Have you ever stopped to think about how love can define an entrepreneur? The Beatles said it best…”All you need is love!” No, really…what if that is all you ever needed for your business to succeed? Adam Markel is the CEO of More Love Media, a company dedicated to empowering individuals and businesses to re-imagine a world where they can thrive. Adam joins host Justin Recla to explore the concept of how love can define an entrepreneur.
Welcome to Incorporating SuperPowers. I am your host, Justin Recla, and today, I have the honor of interviewing one of my favorite people on the planet. This man has had a huge impact on my life by proxy through my daughter. He’s been a mentor of mine. He’s been a mentor to my daughter and he comes from a very heart-centric place.
As a matter of fact, his entire message pivots on the concept of love. And so today we’re going to be talking about how love can define an entrepreneur and really looks at the heart and essence of that. So it’s my honor to welcome somebody that I call my brother, Adam Markel, to the show.
Adam, thanks for being here, brother.
I love that introduction, Justin. That’s beautiful. Yeah. I’m actually.. I was getting ready to take notes and then you introduced me. What an honor for me. I appreciate it.
So Adam, again, thank you so much for being here. And you know, one of the things that I love about your message and what you do is everything pivots on love. So before we dive into how you’re doing things differently, let’s take a look at the elephant in the room. Let’s take a look at what you’re seeing in your industry. What everybody knows and feels what’s going on at the underlying. They’re just tired of it and let’s examine that. What would you say is the biggest issue that people are just tired of looking at? They know it’s there and you, guys like you, are calling it out. What is that?
Oh my God. I love… First of all, I love the question. That is a very, very difficult question, brother, because it’s almost like saying, you know, pick one.
Pick one thing, yeah, exactly. But I’m going to do it. I take up the challenge for you. What do I want to call BS on and you let me know if I can actually use the four letter word. If I can’t, I won’t.
Absolutely. This is a fully explicit show. You’re talking to a former Army guy here. There might be some f-bombs.
It’s an adult show. All right. So when appropriate, I will. I am from New York originally, so I don’t have a problem with it. Yeah, I mean, look, I think if we’re talking about the self help industry, I don’t know if that’s the industry we’re speaking about specifically, but if that’s the case, first of all, I’m a lover of it. I’m a fan of it. My pivot story is that I was a lawyer for 18 years, the opposite of the self-help space. I was an attorney in New York and in New Jersey, a litigation attorney and a real estate attorney, a number of other things including miserable and unhappy and angry a lot.
So I just couldn’t wake up every day for the rest of my life being miserable and angry and unhappy, and after 18 years… Just so we’re clear, I wasn’t like 18 months in the practice of law and said, “I can’t handle it anymore.” No, I had a pretty good capacity for handling that level of misery, and at some point I just realized I’d be dead. I would. And I had a reason to be alive. I’m in love with my college sweetheart still to this day, we’ll be married this summer for 30 years and have four healthy kids. I was in love with my life, my family life, but not in love with my work life.
So I just had to pivot. I had to get out of that and ended up writing a book about the process of escaping the practice of anything that creates misery. It doesn’t have to be law. They don’t have a lock on misery, not by a long shot. So I ended up in the personal development space because of that, because of my own journey into myself and into finding what I really wanted to do when I grew up and if my soul were not being damaged by my daily work and my spiritual path. All these things that were completely outside of my consciousness when I was practicing law became a part of my daily practice and ultimately became the CEO of a very large company in that space.
So I got to learn, you know, from the inside what that industry is about in many ways. And unfortunately, I think there is just a lot of selling of false hope. There’s a lot of selling of the easy fix for things. I’m not going to say it’s a snake oil sales industry because it’s not, that’s not true. There are individual things inside the industry that are not exactly what they seem, you know, and that kind of thing.
I think so the BS really is that it’s quicker and it’s easier than it really is, and that people who are selling programs that make it quick fix and easy and even some of the biggest names that rah rah people into doing things that they’re not otherwise prepared to do, financially or otherwise, are just… they’re full of shit. Because if you examine their personal lives, they are not in the best of relationships and their health isn’t great and their money hasn’t always been great or isn’t great and it’s just a lot of disconnect between reality and life and what they portray on stage.
Is that fair enough?
No, that’s spot on. That’s absolutely spot on. And this is why I love your messaging because we see the same thing. I mean, our due diligence background, right? We see behind the veil on everything. It’s almost like… it’s like a curse to some extent just because of the filters that we see on everything and that’s one of the reasons why we stepped into the SuperPower arena was to present people with different options. We’re not telling you that it’s going to be easy. We’re not going to tell you that, “Hey, run to the back of the room, buy my shit and your life is going to be completely different the next day,” when we see the people on stage that are doing that. It’s like you said, you examine their life, their relationships, their whatever, and it’s not congruent with what they’re teaching. I think the personal development industry has, it’s gotten a bad rap to some extent because of that.
