Jan. 19, 2022

E184: The Power of Your Voice with Blair Bryant Nichols | Trauma Healing Podcast

In this episode, I will have a conversation with my friend Blair Bryant Nichols as we dive into the power of telling and sharing your story. This podcast episode that I particularly love because one Blair has been an amazing friend to me but two at...
See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/e184-the-power-of-your-voice-with-blair-bryant-nichols-trauma-healing-podcast/#show-notes

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In this episode, I will have a conversation with my friend Blair Bryant Nichols as we dive into the power of telling and sharing your story.

This podcast episode that I particularly love because one Blair has been an amazing friend to me but two at look at the truth behind his message and his mission about wanting to have conversations and give people the power and the ability to share their stories.

I think that as human beings, storytelling, whether it be at the campfire at the dinner table, has always innately been a part of who we are. And I believe that we all have the space; we all deserve the space to share our stories, insights, dreams, and missions with the world.

Do you ever feel like you have a story that you want to tell, and somehow even though you feel called to do it, you can't seem to go through with it?

And so, if you're one of these people, and you've thought about this, I want to tell my story, I want to be able to start this movement, have this conversation. You felt stuck, or you want to figure out how to go to the next level in that, I suggest that you listen to this episode because Blair and I are going to go deep in them, and we’re going to help you in your healing journey.

Learn more about Blair Bryant Nichols, visit: https://elitespeakersagency.com/

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Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you're doing well, wherever you are in the world, my friends. Super excited, to be back with you here again for another episode of the Think Unbroken Podcast with my great friend, Blair Bryant Nichols. Blair, my friend, how are you? What is going on in your world?

Blair: I'm doing well, Michael, thank you so much for having me. Just keeping busy, keeping warm down here in Southern California and trying to enjoy every bit of this summer that we're actually having.

Michael: Yeah, I know and it's nice we actually can start to have a little bit normality back to our lives after the last almost two years now, but either way I think people have heard enough about that, we won't dive into that. So you and I connected a couple of months ago after I had one Grant Cardones pitch-off through our mutual connection of Pete Vargas and I've got to know a little bit about your journey and your story and what you're trying to do and create in the world. And I thought to myself, this is a person who has made a decision to create change and that's something very difficult to do in the world, especially in consideration where it's very simple to stay within the framework of the nomenclature of this is how it is so we're not going to do anything and I'm adamant about creating change it's the only thing that drives me. Before we get into that we dive deep, tell everybody a little bit about you, your journey, your story, and how we kind of cross paths.

Blair: Yeah. Sure. So, we cross paths because I also co-host a podcast called Inside the Green Room and we love speaking to speakers who are really leveraging speaking opportunities and stages to grow their business, and share their message and make change in the world and we also talked to event professionals. And it's exciting to talk to people in this time and see you know, all the innovative things that people are doing and all the amazing inspiring people who are really getting out there and using their voice for good and also just to grow their own business and kind of go against the traditional 9 to 5.

So, my journey started it when I left college, and I wanted to get in the publishing world and I landed in the HarperCollins speakers Bureau, which is kind of a hybrid of what I thought I wanted to be, as a publicist and agent. And I learned all about this crazy world of speaking where people were actually getting paid to go out and speak to Universities and libraries and now it just feels like the whole industry has exploded because at the time, still sending DVDs and just starting getting kind of video clips up on websites and leveraging all of the benefits of social media that now anyone can really get themselves out there as a speaker more. But I started in the world of authors, getting them out there, speaking the Publishers obviously wanted to get more books out into the world. And so I got to really see, you know, the wide variety of books and people that were getting published and getting their voices out there and starting to see what diversity was actually represented in those books and in those speakers, and I always just found myself gravitating towards people who were different.

