It’s good to have you here. If you’re looking to experience greater balance in your life, you’ve come to the right place.
I’m Andrew Sillitoe, former elite athlete, coach, and founder of The 4 Keys Method as well as the best-selling author of The 4 Keys book. My purpose is to help you enjoy an optimal life.
When it comes to business, health and relationships sometimes we get so lost in the stress of everyday living that we can’t see the forest through the trees. We overlook the simplicity and ease with which we can lead our businesses AND maintain our well-being.
In my podcast, I share simple principles that enable you to lead your business, whilst maintaining a healthy body, relationships and mindset. A balanced life is about being proactive with your body, relationships and mindset so you can thrive. Applying the basic fundamental principles opens the door to optimal health no matter where your business is at, your current level of fitness, or your relationship status.
Check out the 10 Daily Habits, as well as my daily blog including insights, tips and messages from mastermind members who have applied The 4 Keys Method to live a happier, healthier and more productive life.
I hope you’ll take the challenge to start applying the 10 daily habits —and browsing the site for personal interests and issues to bring your life into balance. Share a line on the comment boards, join my Community Facebook group, and sign up for the newsletter to receive the latest business, health, relationships and mindset tips.
I have spent thousands of hours researching how to balance a career with everyday life in order to provide you with actionable tips.
While my approach to business, health, and mindset might not always align with conventional business thinking, the techniques you find here are proven from the 1000’s of members who have experienced a personal transformation.
This podcast isn’t intended as business advice, but I hope it will be an informative and inspiring source as you grow your business and live a healthy, fulfilling life.
Welcome—and get ready to level up your life.
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Are You Really Winning?
How many X factor winners can you name? I’m going to give you 10 seconds to have a think. How many have you got?..
If you’re new to the podcast, you might have spent the 10 seconds frantically and confusedly looking through your phone or computer to see what podcast you accidentally clicked on. If you’ve joined us before you might be confused by the change in direction we’ve taken. Maybe you were expecting to tune in to a podcast that is discussing balanced living in a complex world. Perhaps you are seeking advice and support from a fellow business person who is looking to achieve results but striving to avoid burning out. Instead, you got asked to name X factor winners... And I bet you were rubbish at it.
Ok. Another question. What if I asked you to name artists whose careers have spanned more than 20 years. The musical greats if you will. Go one, I’ll give you another 10 seconds…
Who have you got? Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Springsteen, Bowie, Madonna?...And how many? Whatever your number is I am sure it is higher for my second question than my first...
We are not going to dwell on musicians in this episode because 1) we don’t have the rights to use any of their songs and are already possibly in dangerous territory and 2) they are not the entire subject of today's episode… In today’s episode we are going to be asking a big, complex question. Even bigger than “how many X factor contestants can you name?” I hear you ask? Yes. Much bigger than that.
My name is Andrew Sillitoe, this is The Andrew Sillitoe Show and today I am going to be asking “Are you really winning?”
“It’s not about the winning, it’s the taking part that counts.” This phrase is repeated by every compassionate supporter of someone who is, to use an unfair turn of phrase, a loser. Now listen, if you, like me, have ever been on the receiving end of such a comment you will know that it tends to be as soothing as a handful of salt to the wound you’ve just been left with. The only thing left to do is rub it in…
But even the winners, the people who come in first, the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote, still might not have won the whole race… So what does winning really look like, and how willing are we to challenge our preconceived ideas? In this episode I’m interested in exploring what winning really means to us, and what it really should mean.. Winning in business is often an unachievable, impossible goal, an ever moving target that is asking us to hit the bull’s eye, then as soon as you do, do it again and if you don’t, you have to put down your bow and arrow and to conclude this archer based metaphor, hang up your Robin Hood hat and vow never to return to Sherwood Forest again…
The feeling that “everyone else is doing better than me” is a common and understandable one. I felt it often. I still feel it. I feel it when I turn on the tv and see actors that look like they’ve been hand crafted by angels. I see it when I engage with social media, people celebrating their achievements that range from buying their dream home to mastering a full English breakfast. I feel it in business when I see the end of year figures that make my eyes water… If you, like me, feel like you are not really but I think it is time we talk about what winning looks like and more importantly what it feels like.
