How I Turned My Life Around & Made A Million Dollars After Bullying, Addictions & $50k Of Debt
BELOW IS A TRANSCRIPTION OF THE ABOVE VIDEO
Welcome to episode one of the Simon Lovell show. First of all, I want to set the scene for where I'm recording this. I'm set in my home here with one of my awesome roomies, Ryan, who's behind the camera. This very first episode we've actually filmed. You may be listening to the show having come through a different episode, but it's really important, I think, to listen to this one, because I really want to get to know you, and also so you can really connect with me and understand why have I actually created this show.
I'm set in Carmel Valley in San Diego in California. We have an amazing 1.5 acre property. My small puppy, King Charles Cavalier, Buddha, is next to me on the right, and we have a unicorn who's actually not in the pool today, but he normally swims around. We actually moved into this property for a really important reason, which I want to talk about a little bit later on. I just want to set the scene with you. It's a kind of sunny day here in San Diego. It's been a little bit cold recently, but we've come outside to really set the scene for how this show is going to pan out.
You know, I first of all just want to let you, the viewer and also the listener, know that wherever you are on your journey right now, whether you're an entrepreneur or not, or you're making loads of money or you're just getting going. I really don't think it matters where you are because my mission for this show is to really bring you people who can share lots of experiences, and also through my journey throughout time and the continuous journey that I go on. Whether you get a moment of inspiration and insight, a question that has always been on your mind, the intention around this show is to help you some time get clarity, maybe get strategy. We'll be talking business.
Also, this is about the journey that I'm on so that I can pull you through whatever difficulties and challenges that you're having, because I know that three or four years ago, my life was completely different. I really want to help and motivate and inspire other people to have an amazing life that's really fulfilled, full of joy and fun. That's the big thing. You may have come to the website and seen the initial video which is all about fun, and that's something I'm going to be talking about today.
I want to wind back the clock and go back to even before the main turning point of my life, which happened at the age of 13, but go before then. You know, I can remember one of my first most fun times of my life was when I was at school. Actually I was always kind of picked as the guy that would do the acting roles. I was just always playful and full of fun and just didn't have a care in the world. I didn't realize back then some of the events that would lead up to that would really begin to shape my life. I'm sure if you're listening to this that you know there are certain key turning points that really shape the life that you have now. It's only been in my recent years that I've really started to discover what those things were. As you'll learn, I believe, I truly believe that self awareness is the key to really starting to change your path and change your habits.
I grew up and I went to little school and that was fun. Really things changed for me when I was 13 years old. I never really liked to play sports. I wasn't the kind of the sporty one. I used to just kind of keep to myself. I used to love playing video games. There was one particular incident that happened when I was 13. We'd been playing, I think it was rugby. I had these awful plimsolls on. They were these black plimsolls and we had this awful gear that we had to wear. I just felt super embarrassed because I wasn't really sporty at the time. I can remember I went for a shower and there was this significant kind of boy within school that all the girls liked and everyone kind of looked up to. He was taking a shower. I went to go into the shower. I walked past him, and in that second my life changed, because he said that I touched him inappropriately when I hadn't.
My heart started beating at that moment, and I was just ... I didn't know what to do, because he shouted at the top of his voice, "He's gay. He's touched me," and I hadn't done. What happened is I started to look around. There's about 50 boys in the room and they start to put their backs to the walls and start shouting the same thing. This is me at 13 years old. This is a key development age for me. I can remember just rushing out, and when I left that room that day, I was hoping and I was wishing that it wouldn't be the same situation when I came in the following day, but it was. I can remember coming in the following day. I walked down the line, and the guys had their backs to the walls. This was really difficult.
From the ages of 13 to 16, I was heavily bullied. I was punched and kicked. I couldn't go in to town and have fun. I'd have people follow me. I kind of feel sorry, actually, for the guy at the time, my friend, Paul, who was kind of by my side, because if you've got a good friend, and I'm sure we've all had those good friends, it's really difficult for them too because they're taking the brunt of the pain that you're going through. Those early days were really bad.
