Episode 4: A Lesson in Mental Toughness – Richard Payne

Episode Description: This episode explores mental toughness, confidence, and moving forward from impactful moments in our life. The stories range from closing a business and starting a new one to personal loses and pushing towards accomplishments.


Bio: Richard is a business coach, mentor, mental toughness advisor, and principal at Knight Owl. Richard was born deaf in both ears making it super difficult to succeed in school. But he found sport and that didn’t stop him from achieving the highest levels in basketball, football, and rowing. In 2011, Richard’s company, Corporate Excellence Group, won the Prime Minister’s Award for best training and coaching company in Australia. At the age of 54, and only 2 years after learning how to swim, Richard swam the English Channel taking nearly 23 hours. There is no doubt in my mind why Richard is teaching mental toughness. He’s a living, breathing, walking, prime example of what it means to be mentally tough. Get ready to explore the components of mental toughness with this episode and with Richard Payne. So happy to have you welcome to the show, Richard!

Episode Notes:

  • Progressing Your Skills on Public Speaking 
  • Why Knight Owl? – 5:17
  • Being Mentally Tough – 6:21
  • Quitting the First Business – 15:16
  • Moving Forward from the Tough Times – 16:08
  • Putting Your Mentality to the Test – 21:53
  • Getting Tough after Being Bullied – 28:08
  • Being Deaf – 29:10
  • Knowing What Self Talk Works – 32:47
  • Happiness Doesn’t Come with Money – 34:28
  • Breaking Commitments and Letting Go Through Change – 36:20
  • What Passion Can Feel Like – 40:28
  • Last Words – 43:53

Tiffany: I’m Tiffany Lopez, and you’re listening to “Posh Incredible” podcast, where I interview ordinary people who are making extraordinary transformations in their lives and for others. I believe we’re all here to transcend and assist the ones around us to grow into the people they were born to be. The pathway of awakening is a noble life pursuit, and it starts now.

Richard is a business coach, mentor, mental toughness advisor, and principal at Knight Owl. Richard was born deaf in both ears, making it super difficult to succeed in school, but he found sport, and that didn’t stop him from achieving the highest levels in basketball, football, and rowing. In 2011, Richard’s company, Corporate Excellence Group, won the Prime Minister’s Award for best training and coaching company in Australia. At the age of 54 and only two years after learning how to swim, Richard swam the English Channel, taking nearly 23 hours. There is no doubt in my mind why Richard is teaching mental toughness. He is a living, breathing, walking prime example of what it means to be mentally tough. So get ready to explore the components of mental toughness with this episode and with Richard Payne. So happy to have you. Welcome to the show, Richard.

I guess if I can deconstruct my own process, it could be applied to many other… Okay.

Richard: No, if, because the real line is to be rigorous with yourself, you’re going to be rigorous with other people, which is good. But when you get through the, when you stop at the breakthrough you need or you stop at your comfort zones.

Tiffany: Did you, was that a question?

Richard: Yeah.

Tiffany: I think I’m always, like, breaking out of my comfort zone.

Richard: Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Happy. Did you do little bites or do big bites or? What’s the most recent uncomfortable thing you did for yourself?

Tiffany: Making a decision to do public speaking, I think.

Richard: Okay. Mm-hmm.

Tiffany: That was… I don’t speak. I live in my head. Like, I’m a strategist. I think, I write, I read. Most of my time is spent, like, it took me a really long time to learn that people can’t read my mind.

Richard: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Tiffany: And so part of being able to communicate with people is, like, that started a long time ago, but getting up and speaking was, I think, a big step for me, because I don’t live in the outside world. It’s all up in here. So, like, being able to, like, summarize ideas and to come…

Richard: You need a bit of help with your public speaking. You’re brave, but you need a bit more help, or a bit more style.

Tiffany: Yeah, yeah. I just started.

Richard: Yeah. How many… I’ve seen you on last Tuesday, or last Wednesday. How many talks have you done prior to that?

Tiffany: That was my fifth one, maybe?

Richard: First one?

Tiffany: Fifth.

Richard: Fifth one. Okay. Wasn’t a bad effort. Okay. You’re brave, and I love your bravery. That was good. I was hoping for a bit more impact, I was. Because, you’ve got a good story. You’ve got a good story. So all public speaking is about storytelling.

Tiffany: Yeah.

Richard: That’s all it’s about. And you’ve achieved quite a bit already as a young person. So be proud of it.

Tiffany: So how would you, like, what do you do when storytelling?

Richard: First of all, you could power dress a bit more. It just clues the audience with your outfit. You’re crossing your legs quite a bit and tippy-toeing like that. You gave away your power quite a bit with that. You know, your talk really also did need a book. You know, you speak quite well, so you had to project you a bit more, and there’s the buildup. It’s that rapport building stage. You missed a rapport building stage when people say, “Ah, I’m in love with you. I’m in love with you. This is good.” It took us a while to work out what you were trying to say. If you got the impact right, then people pay attention.

