Habits & Health episode 7 with Neil Fellowes, who is the co-founder of Total Wellness Club, has a speaker agency named Stellar Speakers and a business growth consultancy, 7-Figure Back Office.
Habits have played a big part in turning his life around from a stage where he was 21 stone a few years ago and is around half of that weight now.
- Reading techniques
- YouTube tactics
“Tragedy plus time equals humour and if you want to have a better time in life shorten the time span“
Here is an image of one of the drawings Neil mentioned for making notes about a book he’s reading”
- Pretend to teach a concept you want to learn about to an eight-year-old child.
- Identify gaps in your explanation. Go back to the source material to better understand it.
- Organise and simplify. May need to revisit step 2 more than once.
- Transmit, teach, convey clearly to others.
This process will help to give you a thorough understanding of the topic you are learning.
Are you in control of your habits or are they in control of you? Take my quiz to find out
This video is related to an older episode featuring Tim James
Tony Winyard 0:00
Habits and health episode seven welcome to the podcast where we give you ideas for habits you can create to improve various aspects of your health and today's guest talked about a lot of habits that he's created that cure some real problems he had a few years ago his name is Neil Fellowes he's got hands in a few different businesses he's a co founder of the Total Wellness Club, he also has a speaker agency called Stellar Speakers and a business growth consultancy called Seven Figure Back Office. Once you start listening to the episode you'll hear some great stories that Neil talks about and if you know anyone who you think would get some real benefit from listening to this episode please do share it with them why not subscribe you'll get the episodes when they're released every tuesday lunchtime and please do leave a review so other people can find out your views and all the other reviews that we have about the show. Next Tuesday evening in case anyone is of interest i'll be holding a free nutrition webinar called Meal Prepping For Beginners so if you want to know more about that you can look in the show notes or just go on to www.tonywinyard.com/webinar that's next Tuesday evening, April 6th. Right now it is time for this week's episode of Habits and Health my guest today is Neil Fellowes how are you Neil?
Neil Fellowes 1:34
i'm good thank you Tony great to be here thank you for having me
Tony Winyard 1:37
Thank you for accepting the invitation. Recently we've actually had a spate of British guests again because i find often i'm talking with people over in the states or in canada or whatever. You're not a million miles from me now since i've moved more towards your part of the world. You're in the southwest somewhere?
Neil Fellowes 1:56
I am yeah, what about you now?
Tony Winyard 1:58
I'm in Stroud in Gloucestershire
Neil Fellowes 2:00
okay yeah well i'm down in Somerset so it's still a bit of distance but not a great deal of distance
Tony Winyard 2:08
and is that have you been there a long time
Neil Fellowes 2:11
yeah i've been down here now since 2004 so yeah 16, 17 years now so yeah lovely part of the world to live in
Tony Winyard 2:21
What is it you do, how do you help people?
Neil Fellowes 2:26
yes so i'm i'm a bit of an entrepreneur Tony i get very easily bored so i actually have my fingers in three different pies. I'm a speaker agent, i'm a director of a speaker agency, i'm a director in a business consultancy which helps people in personal development and wellness, and i'm also director and founder of Total Wellness club, a rating review platform for the wellness industry like Trip Advisor but for health and wellbeing and the other way that i help people really is i love hearing fantastic stories of people that have transformed their life that's where i get really excited and the writing review platform is one of the ways that we can see those stories you know because today the world is moving i think from inspiration and information because there's just so much of that out there into a time of trust and transparency because things have happened in the world people want to find the truth they want to know what really works so total wellness club is fantastic for helping people to really transparently see what can work for their health and well being so they could find a nutritionist like yourself and they can read reviews about you before they decide whether or not you're the right person for them to come and work with so that's one of the ways that i help people the other way that through the consultancy that we help people is usually we're working with wellness providers personal development experts and we're helping them to grow and scale their business so a lot of what we do is behind the scenes it's consultancy just to help them grow once they've got some traction we then help them get to the next level just so that they can scale that out and and reach and impact more people to more people but at a deeper level as well and then the speaker agency what i love about that is again it is working with people who are changemakers that people that are out there on the stage they're going into big corporations they're talking to big audiences and what i love about that is that you can see people change or math you know i've been in the back of a room and watched my speakers in action and it's phenomenal just to see people start to move and think differently and you know come out of that presentation and you hear them when they walk by so that was amazing god you didn't hear a bit when he said this or do that but when he said that i really get this so that's how i help people i just love helping people change i'm not the one that really does that i'm not the one that's the expert The Guru, you know, I, I'm just the one that I guess really helps facilitate those people so that they can get out there and work their magic.
Tony Winyard 5:11
A few things go through my mind, when you said all that, I'm wondering, Is there any overlap between the three of them? Yeah. And so for example, have any of the health and wellness people speaking on stage for you sometimes?
Neil Fellowes 5:25
There's an amazing overlap between those three businesses. Because when I'm working, I'm often doing interviews on YouTube, or I'm reviewing a product. So we might pull in one of the speakers from the speaker agency to talk on that. We've also got people who are in sort of health and well being who we don't represent the speaker clients, but the nevertheless great people who sometimes can go out and speak elsewhere, or we can see the people that are coming through and we can go Okay, with a bit of help and encouragement. Maybe we could help you turn into a 5k. Speaker.
Tony Winyard 6:04
Of those which one came first? And how did it all start?
