EP 33 - Brad Axelrad - How to Transform Your Fears Into Strengths

Awesomers Origin - We'll talk to an Awesomer about where they came from, the triumphs and tribulations they have faced and how they are doing today. An Awesomer Origin story is the chance to hear the backstory about the journey our guest took on their road to become awesomer. These stories are incredibly varied and the takeaway is that awesomers come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, creeds, colors and every other variation possible. On your awesomer road you will face adversity. That’s just part of life. The question as always is how YOU choose to deal with it.
For over a decade, Brad’s been as an event producer, consultant, strategist and podcast host, having produced over 150 live events with top business leaders and best-selling authors.

He’s a proud founding member of the Association of Transformational Leaders Southern California since 2010 and is a Co-Founder of The Association of Transformational Leaders Costa Rica, founded in 2017. 

On his Face Your Dragon Podcast he interviews celebrity thought leaders and icons including don Miguel Ruiz, Arielle Ford, JP Sears and The Kin, musicians seen on Conan O’Brien and who opened up for Coldplay and Pink.

Brad’s been featured on numerous media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, PBS Television, OC Register, LA Times, USC News and CBC News Canada.


The first step towards overcoming your fears is to face them.

On this episode, Steve introduces Brad Axelrad. Brad is an event producer, consultant, strategist and podcast host having produced over 150 live events with top business leaders and best-selling authors. Here are more awesome takeaways on today’s episode:

  • The philosophy behind Face Your Dragon.

  • How to transform your fears into strengths.

  • Steps to tame your dragon: find, face, and then ride your dragon.

  • And the first step to discovering the number one hidden fear stopping you from earning what you're worth.

So turn up the volume and listen to today’s episode to learn how you can face your dragon and transform your life!

Welcome to the Awesomers.com podcast. If you love to learn and if you're motivated to expand your mind and heck if you desire to break through those traditional paradigms and find your own version of success, you are in the right place. Awesomers around the world are on a journey to improve their lives and the lives of those around them. We believe in paying it forward and we fundamentally try to live up to the great Zig Ziglar quote where he said, "You can have everything in your life you want if you help enough other people get what they want." It doesn't matter where you came from. It only matters where you're going. My name is Steve Simonson and I hope that you will join me on this Awesomer journey.


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01:15  (Steve introduces today’s guest, Brad Axelrad.)

Steve: You’re listening to the Awesomers.com podcast episode number 33. That is episode number 33 which you can find as always in show notes at Awesomers.com/33. Now today my special guest is Brad Axelrad. And for over a decade Brad's been an event producer, consultant, strategist and podcast host having produced over 150 live events with top business leaders and best-selling authors. Now he's a proud founding member of the Association of transformational leaders of Southern California since 2010 and is a co-founder of the Association of transformational leaders in Costa Rica founded in 2017. On his Face Your Dragon podcast he interviews celebrities thought leaders and icons like Don Miguel Ruiz, Ariel Ford, JP Sears and many more. Brad spent featured on numerous media outlets including NBC Nightly News, PBS television, The OC Register, LA Times, USC news and CBC News Canada. You're going to be glad you joined us today because Brad's going to help you face your own dragon and give you some of the techniques that he helps people overcome fear and stress and put yourself on a track towards mental wellness. Welcome back Awesomers, Steve Simonson joining you today again on the Awesomers.com podcast and today we're lucky we have Brad Axelrad joining us. How are you, Brad?

Brad: I'm great, it's good to be here.

Steve: Well it's certainly a pleasure to have you and you know one of the things that you know the intro didn't really talk about but is this premise that you know being a consultant and a thought leader as you are, that you probably have you know kind of day-to-day responsibilities that you get into. And that's one of the things I like to start with this what do you do kind of on a day to day basis that would help our Awesomers out there understand kind of how you get by with your each of your days?

Brad: You bet and the reason I'm laughing is because every day is so different as an entrepreneur as you know and everybody else knows. We kind of have to wear many hats and adjust accordingly to what fires need to be put out as well as what strategies and tactics we're implementing. My day looks very similar in the sense that most of what I'm doing is content creation, understanding neuroscience and sort of the motives or challenges or blocks that we have as entrepreneurs and as humans in general and how to move through those. So I'm both researching and writing, creating offers and content you know videos on Facebook. Trying to keep things really raw and kind of real and casual so that it feels relatable. I think it is really the key is creating relatable content being as vulnerable as possible and trying my best to bring all of me to the table whatever that looks like as raw and as screwed up as some of those parts are and just do my best to bring all of it.

Steve: I love it, well that's certainly a raw is probably a good description of this podcast. So the regular listeners will appreciate that sentiment. As we dive into this idea maybe you could just summarize your business of Face Your Dragon which I believe people can find that faceyourdragon.com. Tell us a little bit about that, how you got that started?

Brad: So background first, I you know like so many in the transformational leadership space or in the thought, new thought or ancient wisdom thought whatever you want to call it. You know an interesting childhood in the sense that I was finally driven to the point where it's like I need to change some aspects of myself and I'm committed to that and really want to make sure that I both become the best person I can be, as well as create the biggest impact and legacy I possibly can on the planet. So that started with Tony Robbins in 2000 but fast forward to my favorite place on the planet called the Hoffman Institute, that's up near Napa and I became the Orange County graduate facilitator leader for two years there. And it's just this deep profound work understanding all the aspects of who we are as both physical body and beyond. That said I really felt a little trapped in the sense that I was teaching those principles and was sort of in that framework and wanted to create something outside of that. So what I did is I started a book study group. Book study group within eight weeks got us on NBC Nightly News. Now where I'm a national media sort of not sensation but certainly known in that regard as someone who's been on national media and that propelled me into producing hundreds of live events attracting USC News 21, LA Times Orange County Register, PBS television like lots of media thrusted me into becoming this sort of thought leader. But here was the thing the whole time my purpose was unfolding and expanding and being shown to me I was grieving my father's passing right at that same time literally like six months before he had passed so I was both watching my purpose unfold as well as processing the darkest night of my soul and really having a lot of sort of doubts and regrets for not spending time with him because prior to that I was the successful real estate broker making tons of money living in Orange County California thinking I had made it buying tons of property and vehicles and motorcycles and traveling. And the point is that when we think we've got it all together, God whatever you want to call it has this way of sort of checking us and humbling us and I had a really pretty big humbling experience yesterday that I won't get into but beautiful humility creates so much awesome opportunity.

