Impossible FM #002: Cold Shower Therapy™ with Nick Reese

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In this episode, I sat down with Nick Reese of NicholasReese.com to talk about Cold Shower Therapy™. If you don’t know what Cold Shower Therapy™ is, you’re either living under a rock or you’ve never read this blog before.

Nick was THE guy who introduced me to cold showers almost three years ago. We talk about the story of how HE started using cold showers, how HE introduced the concept to me in five minutes during a conversation at a bar and how you can use cold showers to change your life and attitude towards being comfortable.

If you want to listen to something about cold showers, this is the episode to pay attention to.

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Impossible FM #002 Transcript

Hey everybody. Welcome to Impossible FM – the show where we talk about pushing your limits and doing the impossible in fitness, gritness, business, and life. I’m your host Joel Runyon, welcome to the show. Let’s get started!

Hey everybody. Welcome to Impossible FM episode number 002. In today’s show we’ve got Nick Reese from nicholasreese.com. Nick’s a good friend, a successful entrepreneur, and the guy responsible for getting me into cold showers. On today’s show we’re gonna talk about how Nick got started in entrepreneurship. His first businesses, his current businesses, and how the key to success in any endeavor is your willingness to get uncomfortable. We’re also gonna talk about how cold showers fit into all of this. And if you guys don’t know about cold shower therapy yet, by the end of this episode, you will.

Nick’s one of the smartest guys that I know and his approach to business and life have impacted me in countless of ways. Today’s interview is packed chock-full of great business insights. But what i think is even more important, is that he’s got a great challenge to make yourself, to force yourself, to willingly become uncomfortable and embrace uncomfortable situations so that you can do things that most people won’t. With all that said, let’s get into it.

Hey everybody this is Joel Runyon with Impossible FM. Today I’m here with my good friend Nick Reese. Nick is a successful entrepreneur. Been doing online business for who knows how long. I’ve known Nick personally for the last 3 years. He’s the guy who introduced me cold showers. He’s built tons of businesses online, done a lot of interesting things and I’ve never had him on the show or on the blog or anywhere so I’m finally excited to have him on and share with you guys some of the lessons he shared with me personally. And yeah, thanks for coming on the show, Nick.

NICK:
Dude, thanks so much for having me. As I’ve told you before, I’ve got my teeth whitened today and while I was sitting on the chair and she was like beaming the laser at me, I told her I’m gonna have a call today. She’s like, you’re not going to be able to have the call today, you’re going to have nerve pain. So suddenly I have a like a spike or I go silent, or you see my eyes watering, you know what’s going on. She told me it’s impossible, I think it’s not. Let’s do it.

JOEL:
I think we can make it happen.

NICK:
Let’s do it. So.

JOEL:
That’s awesome. For those of you guys who don’t know. I met Nick probably 3 years ago at World Domination Summit. I knew him for a couple of years before then. Nick, do you want to kind to share a couple of your business backgrounds, how long you have been doing business, where you got started, and kinda go into how we met and some of the conversation we’ve had over the last couple of years?

NICK:
Rockin’. For sure. Yes. So I started my first business in 2005 it was a t-shirt company and this was not my first successful business. I started business in college, we were selling t-shirts. We were selling them like hotcakes and then I ended up getting sued by my college for trademark infringement. Looking back I kinda had a case but I was offered 2 opportunities. Either leave college or shut down the t-shirt company. And I was like, in college so I shut down the t-shirt company. Failed my 2nd business and then went on to start a consulting business that was focused around email marketing. Scaled that while I was in college to over $100,000 a year. Got into affiliate marketing, scaled that with my business partner / best friend to over 7 figures and, yeah. Now I have been working on projects ever since. It’s been a wild ride, it’s been a lot of fun. I was location-independent for a long time, and finally just settled here in Nashville.

