Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview with Mr Dave Cooke
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Introducing Dave Cooke
Today’s guest, joining us on the Join Up Dots podcast interview is Mr Dave Cooke.
He is a father who has faced the most difficult of times, and in the process started changing the world.
As an accomplished businessman, author and motivational speaker, he was a man in control.
He coached groups of people – large and small to help them overcome the challenges that can derail all of us in our professional lives.
Dave helped increase revenue, he developed leaders, and improved teamwork….life was good.
Little did he know however, that whilst this side of his life was firing on all cylinders, his sons life was on a path that no parent would want them to be on.
How The Dots Joined Up For Dave
Discovering his son was taking heroin, living homeless, and devoid of positivity in his life, our guest had a choice to make.
In fact he had no choice.
Dave Cooke turned his life both personally and professionally on its head to face his sons problems head-on, and provide the love and support that a father only knows.
And that was just the beginning of the tale.
A story, with many twists and turns, successes and failures, and an usual mode of transport which you wouldn’t expect to be part of the salvation of this father and son couple.
Well let’s bring onto the show to start joining up dots, as we discuss the words of Steve Jobs with the one and only Mr Dave Cooke.
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Dave Cooke such as:
How his sons addiction helped him find his own passion!
How he believes that his sons addiction is not going to be the thing that defines him!
When you get to the top of the pyramid then there is only one way to go, and that’s down!
How his son was so surprised in the speed that his Dad arrived to help him!
The reasons why he set himself the physical goal of cycling everyday!
How To Connect With Dave Cooke
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Audio Transcription Of Dave Cooke
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David, Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Good morning, everybody. How are you? Oh, welcome to Episode 75. of Join Up Dots. In the introduction, it says amazing people who went after their dreams now is a bit of a different conversation that we’re going to have today because the the guest is not somebody that I think has had the dreamer all their life, but it’s certainly it’s certainly a vision that they have created. Hopefully, that’ll make a bit more sense as we actually go into the to the conversation, it is going to be quite a difficult conversation. As I say most of the episodes are Join Up Dots, a white, light and breezy. Well, hopefully keep it that way. But you’ll understand why I’m saying that again. There is a kind of darkness to the content, which we will be touching on. So today’s guest is a father who has faced the most difficult of times and in the process started changing the world. As an accomplished businessman, author and motivational speaker, he was a man in control. He coached groups of people large and small to help them overcome the challenges that can be around all of us in our professional lives. He helped increase revenue, he developed leaders and improved teamwork and ensure Life was good. But little did he know however, that whilst beside of his life was firing on all cylinders, he son’s life was on a path that no parent would want them to be on discovering his son was taking heroin, living homeless and devoid of positivity in his life, our guest had a choice to make. In fact, he really had no choice. He turned his life both personally and professionally on its head to face his son’s problems head on and provide the love and support that a father only knows. And that was just the beginning another tell a storey with many twists and turns, successes and failures and an unusual mode of transport, which you wouldn’t expect to be part of the salvation of this barber and some capital. So let’s bring onto the show to start Join Up Dots. But one and only Mr. Dave cook. How are you today? Dave?
Dave Cooke [2:17]
I’m wonderful. I’m wonderful.
David Ralph [2:19]
I’ll you wonderful because there is a lot of darkness in the introduction. And I’ll be honest, this is Episode 75. And I think it’s the most difficult introduction that I’ve had to write.
Dave Cooke [2:33]
Well, you know it listening to the introduction kind of reminded me of the celebration of the life that I’m living. I had a gentleman several weeks ago respond to some things that I posted on the internet says You don’t look like a father whose life has been ruined by his son’s addiction. And I took that as the greatest compliment, not the greatest criticism. We you know, certainly what my son went through and is going through with his addiction is a very challenging, very adverse very painful thing for me. However, it doesn’t define me as a dad, and it doesn’t define my life. It’s just something in my life that I need to deal with, as we do with any adversity or difficulty.
David Ralph [3:17]
So I was going to come up with this question later on. But I think I’m going to go with it straight away. Although terrible, terrible thing. But you have been through and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Is there a lightness to the fact that you have gone through that is your life in a better place, when perhaps it could have been without it.
Dave Cooke [3:37]
It’s certainly challenged me to examine everything that I was doing in my life. Whenever something like this goes on, you know, in every every parent is dealing with a child who’s in trouble, whether it’s with the law or with addiction, looks at themselves and says, you know, how does this reflect on me as a parent have I failed my son as a parent? And so I definitely went through that process where I challenged myself and says, okay, Dave, who are you as a dad, who are you as a man? And even in the further conversation, who are you as, as a husband? made me look at everything in my life in a different light saying, Have you What are you doing now? And what can you do differently? What can you do better? As a result of that internal conversation? Absolutely. I’m a better different person, or the process and the experience.
David Ralph [4:32]
So So let’s go back in time, and let’s start joining up the dots, which is the theme of the whole show. So you were very successful. You were a man in control. You were somebody that would go into organisations, and help them with their challenges, and help them with their obstacles. And you could see things that needed mending. Was that part of the issue where you so focused on your business life, but you’re some kind of slipped through.
Dave Cooke [5:02]
I’m not really sure that I would say that I was so focused on my business that my son’s life slipped through the cracks because I was one of those dads who was certainly a very involved, very engaged and very active person. I coached you know, the basketball teams, I coached the soccer teams, I coach my daughter, and in her softball, I was I was definitely committed to being an active and involved that. Notwithstanding, there certainly was I was I was definitely at that point in my life when my son was probably 19 or 20 years old, have the mindset that Hey, he’s he’s a young man, he’s an adult and his need for you know, fatherly advice and guidance and instruction isn’t as great. So I certainly was focused on what I would call the next chapter in my life, which is, you know, pre retirement, how do I how do I make as much money as I can and grow my business as fast as I can. So at some point in my life, I can retire and do some of the other things I that I want to do in my life,
David Ralph [6:02]
which is totally understandable. And I think we would all be exactly the same. And I’m 44 years old. How old are you, David? I’m 57 you’re 57. So you’re, you’ve got a few years ahead of me. But even at my stage now I’m thinking to myself, look, I’m not planning to work till I’m 65 I need to crack on and you know, make the most of it as I possibly can at this age. So was it always a fault of your yourself at that time that you only had, you know, a certain shelf life of income producing time before you you were sort of settling down?
