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What It Really Means To Turn Your Life Around W/ Andre Norman

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“At the end of the day, you're not going to be measured by how much money you made, but by how many lives you touched.”
— Andre Norman

Greetings, SuperFriends!

Today I'll start with a “wow”! We've tried to edit out all the “wow”s, because I ended up saying it a lot during this episode. That's because my guest today is Andre Norman.

Andre is known to many as The Ambassador Of Hope, and the story that he tells is going to shake you to your core. Andre went from an extremely troubled childhood to prison, where he spent 14 years of his life, and was sentenced with over a 100 years.

Today, however, he is a world renounced speaker, he has worked with Harvard University, MIT, he has spoken in Honduras, the Bahamas, Sweden, Guatemala, and he's been involved in turning around massive companies, like Prudential Insurance, Bovis Lend Lease, Deutsche Bank, and more. In fact, there's a huge list here of massive companies that you've probably heard of!

In this episode, we talk about how such a transition, such a turnaround, is possible for anyone, but also for Andre. I had my mind thoroughly blown as to just what is possible when a human being commits themselves to change and how so much suffering in our lives can be turned around to help others who are suffering like us, like we once were.

This is a super inspiring episode, and I know you folks are going to love it!

-Jonathan Levi

Join Jonathan for a completely free, 1-hour training seminar, where you'll learn the top 3 strategies to accelerate your learning and improve your memory!

Join Jonathan for a completely free, 1-hour training seminar, where you'll learn the top 3 strategies to accelerate your learning and improve your memory!

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Who is Andre Norman, and what is his story? [5:15]
  • How did Andre land into prison the first time? [6:50]
  • Looking for a mentor [8:15]
  • Andre's first mentor in prison [8:45] 
  • What did Andre learn from the rabbi? [10:45]
  • Learning from a religious person [11:30]
  • Starting from not being religious [12:30]
  • How did Andre's mentor respond when he tested him? [14:30]
  • When do people call Andre Norman? [16:15]
  • How Andre stopped 1,5 years of riots [17:40]
  • How did Andre learn to survive in prison? [18:25]
  • Going from being sentenced to 100 years to getting out in 14 [20:00] 
  • A conversation about prison and incarceration [23:00]
  • What are some lessons Andre brought from prison into real life? [25:15]
  • Listening is Andre's greatest skill [27:40]
  • Having to constantly prepare for whoever is going to kill you [29:00]
  • Communication skills are the same in leadership everywhere (but in prison, there are also some differences) [30:30]
  • Helping people after prison [32:30]
  • How Andre started helping white kids as well [33:50]
  • “If you call me, I'll show up” [36:00]
  • What is the one thing rich people want after they've bought everything they want? [37:10]
  • Why hasn't Andre created any books or courses? [39:45]
  • Sharing knowledge with people [42:00]
  • The amazing story of how Andre Norman and Joe Polish met [43:30]
  • How a personal introduction at Genius Network turned into helping people [45:00]
  • “Next week may never come” – a heartbreaking story [46:00]
  • Don't turn down life-changing opportunities, no matter who they come from [48:00]
  • Where can you reach out to Andre? [49:00]
  • An inspiring story from a prison fight [50:20]
  • Call Andre if someone is in trouble and needs help [52:00]
  • Andre's relationship with the mentor that changed his life [53:30]

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Favorite Quotes from Andre Norman:

“The way I became The Ambassador Of Hope was, I was in need of an ambassador of hope myself.”
“The key things [the rabbi] taught me was about how to be human.”
“The lessons may be religious, but they're still applicable to your life.”
“[Getting out of prison] wasn't a second chance for me, it was a first one.”
“Every day is beautiful.”
“There's a larger world out there, beyond your job, your occupation, or your relationship.”
“Being 15 is tough, regardless where you grow up.”
“Your job and your bank account don't dictate how much pain you're in.”
“You help people to be better because that's the right thing to do.”
“It's not about me. It's about the team.”

Transcript:

Introduction: Welcome to the Becoming Superhuman Podcast, where we interview extraordinary people to bring you the skills and strategies to overcome the impossible and now here's your host, Jonathan Levi.

Jonathan Levi: Before we dive into today's episode, I want to let you guys know about an opportunity to learn some of the most important skills in life, if not the most important skills, and those are the skills of learning and doing so rapidly, effectively and easily. You see guys, I'm putting on a completely free 60-minute webinar that you guys can check out where I will be going into my absolute best memory tips, learning tips, and speed reading tips so that you can immediately begin applying them and accelerating your learning of anything and everything. All you need to do to claim your spot in this free webinar is visit JLe.vi/webinar, we have showings at many different times throughout the days for every time zone, but you have to log in and claim your spot. So that's JLE.VI/webinar and I really look forward to seeing what you guys achieve.

