Nick Bracks has worked in the mental health sector for seven years. His route into the profession is not, at its heart, an uncommon story. He began battling depression and anxiety when he was in his teens, but, after having to do so in the public eye, he also quickly realised he had a real interest in helping other people struggling with the same issues; so it wasn’t long before he began working with organisations like Headspace and speaking at schools to help dispel mental health stigma. This is his entrepreneurial story.
Over the years Nick has tried his hand at several businesses, but his newly released app, Happy Waves, is the first he feels truly passionate about. “For me personally … I realised I’m not interested in being a serial entrepreneur,” says Nick. “I want to be involved in things I’m excited about, and what I love doing is promoting mental health awareness and wellness.”
For Nick and his two co-founders, Happy Waves is about giving people “practical resources” to help them engage with, understand and hopefully practise meditation. It’s a fantastic concept. And though the focus is grounded in improving your mindset, it has also extended far beyond that – setting it apart from the many other meditation apps already available.
“What we set out to do with this was to create a very Australian platform … with a range of teachers and courses available – like a Netflix for meditation,” says Nick. “So it has really become an educational platform … there’s even a section for children called Happy Kids.”
As someone who has been involved in education for a while now, it’s not surprising that Nick has some solid wisdom to doll out. His advice for anyone, not just students or people looking to change careers, is deceptively simple – but it rings true. He believes everyone needs to spend the time to really learn about themselves. “Figure out what you genuinely care about and what your values are before you throw yourself in too deep with anything,” says Nick.
“I think we’re taught to go about things in the opposite way, to just do as well as you can in school, study, get a job straight after university, etc. But if you do that you might find yourself down the line thinking ‘I don’t know who the hell I am, I don’t even think I like my life’ … But if you’re doing what you love every day you can’t go too wrong.”
We recently headed down to Happy Waves HQ to chat about starting your own business and being present in the moment. Have a read of the interview below.