DOWNLOAD EPISODE >
The OolaGuys(Dave Braun and Troy Amdahl) are on a mission to change the world with a word (#Oola) by collecting 1,000,000 dreams in the form of handwritten stickers on the side of a vintage 1970 VW Surf Bus. By inspiring positive change, the OolaGuys are on a mission to guide people toward finding more balance and growth in the 7 key areas of life – the 7 F’s of Oola (Fitness, Finance, Family, Field, Faith, Friends and Fun). By removing the stress from a life out of balance, you will be able to reveal the greatness and purpose that is inside all of us. A better “you”, makes a better family, a better community, and ultimately a better world.
Intro:Welcome to The Zen Leaderwith Lara Jaye. Whether you’re a leader at home or in the boardroom, Lara provides the tools to help you get unstuck in different areas of your life. Now here’s your host, Lara Jaye.
Lara Jaye:Welcome to The Zen Leader. I’m your host Lara Jaye, international bestselling author, speaker, and spiritual mentor. Through my coaching programs and radio show, I help you courageously transform your disconnected, unbalanced life into a joy-filled and meaningful one. Imagine living a life full of ease, vibrant health, thriving relationships, and purposeful work without sacrificing yourself to achieve it. Whether you’re a leader at home or in the boardroom, I help you navigate the ups and downs of life, giving you clarity, confidence, and connection you so desire.
With me here in the studio are a couple of guys on a mission to change the world with one word: oola. The OolaGuys are coauthors of the international bestselling book series that started with Oola: Find Balance in an Unbalanced World. In their newest book, Oola for Women: Find Balance in an Unbalanced World, coauthors Troy Amdahl and Dave Braun have put together a tribute to women. If you truly have a desire to live an Oola life, it’s paramount you identify those toxic traits that hold you back from finding balance and growth in the seven F’s of Oola, and embrace the transformational characteristics that will help accelerate your journey to greatness.
The Oola Dream Tour is on the road and traveling to all 50 states in a vintage 1970 VW Surf Bug collecting dreams in the form of handwritten stickers stuck to the sides and front of the Oola Bus. Welcome, Dave and Troy to Sarasota. How are you guys?
Dave Braun:Thank you so much for having us. We’re great.
Troy Amdahl:Thank you.
Lara:Thanks. You guys are just doing it all right now. What is Oola?
Troy:Oola is exactly what you were describing. It’s a state of awesomeness when your life is balanced and growing in the seven key areas of life. We live in this unbalanced world of being pulled in multiple directions. There’s 2,000caloriesaround every corner. People are struggling with extra weight, struggling with toxic relationships, toxic friendships. People aren’t working on their marriage. They’re just inadvertently working on their divorce. Struggling with debt. So people are struggling in this unbalanced world and what we’re saying in Oola is when you get outside of your life for a minute and just look at your life in these seven areas — fitness, finance, family, field, which is your career, faith, friends, and fun — and you work on balancing and growing in those seven areas, that’s when you can live your Oola live.
Lara:So step out with a higher perspective and look at it.
Troy:Yeah, just take a break. We’re all wrapped up in the day-to-day of running to work and running home, and kids, and soccer practice, and like I said 2,000 calories around every corner, and just the stress of life that we don’t take the time outside of our life just to take a break and say, “Okay, where am I in these seven areas? Where am I as a mom or a dad?”
Lara:Say those seven areas again.
Troy:Fitness, finance, family, field — which is your career — faith, friends, and fun. You don’t look at those areas and you’re like, “Where am I as a mom or a dad? Or where am I with my finances for real? Not sweep it under the rug, but where am I with my debt and my income and my budget and my giving and my saving? Where am I and then where do I want to go? Then how am I going to get there?” and have a plan for your life moving forward.
Although stuff is going to happen in life that’s going to mess up your plan a little bit, if you have no plan at all, you just end up going down the habit of an extra five pounds every year, the relationship is a little more toxic, a little more debt, and moving in what’s called opposite of Oola, moving into an un-Oola-verse, un-Oola part of life, and you want to move your life into Oola, into more balance.
Lara:Is Oola a real word?
Dave:It actually comes from the word oo-la-la.
Lara:Oo-la-la. Ooh, I like that. [LAUGHTER]
Dave:It’s a word we made up, which just stuck. In fact, there are two gals in Sarasota getting it tattooed [LAUGHTER] somewhere on their body today.
Lara:[LAUGHTER] We are not doing that here in the studio today. [LAUGHTER]
Troy:We might. This just started. You have no idea.
Lara:I am not.
Troy:We’re here to be…
Dave:We just heard about that on social media, so we may have to check that out.
Lara:We might have to.
Dave:But it’s a word we made up because that’s how your life feels. We thought, “What word describes how you feel when your relationships are tight, when there’s more money at the end of the month, when you’re feeling fit and healthy and vibrant, and when you have a connection to your purpose? That’s Oola. That’s what’s been missing. That’s why I think it’s so sticky. This message took off because everyone is being told how to live. They’re on this path. They find themselves in school, in college, on this path, and it’s like they wake up one day disconnected.
Lara:They’re listening to everyone else instead of their own soul.
Lara:Instead of themselves.
Dave:Absolutely. The beautiful thing about Oola is your Oola is your Oola. Every sticker, we have the bus out there. It’s six layers thick with handwritten dreams from people, and the thing that amazes us every time we see someone put a Sharpie to a sticker is how different our dreams are. As a culture, we’re taught to think, “If I have the white picket fence and this size house.”
Lara:That’s so true.
Dave:“And this car. Then I’ll be happy.” I’m like what we’re encouraging people to be is be whatever the heck it is you want to be.
Dave:Your financial goals. Some people want to be a billionaire. Bruno Marx, he wants to be a billionaire. [LAUGHTER] Some people just want to pay the bills at the end of the month. You be you and boldly pursue that, and that’s how we feel we’re going to change the world with this word, is encouraging people that they’re more capable than they realize if they tap into their unique gifts and abilities, and they just actively go pursue that.
