Jeff Wickersham – Igniting Your Morning Fire (332)

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Jeff Wikersham is a sought-after Accountabilty and Peak-Performance Coach who specializes in helping clients intentionally step into the best version of themselves, personally and professionally. Jeff guides his clients to install habits and systems that set them up for success.  His consistency and authenticity are what clients call out most when working with him.  

Jeff will meet you exactly where you are at, he will support, guide, cheer you on in your journey, working side by side with you.  He never puts his clients through what he hasn’t already tested on himself.  He’s a practitioner of what he teaches and clients get amazing results.

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And now here’s Jeff Wickersham.

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Video With Jeff Wickersham – Igniting Your Morning Fire

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Podcast with Jeff Wickersham. Igniting Your Morning Fire.

Jeff Wickersham – Igniting Your Morning Fire (Episode 332)

Thu, Nov 10, 2022 12:21PM • 59:56


life, people, jeff, habits, goggins, mind, run, year, podcast, day, edge, cold shower, book, mom, success, daily basis, losing, question, long, sudden


Mike Malatesta, Jeff Wickersham

Mike Malatesta  01:32

Jeff Wickersham. Welcome to the podcast.

Jeff Wickersham  01:40

Mike. Thanks for having me. grateful to be here.

Mike Malatesta  01:44

So, yeah, Jeff and I connected last week. I think it was last week after our mutual friend of ours, Craig Stanland introduced us — Craig’s been on my show. He’s been on your show as well. Right, Jeff? That’s correct. Yeah, I was gonna listen to that episode. I didn’t get a chance to listen to that. But Craig’s story is a remarkable one. I don’t remember what episode he was on. But if you search for him on my website, or on the podcast, feed, you’ll see Craig Stanland. But I’m not here to talk about Craig today. I’m here to talk about Jeff. So let me tell you a little bit about Jeff. So Jeff is a sought-after mental toughness and peak performance coach who helps guide clients to intentionally step into the best versions of themselves, and unlock that inner hero waiting to be unleashed. And you know, that’s really cool, because in this podcast, one of my main goals for Jeff is to help people maximize the greatness that’s inside of them. And it aligns really, really well with what you’re up to. Jeff works with leaders, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, VPs, sales teams, parents, it seems like just about anybody can fit into his system. He is a number one best-selling author his book, “Rise, Fight, Love, Repeat,” subtitle “Ignite Your Morning Fire,” a Tony Robbins award winner. He’s host of Your Hidden Edge Podcast with 300 episodes. So he’s a pro. Jeff is a pro. He’s a speaker and creator of the four-step Morning Fire Methodology. We’re going to talk today, definitely talk about David Goggins. We’re going to talk about meditation. Today we’re going to talk about ice baths or cold showers, things that Jeff is really into. And if you want to learn more about him, he is Jeff Wickersham and he’s pretty much on all the socials. It looks like his website is Email is And you can pick up his book, of course on Amazon, “Rise, Fight, Love, Repeat.” Jeff, I start every podcast with the same simple question. And that is, how did it happen for you.

Jeff Wickersham  04:15

So I’m going to take you back nearly eight years to a seminal moment in my life, transformational moment in my life where unfortunately, I had a life event that changed everything and it was deep searing pain there. I lost my mom to breast cancer. So when you watch the woman that brought you into this world leave this world, it changes you at your core, right, you question everything about life, you understand that? Life is so fragile, and every single day we get on this planet on this earth is a gift that’s given. And that was the moment that shifted everything in my life. I didn’t know it then. It took many iterations, took many bumps in the road to go through that process. But that truly was the moment that changed everything in my world. That’s why I wear the pink wristband on my right wrist to remind myself of my mom and how fragile life is and how today is a gift. I should be in a state of gratitude, I should be happy, I should be honored like I am to be having this conversation with you, Mike. And it’s changed my perspective. It’s changed my outlook. It’s changed my attitude. And then I did the work on myself after her passing, going down that deep personal development rabbit hole, and I’ll never get out of it. And now it’s just how do I do today? Am I a little bit better than I was yesterday? And if I can do that consistently over time, then I feel like I’m successful in life.

Mike Malatesta  05:52

So this, this terrible moment that you had this terrible experience that you and your family had with your mom, tell me about your mom and her impact on you up until that point.

Jeff Wickersham  06:08

So she was a school teacher for all of her life. She taught aerobics at night, so she was into fitness too. That’s why I probably have a love for physical fitness. She was a positive person, right? She battled breast cancer on and off for 17 years, it came back three times, right, and after her passing, I got a letter from a friend that lived in the neighborhood that I grew up with. Basically, my mom had sent her this, you know, this hope poem after she had gone through a difficult time in her life, and she wanted to pay it back and send it my way. And just give me a reminder of the woman she was. So she would always put post-it notes in my lunch or on my mirror, right when there was a game I had to play, football or basketball or baseball, cheering me on and was really, really there for me. So when she left, there was that void, the pain and then over time, I was able to transform it into purpose and power.

Mike Malatesta  07:13

And this thing, Jeff, that this woman that your mom had sent her that she showed you, what did it say?

Jeff Wickersham  07:20

It was that with hope, you can do basically anything. It’s an adaptation from Charles Sawyer, I should know it off hand, it says, Actually, I have it down to the right of me. So I’ll read it; it says “of all the forces that make for a better world, none is so powerful as hope. With hope, one can think, one can work, one can dream. If we have hope, we have everything.