I’m going to tell you a quick story about a time that I felt I had lost.
winning, you are not alone... So listen in!
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The 16kg That Changed My Life
My entire life has changed because of 16kg. This weight I am referring to is maybe not what you’d expect. It is not the weight I lost giving me the body I had always dreamed of (this aim is problematic for many reasons but we will get to that later). It is not the combined weight of my children at certain ages. 16kg is not the amount of steak you have to eat to have your photo taken and placed on the “mega meat challenge” at my local eatery. It is the weight of my kettlebell and that kettlebell has entirely changed my personal and business life. You can’t buy happiness. But you can buy a kettlebell and for me, it is sort of the same thing.
Welcome to the Andrew Sillitoe Show.
I’m an active person. Sometimes too active. I have pushed my body to its limits and asked it to do more than it is able. I have set myself unrealistic goals, given myself too little recovery time and done myself serious damage. Often when we think of being unhealthy we think of 3 of the 7 deadly sins; gluttony, sloth and greed.
This seems to feed into this idea that the worst thing we can do is sit down and consume, and that’s sometimes true. However, I think it is important to acknowledge that putting yourself through too much is equally as damaging. It is all harmful. I have managed to find a way to set myself regular, achievable goals and it has dramatically changed my life. I’d like to share with you the secret.
As business leaders we are naturally target driven. We feel in competition with everyone, sometimes even the people in our team. I have certainly stayed later than everyone else, got in earlier than everyone else and asked more of myself than I would of anyone in my team. I told myself it was because I was the leader, the example, the person in charge. However, over time, I have come to realise it was because I was trying to push myself too far. This realisation combined with my family history of working to an early grave felt as if I had been struck by lightning. The way I was behaving was not long term. I couldn’t keep it up and so I had to make changes to improve my life. This thing that improved my life was the kettlebell. And the kettlebell is not the small mechanism my wife rings when she wants a coffee, but the 16kg weight that has changed my life.
I started to use the kettlebell in 2012, but with very little strategy, until I met StrongFirst Master Instructor Pavel Macek. Pavel uses the kettlebell daily. He uses it to improve his flexibility, strength and stamina and said I could do the same. He looked me straight in the eye and said “This will change you”
First off, I didn’t believe him...I have grown up, as you have, surrounded by the messages from companies that tell you you need to buy, and keep buying things to make you happy so the thought that I could get everything I needed from one purchase and hard work didn’t ring true. How could I get everything I need from the kettlebell?..
The truth is businesses rely on you feeling that you “are not good enough” and have created multi-billion pound industries that produce pills, clothing, equipment, dietary supplements, shakes, retreats and gyms to keep you buying things that will not give you what you need. What I needed was a kettlebell and a lot of patience.
Once I bought a kettlebell and started using it, I did not look back. I did not need to spend time away from my family because I had to workout for an hour at the gym. During the lockdown I swung it everyday, I didn’t spend my time desperately trying to navigate work, homelife and exercise in an attempt to “have it all”. I discovered that you can “have it all” you just have to readjust what that looks like for you...
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Facing your Demons
Often I find that when I hear a voice telling me I can’t do something, it is my own. Worse still, I often find that I am the only one who can hear it...
I used to find wherever I went, I was accompanied by my demons. So much so in fact that I am surprised they didn’t insist on me purchasing them a plane seat when I was travelling. Maybe they were concerned for my finances? What they were not concerned about was my mental health.
When it came to my work, my demons filled me with doubts, fears and insecurities so regularly that I might as well have put them on the payroll. My demons were persistent. They worked round the clock, evenings and weekends with the enthusiasm that you could only dream of finding in a colleague. My demons were both incredibly loud and totally invisible, like an angry ghost. In this episode, we are going to be talking about facing our demons. So I hope you’re all listening. Welcome, you and all your demons, to The Andrew Sillitoe Show.