Lara:Tell me which one of you two is the guru seeker and which one is the guru?
Dave:I’m Dr. Dave, the Oola Seeker.
Lara:You’re the seeker.
Dave:Kind of unfortunately, but I’m cool with it.
Dave:I’ve come to accept it.
Dave:Dr. Troy is the Oola Guru. And how this all really started was we literally go back to 1997. I started working for Dr. Troy. I was an intern in his office getting my doctorate degree. I was an intern in his office, and when I was graduating, he came to my graduation and he literally said, “Let’s go to Vegas and work on our Oola.” I’m like, “Wow! I don’t know if I can even approve this with my wife. This sounds crazy.”
Lara:[LAUGHTER] He said that in ’97 and you used the word Oola then?
Dave:No, he was saying, “Let’s go work on our goal setting and our life balance.”
Lara:Our goal setting. Oh, okay, got it.
Dave:I’m like going to Vegas. I’m from a really small town in the middle of nowhere North Dakota, so for me, it was like this was the first time I was on an airplane. I was 23 years old. Flew into Vegas. Dr. Troy meets me and we’re in a taxi going to the Hard Rock Hotel, and I’m like, “Okay, what are we doing in Vegas?” We’re celebrating my graduation. What’s this thing you’re talking about balancing your life? What’s that all about? He goes, “It’s not at all what people come to Vegas for. We’re literally going to go work on our life.”
Lara:Yeah, you don’t balance your life in Vegas. [LAUGHTER]
Dave:No, and we did, and we did. That’s what we did.
Lara:You imbalance it.
Dave:So, we went to the Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas and we sat down on the floor at the Hard Rock with 3×5 notecards, a couple other guys, and he had the notecards labeled: fitness, finance, family, career, faith, friends, and fun. He had them labeled, and it was the first time ever I stepped outside my life and I looked at my life and these notecards and I said, “Where am I?”
Lara:How old were you?
Dave:I was 23 at the time.
Lara:You were 23. So that was the first time you actually got to think about it.
Dave:Yeah, that was the first time I was introduced to Oola before it was a word Oola, the concept of looking at your life in these seven key areas. Instead of just setting maybe a sports goal or a grade in school goal, it was a goal on what kind of dad do I want to be and what do I want for my faith? What’s my purpose in life? What do I want for fun in my life?
I left after a couple days in Vegas of going through this exact same process of where are you today, where do you want to go, and how are you going to get there. I left with notecards full of notes on what I wanted for my future, and I had $100-some-thousand dollars in student loan debt, and I had three kids, and I’m starting a career and it’s like, “How do I do all this?” But I had a plan. When I followed that plan, what I found is after a couple years of reconnecting with Dr. Troy every year to work on our Oola, work on our life, I found success in these seven areas in my late 20s. I had the big house and I had what I wanted.
I had the career and I was working on my fourth child and I was building a family, and being the guy I wanted to be. Then Dr. Troy moved overseas to pursue some business with his family and we just lost touch like friends do. We lost touch.
When he moved back a couple years later, he moved back and he was retired. He’d bought a place in Arizona and has a summer home in Minnesota, and married 26 years. He’s the guru. He’s balancing and growing in all these seven areas this whole time. For me at this time, I had drifted from the principles of Oola thinking, “Well, I have it. I’m in my late 20s and I’ve hit the American dream.”
Lara:So you got it all.
Dave:Have it all, the American dream.
Lara:You’re still not happy. Stuff starts falling…
Dave:No, yes. I think it was more humility stuff. I thought, “Wow! I deserve it all. I must be just so amazing that I can build a big business and I can be this cool person in a small town,” and I think it’s a humility thing. You start making decisions that are just uncharacteristic and just not in your value system. What happened to me, if you look at the Oola: Find Balancebook, the original book that came out a couple years back, it starts with a story of me living in a motel, going through a divorce, and calling Dr. Troy and saying, “You’re never going to believe this, but all this cool stuff I had, my Oola life is gone, and I have nothing.” I was desperate. It was two in the morning and I’m like, “Okay, I filed bankruptcy, going through a divorce, the kids don’t even know, living in a motel, driving my mom’s crappy old car,” like a $1,500 car because my cool cars were all repossessed.
Lara:That must have been really hard on you to make that phone call.
Dave:It was crazy. You know what? It was a phone call I should have made three months earlier, and I lived in this motel for three months, and I would call my sister, and she would say, “Be grateful and have faith.” That’s amazing advice to be grateful and have faith, but…
Lara:But it’s hard when you’re in the middle of it.
Dave:Yeah, definitely the gratitude part.
Lara:You needed a way out.
Dave:Yeah, I had the faith like, “I’m going to get out of this,” but the gratitude part, I actually hated the word. How can you be grateful for a failing marriage?
Lara:I’ve lost everything.
Dave:Losing everything. The weirdest thing is everybody has these three or four moments in life where your life changes direction. I was laying in this crappy motel bed, it was about two in the morning, and I heard a loud noise outside my door. I woke up and I looked around and there’s cop lights flashing around my crappy motel room. I woke up and I ran over and pulled back the curtains, and the cops were using a battering ram to break into the door next to me, and they pulled this guy out and I knew the guy. I saw him everyday for two months. I was there a month before he was.
They pulled him out, and I walked outside that day and I sat against my mom’s Taurus, and I’m like, “I need to not call my sister. I need to call Troy.” Then the last person you want to reach out to when you’re in a tough spot is your want to reach out to your most successful friend. That’s the last person you want to call.
Lara:Right. You already feel like crap.
Dave:Yeah, but I know I needed to. I called Troy and I just vented. I was like, “This is what’s going on in my life. You’re not going to believe this.” [00:10:00]
Lara:Then Troy picked up the phone.
