Interview Transcript

our guest we’re super pumped to have is dr joe he’s an international speaker on purpose and author of the book pursue your purpose not your dreams with a phd in counselor education common sense and street sense dr joe’s versatility gives him more than 20 years of experience in transformational work and help others unleash their purpose he has work with the school system in universities fortune 500 companies and many individuals rediscovering their true selves and ready to unleash their purpose his insights are shared on lots of national platforms including nbc vh1 and the oprah winfrey network he’s the creator of the heal now movement and dr joe continues to transform the lives and individuals the lives of individuals and take organizations to the next level by helping them to think act and live with purpose and intention welcome to pivot me dr joe yes yes look i’m excited i couldn’t wait so i’m happy to be here thank you for having me absolutely oh dr joe and i’ve had lots of good conversations so i’m excited for us to have them here so if you would tell us about yourself and and tell us what got you into this type of work you’ve got a really varied background so how did how did you get here well i always love to share with people you know like you say to my bio i’ve been blessed and i’ve had the luxury to work with you know several fortune 500 companies uh institutions like the university of michigan ucla and countless entrepreneurs and individuals and what i always share with people is my background as an athlete really brought me to this work i used to play ball in high school and college had opportunities to work out for in front of some nfl teams and when that didn’t work life happens right life happens and i knew after working in k-12 after working in corporate america after working in higher education i knew that i needed to find a career that gave me the same high as playing sports and that was speaking training and doing the work that i do with a lot of unfulfilled career professionals to help them unleash their purpose that is amazing that and that’s such a good point because i think so many people who aft after that athletic career or whatever that ends up developing into then they’re kind of searching for that high and when they don’t find it they can feel pretty unfulfilled is that is that something that also happened to you and that’s why you now help people with it or is it just that you saw this need out in the marketplace and you’re like i can really help people with this well both but i’ll start with absolutely when i was done playing i was like what am i going to do what next you know and when your identity is caught up in being an athlete or some individuals for instance let’s take mothers or parents sometimes a mother their identity is is so tapped into only being a mother and there’s so many other layers to themselves right so when my identity was caught up in being an athlete it was important for me to say you know what i need to do something different and then when i got into it i said i need to help others so they don’t become stuck like i was yeah it’s it’s amazing how we’re we’re best positioned to help those who were us just a few years ago right yep yeah so one of the things we talked about um kind of to jump into the pivot me content is we we talk a lot about these pivots in our lives and we’ll get into that in a second but what what i love that you already addressed is when we talk about something happen and we make a change we make a change in our career or our our relationships we we often talk about the identity piece so i’m glad you touched on that right away because people think the struggle is the skill set you need additional education but really one of the toughest things to navigate is the identity change how did you navigate that and how do you help people oh my goodness that is now that is essential right identity is answering that question of who are you or who am i and a lot of times when people ask us that question that sounds so simple we begin to talk about all the things that are on our resume and the reality is the first for me the foundation of understanding who you are is to begin to describe yourself with adjectives right don’t say what you do don’t say write some of the roles that you have but begin to describe yourself with adjectives and and identity is important because once again some of us we like to borrow the identities that our parents give us or that maybe our pastors or our teachers and we never take the opportunity to seek really what’s in here and who am i so it’s critical to tap into that identity piece yeah yeah and it’s interesting because a lot of people don’t realize they’re bumping up against their identity right so whether that’s um i was in the corporate world and then i went out and started a business but i was this you know successful six seven figure executive and now how do i switch that identity or you mentioned mothers you know someone who’s got this thriving career and they become a mother how do they struggle with that identity shift or maybe they stayed home and then they re-enter the workplace those are all people immediately think okay what skills do i need but it’s usually how do i switch my i identity is there is there a couple of tips that you can give on maybe what helped you in switching that and reframing that you mentioned that describe yourself as adjectives what do you see people do and you go i wish they weren’t doing this i wish instead they would do that like actual real-life examples so the people who are listening right now go oh i am bumping up against that and how do i get over it absolutely well well the first thing is this because one of the things that we’ve heard a lot in our lives is you know we we have the ability to attract things right this manifestation state and one of the things that i’ve learned in my experience working with a lot of individuals is that many of them can manifest things but they can’t manifest who they are from within right and the reason that is is because once again we’ve been programmed to look and to think and to believe and to act certain ways and the first step that i always tell people one like i said earlier is to begin to describe yourself in adjectives but one that is critical is to put yourself around the energy of people who you know are so confident and who they are they’re operating and they’re aligned with who they are and when you do that that energy from those individuals will jump right into you why because energy right is a frequency what is frequency information so you’ll receive that and you’ll begin to say okay i need to look at this about myself or i need to rethink this about myself and we always have to reassess who we think we are because sometimes we can get stuck in one particular place when it’s time for you to graduate to that next level of who you are instead of creating that divorce from who you are sure oh that’s so good it’s so good we talk a lot on pivot me about designing your peer group though a lot of us have a default peer group they’re the people we work with the people that we live next to and you’ve got to that’s fine we can be friends and maybe our kids play together maybe we live next door and we have barbecues but you also have to design that up your group because you really are the people you spend the majority of your time with i love when steve harvey says if nine of your friends are broke you’ll be the 10th um it’s good it’s good it’s just the power of the peer group and so if you are making this identity shift i love the idea of then design pick the right people to be around that energy because our default setting will be to be around the people that we were accustomed to being so we’ve got to make this very conscious decision of hey we’ve got to seek out these other people to support who we are becoming not who we were yeah and and let me say this