The Big Signs You’re In Toxic Relationships & How To Set Boundaries w/ Nedra Tawwab Glover EP 1400

New book from NYT bestselling author Lewis Howes is now available!


JD Roth

The Journey of Transformation Against All Odds

"The question you have to ask is, ‘Is it your best?’”

Today I’m joined by someone I’ve seen on television as long as I can remember. He’s been in the business longer than most people and has used his power to help everyone he meets.

JD Roth is an actor and producer and is best known for his hit TV show The Biggest Loser.

He fell into his passion at the age of 10, and has earned his fame through the power of transforming others.

I met JD through a mutual friend recently and was immediately impressed by how present and connected he shows up in person.

"Leave people better off than when you found them.”  

JD bases all of his decisions on passion and what story he can tell to his audience.

While most people think about money or ratings, that’s one of the furthest things from his mind.

He’s a unique individual who has touched and inspired each person he meets.

I was blown away when I first met him at just how much he engages with everyone around. He’s sincere, listens, and appreciates everyone.

We’re lucky enough to have him share his life experiences, and give insights on how you can transform yourself into a passion driven machine that lives the most fulfilling life possible, on Episode 578.

"It’s the story you’re telling that matters.”  

Some Questions I Ask:

  •  How did you learn the business side of film? (8:47)
  • Were you parents always pushing you to pursue this? (11:38)
  • If your show’s not making money or getting ratings, but you love it, you’ll still do it? (14:55)
  • What’s the formula to tell a great story on TV or film? (16:40)
  • There’s still a huge problem for weight loss, isn’t there? (20:51)
  • Do you believe timing is everything for TV shows? (29:26)
  • How do you tell a great story? (31:24)
  • Was there ever a time when you lost your confidence? (34:09)
  • How do you stay hungry and passionate? (44:45)
  • If you could write your own story for the next chapter of your life, how would it go? 49:41)
  • What would you say is the thing you struggle with the most? (57:57)
  • What’s a question you wish more people would ask you? (1:00:26)
  • What would your wife say is your greatest fault? (1:04:45)
  • What’s the key to happiness? (1:09:29)

In this episode, you will learn:

  • JD Roth’s career since childhood (6:46)
  • How he learned to do his work for love not money (10:43)
  • Why he choose to tell the weight loss transformation story (17:47)
  • The most fascinating part of TV (20:10)
  • How he stays committed when things don’t work out (25:41)
  • The formula for a great show (30:13)
  • What JD feels is missing for him right now (48:40)
  • His take on the sexual harassment in Hollywood (52:20)
  • Where the best art in history has come from (55:33)
  • The greatest lessons his mom and dad taught him (59:26)
  • The thing that inspires him most about his wife (1:02:57)
  • The transformation he still gets to do (1:07:00)
  • Plus much more…

Show Notes:

Connect with
JD Roth

Transcript of this Episode

Lewis Howes:                      This is episode number 578 with JD Roth.

Welcome to The School of Greatness. My name is Lewis Howes, former pro-athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur and each week we bring you an inspiring person or message to help you discover how to unlock your inner greatness. Thanks for spending some time with me today. Now, let the class begin.

Marianne Williamson said, “It is our own thoughts that hold the key to miraculous transformation.”

Today we’ve got JD Roth on, who is an American television personality, actor, children’s game show host, a voice-over performer on many TV programmes and the TV producer of many reality shows. He’s also the co-creator of the reality show, The Biggest Loser, which is on NBC, one of the biggest hits of all time. He also hosted ABC’s Fall 2008 series, Opportunity Knocks, and he was the announcer on the ABC TV show Extreme Weight Loss.

He has done some incredible things throughout his career as an actor, as a producer, as a voice-over, as a creator, as an entrepreneur, and he has so many nuggets of wisdom to give back. And I love his storytelling, and his capacity to tell stories of transformation, and we’re going to dive into some of that today.

Some of the main things we talked about are, what is the formula for a great TV show that is a big hit? Also, why fear can be the greatest fuel for us. Also why team chemistry is so important and valuable and how he believes in the art of reconnection as opposed to disconnection. We talk about why it’s better to look in the mirror, vs looking at the view and so much more about the process of growth in transformation and success, and the science behind it.

I’m super pumped for you guys to check this out, some golden nuggets throughout the entire episode, and JD is a guy who has a wealth of information. Before we dive in, I want to give a shout out to the fan of the week. Big thank you to who left a review over on iTunes for the podcast, and she said, “Podcasts are a part of my morning routine while I work out, so I’m always on the search for ones that are self-developing and will keep me focussed for the day on building myself and my business. The School of Greatness is exactly what I’m looking for in a podcast, and can’t wait to work my way through the library.”

So, Amy Grace Projects, thank you so much for leaving your review over on iTunes. And if you guys want a chance to be shouted out on the podcast, then head over to iTunes or open up your podcast app and leave a review right now. And for those looking to earn more income: If you haven’t checked out our free book,, we’ve had over 5000 people already get this book. It’s an absolutely free book, all you have to do is pay for shipping and handling. We ship it all over the world.

Check it out, It breaks down the morning habits, the morning mindset and the routines of millionaires, what they do in the mornings, and how you can apply some of these same habits into your morning routine, to help you earn more money that day. Make sure to check it out. Again, it’s free, all you do is pay for shipping and handling, you can ship all over the world. So, go to right now.

And I’ve been getting a lot of people asking about how I’m building my business online, how I’m building my audience, my reach, driving traffic, driving leads, driving sales for my products, my services, my events, my books, my programmes, everything. If you want to learn how to do some of these things, we’ve got a free online training at Again, You can watch a free training where I break down some simple strategies on how I’m doing this with just one platform on Instagram.

We cover all these different things and strategies about how to build an online business, but I want to break it down into something simple, since Instagram is such a hot topic right now. So if you want to learn how to grow your audience on Instagram, if you want to learn how to maximise it to stand out from the rest, to increase your sales from Instagram as well, then go to right now and sign up for the free webinar.

Right, guys, I’m super pumped for this one! Again, make sure to take a screenshot of this, tag me on Instagram right now, @lewishowes, that you’re listening to this and let me know the moment that inspired you the most. Send me a message on Instagram, or Twitter, or Facebook, and let me know the moment that inspired you the most from this episode with the one, the only JD Roth.

Welcome everyone back to The School of Greatness Podcast, we have the legendary JD Roth in the house. Good to see you man!

JD Roth:                                   From one to another, buddy! You know what I mean?

Lewis Howes:                       I appreciate you very much.

JD Roth:                                   I’m so lucky to be sitting here with you!

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah. We’re in the Greatness Studio, our mutual friend Todd Weinstein introduced us, we had a meeting a couple of months ago and connected in that meeting, and I’m so glad that we’re doing this now.

JD Roth:                                   Yeah, me too.

Lewis Howes:                       And I want to continue to connect with you. You’re one of the few people that I’ve met who looks people in the eye as intently as I do. When we had our conversation, Todd wasn’t even in the room, we were just locked eye to eye and I was, like, “Huh! That’s impressive that someone else is willing to connect that intently, the way that I feel like I try to do with people.”

JD Roth:                                   Absolutely. It’s in that moment, yeah.

Lewis Howes:                       And your presence is, your ability to connect and be present and even though you’ve created so much in your life, and you done so much as an actor, as a host, as a TV show creator, producer, all these things, you are still present with everyone that I’ve experienced you with. With my team, you’re present and you don’t act like you’re better than, or know more, or something else. You’re open to all.

JD Roth:                                   Well, first, I don’t believe I am, I really don’t. And second, I think so many people work for years next to someone, they don’t even know their last name. They ask how someone’s morning is, but they don’t really wait for the answer. Nobody ever seeks somebody out at the Starbucks line to say, “How are you doing today?” and really look at the person and expect to get the answer back.

And because so many people are having one-sided experiences, with their phone, no matter what that free space of time is, it doesn’t let anything creep in any more, especially human interaction, which, to me, is at an all time low. We can rub shoulders next to so many people and never see any of them in a day.

Lewis Howes:                       Right, yeah. And you’re the King of Transformation. You’ve been, I guess your claim to fame is The Biggest Loser, creating that, that’s been the biggest success story that you’ve done. But you also were an actor as a kid, right? Weren’t you acting? And then you became a host of shows as you got older, correct?

JD Roth:                                   Yup!

Lewis Howes:                       You’ve been a part of the TV business for a long time.

JD Roth:                                   I’m fifty and it’s my fortieth year in show business.

Lewis Howes:                       Fortieth year? You’ve probably seen a lot!

JD Roth:                                   I have! And I had a lot of friends who were part of that rat pack of popularity, who, brightest stars burn the fastest, kind of scenarios. And I watched from a distance. I watched all of that stuff go down, and I wanted to kind of do something different. I played Robert Downey Junior’s best friend in his first movie.

I stayed, as a kid, in New York City multiple times with Anthony Michael Hall at his house, because I would have an early call time for the next day, and we would pal around together. So, I was around all these guys, the Christian Slaters, the first job I ever had was with Sarah Jessica Parker.

So when you start thinking about these names and these people…

Lewis Howes:                       At ten?

JD Roth:                                   Well, I was eleven. It took me a while to get my first gig.

Lewis Howes:                       So you were with her on your first gig? Wow!

JD Roth:                                   First gig was Sarah Jessica Parker and Ricky Lake. The three of us.

Lewis Howes:                       Wow, so you kind of grew up with all these child actor stars who became adult stars, or whatever.

JD Roth:                                   Yeah, and everyone transitioned into their own thing, good, bad, or, you know, highs, lows. I’ve seen it all happen over that period of time. And, for me, it was always about something bigger than being what I referred to as a meat puppet. You know, that host who comes out and just talks, that ownership was everything.

And that creating the show and having the control, other than just being the host, it was great to give myself work, you know, when I’d create a show, I could host it. But on the other side of it, ownership was everything. If you really want to make an impact in your own business, you have to be the one in control of it.

Lewis Howes:                       Wow. Most actors that I’ve heard about don’t become owners of their own films. They just like to be the actor, the talent, correct? that I’ve seen. There’s very few that kind of branch off and say, “Okay, I’m going to produce this, I’m going to create it, I’m going to write this, I’m going to direct it, whatever it may be. Some do, but most of them just want to be the talent. Now, how did you learn to do that part of the business as well?