Mike Malatesta  07:46

We have hope, we have everything. We certainly have the next minute and the next hour and the next day. That’s for sure. Right? So you said that this was like a seminal moment for you. And but you didn’t realize it at the time, right? What had to occur for you to realize how, you know, defining this moment was, losing your mom.

Jeff Wickersham  08:09

Take some time and reflect and really think about the gravity of the moment. I think so many times in life, we feel like we’re going to live forever, we’re going to have all those that we love, always around us. And when the finality comes, it feels like life stops. And you finally get a chance to pause and say, Okay, what’s important? What do I truly want to do? What’s my purpose? Do I want to continue down the path that I’m headed, and I went through those deep dark days where I just, I just wanted a hug from my mother, right? And I questioned everything was going on in my life, especially my career. And I chose to leave corporate America and go out on my own. I started a gym locally. And then what organically grew up out of that was Mental Toughness and Peak Performance Coaching, and I wouldn’t have had the courage, or it would have taken me much longer to build up that courage, if it hadn’t been that moment of losing my mom and knowing how fragile life is, right, that that gave me that kind of push off the cliff to say, hey, we might as well jump with both feet, because tomorrow is not promised to us. How are you going to live today? What impact do you want to have?

Mike Malatesta  09:28

Right? And so this was, I gather, a change that you had been considering for some period of time and maybe that’s how you have this. I’m always intrigued by people who you know, who’ve done really well in the corporate world and their futures, like at least on paper, Jeff, the futures look really bright and yet there’s something that’s inside that’s desiring a change, but it’s just difficult. So how long has it been inside you? And what really gave you the courage to do it? I mean, I get the reflectiveness, people do a lot of that, you know, in their lives, and then they just stay doing what they’re doing.

Jeff Wickersham  10:18

yeah, so a couple of things. One is I had been considering it because I was a cross-fitter. Before I opened up my own gym, I knew the kind of wear and tear that athletes get when they’re competing in CrossFit. And I competed in events and did things, and I took it to a pretty extreme level versus the local LA Fitness, Anytime Fitness, I knew there was a in-between point there, and I so I was tossing that around. Obviously, losing my mom was very painful. But then I also had a reorg happen in my company where we were virtual, and I either was going to interview for a new position, or I could relocate to New York or Arizona. And so I said, here’s another sign of, I’ve got a different path that I want to chase. So, you know, obviously losing my mom I had in the back of my head, and then either interviewing or going someplace different. I wasn’t going to because I’ve got two young boys, I wasn’t going to uproot my family. I said, alright, that’s another signal. It’s time to time to move, time to jump.

Mike Malatesta  11:27

And how is your dad? I’m assuming he’s still around, but I don’t know that for sure.

Jeff Wickersham  11:35

Yes, he is still around. So he’s, he’s doing great. I mean, I actually shut down my gym after COVID and jettisoned that business. But he trains with me a couple of times at the house and he’s 76 years young. So he’s doing great, and I give him credit because I always like to go back to Shawshank Redemption, right? You can either get busy living or get busy dying. And luckily for us, he said, I still have life to live, and I want to live it. And he’s doing that.

Mike Malatesta  12:05

Congratulations to your dad. That is fantastic. I love that. When we first talked, you had mentioned this challenge that you had done a couple of times so far. Is it 4 by 4 by 48? Is that what it is? Okay, and that was something that David Goggins runs or started or whatever. And for those of you don’t know, David Goggins’ book is called “Can’t Hurt Me.” It’s a phenomenal book about incredible human beings, like he the takes the definition of a human being when it comes to pushing yourself to a level that, I don’t know, not many people do, maybe Jeff does. You’ve done the health training and sports. You mentioned football and some other sports earlier. Tell me how, like, how is training and particularly this Goggins thing, which seems like your newest or most recent, really difficult thing, but I could be wrong, you might have replaced that with something else. But how has that been a part of your life? And why is it important to you?

Jeff Wickersham  13:22

It’s important to me because, one, I was a shy, introverted kid growing up, I still remember my late mother told me a story like when I was six or seven years old, I wanted to go to a buddy’s house and play. And I wouldn’t go without her. Right. So I was a shy, introverted kid, where sports gave me an avenue, I excelled on the football field, the basketball court, the baseball field, so that gave me an opportunity to grow out of my shell. So that’s probably why I’ve always enjoyed them. Always been a part of my life. And then later in my life, just wanting to operate at a high level. It’s tough to operate at a high level if you’re not in damn good shape, right? If you’re not in good shape, it’s tough to run hard all day long, right? It’s tough on your joints if you’re carrying an extra 15-20-30 pounds. So I’ve always made that a priority because putting yourself through physical challenges and that David Goggins run, twice doing, it was a big physical challenge, but it’s also unlocking mental strength. Right? And I like that other piece that so many people don’t really dive into and celebrate how, yes, you’re pushing yourself physically, but you are unlocking mental toughness, you’re unlocking a next level. I mean, the Goggins run, you know, he’s done it. This past year was his third year, you’re running four miles every four hours for 48 hours straight. So it’s almost the equivalent of two marathons over a weekend and you’re sleeping not much. Try it. I mean the first night, I don’t sleep much at all because the adrenaline’s flooding the system. Second night, I get an hour and a half, maybe two in between each leg. But it unlocked this mental toughness in me that I can do things that are remarkable that can push myself past. And so many times we have self-imposed limits that we think I just can’t do. Now you can write and it’s amazing when you set targets, and you decide to do something. And that’s such a critical component, right? When I signed up for both of those, I decided I was going to do it this year. I just hit on Monday this week, 15,000 pull ups for the year. I’m 47 years young, I’ve never done that, I set it as a goal. I said, I’d love to do that in a year, setting that target, deciding and then chunking it up. So you can do it on a daily basis, it’s amazingly powerful. So I just love the physicality of life, and so many people aren’t even in good enough shape to be able to run real fast. And then they wonder why. Why am I not getting the results that I should be able to get? Well, you’re not in great physical shape. If you’re in great physical shape, you can run fast, you can do things, you’re not fatigued, you can bounce back quicker, it equates to being able to run fast and do amazing things in life.

