Welcome To The Join Up Dots business coaching Podcast With Joeel & Natalie Rivera Transformation Experts
To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:
Introducing transformation Experts Joeel and Natalie Rivera
Joeel and Natalie Rivera are today’s guests on the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast.
They are freedom junkies and prolific content creators who have launched over a dozen businesses.
They have also been coaching, speaking, writing, and teaching for more than a decade.
After almost losing it all due to a sudden illness after travelling overseas, they converted their coaching and training programs into online courses.
Today, they’ve created over 200 hours of content and more than 75 online courses, taken by more than 100,000 students from 191 countries.
As a former psychology professor and k-12 educator, Joeel has a unique perspective on the changes occurring in education today.
They are advocates for the democratisation of education and capitalising on current and emerging educational technologies to help expand access to real-world knowledge.
How The Transformation Dots Joined Up For The Couple
Through their online education company, Transformation Academy, they empower other entrepreneurs to leverage their time, diversify their income, and ensure their legacy by teaching what they know and love online.
So why are they so passionate about showing the world how to transform themselves?
And where do they see the world of online business heading moving forward?
More and more transparency and connection with the founders, or perhaps somewhere different?
Well lets find out as we bring on to the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Joeel & Natalie Rivera
During the show we discussed with transformation experts Joeel and Natalie such subjects as:
We discuss how you can build an online business simply by researching a subject and developing material.
Why so many of the successful businesses left them burnout and miserable until true passion was found.
The reasons why it is so powerful to show daily gratitude in your life. Be grateful for the small things to gain from the big.
Natalie shares her guilt of having a lovely life as a youngster, with nothing to truly rally against.
Joeel reveals how he built the process of celebration into their lives, which is so important as you build success.
How To Connect With Joeel & Natalie Rivera
Return To The Top Of Transformation Experts
Of course if you want more amazing episodes then you can jump over to the podcast archives
Audio Transcription Of Joeel and Natalie Rivera
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 in 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 [0:21]
Yes. Hello there. Good morning. Well, good morning to old of you, whatever you’re doing whoever you’re with. Thank you so much for spending some time and being with us. On join up dots today’s guest I’ll be honest, I’ve already had a little chat and I kind of fall Should I really do a podcast, it’d be quite fun just to chat with them there. They’ve got that kind of vibe. They are freedom junkies and prolific content creators who have launched over a dozen businesses. I’ve also been coaching, speaking, writing, and teaching for more than a decade. Now after almost losing it all due to a sudden illness after travelling overseas, converted a coaching and training programs into online courses. And today, they’ve created over 200 hours of content, and more than 75 online courses taken by more than 100,000 students from 191 countries. Now as a former psychology professor in K 12 educator, the gentleman has a unique perspective on the changes occurring in education. today. They are advocates for the democratization of education and capitalizing on common and emerging educational technologies. This is how to say, to help expand access to real world knowledge, now proven online education company transformation Academy, they empower other entrepreneurs to leverage their time, diversify their income and ensure their legacy by teaching what they know and love online. So why are they so passionate about showing the world how to transform themselves? Shouldn’t the world want to transform themselves already? And where do they see the world of online businesses heading moving forward? More and more transport parents in connection with the founders? Or perhaps something different? Well, let’s find out as we bring them to the show to start joining up with the one and only Joeel and Natalie Rivera. Good morning to both How are you?
Natalie Rivera [2:16]
Wonderful. So happy to be here. That’s great to be here. Thank you. Do you
David Ralph [2:20]
know I screwed your name up instantly? Didn’t know very first time. Very first time I have to be transparent with the listeners. It’s it’s, I’ve lost track of all it is is it? Joe? Hell is Joe, isn’t it? You got it. You nailed it, Joe. Well, why? So listeners? You can have a little competition? How many times do I screw up with that name, it’s a simple name. But I’m a simple person. So the two of you are in Florida, you are in Clearwater, you’ve got a lovely life. And as I always say to people that connect with me, from these kinds of places, it’s gonna be hard being an entrepreneur, isn’t it when you’ve got all that outside your window, and you’re stuck in front of your computer?
Joeel Rivera [3:00]
Well, when you do what you love, for us, there’s like, there’s only so much time that you can spend on the beach. And there’s only so much time that you can spend in the sun and in the water and things like that. So, so for us, we really love what we do. We might be out there. And it was like, Okay, and then we’re already thinking and contemplating how we’re going to take over the world. So
Natalie Rivera [3:17]
yeah, actually, every time every day we go and we walk on the beach. And at least half the time, we’re actually talking about business because it just seeps out of our, our pores, we can’t help ourselves because we really, genuinely are passionate about what we do.
David Ralph [3:31]
And all you passionate about what you do, because you knew there was money in it, or are you passionate, because it’s something but as I said to a guest earlier, it’s like a tractor beam it’s sucking you in is like a mission statement to the world.
Joeel Rivera [3:48]
Well, I like to call it being hijacked in some ways, like, you know, where’s like, even if you don’t want to do it, you know, you’re going to do it because there’s something driving you. And for me and for us, it really came down to after being sick and bedridden for over a year. One of the things that I really focus on is what is my legacy? What do I leave behind. And I think that when you come to a stage of your life, where you almost pass away, it really makes you reflect on the other things that you were doing that was just basically a waste of time. So for us is really what are we doing to contribute to the world? What are we doing to make a difference, and if something happened to me today, do I know that I’m leaving something behind and planting seeds in the lives of other people to help them live an amazing epic life.
Natalie Rivera [4:31]
And I would just add to that, that what ultimately gets us up every day is that we really hate it when people squander their potential. And so everything we do is about helping people become more of themselves, fulfill their purpose, do what they love, make a difference in the world. But it doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with the financial rewards of it either. And, and part of what we also do is, you know, preach to get people to realize that they are worthy of making a great income and living the lifestyle that they want. And so what we do allows us to do both. And that’s really the goal is it’s you know, find a way to make a great living doing what you love.
David Ralph [5:12]
So now you’ve spent a year in bed. Does that stop you ever having we say, Elaine, but I think you say a sleeping does that does that sort of stopped back in its track? Or is it still nice to be in bed in the morning?
