April 13, 2023

Transformative Stories of Overcoming Trauma and Achieving Success

Join us for an insightful compilation episode featuring three inspiring guests - Tanner Chidester, John Cerasani, and Kyle Livingston... See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/transformative-stories-of-overcoming-trauma-and-achieving-success/#show-notes

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Join us for an insightful compilation episode featuring three inspiring guests - Tanner Chidester, John Cerasani, and Kyle Livingston. First up, Tanner Chidester, founder & CEO of Elite CEOs, shares his powerful story of overcoming failure, CPTSD, and trauma to find success and personal growth. He offers transformative practices and tools that helped him move beyond his past traumas and thrive. Next, self-made businessman John Cerasani shares his inspiring journey of success in multiple ventures and valuable insights on private investing and financial management. Lastly, Kyle Livingston, an Entrepreneur, talks about his journey of personal growth and self-discovery, including how his experiences of being separated from his biological family shaped his identity and path in life. This compilation is an opportunity to learn from three exceptional individuals who have navigated the journey from chaos to success, finding meaning from trauma and embracing the shifting nature of identity. Tune in now to the Think Unbroken Podcast for this inspiring conversation.

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Overcoming Failure and Trauma: A Journey of Resilience and Healing with Tanner Chidester

Michael: When you're in this window and I know more in depth of your story from reading your book of just those massive struggles fucking working at Olive Garden, knocking doors, doing that lifestyle like what were you learning if you like, rewind and put your brain into like a decade ago, five years ago, seven years ago, like what were you learning about yourself in those moments of struggle?

Tanner: Yeah, I mean, I think I just learned that I honestly felt like I just had more mental fortitude than most people. I think what I went through like getting to that kind of financial success is that most people are not willing, I think to go through that. I learned a lot about myself but I think also, it's cuz I'm insecure. I mean, the whole reason I wouldn't quit is not because I didn't want to quit, it's because I wouldn't quit because I was so embarrassed if I had to go back and basically let people see that I failed because to that point, I hadn't failed at anything. I mean, even the NFL, yeah, that didn't work out, but I felt like it was a little outside my control based on my injuries like I could not stay healthy. I've gone in college and I did not get to get on the field for a single college down because I was literally always hurt, always. And so, I don't know, I guess in that point, I don't know how you feel about your journey, but I felt, when I started getting into this business, I was like, Man, you know, if I struggled that much and I have this level of mental fortitude, which I think is in the top 1%, I can only imagine how other people feel. And it became apparent to me why a lot of people quit, it became apparent to me why a lot of people aren't successful, not because they're not special, but because they're not willing to push through the pain ‘cuz it sucks, dude. I mean, I just remember I didn't date, I was embarrassed to hang out with girls cuz of my car, I couldn't afford stuff. I mean, Oliver paid me a hundred bucks a day. I would go on a date with a girl and blow the cash on a date. And I was like, Man, I don't wanna do that anymore. I was working 16, 18 hours a day with no results. I mean, I would work half a day and then come home and work dead tired and it wouldn't work. And so, you know, two years doesn't sound long, but when you're working every day of the week, 18 hours a day, and you rarely take breaks, it just feels like the end of the world and it doesn't feel good and yourself esteem's low, people ask you what you're doing, you know, oh, I have a business and they're like, well, you're working at a garden, how's that going? You know, not going great. I don't know if that's the answer you're looking for, but I guess I learned a lot about myself and my mental fortitude and when I finally did hit success, that did a lot for me because I realized, I was like, you know what? Like as long as I don't quit, even if I'm not the smartest person, even if I make mistakes, like I will get there. And I'm lucky I had a mentor who kind of like kept pushing me because I called him four to five times over that two years and I almost quit. And he just would talk me off a ledge and it's crazy cuz I was on a podcast the other day and I said, Dude, you know, the difference in opportunity cost is about 49.6 million dollars because that's what I would've made in my engineering job is about 400 Gs and I've done close to 50 and it's not all about money, that's part of why we're on this show. But, I mean, that kind of stuff's crazy. I think people do that all the time where they make these decisions that they have no idea the lasting impact and they'll never know and that's scary to me.