You know, I grew up gay in a Catholic school and other than that, I'm a white male, so, I didn't have a ton of diversity in my background, I didn't have a lot of privilege, but I always gravitated towards people even when I was growing up that, you know, we're sitting alone at the lunch table or who were not as popular as everyone else because I felt safe and I felt like, I wanted to extend kindness and friendship to those people. So that's always who I kind of was drawn to growing up and who I decided, I really wanted to champion as an adult and as a professional.

So, throughout my career, I moved around some different agencies, worked for different thought leaders, got to really work on all sides of the business, got my MBA at UCLA in entertainment management and throughout that kept kind of questioning what I wanted to do. Do I want to go the corporate route of talent management and be like, a HR, professional something like that? And every time I kind of lingered in that direction, my heart and my gut kept saying, no, you know, your goal is really to work with talent that inspires you, that feels like friends, that feels like family people that you want to spend birthdays and anniversaries with and really just get to do everything for them because you believed so much in what they're messages their potential and be able to help them grow beyond, even speaking and publishing in all different areas, of media, entertainment, etc., and help them really grow their business expansively.

So the idea of being a manager, kind of, kept coming back to me, but having a background in speaking, I have continued to serve roles within agencies to really help different types of speakers. And now I really get to work with a wide variety of speakers who are leveraging stages to grow their business and getting their message out there whether they're just getting started or they've been in this for a long time, I get to do that and I get to also manage some amazing diverse clients as a manager from Myo management firm and really help them grow beyond the platform that they've already established the business that they have and can figure out new revenue channels, new opportunities to get their message and voice out there. So, that's kind of when you and I collided and I felt like this guy is doing amazing work, he's got such an amazing story and would love to just continue to help champion and more people like you.

Michael: Well, thank you, and I appreciate that and that is mimicked as well from this side. One of the things that I'm constantly thinking about is this idea of how do you really truly step into an honor your intuition? And move towards creating the life that you want to have? Despite or sometimes, even in spite, of what people say is capable, what people say is possible, of being the outsider looking in, wanting to create change and feeling so vehemently to do so. And then being at this, precipice order is a crux of having to make a choice that effectively blows up your life and a lot of different ways, but you believe in it so much that you're willing to trudge through, whatever is right there in front of you, and I hear that as a big part of your story and your journey to this moment. What's it been like for you to tap further and deeper into your intuition and and trust in yourself?

Blair: Yeah. I love this question because just even what you were just sharing right there, you know, had me thinking that it is. Sometimes, it's about trusting your intuition, but also being honest with yourself about what I'm willing to compromise. So a lot of times throughout my career, you know, I had opportunities to work with people that I wasn't as aligned with and maybe when I was earlier in my career, I kind of felt like it came with the territory and as I've gotten older, I've just gotten more obstinate and not really wanting to help elevate, voices are messages, or individuals who don't align with my values or don't align with what I think is really needed in the world or what I'm passionate about whether or not, it's needed is not always up for me to judge. But your question about following your intuition and passion, I think, even if throughout business call business school, when I had that calling like you move to L.A. to be a manager to do this thing and when I first moved to L.A. I had gotten a job, I was working for a thought leader, I was helping run his business and his speaking engagements were really business development for us. And but all along I said, but you want to be a manager, so we're here was already about five six years into my career and I've done pretty well in New York. And so I met with managers and got the Hollywood treatment of sitting down and getting people to do coffee or lunch with me and each time I did, they said, yeah, you know, you've got good experience but if you want to do this, you'd have to start over it as an assistant, and we pay 30 grand a year or you can do an internship or you can do these things. And at the time, I don't know if it was Hubris, ego or anything else but I was just like I'm just not willing to give up my steady salary and almost six figure job, you know, right now to go back to what I did already in New York. I was an assistant in publishing, I made 30 grand, you know, I paid the rent and live paycheck to paycheck. I kind of feel like I'm going to keep building what I'm building and I'm going to figure out how I can at least move laterally, over more and more and kind of like, inch my way towards what I really want to do. And instead of just deciding at this moment to like you said, kind of blow it up and start all over. So I think those are always the choices we have to make. Are you ready to really sacrifice everything? And maybe you are, maybe you have that level of confidence or security or you've made it up in your mind that it's you're not going to be happy unless you pursue it in this way or you figure out a different path; a path that starts to lean, starts to lean towards what you really want to be doing and so that's what I did. I pursued my MBA knowing that, you know, it would at least give me maybe even some more internal confidence that I know what I'm doing and that I can actually add value to the relationships I wanted to build with clients beyond what I already had done in my career. And it did it really made me feel like, okay, now I have a little bit more to build on, and I just kept taking that next step, taking a job that still allowed me to get exposure to the world that I knew a lot about and continue to just move towards the security of your own business and everything else.