JOEL:
Yeah. I remember hearing about you, I don’t even think I was doing anything online, but people had been talking about Nick Reese, so you’re kinda this enigma I’ve heard about, that I knew about, and a lot of my friends knew but I didn’t necessarily know you. We kinda ran into each other a little bit I think 3 years ago at a bar in Portland at WDS which is World Domination Summit, for those of you who don’t know. And one of my friends, Zach told me, you have to meet Nick, he’s a really smart guy, you should go talk to him. So I think I ran into you, off twitter, I was like, oh where are you gonna be? And you’re like, oh at this bar and so I go over to this bar, I kinda wander around and try to find Nick, find someone who looks like his twitter profile, and I go over and I sit down, I go over and shake your hand, and said hey, how’s it goin’? I gave a little bit of a background on what I have been doing and at that point I was like, I just quit one job and I was going to another and I have been doing the online think for like, maybe a month? And at that point, I just met you maybe 30 seconds, 60 seconds into the conversation and we’re talking and I told you about how I quit this one job and I was going to this other job, and he was like, I think you just straight-up asked me why haven’t you started your own business yet? Just point-blank, why aren’t you doing your own thing?

NICK:
What are you waiting for?

JOEL:
And I think my response was, like… Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… I…… uhhhhhhhhhhhh…. I……… I couldn’t come up with a good reason. I don’t know if you wanna tell how.. Basically you called me out in the first 90 seconds that I knew you and you said you know enough to get started, you know enough. It’s not that you’re not smart enough, it’s not that you’re not capable enough, you’re just scared. And then you kinda gave me this strategy that I’ve talked about endlessly since you kinda talked about it. You kinda gave me this strategy to just go ahead, start this weird-sounding challenge and just try it and see if that changes your approach, how you’re handling things in business, how you’re handling things in life, how you’re going about, just approaching anything that’s a little uncertain, a little scary.

NICK:
Yeah. I totally remember it. I think I said something like, I think you’re just afraid of being uncomfortable. Backstory on my end, 2011 was a defining, defining year for me. I had come back from South America, in a long-time relationship, I was afraid to get out of it. I knew it wasn’t right, I think both of us knew it wasn’t right. And we were still living together. And finally, I was like, we got back, we’d traveled, it was a blast, we head back to Austin. Everything was like, we were getting back into the groove, of like, an unhappy relationship. I was looking at business, I was looking at my weight, I was over 20 pounds overweight. Things were just weren’t where I wanted them to be. I had known about the thermodynamics of water and how basically cold showers lower your body temperature so you burn more calories. I decided that I was originally going to start hacking the thermodynamics in order to burn more calories. I remember the first day and just being like insanely uncomfortable in the cold shower and actually failing my own challenge. I ended up telling the girl that I was with, and she laughed at me and she told me like, this is like an ongoing thing that she wasn’t very supportive. I was like, okay, I’m gonna do this. And we were at the second day, and I realized, all the doubts, and all the fears that I had, going along with taking cold showers mirrored the same fears I had about getting out of a relationship or really taking control of my business. And so very quickly I committed to a year of cold showers. I’m on my shower 500-and-something. I think when I met you I was on shower like 90-something. So it was like very fresh in my mind. Yeah, the results I’ve gotten, just in 2011, just to give you a sneak peak. I moved from Austin, Texas, moved to New York City for a few months. In those to few months, rang the bell at the NASDAQ, spoke at the White House, grew my business like, I don’t know the percentage, but it was just like everything shifted. It was like basically realizing that cold showers, and that hesitation that I had to go in there and turn the water is the same hesitation I had to do that important idea on my to-do list. Or to reach out and step up my own game. Recently it’s like, why can’t you reach out to XYZ and try to get featured there. You were just on Time, et cetera. Those are totally doable, it’s just that often we’re limited by our own realities and our own fears that we set. It’s a daily reminder to just turn on the water and see what happens.

