Wk17 (24.2k subs): I finally said sorry to the man in the mirror

and the 9 building blocks I’m using to gain back his respect

I finally said sorry to the man in the mirror

The Comeback - Week 17 (24,200 Subs):

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As a man, it’s hard to admit this.

It’s hard to admit I’m weak, I’m struggling.

It’s hard to admit that from the outside looking in I have achieved what some would define as ‘success’ but on the inside, I feel lost.

The person hardest to confront though is yourself.

Most of us never have these brutally honest conversations.

Because our survival instincts cocoon us from the ugly truth and shield us from the harsh realities of life.

If you’re also feeling lost right now I’ll be frank:

No, everything is not going to be OK.

Unless… You act. Unless you do something about it.

But it all starts by facing the man in the mirror - the real you.

Stripping it all the way back to your raw naked vulnerable self and being able to respect that person.

Last year I had everything, or so I thought…

CEO of a fast-scaling marketing agency that I’d help build from the ground up.

A following of 50,000 people on LinkedIn.

And a woman who I deeply loved. 

Including her child whom I formed an extremely close relationship with and the foundation of a family that I’d always dreamed of was finally coming together.

Then, suddenly it was all torn to pieces.

The one person I could rely on with absolutely anything betrayed me and it completely shattered my entire identity.

I had no answers. There is no blueprint out there for how a human should react in these situations.

But the truth? The truth is that life goes on.

Yes, I contemplated ending it all on that balcony but that would have been the easy way out.

I couldn’t bear the thought of looking myself in the mirror and admitting that it was me who’d made a mistake.

Admitting that where I find myself right now mentally is my fault.

So last Friday, finally, I did it.

I confronted that person head-on.

I stood there in the mirror looking deeply into my eyes - into my soul.

Peeling back all the layers until there was nothing left.

And then with tears in my eyes … The fatal words left my mouth: “I’m sorry”.

It was a moment of acceptance.

The man I want to become is a far cry from who I am today. 

Yes, I’ve been building this Newsletter, yes I’m mentoring these agencies, although, the last few months have been a reactive trail of ups and downs.

I never dealt with the real underlying issue.

The fact that I didn’t respect myself anymore because despite the betrayal I begged to have that woman back, whilst knowing it would never work out.

It completely destroyed my ego.

But what I did see looking back in that mirror was a fighter. Someone who isn’t willing to give up on his dream.

And now I’ve forgiven myself I can truly start to rebuild my life.

It’s not going to be an overnight fix. It’s going to be slow, tedious and painful.

But day by day I will stack one brick on top of the other knowing I’m moving in the right direction.

Actually being proud of who I am becoming.

I can’t say much about what women want because I’m a man. Although I know what most men want is respect.

However, to win the respect of others you must first respect yourself.

I know there are many of you out there who are also struggling in life.

By me being honest, and sharing how I’m rebuilding my new identity I hope it can inspire even just one of you to find the strength to do the same.

So in today's Newsletter, I’m going to share the 9 steps I’m focusing on to gain back my respect and slowly but surely become the man I want to be.

Today on David to Goliath:

Road to 100,000: Behind the Scenes

Challenges - Ideal Customer Profile

It’s ironic because as I help mentor these agencies I’m asking each and every one to focus on one specific ideal customer profile.

Yet here at David to Goliath, I don’t know what mine is.

I keep constantly changing my mind.

  • Should it be for people wanting personal brands?

  • Should it be for creators who want to build businesses?

  • Should it focus more around mindset for people struggling?

I want to make sure I’m actually building a business, as well as a movement, so long-term I can provide products and services to help a specific group of people.

This is also impacting direction with my content on LinkedIn, my Instagram videos and the podcasts I appear on as a guest.

I have faith if I keep researching, keep taking action and keep having conversations with interesting people I’ll figure it out.

But right now that’s my biggest challenge bar none. I’m sure David to Goliath will go through multiple evolutions although hopefully soon I can settle on one specific ICP.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep putting out content in line with my comeback and the things which are helping me along the way.

If you have any ideas or know anyone who could help I’d sincerely appreciate a quick response to this email with your thoughts.

Breakthroughs - SEO with AI

On a more positive note, I’m really excited about our new SEO strategy!

We’ve now hired some support and with the help of my friend Dan in the coming weeks we’re going to build a process, harnessing the power of AI to to climb up the Google rankings.

Right now it’s a bit messy as we’re still figuring everything out but once it becomes clear I’ll share the steps and the tool we’re using so you can implement it on your own website!

Main Topic: 9 Steps to Rebuild Your Life

Look, I’m an all or nothing kind of guy.

