Change Career After Stroke
If you are like me you probably needed to change career after stroke.
You may have some ideas you have not taken action on you may be part of the way there and not yet turned a profit, what ever the reason you are looking to make a change the journey to re-inventing yourself can be frustrating, lonely, and lengthy.
I was seven years into growing my business when a stroke happened to me and early on I managed just, to keep the business afloat. By the time I was 4 years into my stroke journey, my health needed a change of pace.
Starting from scratch was never going to be easy, and what would have made things better is exactly why I invited Paul to be a guest on the show.
Paul Higgins is a corporate escapee and after making the brave step to GO, he spent 5 years building startups and learned the hard way what worked and often – what DIDN’T !!!
Not wanting others to go through the same challenges Paul created build live give. An online community supporting others looking to change their career avoid some of the pitfalls.
To connect with Paul go here.
02:28 Polycystic Kidney Disease
07:31 What could have been said and done
16:08 Lifestyle change
20:47 Communicated with our loved ones about our condition
32:31 Transition from the corporate world
42:24 Saying yes to the right things
The transit lounge podcast moves you through life’s transit lounge and helps you go from where you are to where you’d rather be.
Good day everybody and welcome to another episode of the transit lounge podcast. Has stroke made you reconsider your work life? Perhaps physical challenges after a stroke mean that you can no longer go back to work in the same capacity. After three brain hemorrhages and brain surgery, I had no choice but to change my work and find something new.
My guest today is Paul Higgins. And Paul spent 18 years in the corporate world at a great company. It was a fantastic education. However, he needed to take control back. He was facing ill health because of an inherited disease, and he had to make the decision whether should he stay or go. After taking the leap Paul spent five years building startups.
And he learned the hard way about what worked and often what didn’t. Nowadays as the founder of Build, live, give, he teaches others to do the same. Welcome to the program, Paul.
Paul Higgins 1:12
Glad to be here.
It is an absolute pleasure. Sometimes you sign up for things and I’m talking about me. And you don’t expect that when you sign up for things, you’re going to get the things. You can get some amazing things out of it. Now for me what I got out of it already. That community that we’re both a part of, is I’ve met some amazing people, and you were the first person I met.
Paul Higgins 1:39
There you go. you got better for me today.
Well, no, not necessarily. I would say even you know, even fantastic. I don’t judge people on how you know the level of their fantasticness but you spend some time asking me a lot of questions and I really found your questions interesting. And I thought that you’re probably somebody who’s a very interesting person also. And turns out that you are and we have some things in common.
And what I’d love to talk to you about is what it is that you do. And I’ve introduced you a little bit in the intro. And I guess we’ll have some kind of an idea. But what I’d love to ask you is like, how did you end up being on the other side of that microphone that you are right now?
Paul Higgins 2:28
Yeah, look, I’ll give you the abridged version. I worked for a large company for most of my life. So for just over (inaudible). So I had a brilliant career sort of started as a rep and ended up as a director and it was a brilliant company, but in the back of my personal life, my mom got very ill in a sort of mid-40s. And we found out there was an inherited disease called polycystic kidney disease. not life-threatening, but certainly made me think about my health, and my mom, you know, work too hard, both in and outside of her working environment.
Paul Higgins 3:09
And that led to a massive heart attack when nearly lost her. And she had a pacemaker and realized that you know, her life is going to change from then on. So then, I was diagnosed. And, you know, to be honest, it’s just sister growing your kidneys and liver so it didn’t affect it impact me other than a blood pressure tablets. So that was fine.
Paul Higgins 3:29
I live my normal life in a corporate working ridiculous hours ADL works fine around the world, except her, and then yeah, sort of as time went on, my kidney function started to decline and around 2011 my surgeon specialist said, Look, you’ve got two choices here. One keeps doing what you’re doing and you’ll have kidney failure in six months, and that will, you know, at best if you can’t get a transplant, you got 20 years roughly on dialysis and sort of bit complicated whatever.
Paul Higgins 4:00
And you know, my kids were, what were they then about 13 and 11, or something like that, maybe even a bit younger. And I’m like, well, that’s not very fair, I’m not going to see their kids. And that’s not gonna really work for me, she said, or try to control it. So, in short, I did. So in 2011, I left, I worked for myself, and for quite some time was very stressful. And, you know, I’ve actually had probably more stress running my own business and didn’t have the money.
Paul Higgins 4:28
So it was probably compounded. And my surgeons like, your results are going south in a hurry. You better go back to corporate, I’m like, I’m not going to do that. So. So, in short, I joined Superfastbusiness join that community and got some great help from James Schramko, who I’m very thankful for. And then I basically created my own community.
Paul Higgins 4:51
So now there are a lot of people that have Skype corporate, not because of health, but it might be for other reasons. I know a lot of your listeners, you know, have health issues with stroke and other things. It is now life gives throws you curveballs. And when it does, I just want to help people run their own businesses successfully. So that’s my short version. I’m glad you didn’t ask me for my long version, because my short version of how I got here,
Awesome mate. The short version is pretty cool. So we’re going to talk about all the things that you spoke about, but I specifically like what you said about we’ve taken a leap into running our own small business, and now, health and well-being actually taking a bettering even more. Because that’s one thing people don’t realize is when you’re running your own small business, you’re got no sickies holiday pay, and all that kind of stuff tends to go out the window. And I don’t know about you, but when I was working for myself, and I still am, my boss, was the worst boss I’ve ever had.
Paul Higgins 5:56
Yeah, it’s like it’s hard to fire yourself and I look I think you I think there are pros and cons, right? So the pros for me is that if I’ve got to go off to the hospital if I’ve got to go and see a specialist, I can move my schedule. So that’s brilliant. So I can always find time to do that, which in corporate that was really difficult and somebody specialist, you know, it takes you three, four months to get into. So um, I think that’s the Pro. I think the con is yes, you’re constantly thinking about work.
