787. Risking It All for What Really Matters
“I’m a connector. I just love connecting people. I love connecting people that are doing really cool stuff. And even if it doesn’t have anything to do with me, I think if this person that I happen to know and this other person that I happen to know, if they met they could do something amazing. I don’t want anything out of it. I just want to create this amazing energy. And that’s kinda the way my life has been.”
At a young age, Nigel Bennett was shocked to witness first-hand the real impact of oil spills on our natural world. After almost being shot down by FARC guerrillas on the Venezuela-Colombia border and being forced to escape Egypt while working for his father’s oil spill contingency planning company, he decided to break away and start Aqua-Guard Spill Response. Aqua-Guard now provides equipment and services that protect water, the planet’s most precious resource, in 104 countries. His new book “Take That Leap – Risking It All For What Really Matters” recounts Nigel’s unanticipated adventures as an entrepreneur, emerging philanthropist and always-avid outdoorsman.
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“I have ADHD so school and studying have always been painfully difficult for me. By taking summer school classes I was able to get into the British Columbia Institute of Technology to study mechanical engineering because my father had gone down that path in his own career. I failed out of the school within the first term. So I went to see the dean and pleaded with him to give me another chance. He said the only way was for me to retake at night school all the classes I’d failed, while at the same time taking a full load of classes during the day. I told him to sign me up! While it was quite difficult, I had many good friends and allies who helped me through the whole journey and I did indeed graduate.
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
1. Surround Yourself with Good People.
Because of my ADHD, school was extremely difficult from the beginning, but my many friends really helped me get through it.
2. Persistence. Persistence. Persistence.
Persistence has been the other driving force in my life. I never give up.
3. Share Your Energy with Others.
I love connecting people that are doing good things, even if it doesn’t have anything to do with me. I just want to help create amazing, positive energy.
4. Find Your Passion, then Follow It with All You’ve Got.
Once my son began taking acting classes he knew that’s what he wanted to do. Now he’s a working TV actor— TV movies and shows and he loves it. My daughter has always loved animals and now is enrolled in veterinary school. My oldest son just graduated from the environmental science program at university.
5. Don’t Wait.
Too many of us get caught in the rat race, plug away and watch as five, ten, twenty years go by until it becomes too late.
On His Bookshelf
Take That Leap: Risking It All for What Really Matters, by Nigel Bennett
Now available for Kindle, as an audiobook, and in paperback.
Connecting With Nigel Bennett
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Careers: Author, Entrepreneur, Oil Spill Response, Philanthropist