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Imagine never having the opportunity to know your father—not because he died fighting in some awful, bloody struggle, or became afflicted with some horrific disease—but because he didn’t want to be there.
Now, travel back to your four-year-old self. What if—instead of enjoying trips to the park, or having playtime with your favorite toy—you found yourself changing diapers of and preparing food for your younger siblings?
How would your life be different if you spent earliest years going in and out of foster care?
Or being partially raised by an astoundingly abusive step-father?
Envision how challenging it would be to mentally and physically overcome even one of these barriers to success…
…Could you do it?
Even if you could do it, how would you do it?
Those are questions to keep in mind as you listen to today’s episode of Making Bank with guest Wesley Chapman—a man who overcame all of the aforementioned hurdles (and then some) on the way to becoming an uber-successful entrepreneur and self-described “Humanity Advocate.”
Wesley is a man who believes we all have a unique value proposition to offer the world, it’s just a question of sitting down and actually identifying it—something that (as Wesley freely admits) is easier said than done.
But if you can do it—if you can keep pushing and trying to focus on your unique strength—amazing things will happen.
Tune-in to hear Wesley and Josh cover a number of powerful talking points, including…
- Wesley’s depression-clad, suicide-attempt-laden childhood
- The process for identifying your unique gift
- Modern, unseen threats to the modern family
- Why proving yourself right is more powerful than proving others wrong
- How developing a rudimentary understanding (and appreciation) of money at a young age leads to greatness
- The relationship between success and honesty with oneself
- Wesley’s involvement with A Human Project
…And much, much more!
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Josh Felber: I am Josh Felber. Welcome back. You’re watching Making Bank. I’m here today with a awesome, unbelievable guest. His name is Wesley Chapman. Wesley works with hundreds of youths and adults on monthly basis moving them from where they are to where they want to be. Wesley’s an expert on human behavior and development. His teachings are being used by hundreds of individuals, schools, government entities, blogs, podcasts and families across the globe.
When Wesley was one, he was abandoned by his father. Then, at six and a half, by his mother, as well. He has tried to commit suicide over 12 times before his 16th birthday. He was abused in every way imaginable and possible and he survived and is on a mission to help over 25 million more survive.
Wesley Chapman has been an entrepreneur since the age of eight years old and was self-sufficient by the time he was 16. He started consulting CEOs of Fortune 500 companies at the age of 19. Wesley has learned that the most important part of being an entrepreneur is to hold your head up high in your failures and stay humble in your successes. Wesley is the founder of the A Human Project, a four-purpose 501C3 with a mission to create a community of empowered youth. He’s also the founder of SuperHuman Life, a program designed to ensure ultimate understandings of one’s true potential.
Wesley’s experiences in life and skills in the entrepreneurial community have prepared him for what is now his greatest life’s mission, creating a world of hope. He has appeared on Fox, ABC, A&E and many other national broadcast platforms.
And just a little side note, he says if he had more time for me to read this it would have been way longer and he would have talked about how he was a model and is just all around sexy. Wesley welcome to Making Bank.
Wesley C.: Thanks for having me, Josh. I appreciate it.
Josh Felber: Sure, man. Definitely. Wow, I mean, just the background alone and just the struggles it sounds like you that went through to get to where you are today. Can you dive in and kind of just expand on that little bit and just kind of bring us up to speed?
Wesley C.: Yeah, I mean, the bio there kind of gives the basics of it, my dad leaving when I was one, my mom leaving when I was six and a half. Between the ages of one and six and a half, I had a step-father who was very, very abusive and actually continued abuse in my life until I was about 18 years old, but there’s just a lot of stories in there, for sure.
As a child, I don’t know … I believe that we all have certain gifts or cores of who we are when we come onto this planet, however you believe we get here is irrelevant to it. I believe that there’s certain things that are just there from birth. I have two children and they’re completely different and they do everything on different scales. But, for me, I’ve always been a fighter and the thing that … I had three brothers and sisters that were in that home with me and I was the only one that got out, at least as young as I did. Everyone eventually started getting out and when I got older I went back and made sure they did, but as a child I was very self-sufficient even as a youngster. I mean, my first memory of helping my brothers and sisters was when my mom and step-dad left for a long enough period of time that I had to change diapers and make food. It’s been debated how long that was, but it was long enough that I was taking care of three younger siblings at four.