Neil Fellowes 6:10
Yeah, the consultancy seven figure back office was the one that kicked off first, the long story it and I've tried to keep it short for you. What happened was Joe and I, we met in around 2002, that shows my wife and we, we began to working together and one of our early evolutions was to bring together people who are in health and well being as business owners. And we bought groups of people together, we ran about 120 live networking events, and really got to know this part of the world. So the 120 events were all run around Somerset, Bristol, bath, Taunton, that sort of area, had some fantastic speakers that came in and I learned a lot about good and bad speakers from just sitting in the back of the room, and then it evolved from there in that we started doing things online. You know, we started doing video, and we were an early adopter really of that. We started doing tele seminars, and then I'm very quickly evolved into webinars. And we were having our first big webinar, we did a few practices where we got like 70 people on the line. first big one we did, we had 1000. Here later, we'd moved into multi speaker, webinar summit kind of things, you know that before that this is a decade before it was trendy, you know, people have just started doing that in the last year more and more. We were doing it 10 years ago, where two and a half 1000 people, the first big event that we did. And so we learned a lot. And then people were coming to us and they were saying who's doing your back end, you know, who's doing your CRM, who's doing your website? Who's doing your videos? Who's putting your events together? Was that what we're just doing ourselves, actually. So we actually started to pick up clients from that. And the business grew very, very quickly through to about 2014 2015. And then what happened was, everything was running through Joe and I. And we became very, very busy. And it started to affect our health. And I think the big thing was, I was feeling quite stressed, I was reaching kind of adrenal fatigue. And Joe was actually coming out in hives on her arm one day with Whitney to change this, we need to do something different. So we sat down one day with mental and just said, Look, if we were to start this again, from scratch, what do we do with a well, actually, if we use Joe skills, because she's one of these people that get systems and processes, we use that skill, and we could automate a business, what would we do in health and wellness, because that really is our big passion, personal development is in there as well in that mix. So from that conversation, Total Wellness club was really born because the world started to move into communities of trust, where people felt that there was a like minded group of people and it was starting to move that way reviews were starting to pop up as well and become more and more prevalent. So this is why we built Total Wellness club, so that people could transparently see what would really help them in their their journey for health and wellness. Because the thing is with reviews is that they're they bypass Advertising Standards laws in that way. You've got testimonials, they're static. In the end, you can't say certain things, but within reviews, you can and you know, somebody cures diabetes, the client can say this cure diabetes in a review, but you couldn't say that in a testimonial. So now people can really transparently see the experience and the benefit of working with certain people. So that's why we got passionate and we started off about with that. And then a few years later, we were already having conversations with Kelly Tyler around stellar speakers, you know, we were doing some things Kelly was interested in. She was doing some things we were interested in and we just kind of kept bumping into each other and meeting up and going out and having like dinner or or having a drink together. And, and eventually Kelly said, Would you guys like to come in as partners in speaker agency? And we're like, yeah, you know, we'd love to do that it's a natural progression in, in our business, really to start working in the speaker range, because we're already working with people and coaching people who were already speakers and one of their big things was I need more gigs. I want to get out there and speak more. So. So that was a natural evolution and of all the people that we could potentially work with, having got to know Kelly over a few years, she was one of the people that we would say, we definitely want to work with, because we can see the the integrity she's got, and the ability that she's got. And it just made complete sense for us. From a personal point of view, in terms of the relationship with the person that we were being invited by to work with, and where the business was heading as well. So long story to answer your question there, Tony.
Tony Winyard 11:03
Well, and that, again, opens up so many different avenues to go down. You mentioned how things were really getting on top of both of you, and you were getting stressed and Jo was having hives and all the rest of it. And from the sound of things, there's a lot of stuff going on there that you're doing. So is there not the potential or the possibility now that it could be kind of overwhelming, because you're got fingers in so many different pies?
Neil Fellowes 11:30
One of the things that I'm very deliberately doing is I'm trying not to get involved in the day to day running of two of those businesses. So I'm really only focused on one, what I'm doing is I'm trying to bring in people who were better than me at certain tasks and certain jobs. Because you know, when you work with people who are better than you, you the business grows, they do things that you wouldn't think of doing, and they do things quicker than you would ever do them. So I'm very, very generally just trying to move back and just allow good people to come into the business so that it can grow in that way.
Tony Winyard 12:14
You mentioned before that Jo is the expert on systems and stuff so is it Jo, I presume is taking care of all that for all three of them? Or does she just focus on one or two as well?
Neil Fellowes 12:24
Yeah, largely Jo gets dragged into all three. So I mean, she's got those three businesses that she is involved in, more so with the consultancy than the others, with the other businesses board sort of project management and small pieces that she works on, but in the consultancy, it's it's her business really essentially. And what I do is I just come in and help her with the strategy of that. And also, you know, my skills really are in copywriting. So if she needs something scripting for a video, it might be me that would do some of that for if she wants content writing, I might write some of that. So sales pages and things like that would be something that I would contribute to that. But then largely, it's joy. I can't take any credit for that business now. And couldn't really for the last couple of years.
Tony Winyard 13:15
If it intrigued me when you talked about the difference between reviews and testimonials, because often people just think of review and the testimonial as the same thing. I've never heard it differentiated in the way that you differentaiated it? So what is I just wonder for if you could go kind of deeper into that. And how did that all come about? What made you think about that in the first place?
