If you had a feeling in your gut that today’s podcast is for you, you’d be right.
Sunni Patel’s journey from optometrist to leading wellness, lifestyle and nutrition coach was the result of a brush with ill health.
Sunni chats with Rhona and Payman about the challenges of getting and giving diagnoses, the links between nutrition, gut health and well-being, and why love is just a four-letter word!
In This Episode
03.12 – Medical gaslighting
06.19 – Backstory
12.02 – Patients, practitioners and health
22.39 – Gut-brain axis and stress
27.53 – Fasting
40.43 – Eating disorders and body positivity
47.27 – Identity and body dysmorphia
52.57 – Stigma
56.16 – Gut feelings, trauma bonds and love
01.06.19 – Nutrition and microbiomes
01.19.17 – Probiotics and prebiotics
01.22.26 – Advice
About Sunni Patel
Dr Sunni Patel is a wellness, lifestyle and nutrition with certifications in nutrition, eating addiction, personal training and fitness.
His expertise on a range of issues has been featured on Ready Steady Cook, Newsround, ITV News, and BBC Radio.
British culture is very meme culture. Like, we always like to take the piss. Take the piss. Whereas if you go to America, it’s very opposite, right? It’s like, yo bro, you got this. And I think the problem is both aren’t great because you go to America and you’re told you’re going to be the best at something, and then at 30 years old, you haven’t made it. And it’s like, well, what happened to the American dream, right?
This is mind movers. Moving the conversation forward on mental health and optimisation for dental professionals. Your hosts Rhona Eskander and Payman Langroudi.
Welcome to another episode of Mind Movers. And today we have the incredible Henry Wade. So Henry is a very, very known content creator. I actually met Henry. I didn’t meet him. This is a funny story I became when I first split up with my first boyfriend, I went to fitness first. It was a bit of a rough gym in Clapham, and I used to see Henry and his twin working out there all the time. And interestingly, I looked at you both and I was like, you just had presence. I just felt like you both were going to do really well. I didn’t even know what you had done. And then serendipity has it. We actually ended up meeting later on in life through friends, etcetera. And I was like, you were the one that was working out of Fitness first, and I had seen his content online. Henry’s extremely hard working. He’s become very successful in what he does. And interestingly, he transitioned from having, you know, quite a sort of generic career, I’d say, and, you know, making it online and, you know, really taking a leap of faith against what his family believes. Because I know you come from family in Cambridge and, you know, saying, like, I’m going to make this work and I’m going to make a career out of content creation. And more recently, he has focussed on fitness as well. Fitness has been a massive part of his life, has been doing marathon running, documenting that as well, which we’re going to cover. So welcome Henry.
Thank you very much. That was a very nice intro, so I really appreciate it. I was like smiling. They’re like, oh, I haven’t had this kind of compliment in a long time. So I really appreciate it.
Well, you know, a lot of love for Henry. We’ve known each other for a while now. So, Henry, I want to start from the beginning, as I do with a lot of people. Tell me a little bit about your childhood. I know you grew up in Cambridge, but tell me about, like, where you come, your background a little bit.
Yeah. So for the record, I’m 31 years old now. He keeps saying that.
Like he’s old. I’m like, do you know how old I am? Okay. Go on.
And I’m initially from Cambridge, so I grew up there and I then moved. Well, sorry, I went to Cambridge. Been there since all the way to college, then went to university and then went travelling and then I moved to London. So yeah, I’ve been grew up and grew up in Cambridge with a family of four, and I’m an identical twin, and I’ve got an older brother and an older sister as well. And then there’s me, the youngest one with mum and dad. So yeah.
Amazing. And you worked in nightlife, didn’t you? So after, was it after or during university?
It was actually during. So when I was at uni, that was the first time I separated from my twin brother. I kind of got the chance to build my own identity a bit and went to university, went to Newcastle, had an amazing time. I be honest, I kind of chose university life because I didn’t really know what I wanted to do next in my career, so I just chose a standard business and marketing course and I kind of went because of the nightlife. I watched one episode of Geordie Shore and thought, this will be epic, like me and Gaz of Geordie Shore, like going to get on anyway. I started becoming a co-promoter because I thought, you know what? This is a great way to meet people, make friends and I then did quite well, became a junior manager and then because I sold so many tickets, I had so many people on my guest list and then I became a senior manager. So I started essentially running my own nights, and it only took me to like a few years ago to really realise how important that job was for me, because while everyone was getting placement years at university and going to like all these amazing companies, which I didn’t actually get, I tried to, but I couldn’t get them. And I actually realised, like the communication skills I learnt during this job, some of the best I’ve ever done in my entire life. Like I can talk to anybody now and it’s I think that’s a really powerful tool to have, and they’re the kind of skills I probably don’t think I’d have got, or having the confidence to go and speak to anyone is I probably won’t have got those skills. If I’d have gone to like a corporate company and kind of just worked and seen how their business runs.
And do you know, that’s interesting. I’m going to I’m going to interject there because I saw a post. So as you as I told you, like the majority of people that tune in with me in Payman are dentists and a lot of them have been confused because within dentistry there’s loads of courses, right? Because obviously clinical skills is like a big part of our career. So, you know, you learn how to do like crowns and veneers and bonding and Invisalign and all the stuff that you know about. But the one thing that they really lack is that communication skill that you said. And even though we go to university for like five, six years or longer, if you want to specialise, they still feel they can’t communicate with people you know, they still feel they can’t talk to patients. Why do you.
Think? When I was a kid, I used to be so scared to go to the dentist? It’s the very thing, isn’t it? Yeah. The dentist is the scary place to go. Like they’re not the nice people. They put their fingers in your mouth and it’s just like all these tools go in. Whereas I think that’s definitely changing now. I think you’re doing a great job in the industry of doing that. And other dentists as well. I know, and.
Your dentist, Henry didn’t choose me, that’s why.
Yeah, but yeah, a couple of you do great. And I think that’s amazing for the industry to kind of change that thing about it. But yeah, as you were saying, I think those communication skills are really, really important. But do you.
Think the communication skills were because you worked in nightlife, or do you think it was because you went to university? Do you see what I mean?
Think it’s a little bit of both. Like when I went to university. As I said before, it was the first time away from my twin and we were always together. So it was always like, oh, okay, I’ll turn up to the party or I’ll turn up to school with Will. And we always kind of had each other to bounce off of, whereas going to university, I had to really come out of my like, oh shit, I haven’t got a twin with me. Yeah, everyone’s going to know me as just Henry. I’ve kind of got to be this, who am I? Like, so I was like, all right, I’ve got to be the communicating and energetic and outgoing guy I think I am. And I was, and I became confident because I had to grow my own confidence and because I didn’t have will. So I was like turning up to university lectures on my own, making friends with those people and those university lectures, heading on nights out and meeting people on nights out. Actually going to university again is one as well, I think really makes you step out of your shell because you are stepping into an environment where there’s no one else you really know, none of your friends are really there, so you kind of just do it by yourself, and you are thrown into a situation where you have to make friends. And I think for everyone who goes to university, I think there’s so much topics right now and people talking about how you don’t need to go to university and you don’t have to be successful to go to university, but I think there’s so many benefits of still going in personal development and self growth. And I know a lot of people, not just myself, have gone to university and been like.
I’m massively pro it, I think, I think I’d be interested to see what you think. Like obviously for vocational degrees like dentistry, medicine, etcetera. Oh, 100%. You got to go. Yeah, totally. But a lot some people say they think it was a complete waste of time. But I think that the connections that you form and the experiences you had, there’s something in that 100%.
I think for me, I’ll be totally honest. I don’t think I learnt that much about business and marketing, like sitting in a room. I think with business you learn by doing, you generally do like I’ve done that through all my content creation. I’ve learnt by doing and if you don’t do it, you never know. So you’ve got to put yourself through the through the process and learn. And then so which is great. And I think that’s perfect. But um. Oh sorry. Where was I?
Perfect. The business and marketing. Yeah.
That’s right. I didn’t really feel I learnt so much from actually doing business and marketing the actual degree, but like I said, the meeting people, the job I did, that was the stuff I really learnt. And I wouldn’t ever say to anyone, not go to university. But yeah, if you want to go, go. But if you don’t, you don’t have to.
But I think as well, maybe it is a stop gap for people that don’t know what they want to do. Yeah, yeah, maybe it is a stop gap because maybe you need that time to go through like your growing pains or, you know, but also like university can equally it was pretty traumatic for me. Like I think being thrown into an environment like I’d never university for me was like a really weird experience because I’d, I’d grown in a multicultural society in central London in a day school. The halls that I was put in was very much like everyone was like from public school. I was like the only brown person. And I was very much, like, treated like in a certain way, like I had all friends, you know, I had a great social life, but it was a different experience. And there was, there was, there was like a kind of difficulty and like somewhat, but obviously that shaped me as a person as well. So I think, you know, there’s definitely like pros and cons to it. But yeah, what I want to know as well is you’re an identical twin. Yeah. Right. And I don’t know if you know, like as an I’m really interested either one of you about studies because being an identical twin is that difficult. And like in terms of like identity, you remember there was a documentary. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, either one of you where there was triplets. Yeah. That was amazing. I can’t remember.
Three identical strangers. Yeah, I haven’t.
Actually seen it, but I’ve heard it’s amazing.
So basically, the therapist keeps telling me to watch it. Yeah.
So so so so it’s really amazing because those three, those those triplets were separated at birth. It has a dark turn in the end because it was a social experiment by someone that kept doing these experiments. And when they got reunited, it was all great. And then there was a huge problem with like identity crisis, etcetera. Do you think that, like biologically there is something about being a twin, a triplet or whatever, you know, and how it affects who you are and who you believe you are? And like whether you have that sense of like being oneself.
Oh, that’s such a good question because no one will ever know unless they’re an identical twin. What it’s physically like to be an identical twin, right? Yeah. And growing up, Will and I always had this thing about us where we weren’t really known as Henry or Will. It was always the way twins. Oh, it’s the two twins. The two twins. And in school, if one of us did something right, or most, most of the time, if one of us did something wrong, then it always threw back on the other person. So if we all got told off in a class that teachers instantly going to categorise him as being naughty and they’re going to think I’m naughty as well, because we come in pairs, right? Yeah. Very normal. We pushed down the pram together. Oh, those two look so sweet. Do you know what I mean? It’s never like oh, one of you or whatever. And then, um, as I said earlier, the only time we really got to find ourselves as our own identity was when we went to university. But the funny thing is, by, yeah, we were building our own, building our own identity and becoming our becoming our self. What was funny was we still did the exact same thing. So he did a business course. We both began our first year working at Nando’s. So? So did he. So did I. And then we left Nando’s both. Club promoters both got promoted to junior manager. And then it was weird because those two companies, we became like top of those companies, both knew each other as well.
