“Beauty is you being authentically you” - Nick Santonastasso
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Are you afraid of failure? Sometimes, all the tools we need for success are right in front of us, but we’re so obsessed with failing that we hold back and miss out on golden opportunities. Life will throw challenge after challenge at us, and if we don’t fight tooth and nail to overcome our fear of failure, the success we desire will always be out of reach.
Nick was born with Hanhart syndrome, a rare birth defect that left him with no legs, an undeveloped right arm, and a left arm with one finger. Doctors told his parents that his mobility would be limited. Despite all of this, Nick is constantly defying the odds. He is a bestselling author, world renowned keynote speaker and a professional model/bodybuilder. He is using his challenges to inspire others to push beyond their limiting beliefs and live a life that has NO LIMITS.
On this episode of the #IAmMovement podcast, Nick and I discuss how embracing failure is a key point in achieving massive personal growth, the importance of persistence in achieving your goals, and why we should focus on our strengths and outsource our weaknesses.
00:00 – Intro to Nick and his success
11:40 – Victim to Victor: How nick wrote his first book
15:10 – Planting the seed
20:12 – There’s always a way
25:00 – Nick’s incredible resume
33:08 – Being comfortable with your uniqueness
36:30 – How to connect with Nick
37:45 – Some sound advice
42:23 – The importance of networking
“There’s gonna be people in your life that see gifts in you that you don’t see in yourself” – Nick Santonastasso
“The number one fear for humans is fear of failure” – Nick Santonastasso
“Failure is something that I embrace because I know that on the other side of failure, massive personal growth is going to be taking place. ” – Nick Santonastasso
“At the end of my life, when i’m on my deathbed, and you know my family is surrounded around me, hopefully i’m somewhere cool, I want to look and say hey I have more remember when’s and less what ifs – Nick Santonastasso
“I use those moments of uncomfortableness and nervousness as an anchor for me to step in” – Nick Santonastasso
“I think that’s where we need to start, from within, committing to things and following through for ourselves. Step up and obtain your vision for yourself” – Nick Santonastasso
“Dial in your strengths, outsource your weaknesses.” – Nick Santonastasso
How embracing failure is a key point in achieving massive personal growth
The importance of persistence in achieving your goals
Why self love is so important
And much more!
Note: some of the resources below may be affiliate links, meaning I get paid a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you use that link to make a purchase.
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Rock Thomas: Hey everybody, welcome back to the #IAMMovement podcast. This is one of my favorite podcasts, you’re going to meet a huge man that actually comes in a smaller package. He has no legs one arm and you are in for an absolute treat
Rock Thomas: I let it go longer than usual because there were so many gems that my buddy Nick dropped for you. You guys are absolutely in for a treat. Check this out. Winners don’t hate other winners or other Triers, it’s only haters, or people that aren’t taking action that hate winners.
Rock Thomas: You got to find somebody that sees the gifts in you the gifts that you didn’t see in you. There are wealth traps, such as thinking you know it already and you aren’t open to learning.
Rock Thomas: Share your vision with everybody. You never know who’s going to get you on stage. This 23 year old young man has been on the stage with Tony Robbins already
Rock Thomas: By sharing his vision and desire to be on stage. He’s a medical miracle.
Rock Thomas: And he is going to be coming out in the near future with some music and rapping and one of his goals is to get on stage and to do a duet with Pitbull let’s watch the magic happen.
Rock Thomas: There are so many gems that are dropped in this podcast. So you’re gonna want to listen to it. Maybe listen to it a couple of times is very genuine he’s very real and Nick Santonastasso
Rock Thomas: Is one of the biggest guys in the smallest package is that you’re going to ever listen to with a sincere heart.
Rock Thomas: You’re going to see that is programming from his parents is is really affected his life, but the beliefs, the filters we look at the world through
Rock Thomas: That he is going to suggest that you maybe embrace are really, really powerful. So please help me welcome my dear friend Nick to the #IAMMovement Podcast.
Nick Santonastasso: My man. I’m excited to spend my morning with you here today. So you’re the man. I’m excited.
Rock Thomas: So let’s do this like a movie where we talk about where you are today. I don’t want to go backwards because a lot of times people will tell me your story, but
Rock Thomas: You and I met a couple of years ago at a go abundance event and fell in love with you then because of your heart, your soul, your energy, your verb for life and I’ve watched you in the last two years.
Rock Thomas: Speak in front of thousands of people in China on stage in front of 15,000 people at Tony Robbins event. And you’re how old
Nick Santonastasso: I’m 23
Rock Thomas: You’re 23 so tell. I want you to tell the audience tell the listeners about the last king of two to three years of your life, which has been kind of a really a pinnacle of probably
Rock Thomas: 20 years of programming from you and your parents and making really really cool choices with your mindset, but tell us what’s been going on the last couple of years.
Nick Santonastasso: Yeah, that’s a great question. So roughly three years ago, I moved from New Jersey where I lived my whole entire life and I moved to Tampa and I actually
Nick Santonastasso: Moved to Tampa because I wanted to get into a better environment for bodybuilding and and because I looked at Florida like
Nick Santonastasso: The weather’s great every day, like there’s a place like this, this is, this is incredible. Right. And so I moved to Tampa for a better bodybuilding environment. And that’s when a mutual friend had said, hey,
Nick Santonastasso: There’s a little mastermind. There’s probably only like eight or 10 people there from Tampa. If you want to meet new people, you know, you should come
Nick Santonastasso: And I said, Okay. And so, you know, I go to this mastermind. And I see that there’s this guy who has a bit of a Russian accent. And I’m like, you know, I’m just always analyzing and I was quiet, the first the first day.
Nick Santonastasso: And then the second time I went to that mastermind that Russian said, bro, what’s your story? You’ve been so quiet and I’m like, that’s a really long story. Do you want my story?
Nick Santonastasso: And so I told my story and and you know as I’m telling him, everybody started to listen and after that story, no joke. After that story.
Nick Santonastasso: He looked at me. He’s like, dude, you’re going to be on stage with Tony Robbins one day and and and my reply was, who’s Tony Robbins, and I’m not in personal development.
Nick Santonastasso: I know nothing about Tony Robbins, and that Russian was a rap man who is now as my business partner, one of my business partners and my best friend.