JOEL:
I just wrote a post by doing things you don’t like doing. I used a quote from you. And you said this thing a couple of different ways, but its: “the amount of things you are able to achieve is limited by the amount of uncomfortable situations you’re willing to put yourself in.” And that analogy is a perfect, real-life analogy with cold showers. I’ve talked about that a bunch of different times. Cold showers. A lot of times I’ve talked about pushing your limits, and going beyond the things that you kind of.. the mental reality that you set for yourself. For a lot of people, you know, I talk about physical challenges and so you know, a marathon will do that to you. If you’re in an ultramarathon, that will do that to you. If you try to lose 50 pounds, that will change the way you perceive reality. Losing 50-points is a 6 months challenge. Running an ultramarathon, everybody can go out and run, you know, 30-50 miles or something like that. But everybody can take a shower. Everybody does it every single day. It’s so funny because we had this conversation, and then I walked away from that conversation and I don’t know if I’ve told you this, but this is my, like.. I think Nick’s kind of a jerk. He’s not wrong, he’s definitely not wrong. So it was awesome because you meet a lot of people who just wanna like.. especially at different events you’re just like, oh I’m gonna be really nice, blahblahblahblahblah. And you don’t necessarily meet people who are going to call you out and make you better even if it’s not very comfortable. And so that was one of those things where I was like, man, I’ve known him for like 10 minutes now and he already has given me more honest feedback and actionable steps forward than anyone else at the conference. And so the next day I was like, well I’m not gonna not take a cold shower now. I can’t go back to..he’s already called be out for being scared about quitting my job. I can’t be scared about taking a cold shower. And so I was at the hostel at Portland and I remember it was this like, this ghetto tub. I was worried about slipping and falling. I just turned it on, it was freezing and I was swearing at you the entire time in my head. And then I kinda started using it a lot on my own and cold showers for me personally, I did that initially for 30 days after our talk. 6 months later I finally got in my head that I was gonna quit this job that I’ve just taken. I did cold showers before quitting that job. I took cold showers before running my first half Ironman and while training for my ultramarathon, before doing a TED Talk. Every single moment in my life where I came up to something, and I was like, man this seems like it could be uncomfortable, or difficult, or scary, or something I haven’t done before. I’m like, Joel, just take a cold shower. After you take a cold shower, it’s like, ehhhhh, just go do it. It’s just the sensation, it’s just the feeling. It’s not anything long-lasting.

NICK:
Exactly. And the mindset as I always go into things within, I think it’s like, cold shower is almost like a meditation for me. And it’s like, this too, will pass. Everything is very very transient. I think it’s really easy to… like I know you’ve written about how that when you have a schedule, you can actually get ahead of it. I hadn’t, so I’m like, I’m planning stuff, you can probably see that in the background. I find, like sometimes I can get things planned so far out that I’m missing the moments. And not appreciating it and not realizing that this schedule’s gonna keep rolling and all of this is gonna pass. And I think, often entrepreneurs, anyone’s who’s really trying to achieve anything, can be very centered in this very moment. If you’re doing something that sucks, time ticks way longer. It always does. When you’re looking at a calendar, and you’re like, okay so I’m like, I’m 15 days into a 30-day challenge. You have a cycle and you can feel like, oh it’s only been 15 days that I’ve been working on whatever this complex, this painful thing, or this hard thing. I don’t know, it’s a good reminder for me to daily to realize that this, too, will pass. And I think willing to be uncomfortable is one of the best skills that you can develop. The mentality that goes with it.

JOEL:
Yeah, well, you sort of took the cold shower mentality and you kinda circulated between… I did a lot of posts online just about it, because it’s something that’s really impactful for me. But you kinda did this thing where you just had these personal conversations with a lot of people in our circle, with like Nicky Hajal, and then a few other people. And then Nicky had a post that I linked to the other day. It was about.. it’s just a sensation. It’s just a feeling and it doesn’t really determine, whether, you know, anything forward. It’s your decisions during that moment that determine what happens next. And that’s a really interesting lesson, just to think about, like, so you’re cold? That doesn’t do anything. So you’re uncomfortable? That doesn’t do anything. It’s like, what happens after that and what decision are you going to make during that period of uncomfortability. And that’s what’s gonna determine where you are 3-6-12 months from now.

