Nick JankelWhat can possibly go wrong with entrepreneurship? If you’ve been in business for more than a day, you already know the answer – everything! Add into the equation lots of hype, social media timelines full of rah-rah motivational business advice and experts popping out of the woodwork claiming to have all of the secrets. Author and futurist Nick Jankel joins Tonya Dawn Recla as they explore the shadow side of business and unveil what people aren’t telling you. Listen in as they wade through the whatnot and emerge on the other side, the side where business can catalyze huge shifts and disrupt reality.

Hello, everyone. This is Tonya Dawn Recla, your Super Power Expert, and I’m just tickled. I’m sitting here with this giant grin on my face. I know you can hear it in my voice. I really am excited about this show. We have quite a treat for you today. Nick Jankel is such an inspiration, such a breath of fresh air in some areas that we could use some breaths of fresh air. But let’s talk about him for a second.

He touts himself as a practical philosopher, but what I love about him is he’s really willing to push the envelope. He’s been through some shit, right? He’s got the resume and the accolades and the attaboys in his background, and he’s willing to speak from the place of look, absolutely, it’s a heck of a ride, and we can straighten out those curves a little bit if we are willing to have some of these harder conversations.

So, we brought him to the show today to talk about the shadow side of entrepreneurship. If you’ve listened to me for half a moment, you know that this is one of my soapboxes, when we’re not being totally honest with people, when we’re peddling products or services that intrinsically, we’re pretty sure don’t actually work. Because they’re not working in our own business and yet we’re peddling them trying to make a business out of peddling those products. We’ve seen it, we’ve heard it, we know it’s happening.

But part of that conversation is, are we willing to be honest about what this journey looks like? And Nick, for sure, is out there being honest and kind of raising the banner on getting real with people about what this success train, if you will, really encompasses. And it’s not always what we expect, of course.

So, I’m really excited about bringing him on. He’s the author of, again, I’m laughing, the Spiritual Atheist book. It’s Reunite Science and Wisdom to Thrive in Life, Love & Leadership in the Digital Age. I love it. You’ve heard me talk about it. My prediction is that the companies that are going to succeed in the future are going to stay ahead of technology and ahead of consciousness. Those are two waves that we cannot avoid riding at this stage in our own evolution of collective consciousness and what have you.

So, I’m excited to bring Nick on. Please, please, please join me in welcoming him to the show.

Nick, thank you so much for coming on.

Oh, I love that intro. I’m excited to get into some of the things you mentioned. It’s a big area, this shadow of the entrepreneur.

Oh, yeah. I’m sure we could talk for probably days on this, but let’s launch in. I really want to highlight you and what you’ve done and stuff to the crowd, and the first question we do that with is, what are your super powers?

Well, I was thinking about this earlier today and I thought, “Wow if I’m honest with myself and don’t try and be English, I do have quite a few that I’ve honed onto.”

Don’t try to be English.

I can honestly go, “We can’t talk about super powers.” When you get to America and everyone’s going, “Tell me, tell me how amazing you are.”

I love it.

“You tell me that, I never want to talk to you again.”

Oh, beautiful.

I can sense when organizations need to shift when systems are failing, and that comes out in things like leadership and other stuff

I can sense when organizations need to shift when systems are failing, and that comes out in things like leadership and other stuff.

So, I guess in the core of everything I do, comes down to helping transformation occur, and that can be in an individual, what we usually call healing or we call it empowerment. It’s transforming organizations, systems. I can sense when organizations need to shift when systems are failing, and that comes out in things like leadership and other stuff.

That’s kind of my everything’s core. I must have got some super powers around synthesizing very different bits of knowledge and information and wisdom, and bringing it, putting it through my own body, if you like, and it comes out much simpler than most people are used to reading it or listening to it. And that actually can sometimes serve me ill, because people think it’s, I don’t use, which is actually the shadow of the philosopher, is to pretend to be mysterious, and to use mysteries and difficult language and difficult concepts to try and make people think you’re really smart. And I don’t do any of that.

So, sometimes people are a bit like, “Okay, where’s the interesting bit?” And I say, “Well, I just shared it with you.”


I have some secret super powers. I am quite good at dancing on dance floors, like a secret one. And I think actually I’m becoming, I wouldn’t say it’s my biggest super power, but I’m definitely becoming a better dad and a better husband, and a better lover, if I may be so bold.

You can be so bold.

I will. And yeah, really sort of honing myself to be able to do those. I mean, for me, being a dad and being a husband is really important and so much gets in the way of it, of me being able to be. I mean, not just time and money and all that stuff, but my old thinking, my old patterns. You know, they cover up our ability to do these things. And yet, they’re the most beautiful things.

When my son, our youngest son, bounces out of bed every morning, he literally bounces out of bed every morning, he’s just so into life. And it’s just like, wow, this is an amazing gift to have this little bouncing bundle of playfulness and silliness and joy. And if anything stops me being able to appreciate that, then that’s a real sadness for me.

Beautiful. How old’s your son?

I’ve got a six-year-old and a nine-year-old.

