In this episode, I am joined by my great friend – Jerome Myers. I'm excited for him particularly to come on and share his story of just understanding the baseline of what I just laid out and applying that to your life.
See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/e268-how-to-trust-the-universe-and-your-gut-with-jerome-myers-trauma-healing-podcast/#show-notes
In this episode, I am joined by my great friend – Jerome Myers. I'm excited for him particularly to come on and share his story of just understanding the baseline of what I just laid out and applying that to your life.
Now I know that probably doesn't make sense to you right now, and that's why you're going to wanna listen to this episode. Jerome's story is incredible. These different aspects and areas of his life which he's been challenged once he's been faced with hard choices in which he's had to put himself back together again after being a head-on accident with a dump truck, breaking both of his legs being bedridden for months.
It's an incredible story, an incredible journey.
This is an episode that I'm going to say is one you're going to need to listen to more than once, especially if you were on the journey like many of us to becoming the hero of your own story.
Learn more about Jerome Myers at: https://www.jeromemyers.co/
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Michael: Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you're doing well wherever you are in the world today. I'm very excited to be back with you with another episode with my friend and guest Jerome Myers who's a developer of people and places and he is the founder and chief inspiration officer of Dream Catcher. Jerome, my man how are you? What is happening in your world today?
Jerome: Michael, I'm amazing man what's happened and I get to spend time with an amazing person. I was gonna say amazing people but an amazing person and I'm super grateful for the opportunity to share with you in your audience today, man thanks for having me.
Michael: Well, I appreciate that and I assure you my friend the honor is all mine. So, for those who do not know you tells a little bit about your story, your journey and how you got to where you are today?
Jerome: Yeah, man. I'm a corporate America dropout so I had the good fortune of building a twenty-million-dollar division for fortune five fifty in my last corporate role. I was employee number two on January thirteenth and by the end of September we had about a hundred and seventy-five folks on my team and then on December twenty fourth, fifty-four, fifty-five I get a phone call and I go to something like this, hey, Jerome, I know you and I've been going back and forth for a while but I made a decision. Okay so what you got man? We're gonna lay about half of them off. What do you mean? No, we're gonna lay half the folks off why you asking me what mean, and I've been talking about this for a few weeks. Yeah, it's not the right answer we need to figure out something else we just made six million dollars in profit like we've gotta figure something out for these folks they sacrificing in a bunch of different ways. Yeah, Jerome, I didn't call it debate with you, I'm calling to inform you of a decision that has been made. Now you can participate or not that's up to you but that's what's gonna happen. I hear what you're saying but we're not making right Jerome it's four fifty nine Christmas eve I'm gonna go spend the rest the year with my family I'll talk to you next year and then the three booths that every Iphone user dread when they're in the middle of important conversation happen. And I realized that the call didn't dropped I was hung up and it was there that I realized that I was gonna have to do something that I did not wanna do and I also realized that this was gonna be a transformational moment for me.
And so, I didn't sleep, I didn't eat and I did all I could to figure out how to make that experience as objective as possible. I hear the stories about people who get laid off and it's like oh, the guy just didn't like me or just is that the there, so all the performance metrics I could come up with to come up with the way to make sure that we have the right people to hang out with us in the gear going forward, were pulled out really tough discussions were had and what I found in the end was we did have some people who should've have been laid off anyway because they weren't key contributors we weren't looking hard enough but we really did end up losing some really amazing folks in that transition. And so, what I promised myself was I would never do that again, right? I would never be the guy that was the x man and the part that really rubbed me the wrong way was the guy that gave me that phone call, I talked to him every other week and a song once a quarter. I was the person that was operating that business but I wasn't actually control but didn't stop with me somebody else had control over my business unit and that rubbed me the wrong way. We put humpy dumpy back together again and we made another run the next year and again we hit another twenty million, another thirty percent profit margin but this time there's a couple of days before thanksgiving when I stand up in front of my team and I say hey, don't spend all of your money on black Friday, I’m not sure what's gonna happen between now and the end of the year and I just wanted to make sure you have some runway in case something does. And it was in that moment that I felt like I lost all of my credibility as a leader, it was in that moment that I realized, wait I have a choice, right? I may not be in control of this situation but I have a choice and whether or not I participate in executing what somebody else wants me to do. And when I realized I had a choice, I decided that I was a dropout. So, I left corporate jumped in the real estate I'll save you the details of that because that's not what this show is about but I spend a lot of time talking real estate and teaching real estate and then what I realized being in real estate was that I was a lone wolf, I really missed the opportunity to help develop people, I really missed opportunity to help people see what was possible in their life. So, I made a hard pivot and started doing some coaching for entrepreneurs and people who wanted to leave corporate America, some leadership development for some of the largest companies in the country.
