Skip to content

312 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do with Amy Morin, One of America’s Favorite Psychotherapists

Over the recent past, we’ve all been through one of the craziest, most challenging times in modern history. simultaneously, we’ve had to negotiate all of these things, inside of the context of dealing with our personal lives, our businesses, our careers, and any life challenges that we may have had along the way. So we thought that it would be great to welcome back the legendary Amy Morin, for some much needed group psychotherapy.

In less than a decade, Amy Morin has become one of America’s most popular psychotherapists. She’s just got that special quality. Amy is a person who is radically human, incredibly smart, empathetic, and surprisingly, approachable. Maybe that’s why we think she’s become America’s top or one of the top Psychotherapist and a multi-time Bestselling Author.

Her new book is out, and it’s called 13 things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do Workbook. So in this episode, we dive into all that and find out ways to tactically bolster our own mental strength as we go along.

You’re listening to Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different. We are the real dialogue podcast for people with a different mind. So get your mind in a different place, and hey ho, let’s go.

A Quick Update on Amy Morin

Amy has been a guest before in Follow Your Different, and since then she has written new things and accomplished so much more.

While Amy has many years of experience and success as a psychotherapist and writer, she quickly found herself with new inspiration and multiple inputs when Covid struck the world. Given the mental strain of worrying about a pandemic, the additional factor of having to stay home and people being exposed to a plethora of terrible news on TV, as well as the helplessness of being unable to do anything, did a number on everyone.

Amy realized that she was in a unique position of having the knowledge to assist and a way to share that knowledge through her podcasts and later, in print. As a result, she has written a few works on how to deal with mentally demanding situations and stress, and she recently released a workbook on how to boost one’s mental strength.

Mental Health Podcast or Therapy?

Amy shares that sometimes, their mental health podcast turns into an impromptu psychotherapy session – not just for the guest, but as well as the listeners who are going through the same situation in their own ways.

When asked about the difference between podcasting and her psychotherapy sessions, Amy admits that there are times that those two seem to blur together, yet she thinks it is important to keep a distinction.

Sometimes, the therapist in me wants to respond one way, and then I’m like, but there’s people listening. So you need to respond in another way. So I’m always very aware of that, like, ‘Oh, am I gonna respond to this a little bit differently. And I want to be empathetic’. But at the same time, I didn’t want to open up a can of worms for somebody who forgets that this is a podcast. I don’t want to ever make it seem like we’re getting them to open up in a way to then take advantage of them.”

– Amy Morin

The importance of having a healthy amount of Not-Give-A-Shit Attitude

We then talk about what it is like to have a public following, and how having a healthy amount of no-give-a-shit attitude helps wonders with their own mental health.

Amy agrees with this, and shares that she recently did a podcast about the topic of bad mental health advice you might be getting in social media. She had wanted to explore the topic more, and even go so much as contact those who posted the now-viral meme “advice”.

But she didn’t go through with it in the end. At the end of the day, all she’d gain is a migraine from arguing with people who don’t care. She would rather focus on her own inner peace and work on other topics for her own podcast.

To hear more from Amy Morin and how to bolster your mental strength to take on the world, download and listen to this episode.


Amy Morin is a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and a lecturer at Northeastern University.

She’s been dubbed the “self-help guru of the moment,” by The Guardian and Forbes refers to her as a “thought leadership star.”

Her knowledge of mental strength stems far beyond her professional experience.

She’s experienced a series of losses in her personal life that gave her first-hand insight into the strategies that build resilience.

In 2013, her article 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do was read by over 30 million people around the world.

Her best-selling book, also called, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, is being translated into 25 languages.

Her newest book, “13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do: Raising Self-Assured Children and Training Their Brains for a Life of Happiness, Meaning, and Success” is a sensation. 

Amy’s advice has been featured by a number of media outlets, including: Parenting, Time, Fast Company, Good Housekeeping, Elle, Business Insider, Cosmopolitan, Success,, Health, Fox News, US News & World Report, and The Washington Post. She has also provided on-camera interviews for Fox Business, Forbes, TheBlaze TV and an upcoming documentary with Red Bull. She’s a frequent guest on a variety of radio shows as well.

Amy serves as Verywell’s Parenting Teens Expert and Child Discipline Expert. She’s a regular contributor to Forbes, Inc., and Psychology Today.