So it was like, oh, we tried to become ourselves, but then we kind of have our self identity, but we can’t forge back into it. And then when travelling together, we got home from travelling, went to London. We both had similar kind of jobs to begin with whilst we were becoming creators, and then we realised we’re probably better off together. I think the thing with being a twins is you’re very competitive and growing up like Will and I both wanted to always be the winning one, whether it be grades or 100 metre races or whatever. We did all sports and it would always be like, I want to beat Will, but I want him to come second by like five, just just a bit. But I don’t want him to beat me. And it was every race, every run, every football team. We wanted to get picked first, but over him will be the captain or whatever. But the older we got, we started to really compete and it made us get to who we were. Like we did really well in sports and achievements and academics. We weren’t so bad either. However, we realised instead of like keep battling and competing, collaborating with each other so much more beneficial. And that’s when we started to grow, like our Instagram and TikTok following by actually being together. Because don’t get me wrong, it’s cool being a white male in today’s industry. However, there are so many other tall white males doing what I do in fitness and fashion.
So what can make you really stand out from the crowd? For me, I’m very fortunate to have an identical twin, so and it’s great. And we are best friends. Like you’ve heard. I’ve heard horror stories of twins having like hating each other, whereas Will and I, we get on so, so well. We’ve. Yeah, don’t get me wrong, we bicker like 13 year old boys still, which is very family. But we’re definitely learning learning to navigate that a lot better. And I think that’s so important. I think we always will in our entire lives because, yeah, I never talk to Carmen. How I sometimes talk to Will, and it sometimes takes me to realise, like if he leaves something in the sink, I’ll go will clean it up. Whereas if Carmen did that, my girlfriend, I’d be like, I’ll just grab it and put it in the dishwasher. But because he’s my brother, I feel like I need to tell him. However, I’ve like now started to realise I look at that and go, is this worth picking a fight for? No it’s not. Pick it up, put it in the dishwasher. Like if I wouldn’t talk to him like that, my girlfriend like that, why should I talk to him like that? Just because he’s my brother, I shouldn’t. And. Yeah, so. But it’s it’s a head game because like I said, I’ve known him my entire life. I’ve been in the womb with him. Like we are so close. But can I ask you something?
Do you know if biologically there’s any studies to show, like whether, like, you can ever fully be, like, separate or separated? Like, is there any studies around twins? You might not know this I don’t.
Know, do you know? Well, I thought, you know, all this stuff about gut microbiome. Yeah. And the guy was saying that his his research interest was twins because twins end up getting different diseases. And his question was, why do twins get different diseases if they’re genetically the same? Environmentally very similar. I’ve got something for.
You there, like Will. My family has this, I don’t know.
One second. That was all right. Okay. Go ahead.
My brother has this really bad eye condition called keratoconus, I think. I think that’s right. Maybe I’ve pronounced it wrong. So if anyone on here knows that, please pronounce it correctly.
Similar, but I’m not sure. But basically it basically means the his eyes, the pupils are shaped, I think like footballs instead of rugby balls or the other way around. I can’t remember which one it is. And the doctor is like the number one surgeon who tests who does his eyes for him, because we had to go privately, and because it was so he got so bad, he had to be jumped into hospital straight away and put under the knife and have it sorted. It got that bad and the doctor was like, we need to get you twin in here ASAP because he’s going to have something and it’s so funny that I don’t have it. And I still now get tested every 18 months and the doctor goes to me. I’m still have no idea why you don’t have it. And they’ve realised it’s in my system, but it hasn’t quite triggered. So Will’s will got it and it triggered, whereas I haven’t had it and it triggered and he’s still so shocked, which is so weird.
So so so this this researcher found the microbiome was very different in twins, so different bacteria. And so he was he was blaming, he was saying, well that’s where he could see that the effect of different bacteria on people. When you look at the effect of different bacteria on twins, because the one thing that’s very different in the measurements between twins is the bacteria that lives in their gut.
Yeah, maybe. I think there’s so many studies now coming up about gut and how it’s one of the main factors. Controlling everything, controlling everything. Yeah. Yeah. And that’s become only in the last real year. So it’ll be interesting to see.
Well, we’ve talked as well. You’ve had a lot of like stuff with your gut. You know, we kind of had that conversation and you know a lot around that with mental health, which I want to go into 100%. But before we actually delve into that. So I just want to know, how did you rise? I know you might think like, I don’t say this, but how did you rise to TikTok and Instagram fame? Oh so and like, how did you make that transition? Because a lot of people want to know that. They want to know how to, like, make a living out of just being a content.
So in America, the number one most wanted job now apparently is like a YouTuber, TikToker, Instagram like an influencer. People want to be kids.
For kids. Your kids too.
Not my kids, but kids in general.
Yeah, your kids are probably all right, I think. I think the thing is, people see this lavish life we all post about, like, you get the free products, you get paid to work with these amazing brands. Your life is sorted, like, almost like you get free dinners and you think it’s all glamorous. And don’t get me wrong, it can be at times, but there is a very stressful side to it that I think a lot of people don’t don’t show. But we’ll go. We’ll move on to that. But the question you initially asked was, how did I rise to stardom, essentially, as you said. So back in, oh, when I was travelling the world, because obviously TikTok came after Instagram. So this is our Instagram story. We were travelling Australia and we and all the world.
And you’re working in nightlife still then? No, no this.
Is we packed our bags came backpackers. And this was when Facebook was big. Instagram was kind of just coming up and it was like Twitter, everyone’s on Twitter promoting the news or whatever. And we basically got to Australia after doing Cambodia, Thailand, all the Southeast Asia countries. And honestly, we were just alcoholics, like all we did was drink booze, get pissed and not really see these countries for what they were. And we got to Australia and Will and I were in such bad physical shape, like we were weighty. And I was like, what the hell? I went for a run and almost puked. And I’ve never been this like this before. I’ve just been drinking for six months. I had one night off in like six months because all I was, all me and my mates were doing was getting pissing in Thailand or whatever. And don’t get me wrong, it was amazing. Still had the best time ever and I’ll never change that experience. But I got to Australia and Will and I, we suddenly went from being in the worst shape ever to being so obsessed with fitness and got into the best shape of our lives. We were so lean, like 4% body fat, like we were walking down the Aussie beach. These fitness trainers have been on the front of mental health for telling us we’re too lean, we need to put on some weight and we’re going, no, not lean enough, not lean enough.
I’m sure we all wanted the six pack of dreams, which you never we thought we didn’t have yet, but we did looking back and we were like, right, let’s start documenting some fitness and doing these, like twin workout things. And we had a page, the Weight Twins. Then we had our own personal Instagram as well, and we then left Australia and we started travelling back. And instead of seeing the world being like alcoholics again, we thought, let’s really like be normal. Like do it well, get up for sunrises, do yoga’s, do runs on the beach or whatever, and see this place with the real beauty it is, and you don’t always have to be pissed essentially on the on the booze. So we picked up a camera in Japan, picked up a little canon in Australia, and we started documenting our journey. Just like selfies, we didn’t have a clue how to use this equipment, and I was YouTubing how to use Lightroom and Photoshop and change colours and stuff, and I was making everything oversaturated, and we started documenting and and doing all these things. And it was, it was quite funny at the time was all our friends were commenting on our photos being like, lol, this is a joke. We started a website as well called the twins.com and where we wanted to write blogs on our travels and everyone was like I was getting emails.
I remember the first ever email I got through it was you’re a joke from a fake account being like, you’re never going to make it. This is the biggest laughing thing I’ve ever heard, and I’ll never. I wish I still had a screenshot of that, but obviously I was so embarrassed at the time. Like I was like, am I doing the wrong thing? And it makes you really question whether you’re doing the right thing. And but luckily I had willed Fall Back On. He was like, when he had a bad day, I was there to pick him up and go, no, don’t worry, just keep going, keep going. When I had a bad day, it was the opposite. He was the one picking me up, which was great. So we started documenting our journey and we got back to London, Cambridge, where we lived, and we had about maybe ten, ten, 11,000 followers by this time. And I remember we were ordering these clothes because we had cool wardrobes at home. We really wanted to get back into our main fashion and we were like taking photos on our back garden. And we were like, what are we doing? This is a waste of time. We need to be in London. And we ended up both moving to London and literally had about £2,000 in my bank. Not much money at all, and Will had probably less because he spent a lot more and we both lived in different areas in the most tiniest bedsits in the world.
I had a single bed and I was living with five other people with one bathroom, and I remember just having to bang on the door, please let me into the bathroom. We used to have to literally run outside, sometimes just to go to the bathroom, because I was so desperate because this, this girl next door would take so long and we were like, right, how can we really continue this Instagram and content creation we’re doing? And but we need to make a living, right? So we had to get a job part time. He worked for an events company, and I worked for a start up company with a drinks company, and we’re both working five days a week. And I was like, right, we still need to create content. So every day we would like essentially go for a meeting. And that meeting would be like, we would go for a meeting with some drinks brand or whatever, and I’ll go for a meeting with like Tesco’s CEO, one of my clients, and I really would just be sneaking my camera out and going to meet Will and shooting around London. And then also we’d do it in the evenings, we’d do it on the weekends all the time. And we were like, right? So we kept shooting content.
And whilst this was happening in the evenings, there was always events on H&M, Topman, All Saints or whatever these events and fashion brands would be. And we were like, right, we want to work with these brands, but how can we get put in the face of them? And we were networking with other creators at this time, finding out how London works and. What their experiences of, or if we wanted to collaborate with them and shoot content with them. And we’ll get sent all these events. But we weren’t invited to them. So we would just be like, should we just turn up and see what happens? Because what’s the worst that’s going to happen to us? We’re just going to get a no, and they’re going to just go, all right, screw it. We’ll go for a drink by ourselves. Whatever. Yeah. So we would turn up to these events and our analogy was who’s going to turn down two well-dressed six foot three lads, and every time nine out of ten will get in even without an invite, because we’ll just show them like the thing and all your name’s not on the list are. We’re so, so, so weird. Like, anyway, what we’ll do when we were in that room would not just go for the booze and go for the free nibbles, which 18 year old Henry would have done.
It was right. Who’s the PR marketing? Who’s the PR manager? Who’s the marketing manager and who’s the head of brand? And I want to meet that person in five minutes. Get their email, have a good chat with them, show them the content I do right there and then, and then schedule a meeting with them. Within two weeks, I’ll have a meeting with that person, whether it be coffee or a lunch, and then within like a week after that, I’ll have free clothes from them, and then after that I’ll put you have a job with them as well. I love that that was for me. Like I think now moving forward, I can put that what I did there into other areas of my life as well, and other businesses I do because it’s the same thing. It’s all like you initially start doing things for free. If you’re a dentist, you may want to do something free for your free for a client. Show them. Show someone what work you can do, how good these teeth are. And then someone sees that and they go, oh, I like that. I’ll then pay for it. It’s the same with any business. It’s the same kind of process. And then our following was going up and up and we started to get more followers. And then we got a few viral videos and then that kind of blew up.
