051. From Homeless to Helping Through Vulnerability with Jaime Jay

By on April 16, 2019


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At the core, Jaime Jay is a connector of personalities and brands. He constantly challenges himself to be a better human being. He is also an amateur hockey player and starter good who truly enjoys helping his clients rediscover themselves, their companies and how to realize their “Why.” He has worked with clients across the world, co-founded and run a publishing company, virtual assistant service company, and hosts the popular “Culture Eats Strategy” podcast – a top 100 podcast in the Business category on iTunes. He is the recipient of the Army’s Achievement Medal for Meritorious Service.

Beyond all of that, he is an amazing, humble, giving person. The reason why is rooted in his life story, which started with homelessness, and a rollercoaster experience from there. Jaime shares that story, the lessons he learned and a big piece of himself in this episode of the show.

Key Points from the Episode with Jaime Jay:

  • Embracing vulnerability and being true to yourself helps so much in your personal growth and in business. Jaime goes on to talk about how important it is to be selfish, but in a different way than people may think. He means it positively, in terms of taking care of yourself since you can’t take care of others if you aren’t ok.
  • This sense of needing self-care started in childhood when Jaime dealt with homelessness when his adoptive father moved the family for a job that didn’t materialize. Jaime and his little brother watched an auctioneer selling all of their stuff as they lost everything and lived out of their car for months.
  • He got a job at McDonalds to help support the family, and he would have his family go through the drive-thru so he could give them extra food. He also would take leftover food and give it to his family and other homeless people.
  • Through the homelessness, he struggled to meet requirements at school and had repeat a year and ultimately had to get his GED so he could join the Army.
  • We talked about the timing of this experience given that he was in the midst of his teenage years – a time when most kids struggle with figuring themselves out anyway. Obviously, that only complicated things.
  • Another common issue people deal with after coming back from homelessness is one of the scarcity mindset, which he says has been very much alive in his business decisions. It has impacted him positively around his sense of what being content and ‘having enough’ really means.
  • Jaime shared that his family actually was homeless twice as his father was arrested for embezzlement. It lead him to try very hard not to be a burden on his mother and brother, which is part of why he joined the Army.
  • On top of the issues with his adoptive father, who also made Jaime feel stupid an incapable so much of the time, Jaime’s biological father left when he was five and was a bad drunk.
  • I had to call out the interesting way Jaime has kindness, calmness and gratitude that you might not expect given the tumultuous life he had. He said it stems from his strong desire for no one else to feel what Jaime has felt, so he may go far on the other side of the coin.
  • Jaime shared how his brother got addicted to drugs while Jaime was in the Army. Given how inseparable they were, this hit him hard.
  • He left the Army to be with his wife at the time, with whom he had a child. When he left the Army, he came home to his wife asking for a divorce, leaving him homeless and penniless again.
  • He spent the next decade never really feeling confident or secure, with this unhappiness and fear of what will go wrong.
  • From the age of 21 to 30, he was married and divorced three times.
  • On August 23rd, 2005, his brother was hit by a semi truck and killed when Jaime’s sister-in-law was pregnant with their second child. That devastated Jaime, and threw him into a backward spiral. That day in August is always so hard for him.
  • He started a successful advertising agency in 2006, which was hit hard in 2008 when the economy fell apart. And he was drinking and not saving at that time, which added to everything ending in 2008 with Jaime becoming homeless again, and he had to move back in with his mother at age 38. His perspective at the time was very much one of “The world is doing this to me. Why me?”
  • Sharing his story is tough because he doesn’t feel good about what he did or what happened. He is concerned with what people might think about him. But looking at this through the self-care lens, it helps him tremendously to be open about it, and it serves others through those who identify with his story and find inspiration in it for how they can move forward.
  • Today, he’s been on a different, empowering and gracious path. He’s surrounded himself with the right people who share his positive, kind values, including his girlfriend of seven years, who has been a crucial part of Jaime’s better life.
  • Jaime gave us a challenge. When we feel like someone is a jerk or is behaving badly, look at yourself and your behavior. Did you perhaps provoke that behavior in them? Often, we miss the trigger we are responsible for.

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050. From Addiction to Peak Performance with Nick Elvery

By on April 9, 2019


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Nick Elvery is a Peak Performance Coach who helps CEOs maximize their focus, energy and productivity.

Nick Elvery has overcome over a decade of hard drug and alcohol addiction.  His experience gave him the insight into just what it takes to create lasting change and build a fulling life that allows for hard work and health.

Watching his father’s health decline over his life and eventually pass way really gave Nick a different perspective on the importance of health. His mission is to help CEO’s take back control of their life and health so they can be there for their family without sacrifice the mission of the business.

We talk about the journey Nick went on, the struggle with addiction coupled with a desire to develop as a human being, the moment when he woke up and decided to change, and how his message is helping others today.