Nick Santonastasso: And so from that moment. Me and rent. We had a conversation that night, and he’s like, listen.
Nick Santonastasso: He’s like, I don’t know what it is, but I feel extremely compelled to help you get your message out there. He’s like, I’m moved by you, like, I just, I’m blown away that you drive a car because I was getting into my car.
Nick Santonastasso: And I remember that night. He was like,
Nick Santonastasso: I was like, Dude, I don’t know who you are, you know, like I don’t know who you are, like, we don’t have a relationship. And he’s like, you’re right. He’s like, let’s build a relationship. And he’s like, I’m going to work for you for free.
Nick Santonastasso: Is like 50% of my day is going to be real estate and 50% of my day is going to be. Try to book you on somewhere because I am just really compelled. And so, you know,
Nick Santonastasso: A month goes by and ratner’s booking meetings and I work my only part time job was my only real job I’ve ever had. And I was customer service at a meal prep company like answering phones and I hated it. By the way, and
Nick Santonastasso: He got me to quit my job and we went all in on this, on building this speaking company. Our first our first event was our local car dealership in Tampa for like $1,000 I gave their sales team like a pep talk
Nick Santonastasso: But the reason why I bring that up is two reasons is because one there’s going to be people in your life that see gifts in you that you don’t see in yourself.
Nick Santonastasso: There’s going to be people in your life that see something in you. They see a skill. They see a superpower. They see
Nick Santonastasso: Something that you can master and you may not see in yourself. It’s kind of like a dusty trophy, you know,
Nick Santonastasso: On a library shelf and your mom comes over and she dusts like, oh, that’s really sick. Like, she’s like it’s been there the whole time. Nikki just didn’t. You didn’t
Nick Santonastasso: Exercise it, you know. And so that’s what the guys did for me. And so we fast forward like going through this two three year journey rock, we
Nick Santonastasso: Try to build credibility. I was a 2122 year old kid that had no business credibility and was just getting into personal development.
Nick Santonastasso: You know, like, how do I jump into this industry of people have been doing it for years and years and years.
Nick Santonastasso: And so one of our core values. And one of my core values. And I know you have it as well as being a student of the game.
Nick Santonastasso: And I always tell people that, you know, one of the biggest David, I was born to call them wealth traps. One of the biggest wealth traps that people have is the know it all syndrome.
Nick Santonastasso: And so I know that I’m at that time 2221 and that I need to drop my ego, put it to the side here, here, buddy. Sit down and realize that you only know what you know and I listened to everything and went in with an open mind.
Nick Santonastasso: And not only do I listen to everything with an open mind. But, but every time I got off stage. How can I better analyze it? What did I do good? What I do is bad. How can I, you know, I’m always trying to, you know, master the craft per se and so
Nick Santonastasso: One of the things that the guys were already into was the Tony world and they had crude things they had attended and they were like, We want you to go to up W and one of our goals is for you to meet, Tony. I’m like, all right, this is great. Like, I don’t know. What are you, this is
Nick Santonastasso: My first time jumping into that world.
Nick Santonastasso: And we went to up W and another one of our skills is like
Rock Thomas: That was one about what what
Rock Thomas: What time for and give us a context.
Rock Thomas: 2017 okay
Nick Santonastasso: When I went to my first up W and
Nick Santonastasso: I was attending. But the guys recruiting and they were just like, trying to find like the key players to put me in front of and
Nick Santonastasso: I was able, I was able to sit in the cis, which is like the the personal like Tony’s personal invitation.
Nick Santonastasso: And it was just guided like you know moments of being guided there was a kid to me, to the, to the left of me was like a teenager.
Nick Santonastasso: And towards the end of the bed. He goes, My Dad’s going to take pictures with Tony, do you want to come, like, Yeah, of course I want to come
Nick Santonastasso: And so I was able to get eBay two guys back there and take a picture. That’s where Tony invited me to date with destiny.
Nick Santonastasso: I wait. I’ll fast forward the stuff that I went to date with destiny.
Nick Santonastasso: And then from there, we kind of just told the team if there’s anything you need, you know next speaker is anything you need just planting seeds, we’re big believers and just
Nick Santonastasso: plant seeds everywhere you know we share your vision to everyone, because you never know who that person knows where you never know who
Nick Santonastasso: That person what that person can open up for you right and so like a year goes by, we hear nothing. And this is a year.
Nick Santonastasso: That goes by, while we’re at Mars, like, Hey, Nick just wrote a book. Hey, this is climbing a mountain and teaching the goal setting course. Hey, you know, like just planted seeds planting seeds planting seeds. And then finally,
Nick Santonastasso: They were like Tony does a youth leadership. He’s not there, but it’s for the youth leaders in San Diego.
Nick Santonastasso: Would you be willing to speak. And I said, Sure, absolutely. And I would like you to be willing to buy your ticket out there to make sure absolutely right. Like, I don’t care, right, because I’m in the contribution serve provide value whatever I could do
Nick Santonastasso: And so I showed up I crushed it. And they’re like, oh my god, that’s amazing. And then you know me planting seeds. I’m like, if there’s ever an opening and up W, you know, that’d be amazing. They’re like, No, it’s really full like okay and so
Nick Santonastasso: Six, seven months goes by, nothing. And then all of a sudden, they’re like, Hey, I didn’t know where we got an email. It’s like, Hey, Tony was talking about with the team and wanted to bring new speakers on
Nick Santonastasso: Would you like to speak at UB W Dallas a day for energy and vitality. I’m like, I’m in
Nick Santonastasso: And so, you know,
Nick Santonastasso: They tested me out of Texas, and I knew. See, I knew rock that
Nick Santonastasso: Tony’s tapped into his events and regardless of if he’s not there and day for someone’s going to show them the video because they want to see if it’s good or not. Right. And so I show up and I just do my thing.
Nick Santonastasso: And they’re like, this is amazing. And then they gave me one of the biggest compliments that I carry with me now.
Nick Santonastasso: And a couple weeks after that event, they were like Tony saw your day for and he wants you to speak on day one to talk about the six human needs after him because he’s absolutely certain that you can keep the energy just as high as him and I was just like, oh my god.
Rock Thomas: Wow.