JD Roth:                                   I equate it to a linguistic person. Someone who speaks multiple languages, right. I’m amazed! I’m still working on English! How can you speak French and Spanish and, to me, that’s what I do, it’s just in the creative arts. So, I’m able to speak the language of being the talent, and then I love the language of the creative side, the behind the scenes, and I also love the entrepreneurial language as well.

And I think being able to speak all of those languages has made me a better business person, because I know where the creative person is coming from when they’re really passionate about something, and I know where the business guy’s coming from when he’s, like, “Hey, listen, you can’t spend that money.” And I know how to speak both languages so that both people feel like they got what they wanted and I think that’s important.

The most famous story about how I got my start was, I was a pretty successful teenage actor, doing guest spots and commercials and film and stuff like that, and my parents didn’t know it, but I called, and when Michael Jackson was at his peak, I bought a gross, and a gross, by the way, is 144, nobody knew that back then, 144 Michael Jackson pins.

I bought them and I think it cost me, like, $75, and I used to wear them on my denim jacket, and when I was walking to auditions or to shoots, I would sell them for a buck apiece on the streets of New York. And when my parents finally found out, they were, my dad was super mad. Because he was, like, “Do you realise how much money you’re making? Being on camera?”

I had no idea. To me, it was the thought that, “Well, while I’m on my way, I might as well make an extra dollar or two.” You know what I mean? To pay for my lunch or whatever I was doing.

Lewis Howes:                       You were a teenager at this time?

JD Roth:                                   I think I was thirteen.

Lewis Howes:                       Thirteen. So you didn’t even know how much you were getting paid, because your parents were kind of controlling the money?

JD Roth:                                   No. I knew I was getting a lot of mail, I just didn’t know they were checks. I had no clue.

Lewis Howes:                       So they weren’t letting you know? Why not?

JD Roth:                                   My dad was an attorney and he handled a lot of investing and things like that, and I think he wanted me to do it for the love of what I was doing. And it wasn’t until I was getting ready to go to college, and I didn’t even want to go to college, it’s like, “I want to continue my acting career!” And that’s when he sat me down and said, “Listen, you can go to college on interest, and it won’t cost you a dime to go. Does that change your opinion of whether you want to go to college or not?”

And it did actually change my mind, to get that college experience. But I had no idea, and, to me, that is the very definition of having passion in any area, whether it’s picking up garbage, whether it’s growing flowers, being an actor, whatever it is. If your heart and soul is in it, then you literally cannot sleep at night, because you want it so bad. That’s where your brain needs to be, because there’s always someone who’s going to want it more than you. And so you have to have that willingness to go beyond anything you thought you needed to do, and it certainly can’t be because of the money. It just can’t be, because you’ll never get it.

Lewis Howes:                       Right. Now, was your dad always pushing you to pursue this?

JD Roth:                                   So, my dad was an attorney and a judge, my mom was a stay at home mom, they wanted no part of this. Literally none. In fact, I used to roll up the TV Guide as a kid and interview anyone who came to the door. So, if it was the mailman or whoever it was, they always had to answer three questions before I’d let them go.

It used to drive my parents crazy! And, you know, there was a joke that when I was a kid, if I opened up the refrigerator and the light went on I would do five minutes. You know, I would just ask questions to anyone. And it drove them nuts!

So, finally, they wouldn’t do it and I impersonated my dad’s voice and got an audition in New York for a kind of a kid’s showcase. And my parents, we had never, as a family, been to New York City. And my parents said, “Okay, we’re going to take you and that will be the end of it. You won’t get it and we don’t ever want to hear about this again.”

And I waited in line around the entire building and it was, you had to sing a song. So all these kids had sheet music, which I didn’t even know what sheet music was, and I had a Billy Joel tape, and I sang Honesty, with Billy Joel. I think they just thought it was funny and five people got it: Me, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ricky Lake, and two others, and we all started together in this little showcase.

A few years ago I ran into Sarah, and it was just a big hug, like, “Do you remember?!” We shared pictures of us from back then, it was a pretty cool moment.

Lewis Howes:                       What was that show again?

JD Roth:                                   It was just a showcase for kids, in New York at this dessert restaurant where it would be a showcase for the public and for potential agents and things like that. It was a long time ago.

Lewis Howes:                       So, you sang Honesty? Did they film that or no? That would be amazing if you had that tape.

JD Roth:                                   Yeah. Nowadays there’s tape for everything, there’s a picture for everything, but back then there were pictures, which I still have.

Lewis Howes:                       But no recording of the song?

JD Roth:                                   No, no recording.

Lewis Howes:                       That would have been amazing to see. So, they said, “Okay, we’re going to do this one thing and then stop talking about it, because you’re not going to get it.”

JD Roth:                                   Right and then I get it, and then my dad says, “Now I got to go to New York every day for auditions.” Well, New York was two hours away. So, I’ll never forget, my dad said, “Listen, I’ll give you a thousand dollars. When you run out, it’s over.” That’s it.

Lewis Howes:                       To go to New York and back.

JD Roth:                                   Yeah. And I’m thinking, I’m eleven, and I’m, like, “A thousand dollars?! I’m NEVER going to run out! EVER!” And you know, so I didn’t run out. And I never paid him back, and I set a record my first year in New York, which stands today for the most national commercials ever booked by someone under 18. So I did 22 national commercials.

Yeah, it would be comedy, because there weren’t a lot of channels back then, but if a big sporting event would go to commercial, family members would bet, not if I was going to be in the break, but how many commercials in the break I would be in. So, yeah, typically I’d be in all of them.

Lewis Howes:                       What?!

JD Roth:                                   Well they would run, you do a commercial, it’s not like now where every six weeks, it’s a new campaign. Back then it would be every three years was a new campaign. So they would just run the spots over and over and over. So, yeah, that was good.

Lewis Howes:                       And you were getting paid. Those residual checks were nice, huh?

JD Roth:                                   I couldn’t understand that when it was time to get a car and my twin sister got the used Oldsmobile and my dad’s, like, “What kind of car do you want?” I was, like, “Really?!” I couldn’t figure it out, but in the end I really had no idea that, and I wasn’t, I’m still not motivated by that. That’s a great by-product, but money and ratings have never been a motivation for me ever.

Lewis Howes:                       Really? So if a show is not making money and it’s not getting the ratings, but you’re excited about it, you’ll keep doing it?

JD Roth:                                   Yes! Because it’s the story you’re telling that matters. And if I’m telling a great story that changes somebody’s life, people will watch it. I’m sure of it. So, it’s just about telling a great story, of someone transforming their life. Of leaving people better off than when you found them. That is it, for me, that is the juice. You know what I mean?

That is the adrenaline rush for me, is that seeing somebody in pain, and then unsticking them, and watching them recover, right before your eyes. Because you really don’t have to do that much. I wish I could take credit for a lot; I can’t. I’m able to unstick someone, and then I just get out of the way and they do everything else.

Lewis Howes:                       Let it unfold. Yeah. So when you look for, what’s the best story that you look for, then? And how do you tell a great story on TV or film, that seems to work every single time? What’s the formula?

JD Roth:                                   Yeah, it is a formula. It’s something that touches me. So, when I hear somebody’s story, if it makes me feel that thing, then I have to tell it. If it makes me want to help them and want to kind of give them the tools. Here’s what I believe. We all have emotional impactful moments. They “wham!” hit you.

It could be, your parents get divorced. It could be, a relative died. It could be an abusive situation. A hundred people can have the exact same experience and ninety-nine of them move on with their life and become Lewis, right? Successful guy. But one of them doesn’t have the tools to know how to process what happened to them and to know how to move on from that. And life stops in that moment for them. And it’s arrested development, and they can no longer move on.

Now, for a lot of the people I work with, you can see their pain. They wear it, because they’re three, four, five hundred pounds, but emotional pain can sometimes be worse. I tell people, “I know, some of the most miserable people I know can run a 7.0 on a treadmill for 45 minutes. That doesn’t make them happy, it just makes them fit.

But we all have things, emotionally impactful moments in our lives that we need to learn how to process, and not everybody is good at doing that. And so we should help those people, not condemn them for going to Baskin Robbins to get that pint ice-cream like they do every night. Look past the pint. Into the bottom. They won’t look down into the bottom of the ice-cream, they’re not going to look down into the bottom of their soul.

We need to help them do that. And if you do help them, then they’ll figure out why they need that ice-cream and then all of a sudden they won’t need it any more. That’s the Houdini of it all, right? It’s not the ice-cream. No one is hungry enough to eat themselves to 400lb. So, what you perceive as hunger pain, is really emotional pain. And if you address that as a human being, you will never have a problem, as long as you live. If you always go there.

Lewis Howes:                       What made you want to get into the weight-loss story telling? Because, obviously, there’s lots of stories you can tell, why that type of transformation over some other type of transformation? Whether it be marriage transformation or anything else.

JD Roth:                                   Right, the TV in it all, is before and after.

Lewis Howes:                       What you can see.

JD Roth:                                   Right, if you turn the volume off on my shows, which hopefully you don’t, but if you do, you still have a great before and a great after. What goes on in the mind is not as easy to see on TV. But I’m into questions, and so the best questions, are the best TV shows.

The first big hit I had on NBC, was called, For Love Or Money. It was the notion or question that’s really been around since the beginning of time. Is it love? Or is it money? Which is it? Are you in love with someone, it doesn’t matter if they have money? Or someone’s super rich and that’s why you’re in love with them? Identify inside you, the right and the wrong.

And so it was 25 girls coming to meet a bachelor, the bachelor doesn’t know it, but the girls are actually playing for a million dollars. So, the girl he picks in the end, wins a million bucks.

Lewis Howes:                       So, is it for love or money?

JD Roth:                                   Yeah, so they’re selling themselves as way to getting what they want, because they want the million, and the girls didn’t know, but at the end, they had to choose between the guy or the money.

Lewis Howes:                       Oh, do you want the money, or the guy?

JD Roth:                                   Yeah. They had to make that decision. So, now that’s even a more impactful decision in the end. You’ve been playing this game for money and now, did you fall in love along the way?

Lewis Howes:                       You show your true colours.

