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[E4C20] How Entrepreneurs Can Stay Productive & Inspired During Challenging Times – Dominate Depression

Today we are going to talk about a taboo subject in the world of business – depression. It’s taboo because in the business world, you are not allowed to be depressed, let alone show it. If you even talk about being sad or bummed out, people kind of give you a funny look, back away slowly, avoid you, or in the very least, might give you a pat on the back and say, “Buck up champ, turn the page! You’ll get through this, tomorrow’s a new day.” Which, while being well meaning, may not necessarily do much to improve your mood.

In business, you are supposed to be a go-getter, a mind hacker, and those who exude optimism and charisma attract success and followers. But what do you do when life happens? If you experience a death in the family? Or a devastating divorce or breakup? What if your company has gone down in flames? How do you keep on going, when the last thing you feel like doing is getting out of bed?

What if you have everything great going for you, so much to be grateful for, yet you just can’t explain why you feel kind of down, like a dark cloud follows you wherever you go? It’s not like you are suicidal, or need treatment. Simply that deep down inside, you know you could accomplish so much more, and enjoy life more fully, if you just felt better about yourself.

Depression is particularly deadly to the self-employed, because all your business is self-generated. If you don’t work, you don’t earn money.

So our guest today, TJ Nelson, founder of the site Dominate Depression, will share with us his strategies on how you can beat back depression and optimize your mood, naturally. TJ is a lifestyle entrepreneur who was able to heal himself of depression and wean himself off of anti-depressants, without medication. He now helps other people beat back depression and reclaim their mental and emotional well-being.

Even if you are not depressed, his wisdom on how you can optimize your mood naturally is priceless. He’ll share with us:

  • The different types of depression and the nutritional deficiencies that contribute to these mood disorders.
  • How anti-depressants work, and why you should only use them as a last resort.
  • The one, easiest action you can take to know exactly what your body needs in order to maintain optimal mood and energy.
  • 2 supplements that can give you a quick, powerful, pick me up during times of situational depression, so you can keep going on with your life.
  • Foods that can negatively impact your mood.
  • Key lifestyle changes that will drastically boost your mental well-being.

And much more!

Mentioned in this interview

Where to Find TJ


4:16 Lorna: TJ, I’m so glad to have you on my show to talk about a taboo subject in the world of entrepreneurship, depression. I mean, in the business world, if we even talk about a state of mind, we focus on things like, mind hacking, body hacking, get-shit-done or a millionaire mindset. But nobody ever talks about what to do if life happens, if tragedy strikes and if we fall into a deep funk. It’s kind of like, we have to power through it, put on a mask, smile and act positive because in the world of business.

You can’t afford to appear weak or vulnerable and share your true feelings because nobody will respect you or give you the time of day.

But, depression, I think is deadly for entrepreneurs because unlike employees, we actually have to self generate our business and our opportunities. We can’t just show up and clock time on somebody else’s dime. If we don’t work, we don’t get paid. So, let’s get started with your story. Who are you? What do you do? And how did you get to where you are now?

5:20 TJ: I’m TJ Nelson. I just started my site dominatedepression.com to help people overcome depression without medication. Basically, how this came about was trying to be an entrepreneur, trying to start a business and I came back home from the Philippines, broke. Then I started selling cars. I did really good, but after a while selling cars is great but is this what I do? Sell cars? And so while I was on the car sales like, you know what, I suffered from depression for such a long time, maybe I can work a business out of this. And so, I just bought a one way ticket. Told my manager one day that I was living to Thailand and flew over here to work on Dominate Depression.

6:09 Lorna: So you’ve been struggling with depression for quite some time then? It seems like the last job that you were in was selling cars but your history with depression spans longer than this last episode. I mean, it wasn’t the selling cars that got you depressed? [Laughs]

6:24 TJ: [Laughs] No. The intro is funny where you say, you have to hide it because especially selling cars, if you feel down. People don’t want to buy a car from you if you’re depressed.

6:35 Lorna: I know. Like, you can’t be the depressed car salesman. You’re not going to sell anything, right?