Dave Cooke [6:36]
Oh, definitely. You know, you get to that point, you know, I’m thinking back on my career, you know, when we’re when we’re first out of college and I listening to your introduction and some of the things that we talked about, you know, pre pre event, we spend our lives planning our career and our careers, it’s okay, I’ve got to pay some dues and I’ve got to invest some time, effort and energy doing meaning stuff, but eventually I’m going to get to the point where I’m at the top of the pyramid and when I get to the top of the pyramid the problem with being at the top is the next step is you start sliding down I’m there’s only so much who’s going to want a 65 or 70 year old dude walking around their business coaching and then I’m advising them they’re going to be looking for the next you know, young innovative mind and so I do have a shelf life and so I was making sure I’m at that place now where I’m at I’m at my greatest value most experience most wise most seasoned. I got I got a min some money now without a doubt.
David Ralph [7:32]
Did you think the companies are looking for the next young dude is experience not the key thing? You know, you’ve been there. You’ve seen it, you’ve done it. You’ve seen businesses come and go you’ve seen economies come and go? Isn’t that more important? Ben some with a snapper?
Dave Cooke [7:50]
Well, brash, brash certainly isn’t sexy. So I don’t think they’re looking for a whippersnapper. But I do think that people today they’re it’s a it’s a it’s a double edged sword. But I think businesses today are looking for innovation and great ideas, but they’re not necessarily going to take a risk on something that’s not tested or proven. So they’re not looking for the youngest guy with the greatest idea or youngest person with the greatest ideas. But then they’re not looking for somebody that’s tried true and proven. And within still because that doesn’t, that doesn’t create change, what they want it they want something in the middle, it says okay, help me feel safe, that you’re not going to care my business on it on the on its ear overnight. But at the same time, at a very short period of time, you can move this organisation into a different direction with tangible, measurable and sustainable outcomes.
David Ralph [8:40]
So when your business was going so well, and you were looking at retirement, and you were looking at grasping as much money as you possibly could to make your retirement easier. What’s your son’s addiction? About out of the blue? was it? Was it something that you just didn’t have a clue until there was a knock on the door? Or was it something that you was aware of something was going on at that time?
Dave Cooke [9:08]
Well, with the benefit of hindsight, the answer is no. But let’s tell the storey the way it really happened. Yes, it caught me completely by surprise. It was something that I was not aware of. And when I got that phone call that my son was in jail as a result of some indiscretions with the law. I have to say it completely caught me by surprise. I was totally absorbed in the next chapter of my life and never saw that one coming.
David Ralph [9:36]
Did you accept it? Or when somebody found through I imagine being a parent as I am? My first feelings would be no, you must have got this wrong. I know my son. He lives with me. You’re mistaken.
Dave Cooke [9:49]
Well, he The thing was, is he was 19 or 20 years old at the time, so he wasn’t living with me. He was living about 2000 miles away and in another state. It’s caught me by surprise, but I believed it. It just was one of those things. The way the news came from me was from my daughter, who was visiting my son in another city. When she dropped the bomb on me. I I was I took it for what it was harsh reality. But it was definitely a punch in the guy. And it took me a second to recover from the shock. That’s for sure.
David Ralph [10:23]
So it wasn’t the authorities. It was your daughter who phoned up and said, Dad, your son, my brother has got a situation here. We need your help.
Unknown Speaker [10:32]
David Ralph [10:34]
And you flew straight over that you you got in a car, how did it work?
Dave Cooke [10:39]
Well, because he was so far away. And that was the time of day, what I did was I got on the phone made some plans. And I caught a flight The next morning, first the first flight out of town the next morning and was able to catch up with my son early the next afternoon. So it’s about 30 hours, elapsed time from the when I got the news to the time I was actually able to reconnect with my son and start to help him with this situation.
David Ralph [11:05]
And what did you do? You know, I don’t want to dwell on this too much. But it is a key part of your storey. Because it was so unexpected. So what did you do as a father? Was it a fact that you just bought? Okay, I can financially help him with get you into therapy or whatever? Or rehab? Or was was there a realisation that it wasn’t going to be money it was going to be love and understanding that that was the key thing?
Dave Cooke [11:33]
Well, I think that my expectations were and this is in New York. Correct. This is a key part of this storey and this is the key part of my journey as it relates to other parents in similar journeys. is like everything that we’ve done with our child, whether he’s 20, or he’s two years old, my my perspective was is that as a parent, it’s my job to jump in and fix this, find out what I need to do to help him love him, coach, encourage him if I needed to financially support them, whatever it was, my my job is, as dad was when I got off that plane was to find my son, Tom, I loved him, and roll up my sleeves and figure out how we’re going to solve solve this problem, how we’re going to fix it.
David Ralph [12:15]
And did he want that? Did he want you to be suddenly in his life, obviously being 2000 miles away, there was a certain amount of independence and freedom. And for any child growing up, there does come a time when deep down you want your parents but you also don’t want your parents disapproval. Would he have been happier that you wasn’t involved in it?
