Wk2 (4.2k subs): Nothing to Lose

How excruciating pain turned to pure obsession

Nothing to Lose

Navigating the tumultuous waters of heartbreak, doubts, and uncharted territories in this week's David to Goliath. Join the journey, embrace the chaos, and discover the flame within your pain.

Today on David to Goliath [12 minute read]

  1. Behind the scenes, real time challenges

  2. The work life balance myth

  3. Mindset - juggling doubts and purpose

  4. How we’re building the community

  5. The best book on leadership

  6. Action items

We build these Newsletters from conversations on the David to Goliath podcast. It’s raw, it’s real, and extremely unfiltered.

Click here to listen and have a front-row seat to the pure chaos!

Road to 100,000: Behind the Scenes

I wish I could start this Newsletter with something more positive for wrapping up the first week of the David to Goliath launch.  As they say though, every dark cloud has a silver lining and this was no different.

But man, this moment didn’t half test my strength of character.

And the fact it happened a day before launch feels like it was meant to be… 

Remember the woman I’ve been telling you about? The one who instilled in me the unwavering conviction of self-belief? The one also who cut me out, which nearly led me to commit suicide? To put it straight – I am in no way over her yet.

Yes, this was also a surprise to me. 

On Monday 1st January, the day before the first David to Goliath post went out, I was sat in a WeWork office when a picture appeared on my phone. A picture of her and her new partner.

Arms wrapped around each other - a smile beaming across her face. It was the first time I’d seen her in over 6 months. 

That smile tore straight through my heart like a knife. Twisting, turning. Ripping up all kinds of raw emotions.

I ran upstairs to the roof as fast as I could and bellowed out in the Manchester night. Only the wind answered. After my heartbeat finally slowed, the cold air filled my lungs and slowly but surely I regained a sense of calmness.

“Just another test” I told myself. And there will be plenty more like it.

Why begin this week's newsletter with vulnerability? Because I know many of you have tasted the bitterness of heartbreak or loss. We are human, creatures pulsating with emotion, grappling with moments of anguish.

The human experience is an emotional journey and it’s important I’m honest with mine - with the hope you can be more honest with yours.

As I came downstairs I turned to Dan – you may be familiar with him by now. He's been there with me in my toughest moments (what an absolute legend I might add - he needs more praise). 

Having someone by your side makes a world of difference and means everything to me.

Forget the lambos. Forget the money. Forget the mansions.

As long as I have people like Dan who are willing to show up for me in my darkest moments, with no questions asked, I’m set.

After a deep chat about this moment, Dan dropped a truth bomb that’s still reverberating within me, a week on. 

"Okay, bro, ask yourself this – if you had the option right now, would you trade places with the guy in that photo? Would you set aside David to Goliath to go back to the comfort of love?"

That’s when it all became clear.

“No. Absolutely not.” I said. I have a mission to fulfil. To help people going through similar challenges, and guide them from their darkest hours to a place of light, using all the pain to achieve something extraordinary.

That guy might have the woman. He might have everything.

But he doesn’t have this. He doesn’t have David to Goliath. This incredible movement we’re building, this comeback story, this opportunity to change the world.

Messages are already starting to trickle in about how we're impacting people’s lives. I’ve never had this response to anything. But with that opportunity comes a huge responsibility and I’m so grateful to be leading the charge.

Ultimately that's the essence of David to Goliath – I'm certainly not the finished product. I'm still deep in the trenches, documenting every step of my comeback - in the pain, fuelled by the self-belief within me.

I emerged from that day with a renewed sense of purpose, deeper than I could have ever imagined.

Now, I literally have nothing to lose.

100k subscribers by the end of 2024 – a community of individuals ready to plunge into the unknown and realise their untapped potential.

It's do or die. I'm completely and utterly obsessed.

Sex, food, none of it matters. The only thing on my mind every second of every day is David to Goliath. 

The point is, when the fire seems extinguished, dig deep and find that one ember.

Then pour on petrol and let it roar within you.

That ember is exactly what Dan gave me.

And as the week has gone by, that ember has grown stronger and stronger. Now, the flame is well and truly lit, and one day, my hope is this community will be sat around a fire somewhere sharing our memories of the struggle. The good days.