And how did you know back then in Australia where you started filming that that’s what you want to do? I mean, because it wasn’t influencer land, wasn’t exactly what it is now. Yeah. Which year are we talking? Oh.
Wow. This must have been 25. So about seven years ago maybe.
Okay. So there was.
Something it was just started I think. Well, and I would say we’re phase 2 or 3. There was a phase one who were like.
That was that was your stated goal, you to become a big on these platforms?
It wasn’t necessarily a goal. It was more of a we wanted, didn’t want to be pretty boys just prancing our thing around because that’s quite easy to be done. But we wanted to offer value where we could because I think there’s a fine balance of offering value, but also showing off on content creation. And it’s okay to do both because a lot of people want that. Oh, I wish I had that live or oh, I wish I had that kind of moment. But then also if you offer value, it’s like, okay, that was that was a good piece of content. So Will and I were initially started when we’re in Australia was like, right. We saw everyone in the UK posing on the streets of London and show off fashion, and I was just and no one was English, no one had a personality. It was like I just saw all these people who were from Europe doing it in England, and I was like, well, why are they all doing it? There’s no English British lads doing this. Like and I think there was.
Probably a taboo though, because you said even like people were taking the piss out of you like, oh yeah, totally. Your friends.
But but that’s the thing. But I think that’s a male thing, right. Because they see they see like that career or doing that stuff online as being very feminine I think. Do you know what I mean? As in like and then.
It’s just that I think it’s also like British culture is very meme culture. Like we always like to take the piss, take the piss. Whereas if you go to America, it’s very opposite, right? It’s like, yo bro, you got this. And I think the problem is both aren’t great because you go to America and you’re told you’re going to be the best at something, and then at 30 years old, you haven’t made it. And it’s like, well, what happened to the American dream? Right? So they need a bit of like downgrading, whereas we need a bit more of that boost because everything’s a meme. You get taken the piss out all the time, but the way Will and I stopped. That was just like we encouraged each other and we’re like, we know what we want. We had our goal, we had our view and we had our vision. And if you’ve got that, I think sometimes when people look at you and laugh, it is one of the best things that can happen to your career. It’s one of the best things that happen because you know you’re on the right path. It’s like that old saying.
In dentistry Rona’s managed it. Yeah, but but I come across hundreds of dentists and I asked him, do you have an Instagram? And they say, no.
Yeah, so do I. I’ve actually got a friend who’s a dentist right now. And I said, why don’t you set up your Instagram friend? Her name’s Hannah. She’s my girlfriend’s, one of my best friend’s girlfriend, best friend. And I’m like, I’m like, it’s like a hairdresser set up an Instagram account for hair.
But then the reason why often there’s a they don’t want to share their work, you know, because everyone’s very critical. The judgement, the judgement. Very true, very true. And and often it’s being uncomfortable in front of camera. So how did you get over these questions or did that not bother you at all? You were like, no.
Before Henry goes on with that, his story reminded me of mine in terms of like people say, how did you get on TV and the easy cop out way? As you know, people say she paid PR. I’m like, hun, I didn’t have PR back then. I went outside ITV studio and I stood outside that studio for about 5 or 6 hours until Zoe Williams came out. The doctor. Yeah, yeah. And she came out.
Telling me that story. I was like.
I had messaged her loads to meet me, and she took a chance and she met me for coffee and I said, I want to do this. And she was like, well, why do you want to do it in the same way that you just asked Henry? Why? Did you want to do the content? For me, it was the bigger vision. And I’m going to be completely honest. I wanted to leave a legacy. I wanted to leave a legacy within my field. I didn’t want to be in a life where I was like, I got up, I drilled a few teeth, I did a few small makeovers. Impact. And the fact is, no matter what anyone says, platforms such as social media, TV, radio, etcetera, they give you that platform to reach more people and therefore have a bigger impact. And I’m not talking just about a narcissistic way, but it’s just that value add that you just said to me, it’s giving value to people.
But it’s a particular flavour of impact. So I want to have impact. That’s why I started this company. Yeah, but it’s a particular flavour where you’re you are the product. And that’s what a lot of people suffer with, with you two don’t.
So what you said there about offering value is so difficult in the world I live in, I think because there are times where I’ll create a piece of content and I’ll sit there and I’ll go, I really like it, but where’s the value? There? And I’ll show a friend it or I’ll show you it and they’ll go, but it’s so entertaining. That’s the value. And I’m like, is it, is it like, yeah. And I’m like, is it like, should I not be doing. I go to the gym all the time. Five best ways to grow your chest as a male or something because there’s value there but may not be entertaining, but.
Education, education, entertainment but there’s different.
Value. Well, yeah, there you go. But I sometimes struggle to see that because I’m always I think we’re always critiques of our own work. And what you’re saying there about why not all dentists set up their, their accounts. Because we are the worst critique. Like, you have a spot on your chin. Who sees it? You. Does anyone else see it? No. Because we we worry about so much what other people think about us. And it’s it’s detrimental to our success.
But validation is a form of addiction. Right. And I’m going to go out there because everyone’s like, what’s your addiction, Raina? You don’t drink, you don’t take drugs, you don’t, you know, and I’ll tell you right now, I’m going to say to the world, my addiction is validation. So I do get a dopamine hit when I get approval online on something. You know, if a video does well, I’m like, that’s done. Well, great. I have a great day. Comments. You look good. This is I love this. Your work looks great right? Because that is mine.
I thought you.
Didn’t like it when someone said you looked good because I’m not Trustpilot or something.
Now, I said you don’t need to leave. Oh, here we go, here we go. I said, you don’t need to.
Ever since I heard you say that, I don’t tell you if you look good anymore.
So he basically I said to him, no, I said, when people give you well, this is the thing, right? Because on the one hand, and I’m sure Henry can relate to me right on the one. Like I’m saying, you know, when people give negative views, I’m like, I don’t need your opinion. I’m not. What’s the one for the travel agents, the reviews. You know, I’m talking about travel.
Tripadvisor. I’m not TripAdvisor. I didn’t ask you for a review. Just you. I mean. Yeah, but that would be like, you know, if you get some kind of review, someone would be like, you look much better with brown hair. Like, oh, I don’t like your copper hair. Do you know? I mean, of course it’s an opinion. But then, like, at the same time, if people are like, you look great, it validates the decision I’ve made.
We love that. That’s why. Why do we go out? Why do we get a new haircut? Why do we? Why do we go to do our teeth? Why do we dress up? Well.
I thought you didn’t want it in either direction.
Shower me. Show me the compliments.
Look. Great. What was.
What was interesting? What you said there about validation. You want validation is something that I’ve realised about myself is wanting. Wanting to impress. So when I was a kid growing up, I was. Will and I were always in trouble. We were the naughty kids at school and we always wanted to impress our mom and dad every time something bad happened. So give you an example when I was, and I’ve got these childhood memories in me distilled and it’s probably who I who I’ve why they’ve shaped me, who I am today. Because I remember being told by our like when I was in year two or year three, my teacher head teacher said, you are you don’t know the difference between right and wrong. And she told that to my parents in front of me. And she said, my mum and dad were distraught, not knowing as a kid I didn’t know the difference between right or wrong, whatever came to year six. And the woman told my mum and dad, I’m so sorry about making that comment. Your two boys are the politest I’ve ever met and things like that. And so we changed her perspective. But we always. So we always, always wanted to impress. So growing up, I’ve always wanted to impress. So when I run a marathon, I want to get a good time because I want to impress people watching me.
When the content I create, I want to get loads of likes. I want people to be impressed. So now my growing up, I was wanting to press my mum and dad. I was predicted E’s and F’s in GCSEs. I got a B’s and C’s and that for me was like I told you Mum and Dad. I knew I was going to get those F’s predicted. So there’s my proof. I’ve impressed them by doing that. Got into a great university, impressed them by doing that, got a good degree, impressed them by doing that, got set myself up a business and doing what I do in London, and managed to bring my mum down to do a fragrance profiling with some of the best high end profiles where she gets to pick out a £200 bottle. So I’m going to buy for her. That for me is impressing my family. And so now instead of impressing my family all the time, I feel I need to do it to my followers to impress them with good content. Or. And that’s similar to the validation thing. And it’s not a bad thing. It’s just I want to impress how? And I do it for me instead of do it for others. Sometimes it can be okay to do well.
Carrying on from that. Now let’s have let’s be real, right? There’s a dark side to social media, and you have your career right now is very much with your face, your body, you know, at the forefront. Has your mental health taken a turn since you have exposed yourself on social media, or do you ever worry about certain things being online?
I think it’s such a good question because as I said earlier to you guys, people, this is the number one job people want to do in their like now as kids, they look up to social media influencers more than they look up to actors and celebrities they look up to. They look up to influencers because we see so much of their life. But what you don’t see is always the bad parts or the. And a lot of people are doing it better now. A lot more people are showing you the struggles they do have in this industry, because there are so many like I have been, social media doesn’t sleep like sometimes as a dentist or as a corporate person. You can close the laptop at 5:00. That’s it’s another day tomorrow, right? Social media is 24 hours like it does not sleep seven days a week, 365 days a year. And I am trying to put out content. And if I don’t put out for six seven days, I’m forgotten about, like I guaranteed. Like if your favourite influencer deleted their account tomorrow, you may for a second go, oh that sucks, but you’ll find another one within three three days or two minutes. It’s just like, and I hate this. Like Kobe Bryant, one of the best basketball players in the world. Unfortunately, he died. But there will be other best players in the world. There were basketball still live on. It’s the same as me as my job. It will still live on if I don’t create content.
But I need to keep creating because that’s my job and my work. And if I stop, then I’m not going to be at the money or anything. So it’s like all the all grow my brand and it can keep you up at night. There’s new platforms coming, there’s new kids popping off. Your content you created the other day doesn’t get as many views. The algorithm isn’t working in your favour or something or some something out there isn’t working to your favour. And then you start questioning going am I? Do people not like me? Is my content not good? Is Instagram just hating me or is TikTok hating me? And then you start seeing other people do something and you’re like, oh, maybe I should follow that content. Should I start doing that now? And it’s like, no, stick in your lane. And it’s so hard because you see other people’s success and you want to get a bit of that success. So you may start dabbling into that type of content. But I think it’s really important to stick in your lane and keep authentic. Keep authentic. But oh, can you be authentic on Instagram now because so and these creating platforms because you’re selling yourself to an algorithm. Like sometimes you want to create the content you want to create because because in that moment you’re like I really enjoyed creating that. And that’s authentic. But then when you but then it doesn’t perform well, you go, oh, that must be the algorithm.