6:41 TJ: You can’t sell a car if you’re depressed.

6:42 Lorna: Okay, so tell me about your history with depression and when did you realize it was a problem and that you had to do something about it?

6:50 TJ: Okay, I first remember being depressed in the fourth grade, so very young. I started thinking, kind of suicidal thoughts which isn’t normal for a kid, right?

7:02 Lorna: Not normal for a kid at all, my gosh. That’s terrible, I’m sorry.

7:06 TJ: Yeah, and so, throughout junior high and high school, I kind of thought, I got these problems or maybe I’m just in my teens or this is how it’s supposed to be or there’s just something wrong with me like a person or my character. But then, as things started to progress, nothing really feels pleasurable but still so many people told me, it’s all in your head.

You just have to think positive. You just think and you’ll know the secret, you’ll get what you want in life. So, I was sitting there, trying to cognitively improve my situation. And so the whole time, I was like, well I don’t feel right but everyone’s telling me it’s all my thoughts. So I’m going a little bit crazy. And then, when I was in high school, I went skydiving. That’s when I realized depression, how real it was because I was like sad. So it was like, maybe it’s my lifestyle. So I had a bike running around really fast and like, I’m going to be certified skydiver and I’ll always be happy, right? Jumping out of a plane. It’s a tad not to feel the rush. But I got on the plane. We go up into the sky. I’m sitting there with a guy hooked up back with me.

I jumped out of the plane and when I land, everyone rushes up and was like, “How was it?” and I was just like, well, whatever. It didn’t even feel good. I mean, it’s kind of sad talking about that now but that’s when I was on a ride home, I was like, I just went skydiving and it still don’t feel good. So there’s probably something wrong.

8:46 Lorna: So everyone’s jumped out of the plane and getting to the ground like, woohooo…and you were like, nah.

8:52 TJ: Yeah, I was just like, oh whatever. It didn’t even feel that crazy to me.

8:58 Lorna: Wow, okay. So in terms of tracing the origins of your depression, how much of it do you think has to do with your biological makeup and how much of it do you think had to do with your upbringing or experience during your formative years?

9:14 TJ: That’s always been a tricky one for me to figure out. There has been some depression in my parents. but it’s hard for me to say. Did I inherit the genetic part of the depression or did I see them being depressed? I know in fourth grade, my childhood was really good. So I know that when my depression first started, it had to have been something else going on in me. And then, as the years progressed, I had really rough things happen to me which just kind of compounded it all together.

So I think in my situation, it’s kind of a combination of physical things going on and there was a lot of events that happened to me that were extremely stressful. Being prone to the depression and then having these events happen to me, I think over time it just built up and wore me out. I probably burned out every neuro transmitter in my brain. My adrenals were probably shocked. For me personally, I can’t say it’s genetic or it’s from life situation. But how I fixed it was going after the physical things that I could do. If that makes sense.

10:33 Lorna: Yeah, totally. I too can share that I have definitely grappled with depression myself. I think largely a lot of it was situational. It was a combination of upbringing and also situational. I think what really compounded it for me was my experience growing up in Hong Kong which is a British colony and my parents, very well meaning, they placed me in the British school because they had heard that the American school had a lot of drug problems. And like, oh she’s going to do much better in British school and unfortunately, the British school was just an awful experience for me because I was Chinese and I was American. So the way kids, they were really mean to me.

I couldn’t understand why they would refer to me by racial slurs when I never did anything to them. I didn’t even know them. And this was environment of being harassed day in and day out for me that kind of caused me to really internalized a lot of feelings of low self-esteem, low self-worth, self-hatred even and that was really hard to shake for me over the years. That happened during a formative time in my life so when those patterns got ingrained in my mind, it takes a lot of rewiring of your thought patterns to really think differently about yourself.