Paul Higgins 6:25
So, you know, whilst you’re even sitting in that specialist meeting it, it becomes a lot more real when you’re earning the income and your risk, if something happens to you, whereas corporate, you can take three months off or you know, coke would always support you, that safety nets, not there. So, that’s why in our community, we really try to help people to get a business that is, you know, passive is the wrong word, but it can sort of run and allow them to manage their health because I think that’s, that’s really critical. And as I said, there are pros and cons to it. Yes, if you don’t get the right help, it’s very easy to get caught up in the fact that you’re not working well. And that can have a negative impact on your health.
Yeah. All right. So let’s go back a little bit. So you worked for coca cola? And during that time, so what we’re going to do today is we’re going to give some insights to people of the mistakes that we made, will call them mistakes, or, you know, the, the process we were in, and then what we could have done to make our time working for somebody else a little bit.
So I know that you’re in the corporate world. You’re flying all over the place you’re doing there all sorts of ours. In hindsight, what could you have done with your employer? What kind of conversations could you have had to say to them, Look, I’m doing a little bit tough, health-wise. Can we somehow facilitate some changes that will help me improve my health while I’m here and also have my hospital appointments etc? What could you have done? differently during that time instead of just going full-on?
Paul Higgins 8:03
Yeah, look, it’s a great question. And there are sort of two answers. One is, I am in the right company. So some companies are really, I’ve got a great cultural support people. And I gotta, I gotta say, in general, Coca Cola and Coca Cola amytal was brilliant. So they’ll good, but at a certain senior level, you had to put in the hours, and if you weren’t putting in the hours, you, you know, felt that pressure.
Paul Higgins 8:29
So I think getting the right culture in the right environment, I think, is one thing. I think the second thing is if you, you know, I think is really been quite clear with what you want. So I went and said, Look, I want to work four days a week, sort of manage my health, and also, you know, I was looking to see what I’ll do, what my other options are and they said, now, look, it’s a five day a week job that’s it.
Paul Higgins 9:00
I think I would have been, I just sort of dismissed and said, okay, you know, I know that’s the norm, but I think I really should have dug my heels in. And even if I took a lower-level job and work four days a week, I think that would have been a much better option than then working the five days. So there are a couple of thoughts that I’ve got about how I could have managed it better than I did.
Yeah. So you got to that point where you said, you saw that there was no option in changing the conversation. What was the thought process going through your mind then now I know a lot of strokes. Patients, people that have recovered from stroke, and, and I speak for myself more than anyone else because I don’t know exactly how everyone else is feeling.
But for me if I woke up one morning, all of my income that was dependent on me was now at risk because I was in hospital. And I was there for an indefinite amount of time. I didn’t know how long I was going to be there. And everyone relying on me could not access me. And like, I had to make, I had to do something I had to find a way. And I was lucky because I was still coherent.
What happened to me wasn’t, didn’t put me out of action to that extent, initially, but I know it does with other people. And stroke can be very debilitating very quickly. So how do we how did you go through the process of changing from a corporate world salary? Or just leave a self-self in, like a salary regardless of where it’s coming from, to now? being out of work and not having that backup? What happened there? How was the transition?
Paul Higgins 10:40
Yeah, look, I suppose for me like I said, I had a bit of forewarning. So, you know, my specialist gave me I was still my brain was fine. I was still functioning 100%. So I know there are people listening to this that aren’t as fortunate as me. But I was really fortunate that I had that and I just basically rip the band-aid. So I’d sort of procrastinated For about 10 years and kept saying either annual trip that I used to take with some might, and each year I’d say, I’m going to leave them.
Paul Higgins 11:06
And I just didn’t. So one year I just said, that’s it. I’m just going to do it. So I basically ripped the band-aid, I went and started my own business and really didn’t know what I was doing, to be honest. So there were probably two years of really low income, and I had eight in my savings. So, you know, my learning was, don’t do it yourself.
Paul Higgins 11:29
Like, whether it’s bills community, whether there are other communities yet they’d sort of get some help if you’re in that situation because it’s amazing how much people will help you just you know, sometimes you don’t ask people waiting for you. They’re not gonna always come forward.
Paul Higgins 11:47
I think the other thing is, you know, just that rainy days and situations I think, you know, it’s towns dead obvious, and everyone’s gonna say, you know, well, huge revelation, but just spend 20% of your time, whilst you are healthy always thinking of the situation where you might not be because, you know, Bill, you’ve gone through it others listening to this have, but those that are on in that situation yet, you know, just think about what you can do.
Paul Higgins 12:15
So, you know, I’d spend 20% so I would always get an annual medical checkup, I would make sure that my finances are in place just you know, just spend that time and yes, there’s a huge amount of social media and you know, there’s a lot of things that distract you these days, but just try to get you to know, whether it’s a day awake or half a day awake and just work on that plan because you just never know.
Paul Higgins 12:41
Like you Bill you know it the body doesn’t give you time, my mama didn’t give her time it just basically one day, she was fine. And then the next day she was, you know, on the brink of death. So, you know, I think it’s really important if you are well prepared ahead of time. Okay,
Awesome. So it’s prevention. Prevention. That’s an amazing thing. However, a lot of us don’t think about prevention. Now. What’s good about my community as well as they’ll be care is listening and the carers will hopefully be in a situation where they are actively looking for ways to make their role their new role, because some of them just take on a new role automatically, easier.