Nick Santonastasso: And so that was my whole story of like that three years being persistent in one gig like you get one gig with Tony
Nick Santonastasso: But other than that rock. We just been, you know, scaling the speaking company I’ve been building a relationship with a, my dear friend in China who does tours, you know, for people in Asia and
Nick Santonastasso: Despite the craziness going on. I just have a sweet spot for China because those people aren’t exposed to people like me are
Nick Santonastasso: People that are disabled, they’re there. They’re hidden away right away and the families don’t want to look at them. And so if they see someone like me, achieving all these things. It’s just like seeing a unicorn for the very first time. And so
Nick Santonastasso: I’ll do babbling, but that’s my story about the past two, three years of just being extremely persistent being a student of the game and analyzing my craft and how I can provide more value each and every time.
Rock Thomas: Yeah, it’s great. That’s awesome. I you know I think
Rock Thomas: When you get interviewed a lot. People want to know your backstory and I think they could probably go to YouTube and they could hear a lot about that and you’ve got other podcasts. Your backstory and I’m going to visit that as well.
Rock Thomas: But I think it’s interesting for people to hear a little bit about what the last three years of your life would be about because it’s been a whirlwind. And it’s been intense and you have two guys that travel with you.
Rock Thomas: You have other obstacles that other people don’t have. You’ve written a book. Tell us a little bit about your book.
Nick Santonastasso: Yeah, absolutely. So when I started when we started the speaking company.
Nick Santonastasso: I was looking for a way to add credibility right and and we were like, Well, if you’re an author, I think your fee goes up, you know, we’re learning. Like, literally, when we created a speaking company.
Nick Santonastasso: No one knew anything about building speaking companies in are
Nick Santonastasso: The three of us. And so we’re just diving into this industry new and so we’re like,
Nick Santonastasso: Yeah, I think our speaking fee goes up. If we write a book and it can also add another stream of revenue instead of just a speaking fee. We can meet and greet and sell books afterwards.
Nick Santonastasso: And I’m like, great. I’ll try to write a book and you know because I don’t know what I’m writing. And it’s funny because ratner’s like you know
Nick Santonastasso: It was just me writing to me at the time like, how long do you think it’ll take for you to write the book? I might just give me like two week deadline, bro. Like, I think I got it.
Nick Santonastasso: And so like I remember I’m sitting in my apartment and I’m typing on my laptop. And I remember I finished my whole story and I had four pages. And I’m like, man, rap music has your book coming out and like, it’s good. Well, just give me a little bit more time.
Nick Santonastasso: And then finally, I was like, dude, I was like, I wrote my whole story. It’s four pages and
Nick Santonastasso: We’re going to need help. And so, you know, in entrepreneurship right it’s dialing your strengths, you know, focus on your strengths, outsource your weaknesses and clearly writing a book wasn’t my strength.
Nick Santonastasso: And so I found a buddy. A buddy of mine. Now who basically interviews you for, like, it was, it was three two hour sessions. So a total of six hours he interviews me
Nick Santonastasso: And then they read the book for you. And so I’m like this is amazing because I know my story. You can interview me. I’ll talk about anything. It’s just I need someone to put some fluff and you know some
Nick Santonastasso: Organization in there right
Nick Santonastasso: And so the book is called victim to Victor and how to overcome the victim mentality.
Nick Santonastasso: To live the life you love. And so basically it’s you know stories from my life but after every chapter. There’s strategic questions for you to reflect and work on because I didn’t want just people to read through it. I wanted them to be able to get some sort of, you know, work out of it.
Rock Thomas: You were like oh yeah
Nick Santonastasso: Absolutely. And so was able to get that book out and it did it added not only credibility, we were able to hit like one of the top Amazon best sellers.
Nick Santonastasso: But it added another aspect to the company right and not only another revenue stream. But another way to connect with people afterwards because I don’t know about you, but I see a lot of speakers and they’ll just show up, they’ll do a thing. And then the leave
Nick Santonastasso: Yeah, and like me like there’s moments where it guys have to pull me off for our meet and greet. Because I want to meet everyone and connect with people because
Nick Santonastasso: Like people people feel that you care. You know, like we always talk about like people’s BS meters are very good. And I just want to show people like I’m truly here.
Nick Santonastasso: To serve and love on you. Despite being on stage afterwards with the meet and greets and that’s where some of the best testimonials come from.
Nick Santonastasso: That’s where some of the people come up and share their breakthroughs about you know that shift in their mind or. That’s what I love. You know, you don’t really get that if you’re just always on stage, being the guy.
Rock Thomas: Yeah, totally true. Now one of the things that I think your parents taught you, is that if you do the things that are difficult in life.
Rock Thomas: Life becomes easier and you have this, you know,
Rock Thomas: Resume of attacking life of taking on things that most people would go, What the hell they’re doing wrestling you’re doing weightlifting, you’re, you’re, you’re right you’re driving your own car.
Rock Thomas: Tell us a little bit about the importance of the role that your parents played in planting that seed. And I also want to know, you know, your grandparents.
Nick Santonastasso: Yeah. Just, just a little. I knew him a little bit. But yeah, we could talk about that as well.
Rock Thomas: Yeah, so give us a little bit of color on the background of that because it’s all it all leads toward the programming and eventually served you
Nick Santonastasso: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I always say my, my parents are the superheroes and I’m just the offspring. Because right as a parent.
Nick Santonastasso: You’re cultivating your kids mindset through your actions through your words, the way you talk on the phone. The way you drive in traffic. The way you get pissed off in traffic.
Nick Santonastasso: Because whether you think your kids are listening, they might not always be listening.
Nick Santonastasso: But they’re always watching, always watching your, you are the mirror for your kid.
Nick Santonastasso: Right of what life is supposed to be like. And so an early age. My parents sat me down and basically told me, like, Hey, Nick. This is how you’re born, you know, no legs and one arm and this isn’t going to change.
Nick Santonastasso: And what we also want to tell you is that the world out there isn’t going to adapt to you.
Nick Santonastasso: So that means that you have to figure out, you know, they called it next way you have to figure out how to do each and everything next way.
Nick Santonastasso: It may take a little bit more time. You may fall down a little bit more, but things are going to get easier and you know at that age. I don’t really know what they’re talking about it, don’t really understand it and
Nick Santonastasso: So, for example, they put my clothes in front of me, you know, they’d set a shirt there, and they say, all right, Nick.