Steve: That brings up a series of questions that I have for you. First of all, you know it sounds like you're the path you were on as a real estate broker whatever, had you kind of in that traditional now what time frame was this roughly?

Brad: That was before the crash right so it was like it was for almost seven years up until about 2006 and my dad died in in 2005 and then that next year I was just grieving so bad I couldn't really work and then and then by that point the economy and the whole mortgage and real estate market just vaporized right?

Steve: Yes, the salad days definitely, particularly, probably in Orange County were you know 2000 maybe 5, 6 even range and 7 and 8, well let's just say the paradigm shifted. (laughs).

Brad: Vaporized is a better term I feel.

Steve: Yes, vaporize. Equity vaporized, yes. So as that unfolded both the personal tragedy losing your father as well as you know whatever you're doing professionally, how did that kind of morph into the idea of you mentioned the Hoffman Institute? how did that you know morph into this idea of you know consulting or helping people as a way to you know kind of make your way in the world?

Brad: Yes, so just leading up to the Face you Dragon brand there was just a couple other things so the event started going off, I eventually became a founding member of the association of transformational leaders Southern California. Have been a member of that for almost nine years and that's got some of the biggest leaders on the planet that either speak for us or our members and subsequently founded the Association in Costa Rica as well. But all of that said I wanted to be around thought leaders. I wanted to you know be one. I really like how do I step up and create a business being that and I was kind of thrusted into becoming an event producer. It wasn't by design these meetings just kept growing and growing and growing it wasn't like I want to produce events and be a speaker. I'm frankly terrified of public speaking even though I've done it hundreds, three hundred times. I'm still somewhat terrified of it. I've just gotten better at it. So that's partially where the brand came from you know as I was looking at all of my past experience in being a motocross racer, almost professionally and being an extreme sports guy. Pushing the envelope in life and then growing up around hundreds of dragons in my life with my mom she just was a dragon lover. I crafted the message of face your dragon and all of that sort of past life experience and recognizing neuroscience quantum physics, the hero's journey all the pieces that I wanted to bring into the end of the message became face your dragon.

Steve: Amazing.

Brad: Yes.

Steve: Well one of the things that I find both intriguing and also not that uncommon is this idea that an extreme sports guy like yourself will be like speaking front of people forget about it but jump over buildings or you know whatever you're doing with the motorcycling. I'm sure that most of the people that you know the those of us listening would go wow, what they do on motorcycles. I couldn't possibly imagine but the public speaking was something you had to face your own dragon, it sounds like.

Brad: That's exactly right and again the saying, I say a lot on the facial dragon podcast is what you're resisting and what you're most resisting and most afraid of are the very things that'll set you free. It's your moneymaker, it's your purpose, it's your gift to humanity. So that's really what your dragon is. It's this fire-breathing gnarly animal that wants to kill you and you know with fire and claws and eat you. But when you befriend that and become friends with the shadow aspect of yourself there's great power in it. If you remember an avatar and How to Train Your Dragon, if you've seen either of those they became friends with their dragon, they became friends with this dark power in them and they were able to use it challenges some people only play
with the dark energy and wield it and become sort of you know dark magicians of dark energy. so there that is real I've seen it. But we don't need to get too metaphysical and like fear means lean in, it means yes, it doesn't mean shy away what you know in Gestalt therapy. The founder of Gestalt came up with the saying that fear is excitement with without the breath. So that's really it and if you're feeling fear, you're excited we just need to sort of retool it and use that as energy into our businesses and that's what I help people do is sort of flip their fear into strength or transform it into strength.

Steve: That just simple paradigm of changing you know something that we're delaying. You know I've talked about in the past the idea that you know normies will often procrastinate. They're like you know I'll get to that later, I'll get to that later but Awesomers have to embrace the fear. They have to what they don't want to do the most if they put that first in their day, the rest of the day has a potential to be great versus that procrastination feeling when it's just like I'll get to it tomorrow and then at the end of the day you're like the next day is okay and…

Brad: 100%.

Steve: It just weighs on you doesn’t it?

Brad: That's human. Yes, the human experience is interesting and I wanted that like I'd mentioned before a lot about neuroscience and human behavior a lot of what I wanted to study in the brand and integrated into the messaging and some of what I speak about is really that you know procrastination is often because it doesn't feel like it's our highest and most fun thing to do like I get that but what most of us do when we're not living in our purpose of more, one we're in alignment with what's most meaningful and fulfilling to us. We will do exactly what you said we'll procrastinate, will distract ourselves, will we have addictions or the other side of it is if we stay in what Gay Hendricks calls our zone of genius or I'm sorry our zone of excellence or zone of competence, will offset that dissatisfaction of not having meaningful fulfilling work by chasing the dragon. Which came from the opium dens once you know chasing that high forever. It's impossible to get back to that next time but in our world now chasing a dragon looks like seeking bliss and states of ecstasy over and over and over again. How do we, How do we find bliss outside of our misery and that mostly looks like alcohol it looks like a lot of whatever sex social media, too much television, too much travel, without ever taking the time to slow down and look inside, we stay outside we're external and back to your point about the motocross it's easier to manage our external world than it is our internal world, it's much easier to look outside than it is inside and it takes true courage to actually look inside and master our inner dragon. I was mastering them outside for many years with drugs or motorcycles or snow skiing or women or whatever it was like I had gotten to a place of whatever mastery is I don't in that false world. But true mastery is being able to understand your highest work on the world and getting aligned with it and having the courage to face all your dragons and keep stepping in. It's scary.