And by preparing themselves and taking small amounts of time to allocate to getting better at caring for themselves and for the person they’re caring for, they’re going to be able to sort of transition, a little bit gentler into that process of caring. Now, I want to go back a little bit. So for the people who are listening, who are survivors, who might be young because you were diagnosed at 21.
How seriously Did you take it at 21 your health was given, you know, a pretty grim outlook. You’re still And it’s amazing. And you’re looking great when I saw you and spoke to you full of energy. And I know you’re not 100% you know your kidneys not operating at 100%. But how seriously? Did you take it then? And what do you think you could have done differently?
Paul Higgins 14:16
Yeah, look good. Yes, I was actually iodine when I was first diagnosed, I’ll never forget the moment when mom basically, I look mom in the eye and say, Hey, you know, you’ve passed this on to me, which was really sad. I could see the pain for her. She couldn’t do anything about it. It’s just one of those things. But for me, it really didn’t even enter like I had really high blood pressure went on a tablet, and my blood pressure came down.
Paul Higgins 14:39
It was like, just go back to your normal life. So I really didn’t take it seriously enough and over my wife and I, who, you know, my girlfriend at the time, my mom was like, you know, what you’re marrying into and the chances are, it’s a 5050, birth, etc. My wife and I said, you know, look, we’ll just deal with that when it comes.
Paul Higgins 14:57
So I think it’s very hard to find forward a long time and take the advice of those that are giving to So, you know, I know you know, a lot of people that are younger, you’re headstrong, I completely get that. But I think it is wise to listen to those a little bit older and just stop for a moment. And for me, I would have improved my diet straightaway I was too slow to improve my diet.
Paul Higgins 15:21
I would have probably taken another career change because I worked way too hard and I was too stressed. My brother’s got a similar disease to me, it could be completely unrelated. Well, so he’s got the same disease, but he functions much better and he was in a lot less stressed environment. So you know, maybe those things I could have taken a lot more seriously than what I did. But I think I did well in 2011. But there was a big gap between you know, 1990 and 2011. America is down a lot more.
Okay, so what do you do now? What are you doing there? How do you look after your nutrition and your well-being now other than how you’ve changed your work-life balance, or how do you do that part? The nutrition part?
Paul Higgins 16:08
Yeah, well with my kidney function being so low, if I have anything processed, I basically feel it straight away. So, so for me to ensure I just try not to have processed food, and I don’t drink alcohol. You know, obviously, I don’t smoke. I just have lots of water. And, you know, when I’m tired, I actually take it easy, which for an A-type personality for me, you know, is really, really difficult to do that.
Paul Higgins 16:36
I just know that my body so I used to ride 700 K’s a week. And my specialist kept saying, you know, you’re, you’re pushing yourself too hard, don’t ride in this in the in hot days, all that sort of stuff. And I’m like, I’m fine. You know, I can sort of, I can beat it. But you know, now I don’t if it’s hard, I won’t ride. You know, I’ll still be active and in my car, go to the gym.
Paul Higgins 16:58
I do my stuff, but I keep it within reason, and, you know, I just try to have a clean, living life and, you know, it is hard because those chocolates will come down at the table or, you know, as someone offers you an ice cream like there’s so much opportunity in today’s world to eat food that is not great for you. And you don’t want to impose on people by saying, you know, I’m actually not preferred nongluten or prefer this prefer that.
Paul Higgins 17:26
So, you know, in short, it just becomes around discipline and it’s, it’s hard at times, but yeah, you just got to be super disciplined because you can’t say that, you know, you see your kids and it’s hard to translate well, I’m doing this for them real I’m not doing this for me. So every time I see something like that, I’m like, well, hang on, just think about them. Don’t think about yourself and forego the short-term pleasure for hopefully a longer-term gain.
Yeah, Long Term Life. Especially I have a lot in common with you and not because of the challenges that we face with our health, but because of the approach that I’ve also taken to manage the part of my well-being that I can manage, which is what goes in my mouth, mostly, yes, you know, which is how often I exert myself because I can go for a bike ride, but I can’t feel my leg after about a kilometer or two.
And that puts, you know, me at greater risk of falling over and all that kind of stuff. And I’m not sure exactly why the numbness increases as I get more tired, but that’s what happens. My balance gets affected by all that type of stuff. I also noticed that the numbness increases depending on the food that I eat. So because I’ve been very clean eating for the majority of the last 6 years, what I noticed is that when I eat something that’s heavily processed, the numbness in the leg can get dramatically worse, you know, very quickly.
And I have this I’ll have numbness where it comes and goes, that affects my balance in all sorts of things, my mood, all type of stuff. So I find it fascinating that the same approach that applies to you know, supporting kidney challenge also supports a brain challenge and most likely a heart challenge and cancer in any other challenge. So I felt really comfortable that even though we weren’t talking about stroke, necessarily, we’re going to be able to really make an impact on the people who are listening.
Paul Higgins 19:30
Yeah, and I think, Bill, I think, look, great points. And I think the big thing is to talk to people that are like, you’re in your situation. I think that’s why your podcast is brilliant in you getting the message out there because for so long, I never spoke to anybody about it. You know, I just didn’t want to talk about it. I felt like I was imposing upon them by giving them a burden if I actually spoke about it, but when we sat down and we talked and we connected, yeah, the similarities were definitely there.
Paul Higgins 19:58
And it was just I suppose very human, the conversation we had was great. And there is a connection. I think, if you, you know, whatever that whether it’s stroke, whether it’s other illness, I think, if you can support, find a support group and talk to people, I think that is probably, you know, is important, totally agree. But I think not the number one thing for me is talking to someone that’s either been through my situation or is going through my situation and just talking about it.
Paul Higgins 20:26
Because you don’t want to tell your partner like, in my case, my wife, I don’t want to tell her how terrible I feel all the time. But if you talk to someone else, and you listen to what they say, and vice versa, I think that can be hugely beneficial. So that’s another thing that I think can help and, you know, well done for you for creating this podcast to be able to do that.