JD Roth:                                   Yeah, exactly.

Lewis Howes:                       What did people do?

JD Roth:                                   28 Million people watched the finale, and it went really well. We ended up doing four seasons of the show. But, again, great question. So, Biggest Loser is nothing more than a great question: Can you feel like you’ve lost pieces of your life that you will never get back, so screw it!? Or, is it possible, without the short cuts in life. Without the stapling, or the sucking, the cutting, the pills, is it possible, with just good old-fashioned hard work, to get back what you thought you lost. That’s it. It’s a simple question.

Also, there’s Beauty and the Geek, another show that I created.

Lewis Howes:                       That was a big show.

JD Roth:                                   It was a big show, but simple question: The idea of not judging a book by it’s cover. Imagine taking the geekiest guys on the planet, and the hottest girls ever, and on the first day I look them all in the eye and I say, “Whatever you do here, you cannot date each other.” They’re like, “What? I’m not going to date these dorks!” Three days in, the relationships start to happen.

It’s that whole mindset of telling someone what they can’t do, and it only becomes what they want to do after that. And so, the social experiment part of television, to me, is the most fascinating. It’s easy to give someone a prize for something that doesn’t really matter, but it’s the transformative quality that inspires people to make a change.

I really was hoping, with Biggest Loser, people would not hit their snooze button in the morning and go to the gym, or get the salad instead of the fries. I didn’t realise it was going to turn into this movement, this international movement. Almost, weight-loss became like a new religion. From the start of that show, it snowballed into something much bigger.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah. With the success the show has had, and how many people’s lives it impacted, there’s still a huge problem for weight-loss, isn’t there?

JD Roth:                                   I think it’s gotten bigger.

Lewis Howes:                       Why is that? Even though there’s this movement of, “Yes, let’s take care of our health, let’s take care of our mind, let’s take care of our soul, let’s heal from the trauma of the past,” and we’re seeing so many people do it, why is it more and more people are sick and overweight?

JD Roth:                                   Well, it’s like a bad disease that keeps coming back stronger. So, first, it’s fat-free. Then what do they do after it’s fat-free? They add a bunch of sugar to it. They don’t tell you that; it’s fat-free. Then it’s gluten free, then it’s dairy free, then it’s sugar free. Then it’s again, it keeps coming back, it’s fast food because now mom works, and so that was the Hungry Man Meal.

And then it was, “Well now I need more of the fast food,” because when you’re giving your body something that’s not nutritionally dense, it needs more of it because it’s calorically dense. It’s like it can’t get what it wants, so you feed it all this salt and it’s like, “Oh, my god! I need more!” Well you think it needs more French fries so you super size stuff and you make stuff bigger, so it keeps coming back worse and worse, but ultimately, what we’re not dealing with, is pain.

People are in pain. And I mean human suffering kind of pain. And nobody wants to acknowledge it, because we all get in our Ubers, and check our apps and go on the phone and on our social media, everyone’s life looks great! Right? And everything is this big show, but no-one’s actually dealing with the real pain, and when you don’t deal with real pain, you end up filling that hole with something. Alcohol, drugs, food, take your pick.

There’s even people that exercise too much, right? You can take a good thing and ruin that. And people just aren’t dealing with the pain, and I think we’re also, we’ve gotten arm’s length from human beings. We think we’re having more conversations. We’re actually having less.

Lewis Howes:                       What’s the deepest pain you’ve had to face?

JD Roth:                                   Personally, or that I’ve seen?

Lewis Howes:                       Personally.

JD Roth:                                   Personally, the deepest pain I feel is when I can’t help somebody. And, so, I’ll give you a story. Biggest Loser, hundreds of thousands of people try to get on the show. It gets narrowed down to the final 100, and then we fly all those people out, and I meet with them and we do kind of a three-day seminar, of trying to see who really wants it the most, right? And they have medical testing.

And two people didn’t pass medical testing, and I had to go tell them, “Hey, sorry, you’re too sick to be on The Biggest Loser.” Imagine that. “And you got to go home.” Two different reactions: One guy says, “Hey, listen. I’m already here. Is there any way you could just let me watch and soak in the sessions with the trainers and the dieticians? Because I flew out here and there’s only one or two days left and rather than zip my suitcase up and leave, could I do that?” Yes.

The other guy got so mad and so upset, he zipped his suitcase up in anger and left that very minute and we never saw him again. The guy that stayed, I was so impressed by what he had done, I went back to the doctors and I said, “Is there any way that we could see if we could give this guy another test or something?” And it turned out there was, and the test was $5,000 so they didn’t want to tell me.

I said, “You know what? We’ll pay for it.” He had the test. He cleared medical, went on The Biggest Loser and lost over 200lb. But the part that, internally, I suffer with, is the guy that left that day, three months later died of a heart attack. He had a daughter, he had a wife, he had a successful business, and I couldn’t help but think, it was, by the way, his fifth time auditioning for the show. And he got closer every time, and so I couldn’t help but think, “After the first audition, if he didn’t get it, what if he went home and did it?”

His daughter would have a dad, his wife would have a husband, his business would still have someone at the helm of that business, running it, employing all those people and feeding all of those families as well, and what a loss it was, and I couldn’t prevent the loss. I couldn’t get the guy, the four other times, to go home and do it anyway. He thought The Biggest Loser was going to solve all his problems, and I couldn’t get him to think any differently. And because of that, it’s affected a lot of people’s lives.

So, those are the things that stick with me. I wish I could help everybody. In fact, the people that were too big to be on The Biggest Loser, that I would send home on a plane, we created a show for them, which was on ABC.

Lewis Howes:                       Extreme Weight-Loss?

JD Roth:                                   Yeah, for five years, which, I think you know Chris and Heidi?

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah, they were both on…

JD Roth:                                   I love, I love, when I found Chris he was a guy training people in Arizona and trying to figure out what to do with… And, by the way, he was one of the bachelors on For Love Or Money, years before that, and I never even made the connection.

Lewis Howes:                       No way! That’s hilarious!

JD Roth:                                   Yeah, and so he helped with the people that were too big to even be on The Biggest Loser.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah, and that was a huge success, too.

JD Roth:                                   Yeah, 150 countries worldwide, and helped a lot of people. I prefer to focus on how many people it helped, and then how many people were inspired to think that a five or six hundred pound person, “If they can do it, you know what? I can do it too. I can lose the ten pounds I want to lose.”

Lewis Howes:                       What was the biggest internal challenge you faced from the teen acting until now? Because you’ve seen a lot. You’ve done a lot of shows, some have been massive hits, some have been worked really hard on, but didn’t do anything. Maybe you filmed and then they got shut down, or they got cancelled after the first season. You’ve done a lot of those as well. How do you stay committed to pursuing something when a lot of things don’t work out? First off.

JD Roth:                                   Yeah. Well, one of my truths in life, is that you can’t teach passion. You just can’t. You either have it or you don’t. That’s it. And so, before my kids could speak, I was trying to live by example and show them the passion that you have to put into something every day, and I don’t identify a success as a hit. So, if you said to me, “What is the biggest show, the best show [you] have ever done?” It was cancelled before the whole first season even aired.

Lewis Howes:                       Because you were the most passionate about it.

JD Roth:                                   Yeah! And, by the way, I thought it was the best show I ever did. And I still believe that! And I still believe that it was really great quality work that came out of heart and soul, and there were so many people involved and I thought it was, I still believe it’s the best thing that I’ve ever done.

Lewis Howes:                       What was that?

JD Roth:                                   It was called, Opportunity Knocks, it was on ABC, Ashton Kutcher and I partnered on it. It came out of a game I played at home with my kids when they were little, called The Favourite Game. And at dinner we’d sit around the dinner table and we’d go, “What’s Mommy’s favourite food?” and “What’s Cooper’s favourite colour?” Right?

Only imagine if that game was gigantic, so we would knock on someone’s door. They didn’t know we were coming, a family, and we’d put an entire stage in their front yard and invite the entire neighbourhood. And then we would get the dad on stage, and we’d say, “Your dream car is a Fastback 1964 Mustang.” And he’s like, “Yeah!” And we’d roll one up on the stage. Vroom!! And then we’d say, “You have this great thing that you do with your son. You collect the State quarters with your son.” He’s like, “Yeah, yeah! We’ve been collecting them for a long time.”

“Well, you’re missing only one state in that entire collection. I have that quarter in my pocket. If you can tell me what state it is, I’ll give you the keys to the Mustang. So, it’s the same game I played with my kids, just amped up on a larger scale. The sweat on this guy’s face as every neighbour is watching him and he knows, he’s had this experience with his kid, for months, putting the quarters…. Remember the book? You know, you put the quarters in the book and all the states were there and he’s missing one. All he has to do is tell me the name of it, and his dream comes true.

And so, to milk that kind of moment. And the game was, “Hey, if you know your family really well, you win a lot of prizes.” So, how well do you know your family? How intimate are you?

Lewis Howes:                       How connected are you to the people closest to you?

JD Roth:                                   Yeah! Well, I can’t think of a better idea for a show, and I can’t think of better execution from all the 150 people on the staff, 20 eighteen-wheelers travelling the country, putting up an entire stage within 24 hours. Helicopters flying in to get shots. It was the most incredible show ever.

The problem was, two weeks before the show aired, the stock market collapsed in 2008 and nobody cared what your grandmother’s favourite ice-cream flavour was. They had just lost half of their 401K. And no-one cared what quarter, state quarter that guy needed to get a Mustang, because they just lost their house. And so, as each week, the show came on, the market went further and further into despair until people were jumping out of buildings and, I mean, you remember that time.

It was businesses were ending, government was stepping in to buy GM and to take over Bear Stearns, and it was just getting worse and worse and worse. And our show, at that time, felt a little flippant, you know, for the moment, but how could we have known?

Lewis Howes:                       Wow! Do you believe timing is everything for producing TV shows?

JD Roth:                                   Absolutely. If you think that I thought The Biggest Loser was going to be the hit. Here’s a show, TV is about wish fulfillment, beautiful people, spectacular cars, gorgeous locations. Okay, I’m pitching a show about someone who’s 350lb and is unhappy. Where is the TV in that? And, by the way, it takes a long time to lose weight. So now, it’s going to be like watching paint dry.