Nick Santonastasso: Let’s go, let’s let’s figure it out and they just, like, watch me play with it. And you know, I try to get my shirt on and get pissed off. If I can just dress me like I don’t understand what you’re doing.
Nick Santonastasso: And they give me verbal suggestions, but they would never do the work for me. They would never just make it easy and do the work for me. And we can even reflect rock. How many
Nick Santonastasso: How many parents just like to do everything for their kids, like tie their shoes and put their shirts on and put their pants on. Like just the little things, and I’m not poking and I and and I don’t I’m not a parent. I’m just teaching through my life perspective.
Nick Santonastasso: By the way, I just wanted to put that out there.
Nick Santonastasso: And then I finally was able to put my shirt on and then they put me in my high chair with a spoon there and some Cheerios, and said,
Nick Santonastasso: Nick, you know what to do, you know, figure it out. And there were two things that they were teaching me: rock.
Nick Santonastasso: The first thing, like you said, was they were getting me comfortable with uncomfortable situations.
Nick Santonastasso: And oftentimes if a human doesn’t exercise the muscle of doing hard things when they get into adulthood, or when they’re teenagers, they get their whole life when something’s hard and something’s difficult and they don’t succeed right away. They run
Nick Santonastasso: Because they’re not used to it.
Nick Santonastasso: Is not comfortable for them. And another reason is because the number one, number one fear for humans is fear of failure.
Nick Santonastasso: Fear of failure. Well, why, why do we have a fear of failure is because our relationship with failure is not a good one. See failure as a buddy of mine.
Nick Santonastasso: Failures a buddy of mine. I run to failure, he hugs me you know we cried. Together we watch movies like
Nick Santonastasso: Failure is something that I embrace because I know on the other side of failure massive personal growth is going to be taking place. Because, would you agree that we learn more from our losses and our wins.
Nick Santonastasso: Or just like this. We don’t really learn much from our wins. And then the second thing that they were teaching me by, you know, making me put my clothes on and making me, you know, eat my food, a certain way was
Nick Santonastasso: They were getting my brain in the habit of being solution oriented, which is, which I think was one of the most important skills are important ways to think
Nick Santonastasso: Not only as an entrepreneur, but as human in general and so that I think Tony talks about 10% 10% the problem 90% the solution, but
Nick Santonastasso: I don’t focus on the problem much
Rock Thomas: Now my
Nick Santonastasso: Like, like it wasn’t like, Oh, I can’t get on the chairs, like, Oh, how am I gonna flip myself on that chair. You know, it’s like, well, how am I gonna pick up that spoon with my limbs? You know, it’s
Nick Santonastasso: Like even to this day, like I just want to give a little insight I still challenge myself. And so for those of you that are watching visually and then for those of you that are listening. I have a left arm with one finger and then have a right arm, which is a little bit shorter.
Nick Santonastasso: A phone charger. I can simply grab it with my two limbs and I can plug it in. But still, to this day, I’ll try to plug my phone in with one finger. I’ll try to balance it and like you know, balance it and put it in there because I’m always challenging myself.
Nick Santonastasso: And so to wrap up the two things. It’s like becoming solution oriented. That’s something that you can adopt immediately and it’s something that you can instill in your kids like when they bring forth a challenge. So what’s the solution?
Nick Santonastasso: And the solution doesn’t even have to be right, but it’s the habit of them getting the solution in the front of their brain rather than the problem.
Rock Thomas: Yeah 100% and you know I asked that question because I can relate to it. I grew up on a farm and yeah pipes burst the horses still need to be fed.
Rock Thomas: And, like you, my parents didn’t give me the solution or make it easy. They said, figure it out. Figure it out. Figure it out. And today, just like you.
Rock Thomas: I actually developed and I write about it in my book. There’s always a way my brain does not go. There’s not a way or I can’t get up on the chair or I can’t do this, it goes
Rock Thomas: Seek the way just there’s a way if you can’t see it, then just get curious, get creative get resourceful, but find a way
Rock Thomas: While we’re in this pandemic. I’m up to now 8000 oranges picked out of my trees and my neighbors’ trees.
Rock Thomas: Because I have time, and it’s fun and I’m learning because I grew up in Canada. I’m learning. What is it like to be able to pick
Rock Thomas: lemons, oranges and grapefruits from a tree. I never had that experience. Wow. Who cares. I’m 57 years old and my family’s like
Rock Thomas: What do you mean you got 8000 oranges and you froze them and you squeezed them and you did this but I’m so excited. I’m learning. I learned that if you put a knapsack backwards on your chest. It’s the fastest way that you can pick
Nick Santonastasso: Yeah.
Rock Thomas: And I get excited about that because I’m finding a new pathway. I’m young, I’m creative, energetic and I specifically asked that because I think for most people listening here.
Rock Thomas: They go to, I don’t want to lose. I don’t want to fail. I don’t want to look bad. I’m not comfortable and all that narrative where I think you and your way, me and my way embrace it differently. This is going to be fun. I don’t know. I’m going to figure it out. But let’s go get it right.
Nick Santonastasso: Yeah, and I like how you said you know like what are people gonna think of me if I fail, you know,
Nick Santonastasso: And that’s what I say. I always say I much rather be in the trenches. You know, I read I much rather be falling on my face over and over again pursuing something that I’m passionate about then being on the sideline saying
Nick Santonastasso: I wonder if or I can’t do that or hating on people that are in the trenches like
Rock Thomas: Do you know you know the quote daring greatly
Nick Santonastasso: I don’t know. I don’t know.
Rock Thomas: I don’t, I don’t have. I haven’t on my wall here, but it’s something like it is better to be the man in the arena with dust and sweat and blood on your face.
Rock Thomas: Then the judge up in the stands going over, you could have done it that way, you should have done it this way. I want to be in the frickin arena. Let me get a dirty baby.
Nick Santonastasso: Right, yeah. Yeah, I love that.
Nick Santonastasso: Anyway yeah and and and also, you know, I take it, I take it even further to like at the end of my life.