I used to love playing video games. I can remember blagging video games from the publishers because I wanted to have my own magazine. Myself and my friend, Paul, used to put together this magazine and we used to take it to the local news agents. This is where I guess my entrepreneur side started to come out. I can remember one of my teachers saying, "You're going to be like Richard Branson one day." It was just interesting that because of the bullying, it shut me into wanting to write and wanting to spend time building something and creating something. You know, during that time, I can remember actually there was this particular magazine I really wanted to work on. It was called, "Games World", and so I called Dave, who was the editor of that, before I finished school. I was like, "Hey dude. Can I have a job on your magazine?" He's like, "Well, dude, you can't write very well."
I soon learned that persistence really paid off, because at the age of 16, Dave gave me a job on this national magazine which I always dreamed of. I learned a valuable lesson at that time, which is that you've just got to keep pushing through. Even if someone says no, even if someone is holding you back, then your persistence is going to show to them that ... He actually said this to me. He said, "Simon. You're not a great writer." He said "Simon, you're not a great writer." He said, "But I would rather have someone who's as passionate as you and really wants this, who I can train up, as opposed to someone who's got the qualifications, can write brilliantly, but doesn't have that drive." That really is ... when I'm hiring and I'm building my team, I always look for that, too, with those people who are super passionate.
From the age of 16, I worked on these national video games magazines. That was fun for a young lad. I got taken to lots of different events and I flew around the world and played video games, and started to pile the weight on. One of the things that I did when I got bullied was I made a decision to fight back at the bullies. I started a martial arts class. I can remember I was so scared to walk into that martial arts class, but I finally did, and I met my first mentor. His name was Tim, and he could see that I was super shy, I had been bullied, and he got me lifting weights. He got me into the gym. I can remember him getting me the original "Body for Life" book by Bill Phillips. I started to build my confidence in the gym, and that was profound for me.
Maybe in your life you've had these people that have really helped you and really started to put you on that positive path, be it exercise or just some positive words which have taken you out of a difficult situation. Tim was definitely a key turning point and a key person in my life who really influenced me. I really did that to fight back at the bullies, because I just wanted to build my confidence.
Now I'm working on these national magazines and I'm going through my years. This is actually where I started to gamble. One of my bosses, he worked on one of the publishing companies, he would always used to gamble, and I would always go with him to these casinos. I would rack up this debt and I can always remember, back in the day, I'd always be asking for an advance on my pay check, because I was just gambling all the time. I had started these really bad habits. I was drinking all the time, was drinking at lunch time all the way through to the afternoons, and this was within the work week, because the boss liked to drink. This is where I actually started to build my debt. I started to put gambling on credit cards. I can remember one night I actually drunk and drove down to the casino and, God forbid, I don't know what would have happened if something bad had happened, but it doesn't even bear thinking about.
I'd been working for these publishing companies, and I got to this point where I was like, "You know what? I'm not employable. I want to do my own thing. I want to run my own business." At the age of 21, I quit my job at this publishing company where I was getting about seven or eight thousand pounds a month, no, not a month, a year. I wish, at 21 years old. I started my own business, but I didn't really know how to run a business. We'd started this publishing company in Exeter, and I didn't know how to sell. I didn't know how to sell advertisement. Of course, if you're running a magazine, it's got to make money somehow. For a lot of creators, we just love to create, you know, and I loved to write. That was the thing I liked to do, but I didn't know how to run a business. I didn't know how to sell advertising and do all of that.
We were due to actually get 100,000 pounds from the bank, but something happened along the way so we only got to start that business with the director investments, which was about 10,000 pounds, so we bootstrapped this company. It actually didn't last very long. I can remember I was dating a girl at the time and she was living up in York, and it was a six hour drive from Exeter to York. That was a really tough point in my life. I was really struggling with the business. I can remember it was 9/11. You can probably hear right now. I'm actually in San Diego. We have like a naval base around, so occasionally there's going to be like a jet that goes above, but I want to keep it real for you guys, because this is what I experience every single day here outside by the pool. He's just going to be on his merry way.
At the age of, or it was around 9/11, because I can remember I was working in my own publishing company and 9/11 happened. It was just after that time that I basically lost everything. I lost the business that I was running, because we just didn't know how to run a business, and we didn't have much money to keep it going. I lost my girlfriend who I lived with in York, and we actually moved down to Bath, and then I found myself back at home with my parents. That's so difficult, when you've moved out, you've got your own place. You now have to sell your home. You've lost your girlfriend. You've lost your business. I had nothing, and I was back at home, depressed.
