E41 Podcasting and Living in Vietnam with Podcast Manager and Host Dana Drahos

Dana Drahos is all about pushing her boundaries and putting herself in new and uncomfortable situations in order to grow. That’s how she ended up leaving her small New Jersey farm town to go live in Vietnam, and that’s how she dove headfirst into becoming a podcast manager, without really knowing what she was doing and not having anyone to look to for guidance who’d done this before.

“There was no roadmap for me.There was no one to look to, to be like, ‘Oh, they’ve done this before so I can just sort of follow in their footsteps.’ There were so many times where I just wished I could pick up the phone and call a mentor or someone who has done this before” 

It hasn’t been easy, that’s for sure, and she is still learning. You need to hear this episode if you’re just starting out in online business and are suffering from “shiny object syndrome” where you’re having trouble choosing one niche, or if you’re wanting to move abroad but thinking…”Is it really doable?”. 

We also talk about podcasting, of course! And how to know if it’s time to hire a podcast management team for your business, what the advantages are of doing so, how to get great guests on your show, and the type of mindset to have when starting a podcast.

If you are a business owner wanting to start a podcast but feeling stuck in analysis paralysis, or you already have a podcast and don’t have the time or energy to take it to the next level, Dana and her team would love to help you with their done-for-you podcast launch and management services and consulting.


  • How Dana got into podcasting (and if you’re wanting to start an online business but have no idea what type of business to get into, podcast management is a fastly growing niche!)

“The experience I was having was, wow, I feel seen and heard in this moment by someone else sharing their story on this podcast, and it sounds just like my story. So I’m really connecting with her. And that really is the magic of podcasts, especially for business owners, because you’re trying to connect with your audience and build that know, like, and trust”

  • All her struggles in the beginning being in a space where there aren’t that many people doing what she’s doing
  • How she pivoted from being a general virtual assistant to niching in podcasting
  • What is a blue ocean vs red ocean in terms of business and how will it help you niche down your services when you’ve got that “shiny object syndrome”?
  • How a small town girl ended up in Vietnam and how it’s TOTALLY doable to live abroad if you want to!

“I’ve always wanted to live abroad. And finally it was just like, okay, if not now, when, and I just thought to myself, if I don’t do this now, I’m going to regret it later for sure.”

  • The moment she realized the office life was not for her and she went off to Vietnam having never been in Asia before
  • Why she chose Vietnam out of all the places to teach English
  • How to know if it’s time for you to hire a podcast management team

“Treat this as a long-term investment because especially if you’re doing it for your business, for some people, your podcast could be their first impression of you or of your brand. So you want to show up your best.”

  • How to pitch to get great podcast guests on your show


Website: https://www.danadrahos.com

Dana’s podcast Creators in Saigon: https://creators-in-saigon.simplecast.com/

Instagram: @dana.drahos


Follow on Instagram: @cj.finley and @thriveonlife

Email [email protected]

Visit: https://thriveonlife.com/


E40 Staying Optimistic and Adapting in Tough Times: Erin Interviews CJ

“There’s one thing that I believe majorly separates us from animals, and that’s, we can build things that last beyond when we die…

…and my goal is to help as many people build something that they’re happy they’ve built, and makes an impact.”

Tough times don’t last, tough people do. And we must be optimistic and adapt to our circumstances to overcome the adversity that is unfortunately placed upon us.

On this episode of the Thrive On Podcast, we’re switching things up and CJ’s wife Erin will take her first stab at hosting and interviewing CJ! We always strive to practice what we preach here and we want to show you we are continuing to challenge ourselves and adapt.

CJ Finley talks about staying optimistic and adaptable in tough times on the Thrive on Life podcast

Erin did an EXCELLENT job as a first-time podcast host! Here are some things we covered:

  • How Thrive got started and why we didn’t go with our original plan of starting a non-profit.
  • What this coronavirus situation has made CJ realize about his business
  • Where CJ is choosing to focus his valuable time moving forward

“I’ve realized that I’ve reached this next pillar in the entrepreneurial world where my time is very valuable to those that are in my top close circle…in this next tier, it’s more about how can you get three hours per day to yourself to create something that has a year long impact or a year long value for your business.”

  • What CJ’s fears are and how he’s morphing them into fuel to get even more focused on his mission

“I’m a human, so I don’t think, I haven’t really thought that through because I’ve just been doing, doing, doing, doing, doing, and now that I’ve had this forced time to step back and really reflect…I need to be honest with myself and say that I’ve just been scared.”

  • What motivates CJ to thrive every single day
  • The key question to ask yourself to discover your life’s work

“Get busy living or get busy dying. I think a lot of people don’t think about death enough.”