Dave Cooke [12:38]
That’s a great question to which I probably never asked him. I think some of the things, again, at the benefit of hindsight, I think some of the things that we did to rescue my son, he resented and didn’t appreciate at the time. Notably, at the end of this, this cycle of you know, when I first started helping him about three or four months later, I ended up moving him from Detroit, Michigan, which is where he was living to Arizona. He, to this day, probably doesn’t like or appreciate the decision. But at the same time, he knows it was in his best interest and doesn’t resent us for doing it. But he he wasn’t happy with some of the things that I did. But I will tell you when I saw him that in in reconnected with him that very first day, he was surprised at how fast his dad showed up. And I think that that did instil in him something that reminded him that no matter what happens in his life, his dad, his mom, we love him. And I think that’s that was a powerful message in the process.
David Ralph [13:41]
I’ll be honest with you, David, that that actually choked me up when you were saying that then because you know, I’m a father of five. And I would jump through hoops like all parents would. But the fact that your son was surprised that you would do that. I found that quite emotional and shocking. I’ll be honest with you, I found shocking that he would think that, you know, I’ve only been connected with you for 15 minutes, but you seem a genuine, honest. You sound a great guy, you know, you’re coaching Little League, you’re doing all those kind of parental responsibilities, and the fact that you’re your son, when Hang on, you came all this way for me that that must have been, that must have been quite hurtful to you was it?
Dave Cooke [14:23]
What was surprising to me. But I think that when when I put everything into context, you know, here’s a kid who for you know, the better part of the last nine months, you know, previous nine months of his life, had been in and out of jail a couple times. Now I didn’t know that storey he had quit school, I knew that part of his storey. He had been was living on the street with the way he was viewing his life, that his life was pretty much in a really bad spot that all was ruined. He had lost hope for his own life. And I think when he ended up in jail, the last thing that he expected to see when he came out of jail, was his dad standing there saying I’m here to help you. I, I think that he had given up on his life. And I think that that was the piece that struck him is that I can’t believe my dad’s here already. Wow. You know, he must really love me. And I, I think that he had given up on his life. And he was shocked that somebody else had.
David Ralph [15:20]
Were you surprised that you loved him so much. And I don’t mean that as a stupid statement. To me, it may sound a stupid statement. But I know with myself and my kids, when they’re really small, it’s all hugs and cuddles and kisses and all that kind of stuff. And then they they hit their kind of teen years, and I do sort of pull away from you. And you You almost lose back that kind of physical connexion that you have with them at a very early age. And you you you kind of perceive them as not wanting you as much you perceive them as being individuals that you’re actually helping them by allowing them to take responsibility for their own life and the actions. So when you had that phone call did was it like a stranger you were going to a stranger? Did you feel that love that you might have had when he was a little lad running around the backyard?
Dave Cooke [16:15]
Definitely that I think that that’s what the that’s what was the shock piece to me is is that you know, you’re at that place. And I think you you hit it on the head as I remember remember the thought when I’m you know lugging kids to soccer practice and softball practice and all this stuff going on. I can’t wait till you know these days when all this chaos is over. And I can just enjoy my life and maybe you know, checking on my kids wherever they are and and then I’ll sudden The house is empty and you’re missing your kids. And then you get this phone call your son’s in jail and you go all the way back in time and think I can’t believe that this little guy, you know, and I’m visioning. I know he’s 20 years old or 19 years old, but I’m envisioning him at eight years old. This kid that you did hug him cuddle with him laugh and joke with him. I’m thinking that’s the guy. That’s the kid that’s in jail. So I reconnected with all dad and young boy. And it was Yeah, it did surprise me and, and we’ve talked about this, I’ve talked about this with other people because I I look at this and they say I’m really surprised. You know that you’re so that I’m so modest about the the actions that I took because I said this is what every parent would do they go not every parent could do what you did just that unconditional unequivocal, just dive in deep kind of love stuff. But that’s when you realise how much you love your kids is when they need you the most. And it doesn’t matter whether they’re 40, or they’re eight, you’re always going to love your kids, and they’re always going to have that piece of your heart. It’s just that you manage it differently at a different place in your life.
David Ralph [17:49]
is a shame. Oh, maybe it’s just natural. But that happens, isn’t it? Because he is it’s so precious when they are young. And you’re lifting them out of the bar rapping in a tower and all that kind of stuff. And it is a pain as well. But there’s many times when they’re small, that you kind of think Oh, just give me five minutes. But
Unknown Speaker [18:09]
it’s it is.
David Ralph [18:11]
It is a love isn’t it is it is a love that you you can’t you can’t almost Express into words until I suppose by leave. And then you get grandchildren. I suppose that’s how it works. I mean, you suddenly had this opportunity to reconnect with the little emotional side, but you’d lost.
Dave Cooke [18:30]
Right? Well, I and I shared this with my you know, my older son my you know, the summer talking about has two siblings, an older sister and an older brother. And I remember you know, as long ago as 10 years ago, when I was losing my oldest son who’s a very accomplished businessman, he’s got a PhD at a very prestigious university. And I was talking while he was giving his PhD work. And I said, You know, I worry about you every day. He says no way dead. This is I don’t shouldn’t say worried like fret, but I every day, there’s a time in my life, my day where I pause and I say I wonder how you’re doing. And I says he goes, he says your craziest Nope, happens all the time. I say that’s the job of a parent, parents job. Parents were connexion to their kids will never ever and it just isn’t as demonstrative, like you said, as those early days where you are, you know, taking care of them and you’re nurturing them, maybe, you know, teaching them manager and helping them with their homework or taking them to soccer practice. You know, those are the days where they’re most dependent on you. And when they’re 25 or 30. They’re not dependent on you. But that doesn’t mean that you you know you’re not they’re not a part of your life are attached to your heart. It’s it’s there’s It never ends, it never goes away.
David Ralph [19:43]
It doesn’t go away. And all you listeners out there on your way to work and you might be 35 or whatever. When you get there work. Just contact your mom and say you love it a shocker. Because you probably haven’t said it for the last 1520 years. But it’s it’s what we should all do, shouldn’t we we should we should connect with the people who love us most because we don’t.
