Jake Ballentine Musician to Coach


Jake an award-winning motivational speaker and success coach. He details his journey in becoming a coach from being a musician to a motivational speaker to a success coach. He shared what led him to be a coach and why he finds it’s so rewarding. He shares some of the bricks he faced both in his career and personal life. Through it all, he teaches us how to stay positive and focus on the good.

Episode Transcription:

Intro plays

Ari: Welcome to whispers of bricks. My name is Ari Schonbrun. I’m your host. We have with us today, Jake Ballantine. I met Jake over the internet a long while ago, probably about three or four years ago. And I’ve been following him ever since. And this guy’s really, really amazing. Let me just give you a little bit of history about Jake. Jake is the founder of the speakers, authors and coaches network, a thriving community over 11,000 11,000, aspiring and experienced message driven entrepreneurs from all over the globe. He’s an award winning motivational speaker and success coach who has presented over 500 live events and is the host of the mountain top motivation podcast. His message to the world is that you can reach the mountain top of your life if you are willing to dream and put one foot in front of the other. When he’s not working. He enjoys having fun outdoors spending time with his wife, Caitlin and four year old son Jacob. Please help me welcome Jake Ballantine. Jake, how are you?

Jake: I am fantastic. Life is good. 

Ari: That’s great. You know, like I said, I’ve been following you ever since you know, I touch base with you about that Benji Bruce program that he had. And I was trying to figure out what it was all about. I saw that you had attended the program. I you know, so I want to get your take on it. You gave me some really, really good advice. And then you know what you were like, off to the races. It was unreal. I was watching you, you know, going, man, is this guy flying or what? You know, it was an amazing really was? Well, thank you to say that. Yeah. And I mean it, you know, I’m not just saying it. Okay. Well, I appreciate it. Now, as you know, the name of the podcast is whispers and bricks. Now the whispers are those voices telling us what the right thing to do is, and they represent the good in life. The bricks represent the bad things that we go through in life. And we know there’s there are so many ups and downs in life and many bumps in the road. You know, and and those are the bricks that are hitting us that are kind of, you know, putting us back to reality or making us you know, go through, go through a possibly life changing experience. So but my first question for you is, Have you always been a coach? Or did you do something else beforehand and then become a coach? And if that is the case, what was the impetus in your decision to become a coach?

Jake: Well, so I’ve been both a professional speaker and coach now for a little over 10 years. Before that, I think I’ve always been a coach, I just wasn’t paid for it. I think most people who go into go into coaching, do it because it’s something that’s natural to them. It’s something that they they just do, they just, they’re just helpers. That’s what they’re naturally inclined to do. In fact, if someone isn’t naturally inclined to helping people, if they’re not the person who is figuring out how they can help this person and that person just in their personal life, coaching probably isn’t the job for you, it probably isn’t the career for you. So it’s something I’ve always enjoyed, always love. But I got my start pretty early. I never had like a corporate job or anything like that I went, I really went from college right into the beginning of my career was just full time speaking, I didn’t start coaching until about five years ago, that’s when the coaching aspect went in. But the first five years was full time as a keynote speaker. And then the next five years has been more focused on the coaching side of things. But kind of in the interim, my first entrepreneurial pursuit. So I’m also a musician. I don’t call myself a professional musician anymore. But I was at a time I now just play as a hobby and something for fun. But while I was going to college, and in fact, I kind of I took a extended break from college, and I was playing music, played acoustic guitar, sing, play a bunch of other things as well. But I was playing clubs, bars, venues, weddings, all that kind of stuff all around the western United States. And that was a business that I built. And the truth is, is I really wanted to build that I had this passion for it. And my whole passion was around using this tool of music to promote a positive message. That was the whole goal around it. But I knew that I needed to learn business because I looked at my other friends who are not successful at at music, even though they’re great musicians. They weren’t successful at the business side of it. So I started taking business courses. I started taking online marketing courses and I started studying Personal Development, because I knew that I could not be held back by the rejection that was going to come. So I dug in deep and started listening to Tony Robbins start listening to Jack Canfield Read, read seven habits of highly effective people got into all sorts of things like that. And then what I found was, I discovered this brand new love this brand new passion, I still love music, I will always love music. But in this pursuit, it did help me with my music career, it helped me and, and I was able to book gigs all over the years playing full time. But after a while, I developed this love for personal development, for for really making a difference. And from the beginning, it was making a difference with music. So then I decided he’s like, You know what I’m going to I’m going to take all these things that I’m learning from all these different audio programs, video programs, and live events that I’m attending, I’m going to take those things, and I’m going to mix them with music. And I created a program where I went to high schools, middle schools and youth leadership conferences, all over the United States, combining music and a positive message personal development. And that’s that’s how the career started.

