Javier is on a mission to empower mid-level managers to unlock their real potential and transform their team into a "best team." I love helping leaders and organizations bring out the talent on their sides, accelerate learning and build positive cultures.
Javier started his first business at the age of sixteen selling “Moon Shield,” a sunscreen for water polo athletes. Co-founding a marketing and business development boutique organically and expanding from two people to 5 international offices with 30+ employees in less than two years and have work in building teams from the ground up.
As a coach Javier helps mid-level managers in overcoming their obstacles and enhancing their leadership skills to shape their team into greatness. He fascinates and passionate to bring the best of teams and co-create their shared vision to create a vibrant organization.
Christina and Javier Llerena founded Boundless Love a non-profit ministry, they support other couples by sharing the life-changing lessons as they almost ended their marriage after their second child. Putting God at the center of their relationship is what transformed their marriage.
In Boundless Love: Healing Your Marriage Before It Begins they share their lessons learned from life and their expertise from facilitating over 1,000 individuals preparing for marriage.
- Create an adventure for yourself
- Your past does not define you
- Make your marriage a priority
[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]
Umar Hameed 0:06
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone, this is Umar Hameed, your host and welcome to the No Limits Selling Podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how to make you better, stronger, faster, get ready for another episode.
Umar Hameed 0:37
Today, I have the privilege of having Javier Llerena here, but I'm disappointed that the brains of the outfit isn't here. Christina is missing.
Javier Llerena 0:45
Umar Hameed 0:45
Javier, How are you? Welcome to the program.
Javier Llerena 0:48
I'm doing great happy to be here with you.
Umar Hameed 0:50
And Christina is your wife?
Javier Llerena 0:51
Christina is my wife, my mother half.
Umar Hameed 0:54
The better half and you guys have written a book together. And that's what I wanted to take a deep dive. Because love is such a critical part of being human and being successful without that, what's the point and you've got this brilliant book called Boundless Love Healing Your Marriage Before It Begins. And the reason I love the title is you were thinking about people, you know, getting ready to be married. They've got their partner picked, they're engaged. But it turns out that's not the audience that's embrace the book. Who's embraced the book?
Javier Llerena 1:27
So we we were surprised who embrace the book is the people that are planning that ideal.
Umar Hameed 1:35
I want to find someone.
Javier Llerena 1:36
Umar Hameed 1:37
Javier Llerena 1:37
Umar Hameed 1:38
So it just goes to show you is like when you create something, sometimes we have an idea of what we want to create what purposeful for it. And the universe sometimes has a different idea saying, hey, we find it more useful.
Javier Llerena 1:50
Umar Hameed 1:52
So uh, by any chance offhand, do you know what the divorce rate is in the US right now?
Javier Llerena 1:57
So right now we Cristiana and I did some digging, and we're talking about 68%.
Umar Hameed 2:02
Which is not.
Javier Llerena 2:03
First time marriage.
Umar Hameed 2:04
Yeah. Which is not surprising.
Javier Llerena 2:06
Umar Hameed 2:07
Let's begin with why is it that we and we find this amazing person, And we have the best of intentions, what causes it to go sideways?
Javier Llerena 2:18
Well, I we we did a lot of research. And I think on the book that we publish, the it's a testimony of our relationship. Yes. Because Christina and I, and I don't want to give a lot of the juicy stuff away. But in our book talk, we talked about a breaking point, in our relationship that we're Christina was going to file for divorce lawyers. There was a restraining order coming my way. And and I think we we reflected, and we were reflecting on things that didn't work out. During that time. What what happened?
Umar Hameed 3:01
How did we get here?
Javier Llerena 3:02
Exactly. So that's what the book is all about. We kind of met an inventory of things that really affected the breaking point.
Umar Hameed 3:10
I noticed you got across on the front of the book.
Javier Llerena 3:12
Umar Hameed 3:12
And this sounds like a come to Jesus moment, where it's like, either it's gonna split.
