Episode 230

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Transform Pain Into Purpose. Jake Sasseville


Episode Description

Painful experiences can have a lasting impact in our lives; sometimes paralyzing us from being able to move forward. It’s through these times of hardship that we are forced to draw on inner strength, shift perspectives and lean into hope for the future.


But how do you take an experience designed to cause suffering and use it as inspiration for something greater? By listening deeply and intentionally to the path before us, taking time to understand all components – our motivation, triggers, feelings and thoughts – we can discover how to transform pain into purpose.


Founder of The Imiloa Institute, former late night show host, author, and podcaster, Jake Sasseville knows a thing or two about life’s ups and downs. After being hit with some major challenges, he was able to make an incredible transformation – from residing in his grandma’s basement after Hurricane Sandy to becoming Oprah’s neighbor on Maui! With this inspiring journey as the backdrop, Jake joins us for a conversation around grief, facing fears and how it can be used as a powerful tool to transform the path of your life.


$400 Off Your Next Stay

Take advantage of the exclusive $400 discount offered by Imiloa Institute and join their retreats for a life-changing experience! With breathtaking moments in nature, gourmet cuisine, life-changing workshops and eco-luxurious design, Imiloa has provided over 3,000 guests with an unforgettable transformation. Unlock your potential with a retreat at Imiloa and use the code JAKE at checkout and take advantage of the incredible discount to make it even more affordable.

About Jake

His career began at 21 when he broke into the Hollywood scene and became the youngest host ever on late night broadcast TV. Despite his meteoric rise to fame, it didn’t last long and his show “The Edge” was cancelled.


His journey eventually led him to create the Imiloa institute, focused on transforming fear-based thinking into empowered action through personal development coaching, intentional business strategies and holistic wellness programs.


In his work with Imiloa, Jake brings together practical insights from entrepreneurship with spirituality teachings like mindfulness meditation and yogic wisdom. This combination has helped countless people find resiliency during challenging times, enabling them to tap into their inner power and move forward with greater clarity and purpose than before.

Slightly Famous

Slightly Famous: all Revolutions Start with a Faceless figure In The Crowd.

By Jake Sasseville

Jake Sasseville may be the most famous guy you’ve never heard of. “Slightly Famous” charts Jake’s improbable rise to (slight) fame. At 21, he broke into Hollywood as the youngest host ever on late night broadcast TV when his show “The Edge” launched after “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on ABC. Months later, it crashed, burned and Jake lost it all. Experience success from the inside of failure, as Jake shares his ridiculous tactics to win million-dollar deals, find out why Chelsea Handler hates his guts, why he wears pajamas to business meetings and how he turned his business (and his life) around after becoming a “has been” at age 22.

Connect With Jake

Connect With Imiloa

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Episode Transcription

Click to Read Full Transcript

[00:00:00] Bob Wheeler: Painful experiences can have a lasting impact in our lives, sometimes paralyzing us from being able to move forward. It’s through these times of hardship that we are forced to draw on inner strength shift perspectives and lean into hope for the future. But how do you take an experience designed to cause suffering and use it as inspiration for something greater by listening deeply and intentionally to the path before?

Taking time to understand all components. Our motivation triggers, feelings and thoughts. We can discover how to transform pain into purpose. Hospitality, entrepreneur, author, and podcaster, Jake Saville knows a thing or two about life’s ups and downs. After being hit with some major challenges, he was able to make an incredible transformation from residing in his grandma’s basement after Hurricane Sandy to becoming Oprah’s neighbor on.

With this inspiring journey as the backdrop, Jake joins us for a conversation around grief, facing fears and how it can be used as a powerful tool to transform the path of your life. [00:01:00] Take advantage of this exclusive $400 discount offered by OA Institute and join their retreats for a life-changing experience with breathtaking moments in nature, gourmet cuisine, life-changing workshops, and eco luxurious designs.

IOA has provided over 3000 guests with an unforgettable transformation. Unlock your potential with a retreat at OA and take advantage of their credible discounts to make it even more affordable. I’m Bob Wheeler, and this is Money you should ask, where we explore why we do what we do when it comes to money.

Jake Saville is the c e o and founder of OA Institute in Costa Rica. He was the youngest host in late [00:02:00] night TV history on a, B, C, and the White House named him one of the most innovative entrepreneurs under 30. His first book, slightly Famous Chronicles, Jake’s life from age 21 to 25 with his groundbreaking approach to content creation, audience building, TV syndication, and business acu.

He also writes candidly about his private struggles, spiritual curiosities, and dysfunctional family life. Jacob, it’s so wonderful to have you on the show.

[00:02:27] Jake Sasseville: I’m so happy to be here anytime I get to talk transparently about money and finance and connecting it to. Who it is we are and what really makes us tick I am game for.

And I’m just so grateful about that there are people like you that are creating spaces like this.

[00:02:41] Bob Wheeler: Well, I so appreciate it cuz people love to keep this stuff buried. Right? We have to present well. Yeah. And so the more we can be vulnerable, which isn’t always my favorite thing, but the more transparency, just the more freedom.

