The Long Way Back: The Story of Todd Z Man Zalkins
Z Man Podcast
The legendary buzzkill Ron Jeremy is is not only the judge of the film, but he’s also the guy who rapes me in jail. With me today, we have a real treat. We have Todd z man. Todd’s a certified family crisis interventionist, public speaker, host of the Z man podcast with Todd’s Elkins. He’s a best selling author with his book dying for triplicate. And on top of all this, he’s a documentary filmmaker and his award winning film the long way back the story of Todd z. Man Zalkins, can be seen on Hulu, Amazon, Google Play and iTunes. Todd, so grateful to have you on the show. How is everything? Everything’s good, man. Thank you for having me on today, Andrew, and looking. It’s like we’re in each other’s living room. It’s just by computer. Yeah. So basically, it’s the exact same thing as being in the living room when you’re when you’re in the other side of the country. And over a computer, same thing. Yeah, man. I’m just I’m just hanging out here in my office doing this at my office here in Long Beach, California. And thank you for having me on. Definitely. So why don’t you give the listeners a background of who you are, where you came from, and what sort of led to, you know where you ended up. God will do a short version here. I’m sure everybody wants to hear a short version. Well might. Yeah, my name is Todd Zalkins. And, you know, I’m thankful to be in recovery. The program, a 12 step program of recovery saved my life. I have a sobriety date of February 17 2007. And every day, those sober days I’ve had is because of something a lot bigger than me and a wonderful group of men who else saved my life and decided to do a couple of things around here in order to get it to keep it so I’m a little bit about my background. You know, I grew up here in Long Beach, California, little, little area called Belmont Shore, and it was one of those communities where, you know, most of us grew up surfing and really into like, punk Rock music and backyard parties kind of dominated our landscape and you know some of my closest friends are some of the best musicians from around this area there’s just a ton of them so you know cake parties and surfing and chasing girls was just that was what we did and and it started out innocent you know as far as you know the the from the drinking perspective but boy boy around the corner were some things that that were much heavier and much more life threatening to me as time moved on. I you saw me Jordan, just out of curiosity, we talked more about the story here what it was like growing up here and then what I got into what almost killed me. What do you want to talk to me? Yeah, that that’d be perfect. You know, like the if if say it were like a 12 step meeting and you’re given the experience, strength and hope, touch on you know, I mean, your story is one of those where it’s just like Okay, what crazy part will will you? Will you touch on but basically, whatever, whatever you would be comfortable sharing about just, you know growing up and what you guys started getting into and things like that. Okay, yeah, I’ll treat it just like that then First off, but for those of those who may be watching right now and listening later if you’re new to recovery, I want to welcome you. And I want you want you guys to know that recovery is possible. Thank goodness there’s lots of examples for us who are who are sick with with alcoholism and drug addiction and there’s a lot of people have come before us who can help pave the way to help us live differently. So if you’re struggling, there is help out there and I’ll certainly give you my contact information. You just want to talk or chat by email. It’s all good. But you know, I as I mentioned before, on the front end here, I grew up in Long Beach. I’m the I’m a product of a really good gnarly alcoholic father he was six foot four he box in the Marine Corps and he to grew up in Long Beach and, and, you know, with my dad, I just I never knew what I was going to get. I often say it was either a hug or a left hook. You know, and and I’ve often said that that left hook that I would get as a kid, it wouldn’t just hurt at the moment it hurt for years. The lasting impression that that type of fear that that occurs on a young person or for a young person is something that it’s tough to measure, but I’m sure that there’s some people who can probably relate. So I found myself as a young boy as a young boy wanting really everyone to like me. I was I was certainly a class clown. And I’d like to consider or believe I’ve got a decent sense of humor, but I I really did want everybody to like me and I could gel into any crowd and Just alcohol certainly became that great persuader. And it allows one to be chameleon, like whether it’s the preppy upbeat parties or the parties where I mostly love, which is where the bunkers were, and the music scene and so I could adapt to anything. But I took my first drink. I was pretty young, I guess I could call it my first drink. My dad, my dad left my mom. And when I was seven, my older brother was 10. And he would pick us up when he would show up, he’d have a tall boy between his lap and he was living down the road and place called Huntington Harbor, which is this little beach town about 15 minutes south of Long Beach. And so when he would show up, which, by the way, it was often, I now know that to be a byproduct of alcoholism, that we’re not really present for people that we love when we’re in the disease, but so I get a big part of this the Schlitz tall boy or maybe a tomboy, you know, I’m like seven, you know, we go to his house and he loves watch football the weekends and so I’d bring him beers he ultimately would pass out I would keep drinking his beers. But I really wouldn’t consider that my first drunk my first drunken experience I was with my buddy George Andrew, may he rest in peace George and I were playing Little League Baseball we saw the the cool older dudes in this park man playing basketball and that all these hot chicks and they’re drinking this this keg beer and then these big cops they invited us over our uniforms are all dirty and and shit like that are like yeah, we’ll go over there and hang out you know i mean these are the guys are six seven years older and when you’re you know 12 these are like men you know that i big scary dudes, but I was a member. It’s like, they were the best surfers in town and they had the prettiest ladies and it’s like, Man, what are they doing? So next thing you know, George and I have about an hour and a half later we awaken this little park across the street we had thrown up over both of you from all over the place. Over Each Other literally we’re all muddy and dirty and look like look like shit. And I remember to this day simultaneously we looked at each other we said man that was killer with you This is great. Isn’t this great man and and to the people who are who are not alcoholic, they’re like, I would never do that again. And for for a punk like me it was like, Okay, let’s see, let’s do this again. And so I’d like to say that pretty much at that particular time that the switch for alcoholism was turned on. And I wasn’t a daily drinker at that age, certainly a big drinker. right around the corner in high school. You know, this this area was just dominated by it’s just a little beach town with all sorts of people have a backyard keg parties, and that’s what we did all the time. And it was very normal. It was there was nothing out of the ordinary about it. My my mother had remarried and I can remember this one thing happened I was 17 and I had been drinking I came home and and I always had a really early curfew was one of my primary resentments as a kid. I was like shit, I gotta be home like at 10:30am I, like 17. Everyone gets down to one in the morning but I get home and I got home in this particular instance in my step dad just lose. Have you been drinking? I just denied it. I’ve been drinking. And he says you’ve been drinking and he got really upset. He was a gnarly guy to dislike my father. And he slapped me around a bit and something that had never happened before. And with tears in his eyes, he said he looked at me and says I don’t want to lose you. And when I when I look at times, like when I think about things like that, it’s like the writing was already on the wall for me. at such a young age and my my stepfather could tell it was already having a problem with Alcohol and narcotics that already entered the picture I was I really became involved heavily in cocaine but everything changed in the in the late 80s when I was going to college in San Diego and the hurt my back and you know, this is the pill epidemic or the opioid epidemic wasn’t even being discussed at the time. I was prescribed Vicodin had this gnarly back surgery, and I fell in love with that drug, and it graduated to Norco. And then next, you know, I have multiple doctors and then I was introduced to oxy cotton and I was I was addicted to prescription painkillers for almost 17 years. And I don’t want to get too long winded on the problem here. But along the way, one of the things that that what I know now is that you know, when when when drugs and alcohol are working, even though it’s a problem to people who are seeing it clearly on the outside. For a guy like myself if I’m getting the effect, and that’s produced by drugs and alcohol. It’s very difficult. you to tell me up a problem. or excuse me, you can tell me, it’s just very difficult for me to take any action. And people, you know, there have been so many times where people, they will say, here are some black and white facts. And this is why I’ve come to the conclusion that you have a problem and I am telling you this because I love you. And I know for myself, my immediate defense was, you’re wrong or you can’t hang you. You don’t understand. I never I never even accepted that statement. Were you were you consciously aware that there was a problem? Or were you just sort of in that denial state? You know, I always push I’m an extremist for sure. And so there was nothing casual about the way I drank or use. I wasn’t even one of these people. You know, they talk about this definition of insanity is repeating the same things over and over and expecting different results. I call bullshit on that man. For me personally, I I always knew That when I drank what I was that it was going to end up just thrashed. I was never predicting a different result. In fact, I wanted to take it to, you know, as far as I could and so, you know, to kind of piggyback on what you just said, you know, people if there were a call, call you out on a problem, or this is an issue. My first thing is just stick it up your ass. You know, f you, man. I didn’t want to hear it. However, alone, left alone. Long enough especially I’d be like I I have an issue, man. But I just wasn’t there was no readiness. There was no readiness and certainly no willingness to to want to approach or broach the subject which certainly became life threatening for me later on. So what was the catalyst that made you decide I need to do something? Yeah, I made two very weak attempts. Prior to 2007 to get I wanted to get physically detoxed off of the painkillers, I just never wanted to touch painkillers again, I just, I just couldn’t get off of those damn things and the first two times if you want to call it rehab or detoxing and I laughed early against medical advice because the discomfort for me was so gnarly was so it was so indescribably uncomfortable that I just left with my hospital bracelet and go straight to the dealers or whether it’s coke dealer pill dealer, I had to get everything that I had to get and just get back on that us. But in in, in towards the back end of 2006 I had really had lost I lost my mind. And something was seriously frying upstairs in my brain. And a couple months later I was I was starting to see people behind the back of my home and these bushes. They weren’t even there. I was delusional. I was under total cocaine psychosis the opioids and completely fractured my my brain And I couldn’t even conjugate sentences very well I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t speak articulately. You know, and and so one of the things that stands out for me was a moment where when I was having the seeing some guy in a bush who I thought wanted to kill me and I call the police and the second story window, my bedroom there, they’re like, we want to come talk to you. So there’s nobody here. I said, No, that’s okay. And I remember just crumbling to my knees crumbling on my, I went downstairs in my kitchen area on the tile floor and just was like, God, I, I don’t know what I’m doing. And I sure as hell don’t know how to get I don’t know how to help myself. That was the moment I knew that I needed to do something. And I did not want my mother to get a phone call that her son had died from an overdose or from this disease. And to further that, I’m also convinced that people do die of broken hearts. And I think that if I would have died that way, That my mother quite possibly could have died from a broken heart is we have a very special relationship. So yeah, so on February 16 of 2007 I, I somehow managed to drive my car to a hospital in South Laguna Beach, brought them jars and jars of pills that I still had, I just I was just, I was inconsolable. I just could barely talk and handed them over all this shit. And I said that I’m dying from this. They said, that’s clear. That is obvious. And that was my start. So my sobriety date was the following day, when you start to get sober. Is it an easy path for you? Or is there a lot of? Well, let’s Yeah, I’ll gladly touch on you know, my first year of recovery was was the most terrifying year of my life and to give the people who are listening or watching a snapshot I I did not sleep for 44 days. I was on you know, those For a great deal those years of being addicted to the opioids, a lot of it was synthetic and I was on a great deal of fentanyl and the oxy cotton, the big 80 milligram pills, it’s very slow to to leave your system. And so my story is, is that I desperately wanted to sleep my body was just in shambles, but my mind would not slow down. So it was absolutely terrifying for me, I just tossed and turned and just clobbered for the first few months of my sobriety, and I shook physically for almost nine months. I like you would think I’d be having a stroke. I was walking down the street. What you know, I don’t think recovery that in life might the physical symptoms that I experienced, were very, very intense and and that’s what prompted me to write my memoir dying for triplicate, not because I wanted so much attention, but I had I felt this passion of helping others and my treating physicians and that people have got to hear the story because he had never seen anything like it. gratefully speaking that the book has helped several thousand people find recovery. When you wrote that book, it wasn’t a like you said it wasn’t about getting attention. Or look at how crazy My story is that I went harder than everybody else. This was more of just a kind of reflection and you know you that you can help people with it. What’s going through your mind when you decided to start writing the book? Well, actually, I mean, I just started writing and I wrote the damn thing in 18 months sober and I had very little recovery in me. Certainly very little spirituality it was more about is more about the terror that we go through while addicted. And that’s, that’s why it has spoken to so many people who, who suffered with this disease. I just I told the truth, right, wrong or indifferent. I told that the fucking truth and the truth sometimes sir, I’d say 95% of the people have gotten something out of it. You’re going to have people who bash you or want to do whatever and at the end of the day I have hundreds of emails from moms and from people who read the book on, you know, my kid found treatment because those are, you know, some dude going, dude, I got six months sober because I felt like because you did it I could. That is what is all about. It’s kind of like, you know, it’s funny in our rooms. It’s like anonymity is important. By the way, if you mentioned at the top of the show, I mentioned that I’m a proud member of a of a 12 step program. I’m not going to tell you which one it is, by way of, I’ll tell you privately, how about this. It’s the oldest one that exists. But that’s not breaking tradition. And so I was always in a lot of fear when I wrote the book, Andrew, I was, you know, of course, I still have that mind of what are people going to think and all that stuff at the end of the day? It’s it’s been nothing but a positive. But yeah, it’s it’s been out for a handful of years now. And it’s it’s been read by a lot of people who I think needed to read it when they needed to read it. Yeah, and I want to rewind a little bit. Why don’t you tell us a bit about the Long Beach music scene in the 80s 90s? And who you were running with and what was going on back then. So I think that’s a really cool perspective of even though, you know, at this point in the story, you’ve gotten sober, but if we rewind a bit to what was going on back then I think that’s a really, really interesting piece of your life. Oh, okay. Well, for sure. I mean, you know, we had a thriving scene here in Long Beach. And, and, and the band that I’ve, that I really fell into and fell in love with, at a very young age was called the falling idols. And that was a local punk band that, you know, today, two of those members are in much bigger bands. One of them’s a singer of a vandals, a world renowned punk band and then the bass players of bass player for penny wise today, and you probably heard of those bands. You know, started with the following idols. But there were so many other bands this area you know, we had, we have people like the vandals and secret hate and Rhino 39 and texts and a horse heads and these amazing players and crazy people. But, you know, what came about later on was some guys that I grew up with formed a band called sublime. And a lot of people have a lot of people love their music, and I don’t know if you’ve heard of the band before but vaguely familiar. vaguely. Okay, that’s good. So are you a fan of the band? Yeah. Right on, um, you know, I had some of my best times with those guys with bud, bud, Eric and Brad and, and certainly some of the most heartbreaking times you know, it’s, it was a wild ride, watching them grow into what was going to become you know, a world renowned band. And for those of you lot of people know the story that Brad and all died on. Maybe 25th 1996 of a heroin overdose. And I was up in San Francisco when this happened. I wasn’t in the room, but I had just dropped him off after their last show. And, to my knowledge, I was the last person he tried to call it before he died. And I wasn’t able to wake up. And yet it disturbed me for many, many years. And my, my, the progression of my disease, were in the darker and darker places it ate me alive because I didn’t have any coping skills. And we had lost a guy that that we cared deeply for, and we loved a lot. And, you know, one week prior to that we were at his wedding, one week prior, and he’s dead A week later, and he leaves behind, you know, this beautiful wife and had a baby boy named Jacob. But there’s a lot of good stuff to the story too much, much later. You know, Jacob was only 10 or 11 months old when he when Brad passed. So You know, I had some incredibly insane times with them I mean, going all over the place with spending time with those guys on tour and I was in a bunch of their music videos but if you haven’t seen it that the date rate date rape is a song that broke them on karaoke and bled out to the rest of the country and the band was on tour they asked me if I wanted to start the video and I was like, Yeah, what the hell so we did the video was that when when you put the pieces together when I realized that that was you in it? Yes. Have you seen the video I’ve seen the video went out Yeah, but describe what happens in the video. what’s what’s what’s what’s really funny, if you want to call it funny, but you know the the legendary buzzkill Ron Jeremy is, is not only the judge of the film, but he’s also the guy who rapes me in jail because the song is not about promoting date rape. It’s actually it’s an upbeat song. But the underlying message is, is that there are some terrible consequences as a result of doing such a thing. And so I don’t just to be very clear, I don’t take that subject matter lightly at all but the but the song is on the lighter side. It’s a it’s a fun sounding song. And that’s a song that broke them. And they rarely even played it. So yeah, so I was in that video, it was absolutely insane and, and I was certainly not close to getting sober yet. I think we filmed that in 1995. But But yeah, so you know, the the scene was just rich with a with a pretty, you know, a wealthy cast of characters who were who like to push the envelope the way I did, and I can tell you that one of the things that when doing neighbor, one of the things that I really loved about the guys and Sublime is that very, very few rules applied. And that fit fits fits for a guy like me just perfectly. It’s like, whatever, wherever we’re going if it’s not bolted down, we’re fucking Taking it your girls, which the girls are coming with us. And whoever’s, you know, whoever’s left behind on the floor bleeding so be so it was literally the sex drugs and rock and roll. Oh my god to the empty Yeah, yeah and that was even before they were super famous gotta could even imagine what was I’ve been told the story a lot of people a few people know about it but Brad said this about nine months before he passed he said he said he’s any man he goes you have your pilot’s license, I go pilot’s license, I’m lucky to be able drive a car, you know, I’m lucky I can just drive the streets of California. He goes because when we make it big, I want us to be like Led Zeppelin and I want you to fly the 747 work and it was serious. And I was like, wait a minute. You want me to fly the plane that first and foremost Who the hell is gonna even allow me to fly and I’m not going to get on a plane. Right But used to be a running joke because Maybe I could actually I can only imagine what things would have been like if we had an airplane running around and absolutely burning every village. The insanity of you guys just on private jets on top of all the other craziness taking it to that next level. So you had touched on, Brad, Brad left behind his new wife and son, but you stayed in touch with them later on down the road. You want to get into what that relationship turned into? Well, I was always I was always had a very good kinship and a friendship with with Brad’s Father Jim known as Papa know. So Papa know and I’ve spent a great deal of time together over the last few decades. And so my relationship with him. To me he’s very much like a father figure. He’s one of the most respected men that in Long Beach here that you know, from my crew, we We all have a great deal of respect and love and admiration for him as a, as a father as a businessman as just as a man who, who walks, walks the walk and talk the talk. He’s just an honest, good guy. And so with a huge heart, Jacob, when Jacob was a baby, he was living with his mother Troy down in San Diego, and I would see him sparingly I would definitely make the drive down to see him as he was growing up. But, you know, we all had our own lives, too. You know, I, you know, I was in a band I was in I was doing my shit up and in Long Beach San Clemente. I had a home in San Clemente, which is the furthest Southern it’s the southern most Little Town in South Orange County before you get to San Diego. So I was running a muck there and certainly just insane and so you know, some years you drift apart and stuff like that, but I was still relatively connected with my crew here in Long Beach. Until my disease progressed, then I was very isolated, really isolated man for not just a couple weekends, a long time, Jacob kind of followed the path of his dad not apples to apples, but he ran into trouble as well. And didn’t you have some sort of some sort of impact on his life as well? Well, as you know, as he grew into a, you know, he started drinking at a young age and, and so, in time, you know, he developed that thing called alcoholism, you know, as well as, you know, addiction qualities as well. And so, later on down the road, you fast forward a bunch of years me I ended up becoming the intervention work found me I was like, Oh, yeah, I’m sober. I’m gonna go to work for a treatment center. I’ve never worked for a treatment center. That is a lot of people’s path. It’s a lot of people’s paths. And I’ve seen too many people make that their recovery. I’ve also seen them fall And, and get her I, I’ve always put my my sobriety my own personal recovery is is is the first most important thing to me I still go to the low side five but usually the six to eight meetings a week still at 12 years and four months of sobriety I, I have this disease just as much today as a day that I came in I needed just as much. You’re taking that air quote medicine continually and one of the things that someone in in my circle had said, he says, you know, 12 step recovery, it’s not something that it worked and you got better. It is. It is working in my life. So he equates it to. He does. He’s a property manager. And he was like, they had hired a security guard in crime went down. And they were like, well, we can’t afford to keep paying this security guard and he was and crimes down so we don’t really need one and he’s like It is working. It worked and recovery it’s the same way. I really I