because it’s important for me to acknowledge the difficulties in doing that for certain populations of people or for certain environments so if you grow up in like a low income or some might say maybe even the trailer park right i’m doing this because a lot of people will say things like oh i’m from the hood yeah right and i always tell people look here the hood is a place right right or excuse me the hood is not a place the hood is a state of mind that’s why you get people who leave the hood but they have the same issues yeah you see what i’m saying and so for some individuals who are environments like that it’s very difficult because maybe they don’t have the money to just up and leave they haven’t developed the mindset yet to say you know what i’m not around the right people or maybe they’re just so programmed to think that the environment of chaos that they’re in is how life is they haven’t seen anything else so let me say this exposure to something new is different for those individuals to know that they’re not in the right place yeah that’s so good so when when someone’s in a situation like that so i mean where i naturally go to is okay we always have access to books or to youtube videos or something like that if someone’s in that where they feel so removed from where they’d like to be but they’re kind of stuck in this mindset whether that’s physical location or familial ties like this is how it’s this is how it is because this is how it’s always been how do people break free of that oh see this is this is the power of the internet this is the power let’s do this the power of social media the power of youtube the power of being able to to even books right books are books are not formed books are now right on your phone everybody has a phone right so what i mean by that is i have mentors i have people that have helped shape me that i do not know but i consume their information and their content through social media through the internet why because i am feeding myself that is part of my diet diet isn’t only the food that you consume it’s also the content that you consume yeah it’s so and you got to be careful so we’re talking about putting stuff in but also sometimes we got to remove stuff out because when you’ve got the choice of like am i gonna watch this video that’s gonna entertain me but really not progress me at all you could do that or you could watch you know tony robbins speak or john maxwell speak or les brown or some of the great speakers that are motivational and insightful and give you tools that’s a choice we all make like most of us if you live in the us most countries but if you live in the u.s you likely spend a decent amount of time with a digital diet choose it don’t let it choose you don’t just click on the next recommended video go out and seek these greats you can stand on the shoulders of giants you just gotta click the button to listen to them that’s that’s that is so true and and to simplify it it’s all about like if you go to uh someone’s page on linkedin or instagram and someone that you like man they’re doing their thing or they’re a great speaker or i love what they’re doing in their business go and see who follows them and also who they follow and start to follow them because they’re not going to keep people around them that’s not going to help them get to that next level that’s so true that’s so true well dr joe talk to us about um the difference between purpose and dreams i kind of want to get into your content some of your teaching so explain the difference to us so let me let me let me say this so i always share with people the first thing that i usually say is pursue your purpose not your dreams it’s the title of my book right it’s a conversation starter and some people are like well what do you mean and i have to share with them if you go to the fundamental definition of what dreams are and that definition of purpose there’s a distinction there dreams are thoughts or ideas that may or may not come true right that’s the fundamental definition purpose is the reason for which something or someone exists just in those definitions alone for me purpose is more powerful that does not mean you don’t dream because i’ll never tell anybody not to dream but what i will say is put your dreams in context right and we’ve been programmed to believe that we find our purpose we discover our purpose but if you understand the spiritual connection to that word purpose it’s already in you it’s a god-given gift so it’s about unleashing your purpose that is beautiful and what i heard also is i heard a pull versus push sometimes our dreams we kind of have to push for them and work hard there’s there’s always work involved but when i hear purpose i think of a pool like something that’s pulling you to it it’s sort of if you just get quiet and listen um it’s there it’s you’re being pulled towards it so it’s anyways it was just kind of a little thought that popped in my mind i was like i hear pool and you’re probably in there but that’s good and the reason that that’s good let me let me share this with you i’ve worked with um i’ve coached some women right and the first thing that i that i would say to them is one i am not a woman i don’t have the experience of a woman so i’m not speaking to you as though i do but what i would say is if in my experience working with women particularly for a lot of them either they became parents and so they were so focused on being a parent or that maybe they got married or a long-term relationship they came became focused on being the best partner or they were career-driven women when they were so focused on right going up in their careers or being on their business and a lot of them forgot about what it is that they really wanted to do when they were younger and it’s so interesting as i work with them how they would always end up right back to what they knew they wanted to do maybe when they were in high school or in college it is crazy so when you talk about that pool versus pool versus push that’s real yeah yeah that’s so good and i think one of the things that we’ve got to be clear about is you have to get you have to have some real conversations with yourself or with a coach someone that’s gonna that pull this out of you because your current life is just maintaining your current life if you’re gonna invest in a future that takes some clarity and sometimes it’s getting quiet of all the noise and stuff like quieting that down and then going okay what what’s the real purpose like how what maybe go back to what did you originally want to be in the very beginning before the world told you you needed to be someone else yeah that’s what a lot of us do i i know that uh i’ve worked once again i’ve worked in higher ed before and so i know and i’ve worked in k through 12 and i’ve worked in corporate so i’ve had students of mine who they were they would they would go right into the formula that society gave us graduate high school go to college and you’ll get a great job which is not real which is not real right and what i realized even with some of my students when i was in higher ed who were graduating they were frustrated because they knew that the degree that they had it wasn’t what they really wanted to do right and so they were almost forced into saying hey get that engineering degree or get that computer science degree because that’s where the money is going to be right and you can be let me say this to all my career professionals that may be watching this you can make money you can be productive but at the same time be unfulfilled so you got to be careful in what you choose to do for sure and for the parents listening be careful about how you encourage your kids in that regard i actually um just heard this um it was it was just a social media post and the gal was talking about career advice that she got that was so valuable to her and she was telling the story about this man who wrote in and he said he said