The Hard Way w/ Joe De Sena

Tired of just getting by each day without making progress toward your goals? Learn how one man used an unconventional morning routine to overcome a near-death experience, beat cancer against all odds, and write a bestselling book impacting millions.
 
Hal Elrod shares his strategies for developing resilience in the face of adversity, finding peace within through acceptance, and taking back control of your health and wellness. Discover the simple daily practices that comprise Hal's Miracle Morning ritual and how you can start your own ritual today to see positive changes in 90 days.
 
This inspiring episode with Spartan Race founder Joe De Sena will give you practical tips to develop a growth mindset, overcome obstacles, and finally start living the life you want.
 
Highlights:

00:00 Intro
01:00 Moving from California to Texas
04:11 Hal’s childhood and his first job
05:23 A car crash and 6 minutes of death
07:18 Accepting reality and having faith
11:22 A cancer diagnosis at 37 and a healing mindset
13:48 Doing everything in your power to succeed
16:22 The Miracle Morning book
18:09 Hal’s decision to run a marathon
20:07 How can people find Hal?
22:06 S.A.V.E.R.S - 6 practices of Miracle Morning

Direct download: THW_Full_Episode_-_Hal_Elrod_2.mp3
Category:lifestyle -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Kevin Kaiser has an unconventional approach to business that was shaped by his roots growing up on a farm in Canada. As a professor at Wharton, one of the top business schools in the world, Kaiser is challenging the status quo.
 
In this fascinating podcast episode, Kaiser shares the philosophies that have made him an outlier - treating companies like living organisms that must constantly adapt to survive. He believes success breeds complacency if you don't disrupt yourself.
 
You will learn Kaiser's unique strategies for avoiding complacency and staying motivated through unpredictability. You'll discover why he argues against giving employees clear goals and instead pushes them outside their comfort zones.
 
Kaiser also dives into mindset, explaining how to "own" your thoughts and emotions rather than identify with them. For business leaders and entrepreneurs, this podcast provides an invigorating fresh perspective on value creation, leadership, and turning assumptions on their heads.
 
Highlights:
00:00 Intro
01:01 Kevin Kaiser’s background
02:08 Business as a living organism
03:55 Who decides how to deploy resources?
06:03 Students at Wharton and fragility
09:44 How do big companies like Kodak fail?
13:18 Staying relevant as a company
15:33 Don’t listen to evolutionary wants
19:26 Challenges and the example of Toyota
22:26 Being the manager of your mind, body, and emotions
24:58 How can people find Kevin?

Direct download: THW_Full_Episode_-_Kevin_Kaiser.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:54pm EDT

Dr. John Jaquish discovered a revolutionary way to build strong bones that goes against everything you've been told.
 
In this insightful conversation with Joe De Sena, Dr, John reveals how he cured his own mother's osteoporosis and created a $100 million business - all by ignoring conventional wisdom.
 
He will also open your eyes to why workouts like weightlifting don't work, and share his portable home gym that packs serious muscle-building power. By the end, you'll be left wondering what other "facts" about health and fitness are actually dead wrong. Dr. John will change what you think you know about building muscle and strength.
 
Don't miss this eye-opening conversation that just may transform your health forever. Tune in now!

Highlights:

00:00 Intro
01:15 Dr. John Jaquish and his biomedical company
02:49 Dr. John’s childhood, college, and entrepreneurship
06:32 OsteoStrong - a medical device that treats osteoporosis
11:13 Exposure to cold and health benefits
14:19 The importance of hip joint strength
16:07 Joe’s accident and dislocation of hip joint
18:55 Bone density, weight lifting, and the X3 System
26:24 Veganism and ancestral animal-based diet
33:54 Where can people find Dr. John?

Direct download: THW_Full_Episode_-_Dr_John_Jaquish.mp3
Category:lifestyle -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode, Joe se Sena is having an insightful conversation with TeamSnap CEO Pete Frintzilas. Pete shares how facing challenges as a child of immigrants built his resilience and success. He discusses lessons learned on instilling a strong work ethic in kids without spoiling them.
 
Joe and Pete also discuss how continuous learning and seeking guidance from mentors fueled their growth and empowered them to overcome obstacles. Discover actionable advice on prioritizing your career early, developing an immigrant work ethic, and showing appreciation to accelerate your success from scratch.
 
