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From Brooklyn to the Jungle – Awakening the Warrior with Guest Rome Za: MakingBank S2E25


Rome Za

From Brooklyn to the Jungle – Awakening the Warrior with Guest Rome Za: MakingBank S2E25

with Rome Za

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What would you do if you woke up one day and realized you were on the wrong path?

Would you keep walking that road, or would you commit to making a change?

How would two years of time and six-figures of debt influence your decision?

Those are the questions that today’s guest on Making Bank, Rome Za, had to answer for himself when he came to the stark realization he didn’t want to finish his tertiary education and become a nurse.

Rather than do the “smart thing”—finish his degree and get out of debt—Rome did the “honest thing”:

He quit nursing school just two units short of his degree, borrowed a bunch of money, and went into “crazy debt” to open up a martial arts academy in Brooklyn, New York.

Opening that academy turned out to be the smartest decision Rome could have made, and the business easily cleared six-figures in its first year of operation.

Though he no longer runs the academy, Rome still continues to help people with their personal development, be it mental, physical, or spiritual. Specifically, Rome spends his days helping A-type personalities and other successful entrepreneurs get rid of unwanted stress and tap into their true potential.

So, listen-up to hear Josh ask Rome about helping high-performers get rid of their unwanted stress, and…

  • Life in pre-Giuliani Brooklyn
  • Why entrepreneurs need coaching
  • What it means to find The Warrior Within
  • Making the decision to quit school and “go for it”
  • What makes helping people such a powerful exercise

And much more…

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From Brooklyn to the Jungle – Awakening the Warrior with Guest Rome Za: MakingBank S2E25

Josh Felber:        Welcome to Making Bank- I am Josh Felber- where we uncover the success strategies and the mindsets of the top 1%, so you can amplify your life and your business today. I’m super excited for today’s guest, and I think this interview is just so meant to be, because we ran into each other, and we were both wearing the Vibram slippers, or shoes I guess they are. I have not seen anybody else wearing those exact same shoes, so I was like, “Oh, dude. I just gotta interview you for the show this time.” No, and he’s got an awesome story, so I’m excited to welcome Rome Za to Making Bank.

His whole thing is he helps people get rid of unwanted stress, as well as tap into their true potential, and this is by any means necessary. After lots of lessons learned growing up in the streets of good old Brooklyn, New York, he rediscovered martial arts and personal development, which has led him down an exciting yet turbulent journey on figuring out truly who he is, what the gift is that he’s blessed with to share with the world. Now, eight years later, and over $150,000, and tens of thousands of hours invested in coaching, courses, events, masterminds, books, and taking massive action to uplevel his life, he realized that the industry is screwed. Most of the gurus can talk the talk, but many of them can not walk the talk.

He lives by a simple quote. “To know and not to do is not to know,” and that is what keeps him taking massive action in life and helping clients create and do the same. He’s been blessed with many challenges in life so far, and to solve them, not leaving any stones unturned, and promise to keep moving forward and expanding until the day he dies. The mission is to help high performers get rid of unwanted stress and tap into their true potential. The programs and systems offered are tested and proven to work, not just in theory, but in practice by hundreds of clients who have worked with him through different events, retreats, and coaching masterminds.

Rome, I want to welcome you to Making Bank today.

Rome Za:       Thanks, bro.

Josh Felber:        Thanks for the tricky bio, because it says “me” and “I” everywhere, so I had to turn around and tweak it a little bit on the fly.

Rome Za:       Yeah. Yeah.

Josh Felber:        Hope it fulfilled you.

Rome Za:       We were wearing the same shoes. Dude, I literally only have Vibrams. I don’t have any other shoes. I only own three pairs of shoes, so that’s one of the three.

Josh Felber:        That’s awesome. I used to run in Five Fingers, right after they first came out years ago. Then I remember seeing these a little over a year, when they first came out, and I’m like, “Dude, these are either going to be awesome or suck.” I pretty much wear them 90% of the time unless it’s raining.

Rome Za:       Yeah. At first, I hated them. I thought they were so weak. Then I was like, “Oh, that’s what they’re made for. They’re made to just be like casual, and not hardcore stinky feet type shit.”

Josh Felber:        Right. Yup. For sure. Well, cool. Right now, you and your family live in Costa Rica, right?

