STORYTELLER, BEST-SELLING AUTHOR, SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEUR, MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE AND THE ONLY MAN IN THE WORLD TO HAVE WORKED IN THE MARKETING DEPARTMENTS OF BOTH FACEBOOK AND TWITTER.
The only thing that outshines Nick Bowditch’s impressive resume, is the man himself.
Having travelled the entrepreneurial road to build and sell three tech startups of his own, Nick Bowditch understands firsthand the benefits, and bullshit, of business.
We spoke to this sought-after international speaker and spruiker of all thing’s authentic, as he prepares to head back to Townsville for his face to face national tour in October.
If you’ve been fortunate enough to have witnessed a Nick Bowditch presentation in the past, no doubt you’re googling his next Townsville gig right now.
Nick’s upcoming Face to Face tour promises to deliver his signature realness as he presents an intimate series that focuses not only on business, but on personal development and mental health.
“For a long time, I’ve only done mentoring and coaching around the business side of things, but a lot of people want to talk about their personal development too.” Nick says. “They want to discuss their business and their personal stuff which it’s hard to do that in that big group scenario, but it does interlink.”
So, this time Nick’s visit will focus on one-on-one time with locals. “I’ve recently completed my Diploma in Counselling, so now I can fill that gap, listen and offer supportive advice in that capacity too.” he says.
Those on the entrepreneurial road all too often push their own wellbeing further down the list, to allow more time, more investment and more energy for their professional lives. Nick asks “If you don’t invest in yourself, who will? Nobody else is coming, no one else is going to look after you.”
“We have to put ourselves first, absolutely first.” Nick says. “As businesspeople, but also as parents and partners and spouses, you have to put yourself first because eventually, if you don’t, it will impact your wellbeing and your mental sustenance.”
Mental Health in Business
As every entrepreneur, startup and small business owner will know, building a successful business and building yourself at the same time are hard tasks to master. The pressures of business ownership are very real and can bring even the strongest character undone both professionally and personally.
Having talked very openly about his own mental health, this is a topic close to Nick’s heart.
“I’m working a lot now with people around entrepreneurial mental health. It’s something that I’ve talked about for long time and I’ve talked pretty openly about my own mental health.” he says.
“That entrepreneurial flair often comes with a touch of madness and I think you have to have that in some ways.” he laughs. “But I’m talking to people now about how they can build a business and still build themselves – but most importantly, how they can safeguard their own mental health against the pressures of small business startup.”
“I read a lot in the media that says startups and entrepreneurs ‘have to’ keep going. You ‘have to’ do 20-hour days, you ‘have to’ keep hustling and grinding and all that and really, that’s all bullshit,” Nick maintains. “You don’t have to do that, you don’t have to glorify ‘busy’, but I feel like we get sucked into that pretty easily and it’s hard to get out of.”
Nick says that there’s busy and there’s effective, and he doesn’t think the two are mutually exclusive. “I want to be the voice that points out the benefits of being the boss and say ‘Hey, it’s ok to only work 4 hours today and go and play golf, or have a pedicure, or play with your kids’, or whatever it is. I just don’t think you have to forsake everything that’s fun and meaningful in your life just to grow a business.”
According to Nick, the big question we need to ask ourselves is, what is our definition of failure? And what will we do to avoid it? He explains that our own reaction to a perceived failure, will determine whether it’s a failure or not.
“We all compare ourselves to the Elon Musk’s of the world, or whoever our yardstick is and it perpetuates a bad cycle of thinking of ‘I have to be super busy, I have to make heaps of money and work really hard and if I don’t, I’m a failure’. That’s bullshit too”, says Nick.
“I’m excited about the Face to Face Tour. It’s really going to open up really honest discussions and decipher false perceptions, addressing self- perpetuating thought cycles that impact our mindset – and our ultimate success.”
The thing that polarizes Nick Bowditch as a mentor and speaker is his genuine nature. You get it all, the good, the bad, the ugly truth. And it’s catching.
“Live and work as your authentic self. Make the most of authenticity! I don’t want to be judged by having to dress, act, speak and work like everyone else. And I don’t want my businesses to be judged that way either.” Nick says.
“I do want my businesses to be built on kindness and human empathy and to exist for a good human reason. I think sometimes we get into the mode of building things just because there’s a hole in the market and we can exploit it and make money.” And Nick says that’s fine, but for any business to have a long-term life, it needs to be backed by authenticity. “You’re never going to lose business by being kind.
“I want to walk away from my business days having been assured that what I did today was kind. I don’t think we put enough stock in that. I just don’t think we should get up, go to work, and do something that isn’t at the very least kind to ourselves.”