[00:02:53] Jake Sasseville: Yeah. I, one of the things that we say here at ILO actually to all our clients is that clarity leads to serenity. And Serenity [00:03:00] leads to peaceful prosper. And it’s actually in the ethos of when we work with clients to make sure that they’re prosperous. So yeah, I love that we get to be out loud about it.

[00:03:10] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, I mean, for me it’s like if we don’t name it, you can’t claim it. Right? And then we can’t acknowledge it, heal it. So if we keep it hidden, it’s just gonna stay there and we can’t let anybody know. Gotta protect it.

[00:03:22] Jake Sasseville: Yeah, totally.

[00:03:23] Bob Wheeler: So how did you go from starting a media, the youngest host, late night tv, and now you’re running em, LOA Institute and

[00:03:32] Jake Sasseville: Wellness?

Well, I think sometimes our greatest pain in life actually can turn into our purpose if we learn to listen to life and what life has in store press. And so when I was running around New York and doing the whole media. I had just come out of being a teenager growing up in Maine and really having, what one of my agents actually once said to me, a God-sized hole that was blown through me When my brother died, my brother died when I was 17, he was [00:04:00] 13, and that really just shook things up for me.

And then I spent most of my twenties trying to fill that hole. And I did that through seeking fame and affection and people’s attention, and was fairly successful at it for a long while until I wasn’t. So throughout my twenties I was in the entertainment business as a host, as an executive producer, as a writer.

I had a team of 40 when I was 21, folks who were two to three times my age. It was a very kind of surreal experience, but also measured up and made sense. When you looked at my life in trying to. A distraction for myself from dealing with the pain, which ultimately led me to being really poor with money as well.

To give you an idea, during that time I would do million dollar deals, but be paying myself $3,000 a month. I remember this distinctly cuz everyone else was getting paid 2, 3, 4 times that people would put their hands in Maat money. But I allowed it because I just didn’t know what I didn’t know. And so as I grew up [00:05:00] into my later twenties, I kind of kept that pattern going financially where I would earn a lot of money, but not pay myself a lot.

So I really became like this under earner and then this debtor because I didn’t have enough money to pay my bills. So then I’d borrowed the money from rich or famous people, and I would justify it because they were either wealthy or well. And that cycle just continued. So I became kind of destructive around money, even though on the front side, keeping up with the Joneses, I was actually very successful according to what people might read about me from back then until it actually fell off the cliff, which was when I was 27.

And that is when my house got washed away in Hurricane Sandy in New York. Literally washed out to Jamaica Bay and out to the Atlantic Ocean. It’s when I had to move back into grandma’s basement in Maine. And literally the contract stopped, the development deal stopped, the phone stopped ringing, and I had to face life.

And that’s when [00:06:00] my life started to change.

[00:06:01] Bob Wheeler: Wow. That’s a lot. That’s a lot. That’s a lot going on. And I’m wondering in that period where. We’re in debt. You’re borrowing money. Hmm. You’re justifying. Do you remember the mindset? Was it like, I’ve just gotta be famous, rich would be great, or I’ve gotta be famous but I don’t deserve to be rich.

Or I can have it for two minutes, but then I need to move it along cuz I’m not really deserving. Do you remember any of the messages that were going on for you?

[00:06:27] Jake Sasseville: I remember that rich and wealth were two very different things in my. I had a grandfather that was very wealthy, but wealth and that was in Maine.

Wealth was looked at as something that was very negative and not something to aspire to. Rich is how I felt when I would see seven figures in the bank, but then that would be fleeting cuz it would go to pay bills. I think that I never had a plan with any of the income that came in for me personally or my business.

I mean the plan was like survive another [00:07:00] three months. But that’s not really a plan. That’s more tactical survival. Yeah. So in many ways money for me represented survival. How do I make this survive? How do I stretch this? And that’s cuz you know, I grew up, my parents were substitute teachers. We made $30,000 a year.

We were on food stamps. The living on the wrong side of the tracks, which in Maine still was not the most pleasant area to live in, even though it wasn’t horrifying inner still that mentality of needing to stretch and never really having enough, and then more to the point than making others better wrong for what it is they had.

I think that that just continued and it kind of, it was weird because that’s how I justified borrowing money from wealthier famous people. I was like, well, they have more than enough. Why not spot me a few and I’ll pay them back? Even. And so this just created a real vicious cycle, Bob, that was really hard to get out of.

In fact, I couldn’t get out of it myself, which is why I landed myself in a basement and then in a 12 step program at the same time. Yeah. .

[00:07:57] Bob Wheeler: And do you think like your parents were substitute [00:08:00] teachers not making a lot, were they doing it because it was their passion and were they talking to you about any of this stuff or were they just in survival mode

[00:08:07] Jake Sasseville: too?

I think they were in survival mode, and that would probably be true for many of us with money is that you just don’t know what you don’t know. And so as I got into my twenties and thirties, I really started studying with people around the world. Different modalities of consciousness, but also as I got into my thirties, how people built wealth.