NICK:
Exactly. And I think it applies to every single realm of life. I can see this readily applying to people who are single and want to go meet their significant other and that approaching anxiety you might get hit with. It’s just a sensation just the same as cold water is. When you’re running a marathon, I’ve never done that but I used to do long distance swimming and I remember, okay, this sucks but this too, all I have to do is keep moving my arms. I’m gonna keep going. Sooner or later I’m gonna be there. With business, this decision or this conversation might be uncomfortable but at the end of the day, it’s just a blip on the radar. I’m probably not gonna remember it 2 years from now. Unless it’s like a conversation like this, which is, I’m so happy. I’m just like, so thrilled to be having this. It’s awesome. Like you said I’ve had personal conversations with.. I personally challenged more than 30 entrepreneurs in our circle that I know of, and hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands outside that via the internet. It’s interesting. It’s really interesting to see the results people get.

JOEL:
I don’t know about you but I personally like, this has been. I’ve probably gotten more hate mail on cold showers than any other post I’ve written ever. I’ve also had.. so I did this TED Talk. First of all, never read youtube comments. Second of all, if you do read youtube comments, it’s hilarous– you know you can remove any emotion from it. But I’ve had people say like, I wanna go fight him. And people get so angry about this concept, they don’t even want to consider it for just five minutes. I’m like, you know what, it’s 5 minutes. The ending point I had in the TED Talk was that if I can’t figure out how to do something uncomfortable for 5 minutes, where the only bad outcome, the only consequence is me being cold. The only person affected by it is me. Then how am I gonna do anything else in life that requires any sort of consequence beyond that, or affects anyone else besides myself. It’s amazing how many people won’t even consider it but you tend to see the distinction between the people who are willing to consider it, at least try it, versus the people who don’t. The people who are willing to try it tend to be willing to try new things in other realms of life and are willing to try being uncomfortable in different arenas. It’s just kind of interesting to see that distinction and to have the same conversation with 1000 different people who think they’re bringing up new and interesting points that everybody repeats.

NICK:
And it’s almost always a coping mechanism, I found. People have a predominant coping mechanism to deal with a new situation. One way is to push it away. Another way is bringing it close and see if this is something that I want to do. And I find that the people that have told me that want to fight me or have insulted me, it’s often just like, I just write if off as, this is how they deal with it. When you get down to it, there’s no tactics. You can’t learn any tactics that can make turning on the water easier. And there’s no tactics that’s gonna make living the life you want easier either. It’s like, you either do it or you don’t. I think that’s the really big thing and so I’ve gotten a ton of hate mail but I’ve also gotten a ton of like, this has changed my life, sort of stuff. Just recently I’ve launched the 30-day challenge. What I originally challenged you, too. I’ve built an auto-responder sequence. It sends it out for every single day for 30 days. I’ve got stories that brought me to tears coming from it. Just amazing turnaround in a month. Going from no options. I’m gonna keep this girl’s story private. So basically no options, no vision, no nothing. Has a game plan, is taking action, and just got her first client for 50 dollars now. Amazing going from a job you hate with no options to something that’s pretty spectacular. It’s all has to do with, I am in control of my life. In college they talk a lot about internal locus of control and external locus of control. When you’re deciding to turn on that cold water, you’re taking control of your life. You’re saying that I am the one who is responsible of my destiny, my outcome. Other things might impact it and they’re gonna be sensations there’s gonna be setbacks. But at the end of the day I’m the one that’s responsible for that. I think that is the biggest thing that you absolutely move forward with and train yourself on because that skill will never go away and you’ll never stop benefiting.