Dave:Which is really surprising if you know Troy.
Dave:He’s not the most sensitive. Before he interrupts me, let me tell you what he said because he was doing this whole… he said two things. One was amazing. They were both pretty amazing, but one was amazing. It was like where you are… I’ll never forget this. He said, “Where you are is just where you are. It’s not who you are.” He’s goes, “I know you’re not…”
Lara:Say that again. Where you are…
Dave:Where you are is just where you are. It’s not who you are.
Dave:“I know you’re designed for something better. I’ve seen it in you. You still have that in you. You have it in you to go to your old life. “Then I said, “What do I do?” Then he said, “Well, the good news is you’re at the bottom, so it can’t get much worse.”
Lara:[LAUGHTER] We can’t get…
Dave:Can’t get much worse.
Lara:That’s good. That’s good.
Dave:That was bad at the time. [LAUGHTER]
Dave:Then he said, “Call me tomorrow.” So, I walked back to the motel room a little defeated like call me tomorrow? I feel like I need to work on this now. But I did go back with the hope of, you know what? You’re right. Where I am is where I am. It’s not who I am. I’m capable of more. I have a family. I had five kids now at the time. I’m like, “I’m capable of working back on my Oola life.” Then when I called him the next morning, that’s where I started to get perspective again on Oola and start to change my life.
Lara:I love this. We’re going to be right back after this break to continue this conversation with the Oola Guys.
Lara:I’m Lara Jaye with The Zen Leader. Welcome back and you can find me here at wsrqradio.comor larajaye.com. Here in the studio with me are a couple of fun guys. Oola. Oola Guys, Dave and Troy. They have an international bestselling book Find Balance in an Unbalanced Worldand a new one coming out for women. I can’t wait to hear about this, guys.
But I want to go back to right before break we were talking Dave about your story, and it was… I don’t want to gloss over that because it’s so important. A lot of people, a lot of our listeners, are right where you’re at right now, and are hearing you, and you reached out to Troy. And Troy, you picked up the phone and you told him to call back the next day?
Troy:Yeah, this is exactly what we’ve been talking about. This is what we find on the bus, by the way, is I think when I talked to Dave, the feeling I get that he felt alone in this. He felt the burden of the finances and the relationship stress. He felt like he was the only person on the planet going through this.
When we travel and meet people city-by-city, coffee shops, parks, beaches today, and we collect their dreams, it’s exactly what he needed to do is what we’re finding with Oola. The perfect example, we learn a lot from the bus. It’s like a metaphor for life. We were in upstate New York collecting dreams. We’re going to all 50 states. We were doing a leg up in the northeast, and we heard we were close to Niagara Falls. So we thought, “Okay, we’re close to Niagara Falls. Let’s go check that out,” just because we want to see the country, too, and meet people. We get up like two little kids. We’ve traveled a ton, but we’ve never been to Niagara Falls. I don’t know if you’ve been.
Lara:I have. It’s beautiful. Amazing.
Troy:We had a crystal clear day. It was a cool day, blue skies. We pull up in that 1970 VW Surf Bus full of dreams, and you know then when you get close you can actually, like a subwoofer, you can feel the power of The Falls. We’re like little kids. This is going to be amazing. [LAUGHTER]
Lara:I can see you two. [LAUGHTER]
Troy:This is going to be… are you kidding me? I can hear it. I can feel it. This is going to be beautiful. Then you park your car and you go toward the thunder of The Falls, and you see these boats that these people dressed in these funky blue ponchos going to The Falls. So we’re like, “If it’s this majestic from here,” we’re a quarter of a mile away, can you imagine what this is going to look like if we get in one of those boats, in one of those ponchos, and go to The Falls, in The Falls?
So, we buy our ticket. We put on the goofy tourist poncho, which if you ever go, it’s not a gimmick. Get one. They’re functional. You need it.
Lara:[LAUGHTER] Right, or you’re going to get wet. Well, you are going to.
Troy:So, the boat just slowly works its way to The Falls and we’re just high fiving and fist bumping like, “This is unbelievable.” But since you’ve been, you know when you get to The Falls, you can’t see squat. You can’t see a thing. You are buried in the mist and this is what Dave was, and this is what many of your listeners are, is that if you’re buried with credit card debt, marriage trouble, relationship stress, lack of purpose, you don’t even know what fun is anymore. You’re in the mist of The Falls.
You’re in this beautiful place. If you could just back out, if you could put the boat in reverse and back out a half a mile, you would see the beauty that’s in you, that we see in you, when we meet people. We would see the potential and the greatness that you have in you, and that’s really at the heart of Oola what Oola. It’s not, yes, it’s a very specific goal-setting process and how to set goals in a way you can achieve them, and what are these blockers that get in the way — and there’s a whole system to it — but the reality is the first step is reconnecting people that you’re designed to be great, not to be average.
If you’re feeling anything less than that, it’s likely due to a life out of balance. So let’s back the boat up out of the mist and see the beauty in your own life. That’s exactly where Dave was. That’s exactly where many of the people we meet on the road are, is like, “Hey, man. You’re amazing and let’s just reconnect to your unique gifts and purposes, and you set a plan for your life by setting goals in these seven key areas.”
Lara:Goal setting, though, is very… men do a lot of goal setting. I set a lot of goals and then I don’t make it, and then I feel worse about myself. So then what do you do with that?
Troy:Well, what we find for people who set goals is usually at a bar December 31st.
Troy:[LAUGHTER] But no, if you really take it like we did in Vegas, if you really take it seriously and you want to plan for your life, you take a couple days to step out of the mist and work on this seriously. But if you’ve set a goal, or your listeners have set a goal they haven’t achieved, they’ve likely run into what we call “Oola blockers.”
