Have you ever wanted to leave your job and start your own business in order to create more time and financial freedom? Today, you’re going to meet my friend Jesse Harless and hear how he did exactly that.
Jesse is now an author, life and recovery coach, group facilitator, motivational speaker, trainer, and founder of Entrepreneurs in Recovery™—a platform that empowers people in addiction recovery to reach their full potential. He recently released his first Amazon best-selling book, Smash Your Comfort Zone with Cold Showers.
Today, Jesse joins the podcast to share how to get over your fears, how to (intelligently and strategically) walk away from work that doesn’t satisfy or fulfill you, and how to start a business that does.
- Why Jesse wanted to leave his job, and how he mentally and emotionally got over the fears that were holding him back – even though he didn’t yet have a way to make money.
- How Jesse’s first serious wake-up call at 22 naturally led him on a path of personal growth and brought him to where he is today.
- Why Jesse wrote his first book and how to find power in embracing discomfort and living in the unknown.
- How freedom from addiction and entrepreneurship are interconnected – and why Jesse had to overcome his own addictions before he could launch his first business.
- What exactly Jesse does at Entrepreneurs in Recovery – and how he helps recovering addicts look to the past, find passion for the future, and reduce their risk of relapse.
JESSE HARLESS SAID IT… CLICK TO TWEET
Entrepreneurship is being able to make decisions in bettering yourself and bettering your own capabilities.” – Jesse Harless
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- Entrepreneurs in Recovery
- Smash Your Comfort Zone with Cold Showers: How to Boost Your Energy, Defeat Your Anxiety, and Overcome Unwanted Habits
- The Miracle Morning for Addiction Recovery: Letting Go of Who You’ve Been for Who You Can Become
- The Miracle Morning for Salespeople: The Fastest Way to Take Your SELF and Your SALES to the Next Level
- The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
- Quantum Leap Mastermind
Hal: Goal achievers, hey, it’s Hal Elrod and I wish you were sitting next to me right now looking at what I am looking at and know that it’s not my guest today although he’s a good-looking dude as well. But what I’m looking at is this gorgeous view. My wife and I and my children are staying at a friend’s house and he has a house on Lake Austin. In fact, you know him. He’s David Osborn, good friend. He’s got this gorgeous house overlooking Lake Austin and our floors are being redone right now. We had a flood and it’s a long story, but David let us stay at his lake house and, yeah, I wish you could be here to look at this beauty that is nature. Well, that’s not what we’re going to be talking about today though. We’re not talking about nature. We’re not talking about lake houses. In fact, I am introducing you today to someone’s that’s become a really good friend of mine, Jesse Harless. Jesse and I met a few years back. In fact, he’s going to share our story of how we met and kind of how our paths have crossed and I want to give you an official introduction to Mr. Harless here.
Jesse is an author. He’s a life and recovery coach. He’s a group empowering facilitator and motivational speaker, trainer, and entrepreneur in recovery, and Jesse recently released his first Amazon best-selling book, which I own, I’ve read, I’ve implemented, and that book is called Smash Your Comfort Zone with Cold Showers. It’s a very specific topic and it’s powerful and I’ll tell you, Jesse is the founder of Entrepreneurs In Recovery, a platform that empowers people in addiction, recovery to reach their full potential, and he works with communities, he works with addiction treatment centers, and programs in the Northeast United States where he trains and facilitates his entrepreneurs in recovery facilitation workshops. And I’ll tell you, Jesse approached me at one of our live events and then our mastermind and he actually brought to me the idea of needing a book for recovering addicts in The Miracle Morning book series and essentially, I’ll have him tell you the story but Jesse told me how The Miracle Morning was instrumental in his recovery, as well as a friend of his, Pete, that was there. And the book as I said, The Miracle Morning, was a big part of them recovering and that there was a big need for it.
And I have another friend, Joe Polish, who Jesse works with. Joe has also a very passionate recovery and after all we all kind of met and discussed the topic. Joe Polish and Anna David and I we co-authored The Miracle Morning for Addiction Recovery and Jesse was a big part in launching that project and the work that he’s doing as a recovering addict now paying it forward and helping others to overcome their addiction just it inspires me, it moves me. And when you hear Jesse talk about his mission in life and what he’s up to right now and why he’s up to it, I think we all have been affected by addiction in some way and I think you’re going to be really inspired by what you are about to hear from my new friend, not a new friend, old friend now, Jesse Harless.