Now I have an investor that I work with here at OA who’s quite phenomenally wealthy, several hundred million, and I got to spend the summer with him and really starting to ask and explore. I feel like a kid when I’m dealing with stuff like this. Even still, I’m 36, almost 37 years old, and yet I’m asking what I feel are very basic questions around wealth and wealth creation.

That I just haven’t had a chance to as a kid because they were in this constant lack and scarcity consciousness constantly. I think that they actually encouraged me at some points to debt. They weren’t proud, but they were like, well, you’re [00:09:00] out there. You’re making it happen, and we all think because we’re out there making it happen, that that somehow justifies this often very destructive pattern, and it doesn’t.

[00:09:09] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, there is so much pressure to present. Well, and let everybody sees it like, yeah, we’re doing it. We’re in the motion. Even if behind the scenes it’s toxic or poisonous, but

[00:09:22] Jake Sasseville: it looks good. Bob, can I tell you the best that I’ve ever felt in my life and that includes now even though I have a thanks be to God, a really successful business in Costa Rica and serving people endlessly.

The best time in my life is when I was in that basement. I was supposed to be there for a month. I was there for two years. I had nothing. Grandma had to put gas in the car and food in the fridge. She gave me her 2004 Jetta. I start and failed at five businesses in that basement. The sixth one was a podcast.

It’s actually the thing that got me out the basement , the podcast. And I had to do it from a Dunking Donuts parking lot because grandma didn’t have internet . So I was doing my podcast and at Dunking Donuts parking lot, started earning 10 grand [00:10:00] a month after three months. And that’s the thing that got me out the basement after two.

But I would not have been able to survive if she hadn’t put gas on the car to be able to get to Dunking Donuts to be able to have food in the fridge. But it was the happiest that I’ve been in my life because all these decisions, I mean, we are going through so much decision fatigue as a culture. Yeah.

And especially around money and where to put money and do I put it in Bitcoin and all the, the, you know, do I do the crypto? Do I, but if I do the traditional route, is it ever, what’s my retirement? The whole thing is just decision fatigue no matter what. And then, and or it’s just handed off to a financial advisor.

Kind of don’t ask. Don’t tell. Good luck. That’s how a lot of my family still deals with money, which is mind boggling. I prefer these days more asking questions and studying with people who have several hundred million dollars. Like, yeah, what are they doing? Or even a million dollars. A lot of millionaires, Dave Ramsey talks about how a lot of millionaires are self-made millionaires.

He has all the statistics on the. But even knowing what [00:11:00] those folks did, you know, it’s educating for me.

[00:11:02] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. And for me it, a lot of it’s about mindset. Yeah. There is. Being at the right place, at the right time, there are lucky opportunities and the mindset’s gonna allow us to keep it, push it away, decide if we want more.

So learning about that mindset, asking those questions, seeing what other people are doing. Cuz there are a lot of people out there.

[00:11:22] Jake Sasseville: Totally. And it’s not this mystery thing, it’s just a matter of what are the patterns. And for me it was about how to bring what I understood to be God into my Monte Spirit source, whatever people want to call it.

It just was me no longer running the show, but me rather taking action and turning the results over and be to a higher power of my under. That really started to shift things for me and helped me start to achieve cash flow, which was something I had never had before. I had always been like, check to check.

Even though those checks were sometimes really, really large, that started to help me recognize that I could be in the flow, literally [00:12:00] in the flow of cash rather than. Amassing a ton of it. Now, obviously, I’m starting to think about what retirement looks like, especially living internationally, and that creates a whole other host of things.

But I still use the same principles in the 12 step program that I used to get out that basement 10 years ago. And it works. It works no matter whether you have a dollar or a hundred dollars or a million dollars. These principles are the same because ultimately it’s about bringing awareness and consciousness to how you’re making your decisions or not making your decision.

It’s about bringing awareness to the addiction that we have to our emotions when we spend on X, Y, or Z, or when we don’t spend on X, Y, or Z. These are the things that have stayed with me over the last 10 years.

[00:12:38] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, it’s amazing. So many people don’t realize that they’re driven by emotions when they’re making financial decisions and it’s all we do.

Whether it’s like, I’m going to not buy lunch and I’ll bring my own, cuz I gotta save every dollar cuz I don’t have enough. Or whatever the mindset

[00:12:54] Jake Sasseville: might be. Totally. I mean, you try to buy a house from someone who doesn’t want to sell their house, no matter how [00:13:00] much you offer them. I just went through this in Costa Rica where we wanted to do.

To purchase this home and full asking, above asking, didn’t matter cuz I was looking at it as a transaction, right? Rather than the emotion of it. And for this individual, it was about the emotion. And so once we got into the emotion, then we started to understand where they were and what decisions we could create together, or what impact we could have together to do a deal.

But yeah, the emotions are driving the. Ignoring that is just disempowering any one of us from actually standing in the full wholeness of what’s possible with our financial literacy and our

[00:13:39] Bob Wheeler: story. Yeah, absolutely. When I work with clients, I realized quickly if I didn’t understand emotionally where they were coming from, I couldn’t really help ’em financially because they’re not listening.