In my exploring, everything from Tibetan Buddhist meditation, to up until recently, neuro linguistic programming, I’ve also explored the physical or the biological relationships between your state of mind, your health and overall how you take care of your body. So can I ask you, in these years of exploring the topic of depression, what have you discovered about depression? Are there different kinds of depression? Like for me, when I look at the different types of depression I’ve experienced it ranges from brain fog, low energy cloud that follows me around like being cranky and pessimistic to just downright despair and not wanting to get out of bed. It seems like all of these are different states of mind that actually can be addressed by different things or different solutions. I’m curious to know what you’ve discovered in your study of the different states of mind and how to address each one.

13:06 TJ: Okay, so, what I’m doing with this site is, so with the situation you have, the kids harassing you and those things that you internalize so you had to do the cognitive reframing and that sort of thing right?

13:20 Lorna: Yeah, that’s been very much a part of my journey but as well, looking at optimal health and nutrition, looking at supplements.

13:29 TJ: Yes, so there is the depression that come from losing a loved one or situations like yours and then, what I’m specifically doing with the different types of depression is for, let’s say, your life isn’t that bad and you’re still depressed, then that’s when I start going after more of like, what’s going on chemically and biologically. In that sense, looking at depression, you can have someone who says they are depressed is kind of like, when we say I’m depressed what do we really mean?

14:03 Lorna: I know it’s such a broad umbrella term. It could range everything from just feeling bland, like feeling suicidal and you actually really need to get help, right?

14:13 TJ: Yes. So it’s this weird term that’s like thrown around like someone loses their job or they have a bad event happen and they say they’re depressed. And it kind of dilutes the word. But depression, how I like to say is if you can’t feel the pleasure, basically if you can’t enjoy a sunset. And so, there’s two main type of depression that I’ve seen.

The first one is typically, wherein someone has low serotonin. That often results in low self-esteem. They’re really obsessive. A lot of like, inner hatred, inner tension, shyness, basically they hate themselves and it feels like things will never improve. And then there’s the second kind which is typically low in catecholamine’s which is dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine and with that type of depression, that’s when someone wakes up in the morning and they literally can’t get out of bed. They don’t want to move. They have no energy. But it’s not so much like they feel the world is going to end. But nothing is exciting. Nothing is motivating. And they have no drive. Everything’s numb and just grey, there’s no black and white. It’s just grey. So when I was learning about depression it was just kind of there’s so many different causes. There’s so many different reasons that you might not fill 100% and so often we want to say, just take this antidepressant pill, just take this or do this and it’ll fix everything when in fact, you have to look at the whole picture.

What depression is not always here. I wish I could have one supplement that I could just say, here, take this and you won’t be depressed. But it’s best to see, am I having anxiety or what exactly am I feeling. Because with the different types of depression like low serotonin, you can take supplements like 5HTP, L-Tyrptophan, for low Catecholamine you can take supplements like, L-Tyrosine, Phenylalanine and there’s also, you can test your vitamin D levels to see if you are deficient in Vitamin D. And then, for me personally I use to have a lot of anxiety and I started taking Magnesium at night and I started sleeping way better.

My anxiety was reduced a ton and I went and got a blood test and that also showed I was low in Magnesium. So there’s so many different things going on that can affect the individual. It’s really important, with depression and how I understand it now is to really just, what am I feeling, what are my symptoms, and then what’s my nutrition like. How am I sleeping, my thoughts and everything.

17:08 Lorna: So in your journey to dominate depression and overcome this mood disorder which basically can suck so much vitality and joy out of your life, what are the keys to successfully maintaining optimal mood?

17:28 TJ: Maintaining?

17:29 Lorna: Yeah. So you’ve overcome depression, seems like, now you’re helping other people through your membership site to overcome depression as well. What are the key components to getting yourself out of the depression and maintaining an optimal mood? Whatever optimal might be for you or an individual.

