Nick Prefontaine is a speaker, Founder and CEO of Common Goal a company that inspires and leads motivated people to their common goal. They provide people with the support and tools to achieve their limitless potential. Nick was featured on FOX40 and Yahoo Finance as one of the top motivational speakers to follow in 2022. He's also been featured in Authority & Brainz Magazine.
I learned of Nick’s story last year when he took my stage at the Speaker Salon. Having survived a near fatal snowboarding accident, Nick has gone on to inspire so many people by sharing why taking the first step is the most important step, when it comes to overcoming crisis and life challenges.
Let’s start at the last moment you remember, Nick.
Based on what I’ve been told about the day of my accident, I’ve pieced together a memory of going right up to the jump when I caught the edge of my snowboard. If I’m being candid, I wouldn’t say that is a conscious memory. Reflecting back to that day I can say that I remember being on the chairlift and seeing the jumps in the terrain park. I knew as soon as I saw it that I had to go off the biggest jump that was there.
As far as you were concerned, you were going to nail the jump. What was it like to wake up in the hospital being told you might not walk, talk or eat on your own again?
That’s interesting. It wasn’t like I woke up from my coma with my family and doctors around me. It’s not like it is portrayed in the movies. Because of the severity of my traumatic brain injury they needed to drill a hole into my skull for a shunt to be inserted and relieve the pressure. They were worried if I “woke up” I would panic and the swelling would increase in my brain and I would have died. That is why they put me into a partially induced coma. Without it the doctors told us that I would have been out for 7-10 days from the impact alone. I’ve been told that I was in a coma for 21 days, 3 weeks. However because it was a partially induced coma, I don’t remember a month. From when I got in my accident on February 5th and for the next month, until early March, that period of my life is gone. I never knew what my prognosis was. Each time that the doctor’s came into my room to share updates on how I was doing my parents would always stop them. Why? They knew that even though I was in a coma, I was still taking in information. They didn’t want the doctors to share the not so positive updates in front of me.
Why did you form your company Common Goal, Nick?
I want to relate to and lead motivated people that are also going through a trauma, crisis or life challenge. I want to help them to get to the other side and realize their limitless potential. Since recovering from my accident I have always had this voice in the back of my head that I should be helping others that are going through similar experiences to my accident. Since I’ve been on this journey to positively impact the lives of others that voice has been silent. To me this means that I am doing the work that I was meant to do in the world.
When did you create the S.T.E.P. System and how does it work?
I unknowingly used it throughout my recovery to overcome my snowboarding accident and several other things in my life. S.T.E.P. is an acronym that we created to help others that are going through a trauma, crisis or other challenge in their lives. It’s what I’ve used throughout my life. S is Support. You have to make sure that you have the support of your family and friends. This frees up so much of your mental energy to focus on accomplishing your objective.
T is Trust. Trust that the next step will make itself available to you once you take your first step. This also starts with trusting yourself. Trust that there is a reason that you have this desire or calling inside of you. Follow it.
E is energy. Maintaining your energy allows your body's natural ability to heal itself. We are all born with an innate knowing within us to help keep us healthy. Drugs and medication get in the way and block that.
P is Persistence. Once you’ve taken your first step, keep getting up every day and take your next step. No matter how small. By continuing to move forward every day you are building an unstoppable momentum.
You use your voice to inspire others, Nick, how are you swaaying the narrative when it comes to possibility?
I think that there are so many people out there who are stuck or in crisis and they feel paralyzed. They don’t know what to do and they can’t see their way out of where they are at. If we all give ourselves permission to get quiet inside, for even minutes at a time, we usually know what our first steps are. The ability to listen to that voice goes back to trusting yourself.
WRITTEN BYTricia Brouk