Hal: Jesse, welcome my friend.
Jesse: Hey, Hal. Excited to be here. Thanks for having me on.
Hal: Yeah, man. I mean, I mean everything that I am saying. You’re an amazing human being. I really value that you’re really coming from a place of service and you’ve been through the depths of addiction and the pain of addiction and almost could’ve lost your life and now you’re helping others overcome and get through that on their end. So, let’s start there with we have a really personal connection and a personal story. We met I believe correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe was the first ever, first and only at this point, Miracle Morning Mastery and co-creation summit a few years back. That was the first time that we met?
Jesse: That’s right.
Hal: So, tell our listeners like how did you end up there? How did that whole thing play out?
Jesse: Yeah. So, I’ll just start, 2015, I read this book called The Miracle Morning and the book, I ordered the book because I found an article on, I think it was Business Insider. It’s about waking up early and I’m not a morning person even to this day, but I was like maybe I can learn and this book, your subtitle of the book is what caught me, and I was like, “All right. I’ll give this thing a chance,” and of course it sat on my table for three months. I didn’t even read it. I ordered it on on Amazon. It just sat on my table and then I picked it up one day and I read 100 pages straight. It just caught me, and I started to implement it the next day because I’d already been doing habits that were similar to that that I learned to help myself with addiction recovery. A lot of the habits that you can do in The Miracle Morning directly correlates to helping someone thrive in addiction recovery. So, I just decided to really go all in the next day and ended up that year winning the highest award my company had to offer. I hired a life coach like my life started to accelerate. And so, during that time I decided that I would go to this manager of my job and I wanted to really level up my career. But at the same time, I saw this Miracle Morning mastery co-creation. I was like, “Well, I love the Miracle Morning book. Maybe I could become a master at it.” I don’t even know what that even meant.
So, I signed up and ironically, right at the time when I got the job is on the event so my new job, my dream job, I had “dream job”. I got accepted to This Miracle Morning Mastery event. I was like, “Well, that’s cool. I just got my dream job and I’m going to meet my mentor, Hal Elrod. This is great.” So, yeah, so I essentially went off to Chicago to The Miracle Morning Mastery event and just to let you know, there’s a lot of synchronicities. Of course, I went into the room super intimidated. I brought my best friend, Pete Marston, and I walked into the room and there was an empty chair next to me to the left and there was a bag on the chair but I sat down and this guy sits next to me and I say, “Hey, how you doing?” and he goes, “Hey. How you doing? My name’s Ryan.” and I’m like, “Ryan, nice to meet you.” And I find out this is Ryan Snow, the guy wrote the book that I was reading so that I can implement at my new job to become better at sales and…
Hal: Which book is that?
Jesse: Yeah. The Miracle Morning for Salespeople. So, I’m sitting next to the guy who wrote the book that I’m currently reading and so that was the start of these massive synchronicities and, yeah, so that event is where the seed got planted deep, and of course I signed up For Best Year Ever there and that’s where it really began and I met you. And I just want to the comment that I came up to the table, I met you, and you said to me that The Miracle Morning book was actually placed in like the substance abuse section on Amazon or something and I just remember you saying that and I felt this deep like calling like, “Oh man, there’s some big work to be done if that’s happening,” and it started there.
Hal: Yeah. Somehow I know a lot of authors will put their book in like an obscure category that hit the bestseller list, and in no way did that happen and I don’t judge it if an author does, that is fine but, yes, somehow randomly Miracle Morning became the number one bestselling book in addiction and recovery and I reached out to Tiffany, my sister assistant, you know Tiffany, and I say, I was like, “How – why is this in this category?” And then I read some of the reviews around, you know, the miracle, the original book from people that were addicts or recovering addicts and how it had changed their life and I was like, “Whoa, whoa, Tiff. Don’t take it out of that category,” and never in a million years would I have thought of – I personally don’t really haven’t had a lot of addiction in my family. I mean, we all have food addiction. We all have certain addictions, right? But how to deal with it really blatantly so it wasn’t really top of mind for me and then reading some individual saying how The Miracle Morning got them off of drugs or alcohol or that sort of thing, I went, “Oh, maybe this is meant to be. It was a mistake on somewhere on the backend setting up the book that really was meant to be if you will,” and serendipitous as you said.