Michael: Yeah, and I love that. One of the things that you mentioned was was values, I actually wrote it down because it's such an important reminder, you know, because it's alignment, right? And I think often when people are stepping into the unknown, fear can be even more precedent if you're not certain, and you used the word in this as well, certainty. And in that, you step into this thing about trusting yourself and about believing in yourself and I know as an entrepreneur myself and trying to build things, there's always these moments of the limiting self beliefs and the negative self-talk in the thing in your head that says, are you crazy?

You're going to walk away from all these things to try to build your dream, how dare you. How do you navigate that? Like as an entrepreneur, as a business person, as someone trying to create an impact change on the world, how do you be louder than the voice that tells you; you can't, shouldn't, don't or won't?

Blair: Yeah, I mean in my case it was about aligning with clients that kind of helped build me up. I really have gravitated to clients who have been very complimentary have been very generous have been engage with me and have actually helped me like realize what I'm capable of and what value I've brought to them. So I've almost kind of unfortunately, relied on the reflection of the people that I've served and what they have shared with me on the impact that I've made in their business, or in their lives and the relationship that we've built that it started to make me feel like, okay, this is why I want to continue these types of relationships because it's not just they're validating and gratifying but there is a mutual respect, there's a partnership, there's a shared language that makes me feel confident I can be honest, I can be candid and that were both accountable to each other and getting things done.

The role of a manager in my mind is to be a strategist and to keep nudging and helping encourage someone's creative dreams, but also to be the one that's kicking them in the butt as much as they are kicking, you in the butt to say, hey, this is they say to me, you know, this is my dream, this is want to have happen like help me. So that mutual accountability and respect for each other, I think drives both of us forward and that's what's helped me kind of quiet those inner saboteurs or the critics that think like, who are you? You're you're a nobody like look at all these other really amazing managers and agents and you know, especially in L.A. or surrounded by enough people that you can easily feel inferior. But I know to the few clients that I work with or the the many hopefully authors and speakers that I've worked with over the years that I hopefully have made an impact, I have made a difference and in the success of their book or getting out there as a speaker for the very first time or building something beyond what I could have imagined myself doing a long time ago. And then, so every once in a while, I have to kind of, hopefully, reflect on how far we've come and how I'm unique in this industry and not just another person that they could easily replace and so I do try to use all that to help fuel.

I think the biggest thing is just working on yourself and even if it doesn't relate to your job, I know all of the things that the practice is that you have. I also meditate and work out in the mornings now and I never thought I would be the person doing either of those things and went vegetarian and just all the things that I do to try to take care of myself in different ways. I think is also really helped me in an emotional, and a mental way, because it just helps, if you feel good, you're going to work better, you're going to find more joy, more confidence in what you're doing and the stress that used to really, sideline, me and force me to self-medicate with weed and alcohol for years and years has dissipated. You know, I've got enough perspective now to say, yeah, that's someone's upset, someone's different results this or that, okay, you know, we go to work to solve them but I let anxiety and stress and kind of crazy bosses that I had really run me ragged for a long time and I've been working on walking out of that and really, just owning what I want my experience of my career to be by being intentional about the people that I choose to work with.