A sought after speaker, Amy loves to share the latest research on resilience and the best strategies for overcoming adversity and building mental muscle.


Connect with Amy Morin!

Amy’s Website | Twitter | Verywell Health

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on iTunes!

164 How to be a Legendary Creator/Writer: Sachit Gupta & Christopher Lochhead Unpack #1 Bestseller Snow Leopard

LOM_Episodes-164 - Sachit Gupta & Christopher Lochhead

Recently, I was a guest with the legendary Sachit Gupta on his fantastic podcast called Conscious Creators, which I highly recommend. During our conversation on his podcast, we unpack Category Pirates’ most recent book Snow Leopard. Our producer Jason DeFilippo heard this podcast and thought it’d be a great idea to drop it here for you.

What you’re about to hear is me and Satya go deep on what it takes to be a successful native digital creator slash writer.

Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind.

The Reason for Podcasting

The conversation starts off with a discussion of how the two first met, and it was through the legendary podcaster Jordan Harbinger. Christopher was looking into getting sponsors and thinking about was to monetize his podcast, and was recommended to Sachit Gupta this way.

While he did get ideas on different styles of monetization, the biggest thing that Christopher got out of the conversation was the realization that monetization was not his primary focus on doing podcasts.

“I sort of had this aha that said, “Hey, wait a minute, dude, this was actually never about money”. And if I want to make money, I know how to go do that. So you sort of set my head straight, and that the emphasis was on the wrong syllable that if I wanted to make money, I knew how to go make money in a way that was much more exponential than being essentially an ad salesperson.

The real gift you gave me around podcasting, was that I’m not doing this to monetize.”

– Christopher Lochhead

Sachit Gupta on Monetizing Directly vs Indirectly

One of the things that Sachit wanted to share was that one doesn’t have to monetize directly. Focus on making good content first and foremost, so that you can reach out and cultivate an audience naturally, rather than going for cookie-cutter approaches for a short-term viral status.

“Here’s what I see happening in this greater world right now: there’s a stat that I think like 75% of youngsters want to be YouTubers, and the path most of them see in front of them is go on YouTube or something else and create content that’s for the extremes, because that’s what spreads. And then once you chase views and get to a certain level of audience, you can monetize in some way, right. And if you don’t become big, you can’t monetize. In your book, you call like the obvious content, which is not really the stuff that’s useful.”

– Sachit Gupta

While there is merit to uploading consistent content, you don’t have to flood your audience with bit-sized content that is just a big nothing burger. Creating meaningful content, let’s say once every week or two is way better than just dropping portion-sized content that just adds to the collective brain-rot of society.

The Content Pyramid

The topic then shifts to the concept of the content pyramid, and what types of people thrive in each level.

Consumers, for example, are at base of the pyramid and consists of the largest section of it. In internet culture, there is something known as the 1% rule, which states that on social media platforms, 1% create while 99% consume.

Most people spend their entire lives being content consumers—not content creators. And that’s totally fine, so long as you understand you’re not “playing the game.” You’re sitting on the sidelines watching the game.

In order to “get in the game,” you must move out of consumption and up The Content Pyramid.

To hear more of the conversation between Sachit Gupta and Christopher Lochhead, download and listen to this episode.


Sachit Gupta

Connect with Sachit Gupta!

Website | Conscious Creators Show | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on iTunes!

199 How to Redesign Your Life w/ Eric Jorgensen

Redesign your life

At the moment, there is a big rise in “diseases of despair.” These are things like substance abuse, alcohol dependency, suicidal thoughts and behaviors. As a matter of fact, according to the medical journal BMJ, diseases of despair have soared in the United States over the past decade, rising 68% between 2009 and 2018. The study also shows suicidal thoughts and behaviors were up 70%. And all of that was of course before COVID.

However, despair doesn’t have to mean defeat. Our guest today, Eric Jorgensen is an extraordinary man. His son, William was born with significant disabilities. What you’re about to hear is the extraordinary tale of how Eric’s life turned to tragedy, the horrible suffering that he endured and the painful events of Eric and William’s life. You’ll also hear how this real American hero transformed, unbearable despair into triumph.

Road to Healing

Life often throws us whirlwinds of challenges, tragedy, and sometimes even despair. Eric shares his tale of how he has withstood the hardships of having cancer and taking care of his son with significant disabilities. He shares his extraordinary story of recovery, all the while dealing with the global pandemic, Covid-19. 

