July 1

Jay Rooke on Uncovering Our Purpose in Life


Entrepreneurs hire Jay Rooke as their coach when they want to harmonize their business, personal development and spiritual foundations.  Formerly a trial attorney for the City of New York, Jay spent a decade in the corporate world, and has one foot in each camp so that the spiritual work is grounded in practical solutions.

Jay's "why" is that he always wanted to follow his passion to be an entrepreneur, so years ago he opened a restaurant, which quickly turned into an “involuntary non-profit” and he lost everything.  While the experience nearly killed him, it inspired his evolution to serve first-time entrepreneurs by helping them launch their businesses without losing their savings and sanity. Jay is the host of Know Pain, Know Gain—Entrepreneurship Made Real, a podcast and nationally syndicated radio show. 

[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]

Umar Hameed 0:01
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone. My name is Umar Hameed, I'm your host on the No Limits Selling Podcast where industry leaders share their tips, strategies, and advice on how you can become better, stronger, faster. Just before we get started, I've got a question for you. Do you have a negative voice inside your head? We all do, right? I'm gonna help you remove that voice and under 30 days guaranteed not only remove it but transform it. So instead of the voice that sabotages you, there's one that propels you too much higher levels of performance and success. There's a link in the show notes. Click on it to find out more. All right, let's get started.

Umar Hameed 0:41
Hello, everyone today I have Jay Rooke. And Jay is famous for jaywalking, helping people go on these 90 minute walks in nature and let strategy and life bubble up. And it's really amazing when you do this in a setting like you're in my office on my couch, and we're talking, it's a different experience than when you're out in nature. So Jay, I love what you do. Welcome to the show.

Jay Rooke 1:05
Umar, thanks so much for me, I'm really excited to be here.

Umar Hameed 1:07
Brilliant. One of my highlights was I got to go to Rio de Janeiro and do a presentation on Neuro-Linguistic Programming. It was like the World Congress, they have it every two years, some of my mentors are going to be there. So it was like don't screw up. And what I was talking about was, you know, the quantum field that we're all connected with it. And one of the examples I gave was, you know, sometimes working with clients in nature, like I'm working on with someone, it's about creativity. And out of the blue, this Disney quality dog comes up behind this person and starts frolicking around as we're talking about creativity here, he can't see it. I can and I was just talking about you know, how if you're in nature, shit shows up to kind of validate what you're talking about. And as I was doing that, I swear to God, I did not do this and I do not have this power. But a giant Munna monarch butterfly came and started flying around the center of the room. They thought it was me, but it was just happenstance. But I took the credit.

Jay Rooke 2:04
The whole day.

Umar Hameed 2:05
So your thoughts on that when you take people out of nature? Does nature show up in a way that kind of helps that conversation along with that understanding?

Jay Rooke 2:14
I think it does. And I think where it's most helpful is, as many of us are trying to crack new things on personal development or solve those business problems that we can't get our head around, we get so stuck in our mind space. And like you said, Hey, I'm sitting here in my office, and it has this theme and this energy. And I find that being in nature helps individuals almost get out of their own way it takes their visual attention somewhere else. And as we all know, when you know, when's the last time you went for a walk and felt worse. And so there's that connection to nature that people start to get where I think they get a cleaner access to themselves.

Umar Hameed 2:47
Brilliant, and I happened to be like a pretty decent hypnotist. And in hypnosis, they have this thing called utilization, that if an alarm bell happened to go off as you've got somebody in trance, and so Jay, sometimes it can be alarming to say that he kind of validates this thing. It's like you did it. So once I was out in nature with a client, and we were talking about, you know, letting go of the past, and it started to rain, and as this issue washes away from your body, and sometimes it's kind of fun to do that. But it also adds to the because I suspect for you and I don't want to like project anything is that you are of service of the people that are taking this walk with you. Like sometimes you may have the answers, but sometimes it's just being with them and asking really good questions. And which is really tough for consultants to do because most of time, you know, we want to tell people shit.

Jay Rooke 3:37
Right? Totally, you know, yeah, just sitting there, you know, shut the hell up, like you said, and I think one of the things, it's like a third teammate, for me, were nature serving as a muse. And like you said, doing some of that work that I'm holding the space for more than actually executing at that moment. And the beauty of it is that everybody hears or sees what they need to see for themselves. And so using universe talking about how those animals would randomly show up. And every time I go for a walk, you know that it's something whether it's a bird or a rabbit, or whatever it might be, and asking an individual, hey, what does that hat mean to you? Or what's the significance in that? And it allows them to kind of break out of their traditional loop, thought pattern, and crack into something new. And so for me, Turkey, vulture could mean one thing, but to somebody else might be, oh, well, no, my grandfather always talked to me about those and blah, blah, blah, and then all of a sudden, that breakthrough comes in and we're off and running.