Tiffany: So when you model someone, or, like, to learn to incorporate those things into a speech, would you just deconstruct somebody else’s, or, like, how would you learn that storytelling?

Richard: So you told a story. It was a bit fragmented. Just a bit. You’re great to look at, right? You’re a wonderful look at, but I can’t get your power. I couldn’t get your power. Come on, Tiffany, give me your power. Give me your power. Come on. I’m a public speaker, too. I’m way, because you look gorgeous, and you’ve got this topic, and you’ve got this reputation. That was way… Tiffany, come on, give me your power. Give me your power. Your job’s to give people your power. That’s your job. Because you’ve got all the goods. Look great, sound great. You actually speak well. Your elocution’s perfect. Good.

Tiffany: Why Knight Owl, and why Knight Owl with a K, like, knight with a K?

Richard: When I registered my business, I’d been an advisor for years, and I realized what my passion was, and I registered a business name called the Mental Toughness Institute. And I wanted it worldwide, and I couldn’t get it worldwide. It was gonna cost a lot of money to get that name. So after a few dry tears and disappointed we didn’t test the name, I started talking to my girlfriend, and we started talking about, you know, look at the name. And she asked me what I felt, and I said, The word owl turns up. Just owl,” you know? She goes, “Keep talking.” We were in the car, [inaudible 00:06:03] in the car, and we’re texting when we shouldn’t be and all sorts of stuff. And she goes, “What else? Just keep talking.” I said, “Night.” And she came back and put a K in front of that night. And what the knight stands for is the toughness and owl stands for the wisdom, which is the mental toughness.

Tiffany: How did you… Were you always mentally tough? Is that, like, a gift that you had, or did it develop over time?

Richard: It’s interesting, mental toughness, I didn’t know I was mentally tough. I’ve probably become more official after the English Channel. More official, hell what about the English Channel. But being definitely deaf to hearing and a speech stutter and very ill as a young person, very sick all time with asthma and bronchitis, I never thought I was good enough. I left school at 14, and failed that year, as well, and then went home and told my dad, and all my brothers have all got degrees. They’re all educated. And I was the only one that was born with a disability. And I asked my dad, “What do I do?” He goes, “Work it out. You do know how to invest, don’t you?” Seems okay, so I’m going through stuff, and at the age of 14, I went and tried basketball trying to make it out. What did I end up playing for Victoria at the state level. Not bad from 18 months not knowing it to, you know, didn’t go to the grade, I knew what was required. I wasn’t good enough for them, not good enough. And then I took up what we call our AFL football. So I played, applied myself to that and then I played one level, the highest level, but I wasn’t good enough to work it out. Then my knee broke down, and most days I was at rehab. So I took up rowing. And my knee improved and got stronger, but I started to enjoy rowing. So I made state level, as well, in rowing. That was interesting. But just after I finished rowing, I was in a car accident and my fiancee was killed. And I had to get through that.

Tiffany: How old were you then?

Richard: I was 19.

Tiffany: Okay.

Richard: And I got through that, then rebuilt myself as a person, got married, and my first wife got cancer and died. So I had to work through that.

Tiffany: When was that? How old were you when that happened?

Richard: I was 30 then. I was 30. That was interesting. Being a carer for three years, it’s exhausting. It’s a very exhausting process. I started kind of smiling when my sister showed me a holiday to Tahiti, and how I realized on the airplane when I was going to Tahiti, I thought I was depressed, but I was slightly exhausted. So I showed up in Tahiti, met a whole bunch of Californian girls over there, and that was nice. And then had to rebuild myself. And then my job life in business was nine years, seven years, five years, three years, two years, one year. So there’s a pattern going on as I was getting on towards 40, and I realized I couldn’t work for anyone. So at 3:00 in the morning, my wife then, I said, “I’m not going back to work ever again.” She looked at me like, “You’re crazy. What are you going to do?” I said, “I’m going to go coach successful people.” She goes, “Don’t be a fool.” I go, “I know.” So that morning, I registered a business name called Rainmaker, and then for eight weeks, I made 800 phone calls to business. At the end of the eighth week, I had 15 clients, and no systems, no structure. I just started. Those 15 clients referred me again, so I had 30 clients. I couldn’t keep up. My wife at the time, I said, “I’ve got to sack this new business because we’re going too well.” Within three years, I had 25 business coaches working for me, all in Australia.