can appreciate that for sure. You know, I’ve we’ve all seen it sounds like you’ve been around long enough to or maybe even longer than me but it’s just if you stick around the rooms of recovery long enough we see people who get a good life back. And and they D prioritize or re prioritize what’s most important. And so most people end up either dead or they’re out there drinking and then loaded again and they ended up coming back and and that scares me to pieces I haven’t you know, I’m thankful that hasn’t been my story at all. Up to this point. I haven’t drifted. I haven’t been like, oh, I’ll give it a month off. Dude, I get crazy and 14 hours, like, not not not the obsession about drinking or getting loaded, but I get emotionally displaced quite easily. And it’s just how I am wired. And so being amongst people like you and, you know, in the rooms of recovery worldwide, so long as I’m in one of those Rose, I get more centered and I get closer to something much bigger than myself quickly. And I need it. I tend to find that when when I just sit down and listen at times it it just happens to be and call it coincidence for x years in a row over and over. But whenever I’m going through something, and I sit down in one of those rooms and I just listen, I always end up hearing the exact thing a that I don’t want to hear, and then be that I need to hear. And, you know, then I’m faced with do I do I act on this? Do I just keep that to myself and be like ha you said exactly. Because usually it’s something wrong with actually not even sometimes it’s always something wrong with me either internally, or something going on in my life. I have some sort of expectation on Someone or something to act a certain way. And invariably every time and I own I own several companies and i’ll i’ll get upset with an employee. And then I just come back around to Well, what was my part in it, which I hate in 12 separate? My brain is now wired that way that I take accountability and responsibility for all the things that I’m not happy with, but I’ll be upset with someone. What’s this person doing at work there? You know, wasting money and wages, and all these things and it’s like, Well, have you clearly defined the expectations of the job or the role that they have? And it’s like, no, they should read my mind. And when that’s my my reasoning for being upset was I wanted it ultimately falls on me and as a sober man, and as a business owner and all these different things. Everything does rise and fall on my shoulders, but at the same time, that’s a blessing because If I am part of the problem, I also have the ability to be part of the solution. And until until I got involved in recovery I just I blamed everybody else it was everyone else’s fault why my life had gone to hell and if you live the way that I lived with the people who I surrounded myself with you would drink the same way that I drank because you don’t even have a choice there’s there’s no alternative when you’re a victim yeah you know a lot of this has to do with just the way I think my reaction to life and and there’s a classic story that’s my favorite my favorite my favorite pet couple paragraphs and that big book we have it’s about acceptance, whenever I am disturbed, when I am disturbed by find some person, place or thing some fact of my life unacceptable to me. And until I can find acceptance with that person, place or thing I can have no serenity that explains me perfectly. Absolutely to a tee So generally speaking, the problem with me is me. Now, if some guy cuts me off and flips me off, how am I spiritual? What’s my spiritual condition? Like in that particular day, I’ve had plenty of moments in sobriety where I have wanted to punch someone in the throat. I haven’t, I can tell you back in the day, I caused a lot of scenes that resulted in in very, very negative results. But I haven’t had to do that. And so, you know, want to come back the same with Jacob. And, you know, I became a family crisis interventionist. I facilitated over 400 of them all over the country of the last nine plus years, and I was trained appropriately. I didn’t just read a book I was taken under the wing of a master interventionists who had over 1000 interventions under under his belt. He said you know, I think that you can really connect well with people who have suffered like you so why don’t you want to give us a shot with me and I did and I, I learned the right way to facilitate intervention and I got myself certification for drug and alcohol counseling and my licensing and all that stuff. But, you know, whoever would have thought that I think it was four years ago. So I was eight years sober and I got a call from Jim Nall saying that his grandson Jacob is suffering with this disease. And he goes I, he said, verbatim he goes, I can’t go through it again. I can’t go through it again. And so but it’s a it was one of the most beautiful moments in my life to be able to actually take that call. Where before I wasn’t able to take Brad’s call because he just wanted to talk to a friend. At the time. I don’t know what he didn’t want don’t for me, he had dope. He didn’t want money for me. He had money. He just wanted to talk to someone so it kind of my thing it evens the playing field or the scales or even but being able to help Jacob get clean and sober has been one of the true bright spots in my life. And it’s great that you had you know, no one likes the negatives that come along with life and obviously That was a huge, huge impact on you and all the people in that circle. And I mean, worldwide, I mean that just on the surface level of the music and things like that. I mean, it was it was a huge loss all around. But to be able to have that awareness that, you know, here is that same exact call, and that you now have the skills and ability to not only take that call, but be able to perform the way that I mean you just didn’t have any capacity or capability to handle back then but to be able to take those skills now and apply them and save his life. I mean, that’s effectively what we do when we help other other addicts and alcoholics you are saving a life. Yeah, that’s that’s exactly right. And there is no there is no greater purpose. And then for us to be able to, you know, yeah, pass on what was not only given to us. But at the same time we talked we talked about this often passing on what was freely given to us at the same time. I feel an extreme duty, an extreme sense of responsibility that for a new man, I need to be able to look that man in the eye until I tell you what, I love you, man. And I want to see you make some changes. I want to encourage that person to stick around you know, all those hardcore bullshit some of these old fuckers who just sit down and shut up and they don’t want to hear you know what the truth is. We need to hear the new man. In fact, there’s there’s there there there is written text in the book that states meetings are a place for the new man to come share his problems. Okay, now I’m not expecting to hear the solution from a new guy. However, I strongly suggest that someone who is new to share in meetings what’s going on with them because it allows us to get to know them. And they get to know us shutting up and saying nothing to me is absolutely against a to me a principle of recovery, which is vital, which is transparency, Truth and Honesty amongst people who fucking understand. And I’m seriously adamant about that man. And not to mention, I mean, if you’re trying to grow something in membership, take, take the recovery aspect out of it, but just just human principle in general, if you have a group and take, again, take the this is saving your life out of the equation, but the people don’t want to show up somewhere and then people say, You’re not welcome here. You can’t participate because you don’t know what you’re talking about. Listen to me, what would be your motivation to want to even go back to get to the point where you can where you can say the end, I mean, there’s there’s things that I’ll I’ll say this to my salesman. Because sometimes we have these weird situations where things pan out, but statistically majority of the time, it doesn’t work. Like I had this this one guy who worked for me in, in tech, fixing computers, super, super abrasive guy. Really, really just fuck you, fuck you fuck you. But some people absolutely loved it and other people. I had received an email from a customer saying, I am willingly driving 25 miles to go to a competitor, instead of just calling you and having it done remotely because I am frightened that he will be the one that answers the phone. So we eventually got rid of them. But then other people were like, No, no, I love that. And it was like, you know, it was a minority of them. But so sometimes I think people, some people like that they show up and people say Shut up, don’t talk and they keep coming back because they like the pain or whatever it is. But it’s it’s not the majority, it’s the minority. And I think people, they take things out of context and they say, look, here is that small percentage of the time where it worked. And we just use that confirmation bias that because it worked on this small percentage, that therefore it works all the time every time for these exact types of people but in the macro if you’re trying to you know, something works 80% of the time, the opposite way Why stop doing it the way that encourages membership and encourages growth, which is ultimately what we’re what we need. Yeah, and you know, and you know, the rooms have evolved to its, you know, the text remains the same but the personnel, the people who are in the rooms, there’s gonna come a point in time, I hate to say it gang, but in certain groups, drugs are going to be a part of almost every single person’s story in the group, the wild turkey Dre days and just a straight bourbon guys are going to be gone. Eventually. Sorry. It’s just the way you know, drugs are a big part of the story that part of the program where they don’t really talk about that that much, but it’s all a part of us. At the end of the day, you know what man at the other day, there’s groups for everyone everywhere. You know what I mean? You want the hard ass thing that the full Third Reich treatment where you have no say or I don’t know where those are. But so being a man, I just want people to get sober to live better. I don’t care where you find it. And thank God is everywhere. You know? Yeah. So your book you had touched on you are able to help 10s of thousands of people through just that one thing and now with with the documentary, the long way back, how did that come about? You know, I was not seeking like, hey, let me go find someone to make a movie about I was contacted by a gentleman up in Canada, who had produced some films in the science based and learning areas. And he was privy to the epidemic is like your story needs to be told. flew up there a couple of times and we started going to some, some finance raising stages. And it kind of came to find that he wasn’t the right guy to tell the story. But along the road, some investors were like, meet this guy introduced me this guy was attached to some Sundance winning awards. name’s Mike Meeker, and he ended up producing the film and when you talk about uncomfortable, man, I mean, you really go through your mind thinking, Wait a minute, we’re going to let it all hang out here. And for me, there was no other way to tell the story. When I wrote my book. I still hadn’t tackled the demons. I got to talk about this because I don’t care anymore, but about trauma sustained as a kid, you know, molestation, and having come from up being a victim to a survivor, and I was really flipping coins on do I reveal that in the film at the end of the day, thank goodness I had grown enough as a grown up enough as a man to be able to share that experience and not worry about being judged. Because it’s all about at the end of the day, I can’t tell you how many people reached out to me going Dude, I was thought I was I’d be this tough guy etc etc. that happened to me as a kid too. And and and I’ve heard a lot of people along the way not molesting but I’ve heard others with my alcoholism because of a lot of the stuff that happened as a kid. So you know the film project in itself it got done in a year usually to take about two years on average to make a feature length we would 6070 hour weeks. We want a couple of awards for Best Documentary Film gratefully speaking and the the people the orchard owned by Sony put it out and it’s, it’s available on basically every medium except Netflix. It’s been a really good platform to speak at school. To speak it, not just treatment centers, but a lot of universities, I go to high schools. So it’s been a really great thing to share with people and give a talk after it’s helped a bunch of people. It’s pretty cool. And when you’re doing the the speaking gigs at colleges is, is that just something where you’ve been? Was that sort of part of your plan to speak at colleges? Or how did how did that come about? When when the film came out, I just started getting people asking, you know, we’d love to have you come out and talk and I’ve always enjoyed giving talks about, about getting to the other side. You know, I also do a lot of 12 step talks to but speaking at an institutional levels different, you’re not gonna incorporate too much step talk, etc, because it’s such a foreign thing, but I gotta tell you, I can’t count the times I’ve been pulled aside and someone saying either need help right now. I’ve got a couple people like I was literally going to kill myself this week. Gonna freakin kill myself. I remember we had a counselor, this one I was in Ohio, that this counselor to take this person over to the student center and they got that person into an institution like that night. I mean, this is real stuff, man. When people are breaking inside, and they’re not, they’re too scared to talk about it. I want to share with anyone who’s listening or watching whatever. It’s okay to talk about. If you’re breaking on the inside. Find someone who you trust someone who will care about what you have to hear, I assure you, there’s people who want to hear from you. Don’t don’t don’t leave because you’re going to be in the wrong person. I think a lot of it to alcoholics and addicts kind of run into this thought process of I am, I am unique. Nobody else understands the kind of pain that I’m going through because I had this experience and if you had this experience, then you would understand but nobody has this experience and I think that’s why, you know, when you’re talking about your trauma that so many people, I mean, it’s one of those things that it’s not, you’re not supposed to talk about it and having that guilt and shame trapped inside of you. And I believe you had said in the documentary that you had tried sharing it with people and they said they didn’t believe you. Was that part of the case also? Yeah, it’s what yeah, I shared it with my father. I was I was really young, I was only like nine years old. And and it happened again, I was very blanket statement because I was actually affected several times over a two year period as a general statement about it. So my father didn’t believe me. And so what that did to me to was it instill this, I’m really, really, really against authority. I’m really against it and I’m going to grow up one day, and I did and people will try to tell me what to do would not get the answer. They were looking for. You know, it sets the stage, it shapes you and crafts you into something, I didn’t become a monster, by the way. In fact, I became I was a person who if I ever saw person getting picked on, I would lose my mind, you know, getting bullied or, you know, I was kind of like want to be like the Superman to help people, you know, actively that’s that’s what has happened with the content that you’ve put out and with your work in, in doing interventions and things like that. I mean, that is sticking up for the person that is just suffering. And I know when I was at the end of my rope, and you know, I just needed a DUI and a judge to tell me that I needed help. But for all the times when people you know, it felt like family and friends were ganging up on me when I know now in retrospect, they were just trying to help but I felt like the guy who was just a big Dumb the entire time because that’s what my brain told me. I was a victim. I was the underdog. I, I didn’t have anyone on my side. Yeah, that’s that’s a really good point. I, Andrew because, you know, my my take on on a lot of this is is that the person who is in the disease is truly not seeing the world clearly. And there’s people you know, obviously in your instance and a mind to where they’re observing you, me and like this, you are not right. They are seeing things much more much more clearly. And they see something that is either a crisis or situation that you got that something has to change. And so it’s getting you know, that’s why I love about the work is you always get this loving, determined group of people who is hell bent on saving their loved ones life. And so it’s essentially this emotional management of chess pieces that you’re dealing with with these people and personnel to get this person motivated to at least try A change. And so it’s been rewarding work. It’s very taxing for me, I take it. You know, I do take it very, very seriously. I think you have to. Yeah, I don’t think that’s the kind of job that you can just nine to five punch the clock and just know you can’t you can’t do back to back interventions like yeah, there has to be breathing space between each one. I’ve made that mistake on two occasions and I paid for it dearly, becoming very off center, very, not 100%. And so you have to catch up, get back into your own recovery, do some self care and get yourself back on that beam allow you to be more functional, but at least you have the awareness that you you made the mistake in the past you reflected on it and moving forward. You’re not just beating your head against the wall trying to do that insanity definition of the same thing expecting different results and when we can refer Live on the mistakes that we’ve made, and then make decisions on the future, doing, doing the next right move, you know, this, this can apply for recovery, it can apply to business. I know when when we were growing the company and it was like, well, I just hired a bunch of random people, and they all happened to work out wonderfully. And so then my mentality was, we should always hire just random people. And it blowing up in my face that we kept having these terrible employees that would show up for like a day or two and quit. We had people they were in now I the company, everybody’s sober. But we had people like nodding out at their desk, and it was just like, what is this? And I was like, well, maybe we should, maybe we should just add like, one step like one ounce of maybe just make sure that this person kind of has some of the same ideas. But we could have kept going the same way. And the unfortunate thing in businesses, you know, if if I have 20 salesman and they’re all mediocre, we’re still probably making more money than we would if we had three people that were stellar. So it’s, it’s learning to sacrifice more money, which isn’t the ultimate scoreboard but doing the right thing. And knowing that you’re doing the right thing sticking behind it, even when you don’t get that financial reward for it. And so I don’t know how the the payment structure works in interventions. I would assume that if you did two in a day, you would get paid twice as much is that accurate? Or is it Yeah, that would be impossible to do two in a day. I think I’d be hanging from a tree. Just couldn’t do it. But yeah, I follow you. Yeah. So so in wrapping up what what what piece of advice would you give to somebody who is struggling with addiction looking to get out what would be the Next best move for them to take a look. The first thing that I want to say to anyone out there who’s suffering is that it’s very difficult to do it alone. I don’t suggest it. That there. There’s a lot of people out there who want a professional level first off to get you started, specialize in getting you stabilized. That’s what treatments about to me. You don’t just go to treatment and you emerge and you’re good to go the rest of your life like it’s a great place to be safe for a while. There’s a lot of good ones a lot of bad ones, but there’s a lot of good places out there. People who know what they’re doing to get you started and and that it can be done but it’s just going to focus on the none of it’s done alone. And and if you felt alone, I’m sure you have if you’re suffering, that it’s a huge relief to know that you don’t have to be alone again. So I would encourage you to reach out and just it’s okay to say hi breaking man. I need some help. There’s nothing wrong with that. One other thing that I had heard you you spoke about with. I think it was in a David about Bradley’s house. Uh huh. You want to touch on that a bit? I think that’s that’s an incredible thing that you guys are putting together. Yeah, for sure if I could just touch on two quick things a Bradley’s house is is essentially under what’s called the no Family Foundation. And it’s something I co founded with Brad’s dad. We are, it’s a fully fully approved 501 c three company that’s nonprofit. We are geared towards creating the first treatment center that’s kind which is to to help musicians who are suffering with substance use disorder who are broken, don’t have the financial means to get well. And so the residents will be called Bradley’s house. We’re still in the fundraising stage for it. And so it’s something that we’re very excited about getting actually the doors open which God willing, it will happen over the next year. The The other thing I want Coming up really quick is I’m working on a project, it’s called the higher ground experience. And it’s an experiential learning platform for kids, for young people to reach them before before they start using before they start drinking. And it’s an incentivize learning program that we’re currently in the finance raising stage for which is going to have significant impact on helping young people to make the right decisions in peer pressure situations. So check it out, Andrew and you can go to higher ground experience calm, and we expect to help some kids avoid overdose and funerals. That’s such a great cause. And I think it’s, it’s cool with with the idea that you know, like the the niche down on the musicians with Bradley’s house where it’s, we feel that no one else can understand exactly what we’re going through and for I mean, cool. Better to be running this organization than people who have been directly involved in, in addiction and in the music scene and knowing that there’s the little, the little differences here and there that it’s not always going to be apples to apples. And that’s kind of what I was hoping to accomplish with the podcast was you can go to 12 step meeting and find people that have your same vice. However, for for myself, it was kind of scratching my own itch of I want to be not only with just the people in the rooms, but and it doesn’t have to just be people who are also in 12 step recovery, just people who are sober, you know, whatever method works for you works for you, but to to be able to network and meet with people that are doing big things that you can always just walk into a room and find someone who is starting 501 c three and getting getting funding and all these things. So it’s really cool. And I really appreciate you taking the time and letting us letting us in on you know your story and the things you’ve been through and the triumphs and the wins and the losses. And tada in wrapping up, how can people find you and get more information? Thanks for asking. You can go to my website, it’s Todd Vulcans calm, t odd, z al kiss. Todd’s all calm. Also have a toll free number 888-604-7370. And I want to say one more thing to the first off. Thank you, Andrew for having me. I want to finish with for anyone out there who’s wondering if recovery is worth it. It is and if I didn’t have a joyful, meaningful existence in sobriety, I bail would have failed a long time ago despite what life has thrown at me. So if you’re wondering can first off Yes, you can get there takes take some stuff takes a little bit of work, but I assure you that if you’re sick of it sick of it all, man, this is a lot better. It’s a lot better. Yeah, people don’t don’t end up there on accident, but the people that stay it was intentional. And that’s like that. It’s not a, it’s not something that that just comes easy. It’s like you said with treatment, a lot of people think it’s like a 30 day thing, kind of like get surgery and then and then you’re fixed. It’s it’s just laying down the framework, get the foundation, but unfortunately, there’s work to be done ahead and it’s not going to just take one month to fix everything. It is a thing that it works, as long as you continue doing the things that cause It to work and sometimes we we start taking credit for things that aren’t necessarily our doings but it’s it’s been great talking with you, Todd and everyone who’s listening. Check out Todd and all the things that he’s been doing the long way back great documentary really, really digs into his story, the book, dying for triplicate all all the things that he’s doing it’s, it’s so great to to have this experience with you to have you share with the audience. And have a great day. Thank you so much for being and thanks, everyone for listening. Thanks for having me, Andrew. It’s been a pleasure man.
Haters don’t hate you they hate themselves for you doing what they wish they were.