Michael: It's powerful man. You know, a couple things come to mind immediately as one as someone who worked for fortune ten company at a very young age like, corporations do not care about you. Like, that's the hard truth, I mean there's few in far in between but when you get that top five fifty, that top one hundred, that top ten so all about profit is not about people and that's probably one of the more devastating realities about the human experience if you choose to work in a corporate environment in America especially. What I wanna do however so I wanna rewind a little bit, I wanna know about your journey to get to that place because you know, I think from a contextual standpoint, I mean people will hear someone as a story that like oh, man this amazing leadership place, you're running this team, you got thirty percent profit margins, you're making twenty million dollars, like, great. But what was the journey to get there, Jerome? What was that like for you because I think that unfortunately one of the things and my thoughts about leadership is often, we see the leader when they're at the top and we don't really see the climb and what that looks like to actually get to that place. So tell me a little bit about like what it was like for you not necessarily growing up but just learning, developing, understanding, making mistakes, facing failures then ultimately what I think you laid a beautiful track on is making choices. Talk to us about your journey?
Jerome: Yeah. If I back all the way up to you know growing up, you know I'm a son of a soldier and a stay-at-home mom and you know while we didn't have everything we have a lot man, I don't have the struggle and strife story in the trauma that a lot of people will have because my upbringing was very, very I'll call it sheltered. Like my complaint is my dad jumped out of airplanes for extra two hundred bucks a month. So he could help me get the clean or we could go out to dinner, right? Like that's why complaint my dad would stay at work later, go super early so that he could go make that extra money so we could do the thing. And the backside of that for me is an adult was seeing the arthritis that came from putting that type of stress on his body and seeing my hero somebody who I thought was superman, the guy who could jump out of the airplane, go to someone who was very uncomfortable moving from a sitting position to a standing position deciding not to sit down because it was gonna be so painful to get back up whenever he decided that he wanted to move from that place. I played sports, you know, I place sports through actually play football through college, had of two full scholarships when I went to university and it wasn't because I knew what I was doing it was because my mom was there to pay attention to me and make sure that I submitted the applications and that I was doing the studies that I was supposed to be doing. Got the engineering degree man and you know, I had a choice was it, go do your PhD or do you start working? And what I realized is and I wanted to make money, I wanted to start earning and so I jumped into corporate and started on that progression that ended with kind of the end of the story that we gave the listeners in the beginning. But for me like I learned so many lessons from sports that's where outside and the role model that I had in my father that's why I learn about leadership and being somebody of character and integrity and knowing what happens when you don't fulfill your commitments. And you know it's funny, I say all of that and now when I think about sports, I go to this place where I'm in the eighth grade and I promised a teammate of mine that we were gonna go to a football game that Friday night; high school football game, we're getting ready to go to high school so it was a big deal to go to the high school football game on a Friday night. I didn't call that guy and he got into some alcohol that evening and he found the gun and they played that night and he lost.
So, I get the phone call the next day that says hey, he's gone and like what you mean he's gone? He's dead like he's not here anymore and I have to live with the fact that I didn't make that phone call to let him know that we were leaving so that we could pick him up to take them the game with us and maybe, just maybe he's still be walking this earth had I done my part and kept my word to a person who I appreciate it because we went to school together from elementary school all the way through that point of life. So, you know, I carry that burden man, your word means everything, it really does and right-wrong people die and least in my world if you don't keep your word.
Michael: Yeah, it's powerful man. And you know, I actually resonate with that a ton. You know, as the Unbroken Nation audience knows you know my three childhood best friends were murdered and no bullshit the only reason I'm here right now is because I said, I did not follow through on those promises to like show up or do the thing. And that's like this really odd stream strange juxtaposition of the world and the choices and decisions that we make. But as I've gotten older you know, I think about the idea, what if I would said yes? What if I would have been in that situation with them? Maybe, I wouldn't be here. You know, those burdens like I try to think about them like bricks in a backpack and if I can let them go, not that they don't carry weight but if I can just sit them down just like keep moving through life, there's just tremendous weight that is relief from us.
