Jake Cushing – Mastering the F*ck It Mentality


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With me, today on the podcast is Jake Cushing. Awesome background with Jake when I started my company rush tech support in my living room five and a half years ago, a couple of months down the road. A wonderful human being named Jake Cushing came into my life and helped us transform the company from 36,000 in the first year to 1.75 million in year two, he is the brains behind everything that the company accomplished in that year. Jake, how you doing, man? We go. That’s how hackers used to walk in appreciate it, man. I think you had a whole lot to do with it too. Maybe it was like a combination, a good mix. Jake’s been sober now since July 26, 2018. And you want to give us a little background on what your sobriety looked like what happened, what’s going on. Now you want to give us just kind of a background pre
sobriety and into what it’s looking like today.
I think the biggest part of my story, when I first started, you know, getting clean back in 2013 I just didn’t think it was possible. I think that’s a huge thing to touch on because I used to say it in every single one of my stories that I would tell him like a 12 step program or anything like that.
And
I think when I
when I, when I got into the program, and I was just kind of like winging it, I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t know how to live life, like really actually live life. My entire life consists of using drugs and alcohol and
I didn’t know how to be a man or you know, even a human being, you know, and
So, so it all started 20 2013 I moved out to Florida my mom and called some random number she saw on the phone book. And I was like, you know, South Florida it’s like nice outside. Yeah, I’ll be kicking and I’ll be screaming but might as well give it a shot there probably be some pretty girls out there. I don’t know.
Maybe just a little. Yeah. So So I started my journey that way. And I came out to South Florida.
This is from heroin, and you know, pretty much anything I could get my hands on at that point in time. And I ended up
Being able to go from that to making like a whole network of friends through the 12 step program. And
I didn’t think that I was capable of doing anything. I didn’t think I could, I could, you know, read and write properly, much less, you know, be a salesman or you know, anything like that. Sorry, I’m working for a company that, you know, did sales, but they were extremely sketchy. And I had
I had you know, Andrew, who was a huge part of my sobriety, and he is still is up to this point. And we, you know, we hit it off right from the start. I saw him at a meeting and he,
he saw my ravens hoodie. And, and he said, he said, Oh, nice 30 and I said,
Though he said he said sponsor me.
He said he’s no he says he says coolly. Yeah, I’ll be your sponsor.
Some other guy
I didn’t see that. Did you want to be a sponsor? That was a Joe never fails. Yeah, that was it some and I and Andrew hit it off right off the brake keys is an into food.
We really got in you know, eat a, you know a lot of Chinese food or pizza, whatever we can get our hands on in South Florida. So what were some of the strategies you were using at the time to stay sober and like get into the program? You were at a sketchy company and then what
a sketchy company
Emotional sobriety wasn’t at its peak if you will. And, and, and Me and Me and Andrew had this thing where I said, Hey, Andrew, maybe one day I’ll end up working for you.
Yeah, so, so the way you know, after getting enough sales experience, I ended up just, you know, randomly, you know, no, there was no like, big story behind it. I just randomly like, started making sales for them, you know, on the weekends, you know, when I had my time off and stuff like that, and you know, unmake, like maybe like $100 $200 sale or something like that, and we would party with a whole bunch of food.
Jordan, this is how we do it. Yeah.
rushes in its infancy at that time. And what were some of the things that like you didn’t have experience in growing a company? Where did that spirit of let’s grow it and roll the dice come from? I think a lot of it comes from like humans winging it.