Yeah, well done to you for the things that you’re doing. We’ll talk about it in a moment. Before we get there. It’s interesting that also what you said about not necessarily giving all the information over to the partner and I’ll tell her if She says I can we go out for a drink or whatever, one particular evening, I’ll say, Look, I’m too tired tonight. My legs hurting, and I’ll leave it at that.
But I probably haven’t told her the whole day that I haven’t been able to feel my leg properly since the morning. And that I struggled at work. And then I struggled on the way home and all that kind of stuff. And I do it for the same reason that you do it is that she’s aware? She knows. Look, it’s kind of getting old. Not in that negative kind of way, but it’s old.
And it’s like, well, if I just tell her my legs hurt, and again, what am I going to do? And what much? How much more information is she gonna have? And what can she do about it? She can’t do much. She can just support me as I can understand. But at the end of the day when I’m tired and she says let’s go for a drink or let’s can catch up a bit.
I don’t need to say much more than Look, I’m tired. My legs hurting at the moment. And she understands that she sort of says All right, don’t worry about it tonight. And also sometimes I’ll tell it to look don’t make any plans for tomorrow because I’m wrecked now I’m probably going to be wrecked tomorrow. And then what will happen is I’ll wake up in the morning, had a fantastic night’s sleep.
And then I’ll say to her, Hey, guess what, let’s go. I’m feeling great. Let’s go. I don’t need to tell her that. All the other stuff that goes along with it, and I’m doing it not to protect it, but I’m just doing it not to give her additional stuff to be distracted with, you know because she’s got her own life that she wants to lead and things that she wants to do the have sort of similar reason behind why you don’t pass on all the info?
Paul Higgins 22:30
Yeah, look, yeah, I think you did. Right. And, look, it takes a while to get there. You know, I think yeah, it’s, it’s hard and children as well. You know, we’ve got two children, as I said before, and how much you tell them I both of them, I got a 50-50 chance of, of getting what I’ve got. They say my mom who’s, you know, nailing health. I see me who’s deteriorating.
Paul Higgins 22:57
And you know, sometimes it’s like with him as well. What do you say and you know, it’s, it’s once again, it’s that discipline of, you know, taking a higher ground, but like, the easy thing to do is just let it your frustration, the harder thing to do is just pause and, I find meditation has really helped me a lot in that vine.
Paul Higgins 23:14
So I just use the Headspace app 10 minutes a day. And I found that that helped me with the anger. Because I think, well for me, you know, and my situation is not that bad, but you get angry, you know, and I’m sure all your listeners have gone through a similar thing and you know, why me you know all of that sort of stuff and I just find that meditating just takes that edge off that anger sometimes and then I can just pause. So I can be present I can pause and then decide not to say something rather than what I used to do, which was just you know, outwardly. Let it out and talk,
Where do you have to be to meditate? Some people will say, I don’t have time to meditate, Oh, is that work or whatever? Like, do you have to be in a specific place to stop and give yourself 10 minutes or not?
Paul Higgins 24:01
Look, I’m not an expert, but what I have heard is no look, you know, for me, it’s just what works for you. So when I did go to a psychiatrist about my health, they said Just wherever your pace so for me, it’s his office for 10 minutes every morning. The first thing I do when I wake up, is I do it that works for me. But also when I used to cycle a lot, they said that’s like a meditative state because all you’re doing is focusing on getting that bike in front of you.
Paul Higgins 24:31
And you’re, in the, in the zone, I suppose. So it’s different for different people. But, you know, I just think that constant little voice in your head that goes off 24 seven, if you can just calm that it can certainly help you and you know, like, a lot of your listeners are really dealing with some really tough situations. So it may help them work through that.
Yeah, I found it with meditation. The morning is great. So the alarm might go off or I might wake up before the alarm, and then stay in bed for another five or 10 minutes. With my eyes closed, not necessarily think about what I’m meditating just doing kind of like sleeping but not really sleeping, just one of those just really chilled-out zones.
And sometimes before bed, I’ll go and I’ll pop meditation on, and I’ll fall asleep to it. So if it’s 10 or 15 or 20 minutes, it’ll end and then I’ll be asleep. But I find it really sort of sets me up for a better night’s sleep when I set the meditation and when I’m cranky, honestly, during the day, which can happen a lot.
Sometimes. I’ll just gotta take a timeout, even in the car, you know, just in the car, if I’m in the shade, put the windows down and just sit there and meditate. Take five minutes and again, not really try a meditation I thought that it was just really changing my breathing getting out of the environment that might be angry or that I made myself angry and then and then move on.
It is really helpful and it costs nothing, right? It doesn’t cost anything to do meditation, which is what I love about it. And one of the other episodes that I recorded recently with one of the doctors, he talks about meditation and how when you meditate and you imagine yourself doing something better, walking, recovering your step, or your hand moving, etc, it actually fires off the same parts of the brain, as if you are actually doing that walking if you were using your hand.
So it’s kind of like people have already had an experience with walking again, even though they may still be in a wheelchair. And I just find that fascinating that you can grow new pathways in your brain without having even done the task that you want to get back. So, absolutely. I love that you meditate. Let’s talk about your work now and how you help people escape. The corporate world and transition from doing something that was okay. And now they’re starting to dislike it or hopefully, they’ve had a realization before you and I, that may be changing on the cards because they can’t go forever working at 100 miles an hour.
Paul Higgins 27:20
Great and look, all of what I’m gonna say comes from my own personal experience plus people in our community. So, you know, it’s very practical advice. It’s not theoretical, like some of my old days corporate it’s, it’s very practical and, you know, we’ve got to, we’ve got a community with sort of broken into two areas is a there’s a membership.