Javier Llerena 3:17
Umar Hameed 3:18
And you could split in a way that is civilized, or displayed in a very bad way.
Javier Llerena 3:24
Umar Hameed 3:24
But being confronted with that got you guys to confront your own shit. Right?
Javier Llerena 3:29
That's right. And also, I think, a point that we want to make is, I mean, there are some relationships. I mean, we don't we don't have a sponsor of divorce. But there's some relationships that perhaps.
Umar Hameed 3:40
Javier Llerena 3:41
Yeah, meant to be. But at the same time, how do you? How do you like go in a healthy way. So that way, when you start a brand new relationship
Umar Hameed 3:53
That you don't bring the baggage from the old stuff.
Javier Llerena 3:55
You don't bring the baggage from the old.
Umar Hameed 3:56
So let's back up a bit. We're not going to back up right to the beginning. But let's back up to a in a in an earlier age. Courtship was very well defined ritual. So talk to me about courtship now, what does it look like on an average kind of relationship?
Javier Llerena 4:13
Yeah, so I think courtship right now is about the the swipe, right? I'm, I have this mobile app, and I'm gonna if I like what I see, I'm gonna choose you and said, right, we we, I think we are engaging in a very superficial way. It's like shopping in Amazon. You know, I I'm pretty sure that some of those products are not what they're describing. And yeah, description. So I think the same way so we leading into that I don't, I don't think couples now are engaging in meaningful conversations.
Umar Hameed 4:42
So how would someone do that? Like, where do they meet and how do they set expectations that this might be worth doing properly?
Javier Llerena 4:53
I think what we're trying to teach is, obviously we are digging into the Bible here and we one of the things that I tap into is how men are looking at women. And right, so we're like, we're look, we're taking the Bible perspective and say, Okay, how Jesus look at women?
Umar Hameed 5:13
Javier Llerena 5:14
And in teaching that.
Umar Hameed 5:16
And just for the people listening to this, so either you are faithful or not, but it doesn't make the question is, is this useful information?
Javier Llerena 5:23
Umar Hameed 5:24
So you don't have to be a believer. And if it's not useful, put down the book and get rid of it. And if it is useful
Javier Llerena 5:29
Umar Hameed 5:30
You're not changing faith.
Javier Llerena 5:31
Umar Hameed 5:31
And so wherever you can find wisdom, find it.
Javier Llerena 5:34
That's right. So we we are we're I mean, if you don't, you don't believe in Christ, that's fine. But if you believe in a higher power, you can kind of set that up, right? Because we believe that I higher power doesn't discriminate,
Umar Hameed 5:46
Right? And if you happen to be Christian, Jesus did not discriminate either. So I'm not religious. So everyone knows, but I'm a firm believer in this wisdom everywhere.
Javier Llerena 5:57
Umar Hameed 5:58
And if you go, I'm not listening to this because of XYZ. Because you're a Martian, then, you know, hey.
Javier Llerena 6:03
That's right. So we don't discriminate, but I, I think the main goal for us is to, to people to heal themselves to kind of look inward, right? And see, okay, what are the things that we need to take care of? So we are
Umar Hameed 6:16
Give me an example of that, how would someone look inwards? Because it's the hardest thing to do, right? Because it's really easy to see the mistakes and other people that's super hard to see in ourselves.
Javier Llerena 6:25
Yes. And that's what the book I talked about. And I think I want to talk about myself since my, my other half is not here. So I cannot. I cannot talk about her stories. But I talk about my anger management issue that I have.
Umar Hameed 6:39
Your anger management?
Javier Llerena 6:39
Yes. So throughout my life, that was that was great. It was the best it was it was a mechanism to defend myself.
Umar Hameed 6:46
Yes. And it was it was.
Javier Llerena 6:48
It was great. Until you get together with somebody who loves you, and somebody you love them and you feel so united together. And then what happened that person piss you off.
