Innovating Business, Life, & Mindset

Who’s Angus?

Hi there, I’m Angus Nelson.

angus-beach-headshotAnd you and I are very much alike… What makes me say that? Well, for one thing, we’re both doing the best that we can with what we’ve got on this majestic planet that’s full of surprises.

I work with leaders from some of the largest corporations in the world. But it hasn’t always been that way.

Here’s my story… a near novel really.

When it comes to my family background, my mum is from New Zealand and my dad from South Texas, while little Angus (me) grew up in a similarly small town in North-Central Wisconsin. My parents always encouraged us kids (I have an identical twin brother and a towering 6’8” younger brother) to get out of school, grab a backpack, and take on the world as if it were an endless adventure with infinite possibilities.

 JCrew Christmas Catalog 1996

JCrew Christmas 1996

After college, I did just that. All my summers thereafter were full of travelling to different countries, including the Soviet Union (as it was called then), France, Thailand, Venezuela, and Mexico. My time in between all of the exploring was spent working odd jobs in Tulsa, Los Angeles, Boston, and I even spent three entire ski seasons working on the beautiful mountain in Sun Valley, Idaho. My most notable, but still fairly odd job was modeling for JCrew! Needless to say, I claimed many different titles throughout my travels.

Truth is that at that time, I didn’t do what most people my age should be doing like pursuing a stable career, saving a bunch of money, or simply responsibly planning out my life. That is something I never regretted because I got to live a vibrant life of adventure and made a ton of friends along the way. Most importantly, I was able to fully experience all that this life had to offer.

In the years to come, however, I stumbled upon an arts-driven youth center, founded a restaurant and catering company, organized another non-profit organization, launched my very first book, and then found the wonderful company I work for today, Crowd Companies.

The Foundations of My Entrepreneurial Spirit

In my late 20s, my brother and I co-founded our very first arts-driven youth center called RockWater in our hometown of Wausau, Wisconsin. (Fun Fact: Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer, is also from here). It definitely was a worthwhile effort—from fronting as a coffeehouse, to subsidizing donations with coffee sales and the admissions to concerts and events.

Like with any new venture, the euphoria of those early days keeps us going, yet, at the same time puts blinders on our weaknesses and fuels tameless egos. I can be quite the dangerous concoction, if you ask me.

Our focus was excessively placed upon the fun parts of the program, the uplifting concerts and delicious coffee—so much so that the fundraising to support the actual project was put on the back-burner. We ran lean, then took supremely risky business risks, and ultimately experienced massive stress on our relationships, both internal and external.

I somehow believed that if I just worked harder, things would get better.

Have you ever been there? I’m sure we all have at one point or another…

These mistakes led to messy divorces, soul-searching, maturing, and personal growth, all with undertones of pain—pain that was much needed in order to undergo a total life change and move on with my life. This led to…

Developing Compassion for Others

During the next few years, I experienced a period of intense transformation. It wasn’t the least bit pretty nor easy, but as resistant to change as most people are, that is to be expected. While suffering through depression, self-hate, and destructive coping mechanisms (which I don’t want to get too into), -I’ve, at the same time, been reading more books than I can remember, listening to personal development gurus, and attending motivational workshops. So contradictory, I know.

Within a time of the greatest agony, I’ve been seeing the much-needed metaphorical death of my pride, ego, and arrogance. This has been one of the most liberating and profound discoveries of my entire life… The ultimate place of paradox:

Losing in order to find,

Giving in order to gain,

Breaking to make whole,

Yielding to wield,

Dying to live.

Haiti in 2009Incredible isn’t it? Or perhaps I’m getting too deep on you? I know, I do that sometimes—maybe more often than some people would like. Don’t worry, though… We can talk some more about this over a nice coffee or an ice-cold beer. All on me, of course.

And by the way, you can learn even more about my epic journey in my book, “Love’s Compass”. It’s on Amazon currently (which means you should go check it out sometime soon). 🙂

Most of what I learned dealt with the emotional and psychological aspects of our lives—areas I never truly grasped intellectually before. The more I learned, the more I realized that all of us are experiencing battles within… every single day.

We just don’t know it.

As such, I learned compassion.

Finding Fearless

Getting comfortable in my skin, I find that I no longer have something to prove or gain. Simply being myself is enough. More than enough. And that goes for anyone who’s reading this. Being your authentic self saves you from fear… Fear of what others think about you, fear of getting rejected, and so on.

Connecting to this principle has relieved me from the intimidation of people and circumstances. So much so, that in 2014, I sold our family home and traveled for a year. Funny how getting out there in the world dramatically impacts the very core of your being. My wonderful wife, Samantha blogged stories of our adventures on ThoseCrazyNelsons.com while we “traded our mortgage for memories.” Notice the “crazy” bit… In a good way, of course, but that’s for you to decide.

 

ThoseCrazyNelsons

 

When your limiting beliefs are stripped away, true limitless potential is born.

Leading With My Strengths

This newly honed skill set and harnessing emotional IQ, has allowed me to discover my abilities to read people and synthesize core needs in both relationships and situations.

I understand people. I empathize with you.

In a few short years, I’ve been speaking at corporate companies, consulting executives, advising startups, and counseling couples and careers. All while remaining humble and grateful for the blessings each day brings.

I help people.

 

“… as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people

permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear,

our presence automatically liberates others.”

― Marianne Williamson

 

I’ve spoken at the US Missile Defense Agency, Coca Cola HQ, Walmart HQ, Whole Foods HQ, NASA Space and Rocket Center, SXSW, and for plenty of chicken dinner social group organizations.

 

Friends

 

I’ve been featured on AOL.com, Huffington Post, Venturebeat, and Social Fresh.

Angus on Huffington Post LiveThrough my podcasting, speaking, writing, and coaching, I’m creating resources to change lives and building a community of leaders more self-aware, confident, and impactful in our society.

I want to change the world and personal lives alike by promoting effective leadership and healthy relationships.

And I want to start with you.

How may I serve you?