Most of us have experienced limiting beliefs that hold us back. In his new book, “Living With A SEAL,” Jesse Itzler opens up about his experience doing just that and offers practical advice on how to conquer those moments of doubt and persevere through failures.
In a recent interview with Jason Hartman for the Freedom Fast Lane podcast, Itzler shared his unorthodox path in business and the ideas reflected in his new book. Itzler was recently a featured speaker at the 2016 Freedom Fast Lane Live event in Austin, Texas, December 8-11.
Itzler has lived life outside of the box. Among his achievements, Itzler co-founded Marquis Jet, a private jet card company that he sold to Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway. He partnered with the popular coconut water drink Zico, which they sold to Coca-Cola. He started as a rapper and performed on MTV. He’s run 100-plus miles, and is a part-owner of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks.
“The common thread throughout all those different ventures is that I’ve had no prior experience in any of them, and no business experience in any of them," Itzler said during the Freedom Fast Lane podcast interview. "And I think for a lot of people that could be a big deterrent into starting something or getting into something, just because of the fear of not knowing or lack of experience. But for me, it was a great blessing because it basically guaranteed that everything that I did would be done differently than in the past, and the results would be different.”
After back-to-back successes, how does one determine where to go next?
Itzler decided to cold call a Navy SEAL he'd observed at 24-hour relay race in San Diego, and asked him to come live with his family for a month. Who does that?
SEAL (as he’s known in the book) agreed, and thus began Itzler's month long journey of physical and mental transformation. Itzler documented the experience, and those reflections on mindset, personal development and getting out of his comfort zone are what make up his new book.
“When he moved in with me, I was in a great place in my life, and I still am," Itzler explained. "I was married, and I still am. I had a child. I now have four. And I had done okay. I thought I was operating at a high level for me personally. But like so many of us, I was in this routine. My routine was get up, work out, go to work, come home with my family time, dinner, put the kids down, repeat, and it was amazing. I was so comfortable. I was doing it every day. And because I was doing it every day, it became almost like a rut. Like, I was so comfortable in that space that I stopped taking chances. I stopped dreaming big. I started putting things off until tomorrow. … And I wasn’t getting better. So I needed to shake it up. Obviously everyone’s not going to hire a Navy SEAL to shake it up. But for me, I learned a lot, and a lot of the things I’ve been able to share and take with me once he left."
What SEAL helped Itzler do is create a mindset that when things get tough, no matter how tough, you should attack it instead of hiding from it. Doing things that make you feel uncomfortable can be opportunities for growth, he said.
One important lesson Itzler learned is how we must overcome our addiction to instant gratification.
“A lot of the mistakes that I have made have been rushing, rushing to put products out," Itzler said. "We live in a product-driven world. The product has to be excellent. If it’s not above excellent, there’s a good chance it won’t work. It’s just so competitive out there. It takes time. It’s okay to go slowly and make some changes and figure things out as you go. I think that was a really great lesson for me.”
Looking ahead, Itzler said he is interested in living with other interesting people - perhaps living with a monk to go radio silent for 30 days - and documenting those experiences as well to tap into areas of self improvement and share what he's learned.
Itzler's book "Living With A SEAL" is available now on his website here.