Strength from Struggle

With Joel Green, the CEO of Pro Level Training, the National Director of Nike Sports Camps, a former professional basketball player, and a renowned motivational speaker. After retiring from his career in professional basketball, Joel Green founded Pro Level Training (PLT), which has become a 7-figure company. In addition to running PLT, Green is also the National Director for Nike Sports Camps as well as an accomplished speaker. He was honored to speak to thousands and deliver his own TED Talk.

A thought leader in the motivational category, Joel Green has a B.A. in Psychology from Rider University, which has helped to fuel his ambition to inspire others. He has developed a reputation for personal excellence and motivational talks that contribute tangible advice for attaining desired goals. Many of the messages he has delivered are conveyed in his first book, Filtering: The Way to Extract Strength from the Struggle, which was just released in September 2022.

Join us for our conversation as Joel shares his journey from athletics to entrepreneurship, including how he overcame hardships and the valuable lessons he had learned, and how he apply his experiences as an athlete to his decision-making as a business owner. You will also hear him talk about the importance of being in the moment and being in the zone.

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Biggest takeaways (or quotes) you don’t want to miss:

  • Listen to Joel share his morning ritual.
  • Hear Joel’s take on why waking up early is a huge thing.
  • The importance of being in the moment and seeking failure.
  • “As an entrepreneur, being able to have the creative freedom to do things that you think of was amazing.”

“Sports taught me how to be in the moment…being fully aware of what’s in front of you, at that present moment, not concerned with anything else. “

-Joel Green

Check out these highlights:

  • 06:33 Joel shares the start of his athletic journey.
  • 24:56 What are some of the favorite moments of Joel when he was starting?
  • 30:12 Joel’s favorite part of his morning.
  • 34:05 Other lessons from Joel’s athletic career that have translated really well for him and entrepreneurship.
  • 40:49 How Joel gets himself back into the zone.
  • 01:01:40 Joel’s final takeaway for this episode.

How to get in touch with Joel:

On social media:



Learn more about Joel by visiting his website here.

Imperfect Show Notes

We are happy to offer these imperfect show notes to make this podcast more accessible to those who are hearing impaired or those who prefer reading over listening. While we would love to offer more polished show notes, we are currently offering an automated transcription (which likely includes errors, but hopefully will still deliver great value), below.

GGGB Intro  00:00

Here’s what to expect today…

Joel Green  00:02

I’m all in with what I do. If I’m going to court today, you know, for a charity game with a ball player, I’m not concerned with other things taking place, or I’m not going to be in that moment. So I’m big on being in the moment. And that’s what sports taught me how to be in the moment. And that’s, you know, it was a number of sports psychologists I’ve worked with, you know, for myself, and also just to pick their brains, I’m friends with a lot of them. That’s how I learned to be with them call being in the zone. That’s just being in the moment, being aware, fully aware of what’s in front of you, at that present moment, not concerned with any anything else. Most importantly, not being concerned with any end result. That’s one thing I apply now in business, I am not worried about the end result. I’m so in tune with just killing it where I am to the best of my ability, the end result is gonna be a byproduct of my current work, so I’m not worried about it. And I try to relate that to my team. So let’s not worry about what’s going to happen. That’s just handle what we can handle and let that take care of itself.

GGGB Intro  01:04

The adventure of entrepreneurship and building a life and business you love, preferably at the same time is not for the faint of heart. That’s why Heather Pearce Campbell is bringing you a dose of guts, grit and great business stories that will inspire and motivate you to create what you want in your business and life. Welcome to the Guts, Grit and Great Business® podcast where endurance is required. Now, here’s your host, The Legal Website Warrior®, Heather Pearce Campbell.

Heather Pearce Campbell  01:36

Alrighty, welcome. I am Heather Pearce Campbell, The Legal Website Warrior®. I’m an attorney and legal coach based here in Seattle, Washington. Welcome to another episode of Guts, Grit and Great Business®. I am super excited to bring you today. My guest, Joel green. Joe, welcome!

Joel Green  01:57

Thanks for having me here. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  01:59

Oh, super great to connect with you. I know you’re on the other coast and you’re getting towards the end of your day. So I appreciate you being here with us today.

Joel Green  02:06

No problem, no problem.

Heather Pearce Campbell  02:08

For those of you that don’t know Joel. Joel Green is CEO of Pro Level Training, the National Director of Nike Sports Camps, a former professional basketball player, and a renowned motivational speaker. After retiring from his career in professional basketball, Joel Green founded Pro Level Training (PLT), which has become a 7-figure company. In addition to running PLT, Green is also the National Director for Nike Sports Camps as well as an accomplished speaker. He was honored to speak to thousands and deliver his own TED Talk.  A thought leader in the motivational category, Joel Green has a B.A. in Psychology from Rider University, which has helped to fuel his ambition to inspire others. He has developed a reputation for personal excellence and motivational talks that contribute tangible advice for attaining desired goals. Many of the messages he has delivered on are conveyed in his first book, Filtering: The Way to Extract Strength from the Struggle, due to release on September 6, and folks, it’s live now we were just chatting before we went live here. His book is out there and available to grab. So we will mention more about that later in the conversation. And we’ll share those links in the show notes. Don’t I’m so happy to have you here today. I know before we went live, we were also chatting about the Nike sports camps because my son got to benefit from several of those camps this summer.

Joel Green  03:35

That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Again, that’s a passion of mine. So anybody I know had a part in it, you know, just been able to enjoy it. You know, I appreciate you guys just spent, you know, signing them up for it.

Heather Pearce Campbell  03:47

Oh my gosh, well, he’s a kid that he is 10. And he’s really busy guy. And I just know like summer comes and we have got to keep him busy. And he has a ton of energy. And so we ended up looking for quite a mix of sports camps. We actually put him into music camp this year art camp, he did dance camp. He did like several rounds of hip hop, hip hop dance camp. It was super fun. He actually is a great little dancer. So it was probably more a thrill for me than it was for him. But he’s such a sport about it. He went and did it all and had a great summer. 

Joel Green  04:23

That’s awesome. So I have a nine year old son so I just having to keep them from being so bored. And you know, I understand.