So, you came to Best Year Ever, you joined our Quantum Leap Mastermind. Here’s the big goal. So, this is the Achieve Your Goals Podcast, Jesse, right? The two big goals that you have set and achieved, one of them you fully achieved and the other one you’re on a journey, on this mission. The first goal that you had was to leave your job, which is I think for a lot of people if you’re not in the work that fulfills you, if you’re not in work that pays you what you feel like you’re worth or even just the income that you’d like to have, the lifestyle that you want. Then I think that’s a big goal for people to leave a job and either go to a different job or start a new career or start a business, become an entrepreneur, but it’s a scary, scary, nearly terrifying prospect, really terrifying goal because there’s a lot of unknown and potentially a lot of risk. So, that was a goal that you set, and you did hit and then now that has led to your, the reason you set the goal, leave your job was for your mission. So, I don’t want to tell too much the story here but talk about that. When did you – why did you want to leave your job? Why did that become a goal? When did that goal become solidified and how did you actually pull that off? And when I say how you pulled off, I don’t mean just logistically like how did you pull it off mentally and emotionally to overcome maybe any fears that were holding you back?
Jesse: Yeah. So, I went to Best Year Ever. I went all in. I signed up for Quantum Leap Mastermind and then March was the first retreat and then that retreat in Austin was very emotional. Of course, you are battling cancer. It was just like a lot of emotions. It was my first ever mastermind like, I mean, I’m here at my first mastermind. I don’t know what to expect and I went there. I was really blown away and at that retreat, I had this idea. So, how it really happened is Scott Grows just handed me a gold card which and this is at the end of the retreat, he handed me a gold card and he said, “Go ahead and write your biggest goal on the gold card and then text it to me.” And I said, “Okay,” and then I wrote on the gold card I wrote, “Write one book,” and then I said, “No, no,” and then I put, “Write two books.” I’m like, “No, no, no, no,” and I’m like, “What’s a goal that’s going to scare me like what’s a goal that I’m absolutely terrified of?” and it was to leave my 9-to-5 job and be my own boss because I had just landed my dream job. Thirteen years with this company I landed my dream job and now I’m writing on this card, “Leave my 9-to-5 job. Be my own boss by August 30, 2017,” and we’re in March. So, I didn’t know how that was going to happen. I don’t know anything about entrepreneurship except from this, the QLM and just learning from you and from people in that community. So, I didn’t know how I was going to pull it off, but I just wrote it. I said, “You know what, let’s just let the universe take care of this. I’ll go ahead and just do what I need to do.”
And so, about a month later, this idea of entrepreneurs to recovery came to me literally out of meditation. It was like if I was going to so I was posing better questions like if I was going to leave the job, when I leave the job, what would I do and what would the name of the business be? And this name, Entrepreneurs in Recovery is like perfect. I’ll actually learn how to become an entrepreneur and then I’ll help other people in addiction recovery to learn how to learn entrepreneurial ideas. They don’t have to be an entrepreneur. They can just learn how to be self-determined and ready to change and just the principles behind entrepreneurship and that’s where it was born. And so, just to speed up so I wrote August 30, 2017, and I actually left my job August 25, 2017, and it was actually a few days before the next retreat in Cleveland and I remember getting on the microphone. I left my job in a Friday and on Monday I got on the microphone. I was like, “Hey, guys, I just left my job so if this doesn’t work out, I’m blaming all of you.”
Hal: I remember that.
Jesse: Yeah. So, it happened and as far as the mindset like I was already starting to play much bigger. I was setting goals and I was achieving goals and with my practice, I was doing The Miracle Morning every morning, never missing. I was really intentional about my life and when I wrote that goal, I was serious, and it all came together. I had no idea what I was actually going to do to make money, but by the time I was leaving the job, it came to me like, “Hey, I’ll be a life coach and help people and really help them to achieve their goals,” and, yeah, it happened.
Hal: So, yeah, that’s what actually my next question and you just touched on it, which is logistically/financially, how did you leave? So, was it that you started, you became a coach like when you left your job, did you have a handful of coaching clients that were bringing you X amount of dollars? Like I love to kind of get a little bit nitty-gritty here so that anybody listening is like, “Yeah. Like, how would I replace my income?” and I’m happy to share how I did that when I left my job and became an entrepreneur years ago as well, but I love to hear what did you – and the more detailed like share whatever you’re comfortable with but the more detailed like I was making this much at my job. I needed to make this much even if you talk percentages like I just love to give our listeners as much clarity as they can. I’m like how does somebody go from having a dream job that’s paying their bills to no job at all and started from scratch?