I’m thinking we should connect you with our host for the Super Power Kids show, and you and your sons should come on her show and talk about some of this stuff. She, yeah, she’s been doing her show for two years, the Neva, our daughter. She’s nine.


But she loves to get kids on that show. She has a really challenging time getting kids alone on the show, but a lot of times, entrepreneurs will bring their kids on with them.


So, if you’re interested, I’m happy to make that connection.

I would love to.

Oh, she’d love it.

More than that, what I’d love is for my boys to understand, when I say “I’m going to go and do a podcast interview,” they’re like, no idea what that means but they know it means I don’t want them around me for an hour.

So you have to be very, very quiet.

Exactly. To have that together would be really, really amazing.

Of course, yeah.

If I just came in here, if my son came back from school and it’s dark already, my son was yelling at my wife and she was very upset with him, and we had a little bit of a moment. And then he said, and he was yelling, but it’s kind of like a pretend yell. And I said to him, “Darling, I’m going to tell you something. I’ve learned the hard way that if I do what you’re doing, then you and Mommy don’t want to be with me in those moments.”


And then he calmed down and then downstairs, I said, “Yeah, when you wake up or when you get older and if you have kids, you’re going to really want to not be like that.” And then he made a joke about, “Well, not this week,” kind of thing. And I was like, “It’s…”

Oh, they’re phenomenal mirrors for us.

Oh, my God.

Yeah, we started in early with Neva about, how do you get what you want, from a place of cause and effect.


It’s like, you can act that way, for sure. There’s a piece of you that really, really, really wants to project in that fashion, and it’s not your friend. What is it actually going to get you?


And so, helping her understand. I’ll never forget one moment. She looks at me, she goes, “I’m too young to mother my pieces and parts,” and I was like, “Oh, my! But if you can do it now, guess what happens for you?”


I love that we’re bringing all of this in because I do think that this is part of the dialogue, right? We see, the model has been, and this is a vast overgeneralization, I get that, but the model has been typically we see a man. Sometimes we will see a woman as well, but it’s always this kind of isolated single person, especially, and you named it, especially in the U.S. We’re big on this personal brand kind of concept out here, which I’m starting to caution people about a little bit, because it’s like that. Anyway, we could, I’m not going to go off on that trajectory.

But a lot of times, what we see is this single adult person who is married and does have a family and does have all these other things going on, but they’re trying and trying and trying to get this persona out there. But the reality of the situation is this life is complex. So, I love when you said that you kind of oversimplified and people was like, “Wait, wait, wait, where’s the mysticism?” It’s like it really is very, very, very formulaic. Business is very formulaic. Life is very formulaic. We don’t want to talk about that because we like to be attracted to the sexy stuff, right?

We want to make it complex, and we want to make it this big mystery, but most of that’s done in an effort to distract us from what we’re supposed to be doing right then. And so, if we don’t take into account this dialogue of like, “Wait, how do you do this with a spouse, whether you’re in business with your spouse, or not in business with your spouse?” Your spouse is along for the ride, whether they want to be or not. Same with kids, you know? And so, there’s all of this dialogue of, how do you keep this robustness and this expansion and this real purity of the experience while battling some of these things, right?

You’re talking about you’re striving to be a better father, you’re striving to be a better partner, you’re striving to be better, all of this stuff. Not striving. I don’t even feel that from you at all, actually. But I do think that’s the typical story, right, is this trying and trying and trying and trying, and then you kind of hit this threshold of like, “Wait a second.” And you take on this reality of, “Oh.”

And for us, it was super clear. I remember looking at Justin, my husband, a couple of years back, and I said, “Wait, wait, wait. Let’s audit what’s happened here. Let’s look at our businesses, okay? When did we have a huge expansion, huge gains, huge clients, huge wins in the business? And did we do anything to anticipate that? Like, could we have anticipated that?” And the truth is, no. Every phenomenal thing that occurred, occurred because we showed up. We were consistent. We kept working on our businesses. We developed relationships. We did all of the not-so-sexy stuff, and then the sexy stuff came on top of that.

It’s like, I used to do, I told you I was. You stopped right in the spy arena and I did surveillance. You know, surveillance sounds like a whole lot of fun, but it’s about 10 hours of nothingness punctuated by about 15 minutes of adrenaline, right?


But you only get to those 15 minutes of adrenaline if you’ve prepared and you’ve done the work and you’ve sat for 10 hours and not moved, and whatever the case may be. There is the not-sexy stuff that happens and I think that that’s the conversation that exists in really bringing out the shadow side.

So, we’re going to dive into that here, folks, in just a second, but first, we’re going to find out where you can go to find out more about Nick. Nick, where can we send them?

If you want to find out about leadership and personal transformation, then all roads lead to Rome, which is But if you’re looking for the book, the best place to go is Amazon.

We mentioned it a couple of times. If you want to grow your business by getting a digital worker, you can try FreeeUp as well. Just go to and one of their assistants will guide you in your first hiring.

We’re going to take a quick break. We’re talking with Nick Jankel today about the shadow side of entrepreneurship. I’m very excited. Stay with us because we’re going to dive deeply into this as soon as we get back from the break, folks. Don’t go anywhere.