Rome Za:       Yeah. Yeah. It’s been almost three years now.

Josh Felber:        Wow. That’s so cool. I guess what was that transformation that just made you pick up and leave New York, and head down to Costa Rica?

Rome Za:       I had a mixed martial arts gym in New York. It was really flowing. It was pretty awesome. We had a lot of students. We had a lot of kids. We probably had the only curriculum in the world for kids that were two to four years old, and we were teaching them Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Josh Felber:        Oh, awesome.

Rome Za:       Yeah. When you’re hungry, you will figure out ways to eat. That was an untapped market, where I learned to become the child whisperer. Anyway, one day this woman came into the academy and she was like, “Hey, we want to do a ceremony at the academy.” Because I had a 3,000 square foot space. I was like, “What does that even mean?” She was like, “Oh, we’re going to come here in the evening, and we’re going to have these buckets, and we’re going to drink this tea.” She was like, “Then, yeah. People are going to purge into these buckets.” I was like, “Nah, I don’t want any hippies throwing up in my academy.”

Then what happened was, whenever she left, we exchanged numbers, and then one day I was listening to the Joe Rogan podcast, and he started talking about Ayahuasca. I was like, “Oh, that’s what she was talking about. This sounds awesome.” I called her. I did absolutely no other research besides Joe, and yeah. I headed down there, and I drank medicine for the first time, and it definitely shifted a lot of things, and literally a month or two later, we had Hurricane Sandy. New York got destroyed. So many areas in New York got destroyed, and luckily my academy didn’t get touched, so we used it as a hub to collect clothing and food, and I ran the clothes and food with Lola, my wife, for the next few weeks. Literally, before the National Guard got there, before the Red Cross got there, we were in the hood giving out clothes. There was kids running around naked, and it was freezing.

Josh Felber:        Oh, yeah. I remember. Yeah.

Rome Za:       It was literally freezing. Yeah, and we got hooked. We got hooked on giving. I thought we were giving a lot at the academy, because we were sponsoring a lot of kids, a lot of poor Russian kids, and poor Mexican kids, but once we did this whole thing, this thing during Hurricane Sandy, I was like, “Man, I want to do this more.” What I realized is in the United States, it’s really hard to do that, because there’s so much red tape.

Josh Felber:        Right.

Rome Za:       We just made a decision, “Alright, let’s go check out somewhere else to live.” We went down here. The real estate agent that we were talking to about property trains Jiu Jitsu also, so it’s just like synchronicities, you know? Little things, you know?

Josh Felber:        Right.

Rome Za:       Then I had to learn how to make money on the internet for that next year, so I would come home from the academy at 10:00 PM, and I would grind til about 4:00 in the morning when everybody would go to sleep, trying to figure out how to make a landing page, how to make a new button. I would use OptimizePress.

Josh Felber:        It wasn’t as easy as it is now.

Rome Za:       For sure.

Josh Felber:        ClickFunnels.

Rome Za:       Which I’m really grateful for, you know?

Josh Felber:        Yeah.

Rome Za:       Which I’m really grateful for. Now we’re down here. We have a non-profit down here, and we do retreats, and it’s been a blessing for sure.

Josh Felber:        That’s awesome.

Rome Za:       We can give back a lot.

Josh Felber:        I guess let’s take a couple of steps back. What got you started in martial arts, and kind of taking that journey and then being able to turn around and turn it into a business, and start helping people?

Rome Za:       I was 11 years old when I started martial arts. My dad is a master of sports in Greco-Roman wrestling. We’re from Chechnya, which is a warring republic in the Soviet Union. My whole life, I’ve been fighting. I was always taught to strike first. Growing up in Brooklyn, when I was 11, I started selling weed, and then I progressed on to like heavier drugs, and by the time I was … I started training Muay Thai, Thai boxing, when I was 11, because I thought wrestling looked really gay, with the singlets and stuff. Yeah.

Josh Felber:        Muay Thai.

Rome Za:       Yes. When all the other kids were playing football, and basketball, I was doing Muay Thai. I was doing Thai boxing.

Josh Felber:        Cool.

Rome Za:       Then I stopped, because I just wanted to do [inaudible 00:09:37] shit with my friends, and then eventually when I was 17, I decided that, “I’m going to go back to college and become a doctor.” Yeah. It was like this huge shift I had.