It's time to rise from the ashes. It’s to climb into the unknown.

Work-life Balance – Dorian Yates Story

That episode is a perfect setup for this week's main topic: Work-life balance.

Look, fair play to those sitting by the beach meditating all day (literally no judging). But for me personally, I’m just not in that season of life (and not sure I ever will be).

Work-life balance is thrown around a lot, but when your whole world revolves around a goal, going all in isn't an option – it's a requirement.

I’d rather just tell you how it is. And that’s because I want you to win. 

When you’re all-in, nothing else matters. It’s about letting that goal consume you because that's where the magic kicks in.

Take a look at bodybuilder Dorian Yates, a living testament to the sheer power of all-in obsession.

For 12 relentless years, he didn't just lift weights – he lived and breathed the pursuit of becoming Mr. Olympia.

It was etched into every fibre of his being. 

He became a scholar of the human body, diving deep into biology, and decoding the science behind muscle growth and performance. Day in, day out.

His workout didn't end when he left the gym. It followed him home, with every rep, set, and session meticulously logged for over a decade.

His philosophy was straightforward and brutal – push yourself to the point that you physically cannot do anymore.

If after his workout he wasn’t feeling pain so badly in his legs and ass that going to the bathroom was torture, he wasn't done.


Pain, for Dorian, was the compass pointing to progress.

The external world blurred as he focused, shutting out distractions and naysayers.

Friends, family, personal comforts – all sacrificed at the altar of this one goal.

(and if you think that’s selfish ask yourself this: the fact he’s inspiring me now and I’m passing this on to 4,000 of you reading - was it really that selfish?)

Then came the day of reckoning for Dorian - the Mr. Olympia stage.

Judges, completely bewildered, shouted, dropped their pens and screamed: "What the f**k is that!?".

Dorian's uncut commitment, the raw sacrifice, led to a moment where his physique completely defied belief of what was possible.

The first mass monster.

He then proceeded to win the Mr Olympia title six consecutive years in a row.

So, let's cut the BS about work-life balance. If you've got a goal burning inside you, there's no tiptoeing around it. 

Choose your battles wisely, but understand this – chasing that singular goal demands every ounce of what you've got.

Balance may be a source of refuge to the hesitant, to the procrastinator, but believe me when I say this, your goals won’t wait for you to strike a balance. Neither will the Goliaths in your path.

Remember: Obsession is a huge advantage and should be celebrated.

Use it to your advantage.

(To clarify sleep is also extremely important and this should be seen as part of the obsession - if you don’t let your brain rest each night, you won’t be able to perform at your peak - something that personally I’m still trying to figure out)

Mindset - Doubts Creeping In

Most people spill the beans about their struggles after they’ve become successful. But not at David to Goliath.

I’m not leaving anything out; The good, the bad, and the damn right ugly. I’m bringing it all into the limelight. Documenting in the raw pain.

And let's be real here. Sure, we have massive ambitions but doubts are also a major part of this journey. We all have them.

You can't escape doubts when you're diving headfirst into the unknown.

For me with the David to Goliath newsletter, it's like I’m taking a blindfolded leap off a cliff and trusting that I’ll sprout wings on the way down.

I’m trusting my gut feeling while the demons are whispering in my ear.

It's gritty, uncomfortable, and damn right challenging. But guess what? It's necessary.

Not everyone hits that 100k subscribers mark in a year and there’s a reason for that: it’s hard.

But Codie Sanchez did it, and she's not some mythical creature (although I appreciate she has much more experience in other areas than I do). She's a person who rolled up her sleeves and got down to business. She’s still just a human with 2 arms and 2 legs.

I have huge admiration for what she’s done, although, it also reminds me that with enough will and drive, it’s possible.

When the doubts start gnawing at my sanity I ask myself 2 important questions:

1) With enough time and inputting enough volume of actions, will I be able to figure this thing out? Yes.

2) Will I ever give up. No.

And that’s liberating. 

So next time you hit a wall ask yourself these 2 then hold your head high and get back to it. 

I probably shouldn’t be telling you this but I’m still trying to figure out who David to Goliath is even for! That's the whole point – I’m jumping into the unknown without a safety net.