They’re reaffirming their story, good or bad. Totally. So being able to understand and understand that. Let me ask you this, what were some of the big lessons you learned? in [00:14:00] that basement that got you from Grandma’s basement to then moving to Maui, being Oprah’s neighbor. Yeah. And ultimately creating this business.

Do you remember some of those things? Was it that it was just a safety net or just humbling? Like I just imagine a lot of things happen when you go from. I’m doing tv. I’m got all these things going. Oh grandma, nice

[00:14:20] Jake Sasseville: basement. Mm, unfinished. Nice basement too, grandma. Thanks . That basement really saved my life, I’ll be honest with you.

You know, look, there was a lot of trying in the first few months as I think when we hit rock bottom in our life and I had, yeah, hit rock bottom. There was a lot of trying to get out of. Once I started to surrender, I started to learn really valuable things. I started to learn to create from a place of surrender instead of hustle.

So instead of always needing to do things I could create from a place of just allowing things to be, not always needing to control the outcome, started taking the action for the sake of taking action, turning the results over to higher power of my [00:15:00] under. Started to keep my numbers instead of count my money.

So I had always counted money. Do I have enough? Rather than just keeping numbers, which is tracking money that comes in, money that goes out. And I remember I would be in my 12 step program and I’d go to my group or whatever and I’d be like, I don’t know if you people understand this, but I’m not making any money.

They said, how’d you eat today? And I said, well, grandma put food in the bridge. And they said, well, who paid for that? And I said, well, grandma, Then they would say, well, how much money did she pay for that food? I said, well, I don’t know. They said, well, go ask her for a receipt and start counting that in as money from God, right.

Is what these people would say in the program. And I was like, what the app are these people thinking about? Like, I’m gonna go ask Grandma up for her food receipts. I sure did. Because I was willing to do anything to get out that basement, Bob . And so all of a sudden I start having money in from God. I mean, I really thought I was losing it.

I thought these people were losing it who were telling me to track money, like. And then I would put money out for food. So money in, money out. So all I started to do was [00:16:00] count money. I started to keep numbers instead of count my. and that is something that serves me to this day. I still won’t cut myself a paycheck till I reconcile my numbers from the month before and make sure I’m all tiptoed and tidied up.

And that was a big thing. I started taking action. So I started with the Daily action group that I worked with in my program where I would take 10 actions a day. 80% had to be revenue generating activities and two could not be. And so I did this every day for two years. It sounds ridiculous, but literally August 25th, 2015, using these principles, after two years in the basement, literally went from grandma’s basement in Lewiston, Maine to waking up and realizing, like you hinted in the question that I was Oprah’s neighbor, which if Oprah’s not impressive to you, that’s okay, but the woman is a billionaire.

And so to go from grandma’s to Oprah’s neighbor, It was a pretty remarkable leap of something consciousness, quantum leap, I don’t know what to call it, but something changed that day and I would argue it was [00:17:00] the work I had done around money and my 12 step program and facing my greatest fears. Being in that basement was among my greatest fear, not having the resources to be able.

Provide for myself in any capacity. Huge fear. I mean, that’s primal stuff that we all share. And slowly, slowly it shifted. And Maui taught me a lot about accepting abundance in my life, in the form of financially. Yes, and also aesthetically living in beautiful areas. I don’t live in beautiful areas, Bob. I lived in New York.

Which is a hell hole in many ways, even though it’s very nice in some parts. I mean, it’s really not, let’s be honest, people are just justifying different green areas as a way for schlepping themselves through what is a cement jungle that keeps you pretty locked into yourself. And then I lived in a Milltown in Maine.

So I wasn’t used to living in like nice, prosperous areas. And so this started to recondition me on Maui. And then eventually I went to creating this wellness center, this [00:18:00] institute, which is in maoa, which we do now in Costa Rica. But it’s interesting. It’s an interesting path and it’s really interesting to reflect to folks like you about it.

What are some things that other guests of yours have said that they’ve learned that kind of, when that light bulb moment went off, do we all say very similar things?

[00:18:16] Bob Wheeler: Well, I think one of the big things is realizing that it’s a mindset. Realizing just the little piece, like I love that it was pointed out to you that grandma paying for food Yeah.

Was an intake. Right. It was an income. It was an income. It was an intake, it was a flow towards, and most of us discount that. And so it’s so great that you got called out on that, or it got pointed out. And I think the commonality is, and I know people listening will say, well, it’s so easy for you. My story’s really unique.

I’m special, and so I can’t have anything. But the reality is, It’s not easy work like what you did. Mm-hmm. wasn’t fun, joyous, and every day eating probably get up and go, oh my God, I can’t wait to look at my dead again. Oh, it’s so fun being in the basement. It [00:19:00] takes work. It takes a lot of self-reflection and you’ve gotta be willing, like to put in the time and the energy.

[00:19:07] Jake Sasseville: Totally. I had people yelling at me on the streets of New York. I would go down to New York while I was living in the basement, thanks to generous friends of mine who would gift me the money, not loan me the money, and people would see me on the streets of New York, Bob, who I owed money to from previous TV shows or whatever, and they would be screaming at me from the back of yellow cabs about the money that I owed them.

