Live in the Lab with Keith Bilous
Live in the Lab with Keith Bilous
Live in the Lab - Week in Review Nov 20 - 24

Live in the Lab - Week in Review Nov 20 - 24

Triumphs and Transformations You Can Use to Your Advantage

Hey BAPL Nation.

This week, we bring you real-life stories that not only mirror your aspirations but also echo the struggles, triumphs, and transformative moments that many of you have experienced or are striving toward. After all, life isn’t just about extraordinary feats. It’s about the relatable journey of growth, change, and self-discovery.

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Fueling Your Journey to Excellence: Insights from Robert Esmie’s Olympic Triumph


We kicked off the week with the incredible Robert Esmie, an Olympian whose story is nothing short of inspiring. Robert, hailing from Jamaica and settling in Canada, shared his journey, from the early days of adapting to a new country​​ to overcoming personal tragedies and professional betrayals​​.

The Power of Vision and Resilience

Robert’s story is a testament to the power of vision and resilience. Despite the loss of his father at a young age​​, he held onto a strong sense of responsibility and a fierce determination to excel. He embodied his father’s advice to be the best at whatever he chose to do​​.

Lessons in Overcoming Adversity

Robert faced setbacks and betrayals, like discovering his trusted manager/coach was embezzling funds​​. But he turned these obstacles into opportunities, learning to manage his finances and career independently.

What’s truly remarkable was his choice to train himself after that betrayal. It was a bold and unheard-of move at the time. But it paid off, securing him an Olympic gold medal​​ in 1996. Robert’s unwavering focus and strategic thinking, even in the face of adversity, were crucial in his path to Olympic victory​​.

Embracing Change and Building a Legacy

Post-retirement, Robert faced the daunting task of transitioning from an elite athlete to normal life, a shift he described as a culture shock​​. His ability to adapt, however, led him to success in various roles, including coaching and entrepreneurship​​. Today, Robert is focused on leaving a legacy, and he accomplishes his mission through his high impact athletic training business, Air Blastoff.

Practical Tips You Can Implement from Robert’s Wisdom

  1. Dream as big as you want: Have audacious goals? Then commit and come up with a plan to achieve them. That’s how Robert won his gold medal at the Olympics. Whether it’s in your career, personal development, or health, aim high and believe in your ability to achieve your dreams—because you can.

  2. Show resilience in adversity: Learn from Robert’s ability to pivot in the face of challenges. When faced with obstacles, look for the learning opportunity and use it to propel yourself forward.

  3. Adapt to change: Transitioning in your career or life is tough. But it’s inevitable for most of us. Embrace the change and apply your skills and passions in new areas, much like Robert did when he moved from athletics to coaching and business.

  4. Think about what you’ll leave behind: Think about what legacy you want to leave when all is said and done. It could be through mentoring, starting a business, or supporting a cause close to your heart. Thinking about your legacy often gives you clues about your true purpose, so start taking steps toward that today.

Robert’s story stretches far beyond winning gold. As we often talk about here in the Lab, performance and pursuing excellence is a journey. The outcome is not as important as the road to get there, because the learning and fulfillment happen along the way.

Thank you for reading Inside The Business Athlete Performance Lab. This post is public so feel free to share it.


Redefining Strength: Dai Manuel’s Transformative Path to Holistic Wellness


The Crucial Wake Up Call

Dai’s story begins with a candid revelation about his struggles with alcohol, a 15-year habit that veered dangerously close to sabotaging his personal and professional life. This wake-up call, a heart-to-heart with his wife, marked the turning point.

Embracing a New Lifestyle

For Dai, choosing to walk away from alcohol wasn’t just about putting down the bottle, but more so about redefining his social identity. Letting go of ‘Fun Guy Dai,’ he embarked on a journey of rediscovery, one that involved relearning how to connect with people and himself without the crutch of alcohol.

The Power of Fitness and Mental Wellness

Dai’s pivot to a fitness-focused lifestyle was a tool for mental and emotional well-being. For Dai, the lack of control he felt because of anxiety was crippling. Fitness became his anchor, a consistent practice that allowed him to regain a sense of control in his life.