Out of that, we built a recruitment division. Went really well. I didn’t realize that recruitments would use that. I thought we were just solving problems. That was interesting. We weren’t very good at it. We weren’t passionate about it. So I sold that. And then I flew 20 clients in from all over Australia and Asia and said, “Help me grow my own business. I’m helping you grow your business. Help me grow my business. I don’t know what to do next.” Now we’ve become an education center, what’s called an RTO, a registered training organization, and we specialize in a topic called continuous improvement, which is a Japanese car production system. And it’s a great, it’s one of the few lessons in business that it’s all about curiosity in business. It’s about being curious. And we’re being paid a lot of money to teach curiosity. Powerful. We’ll teach 1000, 2000 people at a time to improve their business process. But it’s all after teaching about curiosity, how to do things better. They couldn’t work on the factory or the business. They have to work on themselves first. So I coach 1000, 2000 people at a time.

Tiffany: That’s really cool.

Richard: It’s great, yeah. So…

Tiffany: That was a Japanese company?

Richard: No, it’s a Japanese learning system. It’s called lean.

Tiffany: Oh, got it, yeah. Okay.

Richard: Lean processes.

Tiffany: I have heard of that.

Richard: You’ll probably find it through Amazon. They’re quite lean and efficient, too, you know? That’s how efficient you can become as a person, and if you become efficient as a person, the business becomes efficient.

Tiffany: Oh yeah, for sure.

Richard: I help you to get rid of all the waste and all the non-plug issues. So I did that. Very successful. Had that for 20 years. Sold it. Decided to go back to advisory. And I realized, started to realize I wasn’t passionate about straight advisory. I’m a good advisor. I’ve got four clients in advisory now, which is good. I’m in the recycling space. I’m turning end of life for consumers to be the end of life with recycling. The three companies I coach on recycling return all the recycling products into building products. Magnificent. It’s amazing. So there’s no virgin material at all. And now, I’m now sorting investment [inaudible 00:11:58] for my clients to take us to the next level. And I’ve got a company, invested in another company for 20 million for a publish company. So what’s based in advisory is quite good. I’m very strong. But my passion underneath all that is mental toughness. So when I was at my business school, Corporate Actions Group, I decided to start swimming.

Tiffany: Why?

Richard: When I was 53, I thought I’d learn to swim. At 55, I swam the English Channel. After that, I did Manhattan. I tend to take things, once I learn something, I want to see how far I can go with it. Not just learn it and leave it. If I learn something, I want to know about it. I want to know.

Tiffany: Yeah.

Richard: And so I just take it all the way. Is that mental toughness? I don’t know. My swim coach said when I, I did a big swim, the first one, like, Argyle, which is in Western Australia. It’s kind of on the borderline of Northern Territory and, way up north where all the swamps are and crocodiles and all that. And this council built a man-made lake which is 50 times bigger than Sydney Harbor Beach, Sydney Harbor. I was the third person to circumnavigate the whole river. The whole ecosystem.

Tiffany: With crocodiles in it?

Richard: A crocodile cut me across the rib.

Tiffany: Oh yeah, I remember you saying that.

Richard: Yeah. Because a crocodile cut my ribs across. They swam under me. Didn’t bite me. But these aren’t man-eating crocodiles. They’re called Johnstone’s crocodiles. So I did that. And then my swim coach at the time said, “Go do the English Channel.” I said, “Why?” And I never realized it about myself. He said to me, “You don’t stop, do you?” I said, “No, never stop. Why would I stop?” And that was probably the beginning of recognizing officially mental toughness. I keep going. I just keep going. I don’t stop. Like Knight Owl now is now starting to turn over. The books now are starting to sell really well. Got a series of books coming out, and they’re reaching out into the world in America, China, India, and UK on mental toughness. I’ve designed these mental toughness diagnostics, diagnostics for young people, for people that, university dropouts, why people drop out of university, for people who stop learning, and people who want to go to the next level. So I’ve designed these diagnostics, and people are loving it. I give you feedback, and the feedback that I give you, not the same. I’m the one who tell the mother the baby’s [inaudible 00:14:38]

Tiffany: I love that.

Richard: I’m the one who does that.

Tiffany: Yeah. So it’s what, is it diagnostics, like, a survey, and then you analyze it?

Richard: Survey, you fill it out online, and then the results come to me. I book the time with you and I go through the results, what’s not working and what’s working for you, and what are you trying to achieve, also, with existing skills you have or don’t have. So I’ll coach you around what’s missing for you, and I am pretty accurate. Haven’t got it wrong yet.

Tiffany: So how did you know when to quit your… Was it your first business?

Richard: Mm-hmm. That was with politics. Poor business partner, he went toxic, and we kind of caught the perfect storm between the wrong business partner. My wife at the time was the perfect business partner, but he was causing trouble amongst us. Then one of our biggest clients didn’t pay us for three years, $5 million. So I had to go into my own personal resources. Eventually it was sending me broke.

Tiffany: Yeah.

Richard: It just went wrong. We worked hard, worked hard. Probably couldn’t fund the next level projects as we got bigger and bigger, and, you know, sometimes we took a million dollars type of project. Sometimes we didn’t have the funds, and then when our clients stopped paying for us or slow to pay us, the perfect financial storm.