Erin Finley of erin.spiration interviews CJ Finley on the Thrive On Life podcast


  • The more you grow and the higher you rise, the more responsibilities you have (in a good way)
  • If you’re human, you’re afraid no matter what, but conquering that fear is what makes you the best you can become
  • People are willing to do things they don’t like to do to try and earn more money so they can buy themselves a lifestyle they think they want, when really we should be asking ourselves how we can thrive NOW
  • Ask yourself, what puts you in a flow state? What are you doing when the day seems to just go by? 
  • In order to figure out your life’s work, ask yourself what are the things in your life that have caused you the most pain and that you have conquered
  • We need to be celebrating life more while we’re LIVING, not after we’re already gone
  • Continue to stay optimistic and be adaptable

Erin Finley has a Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin. She currently works in Strategic Planning at a high-tech engineering conglomerate, where she supports business leaders and executives assess and manage the strategic direction for a variety of business groups in the global automation market.

On the side, she works as a group fitness instructor in South Austin, where she teaches TRX, Barre and Pilates. Through teaching and her online platform @erin.spiration, she shares her passion for health and wellness with the greater community and strives to be an inspiration for a life well-lived.

Erin Finley is an engineer, MBA, and fitness instructor. Her mission is to inspire others to live life to the fullest at every moment.


Follow on Instagram: @erin.spiration

Visit her website and blog: https://geterinspired.com/about


Follow on Instagram: @cj.finley and @thriveonlife

Email [email protected]

Visit: https://thriveonlife.com/


Blog: What are your core values?

Podcast: What started Thrive On Life? The full story

Podcast: Thrive on WIFE! CJ Interviews Erin

E39 Thrive On Health with Dr. Matt Delgado and Dr. Scott Mitchell, Founders of LifeSpring Chiropractic

Dr. Matt Delgado Dr. Scott Mitchell, Founders of Lifespring Chiropractic, are here to set you straight about what it truly means to live a healthy lifestyle, and how to truly differentiate yourself in business.

Dr. Matt came to Austin with just $2k in his pocket, no online presence, and a passion for helping people live more in alignment with health and wellness. He called his college mentee Dr. Scott to come to Austin, check out his humble office and discuss the vision for creating a new chiropractic experience. Despite Dr. Scott having many amazing job offers at the time, he really had a hunch that this was the way he could make more of an impact on the community.

And these two vertibros have done just that. They are dedicated to educating the community of Austin, Texas about holistic health and encouraging people to take care of their bodies, especially now in these times of the coronavirus. 

In this episode we talk about how these guys got addicted to crack….ing peoples’ backs;), answer the question of how to know what to give away for “free” in business (hint: nothing is really for free, even if there isn’t a dollar amount attached to it), how to trust your gut to make decisions and stay true to yourself, and the importance of creating an experience for your customers (and how to do so). 

If you are looking for go to health experts in Austin, Dr. Matt and Dr. Scott should be your go-to’s! 

***Unfortunately, at the time of this recording, due to coronavirus lockdown, LifeSpring Chiropractic office is currently closed, but definitely follow them on Instagram @lifespringchiro, @drscottmitchell and @drmattdelgado for updates!

Dr. Matt Delgado and Dr. Scott Mitchell, Founders of LifeSpring Chiropractic


  • What got Scott and Matt interested in chiropractic and why they’re so passionate about health
  • How they met and decided to go into business together
  • How Matt and CJ traded services to create a win-win situation 
  • How Scott keeps a strong, positive mindset and follows his intuition
  • How Scott followed an unconventional path for getting into this field but eventually found what he loves

“If it wasn’t for listening to my gut and learning a lot about what I didn’t want to do, I wouldn’t be here today.” – Scott

  • How practicing a truly healthy lifestyle is not just “eating clean” and working out
  • How LifeSpring Chiropractic creates an experience for their patients that leaves them feeling good, beyond just the physical feeling

Incorporate chiropractic into your healthy lifestyle


  • Sit alone, with no stimulus, away from your phone, and become more in tune with your body to listen to your intuition
  • Search for ways to create an experience for your customers that leaves a lasting impression

“What can I do to not only adjust them, but also just make sure that they’re more in tune with themselves and just in a happier place. And that’s what really got me to love chiropractic.” -Scott