Dave Cooke [20:03]
Right? But be careful when you call your mom to tell your lover The first thing you say is everything’s okay. I’m just calling to say I love you because she’s going to get the call that she wasn’t expecting that she’s going to panic that it’s that something’s wrong. So start with everything’s okay. I just wanted to call and say I love you.
David Ralph [20:17]
words of advice. Big, big advice. So you’re in? Where was he? 2000 miles away from you in Detroit, wasn’t it? Detroit, Michigan? Yeah. Okay, so you flown to Detroit, you get him out of jail? Was that where he was when the call came through to you?
Dave Cooke [20:34]
on the call? Yeah, he was in jail when my daughter called me. Yes. Okay.
David Ralph [20:37]
So what was the first things that you did with your son? I can’t imagine that you sat down in, you know, Starbucks and just had a cup of coffee? How did you start to sort of reconnect with him?
Dave Cooke [20:49]
Well, it was interesting, because I was able to, I call up a friend and told him that I needed a place to stay, and I was bringing my son. And so I basically convened in somebody’s living room and just sat with myself. And the first thing I just said was, just tell me what I need to know. I’m here to help you tell me what I need to know. And he just shared with me bits and pieces of his storey, I would quite honestly know that he didn’t tell me the whole storey. But he told me enough to be dangerous. And then I told them, you know, sat down with them. And we actually we did, a friend of mine gave us tickets for sporting events is what you guys need to do is just go out and have some fun and reconnect. And that’s what we did. And then the next day, we got up and we went to meet with a good friend who’s an attorney, and we started going through the process of what do we need to do legally to start to understand and deal with the problem?
David Ralph [21:44]
So why did you do that? David, the legal aspect, because in my head, it would be you know, straight into rehab or something, you know, how help with the addiction? Why did the legal aspect take precedent?
Dave Cooke [21:55]
Oh, I’ll be because I, my, my, my objective, the way I looked at the big picture was is that in that this is this, this is the lesson of addiction, you know that the my journey of the learning about addiction is that I believe that all my son needed to get out from under his trouble was the love, love coach and encouragement of his parents and his family, change of venue, that kind of thing. So my goal in life was the rehab could occur. But it needed to occur somewhere else needed to occur in an environment that was closer to the people who knew him and loved him the most. And that wasn’t Detroit, that was Arizona where I was living. So my quest was fine using the legal system to find out what I could do to get him out of Detroit and into Phoenix.
David Ralph [22:42]
Why? I don’t know, I don’t understand back. Can you just take him? Is there legal aspects to that? Why Why couldn’t you just sort of fly him over to zona?
Dave Cooke [22:50]
Well, because he had was arrested for a couple of crimes in Detroit. And he had already been sentenced and assigned probation missionary responsibilities in Detroit. So his probation officer would have to release him to go and complete his probation in Arizona and have it supervised basically, self supervised probation. Okay, so that’s, that’s why I went to the lawyer and the lawyer says, Yeah, I got to find out the nature of the terms. And I went to the probation officer and the probation officer and then so what’s not going to be that simple, and it was it was all jurisdictional legal mumbo jumbo. But at the end of the day, that’s what I was able to do. But it took me more than one trip. It took me several months worth of manoeuvring before I was able to get him transferred to a new location and a new venue here in Arizona. Really, okay, let’s
David Ralph [23:40]
take the storey away from your son for a while because the you know, the interesting part is how you’ve taken this on to such a scale and helping so many people. So you had your son, you moved him back things are now going well and he’s he’s sort of been Wayne Duffy’s addiction. When did the
Dave Cooke [24:02]
idea if if that if that was only the truth, but anyway,
that’s really not the storey to tell us a storey then. So I’ll tell you the storey real quick is that that’s what you’re going to ask the question. You know what I’m going to kind of preempt your question and ask it again. But what the change in venue didn’t do any good. And this is the lesson of being a parent with a child with an addiction. And we’re not gonna spend any more time on that, except that I learned over the next 18 months, that me wanting my son to be clean and to embrace recovery, all the love coach, encouragement, change of venue, all that stuff, will not change the outcome in my son’s life unless what tell my son decided that he wanted to embrace recovery. He didn’t embrace recovery. So we spent about 18 months living and experiencing in Arizona, what he was doing in Michigan, he got in trouble with the law, he spent time in jail he going we went to more courts, we went through all that stuff. So for about 18 months, I rolled, I rode his roller coaster of life choices and decisions related to his addiction. So to answer the question that I preempted, when did I decide to take my journey to a different level is there was a point in my life where I realised that his addiction had become my addiction, and that I was my life was being ruined in my quest to save him.
David Ralph [25:27]
So was it a dawning realisation? Or were you laying in bed one morning, and you suddenly thought, I know what I’ve got to do here, because this is bigger than just him and me.
Dave Cooke [25:38]
It was, it was a dawning realisation, I had one it was this the best way to describe it as one night I woke up in the middle of the night, and my son was missing. He had stolen my TV set, and he was somewhere on the street. And I woke up in the middle of the night that night, and just kind of had that realisation that my life was completely spiralling out of control. And I literally sat I’m front porch of my house and said, you know, man, what are you going to do to change your life because this is not the way you need to live your life, your health is in bad shape, I allowed my business to fall apart, my relationships were struggling, I was so obsessed with saving my son, that everything else was put on hold to the point where everything else that he wrote it and collapsed. And when I realised I finally had that moment of realisation, that’s when I said, You have got to get control of your life and do something different, because this isn’t working. And that’s where the journey of my bicycle ride started that I made a commitment to myself that I was going to ride my bike for at least an hour a day, for the next 100 days. The reason I was riding my bike was not for the physical benefit, which was obviously a bonus. But the reason I really chose to ride my bike is that I knew if I started my day with a productive positive workout, the rest of the day would fall into place in a much better, a much better way. And so I just asked myself with doing something that the mantra was, what can I do to create an environment for myself where I’m strong for my son when he’s present, but I’m even stronger for myself when he’s not. And that’s what the bike rides were as well was to get focus and clarity and intentionality in my life, despite the choices that my son was doing.
