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The Heroik Hour Podcast #204 – OffMode

House Keeping Notes

1- Sorry about the audio – I was too far away from the mic on this one. I’m not use to standing with the Yeti mic, but rest assured it’s corrected in later episodes.

2- Video doesn’t start rolling until about 2.5 minutes in – I didn’t catch it right away when I was recording. Also Fixed in later episides.

Welcome to the Heroik Hour Podcast – the show where we get beyond all the basic and vague nonsense to talk business, life, and you, better. Stronger, and faster. I’m your host, Nicholas McGill, and I am here to share with you the various insights, systems and engines of growth to get you mission mission ready for life in all areas. We go deep, substantive and seek to bunker bust basic noise that you hear everywhere else. If you prefer to keep it vanilla and frosting on the surface, then you’re on the wrong podcast my friend.

A little house keeping – something new to the show – I’m recording episodes via video as well so if you want to see me rustle papers, make faces, and see some visuals for topics, you can check them out on the heroik website at and for all you newcomers- we spell heroik H-E-R-O-I-K as in kickass – anyway check out our site

I’ve been away for a while working on a few projects and apologize for the episode gap, and today I’ll address what caused it. There were a few insights I arrived at a while back, that will sound intuitive and natural to some, but they really caused me to pause, unplug and reflect on how I was doing things.

They lead me to face an important problem – and that problem is a fact of life – We’ve become an always-on society  – a society that is perpetually plugged in to a largely artificial, noisy, modern mess. And in all the chaos that comes with it – I saw a new possibility – To cultivate a new discipline, an important life skill and habit, hell maybe it will become a movement. And I’m working on a new book about it, but before we talk about it – I want to bring to your attention the

the 4 insights surrounding this big problem:

  1. We live in an augmented reality that is pretty sad. Day to day life is already augmented – People talk about the future of augmented reality but completely are missing the impact of the present state of our current reality. We’re constantly connected and skewing the real world experience with an Internet layer via our nearby screens. This is augmented reality.
  1. The social networking model isn’t working. The jury is in on this one. All those “connections” “friends” and followers are not as meaningful as real-life relationships. You’ve felt this but don’t often hear about it because so many organizations and marketers depend on social media to make a living. The reality is more people are signing out and disengaging than ever before. They’re fragmenting back to private groups/channels and mediums. We’ll deep dive this in future episodes.
  1. The feed doesn’t feed us – at least in a connective way we hoped for.  It has accelerated and made it far easier than any time in history to become addicted to anxiety – creating all this mess is fed by triggers delivered in the feed. With an endless supply of triggers, this makes it easier than ever before to play victim to life. And I don’t know about you, I want to live in abundance and enjoy it. And I’ve never met a rich victim, so I knew this life of self-sabotage wasn’t for me.
  1. Anxiety and depression aren’t “happening” to anyone. People choose it, by using the web and media in the way that they do – in a word, mindlessly guzzling whatever the feed flows to them.

Okay- in some these 4 are all part of the same problem – we live in an always on connected culture and we really haven’t figured out how to thrive in it in healthy ways. There are countless ways to fake it, to monetize, to scam it, yes, but really thrive at a societal level, I think we can agree that as of yet – it’s not happening.

This is pervasive in so many behaviors in business and life; it is propping up the quest and addiction to vanity metrics, prostituting ourselves for likes and followers, trying to be an influencer, All of these things I never want my family, myself, my wife, or my daughter to do or be inspired to do.

A little bit ago,  as my wife and I were deciding to have a child, the discussions sent me on a reflective journey about work, life, and legacy. And on that journey, I really stepped back from much of the public outreach, service, and social posting I used to do; including this podcast.

I asked myself – is what I’m doing right now healthy for me, working for my business, and something I want my child to do?

As I’m recording this my daughter is almost 5 months old, and as I look at the many many women and men on Instagram, I ask myself is this behavior what I want for my daughter.


IT was in the hell no answer that I absolutely knew I had to lead in a healthy way.

And I began to realize just how messed up things were, the motivations, metrics, and focus, not just in my life, but the turmoil of society and how people connect to one another.

It’s a fact of life – We’ve become an always-on society.  This is the noisy modern mess we live in.

The Internet is augmenting every real-world experience wherever there’s reception.

As a result, we’ve paid less attention to the real world and communicating effectively in it, and we’ve become more emotionally fragile, immature, easy to offend, easy to depress as well. And in business generations of entrepreneurs are lying to themselves, their audiences, and customers about the value they’re creating via the web and social media.

How did I handle this problem? Did I call my local congressman? Nope. At first I went dark.

Completely blackout status – and hid by diving deep in client work, away from the spotlight but while paying careful attention to how the social media games, hype, selfie, and outrage culture were playing out in real communities. All I did is what many did – rattle my own cage, and shout and rage, but ultimately stayed stuck for a while at first.