Neil Fellowes 13:41
Yeah, I think probably in a way it was accidental. You know, it was a you know, this is the way the world is going. So why don't we go and research it. And then we started looking at other business models. I mean, Amazon reviews reviews, since selling what 1995 then you know, e Bay came along. tripadvisor came along trustpilot came along, Google started doing them, Facebook added them. So it's been sort of like a natural kind of evolution really, and people moving more and more towards it because they can see that it's something that's actually really needed and wanted. Where we're different with Total Wellness club is it is a health and wellness platform. People are already coming to the website, they're already coming with a question. So we're a bit different to trustpilot or a Google in that we're actually a marketplace for health and wellbeing.
Tony Winyard 14:42
And what if so John Smith is one of your health and wellness, people who use maybe supply business to and again I'm gonna go deeper into that just find out more how that works. But so john smith does stuff for you. And then Karen Jones comes along, she's got a problem with with diabetes. You mentioned that Yeah, well, so how does how would it be that you would refer Karen to John? How would that all happen in the first place?
Neil Fellowes 15:11
Sometimes it happens. And we don't even know it happens, Tony, because let's say, john, he's an he's a nutritionist, and john has a profile on Total Wellness club. Karen could, as you searching, Google could put in some certain words, and our website would potentially come up. And she would then enter the website and go direct into that person's page, she could equally just come direct to total wellness, that may be from watching one of our videos on YouTube come over onto the site, she could then type in, you know that she's looking for a nutritionist or nutrition help or something, go direct through to a nutritionist page where she can see some reviews on that person, she can read a description of their experience and their expertise, you can see the big problem that they help people with. And there's contact details on there that they could just like, I could either go to their website, or they could pick up the phone and phone that person direct. So in that scenario, we would know nothing about them. But other times, we know we've got a messenger bot on the on the website. So people can type in a message and we'll get it and they'll say, look, here's what I'm suffering with. Or here's what I'd like, Can you help me? And then we'll say, Well, obviously, we can't recommend people. But here are a few places that you could go and look at this person's got these reviews and this person there. So go and take a look at those people. And you know, the beautiful thing about that is I love it when when our wellness professionals then say Greg, that actually turned into some business for me, thank you very much. So, for me, it's just wonderful to be able to be in that pipeline. And know that those things are happening when people just do it on the website. We never get to find out unfortunately, or rarely. But yeah, it's amazing just really to to know that people are changing their lives through the website, even though we don't even know who they are.
Tony Winyard 17:08
There's a number of health coaches for a start that listen to the podcast and various other people for many other industries and whatever. But for any health professionals or health coaches may be listening to this. And they're starting to become intrigued by this and what you do. So what what is it that you could give them that they're maybe not able to do for them to put themselves?
Neil Fellowes 17:33
Well, when it comes to just going back to reviews here for a sec, when it comes to reviews, one of the things that we can do is we can help at that point where they're having a conversation with someone, we can actually help the conversion of that sale. A couple of ways that this works. One is that we've worked with somebody who told us that their business grew tenfold. And what they all they did was they collected reviews on their profile. And the next thing that they did was in a sales conversation with someone, they said, I'll send you a link where you can see my reviews on a third party website. Now some people in those sales conversations actually said to her, I don't need to look at the reviews, I mean, just for the fact that she's got them. Other people went and clicked on the link. And now they could see all of the reviews that she had collected. And they were convinced that she was the right person for them to go and work with everything that psychology now is that when people go on to different websites, they're looking for trust. And one of the big things with trust is reviews. And if there's a review not present 26% of those people. So about a quarter of the people that go to a website will just click off without buying. Because you didn't provide them with what they needed. So the other thing is that we can actually embed the reviews direct into your website. So they're not just on our website, they can go onto your website as well. So the way that works, is that we just literally live stream, which means that everything that anyone's ever said about you in those reviews now comes up on your website. So it's actually at the point of sale. Now we put this in with with somebody who does something that's really quite unique. They do sort of dowsing and energy work around sort of people's homes. So they find kind of like where the where the energy is negative, and they help to alleviate those negative points. And this, this guy said to me, there's eighth put reviews into his website. He got three sales in one day without even having a conversation with anyone. And he said he has never had that happen before. And literally you'd probably get one sale. This guy now I've spoke to him earlier this week is actually oversubscribed. He's got more clients than he can cope with. And he does two things. He's very active on YouTube, which is where his leads come from and Then he uses as, through the reviews as a way for giving people the evidence and the proof that his work works. So that's how it works.
Tony Winyard 20:09
I'm wondering if there's also an element of many people, not just in health and wellness, but in many industries are very good at what they do. But that doesn't necessarily mean they're good at marketing themselves, or knowing how to make effective use of a review, or testimonial or whatever.
Neil Fellowes 20:27
often is the case, you know, the people that they're tremendous are what they do. And what we do see quite often is it somebody will maybe go into a nutrition course, and then next year, they'll do something else in the year after they'll do something else, because they believe that will lead them to clients. And if that's not actually the the way that the world works, just because they've got more knowledge doesn't mean that you'll attract more clients. But actually, you know, doing things like getting good at simple things in your marketing, one of the things that that I've done for for a while, and one of the things I recommend, to anybody who's struggling, is just get good at doing one thing, you know, if it's collecting reviews, or if it's doing YouTube videos, or one and then the other, and then combine the two as the case study I just mentioned, or actually, you know, get good at being on Facebook, you know, just get good with using one of the tools available. The other thing is as well that sometimes people dive into tools too early, you know, without having a clear strategy for what they want to do with the business. And this is certainly where our consultancy work comes in. Because, you know, often people have got lots of ideas. They're doing okay, the people that we work with at that level. But in order to change gear, they've got to do something different. So give you an example, of somebody who actually runs their business through doing a lot of launches, literally, they're perpetually in launch, but they're exhausted. So one of the things that we need to do in order to change gear is to put in some kind of promotion that is evergreen, that is always happening for them. And then they can do these launches periodically, which just takes the pressure off them then
Tony Winyard 22:08
Some people are, because they're trying to do so much, they end up not doing any one of those, as well as they could do they probably a lot, a lot of people maybe need to scale back on how many different platforms they're using, or, or whatever the case might be.