Josh Felber:        Wow. Yeah.

Rome Za:       I tried mushrooms for the first time, woke up the next day, and decided I’m going back to school. And at that time, a couple of my friends actually went to jail, like forever. One of them had a 15-year bid. One of them had 25 to life for a double homicide. A bunch of them died. A bunch of my friends died from overdoses, and getting stabbed or shot, or whatever. Car accident. Stupid street shit, you know?

Josh Felber:        Yeah.

Rome Za:       Then I just made a decision, “I want to make my parents happy.” I went to school, I did pre-med. I had like a 3.7, and then I was like, “Man, I don’t want to be a doctor.” Once I found out what it’s all about.

Josh Felber:        Right.

Rome Za:       Then I pivoted to go to nursing school. I did nursing school for three years, and I was so depressed. I wanted to kill myself. I couldn’t sleep at night. It was like, I was training Jiu Jitsu, and I was doing nursing, and I hated nursing, because it was a rotating door of people. I would see the same exact people in the same exact place, and they would just get these fucking stupid medications that didn’t make them feel better, and they would just cover up these symptoms, and that’s where I was just like, “Alright. I’m done with this. I’m not wiping people’s asses. I don’t want to be a pill dispenser.” At a certain point, there was a three month stretch where I just didn’t sleep. I would sleep for like two or three hours. I had terrible insomnia. I started having panic attacks all the time. I noticed that my life was slipping away. I would just sit there and scroll on my phone on MySpace and Facebook. Mostly MySpace, right? Because at that time, it was MySpace.

Josh Felber:        That was a big thing.

Rome Za:       Yeah. For sure. I had my BlackBerry Bold, and I would scroll on MySpace. I was like, “I don’t want to do this shit.” Two classes before graduating with my bachelor’s degree in nursing, I just dropped out. I thought, “I’m never going back.” I borrowed a bunch of money, and I went into crazy debt for that time, and I opened up a martial arts academy.

Josh Felber:        That’s cool.

Rome Za:       We did almost $200 grand our first year.

Josh Felber:        Wow.

Rome Za:       Yeah. It was pretty cool, for like a 24-year-old kid that didn’t know anything about legal businesses. But I guess it’s all the same, right? Supply, demand.

Josh Felber:        Right. That’s awesome.

Rome Za:       Yeah. That’s kind of how we got here.

Josh Felber:        Cool.

Rome Za:       Then we decided to do the same exact thing, like burn everything to the ground when we were moving to Costa Rica. We had like $200 plus K in debt, business debt, and $120,000 in personal debt between me and my wife from college and credit cards.

Josh Felber:        Sure.

Rome Za:       We sold the mats at my academy, and we had like $4 grand, and then we spent $1,000 of it on tickets to go to Costa Rica, and we moved to Costa Rica with a three-month-old kid, a five-year-old kid, me, her, and we didn’t know anybody except the real estate agent, and $3,000 in cash.

Josh Felber:        Oh, jeez. Wow.

Rome Za:       Yes. It was fun.

Josh Felber:        Hence, now you’re working with helping people deload stress, and help transform their lives and everything. Obviously some of these things that you’re teaching, you’re probably utilizing without really knowing what you’re doing at the time, right?

Rome Za:       Yeah. Yeah, for sure.

Josh Felber:        Because I mean, moving to Costa Rica with three grand, two kids, and a wife is a whole lot of stress, and not having a business or not having any kind of revenue stream yet for sure.

Rome Za:       We had a business. We had a supplement company that we just launched, but it wasn’t producing, because there was so much money invested in it, and it was just like, yeah. You know how it goes.

Josh Felber:        That was the company with the landing pages and everything that you were working on late in the evening, was working towards putting that supplement company live?

Rome Za:       Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Josh Felber:        Cool. Tell me a little bit about them. You’re in Costa Rica. How do you go then from with the gym and everything, and then the supplement company, to doing the high performance, helping get rid of the stress, and tapping into the full potential? What kind of took you down that path, and then we’ll start with there?

Rome Za:       We have a mastermind group that we started all of our companies with. We have four companies now, and we have a mastermind group of one, two, three, four … Six guys, that are partners in all the companies.

