Adversity to Impact with Doug Bopst

Happy Friday Feels, Tribe! Welcome to another episode of The Jenn Kennedy Show! How was your week? I hope it was AMAZING and full of growth and increasing abundance, but even if it wasn’t, I know this episode will make it better!

I’ve got a very special guest today who is sure to inspire you. He’s definitely inspired me, and I’m so incredibly thankful to call this man my friend!

His name is Doug Bopst, and you guys, his story is incredible. In high school, Doug started doing and dealing drugs, and when he was just 20 years old, he was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute. Doug hit rock bottom hard — he didn’t even know if he wanted to continue living.

But then something amazing happened. Doug met his cellmate, who he describes as “a more jacked version of Brad Pitt from fight club.” And one day, this guy said — “Doug, you’re going to work out with me.”

They started working out together, which for Doug — who had no exercise experience and had been significantly overweight for most of his life — was a big deal! At the beginning of his jail sentence, Doug couldn’t do one push-up. But by the end, he could do a set of ten push-ups and run a mile. It was a massive transformation!

And that was only the beginning. Doug’s whole life turned around when he realized that he could get fit and use his new knowledge about fitness and his story of adversity to start a business, have a massive impact, and live a life of true abundance.

“... I’m just going to be on a mission to help people. And that’s just kind of where I’m still at … with everything that I’m doing even today. I have my podcast, and I’ve written three books. … I’ve been on different shows, and I’ve got this great community of people. But it’s all just to help people and inspire people to … make the same decisions I made and help them through whatever setbacks I went through.” - Doug Bopst

I’m so grateful to Doug for joining me today to share his wisdom! His honesty and authenticity are incredible — I just know you guys are going to get a lot out of this episode. I’m really excited to get into it, so let’s go!

Who Is Doug Bopst?

Who isn’t Doug Bopst at this point? He’s an award-winning personal trainer, three-time author, speaker, podcaster, and entrepreneur. Doug does it all because he’s so passionate about sharing his story and using his experiences to help as many people as he can reach.

Doug’s books are really incredible achievements. His first book, From Felony to Fitness to Free, goes into much greater detail about Doug’s experiences being arrested and jailed on drug charges and turning his life around by getting into physical fitness.

His second book, Faith Family Fitness, encourages readers to invest in their spirituality. During his transformation, Doug embraced spirituality for the first time in his life and became a Christian. Today, he shares his message of the positive influence of spirituality on his life and helps his readers cultivate their own spiritual lives and live in greater alignment and abundance.

Doug’s most recent book, The Heart of Recovery, is mostly a collection of interviews with other people who have overcome addictions. It’s full of inspiring success stories, and it empowers readers to take control of their own lives and overcome the addictions that are holding them back from abundance.

But Doug’s not just a writer! In his ongoing pursuit of sharing his message with the world and helping as many people as possible, Doug has made a ton of media appearances. He’s been featured on The Today Show and Men’s Health, among others. He has also appeared on several major podcasts like Impact Theory, Rise Together Podcast, Rich Roll Podcast, and This Life with Dr. Drew.

Doug even has his own podcast called The Adversity Advantage, which you guys should totally check out after listening to this episode!

Doug Bopst is an incredible force for good in this world. His drive to reach bigger and bigger audiences with his message is truly inspiring to me — I am so glad he’s getting the success and renown he deserves!

Now let’s dive into this interview!

Setbacks Always Precede Progress

Doug has overcome a lot in his life. Jail is not a place anyone ever wants to end up, and Doug felt defeated for a long time.

And he could have chosen to stay that way. When he hit rock bottom, he could have chosen to stay there and wallow. He could have sat still and gotten comfortable with his negative circumstances. He could have just quit and given up and accepted that his life would always be terrible.

But Doug knew that wasn’t in his best interest! He knew better than to sit still and get comfortable in a jail cell. 

“... Think about what kind of mindset that puts you in, right? It puts you in a lack mindset, a victim mindset, a position where you are pretty much waiting for bad things to continue to happen … You’re going to sulk and feel sorry for yourself. You’re going to say, ‘Woe is me,’ [and] you’re going to blame other people. You’re going to take responsibility off of yourself. … [But] the goal … — whenever you’re going through adversity — is to get better, right? … Taking massive accountability and responsibility for ourselves … becomes almost common sense when you think about it in that perspective.” - Doug Bopst

Let me give this point a little extra emphasis: it is common sense to get up off your ass and take responsibility for yourself when you’re going through adversity.

You guys, I say this all the time, but I’m going to repeat it: everything that happens to you in life happens for you. It might sound silly, it might seem like a cliché, but guess what? It’s true. Everything — even the hard things — happens for you.

Adversity is just an opportunity to grow! When bad things happen, you’ve just got to regroup and realign your mindset. Ask yourself, “How can I use this experience? What lessons can I learn here?”