Michael: Yeah, I love that you mentioned that it's not as simple as just doing the things for your job or for your business. And I found just by doing the work for me first by proxy, that impacts everything in my life but much like you like I can rewind to a time 10, 12 years ago where I think personal development self-help, these guys are full of shit like this is nonsense, I'm never going to do any of this. And now it's almost the only thing that I do because one of the things I recognized was if I'm the smartest person in the room like I'm in the wrong room and I just kept like trying to push myself more and more and more. One of the things that I found to be so incredibly beneficial and you kind of hearkened into it but I want to go a little bit deeper was being surrounded by the right people in alignment, and with my values and who it is that I want to be and what I want to build and become. Talk to me about the power of community in your life and how that impacts you not only as an individual but as a business owner and entrepreneur and as a human being, what is the power of community like for you?

Blair: Yeah. You know, I struggled to think about a lot of communities that I really do feel like I've been part of this speakers Bureau kind of speakers agency world, I've got a lot of connections within that and that's been really amazing because a lot of us move around and then I continue to see the same faces and people and it's great to feel like, you know, you've got a history, you've got rapport with a lot of different people that are passionate about what you're passionate about and are doing that and I can support you in a different way and so that's been really amazing.

You know, as you change jobs and move other places, the people who reach out and the people who kind of lift you up and encourage you, and been excited about your next venture, and all of that. But also coming out of business school I've taken on the responsibility of leading, our LGBT Alumni group for Anderson, and that's always been a little bit of like kind of my mission is getting involved in boards, getting involved in other nonprofit organizations that serve the community and that help align people with different connections. Even before I was a manager and an agent, I loved helping people just connect to jobs, if I heard about someone hiring, I would be going through my mental rolodex to figure out if there's someone that I thought might be a fit for that. I've helped friends right out of college, get their first job in New York and ultimately set them up for the rest of their careers, and I don't say that to brag, but just because it feels very exciting to me to be the one that can help align people with their creative dreams, with their things like that.

So I think about the different kind of communities that I've come from with my undergrad alumni or now my business school alumni and then different friends and colleagues I've met along the way and always am grateful to hear from previous people who've worked for me, who still want me to be a reference like five, six, seven years later because they know that I'll pick up the call and actually speak kindly about them and encourage them on those next things. So I think all of those different communities along the way have helped me, connect and make connections that have been meaningful to my career but also the joy of giving back and being able to help them as really probably been a lot more gratifying than anything they've ever done for me, because I just have loved playing that role of connector and being someone that hopefully people can come to when they're looking for their next gig or when they're asking for help with something and I think it's just nice to be needed sometimes and to be the one that isn't looking for a quid pro quo from it.

Michael: Yeah, totally right. I look at the vastest change in my life coming, when I was just like, I'm dedicating myself to serve us, I'm going to put myself out there for the benefit of other people and it was so powerful. One of the things I think often happened, and I know people listening or watching right now, probably have this experience because I know I certainly did just having this ideation of want to help, I want to show up, I want to be on the board, I want to leave the committee, I want to do all these things and honestly, feeling paralyzed by the idea of even stepping into the room, right? But go, they'll sit down, they'll Google it, they'll find the date, the time, they'll write it down, the put it on their calendar and their phone, they'll look at it and they won't show up. As someone who has done into, has stepped into, has walked into, has been on the board in the committee's and doing the things, if you're a person in that position, what advice do you off of them? What kind of tangible something can you give them to help them step into that next thing?