Michael: I love that. Take the space please because I like, this is what this is about. You know, I think about so often the difference between success and failure in pretty much everything in life is just timeline. You know, a couple years ago, Grant Cardone, who I know that, you know, he invested into Think Unbroken so, he's a business partner, right? And he tells me something really important, dude. He goes, look man, the only time you ever lose is if you quit. And I'll tell you this, building the business like the podcast, obviously this is about value, this is about helping people and changing their lives, but I don't know about you, dude, I've never listened to a podcast that ever changed my life like entirely. I've always had to get the book or go to the coaching session during the seminar, do whatever the next thing was from these people that I look up to that mentor me. And I think that a big part of it is just the willingness that I've discovered that I'm just not gonna quit like, I'm just not going to stop. And I think that a lot of that comes with the resiliency of maybe just the suffering that I endured as a kid like it's hard to grow up Mormon and fucking poor, and biracial. Right. And so, you know, being in that boat made me just go for a long time. And I don't know if you related to this, but for a long time, dude, I just hated people and I was like, I'm gonna go on my own. I'm gonna figure it out. Nobody's gonna help me cuz I don't love or trust anyone. And then I realized like one of the most empirical truths of life is that you have to have mentorship, you have to have community, you have to have coaches and partners and friends and family and love, because without those things, like nothing's gonna be different. Was it because you grew up playing sports that you went and found a coach or a mentor, or was that just like happenstance? Like how did that evolve for you?

Tanner: I just hit rock bottom. I mean, so, I left college thinking that I could figure everything out and I had a very big ego because to that point, I've done everything on my own, so to speak I mean, I built my body, I got scholarship offers, I had straight A's, like I got the girls. So, I just was like, I can do anything and that's a good mindset to have and I think to a degree I did. But then, you know, two years trying to start my business, having no success, I was like, dude, I just got to a point where, especially knocking doors, I think that's really what pushed me over the edge is I mentally was so tired that was like, dude, I will do anything and I literally would've done anything, like anything. And so, when I saw that ad and it was like how to build an online fitness business, it was just happenstance I saw it, it was like that's the industry I'd been in. And so, I got on the call and I just gave them every dollar I had because I just was like, there's no other choice. Like sometimes, you know, my sales team and probably your sales teams, you know, they're telling us about something's like, yeah, they said it was too. I mean, I just didn't even care. I just was like; I'd rather be homeless than continue to live the way I'm living because I hated and I just felt like a loser. And I think a lot of people are successful, honestly, they have similar stories where it's some type of insecurity or fear driven decision making that just pushes them to like crazy heights and crazy levels where they can just endure massive amounts of pain for short periods of time. And like, I mean, door itself sucks. I mean it was six days a week, 12 hours a day, including the travel and we have one day off and I did that for seven to eight months straight in the Alabama heat. I mean, it was hot, man and it is like the stuff that happened out there, like people pull knives on me, guns. I just think it was all those things. I don't know if I wish I had better answer, but I just think it was that I just hit rock bottom and I was so sick of that crap. I was like, dude, I'll lick a floor if I know it works. And I think most people, they're unwilling to do that like they say they will, but they won't. But I was that guy and I remember my mentor David, he used to rip into me and he even said Tanner and he is like, you know what your best quality is? I was like, well, he is like, I can rip into you and you just don't care. And I was like, maybe it's cuz of sports cuz coaches will just cuss you out but I just didn't care, I had no ego when it came to finally that moment, like I had an ego getting help like, I was like, I don't need help. But when I finally had help, I was like, Dude, I'm an idiot, obviously because I'm not, it's what I thought would work isn't. So, you tell me what to do and I will be your best student. And it was like, that's how it was for me in every program, I was always the best student because I just like implemented like a psycho. 

Michael: Yeah, I mean, that's like 99% of it. So, I relate to the knocking doors, man, I did cut co when I was like 18, ‘cause I was just like knocking doors all day, dogs barking at you, people freaking out, old naked ladies hands from the door.

Tanner: Like, I got stories about that like, I can't even share them here. I got bad stories about that.