I can remember my mom asked me that all important question. "What are you going to do, son? What are you going to do, son?" She said to me, "Simon, you love going to the gym. You love training. Why don't you become a personal trainer?" Honestly, I'd never thought of it. My body was in shape. I was training all the time, but I hadn't thought of going into a career that really matched what my passion was at the time, so that was really important. My mom and dad, living in Exeter in the UK, they lent me the money to go on this personal training certification, which was actually in Cyprus. I was like, "Yes. I'm going to go to Cyprus in the sun. I'm going to learn for three months how to become a personal trainer," and that was super fun.
It got me out of my head. It got me into a better head space. I was around amazing people. My body got into even better shape. I was partying every weekend in Ayia Napa, but hey, I was young. I was having fun. I came back a different person. I really did. My confidence grew and I found myself actually working in a gym in Exeter called, "Fitness First". This is like a big box gym. I got like seven clients in my first week because I had a new spring in my step. I was happy and people could feel it. I didn't know how to sell, really, but I was just taught, like every other personal trainer. Go and sell blocks and sessions. I was just super happy.
I remember my first client, Peter. He said, "Do you have any spaces?" I had no one in my diary. I just held my diary up like this, and I was like, "Yeah. I'll try to fit you in." It was just so funny, because I was just being this new entrepreneur. I loved doing my business cards and getting my branding done. I decided to call my company "The Heat Fitness". I didn't know anything about business, but I figured, this was my thinking around branding. It was like personal trainers help people to get sweaty, and that means that they're hot, which means that "The Heat" would be a good name for a business. Just like my publishing company was called "EXY Publishing", because that was the post code of where I was living at the time. It was completely ridiculous, but hey, it kind of worked. I got this cartoon made of me. I'm working in this gym and I'm making normal money for a personal trainer.
A couple of years in, I got certified in 2005, and a couple of years in, my clients started asking me, they said, "Simon, we're getting great results with the fitness, but what about the food?" What happened was I had clients back to back all the time. I was always booked out. What the trainers used to do was they used to grab this lunch box and fill it with healthy food. That's what I used to do. I used to get my client. When I had one client finishing, I would get the other to warm up, and while they were warming up in a five minute window, I'd go into the kitchen in the gym, and I'd start eating from this lunch box which had protein, it had vegetables in it, some dressing, and it kept my energy up.
My clients came to me and they said, "Simon, what about the nutrition?" So I gave them a food diary and then I put together a three page document on what I did. It was these different food groups. It was based on what worked for me. After about a month they came back and said, "Oh my God, Simon, I've lost weight. My skin feels fantastic. My hair feels great. My energy's up. What is this?" I called it the Lunch Box diet at the time. It was three pages. Having this experience with a publishing company, I then decided to put a cover on it, I created a PDF, I made it 13 pages, I got my friend designer to put it together, and the Lunch Box diet was born.
I put it on my website, The Heat Fitness, for £4.95, and I started to sell a few copies. I used to get my clients into the local media. I can remember one of my clients, Sara, it cleared up her eczema, so I took that story of her success, and I got her featured in my local paper. That's really important in business, which is to take what works and replicate it. I didn't have an intention to make money with the Lunch Box diet. It was what I did. It was what worked for me. Then I put that together in a product and then it worked for other people. I think a lot of people, what they do is they try and do something for the money, but then it doesn't actually work. I just took what worked and I replicated that.
I have this Lunch Box diet, which is now on my website. I'm probably making a couple of hundred dollars, a couple of hundred pounds a month from it. It's super cheap. Then I get this phone call. I'm working in the gym and my phone rings. I answer the phone and it's this girl, Sophie, from Elle magazine. I'm like, "Hey. How's it going?" We speak and she says, "Simon, we want to review your Lunch Box diet for the New Year edition of Elle, which is the little black dress that comes out in December." I'm like, "This isn't even a book. This is 13 pages." She's like, "Can you send me a review copy?" I'm like, "The review copy is going to be the size of 13 pages, which is what the book is, so am I going to send you a review version which is a page?" This was super funny. I sent her the book, and if you know anything about magazines, there's like a three month lead time. You don't get to find out. They're not going to tell you what the review's like, so for three months my anxiety's up and I'm thinking, "Oh my God, I'm going to get put against all these different book authors."