17:52 TJ: For me I pretty much had to accept that I have to take better care of myself than other people. Which, in the long run is probably a good thing so you want to be healthier. But for me, I can’t eat sugar. I have some glucose problems where if I eat sugar or any of simple starches, my mood go out of whack. I have to avoid bread and milk because I did a two week food allergy test and after I eliminated those two foods for two weeks and then reintroduced them in and ate them, I bloated up and got tired. My nutrition is really dialed in. I just try to eat vegetable every meal and have protein every meal because the proteins will give you the amino acids. They’re the building blocks for neuro transmitters. And what a lot of people miss out on, I was just taking to someone last night, they stopped eating all the healthy fats. We have this, the low fat kind of things in our heads where we think if we eat something that’s high in fat, it’s going to be bad for us, when in fact, I forgot the exact percentage but the brain is mostly composed of fatty acids. I really get in coconut oil, olive oil, fish out, avocados, those sort of things in my diet. So for nutrition, I’m very strict with my nutrition. And then, as far as sleep, (you want me to go on, everything right now?).

19:24 Lorna: Yeah sure. It’s really valuable information.

19:28 TJ: Sure. And then, exercise. We all know we need exercise to actually exercise everyday. It sounds so simple, so crazy but you just actually just get up and run in the sun or do something for 30 minutes through your breathing heart everyday, it’s going to release that BDNF, a very potent growth hormone that literally reverses the toxic effect that depression has on the mind. And even when I say that, a few weeks ago, I was starting to feel not so good. I was like, oh yeah, I’m not exercising everyday. So it sounds really simple. You should exercise but like, you really should.

Next thing was really getting the sleep cycle down. The sleep cycle will sort of fix itself if you’re eating right and exercising and your stress isn’t out of whack. But then on top of that, every night, I go to sleep it’s in a cool room. I wear ear mask and I have ear plugs in every single night. Because if I don’t sleep for a day or two, then my mood starts to go down. So sleep is like this gold that I have to protect.

20:40 Lorna: Is there an optimal time to go to sleep?

20:42 TJ: I’m not the right person to ask that. I’ve read research that it’s best to go to sleep around 10pm because after 11pm your body releases a little cortisol to give yourself a second wind. But I’m not 100% sure if there is a right time to go to sleep. But what I can say is it’s best to go to sleep at the same time every day. Once you get in that rhythm of going to bed at the same time every day then you’re going to bed and fall sleep. Rather than oh I’ll have to wake up early tomorrow and I’ve been staying up 3am everyday. And then you’ll going to be laying in bed hating yourself trying to go to sleep.

21:24 Lorna: I think I’m a little challenged with a regular sleep thing. I do try to get to bed around 11pm but sometimes I feel like I do get that second wind around midnight then I’m like lying in bed and I can’t sleep until 1 or 2am. Totally sucks.

21:39 TJ: Get podcast ideas, business ideas.

21:42 Lorna: I know. I know. So my most productive times were always around midnight. But I didn’t realize that was what’s happening, the extra rush of cortisol. Alright, so, I’d love to ask you as entrepreneurs, it’s tricky, this whole mood thing because we have to self generate everything that we do. At the same time, sometimes life happens. Life gets in the way so we could be in the throes of like really taking our business next level and then something tragic happens.

You could experience a death in the family or divorce or a tragic breakup or who knows. Anything that can happen and all of a sudden a life event like that could put you into a tailspin and take you into a deep pit of depression. So, if an entrepreneur was facing a really challenging life event, what advise would you have for them so that they can pull themselves out of that funk quickly?

Depression, I think the worst thing about depression is that it really zaps your vitality. It really zaps your creativity, productivity so that you can go to the motions of doing what you do. And that can kind of work if you’re an employee and employer’s taking on the cost of your decreased productivity for however long it last. But if you’re working for yourself, that’s just deadly.

23:14 TJ: Yeah, so when I was selling cars, I had a few moments when I actually get depressed and I had to get myself out really quickly. Now, other than obviously the nutrition, exercise and sleep. Other than that, there’s a few little hacks you can do for one like, if I didn’t sleep for a few days, L-Tryptophan for sleep helps like tons of people. There’s actually someone, an entrepreneur that we know and he was reading my site and he was taking Xanax every night and I told him about L-Tryptophan and he started taking L-Tryptophan at night.

23:48 Lorna: So what is Xanax? Is that like an antidepressant?