Blair: Yeah. Well, I think as an individual, you need to think about, you know what, how much time can you give and how much do you really want to spread yourself around? Because you have to still be intentional, you can't just be a joiner enjoying everything and then do nothing well. So, even coming back to business school, like going to business school, it's a weird sort of like two to three years, where you have to join clubs, you really want to make connections, you've got to get involved in a way because you're investing all of this time and money in this degree and it's a lot more than just the degree, it is the community, it is the network, but I always would tell people because I served as like, head of our ambassador program and the people who come in to interview and do tours things like that. So I talked to a lot of prospective students and I would tell them, you know, you choose one social group, choose your Industry group and choose your other either affinity group, which is what we call like the either the African-American or Latino or gay or whatever, you know, groups that matter to you and just focus on two or three like you really can't join every single club and group in this and that and expect to have meaningful impact or build lasting relationships. So I think the same thing as your adults in your career and you're getting involved in other things outside of it, be intentional and then just choose one thing that you can do to contribute, you don't have to be the president of the board, if you don't want to have all of that responsibility but if there's one initiative that you can help contribute towards one thing that you're passionate about. Go after that one thing, that one organization and really just do the most of what you can with that. If you choose to be a leader, if you want to be someone, that kind of owns the responsibility of a board or an organization or something, then it's all about building a team around you.

You know, when I was asked to kind of take over as like this new revamped Alumni Association, you know, the first thing I had to do is build a board and there's been amazing people who are on my board who always show up who always play their part and there's people sometimes show up and then don't really play their part in, there's people who don't even show up. So you start to learn obviously who you can rely on and that’s what I wanting to kind of point out to people is, if you volunteer and you don't show up, it's reflecting on you, like that's another, community that you are now not holding up your end of the agreement and that's something that isn't a net positive to you or your life. So if you're not going to put the effort in, it's actually going to look worse than if you had never volunteered in the first place. So from my point of view, I just would recommend like, you know, just choose wisely and actually be all in, even if that means you're just doing some small piece of it, but at least show up for your piece of it because otherwise, it's just going to be a net negative to everything that you're doing and you're actually harming the relationships that you otherwise would be building. So I guess that would be my advice or just my perspective on that.

Michael: Yeah, and I think that's very fair because I think about it all the time, if you want to be involved in something than be involved in it, show up, do it, do the thing that you say you're going to do hold yourself accountable. It's a word that people don't want to hear like it's the truth about it. I'm sorry, but if you want to create change in your world, you have to create change and ultimately that means showing up that means doing the hard thing. And sometimes that means you put it on your calendar, getting your ass in your car and driving into the place and walking in the door because you never know someone, someplace, something, some moment could change everything for you. One of the things that I know for certain from my own experience that many people have such a difficult time with is accepting the truth that their voice matters. And this sits with me often like growing up, being a kid who was forced to be silent for lack of a bit like actually literally forced to be silent to step into a teen who didn't know how to use words other than anger to my 20s like this weird juxtaposition of trying to use words to fit in to then turning into like understanding how to use my words to empower people but throughout that entire journey trying to reconcile with myself that I matter, that my voice matter, that I could create and in fact, create change in the world as someone who is with change me is constantly, I know this holds true for so probably the vast majority of is, if not, 99.9%. There's somebody listening right now, we're all there ever thinking about is like, I want to use my voice to make the world a better place, but they're terrified of shame, of judgment, of ridicule, of self, right? How do you start to step into that? How do you start to leverage the power that you have to start to use your voice in a way that matters?

Blair: Yeah, it's a great question. And I was actually just speaking with someone yesterday on our podcast, there's a master facilitator and we talked about how important it is to build more events and opportunities that actually engage the audience that doesn't just make the audience, passive listeners, it really actually gets them active and it encourages them all to share their voice and to be a part of creating the future together, creating solutions, uncovering answers. You know, so I do really feel so strongly about every voice, really mattering that it's not just the leaders at the top of an organization or group, its everyone that has a perspective and collectively, it all creates really amazing effects when everyone is engaged, when everyone is contributing but you know, even as much speaking as I've done in as many speakers as I've worked with I think we all still get that. You know, heightened adrenaline and your heart racing when you raise your hand in a meeting, or in a classroom or anywhere to even answer a question, you know, but it takes practice. So, what I would say is, overcoming the fear of being rejected or being judged by whatever you're going to share in any context were for the first time, you might be raising your hand and standing up and sharing that but there will be someone in that room that will be so grateful for what you shared because it might have been the same thing on their mind or in their heart and there's going to be other people in the room who will be enlightened by what you have to share. There might be people who because of what's going on in their heart and mind might judge you, but that doesn't matter. I just want you to know that it doesn't matter if someone judges you for what you believe, or what you want to share, because there is always going to be a greater number of people who will benefit from it. And I hope that it's a space that has been created and who's ever leading a discussion or who's ever in somehow, you know, has some sort of leadership within that organization, or community recognizes the value of what you shared and that will incorporate and inform, you know, what happens next.