Umar Hameed 6:59
Yeah, so here's the paradox is that you and I know each other, we've known each other for a while, but hadn't seen each other for a really long time. But you have a level of civility towards me, that you would not have towards a loved one. Because which is a paradox, because we love that person and let our guard down. And then the who we actually are comes out, whereas we'd never do that to a stranger.
Javier Llerena 7:23
Umar Hameed 7:23
How did you get a handle on anger management?
Javier Llerena 7:28
So I think I got a wake up call, because an incident happened where Christina needed to, she needed to call the police to be safe. And that was a wake up call when I realized that, okay, this is getting out of hand. This is getting kinda out of hand. And that's when I started looking inward. Okay, what is causing this anger? Where is it coming from? And then you start making the steps backwards?
Umar Hameed 7:52
So I'll commend you on being transparent.
Javier Llerena 7:56
Umar Hameed 7:57
And because that's hard to do, also, because in this culture, we're shown, we're expected to be our best selves and show that not the real selves. Yeah. If there was a new couple coming to you. And they said, okay, we want to do this courtship thing, right? What are three things you'd give them advice on? This is how you court.
Javier Llerena 8:16
Sure. So one of the things that we talked about is communication is one of them, right? Also, what are your values as an individualist people do not know them, they don't know them. And also, you have values but are you living your values?
Umar Hameed 8:31
And the only way to figure that out is if you know the criteria for your values, which most people don't if they do know, the values is just like, you know, communications is really important to me, and it's like, Well, okay, how would you know, that's happening? Then it's like, Huh,
Javier Llerena 8:44
Exactly, exactly. And then that the I think the most the ingredient piece is your vision. For your relationship. What are you looking for? What what what do you see doing together? And how you see yourself with this person?
Umar Hameed 8:59
And how do you share it with the other person and be open to hearing how they see it?
Javier Llerena 9:03
That's right. That's right. And I think those are key components to have a healthy courtship. I think a lot of couples are playing a dance game, right? Where I'm dancing with you dancing with me. But we're not putting the cards on the table.
Umar Hameed 9:18
Because I think just in life, generally, we have three faces. We've got this face that we show the outside world, and some people might call that the Facebook profile.
Javier Llerena 9:27
Umar Hameed 9:27
My family's amazing. I'm amazing. Yeah, life is amazing. And but other people show the outside world. Look at me, I'm broken. I'm damaged. I'm unlovable, and that's the illusion. And then we have something worse, which is the delusion? This is who we think we are.
Javier Llerena 9:42
Umar Hameed 9:43
And then there's the authentic self. That's right. And if we can find the authentic self, then there's no reason for the delusion.
Javier Llerena 9:48
Umar Hameed 9:49
If you're brave enough, that's what you show the outside world.
Javier Llerena 9:51
Umar Hameed 9:51
And if all three of the same, then people get drawn to you because like I feel safe around you. I'm not sure why.
Javier Llerena 9:57
That's right. And I'm pretty sure you you talked about this and you're well known in the in the, in the industry, what you do is double liberate a lot of energy.
Umar Hameed 10:09
Javier Llerena 10:10
To to do the best to be authentic. I mean, when you be your authentic, you are resting, you're in the best state of self.
Umar Hameed 10:18
Yeah. So because one of the things that you had mentioned before we started recording this was our childhood is so important. Yes. to who we end up being and many of us are prisoners to the past.
Javier Llerena 10:28
Umar Hameed 10:28
And so let's delve into that.
Javier Llerena 10:31
Umar Hameed 10:31
Have you tell me about your childhood scare listeners away. But the talk to me about how childhood impacts our lives and our relationships when we become adults?
Javier Llerena 10:43
Yes. So I and I talked about it in the book as well. My childhood is not a I don't wish my childhood on anyone. But it's something that I tried to forget.
Umar Hameed 10:56
Yeah. And the reality is, there's other people out there going, I wish I had your childhood because this was so much worse.
