Sobriety Date: 5/15/13
Jonathan Sylvester is the Founder and Head Coach of The Recover U coaching program – An online group coaching and aftercare program which enables men in recovery to become leaders in every area of life by developing stronger sobriety, an unbreakable mindset, and better physical health.
Social: Recover U FB: Facebook.com/recoverucoaching
Recover U IG: @recover.u
And with me today is Jonathan Sylvester. Jonathan, how you doing man? Doing good, Andrew, happy to be here. Yeah. Jonathan is the founder and head coach of the recover you coaching program. And why don’t you give us a little background on what that is?
Yeah, for sure. So a lot of my background is with fitness and nutrition. And so I actually several years back launched the online part of my fitness and nutrition coaching business, and that was going really well. And then there were some developments and some things happen. And I really just came back to the realization that I really love and want to work with men in recovery. And so what this turned into is an online group coaching program for guys in recovery. So, we’ve got guys that you know, have never been in recovery before and they need some guidance and I help guide them you know, into a 12 step program and which is really kind of the foundation for the program. And then for all the guys that are in the program, and then we also have guys that have like 510 15 years sober so it’s really a body mind spirit sobriety, it’s looking at everything, it’s looking at your relationships, it’s it is about you know, creating a routine in your life. It’s about you know, looking at really keeping score and looking at the facts in your life as opposed to letting emotions guide things if that makes sense. It’s really all about the motto is recover the man you were meant to be. And and that’s really what this is all about. This is about getting very clear on who this guy is. Is that you want to become and you want to live as and developing a plan to get there and having the accountability and coaching and support from other like minded men to help you actually get there.
And one of the things you kind of touched on and this is a huge thing for me and my wife and I are polar opposites on this and so you and I are on the same team, the facts versus the self defeating self talk the barriers that don’t actually exist. Do you mean to tell me that they’re human beings that maybe make decisions based on emotions and feelings on a situation that actually the facts don’t align with a feeling?
Yeah, I think that that definitely happens and look, I’m not gonna say you know, I’m not I’m not perfect with it. Like I definitely have to, you know, look, look at take a step back and gain some perspective sometimes and really asked myself if I’m You know, if I’m letting feelings and emotion, emotion guide the situation, whether it’s in my business or in my personal life, and really just take a step back, but yeah, I think it’s so important to, to look at the facts and I’ll give you this example. You know, I think if if someone listening is wondering, like, Okay, well what are you really talking about? One of the first examples that I share with guys that are coming into the coaching program when I present them with this thinking is okay, well, let’s say that a guy has been relaxing, right? He’s he’s been relaxing and, and maybe you’ve heard this in a meeting before and you’re like, man, I just really I don’t know why I keep relapsing. You know, I feel like I’m doing everything I need to be doing. That is emotion. Now if we if we took a step back and we said, All right, man, let’s look at the facts of what’s going on. You know, are you going to meetings are you plugged in with like minded individuals Do you have a sponsor? do you have? are you connected? You know staying plugged in or Yeah. Are you connected with with other guys? Are you doing all these things you need to be doing and it’s likely that he wouldn’t be. So you know that that right there just as it relates to recovery, I think that’s so important in terms of looking at the facts.
And you can equate that with business also where, you know, I have salesman, I got one guy sitting next to another guy with the literal exact same random chance opportunities. And the one guy makes four times as much money as the other one. And they literally like though, the one who’s making less I know in his mind, he thinks we give the other one these magic opportunities and it’s literally not as not what’s happening. It’s just the one is continuing to do things his way that is very successful in the other one Has this mental block, thinking that the way that he does things is the better way. And he sitting next to the person, and they’ve been with me for years, and they’re both really good at what they do, one obviously brings in more than the other. But it’s like, look at the person literally sitting next to you. They make four times as much money in the exact same amount of time and opportunity as you but they do it this way. And you do it this way. And if he was owning it and saying, Well, yeah, I know that I’m making four times less because I’m doing it the wrong way. Then it’s just like, well, dude, you’re crazy. But he’s like, I’m not doing anything different. And it’s like, Look, listen to these two recordings. Who sounded different. It’s like doesn’t make a difference. It’s like it literally does because, like, yeah, let’s look at your numbers. Yeah, you get the exact same results. for months on end over and over and over with the exact same opportunities like but that idea of the one is very, very fact based. He does a B testing. He looks at what works what doesn’t work he takes what works doubles down on it finds he’s testing constantly tweaking the script getting better and better and better and that’s how I get there. And the other ones like nah this way works and like does it work? Yes, it works. Is it the most effective way? No, but he’s got that self talk of the other guy gets a lot more money and he thinks it’s because he gets other opportunities and that’s not the case he’s literally given the exact same thing but
that idea in this guy on the show to just talk to him about this
Yeah, yeah. Now we’ve we’ve had many a sit down, but he’s you know, different different strokes for different folks. Some people are very analytical a be testing I want to make the most money and I can while I sit down, so I’ll do the best thing. And the other one, just, you know, I got a job and I’m making good enough money and just like, I’m gonna do my thing. And, you know, as a business owner, it sucks seeing the one that’s not doing as well, because also means that like, we don’t make as much as a company, but at the same time, it’s like, we’re profitable with it. So maybe this is one of those, like, someone else was like, you have to fire him. Like, how dare you let him stay there. But yeah, get rid of me. Get rid of them?