In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed his nation as the 32nd President of the United States of American and said “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.”
What Franklin D. Roosevelt didn’t know at the time was he would soon have to lead his country into a World War and he would die in office. I wonder if he knew how his presidency would end he would have started it with those fateful words... “There is nothing to fear but fear itself”.
Fear is an essential part of the human experience. Doubts are useful. The voice that said “this seems scary, start running away.” was vital when the thing in question was a tiger. The little voice that says “I’m not sure you can do this” was helpful when the “this” was fighting with a mammoth. The little voices that make us question an outcome before we do something is the reason you are all able to listen to this podcast today. Those little voices have allowed the human race and each individual that makes up the human race, to survive…
Those voices can, however, stop us doing something we really can achieve. The warning signs that were essential when we were hunting and gathering and cave dwelling are less necessary when we are working and relaxing and power-point-presenting. We have been listening to our doubts and our demons to our detriment. Today we are going to start speaking back to them…In today’s episode of The Andrew Sillitoe Show we are talking about facing our demons.
Many of you listening will know why I do what I do. My journey to becoming the business man, coach, husband and father I am today, has been accompanied by my own demons. My father died far too young. He died too young because he was working too hard. Too much, too young. Both an incredible song and a terrible reality.
My father had his own demons and when he passed away I am certain some of my father’s demons started hanging out with me. There is no easy way to face them. There is certainly no easy way to deal with them, but as we have touched on before, nobody said it would be easy. Most things that are worth doing are difficult. The fears and doubts might be telling you to run away. I am telling you to stop and to face those demons that tell you, you can’t.
If you have listened to my previous episodes you will know that there are 4 foundations on which I believe you can build a successful business without sacrificing your health, well-being and personal relationships. The four foundations; do the work, no excuses, always ready and speak the truth are not without challenges and if you are anything like me they are not without a voice telling you your time is better spent elsewhere. My promise to you is I live and breathe these foundations. Upon them, I have built my life but in order to do so, I have had to face my demons.
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Ice Baths and Epiphanies
When something is working, we don’t often think about it. If a car starts smoothly as soon as you turn the key, we don’t think: “Thanks, car, good work today... And thanks to all the engineers and inventors who have pushed this vehicle’s design forward and thanks also to the workers who built the roads-”.
We do not. Because we would be late for where we are going to and soon be thanking our clients for not doing business with us so swiftly and our family for leaving us with such speed.
My point is When things are working, we don’t notice them. When things go wrong, we do. If the car doesn’t start, we are late and annoyed and probably swearing. If the lid of our takeaway coffee comes off as we rush to work, our fingers might get burned and we might swear again. My point is that because of this we carry around a lot of negative emotions with us and often far fewer positive ones. We notice when things go wrong and we remember them. They affect us. They change our mood for the worse.
In the same way that a child carries their favourite soft toy with them everywhere they go, we carry emotional baggage and daily stresses with such regularity we might not even notice we are doing it… Until we are told to let go. In today’s episode of The Andrew Sillitoe Show we are going to be talking about ice baths and epiphanies. Come on in and join us, the water’s lovely.
Titles for The Andrew Sillitoe Show.
I’m going to talk to you now about a living legend. Wim Hof. Not only does his name sound like he should be a heroic character in a Terry Prachett novel but he is basically as brave and otherworldly as that BUT he exists in real life. He is nicknamed the Iceman. Presumably, Iceman is the only name cooler than Wim Hof so he was rightly awarded it. If you can’t tell, I’m a fan. If you’re not a fan, it is probably because you don’t know who he is. That’s about to change…
Wim Hof runs half marathons, bare foot, on ice. Wim Hof set the world record for swimming 57.5 metres completely under ice. Wim Hof climbed 5,700 metres up Mount Everest wearing just shoes and shorts. Wim Hof has also changed my life. He didn’t get an award or medal for it at the time so I am going to give it at least some of the recognition he deserves by talking about it in today’s episode.
