Nick Hays, Harvard-educated Navy SEAL veteran, consultant, speaker, author, comedian, and rollerblade enthusiast joins the show to discuss his book Elite – High Performance Lessons and Habits from a Former Navy SEAL. This isn’t a war memoir or a book on “how to become a Navy SEAL.” It’s a very readable, relatable set of habits that are broadly applicable to life and life at a level of high performance.

“If something is intimidating you, it’s a great indicator that it’s something you should do.”

– Nick Hays

Nick is uniquely transparent about the failures that became lessons that became effective habits. We talk about the injury that ended his first career, a funny occurrence that helped him remember he had what it took to rebuild after major surgery, and what Nick is doing in his latest endeavors with Elite Teams and as a stand-up comedian.

“How am I growing today? How am I better today than I was yesterday? We’re either growing or we’re dying. So let’s embrace the principles that are going to allow us to grow, allow us to be a better product of ourselves. Hopefully we can become the best possible version of ourselves every single day!

– Nick Hays


Nick Hays is not your typical Navy SEAL. After cutting weight as a wrestler, his growth was severely stunted. Standing just over 5 feet tall, he was often bullied as a kid and was laughed at when he told others of his dream to become a member of one of the worlds most elite units. Nick learned that what first seemed like a deficiency was indeed his greatest strength because it made him immune to adversity.  After leaving the SEAL Teams at ten years, he began contracting in the middle east. Nick’s operating days came to an end when he ruptured a disk while preparing for an operation in Afghanistan.

Disillusioned, broken and without means to provide for his family Nick was left without a purpose in life. After recovery, his training kicked in, and he remembered the lessons learned from the SEAL teams and put them to the test with professional athletes. Word spread and before he knew it he was training the Miami Heat and eventually worked with the Atlanta Falcons on their way to a Super Bowl. Nick holds a BA from the University of Maryland, a Masters in Business from the University of San Diego and a post-graduate degree from Harvard Business School. He now resides in California with his wife and their three children.


  • Fatherhood and teachable moments
  • Mitigating learning curve cost
  • Defining success
  • Aggregation of marginal gains
  • Growth mindset v/s fixed mindset
  • Leadership and mentoring
  • Consistency with family routine



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