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November 19, 2023 81 mins
Changing your perspective, changes your experience. - Dan Brown
From a traumatic childhood marked by family tragedy and addiction, my guest found himself entangled in a life of drugs and crime. However, a near-fatal accident served as a wake-up call, sparking his path to recovery and self-improvement. My guest, Ryan Zofay’s relentless pursuit of personal development eventually led to the creation of "We Level Up," a platform that offers individuals the tools and support to reach their fullest potential.
Discover Ryan’s remarkable story of redemption and his mission to empower individuals to find their purpose and lead fulfilling lives.
Know more about the work of our podcast guest through https://ryanzofay.com/ and be inspired to learn more about what you can do when you put your mind and heart into it.
To learn more about myself, Michael Esposito, and find out about public speaking workshops, coaching, and keynote speaking options, and - of course - to be inspired, visit www.michaelespositoinc.com
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Episode Transcript

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(00:01):
This show is sponsored by DN tenInsurance Services, helping businesses get the right
insurance for all their insurance needs.Visit dn ten dot io to get a
quote dn ten dot io and remember, when you buy an insurance policy from
dn ten, you're giving back ona global scale. Hello all, my

(00:22):
entrepreneurs and business leaders, and welcometo the Michael Esposito Show, where I
interview titans of industry in order toinform, educate and inspire you to be
great. My guest today is aPlatinum Lions member with Tony Robbins and has
used his skill set to accelerate hiswe Level Up Drug, alcohol Abuse and

(00:44):
Mental Illness treatment facility into a onehundred million dollar company. Being in the
proximity of Tony Robbins enhanced his abilityto change lives, impact others, and
helped them become the best version ofthemselves. He is now sober for twenty
one years and he is a successfulbusinessman, transformational coach, and motivational speaker.

(01:10):
He shares personal development techniques that measurablyenhance relationships, performance and mindset.
He is developing his own brand toinfluence the rest of the world to unveil
their true best and higher selves.Please welcome my guest today, Ryan's o
Fay. Welcome Ryan, Thank you, mo Man, thank you for having

(01:33):
me. Yeah, very very happyto have you on. Just tremendous work
that you're doing. We're gonna certainlyget into your story, but just looking
at the website, we level upjust a tremendous amount of work that you're
putting in there. We just kindof you just gave me a high level
of thirty thousand foot view of whatyou do in five states, four hundred

(01:56):
and fifty employees, just helping people, and this all derives from your own
personal experience. So so much tounpack in terms of your opening of Tony
Robbins and your mentors and coaching andall the stuff that you're doing today.
But I mean, you know,when we're in that the rehabilitation space,

(02:21):
there's always a personal story and aconnection to it all, and I know
our audience would like to hear yours. Yeah, brother, thank you so
much. And you know it's interesting, like as you're sitting here telling me
these accolades, I'm like it's likehard, it's hard to like digest.
It's like wild that like this isliterally the life that I'm living and you
know, and you reference, youknow, having a personal story and and

(02:43):
you know, just just realizing likewhat I have been through. And there
was a time when I had thisvictim mentality and I would walk around with
this story of of like if youknew what I went through, then you
would understand, like why I'm beingsuch a shithead blaming everybody for all my
problems. And but the truth isis now I've been able to shift my
perspective and I know the very reasonwhy I'm in the position that I'm in

(03:06):
today is because of all those traumaticexperiences that I went through as a child.
And so I'm honored and blessed andI want to I want to praise
my parents for for for what theyhave done for me. You know,
if you're gonna blame your parents forthe bad, you better blame them for
the good and a lot of that. Yeah, dude, I have a
pretty bad ass life. So thanksMom and Dad. Yeah, they're they're
you know, they're no longer here, but I know they're they're they're smiling

(03:29):
down. Yeah. Man. SoSo it all started, dude, when
I was five years old, mysister passed away and it devastated my parents.
My mother and father shortly after divorced. My mother was blaming my father
for for how he was showing upduring that whole time. She ended up
like leaving the home and and shestarted dating another gentleman. And it was

(03:52):
very confusing for me, you know, in my mind, you know,
I just lost my sister. Youknow, during that whole time, they
would always passed me off to mygrandparents house. I would stay with you
know, my my my father's parentsor my mother's parents because they were too
busy dealing with what they were dealingwith. But the message that I got
at that time was like I'm notimportant enough, or they don't love me,

(04:15):
or they don't care much about me. And so when my mother and
father divorced, right shortly after mysister passed, you know, my mom,
my mom moved on to another relationshipand so and immediately I'm like establishing
these beliefs that she's choosing another manover me, you know. And and
and my dad played that fiddle aswell. My dad was feeding that because

(04:38):
he was upset and resemful that youknow, his his wife. My mother
left them, and so my motherended up remarrying and having another child,
and so by the time I wasnine years old, my mother was in
like a full blown addictive relationship withthis man. Her drug use progressed to

(04:58):
you know, crack cocaine, andit was very serious. And so my
first real like traumatic experience I wasit was around nine years old, shortly
after my brother was born. Icame home from school and my father was
in the in the kitchen, youknow, drinking drinking alcohol, and as
I was like walking by to avoidhim, He's like, hey, he

(05:18):
said, your mother just got shotand she she probably she's probably not going
to live. And I was justlike, what, you know, like
are you serious? Like what likelike and it was just like so nonchalant,
and it was like such a devastatingexperience for me at nine years old,
and like mindful, like I haven'treally seen much of my mom through
this, through this time because she'snow remarried to this other man. And

(05:43):
so this was actually the first timethat I actually considered like killing myself,
you know, like the pain wasso great and it was so devastating that
I didn't want to live anymore,you know, Like my mom was gone,
my father was absent. He wasan alcoholic, very abusive, and
now you're telling me that she's shotand she's she's no longer going to live.

(06:03):
And by the grace of God,she made it. And she got
shot in the neck at a pointblank range with a three fifty seven,
which is like a hand bazooka,and she lived. So, you know,
God bless her for being able toget through that stuff. And sorry,
So, yeah, it was Itwas just devastating, man, it
was just it was just overwhelming,and I couldn't believe that that was what

(06:26):
was going on at that time inmy life. And then here's the crazy
part, right, So she getsout, he goes to prison for like
six to nine months, He getsout of jail, she gets back with
him, she goes back to therelationship. Oh my goodness. Yeah,
it's wild. So think about it. Like here I am at this point,

(06:48):
I'm like ten, almost turning eleven, and I'm like, why are
you doing this? Like like whyare you choosing to go back to this
man that almost just murdered you?And you know, I understand, and
like it's battered women's syndrome at thispoint, you know, I understand.
You know, the so I understandher psychology and the mentality at the time

(07:09):
which she was thinking. And thenprobably like four or five months later,
they get in another big fight andhe hands up stabbing her thirteen times.
Yeah, it's it's pretty crazy andso and she survived that too, So
I you know, I God blessher for being able to go through that
stuff. She's probably one of thestrongest people I've ever met in my life.

(07:31):
And so at this point in mylife, I'm eleven years old,
I think I want to live withmy mom because I'm like, all right,
like, clearly she's not able toprotect herself. And so at eleven
years old, I'm like, Ineed to be the one. I need
to be the one to go thereand protect her. And I was just
so scared that if I wasn't nearher then then I would lose her.

(07:55):
And so I started living with her, and she continued on her drug use
and so then I started using drugsat age eleven, and by the time
I was twelve years old, Iwas full blown drug addict. She was
using me to support her means ofgetting high. So I was stealing cars,
breaking into houses, stealing money frommy father. She would bring me

(08:18):
to shopping plazas and she would haveme steal old people's purses. And so
by the time I was fourteen yearsold, I was arrested. I robbed
a store with a handgun, andI had like five or six counts of
grand theft, auto a handful ofcounts of armed burglary, criminal mischief.
And that was like the first time, like my my life kind of paused.