Javier Llerena 11:02
Umar Hameed 11:02
When did you catch yourself saying the things you promised you'd never say? Because you grew up but I'll never say that when I'm a dad or a husband? Did you have one of those moments where you caught yourself?
Javier Llerena 11:12
Yes. So So I had a moment where I realized that I was playing the same old movie, what I call the I wish.
Umar Hameed 11:20
Yes. If that happened.
Umar Hameed 11:23
If you do this, I'll be a better husband.
Javier Llerena 11:25
Yeah. Or if if this didn't happen, I'll be in a different situation.
Umar Hameed 11:30
Javier Llerena 11:31
And then instead of looking forward to a solution, you are becoming a victim and looking back and say, well, no wonder I'm so broken.
Umar Hameed 11:40
Javier Llerena 11:40
Because of what happened? Yeah. And that came to me because I, my parents passed away. And everything was blame on them.
Umar Hameed 11:49
Javier Llerena 11:50
I'm this way because of them. I'm here because of that.
Umar Hameed 11:55
Which is a great way to get through life because then it wasn't my fault.
Javier Llerena 11:58
Umar Hameed 11:59
I'm just a victim here.
Javier Llerena 12:00
Umar Hameed 12:00
You should be giving me. What caused you to finally realize that yes, they did what they did. But I chose to let that impact me. When did you choose like, give me an example of something you unchose said, Okay, this doesn't serve me anymore. And I'm going to let go of x.
Javier Llerena 12:17
It I think, I think everything, I think I got the wake up call when I found out that Christina was going to, you know, really filed for divorce. And I felt that, Okay, I need some help here. And I start definitely going to therapy. I think I seen a couple therapists and really start working on myself. And other thing that I that I really promote is a form of either meditation, praying or mantras, whatever is your thing. To really, really go deep and really quiet them monkey mind.
Umar Hameed 12:56
Javier Llerena 12:56
And really, and really find out what is what are you telling yourself? What is that narrative that you're telling yourself?
Umar Hameed 13:03
Umar, you're incredibly handsome?
Javier Llerena 13:05
Yes. Yeah, well, yeah.
Umar Hameed 13:09
So I got this from the artists way. I forget the name of the author, Julia something. And it was this one technique that's been quite useful. It's every morning, sit down, get a pen, and a pad of paper and write down whatever pops in your head.
Javier Llerena 13:21
Umar Hameed 13:22
This is a stupid exercise. My butt is a G, I must get the laundry today, do that for 10 minutes every morning. And it empties your mind, allowing you to just step into the world because we have so many thoughts each day, the only problem is that the same thoughts we had yesterday and the day before? So I've found that to be quite a useful technique. Just Yes. Definitely. Move on.
Javier Llerena 13:40
Yeah, definitely. And you and you do a great work in your in your workshops, where you are limiting your mind, right, you you are putting you put in this inner critic in your head, and you listen to the inner critic, and, and especially your audience, right people that want to succeed in sales. And is that can be applied to and
Umar Hameed 14:00
Yeah, I had this group of CEOs. They've got this organization called Vistage. And it's, you know, CEOs come together in this peer group. And I had this group of 22, CEOs. And I said, Okay, here's a three by five card for each one of you. What's the number one negative thing you say to yourself write down on the card. And then I redistributed the cards randomly, so you didn't get your own.
Javier Llerena 14:21
Umar Hameed 14:21
And this guy, John gets up and says something and something like, you know, I'm a failure, and I'll never amount to anything. This woman comes up to me later on, she goes, John doesn't know this. But that was my card. And when he said it, all I wanted to do was to go there and hug him. But when I say to myself, I can't hug myself, right? And so those thoughts, limit who we are, and we all have them. And one of the things that was shocking to the CEOs was that holy shit. I had no idea. Everyone's got this in their head. I just thought it was me.
Javier Llerena 14:54
Umar Hameed 14:54
And it's not.
Javier Llerena 14:55
That's right. That's right.