With me today is Jason Hyland, the author of the best selling book, stop thinking like that No matter what. He’s a motivational speaker, he’s the host of the no matter what podcast. He’s a frequent blogger on sober nation. He’s the founder of motivational recovery. He’s given a TED talk at the TEDx Boston College recently completed the hundred 23rd. Boston Marathon, former minor league baseball player. Jason, what did I miss? Oh, my I’ve never heard it all out like that before. It’s I’m tired just hearing that. That’s awesome. I’m a blessed man today. Needless to say, Yeah, well, I’m really happy you know that we got to arrange this and and get together because I know, when Michael introduced us and he was telling me a bit about your story. I was like, you have to make this connection. I mean, the exact it is the story of triumph and then losing it and then coming back stronger than ever. That’s what this whole podcast is about man giving hope to those people that you know, when you’re Feeling like crap and you’re in treatment or even you’re not in treatment? Just everything’s going terrible and it looks like there’s no way out. There’s people and you know, spoiler alert, like things seem to get pretty good for you. But why don’t you give us a little background on growing up and what what sort of led to where you ended up? So as you obviously aware how we got introduced was a fellow friend, Michael, all that and he’s from Beverly mass where I’m from, and my brother is around his age, and I grew up in a family that I mean was normal to me, but there was a lot of chaos around and I didn’t realize that or really understand it until many years later. My father, May you Rest in peace, he was an alcoholic and he died from the disease on Christmas morning of 2016 with me by his side and so I saw firsthand what the toll that alcohol can have on someone. But what I had growing up that Really he pushed on me and my older brother and sister as well was sports, sports, sports, sports, sports sports. And you know, that was my my getaway. So I might have saw, you know, witness some some bad things happening at home. But it was all lost when I went out went on the field, whether it was baseball, football, basketball, and that was my refuge. And to this day baseball is my true love in life and it will forever be. I’ve experienced a lot of, you know, great, great things that not many people get you and it’s because of baseball. And really, even though I grew up in a really alcoholic home, and I don’t want to say abusive because it wasn’t like the physical type, but there was a lot of verbal abuse going on. And I didn’t fall into that trap, so to speak, until many years later and I always told myself, I will not become him. I will not become him. I’ll not become him. And my mother and I left when I was in fifth grade and we stayed in Beverly Which was great. So I didn’t have to move schools anymore because I moved a bunch of times in the in like elementary school. And then when we permanently stayed in Beverly, you know, I had the same friends and that’s really good thing for me because I know so many situations where, you know, when parents get divorced or in my case, never married, separated, then, you know, kids are living in going to different school after school. But I told my mother in high school, we left it like I said, fifth grade, sixth grade, actually, that, I promise you, I’ll never become him and I will do everything within my power to make sure that you know, we are going to be financially stable. I’m going to buy us a house and I said I was going to, you know, like dribble cages and hamster cages where they have two different ones and then they’re connected in the top by like a little bridge. That was my vision. Like a big farm pretty much because I love animals and I have two dogs, and that’s what I always I told her, but I started experiment in high school with just drinking my junior high school. didn’t take long before it just took over my life and it took over, like everything I was doing. And, you know, that’s some of the stuff that I’ll be, you know, share with the, you know, the triumph, but soon, you know, severe tragedy. And that occurred started occurring in college pretty much. So when you first started drinking, were there consequences or anything like that? Or were you just sort of having fun? Definitely having fun, and, you know, some of the things I did back then no, like, if I got in fights and stuff, if I did that today, I’m sure there would be consequences, like physical altercations, but it was more so fun, you know, doing the high school thing, we’re having a good time, you know, partying in the woods or someone’s parents were away, going to have a good time and party there. And I went to an all boys Catholic school, and North north of Boston. So we had I have friends from all over, you know, the area, which was great because, you know, I got to know a lot of different people and a lot of different groups of people. So really It was just, it was experimental, have some fun, and you know, do what teenagers do pretty much. So when did it start changing from just having fun too? Did you start noticing there were kind of rumblings of problems. The major incident that looking back now tells me that was when I became an alcoholic. I don’t know if there’s if that’s even like a way to say it. But the incident was after my sophomore year in college, I was named MVP of the College World Series at the University of Tampa. We had just lost in the national championship to Central Missouri State. This is 2003. And so heading into my junior year, I’m told no I have I’m there’s no doubt about it. My My dream is right there. I can see it clearly. I’m going to get drafted and then it’s on me and how quickly I can get to the majors. And it was reality. There’s no doubt about about those realistic and little sides. know, when I was on with Mike, he told me he heard when I was like 10 years old he was he that’s what was going to happen. Jason was the baseball player who was going to make it now because again, he was in high school with my brother. And so that was always the thought that was always what I believe. That’s always what everyone around here believes. My family. Absolutely my dad drilled in me that’s what had to happen. So it was my junior year early in and alcohol related incident where we had some recruits High School recruits staying with us, and we took him out in Tampa and one of my roommates got in a fight and I got involved and helped and unfortunately, I got a separated shoulder at me with a coach the next morning and just like that kicked off the team. No, not even six months removed from being named college drugs Series MVP and seeing everything I’ve worked so hard over the years, no come into fruition. And that was the moment so I was it was November 2003. It would take many years before finally, you know, succumbing to my fate. What have you but that was the moment I started taking like that the incidences started piling up and there were, you know, results, negative results and consequences. So after basically your entire life, and I’m not I’m no therapist, I’m just on the surface level but your whole life it was Jason the baseball player Jason the baseball player, Jason the baseball player, and then you separate your shoulder and now it’s Jason. Who are you all see that’s the thing people still knew me as Jason the baseball player because I end up even though I got kicked off that team, I transferred to a school in Northern California, who Chico State Division Two powerhouse or baseball and I knew of them because they lost in the College World Series championship the year before my team did and so I had a decent junior year. And going into my senior year was when I taught I was told where I was going to your top 10 rounds is what my coach told me and my coach now is the head coach of University of Washington. So he’s certainly made his way up there. And I’ll never forget when he told me that, and I was like, he’s like, just going to do what you did. I was I was making a name for myself away from the incident that happened that I brought me to that school, but alcohol and drugs were just too much of a factor and they were becoming consistent in a daily thing. And that’s what ultimately, my senior year was just a complete mess. It was all about drugs and alcohol at that point. And so what did I had to find myself and it didn’t take another almost 15 years to do so. Because what for the next 1012 years after college, it was just a mess. That was when What trouble Can I get myself into now and and No, I’m just very fortunate that I never got into a significant in trouble, even though I definitely should have had a number of occasions and now that I’m sitting here that I didn’t hurt anyone. No, I’m I’m very blessed in that regards. But it took its toll from you know, being Jason, the baseball player to Jason the partier pretty much up until I found sobriety which was July 24 of 2017. So what’s happening earlier in July 2017, that sort of brought you to treatment because if you’re just Jason the party or that guy is just having fun, I’m guessing probably something happened between the Jason’s just having fun to Jason’s got a problem? Well, there was no having fun for the last three, four or five years of my drinking and, and drugging. There’s no, there’s no fun. You know, it was the point where I was that stereotypical I had black curtains black shades tucked in my room were in the same hoodie, watching the same TV shows only leaving my house to go to Paki which is a liquor store here in Boston. That was it. There was no fun I I very rarely would go out and when I did I wasn’t a good person to be around I was miserable. I surrounded you know, probably with misery loves company. So no one trying to go anywhere no one trying to really do anything with their their lives just blaming, you know their circumstances on everything else. And there was no fun for a long time. But what happened is divine intervention. I’m not a religious person by any means. But there’s no explanation for what happened on July 23rd. I got home from work at a bar. I was a bouncer. So I got home at like 130 in the morning on Sunday, the 23rd. And I just knew before I went to bed that tomorrow mean that day was it. I knew exactly what was going to happen. The circumstances that played out in my head actually unfolded. The next morning I knew I was going to get a knock on my door. More More like a bang from my brother. And I knew he was going to ask to talk to me and confirmed me about some things that were missing. And I went to bed. I get that banging, and I know y’all, y’all Adam through the draw, why are you here so early? Like, get your ass up? It’s 130. And I was like, I was I wanted to sleep and I really wasn’t even though I was, you know, a lazy bum. I did not sleep and I was like, Oh my. And so I went downstairs I lived in. I’m in my three family house my family’s on since the 40s. My 97 year old grandmother, she’s on the first floor. I’m on the second floor and my dad did live with me for the last few years of his life because I moved back here to take care of him and then my sisters up on the third floor above me. So I went downstairs and talked with my brother. And you know, he basically he asked me exactly what I know is going to going to ask in regards to some life submission Missing money. And it took me a while but I saw the tears are coming in. He’s like, why are you crying? Why are you crying and then I just let it all out. And it was the most freeing experience of my life. I had finally just put the truth out there everything I’ve been holding it I just bought off my shoulders and hoes like, I can breathe now. No, I wasn’t worried about what was going to happen next anymore. I knew at that moment I was saved. I knew that there was no way I was going to be going back and that I somehow I survived. And then now is about putting in the work to make sure I do never go back. And you know, the, probably the best part about that moment with my brother is, you know, he’s dropping f bomb after f bomb in the other room. And then he comes back and he said something to me that really was the pivotal moment telling me that I’m going to be okay as he goes. I’m really proud of you. And I couldn’t believe that. You know, this is one of the people that I’ve heard more than anyone in the world that I’ve lied to and lied to and lied to. You know, created a lot of animosity between us and just resentments within our family. We have very small family. It’s only the four people that I named my brother, my sister, myself and my Nana now, and, you know, him saying that gave me hope. And so I called my mother. We have separate mothers. She lives down the street, and I knew she wasn’t home. So I went and I sat on her, on her on a hill in her backyard, and I was looking at the water and crying and I called the first I called the detox and asked if there was a bed available, and then I called her because again, she wasn’t home. I wasn’t allowed there. No doubt about it. So I called her and let her know hey, this is for real. I go to bed tomorrow. Can you please drive me and she said, All right. And so I had the last drink and last drug I ever had was that that day, and the next morning, I walked into detox with Open Arms just saying, Tell me what I need to do to assure that I never ever go back. I knew I’ve never feel any as much pain as I already did. I’ve never go through as much pain. All the tears I already shed. You know, I’ve been through the worst of it. So now let’s, let’s go, what do we need to do? You basically surrender and just say, I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve done my best at life up to this point. And it’s gotten me nowhere. And now I’m in treatment. And you’re just like, whatever you guys say, like I’m going to do. Where’s that willingness come from? And I wish I could tell you but all I know is I actually just before this, and I had a law of attraction session. There’s an it was an hour and a half, and it’s my first time going. And, you know, it was just believing in the things that were occurring that there’s something bigger going on. And one of the things that I spoke about earlier today was that the no coincidence moments, they just kept piling up. There was no no coincidence that these things are happening, there’s no way a human could have been in control of the things that were falling into place for me. And that just showed me that I was about, you know, becoming part of something far, far bigger than my journey. And I started, you know, few months and realizing my purpose, and that was to be able to be on a podcast like this and share my story to help spread hope and inspiration. And it just grew from there. The willingness was like, I could never go back to that life. There’s no way you wrote stop thinking like that while you were in treatment, right? Yes, I did. Yeah. Aren’t Aren’t you supposed to be miserable when you’re in rehab? You know, that’s why motivational recovery was founded. I could, I couldn’t understand. I was free. I could understand that I was free, but I could understand what everyone was so miserable. Even though they were sober. They were no longer you know, poisoning themselves. They were still miserable. And I didn’t get it. And it still I don’t really understand it. I know everyone goes into treatment at a different place in their life. But once I got to the link house, which is a six month program, I spent one month between the detox and holding and before finding long term treatment, and at the link house, everyone shows up at the same exact spot because you’re showing up you’re you’re getting the same exact tools, the same exact resources. You’re You’re already sober because you have to have gone through detox to go there. Why not make the most of why not take advantage of the you know, the opportunity you have. But what I realized, is there a lot of people sometimes they’re on the second third 14th 25th 50th time doing that. And that was mind boggling to me. That detox process was eight days of from what I remember because I was so drugged up on them getting me off. I was on opiates. I was doing upwards of three $300 habit 300 milligrams a day of opiates at the end, and on top of my drinking. So I had to, you know, have some serious drugs to make sure I didn’t have the withdrawals. And there was like four days of that. So I don’t really remember the four days, but I just you know, that’s as bad as it could get not not remembering things that were going on and so forth. So I was, when I arrived the windows, I was all gung ho, like, I’m not going back there. So what can I do? Tell me what to do. And for me, I found writing. And I wrote a lot for myself and you know, it was my therapy, and not gonna lie. A lot of people tried to slow me down and say, you know, you need to focus on your recovery. And what they didn’t understand is there was no recovery if I didn’t write and if I didn’t write there was no you know, if I there was no recovery if I didn’t write in vice versa. So that was my therapy. And that’s what got me got me going and getting better and realizing I’m writing for more than myself. Now. I gotta write to motivate these people. No, no Just the people I was with, because I was showing them every single day I had that daily discipline of writing and going to the library and transferring whatever I was writing on the computer because at the program, we had no computer access except for two hours on a Saturday with no internet, no, no cell phones, and no cars, no jobs, you’re focusing on yourself and yourself only as it should be from that’s how I believe and so by focusing on myself, what was I doing, I was writing about things that you know, I’ve never shared with anyone in the world and research and in research and in studying positive people have overcome in very big adversity and inspirational books, positive books, positive mindset, I just jumped into that stuff and it brainwashed me for the better and I still use that that that mentality today because I could see that things starting to happen that you hear about, like putting the law of attraction, putting good things out there. Put in what you want. visualizing it and stuff like that where some people think it’s a gimmick No, I was seeing trance play in my life. And so I became a huge proponent of it and I still am and no, I was motivated to succeed and do whatever I possibly want, I finally could fulfill what my mom always told me as you can do anything you put your mind to. And I was I was testing that to the core and I was, you know, succeeding and doing so. And I was like, Well, I’m no one special. There’s no there’s nothing great about me. I’m just a man willing to do what it takes. So I never go back to drinking and drugging anymore. So if I can you can It’s so cool that that because i mean i’ve i’ve been in the in the treatment industry, I’ve been to treatment myself. I have seen the motivation levels of people like week one, right? Most people, they just escaped death. They are so grateful to be out or or they’re just taking it for granted. They hate it because their parents forced the To go and they don’t want to be there. So it is kind of all over the spectrum. But for someone to maintain that level of enthusiasm, how do you keep up with wanting to do that other than just, I’m going to do this because that pain was so recent, you know, Now, a couple a couple months in, how are you still motivated to keep doing this? Well, first things first is life still happens. So there’s going to be bad things that occurred just because I’m sober doesn’t mean that I’m not going to have to deal with some serious adversity. And first of all, is all the wreckage of my past, I have to face that I had to take accountability own up for, you know, the harm I may have caused, in particular, you’re my family, my mother, first and foremost. And I had to own up to that because if I didn’t do that, then I would always be carrying that baggage with me. And that’s one of the things when I work with individuals is trying to help them let go of that because it’s an anchor and it can hold people down forever, and I see it happening, unfortunately. And so by it being able to deal with my past, and like I said, take ownership of it, I can now focus on the now and I really, it took a while. But once I grasped the concept of one day at a time, things started really clicking for me. And I became very excited to go to bed so I could wake up the next morning because I was starting to, you know, as a friend with said is manifesting my life for what I wanted. For the first time ever, I was seeing the manifestation taking place. So that was the enthusiasm all that I needed to be enthusiastic about because things are transpiring for the better. Now writing this book and being told it’s going to be published, I’ll never forget it was January 1 2018. Found out and I was crying in my bed in this you know, this little room that there’s two twin size beds that I’m sharing with a 22 year old kid and Realize all the hard work, what it can what it can bring, you know what can come up if you just believe in yourself and put in the work if you have the effort and not be lazy, because I was a certainly a very lazy person for a very long time, you know, we can have anything we wanted. And that’s where my enthusiasm came from. And what state and then when I dealt This is, I think one of the key parts is when I would face hardship, I would now actually face it, instead of turning and running away and going to, you know, the to get to the nearest package store or to the, you know, to my dealer, I didn’t have to go that route anymore. And I can learn from these mistakes and paste them and take something from that and use it moving forward. So something ever of that nature. And again, I know how to handle it, other than putting a substance in my body. I know just for myself, in my own experience. I’ve seen people come into treatment. They’ve had these big hits. audacious goals and years, obviously, you didn’t have a track record of success coming into this point. So were people supportive of you? Or were you getting like the Okay, Dude, chill, like, you’re not gonna, you’re not gonna make this book happen. I would say 99% of the people who are the latter were like, Who is this kid? 90 days in and saying he’s going to write a book, who’s this kid saying he’s gonna, you know, change the world. But I’ll say it until the day I die is why not me? No, why not? Someone has to. And that’s how I look at when I when I speak to groups is if I can just reach one person, that person could be the person that’s going to change the world. You don’t know unless you try. And, you know, the talking about different breakthroughs. Um, I’ll refrain from swearing. But I was walking from CVS down to the library in Newburyport. What the town I was getting the treatment. And I was walking with my big brother, you have big brothers at the house. Basically, they’re your mentor, they show you the ropes that first month, you can’t leave without them. And they make sure you abide by the house rules and this and that very, very instrumental. And, you know, because you’re walking into a place where you don’t know anyone, there’s all these very strict rules you have anywhere from ages of 22 to 65, all these different personalities, so they help get you through that, you know, very vital and important first month, and he was so caught up in everyone else’s bullshit. It was really I was scared, he’s gonna have a heart attack. I truly was like, Man, you gotta just calm down and stop worrying about what everyone else is. You can’t make them do that. You can’t force them to do anything that they don’t want you. And it was that moment. I was like, holy shit. I am having that breakthrough. I’m like, Oh my God. I don’t care what anyone thinks anymore. And that was that big, big breakthrough. Somebody Now, as the more people who are saying like, you’re delusional, you’re delusional, delusional, you know, who the hell do you think you are? I just brushed that off. And because what I realized is, you know, the Serenity Prayer, you know, I can only control what I can control. And that was that was the biggest breakthrough of the of the journey, for sure is not caring what people think anymore. And finally, just been able to focus on myself and just go after it is what I wanted and not live for anyone else. And it’s funny because sometimes addicts will come to that realization while they’re using and but it’ll be like on the other side of the spectrum of, I don’t care that I’m ruining everybody else’s life. Just Just let me do me. But you’re on the other side of that. And Mike actually talks about it in his in his new book, blueprint to business, I believe was the title. And it’s basically if you know you’re doing the right thing. Then stay in your lane. Don’t worry about what other people are talking about. what other people think on what you’re doing? Because if you’re doing the right thing, and you’re passionate about it, and you can go to bed at night being like, yeah, I wrote this book that I want to change the world, you know who’s gonna, who’s going to get mad at you for doing that, like, all you’re trying to do is provide value to other people to help other people to get your message out there to as many people as possible like this podcast, like, initially, the idea behind it was just, I’ll interview big corporations, things like that get in touch with business owners, and then kind of as time went on, it was like, the people the Jason highlands of the world are the ones that can use this as a platform and getting to know people like you and your story. It’s just it’s really cool to see people just pushing through because like you, you know, with practically no sober time, and I mean, you know, a statistic is just a statistic, but you know, know you’re in the minority for the people that say, I’m gonna do something early recovery, that’s audacious and like, you pulled it off, man. Yeah, and that was the other thing is there’s always going to be someone who’s gonna, you know, go against the grain and prove prove those statistics wrong. No, I’m not a number. And no one else should feel like they are a number because that that’s just wrong one putting a number on and saying you’re just a statistic. You should never want to be you want to be yourself and do what you want to do and live your life. So I wasn’t going to let know these other people that I didn’t even know complete strangers define who I was. And definitely not going to be just another statistic I wanted to, I realized I didn’t have it wasn’t my second chance at life. It was no can be my 10th 1215. Who knows. But I was. I knew that that the nightmare was over. And I had an opportunity to do things that I never thought were imaginable and that I have the power now to help people, not fall to where I was, you know, not get to the spot I was. And just as importantly, I was being able to help parents and family members who were dealing with, you know, someone who was suffering someone they love suffering with substances, and being able to have that impact. I don’t care what anyone says about me anymore, because what’s what’s the worst that you could call me right now? You know, have at it. And there’s a great thing I heard from on one of the motivational videos I listened to is no haters don’t hate you, they hate themselves for you doing what they wish they were. And it’s so true. And you know, I’m starting to get trolls online and that’s, that’s fine. And a one that shows me that if I’m making it, I’m making a name for myself and that’s a good thing I was told any publicity is good publicity. I think Mike told me that at the beginning and to you know, to embrace it. You know, the more success you do Garner that the more people are going to do. jump aboard and want that they want to watch the train wreck, right? They want to see you fail. And it’s unfortunate but those are the people who need to be listened to this those are the people who need to be reading stop thinking like that. Those are the people who need to be you know, paying attention to the people who are doing it, rather than, you know, just hate it and sitting behind a keyboard or locking themselves in a room like I was in the pitch black watching American pickers for 17 hours a day. You know, I, I was that person and now I see that hating on someone who was doing good, what was just holding me back, you know, this delaying the inevitable. And so I embrace people who are going to hate or I’m going to, you know, talk down on because you know what, what it means I’m doing something right into is if they do have something to say that I could learn from, you know, because I am far from perfect, you know, as a recovery coach and a performance coach. There are three things I always tell No a potential person I support at the beginning one. I do not have all the answers Far, far from it. I’m going to be forever learning. It’s my favorite thing on my post earlier today. But you probably saw my knowledge brigade. I love just building that up, I want to learn as much as possible because it’s just, it’s a beautiful thing and it’s infinite. The second part is I am not perfect, I am the furthest thing from perfect, I’m going to fail, I’m going to fail and fail some more and I’m going to mess up. But I’m going to admit to it and I’m going to use whatever I can can from that situation to be better moving forward. And thirdly, those The important part is I know how to stay sober one day at a time and I can help you do the same. And you know, I say that right up front so that I’m transparent as can be I don’t have all the answers no one does. It’s be ridiculous. That’s why when I hear so called experts in the field of recovery, I’m sorry I don’t believe in that. No, I respect that you your knowledge and your opinions, but you say Aaron expect An expert in a field where there’s millions and millions and millions of people that are just hurting. And no, there’s no such thing in my eyes. What got you into recovery coaching? My my mom, she saw an article in the local paper, and I graduated from the program I was in on February 23 of 2018. I started the recovery coach class on March 1, so the following Friday, and it was every Friday for eight hours for one month. So I got my 30 hours to get my certification