 “When I found out it was grade IIA cancer. I guess in the scheme of things, I was somewhere in the middle. I didn’t need chemo. I didn’t need radiation. In terms of recovery, I got really lucky. It was just a matter of taking care of my wound and letting it heal…In regard to COVID, alI I could think about is holy crap. It was scary. If I get sick, on top of cancer, and I can’t help my son out on his day to day stuff, what’s going to happen. Who’s going to do that for me?” – Eric Jorgensen

Channel Your Anger

The ability to appropriately express and channel one’s anger is one of the most important things about being human. Eric discusses how his anger, while not always constructive, was the driving force for him to start his own company. Rising through all this frustration and anger, it was able to lead him into where he is now.

“I was getting frustrated because what I was being asked to do, wasn’t what I wanted to do. It wasn’t helping the people I wanted to help. It wasn’t addressing the need I thought it needed to be filled… Now that I started my company ,I get to help families who are where I was eight years ago. Not knowing what to do and I’m catching them before they get there.” – Eric Jorgensen

Know You’re Not Alone

Eric shares his big learnings as he looks back over the last eight years of his life and how he has navigated through his challenges. One of the things he wants people to remember is that don’t try and do everything alone. Everyone is strong but oftentimes, one needs someone they can lean on and trust. 

“I kept it balled in and then it would shockingly blow up at the worst possible time. I would take it out on people that I had absolutely no reason for me to take it out on. So try to build a team or a tribe or whatever you call it. Try to build a group of people. I keep my circle pretty small. Get a couple of really tight people that you can really really trust.” – Eric Jorgensen

To know more how to redesign your life with Eric Jorgensen, download and listen to this episode.


Eric has been helping families with intellectual and developmental disabilities since his retirement from the Navy in 2012.

He was widowed the same year he retired.

At the time his 12 y/o autistic son, William, was completely dependent on his wife for everything.

It was his frustration with the difficulty of figuring out what to do and navigating services for his son which led him to found Special Needs Navigator.

Eric created the category of Special Needs Planning to help families, individuals and caregivers connect the dots when working with attorneys, financial advisors, and other professionals.

His specialty is helping them identify what they don’t know and provide clarity. He works with his clients around the country to develop individualized solutions best suited to their circumstances.

In addition to working with clients one on one; Special Needs Navigator has a blog, YouTube channel and podcast. Eric uses the blog to do a deep dive every week into subjects like ABLE accounts, Special Needs Trusts and other topics families frequently have questions about.

The podcast and YouTube channel focus on benefits, resources and services families may not know, or want to learn more, about.


Website: Special Needs Navigator

Podcast: ABC’s of Disability Planning

Facebook: @SpecNeedsNav

Twitter: @NeedsNavigator

Trends in the diagnosis of diseases of despair in the United States, 2009–2018: a retrospective cohort study

A New Study Found ‘Deaths Of Despair’ Soared Over The Past Decade

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on iTunes!

194 The Life of A Legendary Songwriter w/ Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer Sharon Vaughn

194 The Life of A Legendary Songwriter w/ Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer Sharon Vaughn

Today, we go deep into the life, lessons and learnings of a legendary musician, singer, producer, and songwriter Sharon Vaughn. Sharon has written hits for legends like Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Reba McEntire, The Oak Ridge Boys, George Jones, Kenny Rogers, Randy Travis, Patty Loveless, Agnes, and Kate Ryan. In 2019 Sharon was inducted into the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.

If you’re a creative person, if you love music and if you find inspiration in stories of amazing triumph, you’ll love this episode. Pay special attention to Sharon’s thoughts on the grand dame of country music, Dolly Parton.

A Creative Writing Instrument

Sharon discusses her professional and personal background and how she developed an interest in singing and songwriting. She goes into detail about how her writing process has been a schizophrenia lifestyle.

“It’s a very difficult line to walk because if you’re writing for strictly commercial, it gets vapid. If you’re writing strictly for an emotional purging, then it gets selfish and self centered. But if you walk that straight and narrow line between commercial and genuine emotion. That’s where the tension lies.” – Sharon Vaughn

Admiration of Musical Genius

Sharon continues to discuss her professional journey. She lets us in on her joys and difficulties of what it was like to work as a harmony singer. Further, she shares what it was like working with Jimmy Buffet, Porter Wagoner, Bill Anderson, and Dolly Parton.

Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame

Sharon describes her excitement and her thankfulness for being inducted to Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Further, she expresses her gratefulness to the people along the way who have been instrumental to her life. This all had contributed to her becoming a great listener and a legendary storyteller. 

“Everybody on this planet has a story. Most of them are very eager for you to hear it, to tell it. All you have to do is have enough curiosity to listen and respect what they’re saying. You have to realize that everybody in this world is worthy of listening to. I, for one, have been the recipient of listening to people and that’s the main thing I’m most grateful for. ” – Sharon Vaughn

To know more about the legendary Sharon Vaugh and her incredible life journey, download and listen to this episode. 


Vaughn moved to Nashville in her early 20s. In 1974, she charted two singles as a performer for Cinnamon Records: a duet with Narvel Felts titled “Until the End of Time”, and “Never a Night Goes By”. A year later, she signed with Dot Records and released a third single, “You and Me, Me and You”. She was also the lead singer in the Lea Jane Singers, and worked with the Jordanaires, the Nashville Edition and The Holladay Sisters.

Vaughn’s first big songwriting success was Waylon Jennings (1976) “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys.” Willie Nelson later popularized the song in 1980 for the soundtrack of the movie The Electric Horseman.

Her next songwriting hit was The Oak Ridge Boys (1977)’s “Y’all Come Back Saloon.” Since then she has worked with country artists such as Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Tanya Tucker and Kenny Rogers. Vaughn was a nominee for the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame three times, and was inducted in 2019.

Vaughn has during the last couple of years had over 100 cuts with European artists and four number ones in Japan. She has worked with several Swedish Idol artists including the winner Jay Smith (2010) and a number one hit for Ola. She has also worked with many Scandinavian songwriters and artists including Agnes, Mutt Lange, Tony Nilsson, Vendela, Anders Hanson and Emilia.

In 2009, her co-written song Release Me by Swedish pop artist Agnes reached #1 on the U.S Billboard Dance Club Songs Chart.[8] In 2013, Vaughn received a JASRAC Award as #1 of the Top 10 Foreign Works for her 2011 co-written song “Rising Sun” by the Japanese pop band EXILE.

During 2014, Vaughn competed as the songwriter of three songs in Melodifestivalen.

Vaughn has also co-written songs with Ian Dench[11] and Carl Falk.


Nashville Songwriters Foundation Hall of Fame

Waylon Jennings

My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys – Waylon Jennings

My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys – Willie Nelson

Wikipedia – My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys 

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on iTunes!


193 Ryan Holiday NY #1 Best Seller On “Lives Of The Stoics”

193 Ryan Holiday NY #1 Best Seller On “Lives Of The Stoics”

We continue our run on legendary authors today with none other than NY #1 Best Selling Author, Ryan Holiday. You see, the only authors we ever have are the ones that we think have ideas, teachings, and stories that are worth digging into. 

Today, we go deep into the teachings of some of the greatest thinkers in history. Ryan helps us see the events of today through the lens of powerful philosophers and history, providing today, in an incredible context. We deal with big topics like truth, character, pain, and suffering humor, and a lot more.

Invest Time in Reading

Chris lauded Ryan for writing a historical book in the age where almost everyone is addicted to selfies. Ryan was actually amazed himself how in this age and time, people still invest in time and money reading books. He shares what he thinks about good books and why people still opt for a book, instead of getting validation in social media. 

“I opened the book, there’s a story about Xenos, the founder of Stoicism. You get this prophecy as a young man that the Oracle tells him ‘you will become wise when you begin to have conversations with the dead.’ Years later at a chance encounter in a bookstore, do you come to realize that this prophecy was about reading, that books are a way to speak to the dead.” – Ryan Holiday

Condensed Life Experiences

Ryan and Chris discuss life-changing books. Ryan shares an anecdote from Socrates saying: “the reason you read is that you gain quite easily what others learned quite painfully.” He further describes his new book Lives Of The Stoics, as something less about him and more about the wisdom of the past.

“Reading is condensed information. It’s distilled down information. In reading one book, you could jump forward a year of your life, or 10 years of your life. It can save you painful trial and error.” – Ryan Holiday

An Escape and Reassurance

Ryan further shares what he thinks about good books being an escape and reassurance. Reading books, especially historical ones, will make you realize that you are not alone dealing with your feelings or that there are universal truths that span from generations. One of which is human struggling and the fight between good and evil.