Nick Santonastasso: When I’m on my deathbed, and you know, my family is surrounded around me and hopefully I’m somewhere. Cool. You know, I look and say, Man, I have more memories and less what ifs. Like, I don’t want to regret anything. I don’t want to say, Man, I wonder what would happen if I
Nick Santonastasso: Started bodybuilding, imagine if I said that you know like I wouldn’t have this career. I have or I wonder if
Nick Santonastasso: I wonder if I did make music if people would like it. You know, I wonder if a
Nick Santonastasso: Man, I didn’t have enough confidence to get on stage, but that would have been pretty cool magic. I would have missed out on his massive page in my life. And so, you know, I challenge people
Nick Santonastasso: To have that in the front of your brain just like you got one life for what we know we get one shot at this human experience. And so like the next time that you’re like, and not do it.
Nick Santonastasso: Because I know you’re like me, rock to like we also use uncomfortableness we use being nervous as an anchor to step in. Now I like it. Now I have to do it.
Nick Santonastasso: Right. Like I almost drowned as a baby and I didn’t like water.
Nick Santonastasso: And you see me out there and I’m learning how to swim, and now I learned how to, you know, swim with a life jacket. Oh, now wakeboarding, you know, like you see how things like just, you know, progress, but
Nick Santonastasso: I use that those moments of uncomfortableness and nervous as as an anchor for me to step in and that’s also like when I’m backstage speaking
Nick Santonastasso: You know people like how do you deal with being nervous or stage fright and stuff and you know I always tell people when I’m backstage and I’m nervous.
Nick Santonastasso: That means that I’m right where I need to be that my blood is rushing through my body and I’m doing something that makes me feel alive. And if I was backstage and I and I didn’t feel any emotion.
Nick Santonastasso: I’d be doing the wrong thing and so do more things that make you feel alive, you know, that really that really gets your blood pumping and because that’s that’s the juice out of life.
Rock Thomas: So let’s talk a little bit about that. So I’ve seen you snowboard. I’ve seen you wakeboard
Rock Thomas: Wrestle. What else is on your resume of things that you do that most people would go to, even those that you know that have all their limbs would go and I’m not sure I want to do that where you step in and lean into it. Give me a little bit of a list.
Nick Santonastasso: Yeah, so I think the first thing that comes to mind is modeling and you know modeling is an industry where you have to be very cookie cutter, you know I mean it’s changing which is beautiful. Right. But you had to be very cookie at a certain height certain way and
Nick Santonastasso: I wanted to do it. You know, I wanted to become a model to show people that you know beauty is really just you being authentically you
Nick Santonastasso: You know, and, and no one can be that, and that’s the most beautiful thing, the most attractive thing you could be is really comfortable in your own body.
Nick Santonastasso: And so I was able to walk her hop the New York Fashion Week runway as a model. And that was coming from. You know that that’s a transformation, because I was a
Nick Santonastasso: unconfident depressed teenager that was chunky. You know that love food. And so to be able to, you know, swift that you know shifted and become a model. And then another thing.
Nick Santonastasso: Is when I was 14 1516 my biggest dream my massive dream was I wanted to I pictured myself performing all over the world, singing and wrapping that was my. That was my, my main goal and my parents took me to American Idol. I didn’t make it. My parents took me to the voice. I didn’t
Rock Thomas: Make it I took second in this Disney American Idol show
Nick Santonastasso: And I kind of just shove the dream under the rug because I got shut down so many times.
Nick Santonastasso: And I don’t think I was in the right mind frame or had built my character to who it needs to be to step into that moment or to step into that passion. And so over the three years of speaking
Nick Santonastasso: I’ve realized that there’s a small percentage of the world that goes to personal development seminars.
Nick Santonastasso: It is a very small percentage. And so I was like, well, how do I cast a bigger net, you know, how do I cast a bigger net and shine light on way more people that aren’t going to the seminars.
Nick Santonastasso: And I thought, well, if I can take my personal development wisdom and my life wisdom and my perspective and I can implant it in cool lyrics that people don’t even know that they’re being taught
Nick Santonastasso: Then I can reach the masses because music moves the masses. Right. And so I was like
Nick Santonastasso: Dude, this is the perfect time to get back into your passion. And now, I not only have confidence and I not only have you know proof of concept.
Nick Santonastasso: But I’m at a liberating spot where I realized, and I understand mentally that music is an opinionated sport.
Nick Santonastasso: And there’s always going to be people that like your music. And there’s always going to be people that don’t like your music. So I’m going to create music because it makes me feel good on the inside.
Nick Santonastasso: And you know people gotta catch on. Right. And so I built a studio here in the House in Vegas. And I just been recording and I’m going to be releasing
Nick Santonastasso: Just saw persistence, a song. Song song, you know, eventually, I’m going to
Nick Santonastasso: Ask Tony to do you know a collaboration with people like let me get on stage and I can only speak, but I want to perform, you know, and just like take it to the next level. And just to share with the audience a little bit
Nick Santonastasso: Like I have a line. And one of my songs. It says, Life is a wave. And I’m staring at a title. I’m just trying to be the light for the kids that have suicidal, you know, like, stuff like that, or
Nick Santonastasso: Who sees me on the street, you say all he’s disabled. But when we compare mindsets. Now I’m the one who’s able so you know like so planning.
Nick Santonastasso: See yeah so planted seeds and lyrics
Nick Santonastasso: Right.
Nick Santonastasso: And so
Rock Thomas: That is what a lot of that should
Nick Santonastasso: Thank you. Yeah, so
Nick Santonastasso: I and I’m leveraging you know my Tick tock following I I scaled my Tick tock in six to seven months to 1.8 million followers
Nick Santonastasso: And most of it is younger kids. And so what better way to get into the kids heads in a positive way then release my music through there. And so I had
Nick Santonastasso: I wrote like two lines of a song and I sang it acapella in my bathroom when I posted on Tick tock. And I went viral. That’s all I need is proof of concept that people like the voice.
Nick Santonastasso: Yeah, because they didn’t like my voice back then, but at least they like it now. Right. So that’s where I’m at, with music. It’s one of my big passions.
Rock Thomas: Well, you know, I’m not a music guide. But if you look at some of the greats, even Pitbull or Jello or Britney Spears , some critics will say they don’t have the greatest voices.
Nick Santonastasso: Yeah.
Rock Thomas: But they found a way to be relatable, marketable , charismatic and they took off. Yeah, so it’s not. I don’t think it’s, you don’t have to have a Celine Dion voice right where you can go 17 octaves.
Rock Thomas: You got to have a personality and a message to a story to share and the rest will happen organically. Right.