Josh Felber:        Oh, wow. Okay.

Rome Za:       I had to learn how to make it work between six alpha males that … Yeah. All the guys are like animals. Every single one of my team is like an animal, and we’re all equal partners. I had the job of a true CEO, where I had to learn how to help people. Basically, our team all has very designated duties. One is a copywriter, one is a media buyer. What happens is, people get blockages. Like, emotional blockages. Maybe it’s relationship stuff. Maybe it’s health stuff. Maybe it’s some sort of internal frustration or turbulence. I have to step in and figure out a way to get rid of that.

We actually flew out the whole team to go train with Richard Bandler for NLP. We became certified, so to ease the communication. I had to learn how to do that for our team, and then I started going to all these masterminds, and I was like, “Holy shit.” Like, “All these dudes are making so much money, but they all look like shit. They all feel like shit, and they’re all stressed out all the time, and they’re forgetting the reason why they started trying to make all this money.” Like, they forgot why. It wasn’t just to make money.

Josh Felber:        Right.

Rome Za:       Because that’s the easy thing, to just focus on that. I started noticing all these things, and I’d seen a reflection of where I was a little while ago, and yeah. Then I started to read, and learn, and test all these things on myself and my team, and then I started to expand it into the secondary team. Now we have a secondary tribe outside of the primary mastermind. Then it started to expand into the tertiary tribe as well. Other people that, I guess, if you look at it from hot to cold, right? Traffic. Essentially it got to the cold at a certain point, where it worked for hot and warm.

Speaker 3:    Now you can get your healthy superfoods in one drink, with no shopping, no blending, no juice.

Josh Felber:        The different strategies, the different things you’ve utilized to build out your team, yourself, you guys have now applied and brought in some more people that … Or kind of a six-degree separation of you and them, and it’s worked with them, and then now you’ve been recently more bringing it out to a market of people that don’t know anybody within that circle directly.

Rome Za:       Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Yeah, I mean we use everything. Anything that can level us up by even 1%, that’s a huge thing in compounding interest in a year from now.

Josh Felber:        Oh, yeah. For sure. What have been maybe the two or three strategies that you’ve found that have worked really well for whether it’s your team, and then they’ve been able to also push out to the, I guess, general population?

Rome Za:       Wow. I mean, it all starts with mindset, right? Really filling up your mind. Let me go back. It starts with immersion. One is figuring out what it is that you want, and then figuring out, or if not figuring out, if nobody’s ever done it, then hallucinating to see how you can do it, if there’s no model to follow. Because essentially, stress comes from … The majority of stress comes from … It’s in between idea and implementation.

Josh Felber:        Right.

Rome Za:       You know what I mean? I help people bridge the gap between idea and implementation, because I’ve studied so many … Not so many, but a bunch of different modalities. We started with holistic nutrition, and then we went deep into detoxing heavy metals and parasites, and then plant medicines. I lived in Peru for a month, with shamans. Let me go back a little bit. A lot of mindset stuff, breath work, like very specific types of breath work, where we can go into psychedelic journeys just through breath work.

Josh Felber:        Wow.

Rome Za:       That opens up a lot of emotional baggage and turbulence that we don’t even know that we’re carrying.

Josh Felber:        Sure.

Rome Za:       Once those systems are broken down, basically shit and concrete inside of the mind, heart, and soul, once those systems are broken down, we can rebuild them. Kind of like the $6 million man. That [inaudible 00:20:38]. Like, “We’re going to …” You know?

Josh Felber:        I remember watching that when I was a kid. No, that’s cool. It’s interesting you talked about with the immersion and breath work. I hear a lot of people talking about breath work with the Wim Hof method, and the [inaudible 00:20:59]. What are maybe three keys to I guess the breath work, and creating I guess a strong breathing, or to help you move kind of that next level from a mindset standpoint?

Rome Za:       Alright. I created a course recently called Present Moment Awareness. I kind of tap into present moment awareness. Basically, how to tap into flow state in different situations, because every situation is different. Some people are really good at tapping into flow state when they’re skateboarding in a half pipe, but they can’t do it when they’re having a social interaction with a female. Basically, it goes down into a lot of following those similar patterns that you would during whatever. For me, it’s Jiu Jitsu, or sex, or whatever it is, right?

Josh Felber:        Right.