Mike Malatesta  16:25

Let me just stick with Goggins for a second. By the way, congratulations; four miles every four hours for 48 hours. Is it on your own? Like, you have your own route? And did you run the same four-mile loop every time? Or how did that work?

Jeff Wickersham  16:45

Yeah, so I, you know, I went, I put on the white lab coat became a scientist because I’m like, okay, how am I going to physically do this and mentally do this. More importantly, because I’ve never run a marathon, I did a half marathon after the first one that I did two years ago. And that’s a lot of wear and tear. I mean, I’m 47 years young right now. So I planned out everything. I went the same route every single time because I didn’t want my mind to have to think, Okay, where are you going to run, ate the same thing after my 11 o’clock leg on Friday night that I did Saturday night. Right? I had it planned out, I did have some help from time to time where people would run with me. So that was fun. But there were nights where it’s 3 in the morning, and I gotta get up. And I’m running four miles in the pitch black dark with a headlamp and a chest lamp. I’m getting my mileage in, going back, recovering, and doing it again.

Mike Malatesta  17:44

Wow. And one of the things I remember from his book, one of the many things, but this thing sticks in my mind. And I think I have it right. He talks about and you talk about the mental toughness of doing this, above and beyond the physical toughness. And he said something like all of our minds have a governor of some sort on them. And typically we use only 40% of what we’re capable of using. Do I have that right? 

Jeff Wickersham  18:14

Exactly right. Yep.

Mike Malatesta  18:15

So tell me your belief system about that. Because that’s like, when you think about that, if he’s right, you know, the majority of people are only using 40% of what they’re capable of. It’s like, what can you be capable of? Like that’s amazing. I think Goggins had the pull up record for pull ups in a day at one point as well, if I remember from this book, but how do you feel about that 40% thing? And is that something that you bring to your coaching and training, whether it’s in the gym, or now you know, whether it’s working with entrepreneurs, for example?

Jeff Wickersham  19:05

So I believe, I don’t know what the exact percentages, but I do believe we have self-imposed limits that we put on ourselves. And it could be from something we take from childhood, it could be something that society tells us that we don’t truly know how good or great or extraordinary we can be. Because we don’t give ourselves the opportunity to do that. And after I did that first Goggins run, I had like my brother in law, and he’s like, I don’t know how that’s humanly possible to do that. And I said, Because I decided to do it. And so that’s kind of why I say that untapped potential unleashed a hero inside, right. We all have this inner hero that is just waiting to bust out and I bring that to my coaching, right, and It’s so vital. I feel like as adults, right, we have coaches, we have mentors, we have teachers, when we’re kids, right? We have parents, then we get to adulthood. And it’s like, go ahead out into the wild, you don’t have any mentors, you don’t have any coaches or lot of people don’t get them. And that’s why it’s so vital to have them, or even a mentor in the equation, because they’re going to tell you, and they’re gonna encourage you to do more than what you thought is possible. And that’s where you tap into that, hey, we’re only going at 40%-60%-70%. The one thing I will say, though, and I had this discussion with one of my sons a couple of weeks ago, because he was frustrated. He was lifting in the garage, and he wasn’t hitting the weights he was used to. And I said, sometimes you’re only going to be at 70%. Maybe you didn’t have a good night’s sleep, maybe a crappy night before. But as long as you go 100% at 70, that’s a win. And sometimes you just have to accept that, right? Because it’s not a straight line, upward trajectory, sometimes you’re gonna have dips, sometimes things happen. So that’s another thing to just take into the thoughts of operating at 40% or not being at 100. But to answer your question, there is more inside of us. But many of us don’t give ourselves the opportunity to tap into it.

Mike Malatesta  21:27

That was really interesting what you said to your son to give, you know, give 100% of 70. So what does that mean? Like what would you want me to take away from this, forgiving myself, being okay, that I’m not at 100, but I’m still working hard, and I’m giving it everything I have or is it something else, Jeff? I’m just curious.

