“It just shows the power of when you invest in something, the results do come. Sometimes they take time; sometimes they take longer than you want them to. But they do come.” –Justin Womack
The only certain thing about life is that you’re certain it will end. Justin Womack walks us in on his story to teach a valuable lesson on resiliency and living to be. There is no sense in living a purposeless life. Thus, this episode does more than relate an inspiring story; rather that it may draw everyone to look at fear in what it really is. It may appear like there’s a massive boulder ahead, but as you go and take that risk, you’ll see that it was the shadow of a pebble after all. Things can change in a heartbeat, without warning, without words. Resiliency is the key to getting where you want to be and being who you were born to be.
Listen to the podcast here:
01:48 Born with an Entrepreneurial Gene
15:56 How Do You Know It’s Right?
23:07 It Comes Definitely
30:41 Baby Steps
35:51 Losing Basic Fears and Moving Forward
43:14 Vicarious Learning
There’s a reason why every individual is unique. Join @myexpectation and @Justin_Womack1 and be inspired to be who you’re born to be. #purpose #expectations #rebuildyourself #accidentshappen #change #resiliency #overcomefear #guts #path-finding Click To Tweet
“I think that we all kind of go through that phase when…. we just question things. And then, something triggers us to change.” –Art Costello
“…when you start listening to yourself through your gut, it just never will lie to you.” –Art Costello
“When we fear things, it stops us. But when we have faith, it moves us through.” –Art Costello
“It just shows the power of when you invest in something, the results do come. Sometimes they take time; sometimes they take longer than you want them to. But they do come.” –Justin Womack
“If you think about it in terms of baby steps and in terms of small victories, small accomplishments that accumulate over time, compound interest of you, it’s amazing at what can be accomplished.” –Justin Womack
“People are always in tune to the immediacy; they want everything now. And it doesn’t work that way.” –Art Costello
“We have a choice in our perspective… And that’s what separates us.” –Art Costello
“Sometimes you have to make your own mistakes to learn. But I think there are things that can be taught and passed down.” –Justin Womack
“It just goes to the power of knowing that there’s purpose in each and every one of us when we’re willing to go out and just keep fighting for it… There’s goodness that comes out of it, always.” –Art Costello
Meet Justin Womack
Justin Womack is the Owner of JMack Media LLC, a Certified Partner through Keap by Infusionsoft, an Online Marketing Expert, and the Co-host of the Marketing Geeks Podcast, which tops at iTunes. He is also a featured Keynote Speaker, Copywriter and LinkedIn Corporate Trainer. But behind the scenes of these countless achievements was a man with an interesting backstory to tell. He had a crumbling life before the accident happened that changed everything, including his perspective of life. Following the traditional path seems the easiest way to get to his destination. But as he continues on that path, he saw how futile it is to build the dreams of others while abandoning his own. There was no happiness and sense of success, only emptiness. After a tragic drive that almost claimed his life, Justin was up to take the risk he’s been hesitant about. And today, he’s never felt more fulfilled and peaceful knowing that he’s living up to who he’s born to be.
Art Costello: Welcome to the Shower Epiphanies Podcast. Today I am honored to have Justin Womack on. He’s a digital marketing specialist, copywriter, speaker and co-hosts of the popular Marketing Geeks, a top 10 podcasts, and a business marketing category on iTunes. He’s the owner of JMack Media, started his own business over a decade of traditional employment where he felt emotionally bankrupt and found himself building the dreams of others before his own. His journey from employee to entrepreneur, fast tracked from a near fatal accident, took place where his car rolled upside down underwater and he spent two months in ICU. After nearly drowning in dirty water, he developed a condition known as ARBs due to fungal infections in his lungs and was kept him in medically induced coma for nearly 30 days. The accident and the subsequent recovery gave him the perspective on life and the drive to follow his dreams in launching his own business. Since the accident, he started his own company, spoken for organizations like Marsh & McLennan, and AIG, and launched the top marketing podcasts with past guests including Pat Flynn, Dan Lop, Ryan Levesque, John Lee Dumas, and he also recently, and congratulations became the father of Jacob, his son. Welcome to the show, Justin, glad to have you.
Justin Womack: Yes, thank you Art, happy to be here.
Art Costello: Can you tell us your story starting back as far as you want to go?
Justin Womack: Yeah, I can do that. Well, I mean your show here, it’s called Shower Epiphanies and I know we’re getting into kind of like Epiphanes of what we’ve discovered during our lifespan, I imagine. So going back, I think I was born as an entrepreneur. I do think that there is a genetic, and I think nature and nurture, I’m one of those people that believes that both play into the outcome of who you become ultimately. But I do think I was born with an entrepreneurial gene and ever since I can remember being a kid, I mean, I remember being at my grandparents house and I would try to sell them back their own drinks, and go hi jack the area where they were serving drinks and try to sell them to them, and things like, I was always obsessed with gross sales, baseball cards, just areas, or looking for ways to make money from a very, very young age. I don’t think I had a mentor in my life that nurtured that vision, but I have that desire in me. And so what happened, I guess is that I got to, I got to my high school years and I think I fell off the track of kind of just pursuing what I wanted and fell into the trap of kind of just living off impulses, and that included things over partying, things like just looking at where an easy way to make some money and looking for, I think I was looking for easier paths in life. And so when I reached the end of high school and went to college, I think everything, my decisions were based on what’s gonna look the best, or what’s going to look the smartest, and what’s going to take me to a fast, easy path or a tradition, and I think I fall into the trap of like traditional path of life.