It’s easy to structurally say, “I want to make 20% more this year. I want to pay off two credit cards. I want to lose 10 pounds. I want to eat 10% less sugar.” We can structurally teach someone how to set a goal, but when it doesn’t happen, they’re likely running into fear, guilt, anger, self-sabotage, laziness, envy, or focus issues. These are the seven most common things that we lay out in the book that people run into like, “I want to grow my business 20%,” but then they run into fear because they have to go on social media or they have to do a presentation, or they have to ask for a raise.
Or, “I want to heal my marriage, but I don’t want to lay this on the table, this thing I’ve been holding back and hiding from my spouse.” “Or I don’t want to confront my spouse about something I know.” “Or I want to find my purpose, but it’s very uncomfortable to have this conversation with people around me because I know beliefs are so different.” That’s the key is if you’ve set goals like many people have and they don’t come true, sometimes it’s tactical. You don’t set it properly. But many times you’re running into one of these things called “Oola blockers” and you need to learn how to overcome.
Lara:For me, I totally agree with everything you’re saying. At the very end of that, it also comes down for me as divine timing.
Lara:That’s where I take it to that. But Troy, I want to hear your story. How did you get into this?
Troy:So we’ve been living these principles, for me, a little before 1997. When I was growing up, people set money goals and business goals, or sports goals.
Lara:Right, that was it.
Troy:Sports and grades and money. Basic goals. I grew up with a father who worked three jobs to put a roof over our head for four kids, and none of them looked that glamorous. We had a very middle class life. My brother, who’s super successful, worked really hard to build big businesses, but he wasn’t home a lot in the early years. I remember making a conscious effort that, “You know what? I’m going to define success on my terms. Yes, I want to have a certain financial life for me and my family, but I also have goals for fun and I also have goals for my family. I also have faith goals.
I want to see success in Oola terms, which is winning at business and at life. We meet people all the time with big bank accounts and no relationship. We meet people with great relationship [LAUGHTER] and no bank account. So, the key is to find that balance.
Lara:I’m glad you mentioned that because a lot of our listeners are there. I mean, that’s the point where they’re at is they have these amazing jobs and W-2 jobs, or whatever, but they’re not living from… they don’t feel right and they’re not congruent and balanced with themselves.
Troy:That’s out of Oola and they know it.
Troy:Your listeners will know. It’s a feeling you have inside. We gave a talk last night to a VIP event, and this gal just broke down. She was a very type A, driven woman who was just overtaxed and overscheduled. I’m like, “Does that feel right?” I mean, your body speaks to you physiologically. It knows what’s good for you and it knows what’s bad for you. If you are in tune to that, you will find your Oola life. You have to put out the noise of what social media says you should do and your parents and your spouse and your neighbors, and just find that place, again — outside the mist — to say, “What really do I want? How am I going to get there?”
Lara:Take that quiet time, get still. That’s what you did, Dave, in the motel is you had that quiet time even though you didn’t want it.
Dave:Yeah, mine started the next day. I went back to the motel and I’m like, “That was terrible. That was the worst advice I’ve ever had.”
Dave:Then I called him the next day and I said, “Okay, I barely slept. I’m really stressed out here. My neighbor just got hauled away and I don’t have a house.” He said, “Go take your mom’s crappy car, drive up into the mountains. I live near the mountains.” He said, “Sit down with a notebook, just like we did back in Vegas, write down the seven key areas of life. Write down where you are and start writing down where you want to go.”
When I looked at that, I was going through my family stuff. I’m like, “Okay, we’re going through a divorce. That’s inevitable. That’s happening. I’m not stopping that at this point anymore. There’s nothing I can do about that.” But I wrote down goals. I said, “Okay, we’re going through a divorce, but we’re going to stay a family forever.” So what does that mean to me? I’m going to talk to my soon-to-be ex-wife and say, “We have five kids. We need to take care of them and make them a priority, and never ever fight in front of those kids, and do stuff together as a family.” What am I going to do for my finances?
When I got to field, my career, I’m like, “What do I want? What do I really want? Do I want to go back into practice and take care of patients?” [00:20:00]“What do I really want?” I just thought about that for a moment and I wrote it down, and I said, “You know what? What I want to do,” and I wrote this down. I still have this notebook sitting on my dresser that says, “I want to be a visionary leader, educator, entertainer, facilitator of Oola around the world.” I said, “If this works for me, if I get my Oola life back, I want to share Oola with the world.” That’s what I wrote down.
Lara:That’s amazing. That is a great story, and I love where you started. So you sent him to the woods… and I just wrote an article about the power of stillness and especially nature. So, that’s where you went. You went to the woods. You took your journal. You got still.
Dave:Yeah, it was amazing. I remember coming back down and I talked to Troy, and I got all excited. I’m like, “We are going to go share Oola with the world,” and then he brought me back to reality by saying, “First, let’s get you out of that crappy motel and your mom’s crappy car.”
Lara:[LAUGHTER] Right. Step one.
Troy:[LAUGHTER] Step one.
Dave:I think this is the thing with goal setting, too, is that you have to take these mini goals, these little baby steps, every single day towards your big dreams and not like, “This is my big dream. I failed on Monday. I’m done. I quit.” It was like little dreams. “Okay, let’s move into a two-bedroom apartment with five kids. Let’s move into a minivan and get rid of this car that’s not starting. Let’s get a job.” Let’s slowly start taking those little bitty, bitty mini goals, mini steps to my Oola life. Then I said, “At that point.” He goes, “That point then we’ll start sharing Oola with the world, but let’s first get your Oola back.”
Lara:So that’s where you were at. You were like, “Okay, I’m going to work on this first.” How long did it take you to get your Oola?
Dave:After about two years, I was actually at Dr. Troy’s lake cabin two years later. He said, “How’s life?” I said, “You know what? Life is balanced.” It wasn’t great. It was balanced. I’m in a condo. I have a little cooler car. My kids are doing great.
Lara:Making progress. Yay!