Michael: Yeah. They're just the most gnarly stuff and just being like, is this what I'm supposed to do? And then, you know, progressing and, you know, eventually landing a job with a Fortune 10 company doing really well in sales, you know, I kind of figured out how to navigate the corporate environment and then what I decided to do without really understanding how poor of a decision it was at the time. I was like, I'm gonna quit this job and I'm just gonna open my own business. Right. And I think that was a - it's the greatest mistake I've ever made. And b - I learned a lot in that because, you know, Tom Bilyeu, one of my mentors, a great human in my life, says something that I think everyone really needs to hold onto and that is that the struggle is guaranteed and the success is not. And so much of this journey really is about the struggle and being able to go through it. And I don't even think just necessarily financially, dude, I've struggled in relationships. I've struggled with my weight. I've struggled with the way I feel about myself when I'm by myself. And the only way I've been able to get through any of that shit is just like, keep going man, just keep going the next level. But it was in getting mentorship and getting coaching and investing in myself, that really changed the game. And I think that you're spot on, dude. Most people would not have made the decision that you made, but like, I've always thought about it like this. I'm like, I'm already at fucking rock bottom what's another two grand? Right? What's another five grand?

Tanner: It is not gonna get any worse. And it drives me up a wall because I just wish there's something you could say sometimes where it's like, Dude, you have nothing to lose in everything to gain, right? Like, you have nothing to lose like you can go back to your bad job that you're on the phone call that you ate, it just drives me nuts. But that's also just like, it pushes me to be better cuz I'm like, you know what? I need to get better at sales, I need to get better at marketing ‘cuz like, if they are saying that, I still can't convince them it's not good enough. But I agree and it sucks because like, they don't know, but we're on the other side, so we're like, Dude, like I was there and you just like, you don't know, but like if you go, like you'll get there and then you'll see how smart of a decision it was.


Building Wealth and Taking Risks: The Inspiring Story of Self-Made Businessman John Cerasani

Michael: And the reality is there always are going to be people who tell you, do not follow your dream. Don't do that thing. How do you do it anyway, John? Because there are people right now and they're like, man, I got this dream not even about entrepreneurship or money, but you know, I wanna go do a dance class, or I want to go do Jiujitsu or Muay Thai, and they're just like terrified to just follow the thing that'll go is gonna bring them joy, how do you do it anyway, John?

John: Yeah. Well, for me, from a business standpoint, it was a calculated risk because I was really able to learn the industry and look everything, look through everything inside and out, inside and out and you know, even though people were telling me I'm crazy, I was able to do fricking math. I guess what, I didn't need every single client. I didn't need every client to say yes, I needed about, a third of 'em to say, yes, I don't need to sell as much as I did over there to make this thing work, and that it did. But really what I discovered Michael, I think is where really, where more were your questions going, you know? It wasn't just the financial rewards; it was the building of my entrepreneurial spirit. So, what it gave me was this freedom to understand, holy crap, man, you could do this. I always had that entrepreneurial spirit in me, but it wasn't even like on the radar to do this as an adult with an insurance company, are you crazy? This was for like when I was in college with side hustles. Yeah. I had a concert company, a promotion company and shit like that. These were John Cerasani side hustles that yeah, man, you could do that shit, but like, to do it in the real world, competing against people that are smart. I mean, whoa, so, you know, I discovered that when maybe I did it firstly for the financial upside. I discovered like, okay, you know what? This is me, man, this is me. And I think if anyone identifies something in their life, you know, where, gosh, you know, like the examples, you just gave a hobby or whatever. Maybe it's going and finding somebody that you haven't talked to in 20 years and getting the courage to do that, whatever the case may be, you know, in instead of why, you know, why not? Like, what is the downside here? You know what I mean? If you go practice jiu-jitsu or like, I see guys at my gym, Michael doing Muay Thai, and I'm like, I won't make it through fricking warmups on that shit. Okay. I'm not flexible enough, but you know what, man? If I wanted to go do fricking Muay Thai, what's the downside? You know what I mean? Like, go try, it didn't work out it didn't freaking work out. You know, I think we live in a society right now at least, that a lot more welcoming than it was maybe 25 years ago in terms of encouraging people to do things. I have a 14-year-old son and I had a conversation with him the other day. I won't get specific, but there was a kid that's maybe like, you know, special needs in one of his classes and they asked him to be in his group pick like hand-picked my son and another kid to be in his group to just include him in the study group cuz nobody probably would've included the kid or the teacher was worried about that, that the kid didn't have any friends in the class. And I said, but you know, that’s a big compliment Jake and he didn't really understand why that was a compliment and kinda was asking, well, what do you mean that's a compliment? I go, the teacher picked you to that she sees something in you that you would be, and he didn't understand it. And I said, and he's 14, he's not like a little kid, he really didn't understand it. And I said to him, ‘cause maybe there's kids that would've picked on 'em or made fun of 'em or whatever, or just not done that. And he goes, dad, it's 2022, nobody makes fun of kids like that anymore, I'm like, you know what? I'm glad he sees it that way, I don't know if he's a hundred percent accurate or not, but it was kind of like a proud moment. I went from thinking my son didn't get it to, no, I didn't get it, you know what I mean? It was kind of cool moment but that I have a long way to answer your question there, buddy.