I think thinking dentistry there is like that risk of that. Right. And we see it as well. Like there’s a lot of disgruntlement because there’ll be like the dentists that are sort of like a little bit more on the geeky side, the academic side. And they like the content that’s like really like, like the tooth zoomed in like a million and then like, oh, let’s talk about this. And then they hate on the Instagram dentist like me that do better because their content is a little bit more clickbait or it’s just a small makeover. But I understand my audience. I’m not there to impress dentists. I’m there to impress patients. I’m there to get a following of people like they want to engage, because also I’m going to lose a big part of my audience and some patients that come to me, they don’t feel afraid to cry to me in the chair or like, hold my hand or something. And the reason why they don’t feel that is because they see the like type of authenticity that I put out on social media, so they don’t feel embarrassed. Do you know what I mean? But your personality as well?
Totally. So when I see you on Instagram, I don’t just see teeth, I see Rhona’s personality. And that’s when I meet you in person as well. I see that personality because it’s exactly what you are.
I feel like you’re massively needy for for professional validation.
Oh, totally. But I’m not because you.
Don’t want to be known as only Instagram. Good at Instagram.
Just like Henry said. What I resonate was is that like the teacher said, he was going to get E’s and F’s. Dentists thought I didn’t have any clinical skills, so I upped my clinical skills. I made them better. I’m pretty good now. Do you know what I mean? Now you have.
An entire dentistry and have people dentists working for you. That’s how good you are. Yeah, but the thing is.
Is that I still have. But there’s still those other people that are like, I’m looking at like the one fifth of this, like, angulation of the enamel or whatever, but I, I’m, that.
Means nothing to me, by.
The way. You know, like what.
What is that English.
But the point is, I know that my work is good because patients as well can now tell the difference between a good before and after. I don’t think before they really could. But now people are like, I like you because you put translucence in your teeth. They understand things a bit better. Do you see what I mean? And I think that of course, like Payman asked me earlier. Right. Because as you know, I’ve released my own course. Yeah. Interestingly enough, the majority of people that bought the course was on the first day I released it. 95% were young females that had been on the courses of loads of famous dentists. Why did they choose me as an. You’ll know them. I’m not going to say why. I said, well, why did you go? Why do you want to do my course? Because they also feel that there is not a strong female leader within the field, and they feel that I’m more personable when it comes to stuff, because as part of my course, I have like, you can do like one on one and contact me on WhatsApp and send me and they like that. So the interesting thing is with the cohort, because he said to me, are you getting criticism for your course? And I’m like, of course I’m going to get criticism, but I don’t care.
I don’t think you’re doing anything right if you aren’t getting criticism.
Yeah, no, 100%.
You can’t please everyone. Like even content I do like 50% may like it, 50% may not. And that’s okay. Like you can have things you can’t be. You can’t have everyone like everything you do. So I think the great thing.
About content is it finds its own audience in a way. Very true. Yeah. I mean, when you said mental health as you remember, it wasn’t really my subject. He was.
A bit like, why.
It’s not my subject. So I know it was your subject.
Do you suffer from it? Do you ever suffer from anxiety? No, I.
Realise I do now.
He does now he does. Before this I me damaged goods babes on this before.
But then. But then. But then because. Because I had the experience with the previous pod that, you know, we weren’t trying to do anything. We were just having some conversations. And those conversations found audience.
That’s so true.
And this pod will find audience. And then what you do find and people who are not into it will stop following you. Okay, so here’s the thing.
This is the one way I always bring it back to you. Right? And why I think people like us probably will be successful in life is because there is still a cult out there who believes the world is flat. And if they can build a following, even though it’s scientifically proven that the world isn’t flat and they can build a following and a cult around it.
That’s a nice way of saying.
Someone will buy your product or will follow you like it’s so so facts like yeah, so.
But so those because I think like one of the important thing is like you took that leap of faith, Henry. And I think, like even so many young dentists, as he said, are so afraid to start content production. But I always say start with something. Even if you get two likes, don’t worry about it. Just do it. You know what I mean? So what advice would you give for people that want to start a similar journey? Because this could be within any field, right? Because you could be. There are doctors, by the way, Dr. Ali is her name. His name is he’s the one. He’s the one. He’s huge. He gave up medicine and he didn’t.
Yeah. My friend was on his podcast the other day. He said.
Listen, do you know about him?
He’s done great.
So he’s done amazing.
I watched a video on him this morning.
So he has a YouTube academy. He gave up medicine. He did a video. He’s brilliant.
And he did a video on how much he made. Like it was like £50 doing his NHS work and how much he was making on like on, like on that. And I’m not saying not everyone’s money driven. Right. So it shouldn’t be about that. But he had a very transparent video about like this is what I do. This is how much I make. This is why I do it. But for those that want to start that sort of journey and question number one is what would you say is the most important thing to start? How do you start it? Second question is, do you have to have a certain amount of mental resilience to do it?
Okay. Number one, I would definitely say be okay with being shit. And what I mean by that is you have to start off being shit because your first 100 posts will be shit like your first 200 maybe shit and you may got any like get no likes, but you have to be consistent. Like you may not be successful by being consistent, but there is a 100% fact and chance you won’t be successful if you’re not consistent, right? Which is so true. So you may have the risk of not being successful if you if you don’t try it, but you’re never going to know if you aren’t. So you just got to make sure you keep going. And my dad says this saying all the time, and we did it when I had exams. If you throw enough shit at the blanket, eventually some of it’s going to stick and some of it will. So you’ve got to keep going and then you learn from it. Every post you do, every podcast you do, you learn a little bit more about it. And it may take you a thousand podcasts before you suddenly get that curve of success and it goes up. Right. But then if you if you quit it, 999, you’d have never known. And it’s like that hole that, you know, that photo, someone digging for the gold. And then he stops at the very end when he would have been there. So yeah, I think consistency is 100% key. Like be consistency, always be consistent. And what.
About mental resilience do you think you.
Get? I think you definitely need it because you’re going to get no likes at the beginning. You’re going to get no listens on your podcast. You’re going to get no views on your YouTube channel. And then you’re saying to yourself, oh, I’m putting all this work in, I’m doing all these camera angles, I’m doing this and I’m getting nothing back from it. And you have to have that resilience to keep pushing on. It’s in it’s almost self-belief, like if you don’t have that self belief in yourself, then how are you going to push forward and convince the world that they should watch your stuff? And if you have that self belief, then you’ve just got to keep going and going and going. And I think that will that will push you on.
So. So now you’ve got this audience that’s engaged with you. What are the steps to monetising that.
And okay, so there’s a lot of ways you can monetise on social media. And it depends what. Of Omicron. So number one is brand deals. So it’s good to do your. The content you do should align with the brands you want to work with. So for example I’m massive into my health and fitness. I’m never going to go work with McDonald’s because unless they unless they wanted me to promote some sort of healthy, healthy thing, then maybe that’ll be right. However, 90% of the time I’m never.
Salads have more calories than the burgers. Just saying.
There you go. Yeah, maybe they do, but I’m not going to listen. I’m not going to hold a burger and be like the new Quarter Pounder, even if they pay ten grand, because it’s probably not really worth it. Maybe it is to some people, but everyone’s got their price now, so you’ve got to align yourself with those certain brands. I think you can also get paid from, like Rona is doing courses. It’s a great way. And then you can set up other things like plans. You’ve got a website you can set up, fitness brand. If you’re a fitness fitness courses, you’re in fashion. You can set up your own clothing brand. Yeah. These endorsement product endorsement. Yeah. So do you have.
Someone who represents you?
I have a manager. And that manager kind of deals with all my logistics and deals with all the brands I work with, and can also get me brand work as well. And they’ve been great. They’re lovely people and I’ve been with them for 3 or 4 years. And yeah, so me and my twin are the same manager, and then there’s different ways of making money on different platforms like TikTok actually have a marketplace where and a creator thing where if your video blows up, you can get some money. It’s very small, but YouTube’s even better. Youtube has a platform where if you create for that brand that that you can get thousands of pounds if your video goes off because the YouTube algorithm is great, like your videos, can you remake money? So your video, if you make a video five way five, if you go on Veganuary, it’s always big Veganuary right? If you make a video. Five recipes for making Veganuary, which are cheap. Let’s say that that video will be big from January and you made it so 2019. But also if it’s gone well in the algorithm, it will pick back up the next year because people will be researching again. Veganuary recipes oh 2020 2021 so that video could kill it as seven years later. So yeah, so there’s a lot of ways to make to monetise monetise it.
Yeah. I’m going to ask you something. I like to be controversial. Right. Oh here we go. So you were talking about platforms right. And platforms that control the livelihood as you know. Like what’s your view on censorship. Right. Because also you think about a case like with the recent news of like Russell Brand at the moment with what’s going on and the allegations YouTube have pulled him. Right. They’ve actually stopped and YouTube was his biggest source of income. Okay. So he’s now saying because Rumble’s the new platform where they don’t allow any censorship, right? Yeah. Do you believe so? First of all, do you ever get scared? I mean, you’re not obviously. Henry, I know you you know, you’re not a controversial slash immoral person or whatever. Do you do you ever get worried that you’re going to get cancelled online or not? Really. And secondly, do you believe that censorship is a good thing or not.
To censor yourself when you’re talking? Yeah.
Do you feel like, oh, I’m going to actually like I’m not going to.
Say say that.
Say that. Yeah.
Listen, I think the world we’re in now, if you are so straight line and boring, your content isn’t ever going to get, you’ve got to be left or right polarising. You have to be like, look at Piers Morgan, but you’ve got to be very careful about what you say, because if you aren’t educated in that topic enough and you say something which is one thing or the other, then it’s more likely you’re going to get cancelled. Like the reason why James Smith does it so well and Piers Morgan does it so well is because they are so good with words and they’re educated on the topics they talk about, so they’re less likely to get cancelled. Whereas if it was someone like me and let’s take an example, it’s the politics and you vote Labour over conservative or vice versa. And you document, oh, I voted conservative because of this, but do I really know that much about politics? No. But if I made my opinion about it that I’ve voted on conservative, then people are probably going to go, well, you’re right, you’ve clearly uneducated. And that’s the thing I only ever would be talking commenting on or something if I’m well educated on the topic. It’s the same with all the I can’t remember what it was. Now, somewhere in one of these Middle East countries where the woman couldn’t women couldn’t wear their masks.
No, no, no, they couldn’t wear the burqa or something like that.
I remember what it was, but these women couldn’t wear their hair. And people, if I were to make because people were DMing me going, why aren’t you why aren’t you commenting on this? And I’m going, it’s got nothing to do with me because I don’t know this industry. I don’t know it until I’ve done my education on it, and I now know to talk about it, then I’m okay to make a comment, whether it be this or this, but people on their podcasts and I watch it all the time, or on their Instagram stories or whatever, they’ll make a comment about something and I’m like, bro, just don’t even and I stay out of it.