Paul Higgins 27:45
And that’s sort of like an entry point, which is around a cost of a coffee a day where people can get access to some great content and in particular, get access direct to me says I’ve got a question I can just ask me and I can reply. Then we’ve got a mastermind, which is more involved in a weekly call, etc. But the premise is all around five simple things so I’ll just run those through.
Paul Higgins 28:10
First is personal productivity. So, you know, running your own business, you’re the most important asset, and most people underutilize their time. So, especially in today’s world, I did some work for Franklin Covey, which is the number one productivity training company in the world. And we had the top neurosciences in so probably similar some of the things that that you’ve had on your previous episodes around neuroscience, but it just said, you know, effectively social media new models, like the new smoking is just an addiction.
Paul Higgins 28:42
And it’s so easy to take up so hard to give away so, you know, I think personal productivity and getting that right is essential. And if we can save you one to two hours a day of your time that you can then spend into building your business. That is probably the greatest gift we can give you. So we’ve got some things around that second is around the ideal client. I think a lot of people just want anybody to be their client because they want money. They want cash you know, that’s, just get me out of this situation I’m in.
Paul Higgins 29:17
And yes, I think some of that is needed, but also the quicker you can realize who your ideal client is. So, on the website, someone should be able to find out exactly who you work for. Who do you serve? And what do you do really simply it’s amazing how many websites you’ll go to and use don’t say that. So for me, corporate escapees are really easy. I think most people get that. And then what we do is help them rapidly grow their dream business so very simple.
Paul Higgins 29:44
Three is the business model. So I learned a lot of this from James. But a lot of people work hard without working smart and you know, having the right pricing models the right way, collect cash. There are a whole lot of things that you can do to improve your business. This model, so you don’t necessarily have to work as hard to get your money.
Paul Higgins 30:05
The fourth is around sales focus. And no matter what business you’re in, you’ve got to sell. And to me, selling is just moving something from someone from where they are to where they really want to be in the shortest amount of time. And you need to sell and you can avoid that no matter what business you’re in until you get to, I think at least a million dollars in turnover, you can afford someone else.
Paul Higgins 30:27
So sales are both the marketing side. So it’s building a brand, then getting people to know and understand, like, know, and trust you, and then converting that into sales, and most importantly, getting results for people. I think a lot of people still focus on what they want to sell because they want the money. It’s actually the other way around.
Paul Higgins 30:47
You actually get someone a result and then they’ll pay you. And then finally, it’s a high-performing team. So now that you’ve got this business up and running, and it’s going really well how can you get them to build a team and take off polos, hats, so you might be wearing all the hats across everything hacking, you start taking them off.
Paul Higgins 31:05
There’s obviously you know, a VA, there’s bookkeeping, there’s graphic design, there’s a website, all the stuff that you might not love to do, but you think you have to do as your business starts to grow, and you get more cash and revenue when you can start to do that. So that’s the five-step methodology that we follow. And, you know, that sort of sets the framework for everything that we do in our community.
Yeah, awesome. The steps are really simple. Your simple as in simple concepts to understand there are people who haven’t had skills implementing steps in any way, shape, or form in the past, on their own, will struggle a little bit but that’s where your community helps. So tell me about that whole new world of how we get assistance these days to do things because, in the past, I know when I started my business in 2005 I know that I was the marketing guy I was the website guy, I was this guy, I was that guy. I was the quoting guy, I was the invoicing guy, I was everything.
And I really did not know. Because I went from a job to my own business, I really did not know that I could go to somebody else and say, do my accounts for me. But also at the same time, I didn’t want to spend the money on them, because I thought that it wasn’t, it was a waste of money. And I thought that was going to take me away from I’m not sure what.
What I quickly realized and hopefully the people that are listening here will quickly realize is that when you invest money in somebody doing your bookwork, it keeps you off of the bookwork and therefore allows you to grow your business allows you to work on the business, not in the business. So you’re what are the what are the new tools that are available for people these days to help them in growing the business you mentioned? The VA, let’s start with that, which is a virtual assistant.
Paul Higgins 33:04
Yeah. The first thing I was going to say and a virtual assistant and, I’ll just, I’ll tell you what it is. And then I’ll give you a context that might be relevant to your audience. So VA is a virtual assistant. And effectively back in the old days, you know, You had a secretary, if you’re a business person, you had a secretary, they opened the mail, they sorted it all through, and then basically, you just did what you had to do, but they did all the rest of it. And with technology that was meant to sort of remove all of that, if anything, it’s actually gone the other way that you are bombarded by stuff now.
Paul Higgins 33:40
So to me, you still need a second pair of hands, as I call it, so they can be local. So it can be a uni student. It can be there are some good groups in Australia, that if your audience is in Australia, or you can go overseas as I did in the Philippines, and effectively I think of it is, is just that second pair of hands where they can do anything that isn’t the best use of my time.
Paul Higgins 34:03
And the example that I’ll give you is my builder. So I’ve just bought a new house. And it’s, fantastic. But I just saw him doing a lot of stuff in his work that I thought you don’t need to do that you don’t need to order that container and going and fill the form and, you know, he’s so frustrated by that. I’m like, just I’ll just pick up Facebook Messenger and just say, can you order this from that and like go, and then bang that gets done by my they overseas.
Paul Higgins 34:32
But then he’s also got a child who’s very ill. So at nine months old, he contracted a virus and now can effectively unable to use his eyes. So he’s in a wheelchair, he’s completely dependent upon his parents. And so he’s dead trying to do the building business, his wife to helping him with the book work and effective, they’ve got a full-time job, which is their son, and they’ve got another son so they are really tight for time, and I’m like you know, you can just take so much of that and give it to a virtual assistant that might cost you between eight to $10 an hour.