It comes to the magazine being released. I remember going up and walking up to the High Street and getting the Elle magazine. I'm going to the women's section of the magazines. Women are looking at me going, "Why is he in the Cosmo section?" I start to go through the pages and I get to the Lunch Box diet. I read actually the other reviews, and it's like three out of five stars, two out of five stars, four out of five stars. I get to my review and it says five out of five stars. The best diet that we've ever done. I'm like gobsmacked.
I go home, I rush home, and I double the price on the website. I'm like, "I'm going to get all this traffic and the sales are going to start coming in," so I went and changed the price from £4.95 to £9.95. I couldn't believe what happened, because I was making thousands and thousands of pounds every single day when that review came out. I made about 20,000 pounds. Now bear in mind, I'm making about 3,000 or 4,000 a month. Suddenly I've got this surge of money coming in, and something clicked. It was like I took an idea, I took something that worked, I put it on my website, it got picked up, and now I'm selling it all over the world. That was a massive aha moment for me.
Now what happened next was even more crazy, because the review that was in Elle then got featured in other magazines and linked to Cameron Diaz and then Woman's World from America contacted me and said, "Can we put the Lunch Box diet on the cover," which goes to three million people. Then I'm making more money and more money and I don't know what to do with this money, because I've got these bad habits, and I'm not educated around what to do with money.
What's really ... and it takes me back to a really difficult time in my life, but at the same time as all this happened, I was in just a really difficult place because I was making this money now, and I can remember it was Friday night. I'd gone to a friend's house, a personal trainer's house. We went to drink and on the table was this white powder. It was cocaine. I took a line and in that night I went from being kind of a confident person on the outside with my muscles and everything, to super arrogant but super confident. It was a shock to me and I got hooked, and so I started from the cocaine. I went on to ecstasy. I went doing pills and all of these different drugs because it made me feel a certain way. It had gotten me this attention. I was hooking up with more people. It was just like I was young and I was doing all these things. I was on autopilot. I didn't see any danger in this. It was just my life at that time.
I actually became a DJ. I bought [inaudible 00:21:18] and then on the weekends I would be the party guy. By day I was training people to be healthy, to eat the right foods, and on the weekends I'd be this guy that used to go to clubs and do these drugs, and literally party from Friday night through to Sunday daytime. I honestly, remembering, I can't think of how I operated with my clients on a Monday morning, because I was messed up. I was living these two lives, and I really didn't know what was going on. It just got deeper and deeper. One of the times which shocked me the most was I had this dealer I used to go to. I went back one week and he said my 'friend', who is someone else who just did drugs, I went back to, and he said, "You know the guy who was here last week? He hung himself in a forest." I was like, "What?" I just got my stuff and I left.
Looking back, I thought that that would have shocked me enough to stop, but it didn't, because I was hooked. I was hooked so much that I took a line of cocaine on multiple times in between clients, because I just had some leftover from the weekends. This would be my routine. I'd get to Friday, I'd get my stuff in, and then I'd go partying Friday through to Sunday. This just happened over and over again. I look back at some of the pictures of me back then, and even on my 30th birthday, I'm, as you're listening to this podcast, I'm 38. I can remember my 30th birthday and my face drained and just ... I looked like a zombie. I looked like a zombie. Who the hell am I?
I can remember it was Christmas morning. It was 8:00 in the morning. I'd be partying the night before. I'd been dropping pills and DJing. I was meant to be at my sister's house at 11:00. I walked into the mirror in the bathroom. I saw my eyes in the mirror and my eyes were bloodshot, there was sweat dripping down my face and my heart was beating, going, "What the hell am I going to do?" My niece and nephew want to be with Uncle Simon opening presents, and as I'm staring at myself in the mirror waiting for my taxi to arrive, I'm like, "What the hell am I going to do?"
The taxi arrives, pulls up to my sister's house, and I'm kind of hoping and wishing that my sister doesn't notice. I'm super paranoid. If you've taken drugs for any length of time, you know it just makes you more paranoid. It did for me, anyway. I went into my sister's house, said some hellos and a few words and I was just drained. I wanted to sleep. I was zapped. I walked upstairs and I walked into my nephew's bedroom. I can remember seeing the Thomas the Tank Engine sheets on his bed. I got inside his bed and I put my head on the pillow, and I went to sleep all the way through Christmas day.