Umar Hameed 4:30
Yeah, it's almost like we need permission to let go of our intellect. And sometimes being out in nature is like, oh, look over there. And it just gets you away from that. Because all too often, we're trying to crack the code. And the best way to do it is to just tighten the pressure. And that's the worst way to do it. But yeah, that's how we're trained and taking people out in nature, or just asking them a brilliant question allows them to proceed. So I'll give you a good example. Sometimes you have these books that are Dream books. I've never read one. But I suspect this is what it's like, if you see water in a dream, it means emotions.

Jay Rooke 5:05
Right, right.

Umar Hameed 5:06
And so I think at the one level, yeah, maybe true, but a lot of times it's kind of bullshit. Because it's like, Jay, today right now talking to me if you had a dream and what was in it, and I would say, what does that mean to you? And you might say, means x, but a week from now, in that particular mental state that you happen to be in when I asked you, what does that water mean to you? And you'd say, oh, it means something else. And I think we get to be the best judges of meaning of what's going on around us. And sometimes we're not, we got somebody like Jay helping us. But if you just go with this always means this, then I think you box yourself in.

Jay Rooke 5:42
1,000,000%. And I think one of the challenges in business is we're so often scanning the horizon to try to figure out what's wrong, what do we need to fix? What calamity do we try to prevent next, and then we get out in nature, and we realize nature makes no mistakes. And everything is at perfect status and nature and, and we can look at those types of things. I think we've all seen a tree that perhaps grew sideways for a while in order to get to the light and then made its way up. And we can see those beautiful moments in struggling adaptation, and kind of see the beauty in ourselves as well.

Umar Hameed 6:14
Brilliant. And I love this field of biomimicry, like turns me on, it's like, you know, how do ants find stuff? And it's like, why don't we build databases that do the same thing. And all of a sudden, they're more efficient? They don't make any sense. But the results are spectacular. And so I think there's scientists and just thinkers looking at nature to figure out Wow, how did how does nature do it? And then can we utilize that in the pursuits that men have?

Jay Rooke 6:39
Yes, yes, yes. Beautiful. I agree.

Umar Hameed 6:41
So one of the things we were talking about before we came on stage was that intersection of being an entrepreneur, kind of our mindset, and that spiritual side of who we are. So tell me about that. How do you think the intersect? And what does that really mean for individuals for entrepreneurs and and moms that are trying to guide their four year olds to understand life better?

Jay Rooke 7:04
Great. Yes, exactly. I think for many of us, whatever we're doing is more than than just a job. And And so trying to figure out what that answer is for each of us. And for some it might be engaged in a creative pursuit, or they like to use their intellect might are great at numbers or whatever that might be. But for many, it's it's some connection to their spiritual evolution and trying to connect to the bigger picture, and hey, why am I here? And what's my purpose here. And I find that when we can infuse our work with that purpose and understanding, we avoid burnout, we make the right decisions for the right reason so much more effectively. And it's kind of like we're driving a car blindfolded, when we're not connected to that, you know, we're getting triggered and motivated by things that aren't really serving our highest good. And so when we can bring those into alignment, everything pops with the individual from you know, how it feels on the inside. But also, they show up differently. People just see folks when they're aligned like that, that grace and ease they bring to the world.

Umar Hameed 8:01
Absolutely. I'm going to hold us up to the camera, which no one will be able to read. This is a team. And it says we are committed and resourceful explorers. It's an IT team. And the gentleman that runs this company was ready to kind of leave the company. It's like, you know, I've done this for eight years. What's the point and one of the first thing that we ended up doing was helping him uncover his purpose in life. And his purpose was to be a committed and resourceful explorer. And when he went home to his high school sweetheart, they've been married for 20 years. She said, Oh, my God, God is you you've always done that. So we mapped it over to his company. And then we took his values and his unconscious, how it validates the values and the company values. Oh, and so he gets to be the poster child for his company. Number one, it brought the passion back.

Jay Rooke 8:45

Umar Hameed 8:46
And he says, I don't need this place. This is amazing. And to what a lot of companies do is we're gonna hire a consultant, and he's gonna tell us that our company is here for the greater good of the planet, our employees and the whales and our purposes to be value driven.