and Massachusetts and then my that’s I released the book right there after and I kind of went on this like whirlwind of a tour of every week was either a podcast or I was going in studio did a couple of radio stations and a couple of actual TV shows. I was on a guest of a senator. She asked me to be on our TV. So again, these are things that were showing me, it’s far greater than me that my purpose is far beyond my own sobriety. And I was starting to, you know, see results from the work I was putting in with individuals, you know, the people who are reaching out to me in private, and I loved it, and I loved being able to see know, have the perspective from the other side now, because I, I, I’m an expert when it comes to using I’ll say that, no doubt about it. But on the other side, there’s so much that you see, and you start really peeling the onion of a person, different layers of individuals. And so I started a job with Paco Human Services. It’s a nonprofit, and I was working on this brand new thing that Massachusetts was implementing, through the Department of Mental Health and it’s a peer support, and the program’s called ACC at CS adult community clinical services. And what it is is moving from the old adage of clinical Support of client and like the doctor and client or doctor and patient. And doing now moving it towards peer support to where everyone’s equal, it’s a given take as a recovery coach or peer specialist, I didn’t get to learn something from the individuals that I’m working with. And vice versa because that gives them you know, if I’m someone who’s lost as can be and don’t have feel I have any value in the world, but I’m, I’m now I’m working with this recovery coach, and I can see I’m having benefit in the recovery coach, that’s a great thing that gives hope, and we all know that it’s just, there’s not much hope when we’re using and that little little sliver of hope can be the world of a difference because, again, I’m going off my personal experience, I felt it and I was living it. And so by joining them, I learned the the PR side of things and I got my certification as a certified peer specialist, which I don’t want to say one’s greater than the other when it comes to recovering. Go to peer specialist. Find a peer specialist. Your You’re looking at like a whole greater spectrum recovery coach deal with people with substances. As a peer specialist now with people who have mental health challenges, some also have substance abuse, history and those layers that you start to unfailing as getting to know the person and bringing them all the way back to them as a human being to a lot of the time we just see someone, you know, on the corner, why don’t they just get a job? You know, there’s the button for change. Well, there’s a reason why that person’s there. Do you think they chose to be there? Absolutely not. No one in there, no one in their right mind, left mind, any mind would go and want to be in that situation. So we got to remember that that’s a human being to that they were once they’re there, someone’s son or daughter, you know, they’re there. They were someone’s friend, maybe someone’s husband or wife and so forth. There’s a reason why they’re there and it’s not their choice. And that really really hit home for me seeing that. Okay, that part going all the way back to the individual. If I can just build a connection with that person, maybe I can give them a little hope. And at the very least, I’m giving them someone to talk to, you know, because there’s no human connection really, when you’re out there running and running and running. You know, it’s very rare. So no, that was a long answer to as how I became a recovery coach and you know, PR specialist and why I love the work that I do, because in every day is different. And I get to see the results firsthand of the work I’m putting in. Yeah, I know exactly what you mean, when you’re kind of on the same team. When I’m doing business coaching with clients and they’ll present me I’m running into issues with accountability with my employees doing this particular thing and I want them to be doing this, how do I solve this problem? And I feel like it’s just sort of human nature. It’s very easy for us to just give advice on Yeah, so here’s how you can solve that problem. And then I look at my businesses, and then I’ll be like, you know what, perhaps we’re also and then I kind of peel it back and just selfishly, you know, you tell your side and then just human beings, we just think like, how does this relate to me? How does this relate to me? And so my clients will say, I’m having issues with employee performance and accountability. And then I say, Oh, well, you could use a project management software and then organize all the steps that are supposed to happen. that’ll solve your problem. And then I look at mine, it’s like, you know what, I have that same problem. And that would actually solve my problem too. But we just it’s one of these things that Tony Robbins says he says, we know what to do, but we don’t do what we know. And you can look at just you can you can look at just the epidemic of it. You can look at addicts. You can look at people being overweight. Everybody knows if you eat healthy and exercise every single time if you burn more calories than you take in every single time it’ll work. It’s not a secret. It’s not well, you need to watch the macronutrients. And if you balance the correct protein, and we keto this, and if you’re in ketosis and do intermittent fasting, like all these tips and tricks for things to get short term relief, like the answer is just a calorie deficiency. And then that’s, that’s just science. But, you know, the whole country is morbidly obese and everyone’s blaming, oh, it’s the cookie manufacturers problem. It’s, it’s not their problem. And it’s not that we’re not educated, that these things are issues, but we don’t feel that short term. That short term pain because you eat one cookie, you don’t immediately get a heart attack. If that happened, people would stop eating them. It would be easy. Yeah. But it’s a long, slow progression, just like you can’t go to the gym. Once and get in, get ripped. It’s a progression. It’s got to become a lifestyle. And when you’re dealing with people in recovery when your whole life has just been, how do I deal with this situation? I don’t like well, I’ll get high. How do I deal with life? I hate it I get high. What? What do I do in any situation? I I just drink and drink and drink. And for me, you know, one of the things that that I questioned when I started when I was like, Well, what do you do for fun? And then what I came to realize was you just keep living your life the exact same way without drinking because it wasn’t. I enjoyed going into hockey games in drinking. I enjoyed going to hockey games and I was an alcoholic, so I did that drunk. It wasn’t it wasn’t the I Have fun drinking and doing this. It was I’m just an alcoholic, and I can’t stop drinking. But I think it’s it’s funny though. Kind of that that purse perspective that you touched on. So when you were writing stop thinking like that. Were were there times where you were like, you know what? Maybe everybody’s right. Maybe I should just, you know, who am I kidding? Did you have any of that self doubt? I’m gonna be honest, I really did because. And I remember I said this to my stepdad. At the end of the day, when I finished writing the book, the worst worst case scenario was I wrote a book. If you think about it, that’s the worst case. Even if I only sold one copy, you know what, I still wrote a book. More importantly, what did that writing do for me? It kept me sober. So that was the absolute worst case scenario. And I kept that mentality. So no matter what I was, I was winning in my eyes. And if I if I failed, well, who did? What did I fail according to who standards? You know, I didn’t fail myself and that all might go standards that should matter my own. And I just wrote a book. So the self doubt and that’s part of the brainwashing I mentioned at the beginning, I just erase all self doubt and know right after, I’d say a few months after I wrote the book, I started writing workbooks, and I made my first motivational recovery workbook. Part one is on confidence. And because I saw the value of getting, you know, self care, to building up the self esteem, and the confidence that I what it brought to me, in early recovery, when again, everyone else is miserable, well, Why wasn’t I and I try, you know, try to use again, just off of what worked for me, this is what my personal experience to try to help help others because a little self esteem can go a long way because you start, you know, doing things you didn’t know you could or you thought you never would be able to do again, and I think about the admirals story on making your bed and if you just make your bed First thing in the morning, at the very least worst case, you’re going home at night to a nice freshly made that you’re also starting your day off with completing a task that Reese releases don’t mean, you know. But that’s how my mind thinks constantly is how can I make you know, turn something make it positive no matter what, are there any other books that you sort of reference that kind of get you through the day or things that have helped you in your journey? Yeah, the book The Four Agreements has been my Don Miguel Ruiz is instrumental and I try my best to live by those. It’s very, very difficult. And the four agreements are, be impeccable with your word, which is basically have integrity. Always try your best in everything that you do. Don’t take anything personal. And the last one is, don’t make assumptions. I can do very well and not taking things personal because again, that’s putting if I’m taking everything personal, that’s being an egomaniac thing and everything’s about me and it’s not you know, I can Not make assumptions. Because again, that’s being almost that’s being taking things personal is making it about you, but doing your best at everything you do, it’s difficult because there are days where you just don’t have it, you know, you just want to lay and lay around and do nothing. And so I do when I as best I can and try to follow those and Four Agreements and being impeccable with my word. You know, have I lied since I got sober? Of course I have. But have I followed it up with honesty is is a key. Again, going back to I’m far from perfect, I’m still going to make mistakes, I’m still going to mess up. But it’s about owning those mistakes now. So I do my best at trying to follow the Four Agreements. And I think it’s a book every single person should read because it is it’s an easy read. It’s short, and it’s it’s straight to the point. A book on the opposite end of the spectrum in regards to I think a difficult read but has been super instrumental to is the power of now by Eckhart Tolle. Totally That’s that moment of being able to live in right now. When I when I discussed how I got, I finally grasped the one day at a time concept. To me that’s like the power now, the past can’t do anything about it. Obviously nothing I can do today, nothing no matter what can change that in the future. I can only prepare for it. It’s a fantasy right now though. It hasn’t happened. So if I can just worry about what I’m doing right here right now. And for me right now, right here I am growing because I’m having this conversation with you. I’m being able to put out more of my truth. So I’m learning more about myself as I go to because there’s probably some things I forgot about, that I’ve mentioned. And I’m growing in the fact that I’m getting more comfortable speaking, you know, so all that is just from sitting here right now. That’s how I try to take everything as I know, make the most of every opportunity and in the now so that I’m preparing for that future that fantasy I want to have the best fantasy ever You know, well, I can only have that if I take care of right here right now. And I believe and get better every day. motto. And today, no doubt about it. I’m doing so by having a conversation with someone like yourself and so interesting. You’re talking about getting comfortable speaking. So we go back a couple months, why don’t you tell us about what the background was on getting the TED talk at Boston College. So that’s it goes hand in hand with writing in the very like the first four or five months of my sobriety where I knew that this was my I found my purpose because I was never one who would like to speak to groups, even if I knew the people. I also was never a writer. And something just told me I meant to do this. And I started going to Toastmasters, which are private, private, their public speaking groups, where you actually there’s only usually like a handful of people who go to them they every town has one, I’m pretty sure and then meet once once a month, twice a month, whatever. And you basically give speeches and you get graded. on them and like live. So it’s great. You learn a lot from them. And I started slowly building up my platforms were getting bigger, the more success the book was having the bigger the platforms. And I got the chance to speak in front of roughly 1000 people on the Boston Common for international overdose Awareness Day, which is August 31. And that’s a it’s in 500 cities worldwide, that it’s celebrated. And I was chosen to be one of eight speakers. And I was like, oh, my goodness, it was the most emotional event that I’ve been a part of, because there was like a big screen with people’s pictures who have passed away. Like we’re talking like a like a stadium size. Big Screen. I can’t think of the name right now. But it was very emotional. And I one of my friends up there. I was speaking in honor of him and his family was there to support me. So that was only a five minute speech. But it showed me again that I’m doing what I’m Supposed to be enjoying what I’m supposed to be at? Because continue. You know, the more I do it, you’re the more comfortable you’re going to get, obviously, no matter what in that regards. And so what the TED talk I was my one month away from graduating the link house and my therapist in the house who was separate. She had worked for the house, she came in from a separate company, and she told me to check out Bernie Browns book. Well, she gave me a book to read and said, check out her TED talk on vulnerability. And I was like, what’s a TED talk? I had no idea. And she’s like, well check it out. And then I meet with her once a week, I read the book and that week, I check out the TED Talk. The following week on I’m with her. I told her, that was a note that book was amazing. It was a daring greatly. And GIFs a perfection. imperfection was the first one that you gave me. Dr. Great, I read both of them. And I told her, you know, she said, Why don’t you go you know, see if there’s one in Boston and I’m like, why don’t I speak at one I just put it out there. You know what’s again, what’s the worst, I can happened, I put it out there. And so I reached out to Boston College because they were the next one they were having in April, this was 2018. And I filled out the application and I made it to the second round. But I didn’t get chosen. and rightfully so I was, I was in no way shape or form, ready for that type of event. And I wasn’t I didn’t have any credibility at the time either. And not saying I have much now but I had a lot more to offer the second time around. And so I reached out to them, and the topic of the event was resiliency and I was like, who can speak better on resiliency than someone who’s overcome addiction? I don’t know. I mean, there’s obviously some people who will become much more adversity and massive odds than than I have in someone who’s overcome addiction in general, but I think we have a good grasp on what resiliency is and so I I made it through the you know, the all the cuts and I had to write the speech up and they had to look it over and give it one last go of it. Thumbs up, thumbs down. I got chosen and it was March 31, March 30. at Boston College, there was six speakers. Five of us were chosen through the online application process. We’re from all over the country from Tampa, Cincinnati, a professor at Boston College, myself, and someone else, I’m not sure I forget where he was from. And then a girl from Boston College won their contest. So there’s six talks and it was all in resiliency. And it was, I would never been so stressed about something leading up to that, because I put so much pressure on myself because I knew this could be a life changing opportunity. I know it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. At the very least if I don’t do it, right. It’s that’s that’s it. But one of the things they send you is a video on how to make a successful TED Talk. And it’s a TED talk on that and it was just needed to to watch I took a bunch of notes on it and I’ll never forget she said, act as if this is only the first of many TED Talks you’re going to be making but this is the first but not the last. And I did that. And I probably rehearsed my speech a million times to my girlfriend. She got, you know, definitely got sick of hearing it. But no, I did what was necessary. She helped me a lot with writing because she’s a lot smarter than I am. And so to have that one that support where I could just kept, you know, rehearsing it to her, and then know sent it to my mother multiple times sent different versions. So my step dad, you know, having them behind me was great because it was nerve wracking, but once I was up there, I missed one sentence what I learned probably like three days before giving a bit speech and not supposed to memorize it, word for word. But that’s what I tried to do. So at the end of the day, it was an amazing experience. I cannot wait for it to come out. It’s not officially the official Ted videos not out. I did have eight minutes of the like roughly 12 minutes The talk that my friend videotaped, and I had it on my YouTube channel, but they made me take it down Ted did because they have all the rights to it. So hopefully by the time this airs, it’ll be up there. And it was awesome. I can’t wait to do more like I want to absolutely apply to more and know who knows? I we don’t know anything unless we try. Yeah, and the resiliency that just addicts and alcoholics have in general, I think it’s also just kind of fitting the resiliency of you didn’t get accepted by them, and then we’re resilient and then apply it again, with your story and having a best selling book behind it. So what do you think led to stop thinking like that no matter what, being a best seller, I mean, most books just get published in poof. So what was the difference with yours? I was very, I’m very candid. There’s no sugarcoating addiction and I make sure sure that in the way I, I described things and I, I feel like I speak for the everyday person, I show what’s possible. And I’m no one special. I just put in the work I show if you put in the work, what is possible, and it’s anything. I know, I followed my heart and I went with it. And I was very truthful and honest with everything that I put it in there. And people can relate to that people like hearing the story of someone who’s, there’s no bullshit. They are who they say they are. They they not just talk the talk, they walk the walk. And I had a great support network, as I mentioned, between my girlfriend and my parents, but I know others, Mike who is huge in the process of just teaching me how to go about it. And at the end of the day, I took things I said I was going to do in 2018. And this is the power of the law of attraction and visualization. I sent my mother an email November, like a few months into my sobriety saying, I’m going to become a best selling author. And then I told them That therapist, I’m going to speak at the state level, I did become a best selling author, multiple categories alcoholism and drug dependency, both as a new release and regular release. In the past, like three months ago, it became a best seller one once again, on Kindle and in paperback. So I fulfilled that. And the second part is when I spoke at that international overdose awareness event on the Boston Common, the Boston Common is the line for the state, the State House here in Massachusetts. And I put it out there I believed in myself and I follow through with the action and that just anything’s possible if we do that. You got to believe in just conceive, believe, achieve, conceive, believe, achieve, conceive, believe achieve. I said that so many times, and I and I truly believed it and you know, I made it happen because I follow through with it. And so how did it become a best seller? I, like I said, I’m as honest as it gets, when it comes to put in what I put in that book. There’s no BS and around it. I’m not trying to, you know, I know play the role of someone else. I ripped off all the mask possible and I’m just, I’m just who I am. And people respect that. I think I’ve come to find that people, especially when you’re dealing with talking about addiction and recovery, that people when I tell my story, I tell them, I got a DUI. I threw up all over myself threw up all over my car. I was telling the cops please don’t like this was right around. There was a whole bunch of like police brutality and it’s like don’t do police brutality on me. I don’t want to end up on YouTube. I’m just wasted saying all this stuff. And I blacked out getting arrested. I blacked out being in jail. I woke up the next morning and that’s that’s my truth. And I you know, it is what it is if down the road that comes back and I lose an opportunity because Uh, the truth of what my past is, and, you know, it is what it is. But I’d be willing to bet that more people have given me more chances and more opportunities as a result of not trying to be something that I’m not like my company. This was three or four years back. We in like remote tech support, there were a million scams going on, and we’re still around because we weren’t one of them. However, if it looks like it looks like something smells like something, it’s located in the same area, so I get where they were coming from, and I had to meet with the state’s attorney and they were like, Well, how do you know this person? How do you know this person? I was like, from from a 12 step recovery. They’re like, like, Oh my god, oh my god, I turn off the recording, the recording, they’re like, You’re so brave for telling us your truth. You don’t have to do that though. You don’t have to feel pressured. I’m just like, it’s how I know him. Like it’s not a it’s not like this crazy secret that I’m like, so ashamed. And, but like saying that they it, it changed it changed from like an interrogation to like you’re so brave it changed the whole complexion of the of the the process it sounds like and that’s that’s what I love about where we’re going today is people are becoming more comfortable. And it’s still a very difficult process. I think asking for help is the most courageous and vulnerable act we can possibly do. Because we’re saying, I don’t have the answers. I can’t do it on my own. Please help me that is so difficult to do. But now that more and more people are doing it, it’s becoming almost mainstream. It’s beautiful because of the fact it’s showing those people that I’m sure you your You and I were here trying to do is show them that it’s okay. That it is okay, you can overcome it. There’s no shame and you can still live out whatever you want to do with your life. And that’s what I try to try to tell everyone who I’ve ever come across. Yeah, it’s definitely something that I think more people do need to embrace and I mean, you’re living proof of it man. Like Your book, you just peel back all the layers and just here is Jason like, this is my truth and no one’s going to come out of the bushes and say, That’s not what happened. You know, like you tell your truth, you tell it like it is. And the universe is rewarding you for that. So in wrapping up, what’s the best piece of advice you’d give to someone who’s trying to get sober? It’s okay, that you have baggage of your past. It’s okay. You’re not alone in the process. Everyone has it, everyone’s failed. As long as you keep putting foot one foot in front of the other, and believing in yourself. I there there’s there’s enough proof and evidence that you you can make it if you need any look any further. I’m that physical proof. I’m no one special, as I mentioned many times that anyone can do it. It’s just you got to believe in yourself and ignore all the noise because there’s going to be so much of it and just keep moving forward. No matter what if you mess up, you stub your toe. It happens Learn from it move forward. I feel like that answer is going to hit to this next one too. But what what advice would you give someone who’s trying to write their first book or jump into entrepreneurship or coaching? be okay with failure and don’t don’t like there’s so much negativity around fail failure. You can’t succeed unless you fail. The biggest advice then from that is make sure you learn as much as possible from all the failures that you inevitably will go through. And they’re only going to make you stronger moving forward in whatever the endeavor may be. Thank you so much. That’s great. And Jason, where can listeners find you online? Instagram’s the best place for me I actually shared account with my girlfriend so we get the best of both worlds reaching out, it’s at motivational recovery, which that one is where I try to show as much as the humanistic side that I’m just I’m just a person, I’m living my life, but I’m showing you what’s possible. Now. That’s why I like Putting some personal stuff in there because I like to I want people to know that whom it really suffering right now really hope was lost they can go to a Red Sox game and have a blast sober. You know they can do all this great stuff sober. Then at Jason are Highland. My last name is h y le nd that’s my Facebook. That’s where I put a lot of my bigger content where I’ll post my blogs and my podcast which is the no matter what podcast I’m actually I kind of taken a step back with the podcast and making shorter one to five minute videos so that I can produce a lot more content My goal is to bring push motivational recovery and the philosophy behind it to as many in as many ways as possible. And so I want to give as much value to that I’ve gone so freely back, you know, I want to give back as much as I possibly can and so I’m putting the know all the different videos I cannot there, boy blogging Instagram motivation recovery as well. Jason dash Highland calm is my website. And please if anonymous or not you can reach out to at any point about any questions I am as you can probably sell as open as a book as possible as can be and I’m here to help I want people to be able to live their best life because I know I can say I am today. And I’m coming up on two years sober, which some people may like you’re only to yourself, well, in the past 22 months what I have accomplished, far outweighs the the last 35 the first 34 plus years of my life. Yeah, man, that was my experience to like the first nine months of sobriety, I had kept actually not even nine months. Well, it was probably like two, three months of sobriety like I had gotten further ahead in life than I ever had the previous 26 years and is like, you know, I’ve turned it over something else is in control and I can’t argue with the results. But Jason, it’s been such a pleasure.
Shane Ramer is the creator and host of That Sober Guy Podcast. That Sober Guy gives others a platform to share their own stories while creating community and entertainment in a digital and live environment. TSG reaches tens of thousands of listeners across states and continents and has been downloaded millions of times.
Shane has been sober since September 11th, 2013.
04:22 – Shane takes us through his life in 2013 that fostered his current stint of recovery
08:27 – He always knew he had a problem but it wasn’t until he fully surrendered and entered rehab that he was able to turn sobriety into recovery
16:46 – For his recovery to work he needed to work his recovery
19:51 – Shane’s secret sauce is to work it while keeping mentors close and taking control of his sobriety
23:45 – While he has a good amount of recovery under his belt, he doesn’t have it all figured out and he is okay not having the answers all the time
31:06 – Andrew & Shane discuss their drinking/using mentalities as they realized they needed to get sober
33:20 – With 6-years of sobriety, how does Shane protect himself when he’s in situations where there is drinking
Paul Churchill is the host of the podcast “Recovery Elevator” which has been downloaded nearly 3 million times. He is also the founder of Café RE a group that helps alcoholics and those dealing with drug addiction build a community around recovery. He has currently been sober since September 7, 2014.
03:21 – Paul walks us through his story of heartbreak and explains how he turned to drinking to soften his inner turmoil
05:55 – Why become an investment banker when you can open a bar in Granada, Spain and blackout every night?
09:54 – Barely surviving his life in Spain, Paul returns to the States ultimately realizing that his excessive drinking was a problem
11:41 – His message he took from his first 12-step meeting was to convince himself he wasn’t an alcoholic and… game on! He began drinking on and off again until September 7, 2014.
17:59 – Is addiction and alcoholism an illness/disease?
21:51 – Paul reflects on what’s different in his current recovery verses his previous ones – he no longer relies on willpower to prevent him from drinking
24:40 – His sobriety date and the launch of his podcast are pretty close together – how has it affected his ability to refrain from drinking?
27:12 – When did doing a podcast go from a personal venture to a vehicle to help other people?
31:32 – Recovery Elevator’s community asked for meetups and other communal activities
34:18 – If you build it they might not come, so make sure they want it before you build it
37:34 – Paul’s favorite failure
41:46 – Can anyone really ever say, “I got this”? Paul’s answer may surprise you.
48:30 – What’s worse, drugs or alcohol?
54:08 – Paul shares his “worst memory” from drinking
58:00 – You might be an alcoholic if…
59:42 – Paul shares his advice for those who are struggling with addiction and people who are trying to grow their business.
