Most people aren’t brought up with self-development as a fundamental part of their upbringing. Especially if you are a boy living in a blue collar community. Yet some of our most inspirational thought leaders, like Tony Robbins, were raised in difficult to even dire circumstances. Tony often credits the periods in his own childhood when his family was poor, hungry, and couldn’t afford a holiday meal with his desire to feed 1 million families through his Feeding America initiative. Author and inspirational speaker Louise Hay has recounted the story of growing up poor with her mother and being physically abused by her violent stepfather as well as dropping out of high school as a pregnant teen, giving her baby up for adoption, and later being diagnosed with incurable cervical cancer and more before going on to found Hay House, the world renowned publishing house that has launched the careers many household names in self-development, mindfulness and positive spirituality.
So how does someone go from a rough and gritty upbringing to finding themselves and helping others through self-development? I recently had the chance to speak with an up and coming voice in the self-development world, Jesse J Garnier, to find out. Jesse started working full time at the age of 16, first in his stepfather’s trucking business, then in autobody repair, trucking dispatch and various other jobs that came and went with fluctuations in the economy. None of the jobs particularly suited him or lit a passion inside of him. They were all just jobs that he did to pay the bills and when he was working he found himself yearning for the weekend.
The main thing he learned along the way as he went from job to job, was that what he really wanted was to be the boss, not the employee. But he didn’t know how to get there. Eventually at one of his jobs, he and another employee saved up some money and started negotiations to try buy their boss out, but when negotiations went south they both pulled out of the deal and quit their jobs. This was a definite turning point for Jesse, but if anyone had told him then that he would start reading self-development books, going to seminars, and eventually teaching some of those same things to others, he would have said they were crazy.
“It was a huge jump because I was so used to working in these very masculine, very hands-on, my-way-or-the-highway kind of industries where you got told that there is only one way to do things. To be honest I used to have a pretty closed mind and was quick to judge. And at first when I started getting into this stuff, I didn’t realize just how big all the mindset training would be for me. I’ve completely changed the person I was. My wife looks at me and says, you’re not the person you were two years ago.”
Opening his mind to the bigger possibilities of life was one of the most important things that Jesse ever did for himself and his family. These days Jesse has an online community of over 600 people whom he mentors and works with to help them overcome the kinds of challenges he faced in his own life so they can expand their possibilities and lives as he has done.
“I used to blame others and play the victim card or try to blame someone else for something in my life. Before that was just normal. Now I realize that anything is possible for anyone who is willing to put in the work and the time. My long term goal is to open up the eyes of as many people as possible in the world to all of the possibilities that we all have access to.”
One of Jesse’s favorite parts of his business is meeting the people he interacts with online in person at his live seminar style events. The main objections Jesse usually hears from people who say that they can’t make it to live events are “I don’t have the time”, “I don’t have the money” or “I can’t make it to that location.” Jesse does his best to overcome those objections by taking his events to the locations where the majority of his community lives. As his community and popularity grows, this effort may result in something resembling a world tour.
If you are interested in learning more about Jesse J Garnier and the work he does through his community Just Grab Life Productions (JGL Productions), you can learn more here.