Tiffany: How did you keep moving during your really tough times? Like, what kept you going?

Richard: I didn’t stop. I would go and ride a push bike. I would play a good tune. Go to a place of solace, sometimes had a cry just so I’d get it out of my system. And, but I knew the business was going out the back door 18 months before my business partners, because we couldn’t change our habits. So when I sold it, I could go back to what I used to go back to. But when I’m not passionate about something, that’s when I can’t lift a dune off the bed in the morning, if I can’t get up and brag about my day, and I’m a bragger. I wasn’t bragging. So I’m still alive. I’ve sort of got a first-world problem. I’ve got a beautiful home and shower, toilet, beautiful children. You know, life’s good. Life’s good. So I’ve got a first-world problem, haven’t I? Just don’t have any money. That’s the worst problem I’ve got. Okay. I’ve still got cell phones, I’ve got ears, so I’ve got audience. I guess I’ll do it. So I started the advisory side again. Went okay. So when I talk about okay, I still make 250 grand a year. That’s not bad, is it?

Tiffany: No. Not bad at all.

Richard: But I wasn’t passionate about it. Mental toughness, now, oh yes. I want to teach that to the world. There’s no one in the world teaching mental toughness. You can buy books on it, but they’re books written by ex-Navy SEALs, FBI agents, philosophers, people who brag about things, but not making it happen. You know, mental toughness by an FBI agent, that’s elitist, that. No one could relate to that, can they? If you were to read a book on mental toughness by an FBI agent, are you going to become an FBI agent?

Tiffany: No.

Richard: No? If you, a Navy SEAL taught mental toughness, are you going to become a Navy SEAL?

Tiffany: No.

Richard: No. But you really want to know what is relatable to you, don’t you? Your mental toughness.

Tiffany: Well, yeah, but I’m, from, I’m a little bit, like, if we’re talking about me, I’m a little bit different, because I’m really good at drawing, extracting, like, a skeleton and then drawing conclusions to my own life. Making connections where most people wouldn’t make connections. But…

Richard: Yeah. That’s a bit of wisdom. That’s a bit of wisdom, too. You’re starting to realize what works and what doesn’t work.

Tiffany: Yeah. But I see what you mean.

Richard: What happens if you haven’t got the power to do that or the skills or the autocorrect in there to do that? There’s a lot of it, the three women I coach now, right, they’re on 350 grand a year and want a coach. A couple degrees, smart, married, kids, but they still want a coach. They feel the higher they go, the more expectations for themselves, the more fears it creates.

Tiffany: Oh yeah.

Richard: So the more, the higher they go, the more I help them, the more they want me.

Tiffany: Have you always been positive?

Richard: Always. Always. Even when I was totally deaf, ridiculed at school, ridiculed by teachers, best part about my childhood life, I had a great mum and dad. I always had love and food on the table every day. So the base was strong. Might not have the abilities, but my mum would promote me every day. I was a proud little boy, you know? So I’ve alway been proud. Even if I winged it or made it up, I had to just keep moving forward. Like I did yesterday. I spent four hours cooking. My children are 25 and 23. Not them, financially I’m going well, but I don’t wanna be at home. But one boy’s starting to get his Master’s this year, so he’s out working one day a week, so I cook his food for the week. My daughter, she just spent a lot of money on a dog, I’m cooking her food for a week. That’s not that bad, is it?

Tiffany: No.

Richard: I could’ve sat there and just been quiet, and I could’ve let it go, but I cooked the food. I never stop, you know? My girlfriend Lisa’s just, shut up, sit down, sit down. When the day’s quiet, I’m not quite done, I just start doing something. I’m like, go on a 2k bike ride, 5k swim at the gym, okay. And write 10 pages of, or two chapters of my book. That’s a quiet day. So do I want to calm down? Not really. Am I on the go? Yeah. I like it, yeah. But then there’s times I like solace. There’s times I just want to be by myself. Don’t talk to me. Don’t talk to me. I’m not in a bad mood. Just let me be quiet. But there’s never a rest.

Tiffany: Are you spiritual at all?

Richard: Yeah. My boy’s velocity is very [inaudible 00:21:11] I was brought up Catholic Christian, but I don’t subscribe to it. Things like Daoism, Buddhism, I like those thinking systems, you know? It’s all about the whole being, not just about a certain typical God. God can’t interview, you know? Give me a break. But you can practice and think about stuff. I don’t officially meditate, but I do, when I’m on, like, a long bike ride, a 10k swim in cold water, where you’re not talking, and you’re only focused on this. And meditation is about focusing, isn’t it?

Tiffany: Right.

Richard: Just put your energies in something. I put my energies into something, and I get rid of all the garbage, and a swim will do it or a bike ride will.