Well, look, you know, and I understand. I mean, I think that in terms of, you know, my business, I think that that’s a mistake that I made for a long time is thinking that and maybe we’re all stubborn, like that, you know, in different areas or to some degree, but I think that’s probably one of the biggest mistakes that I see people making. And I think you know, and a lot of the times I think it comes down to you know, what you’re touching on in sales. Sales and Marketing, I would say are like the two biggest areas that that business owners really need to look at data. And like, a lot of the times, I think, like in marketing, you know, what happens is, is people say, you know, something’s not working. And they really haven’t given enough time to gather enough data. And this is pretty basic stuff. But I think this is where I think this is where a lot, a lot of people might might be going wrong. And, you know, they’re not getting enough data to actually be able to look at the facts and see like, okay, is this working or not? And you mentioned, you know, the sales guy that’s successful. Doing a B testing, you know, it’s like, Man, you’re, you’re going to have to try some different things out. You’re just going to have to try some different stuff. But you also need to be looking at the the facts and the data behind it for sure. Yeah,
so in your group, you help people kind decipher the here are the things that you are doing. And you know, you may feel that you’re doing everything that you can be but what are we filling in? And so like, say you identify some gaps in somebody’s program. What are the steps that you guys take? Is it a group? Is it you? What’s the, the next step when we identify pieces that you’re saying?
Yeah, so And let me just tell you exactly how we do that. So when guys come to the program, they actually one of the many things they do is fill out a questionnaire which we call, it’s literally called the facts. And so what we’re doing is is because a lot of men do not do this in general, it’s we look at what is your starting point, the facts of where you are right now. What is your starting point? So what’s going on in your your health, your habits, your relationships, your recovery? You know what’s really going on. Because if we don’t establish that starting point, we don’t know what needs to be improved upon. Right? We don’t really know what our starting point is. And then we establish the destination. And that’s getting really clear on who this guy is that you want to become. So you know, and then in between that, it’s really building the game plan to get from point A to point B, going from your starting point to, to what what we term in, in our program. So there’s like different layers within the program. These guys start out is what we call seekers, where they’re really just trying to figure this stuff out. Right? And because even if a guy comes in and let’s say he has 15 years sober, there’s a reason that he’s coming to me a lot of the times it’s because of one of two things his health, right health isn’t isn’t where it should be. And or it pretty much always comes back to whatever they see is the real problem isn’t usually the real problem, the real problem usually comes down to time management and organization. And so like one of the main things that we have these guys do is start using their calendar. You know, and and so in recovery, we say, do the next right thing, right? And sometimes it can be, it can be overwhelming or hard to determine what is the next right thing? So this is kind of answering your question here, like how do we, how do we fill those holes? You know, in your in your program or in your life? It’s man, let’s establish this game plan and a big part of that is literally just using your calendar in your phone because it’s not, you know, it can be overwhelming. You know, I mean, you might be surprised the number of guys that have come into my program that have 15 plus years 20 plus years of sobriety and he You would think like, all these guys have stayed sober this song like they must have it all figured out and know, you know that something’s been something is missing and a lot of the times like I said it’s just having a game plan to follow and you look down at your schedule, it eliminates overwhelm, it eliminates the guesswork. You look down you know exactly, you know what the next right thing is. So the next right thing for a guy that that’s been sober for a long time, and I’ll just be real about this, you know, this is what I’m really passionate about. I really hate seeing guys that have been sober for a long time and are miserable. And that’s really where a lot of these guys are. And my thing is, you know what this coaching program is really all about at the end of the day, is my true thought and feeling is is it number one, I didn’t get sober to be miserable, like that has nothing to do with with why I’m here. And number two, you know, if you’re miserable in sobriety, how long are you really likely to stay sober? Like, it’s probably it is, it’s literally a matter of time in my mind, you know, and, and so anyway, these guys are they’re missing something, you know, and a lot of it comes down to basic organization. So that’s how we fill in the gaps is we lay out a basic game plan. A big part of that is literally Hey, you have this friggin phone in your hand all day long. How about you use the calendar on it? And when you’re not sure what to do, you just look down and you do that thing. I mean, that that’s a big part of it. It sounds simple, but but most guys in and out of recovery are not doing that.