So, what exactly are you watching, right? That wasn’t a popular choice, at that time. When Jeff Gaspin at NBC took a bet on it, and said, “I’m going to bet on this show.” I don’t think it was a popular decision at the time, so I don’t think you can ever really know where the hits are. You just got to go and make the best show that you can make. And then see where the chips fall.

Lewis Howes:                       Wow! So what’s the formula for a great show?

JD Roth:                                   It’s the simplest thing in the world, and then you just have to let the viewers decide. Just tell a good story. So, I, twenty plus years ago, married so far out of my league. The only reason I got her is because I told a great story at a barbecue. So, if you can tell a great story at a barbecue, or to your kid before they go to sleep, or to your dog or to a neighbour or to a family friend, I think it is the most under-utilised form of education in the school system.

They don’t teach kids how to tell a story. They teach them to play the tuba. Oh, yeah, they’re never going to do that. They teach them biology, they’re never going to use that. They teach them geometry, right? You know, very rare are a lot of the kids going to use that, but everyone, really, is going to end up selling something in their life, whether it’s a cellphone, TV show, a podcast, a car, a relationship, and if you don’t know how to tell a good story, they ain’t buying it!

So, if there’s two people trying to sell you something, and it’s a cellphone, and one guy’s got a good story, and the other guy’s trying to sell you a phone, you’re buying it from the guy with the story. A hundred percent of the time. So, it is the most under-utilised talent in education.

Lewis Howes:                       How did you learn how to tell a great story? And how do you tell a great story?

JD Roth:                                   I think, for me, it’s a little bit of, you were born with some size, you can’t teach that to play football.

Lewis Howes:                       You were born with this.

JD Roth:                                   I was born with that gift of the gab. And it was certainly fed by the laughter of my relatives at the turkey dinner, and by the mailman who loved the questions I would ask, right? It was fed by those things. So, it’s all your experience while you’re trying to be who you are. And in the end, I’m sure this is no shock to you, I’m sure everyone who sits in this chair says the same thing, which is: Authenticity is everything!

I’m pretty sure Bill Gates would still be in a garage messing around with some little piece of equipment; it wasn’t the money. I know Laird Hamilton really well. I can guarantee you, Laird would still be trying to find the biggest wave and a new piece of equipment to surf it on, if there was no money involved.

The commerce is second. The love for what you do and the authenticity is first. It has to be. There’s no other way to do it.

Lewis Howes:                       And when people focus on the money first, and the passion second, what happens?

JD Roth:                                   It will never work. That fire never gets lit.

Lewis Howes:                       You’ll struggle and it will be hard, or whatever.

JD Roth:                                   I tell my son, we’re driving on the freeway, “What do you see?”

“Too many cars.” Right? Cars for days. “So, listen, in life, which car are you looking at?”

He said, “What do you mean?” I go, “Well, are you looking way up there at that car way up there that you want to pass? Or are you looking right here to the car that’s just right in front of you? Which car do you focus on when you’re driving, or when you’re trying to succeed in life?” which is what driving is.

And he said, “Well, I’m looking at the guy up there. That’s the guy I got to beat. I got to get to that guy!” And I said, “No. I’m looking at the guy right next to me. Because if I look at that guy, I literally will be white knuckled. I’ll never even be able to hit the accelerator, to chase that guy. There’s two much going on in front of me. Just focus on what’s right there. Do the easy stuff.”

Show up, you know what I mean? I got to just pass one car. As soon as I get past that one, then I’m going to pick another one off. And then I’m going to pick the blue one off and then the Prius, right? And then, pretty soon I’m going to look back and they’re all going to be behind me. But if you focus on a thousand cars in front of you, you’ll never make it. You’ll be way too inside your head full of anxiety. Full of “I can’t”, full of the failure, right? But if you only focus on one; to me it’s simple.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah. You’ve had so much experience, from a young age, so many big hits, on camera, producing, selling shows, things like that. Was there ever a time you didn’t have confidence? Because with all that experience, and all that success, I just feel like it’s easier to build that confidence. Was there ever a run where you’re like, “Maybe I don’t have it any more.”? Or, like, “Maybe I don’t have the touch any more. I’m not booking this or the shows aren’t popping or whatever it may be. Or have you always been confident in your vision and in your passion and in your story telling?

JD Roth:                                   Well, first of all, I would always tell people. Just get me in a room. Just put me in a room with whoever makes the decision. I need to be in that room. If I get in that room, it’s over, it’s over! It’s Tom Brady with two minutes left. It’s over! You know, and I mean, he only needs a close call for someone to almost pick him off, to just fire him up. So, it was always about just getting in that room.

But I can’t lie and say, “Yeah! It was easy! Sure, man, I never had any doubts.” Because I’m a human being. And so, we all have doubts. We all have that moment where we can’t sleep, where we’re worrying, but it’s the point where, do you choose to let that drive you? Or do you choose to let that handicap you? And only you can decide that.

I want to be the driver. I want  to be MJ with ten seconds on the clock. Hey, guess what? Twenty-five thousand people in the stadium, they know I’m taking the shot. Twenty-million people watching, they know I’m taking the shot. The guy guarding me, he knows I’m taking the shot. And none of you can stop me, I’m still making the shot. Those people, to me, the gamers, those who want the ball, you can’t teach that. That’s just something you have inside you.

Lewis Howes:                       How do you think you have that inside of you? How can you cultivate it if you can’t teach it?

JD Roth:                                   I think probably, it’s fear. It’s fear of not making it, it’s fear of not being relevant.

Lewis Howes:                       Is that how you felt growing up?

JD Roth:                                   Yeah! I always… well, who would sell Michael Jackson pins on the streets of New York if you weren’t fearing something? You know what I mean? And also, every day, I’d get on that bus, five days a week, two hours each way. I had to do my homework, I had to figure out where I was going. I was a kid.

Lewis Howes:                       By yourself?

JD Roth:                                   By myself, yeah. From fourteen on, I was in the city by myself. And so, a lot of things happened. Especially back then. The city was a different place in the 80’s than it is now. And so, I think, that hunger; is it a shock to you that the kid, the athletes that really make it? To me it’s not a colour thing, it’s where they grow up. It’s the only way out.

Lewis Howes:                       It’s a hunger, it’s a desire thing, yeah.

JD Roth:                                   They’ve been dribbling a ball that doesn’t have any air in it because they don’t have a needle to pump their ball with. Well you got to work harder to make the ball do stuff. Well, that makes them better. And you know, is it any shock to you that the best runners ever, where they come from? They got to run to the next village for water, and it’s twenty miles away. You don’t think that they have an advantage?

I try to tell my kids all the time, “You don’t understand how bad people want what you consider normal.

Lewis Howes:                       They’ll never experience that in their entire life for a day, and you have it every day.

JD Roth:                                   Right! How are you going to compete with that? You can’t compete with that.

Lewis Howes:                       Exactly. Are you afraid for your, how many kids do you have?

JD Roth:                                   I have two boys.

Lewis Howes:                       Two boys, how old are they?

JD Roth:                                   Seventeen and fourteen.

Lewis Howes:                       Are you afraid for their future? Based on how luxurious they’ve lived, or how nice of a lifestyle they’ve lived.

JD Roth:                                   Very. And I have conversations with them often about, “What do you love?” Because if it’s things, they can always be taken away. So, done. It’s over. Just like, if you lose 200lb and it’s the number on the scale that makes you happy, you’re done. The weight’s coming back on, 100%. And it’s no different than where they are.

If it’s things that make you happy, you’ll never have them, because you’re not getting them from me. That’s for sure. Right? Because if someone told me, “Hey, I’m going to give you a million bucks a year for life,” at age twenty. Guess what I would have done? Nothing. I wouldn’t have started a business, I wouldn’t have tried to change people’s lives.

Lewis Howes:                       You’d have no desire to.

JD Roth:                                   None. And that’s unfair! That’s unfair to leave any kid that. Because it’s that hunger that makes you feel alive. It’s walking in and making the purchase one day, that does make you feel good, because you know you earned it, you know you did. Raising kids has been one of the easiest things I’ve ever done until right now.

My kid is a year away from college, and I realise, he’s going to have to get on that same freeway with thousands of cars, and pick them off one at a time. And did I give him the tools to do it? Because if he can’t, I didn’t. And that would be a great failure. Right?

To me, family’s first, in life, then work is after that. And I really do believe that the good guy finishes first. In my soul, to my core of what I stand for. I believe that good guys finish first. And I do believe that it’s harder to be a good guy. But in the end I go to sleep living that, and so every decision I make, is as if my kids and my wife are standing next to me at all times.

So, if that’s the case, that the good guy finishes first, and I’ve instilled that in my own kids, are they going to be able to carry that forward and succeed? Because the chances of them, and I’ve told them this, so if they watch this or listen to this, it’s not going to come as a surprise. That chances of them eclipsing the success that I’ve been lucky enough to have, are very close to zero.

Lewis Howes:                       The chances of them doing what you’ve done? For a lot of people, yeah.

JD Roth:                                   Very close to zero. If how they are living now, is what they consider happiness, they’re done! They’ll never be happy. So, you know what makes us happy? We go for a walk at sunset, we eat outside together, you know? We’re like a four-headed monster, we do everything together. We for a bike ride, we play a game of cards, we watch a TV show under that same blanket, we play golf. My younger son is a great golfer.

And it’s those experiences that I want them to associate with happiness. If you can make the association, a thousand times with them that that’s happy, and this is nice, but it doesn’t provide happiness, because it doesn’t.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah. Going on the private jet, or doing this or being this.

JD Roth:                                   Those are fun, it is fun, but, you know, the most charitable people I know have nothing. How many times have you walked by someone who needed money, and you knew they needed it and you didn’t give it? And we certainly have enough money to have it fall out of our pockets. And how many times have you seen someone pull up, that you know has nowhere near what you have, and pull five bucks out of their pocket?

I’m amazed by it! I’m amazed! It’s almost as if they’re closer in touch with what it feels like to not have anything, to know what that person must be feeling. And we don’t. We don’t know what they’re feeling. So it’s hard for us to understand, why are they there asking for money?

Lewis Howes:                       How do you approach that, when you see someone?

