From Firefighter to Mental Health Advocate and Entrepreneur: An Interview with Eric Padgett


Our next interview in the entrepreneur spotlight interview series is here!


In this series, we’re going to interview folks that are within their first year or two of a new online business venture. We’ll hear their stories, grab some helpful tips, and learn about what it really takes to start and grow a new online business RIGHT NOW.


We’ll see a wide range of interviewees in this series, some that are pre-revenue, newly profitable, and even 5, 6, and 7-figure success stories, so bookmark this page for later, because you’re going to want to hear these stories!


Today we’re interviewing a California firefighter who recently started his own health and wellness business online with a focus on helping firefighters take care of their mental health and get the support they need after trauma.


Let’s jump right in.



Please note that some parts of this interview address personal experiences that might be triggering to some readers, including discussion of mental health problems, death, and suicide.


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1. Thanks for being here Eric! First tell us about yourself, your work history, and your new business venture.


Hey! What’s up everyone! Thanks so much for having me here and hearing my story today. Seriously such an honor. I’m Eric Padgett, I’m 34 years old, and I live in Oceanside California.


I’ve been a career Firefighter/Paramedic for close to 15 years, but recently took some time off due to some family tragedy. We’ll get into that more I’m sure, because it’s honestly a huge part of WHY I’m doing what I’m doing with this new business venture and this interview.


Right now, I am playing music as my “day job” and I’m in the process of launching my health and wellness business online. We’re in the pre-launch phase, but I’m working with a successful team of coaches to set things up for success. Some big exciting things in store for this year.


Overall, I’m just a super easy-going dude that loves to hang with my family, play my drums, snowboard, go to the gym, help people in any way that I can, and ultimately live for our creator God!


{Thank you Eric for sharing a little bit of your background story! I started this series because I really want to speak to new entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs and show them the progression from pre-launch to profitable business, so I appreciate you being our first interviewee! It’s exciting hearing your story since you are right there at the business launch phase.}


2. Where were you at in your life (personally and professionally) when you started thinking about starting your own online business?


Well, to be completely honest, I was in a really low spot in my life, due to losing my wife Sable to suicide last year… I took all of last year off from work as a firefighter/paramedic because, to be super transparent, my brain just couldn’t handle running 911 calls anymore that were related to death or suicide.


I took the customary 3 weeks off from work due to the circumstances, all the guys at work telling me “Dude, just take more time off, it’s ok”. But, me being me (and I’m sure a lot of us are the same way), I wanted to get back to work as soon as possible so I could just get back into a routine and not sit at home alone feeling sorry for myself.


Unfortunately, right when I got back to work, I had a string of calls that broke me down more than ever before, and I was just done.


I didn’t even notice how ‘done’ I really was until my El Capitan (my Captain haha) said YOU ARE DONE! It was a legit disagreement for a little bit because I didn’t want to believe him that I was actually done after 15 long years of doing what I love as a firefighter.


But thank goodness he noticed that I needed some real help because I’m not sure if I would be here today otherwise.


He forced me to take more time off of work and it was definitely the best thing for me to do! I never had issues with me being extremely unhappy, depressed or suicidal, all these feelings were so new to me and I had no clue what to do with them.


I got the proper help for my own mental health and now I’m doing good, better than ever. It’s amazing what taking care of your mental health can do. And all I want to now is help other people take care of their mental and physical health when they’re going through trauma.


Through the whole process of being off work, I had the proper time to grieve and HEAL, take a breath and slow down which (like all of us, I’m sure) doesn’t happen that often! I truly felt like this was an answer from God saying this is your time to heal and get better and improve your life and mental health –  it is OKAY to take it!


It was very difficult and embarrassing at first, because of looking weak and vulnerable.


I felt like the majority of what I have known my entire life was taken away from me so fast, my beautiful wife (who had been my partner and best friend since I was 16), and now the job I had been so passionate about my entire adult life was something I could no longer do.


I completely lost my identity. I love to help people, and to think that I couldn’t do that anymore as a firefighter completely tore me apart.


So, as time went on, I just kept praying, asking for guidance on what I should do.


I know that answers don’t always come when you want them or when you think they should. They come when the time is RIGHT!