I’ve honestly I’m just going to come right out x rated. I don’t believe you’re setting good goals if you’re assholes not getting tight. Welcome to self-made and sober. I’m your host Andrew Lassise with www.selfmade-coaching.com. And in this podcast, it’s my job to interview people who are not only crushing it and business but have also struggled with addiction in the past and are in long term recovery. Be sure to join our Facebook group, where we help entrepreneurs grow and scale their business @facebook.com/groups/SMCmastermind like self-made coaching mastermind. I hope you enjoy the show and be sure to subscribe and rate the show afterward so you can get notified each Friday when we put out a new episode. With me, today is such a treat. I have Mark Crandall mark is a speaker mark is an author Mark is a podcaster. Mark is a transformational coach. Mark does it all. He has an incredible story to share. And I’m just so excited to jump into it. Mark, how are things going? Things are great. So Mark you’ve been sober since 2007. Is that correct? That is correct. August 23, 2007. Perfect. Why don’t you give us sort of a background of what your life was like growing up and what led to you getting sober? Yeah. So I have like a starting point, my story and that’s kind of where I start even when I’m speaking from the stage it’s, it’s where I start. So yeah, at age three, I was taken by DC if my sister was nearly drowned in a bathtub and my grandmother who we were staying with at the time, my bio mom My sister and I were staying with called the state. So my grandmother was in a cop collar. So she was she had some great concern. So she called the state the state took custody of my sister first and then my mom kidnapped me and took me to New York to try to avoid them taking custody of me. They finally got me I was placed in the same foster home that my sister was placed in. And that’s just I mean, in a nutshell, that that was my childhood, a lot of instability, a ton of confusion. I didn’t know it any of this man. My sister didn’t know it any of this man. There were visits back the first visit that we had back to go see my bio mom was on Christmas I ended up getting handcuffed and locked in a closet. My sister got thrown down the stairs. My sister has cerebral palsy as well just to kind of paint a picture she had casts on her legs at the time she just had surgery. And I just remember being a confused angry Lost little boy. And as a result of being burned with cigarettes and my mom taking off for days and leaving my sister and I an apartment alone at the age of three and five, there are just memories that were burned into my brain that just caused this great confusion. And essentially, that led to me finding drug addictions or drugs and alcohol and quieting my mind, which is all I really ever wanted to do was to shut my mind up so that I could get some relief. So in a nutshell, at seven years old, I had all the traits of a serial killer. I was killing animals setting fires, assaulting people, I was a lunatic little kid and my counselor at the time this man you know, Dr. Atkins suggested that my adoptive parents cliff and Orly file a chins petition on me and children. petition in New Hampshire is a child in need of services. It’s basically you asked the state to come in to take retake custody of delinquent youth and they did and they place me and group homes to get rehabilitated and but what I actually got was educated on sex, drugs and rock and roll. And so when I came out two and a half, three years later, I was more educated, how to obtain substances that would make me feel the way that I was trying to feel any kind of paint a picture of how I thought things went and how most of our society thinks that things ago I when I came out of the first group home or the three group homes when I came out of my group, I was going to send my first thing stay incarcerated. I asked my mom to buy me dress clothes to go back to school so I had like khaki pants and dress shoes and polo shirts and on the outside, I new haircut and On the outside, I looked like a completely new person. On the inside, this Inferno was just burning. And I didn’t get any relief until this kid named Jamie who was like my best friend in high school invited me over to his house to smoke gravity bongs after school. At the time. I had smoked a couple of times, but not like we did this day. We ended up getting annihilated I fell in love with it. I received a great deal of relief internally. And just like I chased it, I don’t need to, you know, beat a dead horse, as far as addictions concerned, but it escalated. I was homeless from 18 to 22 years old. In and out I’ve done seven years of my life incarcerated than to two years in county jail, two years in prison and then three years in group homes and between heroin addiction At this time, heroin Yeager Meister and Ben’s with a mix of cocaine when it was free. I’m a downer guy. So I was really, really always on a mission to shut my mind up. I don’t understand those that want to speed their mind up. I just don’t get it. It’s just me. I mean, I work with them. I you know, I provide intervention services for families, so I know how to navigate it, but I just don’t understand it. Like who wants to stay up all night with a notebook talking about the Great Escape, right? I don’t, I want to, I want to not out and burn myself and, and, and go to sleep. That’s all I ever wanted. So 18 years old. I’m about to graduate from high school and my little brother caught me stealing money from my adoptive mother’s purse. And he screamed into the shower to tell her I punched him in the mouth. She threw me out. I was homeless. From then on. And it just I mean, it got really dark. So you’re 18 to 22 while most kids are away from home, in college, a year away from home, homeless in that same time period, yeah, the painted dark picture, I was sleeping in cemetery kicking doors and at night to feed my addiction, like at 18. I was the kid that you didn’t like when you had a house party you didn’t want to invite because I would set your couch on fire steal your mom’s jewelry like I was a lunatic. And so I didn’t get invited to a lot of places, but yet I seem to find out about them and show up. So I mean, with the childhood that you had, do you feel that there’s any sort of justification like obviously, there’s going to be a correlation. There’s just the stats show that you know, people that grow up in tumultuous situations, usually turn to drugs and alcohol. So do you think that sort of a Not, not to Say, you know, you get to you get the excuse card. But do you think that you know, that’s kind of just sort of par for the course? I do believe that my childhood trauma and my upbringing definitely intensified the craving to get relief. So I definitely do believe that I don’t know of most adolescents at 13 years old that are eating sleeping pills before middle school and playing a game and just see if they could stay awake for English class. Like that’s just. Now I was an absolute lunatic. So I honestly believe that there are some and I mean, science has proved it that the biological your biological upbringing plays a major role in potential addiction. Do I believe in the realm of the 12 steps and the fact that I suffered from Spiritual malady a, you know, a loss of self absolutely subscribe to that as well, like I hated everything and everyone. So I don’t want to get too far into that. But I believe that we play this game of arguing about what’s actually wrong versus really looking for what the solution is. So with all of that chaos going on in your life, what was that aha moment where you were just like, I’m done. Yeah, I made it. I made a face for those of you listening like you would think I would have had it multiple times throughout my story. But my you know, first time I was released from the county jail, like most recovery stories, I made this oath, I wasn’t going to do it again. I found God in the county jail. It was going to go out and I was going to do it was going to be great. I had no idea that there are individuals like living in long term recovery, didn’t even know what that meant. Thought that like recovery was you just got so I had no idea that you know, the actual definition of recovery is like you rebuild your life, right? So, in my eyes, it’s just like, oh my god, I’m sober. I can I’m sober. I want to hit that person. I still want to rob people like what is going? What is wrong with me? And so I didn’t stay sober the first time. The second time, I was released from jail. And, you know, I say that the New Hampshire state prison rehabilitated me because it did and why I say that is because they forced me to get my GED before they would parole me. Had I not come out of prison with a GED. I don’t know if I would still be here. And I’m just being straight. Honest. This isn’t like I’m not getting paid. I don’t have a sponsorship from the New Hampshire State President. Nothing, nothing like that. I just this episode is sponsored by the New Hampshire state prison. I mean, I’m open to having a conversation. My aha moment. I’m two weeks I’m in prison. I’ve almost done my two-year minimum. And as part of my court order, I was mandated to go to this long term treatment center and it was 12 to 18 months therapeutic community. It’s rare to find them in the country now because most of them lost their funding but it was a state-funded facility. Most of the individuals there were court ordered. And you know, when you got in trouble you are washing pots and pans for 12 hours in a day or you’re outside cutting grass with scissors when I left that place look like a golf course. Just to let you know how much trouble I got. It was there it was. There wasn’t a piece of grass out of place. Some two weeks from leaving prison. I used drugs the entire time I was in there. I did not draw a sober breath. I was sniffing antidepressants. We were doing heroin. We were smoking weed. And it was it in prison. It was a mess, right? Yeah, and Prison. It was a mess. It was a constant party everyone was just like playing cabbage and skip Oh, and playing basketball getting high. So I’m two weeks away, I wake up one morning, I sit up on my bunk and I become riddled with fear. I know like your audience, those in recovery are going to have experience with us just riddled with fear. I’ve had these moments in my, in my recovery journey, and I just I sat up in bed and I had one of those What the fuck am I doing moments like what am I doing with my life? And everything? You know, everything flashed before my eyes. So my grandmother saying like, if you end up in the paper again, we’re going to disown you. My adopted father’s you know, telling my little brother to tell me to change my last name because I was a disgrace. Like, everything just flashed before me in this moment, and I just became a golf with fear. And so it’s 5am we’re getting ready yards getting ready to open so that we can walk to the chow hall and I walked to the chow hall and I fire off our Prayer. And I don’t know what I’m talking to who I’m talking to. I’m not even thinking about that I’m not wrapped up in it. And I just say, if there’s something out there, please help me. And I’m two years into prison, you would have thought that this little cry for help would have came a long time ago. But it didn’t. And so I didn’t get any answers, which I got pissed off about, like I thought it was, you know, I literally thought God was like a 24 hour drive through and with 32nd service and, and I’m walking back from the chow hall, and this thought hits me, and the thought was go to the one place in the library you’ve never been, and like, what-what the fuck does I mean? Like, you gotta give me some, like, give me some clear path here. I can’t do that. So I’m thinking about it, you know, to go back to the unit and you had to clean before the yard opened up again, before I could go to the library, which is literally where I lived. Most of the time I was in prison. I love literature. I love writing. And so I just read every book that I could to give you an idea. I read the handle series in three days in prison, which is it’s four books. It’s pretty, it’s pretty, they’re pretty long. So, so that’s what I did. Because then books I got I got an escape from my mind and how I felt. So I walk it, you know, the art opens, I go to the library, I’m standing there. I’m like, What is the one place that I’ve never been? Like, I understand that there’s just one spot in the back of the library where there’s no camera where all the inmates want to do their dirt which the inmates that are still in there probably like Dude, shut up, bro. They’re gonna know. And it was this happened to be ironically enough, the self-help spirituality section. I had not been there. The whole two years that I’d been in this facility hadn’t been there. And I walked back and looked upon the shelf. And there was a book that just stuck out to me goosebumps every time I share about it. And I picked it up because this man who was on the cover and he was wearing this orange and red robe with glasses on indeed a smile on his face like I had never seen before. I’ve probably seen it, but you get what I’m saying when I say like, I’d never seen it like I had never viewed it fully. And this smile I was like, you know, when they say in recovery, like find somebody who has what you want, like for a long time, I thought that meant like a nice car, a wife who had nice fake boobs, like I had no idea. What I wanted was a smile, the smile that this man had on his face. I picked the book back, I went back to my unit, I read three-quarters of it that day. It was a book by the Dalai Lama. And that night I went, took my sleeping medication, wrapped a towel around my head and followed his steps of meditating. And what it looked like was me nodding out on sleeping pills with a towel wrapped around my head. But for the remaining two weeks, the inmates that were in my unit called me the Buddha, which was way better than things that I’d been called in the past. That was my aha moment. That was also the moment that changed the trajectory of my life. What I found Was relief that you know the 12 step slash self help slash realm of the Spirit slash transformational work was what I had been craving but I didn’t know that that’s what I had been craving because I thought like most of our society thinks that it was just going to happen to me like it was going to vicariously my whole life was going to change. But in that moment of meditation, I know I’m preaching to the choir to you Andrew but like in that moment, I got relief. And I chased it like any good drug addict would and I haven’t stopped this August will be 12 years and like I just haven’t stopped I’m an addict for self-help train I don’t believe in self-help but that’s the title that they gave I believe that all things happen from God or spirit or you know your higher self whatever I’m just I’m literally today I’m like a coexist bumper sticker and I’m just and I guess that was what that was the what it was like now We can get into the more of the good, but yeah, like absolutely addicted to it. That’s so cool. So you took that moment of just nothing is going how it’s supposed to go. And you just took that little piece of inspiration intuition, God, whatever you want to call it. And then just completely I mean, I’m sure there have been times in your life where you’re like, you kind of got like a bright idea. And then did it for a couple minutes or a couple days, weeks. So what was different about recovery versus just all the other things that you’ve tried and probably not followed through on up to this point? Yeah, so here’s the thing about and I did this for a long time. So if there’s any of you that are newer, on this journey on this path, like I just want to share this with you and it was something that my friend Tim, who is my art mentor, he’s still a good friend. Friend of mine today he’s one of the first friends that I had in recovery. He said to me, and he said, Mark, why don’t you spend as much energy and time that you spend trying to define God or this higher power? Why do you spend that amount of time trying to recognize him? And I think, like, we get so caught up in what recovery is, for those of us that are in recovery, there’s this fear that we all have that we’re doing it wrong. And so what we do is we point out how others are doing it wrong, and then we pigeonhole ourselves and back ourselves into this corner of what recovery is or what recovery isn’t. And I did it. Right. So what recovery is, to me today is it’s a daily effort, a daily intention of changing who I am. And so I just became absolutely addicted to going inside doing the introspective work getting quiet. I mean, I’ve done It all like I said, I’m a coexist bumper sticker I’ve been baptized. You know in Christianity, I have been named by Native Americans. I’ve done silent Buddhist meditation retreats, you name it. I mean, I’ve walked on calls I’ve done like I’ve done, the weirder it is the greater chance I’m going to attend it the more cult like the reputation the greater chance I’m going to that you’re going to find me there. I love it. And the reason why I love it is because of the effect produced. If this transformational work, this recovery process stopped producing internal relief for me, I would stop doing it. In 12 years, it is like the best hit of heroin I’ve ever had every single time I do it. And there’s ups and downs. Some days I’m like, like yesterday, yesterday I woke up I’m like, Damn, I finished this book. Like it’s about to go live on, you know, on Amazon and on Audible and what am I doing because here’s what’s happened to me in this entrepreneurial journey which we’re going to jump into, is what’s happened to me as I set massive goals. And the longer I do, I’ve only been an entrepreneur for three years, and I’ve exceeded what most people do and like lifetimes, I’m sure by now, because I know a lot of entrepreneurs. And I’m sure because I see it and that, I mean, you’re just stating facts. And I’d love to dig into that a little deeper, but continue with your story. Yeah. And so I set massive goals and I started achieving so much that I guess I became addicted to the setting in the achievement, right? So there’s a there’s this thing happens to us as humans, and we call it a lack of monetary. We call it a lack of motivation, which I’m going to debunk right now. And so, I would set goals even in early recovery even before recovery, and I am a starter for real. I’m like one of the best starters in the game. I come out of the gate. I hit it hard and the At some point in that race or in that goal, I fall off. And we call it a lack of motivation. And so we tell ourselves and others tell us that we lack motivation. So here’s what I found was I kept setting these goals, but what I lacked was the belief in myself to fulfill on the things that I wanted to create in life. And so I would start my mind would tell me know, you’re a horrible person, or maybe it wouldn’t even be that big of a story, but like, it would tell me whatever, and I would stop, it’s kind of like those that go to the gym. You go to the gym for a little bit, you get a good workout, and you’re feeling good. And then you go back the next day, and there’s a bro on the squat rack, and he’s doing 400 pounds and he’s got like, Betty Boop next to him, which if you don’t know that reference, Google it, and then you’re telling yourself you’re fat and you shouldn’t be at the gym and then you stop going to the gym, but then you tell yourself that you lack motivation. You don’t lack motivation. You lack the belief in yourself, like you have negative internal dialogue going on telling you that you can’t So I’ve become addicted to finding the negative internal dialogue and then debunking it, the only way to debunk negative thoughts is to disprove your mind. So I woke up yesterday and I’m like, shit, man, like, what am I doing? Like I wrote a book, do I start my third book? Like, do I? Do I up it a little bit? Do I not do self-publishing? Do I write my third book and then submit the transcript and get a publisher and try to get a book deal? And like, I’m like, What are you talking about to like, you haven’t even like shared the message of this book with the world, which I believe is the most powerful thing that I’ve created. So I just had one of those days. So I still have them 12 years into this thing, and I really believe that and Andrew, you can probably attest to this that the bigger the game you’re playing in this life of recovery, the more those days come Yeah, and I actually heard something I think it was like from Dean grass to see it was something to the effect of, you should just set extremely audacious goals. And the reasoning behind it is your emotions. When you hit a wall, you are going to feel the same way internally on chasing a $500 deal and chasing a $500,000 deal. Like the emotions and the process and the time are all going to be the exact same thing. So if you’re going to be dedicating time towards something, make sure that it’s worthwhile. Now, you and I both know and I’m curious on your thoughts on I know for myself, when I first started my company, my goal was 200 customers, and then when we hit that it was to make it 1000 customers and then when we hit that 10,000 20,000 and so it just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. And if I had hit my first goal, I would have sold myself short. Now my mindset six years ago when I started is very different than what it is now. But what are your thoughts on people setting big goals. I love it. I just I think you should I honestly, I’m just going to come right out x rated. I don’t believe if you’re I don’t believe you’re setting good goals if you’re assholes not getting tight. I mean, that’s gonna be the intro to the show by the way I love it yeah leave it in the show make that a show quote and I’ll share it on all no-no like the beginning of the show. Like someone hits play. Oh, that is the clip that will play Sunday. I’m going to take the filter off for the rest of this. So here’s the thing about recovery is we get a second chance in life and most people are sticking their fucking big toe in the water. Not me dude. I’m like, it’s like Mario brothers and I should have been dead because I was like the size of a little turtle. And then I hit one of these question mark boxes and all the sudden I got that green mushroom and I’m like, fucking one up, baby. Let’s go. And I mean, I just I I’m getting excited. Now I just view recovery as this like It’s like an eighth opportunity life I should have been dead so long ago and I’m writing this fucker out. And here’s the biggest thing, the biggest piece and it might make some of you uncomfortable, I would ask you to just open your perspective up a little bit be open to viewing the world and new. Here’s why people don’t set big goals. Because in recovery, there is a myth that individuals in recovery, don’t trust and rely on God if they don’t want to be wealthy. If they want to be wealthy, they don’t trust them rely on God and that’s bullshit. God put wealth on this earth for us to prosper as much as him now, the shady side of wealth comes from how you generate your wealth. If you’re doing that dishonest Lee, if you’re doing that through manipulation, deceit, then I don’t think that that’s proper. I do what I do to generate wealth to push my message out into the world even more. I want to share this because I mean, Andrew can see it, but you may not be able to unless he plays the video which I think believe he’s going to, like I have eight letters behind my name. So Mark Crandall, lm SW LC DC, right so I got my master’s degree in social work I’m you know, I’m a licensed therapist I practice here in Austin. And in the social work field, it is the undertone was that you should make Justin just a little bit more money than your clients. So essentially, you should stay broke and I debunked that. And I’m like, I don’t believe that like why, why, but I don’t chase money at the same time. Just like Andrew stated with his goals. He changed. He was chasing clients. I chase impact. So I want to empower, right? So this year, I want to impact the lives of a million people. Well, I don’t want to get into it on the show. But I have a spreadsheet broken down of what I actually need to do to impact the lives A million people. So you have that giant goal and you have it broken down into baby steps. So it’s not just I’m going to wake up and impact a million people, man, it didn’t happen today. Why didn’t it happen? But you’ve got incremental steps. as to if I do this small step, that’ll be one step closer, and if I do this small step, you’ll be one step closer, is that kind of how you’ve been structuring your larger goals. Yeah, so for every two copies of this that sells I’m giving one away and he’s show in his book embrace your past when your future Yeah, so it’s not and I’m not even like I’m not even playing dude, my sales funnels built out in this thing. Like I’m not hiding it. I’m not doing the See that’s my funnel. It’s right there. And it’s just an opportunity for anyone that wants to go further to actually work with me and jump into the purpose chases Academy and like get going right but like I’m not hiding it like I believe in the power of God and my higher self or universe, whatever it is you believe in. I like Like I said, I’m a coexist bumper sticker. So if it’s good, amen, I set ridiculous goals, like just I mean, I wrote this second book in 42 days, and it’s the best content I’ve ever written. And this second book is sort of built off of your first one, correct? Yeah. So then the first book was premature. And that took me about six months. It was premature. So it’s my story. And I kind of it just ends because I wanted to get it out into the world and my buddy Brian, who’s a three-time TEDx speaker and was to his horn. He read my book, and he was like, Mark, like, you need to finish this and I go, What do you mean, he’s like, I read all the way through to the end, and I still feel like you should have died. He’s like, yeah, you lived happily ever after, but you just ended the story. So I like went back. I reworked the original story. Which was eulogy of childhood memories. My first book, I reworked it, I changed a bunch of things, I added some more stuff. And then and part two, it’s literally how I went from a view of the world that all these things in my past happened to me to how they happen for me. And I literally give the reader step by step directions to how they themselves can overcome that. And I get into it goal setting circle of influence, the mindset, like most people think that they stopped doing goals because they lack motivation. But I really outline there’s actually a, there’s a graphic in there an image showing individuals what actually stops them from completing their goals. So you start a goal, you get the momentum, your mindset kicks in or it kicks out and it tells you-you can or you can’t and most people stop because they don’t have the circle of influence around them to reach out to them to Hey, Andrew, man, I and I did this yesterday. I’m having a fucked up data. bag, my mind is telling me that I’m not good enough again, it’s telling me that no one’s gonna like this book, it’s telling me to go do something else. Like it’s telling me to take a job. And that’s when Andrew says, dude, fuck that you come way too far. Let’s go right here, watch this video or do this thing and then I’m back on. And it’s so interesting that you talked about the circle of influence. And one of the things it’s, it’s one of those pretty well known, I think it’s Jim Rome quotes that, you know, you’re the average of the five people that you associate with the most. And I know for myself, and just trying to achieve more and achieve more and achieve more that and I’m not saying this narcissistically or from a place of ego, but I eventually found that I got to a place where, while I’m trying to bring a lot of other people up, I couldn’t really relate with a lot of other people. I mean, just statistically, there’s not Many 30 something-year-olds that own multi-million