i went through eight years of university and and law school to become a lawyer and he said within the first year i immediately this was advice he gave her within the first year i immediately knew i hated being a lawyer and he said and i went and talked to my family about it and his family’s like you just did eight years of college and you’ve got a couple hundred thousand in student debt you can’t just quit after a year right and he said so i practiced law for 50 years and i hated 50 years of it and he said and to think i could have only hated one year of it and done something else that powerful that speaks to my soul why because there are so many individuals like that they’re sitting in their offices right now or maybe they’re at home in their home office because a lot of folks are virtual and in their soul their soul has it’s been speaking to them for for years like this isn’t it this isn’t it but they didn’t list they don’t listen and they won’t listen why because there’s pressure to fulfill everyone else’s need except our own for sure right and we have we have to sometimes get selfish and say you know what if this isn’t right for me i need to make sure that i do something and make some adjustments make that pivot so that i can love my life and and the truth is is if you don’t listen because we’ve got lots of examples there’s i mean you open up your door you’re going to see 50 examples of people who aren’t listening right who are doing something that they feel like they’re obligated to either well this is just how it is or this was what my parents expected of me or now i’ve got you know a wife and kids and this is just how i need to support them there’s lots of examples of that but here is the thing when you know you’re supposed to be doing something else and you’re not honoring that you’re not listening to it it eats away at you and you start doing things you start self-sabotaging because you you’re trying to quiet that pool and that can be that i can be gambling that can be drugs that can be alcohol i mean there’s lots of people who are just trying to quiet that noise with alcohol and i’m not not shaming alcohol at all but if we’re using it as a tool to quiet something inside of us that we know needs to get out um it can really mess up your life you know yeah i mean i mean i’m just sitting here thinking about um one of my first or second years in graduate school my master’s i think first might have been my first i thought i wanted to be a principal right and this is what a lot of individuals should do to prevent them from doing something long-term that they know they really don’t want to do i thought i wanted to be a principal and i set up an opportunity to go spend one day inside the school with the principal within the first hour i said absolutely not right so it took me just a couple of hours to go and actually do what i thought i wanted to do to convince me to say this isn’t it so that’s one tool people can use yeah that’s so true i’m gonna switch over i just realized i’m on my wrong camera so we’re gonna switch this over real quick joe um it’s i’m so glad you did that though joe because so many people skip that stage you know it’s like and and whether that’s adults or kids i mean my kids want to be a veterinarian and i was like luckily we know a couple of them so you’re going to spend a day shadowing them and see if this is really what you want to do because it’s not really um you got to know what it’s really like before you go pursue it otherwise the combination of time and finance and expectations of yourself and others will create this perfect storm and lock you into a career you never wanted to do you you never knew it was going to be like this and then once you realize you’re like oh now i’m committed like i can’t get out of this right you know i almost you know i would almost argue that we’re we’re almost and you’re going to hear me use this word programmed a lot because just because we’re human right we’re similar to computers cell phones right we’re programmed we get programs and i think many of us are programmed to feel like once we start something we need to finish it but the the reality is i understand that concept for certain things but once you start something and you don’t like it you got to get out of there you got to get out of there because especially in your professional life if you’re perfect because you spend a lot of time in your professional life if your professional life is not where you want it it’s going to definitely impact every other area of your life especially your personal life for sure don’t be that lawyer that invests 50 years practicing law be the lawyer that invest one and goes well i’m out this wasn’t for me it wasn’t for me so so help us understand um one thing that you talk on is individual healing is so important and how it directly connects to purpose and profit so talk to us about that and again you’ve got the unique perspective of speaking from i’ve worked in the school district i’m watching these young minds get formed to college now they’re cutting their teeth on their profession to fortune 500 companies so give us some insight from there yeah so let me let me share this from a personal um journey um in the 2019 my partner and i uh we were going through a rough patch and it was probably about to be over and i remember getting off stage in the fall of 2019 and i just felt like a total contradiction i was speaking i got off stage and i just felt like a total contradiction because i knew that my home life wasn’t where it needed to be right and so what i did was i said you know what i’m not gonna look outwardly i had to say what is wrong with me what am i doing or not doing that’s making me feel this way and so i started therapy i was going to therapy twice a week um my family and i had the opportunity to go on a show on oprah’s network called iana fix my life uh all about healing and i really started i just started this journey of individual healing and as i began to release a lot of the things that happened in my life because i always say many of us are recovering from our childhood right when i began to release those things i started to see things starting to happen my family we became closer my partner and i her and i became closer and i just created this this abundance of opportunities coming my way relationships getting better and that stress just being released from my life so that that individual healing will allow you to align in your purpose but also introduce you to other forms of profit and really you’ll just be like oh my goodness this feeling of bliss and a lack of stress is beautiful yeah yeah the other thing is when those things are weighing on our mind um it takes up we talk a lot about mental real estate it’s taking up mental real estate right so if you show up at work and you’re leading an organization and you’re rallying a team and you’re inspiring people but in your mind you just had your sixth fight with your partner at home right before you came in you’re kidding yourself if you think that’s not affecting your productivity it is or how you show up in the world or how what kind of energy you bring to your team it absolutely does and so those things really really bleed over so sometimes it’s how we show up as leaders sometimes it’s the way we talk to people the way we inspire people our rosy or negative outlook on the world um that the rest of stuff we work hard to drop it at the door but it still it still comes with us like all our problems walk just through the door with us and so take the time to address them i mean what was that like i’m curious doctor do i imagine you again you’re up on stage and you’re talking to people about these things and you got this gnawing feeling like man i don’t have my stuff tight yet how how does how do you navigate that is that i mean does imposter syndrome come up when you’re when when you’re dealing with that or talk to us about navigating