Tune in now!
 
Highlights:
00:00 Intro
01:01 Pete Frintzilas's background and childhood
03:55 Raising resilient children
07:31 Overprinting of the first child
09:05 Challenges of being a CEO of a big company
10:56 Hard work, mentors, and professional growth
13:24 Communication, gratitude, and working hard
15:55 Regret for not starting a business earlier
17:54 Where can people find Pete?

Direct download: THW_Full_Episode_-_Pete_Frintzilas.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Victor Antonio knows what it's like to struggle. Growing up in poverty-stricken Chicago housing projects, he faced an uphill battle. But through grit and determination, he climbed his way to the top.
 
In this fascinating episode, Victor pulls back the curtain on his amazing success story. From food stamps as a child to writing bestsellers, he shares the pivotal moments that changed his trajectory.
 
Learn Victor's unorthodox tactics for understanding customers on a deeper level. Discover how he trains sales teams to minimize objections and build lasting relationships. You'll be inspired by the man who turned adversity into advantage through education, hard work, and never giving up.
 
Highlights:
01:01 Victor Antonio’s childhood and family
03:45 Family dynamics and education
06:28 Culture shock of going to college
08:35 Fundamental attribution error and personal growth
13:31 The value of an engineering degree
16:01 Leaving his job and writing a book
18:53 Sales Ex Machina book and understanding AI
22:38 Data is the new oil
24:06 Sales engineer: Pre-internet and post-internet sales
27:23 The latest book Relationship Selling
28:36 Life or Debt reality show

Direct download: THW_Full_Episode_-_Victor_Antonio.mp3
Category:lifestyle -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode of The Hard Way podcast, Joe De Sena interviews Paul Foster, the founder of the iconic fitness brand Reebok.
 
Tune in as Foster recounts growing up in a family shoe business plagued by infighting, and his risky decision to break out on his own with his brother. Listen how this small startup found its big break by pivoting to capitalize on the aerobics craze just starting to sweep the nation.
 
Foster shares the story of how resilience, innovation, and an openness to new opportunities allowed Reebok to outmaneuver giants and become the #1 brand in women's fitness worldwide. De Sena and Foster also discuss invaluable lessons around turning obstacles into opportunities and how perseverance can pay off big for entrepreneurs willing to work hard and think outside the box.
 
Highlights:
00:00 Intro
00:49 How did Reebok start?
04:16 Selling Reebok and going into aerobics
06:24 Surviving and thriving in business
08:07 Working with family members
09:23 Why do most companies fail?
10:43 The role of luck in success
11:28 The importance of sports
12:55 Writing a book - Shoemaker
15:42 How can people find Joe?
16:08 Preparing the second book
17:53 Just keep going

Direct download: THW_Full_Episode_-_Joe_Foster.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

The Lovesac founder Shawn Nelson started with a silly college project - giant beanbags. Now he leads the top-selling couch brand in America. How did he go from dorm room side hustle to building a business worth billions? Tune in as Shawn shares his wild journey of overcoming failures, bankruptcy and naysayers.
 
Plus, hear Shawn and Joe discussing the couch controversy and finding common ground in their philosophies of pushing limits. Get practical tips on developing grit, balancing work and rest, and achieving your potential through consistent effort and facing fears.
 
This inspiring conversation provides valuable lessons for entrepreneurs, parents, and anyone striving to maximize success while maintaining well-being. Don't miss Shawn Nelson's intriguing rise from beanbags to billions.
 
Highlights:

00:00 Intro
00:49 Overnight success story of Lovesac
02:24 Furniture that evolves with you
04:01 Do we really need a couch?
06:36 Rewiring your brain to be active
11:11 Pushing your kids until it works
17:00 Opening dopamine pathways
20:34 Spartan race Massachusetts
21:05 Finding your own thing
24:50 Where can people find Shawn
Direct download: THW_Full_Episode_-_Shawn_Nelson.mp3
Category:lifestyle -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

When does pursuing your goals mean neglecting your relationships? For high-performing couples, maintaining intimacy may become hard and require intentionality.
 