  • Find the right help and team up with the right people if you truly want to thrive
  • Your title doesn’t matter, no one cares what your title is, they care how you make them feel
  • Go above and beyond to catch people’s attention when reaching out to potential clients, customers or business partners and genuinely offer value
  • Exposure equals opportunity equals currency, and you can switch the currency to whatever it is that someone needs from you at the time
  • You want to be around people that remind you of why you started
  • You don’t have to have an exact same schedule every day and stick to the routine, that’s not entrepreneurship
  • When hiring, get really clear on exactly the type of person you want and need on the team, don’t just hire the first person you find
  • Allow people to be themselves by being yourself

 “When you’re having fun, do you give other people permission to do the same.” -Matt

Dr. Matt Delgado, Co-founder of LifeSpring chiropractic and health educatorDr. Scott Mitchell, Co-Founder of LifeSpring Chiropractic


Website: https://lifespringchiro.com/

Instagram: @drmattdelgado, @drscottmitchell, @lifespringchiro

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO-4VnRZ6VPtAuN5c1DtKzA


Follow on Instagram: @cj.finley and @thriveonlife

Email [email protected]

Visit: https://thriveonlife.com/


Book: Autoimmune Solution by Amy Meyers

Podcast: Thrive on Impact with Faiez Rana

Blog: FITT- Frequency, Intensity, Time, Type

E38 You Don’t Have to Turn Your Passion into a Full Time Job with Nikki Zahka

Nikki Zahka has always been shy, introverted, and used to hate her body. Now, she’s excelling at (and loving) her corporate sales job AND helping so many people transform their lives through her passion of fitness and wellness coaching. This episode is perfect for the person who feels like they’re too shy to put themselves out there or to be good at sales (Nikki was SUPER nervous for this interview and yet she CRUSHED IT!) This is also for you if you’ve been wondering…”Do I HAVE to quit my day job to be an entrepreneur? Can’t I love my 9-5 corporate job AND make money doing my passion on the side?” The answer is…HELL YES. 

Nikki used to look at her body in the mirror every morning in college and be disgusted. She finally realized that it was HER responsibility to do something about it.

“I was like, ‘Why am I not doing something to change this though?’ So there was that moment. And then once I started learning about nutrition and lifting, I fell in love with that.”

She started researching everything herself about how the body works, and playing with different diets and workouts that worked for her and her body. She also got back into her long lost love of diving for her college swim team. Over time, she lost 25 pounds, posted a before and after photo on Instagram before Instagram was really a thing, and people took notice!

People wanted to know HOW she did this transformation, so that’s when she started sharing her story and making custom programs tailored to people’s bodies and schedules. Her absolute favorite thing is seeing the transformation in other people.

“And when I get responses from clients or people saying that you made a small change or you impacted somebody in some small way, that’s why I love what I do and that I keep doing it because just interacting with people and seeing the changes that I helped provide for them or seeing that I was a small piece of why they’re happy now or changing their life…that’s everything to me.” 

So why not just do this full time and forget about the sales job?

“I like having the full time benefits and I do enjoy all the people that I work with and learning on the technology front…and then on the side, I mean fitness and health is just my passion. I love it. So it doesn’t seem like an extra job to me. It’s just something that I love.”

Key Themes in This Episode

  • Is 100% entrepreneurship for everyone? Can you love your corporate job AND get paid for your passion on the side?
  • Advice for someone looking to transfer their career and move to a new city
  • How to overcome body image issues
  • How to get a job that you really want but are way underqualified for
  • How to transition from working in an office to remote working
  • Why CJ and Nikki are both happy they didn’t major in Exercise Science in college, even though that’s what they were most interested in, and instead majored in Engineering and Business
  • How to be successful in sales without being pushy

“There’s still people that critique what I look like or my body composition now. So everybody goes through that even as you’re transforming your body too. So I really want to help people through those issues and show that everybody goes through it and we’re here just to help each other and elevate each other and be supportive.”

Key Lessons in This Episode

  • People are afraid to say yes to things because they’re afraid of what’s on the other side
  • Do one thing a day that scares you
  • When deciding on your major in college, major in something you can use for anything (like business, engineering) rather than something highly specific (like exercise science)
  • Surround yourself with winners. Surround yourself with the people who have achieved the goals you want to achieve
  • If you have the knowledge but not the motivation, you’re screwed. If you have the motivation but not the knowledge, you might hurt yourself
  • There are skills you are learning in your corporate job that will be useful for your side hustle or business down the road
  • When you leave corporate life, you realize how many things you have to pick up and do in your own business that you might not want to do
  • Don’t let your fear or current circumstances define you
  • Get what you NEED to get done in the morning, leave what you WANT to do for the evening

Work with and Get in Touch with Nikki Zahka

Nikki is passionate about helping you get healthy and fit! She customizes every package to do what fits best in your schedule and what actually will work for you and your body. She helps you make those lifestyle changes that you can maintain for the long term. She’s happy to work with clients who are between the ages of 18-50, and most often works with college students.