Nick Santonastasso: Yeah, absolutely. I think I think networking and itself. Right. Like, who, you know,
Nick Santonastasso: And so like even we moved to Vegas for proximity of, you know, speaking engagements.
Nick Santonastasso: And that way I can get one way flights anywhere in the world. And I could do most of my business here in Vegas. I don’t have to travel as much
Nick Santonastasso: But also it’s a music hub and I’m right next to LA and so I’m in proximity to a lot of things. And so, yeah, I’m excited to tap into my my other creative genius and kind of let that shine a little bit
Rock Thomas: Cool, cool. So let’s take it down another little path of entrepreneurship. So you’ve got to speaking business you you do coaching you to training you do
Rock Thomas: You do events. You also have to go to Airbnb, a little bit. You still have that going, or did you sell your house Tampa.
Nick Santonastasso: Yeah, so the house and tip of the house. We started the company when our buddy Don owned it.
Nick Santonastasso: And you know that couch for the first like I MEANT FOR THAT THAT HOUSE FOR THE FIRST like eight to 12 months I was sleeping on the couch. When we were building the business. And so we have that couch in here. It comes with us.
Nick Santonastasso: But I had talked to you and said, Dude, oh, I want to, I want to get an Airbnb and want that horizontal income. I want something that’s coming in every month.
Nick Santonastasso: And it excites me to like to learn new things right like learn new industries and so yeah that that house is a full time Airbnb now.
Nick Santonastasso: And we were able to put So Don dons mom lives there. She’s the property manager. So we are able to provide her a job right and she cleans it so she gets money off of it too. And that’s a cool feeling and how we designed the Airbnb Marcos help us is
Nick Santonastasso: It has pictures of us all over the world. So it’s like this mix Antinous so celebrity Airbnb where there’s just pictures of me inspirational quotes all over. It’s like
Nick Santonastasso: It’s almost like an entrepreneur spot for people to go and like work and and you know be yeah in that environment and what’s pretty cool is
Nick Santonastasso: Tom Brady signed to the buccaneers and so there’s going to be a lot of hype in Tampa and so we already blocked off the Super Bowl days for very high so
Nick Santonastasso: Nice is either two outcomes that happen they’re going to buy the Airbnb Airbnb for a very high and we’re going to go to the Super Bowl with that money or they’re not. And we’re going to stay in our Airbnb and go to the
Rock Thomas: Super Bowl in Tampa next year.
Rock Thomas: Yeah yeah
Nick Santonastasso: Yeah.
Rock Thomas: And so
Nick Santonastasso: So yeah, we’ve been we’ve been we’ve been learning that. And then, to be honest, rock. There’s, there’s one last piece of my puzzle.
Nick Santonastasso: I think to get back to my parents, and that is I want to retire them here in Nevada.
Nick Santonastasso: And so that is the division, because we have always had visions in mind, right, my vision. I actually called my dad yesterday and I said, Dad, if I buy a house that has a dope guest house would you retire.
Nick Santonastasso: And he said, Yes. Anything son. He doesn’t have to be dope. He’s like, I could live in a closet. And I’m like,
Nick Santonastasso: I’m like, all right, but that’s my goal. So like, eventually, I want to go ahead and buy my first property here because right now this house gets rented through the company as a workspace.
Nick Santonastasso: And so I want to buy a house that has this guest house and you know the last piece of my puzzle for my parents is being able to have them retire out here in the desert.
Rock Thomas: That’s so awesome. I mean, you’re just such a lovable guy, such a grounded person and whenever I’m around you.
Rock Thomas: I have no temptation to feel sorry for you.
Rock Thomas: And I think that you’ve, you’ve done a great job at making people feel comfortable with your uniqueness. Does that, does that make sense.
Nick Santonastasso: Yeah yeah it’s first at first, thank you for that because that’s, you know, one of my goals. And I think one of my biggest superpowers. I always say is making people feel comfortable
Nick Santonastasso: Whether that’s on a podcast or whether that’s onstage, because especially on stage. If I go, you know, go on a stage and make people feel comfortable there, the barrier on their mind drops and they’re able to listen to me with an open mind.
Nick Santonastasso: They see a guy with no legs when I’m cracking jokes about themselves, you know, dancing on stage and they relax and there’s no skeptic.
Nick Santonastasso: You know, and then and then like this guy’s legit. This guy’s authentic and genuine and that’s why you know I pride myself on just being an open book being authentic being genuine and just loving on people because
Nick Santonastasso: They feel that people feel that, and then they’ll listen to you and actually take what you say, you know, and my implementation.
Rock Thomas: You know I mean you and I were listening to add my let at an event. And one of the things that stood with me as he says as a speaker.
Rock Thomas: It’s really important. You know, try to prove to people that your strategy or method is going to work to then just prove have a belief in what you’re saying that they look at you and they go
Rock Thomas: He really believes himself. Yeah, and I think you carry that with you. You know your vision of life and your beliefs around life.
Rock Thomas: Are working for you and it makes I think people lean in and go, well, if he can see life that way. Maybe I need to borrow that belief and use it as a filter in my life. And maybe I have some better choices.
Nick Santonastasso: I think. Yeah.
Rock Thomas: Great, great job with that.
Nick Santonastasso: Thank you. Yet, like that’s right confidence.
Nick Santonastasso: I mean, we talked about 72 you know I think like I did.
Nick Santonastasso: I did for the very first time. It was a couple days ago it was
Nick Santonastasso: Like a sale off. So basically it was
Nick Santonastasso: The first round was building rapport. It was three minutes in the second round was getting them to say yes to your product or service and I was going up against the two sisters that scale john
Nick Santonastasso: Maxwell’s company for $90 million and it was my first time selling one on one, like literally I sell off stages. Right. I don’t sell on one one on one and
Nick Santonastasso: All I knew was when I built rapport. Like, I don’t really know what I’m doing. I got a few coaching, but all I knew is I sat up straight.