A couple of years ago I sat in a bath full of iced water whilst on a Wim Hof Method workshop. During the day, in the few minutes I sat surrounded by freezing cold iced water, I had an epiphany. Although this sentence might, rightly, make you question what sort of person would do that to himself voluntarily, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Like many good ideas it did not feel like a good idea at the time. It felt like one of the worst. Your body goes into shock. Your brain,that is sending messages to your body is screaming at you to “Stop doing what you are doing, immediately” like a panicked parent when you come into the room and see your child spreading jam on the sofa…
Your brain is there to protect you but, as we have mentioned before in previous episodes, with far fewer tigers roaming wild on our streets and the increase in supermarkets, things are slightly less “high stakes” in modern life but our brains have been slower to adapt in some ways.
When I was in the ice bath my brain went into panic mode. It assumed I was dying and in a way it felt like I was. It was reacting in the way it has evolved to do, to get me out of danger. The danger, though, as I have said, was not a tiger or a stampede of mammoths, it was an ice bath.
My breath quickened and got shallow. I began to tense up and became unable to focus. I was struggling. The man who was leading the exercise, Jakub, was trying to get me to focus, to listen to him. He was telling me to breath, he was telling me to concentrate but I couldn’t. Then Jakub said two words that I not only heard but was able to respond to. He said “Let go”.
Life In The Fast Lane
Thou shalt not covet. This is one of many instructions handed down hundreds and hundreds of years ago to give the human race clear guidance. However, like the terrible cook that I am (except for steak and eggs), I know that there is plenty of room for error in between the reading of the recipe and dinner time, and the same can be said for these commandments. We could be given all the instructions in the world, and it still might not lead us to perfect results.
But going back to the historical order, "thou shalt not covet…" I suppose my question is... why not? Why can't I look across the road and see a faster, more expensive car and use that as my motivation to work harder? Why shouldn't I watch the Olympics and want to look like the swimmers when I arise from a holiday swimming pool and therefore kickstart a fierce workout regime? Is there really a suggestion that wanting some of what someone else has and using that as a springboard into action to make that wish a reality is bad?
Why shouldn't we hear that voice saying, "what you have achieved so far is not enough?" why shouldn't we be riddled with doubt and the feeling that we are not good enough and we are never going to be good enough? Why shouldn't we push ourselves past our edge and into a free fall of depression and anxiety and oh... I get it.
This is the Andrew Sillitoe Show, and today we are talking about life in the fast lane.
If you run your own business, chances are you are motivated. Chances are you ask yourself questions, sometimes daily, like "how can this be done quicker?", "How can this be better?", "How can I improve?"
All of these questions are important and should be asked. But sometimes they push us to an unhealthy place; sometimes they mean we end up in the fast lane against our will or even our knowledge.
I mentioned the Olympics earlier. If you've listened to the podcast before, you'll know that I have a background in the sport. I am a hockey player, and so I have had a winning mindset for a long time. Playing sport and, in particular, team sports gives you great lessons that you can bring off the pitch and into your everyday life.
Skills such as teamwork, perseverance and hard work are vital in business. A setback in the first half doesn't mean the game is lost before the halftime whistle blows. It means you can fight back, push yourself and win. These are all skills that I have taken off the hockey pitch and into my business. Sometimes, though, I have found myself travelling at full pelt in a direction I am not sure I consented to.
The fast lane often takes more out of you than it can give back. It could mean you are spending vast amounts of energy and time to simply not "fall behind". When we are so focused on targets and data, we can forget the real reason we are here. I'm going to ask you a question now… Why did you start on the career path you are on? You can have a few minutes to think about it if you like. It's not an easy question to be asked, and I know that from experience.
I have pushed myself too far in the past. I have put profit over people and sales figures over my family. I've asked you the question, "why did you start in the career path that you're on" so I can check your answer isn't "because I wanted to own the fastest car on my street." I doubt it is. If it was, you might be feeling extremely vulnerable right now, and I am sorry for that. Perhaps you are listening to this podcast in your fast car, and you are so shocked by my almost psychic comment that you might cause a minor traffic accident. If that is you, please pull over now because we have more home truths coming your way and little to no time to wait for roadside assistance.