Neil Fellowes 22:24
Yeah, that that is actually true. Because you know, you hear that you need to be on Instagram, you need to be on Facebook, you need to be on Twitter, you need to be on YouTube, and is it exhausted. And you know, just from my own learning and experience, you know, having helped a client do really well on YouTube, I thought was going to be great if I actually went and did that myself now. So it was odd to actually help someone before we'd actually done it for myself. But having learned some of the things while I was working with that client, I was able to start implementing myself and I thought I'm just going to take YouTube for the next year. And that's the only thing that I'm going to try and get good at the only learning I'm going to do. I want to help more wellness professionals get seen. But I also want to help the public get a really good understanding of what's available to them. And I want to do that in a way that has integrity that really sort of digs into those topics. So I thought so one of the things we know with YouTube, there's loads to learn because there's, there's things like being good at presenting, you know, and keeping people engaged in a video. There's the thumbnail aspect of it. There's the copywriting aspect of it, there's the SEO aspect of it, there's the click through rate as most of you know, and so there's like five or six things that straight away that you need to become good at on YouTube. And it took me a few months to to actually learn about those things, then to apply them and make mistakes, and then re learn and then get better at it. And then today, you know, we're sort of six, seven months into that that year. What's actually happening now is we're getting subscribers coming through every day on that channel now, really since the turn of the year. So in the last three months, it's we've we've now got things right, and now we can look at it, we can go Okay, we can see what's working, because there's the analytics, we just need to do more of that.
Tony Winyard 24:14
And my impression I could be wrong on this is that most businesses approach YouTube in a less than effective manner. While it could be much more effective.
Yeah, well, YouTube is a search engine. And if you are going to use a search engine and have it be effective, you need to get your keywords right. And if you don't get your keywords right, it's just no point in being on YouTube.
Neil Fellowes 24:43
It's a fundamental for me that you having learned this, that that is the key thing with YouTube. You know, if you go into Facebook, different scenario, people are there for social interaction. Or you've got to meet them where they're at, with that social interaction. You've got to give them you know, you've got to ask questions you've got to engage them in some way you've saved a lot of communities you probably see this on facebook too if you're in groups where people will just post their stuff promoting themselves and it just doesn't work there's no engagement then there's no relationship
Tony Winyard 25:15
Moving on to habits because obviously that's one of the main things about this show, how much importance do you place on habits?
Neil Fellowes 25:27
When you invited me to come on and be your guest Tony and you said that your show was about habits i got really excited you know because habits is a topic that i've been exploring and getting to understand over the last few years and it just makes such a difference in life i think so i'm a big fan of habit and i think that for me one of the important things about them is is to create of non negotiables in your life and because if you don't have a habit you have to have a conversation with yourself you know am i going to eat healthy am i going to exercise today you know i'm not going to get up at a certain time you know i made it so you know that but if you say no my habit is that i get up at a certain time every day if my habit is i drink two litres every day if my habit is i exercise every morning at seven o'clock you know it there's no negotiating with yourself you just get up and you do it and that's what i love about how is it takes away that conversation
Tony Winyard 26:29
Can you think of when before you had the realisation maybe it can you think of any time in your life where you've really struggled with a habit that you didn't you weren't so keen on that you had?
Neil Fellowes 26:43
well there were that there were good habits and there were bad habits on there and i think for me i went through a stage in my life where i think i was pretty unhappy and i'd come fe alone and what are my habits while while i was out doing my job i was out sort of on the road and i had these kind of shops along my path that i would drop into and i would just go and buy chocolate because it made me happy and i worked out one point i was eating about 35 bars of chocolate in a week that's not counting biscuits and everything else that you know you'd eat and on top of that and one of the other things as well as i in the afternoons at three o'clock i would associate chocolate to coffee so coffee and chocolate went together and became quite a big anchor for me so three o'clock chocolate and coffee you know that it became like 10 o'clock chocolate and coffee and then when i was out on the road you know there was more chocolate and i kind of like a comfort ate my way to around nearly 21 stone in weight and so that was a kind of a negative habit that i had to break because it just got to a point where it was going to break me if i didn't so yeah so
Tony Winyard 27:58
How easy or difficult was that to just stop doing all that because obviously you're nowhere near 21 stone now?
