Looking Through The 2018 Rearview Mirror – Grateful In What I See
The first half of 2018 has been solid, and transformative on many levels. From a seed of an idea around the dining table at Christmas 2017, we got off to the races come 1st January in putting in place the plumbing and necessary pieces for AdapNation to exist as an online brand.
My last day at my long standing corporate role ended 30th March 2018 to pursue creating and developing AdapNation full-time. We’ve had a once-in-a-lifetime month-long holiday in Australia as well as placing much more emphasis around family values, our kids growth and making our home a sanctuary for the family.
As we now click into the second half of the year, I’m grateful and proud of what has been achieved in establishing an trustworthy and multi-faceted online self-optimisation business. 30 Podcasts with 2.5K downloads, the same in videos, 220 articles and blogs, 480 valued Instagram posts, almost 2,000 followers on Social Media, tens of thousands of likes across our content, 330+ members of the private Facebook Community, 100+ Tasty AdapNation Food Diary meal ideas and 14,000+ visits to the AdapNation.io website.
Moreover, everything is positively trending up and to the right, and we’ve created some hugely popular content such as IIFYM+ Thrive Dieting Approach, Dealing with Fatigue & Exhaustion, Healthy Tips for Road Warriors and our Losing Weight For Good Article Series.
A sincere and heartfelt thank you to those who have helped and encouraged our work. 🙏
Gazing Into The Distance – How Do We Get To The ‘Destination’?
That’s all great. The plumbing and business foundations have been laid. For an embryonic business with very little targeted marketing spend the engagement has been respectable, but not earth shattering. AdapNation is still very much an unknown to the super majority, meaning the good content is going unnoticed and our ability to effect change is tiny at the moment.
Therefore, the objective in H2 2018 is reach, reach and reach. It’s now time to turn up the volume with both end user engagement and the diverse scaled network-effect that comes from publications and influencers wishing to discuss the personal value of this start-up business to their audience.
Your support in helping drive positive movements like AdapNation is what it takes to make a real difference in the world. Just imagine if you and those around you that you know turned up a little more tomorrow than they did today? That you had a little more energy, vitality, strength, passion, creativity and compassion to make your presence felt. That’s all it takes. A commitment to be an ever so slightly better version of yourself tomorrow – for the benefit of you, your friends and family, your wider circle… and the world. Let’s do this. Much Love. 💖
Getting to Know AdapNation – 5 Common Questions:
#1 – Why the Name AdapNation?
In muscle building vernacular, and generally to describe change in the body, the word adaptation is a foundational concept. You lift more weight or push to unchartered levels of exercise, and your body adapts to handle future bouts of similar intensity. Likewise, if you care and feed the body with nutritious food and ideas, you experience positive healthy adaptation.
So, the word Adaptation signifies change and growth to me – on many levels. For that reason, I was drawn to this word and was keen to find a way to include it the company name.
For me, Nation represents community. It signifies a movement of a lot of people. It suggests the mission is to create change amongst a large group of people who wish to be united with a common goal for being their best version of themselves. I wanted to have the company be involved in a movement to #BeYourBest, and for this to be seen as something with scale and reach.
The marriage of these two words worked perfectly to create the company name AdapNation. A company focussed on self-optimisation, and helping you #BeYourBest through increased strength, health and mindset. Inside, and Out.
#2 – Why Move from Corporate Success to AdapNation?
I’ve had a fortunate career. One that I’ve committed everything to over the last 11 years. We’ve benefitted greatly from me being one of the best in the domain of IT Security Sales – financial abundance, freedom, a nurturing home for our kids and peace of mind. For me personally, I used my career to grow as a person in ways I am truly grateful for. In terms of unshakable belief, an expectation for greatness, a high bar in terms of financial potential, leadership, creativity, influence and problem solving.
However, it’s a gruelling job if you choose to always be attractive in the marketplace, manically serve your customers and continue to over achieve against people’s expectations of you. You can do well in this space for decades, but to be great you need more than charm – you need to put in the hours and be laser-focussed.