Downstairs, they wanted Uncle Simon to play with them, to have fun. That's all I remember. I knew that my sister just wanted me to be there and have fun with the kids. I woke up. I went downstairs, had some food, and I felt like a complete dick. I felt ashamed of myself. I left that day and I knew that something had to change. It's like I knew that I want to be an entrepreneur. I want to be successful. I want to make a million dollars. I wanted to do all these things, but what have I got in my life? Every weekend I'm just fucked up. I'm hearing stories when I go into the gym of what a dick I was being to people, and then I'm just denying it all. It's like what the hell is going on?
About a month alter I had a phone call from my friend, Tom, who lived about an hour and a half away. He said, "Me and my girlfriend have just broken up. Do you want to move in?" I was like, that was a split decision. When I look back through my life, and I look back through the key turning points of where, if this didn't happen, then I don't know where I would be. Maybe dead. Maybe hanging from a tree myself. This was the key decision, because I knew I had to change the environment I was living in, and I knew I had to change the triggers, because I knew I wasn't strong enough to just resist those calls of, "Hey, do you want some stuff?"
I packed my bags. I moved up an hour and a half away, and I changed my environment, which was the key decision I made. Little by little, things started to change. I was still doing drugs occasionally, but because I was in a different environment, around different people who didn't do as much of that, or any of it at all, but only on certain occasions, I noticed that I was starting to get momentum again.
I then started to build an online product, produced an online program. We did six figures relatively quickly with that online program. That was when I decided that I needed to hire a mentor, hire a coach. This was for the business side of things. I can remember I had about $30,000 of debt which was all ... Here's the thing I want to say. With debt, it's not just about the debt, but for me it was the association of what the debt was linked to. I had nothing to show for the $30,000 of debt that I had. It was all drugs and gambling, and yet I got this book deal with Harper Collins, which was £120,000 book deal, which happened after the Lunch Box diet was released. I basically had nothing to show for it. I built this ebook and I got this book deal, which was a seven deal book [inaudible 00:27:23]. I was now partying on the weekends, I was living in Exeter, and had nothing to show. I'd moved and had nothing to show for it.
I had about $5,000 left on my credit card. I can remember this guy telling me about this mentor. Finally I pulled the trigger and I invested $30,000 which I didn't have, but I had the first $5,000 payment, because I was like it's bust or I'm going to change everything. I was committed and I was focused that I was going to change my life. He basically taught me how to sell, but what that mentor really did was he ... I got the confidence from him energetically, and I started to grow my confidence again, versus the crap life that I'd had. I remember doing my first 10K month, my first 15K month, 20K month, and it just kept on going up and up and up, as my confidence changed in myself.
I had this realization, which was if I continued to make money, and now I'm making 20K a month and 30K a month and 40K a month and 50K a month, and I'm now having people invest in these programs, and all these skills that I've acquired over the years with my marketing and my business skills, through all the pains and the struggles that I've had. I thought to myself, "If I don't change these habits which I know are still there ..." I may have changed the area that I'm living in, but if I don't actually change these habits, I'm going to end up with a lot of money with a lot of problems.
In that moment I made a decision to basically re-invest around 20% of what I made back into me. Not the business, but me as a person, to go deep within myself, to find out why am I actually sabotaging all this? Why was I taking drugs and gambling, and why was I willing to put myself through this? That decision really started to get me a lot of momentum. I can remember I'd invested in these different mentors. I was paying thousands and thousands and going to these events and just working on my mindset and working on my mindset.
I can remember one event in San Diego. I was working with a guy. I sat in a circle of people and I sat in the middle. I made this joke, and the guy says to me, "How long have you been depressed for?" I think I just burst into tears. The biggest issue that I had at that time, even though I was being successful, was that I was worrying what other people thought of me. I had this fear, and as soon as that changed around and my mindset shifted, I just became relentless in my business. That's where my business grew from basically zero to a million dollars in 18 months, because I was just consistent, I was persistent, and I had fear, but I wasn't letting it hold me back.