dollar companies like that’s just statistically there are not that many of us. And so, you know, when I was younger, and I’m college student aspiring to be a financial planner, like, it’s very easy for me to find 30 other people that are in the same boat, like I go to my finance class and we’re all doing the same thing thinking the same thing acting the same way. So once I got to a higher level, I’ve discovered that I needed to be intentional with the exact people that I want, and I wasn’t going to find them by just popping into and I mean, I loved the group. I did it for several years, but NPI and more people are more familiar with a B and I. It’s a networking group where you can only have one person from each industry and I met a lot of really great people. It was really really good eye-opening, but I When I went there, I was hoping Well, I could find other people that own giant businesses that want to be growing more. And what I came to realize is that when I wasn’t finding what I was looking for with the normal like spray and pray, I came to realize that when you want to achieve a very specific very big thing, you need to know exactly what you want to do. Your goal shouldn’t be. I’m going to show up to this networking event and see what happens. It should be. I want Mark Crandall on the self-made and sober podcast, because his story is incredible. And I’m not going to bump into him without putting some legwork behind it. lucky enough. I had the connection through Jesse Harless us on the third episode and really cool backstory with him and how we got connected. And then I asked him for introductions to people that He thinks are high achievers. So it wasn’t just a level of, hey, I want to do better. Why isn’t anybody better than I am? It’s, I need to find exactly who I want. And then that motivation that rah rah rah, where Oh, yeah, I’m going to have all these great guests on the show this in that, like, I need to be intentional on exactly who I want. I need to be intentional on who I want in my circle of influence. And most people just live their lives. I mean, look at you know, when you were a kid, were your best friends, anyone outside of your neighborhood? Like Of course not. Because you showed up to school and people in your neighborhood, the same background. you’re attracted to them, but the statistical odds that those four people are those five people that were your best friends in kindergarten, the odds They are actually the people that are going to be pushing you through and you all happens to live within a quarter mile of each other like it’s just not. It’s just not real. But so many people want to just show up to things and just have it fall into their lap and I think what you’re doing is so cool with setting the intentions of I am going to impact all these people now dissect that break it down, how do I influence all these people? What steps do I need to take what action needs to happen in order for me to achieve this because so many people and this isn’t knocking the bn eyes and the networking groups, but a lot of people when they show up to that if you think about it, it’s Hey, show up to this group. help other people but you will get leads falling into your lap without trying to do anything here are easy leads here. Easy sales. Instead of building out a funnel, you know you’re not going to get thousands of customers impact millions of people by showing up and networking Well, you have to be intentional, you have to build it out. And I kind of went off on a tirade but it’s tough to see so many people with this just idea that things are just going to magically happen without really putting in effort. So I mean writing your book and six months of it and the negative self-talk and the reaching out to people to get it to to get you over those over those mental hurdles. After you had your first one finished. And I’m I’m like in the rumblings I actually have a call with someone tomorrow maybe this will be like the oh man remember he talked about that briefly that But no, no promises but conversations in the works on a book but for your first one. took six months. Second 140 some days you said 43 was it? 4242? Okay, it was at my editor and afforded to so in 42 days. How was your mindset different after you had accomplished it one time going into the second one? It’s just like, it’s just my mind is bullshit, right? So it’s, yeah, it’s, here’s what’s happening. Here’s what happens, it stops most people and it’s going to go very deep, especially for those in recovery. But like three-quarters of my disbelief in myself stems from me comparing myself to Andrew. Right so like, I’m not going to have his successor I’m not going to have their success right. So I’m not going to do it and it’s just like most people never take action but it’s the only way to overcome internal dialogue like negative internal dialogue is to take action to disprove your mind so you know, he’s talking about circle of influence. I set a goal in January, I wrote out a list of individuals that I wanted on my podcast. And they’re all coming on. And number one on the list was Hal Elrod. He’s the author of The Miracle Morning. And now the miracle equation. You know, another one was my favorite Olympic lifter, john north. Another was my favorite hip hop artist apathy. And they’re all coming on my podcasts. They’re all scheduled, but with, with how, when and I’m telling you with apathy, he’s like, he’s been following me before he replied back to my dm that I sent him on Instagram. Right? So he’s been following the work that I’m doing and I had to stay grinding and stay consistent. He watched me it’s like yeah, this summer, dude, let’s do it. But with how what kept coming to me and meditation was get him on your podcast, but you can’t ask him on. And so I was at his I joined his mastermind, right because I need to place myself in front of these people that I want to be mentored by that I want in my circle. Was that his mastermind he’d heard about the work that I’ve done in another mastermind, pulled me aside, had a conversation with me and he said, Is there anything that I can do for you? And I wanted to be like, Yeah, dude, like, you’re the last person and then I can rewrite my list of people that I want on my podcast. But I didn’t. I was like, Nah, man, I just want to be in your world. And fast forward two weeks later, he asked me on his podcast and then invited himself on the mind. And of course, I didn’t say no, cuz I’m like, Yeah, dude. Oh, totally. There’s a spot for you. I mean, I’m out there a little bit. I’m like, four weeks out, but like, you know, Totally, yeah. That’s spring into like, I got Jay Pappas, on who I just scheduled. And for those of you don’t know who he is, he’s the author of the book, the one thing right, he’s coming on and like the more like if you want to level up your life, you need to start. Like you need to start playing. You need to start playing a bigger game, but you need to be around higher level individuals, especially those that are in recovery. Playing in the sandbox is what I call like going to meetings or being around other people in recovery that’s playing in the sandbox. I did something unorthodox when I moved to Texas. And I jumped out into the world of entrepreneurs here and a lot of them aren’t in recovery. A lot of them go to the bar and they drink and they do networking events at the bar and like I’m spiritually fit my recoveries in place, so I’m able to go hang out with them. And as a result of getting out there and seeing these people, like I have some amazing relationships today, but you gotta it’s what I was talking about, like most people in recovery to stick their toe in the water and talk about how cold it is. I just jumped the fucking like, Whoa, my nipples are hard. Let’s go. You know what I mean? Like one of those. Just like, yeah, I want more. I mean, society teaches us though. Play it safe. Do the smart thing. Get a government job, don’t Rafal Fathers don’t go against the grain that have that end, okay? You don’t have to be the person that like prides themselves on like hurting others and things like that. But it’s just it’s such a small mindset. And because everybody has that mindset, everybody will they’ll cosign it. Hey, I was writing a book and I gave up. Oh, yeah, well, you know, publishing is difficult and you don’t really want to go into that world. You know, you should do go back to working for an asshole boss that you don’t like, make him rich, and come home and complain about your job. That’s really what you should do, because that’s how our society lives. So we’ve got people who are afraid to tell people the truth and say, Hey, you quitting on this on this goal that you set for yourself? This is bullshit. And if you’re going to achieve anything in life, you have to follow through on it. Like when I started my IT company, I was in my living room by myself. I had, I had no clue what I was doing, but I was still doing it. And then when I made my first hire for somebody in it other than myself, I didn’t know what I was doing. But I still did it. Because I saw the bigger picture, that if I can scale and grow this, that we can impact so many more people, especially in an industry that’s got so much negative stigma behind it. So it’s just, it’s one of those things that I get passionate about, with people who are just, you know, you should really play it safe. Like all those people that were playing it safe when the government shut down, like what was safe about that move. In my company in the last six years, hundreds of people have been hired and fired. And like at zero point was I afraid that one of those was me. Like I choose my destiny. I set the things in motion, but with that comes extra stress and I’ll Lot of people, it’s just easier to sit back. Just wait for things to fall into your lap complain about it. And since 90% of the world is doing that anyway, or at least in America, there’s no reason to have ambition because ambition is why would you? Why would you jump into the water? Like, what if it’s really cold? Who cares? It doesn’t matter. Do it? Because nothing fun is happening with dipping your toe in the water. I love that you hit on that and it’s so real for so many people. So if someone’s trying to make the jump into entrepreneurship, what path or what resources would you recommend them just for starting out? Just start I mean you’re if you’re listening to this podcast, then you’re starting right and, and then it just and then in here, I’m just going to tell you like what you’re going to experience is the opportunity to walk through a shit ton of fear. And I’m telling you like when I went to there’s a, one of the first networking events that I did was this thing called the internet marketing party and it’s in Austin and none of them are sober, right except me like I was the only one drinking a taco Chico, which is like fizzy water out here. It’s just walking through that fear. And sticking your hand out like one of my best friends here in Texas. We were at a transformational workshop. And he stated my wife sent me here to make friends and I walked up to him and said, Hey, my name is Mark, I’m your new friend. And he’s like, he’s my boy. He’s a hustler. He’s an entrepreneur, like is just like he grinds his face off. He’s a real estate wholesaler. He’s not sober. Right? But he’s not. He’s not like me when he drinks, you know, but he’s turned into one of my closest friends. And it’s going to be a series of walking through fear. It’s like the first BNA that you went to like, one of my first assignments for my first business mentor was to hit every big meeting in Austin, there’s 70 See, I think that’s a Much better approach, then just going to want like, the idea behind it, you know is that you build the relationships get people to know like and trust you. But in all honesty, I mean, I’ve shown up and that that was actually the strategy that I did when I moved out here a couple months ago was I just went to all of the big chapters in the area. And I got, I got deals from it, and I still I stayed connected with a fair amount of the people too. So it’s like, you don’t have to just keep showing up to this group over and over and over, hoping for something to happen. Like there’s a million other opportunities. So go on, what else would you How would you suggest someone say they’re about to jump into being like a life coach or something like that? And I know you don’t like the word life coach, but I’m using it in the way that most people would understand what I meant. If I said life coach, as opposed to a train formation coach. Yeah, I mean, just you. I mean, you’ve listened to some of my stuff, you know, my thoughts on that. It’s just such a flooded industry with those that are not equipped to actually do what they’re doing. But anyways, I would say seek, find a mentor. And as Andrew can attest to, I’ve spent some really some bought whole tightening, I’m not a money on mentorship, and getting coaches and guides. And last year, I spent $75,000 on my personal development, whether that’s coaching or masterminds, or retreats or workshops, and on and on and on, and this year, I’m like in a pause with spending for those. So all I’ve done this year is I’ve done one conference and then one mastermind so do you view those though as expenses or are they more investments, their total investments, I mean, for one, they’re right off for my business. So the greatest The greatest write off that I have coming out of my businesses are things that I’m doing to increase my worth, is how I view it so I’m not one like I’m not one is going to go by like new, you know, a new sports car, I would much rather invest, invest 1020 $30,000 into a mastermind that I know, in joining that mastermind my circle of influence is going to increase. That’s just how I view it. And every time I take those actions every time I go to a conference and which I find on them, I mean, Jesse, you had him on your podcast, he’s like the, the guru of sticking your toe in every pool that that there is, at one time he was doing more shit that he could keep track of, but like, look at where we’ve excelled to, but most people don’t want to invest in themselves. They don’t want to hire a coach. That’d be my recommendation. Like get a coach, get a guide, get a mentor, get somebody who you could relate to what they were saying. And you’re going to pass Like if you want a good coach like you’re going to pay, it’s going to your bottle is going to get tight, you’re going to be like, Well, why am I going to pay that? Well, it’s you’re not only getting their expertise and their guidance and their push, you know, their support their encouragement and then challenging you. When you hire on somebody like this or when you join a mastermind and you enter into a circle of influence, you now get their circle. So you’ve just leveled up. If you want to continue your life of going to meetings, and vaping. And you know, I’m not shooting on that. I’m just saying like, if you want to continue that talking about how you’re hustling, and you’re doing this and you’re doing that, but you’re really just working a nine to five and when you lay your head on your pillow, you know, there’s something more out there but you just can’t seem to get your finger on it. If you want to continue that life. Go ahead. I mean, there’s millions of people doing that on a daily basis. But then there are the types you know, and Andrew is interviewed few of my Close friends already there the types that they’re we’re just going against the norm. I’m just like out to see what I can actually achieve in this life. And what I’m finding is like I can achieve all kinds of things, anything. Yeah, the biggest thing though is that people don’t want to get uncomfortable. They just want to do what they’re used to doing. There’s a pretty big parallel between, you know, the guy who he’s 35 years old living in his parents basement, and they’re not forcing him to get a job. They’re giving him food, shelter, spending money, what is his motivation to get out and actually get a job? There’s no pain behind it, and they’re like, Oh, you need to stop being lazy and it’s like, you’re rewarding. inactivity and I’m not going to get super deep into it, but all the system With unemployment and things like that, it’s like, will keep paying you until you go out and get a job. And it’s like, so if I don’t get a job, you’ll keep paying me. I choose that, you know, it’s the rewards aren’t in line with the actions that you want people to take. And so entrepreneurship and starting something big, it’s so uncomfortable. And my coach is the one who is like, you want to increase your circle of influence. You need to give people the opportunity to share their message on your platform. You’re not going to just increase your circle and have a whole bunch of people that are high achievers, if you don’t have something to give them. And in my mind, I was like, Well, people should want me in their circle because I’m so great. And he’s like, well, it’s the other way around. You should want people to want you in theirs. And it’s awesome that how Elrod is on. He’s on your list he’s on mine as well. Wink wink make the connection. I’m working on it regardless. But actually, Anna David, who wrote the Miracle Morning, or she co-authored the Miracle Morning for addiction recovery, actually, is going to be on in a couple weeks. So I guess couple months with the queue of guests that we have on when it’ll be released. It’s really cool though. Like, I was literally on a coaching call last night with my coach. And I was saying, I was excited about this show and about some of the other guests that are coming on in the future. And I he was like, you know, who would be you’re just like, out of this world guests. And I was like, I’ll never get like a Robert Downey Jr. And he’s like, with that mindset. You’re right. And you need to smash that. That’s everything that we’re talking about in this episode to like, you hear things a million different times, but then like, how it applies to your life at that exact moment. It’s just like, Oh, yeah, If I want that to happen, then I need to put that into the universe. I need to accept that it can happen. And I need to make the moves to make it happen. And I can’t just sit on the sidelines, you need to create leverage. So it’s all about leverage. It’s like Robert Downey Jr. is going to come on your podcast when you know it’s going to benefit him. Exactly right. So I’d say I’m going to give this plug the one thing that I would suggest anyone listening to this podcast do is read Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. And I can give you a cliff notes version right now, people don’t give a fuck about you till you show that you give a fuck about them. So, like, I practice the principles of recovery in my business, and like I show up on Andrews podcasts. I don’t know him from a hole in the wall to bring value to his audience. At the end of this podcast, he in the back of his mind is going to be thinking What can I do for Mark? right and so I do this all day. Every day, I just show up for people and bring them value. And their thoughts are How can I bring value to mark? And that’s just how we grow. So when I bring value to Jesse or when I do, I don’t want to talk about the leverage that I use to, to get into house world. But you know, Andrew probably saw the gifts that I presented them, right. And it’s like, it’s about leverage. It’s about it’s literally about continuing to show up for people in such a way that they just want to help you. You don’t need to use manipulation you they just want to be a part they want you in their circle because you’re like, so powerful. One of my coaching clients I had been before I even started doing small business coaching. He was just my friend. And he was like, hey, you’re just like some dude. And you’ve got like, all these companies and all these employees and all these things going on, like I mean, I’m just a person to what’s the difference and Dude, his thing is so cool like he’s a handyman and he’s making decent money probably approaching like six figures just, you know, doing this in that for a whole bunch of people getting recommendations and just kind of growing his business and I just introduced some ideas of, you know, if you want to run a business like here is how you can actually run in scale a business and I get texts from him. I taken him on as an actual client, and I get texts from him like every week, he was like, Hey, man, I made $7,642 this week, and I only worked five hours. Thank you. And it’s like that it’s not just like a fake testimonial like, that’s the life that he is living. Now as a result, I was doing it for free until he basically was like, Look, man, like, I need this to be a formal thing. The exchange of money. I know that this is an investment and that’s how I can know that I can keep you on board providing value and guidance into my life. It’s a beautiful thing and like, yes, people just they think of money as this just terrible thing and oh my god, money, it makes everything so bad and money. It’s just an exchange. It’s just energy. It’s just pieces of paper. And whatever connotation you associate with it, that’s your own insecurity or that’s your own point of view on it. So in wrapping up, if someone’s listening to this and they’re struggling in recovery, what would you say is the best move that they should make in order to get to level up get the green mushroom on their recovery? Get around individuals that are chasing this thing, like you know, it’s just like those that I see that are struggling are either isolating or they’re hanging out with people that are bottom feeders if you will, and that’s not like that’s no firing of shots, right? So fire your sponsor, get a new sponsor gets Somebody who’s like you sit when your bottle gets tight when they walk into a meeting or you cop resentments because you’re like, Damn, I’ll never dress like that walk into a meeting like whatever it is like there’s a reason why they’re they have swagger why they’re they have confidence because they’re chasing more and it’s like, I mean it goes much beyond recovery right? So there are people living nine to five lives like I just don’t I don’t want to I love this life I love being an entrepreneur I love right to give you an example right now I’m gonna look at my calendar. I have three calls this afternoon I could cancel them all. Why cuz I’m my boss. Do you know what I might do after this call? It’s sunny out I might go to my pool. Probably won’t. But I might you know, I mean like, you have the choice to Yeah, I just do what I do. What I want is someone that’s working a nine to five. Ask them what would they get to do in the middle of the afternoon is going in the pool and option Like it’s not even an option. And it’s and I don’t want to fire shots. I don’t want to fire shots at those that are working nine to five. So but what I want to ask you or I guess leave you with and my closing thoughts as Andrew is wrapping up here is like why are you working the nine to five? What’s your next move? Like, start thinking that? Why are you working that job? Like what is your next move? Like what are you working for? Most people don’t take action because they don’t know why they’re taking action. What is your Why? Why do you want to do this? Why are you doing this, you get clear on that and your whole life will open up. I think having that clarity on the next move is such an important thing. And again, it comes down to being intentional and knowing what you want to do, why you want to go there. And I just think if more people were aware that there is so much more out there than just grinding it out nine to five. And I know it’s like, well, Andrew, you employ a whole bunch of people who are working eight to four and then four to midnight. Don’t you want all of those nine to five? And if they’re willing to settle and work for me, absolutely. But I literally do leadership training where I preach this exact thing in my own company on Thursdays, and I do a life a live meeting, we put it on our Facebook, private group facebook.com slash groups, SMC mastermind, and we go over that like if you want more, I’m not going to get mad if somebody quits because they’re pursuing their dream and most of the time people get fired, because they’re just not a good fit. personality wise, what we were hitting on before. If you’re not pushing towards something, you’re not going to achieve anything. And everybody is okay with just being mediocre. But people like Mark, I mean, you have every excuse in the book to just live a life of waste. And people can justify, they could cosign that, Oh, well look at his childhood and he spent all those years in jail like, of course, he’s going to be doing nothing with his life. And you’re just a living, breathing example, that your past doesn’t define you. It is about being clear about what you want. And being intentional about going there and doing the actions and not just sitting talking about it. It’s such a pleasure to have had you on the show mark. How can I How can people find you where they can find your book? embrace your past when your future gives us the whole shebang, all the plugs, go to my website, Mark randall.net and you can get four chapters of my new book. Every everything that I do is there the purpose chasers podcast is on my website. Everything that I do is there so all of my purpose chasers stuff, all the purpose chasers stuff purpose chasers, swag, purpose chasers, everything. Mark. It’s been such a pleasure. Thank you so much, and have a great day man. Thanks for having me. Thank you so much for listening to Self-Made & Sober, be sure to join our Facebook group @facebook.com/groups/SMCmastermind like self-made coaching mastermind. I hope you enjoyed this show and be sure to subscribe and rate the show so you can get notified each Friday when we put out a new episode
There’s nothing wrong you can say to someone who’s ready to get sober, and there’s nothing right that you can say to someone who isn’t ready to get sober.
Welcome to self made and sober. I’m your host Andrew a CS with self made dash coaching.com. And in this podcast, it’s my job to interview people who are not only crushing it in business, but have also struggled with addiction in the past, and our long term recovery. Be sure to join our Facebook group, where we help entrepreneurs grow and scale their [email protected] slash groups slash SMC mastermind like self made coaching mastermind. I hope you enjoy the show and be sure to subscribe and rate the show afterwards so you can get notified each Friday when we put out a new episode. Welcome to self made and server I’m here host Angela cease. And with me today is Bill Somerville bills the owner of dawn patrol digital, she’s the lead generation company that focuses on real estate and insurance professionals. And he’s not only crushing it in the marketing field, but he’s also been sober since 2014. And Bill Happy belated 35th birthday and welcome to the show.
Thanks, man. I appreciate it. Thanks for having me on. Definitely
pleasures all mine. And you’re quite the world traveler. I saw you just got back from Vegas.
Yes. One of my least favorite locations in the world actually, I I grew up right outside Atlantic City. So casinos are like not a very big boohoo attraction to me. And you’ll find out like a lot of my not so good years revolve around the Atlantic City area. So for me like going to Vegas. It’s just like, you know, I go there for business. And then I’m out on a red eye soon as I can leave.
I was there just just the other day and I guess a couple months ago, but I didn’t have the same experience. When I went the first time maybe like eight years ago, I went with my dad and and I was in I was blacked out in a poker tournament. I forgot that I played in and one in paid for the whole trip. Yeah.
Nice. So let’s get into it.
I did i think i i poker afforded me like, six years of doing the not right thing. So hey, you know when you’re good, you’re good. Right?
So so let’s get into it. Could you tell us about your journey? And what led you to get sober in 2014?
