Where are you from?

Melbourne, Australia

Tell me a little about you.

So my background is born and bred in Melbourne. Yeah. A career in business development. I was married for 18 years. I had different corporate roles, business roles, went through a life changing transformation where I survived stress and anxiety burnout and since then, that was six years ago, and since then I’ve been on a mission to transform myself to transform other men and other people and create success without stress.

Basically, through my own life experience, so surviving stress and anxiety burnout and getting to the other side but having a total life breakdown, ending up with nothing.

And really it was a choice. I had two choices one to give up or one to take one step in the right direction and due to my three kids, who were teenagers at the time, I just thought of them and thought well there’s no other choice but take one step in the right direction.

And so I started that and then started getting good people around me. I started getting good coaches, good mentors and really came to a decision to take it one day at a time to just make each day better and better.

And so with that thought, that mindset, and the right people around me, in twelve months I just totally transformed. I was a 135 kilos so I lost 40 kilos of weight. I transformed mentally and emotionally and really restructured my whole life around still wanting to perform and create and be successful but with no stress. And so, I’ve just been on a six year journey to do that and now am helping others do that as well.

What’s important to you and your life?

What’s important, firstly is my own peace of mind so my inner peace. So I work, I continue to stay in that peaceful state and manage and monitor my own well-being.

So that’s first and foremost, then family. So, my wife my kids and then extending out to my people around me. So really it’s about people, so me first and then people around me.

And really knowing and having my own experience of what I went through, when I see that in others it’s really important for me to help in some way.

What does that look like in reality?

So, in reality, because of my background in business and my passion for business and creativity and creating well-being for people, I work with business owners and entrepreneurs and help them manage firstly themselves so that they can perform well and then help them with their teams.

So it’s all about still being creative, still creating success but eliminating stress. And so there’s a whole heap of tools and strategies that we can use to really get peace within ourselves and then spread that peace to others.

Are there any specific experiences or people that have shaped your view?

Yeah probably. There’s a couple of key people that I first reached out to in my life. One’s one of my mentors Luke Matias, and he’s an entrepreneur and also an elite fitness athlete. Really he was the first one that I reached out to and said “How do you do it?”

And he showed me the way initially with the physical health and also continues to be a mentor in terms of mindset, in terms of just living combining life and business and everything together in a peaceful way. And then, yeah, probably my wife who keeps me in line. Her motto is “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

[00:05:13] And that’s great in one way but can also be confronting when we have to confront our own realities. So yeah that’s something that’s really taken some work for me. Yeah I know because it is a lot of that self-deception: “Yeah, I’m really good. I’m really perfect. I’m really good. I can do this.”

And then you self-deceive and you sort of break down and you’re in this flux of lack of integrity, so she’s been great in terms of teaching me to stick with the truth and live in the truth.

Do you mind me asking like what was the trigger point for you? What was the thing that happened?

The thing that happened was trying to be successful in business and life you know chasing that dream of what success looked like but not being aware of the stress and anxiety that I was suffering and over 25 years that caught up with me.

And so basically lost everything. Broke down marriage, lost a business that wasn’t working. Really my health I had a long list of pre diabetic you know mild depression aches and pains, headaches, migraines, the whole lot, everything was collapsing and falling apart.

And when it really fell apart that was that was the trigger because I was there I was left with nothing. I really had to examine what is this life. Yeah what is this life and I really have to face up the fact that the way I was doing it didn’t work.

And so I had to look in the mirror and really say well. “What’s next?”

That didn’t work. And I just totally gave up on everything. Every strategy and everything I worked with and went on a journey of looking for wisdom from others that may have had the answer and so that was a sort of a 12 month journey that I somewhat made from discovery.

One of the big things I found was an area I work in now is working with a tool called the Enneagram and basically it breaks down your core human dynamics. It gives you a map inside and really gives you understanding of why you do what you do. So, what are the core drivers, the behaviors that drive your behavior?

And so that was that just open up my eyes because I felt like, here I was this successful person that could do all this great stuff and here I was this miserable failure. So I thought I was like nearly schizophrenic. Know there’s two personalities.

And so the Enneagram gave me the link in between that the same drivers would drive me to be a failure or could drive me to be a success. That I had to understand what they were and handle them in a way that gave me the good behaviors that allowed me to move towards a more successful but also a peaceful success and joy and happiness rather than pushing and striving and thinking that I’m doing the right thing. And sort of packing up my world with probably a false and deceptive ego that really was maladaptive.

So they just open up my eyes and so that that really gave me some deep understanding of how I operated and why I operated the way I did. Then once I had that awareness I could then work with it, so I could work with the bad habits because I knew what was driving it and I could work to build good habits.

And so, that understanding now, that’s what I look to align with. So, it’s all about integration, so it’s all about integrating what you are and how you are and using everything you know about yourself in an adaptive way and doing stuff bigger than yourself too.

So what’s the thing you’re doing now?

So this is this is what we call the 13 minute fitness club. This was part of my transformation journey because I really couldn’t get fit and one of the one of the things I started with was just doing 13 minutes of fitness a day because mentally that’s all I could grasp I could do.

And so I started sharing it with other men and so I started on a Sunday morning putting it out there for men to come down and join me at the shrine.

And we just do 13 minutes of exercise. That’s it. And then we go and have a coffee and some discussion and talk about men’s stuff.

We’ve been going for about 2 years now.

For some weeks early on it was just me in the middle of winter. But I just put it out there and show up, show up. And now we have a group of men that turn up regularly.

About Sean Nicholas O’Leary

Sean is the host of The Transformed Man Podcast and the founder of Growth Zone Coaching.