David Ralph [27:23]
So so you you really are just setting your day up. And that’s that’s all those bike rides are you know that for about? I don’t know how long those journeys were each morning, you had that chance to be on your own, clear your head and really set yourself on a positive, positive route. Really?
Dave Cooke [27:43]
Yes, I was I was like you said I’m I was framing the day I was setting the day. And I’ll start start from something positive and build from there.
David Ralph [27:52]
Wait 100 days, Ben?
Dave Cooke [27:57]
Well, there was kind of a, there was a there was a back challenge to this is that I was thinking from the mind of a person who’s dealing with an addiction is that, you know, the the message that we give to addicts is that they have to give something up that they love, no matter. I know that the cost of everything else. And the idea being if you tell them to imagine giving up something that you love for the rest of your life, they can’t even give it up for 15 minutes yet we’re tasking them with the thought process of giving something up for the rest of their life. And so I was saying I need to understand what that means to challenge myself to do something that I have no idea how I’m going to do. So I gave myself the task of 100 days, because I didn’t know if I could ride my bike every single day for at least one hour for 100 days. That sounds like wow, I don’t even know if I can do that. So is that what we are asking the addict to do? They need to go I don’t even know if I can do that. So I said I’m going to show my son that it’s possible. But I’m also going to show myself what it feels like to take out tasks like that. So that’s why the 100 it was a little it was a bit intentional.
David Ralph [28:56]
When you kind of unsympathetic, but I had problem, I am quite unsympathetic to many things because I’ve never had to go through them myself. And so people who are heavily overweight, I don’t understand it. And people who drink too much I don’t understand it. And because I’ve never really put myself in that situation, I’ve always been quite controlled. So on something like addiction, I can’t honestly grasp how difficult that is to to get off that subject of substance. I know it must be terrible, because so many people, unfortunately come to you know, a nasty end because of it. But are you more sympathetic? Now, when at the beginning? Did you simply think that there was a process to sorting people out? And then you could just move on to a happy life?
Dave Cooke [29:44]
Oh, definitely. Um, you know, in by by nature of my personality. And by the nature of just my professional career is that I was I was always very goal oriented results oriented in this way was about a matter of mindset, you put your mind to something, you do it. And I couldn’t I really struggled to comprehend this notion of powerless, which is what the what the people in a talk about, or the notion of the disease being you’re clouding your mind and stuff like that is like, it was a concept that I’m not sure that I was unsympathetic. But I certainly was not knowledgeable enough to understand the concept, the notion that that’s possible, because it’s just like I thought, yeah, you put your mind to mind is something you do it. So you decide you’re not going to do drugs, you don’t do drugs anymore, you figure it out. And there are still elements of that whole conversation that I do think that a lot of the things that we do in our life are a product of choice, I do think that somebody who’s in recovery has chosen, very, has chosen that they’re not going to use anymore. And if they’ve chosen that they’re not going to use anymore, the notion that they don’t use ever again, it’s a matter of how firm they are to that choice. And what they’re going to do to ensure themselves. The problem is, is that there is an element to the disease of addiction, that clouds their ability, at times where they’re not as strong as they can be, or they need to be as opposed to something else. You know, it’s not like you and me saying I’m going to give up cookies, okay, we are addicted to sugar, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to kill us. And it doesn’t come it doesn’t take our brains over to the point where we can’t think clearly about not taking not having a cookie. It’s there’s a little bit there’s a component there that has more force than we realise. And so I struggled learning that without rambling too much longer. But I did struggle.
David Ralph [31:31]
No, I think it’s a fascinating storey because, you know, so many of us are blessed, we go to work, we come home, we pay our bills, and life just floats along. And you don’t have the peaks and troughs, you don’t have the, the dark and the light. Or maybe you think you do until you hear storeys like this. And it is difficult to get your head round it you know, it is something as you say, but for most of us, me included, you haven’t got the knowledge to really grasp, I’m listening, I’m really listening to what you’re saying, because I don’t want to come up with just stupid questions afterwards. But there is a there’s a lack of understanding, because I’ve just never known anyone who’s been through anything similar to this.
Dave Cooke [32:19]
Yeah, it when it comes to addiction, and Brandon, my son used to say this a lot, is that you can’t make sense out of nonsense. And I think that that’s the one thing that we struggle with. We’re we’re logic thinking people. And so when we step back and say there’s gotta be a reason and explanation for the choices, the decisions that you’ve made, because everything usually has a logical component to it, there is an element to addiction that is just plain nonsensical, and trying to understand and make sense of it will drive you crazy, you just write it off and say that’s that place that I’m never going to understand. It’s a world that I don’t live in. And I’m going to be grateful that it’s not my problem. But at the same time, I’m going to learn not to judge or criticise eyes, the person who has that problem, I’m going to do my best to try to understand how I can help them through the process. And you know, that’s about all we can really do. It’s, it’s, it’s about, you know, learning what I can control and learning what I can’t control and focusing on how I can control what I can control.
David Ralph [33:17]
You know, David man about this time, I normally play the speech by Steve Jobs, when he talks about looking back and connecting the dots. And I’ve been grappling, whether I should play it because it doesn’t seem to be relevant to the subject. But I’m going to play anyway, because I think it’s relevant to you, as an individual. And so I’m going to play the words of Steve Jobs now. And I’m just going to see your view on these. And whether they’ve had any bearing in your life, or whether life just happens, you know, as john lennon once said, you know, life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. So this is the words of Steve Jobs. And then we have talked about it afterwards.