(08:41):
And I ended up going to aprogram for nine months. And I
was fourteen years old when this happened, so you know, it was it
was severe charges, but because Iwas so young, there was you know,
there was really no you know,there was really not a lot of
programs around at this time. Andso I ended up going to a a
drug program up in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. It was a nine month

(09:05):
program. I spent probably like sixmonths in juvi, so total it was
a little over a year and threemonths. And so I get out and
my parents are still using and Ihad no safe environment, no safe home,
and I went right back to thestreets, right back to what was
comfortable for me, and I endedup getting arrested again. This time it

(09:28):
was like violation some like some pettycharges like possession, and so I did
a few months in another drug program. It was like I think it was
like a ninety day program, andthen I ended up getting out again.
And so I'm sixteen years old atthis point, I really don't have much
of a relationship with my mother.But what actually started to happen, which

(09:48):
was really cool and which I'm extremelygrateful for, is that she ended up
getting sober. So she went toa twelve step program and she got sober.
And during the year when I wassixteen, she kept trying to like
intervene, but I was like soangry and so resentful. I had no
trust because of like what I've beenthrough with her, So why am I
going to listen to you now?So I was in total revenge. October

(10:11):
eighth, two thousand and one.I was driving in the front seat of
my best friend's car at the time, and I was up partying all weekend.
I violated probation again. I youknow, I had like a pocket
full of xanax, and I rememberlike the drugs weren't working anymore, and
I remember like looking at him andsaying, hey, like like I'm not

(10:31):
feeling it, are you? Feelingit anymore. And it was a time
in my life when like the drugsweren't working. I wasn't able to get
high. It was like, literallyI was just doing this just to numb
myself, just to cope with thepain of what I've been through. And
so we ended up taking like ahandful more. I don't really remember much
after that, but I do recall, you know, we got in a

(10:52):
high speech chase. We ended upwrecking the car. I was flown out
of the car. I was pronounceddead at the scene. I was traumhawk
to the hospital. That was Octobereight, two thousand and one. So
October ninth, two thousand and oneis when my sobriety date starts. But
here I am, I'm in juvieand I'm looking at twenty five to life.

(11:13):
And so that was that was literallylike my childhood up until sixteen.
That was like a quick overview oflike where I where my recovery journey began.
Man I I And and then there'sstill more to unpack from from what
I learned from you. First ofall, I always need to just create

(11:35):
some space here and and thank youfor sharing your story and your journey there
because it's heavy. It's heavy stuff, man. I mean, just me
here listening, I'm emotional just listeningto your story because I can't imagine your
experience and what you had to gothrough and the feelings that you you had

(11:56):
to have to think about suicide towitness what you witness with your parents and
then eventually go through it yourself.Just want to say, you know,
you know, thank you for forfinding a way one, But I do
have a lot of questions to toask in terms of all of that that
story there that you shared, Sothank you again for your authenticity there and

(12:18):
for for sharing all of that.And anybody out there listening right now,
if you're if you're listening dealing withaddiction, have somebody in your family know
somebody please take this story, reachout to Ryan right now, reach out
to him and his team and getsome help for them. Because as as

(12:39):
we just heard in this story hereis like as soon as Mom got sober,
it started at least the upward trendfor you to get sober too.
So you know, like this storyis just it's it's it's incredible that you
survived. It's incredible that you survived. I want to understand a few things

(13:00):
here in the drug use for yourselfat eleven years old, what was what
was the drug that you were using? And and and why. I don't
want to put blame on anybody else, but I'm just I feel like our
communities need to take some sort ofresponsibility for for the kids in it.

(13:20):
In that Why didn't school teachers,Why didn't other adults in the community see
that you were using and and offersome sort of help. Yeah, I
mean, it's sorry, it's agreat question. I don't I don't really
you know, I didn't really goto school much, you know, like
that was and that's that's what wasso interesting. I didn't really have an
opportunity for for people to see muchof what was going on, and so

(13:46):
I I don't think there was anopportunity for them to intervene, you know,
Like I the last school, thelast grade I completed, was was
seventh or sixth grade was the lastgrade I actually completed. So I was
a seventh grade dropout. And yeah, man, I mean my grandparents they
attempted to step in and help,but they were just enabling my parents and

(14:07):
they didn't know any better. Imean, this is you're talking. You
know, I'm thirty eight years old, so this was starting when I was
eleven, So you know, whatis that twenty seven years ago? And
they you know, domestic violence wasn'ta thing at that point, and you
know, and there was really noprograms for in like you know, recovery

(14:30):
wasn't such a big thing at thispoint, and so there wasn't really an
understanding of like what to do orhow to handle this situation, you know,
And that's that's kind of the consensusthat I got. Yeah, I
think, and what you're expressing toois I think it's the conversation, right
because you know, there were therewere definitely drug and addiction rehab centers and

(14:54):
same thing with violent with domestic violence, but the conversation around it there was
there. There certainly is a shameand a feeling of of of all of
that that that surrounds it from whatI hear from from people who I've interviewed
and spoken with about this, butthere wasn't a conversation and openness like what
you're doing right now. And that'swhy, you know, it's it's like
so important to have people like youshare your message and share your story because

(15:20):
that's where somebody who was experiencing itcan relate and can maybe seek some help.
So they probably weren't talking about itmuch. Yeah, so I I,
I this is a bit of likemore of like a eleven years old
using drugs. What what was it? Weed? Was it? Was it?
Pills? Was it? Yeah?So the first the first, the

(15:41):
first thing I did was I smokedweed. That was you know, that
was like cool. I was likesocially accepted by my parents, you know,
or my mom really my dad didn'treally want, you know, much
anything to do with that. Butand then then it really then it was
alcohol. And then at that pointI was like anything I can get my
hands on, I'm taking. Mymother was an oxy I mean a pill

(16:03):
user, and then she transitioned intocrack cocaine, so I know she would
always mix between the two. Sothank god I never smoke crack, but
you know, it was pretty muchanything I get my hands on. Alcohol
was a big, a big partof my story for sure. Yeah,
because it was easy, it waseasy accessible, it was cheap, and
you know, you didn't need alot of money to get to get messed
up. Yeah, and you spokeabout this revenge that that you had this

(16:27):
revenge feeling. And I know ina lot of the talks that you do
and and the self development work thatyou do, you talk about overcoming adversity
and overcoming all of these different obviouslychallenges. Revenge is one that we don't
hear a lot about. And youbrought that up, about this revenge revengeful

(16:48):
behavior. I'm interested if you couldkind of like share what that looks like
a little bit or or or howto identify or how to help somebody heal.
Yeah, for sure. So youknow, for me, it really
came in the form of feeling likeI received something from my parents that I
didn't deserve and feeling like they weredoing it to me. Right, I

(17:14):
personalized what they were doing, andI personalized that for a very very long
time. I mean we're talking maybethe last four or five years. I've
been able to like really forgive andreally like understand and have empathy for what
I've been through with them. Andit's really just my perspective, right Like
at that time, I had aperspective of like, how dare you treat
me like that? How like it'snot fair? Like what about me?

(17:37):
And so there's this like unconscious decisionthat happens where it's like I'm so upset
and they're the cause of why mylife is so shitty. And that was
my story for so long, waslike I am who I am in this
world because of what you have doneto me, and I'm going to make
you pay for that because I'm nothappy with where I'm at and what I've

(18:00):
experienced in this in this life isthat a lot of people are in positions
in life that they don't want tobe in. And it's very easy to
point the finger to those around usto be the cause of why we are
where we are right so, andso for me, what I had to
do is take responsibility. Because Ican't change what has happened. I can

(18:22):
change the perspective of what happened,right, because that's all I have is
my perception of the facts, becausemy facts might be different than your facts.
Right. If it's interesting, ifthere's been studies done, if if
twins grow up in the same householdand you interview them separately, they're both
going to give you two completely differentexperiences of their life. And so that

(18:45):
was so huge for me because onceI realized that I can shift my perspective
and not personalize it and understand thatthey were going through their own challenges.
They were going through their own traumasand their own you know, addictions,
and really it had nothing to dowith me. Unfortunately, I was a
byproduct. There's casualty when when whenparents decide to use drugs and not parent

(19:07):
the way that they need to parent. And so that's that's that's my understanding
of revenge and what I've learned through. Yeah, And I mean, you
know, you know, we're definitelygonna talk about your relationship with Tony Robbins,
but I mean, he always talksabout it doesn't happen to you,
you know, it happens for you. Which is interesting because you know,
in all of this, look atwhat you've been able to create and the

(19:30):
amount of lives you're able to impacttoday through this, this childhood that you've
been able to overcome, which istremendous. And just another shout out to
one of my guests, Study whowas on and her podcast will be live
soon, but she talked very similarabout this, a very similar upbringing,
abusive household things like that, andher brother went one direction addiction and and

(19:53):
and locked up and all the rest, and she went into a total different
direction. And you know, Iasked her that question of like what you
just brought out about the twins inthat same household, and she said,
yeah, it's really you know,perception and and how we see things from
different angles and different points of viewand everything. So it's it's tremendous when
you do change your perception on something, how it can impact or change your

(20:15):
life. So you have this experience, you get through it all. I'm
interested because there there's before we getinto your business life, which when you
when you become a commodities broker,before we get there, your path to
sobriety came from this accident, andI have to assume that there was a