Umar Hameed 14:56
So tell me about someone. You've helped you in Christina have helped. Where they were in the past? And what epiphany you help them get? And how did they change their relationship?
Javier Llerena 15:05
Sure. So we,
Umar Hameed 15:08
Javier Llerena 15:08
I really want to help him out. But uh, I don't know, maybe I keep tweeting him, but hopefully he will responds to me. But we recently helped a couple that that one, the guy has didn't had a good relationship with his father and right he was everything he did he blame it on him. So kind of, for him to really work things out and really identify that he's his own person, he's not he did inherit, or in his his behavior, and in and run out there celebrated their wedding, they're invited. The dad, they made peace, and then from the lady side was more about boundaries, and how you set up healthy boundaries to, to the family, they're always influencing, right, they want to protect you. So that's, that's how we felt that we did I contribute a thing
Umar Hameed 16:12
To them, nice.
Javier Llerena 16:13
To them. And, and we also fail, some of the readers that come to us is that it's not, it's not healing to, to really have a good marriage. But I think it's also a healing to have a better life for yourself.
Umar Hameed 16:29
Ultimately, that's the only thing you can control is yourself. And the problem is, there's an owner's manual for everything except for ourselves. So kind of getting these kinds of insights and going through the exercises and getting that you go down this scary journey. And at the end of it, you discover something wonderful, which is yourself. There's a song by this group called the and I'm not gonna sing it because we want to retain listeners, I'll lose them. But it's like, how could anybody know me if I don't know myself?
Javier Llerena 16:58
Umar Hameed 16:58
So so you help people get that?
Javier Llerena 17:00
Umar Hameed 17:01
Because a lot of times, people, my wife should know that I love her. Because I do this thing.
Javier Llerena 17:08
Umar Hameed 17:08
And it's like, yes. And she has no idea. That's how you show love.
Javier Llerena 17:12
Umar Hameed 17:13
And we should ask the other person. How do you feel loved?
Javier Llerena 17:16
That's right. And also, another key component, obviously, is the higher power and how we we put so much pressure on us. To to control everything.
Umar Hameed 17:28
Javier Llerena 17:29
You know, the Earth is I think the earth is not again, I don't know how many miles i think is 1000 miles per hour.
Umar Hameed 17:37
Yes. spinning at that time. Yeah.
Javier Llerena 17:39
So I don't think we control anything. I mean, we just control the reality that we create for ourselves. And I think relying on the higher power for the good.
Umar Hameed 17:49
And whether you believe in it or not. The question is, is it useful?
Javier Llerena 17:52
Umar Hameed 17:53
And if it's a mechanism that's useful, use it, use it. And if you happen to be a believer in that helps even more than you do even more. So. Have you had conversations with people that have had really successful marriages for a long time? And if you did, were there any insights you got from those?
Javier Llerena 18:10
I we people that had successful marriage, I think that thing that we talked about is how our learning letting go of this dictations of the other individual
Umar Hameed 18:23
Javier Llerena 18:24
And how are embracing life and in life can come and we were talking to a couple that they have dogs and their dogs have their kid is Yep. And it's given them joy in how you kind of let go of really controlling and embracing and be grateful what you have, right. So I think that's that's the key, that's the factor. Another factor that we have seen is is becoming a pioneer with your loved one and and by that you mean and by I mean that is create an adventure for yourself. We see. We talked about a lot out we talked to empty nesters and we see empty nesters selling their house, getting an RV crossing the country going here going there voluntary and doing things that they always wanted to do and they become pioneers and their marriage is they don't feel like okay, the kids are gone.
Umar Hameed 19:19
Javier Llerena 19:20
Umar Hameed 19:21
Because there are some marriages where it's like now and the marriage is over? Because
Javier Llerena 19:24
Umar Hameed 19:24
The kids aren't here to keep it together. But you can choose to go discover something amazing.
Javier Llerena 19:29
That's right. And we have seen that in and and I'm like, Wow, that's so cool. Because you keep in your relationship. It's an adventure.