And by that, I mean, like, nobody really has a superset plan. And even if you do have your set plans, it never works out the way exactly what you want it to. And, and I think that
I think that coming from a position of, of, you know, humbleness and not really knowing what’s going to happen is probably where you get your biggest projects and the biggest thing that’s happened in your life
because I can name on multiple occasions where other things have happened besides that, that has been huge in my life as well. I never expected date the girls and on the
I never expect to, you know,
be friends with some of the people that are like the biggest positive influences in my life. I kind of just took a leap of faith and said, I’m out here in South Florida, I don’t have any family, I have friends, I have plenty of friends. I might as well give it a shot. And that’s probably the best place that I could have been. They have that terminology where they say you never feel like you work a day in your life if you do what you love, but I don’t really believe that to be true because you work the jumping-off point. We definitely had a lot of fun building the company and I’ve had I had the best years of my life in Florida and helping to build a company and I would never trade it and you know, experiencing, you know, things that you know, maybe scare you or whatever. But you know, I had family members and
Stuff that supported me but I had no real backing. I had no sort of money saved up or you know, anything like that. I just figured give it a shot. The worst-case scenario can always move back to Maryland. I don’t know. Yeah, having that safety net fallback plan. I think a lot of people, they’ll just let fear take control of everything. And it’s like, well, what if it fails? What if it doesn’t work out nine out of 10 startups go out of business, none of us have any experience in doing this. What in the world is going to make us think that we could actually do more than run this thing out of Andrews halfway house living room, and then upgrade to Andrews apartment living room to upgrade to suite nine and then 10 and then 12 and three and then del Rey office at 13 like all the crazy growth that happened as a result of walking through that fear and you’re right like when you when you lay it
Get out and it’s like, well, worst-case scenario, I’ll just move back home and keep living my life. I think a lot of people, just have that fear of failure and they just end the conversation right there instead of just going with it. A lot of people have fear drive them to not take the leap of faith into the thing that they really want to do. What was going through your head in this is 2014 when you made the leap and have rush be your full-time job even though it was extremely all over the place and didn’t have a steady income the way that your other job did. I think it was a fucking mentality. Like really, it was just you know, I don’t have a safety net. So if I don’t have a safety net, and you know, there’s a there’s like a pit at the bottom and then I gotta climb up this thing but there’s no safety net and then you got to climb that
Anyway, so I might as well do it. Right. I mean, that’s kind of what happened, you know, I didn’t have any, as I said, I didn’t have any friends in the family, family, you know, I had, I had the 12 step program and, you know, and God by my side, and
did I really have that much faith in it? No, I didn’t. And, and this is, you know, coming from a complete place that honestly, I didn’t really have much faith that it was going to work out. I just, you know, wherever the cards may lay and, and just, you know, threw myself to the wind and whatever happens happens. I didn’t. I didn’t think too much, you know, but do you have any sort of rituals or like, the things that you make sure that you do every single day to help you maintain your sobriety and or good work ethic? Well, every morning
I start off, I do the third step prayer and the seventh-step prayer. And I’ve done that even on that this is another entire part of my story. But when I end up going back to drinking, even during my drinking days, I still third step prayer seventh step prayer every morning. And I think that and you know, meditation and, you know, a practice in keeping myself grounded in a higher power, and in the earth, if you will, in the universe, if you will,
is a huge part of it as well.
I
I think that I I’ve done that on the daily since I was a kid, not the third step seventh step prayer, but I always try to put myself
In a place mentally to, you know,
to, to, I don’t know to get a better grasping better, a better foothold, if you will.
Yes, I think that’s so you’re using, you’re using the third and seven-step prayer. So just for those that aren’t familiar, the third step prayer is basically turning your will and your life over to something bigger than you. And the seven-step is removing your defects that are getting in the way from whatever the bigger thing in the universe is. call it God call it nature, call it, whatever you want to call it. And the idea is that you move you remove the things that are getting in your way, so that you can do a better job at letting things fall so kind of your fucking mentality is like a foreigner way of saying
turned your will over to your higher power and let the cards fall as they were Is that fair a fair assessment?
I think that is a very fair assess the whole bucket mentality. I mean fuck it is it is a natural statement right? You ever get pulled over by the police and and you say fuck it I’m going to jail
yeah that’s what I said when I got arrested
like I’m going to jail back
pocket I’m going to jail I’m wasted Let’s drink this bottle of fireball before I get booked to nearly be that
Yeah, I drank a fifth of fireball while I was getting pulled over. And so I got charged with drinking while dry or yet drinking while driving on top of DU I got consuming an alcoholic beverage. Why?
operating a motor vehicle I think was like the the legal term for it but yeah drinking while driving Are you able to while getting pulled it were you able to maintain your drunkenness throughout your booking
I blacked out jail
and like jail like you know the drunk tank like getting
I blacked out the whole getting arrested saying I briefly remember seeing the I came out of a blackout and I saw in the rearview mirror the red and blue lights flashing, and I had about half of a fifth of fireball left. And I was like well, I’ll just finish this off because I didn’t want to get an open container charge. But I didn’t hide the bottle. So I still got an open container charge as well as drinking while driving, as well as blowing a point 24 so I added a whole bunch of extra
felonies and misdemeanors because the
That micro decision added like an extra three things to the laundry list of, of everything that was happening at the time. So yeah, I learned my lesson but you know, silver lining of it, I ended up going to treatment and got sober and things ended up working out for the better. So you said that you always had a idea of a higher power or something bigger than you and has that grown since you got into recovery? Yeah.