I got trolled about something like this. This is really interesting. So this is the little insight because you were like, what were you getting trolled about? I get asked quite a lot to go on national television to make comments about like the NHS crisis. I worked on the NHS for ten years. Okay, so I did my I paid my dues. Like I said, I worked really hard. I left in 2020 for like health reasons. Up to 2021 I was doing NHS work. Yeah. Now people. So basically there’s like a meme account. On Instagram, which does really well. It’s a Dental medium account run by young boys. Young Dental boys. And basically they said that they were sort of the opposite of what you were saying. They were saying like, are you not like, doesn’t it infuriate you so much that these private dentists that don’t realise the shitstorm of what’s going on are going on TV and commenting on what’s going on, right? I got sent it by a few people because they were like, I think this is targeted at you. And I was like, listen, I don’t care, because at the end of the day, if they want to go out and speak about it, go out. There is freedom of speech. If you want to talk about it on your social media, do. Why do news channels approach me? Because I’m vocal about stuff. Because I’m the one that’s out there saying I left because I was depressed and suicidal working on the NHS and I can. I stood up to Jeremy Kyle, who was basically saying, dentists are greedy and that’s why they leave the NHS. I’m putting myself in that position. How does he know.
He doesn’t work in?
Exactly. But the thing is, is that after that interview he was like, I can see your point now. I found it really weird because I was like, they can say all they want and they control and whatever, but what they were saying is the opposite to you. They were saying, because I’m not in it. Whereas, you know, the people that are saying to you, you can’t win, you know, I mean, because they’re saying, why aren’t you commenting? You know, so.
There’s no the thing is, no matter what you do in this world, there’s going to be controversy. Like this girl the other day actually posted a photo in her lingerie in a public street, street. And it was a I my first initial thoughts were it’s a sick photo. Yeah. Whereas the comments under it were had to unfollow because of this, this, this. And I’m like, what is wrong with the world? Like and my older brother is actually a teacher, and the things he has to now do about child safety and security is so different to what we had in our lives back in school, where the teacher could probably hit us still and it would be okay, but now it’s just it’s all so different and it’s like you do one thing wrong in any industry or make one comment about something and you’re more likely to be cancelled.
I saw I saw a thing. It was it was like a picture of Kate Moss in the 90s with Calvin Klein next to her. They were taking a photo in his hand. Was like on her, on.
Her, on her arse or.
Something just above her arse. Yeah. And the comments that came in, who’s the creepy guy with the octopus hands? Yeah. Octopus. Calvin Klein, a gay guy. Yeah. Number one, Calvin Klein. Yeah, he probably designed that very dress. And his hands have been all over, like, to fix that thing, and and, you know, the the notion that, you know, maybe the person watching it was offended or had had some, maybe something had happened to that person.
Okay, here’s another thing.
Could have happened. Yeah. Someone someone might have put their hand inappropriately on on that person. That doesn’t mean that was going on in that photo. But like.
It’s just that pictures tell a thousand words, right? Everyone’s got their own opinion about it. But. So here’s another one. When I went to Dubai during the pandemic and right now people are watching, going, oh, you went to Dubai during the pandemic. But the facts are I went when it was okay to go, but I started posting photos when I was out there when we went back into lockdown. So I left on like, I don’t know, 23rd or 26th or seventh thing from Cambridge, which essentially was like a tier two level, whatever it was, which was legal for me to fly. And because I booked this months ago, by the way, and it was I made that vocal booked Dubai back in November and I made it on my social media, booked Dubai buzzing to get out there for Christmas New Year. And so it was legal to me. Book. We had no lockdown, we’re all okay. And then Boris suddenly announced bam this day, certain tiers, certain people. Yeah, long time ago. So I went to Dubai, but again, it was fine. I was flying from Cambridge, I was allowed to leave, so on and so on and got to the airport, got to Dubai.
Fine. And then I started posting content. Me on a beach. Nothing like drinking booze, partying, which a lot of the some influencers were. It was just again, clean content, show my outfits, whatever. And I got the biggest backlash on my on my photos being like, how dare you escape the country? All this, all this. And I was like, I, have you been following me for a long time? You’d have seen that on my post. Like I booked this months ago and I left legally like so. I’ve done nothing wrong. Like I wasn’t the one jumping out of my bed and doing it on January 3rd and sneak into Dubai and suddenly appearing on a beach. I booked this months ago, so. And then people were commenting on it and going, oh, you should be ashamed for yourself. You raised all that money to climb Everest. I did a charity challenge and and now you’re and your mum’s going to work. My mum was like, the boys did nothing wrong and my mum was actually in the NHS. I wouldn’t have done that to her. Raised all this money for charity, sent it to the NHS and then buggered off to Dubai just for a holiday.
The thing that you said about the NHS, dentistry and people saying who is this private dentist to talk about? I mean I did, I did one year of NHS dentistry and vet, then went to private, then stopped being a dentist. Now I manufacture teeth whitening products so doesn’t mean.
You can’t ever comment.
Being a dentist. I want to talk about the NHS. Yeah. If I want to talk about the NHS, I’m allowed to comment about the NHS, even though I’m not working in that system. Yeah. And maybe they’re saying why did ITV ask her and not one of us. Well ITV asked her because of everything we just said. Yeah. All the 15 years work.
You’ve put I think, I think like, you know, people don’t realise that the nuances of situation but also like in terms of like so there’s two, there’s two different things. Also I want to cover with the content creation before we move on. There is I’m not going to say her name because she blocked me. Say her name. No no no.
Who’s this? Say her.
We’ll cut it out. We’ll cut it. I really want to know who’s blocked it out.
We’ll cut it out.
I’ll tell you afterwards. Okay. There was content. You’ll definitely know by a certain female. She’s doing a brilliant job. Just listen. Listen. Just listen. Sorry, sorry. She’s very beautiful. She’s very articulate. And she claims to be a psychologist. Okay. Initially, I was like, fantastic content. You. I love it when I see strong, empowered women doing this. She then got called out. She went on Chris Williamson’s podcast. Ah, okay.
Is it okay? I think I know who it is with Chris Williamson podcast.
And someone called it out because there were certain things she was saying and I was like, she’s not a psychologist. And her response to other people was like, medical professionals don’t respond in this way. You just know, pay. Like, you know, the way that we have to respond to stuff. So I did my own little research, found some TikToks. She’s a psychology teacher now. She has gone on some of the most famous psychology teachers.
A psychologist, no.
But clinical psychologist is what she’s kind of like, portraying herself as.
Like psychiatrist. No, no.
It’s the woman I’m thinking of. I’m sure her. I won’t say her name, but I’m sure her title is doctor.
Yeah, or something like that. Listen, listen, listen. So she’s basically misleading, but it’s incredible because she’s been on Lewis Howell’s podcast. Yeah. I think even Joe Rogan like interviewed her like there’s been loads. And the thing is no one has done their due diligence and there’s only a few people calling her out. I called her out in a really nice way. I dropped her a DM and I was like, hey, love your content. And I was like, but you’re not a psychologist. And I think it could be quite misleading to the public. You know, as you said that she said she blocked me direct. Yeah. She direct.
She blocked me. But the point is, without replying, without replying me saying you’re not a dentist, I’d be like, actually, here I am and this is my credentials. Shivani was obviously like, of course she’s going to block you. Like it’s like saying you’re a fraud, you know what I mean? And I was like, okay, but I didn’t mean it. I didn’t mean it like that.
How block happy are you? Oh I’m.
Sorry. Block happy now? I blocked so many times.
I don’t block at all. Do you know what I block? I do, you know, I always say I block a lot.
Block, block, block.
My way to deal with things is killing with kindness. And the reason why I do that is because this girl. Yesterday I put on my story. It was hilarious. She actually DM’d my girlfriend because I don’t really tag my girlfriend much and. But I do sometimes just tag her and people can find that by tagging my girlfriend’s private. Anyway, she got a DM saying hey lovely, I don’t you don’t know me, but I follow your boyfriend’s page. And just to let you know, I think you should be concerned that I think he sways both swings both ways as it like gay and yeah, and I put it on my story and she sent it to me. And I could not stop laughing at this because it was hilarious. But she. The thing is, I could have messaged this girl back because I’ve got her Instagram handle now being like, how dare you? Whatever. But something seriously troubled with those people who have to give you hate because they’ve taken the time out of their day. We have 24 hours a day and.
But you could say that about the psychologist. But I wasn’t giving hate. I was more concerned.
No, yours is very different. Your messaging out of. Yeah, a concerning way. This is something way worse. Like someone, someone going out of your way to hate someone is a complete like something’s troubled with that person. 100% truly troubled of that person. 100% truly troubled. So when you always get on TikTok, you’ll see you probably get it as well on your Instagram, it’s it’s fake accounts commenting on your stuff. 1234512 lol. It’s the emails I got from those people when I first started my website going you’re a joke mate. This is the biggest laughing stock. Those people have troubles and there’s one kid from university, his name is Gus and I’m going to say it out right now actively.
Then respond and be kind.
Be yeah, yeah yeah. So this one Kick-Off Gus from University I went to University of. Never spoke to him, but I’d always see him on shake his hand on nights out. He or he was no one at university, but he was just friends with these two guys and these two Joe and this guy Gus. If they listen to this, I hope they do. They will. They always, they always, always, always would comment on me and I would just comment back lol haha. Or hope you’re well mate. Or one of them was. Once I was, I was blessed are your well skinny or something like that and lol this is the biggest joke he. Whatever and I’ll be like, thanks mate. Appreciate your support. Always killing with kindness. And I got it for like two years straight and I haven’t for a while now. But it’s like, you know what? I love that because they’re taking time out of their day to message me out of their precious day. What are they probably doing? Nothing. They’re not trying to achieve any goals. They’re just doing their life and board. So they think they’re better off blasting someone else and hating on someone else. Never hate on someone. Success. And the one thing I would say anyone above you if you’re hating on someone, they’re above you. You never hate on someone below you. There’s no point. You never hate on someone below you. You always hate on. So you always know if you’re being hated. You’re above.
That person. In dentistry, it happens so much and it’s so sad. And I’ve tried so hard. Have you?
Have you never not hated? Hate is a big word. Have you never thought that something someone said needed calling out in dentistry?
As in like the things they say to me or the things they say to me?
They say they’re saying to the public that they’re saying to their audience, you know, we’ve had a few things in dentistry recently, like the the twins. Um, maybe you’re not. You don’t follow them.
Yeah, exactly. See, I stay so far away.
But you know what I mean.
What was the twins tell me.
There are, there are there are things people say that you might think I think that’s wrong or I think that’s, I don’t know, self promoting or. I think that’s totally so. So do you know why has there not been in dentistry a time where.
You wanted listen, listen, listen. And Henry will be the same. Of course you’re going to see people online. I get I mean.
In your industry. Yeah.
But nutrition and stuff. But listen.
But the thing is like, okay, for example, the reason why the psychology thing triggered me is because I genuinely believe if you’re going to give medical advice you need, like you said, people should comment things that they’re on an expert. There is nothing wrong with being a psychology teacher. Just say you’re a teacher. Do you see what I mean? But misleading people and people that are going to look up to you. So I do have a problem with people like saying that. However, maybe I shouldn’t have, but I was like like for me, like psychology and psychiatry and psychotherapy is so important. Okay. Well, what about fitness?