When you're in this journey and I think you pointed to something that for me holds so incredibly true, that's so profound that I do not think people really understand is the power of keeping your word. You know, I had a moment in my life where I had to recognize that I could not negotiate with myself any longer because I was not keeping my word, I was not being a man of character. And for me that was both inspiring and like earth shattering at the same time because was like oh shit, I don't know how to do this. One of the things that I've seen in my life now being a coach and being someone who speaks on stages and leadership and having teams and things like this is you know there's always that person that we see where it's like man, if you just listen to this one thing that I'm telling you everything about, everything for you could be different. And so, what I'm curious about in this moment, Jerome, as you’re with people, as you're teaching people about leadership, as you're coaching people and talking to these businesses what is it that you think is kind of for lack of better term the chasm? What is that gap that people must cross in order to step into what's next into their life?
Jerome: Being honest with themselves. So, many people romanticized their current situation, they believe that their future is happening right now even though they haven't done the things they need to do in order to have what they want. So many people believe that they're great just because they show up but that's not true like you're not your best self right now. And if you don't have something that you want it's because you haven't become the person, that does the things to have that. And people get really upset when that starts to sink in because they know it's true and if you've got this thing in your world that you desire and you won't tell anybody about it; it's because you're scared that they're gonna say to you, well how you gonna do that? You don't do the stuff that's necessary in order for you to have that. But the moment that you get bold and you're willing to say hey, this is what I do, this is who I am and this is what I want. And then your actions line up with that so that you're action in coherent, that's when life starts to change.
Michael: I wrote this a note down it said; ‘imagine who you could be and aim towards that’ and I think let me rephrase that, I know one of the most difficult aspects of what you just laid out is people have no idea what they want, they no idea who they want to be, how they want to be, how they wanna show up in the world. And so my question to you would be alright great, you laid out this framework, I can kind of conceptualize this idea of what that means but like how do you actually figure out what you want?
Jerome: So, this is funny. Here we go, Michael and I think you'll follow me on this. But what if you did know what would it be? You say that you don't know but what if you did know what would the answer be? If you suspended disbelief you accepted that anything is possible for you what would it be? See, people get to the space of they don't know what they want because they're convinced that they need to be practical, they need to do things that are reasonable and that drives them to this place of mediocrity and that mediocrity puts them in the box because they don't wanna be there, they wanna be over here but they don't believe that they can go over there, so they shut their mind down to the possibility of, but if you did know and there were no limitations what would it be? And that's when the answer starts to come, you don't have to figure out how right now, just if you did know and there was no disbelief in you what would it be? Take the clamps off, take your foot off the break and just let it flow. A lot of times people turn on the radio, they turn on the tv because they need to drown out the voices in their head, they don't wanna hear that, the quiet is deafening for them until you actually get that stuff under control and you're actually using that as source, as guidance, it's all inside you. So, saying that you don't know it's only putting you in a place of not knowing, what if you did know?
Michael: What kind of role has that played in your life?
Jerome: The moment that I realized the dream should be real was the moment that I decided that I could do anything, right? David Goggins talks about doing the math, right? So, everything breaks down into a math problem at some point. We use start doing the math where there's, I gotta figure out how to pay for this or how long it's gonna take for me to do it or pick whatever else, you're actually going to figure out how to get it done. But most of the time we don't go that far we just say oh, it's over there is a thing. And so, I immediately go from this is what I want, general direction, you talked about aiming towards it, I call it north star. Here's a north star, I'm gonna get there and all I really have to do today take the next step and as long as I keep taking steps, I'll make progress towards it and if I make enough steps eventually, I'll get there, I don't have to get there today, I don't have to get there tomorrow, I might not even get there next year but if I keep going then it's going to happen that's how everything happened. I was never the most talented athlete on the field but I always ended up being a standout out and it was because I was willing to do whatever it took for however long it took until we got the outcome.
Michael: There's sacrificing in that, right? You know, I think that one of the most important things that's been true of my journey is a willingness to just try shit that seems so insane to people, like, leaving in a corporate job. I left a fortune ten company, making six figures, to start a company from zero. I left the company that I had built over a decade to one of the biggest companies in the state to move, to go on a healing journey. I left the comfort of a healing journey to hop on a plane with a one-way ticket to live in twelve different countries and explore what it's like on the other side of that. You know, what I think about literally every single day of my life is people will often tell me as or you may experience this as well as like this fearless person but I'm not. Dude, I'm scared every day, I'm scared, I'm gonna run out of money, out a time, out of energy, out of podcast guests, out of books to write, out of time at the gym, out you know I moved through fear every single day, and I think that's the only reason that I'm able to be here. And so you know, people will hear these ideas and these concepts and all even challenge clients sometimes about tell me your dreams? Tell me what you want? And they'll be like hey, yeah, but I don't think I can have it. Well, if you tell yourself, you can't have it, I promise you; you're not gonna fucking get it. Like I never once in my life ever said I can't have something in the magically appeared, you know what I mean? Like you've gotta be willing to believe in yourself because if you don't believe in yourself then who will? And so, what I wanna talk about here is we kind of pivot a little bit as talk to me about fear?