Steve: It can be scary but to me, that's the only path to true fulfillment and happiness. I think you're dead on, Awesomers. We're going to take a quick break and we'll be right back, when we come back we're going to kind of dive into the common problem that entrepreneurs face and if you haven't already get on over to faceyourdragon.com. Go ahead and subscribe to the podcast and let's make sure that we take good, have a good take away from this session. I will be right back after this.


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Steve: Okay, guys we're back again and you know today we're talking about you know kind of how to get inside your head and I really actually love the idea of face your dragon right? I think that's just such a very good characterization of you know that mythical but scary creature and obviously, we have to face those scary things if we're going to make progress personally or professionally. So maybe you could give us an example of a typical entrepreneur or Awesomer that might be out there that really needs the help. What's the process? How do they know they need the help or how do they, how do they come to you? I am curious, I think there's probably a lot of opposition to asking for help from time to time.

Brad: You bet, I just want to state that and sort of land the plane of the face your dragon. I've heard that from Joseph Campbell, the cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek. So if you are seeking something in your business whatever that is more clients, more speaking opportunities you know a better offer that converts higher understanding why you have fears that are stopping you from taking action. Most of my clients come to me when they've experienced a total meltdown around. I don't know what software to use. I'm not a techie. I don't know what offers to create. I'm horrible writing copy. I just freeze and I stop. I start, I stop, I start, I stop. I've been doing this for months. I've been doing this for years and I haven't broken through to either a profitable business or a business that's at the profit level that I really want to create and that's simply because of small tweaks and understanding sort of the internarrative of every inner story that's keeping you at that level and that's what we're going to look at. We would look at why are you staying there? How did you get there? What are you modeling and what can we do to really kind of shift from that state of your zone of competence and why are you stuck there really? It's typically, it's because of parental conditioning. It's I don't want to outperform or outshine somebody in my family. My wife wants me to not work so much. I mean whatever it is we all have these things that keep us stuck and we've got to look at them and have the courage to own them and integrate them. We don't want to destroy them. We don't want to slay the dragon. Although sometimes it's good to do that but that's a different metaphor. This metaphor is transforming all of that into your greatest gift, finding the gold and all the breakdowns and the blocks and the upper limits or the glass ceiling that you've created.

Steve: You know that process of you know figuring out whatever the self-imposed limitations are and then kind of getting in there is highly introspective, right? So it's already most people are uncomfortable, right? It's like as you said earlier, the external piece is much easier. You know if I can go get a new Facebook page or I can go you know get a new copyright I can solve these problems without really addressing maybe some of the core issues.

Brad: That’s right.

Steve: When you look at this type of you know common scenario and you said or at least suggested that you know often the stimuli to call you is been led by some sort of meltdown people have. Can you give a frame of reference to you know typical scenarios that you've seen in the past because I'm sure that all of us have faced similar things.

Brad: You bet. So just the five dragons really simply are that keep us stuck typically. You'll be found out as an impostor fraud, right? Like what is it in me that thinks I can go out and share my message and who am I to think that. I'm going to be found out that I don't have all the answers. I’ve never created and frankly a lot of coaches in the marketplace you know read their freaking bios. Look at their success stories because many of them actually are Impostors and frauds and you need to know that because so many will go on a webinar or listen to a podcast like this, take all the notes down and go pretend it's their own content and speak it out in the world and unfortunately that's creating a lot of junk in the marketplace. You know I've been in this for 15 years. A lot of experience both in media and in event production and marketing. So that's the first one, check in are you an imposter fraud or do you have that tape running that you are an imposter fraud. Second one that when you put yourself out there people won't want what you're offering. So what that is- is essentially if I do this I'm never going to get the clients anyway. So why build everything I wanted to build, why create my podcast, why build a website? I've made these offers on Facebook or I've purchased Facebook Ads, nothing's happened. So that second dragon is if I won't get clients or people won't want what I'm offering.. Do you want me to keep going through the other three?

Steve: Yes. Yes, I love it. So far we have this concept of you know the imposter syndrome we’ll call and second, we have fear rejection more or less.

Brad: Actually no. This one's more I won't get clients. I simply just won't.. It is a little bit of fear of rejection..

Steve: Whatever I'm offering is not attractive to the market.

Brad: Exactly. People won’t buy it.

Steve: Okay fair enough. I like these keep going. It's cool

Brad: So the third one is that you'll never have the courage to charge what you know your worth. So oh my gosh it's not working let me lower my prices and then you set yourself up in a really funky scenario where you find yourself potentially really busy, underpaid, stressed-out, and then you want to quit again and then the cycle starts over. There's something called a vicious cycle that I do a lot of work with my clients to help them understand and map the root cause of what's creating this breakdown and how it turn around and then starts all over again. So vicious cycles are really key to get to the root cause. (Steve: Yes, I like that) Yes and then the fourth is that your tribe won't get you or understand the difference you can make for them. So that was a big one for me was man I don't have a message like I didn't create one for a long time I was just BradAxelrad.com, I'm a consultant. And you know I finally about four years ago, took the time to come up with a really cool what I think is a really cool pat myself on the back. So taking the time, correct your message but ultimately it not landing people just don't resonate with it. You're afraid to share it because you're not getting positive feedback. Even once I finally put my stake in the ground and said I'm going to face your dragon, it’s like man do I want to be the sorcerer kind of energy is that really you know wizards and dragons is that who I want to be? But really been owning it. So there's some hesitation even in myself and I've had all these dragons, don't get me wrong. I personally think everybody does. One of them sticks out a little more than the other typically.

Steve: So that's number four and you know I definitely I think it's a great brand by the way. So the take a pat on the back for me. Because it frames up the question so easily and you know in the world of consultation there's just so many, as you said, there's so much noise. It's hard to break through the noise. I think it's a good start but I'm curious on what that fifth dragon is because the first four sound very familiar to me.

Brad: You're probably in them right now as you're doing this podcast.

Steve: You know I am, yes.