Josh Felber: At four. Wow.
Wesley C.: That just kind of gives you a perspective there. So I’ve always had this kind of innate ability to fight through shit, literally. I accredit a lot of my success to that. Outside of that, I’m not super human, I’m not some superhero or anything like that, although I tend to call myself Iron Man, but that’s just for fun. The reality is that we all have certain gifts and mine has just been to be able to fight.
As my life progressed, entrepreneurialism was never something that I had planned. I didn’t have any entrepreneurs in my sights. There wasn’t anyone role modeling me, nothing like that. It was simply a survival thing. I was eight and a half years old and it was either figure out how to make money or I was going to back on the street and in the system. Neither one of those two things I wanted to do, so I had a very keen understanding of money at a very young age. I knew what money … why money was so important. That was the reason my dad left, supposedly. That was the reason my mom dropped me off. Everyone had been telling me that because there’s no money, this is why you live this life. And I’m like, “Well, this seems like a simple solution. Let’s just get money.” And so that was the driving force and it just propelled into a whole career and life and tons of stories.
Josh Felber: Sure. Yeah, and it’s … you see so much of that out there still these days with the abuse and just the neglect with children and everything. That’s awesome that you’ve got two great kids, as well. I mean, I have three kids myself and so those kinds of things don’t ever run through your head at that point. You want to give them the best and create and nurture them for success and everything. Obviously, a lot of that it sounds like structured and framed where your mindset was going to be, that you’ve been able to utilize it for the positive and create things in your life to really grow and flourish and nourish everything around you. What are some of the things that you attribute or how did you develop certain specific parts of that mindset to be able to overcome the different challenges and everything that you had when you were younger?
Wesley C.: You know, that’s a great question because, again, I had … Eventually I got an amazing role model who I call mom. She’s not my biological mom, but I call her mom for all intents and purposes. Again, she was a fighter. She was single when she started to try to get me. She ended up marrying a guy who was again abusive. It was kind of like this pattern that just kept happening in my life, but she was a fighter, always has been.
About six months after she brought me into the home she became disabled. She was the first ever female government employee to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia in the ’80s, which nobody even know what it was back then. They just thought it was an excuse that you didn’t want to come to work. So there she was always showing me that if you just keep pushing, if you just keep trying, amazing things will happen.
It wasn’t probably until I was 16 years old and I was actually faced with literally dying … As you had mentioned, I tried to commit suicide 12 times before my 16th birthday. Those are 12 documented times, so there were many other times that didn’t make it, meaning many times that I sat in my room saying, “I can’t do this anymore.” But, at 16 years old, my liver failed. Since the age of four and a half, I was on drugs for labels and different things like that. So at 16, I was on about 20 to 25 different pills every day.
Josh Felber: Oh wow.
Wesley C.: Some of them were for the diagnosises. Some of them were for the side effects. Some of them were for the side effects of the side effect drugs. It was just this perpetual deal. So at 16, my liver just said, “We’re done. We’re not going to do this anymore.” That was really the awakening moment in my life because up to that point … You know, I’d been abused, all these different things had happened, but up to that point I was the one that was saying that my life was going to be over. So it was this kind of weird control where I was the one, and now all of a sudden these men in white coats, these doctors, which I didn’t have a lot of respect for because they just … everything that they had promised wasn’t reality, and this is a teenage mindset.
At this point, they’re telling me I’m going to die and it was kind of this rebellion that I had. I just had a great conversation with one of mutual friends, [Gary Vanderchuck 00:08:49]. There’s a little bit of rebellion that has to be part of the DNA of an entrepreneur because we’re rebelling against so many systems, right? Like get a job, 401K, all this stuff. That’s like not what we do and if somebody tells us … he and I had a running joke, I wear these green shoes every time I go out and speak, part of our brand. I bought him a pair of these shoes and he and I were speaking together on stage and I said, “Wear these shoes,” like three or four times in an email. He forgets them and then he uses the excuse that because I told him to do it, he wouldn’t do it. We ended up having this philosophical debate back stage about, that’s just kind of DNA of an entrepreneur.