Joeel Rivera [5:26]
Oh, no, I like being in bed in the morning. I I am a night owl. So I like to, you know, go to bed at 2am and wake up at you know, 910 or go to sleep even later. So I’m a night owl.
David Ralph [5:39]
And does that work with you naturally? Are you somebody that sort of is tiptoeing around the house at 5am in the morning, so you don’t disturb him?
Natalie Rivera [5:48]
Well, actually, what’s funny is we’re neither one of us are morning people at all. We’re definitely night owls. And you know, to answer your question about when Joel was sick, we actually ended up developing a really positive if association with being in bed because we used to, you know, lay down in the bed and go on imaginary dates all around the world to the things that we dreamed of doing one day when Joe was no longer sick. And we, you know, literally like lay there and visualize and hold hands and and it was actually a beautiful experience, even though you know, at a practical level, it pretty much sucked. But we also spent a lot of time learning and taking online courses and listening to audiobooks and listening to meditations. And we used to do it all in the bedroom. So it was like now it’s like just a positive peaceful place. So definitely didn’t didn’t get too much bedtime. It was it was all good.
David Ralph [6:43]
I think if I said to my wife, I want to do some development in the bedroom. I think she would freak i think i think she would unlock the door and push me to the spare bedroom. I don’t know what she’s going to be thinking about. Now, with with the two of you. It’s It’s interesting, but that’s you have got a core kind of spark about you. You seem to both be like excitable tigres, you’re both night people. Has this always been something that you knew that you connect? Well, because more often than not, you need the opposite to compliment your strengths and weaknesses if you get what I mean.
Natalie Rivera [7:21]
Well, actually, what’s interesting is that when we first met, well, I’ll make a long story short. So ultimately, Joelle had started a business. And it was all because of a dream that was inspired when he was younger. And ironically, shortly after he started it, he needed to leave the business. And so I actually answered an ad for someone to take over as a business partner with his former business partner. And so I came in, it was a perfect fit. We met for like 30 minutes. And then he moved on, and I took over his business. And so we like to joke that we started the same business at the same time. But
David Ralph [7:58]
wisdom is power between you did you look at him and go one day, I’m going to spend a year in bed with you.
Joeel Rivera [8:06]
Well, actually, we were in transition. And we only talked for about 30 minutes. So we didn’t even get to connect with each other at all doesn’t
David Ralph [8:12]
take. It doesn’t take long way. It doesn’t take long.
Joeel Rivera [8:18]
Well, I will tell you though, several years later, I came back to the business and I talked to after 10 minutes, I looked at my former business partner and I said I’m marrying her.
David Ralph [8:26]
Yeah, so you know when you’ve got a good orange?
Natalie Rivera [8:30]
Yeah, so when when we came back together a couple years later, we had both actually ended our former relationships, which is part of what made it possible. And it again, it was like that, just like that knowing it’s like, wow, we share the same exact passions in life. I mean, the business that we both started at a different time was a life coaching center for teenagers. I mean, that’s not exactly an everyday normal type of of business. Everybody you would be passionate about most people can’t stand teenagers and we love them. So yeah, we knew right away that we should the same passions. And, you know, we we knew that we were both night owls right away, because you know, we were hanging out really late at night just right off the bat. And we even knew that we both liked tequila and and chicken wings, and like random things we had in
Joeel Rivera [9:12]
common. You’re watching documentaries at night, like what do we ever do for our first date? Oh, let’s stay home and watch documentaries. We’re
Natalie Rivera [9:18]
nerds. So it was it was definitely a perfect fit and, and that in some ways we are opposites like we have completely different approaches. Like I like to think of Joelle he’s the he’s the visionaries. The idea person, he’s the one who go off in the clouds with these big dreams and and then I’m, I’m the one trying to tether him back down to earth and say, Okay, so now let’s look at what we actually have to do, and make a process and you know, so we bring something different to the table, even though our core passion is very much the same.
David Ralph [9:46]
Now, the cool passion, of course, is transformation Academy. So for our listeners out there, give us a sort of overview of what that product is it would you say it’s a product? Or would you say it’s a business, or would you say is a mission
Joeel Rivera [10:02]
for us is more of a mission, it’s helping people realize the possibilities of life, and read that there is no limitation, whatever you want to create, you can create that. And we you know, we have a variation of things, we have 75 different courses, a lot of them have to do with personal development. Obviously, we have a psychology background, we have life coach training, we have entrepreneurship training. And for us, really one of the best ways for you to live your dreams in your life, and be truly empowered is to take control of your own finances. And that happens to entrepreneurship.
Natalie Rivera [10:34]
And yeah, so we’re we like to say that we believe that entrepreneurship is the ultimate form of empowerment, because when you’re no longer dependent on other people, for a paycheck in order to survive, then you’re in control of your life. And so it’s kind of the foundation, so almost everything that we teach comes back to entrepreneurship and in one way or another. But the other side of that corn coin is also that unless you are in improving and growing as a person, then you can’t improve and grow as a business. And so the personal development and the business go together, like peas and carrots, I suppose you could say. And so everything that we teach is about that. So ultimately, what we do currently is we produce online courses, which is basically video content that teaches these principles gives people tools to be able to transform their lives.
David Ralph [11:24]
And with 75 online courses, that’s a lot. Now most people in the entrepreneurial world me included, we have some kind of coaching platform or video courses. Now 75 of these self studied or these self lived of these is this experience that you’ve gone through and you know, it works or are you grabbing a bit of base grabbing a bit of that and pushing it together to make a course?
Joeel Rivera [11:49]
Well, I think is both a lot of our courses have to do it. For example, we have a popular one, that it’s about finding your life purpose and developing meaning from pain. And for example, I lost my brother and I and I had failed my first year of college. And at that point, I knew I wanted to contribute and make a difference. And I went back to school to study psychology. And I learned a lot of principles that helped me find my own purpose find meaning from the pain of having lost my brother, which drove me to open up a center one day. So you know, I take aspects that I’ve learned and applied in my life. And I teach them to other people, but also base it back on psycho psychological principles and science behind that. So even when you teach, for example, visualization, I know you’re big on visualization and things like that, you know, we talked about the psychology and the science behind visualization and why it works. So is both aspects.