Jerome: Yeah. It gets in the car and it goes anyway but it's never in the driver's seat, right? Fear is the only way that you can be excited if there's some fear, it's just a matter of how you channel it. Think about it like the sunlight, right? You got a micro, a magnifying glass and you got sunlight if you aim in a right thing, you can set something on fire. Fear the same way it's all, omni present, it's always there. There's always something to be scared of but do you let it become a prison for you or do you use it as motivation to make sure that you mitigated the risk and then you're doing everything you can in order to make sure that you get to the outcome? If you played sports, you know that if you play scared if you play in fear, you get hurt, every single time but if you play full out you can do some things and have impacts that most people would be like you should've have been hurt, you don't, right? Fear is only there from my perspective to keep you from going back, right? It should push you forward, it should not hold you in place, with so many of us allow fear to be a prison, we allow fear to keep us right where we are because we're scared of what's on the other side of that door; the other side of that door could be your freedom, other side of that door could be your partner for life, other side of that door could be financial independence but because you're scared to see what's on the other side of that door you stay right there in a prison that you created for yourself because while the danger made is this it doesn't mean that it's gonna happen to you. And if you're aware of it before you get in a situation where it could happen to you, likely you can mitigate that risk by putting something in play to reduce the risk and then you can do what you wanna do, kinda care free.
Michael: I've fully subscribed to that like the mitigation of risk to me is everything as someone who comes from chaos, who is willing to step into chaos quite frequently to be honest with you in that I wanna live my life in a certain way, I'm always assessing risk first. But what I do with it that I think that most people do not when they assess risk, I look at I go, cool that's all the stuff I need to make sure I avoid, here's all the other things that I'm gonna move towards, right? And it's about being solution oriented, it's about looking for, one of my friends wrote a really incredible book called The Third Door and it's about looking for the other opportunities, it's about looking for solutions, it's about putting yourself you know in this position to ultimately say yes, I have assessed the fear of the reality of quitting the job. But at some point, like the pain of the continuation of being in the job, in the relationship, in the friendship, in whatever it's going to outweigh the benefit of like getting away from it and I think that's one of the best things that you can do. And my friend Alex Banayan, who wrote The Third Door and I were talking a few years ago and I was looks like talk to me about your mindset, about this idea of like attacking life and looking for opportunity and that conversation kinda changed things for me forever because it was like wow, the reality is I'm only ever looking for the negative, he's only ever looking for the positive and I was like wait a second, you gotta swing that pendulum. So, as you're in this, in your life and you're looking towards what's next. How do you kinda lay the track for moving towards who you want to be like what does that journey look like for you?
Jerome: Yeah. I believe that at the end of this thing there's you get introduced to the person that you could have become, right? And it's my ambition to be better than the person that I get introduced to. I wanna have more achievements and accomplishments than what the model for my life was and so, as I think about where I am and how I am, I questioned whether or not that's optimal like, am I really getting all that I can out of this guy in this time? So, I was in a head on accident with a dump truck, right? Trapped the car for a little over an hour, jaws of life to get me out, for both of my femur knee cap, med to a hospital, ICU for multiple days then in the hospital for days after that, been in a wheelchair then have to learn how to walk, all these things. I looked deaf in the face in fact somebody that was at the accident scene told me that I was dead when I asked to use their phone to call somebody to come help me and that changed my life because I realized that in the snap of a finger it could all be over and so I do everything I can to live every day as if this will be the last one, I had a buddy of mine die when he was thirty, didn't have a medical condition died and the question was well if this person died one of the best people I know pound on pound on the face of the planet, how can I possibly still be here? Why do I still have breath? And so every everyday asked myself, did I earn the breath that I was able to breathe today? And as long as I keep that as my yards stick on whether or not I'm performing or not I ain't up in a pretty cool spot and up in a pretty cool spot.