Michael: No, that's an interesting thought man. And I think you're right and we do live in a world that is not only more accommodating, but also when and I'll say this because I think there's a caveat to it. When you are around the right people, they will want you to be successful. And when I think about my group of friends, my peers, my mentors, people like you where I meet, and it's like we're in this same room for a reason like, dude, I want you to succeed. I want you to have great things. You want that of me. When you're in the wrong scenarios and in the wrong friendships, in the wrong communities, people are gonna wanna pull you down, they're gonna want to be like, hey man, you better not do that or, Hey, I tried this, it didn't work or this or that. And I think that that's one of the really interesting dichotomies of the time that we live, because on this one hand yeah, you for sure have so much opportunity and so much potential in front of you. And on the other hand, it's like if you are around the wrong damn people, you will never see it come to fruition, ‘cuz they're always gonna be in your ear. And I think the most important thing that you can do is to do it anyway. Right. I mean, if you play it through, what's the worst that could happen if you tried to play football, you'll get an injury. What's the worst that could happen? If you start a business, you might go bankrupt. What's the worst that could happen if you do whatever, then it's like, but then at some point on the timeline, the worst thing that could happen to you already happened, so you might as well try. When you think about the future, when you think about your life and what is important. What do you think are the most life-changing lessons that you've learned in your willingness to bet on yourself?

John: Hmm. Interesting. There's a couple things that come to mind, really I had a coach in college that ingrained, and it's a little bit cliche, but it resonated with me and I reflect on it from time to time. Said, don't point the finger, point the thumb. And his point with that, he was talking specifically to me too, we had a couple, let's say episodes of adversity in college, Danny and that's a nice way to put it. And he said, no, John, you know, it's not like you keep defending yourself, well, this shit keeps coming up. At some point you gotta look in the mirror. Start pointing the thumb instead of the pointing the finger. You know, you hear this once, you hear it twice, guess what? You gotta start looking in the mirror at yourself. So, I think that was kind of a moment in my life where I looked at, hey, just gotta take a bull by the damn horns here, man, it's so easy for all of us, right? It's so easy for all of us to blame our circumstances on other people, it's so easy to be pissed at the world. And even on a micro level, like, you hear stories like yours, Michael, or you hear stories not even nearly as great as yours, but like a story like mine where I'm overcoming, okay, I thought I was gonna play in the NFL, now I don't, oh shit, I gotta get a job. Okay. That's like a challenging time in your life, but like, to do something positive and not blame anyone like in the smaller facets, the big ones like that, okay, let's draw attention to that. But like, I don't know, man, I don't like being around people that are constantly just like blaming everyone for their fricking situation, you know what I mean? Like, I freaking like, oh, I was at this party and I freaking spilled wine all over this white couch. Well, they shouldn't have been serving red wine at their party with a white car and many people, you know what I mean? Which is real, though. People wouldn't literal think totally. You know what I mean? I'm at a freaking party. The other freaking day, it was my friends, I'm not gonna be specific, but it was a surprise party and someone bitching that it was in their clubhouse instead of at like a bar, they go, why would they do it here? They, so I don't know anybody and shut the hell up. God damn. Like, shut up. You know what I mean? It's just like, I try my best to avoid stuff like that, sometimes I'll find myself being in the middle of that shit too and I'll try to have that self-awareness. Wait a minute, I'm participating in this pull yourself out, you know what I mean? 