It's not about me having all the answers; it's about me being bold enough to figure them out along the way. No cheat codes, no guaranteed success.

I walked away from a six-figure salary, waving goodbye to financial stability.

Insane? Maybe.

I love it.

The greatest achievements don't come from playing it safe. They come from risking it all.

My doubts are like annoying passengers on the bus. The ones that never shut up.

The doubts are constantly whispering in my ear, questioning every move I make.

But here's the thing – I'm the one gripping that steering wheel. I'm in control.

Doubts will never hijack my journey; they'll just turn into dark energy that enables me to keep digging when everyone else has gone home.

Why? Because having doubts means I'm pushing boundaries, stepping into the wild, uncharted territory where greatness is crafted.

Every great success story is written by someone who stared uncertainty in the face, who didn't back down when doubts came knocking – who conquered them.

I’ll stumble, I’ll fall, but that's the game. It’s messy, chaotic, and unpredictable.

If you’re going to go swimming in the deep end, you’re going to get wet.

You might even get bitten by sharks.

But as I mentioned, the messages that are already starting to flood in from LinkedIn, email and Instagram aren’t your typical fan mail. Some have been huge essays - raw and uncut messages from people also going through some seriously dark times.

Daring to be great.

They're constant indicators that I’m not alone in this.

And know that you’re not too - reach out to me anytime - I’m only one message away. Strength in numbers.

Never, ever, suffer in silence.

We’re documenting the raw, uncut version of the journey – in the midst of the pain.

And you’ve got a front row seat to the chaos.

This is the real uncut life of an entrepreneur and we’re going to the top, together.

Building The Community

Now let’s put the philosophy chat to one side and talk business.

I’m going to share with you what we’re doing to get this newsletter off the ground. It’s messy, it’s scrappy - but it’s moving forward, everyday.

The Content Foundation

The foundation is the Newsletter and the podcast. 

The podcast is being recorded in a free studio at Manchester Central library. No fancy studio, sellotape all over the walls, soundproofing pads scattered everywhere, simply just two microphones, two friends, and a table. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

(Listen here if you want more raw and real - and yes, we do drop the f bomb time to time!)

Every week, two newsletters will hit your inbox and you can count on that.

Tuesdays – The uncut comeback story. Everything behind the scenes – the hustle, the grind, the truth.

Thursdays – Real talk. Interviews with the best leaders of our generation. Tearing apart their growth stories, dissecting every factor that got them to where they are.

Then everything else - LinkedIn, Instagram, podcast appearances stem from that.

Creating a flywheel that will compound and compound over time.

But I’m hoping you’ve already seen, that we're not just here to make up the numbers.

We’re here to bring you the best free content in the game. That’s crucial if we’re going to have the impact we envision.

(feedback is also incredibly important so respond and let me know how you think we can improve - your voice matters more than you think!)

Inputs Not Outputs

Winners and losers have the same goals.

But winners focus on inputs, not outputs. Regardless of how they feel they find a way to get the job done.

As Winston Churchill said:

“Sometimes doing your best isn’t enough. We have to do what is required”.

So we've made an inputs & outputs chart covering everything from Social Media to borderline insane marketing strategies (such as hanging David to Goliath flags at sporting events - shall we do this?!). Doing whatever it takes to spread the message.

Every single day, we're eyeballing that chart and ask ourselves did we do the inputs?

Accountability is our weapon of choice. Every decision, every day, aligns with the movement we're building.

No room for slacking, keeping that mindset razor-sharp.

So, when you wonder what we're doing to build this, it's not some secret sauce.

We’re just focusing on those inputs, every single day.

If we haven't hit our targets, it's simple. Although brutal this is what we say: – shut the f**k up and get back to work. Complaining won’t solve anything.

Right now we’re averaging about 100 new subscribers per day but we need to hit 250 ASAP.

The Team and Systems

For now, it's about building content ideas – raw, unfiltered, impactful. But as we go we’re documenting every step.

It’s just me and my friend Dan - with the help of some assistants.

Then we’ll systemize everything bit by bit so that once revenue streams kick in, we’ll be able to delegate to the new team members.  Not just throwing ideas against the wall, but building a creative machine.

