If you know you are capable of achieving greater professional success in the flooring industry, why haven’t you? What’s holding you back?
At first, it seems like it should just be a matter of learning what steps to take, but there’s more. When it comes to actually taking those steps, many people get stuck.
Persistent mental blocks can be incredibly frustrating. How can you achieve a breakthrough and up your game to the next level?
"Anybody else feel this?" - Ron Nash
To provide a little bit of context to their discussion, Kyle Hedin, host of The Floor Academy Podcast, recaps a story Nash had shared on social media about losing a lot of weight, running a marathon, and then gradually putting weight back on. Hedin invites Ron Nash to expound on the story.
Nash begins by explaining that many people assume if someone is a senior business leader, they must have special skills nobody else has. Part of Nash’s mission is to dispel that myth and inspire others with his own transparency and vulnerability. “I’m a regular person,” Nash says. “I struggle with the same things that you are struggling with in your business right now.”
Although the difficulties Nash faces in his role are bigger and more global, the underlying principles are the same: Life can be stressful, and we either find helpful or unhelpful ways to deal with stress.
Experimentation is a major part of Nash’s process. He likes to run a challenge, measure the results, and continue if he can. In 2013, he ran extreme distances and went 100% vegan.
The experiment was a success, but it proved to be unsustainable. After a stress fracture injury, Nash was unable to run. Without the endorphins his body had become accustomed to, he had what he describes as a relapse and began overeating unhealthy foods. “Food, to me, is almost like a drug addiction,” Nash says. In time, Nash put on weight, felt sluggish, and experienced brain fog.
In a moment of clarity Nash told himself, “Dude, it’s time to make a change.” One might imagine that this knowledge alone would be enough, but this wasn’t the case for Nash. “You know, humans are really good at planning,” Nash says, “but they’re not great at saying now’s the time.”
Showing up in an authentic manner is part of Nash’s brand and personality. So, naturally, he decided to reach out for some support on social media.
The response was overwhelming. People liked the post, commented, reached out, and called. The message was clear. Nash describes it: “Hey man, you can do this. You did it once before. You did it in a dream fashion before. Now try to find a lifestyle that you can live with.”
It turns out for Nash (and likely many others) that dealing with stress in a helpful way physically begins with dealing with stress in a helpful way mentally. “My goal is to develop a lifestyle whereby I can optimize my mental health,” Nash says, “because if your mental health is optimized, all the rest of this works out.”
Forty Days of Meditation
Nash first practiced meditation for an assignment as a student at Yale University. “I thought it was like talking to yourself, right? And I thought it was bullshit. I’m not going to lie. […] I didn’t believe it.”
Now, Nash calls meditation a “mental game” for “real serious self-reflection.” He considers it to be a foundational practice for breaking through mental blocks.
- “Hey, dude. Let’s be honest about who you are.”
- “Now, let’s think about that for a second. […]”
- “Who are you?”
- “What do you want to be?”
- “What are your guiding principles, and how are you displaying those in your life?”
- “How are you showing up for your family?”
- “How are you showing up for your work?”
- “What do you want to do?”
"Here's what's holding you back right now."
For Nash, the answer came as follows: “Here’s what’s holding you back right now. You don’t have the energy that you need. Why don’t you have the energy that you need? […] You’ve got to get your physical game on point.”
According to Nash’s view of the human body, people live in a “meat suit like Iron Man” with an “energy management system” that uses food as good or bad “energy credits.” Nash explains, “If you’re trying to up your game without managing your diet, then you’re really doing it with one hand behind your back.”
Contractors tend to hit an afternoon slump, and many look to stimulants as a way to overcome it. Nash cautions against “massive amounts of caffeine and energy drinks. “I totally get it,” he says, “because that’s what I was doing too. What you’re doing, though, is you’re masking a problem with chemistry. You’re basically saying, ‘I’m just going to dump all this stuff in here. I’m going to override all my gauges with massive amounts of stimulants that are going to make me feel better so I can get through.’ In the meantime. It’s hard […] on your digestive system.”
Sometimes people experience a mental block because they lack knowledge or skills in a certain area and they are unwilling to recognize these “blind spots.” Nash says, “You’ve got to be honest with yourself. I find that that’s really what people avoid, you know, is that honesty with themselves to say, ‘You know what? I’m not good at this area. I want to get better at this.’ Honesty is really the first road to redemption, to that next […] higher plane.”
"There are no magic tricks" to overcoming mental blocks.
After years of studying the founders of businesses and other successful people such as Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Tony Robbins, and Tim Ferris, Nash discovered two major takeaways: You must acknowledge challenges and then take action.
“You know,” Nash says, “everybody wants me to give them some business advice and some magic trick. […] Here’s the magic trick. There are no magic tricks. The [people who] are successful are the ones who are able to […] push themselves. They go beyond the pain.”
Hedin urges Nash to explore this subject further, specifically asking about contractors who have mental blocks when it comes to learning about new products and technologies in the industry.
Nash replies, “I can get real controversial real quick here, you know. Look, […] a lot of contractors are kind of like, ‘Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ […] What they’re missing out on is the industry is changing around them super fast and technology is changing around them super fast. I’m intending, as my whole purpose in life, to accelerate that change. I’m creating materials now that you guys aren’t even ready for. I need to have people who want to get their skills up to date so that they’re ready for the future of construction.”
Having a learning process is essential to client satisfaction and business success. “Business is getting a lot harder,” Ron Nash says. He points out that innovative thinking involves mental work about how to solve problems better, optimize your processes, sharpen your skills, use the best technologies, offer better warranties and better products, and make more money for the same amount of work.
Learning Can Make Work Fun
Ron Nash has another addiction, but it’s a healthy one. He is addicted to academics. “I enjoy pushing myself to learn new things, and I will tell you that that joy can also be applied to work.” He says learning something new creates excitement and hopefulness. “If I never tried anything new,” Nash says, “I don’t know how much more fun—yes, I’m using that word—how much more fun I could make work.”
Learning does not always have to involve trainings, PowerPoints, or reading books. Nash recommends listening to podcasts and audiobooks while working, if possible. People can also listen while driving, waiting in line, or during other tasks.
Education “provides depth to a person’s personality,” Nash says. To illustrate his point, Nash tells a story of a contractor who reads one of Chester Karrass’s books on negotiation and then makes use of those new skills when a client pushes back on a proposal.
Free Up RAM in Your Mind to Overcome Mental Blocks
Circling back around to the social media post that started the discussion, Nash says, “I didn’t realize it was going to help me, because, really, when I made the post, it was more of a stream of consciousness for me to see whether anyone in the world could relate. […] It was really a moment of, like, I could use some help from my friends, right? And you know what? I got it. I got a ton of it.”