Art Costello: Right.
Justin Womack: So going into college, first and foremost, I think my priorities were very mixed up. I went to UC Santa Barbara, but I didn’t go there because it was a great school, it is a great school. I went there because it was a party school (laughs).
Art Costello: Like San Diego State, that’s where I went (laughs).
Justin Womack: Yeah, I’m sure it’s true, San Diego State was the same way. But yeah, I mean I kind of fell, I’ve had these mixed mixed priorities. So I went there and there was no path, no plan. And so I started taking classes all over the map and ultimately I decided I was going to become an engineer because engineers made a lot of money and it seemed like a good path. But I started getting into the higher level math classes, like calculus and getting into, you know, the advanced concepts like derivatives. And it was just not registering for me and it wasn’t something I had passionate, but I had pursued kind of this engineering path for a while So I had taken like chemistry, I did well in that, I’d taken like organic chemistry, physics, all these kind of higher end classes. And so I decided that I kind of, instead of wanting to go in this psychology route, which I know you majored in psych over at UC Santa Barbara at the time they had introduced a new program on Biopsychology, which is essentially neuroscience, so I ended up going that route. And so my major over UC Santa Barbara was Biopsychology, and that essentially is the biology of the brain. So we’re looking at things like neurons and lots of all the fun stuff, lots of neurotransmitters. They were classes on Psychopharmacology, how drugs, you know, at drugs affect your system. So I studied this path and I enjoyed the material. Again, my priorities were mixed up at the time. So my efforts were not where they should have been in terms of really learning the material for retention rather than just a grade. I’ve always been one of those people that can pretty much put in half assed effort and get an A in school for whatever the reason is, and that’s not always a good thing. Let me tell you, it doesn’t mean I’m learning the material. It just means I know how to manipulate the system.
Art Costello: I know the feeling.
Justin Womack: Because it’s interesting. It’s always just kind of been my pattern is, like, yeah, I can, I guess I just pick up on certain concepts really well, I’m a great test taker. I mean, I think a lot of times I could take a test blind and get at least a C plus in that range is just because I can kind of figure things out and recognize some patterns.
Art Costello: Mine was if I could write it, if I had multiple choice and all that stuff, I blew it, but if it was anything that I had articulated, then I excelled in it. It was a little different on my end.
Justin Womack: Well, I mean, I actually, I was always somebody that was complimented on my writing skills from a young age as well, so I can relate to that where you can kind of BS your way through writing and you can make everything sound really good even if it’s kind of just flowery words and a lot of BS. I think I had that gift as well.
Art Costello: It’s a good gift to have.
Justin Womack: It can get really, it really can be any, can take you pretty far. But it’s funny that also has gotten me in trouble at times when there were situations where I needed to be straightened to the point and I went way too flowery and way too poetic with my words and it was just, like, what are you sending me here?
Art Costello: Well, you’re a copywriter. I mean, you know, or you’ve done copywriting.
Justin Womack: Yeah.
Art Costello: And you know when you’re doing that, it’s a blessing to be able to eloquently paint pictures.
Justin Womack: Yeah. And it’s a very different skill than your English class. The way you write your English essay is going to be very different from a comprehension standpoint.
Art Costello: That’s the truth.
Justin Womack: Yes, it’s because grammar is not as important. Short sentences, they’re not going to be grammatically correct. They’re going to be, it’s more conversational in tone. It’s formatted in a way where we’re short sentences are preferred, contractions are all good, and so yeah, you’re writing for persuasion versus writing for entertainment, or education, or for other purposes. So yeah, persuasive writing is an entirely different animal than the way I would write a traditional essay or something at school. And we could, we could talk more about that in a minute here, but kind of going back to my story, I’m finishing up at UC Santa Barbara. Ultimately, I did graduates, and while, I was a student, I had started, I randomly stumbled upon an opportunity to work in the insurance industry and I was doing that while I was in undergrad, kind of just basic job doing some customer service, and doing some, helping a home insurance company process. Like there was, every time that a real estate agent has to go through their closing process, they need evidence of insurance. So I would be the guy adding the mortgage clause onto an insurance policy and then faxing it to the agent and doing that for a while, which was a pretty basic job, but something I got into. But when I graduated from college, they offered me a full time job. And I think just not thinking from a long term perspective, I was just kind of thinking in the moment, I ended up taking it because they offered the most money at the time, which wasn’t, it was about $35,000 a year, which was more than I had made previously. But again, it wasn’t well thought out strategy for what the crown work I had laid out, and things like that. It wasn’t long before I found myself working 40 hours a week, 50 hours a week in a job that was like absolutely miserable. And what I would describe as like soul deadening to the point where alloy lived for, was lived for the weekends and lived for 5:00 PM getting out of work. And so it was a weird time in my life because it was so purposeless. And if you’ve ever seen the movie Office Space, I would say, like, if you’ve ever worked in this kind of field movies like dead on accurate because that’s how I felt. I felt the need that if I could do anything in life, it would’ve been doing nothing. All I wanted to do was not doing anything.