Natalie Rivera [12:37]
Yeah. And so really everything that we teach it, it started as our own personal exploration. Because we’ve been studying this whether through, you know, actually academic learning, or even just our own personal exploration, in the pursuit of self mastery over years and years. And then it’s like, where we are also avid researchers. So will we add a lot of background, everything we teach, and actually the very first, probably a dozen courses that we made, where we’re from workshops that we used to teach in person. And all of that material was based on our own personal self exploration. And then we’ve just continued the journey, because we love learning, we’re lifelong learners, and so are all of our students. So we’re constantly learning and then we turn around, like everything we read, we can’t read a book without going, Oh, my God, we have to be teaching this. And so like we draw inspiration from our own educational pursuits and our own exploration, and then we basically are experts at making something digestible. So we might pull from, you know, 40 different locations and see the common threads are we connect the dots between them, and then we kind of, you know, cough it back up in a way that someone else is gonna be, it’s gonna be easier for them to chew on it and make it really practical and an action oriented.
David Ralph [13:51]
Because what you’re doing sounds perfect in so many ways, because you’re actually researching, but you’re bringing into your own life, your, you know, I read a lot of self development books, I’ve always got two or three books by the side of the bed. And generally, I will read most of them three times back to back, because the first time I kind of read it, and then the second time, I tried to study it. And the third time, it sort of really gets into me. But so many people, I think that the world is full of self development books being bought, and half read or left on the shelf. What do you think people nowadays are not, I feel utilizing their time as well, because they’ve got Game of Thrones to catch up on and they’ve got Breaking Bad, and they’ve got all these things which are great, they’re entertaining, but doesn’t actually push you on to the future that you want is almost holding you back from that future. What’s your pain?
Joeel Rivera [14:46]
Well, I think there’s a lot of distractions in life. And actually, one things that I would I would say is that, I think we look at even the younger generation, and we say, well, they’re not really empowered or really looking for this information. But if you look at the field that is growing, and I’ll give you a perfect example, as a psychology professor, I remember having a student that walked in, you know, he didn’t look like he cared even be there. And I started talking about my journey about you know, how I use some of these tools to really transform my life. And we took a break, and he comes up to me, and he says, I want you to listen to what I’m listening to. And I said, Okay, so he puts it on my ears. And he’s listening to the power of now by Eckhart totally, and you have this 18 year old, sitting there walking around campus listening to occur totally. So I think that there’s also a movement of people that really want this information, want to like absorb it and really apply it. I’ll give you another example. We have, for example, five ladies from the Philippine that took our course and they all chipped in to be able to pay for it. And then they’re sending us picture of how they’re applying it to our community. So I think it’s also how people present information, a lot of things that we present is how to take information and actually step by step how to apply it. So it’s not just theoretical, or, you know, it feels good. It’s like, do something with your life. And this is how you can get from point A to point B.
Natalie Rivera [15:59]
Yeah, and actually, I, I would just add to that, that, I think that you will hit it on the head that people are distracted, there’s a lot of things to do. And that’s why they don’t, you know, almost all books ever purchased or never read and most courses that are purchased are never finished. Now we have a pretty high completion rate. But I think that we’re unusual, and that can certainly be higher. So part of his you know, life happens, but also that we’ve been trained to be entertained. And so I think that that is really the core of it. And it really comes down to personal responsibility. So one of the things that a lot of people don’t know, is that for basically since we met, we haven’t had cable TV, we eliminated that as an option right away, because we realized that it’s really easy to just sit down on the couch and turn on the TV and just keep clicking to the next channel and the next channel and the next channel hoping something goods gonna pop up even though you know that it’s not. Now it doesn’t mean that we don’t watch a game of thrones or use Netflix. But it’s a very limited mountain, it’s the same thing we have a choice is how much time we spend on things like Facebook and social media. And it is highly addictive. And so but it does, it takes being willing to take radical personal responsibility and choose how you spend your time and recognize that the best thing that you could be spending that time doing is learning and growing to make your life better rather than just living life, kind of like on autopilot.
David Ralph [17:22]
I agree with you. But I also don’t agree as well, because I think that what you were saying is right, there are people moving around listening to echo developing themselves, but they don’t, I think same to take it to the next stage. You know, I have got a mission through join up dots to inspire the world. And I spend a lot of time talking to people and encouraging them free of charge on one to one calls. But ultimately I speak to them again six months later, and I haven’t even taken my advice or or even their own advice and moved on. It seems like Miss and lip service brigade going on?
Joeel Rivera [18:03]
Well, part of it is that change is scary. And we like a dysfunctional life. You know, it’s human nature that we don’t like to that, you know, certainty of having a reality that might be different from what we are. So we look at what we have. Now, even though we might not be fully happy, we already know that this is going to happen tomorrow, you know, they say 50% of our behaviors are unconscious. So of our daily behaviors. That’s because we live almost robotic, you know, we live this lifestyle. So anything that disturbs that can create uncertainty and can create fear. So I think that really comes down to helping people have a big enough reason why they want to create change in their lives, if you don’t have that compelling force, because you can only push so much. So if you don’t have anything pulling you towards that change, there’s going to be very difficult for you to create change.
David Ralph [18:52]
Okay, so let’s, let’s play some motivational words mean, and then we will come back to Joelle and Natalie,
Jim Carrey [18:58]
my father could make it comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [19:25]
Now, as I was listening to that, I was flicking up and down and I images on Google. And I have to say that to the you’ve got great hair, you have got great hair, you should be very proud of her. away from that thought that popped into my head. Of course, we’re talking to you now. And you’re saying everything’s great. You’re walking on the beach. But how many sort of aggressions Have you gone through in your businesses, you’ve created so many businesses, but how many of them really have lit you up in the same way? But it’s moved into that mission statement? Because I think I certainly have done maybe four or five, but I look back and I think, yeah, okay, they worked. But what the hell was I doing? It was so wrong for me. What about yourselves?