Michael: I got the chills hearing you say that because I think about that all that dude is crazy it's like you're in my brain for a moment because I'm like you know people think that this and yes life is a gift and yes many of us did not sign up for half the shit that we go through but there still like this beauty and all this chaos like if you're willing to acknowledge like I'm gonna work to be the person that I want to be? Oh, my god, it's incredible what can happen. I mean you look at your life and you know by any means you are more than allotted after this accident to just blame the world, to never get up, to never go through the effort of learning, to walk again, to lay in bed, to collect your social security, to turn into an alcohol all of the darkness that's on the other side of an experience like that and you chose differently. I think if anything that's what I want people to take away from this is just understanding choice, understanding decision like you have the ability it's right here everything that you want, you can have but you gotta be willing to grab it, you have to be willing to take it, you've gotta earn those breaths because like you know I think about it same like, I don't wanna be on my deathbed watching a movie about some other dude like that terrified me. The scariest thing in my life is that and so it's like be willing to face the fear, be willing to step into the unknown, be willing to show up for yourself and say this is who I am this is what I want and go for it because I imagine now, I don't know this never happened with me, Jerome I would imagine the physical therapy after that experience was probably the worst of your life, right?
Jerome: So, here's the thing man, I can't take anything that ends in, right? So, I found that out because I took some and I'm sitting on the couch and it felt like my legs were on fire and of sleeps I'm hallucinating on my sleep and so I had this job where I was doing modeling on the computer and so every time I made a mistake, I would get shot and it was like fire running through both of my legs, it was my nerves coming back to life but the reaction with the narcotics that I was taking in order to reduce the pain gave me a totally different experience in this dream. I was like why am I doing? Because all I wanted to do man, all I wanted to do was walk again and you talked about this thing and I don't want people to miss it.
The thing either happened to you or it happened for you get to choose, you can be a victim or you can be the hero, right? There's four-piece, four main characters in every story; the victim, the hero, the villain and the love interests. Be your love interest, right? That person that you're supposed to become fall in love with that person, be obsessed with that person and then do everything you can is the hero to get to them, get to them overcome the villains, overcome the villains and then eventually you have somebody like Michael that comes into your world to be your guide, they help you put together the plan to go from where you are to where you wanna go. And then hold you accountable to that plan because it may be easier for you to just sit in the wheelchair or do whatever. But yeah man, it was painful but I was in love with the guy on the other side of that, the guy who could go to the football field and saw into young people because I had a few months off of work and all they wanted it from Coach Myers was for him to stand up because he was the cool guy, who had a motorcycle and he showed up and inspired all of them to be able to do a little bit more than what they seen. But he was now the guy in the wheelchair, people looked at them because they couldn't figure out what was wrong or what happened. That was what happened on the other side of the therapy that's why I went through it because I knew it was my way to become the love interest that I fallen in love with.
Michael: It's profound man, even as I'm sitting here, am I like real time I'm questioning myself I’m like, am I in love with myself enough to go to the next level? So, I'm gonna do some pondering because I think that's really profound, possibly life changing question. Jerome, my friend this conversation just been freaking awesome, I love it dude. Before I ask you my last question can you tell everyone where they can find you?
Jerome: Yeah, jeromemyers.co everything is there you can find all the social media, you can find all our free resources and guides and we got this mastermind jumping off in a couple of weeks and you know just grateful for the folks that have interest and being connected with some of the coolest people that I've ever met on the face of the planet, gathering together four times a year, to help each other, go to the next level and the requirement to be in that room is to be willing to be vulnerable and ask other people the questions that you've been asking yourself that you're scared to let other people know that you're questioning.
Michael: Sounds unbelievable and I'll tell you this. I've done mastermind I'm in one right now will change your life. So, we'll put the links in the show notes of course. My last question for you my friend what does it mean to you to be unbroken?
Jerome: Michael, so you don't know this I've been holding out on you, my brother. When I first saw you about eighteen months ago, I was like; this what's this guy mean unbroken? So, across my shoulders I've got a tattoo this is unbreakable. I got it in college after I broke my ankle, after I finally broke into the start and line up and I was like, I gotta keep going, I can't give up. And so, for me being unbroken means being willing to get up over and over and over again. There is no such thing as failure unless you quit and I've always been the guy that's been unwilling to quit. I've call it a relentless pursuit, right? I'm the one who knows that I can persist through whatever is put in front of me. So, for me that's what unbroken is, it's the willingness to never give up.
Michael: Beautifully said my friend. Thank you so much for being here. Unbroken Nation, thank you so much for listening.
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Chief Inspiration Officer
Jerome Myers left corporate America because he realized that although he had many accomplishments, he had not gained significance because he was not leading a centered life. Now, as a leadership coach, he uses his personal journey and unique training method to guide other apex performers in leadership positions to face their toughest personal and professional challenges head on.