Do you have to be a PT to essentially give personal trainer advice? But I know so many people in unreal shape. But the thing.
Is, it’s like but it’s also about transparency. It’s about like, I have a lot of experience. I’m giving you advice based on my experience. Do you see what I mean? Yeah. So I think that like it’s just the, you know, but you’re not going to lie about being a PT no. Do you know what I mean?
I, I actually went and got my license just because I sometimes couldn’t be bothered. Well, sometimes I get people commenting to me being like, you’re not even a PT bro. And then you’re.
Like, actually I am.
Well, actually, now I actually do have the level three qualification and I’m trained to do this if I wanted to. So you know what? I can talk about it even though that course isn’t great. Like it’s like going back to school and learning. You don’t learn much, but it’s just like you got it and it’s a credential. And if you do want to talk about it, you can. And if I want to release my plans, how about.
Same question to you. Have you ever thought someone in your industry needed your hate? Yeah.
But listen, listen a Payman I’m not done with that. I’m not done with that because it was going to lead on. Right. It was going to lead on. You see something you don’t like or someone online, you unfollow and you move on. Yeah, that’s my philosophy. So you don’t like the content. Why should I call out if someone doesn’t like Henry? I don’t like these fashion stuff I don’t like. I don’t like the fact that you’re talking about running and you’re not doing a million marathons. I don’t like the fact that you’re giving this advice and you don’t work completely in fitness. Just unfollow. Henry. Yeah.
Don’t follow me. So true. Why? Why do people want to hate so much? It’s. I just don’t get it. Like. Well.
There are nuances to that as well. Well.
Here’s what I did. And it made me really realise this when I was probably 13. I remember, um, Twitter was huge and X factor was on and I used to go onto my Twitter and I would slate the contestants. I’d be like, you have the world’s worst voice at Frankie Cocozza. And I only realised, but no, listen, this is 13 year old immature ten year old.
Trying to get something.
Yeah, trying to get something back. You never know. But I didn’t realise how badly this can affect people’s mental health until it started happening to me. So. Yeah. So as a kid I was like slating these famous people. If they’d had a rubbish football game, I’d comment, look, you guys have a football match. Everyone swears at the players, right? Because they don’t get it and you’ll see tweets. And if someone’s missed a missed a penalty or whatever in your club’s missed it, you’ll get hate from so many seeing so much hate. So think about how much that impacts that player. Like we all have the same minds and brains and we all are so similar. Really. Like it’s going to affect you like and people are probably told by their managers people stay off social, stay off Twitter. But sometimes you’re just on it and it’s natural that you may read that comment about you or something and you’re like, ah, it’s always the one bad thing, the one bad comment that stays in you as well. It’s not the good ones. Yeah, you could get your amazing tonight, mate. Well done. Or you were great at singing tonight or you played really well, but that one bad one can’t believe you missed that penalty.
You’re dead to our team. It’s going to stay with you for so long and it’s so traumatic. It’s the same in social media as it taught me. Massively. Like, if you’re not going to say something nice, don’t even bother saying it at all. And it’s so simple to say and it’s harder for people to do, especially at young kids. And. Stuff like that. And you do get that hate on TikTok all the time because it’s such a Gen Z platform and you get hate all the time, but you just got to for me, now is like, kill them with kindness and just whatever and whatever. Like they’re not my friends. I’m not worried about them because they’re not my I don’t see them every day. I’m not going to see that person. I’m just worried about who what my friends think of me, what my family think of me. And am I being a good person to my girlfriend or my brother or my mom and dad? That’s what you should really be caring about, not about what user 101 things. Do you know what I mean? Like that’s the least.
What’s your in this journey where you’ve come from? Just making some content and then getting really successful at it and then brand deals and modelling and all that. What was the darkest?
Yeah, I was just about to ask, what was your darkest moment? Yeah.
I tell you what I think it’s honestly it’s the the followers. Because I think the the more you get, the more pressure you have to feel like you need to perform to that audience. Like if you looked into a room and you had 100,000 people in one room, you’d be like, Holy shit, I’ve got to talk in front of 100,000 people. Like you wouldn’t be able to do that. It’d be like you’d be nervous, you’d be sweating. So it’s the same as going on your Instagram story and talking on there, but you’re doing it in to an audience of 100,000 people. So I felt when I got over 100 K, I felt almost had pressure on me. And the better I got at doing things like it’s the same as when I run or create content. When I first started, I wasn’t very good, so I had nothing to compare to. I had nothing to lose. But when I start getting good at it, every video I started posting, if it wasn’t as good as the last one, I’d put pressure on myself and go, don’t post it. It’s not good enough, which isn’t the way to do it. And I still do it today. So I’ll then because I’m at the top, I’ve got 178,000 followers or whatever. I’ll compare myself to other people have 170 K, and I’ll look at their content and I’ll be like, God, this is better than mine, or that guy’s better than mine, or he got to 200 K, his is better than mine. And I’ll go because I’ve got to that number, but then I’ve got to I got to remember, well, what was I doing when I had one follower like or two followers, my content look back at my content from ten years ago. So bad. So for me, it’s the pressure from feeling like I need to perform all the time. When you don’t like you don’t. You need to have days off, you need to have time off. And I’m I’m.
At some point on one day. Did that become like overwhelming and yeah.
Do you ever get did you ever get like severe crippling anxiety from social media.
So I yeah I get it all the time. Like I am a really anxious person quite frankly. And I hold it in well and I can’t control it.
You wouldn’t realise.
I think I do a lot. I think I’ve done a lot of things to help me balance it. So I see a therapist once a month. She’s been incredible. Same therapist, only ever. One I’ve seen and I haven’t seen anyone else since. So I see her about once a month. And for people who can’t afford or have the privilege of doing therapy, then I think just a good conversation with a friend is equally as important or can actually help as much. Or starting a new hobby, or taking your mind away from things that aren’t causing you anxiety, and waking up and not touching my mobile phone first thing in the day. Going to sleep one hour before no blue light or no screens again. Doesn’t have your mind wandering with all these thoughts and same when you wake up. You’re not jumping into your emails is another thing that’s really kept me anxiety at bay. And if it does come, just let it be. It’s a bad day, not a bad life. Like there’s going to be some times in life and days and years where you have that day where you can’t get out of anxiety and people go, oh, just breathe, breathe, go meditate. I’m telling you right now, you cannot go meditate. When you’re anxious. You cannot do it. You do the meditate. You do the meditation in the morning or whenever you fancy doing it too. So when you are anxious or in those bad thoughts that you remind yourself when you’re in that state of flow and state of chill and calm, that’s the state you can try and get back into, but you can’t go and just breathe it out because it’s not going to work. And you can you can lose a day and say, oh, you know what? That day, today’s not been good, but that’s okay. Just knowing that it’s okay.
My question for you is, though, you said like all these great coping mechanisms tell us how you ended up on this marathon journey. So first of all, like how many marathons you do, why you decided to do a marathon and how that’s helped your mental health.
So running for me, I actually started it when I got an injured shoulder and I couldn’t lift weights and I this was gyms, a part of my routine. I like training and I just lifted weights and I was in quite good shape, bodybuilder esque, like big, not not stacked, but like big. And excuse me. And I started running because I couldn’t lift weights and I was a bit slow, wasn’t I was always okay at school, but I wasn’t great now. And I started to get okay. So I set myself a challenge of a half marathon and I wanted to do it in sub one hour 30, and I did it in one hour 27 across the line, absolute gassed I was, I see I did it, but then I started right, right. So I did a marathon and I did my first ever marathon with not much training because I got given like a place with a brand very last minute, did it in three hours, 37 and my first ever one was like 302 only two years ago, actually two and a half years ago maybe. And I was like, oh my God, I’ve got to get into this. I trained for this. I could be a okay runner. And I started running. I set myself a target last year about seven, 8 or 12 months, 14, 15 months ago, set myself a target to do a sub three hour marathon. And I this is my first ever trained one. So I did about seven weeks of training to get this sub three and everyone was like, yeah, you’re never going to get a sub three on your first attempt.
I remember telling my mates, If I’m ever going to train properly for a marathon, I want to do it sub three. And I never forget the face they all went, no chance mate. Yeah. And so I put the work in and I got sub three on my first attempt. I did a 2 to 58. And anyway, the reason why I started to run was one because the shoulder. But also this moment of peace. I just have like there’s a lot of run clubs and I think it’s great running with people. But something incredible about running and present, about running by yourself first thing in the morning or after a long day at work where you can’t physically look at your phone or touch it, or compare yourself, or scroll media or whatever. It’s just you, your breath and your feet and the tap, tap, tap, or a bit of music or podcast in your ear or whatever. And I think that is just incredible. And I love it. Whether it’s raining, whether it’s cold outside and the sun’s rising and you see the sunrise or whether it’s a beautiful day, I think there’s just something empowering about it. And there is. Leaving the gym is great. After lifting weights, you feel great, but leaving after a run that runner’s high is the best feeling I’ve ever had in my entire life. They talked about. I think it’s massively made my mental health just feel a bit like, have a stressful day, go for a run, go.
For a run. Yeah, that was so I mentioned to Payman earlier. So did you have you listened to the latest Steven podcast with Dr. Tara Schwartz?
I haven’t yet, no.
It’s amazing, but she talks about the impact of aerobic exercise on the mind. I don’t know if you guys knew that. Not weightlifting. So first of all she talks about different studies. So with weightlifting with people that lift heavy, even if they didn’t lift just thinking about it, they had muscle growth.
Yeah. That’s that’s I’ve heard about that. Yeah. Apparently if you if you picture yourself in the gym and think about yourself lifting weights, they do say you can something like psychological empowering about I think it’s like a placebo though I think she talks.
About the effect of aerobic and actually causing. I think it is neurogenesis. So we were talking about this earlier how like you can get like increased neurones. And with aerobic exercise in particular, you have more of that impact of neurogenesis where you can get like an increase of like your neurones. And then if you go for like have a break from running and then you like run again, like it can do that even more. So there’s a huge benefit. Like people overlook cardio because they’re like, don’t do cardio, don’t do cardio. And I think that’s actually a really because we’re not thinking. We’re not talking about just physique. Why? The most toxic thing that’s happened with exercise is that we’ve completely related it to physical and aesthetic goals, when actually it has huge, because I know people that aren’t in great shape and are amazing at sports.
You know, let’s talk about. So for me, this is when I got into a really unhealthy place of fitness. It was when I got to Australia, as I told you guys earlier, and I got into the best shape of my life, I was like 4% body fat. Me and my brother, we were counting all our calories. We only really lifted weights and that because if you lift weights, it will aesthetically get you into the place you want to be 100% fat like you are growing each specific muscle, lifting each specific muscle to grow to where you want it to. And you will look the best. That’s just fact. But I got so unhealthy with it. It was beyond belief. Like every time I go out for food, I would I would probably eat chicken salad dressing on the side, nothing else because I was worried about the calories and I knew that I was like calories. I would barely drink because I was I was in Australia, I wouldn’t drink, I’d do nothing. I was so boring. All I wanted to do was go to the gym, and the girls upstairs used to come downstairs. This is how bad it got.