Art Costello: That would’ve lasted about a few weeks.
Justin Womack: It would have. Yes, definitely. But I was, that’s how spiritually bankrupt I was lost. And because, you know, I was working for basically, essentially an hourly check and money is not necessarily my biggest driver. And so there was just nothing there for me and it just felt like one big hamster wheel of life where, you know, it was like, is this all there is, is all I’m going to do for the rest of my life. Just keep doing this like same pattern, like daily, forever and ever.
Art Costello: I think that we all kind of go through that phase when we’re doing things. You know, even sometimes when it’s something that we’re really, really into and really liked, but I think that at some point we just kind of questioned things and then something triggers–
Justin Womack: Yeah.
Art Costello: –us to change.“I think that we all kind of go through that phase when…. we just question things. And then, something triggers us to change.” –Art Costello Click To Tweet
Justin Womack: Absolutely. And I think, yeah, after doing this, I mean, I guess I got involved with this company for about, the first company I worked for, I was working there for about four years, and I knew I needed to change something. Unfortunately I didn’t quite get what I needed to change at the time I was just, kind of like, okay, I have to get out of here. I can’t be here any longer. But my next path kind of found me in the same industry, just kind of transitioning to a more commission-based role. So that was kind of my first baby step moving towards entrepreneurship because I mean that’s kind of a step closer to it. It’s still very much working for somebody else. They control your schedule, not at all really an entrepreneur, but it’s a step towards that direction. So I switched companies. I got a job as a sales agent where I was purely selling insurance and paid entirely on commission structure. And it was interesting because I was the guy that would have flashes of brilliance and flashes of being terrible. So I think when I started, I was like one of the bottom agents and then all of a sudden out of nowhere, one of the months I was number one in the entire region out of like 80 agents and they didn’t even know what happened.
Art Costello: You worked hard.
Justin Womack: Yeah, that particular month I was really, really jamming and working, and coming working probably 60 hours a week, that entire month. And so it was kind of like this thing in my life where I would have these flashes of brilliance, and again, and then I would fall back into my poor me pattern of like kind of getting trapped in that mindset again. I just don’t want to do this forever. I can’t see myself continuing to work like this forever. And finally, I can’t remember exactly what triggered it, but there was a time when I exited from that industry and I decided that I was going to find something that I loved and follow my passion. And so, I kind of went to this part where I was like, okay, let’s explore different options here. And one of the things I’ve always loved as a kid, even to this day is movies. So I’ve always been a huge movie buff, big fan of action movies, big fan of comedies, just all movies in general to the point where I go to like movie blogs, we’ve been reading about them. I’m way more knowledgeable than I ever should be. I probably wasted a bunch of my brain cells learning stuff that I have no need to learn, but I know it. So I got a job working as a production assistant on a movie set and quickly came to find that it was just as bad, if not worse than anything I had done in the insurance industry.
Art Costello: Lots of hours.
Justin Womack: I was working even more hours than I was there. And working for a director that was not exactly the nicest dude, and you know, and I was working on a movie that had, it was kind of interesting to meet some of like B list celebrities. We had like Eric Roberts and Corey Feldman in the movie, but it was, it was not what I was think, it wasn’t what I was looking for, I was still lost. And during this time, somehow I ended up, kind of going back to interests that I’ve had in the past again and thinking about like personal development, personal growth, and I’ve always been a fan of what Tony Robbins did. I ingested his material in snippets in my youth, but never really dove deep into it. I had known that he had kind of bases his stuff off of NLP, which is Neuro-linguistic programming, which is a sort of modeling of human behavior and human excellence. And so, I ended up finding a seminar and somebody that taught NLP and I decided I was going to try this now, and this was not from an employment standpoint, but just from let me see if I can adopt some of these skills and use these to change my life kind of thing. And so I attended my first seminar in 2013, first time I’d ever been to a seminar, first time I’d ever been exposed to a higher end offer, which was I think like eight or 10,000 at the time. And I purchased the big program, which was something, you know, big stretch for me at the time. And, what was interesting is one of the guest speakers at that seminar, I also bought into his seminar. And within, like, two months of attending, I ended up with an opportunity to work for him on the back end of his business. So it was kind of one of those things where just by tapping stance, I attended this event, met this person, and it put me on a path to go behind the scenes in the seminar industry. And so, for about six months, I went full time in the back end of the seminar industry. And I quickly found that, while the work wasn’t ideal, because there was again, lots of hours working for hardcore entrepreneurs, seven figure business and lots of work. But the people that I was connecting with, I absolutely loved, and I realized I was in the right community. So for the first time I felt like, okay, this is the right industry.
Art Costello: Was that your big epiphany when you figured it out that you’re right?
Justin Womack: Yeah, I think so because even though things got hard at times, I could still find motivation even though it was hard. It wasn’t that same trapped feeling that I felt working in offices, in my cubicle, and my isolated state. My epiphany was, okay, this is are people, these are the people that kind of understand me. These are the people that I can associate with, and so I knew something was right there.
Art Costello: Was it your gut that told you that? Or was it your head?
Justin Womack: I would say it was my gut because I think my head kind of played it both ways, and there were times when my head was like, wait a minute, you’re still working too many hours. You know, you’re supposed to be following Tim Ferriss advice and working four hours a week.