Follow her on Instagram at: @getfitwith_nikki

Visit her website: https://www.getfitwithnikk.com/

Work with and Get in Touch with CJ Finley and Thrive On Life

Follow on Instagram: @cj.finley and @thriveonlife

Email [email protected]

Visit: https://thriveonlife.com/

Further Reading/Listening

Blog: The Misconception of Fitness

Blog: CJ’s Fitness Journey

Podcast: Thrive On Introspection

E37 How to Thrive in College with UT Student and Personal Trainer Ashlyn Knox


Ashlyn Knox isn't like most college students these days. Instead of working a minimum wage job for just enough to buy some alcohol for the parties, she'd actually rather wake up at 5 AM and go to her “unpaid” job.


Because she took the time to question what she ENJOYS, puts her HEALTH first, and has seen first hand the IMPACT she's made on the lives of the people she works with. Ashlyn is a full-time McCombs School of Business student at UT AND she's on the road to becoming the next household name in #atxfitness as a personal trainer!

And it is her humble “always learning” attitude, her willingness to put in the work when no one’s looking and continuing to surround herself with the right people that have kept her on the fast track to greatness. This episode is perfect for you if you are a college student wondering how you can make the most out of your time in school and live your life with PURPOSE and THRIVE.

But how did she get to this point? Ashlyn has had a few major realizations throughout her college career that we get into in this episode. One was her study abroad trip to Spain, where she got to see a different way that people lived. She recognized that people in Spain were more relaxed and generally happier than Americans. They were doing the kind of work they wanted to do and there wasn't as much stress about good grades. That's when she became obsessed with the mission to find what brings her that kind of joy, and she sure found it!

And it is her humble “always learning” attitude, her willingness to put in the work when no ones looking, and continuing to surround herself with the right people that has kept her on the fast track to greatness. This episode is perfect for you if you are a college student wondering how you can make the most out of your time in school and live your life with PURPOSE and THRIVE.


  • Why Ashlyn sometimes feels like an outsider in college but doesn't care
  • How studying abroad in Spain gave her the final push to give her dream an honest try
  • What she looked for in a mentor in order to get her to the next level, her exact research process for finding the internship opportunity
  • Is it innate or teachable to be a go-getter and understand that you need to put yourself out there?
  • What she learned growing up in her hometown of McKinney Texas
  • What inspired her to get her business degree
  • What she loves about her job and why she's passionate about health and wellness
  • The key things you should be doing as a college student right now to prepare you for success


  • Until you give something a solid amount of effort you can't really know if you'll enjoy it
  • A lot of people don't give it effort because there's no ego boost right away (money, praise, etc.)
  • What moves the needle forward are little things that don't have things attached to it- no money attached to it, no one cheering you on
  • Surround yourself with the right people, learning things to learn things not just to get a good grade, and invest money rather than spending it on immediate satisfaction
  • Put yourself in front of people you want to see you
  • At job fairs, look for the recruiters who actually seem passionate about their jobs
  • The same people passing judgement on people deciding to be PTs and coaches, are the ones paying PTs and coaches behind closed doors to get their lives back
  • Our perceptions can be false: she thought everyone else around her was excelling and having fun and loving it but actually they were all failing and hating it too
  • Learning and then teaching others what you learned is what gets you far in life
  • Trying to plan everything and do things just to check boxes depletes joy
  • As long as you work hard, enjoy what you're doing, and are kind, you'll be fine

“It wasn't until I gave it another try, like a solid chance, like put time and effort towards it, actually going and training people, putting myself out there, getting an internship opportunity, seeking out mentorship…that's when I was able to realize like, okay. This is what I like to do. But until you give something, not necessarily the chance, but the solid amount of effort, I feel like you can't really know. So you have to go do it.” -Ashlyn Knox

If you’re a female college student in Austin, Texas motivated to better yourself and improve your health but you’re feeling kinda scared to go to the gym by yourself..Ashlyn would love to work with you! Hit her up on Instagram @train_with_ash.

If you have a new idea, project or business that you're working on and you're feeling a little bit stuck, I'd love to help you or connect you with somebody that can. Hit me up at [email protected] or on Instagram @thriveonlife or @cj.finley.


Podcast: Another badass student with a mission, Jerica Bornstein!

Blog: How to Land an Internship at a Start-up, written by Thrive On Life college intern, Hamza Abdallah

E36 Thriving On Tragedy (yes really) with Claw Athletics Founder Corey Lawson



Corey Lawson was called into the principal's office one day when he was 7 years old. He was a bit of a trouble maker and just thought he'd gotten caught this time. But when he stepped into the office, his mom was there, and she was crying. Hard. “Corey, your father collapsed. He's gone.”