it as a as i think about it for me i don’t i didn’t feel like an imposter i felt like les brown says the best he says we shouldn’t practice what we preach he says we should preach what we practice and i felt like i wasn’t practicing what i was preaching you see and people may not have noticed the struggles that i was going through that didn’t know me but the people that knew me they felt that energy they said yo what’s going on something something is a little off and so i know that the people that were close to me if they felt it and i was feeling it i had to do something about it so it was important for me to take accountability and acknowledge what needed to be done figure out what it was and take action towards healing whatever whatever it was i needed healing for sure and the one thing i’ll i’ll speak to you on that is um taking accountability is so important you know i’m a huge believer in in extreme ownership because we can’t expect anyone else to release us whether that’s our childhood and it’s our parents you know we have to make amends however we make them and if they’re if your parents are still here you know maybe that’s a conversation maybe that’s a letter maybe it’s a letter that you never send but really the healing it’s on us it’s not on anyone else we’ve got to we’ve got to do that if we’re going to live these bigger fulfilled lives um nobody gives us that permission slip we have to sign that ourselves and you know what that’s that is so true and and i realized for a lot of my leaders that may be watching us for a lot of uh individuals who may have their own businesses and and maybe it’s just you or maybe you have employees but one of the things that i realize about that word accountability is that when we don’t take accountability it impacts our accounts receivable right so we have to we have to acknowledge when when we did something wrong we have to acknowledge when we have to do better in a specific place it’s not just in our personal lives it’s also in our businesses yeah they really do bleed over so when we we um you may have mentioned it already earlier we’ll see if this is it but we always talk about in pivot me we talk about this this pivot point right this moment when it all changed so i don’t know if it’s the moment you got off the stage or if it was something else but and sometimes it’s dramatic sometimes it’s i got stuck on a you know a roller coaster upside down for an hour and i thought about my life that’s ian koniak’s story great story um sometimes it’s a career change was there a moment for you when everything changed and there was kind of a there was you know this inflection point and then everything was different after that yeah so one is uh that point when i hopped off the stage and i just felt contradictive and there were talks about getting a divorce with my partner right but there’s another one before that and that was when um i was working full-time i was doing my phd full time and i was i was working on my business and i remember being in my office and i was just like why like why am i here i know what i want to do so i need to just do it and i remember the end of that year uh i did my taxes and i realized that i made a little bit more in my business than i did for all of those hours i put in working in my full-time job and i said oh my goodness i i made what i made in my full-time job in about i think about 20 to 25 hours of my speaking business right and so that told me that i needed to pivot and really focus on what i knew i loved and that’s my pivot point yeah yeah so it’s actually seeing the finances that really was like the catalyst but it’s not just chasing the finances it’s because that’s the part that you really love doing too right oh you talk about so this is a thing i always share it’s not about just about the money right and let me be clear when you start a business it’s you start a business not to just do a non-profit if you just want to save the world but when you start a business you want to make money right but for for me i never realized that when i was speaking the amount of lies that i would change or the emails that i would get about i was going to commit suicide or i was depressed thank you so much so for me i didn’t realize that and that is is even more important than the amount of money that i can make because you know you’re saving and changing lives absolutely and the thing about something like speaking we talk about this in pivot me as well as is multiplying your impact and so sometimes in work we’re we’re dealing with people on a one-to-one basis or one to small group which is important and you can impact those people but if you really our time on this earth is finite and so if you if you’re really driven to make massive impact you’ve got to get on bigger stages you’ve got to get in front of more people because there’s people there are people that are that are googling for the answers that are already in your head so the bigger rooms the bigger audience that you can speak to and virtual you know when we’re doing it virtually it’s infinite i mean you can speak to tons of people but there are people that really need your message and so i love that you that you did this and now you are speaking on these large stages that you are speaking to tons of people that get the benefit of your experience your knowledge your your formal education but as well as just your um informal your street education um which could be so important you know common sense is one of the least common sense of all um i love that you’re doing this um and you’re impacting people’s lives like this yeah and and just to be clear i always share with people you know when you have the the ability to communicate and communicate effectively right you have the ability to because i always share i say this i say this all the time because everybody claims they’re a speaker you go to their linkedin um in their bios i’m a speaker i do this and in reality this this is not a game like i don’t play with the the world of speaking right and what i mean by that is anybody could talk but everybody can’t speak it’s hard to educate entertain inspire motivate all at the same time and there’s different forms of speaking right keynote webinars i even think writing books that’s a form of speaking but but i say that to say this when you have the ability to communicate figure out different ways in which you can do it and one of the things that i’m doing i know that there are more people because they’re in the house they’re watching tv more they’re on their laptops more they’re on their phone watching shows so i’ve been able to go to la and pitch a couple of shows because i don’t want to just use my voice only on the stage and speaking i want to use it in ways to get out to the people like you said get to as many people as you can yeah absolutely so um we’ve got a question here from michelle newman and just to give context so this is for people that maybe are newer to speaking maybe aspiring speakers or you know they when they still get up on stage they get a little nervous so she asked the question uh you know thank you dr joe for all that you do do you get nervous when you speak and what do you do to hype yourself up before you speak i love that i love that so i don’t really get nervous anymore but i get these butterflies and the same butterflies that i would get when i was getting ready to go out on the field when i played football or when i used to play basketball it’s the same butterflies and what i always do because one of the tricks that i use is before the event sometimes some people might not know who i am right i’m not you know i’m not a people some people recognize president obama and he goes out to the room everyone’s going to know who he is but one of the things that i’ve been able to do is sometimes i’ll just go in the audience or in the hallways and just talk to people they don’t even know that i’m the speaker i’ll just go talk to