But this show is not about highlighting the negative. This show is about highlighting, calling out the bullshit, because that’s really what’s going on, right, but uplifting you and other people that are doing things that are completely different. So let’s talk about your message, love, and why and how does that define an entrepreneur who’s out there trying to change the world? Whether it be in the personal development industry or some other industry. How does love play into the equation?
Well, this is… To me this is the root cause of everything in our lives. Whether it’s pick any area and the results that we have or the feelings that we walk around with, whether we are happy or joyful or peaceful or prosperous, any of those things that we seek are the result of how we, at the root cause, how we feel about ourselves. And the basic level of feeling is something we’ll call love. So we have a definition of love that we’ve established early on in our lives, usually within the first seven years we create a definition of love, unconscious or it’s unconscious to us, but it’s all based on what we experience, so it’s the people around us, it’s the relationships we are seeing between our parents or the folks that have raised us. It’s the experiences that we’ve had in those first seven years.
There’s a lot of trauma for a lot of people early on in life, whether it’s their parents getting divorced or fighting or violence that happens in the home, or it’s a substance abuse that they’re around, or it’s physical, mental, or sexual abuse that’s directed at them individually. So there’s this trauma and I have yet to meet anybody that went through those first seven years and didn’t have something that equates to a trauma.
And you can’t compare it, right Justin? Pain is pain. There’s no like my pain is greater than yours. My story’s bigger, like more dramatic.
It’s just different.
It’s just different.
It’s still pain. It still causes separation and it still causes all the wheels to go into motion that cause that disconnect for you and your own journey.
Yes. So to me, not to synthesize what is everyone’s life long journey and practice, to return as Marianne Williamson’s book calls out this title, A Return to Love. It’s that return to the inquiry. I don’t know that, for me anyway, up to age 50 I wasn’t really dialed into the inquiry even that what I really needed to be doing is thinking about how it is that I think about and feel about myself. So do I really love myself? Do I really love myself and what does it mean to love myself? So I would have said I love myself, but what does that mean? How does that show up? So am I loving myself with conditions or without conditions?
And I found that most of the time for me and for a lot of people that I got to work with over the years, that when I was behaving, when I was doing well, when my finances were great, when I was feeling good about my work, I loved myself. That’s when I loved myself. And when I was a shit, when I did mean things, nasty things, when I was unkind, when I fucked something up business or in money or something, then I didn’t love myself.
So it was constantly contingent. My love for myself was contingent on my results. And it becomes a very vicious cycle and perpetuates sort of the same thing that I’m trying to prove to myself or prove to others that I’m worthy of love, that I’m deserving of love, which is the most ridiculous thing that I can think of in this moment in life, because we are born deserving and worthy of love. We will always be deserving and worthy of love and forgiveness and all of the rest of the things that kind of go with that, like acceptance, and the sooner we get to that conclusion, the sooner our lives will change for the better.
Does not mean, just so we caveat this, does not mean you pivot on a dime and everything becomes sunny and warm. Like you know, Sunny in Philadelphia or whatever. There’s a great irony in that because no, you will still have challenges and problems and they may even be more profound because your level of sensitivity is heightened.
So when you digress, when you come off the rails just a little bit, you feel it more. But you’re also living a very different existence and the road back is more clearly defined so you’re not as lost. When you get lost, you’re not in the dark as long and you know the way out. I know the way out. Doesn’t mean I can get out right in an instant, you know, it takes me a while even now, but I know the way out. And I know the way home.
I absolutely love this. We do have to take a quick break, but I just want to highlight the fact that if you’re listening to this, First off, listen to it, but then come watch the video because I think you’re going to get a good sense of the fact that these are two bald men who have been on a journey, right? We’re talking lawyer, former counterintelligence agent, and we’re talking about love. And I don’t care what you say, but this is a very masculine conversation. So don’t discredit the word love, because this is everything in the masculine and these conversations, especially for men, we need to be having, because everything that Adam just highlighted about the fact that you think you can pivot and it’s going to be sunshine and lollipops on the other side of it is bullshit. You’re going to be faced with constant challenges.
So, when we get back from the break, I want to talk about what that looks like for entrepreneurs, for people in business, and what that means for their own journey as they continue to build up, but Adam, before we go on break, where can people go find more about you?
Two places. If they want to find a talk, a TED talk, we just delivered, it was published in February regarding this very topic, they can go to YouTube and just Google Adam Markel TED talk. You can also go to adammarkel.com and you can find the talk right there.
Fantastic. Fantastic. And we’ll have links below for you as well. You’re listening to Incorporating SuperPowers and we’ll be right back.