Hi, I’m Dan Carlin

If you're like me and love business and surrounding yourself with successful entrepreneurs then join us in building businesses and lives that ROCK!

My Story – The bullet point version for those who are short on time and have the attention span of a two year old (like me).

  • I’m 35 years old and live in Bondi Beach Australia with my gorgeous girlfriend Monika.
  • I have an amazing group of mates and a loving family.
  • I enjoy travel, keeping fit and great food and wine.
  • I love building businesses! I’ve never had a ‘real’ job (see long version for details).
  • At the age of 30 I set up Elevate. A company that helps individuals and organisations to improve health, performance and sustainability.
  • To set up Elevate I sold my apartment, took on $80,000 in credit card debt and borrowed money from family and friends, about $400,000 all up. No pressure huh!
  • I had no idea what I was doing, underestimated the set up costs, and by the time we opened I had spent the 6 months in running costs I had saved.
  • Flat broke, no way of backing out, and not wanting to let down the people who backed me, I had to find a way to make Elevate work. The answer? Work 24/7!!
  • The hard work paid off. Within two years we had 3000 people through the clinic doors, contracts with global organisations and revenues of a couple of million dollars.
  • My vision grew and I pushed harder than ever.
  • THEN, LIFE CHANGED BIG TIME!
  • My ability to focus decreased. The simplest task like email was taking way longer than it should. I was struggling to switch off and sleep at night. I would wake up at 3:30am with my head going a million miles an hour so I’d load up on caffeine, workout, and be in the office by 7am. By 10am I’d be in the fetal position on the floor of my office exhausted and sound asleep. My strength decreased in the gym. I caught every bug going around. I became moody and irritable. I began to suffer paralysing anxiety worrying that I wasn’t being productive, the business would fail and that I would lose all the money I’d borrowed from friends and family to set up the business (sorry, long bullet point, but seriously, I was a mess!).
  • Eventually this all led to a massive crash. I was mentally, emotionally and physically burnt out. I could no longer function.
  • I was absolutely broken from the business I loved. For the first time in my 32 years I was no longer bullet proof. Diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue (Google it, it sucks!) I ended up on medication and had to limit my time in the business.
  • It was ironic. Here I was running a corporate health company educating people on the importance of managing their health but completely shattered myself.
  • I was forced to take a long hard look at myself. I loved building my business but the way I was doing it just wasn’t sustainable. Things needed to change.
  • Since then I have been on an absolute mission to get my health back (which I have done, woo hoo!) and learn how to build and operate businesses in a smarter and more sustainable way. I’ve read countless books, audio books, taken courses, engaged coaches and mentors, built a board of highly skilled and experienced people and put it all into practice.
  • I discovered podcasts and they changed my life (sounds cheesy but it’s true). Hearing the successes and failures of others is not only priceless learning, it provides amazing support.
  • In 2014 my journey and experiences as well as my passion for business, teaching, health and life inspired me to create A Business That Rocks.
  • Today, it’s my mission to help you build highly successful and sustainable businesses while ensuring you’re looking after yourself and living a life full of achievement, adventure, fun and freedom.

My Story – The long version (make a cup of tea, sit back and relax).

I’m a 35 year old guy living in Bondi Beach Australia with my gorgeous girlfriend Monika. I love business, it fascinates and excites me. I really love consuming business books, audio books, courses, seminars, coaching, blogs, podcasts – you name it. Most of all I love building businesses. When I’m not geeking out on business I spend my time traveling, surfing, keeping fit and enjoying great food and wine. I have an amazing group of mates and a very supporting and loving family. I consider myself a very lucky guy.

Growing up I never thought of myself of an entrepreneur but as I look back now I was always an adventurous, creative and independent kid. I challenged the status quo and followed my own path. I was not very interested in school, got into a bit of trouble and had teachers who either really liked me or didn’t have much time and patience for me at all. I was, and still am, a dreamer and a talker.

I’ve always had big vision and loads of drive, and with this came the need (and love) for money! From about the age of 8 years old I’ve come up with innovative ways to earn the money I need to buy the things and I wanted. Electric guitars, motorcycles and overseas adventure travel don’t come cheap!  I washed cars, mowed lawns and spray painted house numbers on street guttering in the newly established suburb I grew up in. At 12 years old I started teaching guitar lessons from my bedroom and spent my teens playing in bands and taking on small acting roles on various TV shows, commercials and films.

After school I studied audio engineering then worked as a freelance sound guy in the film industry through most of my 20’s. This was a great time in my life as every day was different, I was making great money and I got to travel, a lot! At 27 I felt like I’d experienced everything I wanted to in the film industry so I decided to move on.

