Today’s amazing and inspirational guest is Nick Santonastasso. Nick is a Vine star, Instagram bodybuilding personality, keynote speaker, musician, and the list goes on. He’s an amazing human with an incredible message and has turned these qualities into a remarkable personal brand too. What’s more, is that Nick has achieved all of this despite coming into this world less two legs and an arm. He was born with Hanhart syndrome, the 12th case ever diagnosed, and today is only one of four people on the planet who have it.


He joins us on the show to tell his story, speaking about how he struggled in high school with rejection and suicidal thoughts, and then how he got his mind right after an amputation which allowed him to pursue wrestling. There are many more highlights though, like how he went viral on Vine and what happened after that to get him to where he is today. It was not all sunshine and roses and we hear about the many challenges he faced along the way, from hurtful comments to going broke before making a total career pivot. Nick also weighs in on some of the things he has learned about building a brand, dropping knowledge bombs about longevity, authenticity, transparency, and the number one most important relationship in life. Tune in for all this and more.


To learn more about how to build and monetize your personal brand, click here to request a free strategy call




Key Points From This Episode:

  • How Nick thinks about reputation: it grows by maintaining long, authentic relationships.


  • The value of being open about personal struggles in building an authentic fanbase.


  • Nick’s process through high school of craving affection and struggling with suicidal thoughts.


  • The role that Nick’s amputation and his wrestling dream played in rewiring his brain.


  • Confidence-building advice: accomplish what you commit to.


  • What inspired Nick to become more of a public figure: succeeding at wrestling.


  • A central driver behind Nick’s content: having a clear intention for how it can serve people.


  • The story of how Nick got famous after making a zombie prank video on Vine that went viral.


  • Challenges Nick faced getting over all the bad comments on his video.


  • Nick’s journey of feeling unfulfilled with Vine and deciding to become a fitness model.


  • Inspiring imagery from Nick’s vision of getting a great body.


  • How brave it was that Nick totally pivoted and lost so many followers but then rose again.


  • Methods Nick used to get new fans: paying bodybuilding accounts to repost his photos.


  • A thing Nick wishes he did differently: be more active in the comments section of his content.


  • The value of collaborating for growing a brand, and ways to reach those with a higher status.


  • Advice for would-be influencers: be transparent, and work on your health and confidence.


See Also: Expanding Your Brand Beyond Your Wildest Dreams with Michael Stelzner


Tweetable Moments

“How you build a real fanbase who cares for you is you open up about the stuff that you struggle with.” — @nicksanto534  [0:03:30]

“How you build a real #fanbase who cares for you is you open up about the stuff that you #struggle with.” — @nicksanto534 #personalbrand #motivational #inspiration #influentialpersonalbrandpodcast Click To Tweet


“What are the things that we need to cut off to be successful?” — @nicksanto534  [0:07:02]


“What are the things that we need to cut off to be #successful?” — @nicksanto534 #personalbrand #motivational #inspiration #influentialpersonalbrandpodcast #brandbuildersgroup Click To Tweet


“People were like, ‘Dude, this is stupid. I don’t like your fitness videos.’ But I just kept going. I was persistent.” — @nicksanto534  [0:15:39]

“People were like, ‘Dude, this is stupid. I don’t like your #fitness videos.’ But I just kept going. I was #persistent.” — @nicksanto534 #motivational #inspiration #influentialpersonalbrandpodcast #brandbuildersgroup #personalbrand Click To Tweet


“The most important #relationship we should be working on is within ourselves.” — @nicksanto534  [0:23:32]

“The most important #relationship we should be working on is within ourselves.” — @nicksanto534 #personalbrand #motivational #inspiration #influentialpersonalbrandpodcast #brandbuildersgroup Click To Tweet


To learn more about how to build and monetize your personal brand, click here for our free video course


About Nick Santonastasso

Nick Santonastasso is a medical miracle. Not only is he one of four people alive with the rare genetic condition, Hanhart Syndrome. The inspirational keynote speaker is an internationally known bodybuilder and fitness model – despite missing both his legs and one arm since birth. The high-energy youth shares his amazing story, showing people that anyone can thrive if they have the determination and willpower to go after what they want.


Links Mentioned:

Nick Santonastasso’s Website —

Mind of a Victor —

Nick Santonastasso on Instagram —

Nick Santonastasso on LinkedIn —

Nick Santonastasso on Facebook —

Nick Santonastasso on YouTube —

Vine —

Tony Robbins —




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And until next time, remember that building a business isn’t nearly as valuable as building a reputation.


Connect With Rory

Rory Vaden | The Brand Builders Group | Branding ServicesRory Vaden is the New York Times bestselling author of Take the Stairs. His insights have been featured in the Wall St. Journal, Forbes, CNN, Entrepreneur, Inc, and several other major media outlets. As a world-renowned speaker, his TEDx talk has been viewed over 2 million times. He is the Co-Founder of Brand Builders Group and the host of the Influential Personal Brand podcast. Visit for more.



Connect with AJ

Aj Vaden Keynote Speaker for The Brand Builders GroupAJ is a million-dollar consultant and international speaker. Over the last decade, she has built and managed multiple 7 figure businesses and is currently the CEO of Brand Builders Group where she uses her expertise and unique talents to both streamline back end operations as well as creatively engineer the company’s front-facing personal brands.

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