Joeel Rivera [20:10]
Well, it’s happened many times. For example, for me, one of the biggest thing was when my brother passed away, I said, I was going to open up a life coaching center or Counseling Center for Youth. And I did that. And that, to me was like, being able to fulfill on my promise, because at the time I had feel cause So to me, that was purpose driven. And for example, the course creation is purpose driven. You know, we created a magazine that was purpose driven and things like that. But we’ve created many other business, we used to import things. I started photography company, we’ve done many different things, that at the end, it was like, okay, it’s functioning. We’re making money. But what’s the point? Yeah, that’s
David Ralph [20:48]
the point, isn’t it? Yeah. What is the point?
Natalie Rivera [20:50]
Yeah, exactly. And that’s really one of the things that that we help people do now is we recognize is not just the idea. I mean, for instance, we teach how to start a side hustle. And there’s lots of ways to make money. And it’s not a bad place to start. Because your side hustle can then you know, be the place that you earn the money that funds your dream, but you have to know what the dream is. And so more than anything, everything we do always comes back to that that purpose and that passion. Because we’ve been there, we’ve had over 12 different business ventures. And you know, not only we were a lot of them epic failures, but even the ones that were successful financially, it just drained us. And that’s part of what led to the period when Joelle got sick is that we were just burnt out, we took on way too much responsibility, we were constantly creating more work for ourselves, we were running multiple businesses, at the same time, our heart wasn’t into most of them. We just were living a lot out of obligation. And we were not in a good place. It’s like, you know, it might have looked, you know, shiny and new from the outside. But we felt terrible inside. And so we were just like in this vulnerable place. And then, you know, that’s when Joelle got sick. And so it was truly like a big kick in the pants. Because when he got sick, first, you know, he started getting worse and worse, and he couldn’t work. And then I was his full time caretaker. So I couldn’t work. And so all of our businesses that we had at the time, came crumbling down around us. And we had to basically stop everything except for running our magazine, which only took ultimately a couple days out of the month. And it had residual income. So we’ve survived off that residual income. But even though from the outside world, it’s like, Wow, that’s really terrible. Like all your business crashed. But we look at it as a major blessing because it gave us an opportunity to reevaluate what we were doing and why because it just wasn’t in alignment. And so we wanted alignment, and we got it, it wasn’t in a really great a great way. But in the end, it was exactly what we needed.
David Ralph [22:43]
And what burnout fascinates me now, because I went through burnout, and I had no idea that I was even entering burnout, if I did, I would have done something about it and stop it. Because it’s been a hell of a journey to try to sort of get myself back in in focus. Now, as you proceed through, were you aware that what burnout actually was because once again, I think so many of us hear the phrase, but we don’t actually know the symptoms until it overtakes us.
Joeel Rivera [23:14]
What the time I think we were trying to run five different businesses and you’re so in the, in the gutter, you know, trying to do everything that you need to do, it’s almost like putting out fires, that you don’t realize that you’re burned out until your body was like, it’s like, nope, and that kind of what happened to me, even though I also got something from being in the jungles of Costa Rica, but my body was in a weak state, because it just wasn’t in a good place. So I think you’re right, I think a lot of times, it’s hard to recognize that you’re in that state that you’re getting burned out, because you’re so you’ve created so much things that you have to do that you just try to pull out fires at this point,
Natalie Rivera [23:48]
when I think that it really comes down to stress. And that burnout happens when you have been ignoring yourself and not taking care of yourself for a long time. So I think you’re upset, right? That when you’re approaching that burnout state, you’re going to be completely oblivious, because you’ve become accustomed to just accepting the self torture that you’ve created in your life. But there are really easy warning signs to notice, like poor coping strategies is one of them, like high level of stress is another. And a lot of people just assume that life is supposed to be stressful. But the truth is that we have a choice, what type of life that we lead, and that if you you know, if you hate your job, if you’re miserable in your relationships, and you don’t get the time to do what you want, and you’re stressed out all the time, those are your warning signs. And if you don’t pay attention to them, life has a really good way of giving you a wake up call. And we always like to talk about it’s like, you know, small things are going to happen. And either you’re going to get the message or you’re going to keep on and then something bigger is going to happen. And either you’re going to get the message or you’re going to keep on doing what you’re doing. And it’s just going to keep getting worse and worse until something happens that wakes you back up again. So it’s just a matter of, you know, taking the time out to reflect on your life and give yourself the time to dream a little bit. And it makes it a lot easier to notice these warning signs and prevent yourself from getting to that point.
David Ralph [25:12]
But you can’t really notice them. That’s my that’s my issue with burnout. You can’t notice them until you believed them. Now I’m an expert on it. And I can tell anyone, you gotta watch out police, you gotta watch out for that you gotta do you know, there’s about five or six things I would say, you really got to be on your game on that. But you can’t spot them because you’ve never lived them it. Once again, it’s the experience is too bad.on the join up dots timeline, but actually becomes a good dot. Because once you’ve overcome it, you reassess, you realign, and you get clarity, maybe you didn’t have in the beginning, but you still wouldn’t have spotted those those symptoms, surely?
Joeel Rivera [25:52]
Well, I think I you give a big nugget. And for those listeners, I think it’s important is that when you talk about reflect, you know, the problem is that most people don’t actually take the time to reflect. They don’t take a time to look at their daily life. For example, Natalie wakes up every day, and she journals, you know, when I go to bed, I reflect on my day. So the more you’re able to really take a break. And even if it’s 10 minutes a day, just reflect on your day, listen to yourself, listen to what’s going on, what can you improve, you know, what are you happy with? What are you not happy with, and things like that, that’s going to give you a better opportunity to know that you’re being burned out, or that you need to make changes to really be happy.