Meeting Corey today, you wouldn't have any idea he'd experienced such tragedy. He lights up the room with his vibrant, positive energy. But it wasn't always this way. In his darkest moments, fitness, sports, team camaraderie, and coaches were there for him. It is in honor of his father and the other positive male influences in his life that Corey aims to help as many people as possible achieve optimal health and live their best lives, because we never know if today is our last day.

Corey is the founder of Claw Athletics, a health and fitness company which provides bootcamps, social activities, 1:1 personal fitness training, and online training for millenials, by millenials.

It wasn't an easy road getting to where Corey is today, and in this episode he shares every bump and rock bottom moment along the way. 

Key Themes in this episode

  • Why Corey is driving around Austin, Texas in silence nowadays

  • How Corey went from wanting to be a fortune 500 company CEO to now running his own small business (and loving it)

  • Pivotal moments for Corey and CJ when they realized it was time to quit the corporate 9-5 and go all in on their side hustles

  • What Corey's first major investment in his business was

  • How Corey stuck it out when NO ONE cared about his bootcamp for the first YEAR

  • Key mistakes Corey made early on in his business

  • The one thing business owners get stuck on in the beginning that leads most people to quit within the first year

  • How Corey and CJ learned to let go of control in their business and start delegating the things they're not good at so they can grow

If you are between the ages of 22 and 30, you're in a corporate position or in sales, you really care about your health, you're competitive, and you've got that social itch to be hanging out with friends, Claw Athletics is perfect for you! They have social events built into memberships. Head to clawathletics.com to learn more or follow @clawathletics or @coach_corey_fit on IG or Twitter.

Key Lessons from this episode

  • It is important to have time for silent contemplation to calm our mind and give us space to think of creative ideas

“The missing link for myself and a lot of people is, we don't even have enough time alone with our own thoughts, our own emotions, our own brain to really tap into a lot of the genius we all have.”

  • Always aim HIGHER. We are impacted by certain constructs of what success looks like, but if you're not happy in the mold, break out of it

  • Self awareness is key to taking control of your life- become aware of why you're on the current trajectory you're on. Is this what you really want? 

  • Often the thing you're most scared of is the thing you should do

“You can only lose the same way for so long, and then you have to switch it up.”

  • Pay attention to the things you do even if you're exhausted, you're still excited to do even if you've studied or worked all day

  • You have to have resilience and passion for what you're doing as an entrepreneur because no ones gonna care for a while

“We were out there every single week for a whole year with just one or two people, and that was it. And we would set up a tripod and try to record the footage, put it on Instagram, tag each other, both reposts it. But there was zero traction. Nobody cared.” 

  • It's important to leverage the people who are showing up for you in the beginning- show them you care about them, make them feel special

  • Don't let your ego get in the way of your own success

“One, I didn't want to tell the world I had this bootcamp where there's two people showing up to like, my ego is like in the way.  I would only post if there was like five or more people. And the problem with that is if you don't tell the world what you're doing, then people can't join you.”

  • Business really is connecting with people on a human level and understanding why you're doing what you do

  • It's so important for new entrepreneurs to ask for help and ask questions

  • If you're gonna be an entrepreneur you have to get used to spending money to make more money

  • Stay in your lane doing what you do best and bring in A+ team members who are better at you in other areas


5am Club by Robin Sharma

Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday

Further Reading/Listening

Blog: Inspired By Death, Not Defeated By It

Podcast: What Started Thrive On LIfe

E35 The Power of Yes with Scott Simmons and Savannah Peters

“There were officers a couple feet away from us and this woman next to me is sobbing her eyes out and I'm like…Savannah, I love you too but just keep it cool 'cause I don't wanna get arrested right now.” -Scott

If you would have asked Scott and Savannah years ago if they think they'd be where they are now, the answer would probably (definitely) be no.

Where they are now is the result of both of them following their intuition, leaning in even when there was fear, and taking risks. 

If you want to change the world, you have to start with changing yourself first, and that means taking risks in your personal life in order to grow. 

Find out how Scott went from doing a sales job he hated to starting his own video and photography business, and how Savannah pivoted from makeup sales to fitness coaching with 101K followers on Instagram, both of them by saying “yes” to multiple opportunities even when they weren't sure what would come of it.