Jeff Wickersham  21:52

Yeah, I would say giving yourself grace. Right. And I love the word. Okay, because so many times we beat ourselves up. And that was an example of him beating himself up. And I used to do this all the time. Okay, I didn’t do what I did two days ago or two months ago. Why? Why? What’s wrong with me? Well, you’re not gonna get anywhere. When you’re saying what’s wrong with me? I would say just get curious. Right? Okay, why put on that white lab coat again and say why? Why did that happen, was my sleep dialed in, was my nutrition dialed in, you know I did work out extremely hard yesterday, and I needed to rest, right. And when we get curious when we can kind of see patterns, then all of a sudden, okay, that’s why it happened, then you can set yourself up for success the next time and this constant beating ourselves up, because we didn’t get there, it’s not going to help you move forward. And if you would just trust in the process and showing up the best version of yourself that you can do each day. Even if that’s 100 or 70, you’re going to be a lot happier, you’re going to continue on, you’re not going to get demotivated, you’re not gonna get uninspired, you’re not going to beat yourself up. And that’s gonna keep you moving forward, down the road and continuing to grow.

Mike Malatesta  23:10

And, Jeff, with the people that you work with, the people you were talking about before when I brought up the Goggins and the 40% thing, you mentioned you know that there are just so many people who, for one reason or the other, can’t see what they’re capable of. I’m paraphrasing, of course, but you know, they can’t see it, or they don’t believe it. And I’m wondering what, in your experience, what’s the block? Is it the way they were raised? Is it, you know, who they hang out with? What is it?

Jeff Wickersham  23:51

Yeah, I mean, you hit two pretty big ones right there, right? I mean, the way you’re raised, maybe some beliefs that you heard or adopted or absorbed from your parents, from a teacher from a coach, that maybe you’re not worthy of whatever you want to attack, or you’re not good enough. Those are some automatic negative thoughts that play over and over in our minds. I mean, the adult mind, on average, has 60,000 thoughts a day, 80 to 90% of those thoughts are negative, and 95% of those negative thoughts are repetitive. So we’ve gotten this negative narrative going on constantly. So you know that’s one piece. It could be who you’re hanging out with. Right? I changed my associations as I’ve gone through this past journey the past eight years, to have people that light me up, that are on the attack, that want to make a dent in the universe. When you surround yourself with that kind of energy, all of a sudden you raise your level, right. I remember reading a story of a swimmer who was an Olympic hopeful, and she struggled with waking up and hitting the pool at 5am. And her coach said, You need to join this elite Swim Club. And she did. Well, that Swim Club was hitting the pool at 5am. And all of a sudden it switched on for her, and she was there because everybody was doing it, that’s the power of proximity and being around other people that are on the attack. So, you know, those would two big things. The other is, our minds are wired to automate as much as possible, so you can get into these patterns. And I know people feel it, I felt it in my life, where day after day, it’s like Groundhog Day. And a week becomes a month a month becomes a year. And all of a sudden, you’re in the same spot, we have to intentionally and consciously step off the treadmill and say, Hold on a second, I need to get curious, right, we’re go go going, we’re busy, busy, busy, we don’t have any time to reflect, we don’t have any time to put on that white lab coat and get curious about what works, what doesn’t. And that just keeps us going down that same path. So that would be, you know, another piece that can’t see it. It’s just like when you’re looking to lose weight, and you’re looking in the mirror. And you’ve lost weight, but you don’t see it. But you see a friend that you haven’t seen in a year, all of a sudden, they say, oh my gosh, you look amazing, you’ve lost all this weight, you just don’t see that change because change can be so minor, so micro, that you don’t see it on a daily basis, but then you’ll run into somebody else, and they’ll point it out to you. So those are a couple of factors that kind of keep us stuck and in that rut of life thatis so easy to fall into.

Mike Malatesta  26:41

Yeah, you know, I look at myself, today, I don’t see change. And the other person, you know, hasn’t seen you in a year and they see change. So it sounds like when you were describing that, to me it sounded like building habits, like you either have habits that propel you towards something different that you want, or you have habits that that keep you stuck or even, you know, push you backwards from where you want to go. And I know you agree with that, and I know you have in your book, I think, there was a framework of habits, and how important habits are, the right habits are, or building a habit framework to get you where you are. So I was curious if you make that connection as well, habits drive,

Jeff Wickersham  27:40

they can drive up to 90% of what we do on a daily basis. So, you know, your success is a lagging measure of your habits. So what you do consistently, day in and day out, transfers over to your success. So if you’re not personally or professionally feeling successful, or you have a next level to go to, that’s exactly where you need to start looking at right, what do I do consistently on a daily basis? And is that setting me up for that future success? And if not, then you’ve got to start small, you’ve got to make it easy. And then you just need to do it consistently on a daily basis. But those habits, they’re everything. And that stuff. We’re not necessarily taught in school, right, at any grade level, elementary, middle, high school, college, like what are your habits on a daily basis? What do you consistently do? And they’re so critical to your success?

Mike Malatesta  28:36

Right? Yeah, we’re taught repetition, which is important for habits, but we’re not taught how to build habits and how to apply them to, like, get what you want, or get where you want to be, or whatever it is, is that what you’re saying?

Jeff Wickersham  28:59

Yeah, absolutely. Or the science of it. Right. We’ve all heard 21 days to create a habit. I just spoke to a a group of about 100-125 people two weeks ago, and I asked them, you know, anybody heard? Raise your hand, if you think 21 days to create a habit and almost the entire room raise their hand. It’s not the case, right? It’s anywhere from 21 to 67 days, neuroscientists have now proven that out. So it’s no wonder why the third week in January is the most depressing week of the year, because everybody thinks 21 days, they think they’ve made it, it’s going to be easy. And then the majority of them fall off the wagon on the things that they’re trying to do in the new year. And everybody’s depressed. Where if you were actually equipped and aware of the knowledge that it could take three times as long it took take 67 days for me to do it or maybe even a little longer, you never know, there’s those outliers, then they’d be more equipped to being successful. That’s such a key component, having awareness of how much of our days are habits, how many negative thoughts we have? And then how long it’s going to take, right? The science of statistics, I love those because it gives people clarity. And when you have clarity on something, then you can say, okay, I can make a change.