23:50 TJ: Xanax is anti-anxiety medication. I believe it mainly affects the gamma receptors. But he was taking it every night for sleep and one of the big things was his having a run of these PPC campaigns and his sleeps was like messing it up so much. L-Tryptophan, so how your brain actually makes melatonin is it takes the left over serotonin in your brain, it will convert that into HIAA or melatonin. So you actually need extra serotonin to produce melatonin and sleep. That’s the reason why a lot of the times with anti-depressants people don’t sleep as well and why if you’re depressed and you’re tired, you still can’t sleep. So how your brain actually makes serotonin is it takes L-Tryptophan converts that into 5HTP and then converts that into 5HT which is serotonin and uses B-Vitamins to do that. You can take either L-tryptophan or 5HTP at night and the serotonin production will go into melatonin and make you sleep. For some people 5HTP works better, some people L-Tryptophan but if you’re in a funk, and it feels like low serotonin, I would definitely try 5HTP or L-Tryptophan. You can take them in the day for serotonin or at night because for most people, if they’re going to be in a funk, they’re not going to be sleeping. And once they start sleeping right it’ll get them out of the funk.

Now if you have the low energy. Like everything’s numb and just can’t get out of bed but you’re not having these obsessive or suicidal, may be not suicidal but the low self-esteem thoughts, there’s norepinephrine and dopamine. And those are produced by the adrenal glands. So amino acids that support the adrenals and that can reproduce those neuro transmitters is L-Tyrosine which for most people, if they take L-Tyrosine in the morning right when they wake up on empty stomach, it will give them more energy than even coffee.

25:53 Lorna: Oohh… I’ve got to try that. [Laughs]

25:55 TJ: Some people take it before working out too. So that’s the first thing to try. Tyrosine for me doesn’t work because it’s actually a little strong and I get agitated and it makes me a little crazy like almost too much. So there’s another supplement not very many people know about. It’s L-Phenylalanine and they can try that as well. L-Phenylalanine is converted into Tyrosine and then into catecholamine. So there’s 5HTP, L-Tryptophan, Tyrosine and L-Phenylalanine that they can try to bring them out of the funk. That’s what I was using to rebuild myself to get out of depression and when I start to slip, I just have them there. And I’ll be like, okay, I’ll take some L-Tryptophan tonight and some L-Phenylalanine in the morning and usually be reset in a few days. Whereas, in the beginning of overcoming my depression, I used those supplements that’s taken actually quite a bit of them. In the beginning when I was severely depressed, because what it does is it’s the natural building blocks in your brain so it’s restoring the natural levels.

So once you get to a certain point, you don’t need them anymore, which is a good thing. If you take these things, you’ll not going to have to take them for the rest of your life because you depend on them. Because after a while, you’ll take L-Tryptophan in a day and you’ll get sleepy. You’ll take L-Tyrosine in the day and you’ll get agitated and that’s when you know you’ve had too much. So I just keep them around now. I actually don’t take them anymore but if I start to slip, I can take those and it’s going to rebuild the neuro transmitters in my brain so I can get back quickly versus having to be depressed for a few months because I just had a relapse.

27:37 Lorna: Yeah, I think another really good way to address the mood optimization from a nutritional standpoint is to get a blood panel test so to get a blood test to see what vitamins and minerals and amino acids too that you might be deficient in. I can’t remember what the different tests are. I remember when I went to my naturopath, I took a blood test. I did also a test for neurotransmitters.

It as a while back, I can’t remember. But after doing that whole comprehensive diagnostic, she was able to tell me what nutrients I was deficient in and then recommend supplements. And literally, the day I took those supplements, I felt instantaneously better like it was, as if the sun came out from behind the clouds.

Granted if you go in and take these tests, chances are it’ll take you about a week or so to get the results back. So, I would say, your quick fix is probably good in the interim. And then get your butt to a naturopathic doctor and do something. Because every person’s body is different. So you’re not going to know unless you actually do these tests and figure out what your specific system needs in order to be at its optimal levels.