Dave:Making progress. Life is better. So I said, “We’re moving in the right direction.” Then at that moment, he said, “Is it time to start to share this with the world?” I just felt my heart sink because I was reading that goal everyday to be a visionary leader, educator, entertainer, facilitator of Oola around the world. At that moment at his lake cabin, he made that a reality by handing that back to me and saying, “Are you ready to do this?” My heart just sunk because I’m like, “Oh, no. I made a promise.”
Lara:Are we ever ready? [LAUGHTER]
Dave:Yeah, are we ever ready to take that step?
Lara:Time to do it. We are going to take a break right now and we’ll be right back with the Oola Guys.
Lara:I’m Lara Jaye with The Zen Leaderand welcome back. With me here in the studio are the Oola Guys. Troy and Dave, tell me why is Oola taking the U.S. by storm?
Troy:It’s an organic thing. Dave said he had to tell the story. We just ended with that. I have this story to tell. So in the cabin, neither of us… we struggled to write a four-page paper in college. So we’re like, “Are we going to do a blog? Are we going to do a video, a YouTube thing, or should we…?”
Dave:So we actually said, “What are you going to do?”
Troy:That’s true because I was not coming out of retirement.
Lara:Let’s clarify this.
Dave:That’s exactly what he said. Don’t listen to much what Troy says.
Dave:The first thing he said is, “I’m not coming out of retirement.”
Dave:This goal, your dream is your dream.
Dave:You want to share Oola with the world. You want to be a visionary leader, educator, entertainer, Oola facilitator around the world.
Lara:You go right ahead.
Troy:You go do that.
Lara:You go do that.
Dave:Because I’m going to golf and hang out with my family at the lake house.
Dave:That’s true. See?
Troy:[LAUGHTER] Yeah, you’re admitting it. That’s amazing, man.
Dave:Then he goes, “I’ll help you outline it.” That outline three days later was a book.
Lara:Oh, was the book and then that got you excited about…
Troy:Well, he should be in sales, actually. Because if you look at the first book came out, you think you’re going to sell 42 copies, right? It was self-published. We didn’t think anyone was going to buy it. We truly had a notepad with… he’s got a really nice sister that’ll buy two. I have a rich brother who’ll buy five.
Troy:We had this list and all of a sudden the book just started taking off. The actual first 10,000 copies of our first book is the back of my head because I wanted nothing to do… my life, I didn’t have my Oola life, but I had a pretty good life. But what happened was is when you start connecting… and you see this in what you do. There’s a paycheck. There’s making a paycheck and then there’s making a difference.
Troy:There’s something so rewarding about showing people their purpose. We’re not telling them how to live at all. We’re just saying that you’re designed for something amazing. These are some principles that worked for us and many people that we work with. Why don’t you see if it’s a fit for you? Then the feedback you get is just so rewarding. It’s the most amazing experience that I’ve been…
Lara:Sometimes people just need someone else to tell them, “You know what? You’re here. You’re meant for something amazing.”
Troy:Yeah. If anybody follows us our stuff on social media, people always ask us, “What is Oola?” There’s a bunch of people getting tattoos and wearing… is it an apparel brand? Is it a publishing book series?
We started this leg of the tour in West Palm going through middle-of-nowhere Florida, Alligator Alley, in the middle of the night. All of a sudden, this guy passed us in a truck, blue-collar guy with a big beard and a work shirt on after a sweaty day of work. He rolls down his window as we’re cruising down. He goes, “What’s this word?” We’re like, “Hey, it’s about living fully, man. It’s about winning in all the key areas of life.” He goes, “I love it.” He goes down the road.
We’re on Facebook Live, literally on Facebook Live just killing time cruising. We had four hours in the bus. All of a sudden we get up the road and he’s waving his arms in the middle of the road like there was a car accident. Dave is on Facebook Live. He goes, “We’re going to get shot in the middle of Florida.”
Lara:[LAUGHTER] Welcome to Florida, guys. [LAUGHTER]
Troy:Yeah, so we’re like, “Let’s pull over.” So, we pull over and this guy walks to us… it’s caught on live video. We’re going to see if we can track him down. He walks toward us.
Lara:This is the one who just passed you?
Troy:Yeah, 20 minutes ago.
Troy:We’ve lost track of him. We don’t go fast, so we go like 45 miles an hour. He’s gone. But he’s reflected upon his life, must have looked it up online or something.
Lara:While he was driving. [LAUGHTER]
Troy:Yeah, we don’t advocate that. But all of a sudden, he’s pulled over, and we pull over and he comes up. He goes, “I need to know more about this.” We’re like, “It’s just we’re collecting dreams.” He goes, “What do you mean you’re collecting dreams?” We’re like, “We’re on a goal to collect a million dreams.” He goes, “Why?” Skeptical. We’re like, “We just believe people are designed to be great and in this world we’re living in, they can’t see it anymore.” They’re buried in debt.
Troy:In toxic relationships and going from Point A to Point…
Lara:Technology and junk food.
Troy:Yeah, cats doing backflips on YouTube.
Troy:I mean we’re filling our brain with Snapchat. It’s like no one knows what their purpose is anymore. He said, “That is the coolest thing.” Then all of a sudden he started to tear up because I said, “Here’s a Sharpie. These are the dreams. What do you want?” He goes, “I don’t know.” He couldn’t speak. This big 200+-pound guy with a big beard and his lip was quivering.
Lara:They don’t know. They’ve given up. They don’t know what…
Troy:He didn’t even know what to write down. He didn’t say, “I want to go to Disneyworld. I want to go hunting.” He didn’t know what he wanted to do. He goes, “I think I just want to know my purpose.” I’m like, “Brother, that’s your goal.” I grabbed him a yellow faith sticker and I grabbed him a Sharpie. I’ll show you the sticker after we’re done here.
Lara:I want to see it.
