Brett Collier

brett collier

An emotional and powerful life story talking with Brett. Having faced trauma and setbacks in his life it was fascinating and inspiring to hear what he thinks about the questions we asked him. 

He owns a personal training business in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, based out of his own private studio, offering consultations regarding lifestyle changes, exercise habits and general nutritional advice.


What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?

There’s No Escape by Ian Serraillier. It’s a kids book that fascinated me as a teenager.

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Sharon L. Lechter. I read Philosophy at University and had the mindset of developing income streams and I modelled myself on being a self-employed entrepreneur.

12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson. He is controversial, but he backs up his ideas. So often we answer questions emotionally. But I think a good life lesson is to consider every answer before you answer.


What purchase of £100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)? (Brand and model, where you found it?)

I bought an electric vacuum by Bush from Argos for £85. It allows me to clean after my clients leave. I was spending £400 a month on a cleaner that I no longer need. It gives me pride in my business and my clients see that I care. They’re changing their behaviour respecting my Gym by wiping their shoes more when they arrive.


How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favourite failure” of yours? 

I’ve had a lot of failures in my life.  When you turn a failure into success, it becomes a lesson. So, I think the question is flawed.


If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it —metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)

It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.. 

I believe in a life of virtue, impacting positively on other people.


What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)

My best investments are in the long term relationships I have with my wife and kids. 

Outside of that it would be exercise and martial arts in particular. I’ve been doing martial arts since I was seven years old and this has taught me self discipline and improved my self confidence. I’m enjoying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu right now which really gets me focused in the moment.


What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?

Video journalling.  Both my parents died when I was younger. When I was drunk, I would have conversations with them. Now, as a sober person, I speak to myself with questions and answers. I get to a solution quicker, usually when my emotions are high. I’ve made 40 to 50 videos in the last six months and I record them in my car, whilst driving.


In the last five years, what new belief, behaviour, or habit has most improved your life?

Questioning myself more than questioning others. I used to be a narcissist, self-serving and judgmental, not worried about the consequences of my actions, not wanting to feel bad emotions.

All the problems in the world can be solved if we have a conversation with ourselves.


What advice would you give to a smart, driven student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?”

Get into sales, understand the sales process, you’re going to have to interact with people in life. There’s a transaction. Get to know yourself and be positive. What value do you bring to the industry? Believe in the process, believe in yourself. Learn how to sell. What are the questions to ask? This is a good entrance into the business world.

Also focus on real social interaction over technology. We’re moving away too quickly from this and it’s not healthy.


What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

Find your niche.

No, learn your trade. Build yourself up. Then you can find your niche. Don’t stay in your lane.


What frustrates you the most about your industry and the way companies are run in it?

The lack of attention to detail. When people value information over people skills. The lack of standards and professional accountability internally. My industry is unregulated.


In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to (distractions, invitations, etc.)? What new realisations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips?

Less nights out socialising.


What does a balanced life look like to you? Has a work or a project you have been focused on caused you to neglect other areas of your life?

A happy family, myself included. Plus a fulfilling, positive work environment.


What does leadership mean to you?

Setting an example.


Which people have most inspired you in your life and why?

My wife. She is beautiful inside and out. 

Also, American coach Mike Boyle and Jordan Peterson.


What one thing could you do that you aren’t doing now, that if you did on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in your personal life?  What one thing in your business or professional life would bring similar results?

More jujitsu and more time with my wife.


Have you ever engaged with self-help, mentoring or coaching? If so, how?

Since I was a kid through martial arts.  Counselling, three or four times; therapy, three or four times. I’m a coach and mentor myself. I’ve had a mentor. I’ve done programs.


For more information check out Brett’s personal training business.

Topic: 50 in 50