Greetings SuperFriends and welcome to this week's episode. I'm Jonathan Levi and I have a review for you guys by Magical Miss Mariah from the US of A who says hooked on learning five stars. This podcast rekindled my love for learning by making some of the most inspiring specialists in their field accessible the way Jonathan engages his guests with insightful dialogue while gearing the focus two ways his listeners can apply the episode to their lives keeps me coming back for more. I can honestly say that the episode featuring Sachin Patel has changed my life course and given me the perspective to reinvest in my mind-body goals, as well as fortify, my self-belief system as an individual who has struggled with health problems, my whole life.

Thank you for your commitment to and enthusiasm for learning. I must say it's infectious. Well thank you, thank you for your review Magical Miss Mariah. You know, I really needed to hear that review today because sometimes it's a lot of work to do a podcast and YouTube and 10,000 other things and it's really, really nice to hear that the work is not for nothing.

So if you guys haven't left a review, please do.

On to today's episode, I'll start with a Wow and you're going to hear me. We're going to try and edit out all the wows because I ended up saying, wow, a lot to during this episode and that's because my guest today is Andre Norman. He is known to many as the ambassador of Hope.

And the story that he tells is going to shake you to your core. Andre went from an extremely troubled childhood to prison, where he spent 14 years of his life and was sentenced with over a hundred years. Today, however, he is a world-renowned speaker. He has worked with Harvard University MIT. He's spoken in Honduras, The Bahamas, Sweden, Guatemala. He's been involved in turning around massive companies like Prudential Insurance, Bovis Deutsche Bank, and so on and so forth. There's a huge list here of massive companies that you have heard of and in this episode, we talk about how such a transition, such a turnaround is possible for anyone, but also for Andre, I had my mind thoroughly blown as to just what is possible when a human being commits themselves to change and how so much suffering in our lives can be turned around to help others who are suffering like us, like we once were super inspiring episode and I know you guys are going to love it. So I'm not going to spend any more time talking it up. Let me introduce you to my new SuperFriend Andre Norman.

Mr. Andre Norman, welcome to the show, my friend. I'm so glad to finally meet you.

Andre Norman: It's a pleasure to be here.

Jonathan Levi: Yeah. You know, Brandon, just raved about your 10-minute talk at Genius Network. The first thing he said, when he came home, he was like, you have got to meet Andre. So I'm really excited and thank you obviously again for another episode. Thanks to Joe Polish and Brandon for setting it up.

Andre Norman: Joe Polish is the man and Brandon was a great guy to me.

Jonathan Levi: Absolutely. He's actually going to be here. He's on a flight right now to come to hang out for a couple of months here in Israel. So I'm super excited about that as well.

Andre Norman: Oh, I have to come to visit as well. I mean, it's definitely on the list of things to do for me.

Jonathan Levi: Please do. I've been trying to get Joe out here for a couple of months. I think it's going to finally happen pretty soon. So that's exciting. So Andre, tell us a little bit, you know, I intentionally, as I was telling you before, didn't prepare for this interview because it's a rare opportunity for me to interview someone I know who is awesome. And yet I don't already have preconceived notions of what I want to talk about. So tell me a little bit about your story, how you became known as the Ambassador of Hope.

Andre Norman: Well, the way I became an Ambassador of Hope was I was in need of an Ambassador of Hope myself. I'm working in the city, tough circumstances, and my parents had a really tough time getting along as well raising us and you go through watching mom, get beat up. You go through that whole scenario of domestic violence and one day my mom got tired of me and she put my dad out.

At the same time, we went through the busing crisis where the kids were still rocks at us and call us names because we were black, went through literacy.

I didn't learn how to read until the third grade, there's a thing called a dummy class to put us all on like a dummy class and it was just like tough coming up in inner-city with a single mom and five brothers and sisters. I get off track. I find my way to the street. I find my way to prison. I get to prison and this is all bad.

And while I was there, I had this goal of being like the top guy. So I went on this quest of trying to be the top gang member in the prison system and seven states, two attempted murder convictions, five years and segregation later, I finally had an epiphany and I woke up and I realized that I was talented, I was smart and the life that I was living was fake.

Jonathan Levi: Wow. Where did you grow up? Which city?

Andre Norman: I grew up in Boston, Massachusetts.

Jonathan Levi: Wow and so I hate to ask, but I have to ask, how did you land up in prison the first time?

Andre Norman: How I ended up in prison the first time I stopped listening to my mom and I quit. I quit on life. I quit on my teachers, I quit on my band coach, I quit on my counselors, I quit on myself and there was a lot of people who tried to help me. There's always a story that nobody cared um, I can't actually claim that a hundred percent tons of teachers, for the most part, try to reach out to me and help me turn my life around.

Even my juvenile probation officer tried to help me, but I just refused everybody's help, and wanting to do it my way and my way just wasn't a good way so I would actually went to prison for robbing drug dealers. That was my profession. If you were a drug dealer, I deduced you had money, money that I think you wouldn't mind giving to me.