JD Roth:                                   I find it very difficult. Especially when it’s a young person who looks able-bodied.

Lewis Howes:                       Who could work.

JD Roth:                                   Right, and yet, I use the tough love method for transformation. So, some people will choose the hug. I definitely have a different way of doing it. And there are times for hugs, but when you’re in desperate need of change, a hug ain’t gonna do it.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah. It’s going to keep enabling.

JD Roth:                                   Yeah. Telling someone they did a great job, when you know they didn’t, isn’t going to do anything. You got to tell someone that they need more. Off camera, to me, some of the best things happen. So, I tell the contestants, “I need you to write down three small victories every day. It’s not for TV. It’s for you. And a long time from now, you’ll look back and these will become big things.”

And the best one I ever read, a guy wrote. This is the very first day, so he’s 300+lb, it’s dark, his world is dark, and we’re trying to help him turn the light on. And he wrote down, “Today I tried even though my trainer wasn’t looking.” Now, for most people, now, I think a lot of people would read that and be, like, “Oh, whatever.”

Lewis Howes:                       But for him it was huge.

JD Roth:                                   It stopped me in my tracks, because I realised what he was saying. What he’s saying is, when no-one looks, he’s not a good dad, he’s not a good husband, he’s not a good co-worker, he’s not a good friend, he’s not a good human being. And for the first time, in as long as he can remember, years, when no-one was looking, he was giving his best. Now, we turned that switch on in one day. At that point, I know I just have to get out of the way, because he’s lit up now. He knows what to do.

But you have to help people identify that. So, to me, I have the same three points to solve every problem in your life. It’s the same three things, over and over again. And if you master them young, life’s easy.

Lewis Howes:                       What are those three things?

JD Roth:                                   So, it’s simple: Identify the problem, that’s the easiest one. For the people I work with: I’m overweight. I’ve lost a lot of my life. I’m afraid I’m not going to be here to live the rest of my life because of my health issues. Okay, identify the problem, boom, simple.

Step two: make a list of what you need to do to fix it. Oh, I need to move more and I need to eat less. Right? That’s obvious. You don’t need me for that.

Step number three’s the secret. It’s the one nobody gets to. It’s the one, in America, everybody fears and most people don’t ever do. And so, it’s this master of brilliance, that has no brilliance at all, because it’s the simplest step of all. Which is, step number three: Do it.

Stop talking about it. Stop thinking about it. Stop telling people what you’re going to do and just freaking do it! Get up and do it. Take one step. Don’t look a thousand cars ahead, look one, take one step. That’s all you need to do. For guys that are 500lb, just get out of your chair. Stand up and sit down fifty times that day. Do you know how many calories that burns on a guy that size?

Lewis Howes:                       A lot.

JD Roth:                                   That’s day one. Day two, make another change. Day three make another change. So just do it! We all know what our problems are, but nobody fixes them, because we’re too busy binge watching the next TV show and looking at our social media and telling people how great our life is when it’s not. But just stop all that! Plant the flag in what you’re going to do. Tell the world, wear a shirt: “This year I lose 100lb.”

“Now, why would you tell people that?” everyone says. Well because then what if you don’t do it? Guess what? If you tell the world you’re going to lose 100lb, you’re going to do it, because it would be really embarrassing not to. But people that hide in that, “Oh, I really want to lose 100lb, but I just can’t. I can’t do that, that’s way too much, that’s overwhelming!” Those are the people that never do it.

Scream it from the mountain tops, tell everyone you’re going to do it, ’cause you’d be surprised how many people want to help.

Lewis Howes:                       Wow! There you go. That’s a good formula.

JD Roth:                                   It’s simple, right?

Lewis Howes:                       It’s a great formula. Yeah!

JD Roth:                                   It’s not rocket science, that’s for sure.

Lewis Howes:                       Now, how do you, right now, as a guy who has, again, achieved so much? We were talking before, off camera, about you lived next to some of the richest people and famous people, you’ve got great homes, you’ve got great properties, you’ve made a lot of money from your TV shows, your production company, things like that. How do you stay hungry? Or do you not have to any more? What gets you up out of bed every day, to be passionate about life, when you’ve created so much wealth and results and success and opportunity, you’ve got a huge rolodex.

JD Roth:                                   Don’t you feel for the athlete that gets the two hundred million dollar contract and they can’t put the ball in the ocean?

Lewis Howes:                       It’s the scariest thing!

JD Roth:                                   They literally cannot make the ball go through the hoop again. What is that?

Lewis Howes:                       I remember Albert Pujols, he got, like, a two hundred or two-hundred-and-fifty million dollar contract, I think. He was with the Cardinals, St Louis Cardinals when I was in St Louis, he was a big hero in St Louis and then he got the big deal in Annaheim for two hundred million, or something like that. And then, was horrible for a number of years. He was playing sub-par. And it’s kind of like that desire, that hunger, leaves some people. Has it left you? And how do you stay hungry?

JD Roth:                                   It’s very interesting. So, the day you sit at that table at the law firm, with thirty chairs, when you’re selling your company, and you sign those papers, and the phone rings, and it’s your banker, and he says, “It’s arrived.” And you’re like, “Oh, my god!” It’s out of a movie, it’s totally surreal.

My dad called me that day. He said, congratulations, you’re now a worst businessman. It was like, “Way to ruin a moment!” Right? Like, what is he talking about? And it took me a while to realise what he was actually trying to say, which is what you’re trying to say, which is, “Okay, that’s amazing that you did that, but now what? Now you can’t have the same hunger, you can’t have the same drive, you can’t, because it matters in a different way than it did before.”

So, I think what you need to do, is keep reminding yourself of what makes what you did authentic to who you are. And for me, it was always about helping people transform their lives. That’s it! So as long as I stay there, in that moment of transformation, then it’s fine. And I do like making things, and it turns out I really don’t have a lot of hobbies I’m good at. I really think I have none.

Lewis Howes:                       Not good at golf.

JD Roth:                                   I mean, not as good as my kid. You know, and I like it, but it’s something about building something and making something that gets me excited. And, honestly, I always wanted to be successful. I mean, a lot of successful people will tell you that’s what drove them, to be successful, but once you’re there, you have to realise, “Why?” And it was always about the people I worked with, it was always about knowing about their lives, when they were having kids, being supportive of lifting them up and over me, versus wanting to hold everybody down.

And so, for me, that’s the biggest driver right now is that we’ve all been players. You have in a real game. But I’ve been a player in my game, and eventually you become a coach, and so, I would never make a seven-footer point guard. I just wouldn’t. I know how to put people in the right spot to be successful. And I get much more pleasure now, out of seeing that, than I ever got out of my own success.

It’s like, I’ve always loved giving the present, versus, receiving the present makes me super uncomfortable. I don’t know how to act, I don’t think I say thank you the right way. You know what I mean? It’s awkward for me, but I love giving the right gift, and so that gift doesn’t have to be a thing, right? Sometimes that gift is helping someone get their life back.

But, you’re right, it’s really hard.

Lewis Howes:                       Well, how are you doing it right now, then? How are you staying…

JD Roth:                                   I took a couple of years off to try and kind of reset.

Lewis Howes:                       So you sold the production company. Biggest Loser was a part of this and a couple of shows that you’d built, and you sold it off.

JD Roth:                                   Yeah. And remember, I started working when I was ten. So, I’d worked almost forty straight years, so imagine, you got out of school at twenty-something years old and you started to work. I’m like a seventy-year-old guy, right? I was ready to be put out to pasture and learn how to play golf, and I did that for a little bit. The problem is, the creative stuff, there’s no off, the water, it’s still on.

Lewis Howes:                       You can only play golf for so many days before you get bored.

JD Roth:                                   Yeah. And I think I can utilise what it’s like to be a founder, starting a company on your front porch and taking it to hundreds of employees worldwide, and I can use that to help some other people do that as well, and maybe kind of figure out how to help them build their businesses to something bigger and identify what I know I had in myself, in someone else. If you can identify that then you can help water the plant, and help them grow faster.

Lewis Howes:                       What would you say is missing for you right now?

JD Roth:                                   I think the camaraderie of having hundreds of employees around, that, I felt, all had value, and so I really acknowledged and loved the collaborative process. But when you’re just, like, now I’m a guy. And you’re, you know?

Lewis Howes:                       You’re just not doing that any more.

JD Roth:                                   Right, and it’s just different, and that collaborative quality of the hugging and when we’d help someone change their life, or when the right tears would fall, that would help someone just, and we’d hug each other. It brought us all closer together and that family… So, everything was folded in. I didn’t have family over here, and work over here and fun over there, it was all one.

My kids did their homework in my office and my older son gave notes in editSuite when he was seven years old. He would write copy for challenges on some of the shows, so it was that, the interwoven part of family being there is the part that I miss the most.

Lewis Howes:                       So, if you could write your own story, which you can, for the next chapter of you life, how’s the story go?

JD Roth:                 I’d like to take one more swing at building a company that has that same type of spirit to it. And I think it’s a little bit lost. I think everyone’s a number, and people don’t even have to come in to work any more, because they can work mobiley, and they can send their work in. I think it’s a lost art, the human interaction. Looking someone in the eye, and I can identify how that person feels. I don’t need them to tell me.

And then, that shorthand that you have with people, makes you great at what you do. Look, on paper, the Lakers a couple of years ago had a hell of a team! Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, there was one ball and they couldn’t figure out how to make that chemistry work. So, chemistry is an intangible element and when you find it and you get it and it is just right, man, you don’t even want to change your socks.

Lewis Howes:                       It’s electric.

JD Roth:                                   It’s amazing! And then, just to keep with the sports analogy, you look at the Golden State. They weren’t a conglomerate of pieces all pulled from teams that were amazing and put together and expected to be amazing. They started out with this great back core and they added piece by piece and they found chemistry, and that chemistry is an intangible. And I really believe that that’s done in a blink.

That’s not done with a resume, that’s not done with, “Well, this guys won three championships and this guy’s won, let’s put them together and make magic happen.” It’s not done that way. The best stuff comes from intangible things. It doesn’t come from, “This guy went to Harvard, so I’m going to stick him with the guy that went to Stanford, and they’re going to create something that’s… We’re going to be billionaires.” It doesn’t work that way.