(20:37):
lot of pain that went into thatinitially. And so if you can just
help us just understand too, howyou know October ninth your your your new
birthday, how that started changing yourlife and how you were able to take
on rehabilitation. Yeah, so thatthat was probably the first best thing that
could have happened to me, isactually in that automate accident and and getting

(21:02):
locked up, and because I remembersitting there and this was the first time
that that I stopped fighting. Thiswas the first time that I actually surrendered
to my situation because I literally hadnothing I could do. There's I had
no there's no choices. I wasdone and from based on what the state's
attorney was telling me that if Icame back into juvie ever again, they

(21:26):
were going to give me my fullsentence. They were going to send me
to a Level ten program, whichwas a juvenile max prison, and then
once I turned eighteen, they weregoing to send me away to prison for
twenty five to life. And sojust digesting that was was just devastating to
me. My life was over.And what was so cool about it that,
you know, the twelve Step programteaches you have to surrender. In

(21:48):
order to get to get sober,you have to surrender your life and your
will over to God and trust andlive his will. And so I knew
at this point there was nothing Icould do. My mother came into the
program and she was sober, andshe started introducing me to this this new
way of life, and this waslike the first time that she actually showed

(22:08):
up for me, and so Ineeded a little bit of support, you
know, I needed that at thattime. I needed somebody else to believe
in me, because I sure asheld him believe in myself. And so
she was like, there's there's noway I'm letting you go away. And
so the next nine months I wastrying to fight the case so that I
wouldn't get the new charges, whichwould ultimately send me away for you know,

(22:30):
pretty much a large portion of mylife, if not the rest of
it. And so the day ofsentencing, the judge was like, you
know what, I don't feel likeit's in our best interest to send you
away. You know, your motherhas a compelling story. You know,
I understand a lot of the reasonswhy you are here was directly correlated to
how she raised you and the traumasand the things that you went through.

(22:52):
And so he says, I'm goingto give you another chance. And so
what was really cool about that momentfor me, I didn't know it at
the time. After meeting Tony,that was a pivotal moment in my life
that allowed me to really forgive becauseI realized, like, yes, all
all the years prior was painful,was devastating, was in complete revenge.

(23:17):
But that was the best gift thatI have been ever granted in my entire
life as my sobriety, and thatcame from my mother and so just have
nothing but gratitude for her. AndI definitely would not be where I am
today if it wasn't for that moment. Yeah, and the compassion that Judge
showed you. I mean, itjust speaks volumes about how somebody can affect

(23:41):
somebody else's life. That Judge couldmake a decision to send you away and
then we don't have you, Wedon't have all the facilities that you've created
and all the work that you're doingtoday. And so it's you know,
I think about like, you know, one person can change the life of
many, and dare to what youjust shared with that story is like that

(24:02):
Judge just changed the life of amillion thousands of people, if not millions
to come with what you're doing today. So that is a huge, huge
pivotal moment. Like you just said, So did you meet Tony right after
that or that's later on in life, that's later on life. I met
Yeah, August twenty eighteen, Okay, And so so now you got this

(24:23):
new life ahead of you, thingsare going smooth. They're like, all
right, I'm sober I'm clean.I got this new life. I've surrendered
to it. I've overcome addiction,I've overcome all of these challenges, abuse
and all this other stuff you getinto commodity trading, and I'm just going
to leave it there for you totake the ball and roll with it about.
You know, where where does thisstory take us? Yeah, So

(24:47):
two thousand and one, I getsober, I get out of JUVI,
I go through my program, andI'm like the poster child of this twelve
step program. And you know,my mother and my now third or fourth
step father, they have a greatreputation in recovery and where I'm from,
so everybody knew me when I gotinto the program, and so it was

(25:11):
like welcoming with the opening arms andthe fact that I was sober, so
young, I was able to impactand influence a lot of younger kids in
recovery, and so like I was, I was always the youngest kid when
I would the youngest and the smallestkid when I would live on the streets
and hang out with those kids,I was always like bullied or I was
always like forced to do the thingsI didn't really want to do. And

(25:32):
so this was the first like momentor experience where I was like I was
like popular, like people like reallyliked me, and it was it felt
amazing. And so that lasted forabout five and a half years, and
my mother relapsed. My biological fatherwas diagnosed with cancer and he had they
told him had a year to live, and so like all those abandoned issues,

(25:56):
all those childhood traumas were retriggered,and I felt like I was all
alone, which I understand today,like I isolated myself, and I chose
those decisions to push people away becauseagain I started getting resentful and I was
in revenge again because I'm personalizing theirproblems. And so my next decision was
like, all right, I needto make money, Like I'm tired of

(26:19):
just doing this normal nine to fivestuff and I want to be successful.
And so I met a gentleman whowas a commodity broker, and he started
to tell me how much money hewas making, and that was my new
drug. And so I started commoditiesin two thousand and seven, and shortly
after, probably like six months in, I realized that a lot of the

(26:40):
people that were investing money weren't makingmoney. They were losing money because options
ninety five percent of options. Ibelieve that the percentages expire worthless, so
most ninety something percent of people losemoney if they continue. It's like gambling,
right, the house always wins.And so there was a moment where
and I was able to make adecision to stop. And what's so interesting

(27:04):
is is I go home. Iwas living with my grandparents at this time,
and I went to my grandfather andI was like expressing to him,
like how I was really having ahard time in this business. And he
was like, well so, andhe's like, well, you're uneducated,
you dropped out of sixth grade,you have a ged, you never went
to college. So he like completelyshit on me. And I don't think

(27:27):
he did it intentionally, that's justwhere he was. And that was like
it really just like like just pokedmy wound. And I was like,
all right, I'll show you.And so, like I was trying to
like stop, I was trying toget some support for him. Probably didn't
know how to communicate what I wastrying to say, and so that I
went back into the office the followingweek and I continued and that career lasted

(27:51):
about five years, and I endedup getting sued. April twelfth or to
April twenty twelve, I was suedby the FTC for ten million dollars and
it was devastating, dude, becauseI, you know, I couldn't believe
this is where I was at.I couldn't believe I found myself here having
known everything that I've been through,having gone through recovery, and being still

(28:15):
sober at this time. You know, I'm sober, but I'm acting out
in all the behaviors, but Ijust wasn't using at the time. I
go home after being sued by theFTC and my fiance leaves me, and
so it was one of the mostdevastating times I can tell you today.
That was another pivotal moment in mylife which actually paved the path to where

(28:37):
I'm at today. Yeah, Ineed to understand something here. So was
this like a boiler room type ofthing because I didn't think that a commodities
trader was illegal or was it thatyou were doing some things that were not
ethical I guess or something? Sure, so you know, it was regulated
by the NFA, and I didlose my I did get suspended by the

(28:59):
National Future Association, and then Istarted selling unregulated precious metals. Oh okay,
yeah, so it was it waslike physical bullion, but we were
doing like finance contracts, and soObama passed Dodd Frank and then the FTC
started to regulate that space. Heput a lot of banking restrictions in place

(29:22):
as well, and so the marketliterally I was trading gold and silver,
and they increased margin requirements and goldwent from like twenty three hundred down to
like twelve hundred. Silver was thatfifty went down to like twenty like within
like two weeks. So like myentire book was smoked because everything's on margin.
And so then I started getting aton of complaints and then the FTC

(29:45):
sued me for the ten million,and I ended up settling the case.
All the claims and accusations weren't founded, but I knew morally and ethically I
wasn't doing what I'm intended to doon this earth. People lost money,
I made a lot of commission.It wasn't aligned with my values, and
so we settled the case that Iwould never you know, trade precious metals

(30:08):
ever again, which I didn't carebecause I wanted to be done with that.
Yeah. No, that that's prettypretty crazy, but you know,
it's funny, not funny, butit's interesting. I think people who come
from addiction how they find different addictionsand it manifests its way into different ways

(30:30):
of you know, sneaker addiction orcars. And like you just said,
money was your new addiction. I'minterested in is that something that you see
today with a lot of the peoplethat you work with, And if it
is something, how do you helpthem realize that yet it's it's not alcohol
and it's not a drug like thatyou're getting high off of in terms of

(30:52):
like the way that drugs get youhigh. But this thing that you're doing
is probably not healthy to your sobriety. Yeah, I mean making a lot
of money an ego, you know, releases the similar endorphins that that that
you receive when you when you takedrugs or alcohol. And so usually if
if you remove one addiction or onepattern, another one will pop up unless

(31:15):
you really, you know, developa spiritual relationship that will satisfy that itch
or satisfy that that addiction. Andso you know, right when my parents,
my mom relapsed and my dad youknow, was diagnosed with cancer,
I stopped working in my program,I stopped doing the things that I needed

(31:36):
to do to establish that that thatthat relationship with my higher power, and
then I was looking for my nextdrug. I know, I didn't want
to use. I knew that wasn'tthat wasn't something that wasn't a decision I
wanted to make. And so thatthe next best decision for me was like
ego and greed. You know,it fed that addiction, you know,
because you know alcoholics and drug addicts. It's it's a behavior we have.

