I met Nick in the Spring of 2014 when I started helping with a committee at Gentle Path for their Theo Fleury event last September. I didn’t know him at all, but was immediately impressed with his professionalism toward volunteering and the event.
I was happy that he agreed to meet me for a coffee to tell me about Saint John and his love for the community here since moving from Toronto a few years ago.
On April 2nd he’s hosting at event at Bayside Middle School called – TRANSFORM SAINT JOHN 2015.
Enjoy this interview with Nick!
Hi Nick – tell me about who you are and what you do.
Who am I? This is a question I believe we human beings have been asking ourselves for ages. What I can say about this is I have figured out that we are ultimately what we say we are. I AM that I AM, while I play many roles in my life, boyfriend, Life Coach, Speaker, Cat Lover, friend, son and how many other labels and titles that I may carry, I truly am none of these things. I am simply a human being like every other person on this planet and, like every other person on this planet I am exploring myself to answer the ultimate question, who I am?
As far as what do I do, I do many things, however I have broken my life down to three main focus that all intertwine. My mission statement in life is to Strengthen Communities by strengthening individuals. How I do this is what I think is important, The first thing I do is work on my relationship to the divine, I tend not to use the word God as this word has so much history to it, God to me could mean something completely different to what you may see as God or no God. As best as I can, I do not put things I truly do not understand into a box or one definition, this keeps me open and always exploring. One thing I learned a long time ago was that to truly master life, we must never define life and therefor truly never define ourselves as we are part of life and not separate to it.
The second thing I do is put importance to those who are closest to me. The reason I do this is because I believe it starts at home, when we are placing importance on our closest family and friends we are automatically strengthening our communities, when we have strong individuals, we will have strong families and we have strong families we will have strong community. To be clear, I use the word strong not in a physical sense, however that is also part of it, but rather a broad sense of people who are empowered to live life pleasantly in all experiences.
Lastly, I work on service to others; this is my business and my title of a Life Coach. We are all servants to each other in our own expressions; some of us transform buildings, some of us fix cars, make music or work in restaurants creating and serving dishes. It’s all a form of service from my point of view, for me I build people up to such a level where they can reach their goals and dreams. While this may sound like lofty “positive” thinking, it is so much more. I encompass process and systems that are proven to work time and time again. Nothing about me or what I do is accidental; everything about me is intentional and has been trained. I am the way I am and do what I do because I have been taught by great mentors, teachers and through studies.
Tell me about what you used to do?
I use to be a rapper, I laugh when I say that as it seems like I am speaking of someone else. I also should note how life come’s full circle as I still rap today, just in a different context. I use hip hop now as way to connect with youth and gain “credibility” with our younger populations. My story as a hip hop artist allows me to have a point of connection where I can use it to now spread a different message. Hip hop, just like anything else, should not be labelled or defined, it is consistently changing and reflects the state on mind the rapper is in, when we as a human population are so consciously aware that our words carry tremendous power, we will also see a shift in all music forms. I already hear it today happening, the radio is full of songs that uplift, tell inspiring stories and create a feeling of euphoria, this is all a reflecting of the rise of consciousness on our planet.
What happened to you that made your career path take a 180?
What happens to us all when we don’t learn to be our own best friend and our own cheerleader? The “little voice” inside our head knocks us out the game. The more attention, the more I got booked and the more it looked like I was actually going to make it in the music industry the louder and louder the little voice got in my head. It said things to me like “you will never make it.” “You are not good enough” “You know what the chances are of you making it as a rapper, you have a better chance winning the lottery.” When your little voice speaks doubt you naturally begin to start to believe that little voice.
It was around this time I got heavy into drugs and alcohol. I smoked more pot than I could ever describe, I did cocaine, ecstasy, mushrooms and was mixing it with alcohol. It wasn’t long before the abuse on my body became too much and I lost all motivation, concentration and focus. After a car crash that woke me up to the path I was going down, I decided that I needed to do something different. I quit music for a while and began a journey of self-discovery that would lead me to my true calling, what I do today.
How did you end up in Saint John?
I was fortunate enough that during a seminar in Toronto to cross paths with another young man who was on a similar journey. While we have different styles and different approaches we saw that it would be mutually beneficial at the beginning stages of our missions that we work together. He brought me out to Saint John and so we began. After only 3 months it was clear that we both still had lots of growing to do and decided to go our own ways. What was interesting was during one of the departing conversations, he said, feel free to go back home.