Rome Za:       There’s this thing, like warrior’s breath, right? I don’t know if you’re familiar, but I start with four, four, four, four, and I move on to like eight, eight, eight, eight. What do I mean by that? You start with inhaling through your nose for a count of four, and then holding for a count of four, exhaling for a count of four, and then holding for a count of four [inaudible 00:22:18].

Josh Felber:        Okay.

Rome Za:       You just practice that until it becomes almost second nature, and whenever you feel … You can easily program it also, with neuro-linguistic programming as well. You can mix a lot of those modalities up, but if somebody who’s listening to this wants to start on that journey, because that’s what we’re trying to do, I would start to practice it as much as possible. What I used to do when I first started, because I’m a sick bastard, what I used to do is I used to set an alarm on my phone for every 10 minutes. I would practice a minute of breath work, and I did that for like a year.

Josh Felber:        Wow.

Rome Za:       But now I don’t have a phone anymore, so I can’t do that. Now it’s already habit, where I practice it when I’m walking, when I’m talking. Mostly, when I’m listening.

Josh Felber:        Right. Okay.

Rome Za:       That’s huge, to be able to retain and digest information. Breath work is very important, because a lot of people just like, their mind bounces around everywhere, but if you can focus on the breath, you can stop your mind from bouncing around.

Josh Felber:        That’s awesome. I think that’s a super good way to start, is using that four, four, four, four to really get yourself and work on your breathing and stuff. One of the things I was kind of curious about is you mentioned you utilizing it to get in the flow the state, and it’s pretty cool, because I just got done reading Steven Kotler’s new book, and then I actually kind of stepped back and was reading his Rise of Superman book right now, which is all about flow state and everything else. I’d like to kind of dive in a little bit more, since you … There you go. Actually, I think I’m interviewing him here in a couple of weeks, too.

Rome Za:       Nice.

Josh Felber:        But yeah, no, that was an awesome book. Then the whole thing with The Rise of Superman and stuff is getting into that flow state and finding it, but being able to create that, I guess, flow state on demand, if that makes sense.

Rome Za:       Yeah.

Josh Felber:        I’m curious to hear about what you’ve utilized, what works really well for you, and then maybe some points for that.

Rome Za:       Yeah. Routine. Creating a powerful routine that … It takes testing, obviously. It’s not like, “This works for me, so this is gonna work for everybody.” But there’s certain patterns that people follow, like very high-performing people follow. I mean, when I used to compete, for example, my best competitions were when I would come to a tournament, I would stay away from all the action, and I would not watch anything. I would sit there and just listen to calm, meditation music for hours, and I would have a spotter, somebody who would be at the tournament, waiting to hear my name called, to get me into the tournament. There would be specific movement patterns that I would follow that hour before, and then what I would do two hours before, and what I would do three hours before, and what I would do the day before.

For example, Michael Phelps, he literally follows the same exact pattern over and over. He literally has the same visualization sequence that was developed for him as a child. Visualization is huge. Learning how to harness the power of your creative mind. Visualization. Rituals, of course. Freeing your mind, because essentially flow state is turning off your logical mind and letting your body work. Just letting it happen, you know? You did all the preparation already. Worrying is not going to help anything.

Josh Felber:        Sure.

Rome Za:       Yeah. Just tapping into that, and really enjoying that moment, because it’ll never come again. Realizing and truly feeling that this will never happen again. Like, this might be your last interview of the day, but this moment right now, you’ll never be as young as you are now. You’ll never have that same exact facial hair as you have now. Your eyes will never feel or look the same. Your body will never feel the same. Tapping into that present moment essentially is that flow state, because nothing else exists. There is no future. There is no past. There is just this moment. Right now, I’m looking at you, and you’re the most important person in my life, even though I have children, I have students, I have kids that I take care of. I have a mastermind, but you, you right now are the most important person in my life, because nobody else truly exists in this reality that we’ve built right now. This bubble.

Josh Felber:        Sure. Gotcha. No, that makes sense. You mentioned you had kids, and I know you guys have a really cool program that you’ve developed for kids down there and everything else. What different things do you utilize with your kids, and helping them as they’re growing, through different visualization stuff, to … I guess, helping them kind of move beyond what the noise is out there?

