Reimagining the Middle School Experience, Sparking Curiosity with Kids and Thinking Outside the Box with Tim Nikolaev & Chris Coggin

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When we send our kids to school, are we hoping that they’ll only learn the bare minimum? How much more would they learn if they were challenged and encouraged to explore their curiosity and creativity?

Imagine sending your kids to a place where they look forward to being there every single day and are encouraged to be the best version of themselves. Today’s guests have not only imagined it, but they’ve created it.

Tim Nikolaev and Chris Coggin have reimagined the middle school experience for children through Peak Collective, where they focus on increasing self-awareness and developing self-confidence through rites of passage.

It didn’t take long to realize how good these guys are by the changes I saw in Tiger’s mood and mindset after being part of this group. And it fires me up to see him excited to go to school and learn and willing to bond with other kids.

Tim and Chris have created a community of adults and kids built on love, trust, and lifelong learning. Peak’s mission is to support kids to become emotionally mature, compassionate, brave, and hardworking adults. And I’d say they’re doing a heck of a job so far.

In this episode, we dig into the importance of rites of passage for the growth of our kids, how our children are mirrors of our growth as parents, and why it’s crucial to give our children room to be curious to pursue their dreams and find their purpose.

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Tim Nikolaev & Chris Coggin Podcast Highlights

  • What do you model for your kids with your actions? It’s hard to expect your children to behave a certain way if you don’t behave like that yourself.
  • Why our kids are a mirror for our growth as parents, and how that can help us be better dads.
  • Building trust with your kids doesn’t happen by telling them what to think and feel. It’s built by letting them figure out what their dreams are and supporting them in the process.
  • Why passion, joy, dedication, and commitment are crucial in education, and why they’re missing in our traditional education setting.
  • Why Tim and Chris refuse to scale Peak Collective and how that helps them stay focused on their mission.
“The purpose of education is having an indistinguishable community between adults and kids.” - Chris Coggin Share on X “There’s a deep care and desire to create a space for kids to be fully expressed and themselves.” - Tim Nikolaev Share on X “We want to spark curiosity in a kid so that they have the direction and they work on themselves to get to that direction.” - Chris Coggin Share on X “If everybody understood what their genius is, and it’s effortless and fun and is able to support themselves doing that, so many problems would be solved.” - Tim Nikolaev Share on X “There's a lot of safety to be yourself in that environment right now and Tiger is really coming alive in the most positive way.” - Jon Vroman Share on X

Tim Nikolaev & Chris Coggin Links & Other Resources

Tim Nikolaev & Chris Coggin Bio

Tim Nikolaev & Chris CogginTim Nikolaev is a husband, father of 5 children and was a successful Cutco sales rep turned prolific real estate investor. Focusing primarily on mobile home parks, Tim and his wife have accumulated over 500 rentals in about 10 years, enabling them to retire from the traditional workplace essentially.

Tim now teaches three classes in the MBA Program at the exclusive Acton School of Business, where he was recently named Teacher of the Year. He is deeply curious about what it takes to unlock human potential and is now shifting his energy toward the next part of his career in that domain. He has co-founded or supported projects such as Strata Athletics in Youth Sports, Humble in Career Development, and Peak in Early Education.

Tim Nikolaev & Chris CogginChris Coggin found his love of learning as a student at the Acton School of Business in 2010 after spending his school-aged years in traditional education (both public and private). The proceeding years were spent honing the craft of Socratic Guiding, and he went on to teach at Acton for 8 years and served as Interim President for a year.

After a successful career investing in and consulting for private companies, he has dedicated his life to the development of others.

Chris lives in Austin with his wife, Elena, and their three children, Sam, Lincoln, and Willow-Jane.

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