28:55 TJ: Yeah, there’s questionnaires and stuff to try and figure out yourself and I spent, probably, half a year to a year experimenting. If I was to do it all again, I’ll just take the test.

29:05 Lorna: Yeah, it’s worth it. Oh my gosh. I mean, these tests might cause you a few hundred dollars if your insurance doesn’t cover it but I would say that the peace of mind gained and the amount of energy you’ll recuperate is far worth that.

29:23 TJ: Even at the worst case scenario you’re going to know more about yourself by taking these tests.

29:27 Lorna: Exactly

29:28 TJ: Okay everything’s online so, if these tests are showing everything’s perfect then I got to go another avenue. You can’t ever lose with taking a test and I’m kind of talking to myself now because I wish I would have taken the tests at the beginning. It just short cut the whole process.

29:44 Lorna: Yeah, because I think one of the dangers too is if you’re trying to deal with this issue from a more naturopathic standpoint, I think that’s a much better first step than going to a more traditional allopathic doctor who’s going to prescribe you anti-depressants. And let me tell you, I know people that have been on anti-depressants for years and they’re just so desperate to get off of them, but they can’t.

The risk of anti-depressants is over the years it can totally flip out. Like this one person I know who’s a well-respected psychologist, very well paid, but has been on mood enhancing pharmaceutical drugs. I mean, I guess she’s eating on dog food so-to-speak but then, she had a total psychotic episode. You’d think that, okay, the last person that would go through something like this should be a psychologist. But yeah…

30:49 TJ: I can go on about anti-depressants forever but the main thing with when you’re talking about going crazy is because what the anti-depressant’s do is they just make the existing serotonin more active. So you know I was telling you about the left-over serotonin is converted into melatonin but also that HIAA.

So with anti-depressants, what they’re finding is there isn’t that actual more serotonin in the brain, just the more active serotonin. There isn’t the left over serotonin which causes the sleep problem and everything but that HIAA is just as vital to emotional well-being as serotonin. They’ve even linked some court cases of violent crime to the person having low levels of HIAA. Anti-depressants, I don’t want to tell anybody that’s suicidal, don’t take them because I don’t want to tell someone in that situation not to do it.

31:51 Lorna: But sometimes they need, what they need, just to get out of that danger zone, right?

31:56 TJ: Yes, but the way they just throw anti-depressants at people before looking at these other reasons I could be depressed. Let’s say I have a vitamin B12 deficiency and I’m taking anti-depressants, I still have the vitamin B12 deficiency so not only am I taking a strong medication that I don’t know how it’s going to affect me in the long run, I’m still not fixing that core issue because I took an anti-depressants myself for, I think 6-8 months and getting off of the anti-depressant is a whole another story itself.

Anti-depressants are a lot more than just being handed a pill that’s going to make you feel better. And before people do that, they should consider these other options first before going that route.

32:42 Lorna: Yeah, absolutely. I think there’s a lot of low hanging fruit you could just attack right away. Like, okay, cut out sugar and starchy food and do that blood screen and go through some of the most obvious easy steps first rather than get them on the hard core meds right away that could be just a lifelong addiction right there. So, let me ask you, was there an AHA moment that led you to start your online course and membership site, Dominate Depression?

33:17 TJ: The AHA moment was, I was sitting there and as I’m thinking about trying to talk to people about depression, it’s always that thing like, you go to talk to somebody and you say, I’m sad or I’m depressed and all of a sudden people will kind of tighten up and this taboo subject. And it’s hard if you’re an entrepreneur and you’re trying to produce something of value and you’re having these issues and you can’t talk to people about it. And then you go and search online and you get an EHow article, top 10 tips to beat seasonal blues. Just some doctor telling you out of the textbooks.

So I was thinking, what if I come up with this name, Dominate Depression, we’re going to talk about depression openly. We’re going to talk about actually overcome. Because I’ve seen a lot of places they treat the person into just whether semi functioning and not, what I would call fully recovered.