(31:59):
You know, we have behavioral issues. You know, a lot of it
is based on our attitude and ourinability to to have you know, positive
thinking or our decision making skills,you know, like our ability to make
decisions on our own at times arevery difficult unless we have some sort of
spiritual conditioning which gives us some guidance. And that's what a twelve star program

(32:21):
does for you. It gives youa design for living, and once you
continue to practice that, you startto develop these new patterns and these new
reps which carry over every other areaof life. Yeah. Yeah, like
the drug impairs or the drug addictsmind is impaired, their judgment is impaired,
based off of that dopamine fix,I guess that they're they're searching for

(32:42):
so they're going for it. Soso yeah, so now you you experienced
all this, Now fiance leaves you, You're you're pretty much into dumps the
spiritualness. You know, You're you'resaying, this is really what saves you
in all of this. And youknow, I've spoken about this before on
the podcast We're not we I don'tlook at you know. I try to

(33:07):
respect. I respect all religions andall belief systems and everything. But for
me personally, I'm not a religiousperson. Like and what I what I
identify as religion would be like Catholicreligion, jew Jewish religion, or Muslim
religion or whatever it is that someonepractices. I think that I'm more of
a spiritual person, and so I'minterested in what you relate to as spiritualism

(33:31):
and how that helps helps helped youand helps you today. Yeah. So,
I think a lot of it hasto do with like detaching from the
outcome and just really like accepting yourselffor who you are and where you are
in the very moment, and andand just doing doing good by by society.
I mean you know, making makingpositive decisions, looking to to to

(33:55):
serve or to give back or tomake a difference in somebody else's life.
You know, I feel like isa practice that would ultimately align with with
spirituality. Yeah, and it's interestinglike that you bring up spirituality too,
because my daughter's so my daughter rightnow, Denise is making her first communion,
and she asked me the other night, she goes, you know,

(34:20):
you're always talking about the spirits andGod and and how you know there's not
you know, how how what youbelieve in God? But then you I'm
making my first communion and I believein God, and you're always And I
said to her, you know,I'm always just trying to get you to
question what's going on in terms ofGod and it's exist and his or her
or its existence and whether whether thereis one or isn't one. I can't

(34:45):
tell you that that's for you todecide, but you know, I'm always
just trying to figure that out.So when I hear that we're kind of
like surrendering to this higher being andsurrendering to their plan or you know,
what God has set for me orthings like that, I wonder what what

(35:05):
does that really mean to you?Because I have a different interpretation of it
for me personally, So I wouldlike to try to understand from someone who
obviously has surrendered to that higher being, what it means, like, what
does it look like? What doeswhat does it feel like when when you
do that? Yeah, So forme, there's just this just this unbelievable

(35:28):
sense of like serenity and peace becauseI just know that no matter what decisions
I make, that whatever's going tobe is going to be. And I
get it, like, if you'remaking bad decisions, you're going to get
shitty results. But but if youif you're on this path of truly just
giving yourself to a higher being,then that means you're truely like serving or

(35:50):
you're making decisions that are in thebest interest of everybody else around you,
not just you. And so it'sit's important for me to do that because
you know, drug addicts, nowlcoholics, our core is selfish and self centeredness.
And so the idea to give myselfto somebody else, or to give
my faith or my trust into somethingthat's bigger than me, that means I'm

(36:13):
being selfless in that act and choosingto do something for somebody else rather than
doing something for myself. And sothat practice has significantly changed my entire trajectory
of my life, which is whyI believe I am where I am today
because my entire life, my designof living today is built around serving everybody
else. How can I improve everybodyelse's lives around me? How can I

(36:35):
make a difference? How can Iimpact your life? What can I do
to change the trajectory of somebody's life? Which is why I've decided to start
doing these podcasts and speaking on stagebecause I know I have a higher purpose.
I know my mission here on earthis to help other people that are
struggling or that have been through thethings that I've been through. You can
get through that, you can overcomethat, and you can actually create a

(36:59):
life that is be on your wildestdreams. And that's what I'm living.
That's a living example that I havetoday. So I feel like I have
a fiduciary responsibility because I should notbe here right now, right So the
fact that I lost my life andsome reasons somehow I made it, The
fact that I got sued by theFTC and I ended up settling the case
and everything was okay. Those arethose that's something beyond me that was out

(37:22):
of my control. And so ifI continue to look throughout my life and
see how many magical moments have happenedfor me, that lets me know that
there's something bigger than me, thatlets me know that there's something guiding me,
because in those situations, I mean, think about it, how many
people that are incarcerated today. There'sa lot of people that don't have the

(37:43):
gift that was given to me.So for some reason, something else above
me gave me this beautiful gift.I love that magical moment. Yeah,
you know, and I'm so happythat you articulated it that way. It's
it's really as beautiful this. Iunderstand this, this this selflessness and to
do things for others like I getgreat joy out of that too. I
mean, that's why we have thepodcast. I mean it started for a

(38:06):
selfish reason to want to learn fromentrepreneurs. But I'm so happy that I'm
able to give it to others becauseI mean I could have I could interview
people by myself if I just wantedit for me, But I do it
because I want to share it withothers. So I really can. That
resonates with me a lot, andyou articulated that really really well. I
love the magical moments. That's that'sreally cool because you're right, like we

(38:27):
all have these magical moments and inour lives where we like I know for
myself that I've had these life ordeath death situations. I had a skiing
accident. That's this shoulder here isis completely gone, you see. It's
it's completely gone because I had askiing accident where I went flying over thirty
feet in the air and yeah,I actually remember the airtime. That's how
long I was in the air forit's it's wild. Yeah, I hit

(38:51):
a pipeline. I was flying downthe mountain and I was I was skiing
fast and recklessly, quite honestly,and I hit a pipeline and got ejected
from my boots from my skis,still in my boots, ejected from my
skis and just went flying in theair. And I remember the airtime,
and my cousin had just passed away. I think it was a year or

(39:14):
two prior to that, so itwas like, really, I guess that's
probably why I really remember the airtimethat well, because I remember thinking,
like I hope I can live outof this while thinking of him, and
then I crashed and my arm wascompletely dislocated and annihilated. But I think
back at that moment and I'm like, man, like I lived, like

(39:38):
like you just said, Like peopledie falling on a sidewalk, you know,
they hit their head and they're dead. And meanwhile, I went thirty
feet in the air when somersaulting throughthe sky land and the worst that happened
was I got a busted shoulder forthe rest of my life, big deal,
you know, Like just just Ilove how you call it magical moments.

(39:58):
And if we can see those littlemoment moments, then you know,
we can overcome anything. Really.And I think about the people that you
just mentioned of, like who areincarcerated or who are going through trauma and
everything, if they can find,if they can be helped to find those
magical moments in their lives, Ithink that they might be able to find
that that serenity that you just spokeabout. And some of them, unfortunately,

(40:22):
are in positions that it might notchange their circumstance, but at least
mentally they'll be in a better place. So speaking about getting into a better
place mentally, you obviously overcame atremendous amount for a second time around,
and then you're like, all right, what's next? You know, like
I fixed this whole ftc thing,I got this whole thing done, and

(40:45):
now you're on this path to changethe world and impact people's lives in a
positive way. And so I'm interestedon how the treatment facilities start coming about
and you start obviously started with one, but how does this start coming about?
How do you start building this?Yeah, so my the the year
I was sued, I took thatwhole year off. It would get plugged

(41:07):
back into the program and really getback into my you know what I know
worked when I first got into theprogram. But then I also went to
a place called on Site, whichI think they've been around for like thirty
five years or so, and theydeal with like inner child trauma, they
deal with experiential that they teach experiencialtherapy. So I went there and that

(41:29):
was really the first time I startedto understand, or I felt like people
understood why I was behaving the wayI was behaving. So I felt like,
wait a minute, maybe maybe I'mnot Maybe maybe I'm maybe I am
normal, Like maybe I am okay, Like maybe I'm not some defect,
you know, like I just couldn'tunderstand, like did I'm like, how
the hell did I get here?Because like in one instance, I'm like,

(41:50):
I'm a good guy, but thenon this other instance, I'm like
a wild maniac and I'm like,you know, doctor Jackyll, mister Hyde,
which is what they talk about recovery. And but then I start to
understand why I'm making these decisions,and I started to trace back all my
childhood traumas, like specific moments,specific times that created these new belief these

(42:12):
belief systems, because we make decisionsbased on what we believe. And so
everything started to trace back to whenI was a child and all the different
moments and in all the different timesthat I felt abandoned or I felt like
I wasn't important, or I feltyou know, I wasn't cared for,
or I felt like, you know, it was done to me. And

(42:34):
and so one of their processes isto really get inspired and like what is
your biggest dream and like what doyou really want to be known for?
Like what's your legacy going to be? And I remembered when I first got
sober. I used to be reallyinvolved with halfway houses, like guys in
recovery that are in transition from likenewly in sobriety to trying to be integrated

(42:55):
into society. So they have theselike sober homes where it's like a structure
of environment, and so I spenta lot of time like involved with with
that community. And so I realizedthat, like I wanted to be in
the substance abuse of business because Ifelt I felt so inspired to help people,
and I was like, this iswhat I want to be known for.