“I find whenever I’m stressed about what’s happening, I try to study the past. This gives me a clear view of what’s happening right now.” – Ryan Holiday

 To know more about Ryan Holiday and his new NY best-selling book, Lives of the Stoics, download and listen to this episode.


Ryan Holiday is one of the world’s foremost thinkers and writers on ancient philosophy and its place in everyday life.

He is a sought-after speaker, strategist, and the author of many bestselling books including The Obstacle Is the Way; Ego Is the Enemy; and The Daily Stoic.

He’s newest book Lives Of The Stoics is an instant New York Times Advice & Business Bestseller, USA Today Bestseller, and Wall Street Journal #1 Bestseller.

His books have been translated into over 30 languages and read by over two million people worldwide. He lives outside Austin, Texas, with his family.


Website: Ryan Holiday 

Twitter: @ryanholiday

Instagram: @ryanholiday

Amazon – Lives of the Stoics: The Art of Living from Zeno to Marcus Aurelius

Lives of the Stoics by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman: Book Review, Key Lessons, Best Quotes, and More

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!

192 How Heroes Fight Wildfires w/ CAL FIRE Chief Jonathan Cox & ZoneHaven CEO Charlie Crocker

192 How Heroes Fight Wildfires w/CAL FIRE Chief Jonathan Cox & ZoneHaven CEO Charlie Crocker

In this episode, a truly legendary conversation with two extraordinary men, men who are on a mission to stop deadly wildfires. First, we have Charlie Croker, the founder and CEO of Zone Haven. Zone Haven is using data to everything technologies, to help government agencies and citizens both plan for and respond to serious disasters. 

Our second guest is Chief Jonathan Cox, CalFire Executive who is responsible for fire operations in this region. 

Together, Charlie and Jonathan share how firefighting heroes stop these fires and save countless lives and billions in property.

A Night Californians Will Never Forget 

The night of Saturday, August 15 2020, a massive lightning storm hit the region. Approximately 12,000 strikes of lightning hit Northern California which caused massive fires. The wildfire lasted for weeks and it destroyed almost 10,000 buildings along with the big basin redwoods State Park, and took the life of one person.

“It was a horrifying fire and it started eating the mountainous area that has a lot of underbrush, some of the most beautiful ancient redwoods, and a lot of wonderful homes, towns and businesses.” – Christopher Lochhead

The Worst Fire Season In History

Chief Jonathan Cox recounted to Chris how they had expected the worst for the wildfire season. However, they did not expect this horrible incident to have grown into that magnitude. He further explained their process and prioritization and how technology from Zone Haven has contributed a lot to their firefighting efforts.

“We’re very good when there’s one or two large fires burning, getting an incident management team assembled and getting resources drawn throughout the system. But this really was one of those moments where you had concurrent major emergencies happening in a small geographical area, really in the Bay Area, and a little bit north, and it really turned into a prioritization of resources based on the threat to humans and the threat to structures.” – Chief Jonathan Cox

Saving Lives and Properties

Charlie Crocker, from Zone Haven shares the technology as it relates to helping CalFire make sound decisions during that emergency. He further shares in this episode how their communication strategy, along with the CalFire executives, were in sync and were out of the box, that it made drastic results in terms of preventing more damages. 

“The main focus of it and why we’re called Zone Haven is that we really focus on very small neighborhoods or zones. So these zones are smart. They know the number of people, they know how quick, how long it’s going to take for people to get out of there.” – Charlie Crocker

To know more about How Heroes Fight Wildfires and for more information about CAL FIRE Chief Jonathan Cox & ZoneHaven CEO Charlie Crocker, download and listen to this episode.


CAL FIRE Deputy Chief Jonathan Cox

CalFire Deputy Fire Chief Jonathan Cox oversees fire operations at the San Mateo County Division of CAL FIRE, which includes San Mateo County Fire Department and Coastside Fire Protection District.

His passion for the fire service started young, prior to his current role he worked both municipal and wildland fire field operations with CAL FIRE at Coastside Fire District, San Mateo County Fire Department and San Luis Obispo County Fire Department.

In addition, he spent several years as the Northern California spokesperson for CAL FIRE. Jonathan was also a founding member for CAL FIRE’s land use planning program at the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM), working with local jurisdictions to make informed land use decisions related to the threat of wildfire.