Brad: See that. So more power to you for stepping in and saying yes even though
it's freaking scary. Bring it right on. Okay, so the fifth is that if you do achieve the dream, you'll be criticized or your personal life will suffer. So that's a couple things there. So criticize looks like you're now out in the marketplace in a big way. You're hitting stride like I mean just you know things are working for you and people are starting the haters. I hate that term but people that we call haters are posting negative stuff about you. They're making things up. Skeletons are coming up. People are trying to you know shame you and make you feel bad in some way or criticize you or you know whatever it is. So that's the first half of it. The second half is that your personal life will suffer. So in that being criticized, you might take it personally. It might make you feel bad. It could create spillover into other relationships in your life but more importantly, people in your family may not like your newfound success. So why would I go out and create all this success if I'm just not going to be loved again. It's such a core thing for us. Connection and love, it's one of the six basic human needs from Tony Robbins. We need love in our lives and if we become successful some people are going to get pissed off frankly.

Steve: Yes. So again all of these dragons should be familiar to anybody who's had experienced or achieved anything meaningful or perhaps noteworthy. At one time in one industry, we were proud actually, the team and I were proud that we were basically the most hated company in that particular industry because we’re disrupting the entire operation. Later we were displaced by China and we weren't sad about that. China became more hated than we were at that point but you know that the reality is I'm hopeful that most people you know to me I scored these dragons on my own scorecard, right? And so you know the impostor syndrome we all have that. We're going to get it. In fact, I think I opened the first podcast for Awesomers saying hey I don't know if anybody's going to listen but either way I'm committing to six months of daily

Brad: Good for you man.

Steve: Even if it's me talking to myself. What's, who's going to care, right? And this is that for me one of the fundamental lessons of failure is nobody else actually cares. They actually care more when you succeed and that's your dragon 5 there.

Brad: Wow! Really, really good point. Yes, that's a very valid point and I'm
in the process of navigating some of that myself. You know wondering is it just my head that's got this thought that people are going to view me a certain way or is it real? I mean there's probably a mixture of both. I just had an interesting thing happened yesterday like I said I won't share but it was you know kind of frustrating and it's something that I have got to check in with. And you know see where it lands and see how much of that outward projection of reality. Is it really just projection or is it outward or is it actually out there? And I think it really is mostly are our own inner game and we're our own worst enemies.

Steve: Without a doubt and again in my experience it's success that ends up bringing more and more of that kind of negativity from the world of that I call normies. Now, just for your own edification, Normie, I don't judge normies. I'm not opposed to normies, they're just different than Awesomers, right? Normies, well if we come up with this world-class idea, we're super jazzed up about it. Normie will go that's real cool but here are the 88 reasons why that's not going to work.

Brad: That's right.

Steve:  I really want the best for you but I'm trying to protect you so by the way
here's number 89 I just came up with another reason why that idea is stupid. So you know normies will take this approach that is can be generally viewed as negative. And so over time I've give myself permission to kind of step back and go you know what, even though I have friends and family, who I love and cherishes that are normies if they tell me something, I'm just not going to take that on, all right? That's not a rock I'm
willing to carry up the hill. I've already got a pretty big load.

Brad: Amen to that brother. And it's tough not to sometimes.

Steve: It really is. Yes, honestly that's one of those, that's why
it's a dragon fundamentally, right?

Brad: 100%.

Steve: It’s not easy. So I really appreciate the concept of you know where people are coming from or framing up this problem. We're going to take another quick break and then talk about how people go about fixing the problem, right? How do we address a solution and I will be right back after this.


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Steve: I have to say that you know we're getting right into it, right? This is one of those episodes where we have to think about stuff. We don't just talk about the best you know copywriting or the best hack for Amazon. We actually have to do some things and be thoughtful in our own minds about what we're doing and Brad Axelrad is here to help us today. And you know his brand which I really do appreciate the faceyourdragon.com. He's able to help people you know in a variety of ways but as a consultant and he's got his own podcast. I encourage people to go check that out. As you look at the problem Brad that we've just framed up, how do people, what's the first step that they go about kind of taming the dragon, right? We're not here to slay the dragons. We just want to, I like the idea of train your dragon. That's a pretty good analogy from those movies. So what do we do first?

Brad: Yes. So, first of all, what is the dragon, right? So, first of all, we need to find it. That's the key. So what, so the first step is finding it. Second step is facing it. Third step is writing it or leveraging it or integrating it, using it, right? So finding the fear. Most of us don't really want to admit what it is. And as men in particular, we I think have much more resistance to and less skill and less biology and physiology that allows us to really get in touch with what it is. We think it's something else and we go to anger like that's our go to. We don't typically have the sensory acuity or the emotional intelligence to really go inside and name what that resistance is or what the fear is. So anyway finding it and then naming it. We want to name it. Is it frustration, is it sadness? It could be grief from something from a past business failure. It could be grief from a from a death in my scenario or childhood wounding. I mean you know this might be very deep for some of you but really this is the real work that's going to allow us to be free and create true freedom. Not sort of self-medicated freedom. And I want you to be truly free. So true freedom to me looks like owning our experience and naming it and really getting in touch with that. Finding what fear it is or what stuckness it is and sort of communicating with it. It's important to really slow down sometimes. That's why meditation is really powerful. But breathe is really powerful. You know getting in touch with you know our nerves. Am I nervous, am I scared, am I excited, am I worried? What is it and naming it. So that's the first step.

Steve: So I find that very interesting because I think you brought this up and it was well said that you know men, in particular, you know probably resist this idea of addressing fears, right? Because we're not supposed to have any fears. We must be fearless. Despite the fact that spiders can be…

Brad: Big spiders.

Steve: Yes, right. Why is it always snakes as the great Indiana Jones says. So there.. Listen, everybody's got feared. That's just that the reality of the world we live in. It how we deal with that fear and I find that Awesomers and Entrepreneurs, in particular, have a higher propensity to go towards depression than other people. And again, I'm a self-selecting audience, right? Because that's how I've lived for the last thirty years. But I do think if you look at you know quotes from you know Elon Musk and many others that this idea of depression which is the failure to address some kind of fear or underlying problem. Would you agree with that Brad?