(43:15):
And so I knew a couple offriends that were in the space,
and they were like super successful.I really had no idea about the business
at all. I don't really havemuch business experience at this time outside of
just you know, having an investmentfirm, which a lot of that had
to do with like my own youknow, I didn't like really manage much

(43:36):
people. It was like me likedeveloping relationships, and so I didn't really
have much business experience going through thecommodities, although I did learn a ton
about sales. I realized that,you know, the only way for me
to get in the space was tolike partner with somebody or to find somebody
that wasn't doing so well, andI could add value with sales. I
could add value with like marketing.And so my father gave my father bought

(43:59):
into a company and I worked thereas like the marketing director and the sales
director. And shortly after us buyinginto the company, we found out the
reason why the company was failing wasthe guy that we were partnering with,
and so we ended up buying himout. And you know, shortly after
that, you know, we hada very successful year. And my father,

(44:22):
you know, realize that I've changedmy ways, you know, I'm
not behaving the way I used tobehave and and then and then I started
to partner in the facilities. Movingforward, and so fast forward ten years.
Here I am. We have ninefacilities and five states. Four of

(44:42):
them are open today. We're openingup two or three more this year.
And you know, we currently havefour hundred and fifty employees, which is
just astonishing to me. And it'sit's been, it's been a beautiful journey,
and it's and it's all been aboutserving. It's all. It's it's
the core of every decision that wemake is like how can we save people's
lives, like, how can wemake a difference, How can we influence

(45:04):
or inspire somebody to be the bestversions of themselves? And that that approach
has allowed me to be in theposition that I'm in today, which I'm
extremely grateful for. Yeah, Imean, you built a tremendous business.
That's for darn shore. It's that'sthat kid, that's like it's an understatement
of what you've done. I justwant to go back to your dad.

(45:27):
So, dad sober then diagnosed withcancer, So he was part of this
business with you, and he recentlypassed. You said he passed December twenty
fourth, twenty twenty. Okay,Yeah, So I just want to acknowledge
both of your parents too, ifyou would would like to share their names
here. Yeah, Franciszfe is myfather and then my mother is Lisa's Zfe.

(45:51):
Yeah, so rest in peace toboth of them. Of course,
like you said, they gave youquite a story. Huh. Well that's
what I mean, right perspective,And you know, I got the more
challenging traumatic times you go through,the better it is for storytelling. It's
I remember I used to listen toa radio show Ron and Fez and this

(46:12):
guy Ron that rate, one ofthe radio hosts we talk about, you
know, just do it for thestory. Like he would just talk about
like doing these like wild and crazythings or these like you know, just
embarrassing moments. Just to do somethingembarrassing. He's like, you know,
I just did it for the story. And it's like, you know,
it's incredible sometimes you know what youget out of it. But so so
now you have this beautiful business andit's still you're still growing, still doing

(46:38):
so much more. You have anentrepreneur program, You're giving back through all
these different programs. And something Iasked you about before we got on air,
and I would love for you toshare more about while we're on this
topic of rehabilitation and your story andyour journey. You mentioned that when you're
speaking, you typically speak about overcomingadversity, and I would love for you

(47:02):
to share a little bit about that. And you know, just you know,
if there's one person right now who'slistening, and if you could speak
to them right now, and youknow they're they're dealing with their challenges,
they're having the inner child problem,they're they're going through it right now.
If you could speak with them rightnow about overcoming adversity. What what would
you be able to share with them? Yeah, and so it's it's really

(47:23):
like your focus, right, Solike there was a time, you know,
I think we've talked about a coupleof times. It's like your perspective.
Right if I'm if I'm looking atmy life from the lens of a
victim, and I'm personalizing what's goingon, then I'm going to experience disempowering
emotions. And so you know,what you focus on, you feel.

(47:43):
And so you just mentioned it,like do it for the story. I
literally shift my perspective and and Iand I look at my life from that,
from that lens of gratitude, likeI have the ability today to to
to be on shows to talk aboutthese problems to help other people. And
so, like what you focus on, you feel. And so if I'm
focusing on what's wrong, if I'mfocusing on what I don't have, then

(48:07):
I'm going to feel those negative emotions. But if I'm focusing on what I
do have, if I'm focusing onwhat I can control, then I'm going
to feel grace and I'm going tofeel joy and happiness and the mind is
a meaning making mechanism, right,Our minds are designed to give moments meaning,

(48:28):
and so which is a choice.You can give any moment in time
any meaning you want. And soI used to give all the meaning.
I used to give all my experiencesdisempowering meanings like poor me. If you
knew what I went through, andI shifted my focus, I started coming
from a place of gratitude and Igave it a different meaning. And so
that has given me the leverage thatI have needed to continue down this path

(48:52):
of growth. And so if youare suffering, if you're feeling stuck,
you know, rather than asking yourselfa disempowering ques question, ask yourself a
different question. Ask yourself, howis this moment or this experience been a
gift for me? What are allthe gifts that this event has given me?

(49:15):
And your mind will find the answer. Right. Your mind is a
problem solving mechanim as well. Yourmind is designed to answer questions. That
is the biological makeup of the humanmind. And so if you ask yourself
a shitty question, you're going toget yourself a shitty answer. If you
ask yourself an empowering question like whatare the gifts in this, then your
mind is going to give you theanswer. And so it's learning how to

(49:36):
leverage your unconscious mind. And so, like what Tony teaches and a lot
of the stuff that I've learned overthe years is you start to develop this
unconscious competence because ninety five percent ofwhat we're doing on a daily basis is
underneath our awareness. We're not evenaware of what's going on. And so
and the design of that is tokeep us alive, right, that is
the unconscious brain, that is thatis, that is the design for us

(50:00):
is to scan the horizon to findwhat's wrong so that it can ultimately keep
us alive. And so your brainis designed to focus on what's wrong.
Your brain is designed to find what'sbad in every situation. And so in
order to overcome that, you haveto shift your focus. You have to
give your life a different meaning,and all of a sudden you'll start to
change the trajectory of your life.I've made some notes here on this,

(50:23):
and I wrote ask Empowering Questions.Not the first time I heard it,
but the first time it resonated justtremendous and so much more in there.
And I mean, like Tony talksabout you know, where focus goes,
energy flows? Is that right oris it the other way around? Yeah,
you know, and I think aboutyou know, I've taken courses in

(50:43):
manifesting and manifestation, and that's essentiallywhat manifestation is. It's asking your mind
open ended questions, empowering questions sothat it can unconsciously come to the solution
and eventually manifest into a beautiful thing. And to your point, if you're
asking it negative questions and it's manifestingin a negative way, but we could
make it manifest in positive ways.So directly mentored by Tony Robbins, this

(51:08):
is this is incredible. I've spokenabout this countless amount of times on the
podcast, but it never goes withoutsaying. And that, you know,
Tony Robbins is one of the firstmentors of mine. I I downloaded his
CDs into MP three's and I would, I would, you know, my
little personal journey that I that I'veshared before, but for you, for
your sake, here, I wasunemployed, I was in between jobs.