The girls upstairs who lived above us would come down. Go. Do you guys want to go out tonight? And me and my brother would go, oh we can’t. We’ve got something on tomorrow. Got to go to work in tomorrow. Unfortunately. When really we had sushi dinner that we wanted to save because it was our calories and it can get so caught up in your mind. It actually makes you have a bit of an eating eating disorder. So for me, it was like every time I had a burger, I’d be thinking about the calories. So I actually completely stopped counting calories. And what I do now, I think, I think it’s not bad to go through it, because once you go through it, you understand what you’ve done, you’ve learnt about it, right? And now, like I’ve got such good balance between running fitness, eating aesthetics, drinking it all, and I think you need to go through the bad times in this journey to learn it, and you won’t learn it by someone telling you on YouTube. You can tell it, but then you’ll be like, I don’t get it until you go through it. And I’ve gone through.
It all now. Level of obsession that you’re discussing, it has its positives, right?
Yeah, totally. In the meantime, in the moment it doesn’t until you can digest it and be like, oh, that’s why I did that or that’s why I’ve done that. Yeah. Looking back, I remember I was honestly trying to get shredded for a holiday to Marbella when I was 21. I’d go on this egg white diet where I just ate egg whites and broccoli 800 calories, diet like because I wanted to have abs. That is so unhealthy. What am I thinking? Yeah, you don’t need that at all.
So as well, do you? Have you ever tried alternative modes of therapy to help your mental health? Like, we’ve had a few people on this podcast talk about like plant medicines and other things like that. Like what’s your view on that?
Yeah. So I actually I’ve dabbled a little bit in psychedelics and now it’s quite a taboo, taboo thing to really talk about or discuss because there’s not been a lot of like science based evidence, especially with mushrooms. More coming out.
Yeah. Psilocybin. They’re going to be using it for depression MDMA.
They are in certain. But it’s it’s how our body reacts to it right. If you drink alcohol for the first time, you don’t know how you’re going to react to it, and 90% of people are probably going to be sick or drink too much, and it’s going to make you have a bad headache. So you you learn from that experience. And it’s the same with psychedelics. You don’t know how your body’s going to cope with it or what your mind is going to do. So you get a bit panicky, maybe until you understand what it does to you. So the first time I went on it, it was in a controlled environment. And I think that’s the best thing to do with any drug or anything you do should be in controlled environment. And that’s why in America now in like Texas or Houston or Austin, it’s like the psychedelic Mecca of the world in and they do it all under control people. So you have like therapists doing it for you. So I was going for a bit of a rough patch of and I was a bit anxious, worried about what’s the next part? I didn’t have a girlfriend at this time.
I was I felt a bit lonely. And in London you can probably know. It can be a very lonely place. And I was like, screw it, I’m going to go on this retreat. My friend Louis, who, you know, who had this podcast, he was like, mate, come. You’ve got nothing to lose. I was like, you’re right, nothing to lose. Turned up. And I went on this amazing retreat in Wales and I knew no one there. Went by myself, told my friends all last minute, I’m actually going on this retreat to do psychedelics and do mushrooms. And they were like, you fucking what? And I’m like, I don’t even know what I’m doing, but I’m going to do it. I’m all about new experiences, right? And I went on this thing and I sat down. They were like, right, we’re going to do a sharing circle. And as soon as the sharing circle started, I was like, what the fuck have I entered into? This is not me. Like, get me out of here.
It felt a bit woo woo and it felt a bit, a bit like a bit intimidating, like, why do I need to share my thoughts and feelings? And I did it and I felt really good. And I was like, this is, this is before I’ve done any mushrooms, by the way, or any psychedelics. And I was like, wow, isn’t it great to just let your thoughts off your chest to strangers? Because we’re all doing it and.
We’re all connected.
And we all had similar thoughts. It was like, this girl to the left of me have nothing in common, but the thing she was saying I could completely resonate to, and it was like, isn’t that funny? Like, we all are so connected in this world. And then the next day you go to bed. You don’t. I took off social media. I turned my phone off, left it in the car, didn’t touch it for two days. So the conversations I’m having are so raw, so real and amazing. And because I think for me, for one, I get judged quite a lot because I like to dress well, take care of my skin, and like to do fitness and groom myself. Self-care quite, quite. Probably too extreme. But anyway, I do. And so a lot of the initial judgement is people think I’m arrogant and that’s okay. I don’t mind that. Anyway, I thought it was a really good place for me to actually tell these people who I truly am and the personality, because actually, at the end of the trip, a lot of people were like, damn, man, I judged you as soon as I walked in, like, I thought you were just this good looking guy at this retreat, thinking he’s someone else. And I was like, I’m so sorry about that. And I was like, I was so honest that you’re like that because I think we all do it. Like we judge people walking down the street for having pink hair.
And actually there could be the loveliest person or having something. They’re just going fancy trying something new. Yeah. And anyway, did the psychedelics and during the experience, it’s very like I first I was quite nervous because I’ve never done this, but I just said to my body, in my subconscious, in my mind, surrender, surrender to this and let it be. Whatever happens is lean into it. Because if you step away from it, lean away from it. You’re going to block the drugs out. Because the way I say it is, if if you’re smashed out of your face, right, and you’re boozing with your mates and your mum texted you saying your dad’s in the hospital, get home now you’re going to snap and you’re going to go, I’m not I’m not drunk anymore. I’m sober. I’m alert, I’m focussed. So your mind can take you out of certain situations if you want it to. And it’s the same with the psychedelics. If you want to be taken out of it, you will. But if you surrender to it and just say mushrooms, like whatever you do, do your thing and it will work really well. So the first hour I’m taking it and I’m like, oh, can I go to the toilet? Should I go to the toilet? I’m not a bit sure. And I was like, just Henry, stop and do what you want to do.
And I went to the toilet, came back, went back into this like kind of weird trance. And it takes about a week to really digest what you’ve seen and done and to really put it into work. And the moment, the first time I did it, I’ve done it twice now, and each one I’ve had different experiences, but the first was a very special one because I think the other people around me were really significant. Have, since I’ve done it, have been a real significant part of my life, and they’ve all been friends now and they’re all really interesting people on it. Some were entrepreneurs, some were, I don’t know, some celebrities or whatever, and there were some really cool people there, and I connected really well with these people. And I think for me, it was like that sharing circle the next day after you’ve been on it and everyone again sharing their experiences was just such an amazing, amazing thing to hear. And it was just like such an eye opening experience. And I left and I sat down and I was like, because I didn’t touch my phone this entire week and I was like, wow, the world doesn’t actually go that fast. We just think it does because we’re always scatty we’re on phones, we’re running at 100 miles an hour. But actually, you know what? It’s slow. You can have it. I’ve had about 13 incredible conversations before 1130.
In the morning. Yeah, yeah.
Yeah, I know what you mean. But we’re so busy doing things.
And was everyone’s experience similar or different after.
Everyone actually had very different experiences? I think. I think, you know.
The thing is with psychedelics, as they have shown, because they’re doing so many studies on it, particularly with psilocybin and mushrooms and stuff like if you have on those levels, because there’s like there’s different levels, right? And there’s a really famous psychologist at Imperial that does studies and there’s like certain doses. So you have a recreational dose. So that’s when you’re like, ha ha, I’m having fun. Yeah. Then the dose that Henry would have taken, which is more like your ego, they call it ego death. So the ego dies, right? So the ego dies.
A heroic dose.
Yeah, exactly. So then you get pushed, you get pushed, you get pushed into the closet, as they said, with your skeletons, and things will come up. Like you might see things that are uncomfortable, your parents or stuff about your relationships.
Doesn’t happen to.
Everyone, though. Everyone has different appearances, a lot of the time you can go and have intention. My intention may have been I want to find the future wife, what type of girl I should be with that. Maybe everyone, but you don’t choose how the mushrooms.
Control your brain. They’ll take.
You somewhere. They’ll take you somewhere else. It could be completely different. It could be you as a child playing football and how you got tackled by a boy. And that caused your trauma for the rest of your life because you’re now scared to play football? I don’t know, um, pretty bad example of that, but you get my point. Um, for me, the first I’ll take you back to my first experience, because I actually did mushrooms in Thailand, jokingly, recreationally, recreationally. And when I was travelling and again, all I did was get the giggles. It was hilarious. We had the funnest time ever. It was really good fun. Um, but this was very different. Didn’t get any of that hilarious moments for me. It was more deeper, very deep. So things I actually saw, um, was the type of girl I need to go for because I’ve had two relationships, but by this time one of them was really good. But we broke up because I went to university. The other one was a bit toxic, a bit fire on fire, and it was. And at the time I was dating these type of girls and in my vision it was like, you need to go back to someone like your first ever girlfriend, because that’s exactly what you need.
And now so you saw that in your second.
I saw that and know first trip, first trip, and then what else I saw was my dad on his deathbed. And that was horrible because I was crying in the trip and it was like, okay, so again, a week later, what does that I’m writing these down and I read it afterwards and I was like, what does that mean to me? And in that moment that was like, your parents aren’t here for a long time. Maybe go and spend more time with them. Maybe that’ll make you happy. Maybe that seeing your mom and dad more often is going to make your.
Dad was perfectly fine. Fine? He still.
Is fine. He still is. But it’s just like, maybe that is like.
There might be a worry, though. Do you see what I mean?
I haven’t got many. You haven’t got many experiences left with your say. If you see your parents, say if you’ve got parents still and I’m 31, my parents are 67 and 66. Say, if I only see them twice a year and they live till the average age of, say, 75, that’s only 29 more times I’ll see my mom and dad. It’s crazy. Isn’t that scary? And then it’ll be 28, 27. And that’s sad. Exactly. So it was like, I need to make a more conscious effort to go see them all the time. Not all the time, but more of a conscious effort. Pick up the damn phone and call your mum and dad because they want you to call them. Like my mum is always like, oh, you never call me anymore. And I’m like, I know, I.
Know, I put you on that guilt and you feel so bad.
But you should. Do you know what? It’s not hard when you’re walking down the street to pick up your groceries or something to go. You know what? I’ll give my mum and dad a call because they all really appreciate you.
Not call your parents every day all the time.
But you know what my mum’s like? My mum’s like, you never see us, you don’t want to hang out with us. And the thing is, is like my like, I’m so like, death is such a taboo subject, right? As in, like, we don’t talk about, we can always see our parents getting older and it’s a few little struggles. You know, me and my sister are like, dad looks a bit old. Do you know what I mean? He’s looking a bit more frail. He’s forgetting things a bit more, you know.
Yeah, same as what my me and my brothers are doing.
The thing is, it just. It is a really scary thing, but it’s also like a part of life, like we are going to lose our parents. And this is.