If you are pursuing your goals because of an inner drive to succeed, that's great. If you are pushing yourself past your limits to get the next "thing" that you want, I'd recommend you readjust your motivations. I am not judging you. Like I say, I was in that "fast lane" trap myself. Do y
Speak Your Truth
How many lies have you told today? Depending on what time of the day you’re joining us the number could be extremely high. I don’t want to rustle too many feathers so early into the episode either so rest assured they don’t have to be big lies. I’m not out and out calling you a liar…But chances are unless you’re living an exhausting and time consuming double life or have been a successful secret agent, the lies won’t be big ones but you will have told some. But how many?.. Roughly?.. I would be surprised if your answer is zero. In fact, if your answer is zero, I think I will call you a liar…
A recent study conducted by the University of Massachusetts found that in a 10 minute conversation 60% of people told on average 2-3 lies. So depending on how long you’ve been awake today, chances are you are racking up mis-truths into at least double figures… But don’t feel bad. It’s not just you doing it. People are lied to between 10-200 hundred times a day. It seems we’re all at it.
So is honesty really the best policy? Or are we being lied to about that, as well?
This is The Andrew Sillitoe Show where we talk about balancing living in a complex world. Thanks so much for tuning in. I’m really glad you could join us. Honestly.
Today on my Show we are going to be talking about speaking the truth. As you heard from my introduction, truth telling may not be as commonplace as we think it is. However this idea does prove that telling the truth can be difficult. If it was easy, surely more of us would do it more often.
There is science to the lies we tell. For example studies show that about 25% of lies are told for the benefit of others, to protect them, support them and assure them that no one would have noticed how drunk they were at the staff party and they really have nothing to worry about on Monday morning…
This means, however, that the rest of the lies, the 75% of the lies we tell, are to benefit ourselves. The thing is though, they might not be benefiting us as much as we think.
If I ask you to think of what you want, what would your answer be? Unless this question is at the forefront of you mind daily, it might be hard to answer, but I am going to encourage you to have a think…What do you want?…
I want to be really clear that I want you to search for an honest answer. Today we are going to start getting to the truth. This question was probably easier to answer when we were younger.
I think the reason we as adults like asking children “what do you want to be when you grow up” is because the answers are often hilarious. If you asked me what I wanted to be when I was 6 I would have said a HOCKEY PLAYER*. I said it with confidence, honesty and determination. If you’d have asked my friend Katie when she was 6 years old she would have told you she wanted to be a Dinosaur. When I asked my son, he said hockey player. My daughter wanted to be a police.
All of these dreams were clear, honest answers to the question “What do you want to be?”
As we get older and have more regular visits to “the real world” not only, often, does our passion go, but also our honesty. I am going to invite you to have a quick think about what you want and I want you to answer honestly. Only when we know what we are seeking will we know when we find it. Being honest about what you want is the first step towards achieving it. So be honest. What do you want?
Once you’ve worked out what you want, the next challenge is of course, how do we make it happen? This question is another where lying to yourself and others will not serve you no matter how much you think it will.
Let me give you an example. I, as many of you know by now, play hockey. I love playing hockey and I am motivated to keep playing and improving as much as possible. I want to be the best player and team mate I can possibly be. If I want to achieve this, I need to be realistic about how to do that. It
I feel lost without Andrew’s 10 min podcasts. Perfect start to the day as i drive to work! Gives me vision and clarity. Excellent work 👏
Value and perspective
2020:Andrew’s work brings great value and perspective to some key areas of life and business.
4/3/21: Andrew is a wonderful person and excellent professional. He takes his commitment to serve to another level and this podcast is one more proof of this. Thank you Andrew for everything that you do to improve other people’s lives
Empowered podcasts that hook you from the start.
You’re immediately engaged in these conversations from the off. Andrew speaks to a broad spectrum of guests discussing a range of topics from leadership, keeping a positive mindset and overcoming life’s challenges, complimenting his book, The 4 Keys.
Insightful, motivating and inspired. 5*