Yeah, I think a big piece of it. It’s just humans in general. We, we have this discontent and we know we want things to be different, but we are not Willing to just stop for five minutes and identify where we want to go, which is part of your plan. And then putting it in a calendar and having time set aside for specific things to get done. like humans hate planning humans hate, they love when they have planned in the past, but they hate the process of sitting down and looking at where am i right now? Where do I want to be? What steps do I need to make sure that I take every single day in order to accomplish this? Because if we’re just doing whatever we want all the time, like you’ll get through life and then you’ll be at the end of it and be like, you know what I did nothing. Like I remember being extremely busy and extremely overwhelmed, but I have nothing to show for it. And actually a couple episodes back. Russ Perry of design pickle was on and he talked about that a ton where he’s got he calls it his hands I’ll log system where he just writes out his day ahead of time. And that ties into exactly what you’re talking about. The next right thing when it’s on the calendar, it’s easy for people to follow. Look at the clock. It’s 10:30am Okay, at 10:30am I’m supposed to be doing this thing. Okay? That’s the next right thing. It’s so easy when you just follow a schedule because everybody can subscribe to time is a good indicator of when to do things you know, it’s not like ah, is it dusk? Time to do this? Right. Very, very black and white, which people like you and I we have brains that like black and white and time is a very, very good black and white.
Yeah, and let me be clear, I did not used to be like this at all. You know, and the thing is, is it a lot of people say they they think like especially people in recovery, man, like
We think we hate structure.
We think we hate structure. The man we thrive in structure we thrive with structure, you know, I mean, it’s like, Man, you know, I joke about this but it’s so true. Like the way my mind works is the 12 steps worked great for me because it’s on a huge friggin poster when I walk into this room, numbered one through 12 make it super easy for me to follow, you know, and and so the thing is, is what a lot of guys aren’t really thinking about it’s like, you know, early on in sobriety like it’s, it’s easy to figure out what the next right thing is for most of us because maybe we probably it’s likely that we don’t have a lot going on. Like I didn’t have a lot going on. It was bad. I was blessed enough to where like my basic needs were taken care of my family was like, Hey, get better focus on recovery, you know, and that’s all I had to do at the time. But But you know, as your life starts to get better, you have more gifts coming into your life and you have to if you want to maintain, and not just maintain, I’m not a big fan of people saying maintaining sobriety because I, that’s just, I think we should be growing and you know, people talk about like, steps 1011 and 12 being maintenance steps, it’s like, man, if you do that stuff every day, you’re not going to be maintaining anything you’re going to be growing, you know, that that’s just the reality. But you know, when we start having these other things come into our lives, we’ve got to figure out a way to, to, I’m not going to say juggle all this stuff to keep all of it organized, and and keep moving forward and make sure that we’re not letting people down and we’re doing, we’re living by these principles. And so there’s a lot of things you know, that and this kind of goes back to what we do and in recovery you It’s the 12 steps are awesome and the 12 steps changed my life. I think there, there are also other things that guys like us should be doing. And and having some type of organization and having some type of structure in our lives is one of those things that I think just really takes what we do with the 12 steps and how we benefit from the 12 steps to the next level, you know, to that next level. So I think that’s just one of the many things that that we should be doing to make sure we’re, you know, we’re growing.
I think that’s a great turning point to, let’s get into and I’d forgotten to mention this in the beginning, but he’s also the host of the sobriety blueprint podcast, so I’m sure just everybody’s like in love with me and follows everything I do. And you know, there’s probably an episode there with my name on it, hint, nudge, nudge, maybe, perhaps, but why don’t you give us a little background on what was your intention with that and what you are putting together with it for the Those that aren’t familiar.