Mike Malatesta  30:20

And I’m glad you brought the negative thought thing back up again, because I wanted to ask you when you first said it, that is like, that’s subconscious. These thoughts. That’s like amygdala-type stuff, right? 

Jeff Wickersham  30:32

That’s like fight-or-flight stuff that we’re just born with, we’re programmed to have those 80 to 85% of the time. Is that correct? Is that what we’re understanding? Yes, because we still have that caveman brain, right? Then there’s this Saber-toothed Tiger out there ready to kill us. And anything that might be negative or perceived as negative by the mind, all of a sudden, our fight or flight system kicks in, as well as you know, when we feed it negative, and that can be social media, can be the news, right? Almost everything on the news is negative because I know, our minds have a negativity bias, right? Meaning that anything that is negative or perceived as negative, is amplified eight to nine times more than a positive emotion. Why? Because it thinks it’s a saber-toothed Tiger, it wants us to feel it, and trigger us in that fight or flight so we can survive. That’s why I don’t watch the news. And I recommend to all my clients and I avoid that negativity, but so it is wired in us. And then the question is, what can you do to feed the positive dog right, we’ve got a negative dog, negative Wolf, positive dog, positive Wolf. And I love just feeding it from the moment you wake up in the morning with quick wins. And then with just positive self-talk, positive videos, there’s so many things out there that you can do, but it’s a practice. It’s a habit, just like we were talking about, unfortunately, so many people’s habits are, I’m gonna check my phone, check my emails, check my text, check my social media, check the news. And then they’re triggered, and all of a sudden, they’re in that constant state of fight or flight all day long. And it’s no wonder why. Anxiety, depression, stress, are all at all-time highs.

Mike Malatesta  32:25

Yeah, and I think along those lines, that if you want to build habits, different habits than what you have, it takes focus. And when you are allowing, whether it’s the news, or whether it’s notifications on your phone, into your life at any time, you know, whenever these inanimate things decide to ping you, you take it, and you pay attention. And I think to myself, well, that’s like the worst way to be focused, it feels to me like if I want to make progress on a habit, I need some focus, I need to commit to it. But it’s easy for me not to commit, right? Because I can say, well, you know, I’m committed, Jeff, but you know, the phone, you know, thing went off? Or, you know, did you hear what happened or whatever, and it’s just an excuse for you not to do things, but it robs you of your focus, right. And it’s hard for humans to control. If some conscious thoughts they have free, will they also they also, you know, have a hard time shifting between things, right, you have to sort of stay on something in order to, you know, get real focus and make progress on it.

Jeff Wickersham  33:49

No, I 100% agree. I mean, you know, that’s one of the reasons that for the last four years I’ve had my phone on Do Not Disturb every day. So very, very rarely, unless I’m expecting a phone call, will my phone be off Do Not Disturb. So I never get pinged with a message. I never get notifications on social. Never get pinged with an email because my life, from my experience, living my life is more important than somebody else’s priorities. And that might sound selfish, but I will get to yours, when I have time, right. It’s just like that analogy of when you get on an airplane where they say, if cabin depressurizes, take care of yourself before you can take care of others. We are not taking care of ourselves, because we think it’s selfish. But what is happening is we’re not being able to show up as the best version of ourselves for others because of that fact. And I always tell people, when you take care of yourself, it’s actually the most unselfish thing you can do for your loved ones because you show up so much better. For them, you have more energy, you have more focus, you’re more patient, you’re more kind, you’re more grateful. So it’s an incredible shift that you can make.

Mike Malatesta  35:09

You’re like playing right into my hands there, Jeff, because my, my book’s been out for about a year, it’s called an OwnerShift, you’ve mentioned shift a number of times. But the subtitle to the book is “how getting selfish got me unstuck.” And I’m a huge believer in being selfish, but not in the way that it’s typically defined, it’s typically defined as being like narcissistic, you know, egotistic. And that’s not how I define it at all; I define it as if I’m going to be a leader for someone, if I want to be an example to someone, I have to be really clear about who I am and where I’m going. And the only way I can get there is with selfish focus, right? I need to spend the time whether it’s in my mind, my thoughts, whatever, on, you know, understanding where I’m going, because if I don’t do that, I’m not going to be effective helping anyone else. Not as effective. That’s for sure. Thanks for playing into my hands.

Jeff Wickersham  36:17

There you go. No, I 100% agree with you. I mean, I love that. I love how you mentioned that. I mean, it’s so true. And I wish more people would listen to what you just said, take it to heart, and say you know what, go in the mirror and look at themselves and say, It’s time for you to be the best version of you. And I love you that much that you do that. And people get uncomfortable. I have gone through this exercise with my clients like going in and looking at yourself in the mirror, staring into your eyes and saying I love you. I have had people cry endlessly over that, because when was the last time they’d actually show themselves self-love. Right. And it’s so important to do that. 