In this episode, Amy Wine shares her strategies for helping elite athletes, entrepreneurs and busy professionals prioritize connection - even when life gets hectic. Learn a system for designing communication around each partner's unique rhythms and needs.
 
Learn about the "married roommate" trap and how to overcome it. Discover Amy's techniques for educating spouses on the elite mindset and scheduling meaningful moments together.
 
Whether you're training for the Olympics or building an empire, get Amy's advice for keeping romance alive while chasing your dreams.
 
Highlights:
00:00 Intro
01:04 Who is Amy Wine?
01:40 Troubles with relationships
03:57 Married roommates stage
07:31 High-class problems
09:21 Being there for your spouse
11:23 The mindset of wanting the change
15:46 Finding the joy
18:08 We don’t own stuff, it owns us
20:41 How can people find Amy?

Direct download: THW_Full_Episode_-_Amy_Wine_W_MudGear_Ad.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

While most would have quit after repeatedly getting cut from teams, Dre Baldwin refused to give up on his basketball dreams. This episode shares his incredible journey from benchwarmer to going pro, despite the countless setbacks along the way.
 
You'll learn how he maintained an unstoppable motivation to improve day after day through strategies like constantly problem-solving new approaches. Dre also discusses the mindset it takes to achieve big goals, emphasizing the importance of working with others who are truly ready to put in the effort.
 
For anyone wanting to up their game in life and business, this episode is a must-watch source of inspiration and practical advice on overcoming obstacles through grit and determination.
 
Highlights:
00:00 Intro
00:46 Work on Your Game phrase
02:29 Why don’t people work on their game?
04:55 Staying focused and motivated  
06:55 Fight against the gravity
08:45 How to motivate unmotivated people?
14:17 Joe’s invite to his event
15:18 Transformation stories
19:31 How can people find Dre

Direct download: THW_Full_Episode_-_Dre_Baldwin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Tired of conflicting advice on diabetes? This episode sets the record straight. Dr. Robbie Barbero, who reversed his own Type 1 diabetes with a plant-based diet, unpacks the science on what really causes insulin resistance.ro
 
You'll be shocked to learn it's NOT sugar as you've been told. Dr. Barbero reveals new research proving dietary fat - not sugar - is the true culprit behind the diabetes epidemic.
 
He'll also share his own protocol for reversing pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes through a high-carb, low-fat, plant-based approach.
 
Don't miss this revealing look at the real factors driving the diabetes crisis and take control of your insulin levels and health.
 
Highlights:
00:00 Intro
01:04 Dietary fat and sugar's role in insulin resistance
04:06 Low fat, high carbs diet for managing Type 1 diabetes
06:16 Robby’s typical daily routine – exercise and diet
10:12 Monitoring blood glucose levels
12:30 Eat more salad
15:39 Do plants want to kill us?
17:16 Healthy packaged foods and use of microwaves
20:56 The experiment with liquid sugar diet
22:12 The biggest impact is what you not eat
24:40 Find what is best for you
26:04 Joe’s story about his dad

Direct download: THW_Full_Episode_-_Robby_Barbaro.mp3
Category:lifestyle -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

This episode follows the transformation of successful entrepreneur Andy Goldstrom from a results-driven corporate executive to a compassionate parenting coach. Faced with his own daughter's mental health struggles, Andy realized the tough love approach that worked in business failed his family.
 
Through difficult lessons and parent coaching certification, Andy learned to see issues through his child's eyes. Now he shares these hard-won insights to help others strengthen bonds with kids facing unprecedented challenges.
 
Tune in as Andy discusses his pivotal journey with Spartan Race founder Joe De Sena. Hear real-world strategies for setting boundaries, building trust and finding perspective - even in divorce. Discover how simple acts of attunement can ease parenting pressures in our hyper-connected world.

Connect with Andy: www.parentsjourneycoaching.net
 
Highlights:
00:00 Intro
00:43 Mental health challenges
04:03 Learning curve and coaching
08:11 Authoritative parenting styles
09:35 Setting boundaries around dating
11:10 When to allow the use of phones
12:56 Kids today have too much pressure
17:12 The importance of exercise for anxiety and depression
18:30 Welcome to Holland parable
20:57 Three things for parents to do
23:08 Kids need support and understanding

Direct download: THW_-_Andy_Goldstrom_V2_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Tired of being average? Want to take your game to the next level and become unstoppable? This episode will show you how to maximize your innate strengths, tap into your deepest interests, and unleash an unstoppable drive to win.
 