Rome Za:       I mean, we live in Costa Rica, right? We don’t really have a lot of that noise. My older son, he’s eight. He turned eight in October, and he reads all the time. He goes to a Waldorf school. I don’t know if you’re familiar, Rudolf Steiner, but yeah. He was a genius, and he has an incredible school, so he’s learning his Russian, English, Spanish, French, German, so fifth language right now.

Josh Felber:        Wow.

Rome Za:       He read over 100 books last year, and they were adult books.

Josh Felber:        That’s cool.

Rome Za:       Like all the Harry Potter. He read all the Harry Potters when he was five, but what we do is we just let him do whatever he wants to do, if that makes sense. We’re just the bumpers for that bowling game, because essentially it’s all a game. He’s not our son. We didn’t choose him. He might have chosen us, right? We’re just there to be the bumpers, to make sure that everything’s all good, and yeah. He surfs a few times a week. He plays the piano. He plays the flute. He paints and he goes and sells the paintings. He’s like a salesman. We just let him do whatever he wants to do. He does Jiu Jitsu. I don’t ever force the stuff that we do on him. He eats what we eat in the house, because he doesn’t really have a choice unless he wants to make his own money, but we just kind of follow …

Before we sent them to Waldorf, we homeschooled them, but basically the un-schooling principles, where we just let him learn whatever he wants to learn, and yeah. It’s so much easier. There’s so much less stress, and there’s so much of a better connection, because you’re not always just trying to force all this dumb shit down a child’s throat, and in reality, they pretty much know better than you what they need, because it’s them who needs it. It’s a struggle. It’s a struggle with ego, and logic, and actually being able to step away from it. I get caught in patterns sometimes where I’m like, I get frustrated, but when I tap back into my breathing, everything just opens back up again where I’m just like, “This doesn’t really matter. Who cares? Nobody’s ever going to remember this, ever.”

Josh Felber:        Sure.

Rome Za:       Yeah. Just coming back to that all the time. Coming back to home base, emotionally, for me. Because it’s like, you asked, “What do you do with the kids?” Where it’s like, it has nothing to do with the kids. The kids are just teachers for me, right? They just remind me to always stay at an emotional level of higher vibrations, essentially, and to test me to see if I can stay there.

Josh Felber:        Right. That’s a good way to look at it, for sure.

Rome Za:       It’s all training, bro.

Josh Felber:        Yeah. No, and I think that’s one of the key things, too, you mentioned was the fact that ego is, a lot of times, that’s what we let get in the way.

Rome Za:       Yeah. Yeah. Then we have a younger one too, and he’s just a brawler. He just wants to scrap all the time.

Josh Felber:        That’s funny. That’s cool. Oh, jeez, that went quick. We got a few minutes left. I guess tell me about how entrepreneurs … A lot of the people that are watching, they’re type A, they have some kind of stresses in their life, things like that. I know we talked a little bit about using the breathing technique to help manage some of that. What are maybe a couple other ideas or things that you teach to help people kind of rid that stress from their lives, or from what they’re doing?

Rome Za:       Yeah. I help people develop a very specific routine for the morning and the evening, and then during the daytime, as a reminder. Because essentially, the key is just to always remember what it is that you want, and why it is that you want it, and then the stress kind of goes away. And that it’s not that important either way, if you get it or not, because essentially you’re going to die. You’re not going to be able to keep it.

Josh Felber:        Right.

Rome Za:       I just help entrepreneurs and high performers get rid of that overwhelming feeling where … Are you familiar with the story of … There’s a martial arts master, and he’s sitting on a mountaintop, and one of his students comes to him, and he’s like, “I really love martial arts. I love it so much.” He’s like, “Because I love it so much, I’ve decided to take on a second martial art, and to learn it, and I think it’s going to help my training.” The martial arts master tells him, he’s like, “Have you ever seen a hunter hunting a rabbit?” He goes, “The hunter who chases two rabbits catches none.”

Josh Felber:        Right.

Rome Za:       Basically, I just help people tap into that internal warrior, which is like that single-minded focus, which is like that flow state, which is getting rid of that overwhelm that we feel, looking at a project from the macro and just breaking it down into the micro, and getting it done. And getting rid of a lot of those emotional issues from the past that we’re holding onto, and belief systems that aren’t serving us anymore.