Natalie Rivera [26:32]
But I do think that you’re right in the sense that in almost all cases, people, it’s almost like you need to hit rock bottom or have that big bump in the road, in order to come to the awareness that you had made some mistakes about the way that you were living, and that maybe you need to choose to do something different. So most people, you know, we all look at these, quote negative things that happened in our lives. But ultimately, the core of the message that we’re always talking about is that is looking at what you might call a curse or a challenge in your life and finding the blessing. Because you know, even call it polishing the turd, you know, life might hand you a big old turd, but you can polish it and turn it into a nice shiny stone that reminds you of where you’ve been and where you don’t want to go again. And so, you know, we always have this hope that for some people, they might be able to prevent having their fall be a really bad one by using some of these tools and learning how to spot these warning signs in advance. But the truth is, for most people, you’re going to have to get your butt kicked in order to learn. But then you don’t go back. It’s like the you know, don’t be a dumb dog that goes back and bites the porcupine again. You know, once once you bite the porcupine and you realize it’s a bad idea, then dedicate yourself to learning how to live a life that’s different and not go back and do it over and over and over again. What is fascinating with what you’re saying is how Nietzsche every single guest on join up dots
David Ralph [27:57]
and is probably I’m so come on this issue, it’s always on the forefront of my mind. So in many ways, I’ve bet the listeners are going oh me goes again. But I think it’s so important to understand that business can wait, your health can’t. And by trying to force through issues, all you’re doing is creating almost a poorly designed business. I’ve now been doing this for five years. And I would say in the last six months to a year, game changer, total game changer. When I decided that I would get rid of 90% of what I was doing and focus in on the 10%. That was valuable. But I wouldn’t have got to that point without those issues. And so I always say to people, if it’s going to take a year, it’s going to take two years, it’s going to take three years, it’s going to take whatever it is, but please look after yourself.
Joeel Rivera [28:51]
Amen. And that’s one of the biggest lessons that I got from RC from my situation was that, you know, we’re trying to negate life. And even when we make, for example list of things that we need to do, and we’d like to come to Dallas, because it’s like we finished and we’re like today. But we always write the things that we also want to do in life that we truly want to do outside of our business. For example, if we want to travel somewhere, if we just want to take a walk on the beach, or we want to go to the park, we want to do something in nature, whatever it may be, we write it on our list of to do’s because we want to make sure that we’re also doing that, that we’re taking the time to really create balance in our lives and bounds for everyone looks different, you know. So our definition of balance is not what it would be for someone else. But it’s it’s just making sure that you creating the time to take those breaks in your own life and taking care of yourself. And I think that a lot of the difference between you and other people, and even some of the podcasts that we’ve been on is that you’re very reflective person, and that you generally want to understand and want to dig deep. And you know, for example, I was listening to one of your shows which was create your life the gods creating your brilliant life, which I don’t know, if you have if you’re a listener, you haven’t listened to a highly suggested you GIFs a lot of great nuggets, whether it’s you know, really clarifying what you really want taking that break, celebrating success, visualizing investing in your dream, and really enjoying the process. And, and I think that’s what a lot of people miss out on the journey.
Natalie Rivera [30:20]
Well, that’s what I was meaning like personal responsibility, radical, personal responsibility. It’s like, I don’t know where it came from. There’s there’s this there’s this phrase or quote that says, you know, it’s like, we get given one life, just one. So why are we not all like running on fire to get the most out of it? And I think that that for me, that’s what it comes down to. Like the only thing that I fear in life is not not living life fully. Like it drives me absolutely nuts. If I feel like I’m missing out on a beautiful day, because I haven’t given myself even a chance to walk outside. I just can’t stand it because life is short. So if you’re just if you’re doing something that you hate, and you’re just working yourself to death, like what’s the point?
David Ralph [31:04]
Well, I didn’t think that when I was younger, I don’t know if people do think but you know, I have people on the show 14 1618, and they’re like Quantum Leap ahead of where I was, I was just get a job, get some beers down myself each night. And just so I was just on the sort of, I don’t know, a floating period. Now I could argue looking back on it, I was actually positioning myself for the experience and the knowledge to do what I’m doing now. So I can join up my dots. But certainly now I’m going to be 50 next year. And I’m already thinking, Oh my God, I’ve had more than I’ve got left. And I’m running at a time. 10 years ago, I didn’t think that at all. I really did not think that at all, as that always been on your agenda or Life is short, or is it now you’re still young people. But is it? Is it more at the forefront of your mind?
Joeel Rivera [31:57]
Well, for me, having lost my brother at a young age
really struck me in that summer, I lost three other friends. So it was almost like back to back to back. And it really shifted my perception of life and the vulnerability of life. You know, even at a young age, I was 18. But I started to really reflect that. It’s like it can be taken away, like tomorrow is not guaranteed. And I think that for me, that traumatic event made me want to just enjoy every aspect of life. And then really also made me think long term, what do I want to create? But at the same time, what am I doing to enjoy the now.
Natalie Rivera [32:31]
And I would say for me, I think that actually for both of us that we were lucky in the sense that we had life experiences early on, that woke us up to these things a lot younger than most like you said, you had some people on that are, you know, still teenagers. And like Joe was talking about a student that was 18 years old and listening to the power of now. And that’s the thing is that I was listening to books like that when I was that age, I was not exactly your normal teenager. But what was interesting, I had this very distinct awareness that I didn’t like the life that other people lived. And I actually I used to, you know, I used to get really pissed about it. Like, I was like, how dare you adults tell me what to do. And then I’m supposed to go to school and get good grades to go to college to get a job that I hate to work at it until I’m old and decrepit. And I die. You know, five years after I retired, like that is bunk. And I’m not going to do it. And I was just I was always looking for a different way. But I had no idea how to do it. And of course, you know, I tried to stuffed myself in the box like most people do, because I just didn’t know another way.
David Ralph [33:32]
jumping in in that three. But why don’t you think you had that in you? Why couldn’t you settle?