Jesse: Yeah. Exactly. So, I did maybe the foolish thing. I didn’t even have a coaching client. I had one coaching client who is coaching once a month so I really didn’t set myself up in a great way but what happened was I’ll tell you this that right before let’s say a couple months before, Pete actually said to me, we mentioned Pete earlier, so he said to me, “Hey, why don’t you sell your house? If you’re serious about this, you’ll sell your house and you’ll go all in.” And I said, “You know what, you’re right.” So, I went all in. I sold my house. I downgraded. I went from my house to a condo and I just went all in. I was ready to cash the 401(k), which by the way did happen but I was ready to go all in on this dream. I had a mission. And by the way, the mission of Entrepreneurs in Recovery is to elevate the lives of people in recovery that might be lost, stuck, lacked direction to gain clarity and live the life on purpose. So, with that mission in mind, I was like if I’m serious about this, I got to do whatever it takes and selling my house, which is a dream come true buying their first home. I said I’m going to sell the home and I did, and it sold in three days. It was like the universe was like, “Yeah, yeah, hurry up,” and then put down the market, first offer, three days sold and that was the type of stuff that was happening, so I knew it was meant to be.
And so, that gave me some leverage. Of course, that gave me some capital and then it gave me a little more confidence, of course, but I jumped in the deep end without having any type of structure. I don’t recommend that. Maybe you should probably set up a system before you leave like we did. I did not.
Hal: Well, let me speak on that for a second. First, I always want to say you probably told that and I must just forgot it but I had not realized or not remembered that you sold your house and downgraded to a condo and I love, Jesse, like we could end the episode right now and people are like, “Oh, so if I want to actually live the life of my dreams, I got to be all in like I got to get serious. I got to make some sacrifices. I got to take some risk.” I mean, that’s amazing and to sell your house and then to downgrade so you got that capital to float you for a while, while you figure it out. What I did I’ve been in direct sales for six years with Cutco Cutlery and from age 19 to 26 I think, and I decided I wanted to leave and so here just for anybody listening, this is another option of how you can make that transition. I’m a big fan of making the transition where you do have as much security as possible, like the whole burn the boats story or whatever. I just, “Burn the ships and no retreating,” like I don’t think that’s the best way to do things. I think that that creates a lot of unnecessary stress. If you put yourself in a situation that can make money and you have to out of fear of losing it all.
Now, can that work? Absolutely. But what I did is I had really a similar path. I actually did the same thing where I transitioned into coaching. I decided that at that time I sold a bunch of kitchen knives and I have a lot of qualifications beyond helping people sell. And so, I started coaching entrepreneurs and salespeople, my colleagues, and folks like that to make the transition and I had about five – I basically got I think it was 12 clients at 500 a month. I could be a little off on that but it’d be roughly $6,000 a month I had set up an income when I completely quit my sales job and I saved $20,000 kind of like you would the selling of the house, but I saved a little bit of money up until like the year leading up to that point. So, my exit plan was I had a few thousand dollars probably $3,000 to $5000 in income which wasn’t enough to pay all my bills but it created momentum in the right way and then I saved $20,000 so I had a little bit of a cushion to just pay bills for like four, five, six months to help with my transition. But I was all in as well and for you, like what you did was even just to me was more bold. It was like, “Yeah. I’m selling the house,” like I’m in on this mission. So, Jesse, sorry. Go ahead. What did you say?
Jesse: No, no, I said that’s right. Yeah. You had to be all in.