Jonathan Levi: Right and it was kind of a, you know, steal from criminals. Is it probably less of a serious crime in your mind at the time?

Andre Norman: No, it wasn't about a crime it was about you had the money. Simple as that, drug dealers have cash and generally lots of it. So I would rob drug houses. So wherever they had like the stash and they kept all the money, like the headquarters, I wouldn't rob a guy on the corner for like 10 bags. I go to the house where it was stored and I robbed the drug house.

Wow. How old were you at the time?

Andre Norman: 17.

Jonathan Levi: Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh and so then, as I understand it, I mean, I, again, wasn't in the room when you met Brandon, but I understand that you were in and out.

Andre Norman: No, no, no. I went to prison one time I went to prison and when in once came out once. No multiple trips to prison and while I was inside and I finally had that epiphany and I woke up and decided I wanted to do and be better. I started looking for mentors and people who could help me because I understood the power of a mentor. I just didn't understand it when I needed to it as a juvenile.

But as a 24-year-old adult, I realized I needed some help guiding me. And my first mentor, I met this guy in the unit. I mean, the guys were bullying him. I hate bullies. So I made him stop bullying the guy cause at this time I'm the third reckoned gang member in the state. I said, hey man, stop bullying that kid.

And the guy came over and said, thank you. So I said, okay, no problem. He was really tall guy. He was kind of slow, like mentally retarded and he was doing a life sentence for something I don't know. And he said, he said hi to me, he introduced himself as Robert and he said, ISI. Then like three times a week, I would cross paths with them walking through the prison.

And he would say, hi Andre. I'd be like, hi, Rob and that was it. Then one day I mean, I was never too cool to say hi to somebody. I got a lot of friends who are big-time gangsters and if you were a little guy, they'd be like, spit on you before they say hi to you. That was never that guy. So me and Bob would say, hi, routinely three, four times a week.

The one day I was walking through the programs building, I walked by an office, a program, and Bob was in it. So that wasn't me going in and say hi to Bob. So I went out of my way, walk through the door and say hi to Bob. And he was sitting with another guy, introduced me to him. He said, I said, what are y'all doing? He said we're studying. I said can I study with you. He said, sure. It was just something about the guy that was like mad cool. So I sat down and started studying, I didn't notice the hat or the white shirt. That didn't mean anything to me and the white stuff coming from this jacket. I didn't even know what it meant.

I never know what the feeling was. Come to find out was the Orthodox Jewish rabbi, Natasha he's in Israel right now, Natasha Aefer and for the next 18 months, every Wednesday, Mina, Tom would come to the Jewish services and people who I didn't get, you can't really give me a hard time I punched you in the face or stab you, but people kind of like, Dre, what are you doing with the rabbi? You're not Jewish, but it wasn't about me being Jewish and him being black and being miserable. Me being from the hood, it was just about, he was a great teacher and he had the best stories. If you know anything about rabbis, if you're a rabbi, doesn't have good stories. It's like, come on.

Jonathan Levi: Oh yeah.

Andre Norman: But he had the best stories and that time we spent together, he taught me some things.

First was responsibility then ethics, then accountability, and most important he taught me forgiveness. To keep things he taught me it was about how to be human. Nobody had taught me how to be human. I watched my mother BB, had kids throw rocks at me, I had some teachers banished me to the dummy class and people make fun of me for being poor.

My whole life was just fight, fight, fight, fight, anger and this man taught me how to be human it's as great as another side to life. And to this day, we're friends.

Jonathan Levi: Wow.

Andre Norman: That was 94 we met. And to this day, I mean, that is my number one, mentor my number one guy. And that's why I'm coming to Israel for him.

Jonathan Levi: That is so cool. And I'm curious, I mean, did these lessons come packaged in a religious framework or was it? For sure, he's a rabbi.

Andre Norman: I mean, we did the five books of Moses, we did the Torah, we did all the lessons, but my thing was the lessons may be religious, but they're still applicable to your life.

Jonathan Levi: Exactly.

Andre Norman: I mean, it's how to be a good persons, how to be helpful, it's how to be kind. It's how to give back is how to think of others is how to treat your wife right It's how to treat your neighbor right and the keeping was, it was just lessons on how to be human. That's how I saw it. That's how I took it. The blessing came because I walked through the door to be nice to a man. That didn't have to, and as a result, I got my best mentor on the planet.

Jonathan Levi: That's amazing and I think it's really interesting, you know, I recently learned about kind of the origins of modern Judaism, even though growing up with it and in a homo deuce, I believe you all know Harare's book and he talks about this, you know, when the second temple was ruined prior to that, it was kind of a sacrificing animals very very different religion and actually, and this is controversial if you believe that God wrote, you know, the Abrahamic texts, but at the time they kind of made this call, which was like, we have an opportunity to revise the way this religion works and turn it into something exactly like what you're saying or it's more about how to live your life and less about praying to the gods that the wheat shaft grows.