I started out.
I remember when I was, I was with my fiance. And, and we would, we were,
you know, getting high and drunk or, you know, whatever we could get our hands on and everyone’s from all there. Were
There would be this, this point where I would want to like meditate like avatar style.
So, so like, I don’t know, like, I would remember like, you know, how dry you know and Dragonball Z they would meditate and really do really cool things afterward or, or, you know, avatar would do it and, and I remember just, you know, sitting there and I really want it power. You know, I wanted some sort of power to the light come from the sky and to help me with what was going on in my life. And it did. It certainly did. Maybe not the way that I pictured it, but it certainly did. I ended up meeting one of the biggest spiritual advisors I’ve ever met in my life, who I actually stayed with for a period of time with my fiance and
He had me dropped to my knees in the middle of Eastern Avenue and Marlon and you know, it’s kind of like the a major intersection and ethics. And I did that and slowly but surely after that prayer and after having anonymous sincerity to like, want to get clean or I didn’t really want to get clean, but have an honest sincerity to want my higher power to help me.
I started to slowly but surely
you know, come to terms with you know, my sobriety, and I, my girlfriend at the time who was stealing jeans from Nordstrom
or my fiance she ended up getting locked up and
I ended up getting locked up before she did. But I had my parents would always bail me out you know not not my dad so much from my mother she would always bail me on a jail.
She wonderful woman, she didn’t know how to to not coddle me and you know enable me and she she ended up bailing me out but by the time I got bailed out she got called up and she was wanted for
she was on it for more than that she ended up because of the genes for Nordstrom thing. They developed the whole whole profile of of
what it is it called? I
can’t remember what the name of it is. They developed all profile of her basically stealing the genes and you know
I ended up being in the thousands of dollars. And she ended up getting locked up. And so I was left without a fiance, you know, in my presence and left on my own devices. And that’s when my mother gave me the phone number I called. And when I called I don’t know what took over me, but I was like, I don’t know this person, they’ll probably never meet me ever. I’m just going to drop my entire story on their lap and see what the free cap
and so that’s why I did I spilled my guts to this person over the phone that I’ve never talked to before my entire life. And I told her my whole life story and how, how much of a fuck up I was now much of a destructive alcoholic and an addict. I was and
They got me on a plane the next day. They wanted to set they wanted to get me on a plane that day. But I had a little bit more to do before I before I came out to Florida. Yeah, I had to get him to get here the last. Your last hurrah. I remember my last hurrah. I had a party I invited all my friends and only one person showed up. And that was kind of like my damn man, like, even even my last hurrah, like, no one’s trying to be involved with me at all. I’m just not a person that people want to be around. And once I came to that conclusion, and like accepted it,
I continued to move forward and grow and try a new way of life, where I’m focusing on spiritual principles, and instead of focusing on what I think is going to be best for me, and then just the results, speak for themselves, none of the cool things that we’ve been able to accomplish anything
to do with
with like me is all about the right people the right place the right time having my higher power guide the
direction of everything that was happening and we didn’t have any clue what we were doing jumping into it we’re just like God will take control and we’ll see what happens. So when you
so you mentioned that you had a slip up and came back so what are you doing differently this time now you have over a year on your time back. What lessons did you learn from the first time
so I’m going to give a little bit of background just briefly and this will help to sum it all up. So when I
so when I came back to Maryland I had gotten drunk and in Florida after
Two and a half years of continuous sobriety. And I, I,
I ended up I don’t know, I was in the tech office at the time. And I decided that I was going to try and control drinking and it worked great for me for a while for actually quite some time.
My progression seems to be a little bit slower than thumbs.