Tiffany: How do you put your mental toughness to test? Like, in the, I know you do swimming, and you’re tested by outside circumstances. But do you seek to test your own mental toughness?

Richard: Daily. I don’t seek other people’s approval. My standards are generally higher than theirs. A lot of people are far more educated, probably smarter, but I get more out of what I know than they get out of what they know, you know? Mental toughness is, you’ve got to improve yourself every day. When I do my thinking, my, I write down 60 days in advance, don’t write in the first two days, and all I do is rewrite my calendar, my electronic calendar, rewrite it on a writing pad. And I find out if I’m adding value to those days or not. It’s very [inaudible 00:22:52] but invaluable, isn’t it? Am I adding value that day to someone? I see a spot when I’m not, I get rid of it. Some things turn up thinking you’re going to. But if I’m not adding value to anyone or myself, I don’t do it. So is that a way of being? Is that mental toughness, the design of creating value? And once I’ve done the 60 days, I then do a daily audit. It’s called a 9:30 concept. Nine thirty is how is your reach going to grow today and how is Knight Owl going to grow today? Because if Knight Owl grew and I didn’t grow, something’s wrong, isn’t it?

Tiffany: Mm-hmm.

Richard: If I grow and Knight Owl doesn’t grow, something’s wrong, isn’t it? So I have to do an audit every day. So I write down 9:30, how am I going to improve today? You know, the ritual of mental toughness is more than the ritual. At 9:30 today, I’m talking to Tiffany. Good. Coaching. But what am I doing for me? What’s Richard, how are you going to grow today? Are you reading, Richard? What are you going to learn? So I find a way that, what am I going to learn today, or what do I think I need to learn?

Tiffany: What is it today?

Richard: Yeah, today it’s get stronger. I have to get physically stronger. Now, I’m not stretching enough. My gym workouts, I do a lot of strength workouts, and I’m still sore through the glutes, groin, buttocks and lower back, so I haven’t been stretching. And I somehow let it go. Do the strength work. I’m now injured because I’m not, I haven’t got the flexibility. So if I’m not physically flexible, maybe I’m not being mentally flexible. Another thing is now, Knight Owl, how are you going to grow today? I found two young ladies who are learning marketing and psychology in university, are now doing my PR for me. They’re going to grow, these two 20-year-old kids are going to grow my business for me. [inaudible 00:24:56] yeah? It’s good. So I’ll go write down every day, how am I going to grow?

Tiffany: Sounds like a lot to do in a day.

Richard: Oh yeah. I’m reading Nelson Mandela’s…

Tiffany: Autobiography?

Richard: Not the one, not his first one, not “The Long Walk to Freedom.” His second one about when he became president.

Tiffany: I haven’t read that one.

Richard: Very powerful. And I’ve always learned something from Mandela, always. He’s got three books out. He’s got this one, his memoirs, a book he’s written, his memoirs since the age of eight, and he’s collected them all for the book. But this one was, the reason why him becoming president was so complicated for him, if he had just went and freed the black person, right, or anyone oppressed, all he was going to become was a freedom fighter, wasn’t he? Which meant more violence, didn’t it? What he wrote in the book, the reason why his problem was so complex, he had to free the oppressed and the oppressor.

Tiffany: Mm-hmm.

Richard: Wow. So you’ve got to free your enemy.

Tiffany: Yeah.

Richard: Wow. Fancy doing that, freeing the enemy. I’ve learned something about that. [inaudible 00:26:12] oppressed, my job now is to free my enemy. Don’t fight them. Free them. That takes some general toughness, doesn’t it? [inaudible 00:26:22] aren’t we, or get back.

Tiffany: Yeah. What I found is it’s not just, it’s… So I work on forgiveness, which is the same thing. It’s setting yourself and the other person or other thing free. And sometimes when you say, like, to yourself, “I set you free,” or, “I forgive you,” there’s still that emotional charge that still needs to be set free.

Richard: Yeah, yeah. I’ve got two sisters who don’t like me right now. You know what their complaint about me is? I’ve become successful when I wasn’t successful. They’ve got degrees qualified up there, and they haven’t made the most of their life. I’ve made the most of it, I think. So they just stopped talking to me. Drives them nuts. Sometimes I think they don’t have a good conversation or good logic. That I’m crazy. When I swam the Channel, what they said about me, what they’re saying was, is I’m the first non-swimmer to swim the channel. The other saying people said about me, and I love this saying. I’m too stupid to be successful.

Tiffany: People say that?

Richard: Yeah. I’m too stupid to be successful. Love it.

Tiffany: Who says that?

Richard: When I had the big business, I had 27 people working for me, they just said my radical ways, crazy ways, wasn’t a normal business structure. My wife did that. But I would do, I’d be too stupid to be successful. And you’re too stupid to be successful.

Tiffany: Totally.