Andre Norman: Well, he didn't do the weed chef one. He didn't do the chef.

Jonathan Levi: Right.

Andre Norman: I mean, we sang, I mean, he brought up a lot. I met his wife. His wife is like one of the most amazing cooks you ever going to meet Shabbas on Friday at the time's house was for real, but, um, I grew up no church. I grew up no religion. I grew up against the church against religion for multitude of reasons, but, um, him and his wife were just like the greatest people and she gave me a song book, a Hebrew song book.

Back in 95 and I kid you not. I sell my son yesterday and I showed them the Bible. I read when I went to a church program and everybody signed it and I showed him the book that the rabbi's wife gave me. I said, when I die, these go to you.

Jonathan Levi: Wow.

Andre Norman: Initially they were going in my casket. But now these go to you and you're going to hold on to him because he's in the two most important books that I have in my life.

These are my prize possessions, and this is what I'm going to leave too, amongst anything else. But there's no, these two mean more to me than anything

Jonathan Levi: that is so cool and such a touching story also because. You know, growing up Jewish, I always disliked this idea of Judaism that, you know, it's, we're not a recruiting religion, so to speak.

And I love this story of one rabbi who saw past that and said, you know what? There are people here who could benefit from what this book has to share and not be exclusive about it.

Andre Norman: I poked at him. I don't know, don't get me wrong. I tried them. I tested them. I'm saying I'm not just the most trusting guy on the planet.

Right. So I, I gave him some tests. I was like, yo, what's up with this? And what's up with that. And I know limited stuff about Holocaust in Germany. So I gave him some post-bach Germans and I gave him some pokes about some other stuff. And I can honestly say any question I ever confronted an Aton with. He only answered in complete love.

No BS. He only speaks love. I'd never met a person like that. And no matter what the topic or the situation was only love came out of his mouth. And when you see that you stand out.

Jonathan Levi: Wow. That's so interesting. What are like takeaway as well? Tell me about how things turned around today. You're known as the person that companies call when things need to be turned around from the worst possible scenario.

Tell me about that turn around I'm sure Naton had a part to play in it.

So Tshova Tshovup I believe

Andre Norman: it's called in Hebrew. Am I saying

Jonathan Levi: it right tshovu Tsheruva The turn around to

Andre Norman: tshuva, Ah tshuva

Jonathan Levi: would be answer. Tshocialvu how do you say, turn around in Hebrew, eh, L

Andre Norman: Eluxor Kazarak would be

Jonathan Levi: like return, but there's probably an

Andre Norman: many other words. There's a word that starts with a T that means turn around cause we had the discussion, like for some reason, way back in the nineties, when I was first mentioned, that word came up, turn around and I disliked it and it was to show up don't quote me. And I'm quite sure there's a lot of people will listen and they can, he's saying it wrong. Well, yes, I'm American. I tend to say things wrong, but, um, people will call me because of two things.

One I'm the guy you call. When you need it done when you're done and when you're finished playing and you finished with the high tech and high end and the people coming in and what great reports and great charts and the meetings, when you just want it and need it done, I'm not coming in, I'm not playing games I'm not hugging you, I'm going to go get it done. Then after it's done, we can do all the personal stuff. After it's done, then we can go hang out and have something to eat and talk about the family. But when you call me in, I'm going to show up and get it done. And that's where I come from. When I was in prison, I came from a world of get it right or die.

If you were in prison, you made a mistake, you die. Isn't that something? If you weren't paying attention what down the wrong hallway, five guys from opposing gang would come kill you. If you were in a fight someplace and you weren't up to speed, you didn't do your training and you were slacking on your running, you ran out of energy, you would die. I'm saying if you weren't paying attention, you die. So it's real simple. Get it right or die. That's the understanding that's been burnt into me. It's been beat into me, that's been tortured into me that if you don't get it right, you are subject to that and it's a mindset nag.

So when I, when people call me, I show up, they had riots in Ferguson, Missouri for a year and a half and they couldn't get the rides to stop. It was some of the worst riots and protests in our country's history, recent history and they called me and I came in and I went out into the streets at not two o'clock in the afternoon when all the wonderful black leaders had done.

I went out at two o'clock in the morning with a brother was out there with guns and they were angry and I talked to them. I didn't talk to the aunties at 2 in the afternoons. I talked to the angry black men at two o'clock at night, and we got a resolution and I was able to talk to the city, the city people, the mayor, the police chief, and some other folks and we were able to come to a resolution and get a mediation and sit down and have a conversation and we ended the riots Then we walked away.

Jonathan Levi: Where did that skill? I mean, at some point you had to develop the skill to survive in prison. Tell me about that process.

Andre Norman: Well, growing up in a house, you learned survival.

You learned to be tough. My mother is a great lady, but she's a tough lady and she's like verbally tough. He doesn't like scream at you, but she's mentally challenging and I thought all adults were as smart as my mom until I actually went outside and I found out that they weren't, but she's extremely mentally challenged.