Jay Rooke 9:01
Clearly total bullshit mission statements.

Umar Hameed 9:03
Oh, yeah.

Jay Rooke 9:04
There's so whitewashed down so that everyone can get behind one little inch of it. And yes.

Umar Hameed 9:09
And we'll ask our employees what they think it's like, excuse my language, the employees, oh, they're valuable, and they should be there. But if it's you founded the company, it should be made in your likeness. And that doesn't mean be pigheaded and just do things Dumb ways. But if you're the engine that drives this, build a company around it, and surround yourself with totally brilliant people smarter than you.

Jay Rooke 9:31
100% Yeah, yeah, they share those values that you can teach and the values and and I love that exercise that you brought your client through, because I'm speaking in personal experience. I went through a similar exercise with myself last year. And we looked at my values versus how I was running and living my business and boy, there was a big disconnect. And I was just like, Oh, this makes total sense as to why like you said the passion was missing and things weren't clicking and so spent a lot of time realign and doing some of that deep and like you said, then it brought it around, I became excited about it and started to attract the right people that were resonant to that calling.

Umar Hameed 10:07
Absolutely. And the thing I like best about it is, for most people, they have three phases. They have the face, they showed the outside world, and sometimes that's I look at me, I'm pretty smart, or brilliant, or I'm lost, or I'm broken or whatever. Then they have this other face, which is, this is who I think I am. Then they had the actual who I actually am. And those people that figure out who they actually are, don't need to delude themselves anymore. And with enough strength, that's what they show the outside world. And they know their purpose. They know who they are. And people get attracted to them because they feel safe around them.

Jay Rooke 10:44

Umar Hameed 10:45
Because most people are trying to juggle three different things going on all the time.

Jay Rooke 10:49
Yes, yes, yes. And and I don't know, your personal experience. But for me, I didn't fully come into that. And I would say probably until late 30s, early 40s. You know that that was a long run for me of consistent effort trying to find a way It wasn't like I was walking around and diluted it was it was like really hunting and searching for it. But it took a lot of deep personal work together.

Umar Hameed 11:10
There's a word that I love. It's called model. The reason I love the word model is this is the best model. I know. Because even Einstein, I mean, if he was still around saying okay, with the string theory, you know, I had it wrong, I'm a loser. If he totally bought into, you know, I am perfect. And I got it right. And I think we have the sense of this is the model, I know, there's probably a better one out there. And I can almost guarantee Jay, we've just met 11 minutes ago, maybe 12 minutes ago, and this person sitting in front of me is way better than Jay from five years ago. And this person sitting in front of me probably sucks compared to the Jay five years from now. We're always improving. And as long as we have an open mind to, hey, I'm doing my best, but this probably better.

Jay Rooke 11:55

Umar Hameed 11:56
And everything I know, is just a model. And I'm looking for other data points to help me make that model better. And I'll never be perfect.

Jay Rooke 12:06
Yep, yep. And I think acceptance with that, that middle ground of where one's at, because I think one of the things that I'm most disappointed about Western capital culture around would be that constant, you're not enough, work harder, build more get more productive, more efficient, etc, etc. And I think we can oftentimes make ourselves wrong or lesser, when we're not at that ideal, you know, full ripeness stage without extra solace. And so, for me, that's something that I need to pay constant attention to my own mental practices is like, nope, everything's good. Right now, I'm enough now. And let's build from here.

Umar Hameed 12:40
The thing I like about Einstein, I don't understand any of it. But the thing I do understand is E equals MC squared. So the super complex thing, and distilled it down, I still don't know what it means. I know what the what it represents. But I can plug in the numbers and get an answer out. And I was thinking about that. And I came up with this concept of what if there were two coins that describe our life, one coin on one side has happiness, that if we measured happiness every single day, if things are going wrong, that happiness number is going to go down. And on the other side of that is negative stress. If that number is too high, something's wrong. And on the second coin is love. How loved and loving do I feel today? And on the other side of that is fear, what's my level of fear? And if you could just check those four things every day? Because if something is wrong, they can say, Hmm, what would make me happier? And you always come up with an answer. Sometimes it's ice cream, right?

Jay Rooke 13:35
Yes, yes. 100%. Right. I love it.

Umar Hameed 13:37
So share one of your Jedi mind tricks that you share with your clients that simplifies this complex thing we call life.