Michael: Yeah. So that's an interesting point and I think you're spot on, man, because it's self-accountability. And I think that's a great lesson to learn especially young while you're in college, but probably at any time because there is truth. I mean yeah, man. Like life is hard sometimes. Like life will kick you while you are down and it will rain on your parade and it will fill insurmountable. But what certain interesting is like, I'll rewind some scenarios, look at what is happening. I'll just sit back and I'll pause with it. Right. And I'll just ask myself what is actually happening now? Is this as bad as I'm portraying it to be? Did I play a role in this, John? 99% of the time I did? And then, what can I do about it? What can I do about it? And I think accountability is such an important lesson in life because it is pointing, the finger is so simple. You lose accountability, oh, it's your fault that my life is terrible, it's their fault that nothing is worried working for me, it's everyone else but me. When you get to that place of, wait a second, I play a role in this too, it’s kind of like a baseball bat to the face because if you're anything like how I was when I recognized this at 26 years old, I was like, oh, I play a role in my life as well.

John: Yep. And I gotta tell you, man, even to this day, ‘cuz I'll have peers, bro, that I came up with in the insurance industry, bringing this back to business a little bit, I'll peers are doing the exact same job that I quit. Okay. But you know, they'll give you kind of that backhanded compliment here and there dude, your kind of lucky how that unfold the congratulations, dude. You got so lucky with how that did and just kind of throwing like a little jab like you didn't, no, dude. You know what? I was pointing the freaking thumb instead of the damn finger, and I was at work till 8:00 PM Oh. We weren't allowed to bring laptops home back then. And you know what I would do? I'd go into the office at Saturday morning and then go back at 4:00 PM on Saturday to check to see if anyone responded to the emails ‘cause we didn't have blackberries yet. Okay. That's the shit I was doing. What were you doing? You know what I mean? So, like that mindset where it has a positive connotation too, you know? Get rid of the negativity, but also put it on yourself. Okay. What have you been successful with? Because you've taken the bull by the horns and dumb this on your own. And it comes to fruition for me, I don't say it out loud to the people, but I'll have people like I just said, you know, give me those kinds of backhanded compliments and it's like, okay, yeah, dude, remember when you were leaving work at 4:30 on Fridays? Yeah. I wasn't, I keep that to myself though. 

Michael: Yeah. There is some level to the, you used a phrase stretching yourself a little bit ago. And there's truth in that, you know, and I think about what I see myself accomplish, what our coaching clients and our coaching programs accomplish and it's so many of these people are just willing to go the next level, go the extra mile, do the thing that sucks because like a lot of times it sucks, man, it sucks to wake up and meditate and journal and to do the somatic things that you need to do to get inside of your body. It sucks to work on programs and events at 10 o'clock at night, but you know, also it's the same time, it's like, what is your goal? What is your perfect? What are you trying to accomplish? When you look at your life and what is next, one of the things that I think about for myself is like, I know I can't get to where I want to go without mentorship and coaching. And so, I'm curious for you, what role does that play in your life and is it helping you go to where you believe that you want to go in the future?

John: You know, that's a great question and it's something I need to explore further than I have not gone that direction at all, I've actually gone this other direction where I've asked people to be a mentor. People have asked me to be a mentor for them, usually from a business standpoint. But I haven't leaned on other people. Now, what I have done is drawn on experiences that I've tried to learn from and I've tried to take into account the principles we talked about earlier, like, not blaming other people for things happening. And I'll give you a quick for instance, all right. Oh, you know, that's my second cousin, oh, we only see them at weddings and funerals and whatever. Have you invited them to dinner? They haven't invited you to dinner either, when have you invited them? You know what I mean? Like take that kind of role, hey, this is family, this is someone that's important to me. So, one of the things I've started doing in 2022 is on the first of each month, I have a list of things I wanna make sure I can accomplish that month and some are business related, some are personal related, some are health and wellness related. And a couple of them involved reaching out to people that I haven't spoken to in a while, someone that had some kind of significant impact on my life. And it could be a colleague, a business associate and there's one category, another category is family. I keep myself fresh, Michael in those kinds of conversations where, okay, you know what? I do remember now why this guy was such a significant part of my life from 2007 to 2012. Okay. Having this two-hour conversation with him, even though we haven't talked to each other other than LinkedIn and Facebook posts for the last 12 years, you know what? That memory, Oh god, that was good, those experiences were great. Okay. Am I still that person? Have I drawn on any of that for this next phase of my life that I'm in right now? So I do feel like I have growth from things like that but I have not, I have not prospered at this point from a coaching or mentorship standpoint.