Nick Santonastasso: And I just was absolutely certain. And I don’t know what if what came out of my mouth sounded right but in the comments. People like Nick’s fearless next absolutely certain is conference, just, you know, shows and so
Nick Santonastasso: Yeah, I try to bring confidence in anything that I do and I think
Nick Santonastasso: I think it’s such a major role in my life because I missed it. The majority of my life. I didn’t have confidence, the majority of my life until I started to committing to things and following through on them because I was
Nick Santonastasso: You know, I didn’t have the best relationship with them myself. And I think that that’s where we need to start is within
Nick Santonastasso: Right committing to things and following through for ourselves, you know, stepping up and obtaining your vision for yourself, you know, creating an actionable steps for your outcomes and do it for yourself because
Nick Santonastasso: The only person that really matters is right here. You know, like that. And that’s what happiness is like, how do you feel when no one’s around
Nick Santonastasso: Like yeah, you can feel great on stage, you can feel great in your work and you can feel great on a podcast. But how do you feel when no one’s around. And so, and the only person that’s around when it’s just you. Is God the universe, whoever you believe in yourself. So let’s start there.
Rock Thomas: So we’re we’re wrapping up
Rock Thomas: I have another couple of questions for you that we’re going to finish strong but before I do that, what’s the best place that people can get hold of you and follow you and listen to you and etc.
Nick Santonastasso: Yeah, absolutely. So my Instagram my YouTube my LinkedIn. Everything’s the same, it’s Nick Santa Ana staff. So, I understand that’s a very long last name. And so if you type in Nick Santo I’m the guy with no legs, one arm and a lot of tattoos. There’s not many of those running around and
Nick Santonastasso: My, my boy, do that. Have you a rare disease that is still alive? Right.
Nick Santonastasso: Yeah, so at the time. So at the time of my birth. I was the 12 baby and medical history. And out of those 12 eight of them have passed away due to developing Oregon’s and then now I think there’s, there’s a few more people born with Hannah Hart and that could be any sort of limb deficiency.
Nick Santonastasso: So that could be missing on a few fingers.
Nick Santonastasso: There’s a kid Gabe Adams, who has no arms or legs and he’s, he’s a couple years younger than me and he has it. And so I’ve been, you know, in contact with him any way that I can guide him. I want to get them on the podcast and be super cool.
Nick Santonastasso: But yeah, so we got a couple unicorns running around running around the Earth here.
Rock Thomas: OK, cool. So
Rock Thomas: You have been faced with adversity and you’ve tried it through your filters through your beliefs, then you decided that there’s no winning and losing is winning and learning, etc.
Rock Thomas: What would be your recommendation for somebody who hasn’t had adversity.
Rock Thomas: And who’s their strategies. I want to avoid discomfort. I don’t know if I want to fail, and they’re playing small, so to speak.
Rock Thomas: How can they condition themselves so they get a little bit more of that warrior attitude that you have that desire to jump into the pool when they can’t swim the willingness to be nervous and have butterflies and still ask the question.
Rock Thomas: What are your recommendations to build that muscle.
Nick Santonastasso: I would say take a notepad and write down all your biggest things that make you feel fearful, all the things that make you nervous. Like, literally, you’re nervous about writing it on the page, right, and then
Nick Santonastasso: Whatever scariest maybe you don’t do that first. Right, because you need to exercise that muscle but it’s the little things right. Maybe it’s making a cold call
Nick Santonastasso: Or maybe you don’t really like people on it. You order food yourself like I know there’s little things that people don’t know.
Nick Santonastasso: That really freaked him out. But I would say, start small and do something that you’re like, Oh my God, because you’re going to create momentum. That’s what we’re really doing is trying to create momentum for people
Nick Santonastasso: And so start with starting with one thing you know that really makes you fearful and do it and then you realize like, oh, man, you got a little pep in your step, a little pep in your heart. And then you take it to the next level.
Nick Santonastasso: But I think building a real relationship is better than failure. Listen for everyone who’s listening right now.
Nick Santonastasso: If you notice, there’s, there’s no winner hates on another winner and no winner hates on a trier someone that’s falling on their face. Do you agree?
Nick Santonastasso: Yes. And so it’s only really the losers that are pointing out your failures, the only ones are the people on the sideline saying, oh, you failed, but they’re really scared because they’re on the bench as well.
Nick Santonastasso: Right. So I just want you to take a sense of comfort in the fact that no winner is ever going to judge you for your failures, they’re gonna celebrate them.
Nick Santonastasso: And no winners ever going to, you know, judge you on your wins. And that’s how you know the right people that are in your life. And so if you’re really scared about the people around you, what they’re going to think
Nick Santonastasso: And sometimes it’s your family and friends that don’t really see your vision Idi. You don’t have to cut them out, you just love them from afar.
Nick Santonastasso: But most importantly, build a better relationship with those uncomfortable things because those are going to be the very things that get you forward.
Nick Santonastasso: You know, really sculpt your I like to say avatar right like you add a piece of confidence to your plate, you add a piece of confidence and self integrity to your plate.
Nick Santonastasso: But yeah, write down some of the things that make you fearful, make you know you are nervous inside and then you see, you see what you can chip off the old block.
Nick Santonastasso: Because you’re gonna you’re going to build armor, you’re going to build armor plates, your avatar. And that’s what we’re trying to do here is just everyday.
Nick Santonastasso: get stronger, whether that’s, you know, physically, mentally, emotionally, as long as we’re moving forward, you know i i i think that’s winning
Rock Thomas: That’s awesome. Wouldn’t you also agree that by doing difficult things you build your self esteem.
Rock Thomas: Yeah.
Nick Santonastasso: Right yeah you that. Yeah. I mean, that’s like
Nick Santonastasso: Esteem would you say is like hierarchy.
Rock Thomas: What do you mean
Nick Santonastasso: Because I feel like
Nick Santonastasso: Esteem is like kind of where people
Rock Thomas: trusting yourself, trusting yourself, I would say.
Nick Santonastasso: Okay yeah yeah i agree because you see, I think it comes down like you say you’re going to do something and then you follow through with it.
Nick Santonastasso: Right yeah and i would i would also I would also tell people as humans is something that we do is we don’t self praise ourselves enough
Nick Santonastasso: Right, especially the achievers. Right. The Go, go, go. The majority of our inner dialogue is like nitpicking like you’re not doing enough. Right. And so you know when’s the last time you looked into the mirror and said I love you.
Nick Santonastasso: Yeah. Good job. Like, thanks for rolling with me.
Rock Thomas: Yeah. Well, I think that it’s one way to motivate yourself to go okay. I got that goal. I mean $100,000 and then you discount. It’s not that much, you need to make 200 now.