Brad: Yes, really I didn't know that. So happy to know that. Sad to know it but also happy to know that that's the statistic and certainly I've battled that in my life as well and proper nutrition has helped significantly. So removing a lot of the toxins and healthy fats have helped a lot. Adrenal support is key you guys. A lot of that is coming from adrenal fatigue and burnout. So I'd recommend something I take called adrenal dmg and by no means am I a doctor. Don't take this as medical advice. Adrenal dmg by Dr. Nick Delgado, it changed my life and at least ten people I know they're like oh my god what is that stuff like they're you don't know how worn out your adrenals are until you know how good they feel. It's kind of like depression but yes depression is repressed. It just showed that my internet connection is unstable. Can hear me okay?

Steve: Yes, you're coming through. We had a little bit of a breakup but fundamentally you talked about you know the dmg, was it?

Brad: Yes, adrenal dmg by Nick Delgado.

Steve: And St. John’s wort.

Brad: And St. John's wort but more importantly you're right. It's finally having the courage to address what we are repressing, that is the depression. You're absolutely right and most of the time its childhood stuff and that's like I said the Hoffman Institute, HoffmanInstitute.org, my favorite work on the planet. It's a deep dive I mean there are major celebrities that go there. Major, you know NFL players. I mean major, major leaders of high-functioning CEOs go to this. It's just profound work and..

Steve: It's a really important thing to just step back you know from time to time and you know do the checklist, right? We have the you know we look at our business functions or like hey how're operations running, how's finance running but on our org chart or function chart we don't have how you know, rarely do we have how's the health. Certainly, I don't even know what an adrenal is just to be clear. I'm going to go look that up. I assume you could feed these guys some information. But I certainly haven't done any stock check on my adrenals to figure out if they're in good shape or not.

Brad: Well I'll share real simply kind of the symptoms like before I had moved to Boulder Colorado, where I crafted a lot of this message. I needed to move to a cabin in the mountains so I could write for like a year and I finally got to where I did get this thing out of my head because  I had no message. I had no idea what it was like it was so far from anything. I was like I'll never find one, it'll never happen and I did. I sat there with lots of shamans and in lots of time and contemplation and.. But basically, I woke up before that trip, before I moved there I woke up. I thought I was dying. I'm like what I can't.. In the mornings I'm like I'm so exhausted and what do most people do, they go straight to coffee. They don't even go to water first they go straight to coffee and then they're pounding coffee. What does coffee do it donkey punches your adrenals awake. But what it's also doing by donkey punching your adrenals away because it's slowly destroying them. So most people are in this state of perpetual adrenal fatigue and they're bolstering them up with a patch and a crutch. So that would be the first thing I look at is your adrenals as an Entrepreneur.

Steve: That's I think a very good advice. You know it doesn't matter what the addictions are if it's kind of what you need to get through the day. It's right you know sort of say water or basic food stuffs that. There's probably something else. Anything else is probably some level of addiction.

Brad: Well no doubt and there's a spectrum, right? I mean you could be a total health nut and that could become an addiction, right? Or an obsession. Anytime we get obsessed and I used to have this thought that pure obsession is a good thing especially as an entrepreneur you have to be obsessed. And I've been checking in with that in myself. Where is that healthy? Where is it unhealthy? You know how can I balance it more like I get the idea of being all in like we have to go all in or we'll never succeed and as an entrepreneur I firmly believe that. But there's a balance of healthy obsession and point being we can over health ourselves and you know we got to just be mindful that's all.

Steve: Yes. I think again just the idea that you know you're taking inventory on this topic, right? Our internal mind and you know our adrenals, our physical health whatever it is just adding that to the checklist is probably a worthy beginning.

Brad: That is exactly right.

Steve: That it's important to just start somewhere.

Brad: You've got to do something. I personally think that all sugar needs to be cut out of your diet. You know I eat a smoothie every day. Every morning I have this incredible smoothie with tons of greens and tons of fats and I could share the recipe later but like I am so charged up through the day because I kick my day off with massive power. I drink alkaline water all day that's got hydrogen tablets in there like I'm hydrated, I'm fired up, I'm here in a gorgeous house in Palm Springs. It's 120 degrees today and I'm going to go outside and get in the Sun and sweat some of my toxins out and like you know soak up the Sun like it's important we do these things. You know purge, move things through.

Steve: I really do agree that the idea of you know having time for ourselves. So I regularly talk about this idea that you know knowing your personal why is a very important thing and that's it's a journey. It takes a little time to get there at least it did for me. Other people like I know my why. I want to be rich and have really cool cars. It's like that's not really a why just to be clear. And and the why for me is almost always more centered in the idea of what ultimately you want to be chisel on the gravestone, right? And you want to have lived a life of freedom. You want to have a live of a life of good health and opportunity and abundance and blah blah blah.. So whatever each Awesomer individual why is it doesn't really matter. All these are prerequisites to kind of get their good health and good mental health is a part of that.

Brad: Yes and I've been slacking a little in the mental health department because I've been working on a lot of projects that I'm recognizing the need to do some more inner core work myself like..

Steve: There you go. Well, what did it say that cobblers the last guy to get his shoes..

Brad: Yes, that’s freaking right man.

Steve: Yes, time to ride one of your dragons.

Brad: Yes, let's talk about that and let's go ahead.

Steve: Please.

Brad: Do we have time?

Steve: Yes, we do. Please.

Brad: Yes, the second one.. First is find your dragon. The second is face it. So now back to the courage of what we've been talking about of getting real and oftentimes I have my clients take a 30 day detox as long as they'll commit to. Typically it's about 30 and what that looks like is celibacy, it looks like sobriety, it looks like getting off all coffee, any substance that you use as a crutch to stand in all of your emotion so that you can find it. Sometimes hard to find your stuff if you're self-medicating. Most people will meditate, they'll do yoga. They're managing their symptoms really well. But the only way to find it is to really oftentimes do this sober celibate thing because we release energy in so many ways or we self-medicate to calm energy down- alcohol, drugs, whatever it is, sex, masturbation. We're always doing something. So facing it in that sober celibacy can be really powerful that's going to help you just really feel everything and you're going to feel your discomfort and you'll soon realize that it's not so bad and what you've been afraid of the entire time isn't really that bad. You just haven't gone long enough to really normalize it. So we self-medicate, we self-anesthetize, we distract, right?