I had people screaming at me on. Again, I borrowed money from famous folks and said, famous folks have big followings on Twitter and when they get upset that Jake Seville hasn’t paid them the money back. And you know, I’ve been paying a lot of my debts over the last 12 years now, and it’s a very proud moment because I really thought I was gonna go bankrupt.

They said, there’s no way I’m gonna at 27 to have 200,000 plus a debts, mostly to people, not even institutions. There’s no way I’m gonna be able to pay. And I’ve been paying back a lot of people and it feels really good. But it came with this incredible amount of contrast. Yeah, people would just light up my Twitter and [00:20:00] all of a sudden I’d have a hundred thousand death threats because I owed so-and-so from TV show that you would recognize, you know, $4,000.

Like not to minimize it, but to blow up someone’s mental. I mean it’s amazing that I was able to make it through, to be honest with you, cuz it was so shameful and it was just like constant. I remember one time my sponsor, I was gonna go on Judge Judy to go sue somebody cuz I needed money. Cause I was in the.

And Judge Judy, the Judge Judy people had accepted, approved my case or whatever the heck it is. Anyway, so I was gonna go and my sponsor in my 12 step program was like, hell no. She’s like this Jamaican woman from upstate Europe, York. Hell no. You’re not going on Judge Judy to go sue for $5,000 with someone that you think owe your money.

I said, what are you talking about? She’s like, you have $200,000 of debts. Do you know what that’s gonna look like if you go do that? So the other thing that I really got, not only as a mindset, Bob, but when we’re going through this and when we’re really facing the music, To have those in our corner that will call us on the ridiculousness of our thinking.

And be able to help us right size, not by telling us what to do, but by giving us direct [00:21:00] what’s in program is called Experience, strength, and hope. I’m not advocating that anybody who has debt gets into a 12 step program, but I am saying having a sponsor for the last 11 years who is a recovering debtor and under earner, who is able to call me on my little shenanigans in my head, which was, you know, when I was gonna go do Judge Judy to get some cash from some, you know, the ridiculousness of.

Is something that we ought to all be called on and we often don’t have people in our corner that are willing to do that. So in addition to the mindset shift, I think it’s really having people that can do that in our

[00:21:30] Bob Wheeler: lives. Yeah, absolutely. And I’m wondering, the other piece, to me, it feels like self-forgiveness.

[00:21:38] Jake Sasseville: The grace to grow Bob. So my amends list in my 12 step program was made up of all these people that I had formally resented, and then I had to go and basically apologize to people that I had resented. Do you know my number one resentment on my resentment list was me? I resented myself. Yeah. And so I’m now trying to be as gentle as I can in my thirties [00:22:00] and heading careening toward my forties, which I actually like getting older.

I got nothing going on about it, but the idea that I need to give myself the grace to grow first, I’m good with everyone else. I’m in the wellness space. I can. Oh, someone’s having a tough day. Give them the grace shit. That self-talk that I have on myself is perpetuated by, I don’t even know what it’s perpetuated by, but it still exists today and it’s really about slowing that down and recognizing that I don’t actually have to beat myself up for this anymore.

I don’t actually have to do it anymore, and I don’t as much to be honest with you. And I really appreciate you bringing that up because people do not give themselves the grace to grow themselves through these moments. Good one. Yeah,

[00:22:44] Bob Wheeler: I mean, I think the hardest thing is self-advocacy. It’s so hard. We can go out and help everybody else and save the puppy and do all these other amazing things, but when it comes to self, a lot of us just lack the willingness to [00:23:00] self-advocate, to set a boundary, to say no to somebody else, so that we’re saying yes to

[00:23:05] Jake Sasseville: ourselves.

Mm-hmm. no is a complete sentence. My favorite sentence, . I like saying no to the people. Yeah.

[00:23:12] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. And it’s for a short sentence for a lot of people. It’s a really hard, short sentence to say. Yeah.

[00:23:17] Jake Sasseville: Cuz it also has to do with the journey from the head to the heart. Like once you start advocating for yourself and you recognize that you don’t need to do all these things.

The split side of this is that we live in a culture and I mean, gosh, you’re a great conversationalist, Bob, cuz I can just go in all these different directions. We live in a culture where we are so anti co-dependence now because we are so aware and there’s so many damn people who are aw woke. You could tell how I feel about that.

honestly, we’re so on the other side now of co-dependence where we’re like so independent, but we’re forgetting that we’ve gone the pendulum. And we really need to get back in the middle with interdependence. Fundamentally, I need you and you need me. The recognition of that [00:24:00] is the serenity, and then we get to, hopefully you stay on your side of the street.

I stay on mine. We get to dance in the middle. God willing, that interdependence, I think, is where society ought to adjust to because this. Oh, I don’t wanna be seen as co-dependent, so I’m gonna go be super independent and I’m gonna be separate from, and I’m not gonna need anybody else and all this stuff.

And I don’t know if that works for very long. I don’t think that works in communities for very long. I don’t

[00:24:24] Bob Wheeler: think it does. I mean, I think we need support. Maybe it feels like I don’t need help, but we are interconnected and the more we can allow other people to hold us when we need the safety net or reflect back things we don’t want to.