We also talk about:

  • How they met, fell in love, and ended up in Austin
  • Why Savannah was crying on a bench after their first date
  • The importance of following your intuition
  • What is the 168 rule? And how it's helped Scott be more productive and efficient
  • The difference between “wasting time” and using time to relax, reconnect, and refuel
  • Their big travel dreams for the future and current passion projects
  • How Savannah transitioned from cosmetics to fitness and how her client FB group is changing lives

If you have any video, photo, design or systems needs feel free to reach out to Scott on IG at @scottsimnz or @hyperphocal

If you are interested in anything fitness related reach out to Savannah on IG at @savanah_joyyy or [email protected] 

If you're looking to start a business or project and don't know where to start, contact CJ Finley on IG @thriveonlife or @cj.finley
Website: https://thriveonlife.com

Futher Reading/Listening:

Podcast Episode: Thrive on Momentum ft. Faiez Rana

Blog: What is the Best Way to Start? JUST DO IT

E34 Multi-passionate Entrepreneur Series with Jerica Bornstein: PhD. Candidate and Founder of Cultivating Connections

Jerica Bornstein is a PhD. candidate researching how our relationships–the people we surround ourselves with day to day–positively or negatively impact our health, wellness, mindset, and likelihood that we achieve our goals. She’s also the founder of Cultivating Connections, a monthly meet-up in Austin, TX where people can feel free to get vulnerable, connect human to human, and go way beyond the “How are you”, “I’m fine” bullsh*t. We hosted their January meetup at ThriveHQ and it was a huge success with 30+ people!

I wanted to bring Jerica on because she provides a really unique perspective. Typically, I bring people on here who are working corporate jobs and starting side hustles, or are already entrepreneurs with multiple projects going on, but Jerica brings something different to the table because she is a student who is also building things that are impacting our community outside of her PhD program research.



Jerica’s story is a lesson for anyone who is still a student right now, weighing multiple options, and not sure what you’ll do after school. Know that you don’t have to wait until after school or the month before you graduate to start impacting your community and fostering connections. You can do it RIGHT NOW.

“Sometimes you might go into something and think it’s the right choice, and maybe it’s not in the long term. But you’ve gained skills and you can always pivot.” -Jerica Bornstein

This will also help anyone who has a community project that is still small but gaining traction, and you’re wondering how to make it bigger, because I started doing some live, off the cuff business consulting with Jerica and together we brainstormed some really awesome ideas for her. She also has lots of good job opportunities in front of her and was unsure of which to choose so I gave her some coaching around how to make the choice. 

Keep listening to hear more about how Jerica ended up in Austin, why she always felt like an outcast in college but how it helped her get to where she is today, what got her interested in this research topic, how she ended up starting Cultivating Connections and what impact it’s had on our community. 

If you’re interested in talking more with Jerica about her research, joining Cultivating Connections in Austin or even establishing your own CC meet up here or in a different city, reach out to Jerica on her Instagram @jericax and follow Cultivating Connections at @cultivatingconnectionsatx.

The next CC woman-only event is on March 4th in Austin, Texas, called “Girls with Goals”, hosted by my lovely wife Erin Finley! Sign up here

If you’re looking for a space to host a meet-up or event in ATX and are curious about ThriveHQ, hit us up on Instagram @thriveonlife or contact us! https://thriveonlife.com/services


Further Readling/Listening

Podcast Episode 7: Thrive on Friendship with Jeff McSweeny

Blog: Good Business Starts with Relationships

E33 Multi-passionate Entrepreneur Series: Put Away Your Ego with Ross Tschirn and Marcel Rosenberg

“Two key qualities to have when we wake up every day: optimism and gratitude, because that’s what saved our lives” -Marcel Rosenberg

This month on the Thrive On Life Podcast, we're spotlighting ATX men and women who are work on/in multiple jobs/orgs/projects to help the community. They do not allow their “title” to define what they can or cannot do and they keep challenging themselves to learn new things, and help others do the same.

Wondering how to establish yourself in a brand new city after you’ve left your small town and all you know behind? If you’ve had the dream to get out of your small town but have hesitated to go all in and do it because you’re worried how you’ll make friends and make money, this conversation will open your eyes. 

Myself and these next guests totally relate on leaving our home towns to come to Austin, Texas, and how we went from knowing no one, to having a THRIVING network of strong friendships all supporting each other in our businesses. Austin truly has a certain potent energy but you’ll find this conversation useful no matter what city you’re moving to–even if you’re going all the way abroad! It’s all about two things: NETWORKING and PUTTING AWAY YOUR EGO.

The Thrive On Life Podcast with Marcel Rosenberg and Ross Tschirn, fitness coaches in Austin, Texas

Today we have Ross Tschirn & Marcel Rosenberg, two best buds who grew up in the same small hometown in Louisiana, didn’t hang out so much during high school but reconnected after college and found a shared passion in going to the gym. 