But, at some point in my retreat,  in making those observations, I saw a new possibility, a new healthy, discipline that I, and others desperately needed to cultivate.

That discipline is what I call #OffMode. Since we live a society that is always-on by default, turning off, or down a notch or 12 has become a much needed modern discipline. We need to master the art of mindful unplugs and strategic disconnects. #OffMode allows us to think for ourselves, reflect, restore and rejuvenate your connection to yourself and your humanity.

And I knew the solution, the answer, the possibility started with me and how I lead them.

I had to let go of the old ways and embrace a new reality.

If your default mode is always-on, then it becomes a discipline to turn things off, down, and limit all the noise to create white space in your life to think and reflect. Don’t worry. I’m not a purist, I’m not saying you should live in a cave with a  candle for light and crap with a bucket. #OffMode is really about creating mindful disconnects, to create more white space, more room to grow and root in your real life, to ponder, reflect, and create in meaningful ways.

So armed with this new healthy habit I’m back. I’m social, yet refined. I’m not galavanting around prostituting for likes, or addicted to the feed, or clamoring about some fake engagement metrics to clients, nor do I allow it to feed any of my anxiety triggers as often.

I make my connections a bit more mindfully, and more importantly, I celebrate my mindful disconnects and announce them to the world.

I’m in #OffMode – Intentionally turning down the noise to create more room for myself and those I love in this world.

Is this relevant to your life? – I think so but ask yourself these questions to be sure:

Ask yourself

1. Is your habit adding to your growth in terms of your physical, spiritual, social and mental realms? Are you making gains or suffering from net losses, struggling with anxiety, depression, and lackluster results?  Are you regularly engaging with people you enjoy and get to see face to face, that enrich your life, or are you merely affiliated but ignoring each other?

2. Is your media habit creating lasting equity in your business that would matter to someone interested in buying it? The biggest rationale for many is that you’re doing it for the business or money.

But if the equity you create is fleeting because it is dependent on people believing BS influencer metrics, or the platforms on which you create (that might not be here forever), you might have a problem.

Are you commoditizing your stories and your life for fake friends, fake Internet points and destroying the substantive value in the process?

3. Finally, would you want your kids, nephews, nieces, your friends’ kids to operate the way you do?

By that I mean sitting in an Uber lost on Snapchat making duck faces, while you still have a dead-end gig, or running webcams for cash without telling anyone? Is this the life you want for all those kids in your life?

If the answer to these questions a series of resounding “No’s”, then it is high time you stop glamorizing a fake life and start leading a more meaningful one. And it’s as simple as celebrating your return to the real world, and your meaningful disconnects from the fake one.

This is where things get real. This is your legacy. This is your leadership challenge. This is your adulting mission. Are you learning how to communicate more authentically, or are you hiding from yourself and others, sedated, suppressed, and struggling behind your screen?

Here’s the door, the easy button, because, I don’t want to uproot and flip your life upside down, I want to share with you a simple discipline you can be proud of – a positive movement you can really lead – the simple art of #OffMode

Maybe your OffMode begins with a hashtag and a defiant gap in activity in your feed, just a photo of a gone fishin’ sign.

-Every time you’re out of network, every time airplane mode is on and your eyes are up in the world around you. Take a mental note. Take a moment and describe your experience to yourself. Start keeping a journal – FOR YOURSELF.

If you are so compelled to document everything, take a photo of other people doing something for a change.

Every escape from tech (books, museums, the zoo) the real world – make these your new anthems and albums. Share more substance and less noise.

Every meditation, Yoga session, and so on.

Every private moment – Every journal entry- You can go back online later and reference these – remind the world of all the joys found in #OffMode.

#OffMode isn’t about a cold turkey retreat from all tech or stop documenting your life – it’s about starting to leading your life abundantly, with substance, and calling attention to more of the things that matter and serve you.

In the spirit of the Heroik Mantra, Mission Ready For Life, I believe #OffMode now and in the future is an essential life skill for any growth journeys. I’ve got a book coming up soon to release a book by the same name. You can keep up with my work on the topic and get on the list to get notified when it drops at

We’ll talk more on this subject and related topics in future episodes- but for now – ask yourself what is one way you can take and celebrate your own #OffMode? What can you do.

As a parting message, I get asked alot from fans – who the hell am I and what do I do, what does Heroik do? Here it is in a nutshell – I am the founder of a company called Heroik Media – we work with established owners to build growth engines for business from thought to profit. If you’re interested in what we do, or you want a free assessment to learn about how we can make you and your organization grow, visit our website at

That’s all for this episode -until next time – enjoy your OffMode  and I’ll catch you next time.

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