One thing I talk about with people of success and doing things as well. It’s like there’s only one inevitable thing that’s going to happen this one, we’re all going to die, right? So go do what the fuck you want to do anyway. Like, why are we stopping ourselves from thoughts of what other people think? Because like, go fucking do it like you want to start that business and all your friends think it’s crazy. Fuck it. If it doesn’t work, you’ve learnt something like go do it. And I’m saying that sometimes for myself because I need.
You to say it to me, Henry.
Yeah, like. And me and Rhona talk outside this podcast and she goes, me babe, sometimes I have imposter syndrome. And I’m like, what? You you’re a successful entrepreneur. You have this amazing parlour business, you have this amazing tooth business. Sorry. Dentistry business. You’ve got a podcast. You, in my eyes, are the most successful person I know. And then she’s like, Henry, I look at you and think, your content is amazing. This is amazing. How do you get imposter syndrome? And I’m like, I think we are the worst own thoughts.
But we also think people are thinking about us, you know.
Are we overexaggerate our own importance? There’s far too much.
There’s an amazing woman I found online. Her name’s Sarah, something, and she’s a woman that is in Dubai, and she talks about how she has dealt with stigmas all her life. She’s a divorced Middle Eastern woman with 27 tattoos that doesn’t cover up. And she was saying that, like people, especially in the Middle East. In culture like where I’m from, have always judged her for things. And then she said that she did like a massive detox because when she lost a lot of people being her authentic self, she lost a lot of people. She goes, but it felt so good because the people that stayed were the people that loved me for who I was authentically. Do you know what I mean? And then she goes on to say that, like, your brain is like tofu. Be careful what you marinate it in, because if you marinate it in shit like toxicity, it absorbs that, you know what I mean? It’s like a sponge, right? Yeah, exactly. And I think, like, you know, that that is the most important thing. But you’re right. We forget that we have one life. And over and over again, people on their deathbed, as you know, they get asked, what do you regret? You know, and the regret is always doing the things that they wanted to do that they didn’t.
Living for other people’s expectations. But, you know, you get you guys are a bit younger. You get to my age and you start to regret the things you didn’t try. Yeah. That definitely what?
Well, I’m already seeing it already in my.
Products or companies or whatever. It was. Many things we haven’t tried.
Yeah, I think it’s so true though, because I always look at it like this and it’s easier to say than it is to do. It’s like money will come and go, like just fucking spend it and give it your best shot on whatever you want, like, because you can go back and make money. That’s the Middle.
East in a way. By the way. My mom’s Lebanese. She spent she’s like, Alex, buy me the Chanel. We might die tomorrow. Which really justifies everything, you know, like everything. Because Lebanese, by the way, they grew up in war, like, their whole life. Like Payman knows it’s the most bougie country in the world. Yeah, a bomb will hit. They’re still clubbing because they’re like, you know, you’re like, Yalla, we might die. You know what you were saying?
There is like buying me that thing anyway. So I think there’s a lot of, again, ways to look at that. Like there’s two ways to look. Oh, the first thought is £1,000. That’s, you know, maybe I shouldn’t do it. But then the other thing is, if I wear that Chanel bag, my confidence is going to go through the roof. So will that confidence make you better at work? Maybe. Will it make you get that boyfriend, your girlfriend you really want? Maybe. Will it make you walk with confidence? Maybe. And I think confidence is so key in anything we do. We talked.
About that. We talked about exercise and confidence because people were saying that. We say, oh, you shouldn’t have aesthetic goals. But then if aesthetic goals make you more confident and the confidence brings you other things in life, is it.
Bad, do things bad. But I do think every everyone who starts in the gym probably has some sort of low level of confidence and the and they’ve got some sort of validation they want to have to have. And I think I do.
Anything at the beginning of anything. It’s very difficult. Yeah.
Maybe. Yeah I think I was like that as well. Probably I was a skinny lad at uni and wanted to get all the girls, so I started lifting weights.
So when you look back on the journey, what, what, what are the high points? What comes to mind when you think of like the moments where you can take real pleasure?
So was it was like when I first started this, I was like, one day I’m going to work with this brand and this brand. And the moment I started working with them, it was like, fair play. I’ve done what I said I was going to do this brand, was it what was All Saints? And quite cool because and Ralph Lauren and I was like, you know what, fair play. Because I’ve always wanted to have the email being like, oh, we invite you to this or you can wear our clothes. And it was like, I remember 18 years old, I bought a All Saints leather jacket, my mum bought me one for my birthday and I was like, mom, there’s a lot of money, £330. And now and I’m not saying this gloating or anything, but it’s like I can contact them and they’ll send me one. And it’s like great feeling. It’s like, you know, I worked for that. And people look at it.
And the thing you work for, that’s the thing, people.
Look at it straight away, go, oh, you got this easy. I’m like, mate, I did it exactly.
When people are like, you should get in the TV gig.
If it was easy, everyone would do it.
Yeah, it’s it’s the same people, right, who complain. Right. So there’s two types of people. There’s the person who has the wife, who has the two kids and still manages to work out. And there’s the other one who what you were saying, and there’s the other person who comments on everyone’s post, but you don’t have kids and it’s the person. But there’s still, I guarantee there’s someone out there still finding the time to get the work in and do X, Y, and Z, even if they’ve got kids in a job and everything. Exactly. It’s just what you prioritise and what you spend those other little minutes doing that could save you on other certain areas of your, of your, of your life.
So what does the future hold for you?
I think it’s a really good question because for me, the future. I’ve been doing content creation for a while now, and I’m seeing all the changes and things like that, and I almost feel like I want to pass the baton down to the younger generation in content creation. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to do it. I think it’s going to be a part of my brand and what I do to showcase things, but for me, I really want to get my own fashion brand. I’ve got an idea to implement, like running kind of wear in more of a fashion wear fashion aesthetic, not like Nike, like performance clothing, but cool aesthetic in the running kind of space and fitness space, but also fashion space as well for like holiday wear and stuff. So I’m working on some designs right now for my own fashion brand, and I really want that because I think it’s for me, it’s like I love creating content and stuff like that, but I really want to have something which is bigger than my name and grow a brand, and I can impact. Impact? Yeah. Like I can always if I see someone wear my jumper down the. Street or something. And they bought that. I’d be like, fuck yeah. Like, and I get that now. I get people messaging me online and it’s like, that’s.
A dream lots of people have had. Right. So but now that you’ve started that process, what are the things about that that surprised you or you weren’t aware of or I mean, for instance, just for the sake of the argument, you want to make that jacket? Yeah, you got to make that in seven sizes and four colours. Yeah. Suddenly you’re talking 28 SKUs of that jacket.
Totally. Well, so far what I’ve learned is like, start small. Like you can’t expect to have a jumper, a t shirt, a pair of trousers, a pair of shoes off the back of it. Right. You have to start small. And again it’s just consistency like we talked about earlier. It’s starting small and being consistent with it and learning along the way. There’s going to be mistakes. I’m not going to I know for a fact I’m just not going to be all plain sailing because like you said, everyone would have done it. So it’s just and if it doesn’t work, it’s okay.
But in specifically in fashion, what are some things you’re starting to learn?
Okay, so I’ve got a sample made the other day. Samples can come back really shit. And they’re also really expensive to make. You know I think they look really good. So I get this jumper and I’m like, not not what I thought. And that’s £130. And I could have bought a nice jumper for £130, which is. Yeah. So it’s things like that. Um, the, the logo, the, the branding, the, the name having meaning behind the name is really important. Like I could just slap. I don’t know, there must be a reason why you started. What was the reason for you starting in lightning and lightning smile. Is there a reason behind it? Is there a brand behind it?
Yeah, yeah, but but I mean, one thing that’s very interesting. When we try and make something, there’s two ways of going. One is you stick your name on something that exists. Yeah. And the other way is where you make something completely new. And making something completely new costs us maybe five times as much. Totally sticking our name on something. I think with.
Fashion, you don’t actually need to reinvent the wheel all the time, because if you look at fashion, what actually happens is it goes in circles, just it goes in cycles. Right. So certain trends right now will probably go in May, maybe stay like there’s always some things that are going to stay leather jackets, things like that. But there’s certain trends and styles which will go round in cycle. So it’s like understanding what’s big now and then. You never know. It could become big in ten years, but for teeth to making them whiter or something, maybe a complete like you said.
You want to do a t shirt or a shirt, let’s say. Yeah. And you’ve got a specific idea about the way you want the stitching on the on the shirt or something. Unless you unless someone makes that specifically for you. Yeah. You’re not going to get that right. So is that the way it is that that is ready to go. Things that you can stick your name on got you or there’s like, you know, cutting new shapes and is that is that how it works? Well essentially.
Yeah. Like the manufacturer I’m speaking to at the moment. I said to him, listen, I want this, this, this. And he’s like, yeah, we can do that. So there’s just certain certain things people can do. If they can’t do it, then you find someone who can. Yeah, yeah. And it may take a long time to find someone who can. The thing which is really tough with any business, I think, is let’s take content creation for an example. You want to get better at photography, but to learn it. I learnt a lot of mine off YouTube. But what do you type into YouTube if you don’t have a clue about the terminology? Yeah. So there’s things on a camera which is ISO, aperture and things like that. But if you had no idea what aperture was, how could you say, make my photo look cleaner in YouTube? And then you get all these videos. It’s the same as like starting a clothing business. What is the word for this? Like, do you know what you need? Almost a dictionary of your words and everything. But it’s also about dentistry as well.
It’s about starting like Paula was the most like difficult thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. Because also like with dentistry, like I so had like a clear idea. And then I went on courses and then I invested. But like with business, especially a Start-Up like know it’s all it’s it’s all this new terminology and you kind of learn like on the go. And like recently I learnt all this stuff about business, like, you know, like shares, articles of association. Do you know what I mean? I had no flipping clue at that.
Richard Branson started a business and he made it to the top. And he still doesn’t know the.
Difference between Net and.
Gross. So do you know what? If you if you’re here and you make that, you’ll be all right.
Yeah, I think I think one of the big things like that Henry has brought today, like a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of great tips. But you know what you’ve shown a lot of people just start and also have the like, have the vision in mind, because I know that when he was that guy at Fitness First that didn’t have like he wasn’t going to be one of the biggest, like, content creators in the world. He just knew he wanted to do it. So you have to start somewhere.
So as I said earlier, self-belief is so important and we’re always going to feel something every day. We’re going to feel like, oh, we don’t deserve to be here. But if you can control your mind and just stay in that zone, you’ll you’ll get there. And that’s what I got. Mind over feelings tattooed on my under my bicep here first ever one. I love it because I think we feel something all the time. But if you can say to your mind. Your mind. You can do anything.
Absolutely. Well, thank you so much, Henry. It’s honestly amazing.
Enjoyed that chat.
With you both. And yeah. And, like, probably have to bring you in for like, part two. Let’s do.
It. I’d love that. Thank you very much. Amazing. Thank you.
Lovely to chat to you both.