Steve: Yes, I think that's part of our basic wiring. This is the point of trying to figure out how you overcome some of that instinct perhaps.

Brad: Yes, well there's human animal and human spirit as Alison Armstrong speaks about. It's brilliant. So the lizard brain and us is very much focused on survival and then there's this beautiful all-knowing, all-loving aspect that we sometimes forget about and unfortunately when we're on it's like it you don't get the high highs or the low lows when you're self-medicating but I'd prefer to have the high highs because I just that's just who I am. I'd rather feel fully alive, fully expressed and deal with some of the dark times than never have the high highs. That's just me.

Steve: It is interesting. I do think that there is this general idea that though that there are a particular mindset that's like you know what I'm just going to be you know even-steven to be you know to coin the phrase and that you know you're less likely to have those high highs and maybe the lows won't be as low as they would otherwise be but to feel right it's the old story, right? If you've never loved and lost, you haven't you know lived, right? And so you have to have that high high and that low low to get it.

Brad: It's a brilliant analogy and I'd prefer to have loved than lost. 100%.

Steve: Yes, I definitely think that's the full experience of living at the end of the day.

Brad: Yes because so many stay stuck in the middle miserable. They hate their job, they don't like their spouse, they hate Mondays. I love Mondays. Come Sunday night, I'm like I'm starting to get bored if I'm not totally distracted on the weekend to sort of take my own medicine. Sometimes we need to go play I get it. But often times I'm like on Sunday night I'm like can Monday to start. I'm ready to get to work like purposeful work at this stage is the most fun over anything. I've tried everything else, the motocross, the snow skiing, the travel, the women, the drugs, the golf you name it I've done it all like that's not true happiness. That's just experiences.

Steve: Yes. Yes, I definitely you know I do think that as particularly as people you know gain a little perspective which is a nice way of saying get older, we realize that you know the experience that we have of living when we're going to have all these experiences but the fulfillment that comes from a particular experience, there's high parody towards you know work that is worth doing. And there and accomplishments that are noteworthy memorable and give you your own personal sense of satisfaction, forget the outside world.

Brad: You're a hundred percent right. This book that I study a lot is called stealing fire. It's brilliant and it talks a lot about these states of ecstasy and how we're part of our natural way of being is to seek these higher altered states. We've been doing it as long as we've been upright as and even animals do it. Even dolphins do it. I mean it's like we're all seeking that. I just want you to recognize really what I think we're both saying in that is that the fulfilling work that feels good, that leaves a legacy, that gets you fired up to jump out of bed on Monday that's the gold.

Steve: Yes and that ultimately is also sustainable, right? And that's the point of you know you're no longer chasing the dragon so to speak, right? You're just you're tamed. You know you're riding it, you're whatever but the reality is it's sustainable to have that level and by the way for those vocabulary nerds out there, I never knew the plural for ecstasy. So I'm going to say it's ecstasies, am I getting it right?

Brad: I don’t know if that's plural so much as a.. I don't know. It's yes, ecstasies. It's interesting. The book’s fascinating though it talks about all Silicon Valley folks who are you know micro dosing and like it's just interesting like that's the direction I've gone in years is through you know legal medicinal shaman led things and some on illegal substances here in the states but legal in other countries. Yes, really powerful work in that too. I just would recommend you explore all things. It's not about like you said in the beginning getting better copyright or a copy or Amazon whatever widget like that's all good and fine but there's this whole other spectrum that we as humans can explore if we have the courage to and that's part of the face your dragon brand is stepping out of your comfort zone or your myopic viewpoint of what business is. You might be missing a large part of opportunity if you're willing to go outside of the myopic sort of tunnel vision that you may be stuck in and you don't even know you're in it either that's the other thing, right? We can't see our own eyeball.

Steve: Yes, this is you know but the symptoms when you know you're in it will become more clear as you think about this, you listen to this conversation, right? When you're waking up and you dread the day or you don't even want to wake up when you are you know you have somebody who's on your hate list is the first thing of the agenda that's a problem that you need to solve and it's probably your problem and is that right? Yes for sure..

Brad: Can we talk about the third one? We have time?

Steve: Please. We’re down to it. Yes, please.

Brad: So find, face, and then ride your dragon. So like I'd mentioned in Avatar and How to Train Your Dragon it was they were scared of these dragons and how to train your dragon and the firing you know and they’re attacking the village and it was this gnarly thing and then they like befriended them and they're like wow these are our greatest gift. Our greatest freedom. We can soar around on these things. I guess this is so such a brilliant depiction of the mythological story of the dragon and I love Joseph Campbell's take on that work too. It's really brilliant. But there's you know something beneficial to harnessing our fear and transforming it. You know we've simply backed to the neuroscience conversations of our brains are this incredible pharmacy. This pharmacopoeia, this possibility of tapping into all that's happening- the dopamine, the serotonin and all of it. And we can use it to our advantage. We just need to learn to dance with a little more and start you know transforming it and converting it into
our power. So transforming fear into strength is the language I'm playing with on the new face your dragon website that'll be live in a couple days. You know it's really about recognizing that your greatest fear is your greatest strength. Your greatest resistance is the very thing that's going to create the biggest impact in the world for you. For example speaking for me it's gotten me on all this media, a founding member of multiple some of the biggest coolest organizations on the planet number one. Number two, when I moved to Costa Rica which I've now moved back. I lived down there for just over two years. Realized that's not for me for many reasons but I left. You know I took the leap. That's another thing. We want to face your dragon, take the leap, and break free. Those are the hashtags I use a lot. The point is this there's great power in, I lost my train of thought, but there is great power in changing our environment.