Art Costello: Yeah. Well one of my big things is that people, and I preach it from the stage, I preach it in my book, I preach it almost everywhere, people need to listen to their gut because your gut will never lie to you.
Justin Womack: Yeah.
Art Costello: And it’s important.
Justin Womack: And I agree with you 100% on that because I think that’s where, historically on a subconscious level, I think we register things on a cellular, gut level much more accurately than we necessarily do when we’ve put the filters through our own head.
Art Costello: Well, I mean, you know, with NLP and everything, I think there’s reason to believe that. And I believe that the body works synergistically with your soul, your spirit, and your consciousness. And you know, it’s how you manage it all and what you listen to. But when you start listening to yourself, through your gut, it just never will lie to you. Of course you brain, you’re going to say, okay, this looks good, this part of it looks good, this doesn’t, and you start questioning. Where I found with me, and I found this in Vietnam as a Marine, I was a machine gun that are in the Marine Corps. And when I was in Vietnam, I had this intuitiveness about my surroundings and because I was there so early weren’t fighting directly with the Vietcong or the North Vietnamese. It was with the insurgency in the guerrilla warfare, and they would hide in a Bush. And instinctively, I knew where they were quite often because I listened to my gut and a lot of guys didn’t, and it got them in trouble. And I think it’s where I learned that my gut is what I needed to trust in. So that was just a little bit of my story in there.“…when you start listening to yourself through your gut, it just never will lie to you.” –Art Costello Click To Tweet
Justin Womack: Yeah. And I think that, in and of itself is an amazing insight because yes, I 100% agree with you that from wherever that’s coming from, we’re getting fed the right information. It’s just we adept enough to listen to it.
Art Costello: That’s a big truth right there.
Justin Womack: And so, with my journey working on the back end of the seminar industry, and things I loved about it, I love the events, I love the people, I loved connecting with these high level thinkers. And you know, he had a lot of JV partners, so I was connecting with a lot of top names at the time. But ultimately there was still that lack of freedom. I was in a relationship at the time and I was finding myself unable to see my girlfriend, like barely because I was spending so much time working on this guy’s business, and so little time, you know, following my own dreams, my own passions, things like that. It was, you know, again, I was building somebody else’s dream, and so while this all happen, this is the groundwork for when my accident happened. And whenever it was overworked, whatever, I lost control of my car. I went over the side of a small like bridge, I guess you’d call it. And my car impacted vertically straight down. I got knocked unconscious from the impact and then it tilted, and then so basically landed vertically face down, and then landed upside down but into like a Creek bed that was filthy, filthy water. So it was very, very dirty and I was unconscious underwater in a car basically with a ticking clock on how long I was going to live. And a witness that saw it happened actually jumped out of his car, dove into the water, somehow got the door open. And I’ve connected with him since, I see him now about at least once a year if not more. So I’ve got the door open, came up, and like yelled out because there were other people standing around, now a crowded gathered and he said he’s just got like: “Does anyone have a knife? Anyone have a knife. I’ve gotta cut the seatbelt off.” Cause I was in my seatbelt, and nobody had a knife. So he says, he dove back in water, it was pitch black, couldn’t see a thing, and he says, he blacked out because he was so stressed and pressed to him, which is for whatever the reason, you know, he felt the stress of my life on his hands.
Art Costello: Wow.
Justin Womack: And so he, I mean, I was amazingly fortunate to have somebody like that that was there at that time to be there. So he somehow, the next thing he remembers, I’m being pulled out. He doesn’t remember a thing about how it happened, but it happened. And then, I was pulled off to the side of the early kind of formative side of Creek bed. And then there was happened to be like an off duty lifeguard that was also there.
Art Costello: Wow.
Justin Womack: He started doing CPR, and it’s like the synchronicity of who was there to bail me out from something that really could’ve killed me on multiple occasions. First and foremost, the accidents, second, which I’ll talk about is, because the water was so dirty and I had aspirated so much dirty water, I developed major fungal infections in my lungs and to the point where I had something called Aspergillus pneumonia. So it’s like, Aspergillus is a common fungus and a lot of things, but you know, when it grows in your lungs, that’s a problem. And then that developed into a condition called ARDS, which is acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Art Costello: Right.
Justin Womack: It was described to me as basically your lungs, heart, and cardboard. And the mortality rate on that is around 70 to 80% depending on your age. So at the time I was 30, 31? And so doctors, nurses called my family, called my girlfriend, gonna say: “You need to get down here.” And when they got there, and the expectation was essentially that I would not survive the night. And that was, kind of like, they were preparing for the worst obviously.
Art Costello: That was their expectation.
Justin Womack: So I was ultimately put into a 30 day medical comma, during this, you know, I have no recollection of what actually happened, but from the events described to me, that’s how it was described to me, yes.