Former military strategist James King shares his science-backed approach to identifying your "sweet spot" and aligning your goals in a way that ignites your full potential. Spartan CEO Joe De Sena opens up about applying these principles to build an empire and change millions of lives.
 
Discover the secrets of the world's top performers and leave with an action plan to optimize your body and mind for total excellence.
 
Highlights:
00:00 Intro
00:42 Who is James King?
02:45 Studying performance science at the University of Edinburg
09:26 Key goals to pursue in order to excel
12:42 Leaning into strengths or fixing the weaknesses?
15:01 How hard is it to figure out your interests?
17:41 Just start doing something
20:22 Finding your sweet spot
23:13 The University of Better

For more insights into James King, be sure to explore:

Social Media Handles-
Instagram: @jamesaking_
LinkedIn: @acceleratingexcellence
Youtube: @acceleratingexcellence
Twitter: @jamesaking

Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B15MT2F9?ref_=cm_sw_r_cp_ud_dp_WC2SR2T9WSA12ZZCTFDP

Spotfiy: https://open.spotify.com/show/5LJFspGl7b0e5YuxMfPLpx?si=be50920d345347ea

Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-accelerating-excellence-podcast/id1706636304

Direct download: THW_Full_Episode_-_James_King_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:15pm EDT

In this episode, marketing pioneer Seth Godin shares his proven strategies for building viral movements and brands. He and the Spartan founder Joe De Sena talk about the power of cultivating small, passionate communities over mass appeal.
 
Godin draws from his experience helping top brands connect through stories and building a community. He explains how understanding the way ideas spread socially unlocked his viral successes.
 
Seth points out that the most successful brands are built like "religions" that unite people through shared experiences. He also talks about happiness as a choice and the advantages of the world we live in.
 
For anyone wanting to inspire a change, this conversation provides valuable lessons on spreading ideas that uplift, becoming a viral phenomenon, and establishing movements that empower lives.

Episode presented by MudGear
 
Highlights:
00:00 Intro
00:42 The world is not your customer
02:08 Is a small audience enough?
04:31 The secret to becoming viral
08:01 The success of Joe’s New York restaurant
09:10 What would Seth as a head of Spartan?
13:33 How did Seth find his path?
14:25 Being happy is a choice
16:47 Building a brand is building a religion
18:36 The war in Ukraine from a marketing perspective
21:12 How can you find Seth?

Direct download: THW_Full_Episode_-_Seth_Godin_W_Sponsor_MudGear.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode, Joe De Sena interviews Michael Holt from Savage and Saint on redefining masculinity through integrity, authenticity and inner strength.
 
They discuss growing up tough and how it shapes character, plus the importance of discipline and relaxation in achieving goals and relationships.
Michael shares his daily wellness routine of meditation, breathing, nutrition and movement - practical self-care habits that unlock spiritual growth and sustainable energy.
 
Discover an empowering blueprint for well-being, success and real relationships - without macho posturing or martyrdom.
 
Highlights:
00:00 Intro
01:15 How can we define masculinity?
04:40 The balance of challenge and acceptance
07:51 Going too far in achieving the mission
12:08 The fear of stopping and relaxing
15:54 Six pillars of well-being
19:52 The meditative path is the warrior path

Direct download: Full_Audio_1.mp3
Category:lifestyle -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Craig Levinson has overcome countless obstacles on his journey from South Africa to Silicon Valley. After immigrating as a teen, he chased his basketball dreams in the US only to have a devastating injury end his career. But he refused to quit, pivoting to build supplement brands and manage inspirational clients.
 
Through it all, 3 principles have guided him: accountability, consistency, and self-care. In this episode, Craig shares gripping tales of his moves across the world, business failures, and backstage encounters that led him to create a very sought-after agency. His story is an inspiration for anyone willing to keep chasing their dreams against all odds.
 