Heather Pearce Campbell  04:35

Yeah, summer is I joke that like nobody designed summer schedules or summer camps, truthfully with the parents in mind. Like we have a five year old and I laugh that this summer so many of our camps were half days but it’s like the best we could do. And so we would be like driving this kid there this kid they’re having to swap halfway through the day to you know, it just felt like a mix and match but we made it through here we are on the verge of school starting. Right. So are you guys in school out there as your little guy back in school?

Joel Green  05:09

Yes. First day was the day after Labor Day. So days ago was the first day of school. He was ready to go back. Fortunately, yeah, obviously his friends again wears his, you know, his new clothes. So, you know, that was that was the whole excitement. So he’s gearing up and ready.

Heather Pearce Campbell  05:26

Getting all settled in. Oh, that brings me back you said wearing the new clothes. I remember. Like being a little kid and feeling really like it was Christmas the next day right? To start.

Joel Green  05:40

New something, new backpack. You know, even back in the day, it was like, I can’t wait to show kids my new Trapper Keeper. They don’t have those anymore.

Heather Pearce Campbell  05:52

Well, it is interesting how they’re like, I’ve noticed because with my kids and all the little cousins, there’s like, two modes. Some kids are ready and raring to go back and others are like, No, I want more summer, you know? I know. It makes me wonder how I ended up on the side that really loved school and wanted to go back. I don’t know what that means. But it was a good fit for me. Yeah. So Joe, I want to hear a little bit about your background. Obviously, you’re, you’re up to some awesome things right now. But I’d love to know more about the earlier part of your journey and how you got into athletics. Can you take us back in time a little bit to share with us kind of the start of your journey?

Joel Green  06:33

Well, as far as the start of my athletic journey, I have a pretty funny story. I don’t know if you’re familiar with a movie called Teen with with Michael J. Fox, back in the mid 80s. He was a high school basketball player. And he wasn’t good at all. And but he turned into those woods. And he became amazing at basketball. And I probably saw this movie back in 8889. And she was about three or four years old. And I fell in love with it. Like literally there’s a part in the movie to where it was a slow motion scene and the ball is bouncing. And I just love the sound of basketball. And it was poetic to me. It’s crazy. It sounds I mean, even as as a three year old, it was poetic to me. And I just used to imitate that I used to have mother on Earth, Boris Johnson and slow motion just to try to make the same sound. It was a cheesy movie, but it got me into basketball. And my brothers and my dad had just kept going for me, got me into organized basketball, unfortunately, I grew and grew and grew up six, eight now. So I kept going and…

Heather Pearce Campbell  07:43

Everyone else stopped and you kept growing? 

Joel Green  07:46

Right, exactly, that’s exactly what happened. And, you know, I was able to just, you know, grow in the game of basketball and Philadelphia and just, it kept me off the streets, to be honest, as a lot that’s I grew up in a very urban setting, it was the middle of the crack era, the late 80s, early 90s, I grew up in an abandoned house, just to let you know what I was around, it was a very difficult environment. You know, I live next door to another abandoned house where a homeless guy lived. And, you know, he used to have a gun and you know, it was just all sorts of things that was scary in my environment growing up and being close to shooting when I was six years old, you know, that was rific. And I was the only person there outside of the the two shooters and the kid that got shot. So just growing up in that setting, it gave me a callus toward difficulties to be honest with you, wearing other people’s clothes that was donated from the church. And I was humbled early. So I still carry the same spirit of humility today. You know, and I try to give that to my son is a little difficult because he doesn’t have that same situation. But, I just tried to carry that within everything that I do. I carried it on a court, I may achieve something amazing. Other people can praise it. I’m downplaying. And I’m like, No, I want to do it again. So I’m not going to dare you know, talk it up too much or even become complacent as a result of talking about too much. So I’m real protective. I have a wall when it comes to my humility. And I’ve spoken on that before. I don’t want to lose it and how easy it is to lose humility just by talking yourself up too much. Feeling yourself to myself. Throughout my life during my career, I just kind of carried that same mindset and I do the same thing in business now. Just do my best to literally go all out as hard as I possibly can in business. And you know, let the chips fall where they may.

Heather Pearce Campbell  09:47

How do you feel that humility serves you?

Joel Green  09:50

Serves me very well. I mean, it literally is what keeps me working because the fact that I don’t get too high on myself. I pat myself quarterback and I had to learn how to do I’ll be honest with you, I had people telling me, hey, you better appreciate what you have going on. So I had to learn how to pat myself on the back, I really had to learn how to do it to stop and say, You know what? Okay, that was pretty cool. But humility is what keeps me working, because I don’t get too high minded. You know, and it keeps me from saying, Wow, I’m doing such a great job that I don’t have to do anything for a little bit. I’m never there, ever. And I believe, it’s because of humility. I want to keep myself humble before the world or God or somebody else has to humble me. That’s the worst type of…

Heather Pearce Campbell  10:38

Yeah, before you get the brick in the face. Right? 

Joel Green  10:40

Yeah. So you can call it a fear. I don’t know, you know, hesitation. But I don’t want to be humbled by somebody else outside of myself.

Heather Pearce Campbell  10:49

How? Because it sounds like he had some real struggles in your childhood, right? What do you make of those now as an adult, and especially as a parent looking backwards? Like, has your perspective changed? How do you think about your childhood now?

Joel Green  11:07

I look back at my childhood, and I’m grateful for it, to be honest, had I not? You can say develop those calluses early in life, those calluses the difficulty and two challenges and two obstacles. Once I got them as an adult, I mean, I’ve known how to handle them, I may have become depressed, you know, I may have become, you know, just so stressed out to where someone can be suicidal, you know, is there’s different things to where I experienced death early on, of loved ones. And when I was six, the same year, I had a cousin who was shot and killed, you know, and I saw what death was early. And, you know, what, 11 years later, my brother tragically died, is like, going through all these things as a as a kid. Now, as an adult, I feel like I’m just at least prepped. Not anymore that way. But I feel like I’m just built for life. You know what I mean? I felt like a number of things happened early on to where I’m not worried about life. I know a lot of people worry about life, I don’t worry about it. You know, I don’t get anxiety at from thoughts about life. That doesn’t happen with me. You know, I can think about something that may be an idea. And it’s okay. Cool. You know, if it happens, I already know how to adjust. And that’s what life is about, about making adjustments we saw over the pandemic that was about making sudden adjustments. And so, my childhood, I’m grateful for it. I’ll be honest with you, some things were and I do much, especially when it comes to death. Yeah, I would still rather those things didn’t happen. Right? You know, that they happen. And it helped build me up in a way to where I say, Okay, now I can help other people get beyond those circumstances.