JOEL:
I don’t think I’ve heard that before that’s pretty good. I like that a lot. It’s really interesting. We pair cold showers with fitness a lot on my site and we’ve had people taking cold showers the last 2 years straight. We also had, we had a girl lose 70 pounds which taking cold showers. We had a guy, I wanna say like, 85 pounds and reversed Type II Diabetes while taking cold showers every day because he realized it’s not a magic trick it’s not anything. You just have to sit in, you have to take control, you have to do it. When you hear stuff like that, you’re like, I’ll take all hate mail I can get because apparently it’s working. Personally for me and I know for you it’s been a huge metaphor, huge teacher, a great lesson to learn. So beyond cold showers, you do a lot of other stuff, so you just launched nicholasreeese.com and you’ve got a couple of other businesses through Microbrand and everything else. You kinda had this online presence for a little bit, personally, and then you recently relaunched it yourself, it looks amazing. You got a lot of really great content in your videos. Made me a little depressed because I know I have a new standard to hit with video production but you kinda want to share what you’re doing at nicholasreese.com and exactly what problems you’re trying to solve and exactly where people can find that and all that fun stuff.

NICK:
Awesome awesome yeah. So for years I’ve been behind the scenes. So finally this year… I’m gonna go back a little. You know you want to keep this 20 minutes but I’m gonna kind of like cut that for a second because..

JOEL:
We’ve got all the time you want, you know. We’ll make it.

NICK:
Because this story is important. So basically I’ve been traveling a ton and I’m not gonna go into the details. My girlfriend and I at the time were in Vietnam. I got really really sick. We don’t know what was going on. I fainted and I was taken to a Vietnamese heart hospital and I was woken up with a needle on my arm and no English around. At this time I had been writing all this content that would go on to become what was NicholasReese. I’ve had a couple of friends tell me, oh no you shouldn’t do that. You should keep doing the affiliate marketing stuff. You just keep on doing the business stuff, you just focus on making money. You don’t need to build a brand. I had stopped writing all the stuff and my heart started acting up. And so I had fainted, I was taken to the hospital, woke up in the hospital and ended up spending 3 days in 3 days in the Vietnamese hospital with no on speaking English. The heart rate monitor is going off the charts and the nurse has a written note in broken english that said, come get us if the heart rate monitor is off. And it does, every 30 seconds, no A/C, it was 34 degrees Celsius, whatever that is. Almost 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It was miserable. I decided then and there, I’m like, am I not gonna have the courage to go out and put this content out there and live the life I know I need to live? Or am I gonna focus on money. At some point, paths diverge, you’re either gonna focus on money or you’re gonna focus on impact and money. Because often I think there’s a flaw that people make. There’s 3 different ways. You can focus on just money, you can focus on money and impact. You can focus just on impact. What I believe is, in our generation, we’re gonna see a lot of socially conscious corporations who are gonna be using profit as a mechanism for expanding their impact. So what I’m doing with NicholasReese is I’m really trying to help, first- people know that there’s another option out there instead of just having a 9-to-5 job. Say, okay, what skills do I need to learn? The world teaches me to be very specialized in 1 specific thing. What are the skills that I need to develop in addition to that special skill in order to go out to my own and make my own living. And then once you’ve done that for a little while, instead of going out and trying to start a business right from that with no business experience, if you’re freelancing, from there, go out there, once you’re work in let’s say 5 or 10 businesses that’s all the same. Let’s say you specialize in lawyers, or law firms. And you do something for them. You’re gonna realize that there’s a pattern that you can probably solve and now you have the expertise because you’ve work with enough of them, you can solve it. And so, from there, build a business. So basically where all this started was there was the catalyst in Vietnam. Am I gonna follow my heart or now? Since then, I’ve been focused on really impact more than anything. It’s been bringing awareness that there is another option out there. You don’t have to drop everything and follow your passion because passion wanes. Take the skills you have and build something worthwhile. That’s really what NicholasReese is all about. I talk a lot about entrepreneurship, mindset, tools and strategies for marketing yourself, just released the killer 13-page guide on positioning. If you’re interested in business and running your own thing, I’ve got a ton of stuff that can help you.