How Fitness Became Dai’s Emotional Regulator

  1. In times of uncertainty and internal turmoil, Dai found stability in his fitness routine. A structured exercise routine provided a framework in his life, countering the unpredictability of anxiety.

  2. Dai realized that physical exercise was an effective way to manage his emotions.

  3. Post his decision to quit alcohol, Dai needed a positive and healthy outlet. Fitness not only filled this need but also became a tool for self-care. It helped him navigate the process of building new social connections and adapting to lifestyle changes.

  4. Dai’s commitment to regular physical activity had a ripple effect on other aspects of his life. It enhanced his overall well-being, making him feel better mentally and emotionally, which positively affected his social interactions and personal growth.

  5. Exercising became a way for Dai to exert control over his body and, by extension, his life. This sense of control is crucial for anyone dealing with anxiety, as it counters feelings of helplessness and uncertainty.

Integrating Dai’s Fitness Philosophy Into Your Daily Life

  • Identify a Physical Activity You Love: Choose an exercise routine that you enjoy. It doesn’t have to be intense or time-consuming. The key is consistency and enjoyment.

  • Use Exercise as a Stress Reliever: Incorporate physical activities into your routine to deal with stress and anxiety. It could be as simple as a daily walk, a quick yoga session, or a few minutes of stretching.

  • Create a Consistent Routine: Like Dai, develop a consistent fitness schedule. Regular physical activity can bring structure to your day and help manage emotional fluctuations.

From Busy to Intentional Living

The concept of being ‘busy’ underwent a transformation in Dai’s life. He shifted from wearing ‘busyness’ as a badge of honor to living a life full of intentional, fulfilling activities.

Creating Harmony, Not Balance

Dai’s view on life balance is refreshing and honest—he strives to achieve harmony in all aspects of life rather than an unattainable, perfect balance. If you’ve been following Live in the Lab for a while, you know how we feel about “balance”.

As Chris Martin, a previous guest, put it bluntly: “Balance is bullshit.”

Family Dynamics and Being a ‘Dadpreneur’

As a self-proclaimed ‘dadpreneur,’ Dai places fatherhood at the forefront of his identity. He openly discussed the challenges and joys of parenthood, emphasizing the continuous journey toward being a great dad.

Practical Tips You Can Implement from Dai’s Wisdom

  1. Change often means shedding an old identity to embrace a new, healthier one. It’s a journey worth taking. Look in the mirror and ask yourself if you’re the kind of person you want your child to marry one day.

  2. Replace ‘busyness’ with purposeful action. Fill your life with activities that align with your values and goals.

  3. Aim for harmony in your life tasks, where each responsibility and goal contributes to an epic whole.

  4. Continuously strive to be the parent you wished you had, and understand that it’s a journey of constant learning and love.

Thank you for reading Inside The Business Athlete Performance Lab. This post is public so feel free to share it.


How Questioning Assumptions Can Help You Unleash Your Potential: Insights from Andrew McConnell


Andrew McConnell is a former U.S. national team swimmer turned successful entrepreneur, author, and keynote speaker. His story, a blend of resilience, adaptation, and self-discovery, offers invaluable lessons for both retired athletes and business leaders.

The Art of Challenging Assumptions

Andrew’s narrative is defined by his relentless pursuit of questioning and redefining assumptions—a trait that has been pivotal in each phase of his life. Whether it was reimagining his identity post an injury, entering the complex world of entrepreneurship, or even choosing to live on an island, Andrew’s success has been shaped by his willingness to challenge the conventional and embrace the unconventional.

From Injury to Insight: Redefining Identity

Andrew’s journey of challenging assumptions began in college, following an injury that ended his swimming career. This setback forced him to reconsider his identity beyond sports, leading to a profound transformation. He embraced academic excellence and ventured into new territories, demonstrating that our true potential lies beyond the labels we wear.

Entrepreneurial Success Through Questioning Norms

Andrew’s entry into the vacation rental industry was marked by his ability to question every facet of the existing business model at the time. By challenging the accepted norms and delving into the intricacies of the market, he identified gaps and opportunities that others missed. This led to the creation of a unique business model, which revolutionized the industry. But before he grew his business to a multi-million dollar success, he started small, using simple tools like a cellphone and Google spreadsheets. He gradually scaled up.