From Trauma to Triumph: The Journey of Personal Growth and Self-Discovery with Kyle Livingston

Michael: So I'm curious where did the self-awareness come from that you were able to make meaning of that? Because the only thing I thought in my head was like, you can do anything up to this level, but when you do this, this is like the breaking point.

Kyle: I had that same thought and like I still have those thoughts and I still have to break through those even today, and as I hit different levels of success in business and setbacks in business, like dude, that shit still creeps in for me, it's like, oh, well I come from here so I shouldn't be good enough to do this and those things still creep in. But I think that I've actually never been asked this question, so I'm just gonna kind of chew through it with you, man. I think that for me, having all my siblings be a little older, I spend a lot of time like by myself, like playing with legos, developing, like just time alone. I spent a lot of time just alone and growing up a redhead and in the area that I was in and like all these problems, like dude, I got made fun of a ton. And so, I spent a lot of time alone but what it did was it allowed me to like see people and see things and kind of observe versus be in the weeds. And dude, I grew up and I did all the dumb shit, we'd steal radios outta cars, we did all the dumb shit too. So, I relate with you a lot there but I think it's really rooted in the fact of like, we grew up really poor and everything that I can remember doing from 12 years old until probably 30 was running away from not being poor. So, I knew if I went down the same path as my brothers, I would get the same s**** my brothers got, which was living at my parents' house, living in shitty apartments like if I went down that path, I would get that. And so, if I chose something else, maybe just, maybe there's that, you know, for me it was 10K a month back then, if I could just maybe get to 10K a month, I could never have to worry about turning my shower on and water not coming out again. And I think that's what I was running from. So maybe it wasn't even a self-awareness thing, it was just a desire of like, I don't want what they have.

Michael: Man, that hits so home for me right now because that was really everything that I chased as a kid because it dawned on me one day. I was like, oh, the reason my life sucks and obviously this isn't true to a capacity it is. The reason that my life sucks is because we're poor because we have to take hot water baths from the sink, that we borrowed water from neighbor's house because we have government food, because I'm on food stamps, because every single time I'm in school, they gotta punched the little blue card so everybody knows I can't afford to pay for my own. And I remember being like, f**** this at 18 years old, I'm gonna go chase money. And I didn't have a marker of 10 grand, I wish I would, ‘cuz I would've made more money my first year but I had a marker of a hundred thousand dollars a year. And I was like, when I'm 21, that's the goal and I did that and it didn't actually solve any problems which was really fascinating. And in fact, it pushed my brothers away because I did not like, dude, the biggest mistake, I don't think I've ever said this on a show, the biggest mistake I've ever made with the money that I made a million dollars by the time I was 26, is I never gave anybody s**** because the only thing I thought, Kyle, I was like, I'm gonna go get this to make sure I'm good, because here's the bad side of resiliency through trauma, you learn that you have to be massively hyper independent and self-sufficient.

Kyle: A thousand percent, I agree with you, a thousand percent, dude. And I even alluded to that from a moment ago it was like I spent most of my childhood just kind of being alone and being away. And it does, like, even as you grow up to be an adult, it messes with the wires in your brain, and it's like, I have to take care of me first. And by doing so, and especially chasing the dollar, you tend to forget about the other people around you at least I did. And yeah, dude, I mean, I've cannibalized a marriage over it. I've cannibalized friendships over it, cannibalized family relationships over it and, you know, it's definitely not the ideal scenarios is chasing money all the time for sure.

