“I didn’t come this far to only come this far….”

So I have always had dreams of being an Entrepreneur. Many of my friends are successful entrepreneurs. Some of them are millionaires. I have never been jealous of them, as such, but I have always admired what they have achieved and how they have got there…and that’s the important part I think…how have they got there?

They each have their own individual stories and all have pit falls and stories of woe but the common fact is that they have overcome difficult times and despite all odds succeeded. Even if they have failed at first they have tried again and maybe even failed again….but they have never given up and eventually rewarded with success.

That success does not mean the hunger has gone though. It actually seems to make them more hungry. That’s the interesting thing. No matter what your dreams are you probably find when you get there that the next dream is even bigger. That hunger to just carry on and keep pushing for the next goal.

So to me and my experiences. I started out in pretty solid employment with the Metropolitan Police. I did 12 years in total and enjoyed my time whilst I was serving. I always wanted to be a police officer and loved my career.

However whilst out in the Pyrenees driving in my friends Ferrari on a road trip I turned to him and asked, “what are the chances of me having a go at business ownership?” Well that escalated pretty quickly and within 12 months, almost to the day, I found myself standing in my own Dominos Pizza Store in Halesowen Birmingham looking out upon my new environment with excitement and apprehension. Apprehensive about what was to come but excited about my new opportunity.

Well it was a very steep learning curve. I was living in Birmingham away from home for most of the week and basically managing up to 30 staff and trying to re-build a neglected pizza shop. It came with many challenges but it succeeded and two years later we had taken a shop making 3-4k a week and failing fast to a shop that was doing 12-13k a week and breaking even with an occasional hint of profit.

It was a success but I looked at my future and just thought, ‘is this me’ for the next 10 or 15 plus years. Well the answer was no. It wasn’t me. I loved health and fitness especially nutrition and here I was trying to stuff pizza down peoples throats…..”Sell more Pizza have more Fun”….was the slogan. Well I understand the concept of business and obviously the more pizza you sell the better it is for business BUT I had one issue….could I morally continue slowly adding to the obesity crisis when my passion is nutrition and health. It was a sticking point for me…..I decided that maybe I should re-think this. I had learnt ALOT about me and business in that two years and really enjoyed my time in Halesowen.

Well now I had to re imagine my life a little. Not really knowing exactly what I wanted I decided to grab a job and ended up in Security for a year in London and then became a Hotel Doorman for 3 years which was enjoyable but didn’t really get me anywhere in life.

Rolling forward to now.

I make a decision that I need to pursue my dream.

The Dream.

I find this notion funny. Maybe its just me but I don’t think I have a dream as such. I have ‘wants and passions’ and ‘wants and desires’ but I have not got this one single dream that I am chasing. I want general happiness and independence. Maybe financial freedom is the dream….but then what is financial freedom….?

I think the important thing is that we are obviously on this earth for a reason….a 400 trillion to one chance of being here on earth. So I suppose what are you waiting for?….what do we do with this one life….?

This is the question that rattles around in my head. I watch all the motivational videos and listen to great speakers like Les Brown and Tony Robbins. They all tell us to do something….but the ‘what’ is the tough question….

They suggest the main thing is that you need a ‘why’ first. Why are you doing this? Create the ‘why’ and then everything else will happen.

Well I decided that I would pursue health and fitness. I did my Personal Training qualifications many years ago so I was ready to go. I have been training all my life anyway so it kind of comes naturally to me.

One thing that also helped me make this decision, and is partially my ‘why’ at the moment is that I miss helping people. When I was in the police every day at some point I would help someone. It might be just directions to someone who is lost but then it could easily be saving someone from an abusive relationship or stopping a fight in the street or assault and even rendering life saving first aid as a first responder. It could be someone that has been in a car accident and I give them first aid or just be a shoulder to cry on for someone.

All these things gave me a sense of meaning and made me feel special. Using my talents to help people.

Since I left the police in 2012 I have not really helped anyone in relation to work. I have never had that feeling of self-worth that I had when I was in the police. I didn’t realise this was that important until long after I had left.

So I suppose now my way of trying to help people is through the median of health and fitness.

Also just to catch you up on things. I recently had a strange event. A panic attack I suppose. It came out of nowhere and I think it was linked to health anxiety. Just not feeling right in myself and then this just accumulated into a panic attack. Long story short on this matter I ended up using apps like CALM and HEADSPACE.

This really opened up my eyes to the notion of well-being and meditation and its powerful benefits. I have always been an open minded person and would never be negative towards these alternative methods of relaxation but I had never really explored it until now. Seeing and experiencing the strengths of it has really made me want to share my experiences with others and see if other people may benefit from this practice.

I have been using CALM now daily for there last year or more. I love how it works and what it offers. It is invaluable.

So now I have my ‘why’. All I need now is my ‘how’ and my ‘when’.

Armed with my ‘why’ I put my notice in at work.

On finishing work I go away to Cyprus for 2 weeks to gather my thoughts. I have periods of euphoria when I look at ideas and feel like I have found the secret to success and furiously write down my ideas with great vigour and certainty….in the same breath I evaluate everything I just wrote down and then start disbelieving my notes and ideas thinking it’s not going to work.

I have these peaks and troughs daily but I suppose it just goes with the territory.

Alongside Health and Fitness my big passion and interest is in nutrition.

Obesity rates, chronic illnesses and preventable conditions are all linked to nutrition. Nutrition on a cellular level taking into account macros and micronutrients as well as vitamins and minerals can help so many people live a better healthier life.

This is what I am considering doing a degree in optimum nutrition allowing me to become a Nutritional Therapist and offer one-to-one advice got clients.

Nutrition is my main passion….so I suppose by default maybe this is my dream….?

I also love travel….I love experiencing new things. It might be adventure travel or it might just be visiting a new city with my wife….either way I just love travel….so maybe that’s my passion also.

I enjoy staying fit and healthy and looking as best I can. Having the ability to help people stay fit and healthy is very satisfying to me.

So from the above my business idea morphed into what it is today;

ACTIVE-REST – Well-being through Fitness and Nutrition.

The idea was to impact peoples lives in a positive manner and doing this through physical fitness, mental wellness and nutrition. Then finishing off the journey with some form of Travel or experience, wether that be adventure or mindfulness. It could be a spiritual journey or a physical journey or a combination.

I have spoken to many people about my ideas and most people are obviously very positive. I have always listened to anyone who has had time to comment and give advice.

I want to create a business that is there for people. To begin with just Personal Training and light Nutrition advice. But for the future I want to build a business that offers people a complete one stop shop of physical fitness, improved well-being through mindfulness and meditation, Optimum Nutrition and Travel Therapy.

The road ahead is full of twists and turns but I have begun my journey and I have a rough destination tapped into the Sat Nav.

I really hope that if anyone reading this has an idea or a passion that they want to follow then maybe this will help you decide to just give it a go. We can fail many times but with each failure maybe we are just that little bit closer to success.

In the famous and wise words of Mr. Balboa…..

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”

I am currently following my passion and trying to actually find out what I was put on this planet to do….we all have a pre-designed purpose and all we have to do is find it.

So get your pen and paper out and start scribbling your ideas down….then just take one action every day, or maybe one action every week, that puts you on a course to achieve that vision. Get some books out and start reading and start learning whatever you need in order to get to where you want to be.

They say that if you read 1 book a week on your desired subject then within a year you would be considered an expert. So why not start today.

As Les Brown would say, “there is greatness within you”….now go show the world what you got…..

Thanks for reading,

Richard East


“I didn’t come this far to only come this far”