Paul Higgins 35:07
But just think of all of the savings that you’re going to get to do the stuff that’s quality because you’re not returning sales calls of businesses that could be worth $700,000 to you a deal, or $500,000 because you’re off doing all this other stuff that a VA could do. So I think it’s the number one thing as a small business owner, you should have, we’ve got some brilliant resources.
Paul Higgins 35:31
And I’ll give you some links post this, because we’ve, I used to have a company are solid, but now we use some great partners. So I can certainly refer your group to them. But I think it’s huge and not even familiar with, you know, organizing on my specialist, all of that stuff. It’s just so much easier with someone else doing that for me.
Paul Higgins 35:52
So that’s that. And then the other thing is that technology, I think you just need to have the right technology stack to make it real and there’s some brilliant technology out there these days that it’s, it’s free, it doesn’t cost you much at all that you can be anywhere in the world and you can get your team your virtual team to do things for you. So if I was going to give your audience one gift, it would be that gift, get a VA set up the right technology, and it would make life a lot better both in business and also personally.
Yeah, I love it. And for the people watching on YouTube, and the people listening on iTunes, we, you know, are doing that exactly. Now, we found a way to connect using Skype recording software that records directly from Skype that allows us to have a one-hour meeting that doesn’t waste an hour of me getting to your place and then recording the interview, and then driving an hour back to my place and then having to sit down and do the work that’s associated to editing, etc.
So it’s extremely efficient in the way that we utilize this time. And imagine me now trying to get an interview with a world-leading neuroscientist from California, it would have been impossible in the past A. for me to just manage that process with their particular VA or whoever I would have had to call overseas, I had to make an appoint book of flight pay thousands of thousands of dollars to potentially not get $1 value return in all of the effort that was made to do that.
And what you said was interesting about the builder is that I wonder if the builder has understood the concept of, well, let’s go out and meet a client in the first instance. And then let’s have Skype sessions with them for the two three or four times that we need to before they sign a contract and decided to give us the work I wonder if your builder has had the opportunity to sort of take the leap since you’ve given him some feedback.
Paul Higgins 37:54
Look it was certainly progressing in that way. And, you know, he’ll, he’ll take those steps, but I’ve got Another person in our community. So shout, shout out to Nick Beldo doing a brilliant job ex IBM guy. Now he’s running his own business in the US, and it’s a renovation and home remodeling business. And he does that. So now he screens his clients because sometimes he’s driving an hour hour and a half, realizing it’s the wrong client, the client doesn’t always give you the right information, or there’s three hours gone, right?
Paul Higgins 38:23
So he’s using technology to better screen and it gives them a benefit as well because they haven’t wasted their time on talking to the wrong builder. So look, and it’s interesting, you know, there are booking systems out there at the moment that are completely free that you can set up and I sent a link to someone before I was referred to someone who sent a link and he chopped back up well actually, he didn’t reply. So I said I’ll just bump this to the top of your emails again. He said, Look, I didn’t reply because you sent me a link. I thought it was very rude.
Paul Higgins 38:56
And you know, it’s still amazing that you know, it’s considered rude whereas now it’s actually trying to save you time. So you can just quickly look at a time that suits you, we can have a quick Skype or I’ll use Zoom call, and then you can save us the right thing for you. So there’s a 15-minute exercise rather than let’s go and meet for a coffee. There’s a three-hour, two-hour exercise. And the one thing I would say is, I wish specialists would do more of this, like, you know, it takes us three months to get into some of our specialists at the moment.
Paul Higgins 39:26
So why can’t they use technology a lot more? And I know they’re frustrated by it. And some of the startups that we’re looking to fund at the moment are to help in that space because they are just building two things that I spent a lot of time in the last month one is the building industry that I spoke of the other was health, and I just cannot believe how poor the technology that they use in to run a small business clients all over the world. I do it all from you know, this office, it’s really easy and then specialists now I have to go and meet them in person.
Paul Higgins 39:59
You know, it’s Just so inefficient, but the great news is that’s going to change and I think you’ve just got to be, you know, an early adopter. So if you’re listening to this and you’re not onto it, it’s so, so simple like my parents. My mom said, I can’t use Skype it sounds too difficult or whatever, she tried it within two minutes. She said this is simple. I said I told her was this just a fear that the old days your PC or, whatever, never worked. They used to crash and you know, everyone hated it. Whereas these days, you know, with mobile phones and all it it’s easy, it just works it doesn’t have to be as frustrating as what you think it might be.
Yeah. I love what you said about doctors because unfortunately, those guys they’re in an industry that completely overworks them. And it might seem it. Might seem amazing at the beginning that there’s a three-month white to say the doctor and I’m gonna always have work if I’m a doctor, but at what expense? The same expense. It’s that we suffer. And the same health issues that we suffer, doctors potentially suffer. So I would love to see and hear of a time where eventually we’re going to see the doctor to literally do our blood pressure, those types of things when it’s unnecessary.
And then for the results call, we can just zoom, zoom in or Skype in and just get our results, one on one with Dr. From their office, and they haven’t had us driving in Melbourne traffic. I don’t know which city you guys live in. If you’re living in any city, across the Western world, or even in the developing world. Traffic is an absolutely terrible time for me to sit through. It’s stressful, all those things, not making us any better.
So I love what you’re saying. I love the fact that you’re working in health and I love the fact that you’re working with builders because my previous main gig was in the property maintenance game. And I used to do that and I never screens, my clients to take a call. And I think, right I’m going to spend, you know, Monday of the week and Tuesday of the week running around doing all the quotes. And I did exactly what you said, I worked on the premise that if I got, you know, 10% of the jobs that came in via the inquiries, then I would have a successful business. But man, I was working 16 hours a day, 17 hours a day. Yeah.