Jonathan also responds to, and manages, some of California’s largest disasters. He spent five years as a member of CAL FIRE’s Incident Management Team 6 (FEMA Type 1), where he served on the command staff in the capacity of Public Information Officer (PIO1).

He holds a Bachelors Degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and a Masters Degree from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. 

He has also completed an intensive training at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Jonathan is a State of California (OSFM) certified Chief Officer and Registered Instructor.

Additionally, Jonathan is an emergency response educator and trainer in the field of emergency management and crisis communications. 

He has been a subject matter expert speaker at numerous conferences, including the National Fire Protection Association. His work has spanned five countries and involved working with hundreds of professionals.

He has lived in the US, Denmark and the United Kingdom. 

Charlie Crocker, Founder/CEO Zonehaven

Charlie is the Co-Founder and CEO of Zonehaven Inc. 

He is a data geek and entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience building teams to bring data out of the shadows and drive business value. 

Prior to Zonehaven, he built Autodesk’s first big data platform team to support migration to subscription and the cloud. He also led product management for Autodesk’s flagship AutoCAD product line. 

Prior to Autodesk he was co-founder in a start-up focused on spatial databases and web-based tools for state and local government agencies and utility companies. 

Charlie has a passion for growing young leaders. 

He mentors MBA and MSBA students at UC Davis and California College of the Arts. 


DONATIONS: CZU Lightning Complex fire: Give help, get help

Linkedin: Chief Cox

Twitter: @firechiefcox


Linkedin: Charlie Crocker

Splunk Announces Investment in Zonehaven: Technology Startup Redefines Wildfire Preparation, Detection and Management With Data

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!

171 Black Entrepreneurs Matter w/ D’Narius Lewis

171 Black Entrepreneurs Matter w/ D'Narius Lewis

Today, we have a very big conversation about social change, entrepreneurship, Black Lives Matter, and a whole lot more with author, entrepreneur, and speaker, D’Narius Lewis. We believe he represents a voice that is not being heard enough right now — the voice of young African American entrepreneurs.

D’narius has gone from homeless to successful. He is the founder of Optimum Outreach, a telecom brokerage firm. Frankly, we need to be asking ourselves “how do we foster an environment where there are a lot more D’narius Lewis’ you see denarius amongst many entrepreneurs?”

Living in Ground Zero

Christopher probes D’narius what it is like to be a young black male American entrepreneur, living in the “hood” in Minneapolis, which, as you know, is where George Floyd was killed.  D’narius described how on the same day as his birthday, literally just 30 minutes away, George Floyd suffered from police brutality. 

“Everyone wants to have this conversation but until you actually put yourself on the ground level and take action and see why people are protesting, see why people are frustrated. There has to be a reform behind everything that’s been created. It’s a never ending conversation.” – D’Narius Lewis

What It Would Take For A Breakthrough

D’Narius believes having the right conversations are essentially what needs to be done to get something out of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

“Right now, we’re still having a debate to why this isn’t even a conversation. Racism is not real and so having that first conversation is really  like ‘let’s actually sit down and break this down. Let’s not be defensive. Let’s actually break down the facts.’ Once we get down that road, then let’s break down defunding the police department. A lot of people want to defund the police department. The police department defunded funds is not completely defunding a police department. It is taking funds that can be allocated to the community, to allocate for individuals and mental health spaces. ” – D’Narius Lewis

Crime is Crime By Humans

D’narius shares more about humans committing crimes and how people want to be treated as humans. He also shares about what is happening at the local level, especially why the activists are not the person responsible for the riots.

“We’re still having the same conversation that Martin Luther King had Malcolm X had. Now we’re in the 2020s many years away from that conversation and we’re still saying, ‘hey, are we’re still being killed on the streets by police brutality,’ ‘hey, we’re still living in poverty from from years of being set free, but not actually given a system to be a part of.’ The list goes on and on of all these different roadblocks and loopholes that I might know I’ve had to go through because the system wasn’t built for us.” –  – D’Narius Lewis

To hear more about D’Narius and social change, entrepreneurship, Black Lives Matter, and a whole lot more, download and listen to this episode. 


D’Narius Lewis was born May 25, 1993, in Shelby County, Tennessee. His family then moved to Minnesota in 1998 where he currently resides. D’Narius was raised by his single mother; being the youngest and only boy in his family shaped his outlook on life and the concept of survival and determination. He has stepped up to the plate as being the man of his household to keep his family as a unit.