Heather Pearce Campbell  12:56

How did those early deaths change you? How do you feel like they influenced your viewpoint as a kid growing up?

Joel Green  13:05

As a kid, let me know that, you know, I knew this early on that tomorrow wasn’t promised. And I didn’t today wasn’t promised. To be honest. It wasn’t about tomorrow was too far away. Many times. It I mean, you know, if I were hearing people say that tomorrow was a problem, like, what about tonight, you’re gonna meet and that was a true thought of mine. Like, I can, you know, I can go outside and walk to the corner store tonight. And I don’t know what’s gonna happen because I heard gunshots last night and around the corner. So, you know, I had a mentality early on of how to just enjoy life, because tonight isn’t promised. So you know, it’s not a morbid thought. But unfortunately, it’s a real thought, you know, depending on where you come from, you know, it’s just, I’ve talked to kids, I’ve gone back to Philadelphia, and have talked to a number of kids, I’ve gone to juvenile detention centers and talk to kids. And a lot of them don’t see themselves after 21. And it’s unfortunate because they don’t, you know, we bring up college, like college for what, you know, they don’t even see themselves and they hope to make it to that age, because their friends or two of their friends already did, you know, from a drive by or from this instance, or that are already locked up. So I saw it early age I’ve had, I have friends who multiple friends who were shot and killed, you know, it’s just teammates. This is all before the age of 2221 I had about three of my friends shot and killed. So it was just let me know you have to enjoy life to the fullest. You know, whatever you do, do it up. You’re gonna mean like to the absolute best of your ability, not so much. You know, do it crazily. But like, give it every bit of my ability and capabilities as I possibly can I enjoy the fruits of it after the fact. So that’s just, it built me up for that, in that regard.

Heather Pearce Campbell  15:07

Couple of things come to mind. I mean, one, I think many people don’t learn the lesson that you learned so young until they’ve hit adulthood, right until they start really experiencing some tragedy or personal challenge or loss of some kind. And it is interesting how, you know, for some lives, it’s so young, and even for some people, so consistently, and others, it’s, you know, really different timeline and different experience. But the other thing that stands out is like, not everybody would draw the same lesson out of that experience. What is it that you think whether it’s about your personal makeup, whether it was about, you know, a choice in the way that you chose to look at things, what was it that you think allowed you to actually shift because a lot of people probably would have stayed in the fear or negativity mode, right, of like, oh, life is bad. And it’s really hard. And like some of these kids, like, there’s not much to live for, versus the alternative, which is to make the most out of every day that you have what allowed you to do that.

Joel Green  16:15

I daresay it’s in my DNA. And only reason why I say that is because I know the stories that my parents went through, even while you know, they before they were even together, growing up on this side of Philly going on outside of Philly, and just the wars that they had growing up in the 50s and 60s, right. During high racial tension times and things they had to overcome and having police rushed into their homes and put everybody or their siblings up against the wall water, eight years old, nine years old, 12 years old, and just accusing them of random things. And he’s like kids, you know, sitting down listening to the radio, because they didn’t have a TV in time. And I hear these stories growing up and just hear these early moments of perseverance coming from my bloodline, from my parents, my aunts, my uncles, my grandparents. So I knew early that life wasn’t perfect. And again, these aren’t negative things. They just want to let us know like, hey, look, watch yourself out there. Be prepared out there. And don’t follow people. That was a big thing that my parents instilled into all of us. I’m the youngest of four. So, you know, I was I was all ears to everybody. If anybody was speaking, I was listening, whether they knew it or not. I wasn’t good. I was still running around. But I heard everything.

Heather Pearce Campbell  17:37

Oh, and as a parent now, isn’t it amazing? How many times like you say something, and suddenly like little voices piping up in the next room over here? Like, how did they hear that?

Joel Green  17:46

Exactly? It’s like a childlike gift. I don’t know what it is.

Heather Pearce Campbell  17:50

It’s a superpower.

Joel Green  17:53

Right? I mean, but that’s really what I saw that you know, life was wasn’t perfect. But we can still be great people. My soul, my parents made it out up and getting us out of it and bending home and going into a better neighborhood. I saw how hard they had to work literally so hard. They had to work. And just I believed in it. That was the best part of it. I believed in it. And when I did, and my parents and my siblings did not let me stay in that unbelief. So even if I saw my brothers, both my brothers, my older brothers, even if they were getting in trouble doing a certain thing, they didn’t, that they didn’t let me get in trouble. Right, he made sure I was the one that didn’t get caught up in the same stuff. So that was a key thing for me that I don’t speak on that often. But that really helped me out my siblings, my older sister, who’s the oldest of all of us, my two older brothers. They made sure that with me being the youngest, you know, I made it. Right, you know that? What? If they had this for that fault, they taught me how to not have that be my fault. And that was a huge thing for me to where they were extensions of my parents. And, you know, they built up a certain level of belief that I can literally a job, you can do anything you want to do. Don’t let your friends so you can’t do it. He told me all the time. Don’t let your teachers tell you what you can do. I used to hear that a lot. And I just believe that if I want to start an if I want to start a company, if I want to have an idea is that 13 years old, I can do it.

Heather Pearce Campbell  19:27

That’s amazing. I yeah, I love that reflection of being the youngest sibling, right. You had the benefit of all these other eyeballs looking down on you and saying, you know, here’s how you should do it. And even in light of their own mistakes. I think that’s so important to talk about. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  19:43

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Heather Pearce Campbell  22:22

Share with us a little bit about your transition, right? So you make it into athletics. And I’d love to hear more about your early journey with us athletics, when you learn through that process and then shifting kind of into the next phase where, you know, obviously you are new heights now and doing some different things. So take us through kind of the athletics portion of your journey.