Paul Higgins 42:24
And it’s all about compounding, right? Like, For the most successful people in the world, just compound good action. So and the biggest skill and we sort of talked about this at the start of the interview, it’s all about saying no, like, if you get to the absolute core of it, it’s just about saying no to most things, and then saying yes to the right thing.
Paul Higgins 42:45
So yes to the right foods. Yesterday, you know, met tiding and looking after your mind, yes to getting a VI, and then the VI does all the noise, and therefore by default, you’re saying no to everything. And you know, and it’s also saying yes to The important things that are gonna be critical to your health and then saying no to everything else. So so I think that’s really important.
Paul Higgins 43:06
But look, it’ll, it’ll definitely improve. But you know, just talk to your, your specialist or talk to your doctor and just see if there are ways that you can be a bit more creative now, like, using email a lot more with my specialist. And, you know, I know that sometimes can save me the three months of not waiting, I can ask her a quick question. I’ll set up a Google Sheet now with all my blood pressure results.
Paul Higgins 43:31
So she wants to see my blood pressure so she can go in at any time. And she’s, you know, sees the ups and the downs, she can then you know, take action. So she’s got access to that’s at that’s just a Google cost me nothing, set it up she can access at any time. So I think that’s there and I think the other one is that in the US now, you can actually get blood.
Paul Higgins 43:53
So someone comes, takes you, you take your blood or they take your blood goes off, they basically get the result And then they call you with the result but what they’re also doing now is around stressful situations so they’ll monitor you so they’ll actually have lived you know like an apple watch or equivalent and on my monitor your key vitals and if your heart pressures going too high or something I’ll actually alert you and say you need to get out of this situation or you need to do whatever so it’s going to move a lot more to the preventative rather than unfortunately for a lot of us which is too far down the track and it’s all about reactive how do we fix when you know for you having a stroke like it happened too late didn’t it like you know, once the stroke happened, but how can I do a lot of things that are more preventative which is also great that’s happening down the the certainly happening in the US and I’m sure all our come here soon.
Yeah, that’s amazing. So tell me a little bit about your podcast because you also have an amazing podcast. I listened to a few of the episodes since we met, tell me about that and how it came to be.
Paul Higgins 45:05
Yeah, so it’s just about spreading that word. So, you know, it’s a bit like here, it’s a bit isolating, I suppose you handle your situation, you might talk to a few people now and again, but I think it’s great to talk to people, but it’s also great to hear people’s stories and listen to so I couldn’t find anywhere in the world that had corporate escapees talking about their experiences and what they went through.
Paul Higgins 45:31
So we basically created a podcast It was called Build, live to Give, to begin with, and now we’re changing that name to corporate escapees buy to Build, live to Give and it just interviews people that have worked in corporate that have left the building their dream business, I talked about this, the challenges and the struggles that I’ve had talks about their life so what leaving corporate gives them so you know, talks about their daily habits and Hello run their life now, which is often very different to what was in corporate.
Paul Higgins 46:04
And then finally, it’s about giving, which is something that they can give back and talks about a cause that they love or a community that they support. So a little bit like what you’re doing for this community. So that’s the podcast. You know, we’d love to get more great guests on. So if any of your community knows anyone who’s a corporate escapee running your own business, we’d love to get them on the show.
Paul Higgins 46:28
And yeah, the feedback so far has been, it’s been excellent because what I love about podcasts is you can just speed it up. So I listened at two times the speed. Sometimes I listened to two and a half times speed and, you know, you can choose through a half an hour podcast and 15 minutes whilst you’re hanging out the washing or, you know, driving to your next appointment or whatever it might be.
Yeah, and how good is it? Again, that’s bringing a product that’s free into the world. where people can actually get a lot of amazing information about how to start making those changes in their lifestyle and leap out of you know, what they’re currently doing, which they don’t like or is not serving them anymore into a new part of, you know, themselves or a different version or different way of being themselves and running a business.
So that’s a classic example of technology working in our favor and us, you know, needed to accept it and leverage it and use it so that, you know, we can learn and start to feel comfortable with the idea that we had and the change that we’re going to make, finding people that online that we haven’t met, but that we can appreciate the stories because we’re going through something different and then give us the opportunity through giving to share what we’ve learned with somebody else. Yeah. Part of your love you that part of your message of the gift part.
Paul Higgins 47:54
Yeah, great. Thanks. And look at some, you know, people say, you know, Go do further education. I’m like, every day, I’m educating myself, I never stop. I listen to two hours of podcasts two and a half times better day. And I’m just constantly learning and it’s brilliant. It’s all free. And you know, it’s free, and the fact that it doesn’t cost anything to put it out there. I think you can make a huge impact on people’s lives by the action that’s taken. Post a post, and start listening to that information.
Yeah. And the best part about a podcast is you can listen to it. If you happen to be driving for an hour anywhere. You can listen to it in the car, you can listen to it at night, you can switch the TV off and instead of getting bamboozled by all the programming that that’s on TV, you can this podcast and learn something and you could get a lot out of it and you haven’t done anything really different. To gain that knowledge. You’ve actually just included it as part of the day.
Paul Higgins 48:50
Yeah, and I just want to just back to the VI point, I’ll just give a really clear example. So I’ll walk my dog at about lunchtime here in bed, walk the dog it’ll come and remind me that it’s time for its walk. So we go for a walk, I’ll listen to a podcast. As soon as I get an actionable item, so we collect supplies all around the world. That’s one of the key benefits of being in a community. And we vet, the suppliers and they’re on there so that people you know, don’t make mistakes with picking the wrong supply. But I’ll hear a supply on a podcast.