Neil Fellowes 28:09
thankfully well it i began to ideas one day one day i had i was sitting on the stairs and i bent down to try and tie up my shoe laces and i really couldn't do it you could feel the blood pressure building in my face as i was bending down to try and do the latest and in the end i had to ask one of my kids to do it and that for me was one of those pivotal moments of this needs to change and i was also going through a lot of stress in my life at the time and we had a really good massage therapist who worked with all of the family and i went along to see her and she was massaging me one day in my shoulder and then she touched my shoulder i had a referral pain down in my ankle and when she went to my ankle i had a referral pain in my hip and it just literally bounced all over my body and she was she was a northerner brutally honest and she said to me neil if you don't bloody sort your life out you're not gonna be here for much longer and so that was another pivotal moment within the same sort of month literally of noticing about my my shoes i can't remember now which one came first but they were about the same sort of time and so i realised i needed to make some changes and i would say it was a very slow gradual change in that i needed to start moving my body so i started going for walks because i was under a lot of stress at that time as well so walking actually helped relieve the stress as i've got in a habit of going for a walk every evening and that gradually built that up to 45 minutes and gradually walked a little bit faster and then gradually lost a little bit of weight then i went to the gym and then i started going to the gym three times a week and then i realised actually i'd come to a point where i wasn't losing any more weight just through exercise so i now needed to look at something else and i good friend of mine was a personal trainer and i spoke to him and he said well have you done anything about your diet and i was like no i'm still eating the same I have been enormous a symbol. I think there might be something in that. What do you have to think about that? So I was like, Okay, so then it was like a realisation of what is it that I'm eating? That's not good for me. So sorry. I'm eating all this chocolate. I need to reduce that I've got an anchor with chocolate and coffee. So the first thing actually, I really did then was I stopped drinking coffee. And I haven't drank coffee now literally for nearly 20 years.
Tony Winyard 30:28
Stop, stop. one minute there. Because that isn't as easy as it probably sounds. You just stopped drinking coffee! How easy was that?
Neil Fellowes 30:35
But I think, yeah, that so if you imagine I was in quite a lot of pain in the I couldn't bend down, do my shoes up, my body was in pain, I had no energy, because I was overweight. I also the other thing, Tony is I wasn't sleeping very well, because I had an undiagnosed food allergy at the time as well. And what it calls was nosebleeds. And so it started off the beginning, I wake up about five o'clock in the morning within those blades, and then gradually got worse. So I'd wake up at three o'clock, and then one o'clock, and it would take, like 45 minutes for my nosebleed to stop, and then maybe to get back to sleep again. So in a night, I was probably only sleeping four or five hours, as a maximum, you know, so I was getting very tired as well. So I didn't have the energy to get up. And then I didn't have the energy to move through life because I was overweight. And, you know, I'd been quite athletic when I was younger. You know, I wanted to get back to that. But I think you sometimes you feel that this is your law. You know, this is the way that life needs delays, this is the way the life is and you know, sometimes doctors can perpetuate that kind of thinking certainly, you know whether the back injury I also had at that time as well. And the the nose doctors couldn't really put the finger on what that was or help other than we may need to do an operation on that. And so for me, it was I don't want that. So maybe if I start losing weight, maybe I'll take the pressure off. So that was the the catalyst for it was the pain that I was in that actually caused me to go I need to do something different. So then creating a new habit. And the thing is, well, I've met Joe at this time, and Joe was was a life coach. And she actually gave me the space to work my stupidity out. But actually asked really good questions that helped to guide me. You know, so she was one of the catalysts as well in that saying, Are you sure you want to eat that bar of chocolate? Are you sure you want to have that coffee? And it was just oh, we were saying? I think it was we were in Hemel Hempstead, I think actually at the shopping centre, just having a drink in there. I remember that. That's where it happened. And it just made that decision there and then right, not drinking coffee anymore. That's it gone. So I think Tony Robbins says the it takes it, it takes an instant to change. When you make that decision, I can't remember his exact words, but you make a change in an instant. But sometimes there's a lag time isn't there that leads up to him.
Tony Winyard 33:08
So what's your relationship now with chocolate and coffee?
Neil Fellowes 33:12
Right, so with chocolate, because it is a battle, isn't it because chocolate is one of those feel good foods. And if you eat good chocolate, there are some benefits to eating good chocolate. But if you eat the highly processed chocolate that you find in all of your high street shops, that's not good for you. So I don't want to do that to myself. Now. Fortunately, for me, the allergy that I had is a dairy allergy, which actually meant I had to stop eating chocolate anyway. So I can't eat any dairy chocolate. So now I can only eat chocolate that's milk free. But what that got me into as well was rock accounting. So now I applied that's not highly processed, that doesn't have a lot of sugar in it, that is dairy free. So I've eradicated some of the issues around chocolate in order to be able to eat and if you watch any of my YouTube, if you watch my YouTube channel, you'll see that periodically I will review a different type of chocolate, you know whether it's a chocolate drink, like a hot chocolate, or whether it's a chocolate bar, and sometimes a podium like a nutritionist. And we've gone through like six or seven different manufacturers of chocolate, three or four different flavours, we've just like gone, okay, which is the best from a nutrition point of view, which is the best from a flavour point of view, which is the best all round thing. You know, so we kind of review things in that sort of way, which I have a lot of fun doing. So chocolate is is one of my weaknesses, I would say but it's kind of like getting it down to a level where it doesn't have an impact negatively on my health. So it's making good quality choices around what I am going to consume and then not over consuming, so I can still allow myself to have it and that's the thing for me, it's with health and wellness. It's not about being like the health police. It's actually about making more good decisions and bad You know if I can get it right 90 95% of the time. Great.
Tony Winyard 35:07
Well, when you just mentioned about that video with the reviews on the chocolate, I can sense people listening. What what, how do we find out about that? Where's that? So you'll have to send me a link to that. And I'll put that in the show notes so people can watch that. I'm changing the topic. You've mentioned to me, you've got some interesting reading habits.