Hal: So, here’s what I want to ask you. So, I think that that’s a powerful lesson for folks and give some like a real actual example and I’m giving mine as well like here are some ways that you can make that transition to quit your job and start your dream job or your dream business. So, here’s what I want to ask you is what is the why? So, like tell people what your mission is. I know you already touched it on a bit, but just like what is so important you? And by the way, I love to hear this on both the selfless altruistic mission-based side, which is great but at the same time, human beings I think we’re all so selfish like we want to have good lives, we want to be happy. I don’t think it has to be one or the other. It’s like, how about I want to serve people and change the world and change those lives while I make a fortune and have financial freedom for me and my family and whatever. So, I love to hear both of those. What were your motivating factors? What have you been listening that’s like, “Yeah, I’ve thought about it but like I don’t have a deeply meaningful life to live it by to where I’m ready to be all in,” like maybe you can convince some people through just your passion and your why for other people that might go, “You know what, he’s right. I need to go over that line.” So, talk about that. What were your big drivers both on the selfish side on what was in it for you and then on the mission side on how you can serve others?
Jesse: Yeah. So, one of the big things is being in recovery from addiction is a form of freedom. And so, that freedom is a really key freedom and so that freedom allows me to choose things I didn’t have options for when I was in active addiction. So, being in recovery and having that form of freedom was huge. That’s number one. But the second form of freedom that I learned about really through hanging out with you and your friends is, is entrepreneurship is being able to make decisions in bettering yourself, bettering your own capabilities. And when I was at my job, I was like, “Man, I’m working really hard to build someone else’s dream,” which is okay I’m grateful for that but I know inside of me with that passion I have that I can take my strengths, my unique ability, and I could take that into something that at least pay my bills and that was the hope. As long as I can do something that would at least pay the bills and I was willing to better myself, I was willing to better myself that I can at least pull it off and of course my friends, my coach would say, “Oh, you can definitely do that.” So, I had the encouragement. I had that recovery team I call it that was behind me saying, “You can do it.”
And so, really to build those support structures around you that are saying you when you’re sharing your dream with someone that you have people saying that, “Yes, that’s possible. That can happen.” And so, I had that support as well. So, find those people that when you share your dreams, they don’t crush your dreams and so I surrounded myself with people that encourage me and to be able to not lose focus of what was my mission and my purpose. And you might ask, and I mentioned what the mission was of Entrepreneurs in Recovery like this is a big tall order. There is over let’s say 60 million people who are affected by this. Probably a lot more that are actually either in recovery or that are struggling with addiction. They said there’s 23 million people in recovery and there’s a lot more who are not in recovery from addiction and it was a tall order to say like, “This is what I’m going to do. I’m going to elevate the lives of this group of people to reach their full potential,” and that was a tall order, but I was so driven to make it happen that I didn’t need to have the how. I just needed to have the why. And so, having the why was my own personal purpose and also the mission for Entrepreneurs in Recovery.
So, it’s something larger than me. It was like an entity that was larger than me that I would just show up with passion, authenticity, do the things I’m doing, and the answers would be revealed but I had to step out and do that to really write down goals on paper every day and look at them and say, “This is what I want to do,” and I hope that was kind of clear. I don’t know.
Hal: It was. So, I mean, personally you wanted a life of freedom and globally I guess you say you wanted to make an impact for people who were struggling with addiction as you were. Touch on that. We would probably sometimes I got to order but I just realized that I’d love for you to share your story of addiction, what it was like at your lowest point, and how you came through that because that’s obviously really, I know that’s not part of the, well, it’s part of it but I know it’s not like specific to leaving the job, start in the mission, but it is the background of why this is so important to you. So, what was addiction? What part did it play in your life, Jesse, and how did you overcome that?
Jesse: Yeah. So, I mean, addiction has been there all along. I mean, right from the beginning you might laugh at this, but I was sucking my thumb even in the womb, but when I come out of the mouth I was still sucking my thumb all the way until I was about nine years old, probably longer than that. I just I think it was nine and people might say, “Well, how is that a problem?” but the thing is it was a way to cope with pain. Sucking my thumb was a way to cope with pain and so I did that every day, and even when I played sports, I’d hide it because I didn’t want to get made fun of. I didn’t want to get harassed by my brothers. So, I was already hiding something, something that was it wasn’t that was bad for me, but it was going to be a source of pain if I was caught in public. And so, it started with that and I was to cope with my father was someone who struggled with addiction and he left at five and never came back. So, there’s some abandonment pain there and I guess you could say trauma. And so, when he left, one of the coping mechanisms was sucking the thumb and it really became the tool. And so, as time went on, I’d find other ways to escape, to numb the pain, and the other ways were at 11 years old I pick up Internet pornography and online gaming. And this wasn’t just like casual. This was every day, hours on end and sometimes today that can almost be normal which is insane where kids are on their phones for 12 hours a day but at the time it was isolation.