Michael: Yeah, it's not, and even that's a part of the work that I'm still doing in my own life is looking at it and now it's completely different, right? I mean, polar opposite, I take care of my family as much as I can. I take care of my friends. I'm a giver first ‘cuz I realize like there was a point where I'm like, I'm driving a $85,000 car, I've got the nicest clothes, I got the best condo in town, what the f****? None of that stuff matters. Doesn't matter at all.

Kyle: Yeah, it doesn't. Dude, I remember, we're always still growing, we're always still learning. You know, we live in a decent, you know, really nice house, can't you say decent like, compared to where I grew up, like we live in a f*** baller house, you drive fucking baller cars, right? But the level like you, it's like getting fat, right? Like you just kind of slowly get there sometimes, and you wake up one day and it's like, I have all this cool shit and you're still upset, you're still kind of bitter, you're still a little frustrated and like, dude, I can go out and get my Audi right now and go zip around like 17-year-old version of me would not fucking believe the life I live today. And it's like, it is just that dynamic, but we also kind of take it for granted, 33-year-old me is pissed that I'm not living a different life. And it's like I have to find that balance even today of like, dude, I have it really well for especially for where I've come from but I have it really well overall.

Michael: What would you reinforce into 17-year-old you? I'm not asking the question, what would you tell yourself? Because I think those questions are pointless. I'm asking what would you reinforce that you were doing at 17 years old that has led you down the path? Like what were the positive aspects of the shifts in your life moving out of that circumstance and that environment that you believe were cornerstones in creating who you are today?

Kyle: I would say the biggest thing for me was to never let off the gas of self-development. I got dropped into the world of self-development at 17 years old actually just trying to figure this whole world out and there was a season in my life where the work on myself, I just stopped doing for like five years. And significantly slowed down any momentum that I had in my life at that time so I would've told myself back then like, Hey, even when you don't want to work on yourself and deal with your trauma and deal with your s**** and see how things are, you have to do that. Or it'll just cannibalize all the momentum you've created up to whatever point that was.

Michael: Why did you go to that answer?

Kyle: I think because from 17 to 24, I was hard into self-development, and that was the time where I saw the biggest leaps in my life 24 to 27, 28, I went through divorce. I stopped working on self-development. I got into drinking a lot, and I started creating these bad habits that cannibalize my life, whether it was like not reading a book or not digging into things or drinking too much or chasing women too much, or whatever it was. Whereas if I would've stayed plugged into self-development and what I was rooted in, it'd be a constant reminder for me for what I'm actually living for and my potential in my life, not just the season and feelings in the moment. And so, I would say that that four years where I didn't do it, I would've reinforced that at a young age to realize how important it actually was.

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Kyle Livingston

Business Consultant

Kyle Livingston is a Husband, Entrepreneur and regular human, BUT I do have a Superpower…

My superpower is I can troubleshoot the issue plaguing your coaching and consulting business that are keeping you stuck in your business & help you fix them. The emphasis was on that last part if you could tell. But, I do have a secret that I want to share 1st.

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John Cerasani


John Cerasani is a serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist and author. He built a company from his kitchen table at 27 years old and then sold it for tens of millions of dollars less than a decade later. John walked the walk and now he is talking the talk while sharing his business insights with the masses.

John is the Founder of Glencrest Global and is also an active philanthropist in ministry, youth athletics, advocacy programs, and the promotion of the arts.

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Tanner Chidester

Founder & CEO

Founder & CEO of Elite CEOs, Tanner Chidester has generated over eight figures in the online coaching world. After discovering powerful, repeatable strategies, (which he used to create his first million from a B2C model), Tanner's success went on to disrupt the fitness coaching industry forever. Upon request, Tanner began business coaching others on these same strategies, and paving the way for simplicity in a traditionally complex online arena. Since then the sky has been the limit, especially with his two brothers by his side, who joined the business early on. Tanner's business has organically evolved into the coaching empire we know today: Elite CEOs. With his team by his side, Tanner is now on a mission to turn as many online coaches as possible into millionaires. The Elite CEOs Mastermind, his flagship program, has become a natural hub of six & seven-figure earners. Inside, Tanner and his team provide coaches with the most powerful and proven strategies available to grow and scale any coaching business online.

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Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.