Steve: Yes, you know you're definitely on the track of saying hey once you've kind of named it and now you're writing it. You're trying to figure out how to you know make it a part of your life with and you use the word kind of normalized at times and (Brad: Yes) I'd kind of go with the flow or implied that was a part of the strategy. Is that how the people kind of resolve and live with their dragon at that point?

Brad: Well the interesting thing is you can crawl in bed with this thing and if you have the courage to really cuddle up to this sucker, I know that it's going to be scary at first but that's where it's at man. Just know that that's the end result. How do I get so intimate with this thing by faith finding it and facing it and that's really where it's at. You're not facing it right now. You're not being real with yourself in some aspect we all are not and that's what I want to challenge you if there's any takeaway at all from this conversation is have the freaking courage to face what it is you're afraid to face. For example one of my clients had been doing something in her childhood and she carried the shame around it for 26 years. She called the person of that she needed to clear this with and she is like the most free she's ever been. She's been carrying that forever. She found that dragon, she faced it and now she went and called herself out on it and she's riding it and that's like she's like oh my god this was my money block forever. You know this was why I've been so stuck and had challenges around money. It's really powerful.

Steve: That is amazing and you know I've definitely seen examples of these types of things in my personal and professional life, to be honest. You know where you see people who have been inhibited by an obstacle (Brad: Totally) and until they kind of deal with that obstacle in whatever way usually for me it always comes back to you know I recognize it you know here's whatever accountability that I have obviously stuff as kids we don't really have accountability but you know I want to take on whatever the part of the problem is and then release the you know the other person or party from I'm just carrying it, right? Half the time I think when people are carrying some of these things we're carrying it and the other person doesn't care or the other party has forgotten about it, they couldn't care less, right?

Brad: 100% man.

Steve: You find that to be.. okay yes.

Brad: Yes, it's so true. That was back to our conversation maybe ten minutes ago about is it really us or is it actually is it our own story and most of the time it is. Sometimes there's the external world. I just want to frame the whole victim thing. A lot of people in self development say oh there are no victims. You know you're responsible for everything and I'm like yes that's kind of true. It's not really though. There are people who are victimized and it feels disrespectful to say that there you know people don't have bad things happen to them and it happens all the time.

Steve: Yes and it does regrettably.

Brad: Yes and I think it's important to you know see where we're part of the cycle but it's also important to recognize you know everyone needs to own up to their part and that's part of the challenge I had yesterday as I felt that I was owning mine as best as I could. Everyone else is saying well thanks for owning yours, you're broken. We’re perfect over here. You know and I'm saying no it doesn't work that way. It just doesn't. So all I'm suggesting is we need to look at both sides vulnerably, courageously, openly have the courage to admit where you're part of the cycle and recognize that you know there are we're not fully responsible for everything. Other people are doing shit sometimes and hopefully, they've got the awareness, self-awareness owned up to it because that creates transformation.

Steve: Yes, I totally agree with this premise and without a doubt there are true and legitimate you know nightmare victim scenarios, right? That nobody should ever be faced with. In my mind and this is not speaking you know on behalf of you the expert but in my mind part of getting past that is getting past that, right? You have to be able to recognize the situation. You forgive yourself not for being responsible for it, for just carrying the baggage for so long. (Brad: Right. Well said) Without that release, without that recognition that you know what the other person or party or whatever it happened they don't care as much as I do about this and for me anyway I always think the longer I carry this they’re winning, that they get the win in the column because I'm carrying the baggage from whatever the situation was.

Brad: Yes, what's that saying I'm not forgiving is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die or something like that. It's such a brilliant thing and we do it so much. Oh gosh! We take we take stuff to our grave and if we just had a five-minute conversation, an open conversation with ourselves or with someone else but most people don't like conflict I've found and I'm not conflict-averse I think. I think transformation happens through conflict. Healthy conflict I think it's important.

Steve: It is and you framed it up well moments ago which is you know everybody should go in with that kind of openness to say hey I'm willing to you know if they take my lumps to be accountable or I need to and everybody at the part at the table should have that and therefore conflict doesn't have to be contentious. It just has to be you know here's the way I see it, here's the way you see it, either bargain to the middle or you agree to disagree whatever it is but conflicts can be diffused by simply addressing it. And so often I find people make assumptions, they decide who's innocent based not on fact but just emotion. Is that your experience:

Brad: 100%. A hundred percent man. It's a tricky thing. I think you know we're seeing a lot of things come to light right now. Thank God through all the turmoil that’s very unsettling in the world. It's a great time but it's an intense time for some. If you're feeling it you're not alone. There's a lot of what are called HSP is highly sensitive person or people who are experiencing some you know intensity and I don't think it's just because they watched the news and saw something bad although that's definitely triggering some of their fight-or-flight mechanism but it's in the field, there's a field of energy you know and in the quantum world there's a field and we're all interconnected to this thing and it's there, it's real.

Steve: Yes, no doubt it's real. Brad has been very informative. You know when Awesomers are out there listening and they hear us talking about some of these things, there's a chance that some of these points are going to resonate and some of it maybe even hits a little too close to home where we're going to get a little hate mail which I would definitely welcome. So please email me immediately. My point will be if it hits that close to home, you definitely should be paying closer attention to what we're talking about than anyone else. (Brad: 100%) You know maybe they have some level of resonance with this topic and they have this sense that maybe they've got a dragon they need to figure out how to get on board with. What should they do, how do they get in touch with you? Do they go to your website? Do you have a form, how does it work?

Brad: Yes, I think the best place to go is to take the one minute quiz to discover the
number one hidden fear stopping you from earning what you're worth. It's a great
one-minute quiz. It gives you great results and it's at couragequiz.com. So you just go straight to couragequiz.com.

Steve: Okay, couragequiz.com. We'll make sure we put that in the show notes too, everybody.