I said to myself when I was 30 that I will stop ‘carrying a bag’ (i.e. stop working for someone else’s sales organisation) when I was 35, as I knew instinctively that this level of single-mindedness was unsustainable to my health and overall happiness. I needed to break free from the demands and my loyal commitment to tech startups and lining other peoples pockets. Instead I wanted to direct my skills, passion and energy into something that I could create. That fire inside of me has always burned strong, but what has been lacking is THE idea and too much fear of failure.
Fast forward to 2016, I was turning 35. I decided to lose the 20+ pounds of extra weight I had built up through health neglect and being a road warrior (check out this Road Warrior article), and eventually to get into the shape I’ve wanted but never been able to realise. Without realising, I was preparing myself for my future – in terms of strength of character, a shift in priority and insatiable interest in all things health and wellness. I was trying to ignore that the self-imposed deadline of ‘Out By 35’ was looming, as I had NO IDEA what to do, and seemed shackled to my career and company due to the success, significance and income.
I lost the weight. I did that by training in the purpose-built home gym we built in 2014 and by leading an office fat loss challenge. It’s funny how things you do in the past make more sense in the future. What we now call The AdapNation Box was expensive and seemed wasteful to many. To me, it was essential to have a training facility and office at home. Why? Because health and fitness has always been part of me, even though for much of my life I didn’t really respect it.
After losing the weight and keeping most of it off, I grew tired of a directionless cardio and ground hog day weight training effort. I reached out to a local PT linked to the Chiropractor we would use. He built me a proper purposeful training programme. This lit the fire within me, without realising. I trained and got bigger and stronger. It fuelled itself. It made me incredibly curious about all the science and detail supporting physical growth. I continued to amp up my reading and podcast listening. I fixed my diet in ways that would be impossible to imagine as my younger self.
I began to understand the significance of sleep (check this article out), and that I’ve been abusing sleep my whole life – almost as a badge of honour. 4-5h of sleep was the norm, with early starts and often working on the laptop up until I threw in the towel and went to bed. I had awful habits, but all came from my maniacal commitment to corporate and financial success.
The seed was sewn in 2017. My passion and interest in health and fitness grew and grew, and reignited my thirst for knowledge and self-improvement. When you’re at the top of your game, it’s easy to get comfortable and lower the bar on trying to be better.
I found Tony Robbins and other self-improvement leaders when I was in my mid twenties, which lead me to raising the bar on my life, our relationship, our expectations and my career. I’d got lazy though, assuming there was no further growth needed. Getting into this headspace again, but now more holistically around body, wellness and mindset was liberating and so exciting. I’ve got an intensely focussed personality – which I am now piecing together as perhaps a mild form of autism. I shifted my gaze to a new area of interest – one that had more impact and meaning to me, my family and potentially millions of others… and I got excited. I had my answer.
The latter half of 2017 was spent trying to work out WHAT. What will I do in this space? What matches my personality and skillset? What do I need to do in advance of the career switch? What will the business be, and how will it make a difference and be unique in amongst the shear noise of an ineffective $80 billion industry?
The obvious answers were unattractive to me. I’m not a ‘me too’ guy. Plus, I wanted to leverage my creativity, autonomy, technical skills and salesmanship to create something akin to the success seen in my corporate career, just with far greater impact. I wanted to innovate in zeroes – to take the cost out of the industry and and increase transparency and trust.
AdapNation was born during the Christmas 2017 break, as I downed tools for the quarter and year-end. It would be a content platform that extends across Podcasts, Video, Articles, Community Pages and Instagram It would be real, honest and raw, and will funnel my acquired knowledge and personal experience into a relatable and trusted platform. It will help people that want to be helped. To help people be their best. To cut through the noise and the smoke and mirrors that comes from paid-for gyms, training plans, diet plans and supplement companies.
#3 – Good & Bad Fitness Industry Changes in Last Four Years?
The best thing that has happened to fitness is the internet and the freedom to share ideas and concepts. Whilst there is so much snake oil and charlatans out there who just want your money, if you are well-guided there is so much fantastic information to explore – for free.
The big moves that have helped seed this change in my opinion are Podcasts, CrossFit and Paleo.