The three of us also relate in that we felt the only way we could grow and achieve our dreams of pursuing a different type of path than the regular 9-5 job, was to leave home.

What was the breaking point?

Many of us try to make the typical prescribed life work for a while…until we simply can’t anymore. I wanted to know, what was the breaking point for these guys where they’d finally had enough?

“I was making all this money just to pay rent and pay gas and bills and live. And I was like, well, I don't really like how my life is from when I wake up to when I go to bed. So why am I making this money just to have this life that I don't like? And I kept saying that over and over and over again.” -Ross Tschirn

Ross tells us how he started opening up his world to different opportunities and was chosen to be on a reality TV series on the History Channel where he was one out of 30 other civilians in the whole US who got the opportunity to train with the Navy Seals, Army Rangers, and the Green Beret. 

“And I was like, you know, I'm this guy who's working these corporate jobs, but I am getting to train with Navy seals, one of 30 civilians in the entire United States, who gets to do this. Why am I in a corporate job? And I just kept asking myself like, I can be somebody different. I am somebody different. So long story short, that's like what kind of molded me.” -Ross Tschirn

Marcel on the other hand, always knew leaving home was for him. He’d been wanting to do it for a long time, and it just all came together when he visited a friend in Austin, fell in love with it, and Ross was ready to go.

Ross Tscirn and Marcel Rosenberg are fitness coaches and models in Austin, Texas and are interviewed on the ThriveOnLife podcast

Follow the path of least resistance and lean into your strengths 

My number one tip I often give my clients or friends is to follow the path of least resistance, and that’s what Ross and Marcel did in terms of setting up their first online business after getting to Austin.

These guys were already in great physical shape and people asked them questions all the time about nutrition and fitness, and Marcel always wanted to be a health coach, so they built an online training program online and started selling through Instagram- do what you know and keep it simple! 

Many of us shy away from labeling ourselves by our passion project or side hustle because it doesn’t feel “legit” or “real” since no one but ourselves gave us that title. But if you’re helping people, lean into it!

Your network is your net worth

Part of this mentality shift for both of them was to get out and start meeting people as soon as they got to Austin, which is exactly what I did as well.

“I knew that your network is your net worth, and we met with you at Central Market the first time we met. And you just said, ‘The first thing that I did when I came to Austin was I went and I networked with everybody.’

You got to know everybody. You showed up at everything and you were like, Ross, if you're the guy who shows up to any type of event with a camera, you're in great shape, people are going to be like, ‘Who is this guy? Like what is he doing?’ So that's what I did everywhere and I just kept shaking hands with tons of different people and now I feel like I can call on anyone for anything.” -Ross Tschirn

Ok..but what about money?

One of the hardest mental shifts for people is their financial mindset. People don’t like to take risks when it comes to money, and there’s a lot of fear around coming to a new city with no plan for a job and not knowing exactly how you’ll survive.

Marcel and Ross told me at one point they’d reached $2 in their bank account. It was stressful for sure, but they did anything they could to make both ends meet. And that’s the lesson I want people to take away from this too- is that you have to put away your ego and do the jobs that might not be “cool” or “prestigious”. 

These guys did research studies, searched on Craigslist, serving events, driving for Lyft..anything they could. Because that’s what a CEO is when you’re just starting out in your business. One day you’re speaking at your event, that night you’re the janitorial staff cleaning up the event. It’s about what you do when no one’s looking.

Ross and Marcel are personal trainers in Austin, Texas

The identity crisis

When you’re in a corporate job, there’s a very clear ladder for you to climb. You always know the next step up and what the expectations are to get there.

But when you walk away from that life, it’s up to you to determine the next step. The possibilities are endless! Great! And, the possibilities are endless…fuck. What do I DO? That’s what Ross started struggling with.

“Am I trying to be a personal trainer and online trainer? A businessman? What am I going for and where do I put my energy towards? That was a big thing of, okay, I don't have a job. So I have to be productive and going to the gym is one of those things, but I can't spend three hours in the gym every day. So where else do I spend my time? Oh, my computer. Then what? You know, it was a lot of like, okay, what do I do? What do I do? But the more that I met with you, just kind of, you know, talk to Marcel about the struggles that we're working with. We just kind of put the pieces together and we always realized…we just can't give up. That's why we would drive Lyft or do whatever we need to do.” -Ross Tschirn

For more on this, read my post about the 17 different ways I made money in my first year in Austin to survive.