So as soon as these guys tell me, “You’re going to die,” I’m like, “F-U, I’m not going to die.” And it was kind of this switch for me that happened. Just tapping into who I was and getting really honest with myself. Now I’ve programmatically made this possible for other people to copy, but the first step was just getting super, super honest and going through all these different things in my life. Getting honest with the feelings I had about my father, my step-father, the abuse, the system, the government, my biological mom, all these different things and realizing that at 16 I was still empowering them, not empowering myself.
As soon as I had that shift … In fact, one of the statements that I made all the time was, “I’m going to prove you guys wrong.” And that sounds really empowering and cool and superhero-esque, but the problem is that psychologically what you’re telling yourself is that there’s something right to what they’re saying and so you’ve got to prove them wrong.
This simple little shift that I made probably about 17, 18 years old was I’m doing proving everybody wrong, I’m simply just going to prove myself right. Completely different mindset. Completely different perspective of life. It’s really tiny, tiny simple things that make us have the ability to get through the shit in our lives. It’s not this miraculous, crazy, meditation, 40 hours on some monk farm. That may be awesome, but the reality is life is simple. It’s just these little simple twists of how we see things and all of a sudden it’s like, “Whoa. Now I’m in control. Now I’m in power. Now I’m the one that’s making my choices. Okay. I can do this. I can make this happen.” So, that’s really where the shift started to happen for me. And now, in marketing, it’s huge to say, “Oh, I had this all figured out.” No, I didn’t. I looked backwards in my life and said, “How did I do that?” Okay, here’s a program. Okay, now let me put it out to the marketplace.
Josh Felber: Awesome. Hey, can you stick around for a minute? We gotta …
Wesley C.: Love to.
Josh Felber: … take a quick break and I’d love to have you back.
Wesley C.: Awesome.
Josh Felber: Great. I’m Josh Felber. You’re watching Making Bank and we’ll be right back.
Josh Felber: Welcome back. I am Josh Felber. You’re watching Making Bank and we’ve been speaking with Wesley Chapman who has been diving in to his background and what has helped him flourish, become successful now in his life through all the different challenges and being able to create a mindset that allowed him to overcome everything and get to where he is today. Wesley, welcome back to the show.
Wesley C.: Hey. Thanks, man. Appreciate it.
Josh Felber: Sure. So, we kind of left off and you were just talking a little bit about, I guess, your mindset and the challenges that you’ve overcome which has prepared you for where you are today. As you were moving now into your teens and you were like, “Okay, I want to be and live for who I am and really take control of my life,” where’s that next move now that it’s start to position you? Because I think at 19 you said you were consulting for Fortune 500 companies.
Wesley C.: Yeah, I mean, there was … it wasn’t an overnight deal, right? There is no overnight success, whether you’re talking about the financial or the mental side. It takes time. So, the first part of it was just realization. It was just the honesty. I mean, just to get really raw with everybody for a moment, even the sexual torture that I went through as a small child. Here I am at 16 years old, that particular man had not touched me for nine years, and yet I was still replaying those things, I was still in this victim mentality. I have a quote that we share with the kids and we have a T-shirt and everything that we hand out and it says, “Put the victim to be and wake the hero up instead.” It’s the concept that we get ourselves stuck in the story and we allow that story to control us, or the person in that story to control us. That’s what I was doing very specifically is I was still allowing that man to control me.
So the first thing is that realization, that awakening. And then, as I progressed through and … you know, there were still many dark nights, so many dark times in this journey, but it just put me in a power play. I was in control and so healing began to happen because I started to just let go of things. I started to just realize that yes, that stuff happened, but at this point it was my fault for still holding on to that. Which sounds really raw to somebody who’s been through something horrible to look at them and say, “Look, this is your fault.” But there’s also something very liberating and powerful about that and saying, “Okay, wait a minute. If this is my fault, then that means I can control something.”