It’s the guy that hustled, and he’s got this deep seated want of life, that he wants to take over the world, and you put him with someone, and the little pieces along the way, and identifying, throughout your life, who are those people who you can stick by and stick with, that they’ll be there forever, because you can’t replace history.

The guy that’s represented me my entire career, he was my college roommate.

Lewis Howes:                       Really?

JD Roth:                                   Yeah. I mean, so when you start, like, I have very few people in my life, but they’ve been in my life forever. Since I was a teenager. And I think that, to me, I’ve seen that guy sober, I’ve seen him drunk in college, I’ve seen him in his underwear, I’ve seen him happy, sad, fail, succeed.

Lewis Howes:                       Go through break-ups and everything.

JD Roth:                                   Yes! Girlfriends, marriage, kids. So, you can’t replace that history and that allows us to have two-sentence conversations, where we actually speak a truth, versus a whole lot of bullshit, which is what Hollywood trades on every day.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah. I’m curious, just to shift gears a little bit, with everything that’s happened in the Hollywood space over the last six months…

JD Roth:                                   What’s happened?

Lewis Howes:                       With the sexual harassment, the “me too” and all of that stuff, I’m sure you know half of these people who have been outed, you’ve probably done shows with some of these people, maybe you live next door to some of these people, for all I know. What is your take on this? We don’t have to go too deep, but I’m just curious, especially since it’s relevant right now. What’s your take on everything that’s happened, and how are you handling it, which I’m assuming, and you don’t have to say names, but I’m assuming you know some of these people, you have them in your phone. When they reach out to you, or text you, or e-mail you, how do you navigate those relationships, when there’s so much heat and pressure on, the allegations or the media attention, or something.

JD Roth:                                   Never been a better time to be a good dude.

Lewis Howes:                       The good guy always wins.

JD Roth:                                   Right. And I mean, you know, a lot of times it wasn’t respected. It wasn’t, you had to be the yeller, and I was like, “That’s just not me. That’s not who I am.” Never been a better time, I think, to be that guy, and to not have any fear and to not have any worry, and not have those feelings, for sure.

It’s a tough thing, “How courageous, and how brave! First time ever that people are willing to step up,” and they don’t want anything in return, but the truth. They want the truth to be out there. That’s brave, man, right? That’s a powerful statement. So I admire that. It creates a lot of difficulty with people really doing due diligence on whether it’s true or not, now everyone just assumes it’s all true.

That’s another problem. It’s such a snowball rolling downhill that we don’t necessarily know. I actually have some respect for the guys that come out and say, “Yeah, that is me. I recognise those things, and I’m embarrassed.” That’s also brave. What they did is horribly wrong, but too many people would deny it. In the end, the fish thinks from the head, and if you have the leader of the free world getting away with these things, that all of these women around the world, can look at and go, “He’s the leader of the free world?”

You can stick your finger in this to stop the water coming out, it’s coming out from somewhere. And, I think, when you stick too many fingers, trying to make it all go away, from a guy who is in control of the world, it has to explode somewhere else, and I really think that’s what happened.

How can a guy, in my opinion, be in the White House, the leader of the free world, saying the things that he said, but Billy Bush can’t interview celebrities at 9am on a morning talk show. Those two things just don’t go together. And I find that really hard to believe, and there’s a lot of people who have done bad things. But where is the road to redemption?

Look, for some of them, and I think you know who I’m talking about, there is no road to redemption. They are despicable human beings, that belong behind bars, and I’m glad that that’s over with, that era is gone, but there’s a middle ground somewhere too. And so, now, everyone’s being lumped in with the Harveys. But they’re not all Harveys.

Lewis Howes:                       They made some mistakes, but they’re not…

JD Roth:                                   Where’s the road to redemption? If you’re on the chart now at all, you’re done.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah, it’s scary, right? For some of those guys.

JD Roth:                                   Yeah, it is, but thank goodness that we’re in this time and place, where my kids can see that it’s okay to step forward and be honest and be the good person. And then support those people.

Lewis Howes:                       And how to be respectful towards women, or how to treat people with respect and not abuse people, or take advantage if you have a position of power or not a position of power.

JD Roth:                                   I’m so proud to be around in this time, where my kids can witness the change right before their eyes, and I don’t think we’ve seen a change this big. But I’ll also go back to this: In history, whenever there has been moments of chaos, the greatest arts have always come out. So I see people at dinner parties, “Oh, it’s the worst time ever, in the history, the world’s on fire, literally and figuratively, it’s just the end of the…” and I don’t see it that way.

Remember the 60’s with Vietnam and the world was on fire, we’re still listening to that music every day. We still look at that art every day. From the Renaissance, you’re talking about the worst times in history, some of the greatest arts have come out and stayed with us for ever.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah, Man’s Search For Meaning is one of the most powerful books, and the guy was in the concentration camps, right? during the wars.

JD Roth:                                   So think about the impact that those moments have in that time, it’s terrible. But what comes out of it is amazing. It gives people a voice. In the arts, from music to the cognates, to dance, to theatre, to everything, right? It’s such an amazing moment that we feel that we have this powerful voice inside us that we need to get out, and to be able to get it out in a form of storytelling, which is full circle, for me, it all comes back to that, it’s an honour to be part of what the storytelling is going to be coming out of this that helps us kind of evolve as human beings. Otherwise, if we don’t keep evolving and keep getting better, then what are we doing?

Lewis Howes:                       Right. Maybe that’s your next show, The Road to Redemption.

JD Roth:                                   Could be. There’s a, the stench on that one I might want to step back from.

Lewis Howes:                       Or maybe it’s just Road to Redemption in general, for people who have done things and need to come back.

JD Roth:                                   And think about what we see in the world, in social media, on television, that persona that’s created, the guy with the soft touch in the interviews, behind the scenes, not such a soft touch, you know? The guy’s lovable. Oh, wow, he’s not. I mean, there are some that have always been that way, but the duality of people and power and the way power is used, I think you’re going to see something come out in the arts, that’s going to express that and help people to learn from it. And if that helps my kids learn how to be better human beings, then thank goodness to all the women who came out and screamed out loud the truth.

Lewis Howes:                       Of course, yeah. What, would you say, is the thing you struggle with the most? That you can improve on?

JD Roth:                                   Balance. I struggle with balance the most. And I think what that means is that some days I’m an awesome dad! Like, I know it. Some days I’m an amazing husband, and some days I don’t get it right. I just don’t. And I think the difference between the era of where my parents were parents, and ours, is, I can fall on the sword immediately, and say, “Dude, Dad didn’t have a good day today.” And tomorrow, let’s get back on the train. It’s that you can fight and then you can make up. And I think that showing your kids the make up is as important as showing them how to express themselves in the fight.

And so, balance is everything, and you know, we can say, “We’re in California, so we got to eat sushi, do yoga, like, and I do all those things, green juice,” and I do feel that, as I get older, and I’m approaching kind of the back nine of my life, you know, versus the front, that I do have a different perspective looking back. Because I’m not looking forward as much any more. So, I try to work on that, and I try to give my kids that same notion of balance.

Which is hard. I mean, they’re studying six hours a day in high school. They’re just go, go, go, go, go on the treadmill of trying to succeed and get into college and all these pressures of life that they have on top of, you and I wouldn’t want to grow up with the social media pressures that they have. It’s really hard. So, I think balance is the trickiest for most people.

Lewis Howes:                       And what, would you say, is the greatest lesson that both your mom and dad taught you?

JD Roth:                                   From my dad it would be loyalty. Loyalty to a fault at some times. He would protect those around him at all costs, and so, there’s incredible value to that, and it served me really well. And to my mom, I think it would be empathy. You know, the ability to feel someone else’s pain, acknowledge it and try to make them feel better about it, and to be there for them.

I have a twin sister who’s a doctor, and just watching her care for other people is incredible. How someone can feel someone else’s pain and try to diagnose it. She’s changing lives, she’s saving lives. I’m just making a TV show. You know what I mean? Like, we’ve got to put things in perspective. The difference is, she can only handle one patient, or two patients an hour. I can, on the health side of  things, my TV shows can reach millions. So I need to help take her message and people like her, their message and help get it to the masses.

Lewis Howes:                       What’s a question that you wish more people would ask you that they don’t ask you?

JD Roth:                                   Oh, man! You’re going deep, man. What’s a question people would ask me? I guess I wish people would ask more about what’s on the inside, than what they see on the outside.

Lewis Howes:                       About you?

JD Roth:                                   Yeah. Like, I’m not a real social guy. I don’t go to parties. I hate parties, actually. I never, in Hollywood, had drinks, ever, not once. I don’t watch football. Sorry. I don’t drink, so I don’t go to bars.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah, me either.

JD Roth:                                   And I don’t have those same types of social interactions that people have, so I think people, they only know what they see. They don’t really want to ask the questions of who somebody is. They don’t want to take that moment to find out. They just want to make the judgements that they make, and assume that that’s the truth.

Lewis Howes:                       Well, who are you, then?

JD Roth:                                   I think I’m much more simple than people think. I have no noise in my life, and I think the most successful people I know remove the noise in their life. And what I mean by that is, we have so many things going on, and people are chasing so many different things, that if you reduce your life to, “All I have is work, and family,” and that’s it, I don’t have anything else.

So there’s not, I can’t get a whole lot wrong. I’m only focussed on two things. It’s the people that are focussed on so many other things. Plus, they’re married and they’re chasing girls and they’re doing this, and they got to see the guys, and we got to have the weekend, have the ski weekend, we got to go with the guys, my college buddies, I mean, they’re still holding on to so many different things.

All of that, to me, is noise. And if you want to stay married for life, which I have been with the same woman, I’ve been with her longer than I haven’t, at this point, and you want to have kids that succeed and have passion in their life. Then just reduce everything to two things. On the holidays, people are like, “Oh, where you going?” I could care less where someone is going. Like, that is meaningless to me. It’s who you spending it with?

Then everyone’s off running to Europe and running here and running there. What about just staying home? And being with your kids? And slowing things down? They’re already going a hundred miles an hour all day and night, until the second they put the phone down and then they put their head down and they go to sleep.

What about reducing that, just doing nothing. Just staying. You don’t have to pack a bag, you don’t have to get on a plane and go flying overnight, the time change. You don’t need to do all that, and I think that slowing it all down and keeping it simple, is the way, as a family, as a unit, to be the most successful.