Joel Green  22:44

I mean, athletics that was a huge driving force for me as far as to keep myself on a straight line and you know, not get in trouble because I wanted to stay on the court. I want to stay on a few and I love track and field since I still run. And I just wanted I didn’t want to be get in trouble. So I made sure you know, I stayed in line and just performed well because I figured, hey, I love to play this game called basketball. I wanted to be like Mike, just like everybody else growing up wanted to be like Jordan. And so I just would practice all the time. I’m talking when it would rain. I told my son this and he’s done it since I’ve told him every time we were rained. Almost every time I would ask my parents I remember I asked my mom a few times can I go outside and go to basketball court? She’s like, why is raining Mike? Well, nobody else is gonna be at the basketball court. I’m gonna have to have it all to myself. And that was my mentality. I’m like, Yes, I get to have the court all to myself. And so she’s just let me go. I’ll be dribbling around puddles, puddles were the defenders on the basketball court. And I couldn’t wait for the rain some weeks like alright, because yesterday, there were too many people at the basketball court and, you know, couldn’t even hardly get on a court. I was small. So that mentality took me really far as far as taking full advantage of my opportunities to play and to practice and it got me division one college scholarship. That was the number one recruit for a ton of schools around the country. And you know, in the plan for the number one prep school in the country in prep school, and was number 30 in the country, as far as prep players. And this achieved a lot of great things. And beyond that, that took me into the professional rankings being a pro ballplayer and had an amazing experience with that just traveling and meeting a lot of people that I admired and playing as people that I admired. That was the best part because I was like, I get to compete against them now. And it’s truly a dream. Definitely a dream.

Heather Pearce Campbell  24:45

Do you have any highlights from those years? Like any like, favorite memories that come to mind? Always as kind of like the top memories for you?

Joel Green  24:56

Yeah, this was actually before I even met at a pro, this is my second year of college, I got a chance to work out with a lot of pros this one summer I was invited to a workout and it was only 30 that can come every single day. This was in Philly. It was a private, closed workout. No media can come in no visitors. No, no one. But a lot of NBA guys there. And different overseas basketball players, and about to, you know, top 10 high school basketball players that were invited. And Allen Iverson came. And that, again, being in Philadelphia, early 2000s, Allen Iverson, he was like, you know, top of the list. He was on that level, like literally he was Michael Jackson, ask level, if you see him walking down the street or at a restaurant, you heard screams. So he was you know, so to have him come and begin working out. And we’ve been able to work out with him, you know, be on his team and things like that. It was amazing. And he was just, you know, really down to earth and just really relatable could just talk to you and things like that. And figures before I had a conversation with Kobe Bryant, about a half hour, which changed my whole everything changed my whole life. I wrote about it in my book actually called a moment with a Mamba and just the mentalities that he helped give me. But I will say the island Narveson, being on a court sharing the court with him, that was a huge highlight for me. And there’s a whole lot of things that I learned even from just that timeframe that I transferred into business now. It made my transition that much easier, just because of the mentality that I gained from sports and coming across some of these people, and asking so many annoying questions. I’m a student, you know, if I come across somebody that I’ve been admiring, I’m going to ask you some questions, because I want to know, this reason why I admire you, right? You know, so I’m going to ask you a few questions. So I can learn something and maybe get to your level?

Heather Pearce Campbell  27:05

Well, it must have been quite something to like, have these folks like on your list on a pedestal and and suddenly be there with them in the room working out? Right, interacting? I’d love to know what carried over. You said some things carried over from that time into your path forward of entrepreneurship. Do you mind sharing what some of those were?

Joel Green  27:25

Oh, no, I mean, this is a few different tangible things. But you know, just the tangible ones, you know, waking up early. You know, that’s something that I learned after we hear that all the time, we could early, you know, take advantage of the hours of the day, but it really makes a difference. You know, for me now, being a parent, waking up early is different from the reasons why I used to wake up early in a way, like, I wake up early now, because it’s quiet time, you know, my son is still asleep. So I now have two hours before I have to wake him up at seven 7am. Right. And that’s a very important time for me, and plus the rest of the world asleep. For the most part, you know, no one’s at least expecting me email during that time or response or text back. And that’s clutch for me because communication is huge with my business. And the fact that I can have a couple, you know, two and a half hours about do a pre five o’clock wake up. It allows me just me time, right. And it’s nothing like having that knowing I can work on my own clock and not have to get back to this email right now. Because no one’s awake expecting it. And I don’t have to initiate this or that. So I wake up early for that reason, and also to maximise on the work day. And I use that time for my creative time. Because again, once nine or 10 o’clock hits, you kind of want everybody else’s time. So you know that waking up early is a huge thing. And just beyond that, just, you know, putting blinders on it and just locking it.

Heather Pearce Campbell  28:56

No, I love that right? Well, it is interesting, how much can change once children are in the equation, right? So even in our household during COVID It was such a challenge for me to find because kids were home the first year, even a year in a few months of COVID I had two kids at home full time, right school went online, which really meant school was not happening. My son has ADHD and sitting in front of a computer all day being online is just like so not a fit. It’s not. I’m just gonna say it’s not a fit for kids generally, definitely not a fit for kids that need to be moving and interacting and doing stuff in real life. So it was a real challenge. And I ended up finding out that if I tried to wake up early, my kids would hear me even if I was being so quiet and you know and so I ended up doing the reverse and staying up oh had its own challenges, right. Paying for that a little bit but it is interesting how much schedule is contained once you have kiddos in the mix, but how great that you’ve been able to maintain an early morning routine, I’d love to know what the favorite part of your morning is.

Joel Green  30:12

My favorite part is just you know what, when I first wake up when I first wake up, I pray, you know, and when I pray instills a level of belief, and because I pray for what I desire, I’ve been honest, I’m not it. I’m not one that’s afraid to ask for what I want, right? Because I mean, you get not because you you seek not. It’s just literally the way how it’s the way things work. So I pray for efficiency every single day. And there’s been moments where I’m like, I didn’t pray for that. I’m like, I could tell I haven’t been on a ball today. And like, let me pray for a quick prayer, you know, or just put my mind on it, you know, and it’s that time of peace to where I get to almost reflect while I’m praying, because I’m writing for other people. I’m thinking, you know, God for different things. And it just puts me in a grateful place. And we spoke on humility earlier. That’s a huge part of it. For me being grateful, you know, being thankful, reviewing what I call my back my blessings, my accomplishments, and my goals. I review my back often. And that is what keeps me in a place of grinding. I’ll be honest, I love the grit side of this show. I appreciate that weren’t even been in there. Because that’s what I’m high on the grid side of things that grind, you know, just the process of things. So that’s what I pray about every single day. So when I wake up, that’s, that’s my favorite portion. I wake up, I pray either like breakfast and I workout. After that workout, I eat a second breakfast, and I get to work.

