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Finding a life rhythm with Nigel Bennett

Have you ever wanted to just put a pin in your life, upsticks and travel the world with your family before it’s too late? Well, that’s just what Nigel Bennett did. 

Nigel is an entrepreneur. Just not like any other entrepreneur we’ve had on the show. Where most people work hard, scaling up their business in order to sell it, Nigel, after taking mind altering drugs deep in the Amazon rainforest had an epiphany, and decided not to sell. 

That’s pretty much how this episode goes. 

It is just story after story of Nigel’s fascinating life. It doesn’t seem like he’s had any dull moments, and he hasn’t stopped for a second. 

Nigel is the founder and owner and International business development for Aqua-Guard’s environmental response services and equipment business. Aqua-Guard specialises in marine oil spill response. He’s the author of “Take that Leap – Risking it all for what really matters”; the founder of TruBeach, an app and a mobile platform community for reporting coastline and ocean cleanliness, and he’s the co-founder of GiftAdd.com, an organisation that works to bring awareness to the actual gift of ADHD and dyslexia. 

This is a truly enlightening conversation, one we are sure you’re going to enjoy. 

On today’s podcast:

  • Why Nigel decided not to sell his business
  • The incident with his father in an Egyptian prison
  • The life goals he set with his business coach, Kevin Lawrence
  • Why he wrote his book – ‘Take that Leap – Risking it all for what really matters’
  • His gap year with his family

Links:

What do you do if you run one of the world’s leading oil spill response businesses and the BP Horizon oil spill has just happened? Do you drop everything and rush to the scene of the incident, or do you hand everything over to your team and head deep into the Amazon rainforest to spend some time with a tribe of humans who rarely see the outside world? Taking mind altering drugs whilst you’re there that result in you flying home ASAP in order to stop the sale of your business, buy out your business partner and use your platform to do more good in the world?

Well, if you’re Nigel Bennett, founder and owner and international business development for Aqua-Guard’s environmental response services and equipment business, a company that specialises in marine oil spill response, that’s exactly what you do. 

You also hire Kevin Lawrence as your life coach to help you achieve everything you’ve ever dreamed of achieving. And then, because it’s on your bucket list of things to do, you listen to your life coach and take a year out to travel the world with your wife and children before they go their separate ways. 

Then when you come home, you write a book about your entrepreneurial journey, which coincidentally is just a story about your life, but because your life has been one roller coaster ride after another, it is an action-packed thriller of an autobiography. One that covers everything from becoming a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist, to being a spouse and parent. A book that charts the starting, building and growing of a successful international business dedicated to protecting water, the world’s most precious resource, dodging bullets, getting your father out of an Egyptian prison and starting numerous charities to help clean up beaches around the world and raise awareness of ADHD and dyslexia. 

Finding a life rhythm

Most entrepreneurs talk about finding a life balance, but for Nigel, that means that you have to sacrifice something in order to make other things work. 

“I call it a life rhythm, not a life balance because life that you balance you have to sacrifice one for the other. Life rhythm is a flow you get into. And being able to do your business is great, but spending time doing what you love and with your family is the most incredible thing.”

Taking a year out

A lot of teens between school and university take a year out, go travelling and find themselves. Or maybe that happens after university. Rarely do adults drop what they’re doing to take a year out to travel 17 countries of the world with their wife and three kids, especially if they have a successful business that might make them think they’re indispensable, and therefore unable to leave.

But Nigel did, because it was on his bucket list. 

“I knew that people would step up when I left. I knew my number two was going to step up. And they always do. But it’s our ego, we can’t let go of our ego. We [believe] we’re indispensable. That’s BS. My thing is never sacrifice family for a business crisis, because we’re always in crisis. Every day’s a crisis in business.”

This podcast episode may not be one that requires you to take notes throughout, unlike others we have done. No, this is an episode that should inspire you to take action, to rethink your approach to work and life and to realise that you are dispensable, that you shouldn’t let your ego hold you back. And above all else, never sacrifice family for a business crisis. 

As Kevin says, you only get 18 summers with your kids before they leave home, make the most of your time with them. Who knows, maybe you could inspire them to pick up when you leave off?

Book recommendations

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