We’re interconnected, not gonna change. We’re humans. That is part of the human experience is being connected. So separating may feel like it presents well, but internally I think it leaves us wanting more.

[00:24:51] Jake Sasseville: Yeah, exactly. It further opens that hole that was blown through us. It’s exactly right.

[00:24:56] Bob Wheeler: So right now you were able to grow the business during the pandemic to [00:25:00] eight figure income.

And a lot of people are out there doing the wellness journeys and the travel experie. It seems like if somebody’s really broke, it’s hard to be able to have the time to self-reflect. Hmm. And do the work. Right. And I’m wondering why is it important for people to self-reflect and do this work, and how can people do it even on a budget if they can?


[00:25:23] Jake Sasseville: So IOA A is an institute we like to say for the education of advancement of human beings. Look, this was grown out of my greatest pain, of not really feeling like I had a stable home when I was a kid. And even in my twenties, like the most stable thing I had was that basement, to be honest with you.

So what I’ve created with OA is a retreat center of sorts where we invite some of the top transformational leaders in the world to come and host. And look, it wasn’t easy to stay. I mean, it was because of my 12 step program and all these principles that we’ve been talking about the last 20 or so minutes that we were able to be the only place to stay open and not fire a [00:26:00] soul in our region in Costa Rica.

For the six months that the borders were closed, like it was pretty heroic that we didn’t fire a soul and did not close. I think that what we’re now seeing is people who want to travel with a purpose. Most probably wellness, taking care of themselves or learning something new about themselves or about another, or about the world.

So that means people are probably not going to stay at all inclusive resorts just for fun for a week and play Adele, Carmen, or whatever it is. I’m sure people are still doing that, and that’s great. What we’re finding at OA is that people are really investing in themselves. They’re saving up sometimes 12 to 18 months to be able to do it.

It ain’t cheap. And one of the biggest things that I struggle with having stepped in two years ago as the C E O of OA is how the hell do I make this thing more accessible? Yeah. So whenever we get the opportunity, because it’s expensive, people are gonna drop 2,500 to come and sing Kumbaya on the cliff.

I am minimizing what happens there, but I also don’t take it that [00:27:00] seriously. I’m not holier than now. You know, honestly, I can’t stand a lot of these people in the WOOWOO industry who take what they do way too seriously. It’s like, come on, let’s get a life here. It’s really important what we do, but it’s not holier than now, like I said.

So what it is though, is it is a reconnection to nature and experiencing gourmet food and a really beautiful team, and often some pretty transformative curriculum. Honest to goodness like that is what you’ll find here, and that can be. Sobering and helpful and contributive to people. Making that affordable has been a really difficult thing because I want it to be affordable.

I don’t want it to be as exclusive as it’s become. So anytime, for example, we have a host that is wanting to scholarship, we will immediately show up with one to two scholarships where we will not charge the host for the spots of the people that they want a scholarship. So we can make it really easy at their sole discretion.

They can just give away spots on the retreat for free or whatever. I can’t tell someone why they should or shouldn’t invest in coming on a retreat. That’s an incredibly personal decision. In fact, [00:28:00] our whole sales process for people that call us wanting these different things, I tell my sales team ’em all the time.

It’s attraction, not promotion. Do not hustle. Someone I used the, the, the things that I learned to grandma’s basement, right? Create from a place of surrender, not hustle. I’m not gonna hustle someone’s $2,500. You know how many credit cards? I say no thanks to, to people who want to even host retreats at IOA just because they’re not good fit and it’s going to be stressful for them because of X, Y, Z, a, B, C.

So we really do it differently and I think that that shows, I think that we still have a long way to. In particular, making it more accessible to general populations of people that don’t necessarily, can’t even fathom saving up $2,500. Like I’m not out of touch to recognize that saving up $2,500 is like a miracle for probably a large percentage of the US population.

Yeah. And so a lot of what we do is we also partner with folks who do some great digital content and digital curriculum. The [00:29:00] teachings and what’s being shared can also be experienced abroad, but this is all a process that we’re on trying to figure out how to make it more accessible.

[00:29:08] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, it seems there’s a little bit of a balance too.

If you give it away for free and make it so accessible, then people take it for granted or they don’t put in the work. Right? Because yeah, there is something about a little bit of skin in the game. I saved up some money, I’m gonna make it count. Whereas if it’s just freely given.

[00:29:25] Jake Sasseville: The other thing, honestly, like one of the things that I love about Costa Rican real estate, which is difficult I think, but for people like.

For example, I’d like to buy a house, but there’s no mortgages for gringos that are living here. I can’t get a mortgage here. Yeah. Guess what I have to do? I have to save up a hundred, 200, $300,000. There’s something to that as well. I can’t buy a house right now, big deal. But when I do, most of it will be in cash.

There’s something. Miraculous about that. If you think about it, that obviously is not the name of the game in the States at all. No. People are freaking out about 7% or whatever it is on the [00:30:00] interest rates. It’s like, why don’t you figure out a way to do it in cash? That’ll really give you something to get excited about because.