them right and then right before i’m going on stage i just need about five minutes of quiet time to just get into my head and get into that mode so i can go out there flush those butterflies out and kill it yeah absolutely oh do you use any music i i know a lot of speakers we enjoy music right before do you ever use a song oh yeah so okay so so the quiet time and then right before there’s there’s a little i i i love jay-z so i’m also i’m usually bumping some jay-z but something that’s it’s the same as when i used to play ball i get that pizza that gets me ready for sure do you probably can’t walk out like boxers or anything fighters do like they’re blaring music and that’s what that’s what we need for speaking engagements right oh that’s good that’s good so so speaking of being an athlete and and the life that you live now i’m curious uh about success principles so things that you do whether that’s a morning routine things that you know meditation i i work out every day what what success principles did you maybe maybe they carried over from you being an athlete what do you use today to make you successful well love that question definitely working out right i work out all the time um probably at least four to five times a week uh just to it used to be for the physical part you know you want to look good and you know you want to be strong enough to to handle those 300 pound men um out there on the field but now it’s for my mental health and it gives me the stamina to be able to do the work that i do because sometimes people don’t know when you’re when you’re on a stage or when you’re you’re doing this thing virtually and you’re really giving your all it can drain you so you have to be ready tony robbins is a great example he would go like the whole day and you’re like how is this man still functioning right so so for me is is making sure that physically i’m ready but another thing that i do and i tell people this all the time um i pray because prayer is your ask to whoever you believe in but also meditate because that’s your opportunity to listen for what you asked for listen for the answer so those are two of the things that i do so good so good so with um so a lot of our listeners um work out want to work out more um there’s usually a decent exercise routine but um one of the questions we get is okay how do you make sure you schedule it in you know many of the listeners are um you know business owners uh a lot of times parents so we’re juggling multiple competing priorities do you schedule it in joe do you do it at the exact same time how does that become like a critical piece of your week it’s not an option it’s not an option it’s the same way i have to get up and and get my kids ready for school or the same way i have to go to a meeting at 8 a.m if i have a meeting or or the same way i have to do whatever it’s part of my lifestyle it’s a lifestyle thing so when you make it a lifestyle thing you’ll do it because when you don’t do it you’ll feel it in your body and you’ll feel it in the way that you operate every day yeah it’s so true so true and it does it kind of starts out as i want to be stronger i want to look better and then somewhere in your 30s or 40s it starts like oh i need this for my health that’s right i need to release some dopamine or serotonin i start doing it for neurotransmitters it’s totally different or if you’re a parent you’re like i gotta do this to maintain my maintain my cool and my patience insanity yeah exactly it evolves but it’s still so important um is there anything else that you’re like oh this is huge so i heard prayer in there as well just you know when people are looking at okay i need to make sure that this is in my week or do you use you know affirmations things that you tell yourself whether that’s before you get up on stage or hey i want to make sure that i deliver um in the best that i can is there anything additional like that absolutely uh although i love music i love music however i listen to more podcasts than i listen to music right i am always feeding my mind i listen to more audiobooks than i do music i am always feeding my mind because i know that has to be part of my diet not only what i consume right in terms of food or what i’m drinking but also what i’m putting up here putting right here and putting right here right i always say we have to work on our mindset our heart set and our soul set so we can get to our next level so true so true and the people that you work with dr joe are they are they looking for that next level of success are they i’m i’m out of alignment and i want to get back in alignment is it hey i’m this far down the road on this career that i’m really not passionate about who who’s kind of your ideal person that you work with yes so my my my specific audience is uh unfulfilled career professionals that are looking to transitioning to transition into a career that they love in a life that they desire without stress that’s my ideal client now i have some other folks who i deal with but everything is surrounding unleashing your purpose but that is my ideal client yeah absolutely wow i’m trying to think of how you walk through that process can you give us just a little behind the scenes on how you walk through that process because who you just described man there’s there’s a lot of people like that that can use your help you gotta start speaking more dr joe more stages can you give us a little behind the scenes on what you walk them through absolutely so there’s there’s a there’s a model that i operate from and it looks like a triangle and at the base of that triangle um is awareness right and we have to become aware of where we are we have to be become aware of of some of the habits that we have good and bad we have to become aware of everything about us and around us right the second part is the knowledge right giving up giving ourselves the knowledge the necessary knowledge that we need to reprogram how we think so we can impact our actions and right and the top part of that is the skills that’s when you gain the skills right to do what it is that you’ve become aware of and the knowledge right and so awareness knowledge skills that’s what i’ll walk them through and what happens with a lot of people they want to skip steps they want to get just get take me to the skill or they want to get to the knowledge and then try to do it without gaining the skill you can’t do that you have to go in the sequence that is best for you and that’s the sequence i use awareness knowledge skills yeah it’s funny because people do sit down and go all right what’s the skill like what book do i need to read do i need to take the class let’s just get right to it and you’re like ah you gotta do some of the other work too so that’s right oh that is that’s good um so one thing i’m curious about kind of going back to your history so um phd major major commitment um is that okay i knew this is what i wanted to do and i was burning desire do you come from a long line of phd holders talk to us about that journey look here absolutely not i so i always share with people i graduated high school with a 1.6 wow i graduated undergrad with a 2.4 and remember those were the days where i was so focused and my identity was only me as the athlete right um but i ended up getting a phd uh the first one in my family on my mother’s side out of 28 29 grandchildren the first one to get a college degree um i’m the i’m the only one wow in my large family to have a phd so i broke a lot of cycles and that’s what i’m here for i always say i am an angelic disrupter in every area that i tap into would other people describe you as an angelic disruptor too does the family receive that blue okay well hold on it may not always be angelic today okay i was like it’s angelic i’m focused on here oh man so they’re oh gosh i’m so glad i asked that question dr joe because i’m just thinking about this 1.6 gpa high school 2.4 undergrad most people