When you’ve been abused or you’ve had horrible things happen in your life, the one thing you feel the most is out of control. One thing you feel the most is somebody’s taken something from you and the only way to get that back is to take ownership of all of that stuff. You can’t pick and choose. You can’t be like, “Well, I’m only going to take ownership of this and I’m only going to take ownership … ” No. It’s like, you want to be in total power, you’ve got to take it all back. So, that’s what I started doing probably between the ages of 19 and 26, was just really starting to own all this stuff and really starting to pull it together.
And started to fill in the gaps. I hadn’t really met my father, so I reached out when I was 26 to meet him. I was lying to everyone. That’s where the nickname Iron Man actually comes out is when I was in full-mode entrepreneurship in the traditional sense, I was wearing $4,000 suits, I was driving nice cars, I was going into business meetings and all I cared about how much money are we gonna make you, how much money are you gonna make me and how fast can we do it? I didn’t care about your daughter and your friends. I mean, I pretended, because that’s how you make sales, but in the honesty side of it was like, “I’m not going to get to know you because I’m never going to allow you to get to know me.”
Josh Felber: Sure.
Wesley C.: Because of the shame. You know, “Where’s your dad? Why do you live with this old lady? Why is she … why can’t she walk? Why can’t this stuff happen?” I had so much shame about who I was that I put on this shield, this Iron Man suit, that’s what it really came down to. And just like the comic book, eventually he takes it off that and he gets raw and he takes out the piece and he’s himself. That really is what my journey was from about 26 to 30 was really just accepting who I was, embracing that, sharing that story that’s key to kind of getting through this kind of stuff, and then just reevaluating my priorities in life.
Everything shifted from there. I mean, everything. Monetarily, spiritually, mentally, everything. It was just like this … almost like a … it sounds cheesy, but like a rebirth where I was just like, “Okay, this is who I am. I’m comfortable in this.” And that’s kind of the last step is that I look at this and I say, “I’ve had this awareness, I’ve started this healing by taking ownership and controlling these things, and now I’m standing in this amazing power, this amazing concept of reality of who I am. Now I can step out into the world and do some amazing shit, and it’s comfortable and it’s re-energizing and all the things that … “
You know, it’s like, “How do you get enough energy?” Well, drink coffee. “Oh, well how do you do this?” Go here. I don’t do anything. I just live life. I don’t drink coffee. I don’t drink alcohol. I don’t do any foreign medications. I don’t do anything. It’s all just the passion of life, and of course I have a really good diet and all that stuff. But outside of that, it’s very simple because I’m so comfortable in who I am, I’m not worried about anything.
`You mentioned, I was a child model. That was part of survival and I was a cute kid. Some stuff’s sort of happening and now I’m not anymore, but I was also very … I wouldn’t say egotistical, that’s the wrong word, but I was constantly looking in the mirror and seeing ugly. I was constantly not seeing enough, all these different things. Now, I don’t care. Like I did my hair this morning for our interview in the dark, so I hope it looks all right. But I mean, it’s just like …
Josh Felber: Me, too.
Wesley C.: Yeah. Right. Hey, I’m heading your way, bro. I’ll be there soon. That’s why I don’t do any behind the head shots anymore. But, no, it’s just so invigorating and it’s so much standing in power when … And it’s not like accepting you and all these different things. It’s really just being you. There’s so many processes to that, and it’s not a simple journey.
I started this when I was 16 and sitting in this chair I can say I feel like I’m really there, but every day and every experience and every time I open up … I mean, what I just had and I still do, there still passed out because we were up until about two in the morning just talking. I had some friends over last night. And we just started diving deep into stuff and even for me I’m like, “Ugh, this is a realization. This puts me in … ” even more so, it’s a constant journey, but I would definitely say give yourself time if you’re going through some things and you’re trying to figure stuff out, and that applies to everything.