Heather Pearce Campbell  31:49

I love getting you in the habit. Do you love it? 

Joel Green  31:52

Yeah, I love the I’m not afraid to admit it. You know, I work out. I try to outwork my diet, though, you know, but I love to eat.

Heather Pearce Campbell  31:59

Oh, that’s good. Well, it’s such an important reminder, you know, whether you pray, whether it’s a mindfulness practice, the reality is, you know, where we focus on grows, right, whatever we’re focusing on and, and our attention follows things follow that it sets into motion things that other otherwise don’t happen. And so, you know, I think the importance of some kind of practice, if it can be a morning, practice, amazing. But some kind of practice daily is just, you know, I think the older that we get, the more significant we realize those little rituals, right, that really are the cornerstones of what we can build in our life. And so I love you. Yeah, I love you sharing that with us. And the mentioned around gratitude, right? Because there’s a ton of science now, that can prove how good gratitude is for our brain. Right for our brain functioning. Yeah, they’ve done all kinds of scientific studies that show gratitude literally changes the brain. Right. And so even in just small ways, building that in I love finding little moments like with kiddos, like having a quick gratitude moment. Like, let’s just name three things that we’re all grateful for. And, you know, yeah, just trying to you know, refocus, especially when kiddos are like feeling challenged, which, my goodness, we’ve had our share during COVID. To little people basically, back in the house, I’ll say, a lot of parents can relate to that. But I just love the the elegance in the simplicity of your morning ritual, because it really does highlight some of, I think, some really important themes for all of us. So, aside from your morning ritual, and the lesson you learned about getting up early, what other ways did you learn lessons through your athletic career that have translated really well for you and entrepreneurship?

Joel Green  34:05

Well, there’s two things that come to mind. Two of the things that comes to mind so I learned how to endure, alright, that’s a huge thing. When it comes to the physical side of life, when it comes to athletics, you have to have endurance, you know, physical and more than that mental, you have to have a ton of mental endurance, you have to have a lot of mental flexibility and just know how to pivot on a drop of a dime mentally, because you may have even said, even in college as a student athlete, you gotta go from class, to work out to class, to practice to study hall, and it’s like, you have to quickly switch gears like this. And that taught me quite a bit to be able to multitask, to handle things and to be able to do a bunch of things but only do one thing at a time. And that helped me out so much to even now it’s where I do a lot, you know, Oh, you said a few things early in the episode as far as the bio, but I only do one thing at a time. And that’s how I focus, I put blinders on to that one thing when it’s time for that one thing, and I give everything to that one thing, and it’s just me and my son. I’m only a father, you know, and it’s like, when it comes to business, at that moment, if I want to call, that’s what I am, obviously, I have extensions elsewhere, if I have to buy here, a ball in the background, I have to, you know, get off to…

Heather Pearce Campbell  35:31

The parent ears, yeah.

Joel Green  35:33

You know, I’m all in with what I do. If I’m going to court today, you know, for a charity game as a ballplayer, I’m not concerned with other things taking place. While I’m not going to be in that moment. So I’m big on being in the moment. And that’s what sports taught me how to be in the moment. And that’s, you know, it was a number of sports psychologists I’ve worked with, you know, for myself, and also just to pick their brains, I’m friends with a lot of them. That’s how I learned to be with call being in the zone. That’s just being in the moment, being aware, fully aware of what’s in front of you, at that present moment, not concerned with anything else. Most importantly, not being concerned with any end result. That’s one thing I apply now in business, I am not worried about the end result, I’m so in tune with just killing it where I am to the best of my ability, the end result is gonna be a byproduct of my current work. So I’m not worried about it. And I try to relay that to my team. So let’s not worry about what’s going to happen, that’s just handled what we can handle and let that take care of itself. We’ll put ourselves in a good place or even in a better place, because our work was so great that we exceeded our initial desired end result. And that has happened to me on the court. I’ve won multiple national championships in college. So I apply the same mentality now in business to where I’m like, kill it as much as you can now, don’t take up any missile real estate, thinking about the future, what that’s gonna take care of itself, you know, based off of what you’re doing the present. And having that mentality, I’m gonna have gained that from sports. And another major thing I gained from sports that I transferred to business, this is a huge thing for me, was my sophomore year of college, I won a national championship that year. And that coach was crazy, like, an amazing way, though, you know, in hindsight, for sure. I mean, he knew what he was doing, he got the best out of it. Up to that point, I was in good shape. But he took me to my threshold, I have no problem admitting it. I’ve told him since I said, he broke me down. And he had this mentality and saying one more all the time. So alright, guys, let’s go ahead and let’s get 10 reps at us. And out of the blue, we knock on one more. We like come on coach, like we, you said we had 10. And then we do 11. Put more. And then we have 12. One more, we do 17. In the end, it’s because he saw once we got to 10, we were capable of one more, we were capable of one more. And then he stopped us once we couldn’t go anymore. And he helped us to seek failure. That was a huge thing. Because once you seek failure, that means you’re going all out, you’re going all out. And that’s what I apply in business. Now. I’m like, You know what, I have to read this document. Okay, I’m gonna read, you know, 10 pages of it. So I can at least start on it. I get my 10 done. Let me read one more. And all of a sudden, I’m reading 1112 or 13 pages of it. And now I’m even more fulfilled as a result because I did that one more. And, you know, it’s like, let me even give this one more attempt. If I failed at something I messed up as something that one more mindset. It has taken me so far. And this I feel taken me so far. I love it. I played mental games with myself all time knowing what am I telling myself? 10 It’s gonna be 13 14 You know, I know myself by now. So I’m even telling myself, I know, it’s gonna be a little bit more than that. I tell myself one more time I just literally tap out. And I didn’t mention this. But when I was talking to Kobe Bryant, he told me this, this flight has been moving around a hotel. Kobe has told me that you have to be willing to see black. And that was a huge thing for me that I didn’t understand at first. But I started to get it as I watched him away from our conversation. And then I started to apply it. He says you gotta be willing to tap out man you gotta go that hard to wear. If you don’t, you know don’t that heart you won’t actually see what you’re truly capable of. You’re just kind of see dabbles and you’ll start hearing this word potential thrown around about you all the time. You don’t want to hear that word because that means you’re not stepping into your purpose. And that was a huge thing for me. So I wanted to rid myself of potential and actually show what I had.