As we go, we’ll share more. How we’re marketing, how we’re systemizing, how we’re scaling, how we’re going to make money to grow this thing faster.

And of course, all the failures along the way.

Book Recommendation

Patrick Lencioni's "The Motive" 

I received this from my mum for Christmas and picked it up last Monday to have a quick scan. From the very first page it gripped me. This is honestly one of the best books I’ve ever read. As a leader, it struck a chord deep within me. 

Lencioni takes us on a ride into the CEO's mind. Taking us through the story of two different leaders and sharing the lessons following the outcome (I won’t ruin the end for you!).

He lays out that it’s not about the fancy perks. It's about impact.

And there are types of leaders based on 2 different motives:

1) The Reward-Centred Leader:

This leader may feel like he/she's arrived and the role should be enjoyable.  He/she avoids the unpleasant, mundane types of activities.

Motivated to take on leadership as a reward for hard work or because of the power, influence or attention it brings.

2) The Responsibility Centred Leader: 

This leader believes his/her role is one of responsibility and doesn't shy away from difficult, boring or uncomfortable activities.

Motivated by service to employees and the company.

Now ask yourself, which leader are you? And which one is the leader running your team?

Because this is a wake-up call for every leader to leave their ego at the door and embrace a relentless commitment to the greater good - doing it for your people.

Lencioni sees the CEO not as an executive but more a Chief Reminding Officer (CRO).

The heartbeat of the organization. Tattooing the company's purpose, strategy, values, and priorities onto everyone's souls.

Making sure everyone in the tribe knows why they wake up in the morning and why they bleed the company's colours.

He rips the band-aid off, showing that as CEOs you can't just sit back and delegate.

You have to get down and dirty, face the issues head-on, have those uncomfortable conversations. Never letting mediocrity slide.

This book is for true leaders.

Not for those ruling with an iron fist. For those of you who are willing to sacrifice the most for your people: Because that’s ultimately what true leadership is. 

If you're serious about levelling up your leadership game, grab "The Motive." Read it, live it, breathe it. It’s phenomenal.

And if you’re not a leader - that’s also OK. Accepting that early and being part of a team where there is a great leader at the helm is also a great strength. Especially if it’s your own company.

Action items

1- Find the Flame in Your Pain:

When you’re in a moment of excruciating pain don’t give up. Keep digging and you will find the ember to reignite your flame.

2- Celebrate Obsession:

If you have nothing to lose, do put all your eggs in one basket. Dorian Yates is a perfect example of what one human can do with complete obsession. Work life balance isn’t an option when you’re in a season of growth. Use it to your advantage and never apologize for going all in.

3- When in Doubt Ask 2 Questions:

With enough time and volume of action (inputs) will I figure this problem out? And will I ever give up? Then hold your head high and get back to building. Trust that you’ll be able to figure it out along the way. Remember: Noone is given a guaranteed blueprint of success.

4- Focus on Inputs Not Outputs:

Winners and losers both have the same goals. But winners focus on what they can control - their actions (inputs). Do a number of daily inputs towards your long-term target that makes it absolutely unreasonable you won’t achieve it. Then track it daily and do what’s required - regardless of how you feel. A year from now, you’ll be unstoppable.

5- Figure Out Your Leadership Motive:

Are you a reward or responsibility centred leader? If you’re in it for the wrong reasons, you’re going to be in for an unpleasant surprise so you might as well face the truth right now and find someone else who can captain the ship.

That’s all for today and if you’ve stayed until the end, thank you. I appreciate you.

This Thursday’s Newsletter is going to be insane! We’re uncovering the life of Sean Riley and how he took Dude Wipes from 0 to nearly $100M in the toilet paper industry.

Shark tank, sh*t jokes, and some of the best branding I’ve ever seen - get ready because this is a story for the ages!

In the meantime keep dreaming like a giant.

But fight for those dreams like a god damn underdog baby.

Yours truly,

-Nigel Thomas

Lastly a small ask: We’re on a mission to bring together 100,000 crazy people by the end of 2024 on the David to Goliath Newsletter.

But we can’t do it alone - it’s going to take a village. Please ask your friends to subscribe using this link 

And we’ll keep working obsessively to bring you the best free content in the game.