Josh Felber: Definitely. I mean, you packed so much stuff in that last little section there of our conversation. Any of what you just said from the self … I mean, part of it is self-realization to just becoming aware and then knowing who you are. I think there’s so many times you meet people and they’ve gone through life but they don’t really know who they are.
Wesley C.: Yeah.
Josh Felber: And I think …
Wesley C.: Or they’re terrified of who they are.
Josh Felber: Or they’re terrified, definitely. All this can be applied to our growth as an entrepreneur, our growth as a better mother or father, our growth as a better friend and spiritual leader in our community and stuff, as well. By really sitting down and diving in and addressing if we’ve had different challenges, we’ve had struggles similar to you within our lives and starting to know who we are will help us become stronger and better overall.
Wesley C.: Yeah. You know, it’s interesting that I always get asked, “What’s the key to your success? Or the key to success? Or all these different … ” like, everyone wants the recipe, right? And while I believe there’s elements of the recipe, everybody’s bowl is different. Everyone’s going to bake a different cake and it’s going to have different things, but we’re all going to make cake on some level. I would say, though, that one of the keys to knowing what your ingredients are is just being real and understanding your weaknesses and your strengths and working on what you’re good at and focusing on that.
So many times we try to take something that maybe we’re not super good at and we want to devote all this energy to make ourselves better at that. Why? That’s the real question. Why are you doing that? A lot of the times it’s a social pressure, it’s something that somebody said, you read some book that said all entrepreneurs must have this and you’re like, “Shit, I don’t have that so I got to work on that.” That’s all garbage. The reality is is focus on what you’re really good at.
Like LeBron James, he’s had opportunities to play as a tight end in the NFL. They said he’d be one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history, right? Supposedly. He’s one of the greatest basketball players to ever live. It’s really cute that he would want to go into the NFL, maybe, I don’t know. Let’s go to Michael Jordan, right? Greatest NBA player to ever play the game and he’s like, “Oh, I have a skill at baseball. Let me go try that. Yeah, that worked out really well, right?” No, it didn’t. He came back, won a couple more championships at what he was good at.
Too many times we try to focus on our weaknesses and we put all this energy into being less weak for whatever reason. And if it’s a real thing that you’re working on, your temper, or something like that, I totally I get that. But if you’re doing it because of social pressure, stop it. Go over to what things you’re really good at and put the energy there and become a master in that aspect.
I don’t know, there’s some philosopher that talks about chasing rabbits or something and he goes on for like 600 pages about rabbits and the reality is is that the man that chases two rabbits catches none. That’s the end. There you go, I’ve summarized the book for you. The concept is is like, even in that, you’re chasing this weakness and you’re also trying to be strong at something. What ends up happening is neither one do anything. So, that self-realization, in any aspect, being a father, being a lover, being an entrepreneur, once you’re just honest with yourself and then you accept those things, your life is totally going to change.
That also goes down this whole good wolf, bad wolf, dark wolf, light wolf crap. I hate that. This whole concept of ignore your dark side or ignore your dark wolf or whatever. No, like embrace that, because we all have it. We’re human. There’s biology in all of us. There are certain characteristics that we all have and for me, I’m very aggressive, I’m very like, “Let me take action. Let me take charge.” When I was younger that was a problem because I didn’t know how to control that. Now, with the work that I do at A Human Project and the horrific stories that I hear from these kids, I’ve learned how to take all of that kind of … I call it maybe dark energy, the world would, whatever, of being really aggressive and I have no fear in so many different aspects. I’ve harnessed that into our project where we’ll do things that 90% of charities won’t do, like go into some guys house who’s beating up on his daughter or doing something to mom and we’re going to have a face-to-face conversation about it. It’s not about shaming that person, but getting them help.
And let me tell you, I’ve been in some really interesting, freaky situations and I’ve had to really on that aggressive darkness, I don’t know, whatever you want to call it, to come in and be in a light situation. That’s a process, but so many of us want to … like, “Oh, I don’t have that weakness,” or, “I have that weakness and I’m going to put all the energy over here,” and then it’s like the strengths waving at us being like, “Hey, if you focused on this you’d have so much more fun in life,” and you’re like, “Shut up, I’m already good at that.” It’s like, “Yeah, but you can practice.”