Heather Pearce Campbell  39:58

So many things come to mind as you speak, reflecting back on even just the single concept of being in the moment and how athletics ingrained that so deeply into you. And it sounds like you’ve done additional work around that as well. But what a challenge that one thing is for humans everywhere, pretty much in every area of life, you know, you take modern day living, and then you layer COVID on top and people working really under extraordinary circumstances. And that one single thing I think really challenges people. How you know, and I’m sure you’ve had your own journey through COVID As a parent and an entrepreneur, and you know, how, how, in moments where you’re like, Oh, I’m a little off, or I’m just not quite on point, how do you get yourself back into the zone?

Joel Green  40:49

Again, that’s a lot of times our our review what I call my bag, accomplishments and my goals, you know, it allows me to reflect a little bit on what I’ve been able to do.

Heather Pearce Campbell  41:02

Focusing exercise, yeah.

Joel Green  41:05

Just to say, okay, you know, what you built for this, you know, just, sometimes you need to build yourself up. And that’s a way of doing it. And just, again, talking about gratefulness, that’s what it does, looking at your blessings, okay, man, I actually have this, I’m not as bad as I thought, I’m not as bad as I’ve been thinking, I’m blessed, I’m cool, we’re good. And because there’s a lot of times we let our moments overshadow everything else, and it’s like, don’t do that, you know, gotta bring yourself down or back to earth a little bit, and then just review my goals. I’m so goal oriented. It’s such a visionary, I literally see and feel my imagination. I’m a kid at heart still, you know. And I do exercise with my son now, where we use our imagination just to keep him in that place of creativity. And I bounce business ideas off him, because he’s really in that place of no limitation. And I’ve told him this, too. I said, Look, man, we’re gonna talk business right now and a car we’re dropping off days that are working on to get his input, because as much as I don’t want to be, I still may have and operate out of some limitations based off of statistics that I know. And all these things and experiences, he doesn’t have those experiences, he doesn’t know statistics, he’s not limited by those things. So I’ll tell him so he can just give me the raw feelings and creative thoughts off of it. And so that’s something that I go over often just to keep me in a place of creativity to where I’m like, I feel a little off. I’ve had those moments, plenty of times, plenty of times, where I’m like, okay, it just takes some communication with somebody else. There’s moments where I need to kind of be recenter to refocus.

Heather Pearce Campbell  42:53

Oh, I love that. I love the idea of sharing it, especially with your kid. But even this list, like the the second on your list of the bag items, the accomplishments were the power, because I think it is easy to be like, well, you know, that was then or that was in a different area of my life. And I think a lot of us, especially those of us who are hard on ourselves, easy to forget, like, oh, yeah, I accomplished for, you know, for some of us, it might have been a lifelong dream, like I already accomplished that thing in that area of my life. Like, of course, I can do this really challenging thing over here. I think it’s easy for us to kind of like, leave those in the past or not always reflect on them. And so I love that’s on your list.

Joel Green  43:39

Yeah, it’s a huge honor for me, because I’m still me. I know, no matter how long ago that accomplishment was, I did that. You know what I mean? And that’s a huge thing to where I know, it was me that accomplish that thing. There’s nothing that can tell me, I cannot do that thing again. So even if I weighed 320 pounds right now, right? And I used to weigh 320 pounds before I lost it, I went down to 210. But I got back up to 320. I did this before, you know, I gotta look back and say I’m the same person on the inside. No matter what I did that before I can do it again. And have to believe it. Because I feel it. The moment I start to feel it. It’s all from there.

Heather Pearce Campbell  44:22

Well, it’s such an important thing to remember that sometimes we just have to be reminded of our own greatness, right. And maybe that’s an exercise we can run ourselves through. Maybe it’s something that we need somebody else’s help to reflect back to us. But I think it’s really important to keep that on the list. And then you know, the whole I loved your comment about I can do a bunch of things, but only one thing at a time. Right. So many there’s a favorite of I think it’s a John Assaraf quote that says, do one thing basically to the point of excellence to completion, right? Like, it’s the only way that you make progress is do something well to completion. And then the next time do it better to completion, right. And as a mom, I, especially post COVID, where so many days my brain felt like scrambled eggs from all of the context switching, right? Right, one second on my two year old. That’s how old my daughter was when when COVID started, right and 10 minutes on work. And now my 10 my eight year old needs help. He’s now 10. Right? Or, like, whatever, it just felt like 1000s of times during the day and have to context switch, and it was mind numbing, but, you know, even now, trying to get back into a regular routine and getting structure back to life. I think a lot of people are in this place, like, Okay, what is life gonna look like, you know, moving kind of into this next phase. And I think it’s, that’s such an important thing, do one thing well, at a time to completion.

Joel Green  45:55

That’s what leads to great bounce, you know what I mean? It just allows you to still feel like, you know, what, I got it all handled. I’m good, you know, and it’s, I’ve had people call on me and just to check on me said, man, you gotta like the one are you? Are you good? I’m not perfect. I’ve, you know, it’s funny, because sometimes when people will feel the stress that they think you feel, but you don’t feel it based off of their perception of what you have taken place and transpiring. But I’ve actually told people this and again, with no arrogance, I just said, like, I’m cool. I can handle you just not able to handle it. You know? I’ve said it before. I just say, you know… 

Heather Pearce Campbell  46:39

Get over here. What are you worried about?