So, I would just encourage anyone, whether it's writing that first Facebook post or creating a Blog and sharing things that you thought you'd never be able to share, you'll be surprised by you know, who comes out of the woodwork in a positive way and says how meaningful it is to them to see that and you have no idea how many lives you may change and help. And you know by doing that too many of us, really hide behind what we want people to see, what we want people to know about us, or what we think that they want to see from us or to express, we think they want us to be that it doesn't ever helped anyone, people can see through kind of in authenticity. You know that for yourself you can see through when someone is not authentic. So being authentic in any context on any platform is so important because it is what creates change and it is what leads to bigger broader conversations and it's what really helps and some people will never tell you, you'll never know how many people that you've helped.

Michael: Yeah, and that's why potent, that's for real. I think from a measurable standpoint, you don't know who's watching, you never know who read that blog or that email newsletter or that listen to that podcast, right? And the other thing about it, as I think about, you know, we all start at zero, we all start at, no one listening, no one watching, I hosted events into people would one show up, on the first podcast had one listen, the first blog had no views. And you know, in momentum creates this thing and along the line there were and are naysayers, I get cancelled every day, like every day, somebody sends me a message, I have a folder full of minute, share them in a book one day, but the truth is, it doesn't stop me, but so many people are paralyzed by that fear because they're worried about, well, what if my parents see it? What if my partner sees it? What if the guy who happens to get in the elevator at the same time as me once a month reads it? How do you navigate that part of the fear? The fear of like it's a little bit closer than social media, it's actually people in your neighborhood, your community on your block.

Blair: Yeah. I mean, I think part of it is just kind of deciding for yourself, it's back to trusting your intuition, weighing what you're willing to compromise. Are you willing to compromise the benefits and positive effects that you can have on others around you? Because it might make a smaller number of people uncomfortable. Are you willing to sacrifice some aspect of your privacy or personal journey, or struggles? So that other people won't look at you in a different way when you could be helping an immense other amount of people and it should come down to who is most important because what I've experienced and what I've heard most is the people who are going to pay attention and listen to you first or probably the people who are closest in your life. So yes, it make some challenges with friends and family, but it's also going to have a huge impact on them and they are going to have a richer understanding of you, they're going to have a completely open, they might not even realize the harm that they caused if they're related to what you're sharing, they may not even realize what they have done to contribute to the challenges you have faced and it's going to cause them to speak and act and think differently which is going to create that ripple effect of change with everyone else that they come across.

So, it sounds easy, I know it's just like, just get over it but for me, I guess in a rational sense, being a very pragmatic rational person I'd like to think; you weigh the pros and cons and to me, there's always going to be more pros, there's always going to be more people that you can help and the people who are naysayers or the ones that want to cancel you, or the ones who want to detract from what you've shared, they also probably need to hear that message and they are not going to harm you. We have to get over this feeling of like commentary and like negative comments affecting us like we almost have to build that thick skin to say if you're going to be a leader, if you're going to use your voice, it comes at a price, but the opportunity is to deflect any of that and put your armor on and say, you know, I'm stronger by doing this then I am hiding.

