ask some hard questions.

00;37;00;11 – 00;37;23;06
Dai Manuel

Yeah. And it’s not very comfortable work. I’ll be the first to say that, you know, being that I’ve been there a couple of times now, you know, like it’s not, but it’s worthwhile work. And once you get through it and you will, you will get through it, it’s amazing. All I can say is that it’s amazing. But, you know, when you’re in it, it ain’t that much fun.

00;37;23;15 – 00;37;36;17
Dai Manuel

OK, but but it’s OK. You’ll get through it. And as you get through it, you’ll look back you’ll be like, Oh, it’s not that bad. You know, it’s the funniest thing, you know what I mean? When you’re on the other side of it, it’s never as bad. And we look back on it as it was when we were in it.

00;37;36;27 – 00;37;48;25
Dai Manuel

Ever it was actually a turn. I don’t know what it is, but there’s a psychological term that refers to that, that that ability of our minds to just sort of lessen trauma after we’ve lived it. You know.

00;37;49;06 – 00;37;51;02
Anika

It’s why women continue to give birth.

00;37;51;13 – 00;37;56;21
Dai Manuel

That’s right. Yes, that’s true. That’s the perfect example. Yes. Yes.

00;37;57;00 – 00;38;06;08
Anika

Yeah. So after your company, what continues to inspire and motivate you? Oh, well, you know.

00;38;07;06 – 00;38;29;03
Dai Manuel

Well, so I left and I didn’t leave at an optimal time. And so it wasn’t like anything I could retire on, but I knew I didn’t want to do it anymore. Yeah. Also knew I was very employable. My wife’s very employable. So six years ago, you know, I had given roughly about 18, almost 20 months notice that I would be leaving the country.

00;38;29;09 – 00;38;49;19
Dai Manuel

It was plenty, like plenty like a very long runway because I wanted to do it well, but also 17 year history. I’m not. Yeah. Can’t just say, here’s the keys. I right. Yeah. Especially because I had shares, right? I’m like, I got to be fiduciary responsible. So I’m long and short. I, I quit right? And then I left a month after I left, my wife quit her career.

00;38;50;24 – 00;38;55;08
Dai Manuel

Two months after that, we pulled the kids out of school. Oh, wow. We gave away all our stuff.

00;38;56;03 – 00;38;56;23
Anika

Oh, my God.

00;38;56;29 – 00;39;19;11
Dai Manuel

Yeah, we packed up the SUV with suitcases and whatever we wanted to bring. Everything else got rid of, sublet our place, and we started traveling south with with no real destination in mind. But this is the interesting thing. During those two months, as I was, you know, I had written a book, and it was being published right at the same time that we were planning to go traveling as a family.

00;39;19;11 – 00;39;30;09
Dai Manuel

You know, we weren’t sure how long we’d go for. And to be honest, we didn’t have an endless supply of money. We had some savings, but not enough to to travel for the five years that it turned into.

00;39;30;16 – 00;39;32;13
Anika

Oh, my. God.

00;39;32;13 – 00;39;49;09
Dai Manuel

And yes. And two and a half of those years, we ended up living in Bali, Indonesia. And and then we came back right before the pandemic because we wanted to honor our kids. They had said they wanted to finish high school or so we came back to Vancouver City finish school here and, you know, and to my discontent.

00;39;49;09 – 00;40;19;24
Dai Manuel

But I would have stayed in Bali if I had in mind. But but regardless, I’m happy to be in Vancouver too. But that that sort of, you know, I had to get very creative and learn new skills so I could create new income to support our family, especially in that that path that we were on. And so it just I went to work and learning new things and learning some new business strategy is and really went into a different area entirely.

00;40;19;24 – 00;40;25;17
Dai Manuel

But it still involves helping people online. And I fortunately for us that it worked.

00;40;25;25 – 00;40;26;04
Anika

Yeah.

00;40;26;08 – 00;40;31;14
Dai Manuel

And we’ve been able to sustain what we did and started scaling again. So it’s yeah, it’s fun. It’s fun.

00;40;31;28 – 00;40;34;24
Anika

Fantastic. So what’s next.

00;40;36;26 – 00;40;59;08
Dai Manuel

Well, I just finished a beta round on a program I’ve been developing for the last couple of years based on my own mental health challenges I’ve lived through and working I continue to work through full disclosure. You know, I still deal with a bit of depression and share a bit of anxiety from time to time. And but I’ve learned to manage it and most of the symptoms don’t manifest, but sometimes they do, you know.

00;40;59;08 – 00;41;17;28
Dai Manuel

And so there are certain rituals and rituals that I maintain and honor, and it keeps me in a really good place where I feel like I continue to thrive thanks to that protocol. Super simple design. But when I started talking about it to people, they started saying Geez, this sounds like something I could do. And I’m like, maybe.

00;41;17;29 – 00;41;40;21
Dai Manuel

I mean, possibly you could try it. And the more people I was having these conversations with that I realized, OK, well, maybe, maybe there’s something to this, maybe I’ll try this with some people. And so I just finished up a beta group testing this Merge 60 program. The results were phenomenal, and that’s sort of the next phase. I think we’re going to really bring that out in a big way.