Steve Jobs [33:54]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [34:30]
So what do you think about those words, obviously, your life has been dictated really by choices that you’ve had to make against choices that you would have wanted to make. So do you think those words are relevant?
Dave Cooke [34:45]
Definitely back to actually, I’m glad this was not a videotape because I got tears in my eyes listening to the talk. Those words are so powerful, I spent my whole career in my entire career has benefited as a sales guy, whether I was a sales person or a sales coach or sales strategist with an organisation. And the mission, what made me successful as a sales guy was my ability to help people discover solutions to the challenges and the problems that they faced. And about the time that I was going through the experiences that I was going through, because it was interesting was slightly before this, but I was losing my passion for my business. Sales wasn’t exciting, or more inspiring and motivating to me more I’ve been doing it my whole life, I was helping people find solutions to the problems and enabled them to grow their business and make money. And, you know, it was good stuff. But it didn’t, it didn’t charge me up much. And now you know, kind of fast forward to six years after the day, I got that phone call. We’re sitting here having this conversation. And I can tell you that my mission in life is to have help parents work through the adversities that they’re going through as it relates to their children’s lives. And I couldn’t have predicted that my son’s adversity would have turned the page for me and stuff like that. But what it did was, it helped me recognise and uncover what I was truly passionate about, which was helping people through their toughest challenges. And I’m it my son’s addiction was the darkest, most painful, worst Odyssey of my life, I still struggle with where he’s at in his life. But like you asked me earlier on, are you better for it? Yes, it’s the greatest gift I’ve ever been given because it completely transformed my life. And it’s enabled me to do things that I would not it forced me in some respects, but it challenged me to do the things that I wouldn’t had the courage or the guts to do on my own, it pushed me to a different place. And now that I’m here, I’m better. And I’m happier about it.
David Ralph [37:03]
How do people out there? How do our listeners who haven’t gone to such a dark place, but they’ve just got the fear of starting something, they’ve got a an idea, they’ve got a dream, exactly like you’ve done with 100 pedals and you can go on to 100 pedals.com. And they have a look around the site. We’re going to talk about it again in a minute. But how do they overcome those those fears that route them to the spot when somebody like yourself? Quite honestly says that without the actual, you know, worst case scenario, you wouldn’t have had the courage to take on what you took on?
Dave Cooke [37:41]
Well, I think that the thing that I’ve learned and what’s what’s really kept me moving now that I’ve done started doing this and keeps moving me forward, is the idea of a good friend, author of mine, you know, wrote a book about being old. And I think that that’s really what it is, is that your gut tells you something. And it says it says do this, say this go here. And so many times we we hear it, but then we break it down and we start to analyse it, we start to question it in all that other stuff. And next thing, you know, we’re not doing it, we’ve justified inaction. And I think that the key to everything in our life is that we spend more time trying to make sure that we don’t make mistakes that we don’t fail that we don’t do something wrong, that we end up don’t doing anything. And I think that the Be bold methodology is when you hear your gut say, take this step. The next question is and whether I should or not, it says okay, here I go. What’s in then after I’ve done it, what’s next? And that’s how I’ve lived the last six years of my life. And I back I mean, I can’t just tell you how powerful it’s been. It’s scary, it’s uncertain. I’ve definitely fallen down many times. But when I look back in the last six years, it’s been the best six years of my life. Because I never stopped I took the next step. Always took the next step.
David Ralph [39:01]
Did you know it was the right next step?
Dave Cooke [39:04]
Didn’t matter. It was the next step. And that’s the that’s the challenge in the in these things. And I think that’s the call out. And I think that that, for me, that’s the cryptic message that I hear with Stephen Jobs is that, you know, here we are, we’re walking the path. And we don’t know where it would lead. Only after we’ve had the opportunity to look back and say, holy crap, look at how this worked out, then we can understand it. We don’t know what the right time whether it’s the right step, we don’t know that it’s the wrong step. All we know is is it’s the step that our gut told us to take. And because it’s our gut, that’s the step we need to take, it doesn’t have to be the right stuff has to be the stuff.
David Ralph [39:42]
Everything in my life that has changed, in a positive way, has been when bad scary boys actually made me do something. And that scary voice in my stomach that that twists and turns and looks at something, but it’s only going to turn out badly. I now realise it’s just life’s way of rooting me to the spot. But actually, if you flip on its head, and you listen to that, whenever you get that scary forward, that is the one time that you’ve got to go where I don’t care what anything else happens. But is what I’ve got to do, I’ve got to do that thing, because that is the thing that’s going to help me grow. And the only reason I’m scared about it, is the fact that I’ve never done it before.
Dave Cooke [40:29]
Right, which is one of my favourite quotes. And I think you asked me that earlier, I didn’t share it. But that’s my favourite quote is you never know what you’re capable until you put yourself in a position to do something you’ve never done before.
David Ralph [40:41]
And it is so simple that isn’t it, you know, and so many people would go, Well, I’m always doing stuff I’ve never done before, but you’re not doing the scary stuff. And all the multi millionaires, all the you know, the artists, the film stars, they’ve all started from nothing, every single one of us on this planet started as a baby, and you can’t get away from that fact. And so the fact that Richard Branson, or Donald Trump, or Harrison Ford, or all these people have got to the position or perceived success is purely down to the actions that they were willing to take.