Neil Fellowes 35:34
I used to read a lot of books used to just motor through one book after another, I often have like four books on the go, probably finished them all in a month. And so I read a lot. And then a few years ago, just decided, actually, I don't really want to consume any more books, really, I want to slow this down, I want to get very specific over what I actually read. And I was actually going through a fantastic programme called my life book, which is now on mine Valley. And the the guys in the community that we were we were working with there that they they've got some really interesting insights on how they go about their life. And so what I started to do was just to be really fussy over what I read. So I started to read only books that have been recommended to me by people who are really valued their opinion. And then that led me into thinking about what kind of books do I actually want to consume. Or that Well, my interest really around business, they're around history, they're around health and wellness. I'm interested in biographies, because I love this human overcoming the odds change thing. I love that. So they're the kind of main areas and then I look at history, and I go, Well, actually, I don't really want to consume history by reading it. I'd much rather watch a docu drama or something like that, and be able to get involved in it, and maybe Google as I go along. And learn and understand history from that point of view. So then started to think more about all you know, like biographies, but I want to sit and read biographies. Because biographies can be quite light and entertaining, but you don't necessarily make a lot of notes from it and take a lot on from it. So I started using Audible, while I was working out going for a walk sitting in the garden, you know, whatever it was I was doing. And I realised that you can turn up the speed on Audible as well. So you can go two times faster if you want to get through a section or something. So that was really handy. So it consumed biographies in that way. So then we're down to the the books on health and business. And I would also include sort of mindset in here as well, because that's a big thing for me. So I'm really interested in terms of how we develop. So they're the three types of books I'll now read. And then last year, I just decided, well, I want to spend a lot of time understanding my own brain and how it works and how to use it better. So last year, I just decided that there were a few books I wanted to read. And they were the only books that I read last year. So I've read those books. And then as I go through a book, I turned down pages, you know, the corners of a page, that's a no, there was something really good on that page, I highlight or underline the pieces that really stands out for me. And then having done that, I'll go back through the book, and I'll dictate my notes into Google, Google Voice. And when I've done that, I'll then go back through that, that book and condense my notes. Because sometimes when you go through a book, they repeat themselves, I never realised this happened, actually, until I started doing this, they might, they might repeat things three or four times and you make all those notes. And then you go back through your notes, you go that three or four times, sometimes in different ways, I didn't realise that they were doing that. But now I've got it once now I only need to read. So you might go through a book that say 300 pages and condense it down to about 10 pages, and maybe two or three bullet points from that from things that you really want to take on in your life. So I started doing that. And then in the last couple of years, I've actually now when I've finished reading a book, when I've condensed this note, I actually illustrate it now in my journal. So I've got a pictorial representation of the main teaching points from that book. And then a friend of mine said to me recently, why don't you print that out and put it on your wall as a picture. And I thought I never thought that before. Not a good idea because it keeps it in front of mine. So don't even have to get the book out now. So I've actually got one of them on my wall now, which I'm really working very closely with, because I want it to be in my awareness every day. So yeah, it was just a decision. I don't want to consume more. You know, there's other things I'd like to do with my life. There's some specific things I want to learn. So let me go and learn those things. And that's the only bit of reading that I'm going to do this year, apart from maybe a few things just for entertainment. So my son, he said to me, You got to be doing this YouTube channel that he said why don't You because you're very open minded? Why don't you give it a more sceptical because you're going to be representing sort of like people who want to understand more about health. So I just listened to an audio book by Carl Sagan called just remember the name of cosmos. Sorry, cosmos. No, the other night wasn't
demon haunted world, demon haunted world by Carl Sagan. So read down went through an audio book. And that was really fascinating the way that he thinks as a scientist. And there's just another one that I've just got called Pandora's box, which looks at sort of health and wellness and some of the really bad mistakes that have been made over the years haven't got into that one yet. And that's what I just downloaded yesterday. So they just gonna start on that. But just reading those things bit more for for sort of like entertainment, but also to expand my own mind and get better at what I'm doing.
Tony Winyard 40:54
So you said before this whole process, you read, on average about a book a week. So how long now would you say it takes you to read a book, on average?
Neil Fellowes 41:04
I can. So sometimes what I'll do is, I'll make a list out all of the books that I want for Christmas, right, so I'll generally get all of those for Christmas, then. And I'll start reading them, because I'll take a week off after Christmas and a week, probably into the new year. So the bulk of my reading is actually done in those two hours. So I will probably do two of maybe the four or five books that I want to read during that year, in that couple of weeks. I may actually focus in the winter, like January, February, on finishing the other books, then I'll spend the next few months going back through those books, the bits I highlighted, and sort of like dictating those out and then seeing with that material and going which part of this do I really want? Which Golden Nugget, do I really want to take away?
Tony Winyard 41:52
So it sounds that you're really retaining a lot of this or core key information from the books?
Neil Fellowes 42:00
Yeah, I think that's a reason to read, isn't it? You know, if you're unless you're reading novels, the reason to read or personal development, or wellness books or business books is actually to get better at what you do. And the only way to get better at what you do is if you develop a really strong habit about taking the golden nuggets, and then applying them
Tony Winyard 42:19
I love that process. I'm gonna have to think about doing something like that. Because that's, I recently been looking more and more into, I don't know if you're familiar with the Feynman technique
Neil Fellowes 42:31
I'm not No,
Tony Winyard 42:32
Richard Feynman, the famous professor, he was known, this was what like the mid 20th century, he was known as being one of the most intelligent people in the world. He was a nuclear physicist, and so on. And he always said, If you can't explain something to an eight year old, then you don't know the subject well enough. You don't sufficiently know your own topic. And so he always tried to condense everything and make it as simple to explain as he possibly could to whoever he was talking about, even if it was something like nuclear physics. So there's four stages to it. So the first stage, you're reading the book, or the material, whatever, it might be an article. Step 2 as you start thinking about, okay, how would I be able to explain this? How could I use this? In my own words? How would I put this across to someone else, you actually try and teach it to someone, you try and explain it to someone and see if they are able to understand it? in a way that's clear? identify knowledge gaps, And if not, you go back to stage one, and you keep going between stage one and three, and then at stage four, then you're confident that you absolutely understand. And obviously, that means a book that would normally for someone might take three weeks is now probably going to take maybe two or three months, but now they really understand it.