(51:30):
I had just been fired, andmy mother in law was coming. Didn't
know my mother in law was comingover to watch the kids and I made
believe like I was going to workbecause I didn't. I was embarrassed,
I had shame. I didn't wantanybody to know that I was unemployed.
And so I would take his CDs, his tapes that I had downloaded,
and I would go to the localhotel and I would take his courses and

(51:52):
take notes and learn and and starttrying to apply what I was learning from
him in you know, in reallife and eventually getting my life back on
track. So Tony Robbins is somebodythat I'm always very interested when I when
I meet somebody like yourself who hada direct communication with him. So I'm

(52:13):
very interested in that relationship, howit went about where it is today.
If you could share some more aboutthat, yeah, absolutely. So my
introduction to him was through my exfiance. So I've had two fiances the
third times of charm. So yeah, but you know, I was in
a toxic relationship. A lot ofthose you know, childhood traumas bled over

(52:35):
into my relationship, and i've youknow, since then, have made drastic
strides in that area. But sheactually her and I broke up and she
went to a Tony event and shewas like, oh my God, you
have to meet him. So sheactually booked me a ticket and so I
was supposed to go January twenty eighteen, but because it was her idea and

(52:57):
I was like very resist I wasin revenge with her too. I was
like, I'm not going, that'sbullshit. I tried to cancel. They
wouldn't let me cancel. She putit on her card and so they're like,
look, she's gonna. It waslike an eight thousand dollars ticket,
which she like maxed out her creditcard so that I can go. And
I was so pissed off and Iwas like I didn't want to go,
and I missed the one in January. But then somebody called me from Tony

(53:19):
Robbins that was able to speak towhere I am, where I was at
on my journey, and he's like, look, man, he's like,
just come to the event. Ifyou after day one decide this isn't for
you and it's not worth the money, we will refund your money. And
so in my mind I'm like,well, this is how I'm gonna get
her money back. And then itwas in Vegas, so part of me
was like, well, I getto go to Vegas. Fun I'll go

(53:40):
to one day and I'm out.I went to Tony Robbins Day one.
By the end of that day one, I signed up for Platinum Partnership,
and so I just want to beclear, this is an eighty five thousand
dollars investment. So I went therelike I'm getting my ak back, FU
Tony Robbins, FU Riquel, andI'm going to spend eight thousand dollars in

(54:00):
Vegas. Well, I ended upspending eighty five thousand dollars and became a
Platinum Partner. And so that's whenmy journey began. And so it was
so crazy because I remembered like Istarted my journey in like Rose sixty.
I was like so scared, butI was always interested to like see who
was up front. And I usedto see these these chairs with like names
on them, and I'm like,what the hell is that? And so

(54:21):
then finally I find out that wasTony's like inner circle the Lions. And
then I find out the only waythat you're going to become a Lion is
you have to be invited in andthere has to be something that you're going
to bring to the community. AndI was like, oh, I'm never
going to get accepted in because whatam I going to bring? What is
a junkie that you know had youknow, shoestrings and bubblegum at this point,

(54:44):
you know, in my in myjourney from with my company, like
I haven't really scaled my company atthis point, Like I was doing decent,
like decent success, but nothing comparedto where I'm at today. And
I was like, I'm never goingto get in. But I started learning
about limiting beliefs. I started learningabout you know, I can shift my
perspective and I can tell myself adifferent story. And so then immediately I
was like, you know what,like I'm going to do it. I'm

(55:05):
going to become a lion. Andso I started to meet the people that
were like in charge of like vettingyou when you know, as a lion,
and what I started to notice isa very similar theme is they were
like so impressed with me. Theywere like bragging about me because of like
what I've been through and the factthat I was there. So here I

(55:27):
am like feeling like I'm never goingto add any value to all of a
sudden, feeling like the poster childagain. And I was like, oh,
my god, and so I becamelike a fan favorite in Tony and
I went to his home for thefirst time in June twenty twenty. Unbelievable
man, such a beautiful soul.The guy is unbelievable. And so that's
when I started my personal development journey. So June or July of twenty twenty,

(55:51):
right after the pandemic, I watchedTony go from a thriving success,
you know, four or five seminarsa month, to literally everything getting shut
down, him literally almost going bankrupt, him applying everything that he teaches.
So the pandemic happened, right,and so all live seminars, the whole
world got shut down, right,So like COVID prevented everybody from from you

(56:13):
know, doing live seminars are shows, So like his whole business was built
around seminars. And so I watchedhim literally a shift his whole perspective,
give it a different meaning, what'sthe gift and everything? And then he
converted his business into virtual, whichis what he has now. And he
has some live events too, butmajority of his events are virtual. So
I watched him literally apply everything thathe teaches us real time, and I

(56:38):
was like, I have to domore like I have a higher calling.
And so that's when I just starteddecided to start doing the Pirst development seminars,
and then I decided to start scalingmy business. And a lot of
the Lion members I had, Ihad an intervention with Tony, and Tony
you know, coached me on aspecific topic where I was like playing small

(56:59):
and I allowed my belief systems toprevent me from from being who I wanted
to be in this world, whichis what a lot of people do,
and a lot of the Lions likeforced me. They forced my hand because
everybody was like, all right,Ryan's theme is like quit playing small,
Like you have so much content,you have so much substance, You've been

(57:19):
through so much adversity, Like theworld needs this, like you need the
world to see this. And sothen they partnered with me on a facility
in Texas. They raised a tonof a ton of money for me,
and they really just pushed me.They just like threw me in the deep
end. It was like swim figureit out. And so they forced me
to grow. It forced me toget uncomfortable. And I've done thirty events

(57:44):
at this point, so like it'syeah, dude, It's a part of
my routine. It's a part ofmy lifestyle. You know. Like they
say, repetition is the mother ofskill, Yes, but the right reps
are the mother of skill. Andso you want to be in proximity of
somebody that has traveled down the roadthat you want to travel down. And
so I have a ton of mentorsaround me that have, you know,

(58:05):
half a billion billion dollar companies,and they know what it takes to scale.
And the first step is like theidentity of that individual, Like what's
the difference between me and Steve Jobs? What he believes about himself, That's
the difference. And based on whathe believes about himself directly impacts the decisions

(58:25):
that he makes. And so Istarted to believe differently about myself and I
started to adopt Tony's beliefs. Istarted to adopt all these other people around
these beliefs because they're believing in me. I don't believe in myself. But
if they see something in me thatI don't see, then you know,
I'm going to try what they're doing. And so that's how I've been able
to really scale my business. Andso I'm extremely grateful because a lot of

(58:49):
his behaviors. I've adopted a lotof my language and a lot of my
trainings and everything I do are builtaround what I've learned from him. Yeah,
incredible. It's kind of like youyou said that you had this relationship
or in your bio he said thatyou had his relationship with Tony and and
many people might say that, butI had a feeling when you were telling
the story and just learning so muchabout Tony from him from a mind perspective

(59:15):
of understanding how his brain works andwhat he sees in people. When you
were telling a story, I wasjust like their friends. I was like,
I know that that he's got Tonyon like textile, Like there's like
I could just tell like this issomebody that Tony certainly has brought in because
you know, your story just issomething that I know he he emotionally gets

(59:36):
connected with because I've seen that fromfrom some of the events that I've watched.
He really connects with people like youand for some reason is able to
empathize even if he didn't experience it. It's it's incredible to witness and you,
guys, I want to sell astory, so I November twenty nineteen.

(59:57):
This is probably like my fifth event. I'm in my me Beach,
Florida. We're at the American AirlinesArena. It was the American Airlines Arena
at the time, fifteen thousand people. Tony comes out, the place erupts,
and I'm like, I'm going tospeak on his stage one day,
like I will die. That ismy life's mission is to speak on that
man stage. Fast forward. Imade the decision June twenty twenty or July

(01:00:24):
twenty twenty to quit playing small,started doing the person development, started speaking
on stages, started to build mybrand and putting in the reps, like
doing trainings at my company, doingeverything and anything I can to learn this
material and to be able to actuallyfacilitate these types of seminars. October twenty
twenty one, Tony has an eventin Austin, Texas. It's a relationship

(01:00:49):
seminar, and I was going toback out. I wasn't going to go.
I was in my head. Iwas going through some bullshit. My
old belief systems was locked in andI was on the phone with my coach
and I was about to hang upand he says, hey, man,
I can't wait to see you nextweek, and based on my response,
he knew I had made the decisionout to go and he's like, wait
a minute, why aren't you going? And before you could even finish,

(01:01:10):
I was like, all right,I'm gonna go. So I went the
last night Tony. I'm sitting inthe front row. A girl behind me
is going through an intervention with Tony. Tony asks me a question because he
knows I'm in recovery. He knowslike my journey, and he's like,

(01:01:30):
well, what about let's ask Ryan. So he gives me the mic.
This is my moment, right,this is my moment. I stand up.
There's like five hundred people in theroom because there's all Platinum partners,
and I'll send you the pictures afterI start to literally say what Tony would
say, and I literally start todo this intervention with this lady as if

(01:01:51):
I was Tony. He goes nuts, he erupts, he can't. He's
like jumping up and down, raisinghis hands. I'm like a proud child.
He and I'll show the pictures likehe's smiling ear to ear. I'm
literally doing the intervention. He sitsdown and says, this is the real
Tony take it from here. Thiswent off for two hours. This intervention