Mike Malatesta  37:02

So speaking of habits, I want to get back to something I sort of mentioned right at the very beginning, which is the ice bath or cold shower thing; you’ve been doing both of those for, I think somewhere like around 1,500 days or something like that straight. So I want to ask you two things: Why, that’s number one and two, with habits taking 61 days, how long does it take to lose it in your experience. Like if you stop doing it, I asked that for a particular reason. But I want you to answer those two questions if you if you don’t mind.

Jeff Wickersham  37:53

So why the ice baths and cold showers? I was just looking for another way to uplevel my skill as well as to start conquering my mind, right, we talked about those negative thoughts, those subconscious thoughts that occur regularly. And I found through going into the ice, I found through going into the cold showers, and I’m up in the northeast part of the country, so it gets very cold in the winter, those cold showers are cold. The ability to stand there, feel the cold water, my mind to say your frickin nuts, get out of the shower, don’t do this. And for me to consciously say, I’m going in there, whether you want to or not follow me, I’m going that is a mindset rep. That’s a courage rep. That’s a powerful rep to get in from a mental perspective. And then just doing it over and over again, it allows me to take control of my mind versus the other way. So many times it used to happen in my life, and it might happen for a lot of your listeners is your mind is controlling you. Right? And if we can flip that. It’s incredibly powerful, you know the thoughts, and you can be aware of them. Okay, here’s a thought in my mind saying I shouldn’t do this. Well, I’m in control, not the other way around. I’m going forward, it could be stepping into something that’s uncomfortable. It could be I love going for runs when it’s raining and miserable out because nobody wants to do that. And my mind doesn’t want to do it either. But that’s a mindset rep I can hit right so the mindset piece was one of it there are some physical benefits to getting into the coal, right you better circulation. You have brown fat that gets activated that helps you know lean up a little bit more. You know it’s good for your well hair. I’m bald so that I lost that battle a long time ago but you know, good for your skin. You know, so there are some physical benefits to it. But I love the mental challenge of my mind saying no. And me saying yes, and this is how we are going. Because imagine if you could align the power of your mind the power of the subconscious, to be your ally, versus your foe. And so many times we’re battling our minds. And our mind is dictating what we’re doing versus us being the creator. So that would be the first part of your question why? The second part? I really don’t know how quickly you fall off the wagon if you don’t start doing something. But I have a rule that I preach myself and with my clients, it’s never missed twice, you can miss one day, but never miss twice, because two becomes four becomes eight becomes 16. And then you’re just completely off. So, you know, I don’t know how long it would take for you to completely fall off the wagon. But it’s okay, life happens, you can miss one time. But if you have that mantra, never miss twice, and you get back after it again, you’re going to keep going down that path, rather than losing all that momentum, and have to start again, right, because when we start it’s just like the space shuttle lifting off, right, we’ve got to use so much. There’s so much energy used, and getting that space shuttle and the rockets off the ground. It’s the same thing in anything you start. So you know, as as the trains rolling down the tracks you missed once it’s still going. So jump back on the next day, because if you miss again, that train is going to come to a halt, and then you’re gonna have to expend so much energy getting it moving again.

Mike Malatesta  41:41

Now reminds me, there’s a sign at the boxing gym I go to and it says, you miss one day you know it. You missed two days, your opponent knows that. You missed three days. Everyone knows it. Wow.

Jeff Wickersham  41:54

I like that. Yeah,

Mike Malatesta  41:55

that’s pretty good. That’s pretty good. So your book, which I unfortunately, I did not get a chance to read because we just connected last week, and I just didn’t get to I usually love to read the books before I talk about him. But the title rise, fight, love repeat. Where did that come from? And what does it mean?

Jeff Wickersham  42:20

Great question. And it came through self discovery. And I was really looking for a mantra for me to operate with on a daily basis as well as you know, my clients and the people in my network and its rise is is like a phoenix rising from the ashes reborn each day, right? And that’s kind of that very symbolic of that fresh start, right of giving ourselves grace. We can’t change what didn’t happen yesterday. But you have a new blank canvas to paint a beautiful masterpiece of your life each day. So that’s the rise. The fight is brain, that dog fight mentality to your life. And so many people are not bringing that tenacity that grit, that energy, that fight to their physical fitness, mental fitness, nutritional fitness, career, personal lives, you’ve got to fight for what you want. And too many people are in that comfort zone. They’re in that between that 6872 degrees and they never get out of it. And they’re just kind of sliding through life. So we’ve got to fight for what we truly want. Desire, believe we can get love. We talked about love a little bit right self love loving yourself most importantly, then you can love all those around you. And the repeat is just the repetition, right? That consistency. Consistency is the ultimate force multiplier, right? You can give energy, effort, time focus. If you don’t have that, see that multiplier at the top, you’re not going to get tremendous results. So being consistent over and over again. So that’s a mantra I wear on my wrist and and live sleep and breathe every single day.

Mike Malatesta  44:05

And you bet you back that title up with the subtitle ignite your morning fire. What? What does that mean? I mean, you hear a lot of people talk about morning routines and stuff. I’m not sure if that’s what you mean by morning fire or if there’s something else to it.