My immediate answer was no, “I see opportunity here and what I see is a city that could use an empowering message” I instantly fell in love with the beauty of our city, our ocean and water ways and most importantly the people. I have made some of the best friends I have ever made in my life here and myself and Sarah (my girlfriend who also moved from Toronto) feel blessed to be part of this community and now call it home.
What has happened in the last two years that keep you in Saint John?
I have been in Saint John for 4 years at the time of this interview. I would be a liar to say that it’s been all roses and sunshine. Some of the toughest challenges I have faced have been here, I arrived in Saint John with whatever I could fit in my jeep and a dream to empower people and be a speaker/coach for a living. I worked hard, mainly on myself and pursued my dream with passion and determination and what I began to see was that not only was I here to serve Saint John, Saint John was here to serve me. For me, Saint John became my ground for personal and spiritual growth.
Saint John for me is a place where I have grown so much and therefore feel a great appreciation for the city and its people. I feel a huge calling to pitch in and do whatever I can to help us as a community prosper. From my perspective, that begins with us understanding that we are part of a community and we will be stronger together. That the health of each of us determines the health of the whole, let’s invest in our youth, our neighborhoods and teach the life skills that drive health, wealth and happiness. When people are empowered we will see the Renaissance that we are looking for. Always remember that the greatest investment you can make is the investment in yourself. We all benefit when you are your best.
Would you say that you are a spiritual person?
How does (your spirituality) inform your public speaking?
We are all “spiritual” however that means different things to us all. I’m just a person like anyone else; I get called spiritual because of the language I use. Inspiring people to be better and teaching life lessons seems to have put me into the spiritual category, however let’s always remember, there truly is no spiritual life, there is just life, we call it spiritual, if we gave it another name would it make a difference?
My own growth spills into everything I do, especially my speaking. You can hear it when I speak that I have learned to become a fulfilled person through spiritual exploration. I do not hold any labels, I am not Christian, I am not Buddhist, I am not Hindu… I am a human being that allows me to explore all philosophies. I believe all belief systems should be respected and treated as sacred knowledge, if one path is not getting you the results, do not be scared to explore different paths, find what works for you and go with that, there are no rules to the game.
Tell me about “Transform Saint John 2015″.
Transform Saint John 2015 is an event designed to empower and instill new perspective as well as give real life skills that can be used immediately in anyone’s life. We have musicians, speakers and even a young magician from our city that is sure to leave everyone amazed. This will be an event like no other Saint John has seen before. Inspirational, without it being religious allows us to speak on a level on humanity and not have any secular nonsense thrown into the message. We will be highlighting local success stories to show everyone, that opportunity is abundant here in Saint John, it just takes the right mindset to see it and act on it.
This is the first time we are doing this event and hope to make it an annual event that gets bigger and bigger each year. Currently we have registered 150 tickets for the event with some tickets still left, we have kept it at the lowest price point we could, $10 per ticket which allows anyone and everyone to have access to the event. Here is a link to register if this sounds like something you want to be a part of. http://tinyurl.com/m2r3hye
What’s a typical day like for you? What about your dream day?
Every day starts with gratitude’s, I make no distinction between week days and weekends, when you live a life of passion and you have created a business where your passion pays you it is truly different than the usual lifestyle. I believe it to be more natural, rather than the 9-5 deal. We are not meant to work like this and to be slaves to our jobs. Everyday consists of me working on me, reading and exercise, spending time with my family and of course, coaching, training and spreading the message of who we truly are, powerful people with the ability to create lifestyles that we love. It is different for us all however dispelling belief systems that have been instilled that no longer serve us is a powerful way to create a life you love. This is how I spend my day. Helping those who want more from life understand how to achieve that, as I have done and still continue to do.
I am just getting warmed, I feel like I have just found my voice. From the point of view of what’s next for the mission, we are creating programs, events and messaging that will blow away anything I have done so far. Myself and team are getting better each day and as we get better so will the message and our ability to help more people in a truly meaningful way. Other than that, I plan on living my life to the fullest experience I can and having boat loads of fun while I do it… What is life if you are not having fun? :)
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Purchase tickets for Transform Saint John 2015, here.