Neil Fellowes 44:08
I mean, it's a lot like, like, it's just saying a few minutes ago, you know, just taking like YouTube and getting good at doing that. One thing is the same with books, you know, read in certain types of books on one subject to really get to know all you can, because, you know, like, some of the books I was reading, they were around the same topic, they were largely around to how elite athletes use their brain. So I was reading books on there, that were written by their coaches. And when you look at the way that they use their brains, and you hear it from different people in different ways, you can then start to build your own philosophy around that topic. So you actually, in a way, become an expert on that topic. Now, whether that's just for your own sake, or whether it's something you want to share with other people. You know, I think for me, sometimes I can't help it, you know, because it's like if I'm talking to somebody, you know, whether I'm in a For him on, say Facebook or talking to family or friends or a client, you can't help but share that kind of information around what you're doing. So you just become more of an expert on a topic. And I kind of like that because rather than being a generalist, because I read so much, I now become an expert on a few very specific things, and they help inform my life. Because I've now got a philosophy for doing something, you know, it's like, even look at the health side of things, developing really strong habits around health because I read a book that said, hydrate, you know, and I learned more about hydration. So now I actually become good at hydrating, and then you know, you get better at exercise or you get better at what you put on your plate, you know, so gradually Ewing improve your life, the quality of your life. And then, you know, I think when you the question I often ask myself is what we get good at personal development, you know, when we get good at thinking about things, when we create a way of going about life, they're all of the problems stop, actually, they don't problems still evolve, but we've got a different way of looking at them, which somehow makes life better. So for me building a philosophy from being very specific on what I've read, getting good at that thing, alleviating a problem. Now I can move forward again.
Tony Winyard 46:27
And you mentioned to me that you've got a framework called Clarity, habits and awareness, how did you develop that?
Neil Fellowes 46:35
largely developed in a workshop, you were actually in the room when that
And so this is a couple of years ago, really. But I guess really, it's, it's that they said simple words that we all know, that can help servers, you know, if we've really clear on something, we know where we're going. And when we start then to do things. So let's say we want to lose weight, we will we create a target for ourselves, let's say I was 21 Stone, wanting to get to 12 Stone, I've got a target. So I've got clarity on what I want to achieve. But I now don't know how to get there. So now I need to gain clarity on how I get there. So first thing is you use what you know. And then that gives you an awareness of what you do know, and also what you don't know. And what you then need to do is to start to understand the things you don't know, which is where podcasts or reading or YouTube or a coach comes in handy. You know, using a coach obviously, to evolve things and move things faster. So you start to build up this awareness, and then you're you get closer to your goal. And so we're developing new habits as well at the same time. So you then realise that this habit works, this habit doesn't work. So that's where awareness kicks in, and you make changes then through your awareness that really is the whole thing. So having clarity, first and foremost, where you want to get to using your awareness to develop the habits and change the habits that do and don't work for you or getting better at those habits and implementing those habits at a higher level. Because I just started just with hydration, you know, first thing is you know that you need to drink say two, two and a half litres of water every day. But then the thing is, well, do I do it now I don't. So now I need to do something that gets me to drink that. So you start measuring it monitoring it, maybe you use a reminder, or you put an alarm on your phone, or maybe you just say look to drink two and a half litres a day, I need to have a drink at seven o'clock, nine o'clock. 11 o'clock, 134 four o'clock, six o'clock, you know, so I know that I'm so now there's a schedule for it. And whether there's a reminders that or you just know, it's four o'clock, I need a drink, and then you don't drink. So it's that's how it kind of works. As I say having that clarity, having the awareness that oscillates with your habits. You know, it's like this works, that doesn't work. And then just gradually finding things that just move you towards your goal because the end of the day I think if you want to put a goal on steroids create habits around them. If you want to get there develop a habit because it's that constant chipping away at the block that eventually gets you to it.
Tony Winyard 49:28
From the description you gave of where you were a few years ago where you were 21 stone and eating all that chocolate and coffee and so on. And now I get the impression you're 180 degrees from where you were then?
Neil Fellowes 49:41
different life really is a different life Tony Yeah, because I've got a lot of the journey I had the energy to start playing with my kids. Before I
was just watching, you know, you literally watch your life go around Coco by And so yeah, I've got more energy. I enjoy life more It's just a completely different shift and you know, things, things that, you know, let's say, there were certain foods that I had a good experience eating, I could look at those now and go, No, I don't want that. That doesn't resonate with me at all anymore. So yes, big difference.
Tony Winyard 50:22
Who do you think in in the health and wellness sphere? Is it coaches you're most able to help? Is there? Is it doctors? I mean, who is it that you feel you're most able to who listening to this? might well need her to get in touch event? You think?