I took all this money that I was making and I started to invest in more mentors. I can remember signing up to Tony Robbins' platinum program. I can remember business mastery in London with Tony, and I walked up to him with a lot of pain in my eyes because I'm still just not the person I want to be. I was like, I talked to him, and he said, "Simon, when you go to India, that will be ripped out of you. That shit will be ripped out of you."
I went on to an India trip with Tony, and that's where I started to deepen my meditation practice and started to work on my mind more, and understand ... Really, in India, I really saw that there's so much that we don't know or understand. I had these out of body experiences. I did this energy work, and my whole body moved without someone touching me. What the hell is going on? It was actually at that event in India, where Tony had talked about depression and he recommended to a guy to get a dog. I actually didn't like dogs at the time. I thought to myself, "I don't want to clear up poop. I've got no interest in dogs." He told this guy to get a dog for his depression. That planted a seed in my head around Buddha, who's here now, who I then ended up getting through a relationship that I was in. Hello, boy. He's right here next to me. Atta boy.
I came back from India with Tony, and you know, I really started to get hugely into meditation and mindset. I really started to understand my thoughts, my belief system, my whole identity of who I was being. Not just Tony, but all the other people I invested in, I was just committed to my own personal growth, to go deep and to look at myself. I know for a lot of guys, they don't want to put their hands up and have to ask for help. I was always putting my hand up going, "Hey. I need this sorted out." Any challenge that came up for me, I was like, "I need to do the work. I've got to do the work on myself." What happened is, when I did the work on myself, my business started to grow because I started to believe in myself more. My self worth went up.
One of my big dreams, because when I was back at school, someone wrote in my folder, "Hey, you're going to be the next Richard Branson." One of my dreams was to meet Richard. I got that opportunity in April two or three years ago, before the thing happened with Necker and the storm and everything. That's another story. I was on Necker Island with Richard Branson, met him, found myself in a hot tub with Richard. Even at that time, on Necker Island, I ran alongside Richard Branson and had a conversation with him, and I've never actually shared this story. In fact, there's a lot of this story that I've never shared. I got so wasted on that event with Richard, that the organizer of that event emailed me and told me how that someone had mentioned something about me and we needed to have a conversation. I felt sick. It was at that point I was like, "There's still stuff that I've got to work on," bearing in mind I've worked on myself. I've worked on myself. I've dealt with a lot of the pains that I was in, but there was still a lot of work to do. I was still drinking alcohol and getting absolutely wasted. Why? I was still smoking and doing a little bit of drugs.
It was that point, after that trip to Necker Island with Richard, that I decided I wanted to move to America. I can remember I was living in the UK. I was actually in Wales. I sat down and I was like, "Why haven't I moved to America yet?" I had a big desire, and I had two fears. One of driving on the other side of the road, and another one of I'm not going to be able to get a visa. These were just stories that I'd created that were stopping me from taking this leap that I desired. In that trip that I made, it was just two days to go away to a hotel to just spend time with myself, I turned that dream into a decision. I turned a dream of moving to America into a decision of, "I am moving to America." I truly believe that turning a dream and making a decision that you're going to do it shifts your energy to actually finding out what to do.
Within a year of making that decision, I was in America. I found a lawyer. I found out what to do, the visa to get, how much money I needed to put into the business, and within 12 months I was in America. In fact everything that I put on my vision board in 2013, including the car, the home that I wanted, the relationship with my sister and my mom that I wanted to reignite, it all actually came true and some of those stories I'm going to share with you.
One of the things ... I moved to America. One of the things that I wanted to do was really sort out this smoking, this drinking and this other stuff, because the whole situation with Richard ... and Richard actually wasn't there in that scenario, so just to be clear. It was a party. Richard was there. We spent time with him in the day. Then I got wasted in the evening. When I moved to America, I was like, "I need to really sort this out."
I started to learn, through some different people, about these different plant medicines. I think kambo, which is basically this frog that gets stretched out and then they put the venom on your shoulder and burn holes in your arms, and then your body shuts down, and through that, I discovered something called ayahuasca, which is a plant medicine, and you can drink it. You can actually do it all over the world, but it originates from Peru. I went to Peru and I spent four days in the Amazon. For some of you who are listening to this, it's probably going to sound weird, but if you study plant medicines, it's incredible, absolutely incredible.