Yeah, so it’s like I kind of hold it on the same thing as the retreats. It’s like, yeah, some people can’t afford 2,500. While I’m sensitive to that, I’m also like, save up. Make it happen. Right. Change something about the way that you’re living your life to be able to have that experience. Same with me, with wanting to buy a home.

You know what I mean? It’s like, yeah, we don’t all deserve it just because we’re special. I know You’re special, Bob, right? . I know I’m special. I know your producer’s very special. But we don’t all deserve it just because we’re special. Yeah. So there’s that balance as well there that I find as

[00:30:37] Bob Wheeler: well. Yeah.

I’m curious, you’ve got all these things going on. You’ve got this amazing institute, you’ve been on television, all these things. You’re still out connecting with people like me. You’re still out there talking to people, and I’m wondering how much, if any, community connection and personal impact play in your reaching out in the.

[00:31:00] Ah,

[00:31:00] Jake Sasseville: you know where my focus is these days. I’m actually going a lot more inward these days. I love conversations like these selfishly because it helps me process what it is that’s important to me. Look, one thing I learned from a 12 step program that my sponsor used to say is, our mind is a dangerous place and we ought not go there after hours alone.

So it’s like doing podcasts and having this inter relatability is really about learning about what people are going through and also what I’ve gone through. I would say my interest in terms of impact these days is really on the team at ioa. If I’m to really serve. It’s that team. It’s the team of 38 souls that animate that place every single day and create those amazing experiences.

They’re all Costa Ricans or indigenous. It’s very local. They’re paid well, they’re taken care of. Their personal and professional development is focused on, I mean, it’s a dream company to work for in that regard. And that was my goal. That was my aim when I stepped in as c e o. And [00:32:00] so that’s really, if I spend my time thinking about how to contribute to the world, I think about that because that ripple impact intergenerationally.

Will be massive. It’s something I can wrap my head around. I don’t need to get the adrenaline running every time there’s a crisis. With a hurricane or with a fire, and it’s donate now and it’s pray for Boston and it’s fleck for Kenya, whatever it is, all the different things that happen, they kind of rev people up to do something where they want to feel like they’re impactful.

My focus on impact is really on. The people that I actually can touch, which happens to be right now through this business and through the people that this business touches, the team, and then the team’s output or the team end user, which is the guests that come and trust us enough to travel all the way here to Costa Rica to have some sort of transformational experience.

So that’s where my focus is. And then the podcast and stuff like this is really just about, like I said, the inter relatability and being able to connect with people and see what the pulse is, see what’s the [00:33:00] culture back in the states doing, what are people talking about and getting excited about. That’s what participating in these types of conversations allows me to do.

That’s awesome.

[00:33:09] Bob Wheeler: Well, Jake, we’re at the fast five. We’re gonna switch the energy up just a bit. Great. The Fast Five is brought to you by Survey Junkie. Join Millions who take online surveys and make extra cash. Click on the link in the show notes to learn more about Survey Junkie. All right, so Jake, we’re gonna just have a little bit of fun here.

What was the most you ever got paid for performing magic?

[00:33:30] Jake Sasseville: $450 for an hour show at the age of 15. And I was making a lot more than my substitute teacher parents, and that’s why they tried to manage me. They were like, we’d like 10%. And I said, no bueno. Okay, .

[00:33:43] Bob Wheeler: Well, I love that you did magic. I love magic. So how do you stay open to all

[00:33:47] Jake Sasseville: opportunities?

By being present with whatever is right in front of me so that the past gets put in the past where it belongs, the volume gets turned way down, and I could be dealing with a totally crazy person in front of me, or I could be [00:34:00] dealing with someone as kind as you, Bob. But if I stay present with it, I’m able to be open to all possibilities slash opportunities.

[00:34:08] Bob Wheeler: Awesome. What are your top three business goals

[00:34:11] Jake Sasseville: for 2020? Reduce my expenses. They got really inflated in 22 as we tried to create a really beautiful five star experience, which we have done, and I can do that through reducing the expenses, purchase a new property where we can do OA number two in Costa Rica and test it before we bring it to other countries around the world.

And to take more genuine time off For myself, that’s actually a business goal because I’m intrinsic to the business and I want to spend more authentic time off where it’s not like I’m off, but I’ll also do a meeting a day if I have to.

[00:34:44] Bob Wheeler: Yep. Work-life balance. Work-life balance. What’s the best piece of advice a friend has ever given to

[00:34:49] Jake Sasseville: you?

It’s not a friend, but it’s when someone shows you who they are, trust them. Maya Angelou said that, not to me personally, but. [00:35:00] When someone shows you who it is, they are trust them. Oftentimes I can get into the story of why people did something to me or why they acted in such a way and then justify that behavior.

And then all of a sudden I have this really dark, toxic person in my life because I’ve justified their behavior, because I didn’t fully trust who it is. They showed me who they were. Mm-hmm. And so I think that advice of when someone shows you who they are, trust. Is now allowing me to experience my life a lot calmer and with a lot more serenity because I’m not a trying to change anyone, and B, trying to justify.