first they would have stopped in high school they would have said i’m not good at that i’m not good at school i’m not academic i’m an athlete like i will i will chase a ball like no one’s business but i’m not going to do algebra trigonometry i mean that’s talk about breaking some norms there in that you know when we struggle in high school we think oh i’m going to struggle in college and then you you get the 2.4 in undergrad which is a huge step up but still a lot of people won’t make that jump of and now i’m going to go do more i’m going to go to like the pinnacle of higher education i mean how did you make that transition plus i would love for you to speak to if if you didn’t come from a background if if you’re first generation to do this kind of stuff i mean were people supportive over that uh you know were they going yeah joe’s gonna be our first doctor or they’re like nah it’s not worth it so i’ll say this the best thing that i ever did when i came out of high school um i didn’t have the grades to go uh straight to a division one so i went to a community college but in that in that time and i was i took you know zero level 100 courses which is almost like you’re repeating some of the courses in high school um i did that but it gave me the confidence to say i can actually do this i can actually do this now was i a straight a student in college no but it gave me the confidence to stick to it and to be able to get through right and i’ll say this um i have one of the best families and i’m pretty sure you know other folks will say that as well but my family they always said to me you’re going to do some major things right and so the support of my mother my father even though they weren’t together uh my aunts my uncles my grandparents right the support that i had from my family was great now the funny thing is now when i try to say hey well how about you look at it this way they’ll say to me oh you think because you have a phd i’m like well what do you mean i’m just giving you another perspective so it’s always funny once you do get a terminal degree people assume that you think you know everything like we should have never encouraged him to do that i think the answer to everything he’s good at trivia night but besides that don’t let him speak in your life that’s one of the thing i was going to ask you is was there someone who encouraged you and it sounds like you’ve got a whole host of people um that really said hey there’s something in you um i mean i can’t help but think going from high school to college that when you’re sitting in a college class and if you struggled in high school that you’re looking around going i’m a fish out of water i mean did you experience that and if so how did you overcome it i think during that time you know i was only 17 18 year old 18 18 years old when i got to my freshman year in college and for me i was so upset that i did not go to a larger college even though some of them called me but i didn’t have the grades that i committed to saying i’m gonna make it no matter what and so i’ve always had the utmost confidence in my abilities um especially in sports and i i almost transition that mindset to say whatever you have to do you’re going to get through this and once again i wasn’t an a student but i got through college that’s so good that you translated that confidence from sports into academia because so many people will silos silo those like oh i’m really good at this but i’m not good at that and if they realize that it’s like no it’s not that you’re good at football it’s that you’re good at discipline it’s that you’re good at goal setting if people just translate those skills over to every area in their life then we get the benefit of all the hard work that we’ve done but where we get where we get caught is we silo them like i was really good at this this one obscure thing or i’m good at this thing over here that’s not going to apply to the rest of my adult life no you’re good at putting your mind to something you’re good at grit you’re good at tenacity and apply those through the rest of your life and you’ll do just fine talk to them you you now you speaking you speaking my language i love it i love it that’s so true those those those uh those skills those transferable skills people forget about them right being able to work in a team right being able to to look at a game plan and say okay this is how what we have to create and then execute the game plan like it’s the same that’s what we do in businesses right and so people forget people forget that and just like you said if they transfer these skills from other areas of their life and don’t silo i’m telling you they will win in in any area that they tap into oh that is so good that is so good so um okay there’s so many more questions i want to i want to be respectful of our time slot dr joe but i’m like there’s so many questions i want to ask because i love stories where people totally have broken out of the norm like all right this is how the people before me went this is how i thought my trajectory was going to go um and and then i took a totally different um a path that’s just it’s so incredibly powerful um a couple more questions and then um i want to talk about where people can connect with you how much is kind of a loaded question how much did your experience that we were just talking about how much did that contribute to the work that you did in the school system is it just i i understand the highs and lows i mean i imagine you brought a lot of that experience into helping others within the school system oh yeah my background is counseling so a lot of a lot of what i’ve been able to create uh when working with individuals and in in working with companies doing trainings all that fun stuff um i take a lot of some of the foundation uh that i’ve learned about counseling and i implement it into some of the work that i’ve done and a lot of people they don’t even know that that’s where it’s coming from but when you when you’re trained as a counselor as a therapist there’s certain tools that you’re able to use and there’s a certain lens that you’re also able to view things from that other people’s can you know yeah i i would love i’m gonna put you on the spot here dr joe but i would love for you to share a couple of those insights so again a lot of people listening are running businesses um many are business owners sometimes they’re just in um leadership roles is there a couple of tools or a couple of tips you could say use this not that ways that they can either connect with their team listen to their team better inspire their team better um and maybe even something for some parents as well oh absolutely the first one is gonna sound so simple but it’s so critical you have right two ears and one mouth but too many of us we talk too much let me let me say it even better we talk too damn much right sit back sometimes that’s a song bite ben hear that you heard it right here so true sit back and listen right allow people to speak to you it’s some organizations that i’ve been to i noticed that the culture was built where there was a fear to be able to speak and say something to the folks who are in upper management or in the c-suite right and what we have to understand is when you listen you’re going to get all the information that you need so you have to develop a culture that people will actually share what’s on their mind but you also have to listen as a leader right another thing another thing is this some of us what we do what we do when we’re working with individuals we we’re not listening to anything that they’re saying we’re just waiting to just say whatever it is that we’re thinking and and combat whatever it is that they’re saying sometimes it is okay for you to just slow down and just say wow thank you for sharing that with me show appreciation because for some or some organizations it’s very hard and very scary for individuals to share certain things with