Yeah, the sobriety blueprint podcast so it’s really it’s a podcast for men in recovery, you know, same ideas as the recovery coaching program to really show guys and help guys and enable them to become the best men and and the way that I feel like I’ve started to become more of this man that I want to become, and all these different areas of my life, you know, relationship, relationships, finances, recovery, is by seeing other guys you know, it’s, it’s the, when we come into recovery, you know, we’re told look for the people that have what you want. And so I want to bring on other men that have what I want, because I know it’s very likely that the guys listening are going to want with these guys have as well. So, you know, what was my intention? It’s you know, first off it’s to make an impact you know, it’s it’s it’s to carry the message is really what it is and and a big part of that message again for me is really you know once you get this foundation down I’m not shy about saying this getting sober for me was a huge blessing it really is for anyone I mean when you came on the podcast you know, you told me your story I mean, man it’s it’s it’s nothing short of a miracle. Right? It’s nothing short of a miracle but at the same time, man to a certain degree it’s kind of the bare minimum after you have this this foundation down and and I’m very direct in saying that to guys like in guys I sponsor with guys I coach like, you know, like we’ll do like within the the coaching program like, we’ll go through At the end of the week, you know our wins for the week like what were your wins you know and and talk about some of these things that they accomplish and you know some of these guys that have this stuff down or have been sober for a while it’s like man I don’t want you coming to the table like coming to our meeting with staying that you say it stayed sober, the sweet what else is going on in your life you know so I really want to because I hate hearing guys saying like the being sober is just as miserable thing I’m really trying to open guys minds up to this is not a liability. This is an asset This is you are learning things within recovery, that people will never normal people will never have the opportunity to learn. Normal people go to business coaches life coaches pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to learn and still never fully grasp and implement into their lives like Dude, take this stuff. Create an awesome life with it. You know, so that that’s what it’s really all about. Yeah, and number one, it’s about making an impact. Number two, I’ll tell you, you know, the first episode started with me telling my story. And a big part of this is really selfishly about me living my truth. And it’s a weird thing, man, you know, most people have known that I’m in recovery for a while, and I and I don’t think and I’m not anonymous about it by any means, you know, I think it’s important for people to know you know, what’s going on. And I’m not saying that everyone needs to go around and just like tell someone they don’t know their whole life story like I have necessarily but you know, for me, man, it was kind of a weird deal because I’m really proud like, and I never thought I would say like, I’m really proud of who I ended it. And it’s a weird thing because I I guess I didn’t want to talk to people about Who I am now because that meant bringing up who I used to be. There would have to be a comparison I would have to contrast between the two and and so a big part of this man is really just about me living my truth and taking that mask off and, and, and being the real me You know, there’s just saying I don’t know if it’s like Napoleon Hill or who it is, I can’t remember but, uh, you know, it’s if I want to be free I gotta be me. It sounds kind of corny, but I think it’s true.
You know, I think it’s a lyric from a Smash Mouth sounding
very well could be very well over the years. So
that’s what it’s all about man and that and that’s really why I started is just to kind of open open guy’s eyes to you know, maybe there’s more out there but because there is you know, it’s not a maybe there’s more out there for you and if I can do something to help you see that or turn you on to someone like Andrew that maybe opens your mind up to to a thought or something like that, then you know that then I that’s what helped me so much. You know, so that’s really what what I’m what I’m attempting to do.
Awesome. And have you had any like I know for myself I’ve had a couple kind of revelations and like, ways that I view recovery differently than I used to when I’d started. And I know like through your journey, it’s still you know, you’re learning stuff as you go. And I mean, we all are, but have you had any, any guests like I’ve had a couple that have just had like giant impacts, like I saw you had Omar on the show, which is awesome. And like he’s, he’s like an incredible person. And, um, but have you had any guests on the show that just like completely blew your mind with some of the stuff that they brought to the table
was Looking for a layup for me? I’m just kidding. Yeah,
definitely, you know, I’ll just say like it was actually after I had you on you know because my my podcast, the sobriety blueprint still relatively young you know like I’m coming up on episode 12 is going to be coming out this next this coming Monday and so you know, I haven’t done a ton of episodes but you know like after having you and a couple of other guys on one of the I think I just really started to the revelation I had is that I think that in this online world it’s it’s really easy even though we’re connecting with people to a degree maybe every day. It’s it’s easy for me to still kind of like isolate myself and not really connect with others. If that makes sense. You know, I think like when I had you and a couple other guys come on, like one of the main things like I started to see is like just, I was just reminded of the value in networking. I mean, it seems like a simple thing. But then I also started to see like and having you and definitely Omar on man, I am getting coached for free. I know right?
Like that. That has been my big revelation. I’m like, this is so it’s an excuse for me to connect with guys like Andrew that have built these, like, incredible businesses are doing all these cool things. And man and you I’ll just say like, You helped me out a ton because, you know, you connected me with all these other guys and I really appreciate that. I mean, it’s been a huge help for the show. It’s been Yeah, and I have had some big revelations that the biggest one though, is just Still need to connect as much as I talked about connecting so much just in terms of you know what I put out there on social media you know with the guys that I coach with the guys I sponsor staying connected stay plugged in I need to keep doing that you know i’m i’m not special you know and and again for me the connecting isn’t just about like initially like in recovery it’s like get connected to save your life but now it’s like that get connected to keep growing and happy you know and have these revelations and and meet these new people that I never would have met you know so that’s been my biggest revelation it’s just the need to continue to meet new people that are like minded and definitely remain open minded like specifically on the recovery stuff there there had been some some revelations I have and I mean I you know, I have certain thoughts about like the the way that I think You know, things should be done and what worked for me. But like you said, you know, different strokes for different folks. I mean, what work, what worked for me may not work for others and you know, who am I to tell someone? No, you did it wrong or, you know.