Ari: Wow, what I never would have guests. That’s amazing. That really is amazing. So basically, you know, it seems like on the surface, you’ve so far, you’ve had a great life and a great career, you know, you did you followed your passion in music. You went into coaching because you’re one of those people that likes to help people. And I, by the way, I agree with you 100% wholeheartedly, that you’ve got to want to help people. All right, you got to have that natural, you know, inclination to help people in order in order to go into this business. Because otherwise it’s never going to happen. People can see right through phonies, basically, they can as much as you like to think they can they can. So but every so often, you know, life throws us a curveball. Alright, life hits us with a brick. Now my biggest brick was 911, you know, and the whispers helped me with my miraculous escape, you know, but I went through that break. And it did, it did totally change my life. So what my listeners want to know is what was some of the struggles or even failures, if any, some of the bricks that you got hit with when you were starting out in your career and throughout your career or your personal life? Either one?

Jake:  So for me, I’m gassers. There’s, there’s lots of bricks. And that’s just a part of life. And I think sometimes people say like, Jake, how do you stay so positive. And it’s because I work on it. I work on staying positive. You know, the sign behind me says focus on the good. And that’s a concept that matter. I teach but I live, it’s a choice to focus on the good and not just focus on all the problems because there’s always problems, I can think about some major challenges in my life. A couple that that come to mind. A couple of years ago, we had a death in the family, which was one of my biggest mentors in my life, who was my wife’s dad. He passed away a cancer he had about six weeks between diagnosis to funeral. Um, it was very, very fast thing. He was very healthy man, very young. My wife is the well, she’s a second oldest in her family. But so her parents were pretty young when they had her. So he was only 57 years old. Oh, seven, and he’s a great businessman. And he had been a huge mentor in my life, that was extremely challenging. Another big challenge was we have one child been married for? Yeah, so we’ve been married for 12 years. That was not our plan. Our plan was to have children right away right at the beginning. And we went through seven years of the doctor saying you will never be able to like nothing like we’ve tried everything. Like it is hard for me to even fathom how much money we have spent in that process and trying everything that you could think of. And we’re so blessed that that one thing ended up working. And then at the same time, that same thing hasn’t been working, or that same same treatment hasn’t been working since then. And you know, we we plan it we both come from big families. Our plan was to have four or five, four or five kids I was kind of like and that was my wife comes from eight but that we will wow. But we are planning on like four or five kids. And you know what? It’s just not the cards. It’s just not in the cards and I’m one day we may adopt one day, who knows we don’t know what’s what’s going to happen. But what I’ve learned through this process is you can either be bitter and upset about life not turning out the way you want it to turn out. Or you can make a decision to say you know what, I’m just going to appreciate the way that life is As so many of us miss out on all the good in life, we miss out in what is because we’re mourning what isn’t. And I think if we just let go and focus on on the good in life and focus on what we have, instead of what we don’t, our life is completely different. And so that I like talking about that idea of the bricks. But for me every brick that I’ve had, at the end of the day, I go, You know what, I’m grateful for that because I love where I’m at today. I love where I’m at today. And I wouldn’t be there if I didn’t have the bricks that came to me along the way.

Ari: Wow, that’s, that’s really amazing. I’m going to tell you something that not many people know, my daughter had a similar issue. When she got married, they wanted to have children like right away, and they went through a whole bunch of stuff, medical and the like, and ultimately, they had a child, which was a, you know, huge, huge celebration in my family. And, you know, when they were thinking about having another one, she was really, really regretting trying to go through the whole IVF and you know, all the treatments and everything else. And then, you know, all of a sudden, she was pregnant. And it was like, you know, it was like, No, it’s impossible. The doctors already told us, it’s impossible. It’s not gonna happen. But you know what, at the end of the day, God had other ideas, you know, and today, she has three children. And what was interesting is, I’ll give you one other point. And before I go on to the next question, my wife and I, we had we today have five children. After our fourth one was born, the doctors told my wife, she would not be able to have any more children. And we were good, because I had two girls, two boys, you know, it was it was life was good. And I said, Honey, it’s fine. You know, we’re great. Eight and a half years later, which was two years after 911. My, my son Yoni was born. Totally shy, I was like, wait a minute, that’s impossible. You know, they told us apart. Well, you know what, God had other ideas. Let me ask you this. Did you ever at a point in time in your life fall so low? Alright, that you said to yourself, you know what? I quit. I’ve given up on my dream. I can’t do this anymore. You know, I quit. And if you did get to that level, at some point, how did you deal with it? And how did you make that comeback?