you so when you can say thank you so much for sharing and i appreciate you from a genuine authentic place it’ll go a long way yeah oh that’s so powerful you know one thing um as you’re talking i thought of a a scenario that shared with me so my uh my former sensei he ran several different organizations and one of the techniques he would use in conflict resolution that i thought was so powerful so simple he’d bring two people in and say okay i’m gonna hear from from you sarah and then i want to hear from you bob and then sarah’s gonna go first sarah says all her stuff right so bob’s preparing his rebuttal he’s like oh that’s not right matt and she’s got that detail wrong when sarah’s done he then looks at bob and says okay bob what did you just hear sarah saying oh snap i wasn’t listening yeah so many of us are guilty of that our partner stop talking starts talking we’re like no you’re supposed to pick up the milk we specifically we’re automatically planning our rebuttal um and i thought oh god that’s so simple you told me that years ago and i completely used it thank you ed sumner um i’ve used it so many times right oh it’s so true actually listening and and and the other thing that’s so important is think about what we want as humans we want to be seen we want to be heard we want to know what we’re important and we belong give them that at least let them know they’re seen and heard that’s so so important or else they’ll just keep coming back to the same damn point because they know you didn’t hear them that’s right that that is so true and and i will add this last piece to it um a lot of times we’ll have we may have some dialogue with our employees or even with our partners or just a friend we’ll have this dialogue and the dialogue in but we never came to a final solution of what we’re going to do and then we go do whatever like hold on i didn’t say to do or i didn’t we don’t finalize the discussion right so it’s going to be important for us as we have this dialogue and i’m work i’m saying this because i’m working on it with my product i’m working on it right and i’m working on doing it with individuals that i work with just making sure that i finalize and come to a conclusion of what we’re saying and what is the action once we do that so true god and it’s true and marriage is true in organizations and like like bookend it say okay here’s what here’s what i’m walking away with you know and that’s that’s so important if every conversation and every meeting we ended with like all right what what’s everybody walking away with i’m walking away with the project is now going ahead but it’s moved out to june and i’m starting on this piece got it you understood it or with your partner okay i’m walking away with we just agreed that the kid’s bedtime this is an argument in our household um i’m a girl i’m agreeing that the kids bedtime is now 8 30 and mom’s going to stop pushing it because i tend to push it it’s it’s true instead of us just discussing about like well we’re going to have a bedtime what’s it going to be we have to bookend the conversation with here’s what i heard here’s what i’m walking away with and that’s that’s so important one of the things we talk about so i um worked in negotiation for years and i’ve trained lots of people in negotiation and i tell people all the time and this is true in sales negotiation and any relationship where if you got two humans involved it’s likely true i said people are jerks a lot less of the time than you think people take advantage of each other a lot less than you think it’s usually that people have not communicated expectations they have not clarified hey this is what i mean whether that’s you buying a car negotiating for a job or a discussion with your partner it’s usually people come in with different perspectives they have different expectations usually they’re left uncommunicated because we’re just not good at communicating them unless we actively work on it and then everybody walks away with their own set of expectations and if we stop and say all right what’d you hear what did i hear where are we going from there um again people are jerks a lot less of the time that’s real that’s right and i i believe that we we definitely have way more good-hearted people than we like to give we like to give credit for and you know there’s a lot going on in the world but there are a lot of great people out here there sure are i just read this quote the other day that says uh proximity lends itself to empathy um and so when we get close to people and that’s also i would i would change that a little bit and say and we really hear each other um there’s there’s a lot a lot of empathy there and you’ll see the goodness in people but when we when we’re far back from them we’re not listening to them it’s just on social media and people aren’t always their best on social media um then there is an empathy there is an understanding but when we get up real close with people and we have real conversations um there’s a lot of goodness there that’s real yeah yeah so i’ve got one other question for you but before i get to that last question um where do people find you dr joe so right now uh i’m making sure that the experience that i had in the journey that i went on in terms of my individual healing i’m doing that for others so you can go to healnow2021.com let me say that again heal now 2021.com because that’s my focus right now and and once again your purpose and your profit is directly connected to your individual healing so don’t neglect it don’t neglect it like so many of us have like i have make sure you take advantage of opportunities to heal the other thing is i’m on linkedin as dr joe johnson everybody knows me as dr joe but i’m on linkedin as dr joe johnson and i’m also always on instagram as well at joe johnson speaks perfect perfect so you you kind of alluded to it there but what’s next for you what are we going to hear about so we’ve got this amazing book out what what are we going to hear about that’s next for you yeah once again i’m pushing uh individual healing right now pushing that is so important because once again so many people will do everything else but look within right and so my thing is is really helping individuals do that tap into that healing but the other thing is this um like i said as a speaker as as as a person that has the ability to communicate and communicate effectively um i’m getting creative with with what i do and so i’ve been able to pitch a couple of shows out in la i’m working on um really getting on either the television screen or one of the networks to explain expand my brand and just to really make sure that that the the narrative shifts from dream big follow your dreams to pursue your purpose so that’s my biggest thing right now getting on the networks well we have a former network executive listening right now you heard that michelle come on pull some strings make it happen michelle that’s right well thank you so much for your time and your wisdom um and your energy i love the way that you show up we’ve had some conversations and they’ve just been excellent conversations and i’m so glad to finally have you on we were super pumped about this interview absolutely listen i just want to just just you know just give you gratitude and just say thank you to you uh for allowing me to get on your platform and i pay attention to your social media continue to do continue to be a wonderful mom to your children um a wonderful partner to your partner and continue to just add value to the world like you’ve been doing i just want to say thank you so much thank you thank you so much it’s amazing it’s just great to have this conversation and to to meet someone that is so real and authentic and and doing great work out there in this world so this is not our last conversation dr joe this is just forgetting for us thank you so much have an amazing day thank you all right take care okay let’s go offline