Yeah, absolutely. So we’re just talking about this a couple seconds ago, like, I never know what I’m saying in the beginning. And I think that’s, I maybe should have prepared, but I know that the guy that took me through the steps like, Hey, you know, you’re talking about your sobriety and your journey, it was no reason to really prepare, you just kind of show up and let God take the wheel and go from there. So I didn’t prepare anything. And my experience, it’s just my experience, man, you know, what led me to get sober in 2014 was the fact that I was probably going to die if I didn’t, you know, I like, like to drink, like a lot. And other things, but mainly, you know, alcohol was a big part of my story. It led me to make a lot of poor decisions, you know, when I was actively drinking, and, you know, it led me to a lot of misery. When I wasn’t drinking, you know, I just didn’t think that there was a way to, to have a life that you could be sober and enjoy. And it just didn’t make sense to me like going to the mall or going grocery shopping, or just doing anything normal, not, you know, three sheets to the wind just, I was like, wow, that’s, you know, that’s worse than death. You know, until that, that becomes the truth until like, your drinking takes you or your your you know, narcotics or, or drug abuse like takes you to, to that level. And in 2014 like that’s that’s kind of where I found myself man is you know, I just got sick and tired of being sick and tired, I guess is what they say as much as I dislike the the one liner phrases of 12 step recovery. It’s, you know, there’s a lot of truth to it. And yeah, I did, I just got sick and tired of being sick and tired. So my options at that point were to be dead, or to try something different. And I decided to try something different with the promise that if it didn’t work out, well, for me, I would just pretty much be dead. So I didn’t really have much to lose. And I think a lot of people that come in 12 step programs, like that’s pretty much it. It’s like, Well, I didn’t really have shit to lose. I don’t know if I can curse on this or not. You guys bleep it out.
Yeah, you can do whatever the F you want.
Awesome. I’m gonna take my shirt off then. Wait, you sell Yeah. Audio, right.
was like in his in the office, where and he was like, I’m cutting off Phil, us his head with a chainsaw.
Dwight put your shirt back on.
All right, I’m gonna keep my shirt on. But for an extra $2 will send you the video footage of this.
Behind the scenes, I’ll set up a membership group where you get to watch it. Yeah, that’d be great. So, so drugs and alcohol bring you to your knees. What’s what was the last straw? What was just the, I can’t keep doing this anymore.
But since it’s since it’s getting close to Mother’s Day, you know, and we talked about our mothers before this, I think was just like, really, you know, letting my mom down. Man. I know, that sounds so corny. But if you knew this woman and you knew what she went through,
and how tough she was, and just, you know, just what a phenomenal person that she is.
I just hated letting her down man. And there were times where I would get better. And like we do like most of the real alcoholics do, we get better. You know, it’s like, we’re up, we’re like a rocket of upward mobility. And then all of a sudden, you know, we, you know, come in contact with this fallacy of we’re doing this ourselves, you know, we’re, we’re self made sober people, you know,
and we’re fixed in ourselves. And, you know,
we think that we can take a drink, like, Hey, I did all this fixing. And, you know, maybe it’s cool. If I just, if I just have another one, maybe it’ll be different this time. And then that would happen occur in my brain and like, like an idiot, I would blackout, uh, you know, all my previous experiences with, with drugs and alcohol, for the this concept of, you know, I could do it right this time. And then, you know, this allergic reaction would happen, like they talk about in 12 step fellowship, where my body would demand more drugs and alcohol, but wasn’t drinking and, you know, we’re using like, a normal person, and then I’d find myself, you know, busted it out. And, you know, like, my family would be disappointed again, man, I just, I just didn’t want to continue to put them through that. Because even though I couldn’t stop drinking, and using, I did love my family. You know, I love my mother, I love my father, I love my sister. I love my aunts, and uncles. You know, I just had a lot of love people. And my, my change point was, when I thought to myself, like, maybe I should, you know, not be in this world, and that life would be easier for my loved ones. If I wasn’t there, you know, it’s, it’s a tough spot to be in. And, you know, a lot of people will go down that road, you know, out of selflessness. But, you know, that’s, that was my changing point, man. Like, when I found myself in that state of mind. It was it was a rough state of mind, man, you know, I don’t wish that upon anybody. But that’s, that’s what it took for me to get sober. You know, it wasn’t homelessness I’d seen that wasn’t, you know, my family forced me to go to a treatment facility because my family had experience with addiction. I’m come from like, an Irish and Scottish family, man. So we’re no stranger to drinking and addiction problems. This didn’t want to hurt anybody else anymore. Man, that was probably my turn around, is when I hit that.
So 2014, you’re getting sober? Is it easy at first? Or are you struggling getting getting down? What’s the beginning look like for you?
was it easy at first, I guess my just my experience with it was, was that it was easy for me, right? Because I had waited until my life was such a massive mess. Like I got sober at 30 years old, right? I didn’t want to go into the rooms of these 12 step programs, I didn’t want anything to do with it. Like I knew what happened in those rooms. I knew people stop drinking, and, and getting stoned in those rooms. And I didn’t want that I wanted nothing to do with that. As a matter of fact, I was like, keep all that in those rooms. And I’m not going to walk in there. And so that was my only option. So for me, I got a hold of, of a guy who just told me story. And I was just amazed at his story, because it sounded a lot like my story, right? And then he started telling me about what happened in his story, which sounded a lot like what happened to me, like, Hey, I don’t want to hurt anybody anymore. So I figured that, you know, maybe I would just take myself out of the equation so that my family would be better off. And then Then he told me another part, which kind of blew my mind, it was the part that I didn’t really believe in too much. It was a part of, you know, him not having a drink for the past five years. And I was like, that’s, you know, that’s impossible. Didn’t really force it down my throat. He didn’t really tell me this is how it has to be, you know, I approached him and I was like, you know, you’re cool guy. How’d you get so cool. And he’s just like, how I’m not really that cool. This is how I did it. And he was he was a fun guy to he didn’t when I approached him. He wasn’t just like, oh, you’re sick. This is sad. He’s like, look at this sick bastard right here. Look at this guy, you know, like us is a
He had a smile on his face. He hugged me, and you know, I wanted it. That’s really what happened is I got exposed to this in a very good light. And, you know, he worked me through a 12 step program quickly. It wasn’t like, Hey, take all the time that you need to do this. It was Let’s go now because I don’t know if you’re going to survive like the next couple days. And that’s what it was. It was like you’re drowning. You need this. You know, your arm is lobbed off, you need to have a tourniquet and you needed applied like an hour ago. But the next best time to do it is right now. So let’s do it. You know that that’s what happened. He ripped me through the steps like it says, in a particular piece of literature of anonymous program that we want to talk about. It says we launched into a course of vigorous action, you know, and that’s exactly what we did. No, it wasn’t like he did take your time. It was like, dude, now go make it happen.
Yeah, that’s one of my biggest gripes against. And I mean, you know, everybody’s story is different. Everybody’s journey is different. But like, I’ve heard people picking up year medallions being like, yeah, I took my time. And that’s, that’s what worked for me. And I mean, I can’t say to whether or not something works or doesn’t work. But I mean, if you’re sick, should you take your time and getting better? Or, you know, the whole diseases centered around you want instant gratification? What is the downside to getting the instant gratification the way that it was originally intended to be? And then you help other people. And then the altruism is part of what keeps you sober, longer, longer down the road, not this well. You know, you’re, you’re sick, and you need things immediately. So to stop you from getting your instant gratification, we’re going to make this as long and painful as possible. Yeah. And, and I mean, I see the merit of like, you’re not going to get this immediately. You have to want it, you have to earn it, but at the same time, like, Okay, what if you die before? before that happens? It’s just Well, he didn’t want it bad enough. And I, I don’t really subscribe to the kind of cop out that has been going around for a while of, well, if someone dies or someone relapses, it’s not your fault. They weren’t willing. And, okay, there’s an ounce of truth to that. But at the same time, like, if your responsibility is to help somebody else, how is that just not part of part of the deal? Like it just, it doesn’t really make sense to me how, how we’ve kind of twisted it into that, and nowhere is that really talked about in 12 step literature. I mean, they say if he disappears, like, don’t go hunting him down, like find someone who’s willing. But but that idea you? Oh, yeah, it took me a year to do my fourth step. And that’s what I needed. Now. That’s Bs, man, you didn’t need that. You just felt like chilling and doing absolutely nothing. Because anybody who’s been sober can tell you like, you can do it in an afternoon. And like, done forever, like, you keep going on. And I mean, it’s like an ever evolving piece of work and stuff. But like, it’s, it’s an afternoon, it’s it’s not a several month program. It’s an afternoon, like, worst case. A weekend. Yeah, like, if you’re, if you’re extreme, but like, it’s a couple hours. That’s, that’s what it is.
Yeah. And, you know, like, for, from my personal experience, to again, like totally blessed, not just for the sponsor, I had, it took me through the program, but also some of the men that he introduced me to, like, they, you know, they laid it down for me, they said, like, you know, the reason we’re taking you to the steps is not to help you men, so that you can help other people and through helping other people you will have helped yourself, that’s how it was laid out for me is like, we’re ripping you through the steps, you know, basically, like putting a rifle in your hand and sending you out to the front lines, because, like, that’s what’s going to keep you alive. You know, it’s not going to be sitting back here in the rear, like, this is where you know this where people die. So you want to get up front and helping people. And that’s man, that’s what we did. I mean, I can remember being in a, you know, being a being 30 years old man, and living in a house with eight other guys that were on the same path as me. And I’m college educated, I’m honorably discharged from the United States military. And here I am, like, in a house with a bunch of dudes riding a bike. And it’s just like, if that’s not humility, like I don’t know. I don’t know what really is. But that was humility for me. But I was also extremely grateful. You know, so you said, kind of come full circle, you said, was it difficult for you? I don’t think it was difficult because I knew that if it didn’t work, like I was going to go with Plan B and plan be was like the checkout, right? So I really did, you know, go 110% with it. I screwed up a gazillion times. I did, you know, a men’s wrong. I, you know, did. I did a bunch of things wrong, man. But once I found out that they were wrong, my sponsor told me that they were wrong, or my sober support network told me they were wrong, I fix them. You know, and I think I conduct myself the same way. You know, in business, too, is like, I, you know, I would rather have like imperfect action or in the military, we call the violent action, just just do it, just get out there and do it and f up and then we’ll fix it. But you know, better to do that than to sit on the sidelines and just constantly map something out, and then just never do it, which I feel like, you know, there are a lot of people, you know, in our, like, age group, even like in their 30s or younger to that, just do that, man, they just sit there and they’re just, they’re just watch, don’t do shit. You know? And yeah.
Or they’ll spin their wheels, just going in circles something to the effect of, Oh, well, I got 70 new followers on Instagram, like, I’m really building my business. And it’s like, no, you’re not How much money did you make? Like that’s, that’s the, you know, okay. There’s something to be said for, for having people following you and liking your page. And that’s okay. Part of part of the plan. But, you know, no one’s no one’s really no one’s buying groceries with likes. Yeah, no one. That’s not actual currency. That’s, that’s a representation and our reward for spinning your wheels playing on Facebook. But end of the day, if they’re not turning into paying clients, you don’t have a business, you’re just playing on Facebook and getting likes on a page that you call the business. Like, that’s, that’s what a lot of people do. And it’s crazy to me, I was he didn’t become a client. He wasn’t in any position to, to really move forward. But and I forget who the person was. But he basically was like, Oh, yeah, this influencer followed me on LinkedIn. And I was like, okay, so like, are you working out a deal with him or something? He’s like, no, but now he’s going to see my posts. And I was like, I don’t do business with people just because I see their posts. And like, what, that doesn’t mean anything. Someone followed you on LinkedIn. That’s, that’s all that that means. Like, you know, if you reached out to him, and you messaged him, and he messaged you back and you guys sat down, got coffee, like that would be moving the needle, but he was under the impression that, well, this guy follows me on LinkedIn. Therefore, my business is really taking off now. And that’s the delusion A lot of people have. Yeah, so what would you say is a better barometer of actual success in a business, just the action,
I think you can gauge success of a business by going to your client base, right, and seeing how many people that you’ve helped, you know, kind of like, you can gauge the success of a human beings life by looking at how many people that they’ve loved on and assisted. That’s how I gauge it, you know, go to your customer service aspect of your company and pull out, you know, all the hate mail and bullshit and everything, come through it and see how heavy the flow is. If it’s super heavy, and you’re not doing anything about it, then your business sucks. And it’s not going to be around for long. But that’s an area of my company that tend to live in, you know, it’s like, you know, feedback, feedback, feedback, like, we don’t have 100%, retention rate, surprise, anyone that’s listening to this, you know, we’ve lost clients, we’ve identified people that we thought would be a good fit for our service, but it turned out that they weren’t a good fit for the service. You know, and we’re learning the business has been in an operation for like, six or seven months, I think. And like, two of those months was just me solo, which I don’t even know if you want to count those months, but we can because I spent a lot of time awake and and you know, and working. But I think you know, what, what gauges a business, if you want a good business, a sustainable business is like, Hey, man, like, How good is your your product to your clients? Like, are you just shoveling bullshit, you know? Or are you doing the real deal? I mean, like, likes, who cares about likes? That’s never done anything for me, you know?
Yeah, I think it’s just kind of the culture that were brought up. And people, people believe that it actually means something. And then so many people believe it that when they hear it, other people saying, and it’s like, yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s, and I’m sure like, I’ll get an email from someone being like, you don’t know anything. I’ve got 10 Million Likes, and I made a billion dollars last year. I hate your podcast, love Bill Gates. So, so I mean, I’m, I know that you know, your world, in the lead gen marketing space, it’s saturated with people that are mediocre at best. So what separates you, especially on the clients, when you knock it out of the park, and like you said, it’s impossible to have 100% retention, but when you knock it out of the park, what’s separating you from the 10 million other people claiming to do what you do?
I think it’s just, I think it’s, I think it’s our, I don’t think it is I know it, I know, it’s a process, I know, it’s the customer service aspect of it I and I know it’s the front end to is it’s the fact that, you know, we’re not, we’re not a company that’s going to ever have thousands of people that we’re working with, or more of, let’s stay a boutique level, let’s, you know, hand hold and give a ton of value to our clients in exchange for, you know, some, some valuable feedback and to grow the product. I mean, you know, guys that know me know that, you know, I’m not the type of person that’s going to walk around with a Rolex in a Ferrari, right? Like, that doesn’t mean as much to me as having meaningful conversations, you know, with people turning my my, quote, unquote, clients into friends, like, that’s the stuff that fills me up. That’s the stuff that I like, you know, I don’t get a good feeling when I can’t get a client results. You know, I hate it. Because it’s not their fault. I look at it as my fault, like, What didn’t I do, and sometimes it might have been just like, hey, the sales training that I have for my guys was off, and we identified someone as a potential candidate for our program, who was not a potential candidate. But that’s not their fault. It’s my fault. And if I can continue, and I can teach my staff to continue to take accountability for themselves in their actions and their decisions, you know, I think we got something good. But if I can’t, you know, then, you know, I don’t have a company, I just have like an unchained dog just running around the yard, like, just going insane. So, you know,
I think that’s what separates me is just like, our company culture, you know, how we look at our clients. And then you know, the processes that we have to ensure that they’re successful. I love that you touched on the accountability aspect, because there’s so many times where companies when they fail to perform which it can happen, I mean, that’s part of any operation that has human beings and human beings are susceptible to error, be it intentional, unintentional, best intentions, bad intentions, whatever the case is, but taking that ownership, as the top level as the top of the company, to say, you know, each if I’m doing everything in my power, if my employees are acting a certain way, if my clients are getting a certain type of result that I’m not trying to get for them, like that all rises and falls on your shoulders as the owner. And yeah, you know, I wasn’t there that day, and this person did this. And they should have known that they shouldn’t do that. And as as tough of a pill as it is to swallow. Like, it all rises and falls on the leader of the company. It’s not the employees, it’s not the customers. There’s bits and pieces here and there. But I mean, if people are responding a certain way, and that’s not the way that you want them to respond, it’s most likely somewhere in the past, they have behaved that way. And it was either not addressed. So it’s a passive aggressive build up, more it was addressed, not followed up on. And I mean, I’m far from perfect in this area, just like as I’m saying, and I’m just thinking like, okay, yeah, my staff like, he yelled at, like three people yesterday for some stupid stuff that happened. And it’s like, yeah, Andrew, and whose fault was that? But it’s, it’s true, though.
It’s ours, man. It’s the it’s the ugly side of, of, I guess being an entrepreneur and business owners like, you know, just extreme accountability, you know, that they have.
You were saying you’re listening to Jocko Extreme Ownership while you’re in the gym. And how’s that hitting you?
I thank God every day, like I talked about my mom a lot. Like I’m gonna go ahead. And if you haven’t figured out like big family, I’ll talk with my dad. My dad was hard ass. This guy was getting hard ass man. And I would I very much did not enjoy his presence for a long time and life until I became an adult. And I remember him, you know, dropping me off just being like, Hey, man, like, you know, good luck in school luck in college, like now, you know, I’m still your father. But now we can be friends. Because like, I gave you everything. You know, I gave you everything I could, it’s up to you to take the rest of the way now, man, you’re You’re a grown ass man.
But he you know, so hard ass man. And like, he definitely 100% like drove home in our brains. Like, you know, like, take ownership. I take ownership for sure. You know, it’s not anybody else’s fault. But yourself. You know, like, like pony up for it. You know, and growing up in this little town and in New Jersey, you know, I, a lot of the guys that I grew up alongside of me, like, that wasn’t their households men, but for for me, it was just like, I grew up tough. It was tough. You know, it was you know, take ownership for it. You know, like manual labor did a lot of manual labor. It was the options were manual, or, or read your math book, you know, I did a post on that, like, probably like six months ago, I just thought that shit was normal. And I was telling somebody about it. They’re like, that’s not normal. I was like, I’m gonna make a post about it and kind of like relay, you know, the, my dad into it and the type of person that I am. And and people are like, wow, it’s amazing, man, you know, but he would say it all the time. He’s like, Listen, I’m going to leave you one day, and you’ll either be the best ditch digger in New Jersey or be the best mathematician is like, but you’ll never go hungry. And I hate that shit. And I hated it. But like, getting into even the military and like seeing, you know, like that other people were were saw to a degree, you know, and I was just sitting there like, man, all these dudes can yell at us. Like, they can’t like slap across the face or hit us with a bell or, you know, crack me across the face. Like, this is awesome. This is gonna be so much easier than
what a vacation
is gonna be easy. doing push ups and running anyway, like, that’s, that’s normal day and like, you know, and the yelling is nor that’s how we communicate at the dinner table. Like, wait, like, you know, I can’t get anything thrown at me or slapped. And you know, I don’t anybody on this on listening to this. Don’t ever feel bad for me. I deserve every slap across the face that I got, you know?
Definitely a button pusher for sure. Like, don’t do that. I’m like, Well, I’m gonna do that. I’m going to f1 do that. Excuse me.
yeah, that was a tangent. I’m sorry. I went Oh, no,
no, it’s all good. Are there any other audio books that have had an influence on you like, Extreme Ownership?
Yeah, so I messed it up between. So I used to have a commute. But now, you know, one of the great things about working for our company is that you know, we have remote location so you can work like I said, see a lot of my travel stuff. I like to work in different countries like to go all over the world and Islam, every new laptop is fired up and me and my entire staff can conduct business, behalf of our clients, but you know, Tim Ferriss four hour workweek was just an absolute Game Changer to me. The only other book that probably changed my life as much as that’s the blue one that you and I both know about.
You Michael Gerber.
Good friend of mine, Tim. Staci, if anybody knows him, he’s also a business owner, he recommended a book called The E myth revisited. Sir. And I it’s so grateful that I read that before I started this endeavor because it really like changed my mindset from like, a worker being mindset which my business would have failed that that was what it was to, like an entrepreneur is like, Hey, man, like you have to get outside of your business and look at it as a whole. And like, realize that you’re gonna have different divisions of the business, you know, marketing, sales, film and account management, billing human resources, and like your job, you know, going to at one point, you’ll be in those divisions, you’ll be the only one. But it’s important for you to develop the standard operating procedures and then put bodies into those standard operating procedures, make them like a living standard operating procedure, so that your company can can grow otherwise, you’re going to stay for growth. And, you know, I talked to a lot of entrepreneurs today and try to get them to read that book. And I know people hate to read nowadays, but I mean, like,
God, that saved me so much headache, because if I was still doing everything by myself right now, I would be losing my mind. Yeah, there’s, it’s crazy. Like the
mature your recommendations are literally like on my, I have on on my site. There’s the URL, it’s Lucy’s coaching. com slash RX r ACS. And it’s got basically like a laundry list of audio books and recommendations and things like that. Tim Ferriss four hour workweek, I would probably point like, the book I recommend the most. And Michael Gerber’s e myth revisited, as also that in the same sentence, what to do, I recommend the four hour workweek, and E myth revisited, and for different reasons. And just, you know, for people that that aren’t familiar, basically four hour workweek, it’s the idea of, if you’re very productive you can do it’s not just oh, well, I worked for four hours, and then chill the rest of the day, but you find where you’re productive. And then you put energy into that, and delegate the rest of the Bs, which goes hand in hand with the myth of have systems in place for other people to do the BS on your plate, so that you can do the things that are important to growing your business. I know for myself, and like, that’s one of the biggest things that I touched on, when I’m working with one on one with like business coaching with clients is getting drilled into their brain that you are a business owner, you are not the guy who fixes computers, you’re not the guy who builds websites, you are a business owner, and your product is that stuff that you used to do, and you used to trade all of your time so that you could get money. But now you’re in the business of trading money for other people’s time, and making sure that you have enough money to sustain other people to be holding on to their paychecks, as well as keeping your clients happy. And you’re no longer playing the game of how do I make more money work more hours. That’s, that’s the mindset we’ve been brought up and you’re supposed to get a good job. And you know, you work Work hard, you can work overtime and get time and a half, but you’re capped at the number of hours in a day. But when you play the role of a business, this owner and you can multiply, okay, I have one salesman and my net revenue is like $500 per week off of one salesman? How do I make more money? If I hire 10, more salesman, and I have all the processes and everything in place? That’s a good way to 10 X, your revenue, but you still have to be able to scale? And how do you scale? You have processes in place? How do you have processes in place, do your job and write down what you do, and then give it to somebody that doesn’t know how to do your job and have them follow along? That’s been one of the best ways that I’ve done training is just, here’s a piece of paper of what I think is a good enough description like an 8020. Like, here’s 80% of you know, I don’t have like details like line by line by line by line by line of every single nuance. But the idea of here is the big picture, follow this. And if they can follow it, for the most part, gets rid of it gets rid of the issues of why didn’t you reply to this email? Oh, I didn’t know I was supposed to supposed to reply to the email. Well, we have in place when there’s an upset customer that emails, here’s how you handle it. accountability, like all these things, and it’s kind of obvious when you hear people talking about it. And I know for myself, I I knew that idea. But I was kind of in the mindset of this isn’t actually a real business. It’s just me fixing computers in my halfway house. So so so it was, it was a different mindset. And that’s that’s all I knew. So when you started dawn patrol, were you just like, I’m a business owner right off the bat? Or was it was kind of a learning experience to be like, I’m doing all the work. Now how do I let go some of this responsibility and let other people handle some of it.