I was isolating a lot so by the time I got to high school I was just like someone who is not only who is more introverted, but I was also now isolating. I was a highly sensitive person always and so one of the ways I coped was with addiction. And so, I could feel everything with people, and I didn’t honor that. I thought it was a weakness and turns out it’s one of my greatest strengths today, but by the time I get to college, you know, I actually went to college in a lot of ways, I barely graduated my senior year. I was late like 60 times. There was an intervention. And this is, by the way, I wasn’t doing drugs and alcohol. This is just like life was hard for me. It was just hard and so by the time just…
Hal: Now, you got into just to foreshadow, you ended up getting into drugs and alcohol later but you’re saying in high school you weren’t?
Jesse: Yeah. In high school I sampled but it wasn’t that. It was more of just like other addictions of people don’t think about behavioral addictions like I said gaming and Internet pornography but I was just not fulfilled like there was just something lacking there and when I got to college my first semester I hit every jackpot you can hit. I don’t know if you can hit any more jackpots. Literally, I got arrested by a state trooper. I was caught for plagiarism. I failed all my classes. I got in trouble in the dorm like my first semester was a disaster and they let me back and of course, I couldn’t get the grades up. So, within a year of that happening, flunking out of school. So, now, by the way, flunking out of school was a big deal because I was the first person in my family to attempt to go to college and now I felt like a failure so I had all these stories I was telling myself since I was a child that I wasn’t lovable that someone would leave me, if they love me and now I’m 20 years old or 19 years old and I flunked out of school so now I feel like a failure and at 20 my father actually passed away from alcoholism as a direct result. And so, you know, even though we didn’t have a relationship, that triggered that trauma that been stored there since five years old for me to just say, “Nothing matters,” and I went off the deep end and that’s where I started to jump into cocaine and heroin and OxyContin and that went on for three years until an abrupt day when I was 22.
Hal: So, that was aged 20 is when your father died and that’s when you turned to drugs.
Jesse: That’s when I turned to the hard drugs. I was already dabbling in alcohol and marijuana, but I turned to hard drugs at 20.
Hal: And tell me, I’m just curious, you said cocaine. What other drugs did you dive into?
Jesse: Yeah. All of them I could get my hands on but really, like cocaine, heroin, OxyContin, opioids, the stuff that was just readily available and so that was like three years of trying to manage those things and, by the way, I held the job for most of it like I was one of those what you call functioning addicts are but that all came to a head at 22. At 22 I escaped to Florida. I try to, you know, a lot of people with addiction, they try to escape it by moving or leaving and a geographical cure, but it doesn’t work because I went to Florida into like the pill capital of the country at the time, 2005, and I went down there and I had every intention of changing but when I get down there, it was only a matter time before I was off and running. Yeah, it was 10 months of hell. I don’t know how I lived through that, to be honest, but it all came to a crashing halt at the end of that year and I was arrested.
And when I got arrested, that changed my whole life. I got arrested with federal felonies. I was facing serious time and it was my addiction to prescription opioids, OxyContin, life got real and that’s when I needed to. That was the first – at 22 is the first time where I needed to turn it on. It was the first all-in experience was 22 was either I give up and I do the time and I just don’t go for this or I go all in and I see what’s possible. And that was the really the start of the habits that eventually, ironically enough, when I read The Miracle Morning years later, 10 years later, there were a direct alignment with a lot of the practices I was already doing in the morning. It was kind of like destiny in a lot of ways.
Hal: So, it was at age 22, after you’d been using hard for three years, that was when you started on kind of a personal growth path?
Jesse: Yeah. So, 22 is when I got into recovery. It’s been 13 years now in recovery and 22 is the age where I started to read books, state affirmations, get my first mentor, work hard, set goals like it started then, yeah.
Hal: What was your defining moment? What was the turning point that where the fork in the road where you went from going down this bad path that could have ended in jail or death to find your recovery?