Troy:And he put it on the corner of the bus with a shaky hand. You’ll even see that. He said, “I want to find my purpose.” He slapped it on the bus and he gave us a big hug, and with tears in his eyes, he got in his truck and went home.
Lara:You made a difference.
Lara:Driving down the road.
Troy:I have cool cars, cool houses that have air conditioning. [LAUGHTER] Why do we drive through no power steering bus with no air conditioning? It’s because of guys like Travis that we met in the middle-of-nowhere Florida that now knows that he’s designed for better than where he is right now.
Lara:He doesn’t know that and he gets up everyday and he goes to the same job, and is not happy. He didn’t know that he could shoot for something bigger, did he?
Troy:To your exact point, he needed someone outside of himself to see that in him and give him permission to live for.
Lara:That’s what your first book has done for men and women. So why did you write a book for women and how did you write a book for women? I want to know.
Dave:We wrote the first book and that was literally in the lake cabin, the three days we outlined this process. This process that we would go through in Las Vegas about looking at your life in these seven areas, the three steps to your life: where you are, where you want to go, how are you going to get there. The blockers that get in the way. The accelerators — like gratitude, love, passion, and wisdom — the things you can tap into to get to your Oola life faster. We started to outline it and that became a book, and we threw it out there, “Literally, we’re going to sell 42 copies.”
Lara:That was the first book.
Dave:First book. What happened is it organically grew and it organically grew. We actually started a Facebook page, and we started all this stuff because people were asking for it. On Facebook and on social media, on Twitter, we would say, “What do you want from us?” because people would say, “We want hats. We want t-shirts. We want this,” and we have all that. People are wearing it all over the world. We were like, “What do you want?” We kept hearing over and over and over that we want a book for women, specifically for women. We’re two dudes going, “How are we ever going to write the book?”
Lara:[LAUGHTER] I know. I want to hear this. [LAUGHTER]
Dave:We’re like it’s going to be 260 pages and you open it up and every page is blank.
Dave:There’s nothing we know about… we would justify, “I have four sisters. I have four daughters.” He’s like, “I have a couple sisters, a couple daughters.” It’s like, “Hey!” It’s like “No, we don’t know anything about women.”
We were in the bus, the Oola bus, going from San Diego to San Francisco. We had our two boys and we’re driving up the coast, and after about three, four hours taking a break, we just started collecting dreams. The bus was blue at the time with a couple stickers on it. We’re driving up the coast and we pull over on this beach, and we’re just chilling, and the boys are swimming in the waves, and we’re hanging out.
There’s this couple taking pictures. It’s a beautiful day on the surf, a beautiful family. She’s about 35. He’s 35, a couple kids. They have a professional photographer. They’re taking pictures. Troy and I are sitting against the Oola Bus just chilling and watching this. All of a sudden, they come walking up the steps towards the bus. They’re like, “What is this?” She’s like, “What are you guys doing?” I said, “We wrote a book about balancing and growing your life, and finding that one thing that’s missing that you really want in your life that’s going to help you get to what’s called your ‘Oola life.'”
I said, “Just grab a sticker and write a goal on it and put it on the bus.” I said, “What area?” She goes, “I’ll take a family sticker.” So she grabbed this orange sticker and she wrote. She was happy. They were all hugging and laughing, and she put a sticker on the bus and walked away. The boys came up from the surf and we’re like, “Hey, ready to go? We’ve got to get to San Francisco.” So we looked at her sticker before we got on the bus and it said, “To survive stage four cancer long enough to see my daughters become women.” [00:30:03]
Dave:We sat in the bus. This was bus was exploding with music and laughter, and from that point forward for the next 30 minutes, no one spoke. Our boys were quiet in the back and we were quiet in the front. We felt the impact of where people really are when you meet them at a beach or at a donut shop, or a coffee shop.
Lara:The heaviness of life sometimes.
Dave:The heaviness of life sometimes.
Lara:Really weighs people down.
Dave:At that moment, we’re like, “You know what? If we team up with another woman author and we collect these stories of these women that put stickers on the bus — some we meet on social media, some we meet at live events — and their challenges that they’ve gone through, that will inspire women.” That’s essentially what this book is. It’s a book of the Oola principles: where are you today, where do you want to go, how are you going to get there. Little tips, how to get your Oola life, how to push through fear, guilt, self-sabotage, have more self-love, how to tap into gratitude and be grateful for the good and the bad in your life.
Lara:All of it.
Dave:It has the stories tapped into and packaged with 42 women who have… just ordinary women that have gone through things and just have done extraordinary things with their life on the outside.
Lara: Is this book out yet?
Troy:It comes out… yeah.
Dave:May 2nd was the release date.
Lara:May 2nd. Awesome, thank you. I know we have only one segment left, and I really want to dive deep into the seven F’s and so many other things. I think we needed a two-hour conversation, but I want to know a couple really important things like do you guys sleep in the van?
Lara:These are really important things. Okay, no, you don’t sleep in the van.
Dave:Two things. Two things.
Troy:Not on purpose. We’re just exhausted.
Lara:[LAUGHTER] Okay, right, okay.
Dave:Two things that we get asked all the time: do we sleep in the van and do we sell weed? We don’t do either.
Lara:Okay. I wasn’t going to ask that one, but okay.
Dave:Okay. We get asked that all the time.
Lara:Okay, no, no, no. I was not going to ask that.
Troy:You haven’t seen the bus yet.
Lara:Okay, I have not seen the bus yet. I’m going to take a little tour of the bus. I wanted to know if you sleep in the van and I wanted to know if you’re still friends. You’ve had some trips already together, and you’re still speaking.
Troy:No, we’ve hung out since this book came out. We hang out all the time. So my Oola, I was structured, business-driven, type A, and he’s taught me how to have fun. That’s the cool thing.
Lara:So you’re the perfect couple.
Troy:Yeah, we are the… well, yeah.
Dave:I wouldn’t say that on air.