So, as I’m looking for answers and desperately trying to make sense of the world that has become my reality, I came across a free training from Russel Brunson, Tony Robbins, and Dean Grazioso – these three coaches that have changed the lives of so many people in situations like mine. Can’t beat free motivational training from a guy like Tony Robbins, right? So, I signed up.


Honestly, one of the best things that has ever happened to me!


I learned a lot from that one training, and all the arrows eventually pointed to this program they had called “The Knowledge Business Blueprint” now called “The Knowledge Broker Blueprint” (KBB) and how your situation, your mess, your knowledge, your personal life experience or skill can massively HELP someone else.


As I kept digging and researching, the answer became a little clearer every day. I did not know exactly what I wanted to do at that time, but I knew that I wanted to HELP other people somehow and find fulfillment in my career (like the fulfillment I had as a firefighter).


I tried to get as much free knowledge as I could, but ultimately, just felt like I was spinning my wheels and hitting a wall with all of the free stuff I found online. It felt like I was getting a few pieces of the puzzle, but I was missing so many big pieces of it!


I eventually decided that buying the Knowledge Broker Blueprint (KBB) program was a must for me.


I am soooooo glad I did because it changed my life, no lie!


It was the pivotal decision that launched me into forward motion.


Not just for my business plan, but for the mindset shift that it brings. The program will get you to answer questions about yourself, questions I’m sure the majority of us have never had to answer before, unless you went to college to be a psychologist or something haha.


It goes DEEP and its truly life changing, especially if you’re feeling stuck, lost, or unfulfilled in your life or business.


You really learn a lot about yourself and you have those crazy ‘aha’ moments and those epiphanies, which ends up being way bigger than the business part of things. And then the byproduct of it is gaining massive knowledge and tools that will help you have a successful business that can truly impact others. It’s honestly amazing! It’s just right. Exactly what we all need.


{Eric, I appreciate this heartfelt explanation and the picture that you’re painting for our readers. Loss and trauma affect and change us so deeply, and it’s so important to listen to your body and get help in healing. And then, when you are ready to pick yourself back up and use your past and your pain to help other people, it becomes an important piece of your mission in life. Mindset work is also such an important component of growth, both personally and professionally, and it’s so great that you have found tools that work for you!}



3. So, how much TIME did you dedicate to learning and implementing proper business techniques each week when you first got started with your new business venture?



Well… for me I was very fortunate to have more time than normal, due to being off work from firefighting. And when I go in, I GO ALL IN.


When I was getting started, I probably put in normal “day job” hours every single day, because I had the time and I was determined to do some GOOD with my free time.


But when things were getting back to normal with my daily life, of course the schedule gets busier, life gets busier, and scheduling that time for your new business venture becomes a challenge. That’s when you have to dig deep and discipline yourself.


Because the truth is: we seem to make more than enough time for what we want, but we don’t typically make nearly enough time for what we truly need (things like caring for our mental health, investing in ourselves, building fulfilling careers). We have to change that and spend more time on our real needs!


You don’t have to do what I did and put in “full-time” hours. As long as you’re making DAILY progress, that’s all that matters.


One day it might be an hour, another day it might be 30 minutes, and another day it could be several hours, right?


Life is constantly up and down, so I really try not to stress too much about the next day because tomorrow is not guaranteed. I take that day for what it is, what has been given to me, and I go from there, work hard, and plan as needed. It works out great!


Obviously, we need to plan and think about the next day and month and year when it comes to important decisions, but you get what I mean. When it comes to mindset, unnecessary stress is often avoidable, and avoiding it leads to smarter decisions and a happier life!


{That last sentence is absolute gold. As a Type A entrepreneur that is obsessed with planning ahead, I struggle to avoid the stress of ‘what if’. It’s so important to step back and look at the bigger picture, focus on what truly matters, and forget about the rest. Of course, we still have to work hard and be consistent if we want to grow, but life is happier when we aren’t putting so much pressure on ourselves.}


4. Of course all of our little business investments add up and help us accomplish different things, but what would you say is the single-most useful and worthwhile investment that you made in your business and personal improvement during the first year of launching your new business!