Jeff Wickersham  44:19

Yeah, it is. It’s it’s igniting that fire from within. Right? We talked about unleashing that inner hero. I’m a firm believer that if you book in your days last 30 minutes last 10 minutes first 31st 10 minutes, stack wins in the morning, feel good about yourself physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally. You’re going to have a fire within your soul within your heart. And you’re going to be able to attack the day you’re going to be able to accomplish amazing things you’re going to be able to have an impact, a positive impact on all those around you. So you know I wanted I wanted something that was very symbolic of igniting like here it is. You got some fire and you’re ready to take on the day.

Mike Malatesta  44:59

So You you described yourself as an introverted kid and hearing you talk and you know, getting an under better understanding of what you actually do. How do you consider yourself now? Do you consider yourself still introverted? And you have this sort of platform that brings out the, you know, I think you said when you were playing it, it I don’t know, I think you said something like paraphrasing again, but it was your avenue to perform on the field was sort of your avenue to express yourself, I guess. Because as I’m listening to I’m like, this is a hard guy to keep up with me in a good way. Like, you know, is it so I’m just wondering how you feel about yourself? Are you sort of still introverted about these things in this and you know, your coaching and your training, bring out the sort of extraversion of you are V changed?

Jeff Wickersham  46:07

I’ve definitely changed, right. And I was just to give another sample. I mean, my senior class of graduating high school on the male side, I was voted biggest complainer of my senior. Oh, my gosh. So if you think about, like, that’s just a great piece to share with the audience, because they hear me and hear my positivity and my energy. I wasn’t always like

Mike Malatesta  46:29

that. Right? What was going on with that made you like that? What? Tell me more?

Jeff Wickersham  46:33

I don’t know. Right? That’s just who I was back then. So it’s, it’s kind of interesting. And I was, you know, you think about okay, was I truly like that. And then I had a fraternity brother in college. And he mentioned to me when he was in one of my groups a couple of years ago, he he reiterated, he said, You were kind of a Debbie Downer in college. And I was like, Man, I guess, you know, I you don’t remember that. But it’s great to give that context to the audience. Because it’s not where you start. It’s where you finish. And we can change. We can go through multiple constant iterations of ourselves. And if you get on that curiosity path, if you get on that growth path, you can learn, develop, and build courage, build confidence. So to your question. I am, I have times where I still revert back to that introverted childhood, Jeff, but more and more, I am outgoing, more extroverted. I mean, if you would have told me eight years ago, I would get up and stand and speak for a half an hour, in a crowded room of 100 and 125. People, I would have said, you were crazy, because I was the last one to raise my hand and corporate America and speak in a group of 80 because I just didn’t, I was terrified of public speaking. But I chose to start a podcast I chose to start develop my speaking skills I and through those repetitions. And quite honestly sucking when I started, right, we have this misconception that we’re going to be great at stuff. I was terrible. I mean, I used to go on social media. I remember when I had my gym, and I went on and the first time I went live, the camera at my hand was shaking, sweat was rolling down my face. And I was talking like this. Thanks for being here. And so you know, it’s just a it’s a testament to repetitions. It’s a testament to practicing. It’s a testament to when you do that, you build courage, because you learn you get better. You take your lumps and continue down that that road. So long story, to long answer to your question as far as where I consider myself much more extroverted to now. And I know because I have a purpose, I have a passion and I know other people are hurting, that I need to be that way to pull them out from where they’re at.

Mike Malatesta  49:01

It’s funny that the first time I did any public speaking was in front of a, like at a corporate event, and I was 24 or so. And I was definitely not prepared, and I was terrified, and it sucked. And I sweated so much, and I I swore off of it for many, many years, almost 20 years, almost 20 years I did not do it. And then I said to myself one day, Jesus, I mean, if you can’t do this and express your ideas in a, you know around a group of people, which I could do fine just sitting with a group of people, but as soon as you sort of elevated you on a stage or you put yourself in more people all of a sudden I started I bid got trades I just, I felt so dumb. I felt dumb. I felt dumb not being able or not having the concert or whatever to to do it. And I waited like way, way, way too long. So did you get there just by repetition because that’s, that’s amazing if you if you did

Jeff Wickersham  50:23

I did, so I’ve had multiple iterations of the podcast, I’ve done over 1400 episodes of a couple podcasts that I’ve had. I mean, going live on social media, doing those repetitions, filming videos. I mean, the past six, seven years, I’ve done that so much that I was able to work on my speaking skills and craft a message, and then I did go to a Toastmasters, right, like I went to a Toastmasters, a local Toastmasters and you know, the process there is they say, alright, new people, you’ve got to come up and speak and Old Jeff would have been the last one to raise his hand. And this kind of goes back to that cold shower, right, of the mind saying don’t do this. Well, they said Alright, who wants to get up and speak? First hand up. I was like, I’ll do it. Right. And just doing that, I celebrated that on the way up, got up, spoke. And was feeling much better. And it’s amazing when you just stretch yourself a little bit out of your comfort zone, how that can unlock and untap, like we talked about Goggins, 40%, right, that untapped potential that you have inside that so many times you let your mind stop you from getting into and uncovering.

Mike Malatesta  51:49

1400. So I had said, 300 at the beginning, so maybe 300 of your Hidden Edge, so that you had done other stuff. 1400. And you started, like around the same time? I did, I think like in 2018, or something? I think you told me, right?

Jeff Wickersham  52:07

Yeah, it was it was about four years ago, and I didn’t interview any guests when I started. So I said, Alright, how do I get better at this? I said, I’m gonna do it a daily episode for an entire year. So I did 365 straight episodes, released one every day and that, again, repetition. Behind the mic, nobody can see you. All right, that works for me.