A born entrepreneur, D’Narius Lewis started his sales career at the age of 15 when he began selling iPhones and Androids off Craigslist; this led to his passion for business and entrepreneurship.

While in college D’Narius balanced a full time job along with being a student. His balance became overwhelming and he often found himself having to decide to go to work or school. He later got fired from his job and eventually dropped out of college in rebellion to the demanding college lifestyle.

During that time, until he was 21, D’Narius had worked over 6 jobs and found his instability to be the result of his lack of passion, lack of freedom, and unfulfilling financial standing. Eventually, in 2012 D’Narius was a homeless-couch surfing kid with nothing but a suitcase and a name. He didn’t have a permit, a license, or a car, so his ability to get around was also limited.

Fortunately, things took a positive turn and he found himself blessed to have a friend from high school whose family took him in. By the summer of 2013, the money D’Narius made was used to support rent, bills, and groceries–which was limited to $10. He often found himself left with $7.40 after all his bills were paid. He soon decided that was not the life he wanted to live, so he did something about it.

Fast-forward to 2016, D’Narius is now an author, speaker, and social media expert with multiple books on self-help and inspiration. His love for networking, desire for likability, and rebellious attitude towards societies’ monotonous standards are what motivated, and still motivates him to attain his current level of success

D’Narius attributes his success to constantly moving and failing forward. Even when he had $1 to his name, no one knew his financial struggles, but he knew it would only temporary. D’Narius also attributes much of his success to his mentor Mary Dingmann, whom taught him the concept of transformational learning or guidance education.

D’Narius dedicates his career to teaching people that they can live the life of their dreams if they are willing to suspend their disbelief for an extended period of time and maintain the discipline it takes to work toward your dreams every day. D’Narius believes that people are meant to live an abundant, rewarding, and fulfilling life.


Optimum Outreach

Linkedin: Dnarius Lewis

Amazon: The Power Of The Subconscious Mind – A Pocketbook Guide to Fulfilling Your Dreams 

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on iTunes!

167 The State of The United States w/ Asha Rangappa, Ex-FBI Agent, Yale Lecturer & CNN Analyst

167 The State of The United States w/ Asha Rangappa, Ex-FBI Agent, Yale Lecturer & CNN Analyst

Imagine being able to sit down and have a meaningful conversation about the state of the United States. We speak with a woman who is a Yale-educated lawyer, a graduate of the FBI famed Academy in Quantico Virginia, and a former FBI counterintelligence investigator. This woman is a senior lecturer at Yale and a legal and national security analyst for CNN. That woman is none other than Asha Rangappa.

We have a powerful conversation about the state of affairs in the United States and the decline of social capital. We talk about the destructive power of disinformation and disengagement, and more. This is a big insight into what’s going on in our world today.

Shakespeare and Current Events

Asha narrated how she became a Shakespeare aficionado. She even found herself playing roles in several Shakespeare theatre adaptations. She shares how she finds Shakespeare’s stories as universal, which also explains why these get a lot of modern adaptation.

“You can actually look at characters and understand motivations of people today through his words. So I’m a big fan. I don’t know if that answers the question of why Shakespeare but I find him especially relevant to current events.” – Asha Rangappa

30% of Americans Don’t Trust Each Other

Asha recounted to Christopher how the United States is at a moment of the lowest level of general social trust since World War Two. Social capital is referred to as “the value that we get from our relationships with other people.” She further explained that strong social capital is essential for a healthy democracy. 

A high social capital means there is a generalized social trust. In short, people care about the well being of their fellow man. 

“Most Americans don’t trust each other. This is actually a question on the General Social Survey they’ve asked, but asking it since 1972, and we’re at the lowest response, which is about 30% of people say that most Americans can be trusted.” – Asha Rangappa

Worst Possible Choices Being Made

Asha believes we are currently in a crisis point. She agrees with Christopher that circumstances are forcing people to decide on the future that they want to live in. 

“On the roster of choices have been made, whether it’s with the pandemic or the economy or in response to the protest, and I’m talking about, the Trump administration. So, I think that it has brought to the fore what I was talking about before that, we are at a precarious moment. I have felt that this has been a precarious moment, even before this. I think the urgency of it might be brought home to a greater degree, because of this kind of critical state that we’re in at this moment.” – Asha Rangappa

To know more about Asha and her thoughts on the destructive power of disinformation and disengagement and the general state of the United States, download and listen to this episode. 