Umar Hameed 19:37
So as you know, happier my wife passed away last year, and it was like 27 years of marriage. And last month was kind of a interesting time. One of the things she said to me was, you know, when we first met, I was very reactive. And if people did something wrong, I'd like to I went into attack mode and what you taught me was how to let that go. And what she had taught me was how to be truly loving, something I thought I knew, but I really didn't. And so just you don't have to be at death's door, like you had, our marriage is gonna break up. And it was like, Hey, we got to fix this. And for me, it was like exiting the marriage through her passing away.
Javier Llerena 20:19
Umar Hameed 20:20
So people listening, you can choose to wait till one of those devastating things happen. Or you could say, you know, what, this weekend? Why don't we go have a cup of coffee and discuss?
Javier Llerena 20:31
Umar Hameed 20:32
So when my wife and I went through some trouble spot, we came up with this really brilliant idea, which was an hour, as I'm sure was that every Sunday morning, we would take an hour. And in that hour, we would talk about what went well, this week in our marriage. And when you did this, it kind of made me angry.
Javier Llerena 20:49
Umar Hameed 20:50
And in a week, you can't screw things up that badly in a week. So it was all small stuff. And whereas in the past, we waited till it was like some scary stuff, then I didn't want to talk because I don't want to communicate. And then if she wants communication, then it just became this barrier that was hard to overcome. But when we came up with this strategy, it was like, it was a really joyous time every week to just discuss what's going well, you made me feel loved here. And if you can get to that place, then nothing major comes up. That's right. But if you wait till something horrible happens, then it's a tough, tough thing to get over.
Javier Llerena 21:21
Yes, we we have encounter couples in our workshops that they haven't had meaningful conversation for more than seven minutes. So when they come to our workshops, which is eight hours or 16 hours if you include the two days, and they're like, you know, I talked to my husband for three hours, and I haven't talked to him
Umar Hameed 21:40
That much in the last 10 years.
Javier Llerena 21:42
10 years. So I think you do a really good example of having a healthy communication with each other. And I think that's key as well. Right? I think we get used to
Umar Hameed 21:53
Yeah, and just so you know, if you're listening Is that it? This did not happen magically. It wasn't, you know, we went through some tough and had to come to that realization.
Javier Llerena 22:01
Umar Hameed 22:02
And what would be the so whenever I go to a wedding, my advice is always two things. Number one, it's not your job to love your spouse. It's your job to make your spouse feel loved, which is a different lesson that we got to inquire. How do you feel loved and all that? And the second one is that do that weekly meeting? It'll change your life.
Javier Llerena 22:21
Absolutely. Yeah, I we said something very similar is that you bring love to the table. Yeah. And in order to bring love to the table, you cannot expect for your your fiance or your wife to bring that love to feel you, right? You want to bring a lot to the table and share it and have a fee. So
Umar Hameed 22:40
Javier this book is how many pages?
Javier Llerena 22:44
It's 200 plus pages. So
Umar Hameed 22:46
There's lots of information there. How can people get a hold of the book? Where can they find it?
Javier Llerena 22:49
So they can find the book on Amazon.
Umar Hameed 22:53
Hey, that could catch on Amazon.
Javier Llerena 22:55
And also, also if you are I don't want to use the word hesitant but if you're like okay, well, I want to check out the first chapter. You can go to boundlesslove.us, and you can download the first the first chapter for free, nice, and you can check it out. There's also a workbook that goes along with the book and people couples can check it out and see what they like it or not, and see if it's a good fit or not. Right.
Umar Hameed 23:25
Brilliant. So we're gonna put your contact information and social media links and all of that in the show notes. Javier thanks so much for sitting down with me.
Javier Llerena 23:32
Thank you It was a pleasure.
Umar Hameed 23:39
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at nolimitsselling.com I've got a free mind training course there that's going to teach you some insights from the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and that is the fastest way to get better results.