Josh Felber: Right. Yeah, you’re 100% correct. I think focusing more on our strengths … because like you said, you hear so much, “Oh, hey. Work on your weaknesses. Work on your weaknesses.” I remember that growing up all the time. That was the thing to do and everything. But, yeah, definitely. And I want to dive in a little bit … because we’re getting low on time. I want to dive in a little bit about A Human Project, learn a little bit about what you’re doing there, what people can do to help you with that, and what kind of differences that you’re making out there?
Wesley C.: Yeah, I appreciate that. So, in my bio you read … It was funny, I’ve got to update this … you said that I’m on a mission to impact 25 million lives. There’s a whole long journey, I was at the top of the entrepreneur world, I had the cars, I had the house, had everything you’re supposed to have. And like many entrepreneurs, I sat back and went, “This sucks.” And just had this “Aha,” moment. This was about six years ago and there was a whole long journey into it, which I’ve shared on some other interviews and some other places. But the short end of it is about three years ago, I started telling my story and speaking and it just kept catapulting into different things, domino effects happened. I ended up speaking at a school, met a girl named Alexandra, she changed my whole life. That’s when we founded A Human Project.
A Human Project’s mission is to create a community of empowered youth. When I sat back and I was like, “I want to have a really ambitious, crazy goal,” because that’s how I’m wired. I want to do something that everyone tells me that I can’t do, so I’m sitting down and the number 25 is very, very special to me. It’s actually really weird. If you do my birthday it’s 25 no matter how you spin it, no matter how you move the numbers around. My daughter was born when I was 25. My dad left me when he was 25. 25 pills a day. There’s all these 25s in my life. Actually creepy, I gave a whole keynote once on it. So, I was like, “Okay, 25. What’s a big 25 number? Oh, there’s not 25 billion people on the planet, so 25 million.” So I made this goal.
What’s been interesting is over the last three years, that number is like almost irrelevant because we’ve had so much impact through social media and videos and SaaS speaking. I’m getting ready to go on tour March 1st. I’ll be on tour March 1st until April 13th. The rough estimate of children that I’ll be in front of in that period of time … and I’m not home, I’m completely on the road speaking, working with kids, living with families, doing a bunch of stuff. My team let me know that there will be between 30,000 and 50,000 kids that we’ll be in front of in that time.
So, I stopped and I think, “25 million, that’s not even big enough now.” The reality is that we want to impact a billion people on this planet and not just in a kind of sort of way, but in a direct way. Whether it’s an interview like this, whether it’s our online material, whether it’s our … we have a whole program for youth where it’s all digital. We’re in eight countries now.
That was my big thing. I don’t want to create a thing or a movement or a non-profit that’s territory around San Diego or LA or California or the Mid-West or whatever. If I’m going to do this, if I’m going to be vulnerable and share my story, if I’m going to out there and try to make a difference in the world, I don’t want to say, “Yeah, I’m making a difference in the world, but we’re in San Diego.” Nothing against that, but for me I want it to be literal. Like, we’re making a difference in the world.
So, now we have a goal and it’s legit. We want to impact a billion people on this planet who are suffering with these mental illness, who are dealing with stories, who are stuck in the mud, who are children who are living in dysfunction. That’s the best way to describe it.
We have an epidemic in this country that’s spreading through the world with this consumerism, this fight for the next best things, and that’s just like one aspect, but that’s a massive one. Parents are working … Dad’s are working two jobs, mom’s working one and kids, who the parents may love, are sitting at home completely neglected and that’s creating a whole nother cycle of life. That’s why we see so many of the millennial generation that’s not interested in family anymore, because they don’t even understand family. So there’s so much going on in this world and then on top of that you have the extreme abuse and you have the things the we definitely focus on, but it’s not just that. We don’t just work with children who are molested or beaten. We’re working with kids who are legitimately living in dysfunction and the most damaging psychological thing we do as humans is neglect. It’s the most damaging thing we can do to a young child.