Michael: I love it. I literally got goosebumps. I wish you could see this right now because it's so true and for lack of a better term, I wish I had a better way to phrase this, I truly do but I don't. Whenever you change the world, there will be collateral damage,that is the nature of it. I wish that weren't the case, and there will be people who don't like you, people who tell you to shut up, people who throw rocks through your window, that is how this works. But I often think about this old proverb you might have heard of it sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me and I think you're so right. You have to build up that armor, you have to build up that part of you that allows yourself to go and stand and mean something to the world because I often think for myself the biggest fear that I have in my life, is the potential to have regrets on my deathbed and I cannot imagine that and I would much rather have the naysayers throw rocks than to sit and wonder if I could have helped that person and maybe a little bit of it is, is ego-driven, maybe it's a little selfish, maybe it is and this leads to my question, what I'm very curious about from your thought is I feel a moral obligation and I think that if you feel on a moral obligation, it is your responsibility to step into that. Do you agree with that?

Blair: Yeah. I mean, I think if it aligns with you as a moral obligation than absolutely because then it just becomes part of your purpose. And if you have the experience like you had growing up or like I had growing up to whatever degree, there's other people, especially young people who are growing up and experiencing those very same things that are looking to adults, to champions, to role models, to get some sense of hope and you're robbing them of that if you aren't the person that they may encounter in their life that's going to provide that for them. You know, like I said, you just have no idea who you're impacting and you might be impacting their friends or their family or people around them that then it trickles down.

So yeah, I guess for me it comes from a sense of service and it does come from a sense of moral obligation but it's okay if it also comes from a sense of wanting to have some significance, we all want to have some sort of impact on the world, we all don't want to pass away and feel like we're going to be immediately forgotten, you know, some people might have a heightened sense of that than others, but what better thing to leave behind then making other people's lives better than just your own personal pursuit of success and wealth, and happiness that might occupy the minds and hearts of others.

Michael: Yeah, that's really beautiful. And I love what you mentioned about. There might be a kid, there might be a child, there might be a teenager who picks up that book or listen to that podcast or hears that song or looks at that piece of art and says this is what I needed. I mean, I recall, being a kid and being a teenager, being the outsider looking in being this weirdo, like diving deeply into media, like across-the-board film and music and an audio and trying to submerge myself within what I wanted. So I could feel like a part of something and to not share that you're removing the community that you could build and we've talked about community a couple times here today, but it's it's so true, it's so impactful and your voice does matter and you are important, but if you don't believe that first, no one else is going to.

And I believe that the only way you can start to do that is through the momentum of doing it enough, that it starts to feel true because it's going to be uncomfortable at first, right? It's going to be difficult at first, but eventually on a long enough time line it becomes who you are. As you think about this and as we dive in this conversation, what is the impact that you're hoping to leave on the world?

Blair: Yeah. Well, thank you. You know what, you just shared reminded me. It is the kind of the message I have shared a lot throughout my adult life is like, why publishing, why work in media and entertainment like that? Just I think a lot of people assume it's so shallow, it's so like superficial to want to work in television and movies and books and all these other things that can feel very esoteric. But for me and I have had the opportunity to travel around the world and I've thought a lot about what really influence me growing up especially as a gay teen like movies and TV as things started to emerge and representation started to pick up. It did make a massive difference in my life and I think about even like Cosmopolitan magazine, which is, in hundreds of countries and has changed the lives of women that there was taboo to even have conversations about different things and how they were treated and there's so many examples. I always like to say America's best export is our media and entertainment and arts and culture and a lot of countries, you know produce a lot of amazing art and culture that's influencing other people were not exclusive to that but I'd like to think it's our finest export because it has changed laws and rules and the lives of people all over the world because they don't see that same representation in their culture or they don't have a society of more race that supports their individuality or their experience. So I want to be a part of always creating art creating messages, platforms, whatever you want to call it that have some sort of impact because they are making significant change somewhere if not down the street then maybe around the world. But the people that I find myself drawn to often have that same mission, they often a desire to see diversity in their art, they have a desire to see greater understanding and greater support for countries that aren't as well developed and how do we actually eradicate war and autocracy and whatever else. Like we support the people who are under that oppressive culture or government and give them economic opportunity, that's one area, that one of my clients has really focused on. And I just love meeting people that have even gone further in our visionaries in their own right and just how I can support them and how I can add structure or support to what they're doing, really is my calling and more and more it's sharing my own story. You know, I think we all have in an imperative to share around story and for me, my great life work will be sharing my stories and in whatever medium that you know provides for that and hoping that they make this same sort of change we're talking about because whether it's a big best-selling book, that would be obviously the dream or just a few hundred people read it. I know even having been a writer College and in my young adulthood just getting even a few messages like you get every day from people who have found solace and something, from what you've shared as probably the most gratifying feeling that I've ever experienced even more than from the clients and the people who I've actually helped earn a lot of money.