Joel Green  46:42

You know, it’s just, you know, it seemed like it’s a lot, but I’m actually very balanced. You know what I mean? I got it, you know, I have people that have delegated this to so I don’t actually have to handle all of that. And this is actually taking place, but it’s not really live until next week. And it’s things to work. Thank God it is orchestrated. And that’s one thing I take a whole lot of pride in. I mean, I love orchestrating things, you know, just same way conductor dies with his little one. It’s like, you know, alright, so you over here, you make your sounds now, and you keep that going and alright, now you die that down and you have it. I love orchestrating things life, honestly orchestrating life and making music beautiful music of life, because it’s, I feel like you were put here, but it’s long, you know, for a step. But it’s a long step, you know, hopefully, it’s a stent to where it’s a lifetime stent, which can be a really long time to do a whole lot of stuff. And I’m one to where there’s a book by owned by Les Brown, that I read, maybe 10 years ago, called Live Full, Die Empty. Yeah, live or die empty. And just the title spoke to me, I’m like, shoot, that sounds like stuff. That sounds like something I’ve been attempting to do. And didn’t realize it. But once I heard the title, I’m like, okay, I get exactly where it’s coming from, I have to read this book. And this is just what it’s about, you know, doing what you feel compelled to do what you feel like you have a purpose to do, what you would like to do what you desire to do. And just going after doing and being fulfilled with life. And that’s something I’m huge on. I tell other people that I work with that all the time, it’s people that no longer works with me, because I’ve pushed him away, because I could tell he wants to do something else. Literally, because I’m like, Oh, well, no, no, you’re gonna take away from what we have going on. I suggest you to do that because you’ll be more fulfilled. With one of my recent interns this past summer had the same conversation. I said, Look, man, you’re the president of this extra college you have that going on? He felt bad about leaving. I said, No leave. I want you to actually just point I want you to go in no hard feelings if you want to come back on. Cool. Right this point, I would rather you actually take on those other responsibilities. Because you light up when you talk about, yeah, lighten up about what we have going on right now. So that’s a huge thing for me to where it’s like, due to things that’s making you feel good. Yeah, man, and that’s a huge part of his life and just you resent people, other people Lastly, resent yourself less. And you just really enjoy this thing called life that much more.

Heather Pearce Campbell  49:31

Even that last point you made about and there was a quote years ago, I should go look it up but it was a guy kind of have one of those long voiceover videos that floated around and went viral online about like we need people who are lit up at work like we don’t need people going to jail bees, right. We need people who are really lit up at work and doing what they love. It is interesting how often you see people though hanging on to something where you know, they’re not lit up you no, they’re just trudging through it. You know, and when you see it, I think it’s so heartbreaking from the outside because you just want to like, shake somebody and be like, hey, right. But it’s that whole. I don’t know, fear center, man…

Joel Green  50:14

Yeah, it is a tough thing. It’s a tough thing. I mean, especially if it’s, you know, someone you’re connected to your friends, you know, it’s like, man, you’re enjoying it. It’s a tough call sometimes to like, you want them to be on board fully, but they’re not that hard just isn’t in the same direction as yours at the moment. Yes.

Heather Pearce Campbell  50:39

It is what it is. But I love that you’re pushing people out the door when you can spot that because I think it really makes a difference in in somebody’s path and their work and what they’re able to accomplish if they’re doing something that is really true to them versus, you know, hanging on for the wrong reasons. I would totally want to be respectful of time, and I feel like I’ve got a bunch more questions for you. But one that comes to mind is, I’d love to know what some of the favorite parts of your entrepreneurial journey have been.

Joel Green  51:14

Oh, that’s a big one. Um, well, obviously, again, being able to partner with Nike sports camps was a huge one. For myself, because I start I got my business license when I was playing abroad in Europe. I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur since I was 11 years old.

Heather Pearce Campbell  51:35

I love that. I love hearing the origin story.

Joel Green  51:39

Yeah, it wasn’t me. I made a board game. When I was about 11. And true story when I want to say the board game just went not under me. But it just came out the game that actually created when I was loving this in 1996. And I actually have the board game still that I made my parents, they kept it in my old closet. And I went back and got it about a year and a half ago. I showed it to my son probably about three or four years ago. And we were in Target, right we were in the store. Things might have been doing a pandemic door shut down. And we spotted this Space Jam game with Lebron James it was Space Jam Monopoly game. Now when I was younger, I made literally a game board, huge actual trifold game board. And I put made all squares instead of properties. I made them into NBA teams, I drew every NBA team on it. And I went through the hardwood in the middle of the of the game board, right. And certain spots were files. So you land on a spot, you get to go and take a file shot, right. And I created a catapult system and there’s little hoop. So if you make it, you know, get add a little ball of foil that I made, right? And you know, you kind of catapult it into the hoop. And the whole concept was like you can rack up as many points as you want, you know, and but if you land on his foul shots, and you got to go and get on a bench, that’s jail, right? So I had all these things. And so my son, he was well aware of this. We played it at my parents house before I just had the old cord and you know, his old catapult system, never cared to take us to Mattel, my brother did something before you need to take to Mattel just like back in the day. I might not as my game. You know, I wasn’t thinking but that entrepreneurial mindset? Yeah. Like, you notice, I’m like, This is mine, you know, this is just for us to play, and let alone in the store. And my son said, he saw a picture on the back of the box. He said it looks like it’d be like the game board you made. I looked at it. I was like, get on it. Or it’s I started reading the you know the instructions. But you know, but again, like this is my game. And so I bought it that night that we were playing it. And like a few days later, we drove to Philly and picked up my old game and put them side by side have a picture of what I drew versus what. And it’s almost identical. It was nuts. But I always had the spirit of just creating things, and, and just building things. I used to want to be an architect. I used to build houses all the time, that same age, creating things from scratch, and had the same spirit over in Europe and I was playing basketball I ran a social network. You know, many people do not notice about me at all. I ran a fashion social network. This is back in 2008 2009. Before Twitter was just getting off its feet like I remember getting on Twitter and nobody was on this early. TikTok obviously wasn’t around Instagram wasn’t even a thought. So many of these sites weren’t even around Snapchat, Facebook, you still needed at the time totally not created the social network but a passionate industry to where we used to create you know Connect models with photographers and event planners and designers and their back and kind of just socialize online. And we had a lot of members 1000s within like six months in paying members, I just didn’t have the time to keep it up, I was a pro basketball player, but I had a lot of downtime over there. But I just like, it’s getting a little stressful. And…

Heather Pearce Campbell  55:21

I love it. 