And she's the type of lady where you would do something wrong and you thought you got away with it then like a week later she'd be like, listen now two weeks ago, you told me a lie about where you was at two o'clock, I know you was over there, but I let, I let it go cause that'd be like arguing with you.

Like I thought I got away with that. And one time she told me, you keep sneaking out that window, you need to stop that because I'm like, Oh, you thought, I didn't know, I could close the window, but then you just going to find another one to, to go out of and I was like, sergeants school, the house I let you out of that window.

Jonathan Levi: Wow.

Andre Norman: And she just always play mental games that you, you had been extremely, extremely thoughtful to deal with my mom. So people say, Oh, you want to learn how to be tough in jail. Oh no Sherwin taught me how to be tough way as some gang leaders and some bosses do I dealt with that taught me some skills and some tools, but mom taught me toughness.

Well, I watched her deal with a lot of stuff. She tried to raise six kids by herself. I'm at a time where it wasn't easy. She went through a lot of trauma to get to where she was and where she is and it wasn't easy. Prison took it to another level but my toughness, my attitude, my caring, my drive comes from my mother.

Jonathan Levi: Wow. That's incredible. And so I want to take us back to the period in prison, because I read in your bio, you were originally sentenced to a hundred years and you literally practice what you preach. You turned everything around because you had a dream and a goal. Tell me about that turnaround to really take your life into your own hands and change everything.

Andre Norman: Well, I was actually in segregation, locked up 24 hours a day for the most part for trying to kill eight people and while I was in segregation, there was another situation while I was in an attempt to kill seven more people. But before I could do a God spoke to me and God said, we don't do this life choice.

When God told me don't do this life choice I got mad that God was speaking to me. I'm like, why are you bothering me God? See all of my life there has been no God. My mother's get beaten to the floor, there was no God, when my father walked out on us, there was no God, those kids threw rocks names and called me a n*****, there was no God. When my sister became an addict and a prostitute, no God, when I was stuffed in a dummy class and left or kids made fun of me for dirty clothes, there was no God.

So I don't know why he bothered me. There's a ton of people who scream and pray for you daily. I'm not on that list. So why don't you just fall back and let me do me and me and got argue.

But at the end of the argument he won and I didn't stab anybody that day for the first time. And I went back to myself and there was nothing floating. I didn't speak in tongues. It was just a dusty state blanket and a state toilet. And I said, well, what am I going to do now? If I can't be a psychopath, then what am I going to be? And God blocked the psychopaths, like hard and actually what the concept I want to go home and I want to be successful. The initial thought was be free. I looked around my, all my demographics and there's nobody going home from prison and not coming back. Everybody went home and came back so free didn't work.

So I switched free for successful and I set a goal and a dream. I said, I'm going to go home and go to Harvard University and be successful. Nobody believed me. Everybody thought I was crazy. But I went back to school, got my GED. Went a law library, taught myself to law and started fighting in court for my freedom instead of fighting on a yard for respect.

And I won in court, took 10 years off my sentence and I just kept going and going to programs and going to programs, going to programs where I met at the time I met a lot of other folks and I convinced the parole board that I should be released. So after 14 years and too much trauma later, the pro board said, we're going to give you a chance.

I said, that's all I need is one. So I didn't, this isn't a second chance for me. This is a first chance. And I said, you gave me one and I hit that door November 15th, 1999. The first thing I did was went to the parole office then went to a youth center, I started talking to young kids about why they were going to jail.

I told him they were going to jail because they were emotionally distraught. Not because they were black, not because they smoke weed, you're going to jail because you've been let down and I'm going to show you how to manage your emotions and your life and you can have a better life. And I've been on that track for eight, November will be 19 years. So 18 and a half years. I've been doing this.

Jonathan Levi: Wow, hats off to you because that's such an incredibly rare story. You know, I studied sociology at Berkeley and one of the most painful discoveries, there were a lot of painful discoveries studying sociology at such a liberal school, but just realizing first off the race dynamics of incarceration in the world.

Andre Norman: Was heartbreaking, but also realizing that this so-called system of rehabilitation does anything, but, and that it's so incredibly rare for someone who's been incarcerated to actually be able to turn things around because of a lot of reasons, but also because of the way the system is set up.

Jonathan Levi: Well, Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and he made it back.

Did it mean if you study a lot? I mean, there's a lot of people from the Holy text who happened to have been incarcerated at some point in time. And so I'm not that I compare myself to any of them, but it's part and parcel of the world and it has been, so I'm just saying that from the context of. People have dealt with incarceration since the early days.

It's not a new concept and it's never been fair. I'm sure it was always that demographic that people didn't like or thought was less than who made the jail or presence right now in this hour as black folks. So there's simple black and Brown folks go to jail. Well, back in the day there wasn't no black and Brown folks in certain pasta towels and they still had Jim.