Oh man…. no doubt in my mind AT ALL. Investing and putting some ‘skin in the game’ by buying the KBB “Knowledge Broker Blueprint” was the best business investment of my life!


Yes, it seems a bit expensive at first glance (with a price tag of $1,997!) but if I didn’t take that leap, I wouldn’t be here right now doing this interview in front of thousands of other entrepreneurs that are working hard to grow too. I wouldn’t be sharing my story in a way that actually helps other people, I’d be keeping it to myself, which doesn’t do anybody any good.


If you want to take advantage of the FREE training that Russel Brunson, Tony Robbins, Dean Graziosi, and Jenna Kutcher are offering (absolutely no strings attached), grab your seat right here for the free web class taking place on Thursday, February 28th.


That price tag, in the big scheme of things (and if you actually pursue this with your whole soul), it is a VERY small amount for what you’re getting … and I’m not just saying that as a cop-out for a quick sale. No. I truly mean that from the bottom of my heart, the best money I have spent for personal growth in my entire life.


I paid that price tag – I know the cost, and I regret NOTHING.


{This is a powerful point for me, because I was one of those people that started off doing everything the free way or the cheap way because I was scared to invest in myself and my business. I wasted a lot of time and did a lot of things wrong. In hindsight, I wish I had just invested in a few things that could give me what I needed to grow and build my dream business, without all the scrambling and struggling.

 Although I don’t ever recommend throwing thousands of dollars at random programs or courses on a whim, I am glad to hear that this particular program has been worth it to you and you don’t regret your purchase. That’s one of my main points when I make a recommendation – is the information coming from a reputable source (like Dean Graziosi and Tony Robbins) and are other people benefiting from it? I always think people should do plenty of research before making any investment in their business.}



5. What was so great about that particular program that helped you get clarity and create the blueprint for your entire online business strategy?



The program is just so action packed, these massively successful coaches are essentially holding your hand through the entire process of finding your clarity, sharing your gifts with the world, building your business vision into a reality. It’s kind of insane actually haha!


When I went through their free web class, I could tell that these guys DO NOT hold back (the value they provided there alone was worth MONEY if I’m being honest)! The KBB program is just a gigantic extension of the value you get from the free web class – it helps you find clarity, fix mindset issues, find focus, create your roadmap for success, execute, all of it…


But this program also stood out to me because of the fact that it wasn’t promising quick riches. Those get-rich-quick schemes that you see all over the internet are just too much… Tony and Dean don’t do any of that nonsense. They KNOW what successful and sustainable business is really about.


It’s about working hard and helping other people, and the byproduct is being able to make money doing what you truly love.


I can’t even put into words how much wisdom and direction you’ll find in this program. But I’ve worked through the whole thing more than once haha, so if you have any specific questions about it, just leave a comment here and I’ll do my best to answer it.


Be sure to save your seat for the FREE live training here!


6. That’s a LOT of money though! What would you say to the person that just doesn’t have that much money to invest in their new business venture right now? Are they just doomed to fail?


This is gonna sound blunt, because yes, it’s true that a lot of people just do not have that kind of extra money in their pocket.


But the fact is: we have to FIND A WAY. Find a way to go after what we want, find a way to change our lives, find a way to learn what we don’t yet know. When we really want something, we find a way to make it happen.


That doesn’t necessarily mean taking out a loan or going into debt – it might just mean selling something you don’t use or doing a little freelance work or garage sale flipping on the weekends.


We have options, we just have to think outside the box and execute!


Because ya, it CAN seem like a lot initially for sure, but like I said, you’re getting so much insane value that will stay with you forever. And in hindsight, you see that certain investments are actually more than worth their price tag – yes, worth even more than $2,000 honestly. It’s crazy.


If you don’t have that money to spend, then don’t, that’s ok. You are not doomed to fail. Start with the free info, but just make sure it’s coming from a reputable source.


The beauty of a solid investment is the fast-track to success and the support from people who know what they’re doing. Instead of digging through free stuff for months and months, trying to piece everything together, you get the RIGHT tools and training from the people that know what works. People like Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi.


I chose KBB because the creators know their stuff, and the course lays it out for you on a silver platter. And it’s not just a course, you also get a great community and tons of help from people that are right there growing with you. The program has transformed my mindset right out the gate and forever! But that can only happen if you’re actually looking for a better version of you, if you’re ready and willing to invest in yourself, put in some work, and execute.