I spent four days in the jungle. Basically you spend a lot of time vomiting. You do a tobacco purge. You clear out energetically the blocks that you have. You know, what I've learned over time through the energy work and the plant medicines is that all of that pain that we've suppressed gets blocked up in energy. What we need to do is release that. A lot of anger gets locked up and a lot of pain gets locked up. I had so much locked up in my body. What we do is we typically pop pills and prescriptions to mask this, when the real problem isn't dealt with. For me it was alcohol and drugs and gambling to fix this deep pain that I had, this deep suffering from whether it was the bullying, or whatever happened when I was growing up. I didn't know. I had no idea.
I went to Peru. I did the ayahuasca experience and literally, after that, my drinking and smoking cut down by 80%. I would go out to bars and my binge drinking I was just like, "I can just drink a glass of wine and go home again." I just didn't want to smoke. For me, when I drunk, I smoked, and it was just this cycle. I did that and I now find myself in La Jolla in a relationship when I moved to America. In that relationship, she actually had a King Charles Cavalier dog. After a little while I was like, "I want to get my own," so I did. That's, literally, yesterday was Buddha's second birthday. He has been an absolutely amazing addition to my life. He grounds me, makes me happy. He's my little buddy. I talk to him. He doesn't talk to me, but I think that he hears what I'm saying. I can safely say that he's really had a big impact on my life.
The relationship that I was in when I first moved to California didn't support either of us, so that actually ended. I was still really searching for answers, you know, of my own confidence. I built this company from zero to a million, I was making all this money, I got myself a Ferrari, in fact I got two Ferraris. I got the first one, a Ferrari California when I first moved, and then I got the dream car, which I put on my vision board, a Ferrari 458, and found myself in a three story, $4 million home in La Jolla in California with an ocean view. Life seemed great and it was good in many moments, but there was still a big part of me which wasn't the fun kid who was playing at school and goofing around and just didn't honestly give a fuck, and I really wanted him to come out.
One of the big things that happened in the time when I was in that relationship was a process called Landmark forum. One of the big desires I had was for my mom and my sister to speak. They hadn't spoken in eight years due to an event that happened. Through Landmark forum and my family going through that, I can happily say now that they're the best of friends and so many amazing things have happened to bring that together. The vision board that I created with the personal things and the family things, it all came true because I had made this commitment. I think that is such a big lesson of, if you're not committed to something, for something to work, or for you to achieve something or to experience something, it's really not going to happen. I've always been into going deep within myself. For me, I just really wanted to have more fun and not go to social events and have social anxiety.
It was funny. I was watching Facebook live and this girl popped up, and I was like, "Is that 24 Hour Fitness in La Jolla?" I messaged her, and she was in 24 Hour Fitness in La Jolla. I arranged to meet her for breakfast, and we became friends. As we became friends, she's like a super networker. Her name's Jessica. She would always invite me to these events. For me, I've typically been, up until now, someone who has to get to know people to kind of open up. Some people use the label of introverted. For me, I would go to these social events and the first thing I would do would drink. I honestly avoided them. I said to Jessica, "I recognize and I have the awareness," because I was meditating consistently everyday. I have the awareness that I'm using these two excuses. I'm too tired or I'm busy.
When she would invite me to something, the sabotage would kick in. I would want to go. I'd have a desire to party with people and have fun, but this massive underlying fear and sabotage would come in and go, "Hey, hey, hey. You don't really like being there. Let's throw out an excuse of, 'I'm tired,' or, 'I'm busy.'" That's what I would do, but I recognized it and I said to Jessica, "Call me out the next time you do that," so she did. She invited me to this event and she said, "You're coming." I went and I can remember it was amazing people, a really grounded group up in San Diego. These are like super cool people. They're not getting hammered. They're not partying clubs and being crazy like my old days. It was just like a normal party, nothing crazy.
Even then I just felt tense and anxious and my shoulders, and I would just knock back drinks to try and fit in. I wasn't being myself. I had this mask on. I desperately just wanted people to experience me, Simon. It was so painful. I left at midnight with Jessica, and I didn't get super drunk. I got a little bit tipsy. I woke up the next day and I noticed the pattern of me drinking to fit in, and I was like, "If I don't break this pattern, nothing's going to change." In a split second decision, I decided to give up drinking. I've not drunk a drop since, and I've not had the desire to. I find it's crazy, because people ask me. They say, "Simon, how difficult was it to give up?" I'm like, "It wasn't. It was super easy as soon as I just had this realization."