Instead of working out at medium intensity I’d rather go all out or do absolutely nothing.

And this mindset has failed me many times.

I try to do everything all at once and then when I inevitably become overwhelmed it all comes crashing down.

So this time I’m going to focus on one thing at a time.

Once I’ve nailed one thing and proved to myself that I can do it consistently I will stack another thing on top.

I’ve also tried many hacks, routines, and productivity advice over the years.

Here are the 9 things that have worked for me, in order of impact:

I hope they can do the same for you.

1- Work Routine:

I strongly believe that if you don’t have a great work ethic regardless of what you want to achieve, you will always get left behind.

At school and corporate jobs we never get taught ‘how to work’ - and most people say they work hard but in reality they’re just busy fools (I know because I have been one of them).

When I say hard work I mean concentrating on one task with zero distractions for an extended period of time. And yes, that means leaving your phone on silent in a different room!

In rebuilding my identity and life the first thing I will conquer is being able to get up and do 4 hours of deep work each morning between the hours of 6-10 AM.

Yes, I want to do more, I want to do 8 hours - but my past experiences tell me to start smaller and slowly build up.

If I can do that consistently for one month then I can stack on more bricks.

2- Diet:

As an entrepreneur, your mind is your most important asset and studies have shown that diet massively impacts the clarity of your thoughts.

I don’t know exactly why but in recent months I’ve been experiencing terrible brain fog. I’m assuming this has come from inflammation somewhere in my body so fixing up my diet is where I’ll start to try and fix that.

Considering I also have the skin condition eczema, I’ve seen numerous people use the carnivore diet and have great results. For those who don’t know that’s pretty much just eating meat and nothing else.

I’m not a doctor and I don’t recommend this diet to anyone else. But what I do recommend is stripping out all processed foods and just eating whole foods. 

Start basic and get fancy later.

3- Sleep:

“You can sleep when you’re dead” they used to say in corporate America.

How times have changed? Now we’re all becoming more aware of just how important sleep is to our cognitive abilities and overall health.

However the biggest struggle for me is always waking up on time. I thought I was lazy but in reality, my body was just exhausted and the root cause is not going to bed on time.

After 8/9pm the quality of the work I do is low output and usually ends with me mindlessly scrolling YouTube for a hit of dopamine to take me away from the pain and fears in my mind.

So I thought why not just focus on a nighttime alarm instead of a morning alarm?

Make sure I’m in bed by 9:30pm and asleep by 10pm.

Yes, this will make socializing harder but right now to get my life back on track it’s a necessity and I’m confident my body will adapt over time.

4- Planning

Abraham Lincoln once said: “If I had 6 hours to cut down a tree I’d spend the first 4 sharpening my axe”.

In other words, executing before planning can often lead you in the wrong direction.

There are so many people out there who are just wandering through life without even thinking if the daily actions they’re taking align with their future desired self.

The best way to do that is to stop and think. Look at your calendar and truly ask yourself: “Are these actions going to get me to my desired situation?”

Make a plan for the week. Make a plan for the day, ideally the night before.

And yes, there’s going to be some chaos, there are going to be some changes but you’ll be amazed by how many things you can delete, delegate or say no to when you look at your schedule under a microscope.

Again start simple. 

Write down 3 things you want to accomplish each day (ideally in your work block) and do not let yourself off the hook.

Build from there and start doing weekly audits of your activities so you can take feedback on board and adjust accordingly to make sure you’re on the right path.

5- Accountability:

You know the feeling of when you show up to a meeting unprepared.

It’s embarrassing.

And this is why accountability is so important. Yes, you can hold yourself accountable by tracking your actions but often that’s not enough.

If you’re anything like me it’s actually more beneficial to admit you need help.

Find a friend. Tell them what you’re working on and get them to hold you accountable. Just ensure this person will treat you with tough love and they’re reliable.

The last thing you need right now is more chaos in your life.

To take my personal accountability up a notch starting tomorrow I’ll be inputting my deep work blocks (if I do them) everyday in this simple Google sheet.

As I always say, judge me by my actions, not my words. Now, I’m giving myself nowhere to hide and hopefully, a few of you can join me on this journey.

6- Journalling/Documenting:

Everyone talks about case studies for their work - but never for themselves.

The more case studies you build on overcoming tough times the more:

1) People will look back at your journey and trust you

2) The more self-conviction and belief you have to overcome the next challenge.

The best time to start journaling and documenting your journey is when you least feel like it - when you’re in a painful, vulnerable situation.

Because that is where the best stories are made. 

Heroes, underdogs, that against all odds made it out to the other side.