Natalie Rivera [33:37]
Well, I think, oh, there’s a couple reasons. One is that I actually was distinctly aware of the fact that my life was a lot less dramatic, and a lot less hardship than the people around me. So it’s like I could see it. And I could I almost felt guilty about it. Like I had to get over like beating myself up for feeling like I had it a little easier than other people as far as at least the emotional stress of life. So it was like I was like, Yeah, but I don’t want to be one of those people that has to learn the hard way and has to have these horrible situations. So I was actually trying to do like what we’re saying that how it’s really hard to learn these things. Unless you go through those big bumps, I was actually trying to do it, because I didn’t want to have to go through those things. But what ended up happening to me, I ended up with chronic fatigue syndrome, starting in high school, and it lasted about 10 years. And I was just like, you know, when you’re 19 years old, and by the time you get home, you’re just absolutely exhausted and you can’t do anything. And that really drove me. So ultimately, the short story is that, in the end, I realized the reason why I was fatigued was because I was trying to fit myself in that box. So yeah, there was something physical going on. But at the same time, it’s like emotionally I just I had submitted to this, you know, lackluster boring, and fulfilling life that I saw everyone else was doing is like, Okay, well, that’s just what I should expect, because that’s what life is. And I accepted that relationships aren’t supposed to be that great. You’re not supposed to love your job, you’re just supposed to live a whole home life just like everybody else. And so I was living a life. That was basically what everyone else told me I was supposed to do. I had a you know, normal job, and it just was miserable inside, you know, it might have looked great to other people. But to me, it was torture. And so in the end, I realized after I got rid of everything in my life that wasn’t actually congruent with me that Oh, look, magically, my chronic fatigue syndrome went away, because now I’m living in alignment with who I am. So I think that my my illness is what pushed me to really make those changes and live authentically.
David Ralph [35:42]
That’s, that’s interesting. You say that, because I think that is one of the issues of life, people are so exhausted, because they’re bored out of their mind, and I I actually bought a business a few years ago is I’m in the process of selling it at the moment. And it’s an offline business brick and more. And every now and again, I have to go down and help out. And it was never part of the plan. And I hate being there at eight o’clock in the morning. And I hate not being able to leave too hard pass by. But hey, it’s my business. And so I have to do it. When I get home, I’m so tired. I’m literally can’t do anything. And I think well, why are we done? I haven’t done much at all. So I can imagine but where we’re saying Come on light, the fire and be inspired is quite a hard push until you at that point that the pain is screaming at you, you’ve got to do something because people just haven’t got the energy. They’re, they’re kind of bored into submission, would you think?
Joeel Rivera [36:40]
Well, I fully agree. And I think that that’s what it comes down to when the pain becomes bad enough, or we’re willing to leave our certain reality, what’s comfortable for us, because even though we might hate it, it’s still comfortable. Because the other part, you know, we don’t know what’s in the other side. So I think that a lot of times we have to have a city are a lot that pushes us. But again, it comes down to if we can create a big enough reason why want to change? Where is that pain and pleasure principle where we can say if I don’t change this in my life, where am I going to be in a year, two years, five years? What dreams are my not going to be able to experience? What things is it going to take away from my career, what I want to have in my life, and then create enough pleasure of the things that you do want, where it gets you excited, where you wake up excited. And I think a lot of people dream so small, because they’re afraid to dream big, so they don’t have anything that really gets them fired up and excited. And if you don’t have anything that gets you fired up and excited, then you need to dream bigger. And the more you expand that, the better it is going to be for you to actually make changes
David Ralph [37:43]
and is easier to dream bigger. Basically, it’s this juxtaposition, isn’t it? You actually the bigger your dreams get, the easier they are to achieve. Because there’s less competition, it kind of blows me away. But that that is so true. But even as I’m saying it I kind of thing head. Is it true? How the hell is that true, but it is.
Natalie Rivera [38:05]
Yeah, it is one of those strange things about life. And I and I like to think of it it’s like it’s not any, it’s not any harder to create a castle than a button. And it really is the truth. It is but people don’t believe it. They believe Oh, well, button must be easier. So what anyway, but really, it’s about they don’t they’re afraid of disappointment. It’s the same thing with uncertainty. So it’s like, well, if I if I lower the bar, and I lower my expectations of life, then I’m not going to be disappointed. Just like if I lower my expectations of my job and the people in my life. And then then I can be moderately satisfied. And that’s better than being disappointed. Because they believe that if they dream big, and they fail, that somehow that’s going to be horrible. But the truth is that the the failure actually is part of the fun. Because it’s more enjoyable to to go for something that’s exciting. And that’s challenging. And that pushes you to do things that that you know, bring fire to your life. And then even if it doesn’t work out, you enjoyed the process instead of you know, just going ho hum through every day. And I think that that’s the key is that, that there’s more excitement in the big dream. And that’s why it ends up working because it gives you the momentum to keep going. Whereas if when you go for the small dream, and you get there, you’re like, yeah, that was cool. You know, there’s just no, there’s no spark.
David Ralph [39:31]
I don’t have a spark anyway. But this is one of the problems I have, do you do you celebrate? Well, because I’ve achieved so much in quite a short period of time. And people say to me, oh, that was good, wasn’t it? Yeah, it was a goal, what I was aiming for, but I achieved it. And I blinked and I moved on to the next one, I find it very hard to find that spark of celebration in the process. I’m too focused on what to do next, are you similar?
Joeel Rivera [39:57]
Well, we we were for a very long time. And one of the things that we shifted is that we were more intentional in our celebration. So even now when we would launch a course, you know, we would take three days and go somewhere and travel somewhere and do something fun to really celebrate that accomplishment, or everything that we did when we had our first magazines every time every month. Like when we printed the new ones, we would put them in the middle of living room and put some music and start dancing around, you know, like little baboons or whatever. But it’s almost more be more intentional about celebrating those small achievements. Even when I went to college, every time that I would finish the semester. At the end of that semester, I would celebrate, like if I just graduated college, and people thought I was nuts. But that actually gave me the push to keep going gave me the motivation, because it’s very easy just to get a cheaper go and be like, okay, what’s next. So almost like you don’t, a lot of people don’t take the time to really enjoy that they got from point A to point B. And that will lead you to point C.
Natalie Rivera [40:57]
But I do want to point out that and this is very really, really important that we force ourselves to celebrate it. So you’re absolutely right, that that part of the way that you know that you’re on the right path, when you’re making your accomplishments in life, is that when you get there, it’s kind of just feels like oh, yeah, that was the next logical step. Like it doesn’t, on its own feel like this huge thing. Because the spark that you’re talking about, the spark happens while you’re on your way to it. The end result is not where the spark comes from is the spark is that that feeling you have that’s drawing you towards the goal. So when you get to the goal, it’s it’s human nature to immediately turn around and say, okay, what’s next, that’s natural. So you have to deliberately choose to celebrate that step. Because it’s not necessarily going to feel that great. And that’s the whole point. I think that’s what people miss. When you make a big goal or big dream. When you get there is not when you enjoy the experience, you enjoy the experience along the way. And it is cliche, saying the journey is what it’s all about. But it’s absolutely true. So you set a big goal, because the journey is going to be exciting. It’s not because when you get to the big goal that that’s the be all end all, it’s actually going to feel quite lame unless you choose to celebrate it somehow.