Highlights:

00:00 Intro
00:43 Craig Levinson’s family and background
02:34 Moving to the United States at 19
05:13 Playing college basketball and getting injured
08:18 Creating a supplement brand and failing
11:31 Pivoting and finding a way through
13:10 Meeting his faith in the backstage of Ellen DeGeneres show
15:33 Working with A-list clients
17:34 Thee things important for success
20:48 How to find Craig?
21:54 Final words

Direct download: THW_Full_Episode_-_Craig_Levinson_V2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Tired of kids glued to screens when they should be running around outside? Frustrated with the lack of PE and recess in schools? Dr. Amy Bantham has had enough - and she's starting a revolution to get our youth active again.
 
As the founder of Move to Live More, Amy is trying to empower families and schools in a fight against physical inactivity. In this motivating episode, she shares why movement matters for mental and physical health, tips for fun family fitness, and innovative solutions to get kids off devices and onto the field.
 
Whether you're a parent wanting to role model wellness or a community member passionate about youth sports, this show will energize and inspire you to join Amy's movement. Discover practical ways to weave activity into everyday life and help reverse the inactivity crisis - one kid at a time.
 
Highlights:
00:00 Intro
00:43 Who is Amy Bantham?
02:27 The lack of physical activity in kids
04:59 What can school and parents do?
08:26 Kids going outside for recess policy
11:12 What can we do?
12:32 How can people join the Move to Live More movement?
14:17 Start with a small activity

Direct download: THW_Full_Episode_-_Amy_Bantham_V2.mp3
Category:lifestyle -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Jacob Peters almost died after a COVID-19 vaccine left him hospitalized. Instead of accepting defeat, he was driven to help others avoid similar struggles. His new company Superpower aims to put people in charge of their health data and connect them to innovative care.
 
This episode follows Jacob's incredible journey—from building Legos into a six-figure business as a teen to founding a major health tech company after a chance meeting on Wall Street. But it was facing his mortality that lit a fire within Jacob. Now, he's building the future of healthcare, one that ensures no one has to fight for their life alone. Get ready to be inspired to reclaim your health and well-being.
 
Highlights:
00:15 Jacob Peters's journey into health space
05:04 Choosing Entrepreneurship Over Military Career
07:45 From Lego reselling company to Wall Street
09:57 A start-up started by solving Microsoft’s problem
13:28 Lego blocks translated into business building
17:06 Jacob’s health problems after COVID vaccine
26:14 The help of holistic physicians
28:51 Jacob’s current business in health space - Superpower
33:03 Three things everyone should be doing every day

Direct download: THW_Full_Episode_-_Jacob_Peters_V2.mp3
Category:lifestyle -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Tired of the same old drinking culture? In this unconventional podcast episode, Spartan CEO Joe De Sena joins forces with wellness entrepreneur Ruari Fairbairns to drop bombshell strategies for helping people take back control over their lives from Big Alcohol.
 
From waking guests at dawn with burpees to proposing "water-only" bars, these disruptors will challenge your assumptions with their boldest ideas yet for growing the global sobriety movement.
 
You'll also get the surprising backstory of how their chance meeting in Iceland sparked their amazing friendship and partnership. Plus, discover little-known industry tactics that have fueled a drinking epidemic worldwide.
 
For anyone looking to reclaim their freedom from alcohol or support loved ones, this can't-miss conversation provides the unfiltered insights you need to finally change your lifestyle. Are you ready to join the disruption? Listen now to get your game plan.
 
Highlights:

00:00 Intro
00:54 A crazy story about meeting in Iceland
05:07 You must be available for opportunities
07:02 Making the hard road easy
10:45 How to get more people to join?
15:15 Alcohol destroys our ability to deal with stress
16:36 Manipulations of the alcohol industry to increase alcohol consumption
19:34 Peer pressure and choosing not to drink
21:16 Helping people control drinking

 ------

Ruari Fairbairns is the founder and CEO of OYNB, a leading figure in the health and well-being space. He was awarded Great British Entrepreneur of the Year for Scotland and Northern Ireland 2020, with OYNB also being named The Spectator’s Economic Innovator of the Year in the UK. Known for his passionate advocacy for healthier living, Ruari has been instrumental in steering OYNB to the forefront of the alcohol-free movement, inspiring over 100,000 people worldwide to reassess their relationship with alcohol and strive to become the best version of themselves.

Direct download: Ruari_Fairbaims_Corrections.mp3
Category:lifestyle -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

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