Josh Felber:        Right.

Rome Za:       I use a lot of neurolinguistic programming, and ancestral meditations, and techniques, and different types of breathing patterns. We trained with Wim Hof last year. We flew down to Spain, and we climbed the mountain with him.

Josh Felber:        Nice.

Rome Za:       Yeah. I mean, we just create breakthroughs by any means possible. For example, if you come to me and we have a conversation, it might be that you have some sort of internal nutritional struggle, or you might have parasites inside of your body, or you have heavy metal toxicity, or maybe you’re holding onto these belief systems, but essentially it’s all one big holistic model where it’s like, it all plays a role together.

Josh Felber:        Right.

Rome Za:       Yeah. We use everything, because it’s like, you can’t forget one thing, because it’s going to be that weakest link that’s going to destroy everything.

Josh Felber:        Sure. Oh yeah.

Rome Za:       Whether it’s bad habits of, I don’t know, going out drinking during these mastermind events, and winding up in a strip club halfway through the night, and then making some really shitty decisions, and then your marriage being destroyed, and that’ll topple everything. You just need one domino to fall, and it’ll destroy everything.

Josh Felber:        For sure.

Rome Za:       Yeah. I just keep people focused on their warrior shit, because for me, I have very specific rules that I live by, and I have very specific standards that I hold myself to, and I teach people to develop their own standards and their own rules, because the more rules you have, the more freedom you have in your life, because you don’t even have to make those silly decisions like, “What am I gonna eat? Am I gonna eat this shitty food, or am I not gonna eat this shitty food? Am I gonna talk to this woman that’s trying to seduce me, or am I just gonna ignore her? Am I gonna yell at my kids, or am I gonna have a …” All these rules that raise your standards for who you are as a human being and as a warrior give you the freedom to actually create the shit that you need to create. If you’re sitting there making $5 decisions your whole fucking life, how are you supposed to make the million dollar decisions that you really need to be making, you know?

Josh Felber:        Sure. No, definitely. That is so truthful. Before we wrap up here, I know you have a really cool program that you guys recently launched, or you guys have launched down in Costa Rica, working with kids and doing a whole bunch of really cool stuff.

Rome Za:       Yeah. We have a non-profit called Hero Academy. It’s under the Dreamlife Alliance banner. Basically, we teach really poor kids, poor local kids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, English, personal development, and we feed them organic food, and we help to build safe housing for their families. We helped to rebuild two houses last year. We just launched last year. We have close to 50 kids, and about 20 of them are regular, every day. Some of them are starting to speak English right now. Most of the girls in the program have been molested, or raped, or sexually abused. Then the boys have seen that stuff, so they’re in the same patterns as well. What we’re doing is we’re breaking patterns. We’re doing pattern interrupts on a large societal basis, and yeah. It’s a non-profit. We just got started. We’re going to be expanding this year. Yeah. If anybody’s looking to send some funds over to the non-profit, or come down and teach the kids some cool shit, or whatever. I don’t know. Figure something else out. Yeah, that’s cool. My wife is spearheading that project.

Josh Felber:        That’s awesome.

Rome Za:       I focus more on the teaching them, and she runs the macro. I do the micro, where I’m just like the child whisperer.

Josh Felber:        That’s really cool. Do you guys have a way, say people wanted to come down and donate time or help? Do you guys have kind of a whole program structured to be able to do that, or just you’re like, “Hey, here’s the deal. Come on down, man”?

Rome Za:       Honestly, we’ve just had people coming down, but we’re just getting started with the whole non-profit thing. That thing usually takes a little bit longer, like the 501C3s. They take a while to figure out. There’s a gold star rate. There’s a whole … Whatever.

Josh Felber:        From a business side, yeah.

Rome Za:       There’s a lot of red tape, essentially, yeah, from a corporate side. We couldn’t really scale up what we were doing, because yeah. It’s not like a corporation where you launch, and a month later you’re doing $100K a month. There’s these little weird red tapes that they have to go over, but I mean, it’s working out pretty awesome. It’s working exactly at the pace that it’s supposed to be working at.