“The first thing that we did was we literally sat down on our couch and we were like, all right, for the next two hours, we're just gonna send video DMs to as many people as we can and try and sell personal training plans.” -Ross

They’d come back together and each have three meetings set. Ross even sent a two minute video to a guy, didn’t even know who he was, who ended up paying him $1600, 30 minutes later!!

The most important thing, in my opinion, was they transitioned from being salsey to gaining trust, being vulnerable, and really creating a brand.

If one door closes, FIND ANOTHER DOOR

The next thing the guys tried was calling corporations to do corporate wellness programs, but they couldn’t get in front of the right people. So they considered other audiences who might need their services, and Marcel thought to approach senior/retirement communities. They made a list of senior communities in the area, and every single one answered.

When you’re transitioning from the corporate world, where it’s very task-oriented, you have to flip the script and become value-oriented. It’s no longer about what value can I extract from people, but what value can I add? What skills and value do I have that I can bring to this world and that MEETS A NEED? No one in their mid twenties is thinking, I’m going to go train the elderly population. But that’s what these guys did.

Ross Tschirn and Marcel Rosenberg, Personal trainers, sit with CJ Finley from ThriveOnLife for a podcast interview

More from this episode

Other topics we touch on in this episode are imposter syndrome, how they’re hoping to scale their business, how you can bring more value to people, and our opinions about traveling a lot vs. planting your roots in one spot. Listen to the full conversation to hear more!


Follow/Support Ross and Marcel:

Ross’s Instagram: @rossman

Marcel’s Instagram: @marcelr_


Further Reading/Listening:

Blog: Grow Your Network, Grow Your Business

Blog: How to determine where to spend your time?

Blog: Strive to be Valuable, not Busy

Podcast: Episode 9: ThriveOn Iteration w/ CJ Finley

E32 Multi-passionate Entrepreneurs Series with Daniel and Lindsey Crouch of SuperSeed Life

“When I laid eyes upon her, I immediately knew that my life had changed forever. Period. Like that’s the most tangible feeling, sensation that I’ve ever had in my life…I looked at her and I was like, there you are.” -Daniel Crouch

It's only appropriate that for the Valentine's Day episode of the Multi-passionate Entrepreneurs Series I'm joined by one of the most inspiring, hard-working and loving couples I know, Daniel and Lindsey Crouch, Founders of SuperSeed Life, the very first seed-based baked goods company that only uses great-for-you ingredients.

I'm especially excited to share this conversation because as someone who has battled with gut health issues all my life, their plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free and zero preservatives foods have truly transformed my life as well as countless more lives. Anyone who listens will benefit from knowing their love and business story.

A few highlights:
-How Daniel knew from the moment he saw Lindsey that she was the woman for him, and why things didn't work out right away
-How Daniel spent FOUR YEARS striving to improve himself and win Lindsey back
-Lindsey shares how her mom passed away from Ovarian Cancer when Lindsey was just 3 years old, and how this has fueled Lindsey's life purpose and the brand's overall mission to provide uniquely healthy foods that improve the quality of peoples' lives
-The humble beginnings of SuperSeed life (originally called Guiltless Pizza Company) that many joked much resembled a drug dealer set up
-How they grew the company over the past 7 years (with three young sons, by the way!) through taking small steps and praying
-How now they are expanding their business to not just a food company but a lifestyle brand, helping others to nourish the mind, body, and spirit as a whole for complete health and wellness

“We've been so thankful to have a product that we've been able to reach people through…but now we also want to work with the heart, and the lifestyle, and the daily routines. Because people can eat our food and be healthier, but if it's not a lifestyle, then it may just be a day that you receive enough nutrition. So we want to work on every day and on planting seeds in your life that are going to make you bloom” -Lindsey Crouch

SuperSeed Life has launched its lifestyle, nutrition and weight loss course, run by Daniel, which takes all the lessons they've learned and gives you 7 steps to live and eat in a way that allows you to have everything you want in your heart.

Lindsey is also starting a group coaching program called SuperSeed Your Soul, for women who know they were created for more, but feel a bit stuck, and know they're not fully bloomed and living the life they were created to live.

Resource Links:
Join the SuperSeed Lifestyle + Weightloss Program: https://superseedlife.com/products/superseed-weight-loss-box
Find out more about Lindsey's SuperSeed Your Soul group coaching: [email protected]
Try their amazing and healthy food products: https://superseedlife.com/

Connect with Daniel, Lindsey, and SuperSeed Life:
Instagram: @lindsey_crouch, @thedanielcrouch, @superseed_life

Connect with CJ Finley and Thrive On Life:
IG: @thriveonlife, @thriveonfit, @thrivepreneur, @cj.finley
Website: https://thriveonlife.com

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