I’m just trying to B with what is.

[00:35:43] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, absolutely. Who has influenced you the most?

[00:35:47] Jake Sasseville: I would say, I assume a person in my early twenties, it was Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin. I used to go to events with him. I never went to [00:36:00] Neer, but because I was so obsessed with them and when I’m obsessed with something, I like absorb all of it.

I became friends with his assistant, penny Pike, and I read all of his books, and then I would show up to his like launches. I never became friends with him, but he really influenced me. In my twenties. Oprah had a big influence, I think just because of how she created this media juggernaut. It was just fascinating to me that someone could get that much attention on the.

And I would say in the quieter moments. Now, Tim Ferris is a big inspiration to me in terms of the consistency with which he’s shown up in his life professionally and personally. Yeah, we were friends back when I was in my twenties. And we’ve grown apart since. But I’ve really admired watching his consistency and I wish that for myself in some respects because I feel like I am so all over the map, but I also know that I’m here living out my dharma and whatever my purpose is, and that’s okay.

So those are the three.

[00:36:57] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. That’s very cool. I was just [00:37:00] thinking it’s great to be the head of an industry. I don’t know if I wanna be the head of virgins. I want somebody more experienced . Totally. Totally. Yeah. Yeah, right. Uh, yeah. It’s a bad virgin joke. No, I get it. Bless all the virgins. All right. We are at our m and m spot, our Money and Motivation Sweet spot.

I’m wondering if you have a practical financial tip or a piece of wealth wisdom you could share with the listen.

[00:37:22] Jake Sasseville: Only, and I got my ass panda to me a couple times over the last two years. Only invest in things that you understand and that you give a shit about. I do not particularly understand Bitcoin and not Bitcoin, but crypto in general.

And until I do, I really ought not go into that world. I understand real estate, I understand branding, I understand people, and so investing and creating wealth from those places. I also understand mutual funds a bit as well, and so in 2023, I’m really focused on only putting my money and my nose where I [00:38:00] understand things or really care about it and really want to understand not just going with blows and fads.

Yeah. I think that’s so important. Lost a lot of money this year, Bob. Doing that, going with the flow and fad. .

[00:38:12] Bob Wheeler: Don’t do it. Yeah. There’s things I don’t know about. I’m like, yeah, not going there. Don’t

[00:38:16] Jake Sasseville: know. Yeah. Unless it really strikes curiosity, like, we’ll never know if we’re not curious, but if it’s not striking curiosity and you’re just trying to follow something, because someone else said that they made 10% a month in their money for the past three years.

It’s like, just calm yourself down. Yeah.

[00:38:31] Bob Wheeler: Absolut. Jake, listen, this has been . I’d love this conversation. I’ll have to come to Costa Rica so we can have more conversations. I really appreciate that you’ve just been an open book. I mean, I think the biggest thing that I, my takeaway is the fact that even whether it was conscious or unconscious, this ability to receive or be aware of and catch it so that even if at some point you weren’t receiv, There was an awareness, there was a questioning.

There was, I don’t know if it’s humility, [00:39:00] but there’s this place of, I don’t hear arrogance. Like you can have confidence, you can have all these things, but to be able to stop and self-reflect, and I think so many of us, you know, it’s not always fun looking in the mirror. Yeah. And seeing all the things we don’t wanna see.

But if we’re not willing to do that, we’re not gonna be able to grow or fully know who we are because there are parts of us that are dark, there are parts of us that don’t. And this place where you’re able to forgive and not take yourself out because of past debts or not meeting commitments, things like that, and just keep going forward.

I think that’s an inspiring thing because there’s so many people out there that hold themselves responsible for the rest of their lives, for choices they made when they were 15 or 20 or 25, and at some point you have to. That was my past and here I am now and the road is before me. Which direction am I gonna

[00:39:49] Jake Sasseville: take?

Yes. And being present. I love the idea that you talked about receiving, because that’s one of the things, Bob, that I focus a whole lot on. It’s a kabbala ideology, a [00:40:00] method from Kabbala. When I was studying Kabbala during the C O V D. And it’s receiving for the sake of giving. So it’s opening your capacity to receive more so that you can give more.

Not giving so that you receive, but actually, right. How do I create more of a space to be able to receive? So thanks for bringing up receiving. That’s something that’s really important

[00:40:18] Bob Wheeler: to me. Yeah, it’s so important. If we’re just giving, giving, giving , there’s a balance. Totally. And it’s so important. If I don’t receive, I can’t give.

Right? That’s right. Yeah. So this has just been amazing. Where can people learn more about you? Where can they find out about em, loa, any of that

[00:40:35] Jake Sasseville: stuff? Yeah, so they can get me on socials at Jake Saville, and then if they go to ioa institute.com and use promo code, Jake, on any of the retreats, they get $400 off, which is kind of.

So people can find out about Ella there, they can get me online. And I so appreciate this time that we’ve spent together today, Bob.

[00:40:56] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, thank you so much. I so appreciate it and I hope you have a wonderful [00:41:00] weekend and I hope you take some personal time.

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