What’s remarkable is that Andrew hasn’t lost touch with this philosophy, and he encourages people who want to start a business to follow the same approach he did years ago—to start small. It’s a valuable lesson in starting with what you have and progressively building upon it.

The Importance of Mental Wellness and Social Connections

Andrew emphasized the crucial role of mental wellness and social connections in personal and professional success. He highlighted the importance of addressing stress, managing your mindset, and nurturing social connections as integral components of your overall health and well-being.

Practical Tips You Can Implement from Andrew’s Wisdom

  1. Stay Curious: Life transitions, whether from sports or in business, are opportunities to ask “What if?” and “Why not?” Use these moments to challenge your current understanding and explore new possibilities.

  2. Start Small, Think Big: Andrew’s approach of starting with basic tools and scaling up is a testament to the power of small beginnings. Don’t wait for perfect conditions; start where you are and grow incrementally.

  3. Nurture Your Connections: Andrew emphasized the importance of maintaining strong social ties. In times of change, these connections can provide support, new perspectives, and opportunities.

  4. Reframe Your Narrative: Like Andrew, take charge of your story. Challenge the assumptions that define you and consciously craft a narrative that aligns with your goals and values.

Thank you for reading Inside The Business Athlete Performance Lab. This post is public so feel free to share it.


Embracing Change with Patrick Mork


Innovation Meets Marketing Mastery: How Google Play Became the Giant it is Today

Patrick Mork, whom I dubbed ‘the Brandfather for Google Play’, recounted the challenges and triumphs of his 10 years in Silicon Valley. Among his achievements is the successful launch of Google Play in 2012. As marketing leader, he led the team that reimagined the Google app store and transformed it into a legacy brand.

Patrick’s insights into the importance of emotional intelligence in leadership and his approach to overcoming complex business challenges are valuable lessons for anyone navigating the dynamic terrain of professional growth.

A Personal Awakening: Success Does Not Equal Purpose

Patrick’s transition from a tech executive to a purpose-driven leadership coach marks a profound shift in his life narrative.

Confronting a personal and professional crossroads, he embarked on a journey of self-discovery, realizing the need to step away from the known and find his true purpose. Silicon Valley had been a stepping stone toward his initial success, but it no longer gave him meaning.

And so, he embarked on an arduous nine-month journey to find himself and redefine his purpose. This transformative move led him to embrace coaching, where he now empowers others to navigate their own transitions in pursuit of what makes them happy.

Embracing Change and Cultivating Connections

A crucial aspect of Patrick’s journey has been his ability to adapt to change and build meaningful connections across continents. His move to Chile and back to the US exemplifies his philosophy of embracing new environments and opportunities (FYI: he has moved around over 30 times across 11 countries).

Patrick’s approach to fostering authentic relationships and his emphasis on the power of positivity and energy in building a support network offer practical strategies for anyone looking to expand their horizons.

Want to Write a Book? Don’t!

Patrick and I had a good laugh when he immediately said the best advice he would give to someone who wants to write a book is not to do it.

He described the process of writing his book, ‘Step Back and LEAP’, as one of the most challenging endeavors of his career. His journey from drafting to publishing provides a candid look into the world of writing, offering valuable advice for aspiring authors. His story is a testament to the power of perseverance, discipline, and accountability in turning a vision into reality.

The Power of Seeking Help

Wrapping up the interview, Patrick emphasized the importance of asking for help, especially for those who rely on themselves so heavily. His message underlines the strength of vulnerability and the mutual benefit of offering and receiving support.

Reaching out for guidance can be a critical step toward your growth and transformation.

Patrick Mork’s journey is a vivid illustration of the diverse paths that can lead you to your purpose. Success is multifaceted, and only you can define what it looks like for you. Wherever you are in life, remember that it’s never too late to find your purpose.

Practical Tips You Can Implement from Patrick’s Wisdom

  • Cultivate a Growth Mindset: Embrace new challenges and opportunities for learning. Stay curious and open to new experiences.

  • Find Your Purpose: Reflect on what brings you fulfillment beyond traditional success metrics. This introspection can lead to a more meaningful and satisfying life and career.