Dave Cooke [41:18]
Right, they did not allow their fears to define the stuff, they allowed their their courage to, you know, to help them take the next step. And I think that that’s difference. And that is that’s a big challenge that we have in our society today, though, because there is so much pressure to be successful, there’s so much pressure to do the right thing. And nobody wants to feel like they failed, or that they have fallen behind. But I think those are the examples that you gave us, you look at these people, and you see where they are today and you met you want them you want to mimic or or imitate their success. But we’re image mimicking and imitating their success at the high side of the curve now that the low side of their curve, there was a day where Richard Branson didn’t have millions of dollars, all they had was an idea in an aeroplane already, I mean, I’ve yet an aeroplane, but he says this is what I’m going to do. And he didn’t think about where it’s going to end up, he says, I’m going to take the next step and let it do this. And I think that that’s the power, we have to we have, we have to find a way not to give in to our fears. And we have to be willing to look past some of the risk. And in Be willing just to take that next step and keep moving in the direction that intuitively we know we need to go in.
David Ralph [42:28]
Because I kind of think the education system is flawed in the fact that our kids, my son is 12. And he’s at your high school in our senior school, so 12 to 17. And you can already see the kind of the spark going out of him somewhat, because he doesn’t want to step ahead of his peer group. And it’s just like a kind of herd of sheep going through school. And no one wants to raise their head too high, because you know, they’re going to be the ones that picked on. So they just get the heads down and pull their shoulders in and sort of migrate through six or seven years. And they come out the other end. And then what do they do, they do what everyone else is doing, because they don’t want to sort of show themselves as being anything different. And then they move into an insurance job or a bank job, or any kind of those things. And I’m trying to say to him now, you know, be creative. Because if you can be creative, and you can make your own future, then effectively, you never have to work again, you will put in the hours and you will work probably harder than you would do in an office. But you’ve got security and you’ve got choices. And you might have fun, and you might have a life. But is is your own and it’s your own unique path. And I do think education is flawed. And I don’t know the answer. I don’t know what we need to do about it. But it says it does seem to take all the risk taking out and play safe over time.
Dave Cooke [43:58]
I think that was very true. And we could probably we do a whole nother show on that is, you know, it starts it starts with a couple of things. But first of all, we’re taught at a very early age that the person at the front of the room has all the answers and they’re always right. And so our notion of conformity over imagination was we squelch imagination very early on, is because there’s only one answer and the teacher has the answer. And so when you think about it, you know, what are we doing 30 years later is is that the boss is the boss, and they have them they have control and we have to adhere to whatever it is they do. So they stifle creativity. And I think you nailed it on the head is is that at a very early age, we have to find ways as parents, maybe we can’t change the school system, but as parents outside the school system, teach our children to dream. And I think that that’s so important. Like we spent a lot of time spent a lot of time talking with parents about that. What is the vision that you have for your own life? Most people struggle with the vision for their own life because they’re so already they’ve already stuck in the decay of the of the conformist society. And that’s, that’s the power is what do you dream if you if you couldn’t, you couldn’t do what you’re doing? What would you do? Or if you didn’t have to do what you’re doing? What would you do? And it’s amazing what people come up with. And so why aren’t you bringing that into your life? Maybe Maybe you have to keep that job at the bank. But because for me using the bike as my example, I love riding my bike, I could joke with you and say I’m a professional cyclist, because every day I’m able to ride my bike as a component of my inspiration for my business. So I’m getting paid to ride my bike so technically, I’m a professional cyclist.
David Ralph [45:41]
Are you known as the sort of bike guy in Arizona when you’re riding along? Do people go Oh, there’s there’s there’s Dave
Dave Cooke [45:47]
No, I’m not I’m not quite that popular. But you know, I there are a lot of people that know that I like to ride my bike and they’re surprised when they find out I’m not like one of those hardcore avid cyclist. Who are you racing on Saturdays? I ride because I enjoy it. And they know that I can they can always count on me to talk about going they always know when they see me. Have you gone for it? Yep, I went for a ride today. I love writing. But it’s the thing that allows me to celebrate the rest of my life, I make time for myself to celebrate something that gives me energy because if I don’t celebrate something gives me energy then what do I have? I just have a doll non energised life. And you know life. Life is long. You know, everybody says Life is short. It’s not I’m 57 years old, I can tell you I’ve been I’ve lived a long time. But life goes by quick. And if you’re not doing things that you love, you’re going to realise that you didn’t have you didn’t celebrate the things that you dreamed of celebrating you, you squash them, and I’m not doing that anymore.
David Ralph [46:49]
Is 100 pedals your your dream? I know it’s your focus at the moment. But if you had the chance of doing something else, would you still do 100 pedal dot com?
Dave Cooke [47:01]
That’s a great question. Um,
yeah, you know, I’d have to say with a caveat, I’d have to clarify that a couple things that I’m doing is is that I love I love to be a public speaker. It’s been what I’ve been working on for several years, I have found something that I can be authentically passionate about that energises me that I can give a gift and night. And it’s not, you know, I struggled to be a professional speaker, because I thought I was professional speaker had to have a big ego and be the guy at the front of the room that you know, odd everybody. And now what I found out is that in the humility of my storey of being a dad with a son with an addiction, the things that I’ve learned, I’ve found that my transparency in my authenticity, and my in my own, you know, relatively humility is that I’m a much more powerful speaker as a result of that. And I’m enjoying being the guy at the front of the room that can change and inspire change lives and inspire people. So I’m doing I am doing what I have been have wanted to do for years. And the fact that I can ride my bike with freedom and flexibility. You know, what, who wouldn’t want to do that every day, but I have CEOs and I sure wish I could do what you’re doing. And I said you can you just want to allow yourself.
David Ralph [48:19]
That’s a powerful statement, isn’t it?
Dave Cooke [48:21]
Yeah. Well, they don’t appreciate it. But he said it sounds it sounds brash. But it’s true, right?