Jake: Yeah, you’re asking, you’re asking deep introspective questions, have me go to places I don’t normally go. But let I’ll say this. Never for long. But I didn’t have a time during that process where there was treatments going on for, for both my wife and for i. And there’s one point I was on this medication that just really took me in a whole different place. I was honest medication that I’ve never really experienced. Depression, I never not. I mean, I’ve had bad days. But I’ve never experienced, like a clinical clinical depression, never experienced that before. And it’s brought me so much empathy today to where I see that like, well, there was a real difference in terms of chemically inside of my body, I felt drastically different. But I was on this medication. And it got really dark, it got really, really dark. And I finally my wife told me to stop taking it when I admitted to her that the I had been having suicidal thoughts during this time. I look back on it now. And I know that it was the medication, what happened, but what end up happening, this was this was over a period of months. And what happened during that time was even when I came off the medication. Now I had set new neural pathways in my mind in my brain that were focusing on different things than I’d ever focused on. And it it probably took me a year to really come back from that. And there are periods of time, like and I was a professional speaker at the time. And I There were days where I was going through the motions on stage. There were days where I just went, Okay, I’m going to follow the script. I’m going to I’m going to follow the script, you know, something I’ve done this hundreds of times. So there you go. I can I can do it. I can turn it off, the lights go on, I can turn it on. But I can remember a time and this is when I was on this medication. I remember I was in Green Bay, Wisconsin. I was at a high school in Green Bay, Wisconsin, I just did an assembly there. And you know, 700 high school students or whatever it was a full auditorium. And I remember literally having a standing ovation you know cheer standing ovation, chanting my name, taking pictures with you know a couple 100 Kids That kind of thing. And then going back to my car, and just crying. And it was something that I couldn’t understand what was going on. And like I said, Now I know it was it was this medication and it was that kind of thing. But it took me like a year to come back from this. And it was it was so it didn’t fit with my identity like that, like being in that little that place was not who I saw myself was as. And so not only was I going through it, but then I had guilt and shame around it because I wasn’t felt like I shouldn’t be there and all that kind of stuff. And yeah, over over that year, how did I come back from it was when I made a decision to take 100% responsibility for my situation. And it was it was that moment when I said you know what, even if we hadn’t we hadn’t had my son yet. This isn’t the first time doing we this is when we’re in the experimental stage of trying everything you could possibly imagine. And we, I basically said, You know what, I have to get to the point to where I am going to choose to be happy, no matter what my situation is, it doesn’t matter what I’m what I’m given in this life, I’m going to choose to be happy no matter what my situation is. Really focus. This is when this whole principle of focus on the good became a part of my life, I have this this sign here behind me and talk about it all the time, because that’s what got me out of that pit. That’s what got me out of that was every day saying, what’s the good news today? What can I focus on today? What can I be grateful for today, and over the process of of a year of very focused internal work, I came out far better on the other end than I was before.

Ari: Wow, wow, you have no idea. I’m telling you this right up front, you have no idea how this is going to affect so many people. All right, because I know in my audience, there are people out there, especially after this whole COVID thing that are going through exactly what you went through. And they are, you know, many of them are at a point in their lives where they’re going, like I can’t do this anymore. You know, I’m going to chuck it, whatever. And the fact that you and it took you a year, a year to come back. Alright. But you did it, you came back. All right, that is going to give so much hope to so many people. So I’m so glad that you did share that part of your story. I mean, it’s really it’s so important. And I know that they’re probably they’re probably just a handful of people that actually know this story of your life, I’m sure. All right. One more thing on this. Yeah, absolutely.

Jake: As someone who’s listening right now, I’m talking about focusing on the good. And sometimes you might be in a super dark place. And that might seem like almost like too much or too, too happy or too whatever. Some days, my focusing on the good was, you know what, I got a lot of stuff to watch on Netflix. And and that that really like, that’s where I was at those days, I had to let go of the guilt and shame about feeling that way before I could actually get through it. And before that time, I wasn’t like against this. I wasn’t I didn’t have any antagonistic views on this. But I did not understand that some people truly have chemical imbalances that just bring this about, and I saw in a very real way. So let go of the guilt and shame for you feeling that way. And take care of yourself one day at a time. And that focusing on the good might be something tiny. It might be I could you know, I could watch this movie that I really like it could be I can go on a walk today. It could be the sun is shining today. It doesn’t need to be these giant things. Notice it took a year for me to get out of that. Not three weeks.

Ari: Right? I hear you, I hear you, you know, in my own life experience after 911. You know, I tell people obviously 911 changed me. But I always tell people it didn’t it wasn’t an overnight change. I didn’t wake up on Wednesday morning, going like, Oh man, I’m gonna be a new person. I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do that I’m gonna be a you know, I’m gonna climb a mountain and be a monk or I’m going to become a rabbi. I’m not you know, I’m gonna be spiritual. None of that happened. I was the same guy on Wednesday that I was on Tuesday, except that I lost like 658 friends and co workers. You know, which was really, really difficult. But what happened was, as I started to tell my story, bit by bit, it started to sink in exactly the the magnitude of what I had gone through. And it took me about eight months. All right, for my whole change to happen. So you telling me that it took you a year I get it. You know, I understand that and you know what If it would have taken me three days, it probably wouldn’t have lasted. But the fact that it took you a year, that’s why it lasted. That’s why you have become the person who you are. Alright, can I ask you a personal question?