Brad: Cool and of course faceyourdragon.com that's where all the podcasts live. I mean I've had some of the biggest thought leaders on the planet on there and the likes of Don Miguel Ruiz of The Four Agreements which is one of the best-selling books of all time in that space. Gay Hendrix like I mentioned. JP Sears, a funny man like just so many amazing humans on there.

Steve: I love it. Well, this is for me it's always nice to be able to kind of you know tie this thing up in a bow and know that you know you don't have to be alone. You don't have to sit out there and kind of worry or wonder you know how to solve these things. There are experts in this field like Brad who can you know kind of lend a hand and help you out and I'm always a big proponent of bringing the pieces of the puzzle together. You know to kind of finish the job and I know that I can't do it myself. So I'm always looking kind of for help and for a leg up or you know some people think of it as a hack out you know a shortcut or whatever. But ultimately you need to find somebody who you can trust. Somebody who's got the experience and I definitely would you know encourage people to get on there at faceyourdragon.com and check out Brad a little bit more thoroughly. Any final words of wisdom Brad that you can share with everybody out there.

Steve: Yes, let's see. Final words of wisdom has any of this been wisdom?

Steve: Well I feel like a lot of it’s been wisdom particularly, although I would not like to endorse the month or more celibacy. No, I quite agree with your premise there actually.

Brad: Yes. So let me share a little, quick little context, I did a two year sober celibacy. So if that gives you any free work. I think anyone can do thirty days and I think the final words of wisdom is stop drinking coffee. Cut that out of your life in the morning. Go have a smoothie. Start your day off with something powerful that's full of nutrients that kicks your day off with power and then if you feel a little tired in the afternoon go ahead have a cup of coffee but I'll tell you once you start getting the nutrients in your body, you’re not going to want coffee. If you crave the habit of it, the ritual of it, the smell of it drink decaf. You know but get off of this adrenal, crush adrenal, crushing toxic. Even though people say it's healthy it is clobbering your adrenals. That's the first I don't want to say final but the first part of wisdom. Second, drink more freakin micronutrients and vegetable juice. If you get tired in the middle of the day have coffee but I prefer you go get a vegetable juice, get sixteen ounces of low sugar green juice, lots of spinach, celery, cucumber, beet, maybe with some apple like have that in the afternoon you will be shot out of a freaking cannon. You'll be thinking why was I self medicating myself all day with coffee but if I changed my life to these things, to these two things you will run circles around your friends because you will have five times the amount of power and yes I'll leave it at that. I think that's the biggest thing getting your health on track.

Steve: I definitely say you know that is really good advice and people you know if you don't understand that the inputs lead to the outputs then you're not paying attention honestly and it goes for anything. It doesn't matter if it's your physical body or your business or anything else. The inputs lead to the outputs. (Brad: Yes) I'm not measuring and be very careful with that.

Brad: You bet and the final thing, this might be a little confronting, is stop being so
lazy. (Steve: Yes) And what I mean by that is most people take the easy route and god coffee like its just fast until 2 when they have a burger like I mean I get it, I eat junk food sometimes. I hope you don't mind me swearing. (Steve: no not at all) But the point is there's another way and you're just not being courageous and you're stuck in your habits and you're being lazy. Stop it. Like there's such a better way to create what you really want in life and you've got to face it sometimes and hopefully, this is confronting enough to get you to make some changes or you're just going to think I'm an asshole and I'm calling you out which I'm fine with to.

Steve: Well, either way, I'm happy to be a party to it. I will definitely say you know that people who need to you know kind of address change and we all do on some level, the lack of action is always the you know the first obstacle. So you know my recommendation for any Awesomers out there listening is just figure out what the first action you need to take is and Brad's given us some very clear easy ways to just take action. On what you put in your body and for clarity sake and Brad and then we'll zip it up but the smoothies in the morning do not have sugar in them, right? There's just vegetable?

Brad: Yes, do you do you want me to share real quickly what's in it? I can..

Steve: Yes, please. Yes, let's do that because I don't want to miss that.

Brad: Yes, alkaline water, mixed berries, all organic mix. Just in Costco's got such a great deal on all this organic stuff now. So maybe half a cup of mixed berries. They've got this big bag of kale and spinach and chard all in a bag. All organic. I freeze that whole bag. So frozen berries, frozen kale, plant protein all bought at Costco. Hemp seeds Costco, chia seeds Costco, cinnamon Costco, what else, Avvocato, coconut oil. Okay, all these healthy fats and micronutrients create so much power for your brain and if you're like me and like a lot of Entrepreneurs you might use sometimes, I don't normally but use nutrition nootropics or other sorts of mind-altering substances. Many people will take micro-doses of LSD like you don't need that stuff. Although it's great, you can do it through nutrients and so the smoothie is such a great way to kick that thing off.

Steve: I definitely appreciate you sharing that. It's you know it sounds like I got a Costco
run to make. But yes, I definitely want to just you know support this concept of you know what goes in is ultimately the you know those inputs that will lead to whatever output that you want and we're talking about you know physical stamina, we're talking about mental acuity and all the things that go with just being a high-performance thinker and just you know I would say ultimately the goal is to you know just be able to be happy and fulfilled and satisfied through instead of chasing the next little oh it's been a few hours, I need that coffee or the soda or whatever it is. So..

Brad: Yes, I mean let's get real. Being an entrepreneur it takes a lot of energy so why not give yourself what you need. Fuel yourself up.

Steve: I love it. Awesomers we will be right back after this.


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Steve: And there you have it. It is a great episode and a great conversation with Brad and we're sure glad he joined us and you know he brings it’s a very important point about you know how to get your fear and your stress and you know even some of the chemical things we put into our body under control and some obviously very innovative ideas as well. You know what if we put ourselves you know on a fast from that kind of stuff. All of it. All that extraneous stuff. Really interesting stuff and I really appreciate the fact that he's taking the time out to share these ideas with us and I love the idea of facing our own dragons. That's a really cool concept. So once again this has been episode number 33 of the Awesomers.com podcast. As always to find show notes and details, you can go to Awesomers.com/33. That's Awesomers.com/33.