Yeah, I hate that though. I hate that, you know, I can I can share my experience and it’s definitely my truth and then someone else tries to replicate it and then it’s just not the same for them and like my wife and I, like we we go through this all the time, where just my solution to everything is like, Well, here’s a problem, and then let’s formulate a plan and execute a solution. And like, that’s how my brain works is problem, okay? defeat the problem when, but like our brains just wired differently. It’s just like it’s an emotion and I think there was like a, an episode on like Parks and Rec where they like to solve problems. All they did was just the guy like, he just started repeating the problem back. And that was just all he had to do. He’s like, wait, I don’t have to solve it. I just have to say the problem back to her, and then that then it’s done. So different people, you know, at the end of the day, we’re all just trying to coexist. And I believe that you’re right, when you say, being in recovery has been one of the greatest assets of my life. At the moment, when I first got my DUI and everything started going bad. It was a liability. Yeah, I’m not going to pretend like it was good then. No, but at the same time looking back, that day that I got the DUI that made me go meet the lawyer and get the breathalyzer in my car and then go to court and then go to rehab and all of these things that led my life to where it is today. At the time, I didn’t like going through them but growth is not something That’s comfortable. And if I had just stayed exactly where I was at probably still be, you know, working in a restaurant in Howard County, Maryland and not really going anywhere, like my life was not going anywhere if I looked at the facts, and I think that that’s just, it’s a great barometer and it, it blows my mind that more people don’t live their life based on facts. But that’s a that’s their prerogative. And you know, if, if running your life off facts and truths isn’t for you, and you’re happy with how you’re doing things, then like, Who am I to tell you you’re wrong, you know?
Yeah, yeah. And it for like I said, just to be clear, for me, it was a learned thing. Like, it’s not like I just came into this world being like that, that that was in my thinking for a long time. So yeah, I mean, you know, I just, I think again, if someone’s listening Something and there may be not fully grasping what it is we’re talking about, you know, just like in the next few decisions that you make, you know, even if they’re just small life decisions, business decisions, you know, ask yourself if they’re based on facts, like if you’re especially in your business, like, what what data are you looking at? I think that’s really what it comes down to.
Yeah, I, it’s just like, you know, meal prep. If all of your meals are picked out for you ahead of time, then you don’t really get the choice like you’re making it. Humans have a tendency to go to the path of least resistance. And when we have structure and when we have decisions made for us already. That’s the path of least resistance. So if you do something like meal prep, and Monday for breakfast, I’m going to eat this Monday for lunch. I’m going to eat this in between lunch and dinner. I’m going to eat this and Dinner, I’m going to eat this. And I know what my macros are. I know everything that I need to know about what I ate that day. And I know that if I continue eating this way that I will lose weight because I’m operating in a calorie deficiency, you know, whatever the science is, I’m sure you know way more about this stuff than I do a little bit. But the idea that you save yourself from yourself, you don’t run into, oh, I’m walking downstairs and there’s Halloween candy in the basket. I’m going to eat one. And then look back on the last month and it’s like, dude, I hate 80 pieces of candy that I had no intention of ever eating, but it just happened. Yeah. But if I had everything planned out, and I kept that out of sight, I mean the candy that’s so weak spot so thank god Halloween is over. But yeah, having having a plan for recovery for business for life, have a plan, follow it. Create your path of least resistance. Put in a couple minutes to plan something out and your future self will thank you for it. But Jonathan, we’re running short on time. Where can people find you online to learn more about you and sobriety blueprint podcast in recovery you?
Yeah, absolutely. So they can go to recover you.net to learn more about the recovery you coaching program, they can also go to the sobriety blueprint.com You can find the sobriety blueprint on Spotify, iTunes, wherever you listen to your podcasts, and also just feel free to connect with me on Facebook.
Awesome. Well, Jonathan, thank you so much for being on self made and sober. And guys, if you enjoyed the show, please go on iTunes, rate the show. It’s how we grow. Subscribe. Tell your friends and Jonathan Have a great day, man. Thank you so much for being on the show. Yeah, you too, Andrew. I appreciate