One day in the gym I got talking with the gym manager and he suggested I give personal training a go. Over the next few years I built a thriving PT business while living a great lifestyle in Bondi Beach full of sun, surf, cafes, bars and parties. During this time I began speaking to employees at large companies educating on health and performance. I really enjoyed being my own boss, teaching and helping people to change their lives.

Five years ago, after working in the corporate health industry for a couple of years, I saw a gap in the market and went for it. I set up a company called Elevate to help individuals and organisations to improve health, performance and sustainability. There are two arms to the business, a corporate consultancy that partners with organisations to formulate and deliver health and wellbeing strategy, and clinics offering a suite of services including General Practitioners, Integrated Doctors, Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, Dieticians, Naturopaths and Psychologists.

Now when I say went for it, I really went for it. I sold my apartment, took on 80K in credit card debt and borrowed money from family and friends to get the business off the ground – nothing like a few hundred grand in debt to get you out of bed every day huh! While I did do market research and was 100% sure of my vision I had never set up and ran a business that had large premises, staff and equipment. I certainly had never built and operated a medical clinic! I completely underestimated the set up costs. By the time we opened the doors I had spent the 6 months in running costs I had saved. If you have set up a business you can probably sympathise with this and if you haven’t, remember this story when you do as it will remind you are not the first or last person to underestimate the costs when setting up a new business.

Flat broke, no way of backing out, and not wanting to let down the people who backed me, I had to find a way to make it work. And that way was personal training 6 mornings per week from 5am-9am, to earn the cash to pay my staff, then put my suit on and cold call companies 8 hours per day to secure corporate engagements and get people through the door of the clinic, before going home via the gym for a workout to do a few more hours work.

After 6 nerve racking months of 24/7 sheer determination and grit the business started to grow. Too scared to lose momentum I pushed harder and harder determined to increase the growth rate. Within 2 years we’d had over 3000 people through the clinic doors and had secured contracts with a number of global organisations. With revenues of a couple of million dollars I knew we were on our way. We’d done it!

Then, life changed.

After two years at this frenetic pace the cracks started to show. I started to notice that my ability to focus throughout the day was decreasing. The simplest task like responding to email started to take way longer than it should.

I was struggling to switch off and sleep at night and ended up addicted to sleeping tablets, which I eventually built up a tolerance to. After finally getting to sleep well after midnight, I would wake up a few short hours later around 3:30am with my head going a million miles an hour thinking about everything I needed to do. So I’d get up and go for a run or to the gym, as exercise made me feel good. I’d load up on caffeine and be in my office working by 7am. By 10am I’d be in the fetal position on the floor of my office exhausted and sound asleep.

My strength decreased in the gym. I caught every virus and bug going around. I became moody, irritable and generally not a nice guy to be around. I began to suffer paralysing anxiety worrying that I wasn’t being productive, the business would fail and that I would lose all the money I’d borrowed from friends and family to set up the business.

Eventually this downward spiral led to a massive crash. I was mentally, emotionally and physically burnt out. I could no longer function.

I was absolutely broken from the business I loved.

For the first time in my 32 years I was no longer bullet proof. Diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue (Google it, it sucks!) I ended up on medication and had to limit my time in the business, which I really struggled to do.

It was ironic, here I was running a corporate health company educating organisations and their people on the importance of managing our health and wellbeing, but completely shattered myself.

I was forced to take a hard look at how I was running my company and how I was managing my health and lifestyle. I loved building my business and working hard but the way I was doing it just wasn’t sustainable. Things needed to change.

Over the past couple of years I have been on an absolute mission to get my health back (which I have done, woo hoo!) and learn how to build and operate businesses (Elevate and new ventures) in a more sustainable way. I’ve read countless books, audio books, taken courses, engaged coaches and mentors, built a board of highly skilled and experienced people and put it all into practice.

I discovered podcasts which I became addicted to as I could absorb huge amounts of content whenever and wherever I wanted. Every week I look forward to podcast episodes from awesome guys like Pat Flynn and Andrew Warner. For me podcasts provide education and inspiration, but the thing I love about them most is the sense of community. Hearing the successes and failures of others not only priceless learning, it provides amazing support, for me it’s like having group therapy!

It is my passion for business, teaching, health and life that inspired me to create A Business That Rocks. The experiences I’ve had over the past years have been both the hardest and most thrilling and rewarding times of my life.

It is my mission to help you build highly successful and sustainable businesses while ensuring you’re looking after yourself and living a life full of achievement, adventure, fun and freedom.

Dan Carlin

Founder