So I had this moment like, okay people need a place or an outlet where they can see somebody that’s been there just talking about it normally and openly. It took me so long trying to think, is there something wrong with me? And then all of sudden, no. It’s not. Something’s not wrong with me. As a person it’s just this depression thing is happening to me that it’s like, let’s just be able to tell people, look, you feel a little depressed, this is what you need to do to get helped thinking it’s all about me or my moral stuff. I don’t know if I’m going off topic right now.

34:54 Lorna: No. I think it’s such a head trip. You can’t talk about it. It’s easy to think that there’s something wrong with you. That you’re not grateful enough, you’re too selfish, too self-absorbed and you had a bad childhood. There’s so many different ways in which you can think about the reason why you don’t feel good about yourself, that there’s something wrong with you.

There’s a myriad of things that are wrong with you which is resulting in you not feeling good. But that’s not solving the problem, right? It’s not solving the problem. And then I think another important thing that we haven’t really acknowledge as a society is how common it is. I actually think that depression is the norm. And especially in our western society for number of different cultural and social reasons. I mean, I think people are less likely to admit it.

I think people accept that there’s somewhat mediocre. It’s like they’re living lives where they do not truly thriving. They’re living lives that they’re not deeply happy and fulfilled by. But then, it’s easy to rationalize it and say, Oh, you know I have things. I have it good. And there’s nothing for me to complain about so I’m just going to go on. But the truth is, the feeling of just deep inner joy is not there.

36:18 TJ: Yeah. And it is a little insane how no one talks about it. I was even reminded more of that when I started a psych session I’m getting emails from people just like secretly saying hey, I’ve been depress you know like all these people just coming out and it is frustrating because you have all the stuff and then people say you should be grateful for what you have but persons going crazy because they don’t feel grateful and then like, why don’t I feel grateful something wrong with me, but it is just because they’re depress they’re in the state of mind where they can’t experience the pleasure of the things they have.

36:51 Lorna: You know you have your friends and family they’re probably you know saying (inaudible) oh! You’ll just get out of it, oh! You know chin up you know just keep persevering whatever, but it doesn’t make the yucky feelings go away. So let me ask you how do you work with people? How do you make money figure membership site and you know like what services do you offer?

37:12 TJ: So, I have a six week course it’s for people that are in depression and they really need the fundamentals and place basically what I do is I take those individual aspects the supplements the nutrition and exercise the stress reduction mastering your sleeping (inaudible) support I split up in to different weeks so that people get just only a week of content at a time so they can really focus and make the changes that’s going to keep them depression free and then just recently some people told me I should start coaching so I have an actually.

I’ve already coach one person as of last night but I am also get in to you know really working with people one-on-one cause that’s what I used to do when I work for non-profit I was a mentor and work one-on-one I really like that the course is cool and but I want to combine bought the course and the coaching so, the course for people that are like you know, like make this changes I just need some guidance and then the coaching for let’s say someone that needs a little more than that or they’re going through all that crazy stuff and they need someone they can say this is what’s going on what should I do? and express themselves.

38:29 Lorna: How long did it take for you to put together this course? Was it 8 week course?

38:34 TJ: 6 week course

38:36 Lorna: 6 week course, yeah! How much work is that?

38:37 TJ: So, (laughs) I was seating around like kind of making it for I don’t know how long and then someone just pressured me and said TJ you need to get this done and so he made a deal were I had to finish it in 30 days or I had to give him 500 bucks. So what I know is that part took me 30 days (laughs) trying to put what I have learned through all the books and schooling and experienced in the one place and then finally that’s what got me to do it. So, it was 30 days of getting the videos done the transcripts, worksheets and editing and then learning the membership software probably took like week and a half.

39:21 Lorna: What membership software do you use?

39:23 TJ: Wish list.

39:23 Lorna: Okay, yeah it’s a WordPress plug-in, cool. So, how do people discover your website? Where do your customers come from?

39:31 TJ: So, a lot come just from someone telling, somebody else to message me.

39:38 Lorna: So, what’s your word of mouth referrals?