Art Costello: I believe that that was their expectation, but your expectation was to live because you’re still with us. And your expectation is so ingrained in you at birth to survive, I believe that is part of your story of overcoming and you’ve done it time and time again. See, overcoming isn’t just about big major things, it’s about little hurdles every day. And when we have this innate, you talked about this innate entrepreneurship, my thing to you is, I think that you have an innate expectation that drives you to overcome whatever challenges you face. And it’s because we see our expectations in two ways, either faith or fear. When we fear things, it stops us. But when we have faith, it moves us through them. And I think that it’s God given. And I think that you’ve tapped into it and managed to do it. And I really, really am thrilled, Justin, that you were able to, because now we have you to share all of these beautiful things you are.“When we fear things, it stops us. But when we have faith, it moves us through.” –Art Costello Click To Tweet
Justin Womack: Yeah. Thank you. Yeah, that’s an interesting way to hear it from me though. I mean, just kind makes me think of things because yes, I mean I always have, you know, I had been a guy that’s had a lot of adversity, and like not, I mean not, you know, I was fortunate to be born into, you know, very favorable economic conditions, things like that. But I mean, as far as emotional adversity, those kinds of things, I have battled a lot in life and have found a way through, including things like sports, you know, as a high school wrestler, that was one of the most emotionally taxing things that I’d ever put myself through. But I, you know, I’ve found a way and I remember going, that’s where it was a great metaphor because, like the first year that I was a wrestler, I won like one or two matches, you know. And it was tough. It was like, talk about putting your body through hell, putting your mind through hell, but coming out on the other side, you know, it felt amazing. And then to go in my second year, I went up to like 21, and it just, you know, it grows. It’s like, it just shows the power of when you invest in something, like the results do come. Sometimes they take times and they take longer than you want them to, but they do come.“It just shows the power of when you invest in something, the results do come. Sometimes they take time; sometimes they take longer than you want them to. But they do come.” –Justin Womack Click To Tweet
Art Costello: When were challenged. It just seems those who of us who, when were challenged, dig deep into our core and beliefs, we just have this thing in us about always doing our best and we learned how to manage all of those feelings and it just makes us better. Challenges make us better. They help us grow to become who God wants us to be. And you know, we all have different views of who God is and I leave that to people, but I believe that, that there’s a higher power. And I realized that some people don’t believe that. But for me, I believe that this higher power has given us disability. You and I, and people like us to really grow from our challenges. Other people, you could have half of the challenges you have and they stopped dead in their tracks. They don’t move forward and it’s so sad because they have the ability to move forward, they just don’t.
Justin Womack: Yeah. And I’ve seen that many, many times.
Art Costello: Many, many times.
Justin Womack: And whether, whatever it is that gets in the way, yeah, it is sad to see somebody that has an immense potential choose to use it differently. Now coming back to the story, so when I went to the hospital, again, I was at a very, very bad state. Even though I had survived, I still was on a very, very uphill battle. And so early on, I think it was day three of me in the hospital, my lungs collapsed and the doctors had told my now wife, girlfriend at the time, that I was going into multiple organ failure, and on top of that my leg had turned purple and they told my father that it was going to be life over limbs. So the expectation was set. They were about to do a, what’s called a thoracotomy surgery to emergency, to scrape fungus off my lungs, I guess it gotten that bad, and if I somehow survived, I was going to lose a leg. And even that, it was kind of deemed as a long shot. And before they even started this, I guess they brought the priest in to do a blessing. So it got very dark there for a little bit. But you know, again, I don’t know, I was unconscious for all this, but I survived again, somehow my leg is still fully intact that healed itself quickly. Apparently it gets into the next phase, which was just, and I was on a respirator at the time, being in this medical coma, but still being conscious somewhat. Because the entire time I was in it, I have very vivid, vivid dreams and memories of the time between my accident and waking up in the hospital. They were at the level of, like, you know, very real dreams that may have even been told hallucinations, but physical metaphors of what was going on outside of me. And they weren’t pleasant because most of them were me battling to breathe in different, you know, things that were kind of nonsensical, but they were me fighting for my life in my dreams constantly. And I just remember things like being pushed underwater, brought back up, push under water, brought back up. You know, I had dreams where I was in a hospital, so I kind of like, was incorporating this stuff, but I was being tortured by nurses. It was bizarre, but it was like, I had this like metaphorical battle going on in my head and I was fighting for my life through these different kinds of weird scenarios in my head.
Art Costello: I don’t remember my dreams, but so, I think it’s really, there’s a beauty in it. You being able to, even though they may be scary, you know, there’s a beauty in being able to remember what your dream, cause I don’t remember any of my dreams.
Justin Womack: I don’t usually. But these were, I guess, cause I was, again, I was saying that along the state of dreaming, I guess. Those were very vivid, very memorable to this day, you know, I still think about them.
Art Costello: Wow.
Justin Womack: And ultimately the other thing was they didn’t know if I would be brain dead, or if I would have brain functioning. So that was another thing. And for whatever reason they chose not to do a scan. They were just gonna wait for me to wake up. I forget what the reason for that decision was, but that was the decision. And so, even after all this and surviving this part of it, it was like, is he going to wake up and what level of cognition will be there? What level of, you know, will they be the same person, will they be a vegetable, or you know, all this was still there.
Art Costello: The unknown.
Justin Womack: A lot of unknowns. And so for me, I woke up pretty sure that most of my cognitive functions are still intact. I like to think they are.
Art Costello: I would say they are.
Justin Womack: I mean, it was one thing after the other, but I just kept overcoming those barriers, or those things that kept coming in the way and ultimately, you know, eventually made it out of that hospital. You know, it was a long journey because when I woke up, I still had another 30 days in the ICU bed where I had, I think I had like seven chest tubes, which are, they were basically like pumping stuff out of my body.