Well, it hasn’t stopped you. Yeah, it hasn’t stopped you yet. So yeah, I

guess Yeah, there you go. Are you a man of faith?

Very much. Do you believe in God? Very much.

Ari: I that’s what I thought, Okay. Because you know what, at the end of the day, as much as we think we’re in control, you and I both know, we’re not in control. All right, we have, we have to do the things that we need to do. But at the end of the day, God is the one who’s running the world. He’s in control. But it’s, I don’t know about you, but it’s that my belief in my faith has certainly helped me overcome a lot of different things. And, you know, and I’m sure you, you, you share those feelings as well.

Jake: Yes. When I think that also, it’s natural to doubt though, it’s natural to doubt, especially in those times. And when we’re in those times, I think also, I’m a huge proponent, I said it earlier, but letting go of guilt and shame for feeling the way that you feel. And sometimes even doubt, you know, you talk about the bricks, you could talk about any of this kind of stuff. It’s this concept that I’ve been hearing about recently. And that is the idea that doubt can be a crucible, it’s a crucible of doubt, that can make us stronger, that can that can form us into something new. And that sometimes doubt or sometimes depression, or sometimes these downtimes, sometimes these bricks that come into our life, those are not there to hold us back. Those are gifts that are given to us to help us grow. Now many people see them, and then they hit that wall and they retreat. But if you’re willing to push through, on the other side, you get to be a better person.

Ari: Absolutely. Absolutely. God, You took the words right out of my mouth. I got to be honest, I knew there was a reason why I liked you. Okay, so before we go, all right. Is there anything else that you’d like to share with my audience, any words of wisdom? You know, a good word, I will tell you this. From my standpoint, a lot of times when if I’m, if I’m in that dark place, or whatever, you know, what I say to myself, everyday above ground is a good day. Yeah. You know, if you put that into perspective, you know, because let me let’s be honest, how many people did not survive? COVID? All right. And yeah, and you know, you’ve got to not survive 911 Like you did. Alright, that’s why you’ve got to thank God for all these things. So do you have any words of wisdom?

Jake: Yeah, I’m a very visual person, very visual person. I like to look at goals. You know, or in my intro, you talked about mountain top motivation podcast at the moment, we’re recording this. The first episode comes out next week. So very excited about that. But when you look at, I look at reaching a goal, like we’re going on a hike, like we’re going up a trail, and the mountaintop is where we want to go, is where you want to go. But as you’re going up that trail, think about anytime you’re on any kind of hike a lot most people have been on a hike at some point in their life. Sometimes it feels like, how many more steps Am I gonna have to take on this dang thing. And am I feel like this is taking forever, my feel like you’re you’re you’re half you think I’ve gone so far. And then you look up. And you see there’s still so much further to go. But what I would encourage you to do is to look back and see how far you’ve come. Rather than just looking at how far you have to go. If you can just take that one step in front of the other. Eventually you get there. Eventually you get there. But the people who don’t get there are the people who turn around, go back to the parking lot and go back home. Those are the people who don’t get there. It’s not that hard to reach our goals. All it is, is taking one step in front of the other in front of the other. It’s about having longevity, instead of having intensity. And if someone can just do that one step, one step one step. You say I can’t keep going well, can I take one more step? Can I can’t take that it’s too big of a step. Can I take a tiny step? Can I shuffle? Great. I’m moving forward. And that’s all that’s all that we need to do.

Ari: Wow. Jake, you’re an amazing man. I said it before. If people want to learn more about your coaching programs, or any other programs that you have, like what would be the best way for them to get in touch with you? website or email or whatever?

Jake: Yeah, the best best thing that you can do I have a free video series. It’s a five part video series. It’s called the number one goal fundamental video series and the number one goal system is a whole Goal achieving system and I’ve put this out absolutely for free then get that at your number one goal comm that’s a five part video series workbooks, I mean, it’s something honestly I should be charging for. But I want this message out to people, I want people to be able to use the tools that I’ve put together that can help them. So head over there, get your free, free copy, it’s a free access to the five part video series on reaching your number one goal.

Ari: Wow, that’s great. Jake, thanks so much for sharing your story. Good luck going forward. I wish you all the best. Okay, health, wealth and happiness for you, your wife and little Jacob. Okay. Really, and you’ve you’ve changed a lot of lives. You’ve changed a lot of lives today. In this late in this half hour. You’ve changed a lot of lives. And I appreciate it and I know my audience, appreciate it. You’ve been listening to whispers and bricks and I’m your host, Gary Shelburne. Until next time, listen to the whispers avoid the bricks and never ever give up on your dreams. Bye for now.