David Ralph [42:12]
And the other thing that I think is part of the journey that I’m very aware of now is when I do found it something and we all created products and created businesses that have just died at death. When you get far enough away from them, you think that was crap, that was that wasn’t very good, what I was offering there, but the quality of it now is so much better, because I had to go back in and dig for the diamonds again. And I think most of us on that journey, we start off in a coal mine, just kind of digging, digging, digging. And then suddenly, we realize we were in a diamond mine. And it’s been when we start to take care of it. And we start to think well, I can’t just shovel around willy nilly, I’ve got to really sort through for the gems here. And that’s when it all starts moving on of pace, because use down we come full circle on the conversation, but it’s about being more aware of what you’re doing and not the speed of what you’re doing.
Joeel Rivera [43:09]
Yeah, and I and for us, for example, we watch some of the courses that we created when we first started. And we’re truly embarrassed by them. And at the time, we thought they were they look great and everything but you know, it’s like oh my god, you know, people are looking at this, but they still get great ratings and our students love them. But at the same time is learning that you don’t have to wait for perfection. It’s like you, you do what you can now and you learn the process. And then you make those incremental changes that help you keep improving, improving. And before you know it, I always say in a blink of an eye life happens in the blink of an eye, whether it’s a good experience or a bad experience. But if you keep taking the next step, you’ll blink and one day you’ll look back and you’ll be like, wow, look right now look, what I created, like you say, it’s not cool anymore is like this diamond that I’ve created. But you have to start somewhere you have to start what you have, and then keep incremental changes to help keep creating improvement.
Natalie Rivera [44:03]
And I like your metaphor, because really, it’s like maybe you just had a big piece of Earth and you just started pushing around the dirt. And to find the coal. You know, at that point, you have no way of knowing that there’s diamonds and you have no way of knowing what you would need to even make the whole diamond thing work. All you know is you’ve got some dirt to move around to get your goal. So you just got to start where you are. And I think that’s another thing that holds a lot of people back because they feel like they have to have all the answers. And now granted, we live in a world where the answer to any question you have is out there and you can find it. But it’s still not going to make any sense to you until you actually live it and you can’t just learn everything ahead of time so that you can chart the course it’s like you know the dots going forward. You can’t plan those you can try and you know you can make a goal you can even make a plan but it’s not going to work the way that you think it’s going to just like all the the dots from your past or like stepping stones that got you where you are You have to trust that the next one’s going to come and the next one’s going to come.
David Ralph [45:00]
I’ll tell you what, I’m so proud that you like my metaphor, Natalie, because you you are you are the queen, you aren’t madam metaphor. We’ve had peas and carrots, policia to castles and we’ve we’ve added and I’ve reflected on every single one thinking she just made this one up, always this one that I’ve never heard before.
Natalie Rivera [45:21]
David Ralph [45:22]
You are a legend, a genius, as is the guy but I’m going to play now he created the show join up dots he doesn’t know he did. But he did it Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs [45:32]
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 follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [46:07]
Now the kind of words that we hear over time in different sort of disguises, but when you look at your own life, it would be kind of simple enough to say about the year in bed was a big.or the fading business or the chronic fatigue, or even the castle in the button. Who knows? Where would you say that your big doctor was but actually really brought everything together and made you see the next path?
Joeel Rivera [46:37]
Well, for me, it was laying in bed for a year because I was I think it would, it’s a blessing that many people don’t get to really be able to be in your thoughts and be able to reflect on your past, be able to reflect on things that you have to let go of your belief systems, some of those that limit you and be able to say this is not what I want, be able to reflect on some of the things that you saw that you’ve been conditioned from your parents, from your upbringing from your surrounding and say, This is not what I want to create, this is what I want to do. This is not what I want to feel. And just take that time to learn and grow as a person as a human being and really reflect on what legacy do I want to leave behind? I think for me, it was that was the biggest thought.
Natalie Rivera [47:16]
And I think that the one of the dots, obviously was the actual illness experience. But then the next one that came right after that was the that you know that new signpost that pointed us of Okay, where do you go from here. And that was that we had learned the lesson about how passive income saved our lives. Because we had this magazine, and we had subscribers and we couldn’t work. And so that was the only income we had. Now granted, it wasn’t enough. But magically life ended up providing everything that we needed to survive in that time, barely, but it did provide it. And we also had created a couple of online courses about a year before that, that weren’t making much. But we were still getting a paycheck every month from them. And we weren’t doing anything. And we were like, this is really interesting. And then we all so happen to be speakers and teachers and trainers and had all these workshops and we couldn’t run them anymore. We couldn’t coach our clients anymore. And so we said, well, maybe we could make more online courses based on the stuff that we’ve done before. And so Joe likes to talk about, you know, he was sick, he started to feel better, he had like 10 minutes of good time a day and use it to record some videos. And we put out more courses and they started to do well. So we kept making more and they started do even better. And now we have 75 courses, and we’ve never stopped. But that was like that light bulb moment, when we recognize that being given the gift of passive income sparked not only what helped us turn our own lives around and rebuild a business that was based on authenticity that gave us the lifestyle we want, but also gave us something that we could easily teach other people and that that’s, that’s what we’re passionate about, like everything that we’ve done to improve our own lives, we want to help share with other people. And so that really was a catalyst. So it wasn’t just the negative, there was a positive one that came after it.
David Ralph [49:00]
Promise. Yeah, every negative thought five years down the line are the positive ones. Every single one of them once you’re far enough away, you have a totally different timeframe, even when you’re in it. And you’re thinking this is the worst thing ever. This is a perfect storm. Why is it surrounded me, you get far enough away from it. And you go thank God for that.