So I, again, man, I
everything that I’ve, I’ve done like how I know I’m doing the right thing in life is by how, how much I have to wrestle with the idea of doing it. Now. That doesn’t mean like, Hey, you know, everything in my life I know is right, because it’s easy, because it’s definitely not easy, but it’s like wrestling with the idea of like going down a certain route. Like if I have to wrestle with something a lot, like wrestle with, like, you know, like, Hey, is it good for me to go here? Should I be living here? Should I be living with her whatever the case is, like, if it’s if it’s a wrestle, I know, it’s not good. And if it’s, you know, if it’s fluid, but I’m like, hey, there’s a lot of work in front of me, like I go for it. And that’s kind of like what it was like, with my business mentors and relationships that I had as well. So funny story, the guy that
the guy that I got into marketing with initially, you know, was like, was like a,
about a decade sober. Right, like I, I submitted a form online to be part of a community of, of marketers and and business owners. And the last question on the forum, said, I would have the opportunity to pay to get into this group was What’s the hardest thing that you’ve ever done in your life. And I put, getting sober, was tough, right? It’s the hardest thing I ever had to do. And I immediately got a phone call. And the guy called me and say, Hey, I just want to know, like this, this guy know, he’s been sober for a decade, and I was I was totally sold. At that point, I was like, take, I was like, I need to get in this group, I need to be in it. It’s a Visa card, let me know when you’re ready. Like, let’s let’s run this. And then just like meeting him, and like meeting other people that, you know, we’re 10 steps ahead of me. And we’re willing to give back so long as like, I was willing to do the work. And then also, you know, as this like, group of guys together, like turn around and provide value and like, get my time back and be like, Hey, guys, like I’m split testing company, or I’m doing something with marketing, or I’m trying something with my operations centers. You should do it too. It wasn’t difficult for me because I was still at my previous company data lot. When I was reading the book by Michael Gerber. Right, the E myth revisited. So I’m reading this E myth revisited. I’m watching these guys actively carry it out, you know, and I’m talking to guys like in tech deals that are like, hey, in six months or less, I could totally be removed for a company and have a self sustaining. I’m like, What? How do you do that? You know, because Tim Ferriss book was the first one I read. So I was very interested in you know, automating companies. And, you know, we use a lot of virtual assistants, you know, in Central and South America, and in the Philippines, who are phenomenal. They’re phenomenal, guys, and we pay them well, overhead and really good wages, for where they’re at the world. It works for us, and it works for them. And, you know, it’s, it’s great, man, it wasn’t, it wasn’t difficult for me to remove myself, because from day one, that’s the goal. And it’s, it’s still the goal, man. It’s like, now that I’m the CEO of the company, I’m trying to figure out how I can become the CEO and what’s even entailed in the CEOs job, you know, and then I’m trying to figure out, like how to, you know, boost myself out of my company, because successful guys, it drives me nuts. They’re not just like, Hey, I’m the business owner, this, they’re like, I’m the business owner, 15, friggin businesses, I’m on the board of directors, I’m doing this, I’m doing that you’re just like, how are you able to accomplish that, like, when you know, I have one job, I’m a sales guy, I’m, you know, totally comp sales guy. And I’m, you know, I’m working 70 hours a week, because I’m just have this fire me where I got a sound. And they’re like, you need to find someone else to do it for you. Or you need to learned to teach guys to do it, or you need to learn, you know how to manage guys and build the business off of it. So for me, dude, it wasn’t difficult, because I knew that was the goal. From day one, it’s like I wouldn’t be able to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish without without help. So wasn’t tough for me.
I guess that’s so cool that your experience coming into it very different than a lot of people that you understood that you have to run a business and not just own a job. Like there’s, it’s funny, you know, that the dream job when you’re a kid, it’s like, oh, you should be a doctor or, or a lawyer. And I kind of think about it, it had like when you were saying like, Oh, these people had like four company or 13 companies, you said I was like I only have four. But, but like the idea of a doctor or a lawyer. I mean, you’re trading your time for money. And I mean, if you if you own a practice, and you have other people working with you and I work, one of my clients is a doctor, one of my business coaching clients. And when I introduced the idea of you should build it up and have people work for you train people think of what you’d be able to accomplish with this time and this time, and he was just like, but when I make less money, and then we sat down and did the math, and I was like, No, you make a lot more money, and you do less work if you run it the right way. And he was just like, but that doesn’t make sense. Like, if I am not the one doing all the work? How is it possible that I make more money, and I was like that is the secret to all business ever is like you can make more money, if you just put in the effort to make a good system, and make sure that they’re good enough metrics, you can make sure that your system is still working well, and that your people are still working well. I mean, you had touched on like, you travel all the time. Like I travel all the time. And when I see how much you travel, I think Man, I wish I could travel as much as like it.
I only show you all the glorious stuff, man, trust me, there’s a lot of like, in January, when we were I mean, we blew up almost our company levels 360%, in less than 30 days, it was it was excessive. And I’m in Bali, and I’m 13 hours ahead of us and most of our business is going to be you know, located in central or eastern time zones, right? And it was, you know, so I’m working from 6pm at night, till seven o’clock in the morning, I get off at seven, I go sir, I go eat breakfast, ride my scooter around a little bit until I’m just like, Yo, I need to go to sleep, sleep through the days. And then on the weekend, you know, we would travel places and do fun stuff. But you know, like, I was grinding in in Bali, I was grinding out big time, hiring people developing the SAP and again, like imperfect action. You know, we would make SAP we’d run the VA through it, they would jack stuff up. We did I know. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s our fault. You did exactly what we told you to do. Now we know we need to tweak it. And we tweaked it and tweaked and tweaked it until you know we got it to a nice sustainable point. And we got the right people in it. We’re always looking for, you know, additional people. But But yeah, I mean, we got it to a nice sustainable amount. And it was it’s been, it’s been awesome, then I’ve been able to kind of step away more and more and more to like a higher level where like, you know, we’re not now we’re, you know, we’re heavy on marketing. You know, we didn’t do too much marketing initially. It’s funny, I tell everyone is like, yeah, you know, we’ve scaled up, you know, Facebook ad agency, to, you know, over six figures a month and we didn’t have to, you know, even spend two pennies on boosting an ad that I had to do it. And I was like, outbound dialers, you know, sales guys, that’s pretty much what we did sales guys, and then organically through Facebook. Like, wow, that’s, that’s crazy. But now we’re starting to like, get into that realizing like, yeah, maybe you know, we should do something besides just outbound harass people.
Yeah, well, there’s, there’s something to be said to for having more legs on the stool to keep it up. Because I know, just in my own experience, like with, with rush tech, like, we’ve reinvented ourselves probably five different times of just completely different marketing. And you know, what works one day, you can just wake up the next next day some algorithm changes, something is on the news, something can just shift overnight. And I hate seeing the businesses that are the say like, Oh, well, I don’t need to market my business, all we do is word of mouth. And that’s perfect. And, to an extent, like, that’s great that you’re getting that. But what happens when just say you don’t close the next round of leads, right? Your your referrals that came in, are you going to keep hitting up your existing clients, say, hey, I need more and more referrals. Because this is my only point of getting new customers. Sorry, we’re out well, so then you’re just out the end, you can’t get any more customers. And I mean, I’ve seen it happen countless times like one algorithm change and Facebook, and something that was converting at, excuse me something converting at like a dollar a lead jumps $250 a lead because now you can’t use this word anymore. Or this image now has text in it that violates this policy. Like it’s so fragile, that if your marketing is dependent on just one thing. And one of the things that I wanted to touch on. So I was reading through some of your posts and how you kind of you you walk the reader through it, I’m assuming you do email marketing with with this copy, I’m just going to assume that, but you do something along the lines of like I saved $1 on on water by not getting bottled water versus tap water. And now I’ve spent $30 on bathroom accessories. Because I tried to save $1 and ruined everything. That’s why you should hire somebody to do your marketing for you. I’m going to assume like the meta, like, that’s your marketing of your marketing is how you tell stories and like relate them.
Yeah, pretty much man. I like to I like to tell stories, and people will say like, Oh, is that a, you know, true story, some of the stuff and which is a fair question. And my response sometimes will be like, Dude, it’s true. You know that it is a story.
That’s true. You know, you got to peel it apart and figure it out. But that story was absolutely true. You know, I was there with a good friend of mine, Pat. And I think we really had a nice place and they call in Costa Rica they don’t call it tap water because they know they can’t say that shit. They’re call it house water. Do you want this this bottled water in the house water and then my house water’s fine. You know, so I have this house water at this fancy restaurant and I’m like, I can handle this ram spending all this money on water. You know, I’m spending all this money on food. But the one thing I can’t instead of spending $1 on water, I’m like, That’s ridiculous. There’s no I don’t drink bottled water at home, drink it out of cup, you know, like, We’re fine. And, and we went to this they call these roadside eateries they call them sodas, and coasters. So if you ever get a terminology soda, and by the column, while runs, I’m probably butchering How to say that, but it’s basically just like a roadside place, you get a meal, it’s cheap. And, you know, you’ll get some local fair there, it’s really good. My rule of thumb has always been this, that there’s a lot of people there a lot of locals end. A lot of non locals, like it’s probably safe. I that’s one of my big things. And then like make sure that the person is not collecting the cash, I mean, with food. And then, you know, just make sure a lot of these places they’ll, you know, they’ll cook it in front of you, you know, so this hit all of the things is it was going to be okay. So I you know, I got Coke, and I got a glass of water and I was extremely thirsty, pounded the water. Everything was fine. And then we got on a speedboat from haka in Costa Rica to St. Theresa. And like halfway through this speedboat like I hit my stomach and we were in the middle of the water. And I was like, Oh, and I was very uncomfortable, very uncomfortable. And so we hit the first app, which is Montezuma, and then we took a bus from Montezuma, Montezuma to St. Theresa in Costa Rica. And, man, I was tough. It was really bumpy road, it was not a good show for me or for my friend Patrick. And we had to go see doctors, which I found out I totally got shim Sham on that deal, because I brought this like bullshit looking prescription to the pharmacy. And these girls just laughed at me that like, yeah, like he could just came here and got this shit. Just tell us tell us, right? So it’s just like this dude in an office. I knew it was so shady. Because there was no one there. It was just me. He’s like, I want to take your blood. I’m like, dude, you’re not taking my blood. I’m like, you know what’s wrong with me? I’m like, give me the antibiotics. And he’s like, well, he put like a step is so my heart. I’m like, What are you doing pen? Like, I drank the water. I’m sick. I can’t stop shooting, I want to vomit all over the place. I’m like, just give me what you give people for travelers diarrhea. And if it doesn’t work, like I’ll come back. So he’s like, all right, fine. It’s $100 USD, though, to see me because I fight. Oh, so I got shamed out of 100 bucks, but and then I got the antibiotics. And then I was good to go. And the next one,
Hey, you know what, though, it’s like one of those things where someone may be like listening to this, and like, Oh, I love that story of like saving $1. And how all these things happened. Like, I want you to write my email copy for me. But people people really do connect that when you tell a story. And then you can related come back to what what the people like what your product is what your services like in in our companies, drip emails, they when people sign up, we send them emails, and it basically it’s like, kind of pulling, pulling back the curtain of like, behind the scenes of, hey, you’re here now in 2019. And this is what the company looks like. But if you were one of the brave souls that was trying this out five years ago, like this is what happened. Like, I was so afraid that people would find out that I was the only employee and when people would call and be like, Are you the only one that works here? I would just say no, we have like dedicated account managers. And that way you got like the best service possible. And they’re like, Oh, that’s a great idea. And but now, like we do have dedicated account managers as a result of back then I was just trying to like, put up this facade that I was bigger than I was and, and now it’s like, Hey, you know, people really liked that. And so we took that idea and ran with it. And now even though we’ve got this many people working with us, now you still get that one on one experience, just like the people used to have, but you also get it with all these extra resources. And all these new features and technologies changed over the last five years. So it looks nothing like it used to. But people people they like those stories, like I get responses from the emails. And I think it’s funny that they like reply to, to automatically send emails, and they’re like, Great story. I love this. I love your company. And like I just, it’s not too often that I’ll send an email to a do something that I know is automated. But what I’m starting to find in actually getting, like authors and I’ve got by the time this episode will get aired. I’ve got like a ton of authors with like big followings and stuff coming up on the show and like getting through to them. Sometimes it’s just like, I’ll sign up on their email list and then just reply, because like, someone had to write it, like, someone sometimes replies to the autoresponder and like, I’ve gotten in touch with people that way. And they’re like, Hey, man, like, sure, like I’ll, I’ll send them a message on on Facebook, send them a message on LinkedIn, and reply to a to an automatic email, like join their email list. And I’m getting in touch with influencers that are just like, way beyond who I thought I’d be able to get in touch with. And it’s like, you know, you just got to kind of think outside the box. And I think, though, coming back around, like the telling of the stories, because I always try to incorporate, like, Hey, your message is to achieve XY and Z. And you can achieve that through this platform. And that’s, that’s really one of the things that I’ve like, really discovered in the last, the last really like two months, like, right around, like when, when I had first reached out to you, which is about two months ago. And here we are, but like, right around that time, it was like, how, how could I reach people that just aren’t in my, like, direct network, or, you know, some people used to work for me and say, Hey, you got to get in touch with Bill like he’s doing big things, which is really cool, what you’re doing. And it’s crazy to see to like, you know, you’re just just threw this together, and now you’re crushing it. Like, when I was like six months, and I had nothing to show for it. I was probably just like, yeah, my page has like 30 likes.
I just knew I just knew I had to get a bunch of people around man, like when I started it. Like, I remember like the first couple months, man, I started the business like a Kickstarter man, I’m like, Hey, this is the concept you can get on the ground floor level, I have nothing to deliver you for like two months. And people are like, Yeah, all right, you did good work for us that the company you are at Are you stood there and like, kind of don’t tell anybody about it, you know, and it was great. And I used like every dime of that initial startup, to outfit troops and to attract guys, you know, to work not for but like with me, you know, and and like, it was great. It was great. like, dislike my this guy, my buddy Gary, you know, he’s like, the head of our account management department. I mean, the guys like I love him to death, you know, I love working with them. He doesn’t put his name behind bullshit he cares about you know, our clients, and my clients are his clients, they’re ours, you know, and Nate, you know, our, our sales director is just like, they’re just as that that won’t do halfway. And they’re just guys that go all in on anything that they do, whether they’re sweeping the floor, whether they’re trying to figure out a dynamic way of presenting our our clients with a better end product, you know, like, how do we make it easy, and we have these we have these huddle. Every morning, you know, and at the close of business every morning, each one of our divisions has a huddle, they fill out a form that form gets kicked up to all the other management so everyone knows exactly what’s going on in every other division. And then at the end, we have a leadership huddle, where we pull it all together know what’s something short term that we can do to increase the effectiveness of our product to our clients, and what’s something long term that we can do to increase the effectiveness of our product. And like that way, you know, we’re, we’re just trying to get a better man every single day, like, what can we do for a big win in the next seven days? Or can do for big win next three months? And what are we doing now, that’s awesome, that we don’t want to stop doing. You know, and as long as we keep doing the good things, and then keep on looking at the things we could be doing better, hiring better people going from Facebook, to YouTube, to Google and like trying out different, you know, social media, distribution networks, different, you know, search engines, you know, to drive traffic, you know, which one’s going to give the most qualified traffic to our end user. It’s, it tends to just keep getting better man, you know, we’re just, we’re focused on more on the mastering the process than we are unlike Hey, like, we made a bunch of money. You know, it’s good, when we look at the bank accounts, and we’re like, Alright, cool that we can hire more awesome people, you know, we can, we can buy this course that just came out for five grand that I think is going to be a game changer. Let’s buy it and give it to our account managers, you know, this retention for profit course, let’s give you know, this, this YouTube course, you know, to our fulfillment department. So it’s great. We’re not just like making the product better, but we are teaching, you know, the people that work with us more so that they can get up and walk out of our place and get a job someplace we’re making twice as much as they’re making with us. But our hope is, is that, you know, we have such a solid culture that they wouldn’t want to get up and go anyplace else. You know.
I love that perspective. I think it’s Richard Branson. He says your employees aren’t a liability, they’re an asset. And if you’ve got people that are doing the right thing, time and time again, you know, I’m, and maybe to my, to my own fault. But when I say like, Oh, you shouldn’t play favorites, like I look at that more as you should reward excellence and not treat everybody the same as everybody doesn’t perform the same. Like the guy who shows up 30 minutes early, does training, gets on the phone, helps other people and doesn’t ask for anything in return, stays late, will give up opportunities, because he knows that someone else could use a win. Like, I’m going to give that guy more opportunity than the guy who shows up, leaves early complains, gets upset, can’t control his temper, you know, and you’re playing favorites, like I am rewarding on merit. Like I try to take emotions, friendships, all these intangible business things out of the equation. But like if you come in and perform, and black and white metrics on numbers that matter. If you go above and beyond, I will reward you if if its attention leads something that you you need that out of what we normally do. I’m willing to do that for the people that are willing to put in not expecting anything else in return. Because I want that person to feel special. And if someone else sees the special treatment and gets upset by it, it’s not. It’s not just based on well, that guy’s my friend, it’s well that guy’s you know, the best salesman that yet he’s giving you opportunities, when it’s in his best interest to hold on to that lead and call it an hour later, after he gets off the phone with someone else. But you know, neither here nor there. It’s just I know, people said, well, you play favorites. And I’ve got black and white numbers and metrics of why I give attention and rewards to people who earn it not to people who I like people who earn it. And so bill in wrapping up, what what advice would you give to somebody who’s struggling with addiction, drinking, trying to get out of it? What would you say is like the best piece of advice that you would give to someone who’s interested in stopping using
was at a meeting, it was a meeting, I was watching a good friend of mine
be awarded a four year medallion. And at that meeting, there was a guy that that came up
that came up to the stage and was a warning, I guess another guy like a 10 year medallion or something. And he said, he said a lot of things. But one thing that stood out to me said that there’s nothing there’s nothing wrong. You can say to someone who’s ready to get sober. And there’s nothing right that you can say to someone who isn’t ready to get sober. So what I would say to someone who’s considering it is that when you’re ready, we’re here.
So good. And now same question, but geared towards someone who’s trying to make the jump into entrepreneurship. What would you say is the best piece of advice
follow your heart, man. That’s it. You know, I I
went back and forth if I should if I should leave my job or not like I was doing well at that a lot like I had for the first time like cracked into six figures. yearly salary. I don’t have a wife and a kid. I already had toys like a truck a Harley surfboards like a place on the beach. So like I was doing all right, monetarily, but I couldn’t pick like who I wanted to work with where I wanted to work when I wanted to work. And after reading Tim Ferriss book, like I was like, Man, that would be awesome. If I could do that, man, if I could do my job from Costa Rica, or from Bali, or from Thailand or the Dominican Republic, or Colombia, like that would be my dream. And no, like, but what I would say is is is you know, like, like talk to people and write a letter men like my my sponsor at the time, maybe write two letters, one to God, to ask for the willingness to make the leap. that’s truly what I wanted. And the second letter he made me write with my resignation letter to my job before I’d actually quit. And I taped it up near my computer and I looked at it every day until I realized that the pain of me not doing this would be greater than the pain of me doing it because worst case scenario if I would have failed, I would have just
been working at Rush
someplace else as a cell but I don’t know, man, you know, like I knew I had a salesman skill set and I knew I would always be in demand. And my dad’s like, honestly, like, Dude, what do you got to lose? Like, he’s scared the shit. I mean, you can always come back home
and live and I was like, oh,
anything like that?
It’s like I’m never gonna
Yeah, well, I mean, if if the tables for whatever reason something happens you vote you’ve always got a job. Welcome at Rush. And Bill. It was it was great having you on the show, man. I had a lot of fun. And thanks, everyone for listening, self made and sober. If you enjoyed the episode, please like share, subscribe, all those things that aren’t going to put money in my pocket. But I do appreciate the the thumbs up and you know, hopefully we can we can have a big impact and be able to reach people that maybe can’t hear this message, but really need it. So thanks again. Bill is great talking to you.
Thanks for having me on the show. Andrew, appreciate it.
Thank you so much for listening to sell made and sober. Be sure to join our Facebook [email protected] slash groups slash SMC mastermind like self made coaching mastermind. I hope you enjoyed this show.