Asha Rangappa is a Senior Lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and a former Associate Dean at Yale Law School.

Prior to her current position, Asha served as a Special Agent in the New York Division of the FBI, specializing in counterintelligence investigations. 

Her work involved assessing threats to national security, conducting classified investigations on suspected foreign agents, and performing undercover work. 

While in the FBI, Asha gained experience in electronic surveillance, interview and interrogation techniques, firearms, and the use of deadly force. She has taught National Security Law and related courses at Yale University, Wesleyan University, and the University of New Haven.

Asha graduated cum laude from the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs at Princeton University and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study constitutional reform in Bogotá, Colombia. 

She received her law degree from Yale Law School and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Juan R. Torruella on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She is admitted to the State Bar of New York (2003) and Connecticut (2003).

Asha has published op-eds in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post among others and has appeared on NPR, BBC, and several major television networks.

She is an editor for Just Security and is currently a legal and national security analyst for CNN.

Asha lives in Hamden, Connecticut with her two children.


Asha Rangappa

Twitter: @AshaRangappa_

Wikipedia: Asha Rangappa

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!

165 The Gladiator Way w/ American Gladiator Dan “Nitro” Clark

165 The Gladiator Way w/ American Gladiator Dan “Nitro” Clark

Today, we have a super fun episode with American Gladiator superstar Dan Nitro Clark. He’s a former NFL player, best selling author, speaker, fitness freak, and heart attack survivor. For a big, manly, strong, muscley looking dude with a reputation like his, you might be surprised to hear he is incredibly open, candid, and vulnerable.

We dig into his life as an athlete and a celebrity. He talks about what it’s like to be among some of the earliest athletes in America to take steroids and what he learned from that. We talked about coming back from major setbacks and a whole lot more!

Steroids Use

Dan shares he started using steroids back when he was a freshman College. He wanted to secure a football scholarship badly and he resorted to the “in” thing at that time. Back then, it was unregulated and the only information available about it is that the body recuperates faster. 

“I think the fallacy in the misinformation is, anybody who takes steroids is going to get huge. No, you’re not going to get huge. You still got to wait. You got to move waves. It still takes in a tremendous amount of work and effort and diet. Man, you got to go be willing to die, every workout.” – Dan Nitro Clark

The Downside of Steroids

As a strong promoter of steroids use, Dan still warns of the responsibilities one must take before, while and after using steroids. Steroids make the blood clot more so there are indications with regard to medical operations and procedures. It also increases estrogen levels in the body which explains why some men grow “manboobs.”

“It puts you out on a fair playing field. So in that sense, I don’t know if there’s a lot of harm. I think the harm comes when you start to do monstrous levels. With anything excess, and there’s equally when you have low testosterone, there are increased cardiac incidences. All these other side effects, as well and both sides too much too little. The idea is to be in the optimum range.” – Dan Nitro Clark

Wearing The Meatsuit

In a rare moment, Dan shares his personal experiences growing up. Looking back, he shares what he experienced with his divorced parents, the untimely death of his older brother at 12 years old, and how he coped with life as a broken young man. 

“I didn’t have anybody to console me. His death my mom was Japanese, she barely spoke the language. So, you know, I learned to take care of myself emotionally. I learned that big boys don’t cry. I learned you don’t talk about your feelings. I learned you sucked it up. I think that was the thing. Nobody can hurt me. Nobody is going to touch me. I think that was the whole idea Why? You know, I wanted to be bigger, stronger, faster. I wanted to have this meat suit on.” – Dan Nitro Clark

To hear more about Dan, the American Gladiator, download and listen to this episode. 


Dan is a former pro football player, American Gladiator, #1 Bestselling Author, TV Host, Entrepreneur, and Speaker.

He has been featured on Good Morning America, The Early Show, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, ESPN, EXTRA, People, Time Magazine, Esquire, Men’s Health, Sport’s Illustrated, and the Huffington Post to name a few.

If you’re looking for an extraordinary speaker on the topic of resilience and motivation, you just found him.

Dan is a thought-leader and storyteller with the rare capability to not only inspire your audience to change but also teach them how.


Dan Nitro Clark

The Gladiator Way

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!