Podcasts are an incredible way to hear the truth and to break free from the dogma and marketing. It’s an efficient way to acquire knowledge from those more wise than you.
Whilst I have never done CrossFit, I cannot speak highly enough of it’s impact it’s had on the world. It’s made barbell training popular amongst all ages, sexes and backgrounds. It’s fuelled an emphasis on functional training, and it’s brought purpose and focus towards lives which otherwise were consumed by the rat race. Nothing feels better than being strong and functional, and using your body purposefully. CrossFit has also done a lot wrong, such as lots of injuries amongst the uninitiated and has unintendedly fuelled the narcissism on instagram. But that’s just teething problems associated with change.
Paleo Diet is an ancestral diet approach. It has allowed us to illuminate the insanity of our modern eating habits of processed food, where we glutinously consume copious amounts of Gluten-based foods, refined sugar and a cocktail of lab-created ingredients to make us addicted (and unfortunately fatter and sicker).
The Paleo diet emphasises the nutritional and wellness value of going back to simpler times, where we eat whole foods, we cook from scratch, and we do not rely on packaged foods, takeaways and modern grain agriculture. It’s not perfect, but it’s been a game changer in my opinion. AdapNation took the concept of Paleo and adapted it to both serve optimum nutrition as well as a means to easily control bodyweight down or up. We call this eating approach we’ve adopted as a family IIFYM+ Thrive.
#4 – Why All The Family Posts on AdapNation Social?
If you watch my second IGTV video you’ll see one of my top passions is to witness and help my kids grow. Whilst I’ve always wanted the best for my girls, I’ve been far too consumed with the pressures and stresses of my corporate gig. I was unintendedly an absent father, with large periods of days (and sometimes weeks) away from home. Moreover, I was absent mentally. I’d give them too little of my attention. They didn’t want for anything, but perhaps simply my attention and caring love.
Leaving my corporate job has had many profound benefits on my life, but perhaps the most impactful is my presence and attention to my girls. I absolutely love having the time and mental space to truly witness their progress, and do whatever I can to help them be their best version of themselves. Whether it be their nutrition and what will become adult habits, their knowledge, their mindset, their confidence, their compassion, their passion, or simply their enjoyment as kids. I don’t want to let my mistakes, successes and lessons learnt go to waste. Michelle and I have an enormous amount to give, as does every parent, but we need to first realise this and then take deliberate action… everyday.
So, the AdapNation Facebook and Instagram pages reflect what’s at the centre of my life. My kids and wife. I could keep them out of the picture, but I think it’s beneficial to them, us as a unit and to our audience to share our struggles, successes and pursuit for ever-increasing happiness and improvement.
#5 – Steve’s Favourite AdapNation Food Diary Meal(s)
Being asked to pick a favourite meal is like being asked to pick a favourite child. It’s just mean! 😉 That said, there are two ingredients that make me most happy, are the most versatile, and as such feature in the majority of the meals in the AdapNation Food Diary. Eggs and Sweet Potatoes. Eggs literally are the ‘Perfect Food’ and taste amazing – I actually wrote a recent piece on why we are so drawn to eggs generally as a society. Sweet Potatoes are incredibly nutritious, filling, less impactful on blood sugar levels than white potatoes, and are so so tasty.
As such, my favourite meals will almost definitely feature one if not both of these. If you asked Michelle, she would say my favourite meal is Michelles’ Sweet Potato & Egg Hash as it’s the most commonly requested and I NEVER say no if it’s offered for lunch or dinner. There are so many close seconds – most of which featured in this Egg article.
I can’t leave this question without confessing to my one daily guilty pleasure. My day is not complete without a little reward. I’ve always had a sweet tooth, but abstained for a couple of years as I had assumed carbs are bad. Sweets are back on the menu, but of the super healthy variety. I LOOOVE a little piece of Dark Chocolate in the evening, ideally dipped in some almond butter – see here. Green & Blacks Velvet 70% Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt or Salted Caramel is to die for. Yum. 😋
Follow this and other topic areas in our longer-form Articles series as they unfold, as well as the Microblog Section for ways to improve your quality of life and health.. Comment if you have questions or ideas.