Richard: Yeah. Yeah, it’s a nice feeling, isn’t it? Who’s your boss then? Mr. Stupid. Good. We do the things that other people don’t do. We take different risk, don’t we?

Tiffany: Do you think the bullies in school helped you deal with the haters in your current life, or…

Richard: Oh, yeah. I still get bullied today when I… I still miss maybe 80% of conversations. If I’m not doing this one-to-one intimate eye contact, I’ll miss 80% of conversations. Fancy missing 80% of conversations with your wife? Remember, I only picked up 5% as a school kid. All I knew was, oh, I’ve got to go. I knew what made sense, but then I pushed it all the way. So bullying is interesting. It toughens you up. A family of eight toughens you up. Dad, big hard worker, roughed on and big shiny nose, big guns like that. Loved us every day. He worked for 28 years night shifts and still had four taxi, four truck [inaudible 00:28:58] jobs during the day, as well. Slept for four hours, worked again, slept and worked, and went back to work, and still coached the football. If that’s not tough, I don’t know what is.

Tiffany: Do you think the, like, not having your hearing has made you sensitive in other ways? Like, do you feel more or do you, are you more sensitive to people, or, like, how has that affected you?

Richard: When you can’t hear, you have to find multiple ways of listening.

Tiffany: Hmm. I like that.

Richard: You’ve got to listen through your eyes. Like right now, I’m looking at your whole body. I’m looking at your chest. I’m looking at all your body language. I’ve got to feel you perfectly. I’ve got to let you jump in. Also, you know, let me jump in there. I’ve got to feel what you’re feeling. So I mightn’t know the words, but I know what pain you’re in. I know if you’re in joy or sadness or curious or frustrated. I know that very well. But now, after all the reading I’ve done, I can now put the questions to feeling. People who just listen with their ears, they don’t hear. I know what’s going on. And I mightn’t hear the words at all, but I know you’re in pain.

Tiffany: Interesting.

Richard: And people think I’m, call me spooky, freaky, or whatever it is, you know? My nickname in the business is, I used to be called Yoda.

Tiffany: I love that.

Richard: Because I didn’t hear it. I didn’t hear it properly. The reason why I’m a good one-to-one coach is because I do all the other skills. Like right now, a lot of people find this intimidating. You and I have got a lot of eye contact right now, right? It’s good contact. Good. You want to know me, I want to know you, right? It’s good. Then I look past your eyes at what’s going, into your soul. What’s going on? Right, and you’re very composed, and been composed, been professional, right? It’s good. But also, I’m feeling what that’s feeling like for you. [inaudible 00:30:50] dadadada. When I start coaching, I’ve got all sorts of angles now.

Tiffany: Yeah. I, when I was, I can relate because I’m super sensitive to other people’s energies.

Richard: Emotionally.

Tiffany: I feel what other people feel. For the longest time, I thought that they were my feelings. But as the years went on, I just discovered that they’re other people’s feelings, and I can feel them, and now I have compassion, and now I have empathy because of it, and I can also meet people where they are and then, like, bring them up to where I am.

Richard: Yeah. If they’re ready to go with you.

Tiffany: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Richard: But a lot of people don’t. They go, “Thanks for listening, but I can’t go there.”

Tiffany: Yeah.

Richard: But I call that ruthless compassion. You know?

Tiffany: Yeah, it’s been an interesting journey discerning.

Richard: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I’m curious, I’m curious now. With my girl, she knows, we went, she dated me on Thursday night [inaudible 00:31:50] it was nice. But I can listen to conversations and watch body language on everyone. Before I realized, all the tables around us were just talking, and I’m just hearing everything. Hearing everything. The barman at the pub we went to had the big earrings, the ones that make your ears stretch. Shorn round there, long hair and tattoos. Very handsome-looking man. Very weird, but very handsome. And Lisa’s going, oh my God, you know. She has a boyfriend and [inaudible 00:32:18] in front of me, right? I asked about his life. He’d been a factory manager. Wasn’t talking to enough people. Hated the same bullshit every day. [inaudible 00:32:29] When him and his partner got pregnant, they split, so he looks after his daughter three days a week. So he needs a job to be flexible with that, with his daughter, and talk to more people. I found that out in five minutes. [inaudible 00:32:40] now. He’s great.

Tiffany: Yeah.

Richard: Because he loves his daughter.

Tiffany: When I first met you, I asked what kind of self-talk gets you through the swimming endurance, and you said that you just get into flow and it’s almost like you’re not thinking.

Richard: The more I don’t think, the better I am.

Tiffany: Yeah. So how do you get, do you get into flow when you’re not swimming, and how do you do that?