Josh Felber:        Cool. Awesome. Guys, really, anything that you want to help Rome with, with that, the Hero Academy is awesome. I know we talked a lot about it offline, when we were hanging out in California. It’s a really cool thing. It’s something I know, from my perspective, any ways to try to help kids, teach them, empower them, and to help them be in a position to be successful in their life, and everything is awesome. That’s honorable and really awesome that you’re doing that.

Rome Za:       Thanks, bro.

Josh Felber:        Well, cool. Tell us where we can find out more about Hero Academy, what you’re doing, who you are, and everything, before we wrap up.

Rome Za:       Cool. I wrote a book last year when I was in the jungle, called Awaken the Warrior Within. I’m going to be doing a relaunch of the book, because I kind of wrote it for my kids, but then people started reading it, and they were like, “This is pretty fucking good.” I decided to share it with the community. Yeah. You guys can find me on You can sign up to the list. I’ll send you a free meditation, and then we’ll develop a relationship from there. We have a retreat that we do. This is going to be our fourth one. We’re setting up our July event right now. We’re half full. We just announced it two weeks ago. It’s five days in Costa Rica, in the mountain jungles of Costa Rica.

Josh Felber:        Oh, wow.

Rome Za:       We basically touch on everything, and we basically set up those rituals. In the morning, we wake up. We do a 7:00 AM movement practice. We trained with [inaudible 00:40:30] team, Connor McGregor’s coach last year. We do a lot of their movement patterns, plus a lot of animal movements and Jiu Jitsu patterns. We do breath work, meditation after that. Then we have this awesome, organic spread. Then the workshops start, and we do two or three-hour workshops where we just create these crazy breakthroughs of tears, and people quitting their high-paying executive positions, and closing their businesses, and talking to their dead grandparents during our psychedelic journeys with the breath work.

Josh Felber:        Oh, jeez.

Rome Za:       And then we wrap it up with a bonfire at night, and just sharing circle, and just building that tribe, because essentially we’re tribal beings, and we need that connection where we’re not just talking about sales funnels and conversion rates, and all that other stuff that’s great and important, but that’s not the stuff that those people need to be talking about for the most part, because they need to be talking about that one time that their ex-wife cheated on them and they still haven’t gotten over it, and they hate women, and they still haven’t been able to build a relationship. To get rid of that thing, and I can get rid of it in less than 10 minutes.

Josh Felber:        That’s awesome.

Rome Za:       Why not, right? And you just get to chill and hang out, and just be. You know, like “be.”

Josh Felber:        That’s cool.

Rome Za:       Yeah.

Josh Felber:        And that’s coming up in July?

Rome Za:       Yeah. July 8 to July 13.

Josh Felber:        Awesome.

Rome Za:       We have a bunch of really high level entrepreneurs coming down, so I’m really excited. Our last retreat was crazy. So many tears, so many hugs. It almost feels as if this is the right place if you’re looking to feel like you’ve been at summer camp all summer, and then when you’re leaving, it feels like you’re never going to see these people again, so you don’t want to let them go, and you don’t want to … It’s like this weird feeling, and in five days you have this connection where you’ve shared more with these people that you met five days ago than anybody else in your life knows about.

Josh Felber:        Right. Wow.

Rome Za:       Your fears and your true desires that we usually don’t share, because they’re judged both ways, and they’re totally not appreciated. Over there, we just create this safe space where people can cry, people can laugh, people can joke, people can do whatever it is that they need to do in order to get to the next level.

Josh Felber:        Cool. That’s awesome, man. I’m so excited for you. That’s really great. Then is there a spot where people can get your book, or when you relaunch it, it will be?

Rome Za:       Yeah. Yeah, we’re going to relaunch it, so they should sign up on and I’ll send it out during an email.

Josh Felber:        Awesome. So cool, man. It was an honor to have your time today, be able to share your story, what you have going on. Some cool insights, and guys, make sure you get out there breathing, and so Rome, thank you for coming on Making Bank today.

Rome Za:       Hold on. Guys, go do something courageous today. One thing courageous. One thing that you’re scared of. Tell her that you love her. Tell her that that thing hurt. Tell him that that thing hurt. Do something courageous. Give your child a hug and apologize for being an asshole the day before. I love you guys. Have an amazing day. Thank you, Josh, for having me. This is awesome, and yeah.

Josh Felber:        Cool, man. I’m Josh Felber. You’ve been watching Making Bank. Get out and be extraordinary.