Lewis Howes:                       What’s the thing that inspires you about your wife the most?

JD Roth:                                   I don’t know if there’s “a” thing, and I’m sure everyone thinks that their wife is the greatest on the planet, but, little secret, mine actually is! She can always find happiness, no matter where she is, and I don’t think I can. I think I struggle a little bit with, I think too much, about the world and life and me and where we should be and how to fix things and make things better.

I’m producing life all the time. And sometimes she just turns and does a little dance, and I’m like, “Oh, yeah.” She has the ability to bring me right back to where I always need to be, which is, “Oh, yeah, we’re only here for a little bit of time and we should probably try to have some fun.” You know?

She has that incredible ability, and she also takes her health, and our family’s health, to a whole other level, which I appreciate, because it makes me try to be the best I can be, whether that’s eating a plant-based diet, or whether it’s going for a walk as a family. Or whether it’s moving and exercising and emotional health. So, she makes that a priority for our family, so we can’t help but support her in that endeavour.

And then lastly, she loves every living, breathing animal on the planet.

Lewis Howes:                       You were telling me about that before this, yeah.

JD Roth:                                   And it’s… I mean, I have literally, I am not exaggerating, I’ve come home and she’s been in a paper suit, feeding sick raccoons. I’ve had ducks in my back yard, we have birds, we have cats. She’s gone down to the beach and picked up a seagull that’s injured and wrapped it in a blanket and brought it home and fed it with a dropper all night until it can fly away.

Lewis Howes:                       She cares deeply.

JD Roth:                                   Amazing! Amazing! And I don’t have that, so in life, if you don’t have something you want, you got to just rub up next to someone who does, because I do believe it rubs off.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah, and what, would you say, that she would say is your greatest fault?

JD Roth:                                   My greatest fault, I think, is really straightforward, is I have no patience for people that don’t want to put 100% into something. Just don’t do it. If you’re not going to put 100% in, just don’t bother, but don’t half-ass it. If you’re going to be a custodian, fine. But clean the floor better than anyone has cleaned the floor.

That’s all I care about. Just give 100% in whatever you are going to do. I swear, I don’t care what my kids do in life. I just want them to try to be the best at what it is they’re trying to do. That’s it. And if you give your best, like I tell, my son doesn’t actually know this, but he will right now when he watches. For Christmas I had socks made for him and there’s a sentence on the sock, so that every time he puts it on, he’ll remember. And it just says, “Your best is good enough.”  Because it is. If it’s your best, it’s good enough. I promise you.

But the question you have to ask, is: Is it your best? In the end, too many people spend time looking out the window at the view. “Ah, one day,” from the people I worked with, “I’m going to be in a bikini.” Or, “I’m going to be a millionaire.” And they look at the view and the view looks so good, I mean, who doesn’t want to look at the view? Sit in that chair, but they never look in the mirror.

The mirror is where all the work is done. The mirror is where the most pain happens, but it’s the greatest chance for emotional growth, so if you only want to look at the view, guess what? You better get binoculars, because it’s going to keep getting further and further away. If you spend the same amount of time looking in the mirror, the next time you look at the view, it’s going to be right up against your nose. So, concentrate on the mirror.

So, if you’re not where you want to be. If you’re not getting to the places you want in life, it’s because you’re not looking in the mirror. I’m sure of it. So, if you actually stand there and look in the mirror, and not say anything and just let thoughts come to you, the truth will come to you. It will. And if it doesn’t day one, do it on day two. And if it doesn’t on day two, do it on day three. Keep doing it until the truth comes, because it will. And when it does, you’ll be surprised, because the next time you look at the view, it will be closer.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah, wow. I’m just thinking of all the good little nuggets we got to put out on social media with these little stories. I love it.

What about the transformation you still get to do?

JD Roth:                                   You mean for other people?

Lewis Howes:                       For yourself. Is there anywhere in your life where you get to create that movie for yourself, that transformation? That you look in the mirror and you say, “You know what? There’s still that think I get to do. There’s still that thing that’s going to get me closer to the view.

JD Roth:                                   I’m always learning. Yes! It’s typically my wife making me aware of something. Right? And so, when she makes me aware of something, do you have the capacity as a man, because I believe men don’t know how to be men any more, do you have the capacity as a man to go, “You know what? Hey, you’re right! And I’m changing that right now!”

Or I’m at least going to look inside myself and try to make that change. And I think that nobody knows who should run into the burning building any more, who’s supposed to run in there? Well, you want to give women and equal right to run into the building as you give them to…

Sometimes a guy like you, you need to run in the burning building. You’re a big guy, right? Go in the building and save the baby! We need to know, and we don’t need to have our roles in our relationships, in our family. We all have our role. And I’ll tell you what’s unspoken: I don’t get in my wife’s way with the things she has power on. I don’t tell her what doctor to take the kids to, she’s in the medical space, that’s her graduate degree. Why would I give my expertise as a TV producer there?

And same when it comes to transformation, and getting the kids motivated. Same thing. It’s unwritten. I’m that guy that puts on the cape to do that.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah. Support me in that role, don’t get in my way.

JD Roth:                                   Right, or join, I’m fine, join in!

Lewis Howes:                       Support, yeah, I’m part of it. Don’t make me wrong for it and say… Yeah.

JD Roth:                                   That’s an unspoken thing over the years you develop with someone. I think too much in this world we live in now, everybody wants to medicate and no-one wants to motivate. And you can medicate, whether it’s drugs, alcohol, food, anti-depressants. Hey, the greatest anti-depressant I ever met was two shoes that lace up. That’s an anti-depressant. Everyone I know is on a pill for something.

And we need to remove that part of it and get back to a different “M”-word, which is “Motivate”. If you motivate yourself to make a change, you don’t need to medicate yourself. And it’s gotten too easy to say, “Oh, well, I’m sad. And I think I need this coffee from Starbucks every day that’s 900 calories, because when I drink it, it makes me happy.”

No, it actually doesn’t make you happy. You think that that coffee makes you happy, but it doesn’t. And so you have to get to the core of why you’re unhappy, to figure out why a coffee, a latte, makes you happy.

Lewis Howes:                       What’s the key to happiness?

JD Roth:                                   The key to happiness is doing what makes you happy. I mean, I know, it sounds so ridiculous, but if art makes you happy, and you’re in finance, figure out a way to get into art. Don’t be miserable for the next thirty years of your life being in finance. Because, yeah, you might be able to go on a nicer vacation and sit in a nicer seat on Amtrak, and get, whatever, great. But you’re unhappy!

So, if you were in art, and that could be anywhere. Hey, inside, I’m a seven foot dude, who goes in the lane and dunks like Russel Westbrook. I only measure the size of my heart, because if they measure me with a stick, I’m the shortest white, Jewish dude on the planet. But I never looked at myself as little.

So, if I really followed that passion then I would have gotten around basketball and been a coach or been a ball boy or whatever it took to be around that. But for me it was media. So, everyone has their thing that they like. The guys who collect baseball cards, well then that should be your thing, and you can figure it out. There’s commerce in everything. I’ve never met someone who loved something, that they couldn’t find commerce in.

Lewis Howes:                       Right. Because there are other people who love the same thing. You can sell stuff to or be part of a group or a club or whatever, merchandising.

JD Roth:                                   And that’s what the internet’s been great for.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah, it’s been amazing. Man, I feel like there’s so much I want to continue to ask you. We’re going to have to go do more of those lunch dates.

JD Roth:                                   Let’s do it, man!

Lewis Howes:                       Do guys do lunch dates?

JD Roth:                                   Yes! You rub off on people, too. That kindness that people see in your eyes, I think, is infectious, and I think everybody wants to be around somebody that makes them feel or want to be better. And even if you think you’re great, you still want to be around other people who also feel that same way.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah. Well, I’ve got a couple of final questions. First off, what’s the big thing that you’re working on that we can support you with, as a Greatness community? Or where can we connect with you online as well?

JD Roth:                                   Well, I have a book called, The Big, Fat Truth, and it’s not really a weight-loss book, it’s really the big, fat truth on life. What does it take to succeed through the eyes of the people that I have helped. The optics might be through someone who has been overweight, but we all suffer from the same things, we just can’t see the pain on someone who’s not 400lb. So, The Big Fat Truth, I think, is a good place to go.

Lewis Howes:                       So on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, everywhere.

JD Roth:                                   Yeah. It’s everywhere. And I turned that into a TV show which is going on a new channel called, Z Living, under the same title, The Big, Fat Truth. I am not a social media guy. I am not the guy who is plugging and grabbing and doing all of that. I think, for me, it’s more about the work, and the work speaks for itself.

You can teach your kids when they’re young, with flashcards, A, B, C, and you can work on them for hours, weeks! I have friends who, months! Or you can do what I did: Which is, when my kid was ready, he learned the whole alphabet in one day.

So, I don’t believe in trying to build one social media person, I believe that when it needs to happen, it will happen. And everyone will show up when they need to show up. And if it’s to The Biggest Loser, or to The Big, Fat Truth, or whatever I’m doing, that’s fine. And if they don’t that’s fine too. If the person I’m working with directly, eye to eye, face to face, changes their life, nothing else matters to me.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah, yeah. Are you online at all?

JD Roth:                                   I am not online at all.

Lewis Howes:                       No social media channels, anything.

JD Roth:                                   There is stuff out there…

Lewis Howes:                       But you’re not running it.

JD Roth:                                   I’m not running it. My wife and I have Plant Based Cooking with Chrissy and JD that we do live Facebook cooking stuff, because people just ask us all the time, “Well, what is plant based cooking? Is everything green?” They don’t really understand. We put that out there and that has some followers on it, that’s a good place to find me.

Lewis Howes:                       No Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, nothing?

JD Roth:                                   I have a personal Twitter that I use to look at guys like you.

Lewis Howes:                       For research, but you’re not posting anything.

JD Roth:                                   And that’s @jdroth2323, but I post sometimes. When I see something that moves me, I post it. I will say that, but I’m not a regular.

Lewis Howes:                       Well, there we go, we got something.

JD Roth:                                   But I enjoy looking at your stuff.