00;41;41;00 – 00;42;08;09
Dai Manuel

Wow. I’ll just say that I think there’ll be more on that soon as we lean into developing a full campaign and getting it out to the people so they can try it and that. But it’s a full lifestyle program, but it’s founded on mental health first. So, everything’s prioritized around mental health first. And if you get that in a great place, everything else, it actually does feel easy and I hate saying it but it sounds like I’m, I’m actually the fittest.

00;42;08;15 – 00;42;32;24
Dai Manuel

So last year, six months, last June, I said, you know, as I was approaching my 45th birthday, I was like, is it possible for me to celebrate my fourth or fifth birthday and end this year as the healthiest, fittest version I’ve ever been? That was a question that I posed myself. And I don’t know. I mean, there’s been certain goals I’ve wanted to achieve physically, you know, from a fitness standpoint and performance standpoint.

00;42;33;08 – 00;42;52;09
Dai Manuel

It’s like, well, could I do that? And so I just started to reverse engineer from there. And yeah, I did, and I’ve maintained it now for about a year with relative ease, and I’m like, there’s something to the protocols. Yeah, you know, and we can have a separate follow up conversation later, but I’m excited to share that and get more info.

00;42;52;09 – 00;42;58;11
Dai Manuel

And there’s lots of stuff on my website that talks about there’s lots of articles and free content; people go to town, enjoy.

00;42;58;26 – 00;43;00;29
Anika

It’s what is your website? Yeah.

00;43;01;12 – 00;43;15;26
Dai Manuel

Diamanuel.com, you just go to my name dot com and in about actually, probably about the time that you released this, the new website should be live, so a lot easier to navigate and lots of cool new features being added but the developers of it right now so awesome.

00;43;16;12 – 00;43;26;15
Anika

Yeah. So people can go there and get a little teaser of your new program, your book, watch your TEDTalk like just learn all about the world of Dai.

00;43;27;05 – 00;43;33;13
Dai Manuel

Oh, I like to think about it more as maybe I’ll just shift your perspectives on what the world of your life might look like.

00;43;33;14 – 00;43;33;27
Anika

Oh. Nice!

00;43;34;09 – 00;43;38;10
Dai Manuel

You know, that’s my invitation. Is this I’m just here to hold the door open.

00;43;38;19 – 00;43;38;29
Anika

Yeah.

00;43;39;14 – 00;43;59;20
Dai Manuel

And I invite people to take a walk through it all, take a look on the other side, see what you see and let me know what you think. What do you think? You know, and, and, and I love that opportunity, you know, and to be fair and because that’s what you’re doing with your podcast or you create this amazing platform for people to come and have authentic, transparent but connected conversations.

00;43;59;21 – 00;44;20;08
Dai Manuel

And you provide this place for us all to be just a fly on the wall and absorb, you know, and I just to say thank you, thank you for helping us that we need more of this more. And I just really appreciate you doing that because I know it takes a lot of energy, a lot of time, a lot of a lot of love to produce this kind of a platform.

00;44;20;08 – 00;44;21;27
Dai Manuel

And so I just wanted to commend you, and thank you for the opportunity.

00;44;22;12 – 00;44;44;25
Anika

Absolutely. As I was saying at the beginning, it just I love being able to meet people I would not have otherwise met from all over the world and have these really authentic, amazing conversations and get to the core of who people are and why we are right and why we’re here. Because I feel like we all do have a bigger purpose.

00;44;44;25 – 00;45;01;15
Anika

And so the more information we can share about our stories and our purpose, it will help people who are listening. And, you know, somebody might get something from you talking about entrepreneurship. Somebody else could get something from talking about health. You just never know what’s going to hit and what somebody needs to hear at that moment in time.

00;45;02;03 – 00;45;15;27
Anika

So now we could go off on my dad was a philosopher and was a teacher, so we could go off on a lot of tangents but we’ll close it out here. Is there any anything else you’d like to leave with our audience today?

00;45;16;10 – 00;45;36;05
Dai Manuel

You know, other than just keep smiling and just keep smiling? I know that life has a tendency to knock us down sometimes, and I’m not going to be so cliche to say just keep getting back up. But rather, you know, if you get into fitness burpees are perfect, like it is amazing you for a life, think about it.

00;45;36;09 – 00;45;46;29
Dai Manuel

It’s one movement from the ground up. And if you want to get knocked down, what better way to get off the floor? With a burpee. So if you’ve ever had it, how life is like a burpee now, you know.

00;45;47;13 – 00;45;47;25
Anika

Wow.

00;45;48;10 – 00;45;49;09
Dai Manuel

That’s what I’ll leave you with.

00;45;49;15 – 00;46;07;25
Anika

OK, life is like a burpee, I love it. Well, thank you so much Dai. I appreciate your time today and thank you to our audience for coming back for another episode of You Brand Amplified. And I’ll see you again next week. Want more? Check out AmplifywithAnnika.com or follow me on socials @AmplifywithAnnika.