Joel Green  55:22

So I had a number of like that, and just, you know, as an entrepreneur, that was a beautiful part of the journey, you know, failing, to be honest, you know, seeing what doesn’t work. And that’s what helped me with my current business knowing, okay, that fashion industry, so I didn’t work because it wasn’t my passion. I didn’t have a passion for fashion, I guess you could say. But, you know, it wasn’t truly me, it was a great idea that I decided to entertain, but it wasn’t me. But I do now is me, that’s why it has longevity. That’s why we’ve been in business for you know, over a decade. And it’s like, once you find that as an entrepreneur, you know, it unforced, you want to, like you can stay up late. And do it, you know what I mean, you’re willing to stay at play, it’s a willingness that goes along with desire. And that’s the thing that I found out, I’m like, when I desire something great, I’m more willing to, when I really love someone I’m willing to. And that was a big thing, I had to attach the business. And for me, that’s what led me to being able to be connected with Nike sports camps to lead up to that point and say, you know, what, this is it. That’s what’s gonna help take us to another level, and be able to do all these different things. And you know, I’ve been able to do some really cool, you know, you see back here, being on a box of cheeses, and you know, it just all these random things. They recently just surprised me with my own action figure. I was like, This is so cool. Just as an entrepreneur, being able to have the creative freedom to do things that you think of was amazing, to be honest, which is… 

Heather Pearce Campbell  56:57

Yeah, oh, I think so many people can relate to the entrepreneurial journey, the piece about like creation, right creativity, and being able to apply their creativity in a unique way, but also self directed way. I think that’s a huge component of it. And I love your connecting passion, with basically the ability to develop grit, right? Without the passion. I think it’s really hard to have the grit.

Joel Green  57:26

Yeah, yeah. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  57:28

Right, like sticking through day in and day out. I think that can be a real challenge for people if their heart is not really in it. And so, you know, even in the book, Grit by Angela Duckworth, which the funny thing is I read after I launched this podcast, I was like, I should probably go get that book. But she talks a little bit about that connection and how, you know, it doesn’t have to be because a lot of people think well, like what if I don’t know what I’m passionate about? And you know, I don’t think you have to have that at the start, the passion, but you do have to develop some kind of meaning around your work around what it is that you’re doing. So that you feel passionately enough about it. Because even in her stories around grit. And really, I think what set her on the path to discovering that grit was the key to success is she just asked the question, what makes people successful and just started interviewing a ton of people and looking at different studies that had been done and turns out it wasn’t brains wasn’t even natural talent. wasn’t any of the things that a lot of people think like, oh, you’re just either gifted with those things or not. It was literally the ability to show up day after day after day and keep trudging through. That’s it. That’s the single biggest defining factor for success.

Joel Green  58:53

That’s the amazing part two, where I discovered that again, you want to say what did I gain from athletics. I definitely got my grit from athletics. I mean, it’s just that trudging through is a huge thing to where it’s like, I don’t like this, I don’t like this. I don’t like this, you know, I hate this. I hate it. But just still, I’m still moving. You’re showing us that’s what it’s about, you know, it’s just, I say you gotta have the grit of a sprinter, but the grind of a marathon. That’s a big thing. And I think of all the times where it’s like, my grid is there, I’m for the moment, but I’m also for that moment for a long period of time if I need to, I’m willing to grind this thing out. It’s a marathon at work. And it’s huge that leaves so many people to success is like doing it despite, that’s a huge thing for me that despite people don’t do despite because they feel a certain way so they stop a lot of people but those that make it that continues to make it they feel a certain way they move forward despite how they feel and that’s why they’re so disciplined in that us that’s why we’re successful. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  1:00:03

Oh, that’s huge. Joel, I’ve so enjoyed our conversation. I would love to invite people to connect with you wherever you’d like to show up online. Do you want to share with us where you are?

Joel Green  1:00:14

Sure, sure. I’m on Instagram pretty heavy nowadays, jaygreenplt, J-A-Y green PLT more than they’re finally on TikTok after too many people been yelling at me saying yeah, yes. Oh, my goodness, I’m saying head on jaygreenplt. So I’m growing my ability on there as much as I can. Fairly new but you find me on Facebook as well, Joel Green official, or just look up Joel Green, and my website, you can reach me there, that’s where I do a lot of the motivational speaking connections and things of that sort. But I’m big on engagement. So you guys reached out, trust me, you will hear right back from me.

Heather Pearce Campbell  1:00:58

Oh, I love it. And we will be sure also to share the link over to your book, which is now live. So we’ll be sure to pop that in the show notes. So if you’re listening, make sure you visit the show notes look for Joel’s episode. Joel, such a pleasure to connect with you today and hear your story and so many amazing nuggets of wisdom that really are just so applicable to us all. What final step or takeaway would you like to leave people with that are listening? 

Joel Green  1:01:31

You know, I wanted to say something else a second ago, but I’m gonna go based off of what, pretty much I just said, just to reiterate it, move forward despite, you’re going to have moments to where you don’t, you will not feel like doing something. There are times where you have to put your feelings aside. You know, it’s not about your feelings a lot of time it’s about fulfillment. To be honest, beyond the feelings, I don’t pursue happiness any longer. It’s literally not a part of my equate not pursue fulfillment every day. So if I wake up at 430, I’m not happy to do that, at all, hardly ever am I happy to do that? But it’s so fulfilling. And I do it again and again and again. So there’s different moments, guys, just no matter how you feel, despite how you feel sometimes, but those feelings aside, find that fulfillment within all that you do. It’s gonna be hard not to be successful or what you’re doing. And, you know, this is how the sad again, you know, you’ll find the section of this I wrote about fulfillment in my book, I think you’ll be you know, you’ll really appreciate that you can you can find it on Amazon and I really hope it touches you guys. That’s the main objective of writing this book is to really help you guys give you a tool to help you get something from your struggles or difficulties in life, to help you get exactly what you need to get from that situation. So hopefully, it really helps you guys out.

Heather Pearce Campbell  1:02:56

I love it. I’m super excited to check it out. Joel, thank you and I loved I’m just gonna reiterate the phrase of I don’t pursue happiness, I pursue fulfillment. That’s huge. I think people can really reframe their thoughts around even what happiness is when you view it from that perspective. Thank you, Joel, such a joy to have you here today. I really appreciate you coming on.

Joel Green  1:03:20

Thanks so much. Again, this was fun. I really appreciate it.

GGGB Outro  1:03:25

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