JOEL:
He’s not lying. Nick, like I said at the bar in Portland, you know, Nick is.. he’s give it to you straight and it might be a little bit uncomfortable and he’ll ask you question that make you actually do gut checks on yourself. But it’s not very often he’s wrong. You might get a little bit upset with him, you might be pushed to places you’re not always comfortable with, but it’s usually for a good thing. The content itself… like I don’t read that many blogs anymore, I’m usually busy publishing all the stuff here, and a few of my other businesses that I’m running. I tune in every single time you throw up a new post. And your videos on top of that… Nick’s videos on youtube are pretty amazing like, man, I need to come to Nashville and get your videographer to shoot videos for me.

NICK:
We got a studio we can take you up in.

JOEL:
There we go! Awesome man. You’ve got Broadband Now, do you wanna talk about that at all or no?

NICK:
So basically Broadband Now is another impact project. When I was moving to Nashville I wanted to know whether there was good broadband here. So like right now I am sitting on a 120 megabit/second connection with really fast upload speeds. But it’s really impossible to find out that information if you’re looking to move to a new city or you’re just moving across town. Even to find what providers are available. So my business partner and I crunched 184 million rows of governmental data, to make, basically Kayak for broadband. And so now we’re simplifying broadband by offering user views. Every broadband provider, not just the cable company and the telco in your area, but even the smaller ones that might offer fiber or fixed wireless which can be viable opportunities for you. A lot cheaper. We’re just simplifying everything there. So that’s like a side project, and like a pet project.Really my 2 focuses are NicholasReese and Broadband Now.

JOEL:
I think that’s really cool as far as what differentiates you from a lot of different online entrepreneurs we’ve talked about, that people are usually aware. A lot of people working on projects like Broadband Now would be behind the scenes and it’s not really apparent and people think it’s like this big monolithic company running it or something like that. And a lot of the people facing ones are like, have more businesses focused, like NicholasReese or whatever. I think your positioning is really great because you’ve built these big businesses, you’ve built these different sorts of companies that people wouldn’t necessarily know who’s behind it, or whatever. You kinda bring those experiences and then you bring it, the branding of NicholasReese and your personal sories and your challenges and your insights there and you kinda bring them together. I haven’t seen that done in a lot of places and so if you haven’t checked out NicholasReese.com, you should definitely check it out. And then BroadbandNow as well. If you have anything else you’d like to say or to plug, now’s the time, Rick. NICK.

NICK:
I think you called me Rick. But it’s all good.

JOEL:
I think Rick came out. I was like, I don’t know how that happened.

NICK:
It’s all good. NicholasReese.com. And if you’re interested in the cold shower challenge, we can make sure there’a s link on that. But, NicholasReese.com/cold-showers. It’s got a more business flavor to it. I don’t know… I know you’ve got the cold shower app and it’s awesome. But that’s up there, it’s what I’m passionate about and a lot of people get impact on.

JOEL:
Yeah, we’ll definitely be linking to those down below. Thanks for coming on the show man. It’s good to catch up, it’s great to kind of talk in person. I know it’s been a while. So thanks for coming on and good luck with everything and let’s talk again soon, let’s get you back on here.

NICK:
Definitely. Sounds good man. We’ll talk soon.
Hey everybody thanks for listening to the Impossible FM podcast. For more tips, blog posts, podcasts, videos, and a whole lot more, check out ImpossibleHQ.com. Until next time I’ll see you guys next Monday morning, right here behind the mic at 8:00 AM Eastern Standard Time. Until then, get out there, go do something that pushes your limits, and do something impossible.

 

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