How do you go from the Special Forces to being a TV Star and Author? Ollie Ollerton has done just that, transitioning from being a soldier to a civilian running a successful business, writing books and starring in a TV show. In this fascinating interview, Rob speaks with Ollie about his transition from the military to civilian life, how his TV breakthrough came about and why creating a new blueprint for yourself is the most important thing you can do to change your life. If you’re wanting to learn how to get out of your comfort zone and change your blueprint, this will be an important listen for you.
What is the downward spiral? Often in the military, you take for granted the things that you get behind the wire, in that institution. That you have comradery, you have a massive sense of purpose, and that support network. That isn’t a given on the outside. I would drink more when I left the military and began on a downward slope. Layers and layers were peeled away. I was on a destructive path. I think looking back I was chasing death.
Are you able to use that challenge of authority in a positive way? Everything I try and do now is unconventional, I make my own path in everything I do. I think you should always try to look at different ways to do things.
How did you reinvent yourself from the military to the TV and writing books? It’s been a long process. I’ve done it the hardest way round. I left the military in 2000, and I left because it wasn’t defining my purpose anymore. A lot of people are willing to stay in that perceived comfort zone but there is no growth there. Sometimes you have to make a decision to have short term pain for long term gain. You have to go through the obstacles but when it's consistent you have to think about what change you can make.
Why did you join the military? The whole thing excited me. It gave me an extreme purpose. However, my perception was not reality. That’s why I kept stepping up. There was never a satisfaction there in the army which meant I needed a change. After the Army initially I worked in Iraq looking after journalists, and we did a large scale infrastructure like mobile phone network.
I used to get home and I couldn’t wait to get back to Baghdad. But then when you get to civilian life you can’t handle the small stuff. The more people that are in sheltered society you become micromanagers the small things in life. I hated it.
How did you land your TV story? I’d moved over to Australia, and I was commuting from there to Bagdad every six weeks. I always wanted to get into a real job, I tried to get into real estate. I went to South East Asia where we were helping children out of slavery. Everything was telling me that I needed to change. I said that I’d never go back to the UK but then I started to open the gates to that opportunity it all started making sense again. I came back to start my company BreakPoint.
I had the vision to incorporate some of the things I learned in the military into the corporate sector. BreakPoint works to change the way we think. You think about changing, a lot of people believe that it’s all about mindset. We do workshops on theory, and then a lot of practical work where we apply pressure to scenarios. We teach processes so our participants learn how to understand the pressure.
How do you go from a negative to a positive mindset? After school, you’re left with this programming from school. I think you have to change the blueprint in your mind. I wrote a contract to myself with a date for when I was going to change. I read it out in the mirror to myself.
How do you try and manage your own ego? The selection process for Special Forces finds people who are emotional chameleons. I know how to cut it off when I observe the ego taking over in myself. Unless you know that process it becomes a problem. Special Forces soldiers have that ability to control their emotions, and especially when it comes to my ego and cut that off.
There were a lot more suitable candidates for the TV show. We were the first guys who were to be not pixelated and our faces were on TV. There weren’t other people who wanted to be shown on TV. I needed exposure for my company. It was a dream.
What does the word disruptive mean to you? A pioneer, not following the traditions and the norms in everything that you do. Growth is not a linear path.
‘Good health is important for your mind.’
‘I lacked the purpose of leaving the military.’
‘A lot can happen to a veteran in a few months.’
‘I had a lot of negative thoughts.’
‘I was chasing death.’
‘I question the status quo in everything.’
‘Short term pain for long term pain.’
‘In the army, you think you're invincible.’
‘There wasn’t any insurance.’
‘You’re drawn in by the cash.’
‘Money should always be the byproduct of your passion.’
‘I’ve always tried to redefine myself.’
‘I always want to do a ‘real’ job.’
‘We take people out of their comfort zones.’
‘You don’t get the opportunity to preplan so they base on raw emotion.’
‘You can never build comradery with ego.’
‘You can’t change a mindset without changing the blueprint.’
‘Process is so important.’
‘I’m an observer of my emotions not a victim.’
‘Those closest to us we listen to the most.’
‘I become a vegan for 12 months just to see what it was like.’
‘You need a purpose for everything.’
[Text Wrapping Break]ABOUT THE HOST
Rob Moore is an author of 9 business books, 5 UK bestsellers, holds 3 world records for public speaking, entrepreneur, property investor and property educator. Author of global bestseller “Life Leverage” Host of UK’s No.1 business podcast “The Disruptive Entrepreneur”
“If you don't risk anything, you risk everything”
About The Guest
Founder of Break-Point, ex-Special Forces soldier and star of TV’s SAS: Who Dares Wins, Ollie Ollerton has faced many breakpoints in his life and now he tells us the vital lessons he has learnt. His incredible story features hardened criminals, high-speed car chases, counter-terrorism and humanitarian heroics – freeing children from a trafficking ring in Thailand.
Ollie has faced break points in his personal life too, surviving a freak childhood attack, run-ins with the law as a teenager rebelling against a broken home, his self-destructive battles with alcohol and drug addiction, and his struggles with anxiety and depression. His final redemption as an entrepreneur and mental health charity ambassador has seen him overcome adversity to build a new and better life.
‘Everyone has the capacity for incredible achievement because it’s only when it’s crunch time, when you’re down to your last bullet – when you’re at – that you find out who you really are.’
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