Art Costello: Yeah. Your lungs and stuff.
Justin Womack: Yeah, my lungs and body. And I had, they transitioned from a respiratory to a trake, but I had a trake so I couldn’t talk. So all I could do was try to write things, so that was challenging, I’ll be able to type, pus I could barely move. So I mean, I had to be adjusted in the bed to avoid bed sores, and things like that. And then I had so much atrophy that toward the end I couldn’t lift my arms over my head. I mean it was, my body was so run down from atrophy from being in a hospital bed that long. And to this day I still battle with some of the effects of the atrophy of being, that moving your limbs for that long.
Art Costello: Yeah.
Justin Womack: And so, that next, then the whole thing about, kind of, not relearning to walk, but rebuilding the strength to walk.
Art Costello: Right.
Justin Womack: And doing it while my lungs were severely compromised.
Art Costello: Just breathing, people don’t realize is that even your breathing, you know, when you’re on a respirator for a long time, your lungs actually forget how to work.
Justin Womack: Yeah.
Art Costello: And you have to rebuild all of those muscles that, almost completely all your muscles. That’s amazing.
Justin Womack: Yeah. Because I had to work with a respiratory techs with that and they would come in and we’d do something called sprinting where they would take you out off the respirator for short spurts of time while you’re relearning breathe on your own, and that was not a comfortable experience, I can tell you that.
Art Costello: Well, you know, one of the things I do with expectations, when people tell me that they don’t believe in expectations and that we shouldn’t have expectations and all these other things, I’ll tell them, take your right hand and put it over your nostrils. Take your left hand and put it over your mouth and now tell me you don’t expect, you know exactly how that feels because you went through it. You know, because when you’re gasping for air, it is the most basic of expectations we had to breathe.
Justin Womack: One of the things that’s interesting though is that, you know, after being in a hospital bed and being so kind of feeling helpless physically, it’s amazing that the body’s ability to rebuild itself. Because you know, when I was in the hospital then I couldn’t stand on my own without help and couldn’t do this three or four months later. You know, I wasn’t fully myself and I was walking again on my own doing these things, and it’s, oftentimes I think it’s easy to fall into the trap that things will never be back to what they were ever again because of what my current circumstances are. But if you think about it in terms of baby steps and in terms of you know, of small victories, small accomplishments that accumulate over time, you know, compound interest, it’s amazing at what can be accomplished. Like Tony Robbins always says, you know: “People overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do in a decade.” And the same kind of thing, that same kind of metaphor holds true with the body and what’s possible.“If you think about it in terms of baby steps and in terms of small victories, small accomplishments that accumulate over time, compound interest of you, it's amazing at what can be accomplished.” –Justin Womack Click To Tweet
Art Costello: For me, the most powerful thing you said is baby steps. Because I believe in baby steps, because I believe it takes baby steps to overcome anything. People are always in tune to the immediacy, they want everything now.
Justin Womack: Yup.
Art Costello: And it doesn’t work that way. We have to rebuild ourselves in baby steps. When I coach athletes, they don’t go out and try to run a nine-nine 100, they have to build up to it. And they do that by baby steps, you know? And it’s all about baby steps. And that’s why athletes understand expectations probably better than most people because they learn about baby steps and about expecting little miracles each way along the way. And the same for you. I mean, you had all these little miracles, and when you look at the big picture, it’s one big miracle that you’re with us, Justin. I mean it’s just incredible.“People are always in tune to the immediacy; they want everything now. And it doesn't work that way.” –Art Costello Click To Tweet
Justin Womack: And I think from the same standpoint, if you look at things whether it’s health or business, but if you, let’s say you want to bench press 300 pounds, you can’t, I can’t read all the books on how to bench press 300 pounds, just go into the gym today and bench press 300 pounds. I need to do the work and slowly build up to it. And also, it is, I mean, a lot of people have that mindset where they want to go straight in and get the results on day one, and the people that actually are going to achieve it, they’re the ones that going to go in and start where they’re at. And sometimes that might even feel embarrassing to start where you’re actually at because you want to project yourself at a higher level. But well, you know, if you laugh at the guy that’s benching a hundred pounds, you know, maybe a month or two later he comes back in and he’s out, you know, he’s out benching you, those kinds of things. It’s the people that are willing to do the work, but also in the face of potential adversity, I’d call that adversity. It might be, it might be psychological, it might be in your own head. But yeah, even for me, like with that kind of atrophy wasn’t easy for me to go back and start to lift weights at such a low level. And I think I could try it in my own head thinking people are watching me when they’re really not, but it’s just kind of a human condition, you know?
Art Costello: People may be watching you and admiring you.
Justin Womack: That’s true, too.
Art Costello: You know, sometimes we build these things in our heads that people are watching us because negative ideas, but sometimes people watch us through positive eyes and go, wow, isn’t Justin Womack incredible? Look at him over there lifting 10 pound weights when everybody said he couldn’t lift, or wouldn’t even live, you know?
Justin Womack: Yeah.