David Ralph [48:26]
he is he is absolutely true. You know, I quit my nine to five job. And I think many people for I was mad. And there were certain points in the process. I thought I was made. And I remember having one night thinking, oh my god, what have I done, I’ve now got to you know, it was that scary time, even though I’d already left, I’d already made that leap of faith, there was a point where I suddenly felt what I’m gonna see if I take me back, and I’m gonna, I’m going to see what I can do. But now people are saying to me, this is what you should have always done. It is strange. Now they can see the success starting to build by they can’t see but long hours and the effort and all the other kind of stuff is exactly what you’re saying. It’s that that, you know, it’s the the head of the curve that they’re looking at. And it’s it’s, they could do the same, but they’re not allowing themselves exactly the same.
Dave Cooke [49:22]
And I understand it’s difficult, because, you know, they, as you and I both done, and I’ve done the same thing I still every once in a while to question the wisdom of doing what I’m doing when you know, maybe the cash flows a little tight or you know, the phone is ringing, like I would like it to be a lot easier just to get a you know, get a regular everyday paycheck. But then I think about you know, I think about that for about five minutes. And I think about what that means, means I have to be in the office from nine to five or eight to five, I have to I’m responsible to somebody else all the time. I’m giving up freedom and flexibility. I’m giving up my creative energy. And next thing I was I cannot, I don’t need that. So I have a little bit less flexibility financially. But I’ve got 1000 times more flexibility and the gifts and the energy that I’m getting from this from what I’m doing. It’s worth
David Ralph [50:08]
just before I put you on the mic, the Sermon on the mic, and we send you back in time, like a time traveller to have a one on one with your younger self. I need to ask how is your son now?
Dave Cooke [50:19]
While you know he he rides a bumpy road. He was doing really well for several months. And just as recently as about two weeks ago, he had a had a relapse, and he benched for about a week and a half. And fortunately it didn’t, it didn’t kill them. And it didn’t land him in jail. But it did cause him to lose his job. And so he’s got a couple things. He’s starting over again. But thankfully, he’s, you know, keeps keeps the good fight and he’s doing he’s here, you know, I mean, there are far too many parents that have buried sons and daughters who died in their relapse. I’m, I’m my son is still here. He loves to fight another day. And I’m grateful for it.
David Ralph [50:58]
I wish him the best really doing I know all our listeners out there. We’re wishing the best as well. Thank you. So this is the part that I’m going to play the tune. And when it fades out, this is your chance to have a one on one. And what what age of Dave cook, would you choose? Would it be a real youngster? Would it be a couple of years ago? Would it be the night before you got that fateful phone call. So this is a sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [51:32]
We go with
Unknown Speaker [51:35]
Dave Cooke [51:50]
Dave cook, this is your past or your future, however you want to look at it. Here you are 20 years removed. 20 years ago, you graduate from your MBA programme, and you’re looking forward to your career. All I gotta do is tell you, dude, don’t chase the money. You’re sitting right here. I know you hated your job. you dislike the people that you were working with. And you thought if you got a degree that you could play a role in grow, and do something else, even though you hated the conformity of it. I’m telling you now, my friend, be who you are. Don’t try to become something you’re not embrace the opportunity to be who you want to be. Just step out, tell people what you stand for. tell people why you stand for it and start to help them the way you know you wanted to instead of trying to figure out a way to make money and change the world. That way. You can’t change the world from inside the for you can only change the world from outside before. And I’m telling you, my friend, fight the good fight outside the floor because people will follow you. There’s a lot of people who are looking for answers. And you have them. But you have to have the willingness and the hutzpah to go out and do it on your own and blaze the trail. You can’t blaze the trail on a conforming path, you can only blaze a trail on a path that nobody’s travelled before. That’s my advice to my friend, fight the good fight on in, mow down a new line.
David Ralph [53:19]
Do you think the young Dave would have listened to that?
Dave Cooke [53:24]
If I could give him some of the examples? Yeah, he would. Because intuitively, I knew that I was unhappy.
And I just needed somebody to tell me that I didn’t have to do the stuff that I didn’t want to do. It it’s really funny because about five years ago, my wife said to me, she says, you know, she had actually apologised to me, which was she didn’t owe me any apologies. But she says I realised now that I put pressure on you to do things that made me feel safe in a way that prevented you from doing what you were capable of doing. And, you know, like I said, she didn’t need to apologise. But she recognised that difference in the man doing what he loves, as opposed to man doing what he’s supposed believed he supposed to be doing. And I think that you can be very accomplished being a man that’s doing what they’ve been called to do, as opposed to doing something that they hate because they feel like you’re supposed to
David Ralph [54:16]
die up. It’s been an absolute inspiration having you on the show today. It’s been it’s been a very difficult one. But I I’ve got so much admiration for the way that you you turned your life on the on its head, you’re still helping you, your son. And obviously you’re helping people around the world. So if there are listeners out here that are interested in getting in contact with you, how’s the best way of doing it?
Dave Cooke [54:39]
The best way is go to my website, which is 100 number 100. pedals like bike pedals. 100 pedals.com.
David Ralph [54:48]
As simple as that. Are you on Twitter? Are you on Facebook,
Dave Cooke [54:49]
I’m also on Twitter, you can find me at 100 pedals You can also find me at sales cook, I have two Twitter handles, it just gets a frantic that way. But so sales cook, which is cook with an E on Twitter. And you can also find me on Facebook, there’s a 100 petals page, and there’s David cook on Facebook. I’m up there, there’s a lot of David cook, so you might have trouble finding me that way. But
I’m everywhere I can be.
David Ralph [55:16]
Well, I wish he was in more places as well. So thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. And please come back again, when you have more dots to join up. Or if you just want to tell us how your son’s getting on. Or if you just want to share, I’m sure that we would love to have you back on the show. Because I believe the only way to build our futures is by connecting our pasts. David cook, thank you so much.
Dave Cooke [55:38]
Thank you, I appreciate it.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become so he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up Dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.