Richard: Gym work will give me a flow. A bike ride will give me a flow. Being able to spend time with Lisa gives me a flow. She soothes my soul amazingly, just like, she just looks at me nice, you know? She’s amazing. She’s an English girl. We met a couple years ago and then we fell in love, you know? The crazy part of it, I’m 63, she’s 33. So it’s a big difference in my life that’s just, like, put a different spring in my step. I love her beauty. She loves my wisdom. You know, we just, we’re immersed in that every day. I only left her for an hour and a half this morning. She’s already texted me. “I miss you already.” And we live together. Is that romance? I mean, romance makes your life awesome, so it’s great.

Tiffany: Yeah.

Richard: But it’s kind of this 63 to 33 [inaudible 00:34:01] My son comes to dinner a lot of time, and my girlfriend’s only five years older than my son. And my son is going out with a 41-year-old girl and he’s 26. Weird. But I’ve had a lot of good things in my life. A lot of good things. Now, I could share some of the good things in my life. And it’s not necessarily money. I make money, but I don’t actually champion money. I actually champion human spirit first. Do that first.

Tiffany: Do you do any type of tithing or donating of money?

Richard: Money’s never been relevant to me. It’s never been important. But it’s never brought this… All the wealth, I’ve been wealthy, and I’m wealthy again. But it doesn’t bring me that happiness. It might give me a little bit of status, but it doesn’t bring happiness. You know, when my fiance was killed, I was a happy young man. She’s gone in a car accident. My beautiful blonde country girl wife, bright woman, died of cancer. Will money bring her back? No. My marriage with Cheryl for 28 years, great marriage. But also we were changing. We were changing too fast. The pressure of business got to us. Okay, we weren’t happy, and money didn’t make us happy. Wow. We’re fighting for it, we’re building a big business and turning over millions, but all the stress wasn’t worth it. Some might like a 19-room house. Might be happy or not. [inaudible 00:35:37] beer with my girl, her legs on me, massaging her feet makes me happy. Cooking dinner with my boy makes me happy. Cooking lunch with my girl makes me happy. You couldn’t get a better dad or friend or lover or person, you know? That makes me happy. I’m re-investing again. I’ve got my first property being built, and again, I’ve now building a second property, and I’m buying another property in Hastings. [inaudible 00:36:01] That’s business. That’s not love. That’s a hobby. Your life especially, Lisa is all the bit of my life.

Tiffany: What, so one thing you said about your marriage, your 28-year marriage, was that, you were all changing, right? And one thing that I haven’t been able to wrap my head around is how you change and your relationships can either change or, change with it or not. So as somebody who’s been married and then, like, changes happened, what’s the, if any, like, correlation to commitment and then being able to let it go? Because there’s, like, you commit to your business, but then at some point, it’s not working, so you have to let it go. You commit to your marriage, but because of the changes that are happening, you also have to let it go. So I don’t know what question I’m trying to ask exactly, but this is…

Richard: I’ll give you the answer, then you’ll ask the question.

Tiffany: Yeah. There’s been this thing on my mind that’s kind of…

Richard: Cheryl was great, great. A role model [inaudible 00:37:23]. I designed this little concept for our marriage. One thing about marriage and love and relationships, you stop talking. You stop, allow things to get in the way. So I designed this hundred day concept. Every hundred days, we went away. No children, no business. So we had to get to know each other again. Had to talk about our sex life, our intimacy, who we are as a person. In a hundred days, you’ll change, but no one’s asking the questions about how much you’re changing, do they?

Tiffany: No.

Richard: Is any, if I asked you, a hundred days ago, what were you doing and how much have you changed since, no one’s ever asked that question to you, have they?

Tiffany: Nope.

Richard: So we used to go and interview each other in a hotel for three hours. And we decided not to go out, so we used to find a new recipe to cook.

Tiffany: Why a hundred days?

Richard: It’s just an arbitrary number.

Tiffany: Just, okay, just…

Richard: Just a number. Just a number. And then we got so good with talking about it, simply got in the car, a hundred days. Let’s talk about what’s going on, what’s sex like with you or sex like with me? Am I kissing you properly? I don’t know. There’s times, according to Cheryl, I wasn’t kissing her properly. I didn’t know I wasn’t. Wow. What feedback. Yeah, wasn’t it? Fancy someone telling you you don’t kiss properly. What do you do?

Tiffany: Be like, you’re wrong.

Richard: Yeah. Then I had [inaudible 00:38:47] how to kiss her.

Tiffany: Yeah.

Richard: But what that was telling me, we were changing.

Tiffany: Yeah.

Richard: She wasn’t enjoying my company anymore. And she criticized me for not turning her on. Well, I used to be able to. But the change is happening.

Tiffany: But does that also mean that maybe there was something going on with her that she wasn’t…

Richard: Yeah, yeah. My complaint about her, I’ve only got one complaint about her. She’s a good woman. Bright woman. I still love her very much, but not in the…

Tiffany: Of course, yeah.