Mike Malatesta  52:29

So I was going to ask you to explain what your podcast is about. And so I want you to do that. But I also want you to you do both, you still do both solos and you have conversations like the one that we’re having. Not yet people. I’m wondering how you determine or choose, you know, what you’re going to talk about on solos versus who you’re going to have on, because I’ve been doing that too. I do one solo and one conversation like this a week. But for most of the time, I didn’t do any solos, because I didn’t think I had anything to talk about, you know, just myself. So I’m always interested in what goes through the creator’s mind when it comes to you know, how you want to put your podcast together?

Jeff Wickersham  53:16

Yeah, so from a solo episode, I’m just always grabbing something that happens in my life for a lesson that I’ve learned from or an experience or something happens where I either get a rep in from a mindset muscle perspective, or, you know, it’s relevant to just being a human being and going through those trials and tribulations. So that’s, I always have notes in my phone. And I’m always just jotting down ideas for different podcasts. That’s how I’ve been able to create so many. And I feel like that people can resonate with that, right? Because it’s true, it’s authentic. It’s, hey, life’s not perfect. But here’s something I learned from a lesson or some experience I’ve had and hopefully that can help some people in their hidden edge. The podcast is all about sharing those edges that I’ve found in my life, and then interviewing guests that have an edge that has created a success or a pathway in their life, to stretch the frame of reality for other people. Because so many people, when they’re not exposed to it, they don’t know it’s possible. It’s just like, you know, Roger Bannister, the four-minute mile, nobody thought that was possible. Once it was done, within two weeks, three weeks, another guy broke it. And now we have high school athletes that are breaking the four-minute mile, right? So if we’re not exposed to new ideas, new thoughts, new ways of doing things, we’re gonna stay in that same lane. So that’s really the overall goal is to stretch that reality of my listeners and uncover maybe an edge that they have and when they can see that piece of gold underneath layers and layers that they might have, all of a sudden, their life changes, and they’re on this constant, never ending quest to be the best version of themselves. And I feel like that’s the most powerful place to be in life.

Mike Malatesta  55:12

And give me a little bit more about this concept of edge. What do you mean by, by that?

Jeff Wickersham  55:18

Well, so many people, society, parents, coaches, teachers, our upbringing, maybe our social circles now, we just have limitations. We have layers upon layers on top of us. And we haven’t thought about, hey, what are my strengths? What can I lean into? It’s just, we talked a little bit about like somebody else externally saying, hey, you’ve done amazing things. Like, we just, we’re not exposed to it enough to lean into it and say, Hey, I need to, I need to go this route, like, this is my strength, I should lean in and run with ths, like, my hair’s on fire, and I’m sprinting towards the lake. So it’s really just making them aware. And when you have an edge, that means you can compete in life and you can win at a lot of things in life. And I feel like that’s just a nice concept to think about.

Mike Malatesta  56:14

I like it. I like getting to the edge. Like I like how you talked about it being oftentimes covered up. I also might look at it and be like, well, your edge is rounded. You need somebody to come in here and chip, chip it back. So it’s like an edge. Right? So you really, you’re not discounting it. Like so many people discount their edges or their greatness, right? It’s like, oh, everybody’s the same as me, you know, and it’s, nobody’s the same as you, you know, it’s just a matter of, I think you’re right, it’s a matter of there are very, very few people who can consistently see their edge and keep it sharp by themselves.

Jeff Wickersham  56:59

I would agree, I would agree with you. And I would say I suffer from the same thing, right? It’s human. It’s the human condition. And if I do it, I know, I’ve had guests on my podcast, they do it, we all do it, then there’s nothing wrong with you. But you said it. There’s never going to be another you in the history of the universe. So you have greatness, you have some edge, some strength that you can lean into, that would fundamentally transform your life and all those around you.

Mike Malatesta  57:35

Right. Awesome. Well, that’s a fantastic place for us to end. Jeff, I It’s really been great talking to you. Thank you so much for being on the show. I mentioned at the beginning, that, you know, you work with leaders, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, VPs, you know, all these people who, who should contact you, if they want to work on their edge?

Jeff Wickersham  58:00

Someone that has this itch on the back of their neck that they can be more, have more, do more, they’re not reaching their potential, because I help my clients from where you’re at right now close that gap between where they’re at and their potential and if you close that gap, your life is going to transform and change. So you know, if you’ve got that itch on the back of your neck that you know, there’s more inside and you want to unleash that inner hero. Grab a time with me and let’s chat for sure.

Mike Malatesta  58:40

Are you out there for a second? Did you say where to go? I didn’t hear that.

Jeff Wickersham  58:44

I didn’t, so they can they can go out to and grab a time with me.

Mike Malatesta  58:52

All right. Well, Jeff Wickersham thank you so much for being on the show. 15,000 Pull Ups, by the end of the year you’re gonna have what?

Jeff Wickersham  59:03

Geez, I should be well over 16,000 By the end of the year since I just hit it.

Mike Malatesta  59:10

16,000 that’s workable. Congratulations, man. And thanks for being on the show. Go buy Jeff’s book on Amazon, Rise, Fight, Love, Repeat and connect with him, like he said, at And you won’t be sorry. Thanks, Jeff. 

Thanks Mike. 

Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta

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