Michael: Yeah, that's so beautiful and I agree with you. And the only way that person is going to read that as if you do it, and the truth is, about being an artist, I do consider myself to be an artist, as a creator, as a podcaster, as a writer, as a speaker like at the Crux of who I am, I am an artist but I've done a lot of really bad work before you ever see the good work and you got to put out the bad work, you have to make that stuff out there and that's where you step in the vulnerability with yourself and say, you know what? I'm going to just try, I'm going to see what happens, there's no guarantee because nobody's gonna listen to it, nobody's gonna like it, nobody's going to resonate with it and then one day eventually they will and when that happens, it's all worth it. It's worth nobody reading it, no one coming to the events, no one's signing up because on a long enough time line, as you turn the bad work into good work, people will resonate with it but if you don't make the bad, they're never gonna find you. Blair, I love this conversation, I could literary talked to you about this all day and I think we're just getting into it but can you tell everybody where they can find you before I ask you my last question?

Blair: Sure. Yeah. Well, you can find me on LinkedIn or Instagram blairbryant_nichols, feel free to reach out. I'm always happy to chat. I love talking to people whether you're a speaker or business owner, or whatever. And if I can share any insights or help steer you in a direction that may be impactful to your life, then I'm more than happy to take the time to do that, so reach out to me on those platforms.

Michael: Amazing. Thank you so much for offering yourself to be of service to everyone and my last question for you my friend is what does it mean to you to be unbroken?

Blair: Wow! To me it means, taking everything that I've experienced in my life and choosing to treat it all as a really valuable lesson and opportunity to create the change that we're talking about. Not to feel like a victim, not to feel like someone whose life is always going to be adversely affected by what we experienced or what discrimination we faced or the bad bosses that we had but to say wow, that experience, that time in my life has been so valuable and informing how I want my life to be experience, how I want my professional time to be spent and what impact I want to make that I can help others, maybe avoid some of those experiences or understand that if they've done been through that as well that they can come out on the other side and be stronger and be better and not feel broken.

Michael: I love it, and I could not agree with you more, we are definitely in synchronicity there, my friend.

Thank you so much and everyone.

Please reach out to Blair, he's an amazing human being.

Thank you all Unbroken Nation for watching, listening.

Please like, subscribe, comment.

Tell a friend.

And Until Next Time.

My friends, Be Unbroken.

-I'll see you.

Blair Bryant NicholsProfile Photo

Blair Bryant Nichols

Director of Stages

After beginning his career representing hundreds of authors from Top 6 publishers, Blair Bryant Nichols moved into management of founders, entrepreneurs, executives, authors, and celebrities, with various work streams, projects, and personal interests, acting as a Chief of Staff, manager, or agent. Blair has deep expertise in developing speakers for corporate events, conferences, and other thought leadership opportunities, including internal and external communications. As a manager, coach and consultant Blair enjoy helping unique individuals and/or companies foster new strategies for operations, communications, business development and partnerships across all appropriate areas to further develop and enhance their bottom line and brand. He currently is the Director of the Stage Agency at Advance Your Reach, and co-host of the Podcast: Inside the Greenroom by Advance Your Reach.

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.