And so I ended up you know, drinking at a OK, so the first time I drank I drank a
drink it camping with my father. We went one to we went to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and I decided to get a six-pack or Corona. And I woke up the next day and I thought I expected this huge dread and this huge, terrible illness and night
Even had like a bad dream that night. And I woke up and I just, you know, I nothing happened. I didn’t feel bad it was probably the worst place for me to be at because nothing happened. And so I
went to
I drag for a couple more years. And then I got to the point where I was just tired of living the way that I was living again. And that’s when I turned back to my higher power. And I, you know, said
that sincere prayer again, and I didn’t even realize I did that until I just said that but
yeah, I said that sincere prayer to God and I ended up back in right turn of Maryland and I went to that program so
this time
I think that
you know, I have, I have sat here and analyzed a lot of what,
what I did to say server back down and what I do to stay sober now. And it’s not really too much different. I think the biggest thing that I learned from going back out and drinking is that I can’t do that successfully either. And that’s a that’s a big lesson to learn, you know, I’ve always seen my father drinking, he’ll drink
you know, every single night, wake up the next day be fine, you know, drink his coffee in the morning, not me. I wake up the next morning, and I’m and I’m drinking, you know, hard liquor and early in the morning. So, you know, I, I kind of like, had this vision of like me being like my father and in that respect and like I could still drink, but that’s just not what I’m here for.
And what I mean by that is my higher power doesn’t want me to be that guy. Or my or my it.
There’s a quote by Jim Carrey and you’ll like this one to Andrew. So, Jim Carrey says depression is your soul’s way of telling you that it doesn’t like the character that it’s playing anymore. My soul didn’t like, my soul was a character that I didn’t like playing anymore.
So my so I just didn’t want to be that guy. And,
and deep down even though like some parts of me like wanted to, you know, be drunk every day and live my life that way. And just this year
Not where I was meant to be, I believe the
you know, around ethics, I’m kinda like, and I’m not gonna, I’m not going to, you know, blow myself up over here, but I’m kind of like a go-to guy when it comes to like, sobriety and things like that I’ve already had, you know, several friends around here they asked me, you know,
I’m trying to get clean, like what can I do and I’ve had a couple of people that have gotten clean around me as well. And, you know, that feels are really good. I think being a part of their lives is has been the pinnacle and they even tell you that in the 12 step program is, you know, the people that you help, you know, the newcomers that are coming in are the most important people because there’s those are the people to help keep us over
and you
You get to keep what you have by giving it away.
You gotta act as a river, let it flow through you to the next piece instead of the reservoir that just holds it all towards it for later, just always flowing through and it’s always fresh when it’s always flowing. So, Jake, I want to be conscious of your time but if there’s one piece of advice you could give to someone who’s trying to get sober, what would you say is the most important thing that someone should do?
take an honest look at where you’re at in your life. And, if you’re aware because I think that sobriety has a lot to do with awareness and take a look at you. Take a look at where you are. You know, I remember
when I first got into the water set in Florida, they asked me
what
Do you know what I was doing? And I told him I was living in the Mexicans garage, you know,
you know, drinking and getting high. And but it wasn’t that bad. And they were like, let’s get you your,
your, your, what’s the word for it?
Yeah, no, I That’s it. That’s it, you know, I was there not verifying but you know talking about so I think the biggest thing is,
you know take a step back from if you can take a step back from drinking and just be aware of your surroundings and see And if that’s not really where you want to be in your life, then have a bucket mentality and go into go and go into a program or if you can do that, just go to the rooms
Yeah, the rooms of 12 step recovery, I know, have helped millions of people and they sometimes get a bad rap from people that don’t have the bucket mentality. They want to hang on to their old way of thinking as well as take on a new way, but they kind of straddle both. And then when you straddle both, you’re, you’re not actually going forward with the new way of living, you’re,
you’re living in fear of changing the way that it used to be, which isn’t getting you the results that you want. So I think that’s great. You know, awareness is huge. Because if you’re not aware of the problem, then how are you supposed to fix it? But then the next step is having that willingness to move forward with a different way of living. And it’s funny because we will fight tooth and nail to justify I should I want to stay in this guy’s garage. This is what I want. It’s like, you don’t actually want that. It’s just what you know, and
You’re afraid of what might happen because what if somehow it’s worse? And that’s kind of the lie we tell ourselves. But Jake, thank you so much for being on the show. You’ve dropped a ton of nuggets. Where can people find you online if they want to learn more about the stuff that you’re doing?
You can find me on Facebook at Jake Cushing and also Instagram J. Cush is me.

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