Art Costello: That’s the beauty of perspective. You know, we have a choice in our perspective, how we look at people. Some people may have looked at you negatively. Personally, I would never have looked at you negatively. And that’s what separates us. I think it’s what separates, you know, particularly in today’s world where there’s so much negative going on around this, but that’s a whole nother podcast.“We have a choice in our perspective… And that's what separates us.” –Art Costello Click To Tweet
Justin Womack: That’s a whole nother conversation. That’s what I heard you mentioned mentality standpoint.
Art Costello: I want to hear about how all of this got you where you are today with the businesses that you’ve created and the people that you’re helping. I want to hear about that. How? What your Epiphanes were? And you know what your ideas, where they came along? And did you consider it a Epiphanes? Or you know, because sometimes people have these thoughts and you can call them thoughts, or you can call them Epiphanes, you could call them anything you really want to, the differences is when we take action upon them.
Justin Womack: Yeah.
Art Costello: You are a person of action. I know this for a fact.
Justin Womack: Yeah. And I guess, you know, when I was in that hospital bed, I just can’t think back, and like, I had a lot of time to think for one. My days are, the best way to describe this is if you’re in a hospital bed, you can’t move, can’t talk. My days felt like weeks and I knew that I was, I had tons of people telling me this too, but I kind of knew intuitively I had spirit for some reason. Whatever that was, I didn’t necessarily know what that was, and I’m not even 100% sure what it is to this day, but for some reason I’m still here and I can’t take that for granted. You know, being where I was, you know, there were times where I was like kind of begging to God and I’ve never really been all a church goer or anything like that, but I’m begging to whatever that God is that, you know, let me have one more chance at this. Let’s see what I can do differently. Let me take action and live life the way I want to live life. Let me try doing it the way that I should run it from day one. And so getting that second chance has been kind of the catalyst of, okay, now I have to do this now. Like, I can either live my wife going forward and try to get disability and try to live off the system and do nothing, or I can live my life and try to make something of it knowing now what I know that this thing can end in a heartbeat. And you know, it’s not just, I’m not invincible. I mean these, they don’t have physical scars on my body that reminds me of this every day.
Art Costello: I think you chose not to be a victim.
Justin Womack: Yeah.
Art Costello: I think you have an overcoming, overachiever mentality.
Justin Womack: Yeah. Those are the two paths I felt were placed in front of me. And so I wanted, yeah. One of these is something better. And again, I kind of laid the groundwork by working on the back end of the seminar company, by kind of knowing that industry attracted me. And so, I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way. I decided to go all in and just pursue this thing no matter what. I haven’t been afraid of risk at all anymore. Like if I’m, if I lose my money, I know there’s, you know, there’s ways back but I have to do this, I had to go for this. And so I think, just kind of losing some of those basic fears, like the social fears, or there’s just the fear of financial instability, which were fears that I think were instilled in me from parents and things like that that helped me kind of move forward in an area where I wouldn’t have done in the past. As far as coming forward, I’ve dug deep into what a lot of reading. I mean, I do a lot of studying, I’ve always been kind of an intellectual guy, but what’s kind of drawn me, it was kind of driven me and fascinated me has always been like kinda human behavior. The way that people are influenced in marketing. And this is kind of the path that I now follow. Well, merging it with working with coaches, speakers, people in this expert, personal development business space. But I’m fascinated and I love interviewing people. Just talking about what motivates you to do what you do? Or how does somebody else convince you to some solution that they’re providing you is gonna move you to action. And so, I absolutely am fascinated and almost obsessed in some ways on understanding human behavior, understanding the way we express body language, understanding communication styles, the way that we see some people in the lens of being an authority and expert and not others. And so these are the kinds of things that I’ve just gone all in on and built a business around this kind of ideas in this kind of work. Does that make any sense to you?
Art Costello: Oh, absolutely. I mean, and I’m in alignment with you on that. I mean, I know a lot of what I do on this podcast is through people’s stories. We garner what it takes, how you do it, just a lot of different things. Your story is really a testament to how to survive. Even the most horrendous of car accidents where you came close to death and all of a sudden you’re able to bring yourself out of it. You know, no one can do that work for you, and you had to do this all yourself, Justin, all yourself. I mean, you had doctors, and nurses, and parents to support you around it, but the mental work and the physical work, rebuilding your lungs, rebuilding your body, all that is all your work. So it doesn’t surprise me that you are where you are and where you’re going because you have that expectation. You may not call it an expectation, you may call it mindset or whatever, but I believe that inside of you, you have this expectation that no matter what, you are going to survive this and live it, and live the life that you wanted to live. I know from my experiences throughout my life, and I’m 72 years old now, I have seen so many people give in and give up and become the victims. It’s not in your DNA, it’s just not in your makeup. And to me, it’s beautiful, it really helps other people see that they can do it too. And that’s why you and I do what we do because we want other people to realize their full potential. It’s about nurturing other people’s potential and that’s what we do. So yeah, that’s my thoughts.
Justin Womack: Another lesson I think is that this idea of resilience, and you know, things can get really hard, but if I can be resilient and make it through to the other end, I’m always going to be a stronger person. I’m always going to be a better person and I’m not going to make the, you know, I’m going to have the opportunity to not make the same mistakes I made the first time. I said it’s the ability to adapt and learn from, you know, learn the lessons of the past. And I can tell you that even though school came natural to me, test many skills in business and life have not come naturally to me. Many of these things I have struggled and worked my ass off to try to adopt and adapt in my life, but I’ve been willing to embarrass myself, or whatever you want to call it. I’ve been wanting to suck to get better because that’s, you know, kind of learned that at a young age. That’s what it takes for me anyway, that’s been my journey is that I have to be willing to be bad, to become good. And there are some things that will come natural to me and we’ll have to go through that journey. But I’d say many of the most important skills in business, like public speaking, things like this, you know, I went through a lot to kind of get to where I am.