Rock Thomas: And it’s what I call a weak strategy for motivation, you should still be able to celebrate your wins. Yep, find a better way to motivate yourself, which is just to be the best version of yourself.
Rock Thomas: I would encourage the listeners to take your exercise and then to write each one of those fearful things on a post it note and put it on a wall and imagine you have 1000 or 100 of them on the wall and every day. You get to choose one, you take it off the wall.
Nick Santonastasso: Like it
Rock Thomas: And if you don’t take them off the wall. How are you going to build yourself respect yourself dignity, if you’re not willing to do the things you fear, but if you do
Rock Thomas: You kick into the momentum that you talked about, you start to go okay which 1am I am going to take off today. Yeah. Oh, look. So because
Nick Santonastasso: That muscle.
Rock Thomas: Yeah so. How important has networking masterminds people you’ve met been to you because you and I have gone to some similar circles. Tell me a little bit about that.
Nick Santonastasso: Yeah, that stuff has condensed 1520 years of experience into three right
Nick Santonastasso: I mean, the reason why we’ve scaled so fast, is because we’ve been around amazing people that have been able to guide us that been down the journey before that seeing the trials and tribulations and can
Nick Santonastasso: Stop you from going into that pitfall. And so, you know, I believe that we should model.
Nick Santonastasso: Like two to four people. Not too many. Because you don’t want to spread yourself out but two to three people you know are Tony. Tony adds my name in Andy for Salah is like my main influencers that are models like what their company and everything.
Nick Santonastasso: But not only that, with networking and and masterminds you also get a form
Nick Santonastasso: Of accountability group, you know, and in the importance of accountability group is not only to have people that love on you, but had to have people that push you when you know you need to be pushed and so
Nick Santonastasso: I think that’s massive for people to get in an environment of not only like minded people because we can all agree that entrepreneurship can be very lonely. If you don’t have
Nick Santonastasso: You know friends around that are kind of aligned with your journey. But these people are going to offer you.
Nick Santonastasso: networks offer your resources and offer you solutions. I think one of the most powerful things is
Nick Santonastasso: Getting an outside voice and outside eyes in on your business because they can see problems or solutions that you may not see because you’re in it.
Nick Santonastasso: You’re in it all the time. And so I think one of the most valuable things of
Nick Santonastasso: masterminds or people around you are getting new voices, getting new, new, new eyes on your business because like I said you’re in it and you don’t really see the things that you’re missing.
Nick Santonastasso: And I think that’s one of the most powerful things for us is bringing people in that aren’t in the business because they have it with a different eye and
Nick Santonastasso: Also, I’m a big believer in just sharing my vision always you know I shared some of my vision about music on here like
Nick Santonastasso: You’re literally one person one zoom call one handshake one phone call away from changing the trajectory of your life because like I said earlier, you’d never know.
Nick Santonastasso: Who that person knows or you never know who that person is. Right. If you’re just speaking out to everyone. And so I think that’s the most important thing is
Nick Santonastasso: being around people that don’t let them know they don’t just love on you. They love you, but they push you when you know you need to be pushed and they can be super transparent and be like, bro. Like, you got to pick it up your, your slack and because
Nick Santonastasso: Even for me constructive criticism I hated until I learned that it was the most powerful thing for me if I listened to it with an open mind.
Rock Thomas: Yeah, I agree with you. And I think that when you get into the right tribe or environment, the person actually will call you out because they love you.
Rock Thomas: Not because they want to be a deck.
Rock Thomas: But they’re like, dude, I see, I see you’re not in your higher self right now. And I know that’s what you want is to always be the best version of yourself. So let’s step it up here. You like no you’re right. Okay.
Rock Thomas: Yeah, you get to lean into it.
Nick Santonastasso: Yeah. Cuz if people if people always praising you you don’t really learn much
Nick Santonastasso: Right, that’s the same like you know like
Nick Santonastasso: It’s funny because the guys I’ll get off stage and I’m like how the dude crushed it. I’m like, you guys got to say something else up here. Let me go to someone else. That’s good. Like, tell me that. Oh, you need to do this right, and so they know that their role is just always
Rock Thomas: Like, dude. You did a great job and
Nick Santonastasso: They go to this. Can I go to this guy for feedback?
Rock Thomas: And you need those two and I you know I created this model called support encourage and challenge and I think
Rock Thomas: We all need all those ingredients. Sometimes you need to be supported and sometimes you’d like that little note in your lunch pail, when you go to school.
Rock Thomas: And sometimes you be told, like, hey, you need to stand up to that kid that’s pulling you at school and grow some and and and then you get punched in the face and you come home and the bloody nose and you go, I didn’t work out so well and you go, Okay, well what you learn
Nick Santonastasso: Like it
Rock Thomas: It’s a little bit of all of that stuff. So listen, Nick. We can talk all day long. I really, really appreciate you.
Rock Thomas: Mad respect and I want to thank you for coming on the I am moving podcast. You’ve given so much value. I’ve taken a ton of notes and I’m going to read it and reiterate it in your introduction. So parting words to some entrepreneurial individuals that just, you know, continue on to grow.
Nick Santonastasso: Yeah, absolutely. Well, I don’t know when you’re going to be listening to this, but right now in this craziness, there’s going to be two outcomes.
Nick Santonastasso: Were either become more mentally fit more physically fit have better habits more structure and new skills that we’re learning
Nick Santonastasso: Or we’re not, we’re gonna we’re gonna fall off the train a little bit. And so, while the world is crumbling right now. How can you create momentum?
Nick Santonastasso: Provide more value and adopt new skills that are going to take you, your family and your business to the next level because your blade is either going to come out dough.
Nick Santonastasso: Where your blades are, they’re going to come out as sharp and I’ll end with this because my favorite quote of mine.
Nick Santonastasso: Over the 23 years of my life. I realize it’s not the physical body that holds us back. But the biggest disability you can have is a bad mindset. Thank you. Rock. I appreciate you, brother.
Rock Thomas: And thank you, Nick, Mike drop on that one. And for those of you listening. You’ve just been listening to Nick’s honest it so
Rock Thomas: Who is one of the greatest individuals, you’re going to see and watch out for him in the future on the stages around the world, when we get back to normality and Nick Thank you for taking the time again today, love you, man.
Nick Santonastasso: My pleasure, brother. Love you.