Lewis Howes:                       Great! That one thing a month that moves you. People need to go follow that, because it’s going to be something special. So, @jdroth2323. Why? Michael Jordan?

JD Roth:                                   I’m a big Michael Jordan fan. My kids are actually named after basketball players. Cooper Jordan, and Duncan James. And really, it’s the belief in greatness that gets me. And so, I love that Michael Jordan was the first guy to weight-lift an hour before a game. Who’d go weight-lifting and try to shoot a basket ball? Who does that? He took things to a different level.

And sometimes to take something to a different level, you have to go too far. To create that new paradigm, Steph Curry has to shoot from thirty feet. He has to, that’s how you create the new paradigm. You expect him to make those shots, and that makes everyone’s level of game do what? It raises. Everybody.

Lewis Howes:                       Everybody’s going to start practicing that way.

JD Roth:                                   Right. And so who can elevate in their area? Like what you’re doing, what I try to do in transformative TV, not TV that beat up or yelled at or talked down. It changed people. And I want people to elevate and make things better than what I ever did. That’s the goal.

Lewis Howes:                       I love it. This is called, The Three Truths. This is the last day for you, many years from now, and you’ve done everything you’ve ever wanted to do. Created every show, written every book, everything you’ve ever thought about doing, it happened.

JD Roth:                                   I like your crystal ball.

Lewis Howes:                       Because it will happen, because you’re writing your own story. But for whatever reason, it all got erased, you know, the fires came back in seventy years from now, and everything gets erased from the internet and physical copies of books and it’s all gone. Your whole family, everything that matters to you is there, it’s a peaceful day, and they give you a piece of paper and a pen, and they say, “Okay, share these three truths, that you know to be true.” And this is all that you’ll be remembered by, that you have to share with the world. What would that be?

JD Roth:                                   Oh, this is easy. Easy. One: Keep your promises. That’s it. Keep your promises. If you tell someone you’re going to be there at 8:00, show up. If you tell your kid you’re going to be at the school to listen to their poem, go. If you tell yourself you’re going to get on a treadmill and run for 60 minutes, don’t get off and 59, 58. Just keep your promises. Because everyone I know can keep their promises to everyone else. I’ll babysit my sister’s kid, I’ll go do my boss’ job, I’ll do their work, but they never keep their promises to themselves. Keep your promises to yourself, and you’ll never go off track. For sure.

The next thing is, two: The only thing in life that’s not hereditary is your attitude. So, you may have bad genetics for life, heart, cancer, whatever it is, mental illness, but your attitude is not hereditary. So, wake up every day, and have a good attitude. That’s pretty easy. If you can check that box, good things are going to happen, right? The only thing in life that’s not hereditary is your attitude.

And then, if you look at every obstacle as an inspiration, you can never, ever let yourself down. I never look at an obstacle and think, “Should I go around it? Should I go under it? Should I go to the left of it?” I always look at an obstacle and say, “I’m going straight through it.” And that, to me, is a skill like push-ups. If someone who doesn’t do push-ups goes down into a push-up, they can do five. But if, tomorrow, they do six, and then they do seven, it’s a muscle. And that muscle needs to be flexed to be able to execute the concept.

So, every obstacle has got to inspire you, so that when the big one comes, you have the muscle to be able to flex it. And so, you can never be in a, doing those three things, you could never not be successful in your life, whatever success means to you. You can never not be present in what you’re doing, because you have to be, and you really can never be in a bad mood.

So, those are like the three, to me, they’re the easiest steps that you can do.

Lewis Howes:                       So, keep your promises, wake up with a great attitude, and the last one?

JD Roth:                                   Come on, how are you going to do it if you can’t remember it?

Lewis Howes:                       What’s your last one?

JD Roth:                                   Obstacle is an inspiration. And you could never become a professional athlete if…

Lewis Howes:                       If you go around everything. Yeah.

JD Roth:                                   It would be impossible.

Lewis Howes:                       There’s a great book called, The Obstacle Is The Way, by Ryan Holiday. The obstacle is the way, that’s the way you need to go.

JD Roth:                                   So, the idea really is focus on the obstacle, not the end point. Which I like, because the journey is something I’m trying to get better at. I’m a knock-the-target-down guy, so I see a target, all I want to do is knock the target down. And I don’t care what gets in  my way. If my legs get chopped off, I crawl. My arms get chopped off, I roll. If my head gets chopped off, I try to blow as much air as I can to get me to till I knock the… I don’t worry about the limbs falling off, until the target’s down. And I feel like that’s a lost art. It’s the journey to get there that’s actually the thing you always appreciate.

Lewis Howes:                       Absolutely. Before I ask the final question, I want to acknowledge you for a moment, JD, for your incredible promise that you’ve made to yourself for forty years. I can see that that has been something that you’ve continued to do for the last forty years, your entire life you’ve kept your promises. And that’s why you’ve gotten the results you’ve gotten. I don’t think you’ve ever taken a short cut, based on what I know about you, and that is so amazing to see, especially now, that you continue to do that. And that being one of your main things, is keeping your promises. You live by that.

And I’m sure you’re not perfect and your wife will tell me all about the challenges that she faces with you, but you do your best to live by your promises, and I think just that consistency, over and over, every single moment of every single day, doing that has gotten you these results in big ways and it has built a momentum that has set you apart from so many other people that are unwilling to do that. You stand apart with a small group of people who do that.

I just want to acknowledge you for that, and I also want to acknowledge you for your ability to connect and hear people, of what they’re saying and most importantly, what they’re not saying. Behind the words, to be able to listen to people’s hearts and connect with their pain and then be able to share those stories and help them transform. Because I think there are a lot of people who are suffering in the world and who are afraid to share what they’re really afraid of. And your ability to be present, and listen, and connect to people’s hearts is one of the most powerful gifts that you have.

So I want to acknowledge you for your constant willingness to serve humanity and help people transform.

JD Roth:                                   Ah, man, this is so uncomfortable for me, Lewis.

Lewis Howes:                       You like to give the gift, I know.

JD Roth:                                   It’s so uncomfortable for me, and even to hear you say the words, I’m like, “Oh my…” It’s so hard for me. I appreciate what you’re saying, but it’s very hard and no-one should think that I get it right all the time.

Lewis Howes:                       Of course. We’re not perfect.

JD Roth:                                   Yeah, I definitely don’t. I make an attempt, and you can’t keep every promise. That’s the goal. The goal is always the highest, right.

Lewis Howes:                       Absolutely, that’s why I said I’m sure you’re not perfect, because I know I’m not, but I strive for greatness as well.

JD Roth:                                   Right. And our imperfections are sort of what makes us who we are, and that ability to love unconditionally, you know, good, bad, right? That’s everything.

Lewis Howes:                       Right, exactly. Well, I’m grateful that you allowed me to share and you received it. So, I acknowledge you for all those things.

JD Roth:                                   Thank you.

Lewis Howes:                       You’re welcome. The final question is: What’s your definition of greatness?

JD Roth:                                   My definition of greatness, would be following the belief and only doing what you’re passionate about, and not settling for something because you just needed a job. And so, greatness, to me, is not having a back-up plan. And I know that’s bad advice, because every parent would say, every good Jewish mom, “Oh! Well, what’s your back-up plan?” I think not having one is greatness. It’s that believing that you’re going to get there, you’re going to make it happen no matter what. That’s the only way you get to greatness. If you have a back-up plan, chances are, you’re probably going to take it. You’re going to pull the ripcord at some point, and so, greatness, to me, would be the ability to lean in to what it is that you really love and you really want to do and not to take no for an answer until you get there.

Lewis Howes:                       My man, JD. Thank you so much. This was great!

JD Roth:                                   It was awesome!

Lewis Howes:                       I appreciated it. Thank you brother.

There you have it, my friends, I hope you enjoyed this episode. Again, JD Roth, such a wealth of wisdom and inspiration, and a guy who has been through so much and created so much opportunities and success for himself, but also who has impacted so many people through his message, through his work, and he constantly gives back and wants to serve others in their personal transformation.

Again, share this out with your friends, the full show notes is at Pick up a copy of JD’s book as well, we have it linked up over on the show notes, and you can watch the full video episode of this as well over there. We’ve got over 210,000 subscribers, hundreds  of powerful episodes and videos over on YouTube. So, go subscribe to our YouTube channel and get access to weekly content over there as well.

And, again, if you’re looking to earn more money in your life, go to, again, we are going to ship you a free book about how to earn more money each day, by implementing the habits of millionaires, in your morning routine. What are those strategies, those tactics, those habits, those mindset practices that you can do every single day? Well, we cover it in this book. And there’s simple things that you can start applying daily, to help you earn more that day. Again, go to The book is free, all you have to do is pay for shipping and handling and then we will ship you a physical copy of the book anywhere in the world;, check it out right now.

And if you’re looking to build your business online, increase your revenue, with your products, your services, if you’re looking to grow your audience, then go to our free webinar training, at This is all about how to grow your audience on Instagram, and stand out from the rest. And also how to increase sales for your business using those different platforms as well. So, check it out,

And I’ll leave you with this: What is the story that you are telling to the world? Are you constantly transforming and improving your life? Growing into the best version of yourself? Or are you allowing your circumstances to hold you back. Are you allowing certain pain from the past to hold you back? Are you holding on to grudges? Are you holding on to resentment, to anger, to frustration?

Are you allowing someone else to write your story of your life? Or are you taking ownership of your life and moving forward with powerful transformation every single day? What’s the story you are writing. I’ll tell you this: I want to be the one at the end of my life that says, “I wrote my own story. I wasn’t influenced or held back by anyone else’s perception of me or viewpoint of me, and I didn’t let them write the story for me.”

Don’t let your parents write the story for you, don’t let your spouse write the story for you, don’t let circumstances or the media or pressure from friends write the story for you. You get to write the story. You get to be the owner of the story that you write, the experiences you have. Take one step today, closer toward your dreams. Become the transformational story that inspires other people around you.

Again, Marianne Williamson said, “It is our own thoughts that hold the key to miraculous transformation.”

I love you guys. Thank you so much for all of your support, and you know what time it is: It’s time to go out there and do something great!

Music Credits:

Music Credit:

Escape by Hang Over

We Were Infinite by Inukshuk

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