39:40 TJ: Right now, I’m getting a little traffic from google and I’m trying to learn Facebook advertising it’s like an target individuals market more effectively because google is going to be kind of a struggle with a specially PVC adds because pharmaceutical are all over that, so the bid price is through the roof.

40:01 Lorna: Yeah, I can imagine, yeah totally. How much your….

40:04 TJ: 5, 6 or 7 bucks per click

40:05 Lorna: Oh yeah! Totally.

40:06 TJ: I mean the process of trying to figure out what’s the best way to find those people that need help and bring them to my site as of right now it’s just been form organic search and people saying, hey you should talk to TJ.

40:18 Lorna: Perfect! Wow that’s pretty good. That’s a good place you know to be in were you’re getting referrals and you know you’ve got like a pipeline of leads coming through you know really having to do much. [Laughs] Having to spend advertising budget fees (laughs) to get this leads you know that, yeah you could certainly open up the (inaudible) gates, some more of you with their Facebook campaign for sure. Let’s see, so in your entrepreneurial journey was there any mistake that you made that you do differently if you had the chance to do all over again.

40:51 TJ: If I was to do all over again before I made the course I would’ve done some paid advertising in really figured out more exactly what people want it right now you know there some people gone to the course and tell me it’s really good their depression relieve and those sorts of things but I’m still kind of in the dark because I really want to give people exactly what they need and my course, as good as it is, I wish I would have really, kind of got from people more like these are some specific issues I need handled so I could really home in and give people the content that they want, that they are telling me they want.

The people that are in my course are loving it but if I was to do it again I would have, before I record all the videos, I would have put the course up and see if people bought it first and then made the course rather than making the course and then send it to people that buy it. I would have reversed that process.

41:51 Lorna: You know, that’s interesting because I’ve been exploring that chicken or egg scenario myself. I think it kind of depends a lot on whether you have a list to begin with. Another podcast guest that I spoke to, AJ Silvers of Conversions.io I was asking him, the big internet marketing gurus, talked about pre selling your product before you actually commit to creating it first. But how do you do this if you don’t have a list? It was like, yeah, if you have a list, you have people you can pre sell your product to. But if you don’t have a list at all then you might as well go ahead and create a product and drive traffic to it. Buy the traffic and then see what your buyers actually think about your product and then prove it from there.

42:37 TJ: Yeah, that’s what I did.

42:38 Lorna: You know it’s a learning promise there’s so many ways to skin an internet marketing cat. So, let me ask you, this business is your life purpose and if not what is?

42:46 TJ: Yes, this is my life purpose with my personal experience eleven years of depression and the experiences I had it be, you know just feel like that’s what I need to do is give back what I’ve learned and what I’ve been through to people because I know what they’re experiencing an when I was experiencing it felt like no one knew, I feel I can’t go to anybody and get helped, so yeah this is definitely my life purpose.

43:14 Lorna: So, was there a process that you went through were you’re like, “aha my life purpose is to help people overcome depression or did it just click one day”? Because this was your experience and you suddenly realize it you had successfully overcome depression and the best way you can give back was to help other people to do the same.

43:36.8 TJ: I vividly remember a few depressive episodes during then and after just thinking, you know I don’t want anyone else to have to feel that way. But I never like had this singular moment when were as like, yeah this what I should do I’ve kind a dabbled in out of it
and then when I was selling cars I was thinking how can I maybe have more meaningful way to make money and that’s when I was like okay. You have at least experiences let’s buy the one way ticket to Thailand and let’s go.

44:11.0 Lorna: Fantastic! Yeah, I love that initiative. So we’re at the end of our segment how can we best stay in touch with you TJ.

44:18.2 TJ: You can email me TJ@dominatedepression.com or TaylorJamesTJgmail.com that’s the best way.

44:27.0 Lorna: Fantastic thanks much for joining us and sharing with us your tips on how to get out of depression quickly.

44:34.8 TJ: Thanks You!

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  1. Hi my question is to dominate depression i am on medication at the moment and want to get your six week course what should i do the doctor told me i must be on it for nine months also does this cause takes your depression and anxiety completely away

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