Paul Higgins 49:21
I’ll just pause the podcast. I’ll just go to my Facebook Messenger and just go, can you add IBC supplier to the list to basically be vetted, thank you release my finger go back to listen to the podcast. So I’m not collecting all those actions to actually you know, queue up at some other time. It’s happening instantaneously and it’s happening with someone who in the Philippines is loving the fact that they’re working with a global person and a global community while they can live with their friends and family so they’re winning on winning and their communities winning. So once again, I really implore you to Look at that. So listen, but the most important thing is to take action on what you’re listening to.
Yeah, fantastic. Action, an idea without action, is basically nothing really. When it’s taking action, follow through and look back, reflect on where we’ve come from, and say how much we’ve grown, what we’ve learned what we’ve accomplished, and celebrate the wins. And if you feel like you’re lonely, get involved in a meetup. Now, do you as part of your organization or as part of your membership? Do people get together and meet in person?
Paul Higgins 50:37
The short answer is no. Not at the yet we community I think needs to grow a little bit more in size before we do that, but that’s our plan. Our plan is to have local meetups all over the world. And what I’m really waiting for is a community big enough that we’ve got people that want to take that on and help that but that’s probably at least another 12 months away. I’d fully recommend it. Well, I think it’s great. I think with superfast business. What James does, I think it’s great. I would meet you if it wasn’t for that reason. So I think there’s a real place for it. But we’re a little bit off of that at the moment.
Yeah, that’s all right. And the reason I mentioned that was exactly that because I wanted to make the point that you and I, met at a meetup that I never would have bumped into anywhere else because we don’t sort of hang around in the same circles. And this meetup of amazing different people from all different communities. And yet, we found a really a lot of things that we have in common.
And they’ll have similar, goals, similar ideas of how we’d love to help people as well as ourselves. So I would encourage people to just jump on meetup.com have a bit of a search for the things that they’re interested in their hobbies, or whatever it is, and see if you can find people in your local area that I’m going to be able to share, you know their little story and listen to your story and Change ideas and they are you feel like, like, I’m not the only person in the world who loves watching stars, you know, through a telescope in the middle of the night.
Paul Higgins 52:09
Yeah. And I think the great point, or to build on that point is that if you can’t find it created, right, so I couldn’t find a community for corporate escapees anywhere in the world, I sort of complain about it, you know, but I got off my backside and create it. So if you can’t find it, go ahead and read it.
Nice. Nice. Mate. We are getting to that point, we’re coming to the end of the episode. This has been an amazing chat. Just like the first time we got together and had a chat. So I really appreciate you for doing what you do, sharing what you’re sharing, and making time for me to share it with my community. I truly appreciate it. I look forward to getting to know you more.
And even, I’d say from time to time sending people across to you because I got a feeling that I’ll come across a lot of people in my community who are challenged by the current work that they’re doing, and they’ll need to make that change, if anyone listening thinks that this episode is interesting, please do share it in your community and let people know about Paul’s community and what it is that they do. How can people find you online and your community online?
Paul Higgins 53:18
Yes, I just go to buildleavegive.com
And if there will find links to the podcast episodes, what the membership is about, and all the different things that they can do to sort of get involved.
Paul Higgins 53:32
One stop shop, you’ll find everything there. And, I just want to quickly say, Thanks to you, because I know that you know, you’re one of those people that have created a community because you had a niche and you couldn’t find anything out there. So well, well done that but also really well done to your community.
Paul Higgins 53:48
As I talked about my kidney disease, it’s nothing like some of what you guys are going through and you know, just take a moment now to actually congratulate yourself on being so brave and working through whatever you’re working through. You know, I take my hat off to you. I know there are a lot of people out here, out there a lot unhealthier than I am. And really you inspire me and you encouraged me. So well well done for what you’re doing.
Thank you, mate! Well, all the best. And thanks for being on the show
Paul Higgins 54:19
Now if you are someone you care about has had a stroke and has started their recovery, you’ll know what a scary and confusing time it can be. There are all these questions going through your mind like how long will it take to recover? Will I actually recover? What things should I avoid in case I make it worse? My doctors and therapists always seemed helpful in explaining things, but obviously, because I had never had a stroke before.
I didn’t know what questions to ask. And so I worried a lot and missed out on doing the things that could have sped up my recovery. So if you’re finding yourself in that situation, stop worrying and head to thetransitloungepodcast.com where you can download a guide that will help you. It’s called simple questions to ask your doctor after a stroke. These seven questions are the ones that I wish I had asked when I had my stroke because they not only helped me better understand my condition but help me take a more active role in my recovery.
Rather than just waiting around to be told what to do at my next appointment. head down to the website, thetransitpodcast.com, and download the guide. It’s free. Now, if you enjoyed this episode, I would really really appreciate it if you are able to if you’re watching on YouTube, give us a thumbs up. Also, if you’re listening on iTunes, go ahead and leave us a five-star review. It will help others who need to hear this episode find it and perhaps make a difference in their lives. As always, thank you for listening to the transit lounge podcast, watching on YouTube, and leaving Your comments and feedback. I really, really appreciate it.
This has been a production of Recoveryafterstroke.com. Subscribe to the show on iTunes and check us out on Twitter. The presenters and special guests of this podcast intend to provide accurate and helpful information to their listeners. These podcasts can not take into consideration individual circumstances and are not intended to be a substitute for independent medical advice from a qualified health professional. You should always seek advice from a qualified health professional before acting on any of the information provided by any of the transit lounge podcasts.
If you enjoy this episode you may also like Episode 33 with Peter Dempsey – Recovering from Childhood Stroke and Aphasia