  • Develop Emotional Intelligence: Work on understanding and managing your emotions and those of others. This skill is invaluable in all aspects of life.

  • Nurture Relationships: Make a conscious effort to build and maintain authentic connections, whether in your personal life or professional network.

Thank you for reading Inside The Business Athlete Performance Lab. This post is public so feel free to share it.


Harnessing Resilience and Adaptability: Lessons from Chris Dingman


Chris Dingman’s career in hockey was marked by notable achievements, including winning the Stanley Cup twice, and I had the pleasure of chatting with him during our Live in the Lab Friday segment called After the Buzzer.

As with all pro athletes, the end of Chris’s athletic career brought about a significant shift in life. He faced the daunting task of learning about his identity outside of the sports arena. His journey through various roles, including landscaping, broadcasting, and sales, illustrates the importance of being open to new opportunities and the courage to step into unfamiliar territories.

The Bigger Picture

Chris Dingman’s story is more than a tale of athletic prowess. It’s a narrative about the human capacity for adaptation and growth. His journey shows that life after sports can be as fulfilling and exciting as the time you spent on the field, court, or rink. The trick is to stay curious, find new passions, connect with others, and never stop growing as a person.

Here in the Lab, we constantly explore these themes of transition, resilience, and personal growth. Chris’s story is a reminder that our journeys are never linear and that each transition is an opportunity to redefine ourselves and our paths.

Practical Tips You Can Implement from Chris’s Wisdom

  • Adaptability is Key: When you’re in the middle of a game, you have to adapt to whatever moves your opponent makes. Likewise, life throws many curveballs, so use that same adaptability to counter and push forward. Embrace new opportunities and be open to learning from them. See your career transition as a chance to discover new passions and skills.

  • Leverage Your Past Experiences: Chris used his reputation and experiences from his NHL days to his advantage in his new roles. Your experiences can open doors and provide unique perspectives in new fields. Don’t hesitate to use your clout—it works.

  • Stay Humble: What stood out about the conversation with Chris was his humble spirit from start to finish. It reminded me of the importance of developing this crucial skill as you go through life’s ups and downs while pursuing your Next. Whether you’re standing in front of opportunities or challenges (which, really, are just opportunities in disguise), approach them with humility and a learner’s mindset—you’ll be surprised how far it can take you.

As we close this week’s chapter at BAPL, remember that the essence of your journey lies not in those towering achievements, but in the smaller, often unseen steps of growth, change, and self-discovery.

Each story shared this week, from Robert Esmie’s Olympic triumphs to Chris Dingman’s post-athletic career evolution, serves as a mirror reflecting the diverse paths we walk in our pursuit of excellence.

The Collective Spirit of Resilience and Adaptation

This week’s narratives underscore a profound truth that resonates deeply within the BAPL Nation: genuine victory lies in the resilience to rise after a fall, the adaptability to embrace new roles, and the courage to redefine your purpose. Whether it’s Robert’s unwavering determination, Dai’s transformative lifestyle change, Andrew’s challenging of norms, Patrick’s search for purpose, or Chris’s journey of adaptability, each story is a testament to the indomitable spirit that drives us all.

Your Journey. Your Narrative.

Remember, your journey is uniquely yours. The challenges you face, the changes you navigate, and the growth you experience are chapters of your own incredible story. As you move forward, take these lessons, apply them in your life, and continue to strive toward your Next without apology.

Thank You for Being Part of This Week’s Journey

Thank you for joining us this week to learn from the lives of remarkable Busness Athletes. Your engagement, curiosity, and willingness to grow alongside us is what makes the BAPL community a thriving space for shared learning and inspiration.

Let’s continue to support each other, celebrate our successes, learn from our setbacks, and together, keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.

Until next week, stay inspired, stay driven, and stay a Baplete.

I’m Keith Bilous, and I’m your Chief Baplete here in the Business Athlete Performance Lab.

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Live in the Lab with Keith Bilous
Live in the Lab with Keith Bilous
Live in the Lab with Keith Bilous is a daily LIVE talk show for creators, entrepreneurs, business leaders, athletes and startup founders. We share interesting stories from interesting people to entertain, inspire, and inform you.
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