They have jails in China. It's just a hundred percent Chinese. They have jails in Egypt. It just a hundred percent Egyptian. So right now, what is the chosen people to have to deal in incarceration? It goes in cycles. We want the first to be enslaved and we're not going to be the last. So I'm Flay. We didn't stop with black folks is just one of the worst chapters of the generations that had to deal with it.

Right. I don't condone it. I'm not a happy about it, but we look at history, it didn't start with black folks.

Andre Norman: Right. So, you know, I had this idea to ask you a question about kind of the things that you learned while you were incarcerated, because it's clear, you know, as you said, the first thing you did is you came out and you started speaking to youth.

So I want to rephrase that question. I want to ask you in your day-to-day life today, what are the things that you learned. In prison lessons that you've been able to take out and really create lemonade out of those seven years, or I'm sorry, you said 14 years.

Jonathan Levi: 14. I wish it was seven. I haven't taken seven. Hooray. You got to put

Andre Norman: my judge. So what are those amazing lessons? Yeah,

Jonathan Levi: the lessons that are applied today is every day is beautiful. I should sit in the prison yard. And I trained my mind because I had been in prison so long and so hard and so focused on being a psychopath that I stopped being human.

So I used to sit out in the prison yard on the bench and I look up at the sky and I would see the clouds and I would tell myself those clouds go over the whole world. This place isn't real. And I would see trees like over the wall. I'd be like, those trees are real. And I mean, see birds fly by you. Stop focusing on life in all nature when you're in prison, because everything's cement, everything's boss, everything's hostile and that's your focus and comes your life.

So I literally spent hours just sitting in a yard saying that wind. Is free. Those trees are free and it's not that wind goes beyond the walls. There's life outside of the walls. They have a psychological trick that comes with prison that makes you like hunker down and those things, people now do it, their workplace, they go to work, then it's a prison.

They're in relationships. They're in prisons. I mean, they're in jobs that they hate their relationships, that they're not doing their best at. And they trick themselves into believing that they're in prison. And they're not, there's a larger world out here beyond your job or beyond your occupation or beyond your relationship that you have to find yourself before you can actually embrace somebody else.

And I had to find myself and I found myself sitting in a yard, staring at trees, feeling the wind. I find myself sitting in a room, listening to a rabbi. I find myself just the key thing that I say I'm really, really good at is reflective listening. That is my number one. Super skilled. You said, what am I super human at listening?

That is my top, top, top skill.

Andre Norman: That's something that you developed at home or something that really you developed over these 14 years?

Jonathan Levi: I mean, I would say I developed it over 14 years. I perfected it over the 14 years. Being able to hear people's pain and able to hear people's joy, be able to hear people's confusion or their lack of confidence, hearing what people aren't saying.

You can hear what people say out their mouth, but what are you hearing? What's not being said. Can you hear the thoughts? Can you look at their life and see beyond what they have on and don't have on or the cool shoes or the old shoes. Can you hear them? And those are the things that make the difference for me now, because my going to a domestic violence situation, when I talk to somebody who's on drugs, I see somebody who's in a company trying to take it to the next level.

You have to be able to hear. There. So you have to be able to hear their pain or their dreams or their vision, then tap into that and help them move. And that's my number one human skill is the ability to actively listen at another

Andre Norman: level. Well, and it connects really nicely with what you said earlier, where in prison, this was a survival skill.

If you weren't paying attention and someone was communicating, even at the most subtlest level that they wish you harm or, or whatever it might be. I mean, this was a life or death skill for you.

Jonathan Levi: As in teach people. If you don't know, somebody wants to kill you until they show up at your cell door, you're dead.

I used to wake up every morning at five 30 and I sit on the edge of my bed and I would say, who's going to try and kill me today. Ever wants to, I don't care who wants to the wants, I don't care. Who's going to try it today. And I would look at all the variables and the people move through the jail and the scenarios, and I had to figure it out who it was and I would go see them first.

I have to get to them before the thought registers in their mind that, Oh, I want to try to kill a hundred today. I can see the variables. I can see the, the lines. I can see all the movements in the moving pieces. I said, okay. Based on everything that I see Johnny is going to try today. Because all the stars lined up for him to think he can get away with it.

So I would go see him and have a conversation like, Hey John, later this afternoon, you're gonna have this great thought. What's that Drake you're gonna want to kill me? Like get out of here. We're friends said no, no, no. See Hector and them just came back from the other jail. The cousin has got on lock up and two of my guys just went down.

So you're going to realize later on that you think I'm weak and it's your greatest time to move on me. But I'm just headed to tell you that it's not. And we would have that conversation and it wouldn't head off a lot of stuff. I had many conversations like that and it deterred people actually trying to kill me because it only works if they think you're not paying attention.

Andre Norman: This blows my mind so much a hundred. Cause I mean, you and I both know Annie Hyman Pratt, who is also in genius network runs impact entrepreneur and I've joined her. Next level kind of training. And I always comment what's really, really funny is I always comment that I think I'm very privileged to be in a room with an all female team learning leadership, because the stuff that you need to do as a leader has changed.