Lara:Just kidding. [LAUGHTER]
Troy:Yeah, my wife would hate that, but we hang out.
Lara:Okay, okay. You’re bros. You’re bros.
Troy:Yeah, we’re brothers. We’re actually like brothers. We hang out all the time.
Lara:Awesome. So what has been the biggest surprise traveling across the U.S.?
Troy:I think just the impact that this has made.
Troy:Something simple that is such a simple message that I think the timing is right for this message.
Lara:What do you think people really want to hear?
Troy:I think they want to hear that they’re worth it and they don’t have to be like everyone else. They can embrace their uniqueness and boldly be that, and there’s a community for them to do that in this world with connectedness and social media, and that’s the good thing is you’re not alone. If you’re going through a seeker season and a struggle, there’s someone else going through the same thing and been there, can guide you through. If you like this, there’s someone who likes that as well. The coolest thing is spending a couple days in that bus meeting people.
Lara:Amazing, amazing. We are going to take a break right now and we’ll be right back with The Zen Leaderand the Oola Guys.
Lara:Welcome back. I’m Lara Jaye with The Zen Leaderand you can find me here at wsrqradio.comor larajaye.com. With me here in the studio are the Oola Guys, Dave and Troy. How can people find you if they’re looking for you?
Dave:Yeah, social media. I mean Oola Life at Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. That’s where most people… then our website oolalife.com. Follow the bus. Follow where your dreams are going. The other coolest thing is that we’re out to collect a million dreams, and we’re serious about that. We know that not everybody can get to the bus because we’re going from right now from Florida to San Diego. You can go to oolalife.comand you can submit your dream, and we’ll have someone handwrite your dream for you and get it on our bus. So oolalife.com.
Dave:Oola Life on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.
Lara:Oola is O-O-L-Athen life.com.
Lara:Oola life. All right, what are the seven F’s of Oola?
Troy:Fitness, finance, family, field, which is your career, and then faith, friends, and fun.
Lara:How can those seven F’s improve my life?
Troy:The key is you got to balance them. People are naturally driven typically to two or three of them. Some people are money and business driven. Some people are faith and family driven. The key is you can’t ignore them. It’s like these things are happening whether we want to acknowledge it or not. It’s like the circus performer who’s spinning plates. We’re not spinning one or two plates. You’re spinning seven plates every single day, and you just have to be aware that they need to stay on the stick. You can’t be so money driven and so business driven that you lose touch with your family or your faith, or lose touch with your fun in life because you’ll wake up one day with lack of purpose. So just by you embracing who you are and where you want to go and always looking at your life through the filter of Oola, like seven areas, where am I, where do I want to go, how am I going to get there, you’ll make sure you stay on your path and don’t drift like Dave was saying he did.
Lara:How can Oola help me change my actual lifestyle to keep balanced?
Dave:It does exactly that. I mean not only how can it help it, that’s exactly what it does because it takes you out of that mist that Dr. Troy was talking about. You back away from your life with the process of Oola. Oola is a process that became a book, and now that book is a process for people to look at their lives uniquely different than they ever looked at their life before, and say, instead of waking up and going to work and coming home and just doing the same thing over and over, you’ve got to look at your life finally in these seven areas and start to identify the areas that are low, the areas that are a little weak, the areas that are strong.
You can even go to oolalife.comand there’s a wheel. There’s a test you can take that can show you where your life is out of balance. You look at your life and say, “This is where I need to start to work on in order to have less stress and more purpose in my life.” So Oola provides that little, simple tool to start to help you find more balance in your life.
Lara:Dave, don’t you think reading that vision for yourself everyday made a difference at pulling you towards it?
Dave:Absolutely. That’s step three. Step one in Oola is where you are. Step two is where you want to go, and step three is how are you going to get there. Your life is so worth it. That’s the thing you have to really understand is you’re designed for this greatness and a purpose.
Lara:But how do you feel that when you’re sitting in a Motel 6?
Dave:Everyday you start to read. Read what you wrote down when you were inspired. I had tears in my eyes writing down I want to be a visionary leader, and I want to share Oola with the world. I had tears in my eyes. It wasn’t something I just threw out there going like, “Maybe I want to do this someday.” It’s like I knew in my heart that’s what I needed to do. You have to take time. If you’re struggling right now, you have to take time outside your life. It could be a quiet corner. It could be laying on your bed. It could be just sitting there going, “What do I want in these seven areas?”
Then when you really deeply commit to that and you know that’s what you want, write it down. Read it every single day. I would love to tell you that, “Oh, now it’s going to be just amazing.” You know how many hard days I had? You know how many times I read that and I’m like, “This is a joke. How am I going to be a visionary leader, educator, entertainer, and facilitator of Oola around the world when I can’t even make a payment? I can’t even pay my rent. How am I ever going to do that?”
But you have faith that you’ll get through that and you’ll keep working every, everyday towards that, and understanding that you’re going to fall back. This is where those accelerators come in. It’s part of the book. There’s seven chapters on accelerators: gratitude, love, passion, wisdom, integrity. One of the greatest accelerators of all, to me, is love and gratitude, but gratitude, just be grateful for all the good things which is so easy for people, but be grateful for all the bad things, too, because they’re leading you somewhere.
When I would start to wake up every morning and read my goal, step three. Read it. How are you going to get there tactically? Read what I wanted in life and then started to be grateful for the junk that happened, too, and understand that’s just part of life. That’s how I’m going to get there. I’m going to go through tough stuff, but it’s going to be worth at the end because I’m designed.
Lara:Sometimes they are the catalyst to get us to where we need to be.
Lara:Because if you didn’t have that experience, you wouldn’t be sitting here today.
Dave:I say that and I feel it. If I don’t say that, I feel it every time I step on a stage or I jump out of the Oola Bus for someone that’s waving us down in the middle of the road, or at a donut shop. I said, “If I wouldn’t have gone through those bad things, if that wouldn’t have happened, I would never be doing Oola. We wouldn’t be having this conversation.” It was because of all the bad stuff.