Jesse: I think one of the biggest was being arraigned in a federal court and facing the time I was facing and seeing my family’s face when I walked into the courtroom chained at my ankles and my wrists. Looking at seven years of my life being spent in a federal prison was a very helpful motivator for me to say I’ve been asleep for the last four years in addiction and now it’s time to wake up and that was kind of the epiphany. It was like I need to wake up. I need to realize that I just been in a black shadow for four years and now I need to change this. So, it was really the fear of losing my freedom for a long time and I just turned on all these things. I went through a lot. That first year of recovery is often the hardest and I had panic attacks every day. It was a lot of battles, but I never gave up. I never give up in the affirmations working hard at work and I didn’t do a day in prison and I think that was a huge win to say like, “Man, if you do the next right thing every single day, there’s hope that something greater than myself is helping me to do the next right thing,” and I think that’s where I really learned it. So, that was the motivator that kept me going.
Hal: Awesome, man. It’s such an inspiring story and I know that during this journey and from this journey you did set a goal of writing your first book, The Cold Shower book, if you will, and talk about that for a minute. What’s this cold shower book? Of all the books you could write, obviously, it’s a very specific kind of niche topic and I love it. I mean, I think you do a great job. The book’s very short. People could read it like an hour and it’s not just about taking a cold shower but it’s kind of a metaphor for how to break through any aspects of your comfort zone. So, talk about the book and how it came to be and what it’s about.
Jesse: Yeah. So, I mean the premise of the book is – I would just going to call the book Smash Your Comfort Zone and someone is like, “Well, your book is about cold showers so maybe you should add cold shower,” so I’m like, “All right. It’s a long title but I’ll do it.” Smash Your Comfort Zone with Cold Showers. But why I wrote the book is because one of the reasons is if you want to achieve your goal, you have to get uncomfortable. You have to embrace discomfort. You have to live in the unknown. And so, I was learning this along the way but one of the things that was there, the real reason why the book actually got produce is I was actually at that same mastermind QLM in March where I said I was going to leave my job and someone there said to me, “Hey,” I shared my story. Basically, she said, “Who are you like what you do?” and I’m like, “Well, you know, I work at this company and I do sales and I also take cold showers every day.” And she was like, “How could you take cold showers every day?” And I told her it was straight cold too. I take straight cold showers and she’s like, “Why would you do that?” Well, one of the reasons is because I’ve battled with social anxiety my entire life even as a child and even in 10 years in recovery, I still was battling social anxiety.
And so, it’s a real thing, I mean, to the point where I wouldn’t leave the house to go food shopping. This was a real thing. It was physical, mental, emotional, so actually, a friend of mine said to me one day you should take cold showers for 30 days. I said no way. That’s crazy. Why would I do that? It’s December. You’re nuts. And I actually said, you know what, it was after my roommate at the time took the cold shower. I said I’m going to do it. I can’t be shown up in my own home and I jumped into a five-minute straight cold shower, turned the music on, and it was like I lost my breath. I didn’t have a method. I didn’t have my book yet. I didn’t know how to take a cold shower, straight cold, so it hit me in the face. It was like miserable. But when I came out, not only was I red but I certainly like had more energy. But two hours later I attended a meeting that I always had social anxiety. I could feel it coming up and I sat in that meeting and there was no social anxiety. And I said to myself and I’m like a guy who loves to do experiments. I love 30-day challenges, I love experiments. I was like, “What is going on like I don’t feel anything right now. Something is different.” So, I said, “Let me do the 30-day challenge with these cold showers.”
And I took them through Christmas, and I took them through New Year’s and the bottom line is like my anxiety that I had been familiar with my whole life was now pretty much eliminated like to a point where I was like this is insane. So, what I did was with the cold shower so really social anxiety was a catalyst for why I kept doing them and then what happened was I was able to quit caffeine too like I was like these cold showers can be so much energy, I know my excessive caffeine use is causing more anxiety like I got to stop lying to myself. And then eventually the cold showers within six months, I quit caffeine and then like I battled other types of behavioral addictions that have worked and I was like, “What is going on? This is like amazing.”
Hal: That’s amazing.
Hal: So, one of those is a lead domino, right? I was talking about the book, The ONE Thing, that knocks over so many others. So, let’s talk about the work you’re doing now. So, the work you’re doing with Entrepreneurs In Recovery and you’re doing these Entrepreneurs In Recovery workshops, you showed a video and I love if there’s a spot we could go watch this video on YouTube or what but you shared a video of the work you’re doing at our Quantum Leap Mastermind retreat a few weeks here, and by the way, if anybody’s listening and you’re like, “What’s this Quantum Leap Mastermind?” If anybody wants to apply, we are taking spots for the next retreat and when I say we, it’s me and Jon Berghoff co-hosts the Quantum Leap Mastermind retreat. Obviously, I could have Jesse talk about how great it is and all that but just take our word for it. Go to QLMMastermind.com so there’s two Ms in there. QLMMastermind.com and you can get all the details there. Anyway, so quick little plug I figured it was relevant for what we’re talking about.