(01:02:12):
went off for two I've never beendone in the history of Tony Robbins literally
stage, his wife pulls me upon stage. When I was done,
I was crying. He's hugging me, He's kissing me. She's hugging me,
She's kissing me. They're like,we're so proud of you. I
can't believe this, Like we've watchedyou from the like they're just like in
all have like how I've been ableto apply their teachings in my life and

(01:02:32):
who I'm becoming. That was Octobertwenty twenty one. December twenty twenty one,
I'm speaking in front of ten thousandpeople at Date with Destiny like I
said I would two years later.It was such a magical moment. Dude,
Tony was like so proud of me, and then I ended up speaking
at Tony's I've had many experiences andtalks on Tony stage at this point,

(01:02:58):
and so I am forever grateful forthat man, him and his wife have
have have literally changed my life.I just did. I just did a
seminar in December. I was,you know, being celebrated by them.
I have a video where Tony's kissingon me and we're hugging and we're crying
and he's like, I love you. I'm so proud of you. And
I'm like, I love you,dad. Oh man, that is that

(01:03:20):
is awesome. I'm I'm I'm tearingup over here. This is awesome.
Like it's incredible, And you know, I want to go back now just
for a second before I fan boytoo much on you this eighty five K
and and Tony talks about it allthe time, right, so many coaches
talk about it all the time,about this this investment and and finding the
money because you got to do itright. So I'm interested in in popping

(01:03:45):
down in the eighty five K andwhere it came from, how you were
able to figure it out. Yeah. So I literally was at the at
the Platinum Partner booth and I wastalking to Tony Robbin's brother in law,
which is another beautiful soul, amazingfriend and mentor. And I was sitting
there and I, you know,I've heard Tony at you know, at
this point, I think this waslike, my oh, this was my

(01:04:08):
first event. He actually said inthat event, he said in the moments
of decisions will shape your destiny,and so that resonated with me because I
look back and I was like,how many times have I made shitty decisions
and it ended up costing me muchmore down the road. And I was
like, all right, so Ihave to figure this out, right,

(01:04:30):
because that's what he coaches you,right, he coaches you, you know,
during the process, to make thosedifficult decisions, to stretch yourself.
And I was like, okay.I had a company credit card and I
was like, I could put thison my company. I had business partners,
and I was like, they're goingto hate me, you know.
I was like, but I haveto do this. And I called him
and I was like, dude,I got to do this. And they're
like, Bro, you're crazy.This is eighty five k. I was

(01:04:53):
like, you guys don't understand.I was like, I'll explain it to
you when I get back. Andyou know, I was a good salesman.
So I sold them and I sawall them on it, and dude,
I had such buyer's remorse after bro, Like, I was so scared.
I was like, I tried tocancel again. I was freaking out,
and they were like, look,Ryan they're like, you know,
you can't cancel. You paid,it's it's you know, it's it's on

(01:05:15):
the books. Just come to thenext event and and again like like you
know this story, like you've beendown this road again. And so I
was like you're right, and Iwas. I was just scared, man.
I just needed to like overcome thosefears and and and and it's crazy
because like fast forward I could,I would have never known, sitting at
that booth about to make an investmentthat I didn't have, that my life

(01:05:38):
would be where it is today.And so like we talk about like a
higher power or something bigger than us, like like that like if that isn't
something, then I don't know whatis right. That's like I made a
decision and it was one of thescariest decisions I've ever made. And fast
forward four and a half years,and the experience and what I have today,

(01:05:59):
dude is insane. You know.So for those of you that are
listening, if you're faced with thedecision, just make the decision, execute
and just have faith that that decisionis going to find you in a much
better place down the road. Thatis beautiful. We're gonna we're gonna put
a pin in the Tony Robbins conversationfor now because I know we can go

(01:06:19):
you got I know you've got morestories to share, and we're just gonna
have to have you back on forthat. I'm interested in your events because
I know that you put these eventson obviously very often. I didn't realize
it was that many already in thebooks. As you said of thirty events,
I'm interested in these personal development seminarsthat you've been putting on and what

(01:06:41):
they focus on. And I knowthat you touched on some of it in
The Inner Child and some of thatwork. Yeah, So we've done twenty
events as of now. So notonly have I gone to thirty events,
but I've also do twenty events onmyself. And I guess I'm just saying
this because I have more responsibility andI have more time dedicated to learning and
growing and serving others. But Ifeel like I have more time than I've

(01:07:04):
ever had. So it's wild.And so a lot of what we teach
is the is the biological makeup ofthe human mind and why we make decisions
and why we do the things thatwe do, and where where it stems
from. You know, a lotof the stuff that I've learned from on

(01:07:25):
site and the Inner Child work thatI've done myself personally, and then a
lot of the NLP stuff and TonyRobbins stuff, you know, I became
NLP certified, and you know,really allowing people to see life from a
different lens and to shift their beliefsystems and and and a lot of times
people don't even realize how much powerand how much control they have in making

(01:07:47):
decisions. You know, most peopleare victims to their environments or managers of
their circumstances, and so like onceyou give somebody the tools and you Tony
Robbin's event for the first time,I wassed with so much good information.
I was like, I can't stoplike this, this is like I got
to continue. And that's what Idid. And so my journey's just been

(01:08:09):
beautiful. You know. I justdid an event what like two months ago
at Date with Destiny, and I'mdoing one in like two weeks, so
upw event and then I have anevent March twenty fifth and twenty sixth at
the end of the month, andso this is an opportunity for me to
really give back and a lot ofwhat Tony has taught me is in the
gift of living is giving, andso I'm really big in you know,

(01:08:31):
philanthropy, and we open up anon for profit and a lot of the
teachings that we teach at the PersonalDevelopment Seminars, we're bringing that into schools
so we can teach kids from sixthgrade until when they graduate. And you
know, I don't charge anything forit. It's an opportunity for me to
give back. Usually we have likesixty two one hundred people. It's about
twenty hours Saturday and Sunday, andit's so magical. Man. You really

(01:08:54):
get to see people transform just inone weekend. And like some of the
feedback that I've gotten from the peoplethat I've gone, I'm they say it's
like doing ten years of therapy inone weekend. So you like condense time
significantly, and so that's why it'sso important to surround yourself with people that
have gone down the road that youwant to go down, because you can

(01:09:15):
condense time. And I pay forspeed today, right, Like I don't
want to take ten years to learnsomething that I can learn in one weekend.
And so that's why I've been ableto scale my business to where it's
at today because I've learned from peoplethat have done this, and so I
adopt their behaviors, I adopt theirbelief systems, I take action, I
follow through with that action, andnext thing, you know, the life

(01:09:36):
that I'm living is very similar tothe life of my mentor Yeah, that's
really really cool. What's one ofthe tools that somebody can walk away with
from one of your seminars? So, I mean there's so many. I
mean, I guess the most important, in my view is is just the
belief systems and the stories that wetell ourselves based on our life experience,

(01:10:00):
and so knowing that you can shiftyour belief system at any time, and
that's the start of everything in life. Right. It's like what you believe
about yourself is directly going to impactthe results or the experience of your life.
You know. So like if youthink of it like beliefs like yes
I can do this, that means, you know, the potential that you
have at that point is significantly betterbecause you're believing you can. And then

(01:10:25):
the action that you take coming froma place of like yes, I can
do this, will give you theresult or the experience that you're looking for.
As soon as you say no,I can't do this, then the
potential that you have at that pointis that you can't do it, and
your decisions are going to be different, your actions are going to be different,
and then all of a sudden,the experience of life is going to

(01:10:46):
be different. The result of yourlife is going to be different. I
am going to take that information andapply it to my life right now.
That's actually very very very helpful.So you're doing your own you're also so
now so you just said you're doingupw So you're also I guess on on
Tony's staff now at this point,No, so I'm not. I'm still

(01:11:08):
I'm just a part of the community. I have some stuff brewing I'm not
able to share. But you know, hopefully here in the next you know,
four to six months, something magicalhappens, and you know, and
and and so it's interesting. Aprilof twenty twenty two, you know,
Tony actually took an hour out ofhis time and we had a one on

(01:11:29):
one zoom which was so beautiful.You know, he has a new board
now, and it was funny becauselike I'm sitting here and I'm talking with
Tony. He's in his basement andlike we're going back and forth, and
then Stage comes in with the baby, like really, and then like,
come on, Tony, We're gonnago on in the hot tub. He's
like, I gotta go around.He's like, Tony, it was so
cool, man. But I'm I'mjust a great friend and brother of his,