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About Our Guest:

Dr. Joe Johnson, an international speaker on Purpose, and author of the book Pursue Your Purpose Not Your Dreams. With a PhD in Counselor Education, common sense, and street sense; Dr. Joe’s versatility gives him 20+ years of experience in transformation work and helps others unleash their purpose.



Connect with Dr. Joe Johnson

Interview Highlights:

In this episode, we talk about Dr. Joe’s journey- from an unfulfilled career to helping others build their best happy lives and careers. Listen in to learn the importance of choosing a purpose that impacts both your professional and especially your personal life.

Dr. Joe describes the difference between purpose and dreams and the power purpose has over dreams.

Pivotal Questions Asked: 

  • [2:22] Tell us about yourself and tell us what got you into this type of work?
  • [4:51] How did you navigate identity change, and how do you help people?
  • [12:02] Explain the difference between purpose and dreams.
  • [20:43] Help us understand how individual healing directly connects to purpose and profit.
  • [31:20] Do you get nervous when you speak, and what do you do to hype yourself up before you speak?
  • [32:57] What success principles do you use today?
  • [36:28] Who’s your ideal client that you work with?
  • [38:24] Did you know that Ph.D. is what you wanted to do, or do you come from a long line of PhD. holders?


In This Episode You Will Learn:

  • [2:29] Dr. Joe explains how his background in sports led him to speaking and training professionals.
  • [4:53] The importance of designing your peer group to tap into your identity from within.
  • [10:07] How to be careful in choosing the content that you consume.
  • [12:12] The difference between dreams and purpose, plus the power of purpose and putting your dream in context.
  • [16:55] Why you should get selfish sometimes and make a pivot to a life and career you love.
  • [21:04] Dr. Joe explains his individual healing journey and how his past issues affected his productivity.
  • [26:09] He describes the pivot point when he realized he needed to pursue his purpose.
  • [31:29] The strategies that Dr. Joe uses to hype himself before getting on stage.
  • [33:05] Success tips that Dr. Joe uses to nourish his physical and mental functioning.
  • [36:31] How he uses awareness, knowledge, and skill to help unfulfilled career professionals looking to transition to a life they love.
  • [38:42] Dr. Joe on how he broke his family’s cycles by getting not only a college degree but a PhD.
  • [45:49] The value of listening to others and showing appreciation towards others as a leader.   
  • [52:51] He talks about his plans to expand his brand in the future.  


  • “One of the toughest things to navigate is identity change.”– April [4:47]
  • “Diet isn’t only the food that you consume, it’s also the content that you consume.”– Dr. Joe [10:40]
  • “There’s pressure to fulfill everyone else’s needs except our own.”– Dr. Joe [17:18]
  • “We have to become aware of everything about us and around us.”– Dr. Joe [37:27]


Dr. Joe Social Handles:
Instagram: @JoeJohnsonSpeaks

Twitter: @JJohnsonSpeaks

LinkedIn:Dr.Joe Johnson


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