Because there is DEFINITELY going to be work involved. Nothing comes easy, but this course makes the whole process EASIER, and also gives you the confidence of knowing that you’re doing things the right way.


{So many great points in here! I love that you don’t sugarcoat the hard work, because it’s hard work growing as a person and as an entrepreneur, no matter what you invest in. And as someone that didn’t invest much money in education or personal development during the first few years in my business, I’ll be the first to say that the journey is much harder and longer if you take that route. This is why I always say to make it your goal to invest in quality education from teachers that have already done what YOU are trying to do. If you don’t have the money and you cannot earn the money, it’s okay. Some people have to take the DIY-route and they can still find success. But it’ll take a little more trial and error and a lot more time. I honestly don’t know anyone that regrets investing in themselves, but I know a lot of people, including myself, that regret learning this later in their entrepreneurial journey).


7. Looking back, do you have any regrets in your business investments and is there anything you would do differently during this first year of starting your own business?


Honestly, no regrets at all because it’s a journey, and we’re just learning lessons every step of the way. Even if something makes me feel momentary doubt or regret, I’m still sure it was meant to happen that way so that I can grow and help others learn from my decisions in the future.


And that’s honestly what Tony and Dean do in their program – they use their own life-lessons and use them to help other people reach their goals faster.


8. What’s one piece of advice that you would give to an aspiring entrepreneur reading this article and trying to make money on their own terms with their own business?


Can I give more than one piece of advice? Haha.


  1. Don’t give up ever!

People will doubt you, people will try and take you down, people might even feel a bit jealous because you’re actually becoming better and they are staying stagnant.


Don’t let the fears of what other people think stop you and don’t let your internal doubts get the best of you.


  1. Give yourself 30 minutes a day for personal growth to constantly stay in the game, and once you start, you don’t stop.
  1. And make sure you are getting your information from a credible resource or get a coach to help you find your way.

The one thing I would do differently for sure is give myself more confidence from day one and worry less about the opinions of other people.


Seems like a lot of this really is about self-doubt and fear of other people’s opinions. I think that holds people back way more than a price tag holds them back.


That doubtful mindset is the one thing I would change from day one, if I could go back and do things differently.


9. What can we expect to see from you in the future? And where can we find you online and support your endeavors?


You’re gonna see a whole lot of positive value posts on my Instagram page.


Just getting that started, so I’d love for people to check it out and leave a like or comment! I am also working on a documentary for Firefighter Mental Health Awareness, and I have a few online courses and a mastermind in the works too – they are specifically focused on firefighter mental health, musicians mental health, and mindset work, so I’ll keep you guys posted on that! Super stoked on it all!


Thank you Cate for letting me share my story with your audience and thank you all for reading and supporting me on this new business venture. I hope my work will do a lot of good for a lot of people, and you guys will be the first to hear about my new site and courses when they launch!


{I loved this interview so much because it’s a perfect example of someone that made an investment in business education and did the mindset work BEFORE diving into the technical side of things. Most of us do everything upside down and backwards (and end up learning a lot the hard way). It’s so inspiring to see someone that is getting started another way, and working to turn trauma and tragedy into something that truly helps other people! I really appreciate you sharing your story with us today and can’t wait to see what you bring to the world of mental health advocacy for firefighters!}


If you enjoyed this article, be sure to pin it for later! And grab your seat for the FREE live training with Dean Graziosi and Tony Robbins here, it’s going down Thursday February 27th.

10 thoughts on “From Firefighter to Mental Health Advocate and Entrepreneur: An Interview with Eric Padgett”

  1. I think that is one of the most important information for me. And i’m glad studying your article. However should commentary on some normal issues, The web site taste is perfect, the articles is actually great : D. Excellent activity, cheers

  2. So inspiring. I’m so glad to see someone who has been through the mental illness personally doing something about it. I hope all works out for and your endeavors for this business.

  3. Such a great guy, he’s done a lot of good in his life and I have no doubt he’ll continue!

  4. Thanks for reading, I’m sure Eric appreciates all the love and support he’s gotten from sharing his story.

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