Key Points from the Episode with Nick Elvery:

  • Nick opened the conversation sharing the challenge he overcame – spending 12 years as an addict of hard drugs and alcohol.
  • Like many kids, Nick grew up experimenting with smoking and drinking. At the same time, his father’s health was declining in front of Nick’s eyes due to Multiple Sclerosis, ultimately claiming his life.
  • Watching a capable, driven, full-of-life parent degrade like that created a very strong emotional response in Nick, which drove further and further decline into addiction.
  • We talked about why Nick fell into addiction, and he talked about ego – the drive many of us have (especially when we’re young) to prove ourselves. This played a big part in his addiction where he seemed to need to prove he could do the most and the hardest drugs. It was a mix of seeking popularity and escaping the reality of his father’s decline.
  • The drive to fit in was a big theme for him, leading him to live like a chameleon rather than figuring out who he is and how to live as himself – something he’s focused on helping others are today.
  • Only when we become happy with who we are will people respect and accept us since only then do we accept and respect ourselves.
  • Everyone ultimately has a want to connect, and Nick felt like he didn’t fit in early on and was labelled as different, so that desire to fit in lead him to change his behavior in hopes of fitting in.
  • His addiction went so far that he found himself in Asia doing crystal meth in motorcycle chases with meth dealers – and he didn’t even think that was unsafe or anything at the time.
  • Paradoxically, while his addiction was growing, Nick was also diving deeper into self-discovery and personal development after getting introduced to Tony Robbins when he was just 16. It’s as if there was a struggle within him to self-destruct and to self-develop.
  • Doing some self-help work was what struck him hard enough to realize just how far he had gone in the wrong direction. It also gave him access to the path to change – a decision he made in a single moment of self-realization.
  • The word he ends up coming back to is Tenacity. Living by the tenacity of not giving in is a motto and approach he things we could all benefit from.
  • There is a need and value to do self-work that applies to all of us.
  • Nick has had a fascination with what makes people tick – what makes people succeed, why we get out of bed, why two people who have had the same experience yet come out very differently.
  • Nick’s advice to anyone facing a struggle – whatever it is – is to never give up. Anything you want to create in your life is totally possible. We may not be able to see that alternative, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It can be scary to look at such a different future, but it is still possible. You are worth saving and you can do it.
  • Surround yourself with people who care and see that future, too, and you can create whatever you want for your life.

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049. From Dented to Thriving Through Serving Others with Mary Shores

By on April 2, 2019


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20 years ago, Mary Shores started with an idea. Today, she is a successful entrepreneur with a multi-million-dollar, heart-centered business and a best-selling book, Conscious Communications.

But she didn’t start that way. Mary hit rock-bottom after enduring the loss of her daughter within the first year of her life, and while Mary was still very young.

She survived an unstable past filled with abandonment and instability stemming from her mother’s mental illness, but found within herself the strength to rebuild by founding an industry-changing business. She now inspires others with lessons of resiliency and empowerment nationwide.

Mary shares her gripping, emotional journey as a point of inspiration that, regardless of what we face, we can come through. And she talks about her business, debt collection, to show that regardless of the work you do, you can do it in a way that has an impact and does good. In an industry not known for such things, Mary is proof that you can rewrite the script and still succeed – something she’s done time and time again no matter how things were playing out.

Key Points from the Episode with Mary Shores:

  • Reflection has brought an understanding around the theme throughout her life around the fear of abandonment
  • Mary was taken in by family in Illinois from her home in Southern California when she was just three years old due to mental illness her mother struggled with
  • Later in her childhood, she was reunited with her mother while her little sister stayed with the family who took them in when they were young, creating a sense of separation and loss from the person closest to her.
  • At 13, Mary’s mother left again, leaving her alone with her step-father so she chose to go from friend’s couch to friend’s couch throughout high school rather than having a stable home. She looks back on her view of that time as exciting and one framed by strong independence.
  • Mary became pregnant at 18, and ended up giving birth to a daughter when she was 19 only to lose her 18 months later due to complications her daughter suffered around oxygen deprivation during the labor and birth process and brain damage that resulted.
  • Mary didn’t just lose her daughter, but the process was so extreme because of how drawn out it was, and how much she was exposed to in the hospital; and of course she had nothing at the time as she and her boyfriend basically lived on the floor of their daughter’s hospital room.
  • While this obviously was a major trauma, it was also the spark for a resilience that has defined Mary’s life since then.
  • After her daughter’s death, Mary went through the lowest point in her life, feeling dented, damaged and like a failure. She decided in that process not to be a statistic and instead started a business. It wasn’t from a place of empowerment, but rather a desire not to be a failure.
  • Mary got into the debt collection business, which she says isn’t really most people’s dream or passion. She noted how so many people talk about following your passion, and collections isn’t really that, but there are things that can align to passion regardless of what the actual work is.
  • She wanted to be different, and take an approach of positivity-based selling of collections. She focused on the idea of how great it will be to get out of debt while everyone else focused on the same and fear of being in debt in their approach.  She failed miserably.
  • Being interested in neuroscience, she understood that people have a negativity bias, so the positive outcome wasn’t enough to overcome the unwillingness to pay in a way that fear can. This all ties to people feeling unworthy.
  • Figuring this out was an ah-ha moment for Mary, and she said, “I want the next person I work with to be happier at the end of the call than when it started it.” That approach worked.
  • The approach was so successful that Mary started to reach it more broadly, which is what lead her into her work as a coach and author.
  • Mary shared one of her favorite quotes, which is by Maryanne Williamson, “A miracle is but a shift in perception.”
  • Conscious Communications, her book, focuses on several key things to use to start your path forward. One of the key ideas is Gratitude.
  • She talks about the word, “Empowerment,” which gets so much focus, but what does it really mean? It’s really about an internal sense of feeling good.
  • All the focus on Happiness has people thinking that we have to be happy all the time. But the reality is, we aren’t. And we aren’t meant to be. And that’s ok. The key is to understand what we’re feeling and why we feel it, and learn and grow from that. But you shouldn’t judge yourself for feeling that way or ignore or diminish it.
  • She reminds us of the importance of self-care, which is a buzzword that’s thrown around a lot, but what does it mean? For Mary, it’s about taking time for yourself.
  • Cleanse or clog – everything you do in those smallest moments of life is always working to make a closer connection to what you want and desire or to stand in the way of it.
  • The choices you make will shape your life forever.

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