So this is so true of where you are is just where you are. It’s not who you are. If you’re going through a bad time right now, it might be the springboard to something amazing in your life, but you have to have faith and you have to have a plan, and you have to have gratitude everyday as you go through this journey to get there. You just have to keep pushing and taking little steps forward every single day towards your Oola life.
Lara:Fabulous. What are the Oola blockers and how can they help me de-stress? So many of our listeners are so stressed.
Troy: Yeah, we talked about that earlier. These are the things that get in your way. Let’s say you’re doing step one and you have a vision for what you want in your life in these seven keys areas. Something is holding you back if that doesn’t happen. They are fear, guilt, anger, self-sabotage, laziness, envy, and focus issues, and they get in the way. You can be well intended in, “I want to make this much money. I want to heal this relationship. I want to get in shape,” whatever it is, but if you’re straight up lazy and you can’t get to the gym or grow your business, that gets in the way. You need to learn to overcome.
You were asking how can you learn more? That’s why book two was written. Book two was written in a way that we do live events, two-day live events called Oola-Palooza. They sell out right away. We do lectures for people in companies. We wanted to put everything in one book. [LAUGHTER] We wanted to put all the tools in one book.
Lara:That’s Oola: Find Balance in an Unbalanced World.
Troy:The second one, too.
Lara:And for women. Both of them.
Troy:The cool thing about the women one is the first one is our stories. If you go to oolalife.com, you’ll hear our backstory of how this all came together and why it’s going crazy organically. But the second book is designed to be a standalone piece for women, where if you knew nothing about Oola at all, you could hand the book to someone and they’d go, “I have the tools to overcome blockers. These are the seven key areas and these are the seven accelerators I need in my life, and these are the three steps I need to take.” [00:40:00]The fuel behind it is the inspiration of these women we’ve met on our journey that are putting dreams on the bus that we talk to. What I love about it is these aren’t famous women. These aren’t entrepreneurial women. These aren’t people with just crazy gifts.
Troy:Everyday people we meet doing extraordinary things and overcoming the exact same challenges that as a community of women, women are going through and sometimes don’t call it out because they don’t want to put it on the table. These women have been brave enough to share their imperfections to make people feel normal and loved, and also they help share the solutions of how they overcame issues with guilt or fear or anger. It’s an amazing collection of stories.
After our first book came out, the original publisher of Chicken Soup for the Souljust loved it, and they said, “This is what this needs to be.” If you think of Chicken Soupstories and real applicable everyday principles, and you’re just merging them, that’s what this…
Lara:So that’s how you wrote your book for women?
Lara:You brought the women in.
Troy:That’s how it happened.
Lara:I love it. Tell me a little bit more in detail about the Oola Dream Tour, what you guys are doing right now.
Dave:That started with our, Dr. Troy just mentioned, Oola-Palooza, which is a two-day event we do in Vegas. It was funny because Troy is like, “Let’s bring people to Vegas, where we would hang out, and let’s just throw it out there and see the ones that show up.” Well, we had a lot of friends show up from social media.
Dave:So we had this big event at the Hard Rock and instead of sitting on the floor, we actually rented out the Vinyl nightclub at the Hard Rock, and we all worked on Oola for two days. It turned into this amazing events. At the end of this two-day process, we had surfboards on stage because it’s a little bit our brand. It’s like surfing and just the freedom of that. We had stickers, and we said, “Okay, now declare one thing you’re going to change and come up on stage and put your sticker on a surfboard.” We’re like, “That’s going to be fun. This is going to be so much fun to see what people want to change in their life, that one thing.”
Well, what we found as we were standing there and there’s a microphone and there’s bright lights on stage and people start coming across and they say their name, and they say their one thing and then why they want that, tears. It’s incredible what people are going through that they walk in this room smiling, and by the end of this two-day event, they’re looking at a sticker and they know they need to do something to move their life forward and they slap it on a surfboard. We were like…
Lara:You saw the power of that.
Dave:We were in tears. We were in tears and I think we went home and slept for two days. We’d talk everyday 10 times. We didn’t talk for two days. We were just a mess. Dr. Troy called me about four or five months later and he’s like, “We need to take this on the road and it just can’t be these tickets to Oola-Palooza. They’re an investment.” It’s not just for those people. We want to make this for everybody.
He goes, “You know what represents freedom? A 1970 Surf Bus.” He goes, “Let’s throw those surfboards on top and let’s go across the country and meet people where they are, and collect their dreams, and start to bring that greatness out inside of all of them.” That’s the birth of the Oola Dream Tour. When he started telling me about it, I couldn’t even say yes fast enough. It was like, “Let’s do this.”
Troy:I know we’re wrapping up, but we started that. That was the first event. People are saying, “What are you guys doing in Vegas?” We invited people. It sold out right away. Then everyone in the room re-signed up for next year. So the next year was sold out at that event. So we want to change the world, not 200 people. The tickets were $1,000 or $1,500 a piece, so I’m like, “That’s not everyday people. Let’s buy a bus and meet people in their community and connect them to their dreams,” so that’s the organic part of that. The event is amazing, but we just collected some dreams down at the park down here and at the gas station.
Lara:You’re just going straight to the people and I love that.
Lara:It has been such a pleasure to have you two Oola Guys in the studio today. Thank you.
Troy:Thank you so much.
Dave:Thank you so much.
Lara:I want to invite everyone to oolalife.comto learn more about these two and their amazing dream tour right now. Thank you for joining me today on The Zen Leader, and I invite you to listen every Saturday at 10AM here on WSRQ online or even on our podcast for more amazing conversations with visionaries who are here to share their wisdom to support you in living your best life. Have a great day!
END OF TRANSCRIPT [00:44:19]