But, yeah, the video that you showed at the last QLM retreat, is there a spot where people can go watch that video? And in that video, that was just a video showing the work you’re up to, but I’d love for you to talk about what you’re doing now with Entrepreneurs in Recovery.
Jesse: Yeah. So, just right off the bat, if people want to go to RecoveryFacilitation.com that’s where they can actually watch this video of the work I’ve been doing for the last year-and-a-half. And so, the work I’ve been doing is I call it Entrepreneurs in Recovery workshops and facilitation. So, essentially, what I do is I go into treatment centers, sober living facilities, I go into residential treatment centers and I actually run a group and I call them Entrepreneurs in Recovery Workshops and I run a one-hour group where I take people, men and women, through a process of tapping into their highpoint stories or their low point stories, believe it or not, moments of resilience, and we then go from there to tap into their strengths and we do things like tapping into a future image, into the future, and then what we do is we set action plans and goals all within one hour because, obviously, insurance has a say in how long you can run groups at these places. So, we do this all in an hour. I’ve been doing this over the last year-and-a-half, and I started to see results. I started to see people get jobs. I started to see people stay in recovery. I started – I was like this is really interesting so now, today, I train others in how to do this method.
I also still actually go into treatment centers. Actually, last night I was at one sober living home with 11 men and I went in and I taught this group about meaningful work. So, we ran a group for one hour and I called it meaningful work and that’s the workshop and I literally help these men find out what did they love about work they’ve done in the past and how can they use that to inform their future to do more meaningful work? Because a big thing with addiction is if you don’t have a job, if you’re not doing something towards a career or something, that boredom, that not staying active can be a huge trigger for a relapse. So, teaching people how to get jobs and how to be more entrepreneurial, which is what I teach in that group inspires hope like no other. So, that’s the type of work I’ve been doing, and you can learn more like I said, RecoveryFacilitation.com and it’s really just launching as we speak to get out into the world and I’m just super excited about that.
Hal: Well, I’m excited for the work you’re doing and for anybody listening that doesn’t know the behind the scenes, my friend and business partner, our friend Jon Berghoff, he is one of the best facilitators in the world and now one of the best at training other facilitators and, Jesse, you just finished your fourth week-long training with Jon. So, I mean, you are once again speaking of all-in as you went to start this journey of being an entrepreneur and starting a business that can leverage your experience in life and your knowledge and your skills and your expertise to serve others and give you that life of freedom. You are living the Miracle Equation, if you will, where you have unwavering faith that you could do it, so you quit your job and you’re putting forth extraordinary effort by becoming highly skilled. In fact, as I’m saying that I’m like, “Man, we should talk more about the – frame your story to The Miracle Equation today.
Hal: But, yeah, man, so it’s really I honor you for the work that you’re doing and for anybody listening, I hope that Jesse’s story will inspire you or has inspired you to step out of your comfort zone whether that starts with a cold shower but ultimately, I hope it leads to you living your dreams and if that involves quitting your job, let Jesse have led by example of what is possible when you do step out on faith, when you’re willing to go all in, when you do whatever it takes to make the transition, and you leave behind what you might currently be tolerating for the better version of your life that you want and that you really do deserve. So, Jesse, thank you for always just contributing to other people and leading by example, my friend.
Jesse: Thanks, Hal. Thanks for everything. Appreciate that.
Hal: Absolutely, man. Really, I got a lot from our conversation today, and anybody listening, go check out that video. How long is it, Jesse?
Jesse: It’s around five minutes.
Hal: Yeah. Check out this video. You’ll be blown away. Everybody in our retreat at the mastermind retreat was really just blown away by this as well and it’s RecoveryFacilitation.com. Go check out that video and, yeah, Jesse, appreciate you. Goal achievers, love you, appreciate you, and until next time, go out there and create some tangible, measurable miracles, and I will talk to you very, very soon.
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