Art Costello: It’s that resilience thing. It’s that power of belief that you can do this and you power through it. You believe yourself into existence. You know, you don’t let it knock it down. I hope, I hope, and I wanted to save a little bit of time because I know that you’re very proud of the birth of your son Jacob, and you’re going to be able to teach Jacob some of these skills that you’ve learned and then it will make his life more valuable, and more, he’ll learn all these things from you. I mean, I know it because I have three children, and two boys and a girl, and I know what they’ve learned from me, and I see their lives and now looking back, my children are probably your age. And I look at them, and I’m so proud of them because we were able to teach them things that really propelled them to where they are. I mean they’re not famous, they’re not speakers, they’re not that stuff. But each one in their own field is very successful and they’re able to take care of themselves and their families. And that’s what you want.
Justin Womack: Yeah, that absolutely is what I want. I want to be able to teach him, and I know that somethings, sometimes you have to make your own mistakes to learn, but I think there are things that can be taught and passed down to save him from some of these mistakes that I made, but not to save him from everything. Cause I do believe in natural consequences being very important for people to learn. And maybe that just that insight, knowing that and not protecting him from some things, it might help him also.“Sometimes you have to make your own mistakes to learn. But I think there are things that can be taught and passed down.” –Justin Womack Click To Tweet
Art Costello: Let me get into some advice on that. You’re going to teach him things and he’s going to go out and test them. He’s going to make his own mistakes, and he’s going to say, dang, dad was right. I’m in head toe for right, and I shouldn’t have done that. Or I should have done that. And that’s how he will learn. But he will have the mistake and learn from the mistake, and it will make him into, you know, Jacob Womack the superman that he’s going to be.
Justin Womack: Yeah. And I’m excited to see who that is.
Art Costello: Yeah.
Justin Womack: You know, it was just incredible to know that, you know, his life is only an existence because of the person that saved my life, and kind of, the whole synchronicity of my story leading to his birth. And that’s one of the pieces of a legacy that wouldn’t have been without, you know, without that happening.
Art Costello: Isn’t that amazing? I mean, it really truly is amazing when I hear your story and I hear how you’ve overcome, and achieved, it just brings goosebumps to me. I mean, you know, cause I’ve just seen so many times where people don’t, or they let something stop them, and I’m just honored to know you Justin, it’s a great thing I think. And it just goes to the power of knowing that, you know, there’s purpose in each and every one of us when we’re willing to go out and just keep fighting for it, whether it be our lives, or our mental state, or overcoming things when we’re willing to fight for something so much. There’s goodness comes out of it always.“It just goes to the power of knowing that there's purpose in each and every one of us when we're willing to go out and just keep fighting for it… There's goodness that comes out of it, always.” –Art Costello Click To Tweet
Justin Womack: Yeah. Absolutely.
Art Costello: Well, can you tell us what you’ve got coming up, where people can get ahold of you, what we’ve got in store, and you know, we’ll kind of wrap this up, and anything else you want to add?
Justin Womack: Not really, anything else I want to necessarily add. And I think, again, it’s, I could talk forever on, you know, different lessons throughout different life, but eventually I get on tangents. That’ll go from totally different directions.
Art Costello: It’s all good.
Justin Womack: Yeah, yeah. If anyone wants to connect with me, what I would offer is like 15 minutes of my time. They can go to timewithjustin.com, and book a 15 minute session with me, we can talk about whether it’s the idea of mindset coaching, kind of the stuff that we’ve talked about today, or whether you want to talk about marketing because that’s kind of my business is getting into the bread and butter of building authority, building a brand and doing it in a very specific replicable path. So I’d be happy to provide anyone with that kind of a strategy session, or a guidance session. And beyond that you can find me, I have a podcast, The Marketing Geeks Podcast. I’m in the process of launching my own show The Marketing Geeks has a co host of mine, and we’re kind of limited to business, so I will be launching my own show shortly. I haven’t even settled on a title yet, but I’ve already started recording interviews. The idea will be more focused on personal development but also on behavior and those kinds of outcomes. So that’s what I got going on. This is an exciting conversation. I love talking with you, Art. And thank you for, like, bowling some of the stuff out of me.
Art Costello: Well, I really enjoy you Justin, and I’m hoping that we can work together, and I’m always here to help you, and that’s just my nature. I love helping people, I’ve got a lot of experience in a lot of different areas.
Justin Womack: I can feel that from you. You come across very authentic.
Art Costello: I am me, I mean I’ve learned over the years that I can’t, can’t be anything else, but man, and I try to help people as much as I can. So, and I’m going to encourage the audience, reach out to Justin. He’s got a world of experience and knowledge that can help you become the person that you want to be. You all know where you can get ahold of me, expectationtherapy.com. I look forward to us all connecting and helping each other grow and live up to the expectations that God has for each and every one of us. Thank you, Justin.
Justin Womack: Thank you.
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