(01:11:50):
you know, And and hopefully thatmaterializes in something else, Like He'll
always be a resource for me.I'll always have access to him, and
and you know, I love him, and you know, the feelings mutual.
And I've been such an instrumental piecein that community, just based on
my my my willingness to continue toshow up and and and to push through

(01:12:11):
those fears. And so yeah,man, it's it's If you haven't been
to an event, I highly recommendit. Yeah. I have not been
to an just cut out a littlebit, but you said it was a
magical. I have not been toan event. So I'm actually really interested
in the one that you're going tobe at. Well, we'll talk more
about that one offline, but Iam very interested in that and learning more

(01:12:33):
about the inner circle. I'm sureby the people that are in the inner
circle in an alliance, like yousaid, like you're making connections that also
equate to just a tremendous amount inyour business. And you said that already,
so kind of just a recap there. This was amazing, like you
know, to to go from thisstory, like you know, we we

(01:12:57):
jumped on together and and I youknow, usually I have the whole bio
in front of me, and I'mable to read about the person and be
able to understand what they've gone throughbefore I even start asking questions. And
this is like a little transparency forour audience here. So normally I have
all of that information front of me, and for whatever reason, there was

(01:13:18):
a miscommunication and I didn't get thatinfo. But I remember I went to
your website and I'm looking at thewebsite and I'm like, all right,
rehab facility. I'm like, Iknow this person whoever started this. I
know this Ryan guy who I can'tfind right now and can't can't figure out
who he is or what he does. I know he's going to have a
story and some tremendous value to sharebecause when I look at the at the

(01:13:40):
website and how much work you guysdo and and all of the involvement in
the community and all the different programsyou have going on. And it's just
like I look at that website andI go, am I meeting with like
the owner of this place? Oram I meeting with like a representative?
Because this thing is massive. SoI just knew that if I was meeting
with the founder, I was like, we're gonna have a journey, We're

(01:14:01):
gonna have a story and and andyou sure did not disappoint man. I
mean the story, everything that you'vegone through, where you where you are
today just just tremendous. I applaudyou for. I applaud you for for
the work and the service to everybodythat that you've done. Is there anything

(01:14:21):
that you can share before we wrapup with our audience, maybe a mantra
or a inspirational quote that you canmaybe uh bring this full circle for us
that you live by. Yeah,so you know, I've I've created a
personal mission statement, which is oneof the processes that Tony does. And

(01:14:42):
so my personal mission statement is IRyan see here, feel in know the
purpose of my life is to loveand inspire everyone to be the best versions
of themselves. And how Yeah,Now I was just gonna ask and how
did you develop at what you werejust going to say, probably yeah,
No, it was at a datewith Destiny Seminar, which is it's must

(01:15:04):
every I mean it's it's literally everysingle year, non negotiable. I'm at
date with Destiny, it doesn't matter. I mean you literally go through your
values, you go through your yourhuman needs, you you rewire your belief
systems, and you literally create likea annual map of like what your year
is going to look like. Andit's so wild because I've I've been doing

(01:15:25):
this for the last four years andlike every single time I create my plan
in December, by the by thefollowing December, I've like ten xt whatever
my plan was. And it's dude, it's it's insane, man. And
I've obsessed, right, Like,so I'm like, and here's another example,
right, there was a time inmy life when I was like,
man, being an attict sucks.Well, being an addict actually doesn't suck

(01:15:46):
in this situation because I've obsessed,and my addictive personality was like I got
to do more. I gotta domore. Thirty events later and here I
am, that's incredible. Yeah,And so you go to dated with destiny
every year. I you know,I I know that personal development is an
ongoing journey, but I didn't realizethat by attending it, you know.

(01:16:06):
I mean, obviously you can gomore than once. I know that,
but I'm just saying to get thevalue out of it over and over and
over again. I would have thoughtthat at a certain point you'd be like,
all right, I don't I don'tneed to go again. I've I've
gone twice. I've gone three times. I kind of know what the thing
is, so it's different every time. I guess. So, how many
have you ever read a book beforemultiple times? No? Have you ever

(01:16:30):
watched a movie multiple times? No? Yes? And actually I'll go back
on the on the book. YesI have. I just can't think of
one right now. It's all good. Well, the reason why I was
asking is because every single time youread that book you will find something different
that you didn't see before. Everysingle time you watch a movie, you're
gonna see a part in the moviethat you didn't remember last time. And
so it's it's new levels, newdevils. Right as soon as you have

(01:16:53):
a moment of clarity, there's gonnabe a whole new challenge or problem that's
going to present itself. You know, if you have a problem, you
find the solution for the problem,then it creates another problem because now you've
fixed the solution to the first problem. Now you have a different set of
problems. And that's that's life,right. So it's like it's you know,

(01:17:14):
repetition is the mother of skill,right, the right reps is the
mother of skill. So think aboutit, like every single time I step
into an event, I'm seeing lifefrom a completely different perspective because of the
growth that I've gone through. Oryou can think of it like this,
like if you're looking at a pictureon a wall and you're one hundred feet
back, every every five steps closerto that picture, you're going to see

(01:17:35):
something different on the picture that youdidn't see. And then as soon as
you get all the way up tothe picture, then if you get into
magnifying glass and you look at thepicture through a magnifying glass, you're gonna
see You're gonna see molecules and thingsin the magnified glass that you couldn't see
with the human eye. And thatis life's journey, right. It's like
you'll never stop growing, You'll neverstop learning. And Tony says something he

(01:17:56):
says, if you're not growing,you're dying. And so it's it's it's
a practice now, and so it'sa it's a part of my routine.
It's a part of my DNA andmy makeup. And every single time I
go, dude, I'm reignited,I'm I'm I'm literally with a completely different
mindset and and I feel good,you know, like I feel good to

(01:18:16):
be able to like fully express myself, you know, because there was a
time when I would never get ona podcast and tell my story. And
so the fact that I'm here justbeing vulnerable and open just shows you that
there's a sense of acceptance and loveand empathy with with who I am.
And so that's the journey of life, right. It's like Stage talks about

(01:18:38):
Tony's wife, like every human's journeyis to come home, and to come
home is to truly accept and loveyourself fully because we're always on this mission
to like find something or if weaccomplish something, then we'll be accepted or
we'll feel better about ourselves. Andthat's that's the human makeup. And so

(01:18:59):
once you can get to a placewhere you are you are at exactly where
you're supposed to be and you're atcomplete peace with it, then you have
found the journey of life. Andit's a journey, not a destination,
right because a destination there's an end. Journey you never know where it's going
to go, You never know whatit's gonna where it's going to lead you.
That's that's a beautiful way to summarizeall of it. For me.

(01:19:21):
I appreciate that that, you know, probably something I needed to hear today
and I really really appreciate it.This has been just fantastic. I know
that so many of our listeners maybeneed to reach out to you or want
to reach out to you. Whatare what are some of the best ways
to find you, whether it's socialmedia or through the website or anything like

(01:19:41):
that. Sure, so I wouldI would say go to my Instagram,
which is Ryan dot zofe. Wewe do all of our posts there.
We we give you the dates ofall the seminars, and I'd love to
have you. I'd love for youto be a part of the community.
It's it's a beautiful experience. It'sfree again, it's it's for any of
anybody that is struggling with anything,or or may have some questions about where

(01:20:04):
you are in life or or wantingmore out of life. You know,
we we provide all those tools thereand again, brother, I appreciate what
you're doing. You know, I'mso honored to be on this show with
you and the opportunity to to makea difference and impact somebody's life. So
thank you so much. Well,I'm one, You're welcome, but I'm

(01:20:26):
also grateful to have a fantastic guestlike yourself, who, like you said,
you know, share, shared yourpersonal story and was so authentic with
everybody. So that's Ryan DOTZOFE ZO F A Y. And of course
it will all be in the shownotes. Again, thank you so much
for coming on the show today.You were just fantastic, just an amazing
guest. Thank you, Thank you, my friend, Thank you awesome.

(01:20:48):
Thank you for listening to The MichaelEsposito Show. For show notes, video
clips and more episodes, go toMichael Esposito Inc. Dot com backslash podcast.
Thank you again to our sponsor dnten Insurance Services, helping businesses get
the right insurance for all their insuranceneeds. Visit Denten dot io to get

(01:21:10):
a quote that's d N ten dotio. And remember, when you buy
an insurance policy from Denten, you'regiving back on a global scale. This
episode was produced by Uncle Mike atthe iHeart Studios in Poughkeepsie. Special thanks
to Lara Rodrian for the opportunity andmy team at Mike Lesposito, Inc.
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