And the 1980s style of like do it, or you're fired Glengarry Glen Ross doesn't work anymore with males or females in the workplace. So I always say, I think I'm really lucky to be able to learn in an all female team, but, you know, What you just said right now is like the same skills that Annie's teaching.

And it's blowing my mind that like leadership in a prison gang is the same and communication because ultimately leadership is all about communication is the same in this prison gang, as it is in an all female run. Consulting company. And it just blows my mind that it comes down to these communication skills of like, literally what you said is exactly what any would say, like, Hey, are you thinking about this?

I get a feeling that you're thinking this let's talk about that. Right?

Jonathan Levi: The differences. If she misses, okay, you lose a couple of dollars. My client, if I miss, I might, I might lose a couple of ounces of blood. Wow. If you want to be the boss, that's not for everybody. When you put yourself in a position of leadership, I'm in the third ranking guy in the prison, I'm the boss in those prisons.

So I control the commerce. I control extortion. I control drugs. I control everything. So people want my job. Imagine as the CEO of your company, I work in the mail room. I catch you going into the water bubble, not paying attention. I run up and stab you three times. I'm the boss. You walked in a water cooler, kind of different one yet.

If any of the interns could just like cut your throat and take over your company. Was that

Andre Norman: yeah. It's very, very, very eyeopening and just super fascinating. So you get out and you start talking to people, walk me through that journey. I mean, I think it, it says a lot about how interesting your story is that we're still on the biography part.

We haven't even gotten to the questions I'd

Jonathan Levi: prepared. Okay. I came home. And my goal was to go to Harvard university and to help people. And again, I had to go have dinner with the time, even though I wasn't supposed to because he worked at the prison, but, um, I didn't care that he didn't care. He cared about me more than he did his job.

Cause it's a violation that actually interact with inmates after the route. But he maybe towards house, I met his family, I had Chavez for them and he's just like, that's my dad. And I started working in the community, working with different auto black kids in the city. I was that good old black kid in the city.

He was acting up. You caught Andre and we come over gang involved, drug involved, just not paying attention on motivated. We work with every black kid in the city. Any black boy that was having a problem. They called us because that was a crisis. Then somebody said, honor, can you talk to the girls? I'm like, I don't really think about being a girl, but I started talking to girls and I realized that their lives were 10 times harder than the boys, because that has got way more issues with pressure.

And then he told a sex thing in and his steam and this is all bad. So I started working with little black girls who had esteem issues, who had daddy issues, who just said everything else. Then it was why three years in. A lady came to me and she said, Andre, um, you're denying kids, like get outta here lady.

I work every day, 20 hours a day. And she said, no, you won't work with kids. Cause they're white. I said, why can't they got a problem? This is their country. It's their country. It's their world. They own all the companies. They own all the teams. They own everything. They own the government. I mean, white folks have no problems and we argued for a while then.

And to shut her up. I agreed to go to all white school and talk to the kids. So I went to all white school in a fluent town. I'm not going to say the name of them because they didn't do anything wrong. And when I got there, it was a really, really nice school that had like the student parking lot with the nice cars.

I'm like, we still cause nice to be in high school. These kids got a parking lot. There was just like disconfirming that I know they will spoil rich kids. Well, risk kids don't have problems. I came at the door, the nice white lady met me. Hi Andre, how are you? Thank you for coming. I'm like, yeah, lady, whatever.

And we'll walk to me. It's like a beautiful building. And we walked down to the auditorium, which is like state of the art, like some ample phenom. I'm sad. I'm like, what is this? It's just like, we got like a gym. These people got like a staple. They got like studios I'm sitting in and kids started falling in all dressed up, looking nice.

This confirming spoiled, rich white kids. Then I started talking to him and I found out. They do drugs at the white school, we kept talking, they got bullies at the white school and we kept talking. They having sex at the white school. They got kids who don't read well at the white school, they have kids whose parents have been beat up by their dads at the white school.

They have kids who don't fit in at the white school. And I was like, I was blown away. I'm like, how can you be rich and white and have all these problems? It was because I didn't understand white folks. And I understand their lives. I just assumed that because they were white, they lived in the suburbs, they had a great life.

So I'd never been there and come to find out. It was just as hard for their kids. It's our kids being 15 is tough regardless where you grow up and regardless where your parents are. When I walked out of that school at a simple concept, if you call me, I'll show up and never get my say no base for my ignorance.

And I just started helping everybody. I said, if my phone rings I'm coming, my phone rang, I went to Guatemala. My phone rang, I went to, I went to Sweden, my phone rang. I went to Australia, my phone ring. I went to Ferguson, my phone rang. I went to Honduras. My phone rang I'm on the phone with you. I was out in Phoenix.