There’s some natural neglect that just happens as being a parent because you don’t … it’s a unique human being. We don’t know all the different things about them, nor do they know all the things about themselves. So there’s just like natural neglect that happens, but we’re putting on top of that so much extra pressure in our lives that we’re neglecting our children on a whole nother level and we don’t have … When you study history, we don’t have the comradery that happens as families. Men aren’t running farms, women aren’t running houses like they used to, and the children aren’t assisting in those things anymore. There’s evolution, it’s just part of the process, but when I look at it I see all these different warning signs. I see how our children are dealing with this.
On average, if I speak to 1000 children, 200 will come forward with legitimate things. Not like, “I’m struggling with this,” but legitimate deals. Out of that 200, 10 to 15 of them will need Child Protective Services. And that’s just what we’ve seen by being in the trenches going there. I don’t care if it’s La Jolla, California or some place in South Dakota, it just doesn’t matter. There’s human unity regardless of income status or regardless of state, whatever. And that’s a big deal to me.
We can make a change, we can make a difference, we can use technology, we can use all the skills that I did in entrepreneur, marketing, strategy, all this stuff, to create a massive change and a global movement that happens. I, personally, love working with kids, because literally in a couple of days they can make shifts that change their entire lives. Where adults, we need that 40-week stay at a monk retreat because we have so much programming that has to be deprogrammed. With a kid, they’re just looking for an answer. A logical, no BS, don’t try to sugarcoat it to me answer. They just want to know the truth. I tell this to parents all the time, “Either it’s going to come from you or YouTube. Your choice. So, you might as well give them the real answer.” Anyway.
Josh Felber: Wow.
Wesley C.: I know we’re short on time, but …
Josh Felber: Yeah, no. I mean, that’s awesome. Just the level of engagement that you’re out there with the kids and, I mean, like you say, getting into homes and everything. I think that is so important that you were talking about the neglect part of it. I was just reading a book, Grace Based Parenting and it was talking about a huge chunk is kids just want that love, they want that connection to that parent or that person. So many times they’re starved of that and that’s why they tend to go find other things to try to replace that.
Wesley C.: Exactly, and every child is different. You can have a perfect family and still have a kid that finds drugs. You can have … “perfect”, I use air quotes in the sense that no family’s perfect. But, really just comes down to spending the time as a parent to really get to know that child and help them know themselves. Not force on them our ideas of greatness.
As a dad, when my daughter was born I was like, “You’re going to walk when you’re six months. You’re going to be talking.” And to her, did that matter? I have no idea, but to me it was a big deal. She’s a very bright girl, she’s the smartest in our family, all that fun stuff, but when my son came along and I had some maturity I was like, “You know what, dude? You do you. I’m going to help you figure out what you want to do. If you want to lay there for like six years, lay there for six years.”
Obviously, after … it sounds cool to have your kid walking at six months, no it’s not. As you know, it’s like, “Can you just stay in the car seat for a little longer? That’s totally cool. The crib is your friend.” As soon as you start moving around, parenting changes instantly.
Anyway, we do that all throughout our child’s life. We’re always putting these things on them that we think are going to give them happiness, joy and success and the reality is is that they don’t know that. They don’t know what they want to do, so they need to experiment. Childhood should be a massive playground of experiments and we have taken that away from our children. Whether it’s public school and all the stupid testing that we do so the schools get money and the kids stressed the heck out.
I mean, I always say we want to solve the problems in this world, A, mom and dad need to be more united. If you’re bringing children into the world, you need to have a united community. That’s what we’re all striving for. The second we’re on this planet, we’re looking for community because community gives us worth. If we have no worth, we start doing stupid things. If we have no community, we instantly … our worth is impacted. So that’s number one. And number two, let your kids play in the mud and with blocks. Like literally, disconnect them and allow their creativity, their imagination to go wild and see what they create. I mean, legos is one of the best things ever created and they know it. That’s why they’re freaking $900 a brick.