Richard: Is I couldn’t get all of her. She wouldn’t let me have all of her. Not to control her. She’d give me her service of her. She’s give me her loyalty. But I couldn’t have her as a person. Now, that’s from conditioning from her past. She had a very abusive father, so she’s stopped from giving herself to anyone. So when I try to be there, I want her, I couldn’t have her. So I’m talking to a brick wall sometimes. I’m just, a bit of woman, right? When she was a girlfriend to a girlfriends, a good girlfriend to her male friends, I used to drool. My God, she’d give all herself to them. But in the marriage, things are happening. Habits which, that, you couldn’t break them anymore, they were starting to be patterns and a way of being. And I said, I said I’m lonely. You know, I love being passionate. I couldn’t be passionate with my wife. That hurt. But I couldn’t get her back. And I was also starting to refuse to. It might have played a role, too.

Tiffany: What does passion feel like?

Richard: Now? My gosh. Passion today, as in with my girl? Amazing. With Knight Owl, amazing.

Tiffany: I mean, yeah, it could be either with, like, going into an endurance swimming thing or going into a new project or working with somebody new or yourself or your partner or…

Richard: Every day, I’m madly in passionate love with my girl. It makes a huge difference. When I was in my advisory, I got very sighted on passionate. I drive my clients nuts having them do things, you know? We’re getting a lot of money coming in, right? Knight Owl had to do with that, but that’s new for Knight Owl. I love it. It’s still new to me. It’s digital. I’m still learning digital. Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, all that, it’s all digital. It’s all new to me. I’m used to doing one-on-one, but my new model will be Skype. And I have 270,000 people [inaudible 00:41:21] read the books. So I’m running a business. I’m already looking for a CEO to run my business. I don’t want to run it. I’m not the right person to run my own business. I’m doing a market right now and teaching personal trainers how to become mental toughness coaches worldwide. So I found the best personal training company who issues and brings you the best personal trainers. When they’re doing courses in Asia, they teach personal trainers to handle mental toughness clients. Have a guess what the business is worth, if we’ve got all, I did all the numbers right? What do you think it’s worth? No one’s thought of this.

Tiffany: I don’t know. Millions?

Richard: Fifteen billion.

Tiffany: Billions.

Richard: Fifteen billion. So I was like, that’s too much. That’s just not true. And I did the numbers. Everyone agrees with my numbers, right? So I’ve dumbed it right down and I got it down to 15 million. So I’ve got a $15 million problem. But 15 billion ain’t going to work. But I was just in the process of thinking, and we’re going to the Asian market, China, and I’ve done all the research on how many people go to a gym in China and who doesn’t go to a gym and who does, personal trainer, dadadada. You know, but personal trainers are getting burnt out. They get up at 4:00 in the morning, get home at night.

Tiffany: Yeah.

Richard: You know? It’s exhausting.

Tiffany: That’s so true, yeah.

Richard: So I’m trying to help them get more value per hour and become a better stakeholder in their clients. I taught one guy a modeled for evidence, and he’s making $144,000 a year now as a personal trainer. He’s closer to an exercise physiologist, but now he’s got the mental toughness skills, and he’s loving it. His wife sees him more. He’s from two marriages, got the children from both marriages, [inaudible 00:43:01]

Tiffany: Oh, that reminds me. I have somebody I can introduce you to.

Richard: Hmm?

Tiffany: Personal trainer… I’ll introduce you. He’s, like, along these lines. He would be a good either client or test or something for the area.

Richard: Yeah, yeah. I love it. Good.

Tiffany: And he’s also, he’s not just a personal trainer. He likes to incorporate, like, a lot of [crosstalk 00:43:30]…

Richard: [crosstalk 00:43:30]

Tiffany: Yeah. Perfect.

Richard: The smart personal trainer. He’s probably late 20s, early 30s, probably in a solid relationship, loves his patients. We all know he’s going to burn out soon. So he’s got to find different ways of thinking. So the modern personal trainers now train the whole human being now, not just the physical body.

Tiffany: Yeah, because it’s all connected. Is there anything you’d like to say or get out to the world?

Richard: No, I’m good.

Tiffany: No?

Richard: I love my work and I’d like more people to click on the Knight Owl. I understand, I’m going to use your tip [inaudible 00:44:04] and turn that into a red letter thing. I’m going to invite people to buy, people around the world to buy mental toughness [inaudible 00:44:11] for a friend or a family member now. Do that so it helps, so they get a chance to help the world, too.

Tiffany: Yeah. I like that.

Richard: Because there’s two types of people, the mentally tough and mentally sensitive. Okay, and so you can be mentally tough but still not achieve your goals. You can be mentally sensitive and achieve your goals. But everyone’s looking for something. That’s what I provide help for people with.

Tiffany: Thank you.

Richard: It’s a good life.

Tiffany: It is a good life. Thank you so much for coming.

Richard: Oh, good.

Tiffany: [crosstalk 00:44:45]

Richard: [crosstalk 00:44:45]

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