Neil Fellowes 50:39
Well, what we like is we like a mix of two like wellness professionals, wellness, product providers, wellness leaders, wellness experts, you know, we love all of those with Total Wellness club, they're the people that we attract. One thing that I think is really important that I think a key distinction for us is it's natural, we're looking for natural health, we're looking for prevention, rather than cure. So you know, we don't want to get ill in the first place. When we were developing Total Wellness club when we did our research. One of the things that we found, especially amongst women, was the thing that they were saying is, I want to understand what I can do. So I don't get ill when I age. So what can I do now that prevents that. And that was that's been one of the key things that we've had in the back of our mind all of the time, while we've been developing Total Wellness club. So, and obviously, nutrition is a massive part of them. So there are obviously nutritionists and there are life coaches and health coaches that can help people with all of that kind of thing and getting the right kind of mindset as well as finding out what they need to put on their plate, and the supplementation and all that kind of thing. And because it you know, even when you look at nutrition, there is so many different things that can happen to an individual. So the other thing I would say as well as as well as it being natural, the thing that we're really looking for is unique. So you're different to me, I'm different to the next person, we're all unique. We're all individual, we've all got our own history, we've all got our own DNA, we've all got our own way of going about life, we've all got our own way of handling life. So we're all different, and we need to find what works for us. And the way that I look at it is there's not one size that fits all. So it's about for the individual looking for better health, it's what works for them and their lifestyle, how do they crack it, you know, my my role is actually to try and help people find more ideas, so that they can find the thing that works for them. So from a health perspective, from the point of view of like a wellness professional, we like all of them, you know that there's people who create this focus of people that talk about nutrition, and help people with nutrition, but there's also the people that provide the nutrition. So the companies that provide the supplementation, the gluten free and dairy free foods, so we love all of them on Taiwan's club.
Tony Winyard 53:12
So people want to find out more about you, where's the best place to look?
Neil Fellowes 53:17
Well, the best way, probably, it's come to find me on YouTube. If you're exploring your health and wellness, that would be a great place. We've got a channel on there called Total Wellness club. http://www.youtube.com/c/TotalWellnessClub1https://questly.life/ And we just explore health through interviewing experts, but also we do reviews. And also I'll share some of my own explorations as well. From time to time, each of the people I interview leaves us with a challenge at the end of the interview, because I like to say, you know, we've you've given us all this wonderful information, what's the one thing we could take away and use here that actually we could then try and see if that works for us. So we always do that. And I go away and I try those and sometimes I fail with them. And sometimes they fail in a funny kind of way. And I share that with people because you know it's life is what happens and I want to try something different. And the other thing is, you know, if you're a wellness professional, just come and find us on Total Wellness Club's website, if you're looking to expand your business, we've also got a business growth up on on Facebook as well, where we've got a community of people who want to grow their businesses, and where we do Facebook Lives, Joe, along with our brand manager, Nora. They look at the business of health from different perspectives. They were having a discussion and that's what they do. They discuss things. So they were taking the area of being good at telling stories a few weeks ago, and so no retakes that from a brand perspective. A Joe looks at your story from an operations perspective. And what doesn't happen very often you might hear somebody in business usually talking from a marketing point of view of saying you need to get good at telling a story but they don't often think about where does that story now fit from the other side of business so the two of them bring these two elements together it's actually quite fascinating me listening to them i get educated just listening to the two of them discuss it so so that will be the other place on facebook business growth
Tony Winyard 55:20
well we'll put all those links will be in the show notes for anyone listening who wants to maybe explore one of those so just before we finished it is a quotation that you particularly like now
Neil Fellowes 55:34
yeah Tragedy plus time equals humour and if you want to have a better time in life shorten the time span
Tony Winyard 55:45
and what was it that resonates with you about
Neil Fellowes 55:49
i never take life too seriously i've always been able to to laugh about the things that happened to me and and realise that sometimes you know serious things do happen but when you can find humour in them it just takes away all the stress and the pain and the trouble from it because sometimes you know you can be doing something yourself you know for me it would often be around diy because i'm not good at it and you do something that you realise is stupid and you've got no other option other than to laugh you can get annoyed with yourself but it's much healthier to laugh at yourself so that's why it really resonates with me
Tony Winyard 56:29
and did you come across that in a book or where did you first find that
Neil Fellowes 56:34
i was at seminar actually it was one of the speakers that that said that i'm gonna write that down and it's just stuck with me for 40 years
Tony Winyard 56:44
wow Neil it's been a real pleasure so thank you for your time and and for the wisdom you shared with the audience so yeah thank you very much
Neil Fellowes 56:55
likewise tony thank you for having me
Tony Winyard 57:00
next week is episode eight and my guest is Heath Armstrong he's quite a character he's a creator of business called Sweet Ass Affirmations: Motivation for your creative maniac mind, and he's created a few journals which are called sweet ass journals and he's also the host of the Never Stop Peaking podcast he's had some real ups and downs in his life and we're gonna hear about those i mean seriously rock bottom involved in some some gangster stuff and various other things and now he's completely turned his life around so that's next week's show with Heath Armstrong if you know anyone who you think would get some real value from some of the the knowledge and wisdom that neil shared of us this week why not share the episode with them please do leave a review for us and why not subscribe while you're there and just one more reminder next Tuesday April 6 at seven o'clock i'll be doing a free nutrition webinar you can get full details at www.tonywinyard.com/webinar that's a one hour webinar next week, next Tuesday, April 6 hope you have a fantastic week see you next week
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