676. Solving Problems Bigger Than Himself
“I was aware enough to know that if I did what everybody from my humble beginnings told me to do—go get a good job—that I would get the same results they had, which was a job lacking a sense of independence and autonomy, not really having a sense of fulfillment.”
Nigel Green builds businesses. He’s built a career in sales and marketing. From 2012 to 2015 he served as Vice President of Sales at Foundations Recovery Network, where he helped grow the business from $94 million to $350 million before selling it to Universal Health Services. In 2016, he was the CEO at StoryBrand, helping teach businesses how to communicate with clarity. He’s now on the executive team of Relode, an aggressively growing healthcare staffing platform.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“Since childhood in New Hope, Alabama, athletics have been central to who I am as a person. I often say that staying hungry is something that has been really important to my career thus far. That was instilled in me earlier in my childhood, and it comes from athletics, where you have to compete. You are only as good as your last game, your last practice. It is hard to get comfortable in athletics. I carry a lot of that willingness to compete, and that humility that comes from getting beat.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
Academic subjects were not really engaging Nigel, even as he approached his final semester at University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. “I started auditing classes outside my major, asking professors in economics and finance for permission to sit in on their classes. And I started reading books like “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” and “The Essential Buffet,” and other books on Warren Buffett. I got introduced to titles about thinking big, books like “The Millionaire Next Door,” by Thomas J. Stanley, and “Think and Grow Rich,” by Napoleon Hill. I put together my own education in my early to mid-twenties to learn about how the business world works. I decided, I’m not just going to have a job. I’m going to build businesses. That’s what I want to do.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“People who stay in their strength have a sense of hunger that does not really go away. When you see people lose that hunger, it is because of a lack of engagement, a lack of fulfillment. I have found a niche of building teams, helping entrepreneurs who have a big, scary, audacious vision, and serving them as a set of guide rails. I am not an entrepreneur, but I serve entrepreneurs by asking: What is your idea? What is your framework? How do we execute it? How do we make little bitty improvements, incremental progress over time?”
Steps to Success from Nigel Green
1. Figure out who you are and what you stand for. Set aside quiet moments with just a pen and paper. Ask yourself, “Who am I? What do I stand for?” Start writing the thoughts that come to you.
2. Study the habits of top performers, especially the ways they develop clarity about themselves.
3. Surround yourself with people who can challenge, mentor and coach you.
On His Bookshelf
“The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph,” by Ryan Holiday
“Ego Is the Enemy,” by Ryan Holiday (https://amzn.to/2lPqXHZ)
“Principles: Life and Work,” by Ray Dalio
Connecting With Nigel Green
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