Jay Rooke 13:46
Yeah, I think it's believing that we need to fit in somewhere and kind of plug into like you're saying those are those old models or existing structures or whatever it might be. And I think we're so habituated in how we approach problems sometimes that when we get stuck in, we're trying to form a business model that works for us or figure out our branding. And all of a sudden having somebody say, Well, actually, you know, bring it down to the values like you were talking about, we can bring those bass actions down to values, we can really help people understand their callings more effectively. So somebody could be a speaking coach. And they might have tips on that and formulas and whatever. But then when they get down to the understanding of, hey, what I'm really doing is helping other individuals find their own voice and speak their truth into humanity. It's a totally different understanding. So if we can get back to that, that's the game changer for me.

Umar Hameed 14:39
Absolutely. 100% I think it should be behind the time we get out is goal. I'm not sure we can do it earlier.

Jay Rooke 14:45

Umar Hameed 14:46
Is uncovering your purpose in life should be absolutely a fundamental thing.

Jay Rooke 14:50
Yes. It's a good,

Umar Hameed 14:53
Finish. You had something,

Jay Rooke 14:54
Yeah, no, if I could just soapbox for a second like it drives me insane that we are not teaching Emotional intelligence and mindfulness as part of our general curriculum right now ahead of some of the other things that we're teaching. And I think that's part of the reason why we don't get to that understanding as well is that we're not holding that space for it. And it's just easier and more fungible to just plug people into the, the existing structure.

Umar Hameed 15:16
Yeah, I think what someone needs to do is to just smash the education system now to smithereens. I know, I had this gentleman that I interviewed on the podcast, he runs Gibson snowboards. And so he had gone down to teach for A merica, after graduating and Hopkins, good old Baltimore institution, went to Teach for America. And he had this great five class, he said, some of the people, this one kid was obsessed with black holes. So he's Reading University texts to understand black holes, and this other kids that can't read it all, and he's supposed to teach them all. And so after about a month and a half, without telling anyone, he drops the curriculum, and he says, I want to introduce you to this thing called a love project, whatever you're passionate about, just work on that this year, and I'm gonna do the same. And he and he brings this snowboard that he built in high school that was kind of crappy. He said, I'm gonna rebuild, redesign and rebuild this. And so that's what he does. And then he goes up a spring break goes snowboarding, and almost kills himself. Because this snowboard sucks back to class and says, you know, you kids need to continue your love project, I'm gonna put mine aside so I can help you out. And one of the kids sniffs out that he's being a wimp. And he says, if you're not doing yours, we're not doing ours love it. And the kid called Clayton shamed him into doing his. And so we ended up starting a snowboard company that ships snowboards around the world. But the joy of it was that he only had them for that one class. But they started doing better in all of their classes, or they had this one place of following their passion learning because they want to do as opposed to they had to.

Jay Rooke 16:49
Hold away. And how many of them, you know, 30-40-50 years, however, many later are going to be telling someone a story someday, and they're going to talk about that year, and what that teacher said and how it impacted their entire life.

Umar Hameed 16:59
And we all have that one teacher, right? That we go. Mr. Higgins was my teacher that was like the most amazing teacher. And this is my idea to redesign education is that most teachers put me to sleep. What if we got the best history teacher for a grade seven class in the country? To do a 15-minute lesson like a TED talk about something? And then instead of hiring teachers, move them over to being facilitators?

Jay Rooke 17:27
Yep. Yes, yes, yeah.

Umar Hameed 17:28
Because it's easier to facilitate than it is to teach. But you get somebody that inspires, I want kids to go home and go, Oh, my God did you know, excited and the teacher helps deepen the learning would totally change education. And if I had kids, and you know, the government doesn't want me to have kids, by the way. Now, if I had kids, all I'd want for them is this to have a deep thirst for learning, to be able to read really well, and to be able to communicate flawlessly with people like public speaking and just connection. And then after that, it's like, have a nice day and go live your life and they'd be self directed,

Jay Rooke 18:05

Umar Hameed 18:06
Folks learning what they need to learn to create what they want to create.

Jay Rooke 18:09
I love your vision as well. And and I think we're gonna start to see that, you know, I think we're already starting to see the initial inklings of that, but boy, I think it's gonna accelerate with with the way the quarantine, you know, flatten the world, even more so and brought people together. And to your point around the educational system. Boy, I would love to see entrepreneurship woven in there somewhere as well, because I feel like we're raising people to be employees. And you know, it's just with it's a decade's old model that's already, you know, sort of it's time we got to reinvent.

Umar Hameed 18:38
And beyond decades, really.