What that did was it started a process of self awareness. The daily meditation that I did, the giving up of the alcohol, suddenly I would do things, and instead of me realizing these things in a week, it would shorten to a moment, maybe like half a day, or even like now, I would still do something and maybe I say something which is out of turn, or I do something, and I see it very very quickly. It's this awareness gap that I talk about that shortens once you start to remove the toxins in your life, drama or toxic energy, and you start to meditate, and you start to spend more time in silence instead of entertainment.
Little by little I started to find myself again, and find the real Simon. I know, for me, having built this company and living in this amazing property ... The home and the car I have, it doesn't make me happy. What makes me happy is the people that come here to experience it and the community that I'm building. I know, especially from an event that I did recently, that people, they just want to feel part of something. They want to feel like I'm not the only one going through these challenges. Actually, I watched a documentary you should definitely check out. It's called "Jim and Andy". It's the story of Jim Carrey's awakening and his growth, and he uses this statement, which is, "Depression is the need for deep rest from the character that we've been playing in the world."
For me, it's been this process and this journey of finding myself, and really this mask that I've been putting on. I think from time to time we all wear a mask, it's just how long we have it on for. You find yourself in a situation where now, I'm having more fun, and yes, I'm making money and I always want to grow my company to help people because it has a mission and it changes lives, but at the same time, I want people to experience the real me.
Actually, a client who came to the house for a three day event, because she got to know me, really said to me something which really hit me in the heart which was, "Simon, you are true to your core." I just felt in that moment like I desire more of that, more of that that people are going to feel from me of what the real Simon. Be more present and not on his phone so much and actually interacting and having fun. For me, what I feel a lot of people must also go through, which I did, which is I knew that I wanted to do these fun things, but I wasn't pulled towards it. I would resist it. Now I'm drawn towards doing more fun things more frequently.
This show, I think, is super important because I really want to help people grow in their personal lives and in their business, because I truly believe that you can have a combination where you're not stressed out all the time. You're not depressed. You're not labeling yourself as an introvert, because really, I've evolved and grown so much. I just want to speed up the process for people. These episodes, and starting off with this one here, is really about building this community of other people who are running a business, but they're also in a personal growth phase.
Maybe you're listening to his right now and you're just starting to meditate and you're doing ten minutes and you're worried about the thoughts that you're having already. Maybe you just had this realization that you do need to start growing more. Maybe you're not making the money in your business that you need to and you need the strategy, and we'll be talking about all of those things. I really wanted to spend some time for you to get to know me because I've been on this journey and I know that you are on this journey too. Really, I can only teach you the journey that I've been on and the journey that I'm going through. I always ask this question, especially if you're running a business, is this key question, which is, "If I'm a leader, where am I leading people to?" I think that's a super powerful question to ask.
As we move forward in these episodes, I'd just encourage you to interact and also make sure that you check back to episodes. Something that I really want to do is to help this community grow, so if you found this podcast useful, I'd encourage you to head to iTunes and give a review. Just put your honest thoughts and comments on this episode. I'd like to read them and then read them out in future episodes, and actually make this a community. You know, the time in which we spend on social media, or the time which we spend is valuable. I just also want to say to you that I value the time that you're putting into listening to his episode. I just want to put my heart and soul into all of the future episodes moving forward, and really that's going to grow from your interaction and letting me know what I'm doing great, and the other things that I can do better.
That's what I've learned, actually, from running events here at the True Transformation Ranch, which is it's about the community building, it's not about me. Really, as much as it's called the Simon Lovell show, it's also our show together. Welcome to the Simon Lovell show, and I'll see you in the next episode. It may be short. It may be a little bit longer. Maybe little snippets. We'll maybe do fun things. Enjoy this journey. I know that you're going to have challenges. If I can help in any way, then head to simonlovell.com. You can hit the contact button, and maybe we'll connect, hopefully in person sometimes, because I always know I love that in person connection. As much as I love the online things, there's nothing that beats meeting someone face to face and getting that energy together. Have an amazing day wherever you are in the world, and I'll see you on another episode. Take it easy.
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