This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Nick Santonastasso. Nick is a medical miracle. Not only is he one of four people alive with the rare genetic condition, Hanhart Syndrome, but the inspirational keynote speaker is also an internationally known bodybuilder and fitness model – despite missing both his legs and one arm since birth.
Nick has been featured everywhere from Forbes to the Today Show, FOX, TLC, BBC, Inside Edition, and MTV. He got his start on Vine making prankster videos and I have to say, they are hilarious, especially the zombie pranks. As owner of Raw Mettle Enterprises, Nick is a speaker, coach, consultant, and author of the new book Victim to Victor, How to Overcome the Victim Mentality to Live the Life You Love.
The Rock said this about Nick, “think about this for a second, Nick was born with one arm and no legs. In his mind, there’s nothing he can’t do and he’s right. He’s right because he does everything he sets his mind to. Life deals us cards on a daily basis, but we always get to decide how we’re gonna play them. Thanks Nick for helping me frame my perspective on life just a little bit more.”
Now, it’s time for Nick to help you frame yours a little bit more…
@NickSantonastasso on Social
Nick was born with Hanhart syndrome, a super rare syndrome that either leaves a baby born with undeveloped limbs or organs. Nick was the 12th person ever born with this syndrome and 8 of the other passed away due to undeveloped organs. Nick was given a 30% chance to live but made it as his organs were 100% healthy.
From there he was just a kid like any other until he got to middle school and high school where he began to be noticed as different. Middle and High school were his low points. He hated his body, he questioned why he was born the way he was. Nick sought out support and joined wrestling – but to do so, he had to voluntarily amputate 5 inches of his one limb to be able to move in the ways he needed to. He wrestled his junior and senior year which lead him into having fun doing skits on Vine. That lead him to body building and then into motivation and keynote speaking and even fitness modeling.
With all that you’ve done, what is the most important thing you’ve learned that you feel others must know?
- Life is all perspective. Your mindset is your biggest superpower.
- The way you think, your mind, is the one thing that can allow you to do everything or hold you back from everything.
How do people train themselves to control their mind and ways of thinking?
- Our mind is basically a computer and it is programmed through our environment.
- The key is to identify the bad habits – admit to them and then start instilling good habits.
- Then repetition is needed to make the change to the new habit stick and become normal.
- Working on yourself takes a while – it is a process can only be done through time.
How do we maintain perspective?
- Sit and think about a moment in the past that you felt was negative.
- Pull out one good piece of information from that event – a lesson, a thought, etc.
- There is always something good…
- The habit part is to develop a mantra that every time something negative happens to us to ask, “What’s the good in this?” Find the good.
- Focusing on the negative doesn’t serve us.
- There is a way to gain in everything.
- Nelson Mandela, “You don’t lose. You learn, or you win.”
At the 14 min mark, Nick talks about his book “From Victim to Victor” and we start a big discussion on the victim mentality.
Nick favorite story from the book and lesson?
- The story of how no one wanted to sit next to him on a plane.
- The lesson is the meaning you attach to things. We dictate how we look at things, respond to them, and how much we let them affect us, etc.
- When faced with a tough circumstance, challenge, or negative situation – Ask yourself, “What’s it going to be? What meaning will I choose to give to this?”
Thought on Leadership?
- Great leaders are people persons
- Everything you do has a lasting effect
- You have to connect with people and help them and guide them to all rowing the boat in the same direction
- People know when they are getting BS’d. Don’t BS people.
- If you don’t genuinely care for people – it is hard to be a leader.
Tell us your thoughts on victimhood and those playing the role of the victim and what you think the answer is…
- Parents are having a difficult time raising kids in today’s world.
- We seem to be missing some core beliefs being instilled in our lives such as gratitude.
- The solution to Victim mentality is not only instilling a core set of beliefs but also confidence.
- When people feel better about themselves and gain confidence, they move out of victimhood.
- The way you build confidence is to set “micro-goals.”
- For example: You make the goal wake up 30 mins earlier so that you can workout for 30 mins, etc. and you do it. Very quickly after doing it, you will feel better, accomplished.
- When you do this, you build that relationship with yourself, so you know who you are, you create and know your self-integrity. You know when you commit to something, you will get it done.
- Confidence is having a relationship that is so good with yourself that it doesn’t matter what the outside world thinks of you or does to you.
- The biggest limiting beliefs come in the from of not having confidence in yourself.
- If you are in a slump, do one thing, big or little, that you know will make you into a better person and you will begin to build momentum.
Nicks biggest realization:
You have one life. The chances you are alive are so small. Get moving and make everything you can out of that life.
“Regardless of whatever hand that life has dealt us, it is our duty to play that hand to the best of our ability.”
At the 38 min mark, Nick talks about how to annihilate excuses…the flips the stables on me.
Best pieces of advice on entrepreneurship?
- Things are always going to go wrong.
- If you are going to blame someone for the bad, you have to recognize and acknowledge them for the good as well.
- Do your best to work with people that honor and share your core values and have alignment.
Best Quote: “Regardless of whatever hand that life has dealt us, it is our duty to play that hand to the best of our ability.”
Nick's Misfit 3:
- Live in a state of gratitude and implement it into your life. Starting your day off with gratitude is starting your day off on the right foot – and I don’t have a right foot, so if I can do it, you can do it too!
- Perspective is the meaning you attach to things. Ask, “What good is there in this?”
- You have to be your biggest cheerleader. Change your language and change your life. Use only empowering words for yourself.