But let your kids play in the mud and play with bricks and just let them experiment with life. That’s a metaphor that … I mean, literally, you can let them play in the mud, but the concept is just let them explore, let them make mistakes, let them get hurt, let them find themselves and allow that to happen as early as possible. This world would be a completely different place, completely different place.
So, there’s a lot of … I was just working with a mutual friend of ours, I won’t say his name because it’s a personal matter, but with his daughter. He showed me just a quick, little Instagram deal that she put up and based on what I do … and now and there’s a whole lot more we didn’t talked about. I spent 17 years in the brain and investing in myself. I spent about $2 million dollars investing in this thing, right?
Josh Felber: Right.
Wesley C.: So, I looked at her and all the work that I do. 15 second Instagram video that she did, he showed it to me, kind of gave me a little bit of background of what was going with her and great guy, great family, everything, shows it to me. I say, “She’s struggling with worth. She’s struggling with social pressures,” and all these different things we went over.
He ended up going and talking to her and saying, “Hey, I’d like you to talk with Wes and here’s some things,” and he said, “This is some of the stuff he said about your Instagram video.” I guess, she just started like balling like, “How did he know that about me? How did I … ” And A, it’s experience and B, there also is this weird thing happening with me where it’s not me, it’s just I’m accepting this gift and this energy right now. But I stepped back and I just thought about all the pressures that are on us, even as adults, but it’s 100 million times more compounded onto our children. It’s not even directly from you or me as fathers, but the world they live in. This is a really hard period of time to be a parent because it’s not just about our family anymore. It’s about our community, it’s about social media, it’s about all these different things. Anyway, I’m rambling, but …
Josh Felber: No. Definitely, man. We’ll have to have you back on for another segment. It’s been awesome, so much content and information to be able to share and allow other people that are out there in the same position or maybe not in the same … but just have your kids and just the social pressures, like you mentioned, and everything else. I mean, it’s just a dramatic shift that people really need to take a look at. If not, they’re going to wonder how their kids got in that position in the first place. Again, really appreciate you coming on Making Bank. I’m excited to start doing some stuff with you. I know we have one of our other ventures that is going to be partnering up and doing some really cool things with A Human Project. Let us know where we can get more information at.
Wesley C.: Yeah, so you can Google me. I’m on the Google. But go to AHumanProject.com. So, AHumanProject.com. You’ll get to hear the kids stories and all that.
One thing I want to make sure, because we may have opened some wounds for people is do not compare your story. We’ve given some great entrepreneurial tips. I feel like there is some meat in this interview, but if this, on an emotional side, we kind of ended it that way, do not compare your story.
Everybody only understands the pain that they have been through. It’s not a comparison thing. Don’t compare your story to mine, stories you see on the website. If you’re somehow a child that’s listening to this, you stumbled across this interview, don’t compare yourself to my story or somebody else’s. You are you, and you are struggling with what you are struggling with and it’s real.
I want to make sure that we leave that there because I know a lot of people will maybe be going, “Well, I don’t have it this bad,” or, “I didn’t have this,” or … it’s not about that. You only understand what you understand. I don’t understand the things that some of our … what men and women go and serve for our country and things that they’ve seen in different countries. I don’t understand that, but that doesn’t make my stress and my challenges any less or any more than theirs and vice versa. It’s all what you perceive and what you understand. So, please don’t be listening to this and going, “Oh, I haven’t had it this bad, but I’m still having a hard time.” It’s okay. You understand your hard times. So, anyway, wanted to leave that.
Josh Felber: Yeah. No problem. And we’ll have the link, as well, right here on the show so people can click to the link over to right …
Wesley C.: Awesome.
Josh Felber: … and be able to go right to you. Guys, hey, make sure you guys go back, replay, watch this episode again. Definitely take some notes and start taking a hard look at your life. Have that self-assessment, self-awareness of who you are, what you have going on, your family around you and really make sure that you’re setting yourself and family and friends up for success. Again, Wesley, thank you for coming on this show and thank you for watching Making Bank today. I am Josh Felber and get out and be extraordinary.