Jay Rooke 18:40

Umar Hameed 18:41
And, so yeah, absolutely. Because the reality is, if you're having a kid today, I'm not sure if it's five or six or seven or 10 different careers in their lifetime. I know. And if they're self directed entrepreneurs, they get to design their own path.

Jay Rooke 18:55
Yes, yes, yes. 100%.

Umar Hameed 18:57
So what's kind of brilliant is Muhammad Youssef, he did the micro loans. Are you familiar with him?

Jay Rooke 19:04
I'm not familiar with him, but in front of micro loans.

Umar Hameed 19:06
So he's the guy that started it out.

Jay Rooke 19:08

Umar Hameed 19:08
And one of the things he noticed in Bangladesh was when he gave money to men to start this small businesses, that they got a little bit successful, and then drank and hoarded away. If they gave that money to women, they built community and built families and expanded their businesses. So I think entrepreneurship for everybody, but especially women, and girls, because they are pretty freakin awesome. And I think I've got this movement, I want to start, I've been threatening to do this for a really long time. It's like, humans first screw the animals, no humans first. Because what I would do is say, Hi, I'm a performance coach. And then on this and I'm that, that I'm this and the last thing that I will not mention is, I'm a human being that has a heart. Mm hmm. And so we figure out all the distinctions, first of all, If we started and said, Hi, I'd like to connect with you at a heart level and connect with your humanity first. And oh, by the way, I happen to do this. Yes, yes, yes, started that it would change the planet 100%.

Jay Rooke 20:15
I love that thought. And it's been fascinating to me when I when I've lived in different places around the world, one of the things that I I started to learn to watch for was how soon into an introductory conversation to somebody asked or tell you what they do. And what I noticed was, you know, I'm from New England originally. And I noticed that that was very soon in the conversation, it was usually probably right after name, and maybe where you live type of deal. And then, so I was raised in that way. And then as I moved to other places, I realized I was the only one and sometimes that was pushing that agenda. And so I started to learn to shut up about that and try to have that be one of the last things that I would say or ask me is to your point, I learned so much more and connected so much more authentically to that individual.

Umar Hameed 20:58
Absolutely. What came up in my mind was there was this silly movie called Austin Powers. And they had this Dr. Evil character and this is seen with this guy calls him you know, Mr. Evil, he goes, I didn't go to evil medical school for seven years. Only a doctor so even doctor even wants to go career first. So, Jay, this has been a joyous conversation. Before we part company to things, even though you're amazing, you have a negative voice that comes inside your head on occasion to sabotage what you're doing. That's retail, what does your voice say?

Jay Rooke 21:33
Great question. Mine is somewhere around like running out of time, you know, I kind of always feel like I'm behind a year or two around where I should be. And it's kind of like needing to clean out the old before the new next thing can come in. And so I I'm usually struggling or grappling in my mental loops around where I am in that and if it's enough in the new direction, or am I being too stuck to the old? So that's kind of what's at play for me is like, hey, am I doing the right thing right now?

Umar Hameed 22:04
Brilliant. And one final thought from you is anything you'd like to share with our viewers and listeners that would they can implement immediately. And go man, Jay's a really cool guy.

Jay Rooke 22:17
Right now. You know, I would say something back to that, that arc around understanding what we the why behind what we're doing. And and so as an example, for me, I used to introduce myself and saying that I do business coach, and I help entrepreneurs build their businesses up. But when I got to a better understanding of what I was doing that statement changed to I hated working in corporate, I left the law to follow my passion and open a restaurant, I lost everything because I didn't know how to think like an entrepreneur. And so what I do now is I help coach people how to make that transition. So they can follow their passions without losing everything. And so once I got that, it just changed everything about how I connected to my work. And so for individuals, what I would say is spend some time thinking about those stages of your life and what was going on for you. You know, I bet you can go back to your high school or junior high days and realize, Oh, wait, I was actually playing the same role back then are doing the same things.

Umar Hameed 23:09
Oh, yeah.

Jay Rooke 23:10
And connect to those so that it's a life purpose view versus I think we can get too caught up in the present and which is rare. But I mean, too caught up in the modern to do's of like checking off to do list and getting things done versus understanding the why and infusing that with our work.

Umar Hameed 23:26
Brilliant. Jay, thank you so much for being on the program. Fascinating conversation. And thanks so much for being a guest.

Jay Rooke 23:33
You're very welcome. I appreciate that. And thank you for the opportunity. It's wonderful interview asked great questions, and I really hope your listeners and audience got a lot out of this conversation.

Umar Hameed 23:41

Umar Hameed 23:47
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.


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