Whether it’s just taking a note, a quick video, or sharing it on social media that is you literally putting out there to the universe that you accept your current situation and you’re going to change it.

Again, remember, the best content and documentaries come from taking raw relentless action, figuring shit out along the way and reporting back from your unique lense of experience.

That’s what makes you human and that’s why people can relate.

7- Meditation:

In the fight for attention in today's economy the ironic part is we’ve lost our attention.

We’re fragmenting it across so many different platforms and devices we can no longer focus on one task at hand.

Yet, to achieve and build anything great, focus is of the utmost importance.

If you’re in a tough place and like me you have a whirlwind of thoughts ploughing through your mind like a hurricane, meditation can become your best ally.

You don’t need any fancy apps - people overcomplicate it.

Literally, just sit down for 5 minutes, set a timer and focus on your breath.

Every time you catch your mind drifting bring it back to your breath.

And if you think this sounds woo-woo you’re probably the person who needs it most.

Try it, repeat it consistently - it could change your life.

Not once have I ever meditated and felt worse after it. Actually, it’s quite the opposite.

You bring a sense of calmness into literally everything you do - people pick up on that energy and it will save countless scrolling, countless arguments and countless headaches.

8- Exercise:

I think this one is pretty self-explanatory.

The big thing I’ll say though is stop looking for hacks.

Humans are evolutionary designed to struggle and feel good after conquering a challenge (hence the endorphins you get after a hard workout).

The quicker you accept that you need to do hard shit and it won’t feel comfortable, the quicker you’ll be aligned with the truth.

No matter how many supplements you buy or fancy running shoes you invest in, remember that greatness doesn’t take shortcuts.

If it did everyone would have a 6 pack.

9- Reading:

Humans are systems of inputs and outputs.

That’s why we’re the average of the 5 people around us. We are what we consume and yes that also includes information!

The average information diet consists of binge-watching Netflix, scrolling for 2 hours through TikTok, and listening to your friends complaining about how life isn’t fair.

In contrast, with a book you have to force your eyes and brain to understand the information on that page so it nestles much deeper into your subconscious.

And for $15 you can buy a book from someone who has literally spent their entire life walking the path you wish to follow.

For me, when I read non-fiction books I get the best ideas and out of nowhere am able to connect the dots.

The reason I put it last on the list is because without action most knowledge is futile. However, since you’re already consuming a ton of information you might as well fine tune it to a high quality diet.

Even if it’s just 10 pages a day, that’s 3500 pages a year which is 10 full books cover to cover.

And maybe, just maybe one of them will lead to your biggest breakthrough yet.

You never know until you try.

So there we have it. The 9 building blocks I’m going to focus on to build my new identity from the ground up and gain back respect for myself.

Take everything I say with a massive pinch of pink Himalayan salt, keep what you like and test things out for yourself.

Remember: If you’re in a hard place and want real change accept it’s not going to come overnight. It’s going to be a slow, arduous and painful process.

But day by day you’ll stack another brick on your wall and in time build a monumental cathedral. 

Some day other people will look at it and think “Wow, what a masterpiece.”

Only you’ll ever know the blood, sweat and tears that went into building it.

Although one thing is for sure. When you’re alone at night looking at that person in the mirror whilst brushing your teeth, you’ll be proud of your reflection.

No amount of money in the world can buy that feeling. It’s priceless.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress in future Newsletters.

For now, keep fighting, keep believing and keep asking yourself the hard questions.

Trust me, if you look deep enough you will find the answers.

Mindset - Stack The Bricks

As I’ve laid out there are 9 things you can work on to change your life.

But they all require consistency.

So take my word for it: Instead of trying to do everything all at once, stack the bricks up one at a time to build your cathedral.

After you’ve proven to yourself you can do one new thing consistently for at least a month, stack something else on top.

Rewiring your mindset and building your new identity day by day.

I’m starting with nailing 4 hours of deep work a day.

What about you?

If you’ve read until the end thank you.

I don’t have all the answers, I find myself in a challenging place right now but I firmly believe I can turn my life around.

And that’s why I started David to Goliath in the first place.

In a world full of people virtue signalling and pretending to be someone they’re not to win the praise of others, I’m instead focusing on the truth.

To say no everything is not going to be OK. Noone is coming to save you.

But if you lean in, confront the man in the mirror and do the hard things to win your self respect, day by day you can change your life.

Where there’s darkness there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

But it’s on you to write the story and figure your way out.

So keep dreaming like a Giant.

But believe, fight and act on your dreams like a god damn Underdog.

Yours truly,

-Nigel Thomas

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