Joeel Rivera [49:24]
When you can get better at recognizing that sooner. And I think that’s one of the things that we’ve intentionally done is always remember that life is happening for you, not to you. So when something happens that you perceive as negative in your life, like one of the first things that we do is like what can we learn from this experience? Even when we’re in the experience, we’re not even out of the experience already start reflecting? What can we learn from this? And maybe possibly, what can we do to teach someone else that might be going through this in the future? So we almost look at it as a case study. Like when all the challenges that we have, we look at them. So let’s learn from this as much as we can. Let’s take notes, and we can then share it long term with someone else that might start this process later on.
Natalie Rivera [50:04]
Yeah, it’s like looking for the dots while they’re happening. Instead of waiting till five years down the road and getting closer and closer to being able to figure it out sooner even just the negative emotion is a sign. So even if you pay attention, all right, well, I feel like crap, why don’t you feel like crap? Why am I angry. And so and that’s part of that’s ultimately what we teach is to develop self awareness. Because the more self aware you are, the less bad the dots have to be. And the sooner you can learn from them. You can start moving through life a lot faster, you can kind of get it out of the way.
David Ralph [50:34]
And the dots become stepping stones. That’s what you’re saying.
Natalie Rivera [50:37]
Yeah, yeah, actually, that’s a metaphor that we use in our life purpose course is that it’s the stepping stones to purpose. When you look back, not only do you see life events that kind of pushed you almost synchronously towards what you’re experiencing now. But then you combine that with like your own your your passions, the things that stir your soul, and your your talents and the skills you’ve picked up, they all are pointing you towards something like a giant trajectory. And once you figure that out, you can kind of see where the future dots are going to take you.
David Ralph [51:05]
I tell you what, that’s a great idea for a show, I might bring that together somehow, bring it together, throw some dots into it, do you think it would work?
Natalie Rivera [51:15]
I don’t see why not. It’s a fantastic topic.
David Ralph [51:18]
I’m going to do it. I’m going to do it. And we’ll see where that takes us. Well, this show has taken us to this point that we call the Sermon on the mic where normally we send back one person to have a one on one with a younger self. But today, I think we’re doing two. So I’m going to play the music and you’re going to be transported back to talk to your younger selves and what age would you choose? And what advice would you give them? Well, we’re gonna find out. Because once the music fades, you know, this is the Sermon on the mic.
Natalie Rivera [52:11]
So I’m talking to my 14 year old self, I give you permission to do you to do the things that you want to do that everyone else says that you shouldn’t do, or to not do all the things everybody says that you should do. Because if you really think about it, what difference would it make in your life? What real difference would it make, if all those people that you think you need approval from approved of you what it really even matter? I can tell you that it doesn’t. But what does matter is that deep down inside, you know, what you’re calling is you can feel it aching in you. And there’s nothing wrong with your dreams. And there’s nothing wrong with not wanting what everyone else wants. In fact, it’s the most right thing you could ever do. And so even though sometimes every fiber of your being tells you that you should submit that you should just accept mediocrity like everybody else. The truth is that if you follow what you know, you’re supposed to do, and you tell everyone else to go screw because you’re going to live your life, then you’re going to make not only a big impact in your life and in your family, but you are going to be the model that other people look to, to go for their dreams.
Joeel Rivera [53:31]
And I would talk to my 19 year old self. And I would tell myself that life is happening for you, and not to you every obstacle, every challenge that you have, it’s an opportunity for you to grow for you to develop. And just remember that anything that you want to create, you can create it, don’t be afraid to dream big. Don’t be afraid to stand your ground and really live a different life. You don’t have to fall in the box of everyone else. You don’t have to say I have to maintain these people life, surround yourself with people that are going to inspire you people that are creators that are trying to make a difference. And at the end of the day, focus on your legacy. Focus on what you want to contribute in this life. Have a clarity of what you want to experience, what you want in your bucket list of what you want to experience and what you want to do. And really take more time to reflect on what’s working and what’s not working. And make the necessary changes to focus on what is working and what you want to have more of. And also have clarity of your life. What lifestyle Do you want to create and build a life around that build a business around that. And also work smarter, not harder. You don’t have to always like, try to make things so complicated. Simplify your life, the more simple you make it the more success that you will have.
David Ralph [54:50]
Right stuff. And guys, what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you?
Natalie Rivera [54:58]
Well actually have a fancy special page made just for the listeners of this show, which is at online course revolution. com slash join up dots
David Ralph [55:11]
brilliant. Well, I will put that on the show notes is that the the absolute best way, they come over to the show notes straight onto that and boom, they’ve got you Yeah, yep.
Natalie Rivera [55:20]
And it’ll link to like our Facebook. And you can find us on social media and YouTube and also some of our courses, including our life purpose course, or
create a side hustle or create an online course if you’re intrigued to learn more about what we do. And we offer crazy discounts for people who are the listeners of the show, and that all the information about that is on the page. And even you know, contact information if you needed to reach out to us. Everything’s there.
David Ralph [55:45]
I think I’ll tell you why you took me by surprise. Normally, I say what’s the number one best way and then I sit here for 15 minutes while people tell me every single social media. So that’s it. calamity perfection. So I hope that the show knows straight to Joe and Natalie, can I say thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. And please come back again when you’ve got more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Joelle and Natalie, thank you so much.
Joeel Rivera [56:16]
Thank you David and thank you for what you do to help people really transform the life we’re truly honored to be part of this program.
Natalie Rivera [56:21]
We appreciate you,
David Ralph [56:22]
Joeele, and Natalie Rivera. So they have they’ve had a journey of a year in bed, chronic fatigue, scraping through that scraping through because of the passive income that they’ve created. Now, one of the things you’ve got to realize with passive income is it is passive once you drive traffic to it, but you’ve got to do something. So you can put these courses on you to me and different places that actually sell courses for you. You can do it that way. And now you’ve been kind of channel that traffic through. But passive income isn’t just throw it up. And it works there is work behind it. So I know the work that goes to had put into every part of their life to get it to where it is. Certainly if you’re interested in that jump over to join up dots on the show notes. And we’ll have the link to the page that I created. And of course other than that, just come over to join up dots anyway, take advantage of the free course on the front page, the eight steps to success guide that you will find on the podcast page. We’ve got stuff all over Have a look around and and we’ll see you again next time. See you later. Bye bye
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.