“... I think the biggest lesson that I have learned is: every comeback we make — every time we make massive amounts of progress — there’s always some sort of setback that precedes that. … I think in entrepreneurship, especially … we think that it’s all about the top of the mountain, right? [But] the nitty-gritty, messy crap on the climb is what shapes your character.” - Doug Bopst

The process of overcoming adversity is truly what makes you and shapes you into the person you become!

I know many of you are business people and entrepreneurs, and I just want to encourage you — whatever adversity you may be facing, don’t get comfortable with it. Realize that it is happening for you and so that you can grow and become better at what you do.

Take One Small Step

Here’s the thing: you can create the life of your dreams. I fundamentally believe that, and Doug does too:

“I think that you can create the life that you want. You have to have a vision, right? You’ve got to set goals. You have to be intentional with your time and who you surround yourself with. … As humans, we have the unique ability to continue to grow and evolve.” - Doug Bopst

What are your goals right now? Do you want to bring a new relationship into your life? Do you want to have kids? Are you trying to lose weight? Learn how to eat healthier?

Those of you who are entrepreneurs — I know there are a lot of you out there! — what are you doing in your life right now, today, to grow? What is your vision for your business? How are you setting up new revenue streams?

Most importantly — and this goes for all of you: How are you showing up for yourself?

“... Take a look at yourself and how you’re showing up. What are you doing on a daily basis? Take care of yourself because if you’re not taking care of yourself, then odds are you’re not going to have the confidence and belief and self-esteem in yourself to progress and handle adversity as it comes …” - Doug Bopst

How are you taking care of yourself? How are you showing up for yourself and your goals today?

I’m going to encourage you to take just one step toward your goal today. It can be a small step — that’s okay! But even if you feel discouraged or exhausted and even if you feel like giving up — take one small step anyway. 

Commit to showing up for yourself. Put your big kid pants on, get out there, and kick some butt! You’ve got the vision, you’ve got the goals — now it’s time to take control and start achieving them.

“Your Network is Your Net-Worth”

Showing up for yourself is essential to overcoming adversity and growing your impact. But there’s another component to that process that is just as important: your community.

It’s essential to surround yourself with people who encourage you and support you and your vision.

“It’s all about relationships, right? I think your network is your net-worth … you build a lot of capital and equity in yourself by who you surround yourself with. And it’s not like you should go seek validation [from] who’s in your circle. I’m just saying — what can you give to the people around you? How can you invest in them? … And what kind of value can you add that they can then reciprocate … into your life?” - Doug Bopst

I’ll give you a fantastic example of this: I actually met Doug through a Mastermind! You guys know that I have been really intentional in the last couple of years about growing my network and making connections with other entrepreneurs like me. It has been so important for me and my business to work with awesome, like-minded people who can coach me and work alongside me as I’ve built my business.

And how great is it that I met Doug that way? If I hadn’t joined that Mastermind, I would have missed out on a million connections and network opportunities that have helped me grow and scale my business. I also would have robbed myself of the opportunity to be inspired by Doug and his story and to share that story with you!

So consider the people in your inner circle. Are they supporting you and your goals for yourself? 

“... You have a choice in life. Where are you going to spend your time? Are you going to spend your time with people that elevate you to be the best that you can be? Or are you going to spend time with people that are pessimistic and demotivating? … Surround yourself with people that are going in the same direction as you, not that are going where you used to be.” - Doug Bopst

I want you to know that it is possible to build a healthy and productive community around yourself even during a pandemic! With resources like Instagram and Twitter and endless opportunities for video conferences and webinars, it’s easier than ever to find people to invest in. I want to encourage you to find people who are walking the same path you are to work together and motivate each other to grow.

Remember: your network is your net-worth. Growing your network leads to growing your impact and your income. It’s as simple as that!

Overcome Adversity and Grow Your Impact

Here’s the bottom line: Hardship and adversity are opportunities to grow, and the keys to taking advantage of those opportunities are 1) showing up for yourself and 2) surrounding yourself with people who will motivate you to keep going.

Doug Bopst has seen his share of adversity. Addiction and imprisonment are not easy hurdles to get over! But he found the right people to push him to show up for himself. And now, his message is helping tons of people grow and succeed for themselves.

Doug let his adversity lead to greater impact — will you do the same?

I am so grateful to Doug for joining me on this special and inspiring episode of The Jenn Kennedy Show. I hope it lit a fire under you as much as it did for me! If it did, definitely share this episode on Instagram and tag Doug, @dougbopst, and me, @thejennkennedy.

While you’re there, follow Doug on Instagram! And don’t forget to check out his website and his podcast, The Adversity Advantage.

Thanks for joining me today, Tribe! I’ll catch you next time!

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