So three is out. I went from helping black kids to helping everybody, but that's where I started. And that's how I progressed. And that's how they worked with companies. And I started working with anybody that was like, Hey, Dre, these business people need your help. I would've said before they owned a multi-billion dollar company, they don't need me.

They do need me your job in your bank account. Doesn't dictate how much pain you're in your company and your title. Doesn't dictate the ability to actually solve a problem. And oftentimes when you don't have you make people who have, have it better. Wow. And I was in Sweden is a guy in Sweden. I to say he's one of the richest guys in Sweden, great guy.

And he brought me over to do a weaker outreach. I'm going to substance abuse centers and going to juvenile centers on everyone. What is heat? This guy paid for everything and I'm just running around the city, doing all these talks. Then I went to his house to visit him. And needless to say he had one of the nicest houses in the country and it's in the nicest.

It was, Hey, he actually bought his dad's house. So it was like one of the nicest houses and the nicest neighborhoods it's like right on the ocean. The ocean was frozen, which I never seen before. And we walked out on the ocean and we're talking. I said, let me ask you a question as a poor black kid, but this is a poor kid.

We had this dream we should do. What's your dream. I buy that house. I buy that car by that board. I buy that plane. He had his daydream, but all the stuff you would buy, you're a billionaire. You've literally bought everything that you could buy and everything that you ever wanted. What do you do now? And he looked at me and said, Andre, someone consolidate my businesses.

I don't need opening anymore. And then I want to start helping people. I want to make an impact. I want to make a difference. I want to help people change their lives and do better. It's why do you think you're here? He said, I want to learn what you're doing. And he just totally ruined my life.

I wanted to be rich. I swear to God, I wanted to be rich. I wanted to be a billionaire. I wanted to have everything that anybody else could have would have showed a, wanted my goal at the end of the day, even though I was helping people, I had it in the back of my head. I wanted to be rich. And the richest man, or one of the richest man in the world told me, I want to be like you wandering.

I want to make a difference in the world. I want to make an impact on everyday to matter. And I want to spend 20, 20, 30 years of my life trying to be rich. I could've gotten it. Then I'd have been sitting on my house in front of some ocean or some beach and some young kid starting up with a cane and me and said, Andre, you have been in, you have me in the world.

What would you want? I would say, I used to be like you, I want that again. Then I looked around and all the extremely wealthy and doing well, people from the Oprah's or the bill Gates and the rest of the world are trying to give back is like a long line, super rich people trying to get this lane of helping people.

And I was trying to get out of that line. So I was like, no, sir. He confirmed my lot in life is to help people. And if money comes, money comes, if it doesn't, it does. Cause at the end of the day, you're not going to be measured for how much money you make, but how many lives you touched? So I stayed, I doubled down in, uh, helping people business and stop focusing on being rich.

Well,

Andre Norman: I'm really glad to hear you say that because it is so easy, especially today. You know, when that line becomes blurred in our industry, like selling online courses and books, and it's really easy to focus on the metric. That's easiest to measure, which is how much did you sell and how many units and how much money came in.

Jonathan Levi: How's this for you? I've never sold a book 18 and a half years. Never sold a book, never written a book. I've never sold a course. I've never created a course. Don't have any products. You go to my website. There's not one product that you can buy. I don't have a wristband. I don't have a notebook or a journal, nothing.

I've never had it. And the only reason I considered creating courses, why doesn't it make money? I mean, I read it, I take my life story. I put it in the book. Cool people buy. I've had a hundred people a day, asked me to buy my book that I don't have. I have a choice. I can spend time writing a book. I can spend time and help the people I spend my time helping people, somebody else can tell my story.

The only reason I considered. Creating a course, wasn't a make money. It was somebody convinced me. I could help more people if I put my thoughts and my trainings, my focus into a course, because I can only get to so many people. Exactly. So. That's what made me not to talk with Brandon and talk to other folks.

It wasn't my whole, I can make some money making these courses. I don't have one 18 and a half years. I don't have one product to sell any product that comes, comes with me. Andre show five book or a handbook. You can't buy a book of quotes, photo, lab, nothing. The only thing you get from Andre is Andre in person.

Andre Norman: I totally get it. And you know, that's how I got into courses is so many people were pulling me aside and saying, how do you do that speed reading thing? Or how do you remember all this stuff that you remember to where I get to the point where it's like every lunch I was having was me trying to explain stuff.

I was like, you know, if I just recorded this. People could watch it anywhere in the world and not just people I know, right? Like anyone out there, regardless of budget or where they are, I could watch this stuff. And we should rap about online courses for exactly that reason. I mean, we've managed to touch 150,000 people's lives and I haven't been doing it for a fraction of as long as you have.

Jonathan Levi: Yeah. I mean, so I'm in a place now where people are saying Andre, it would be selfish for you not to take the things that, you know, And share with people because the things that, you know, the things that you do not just make companies better, they save lives. And that's what, so we're doing the forgiveness panel.

And actually we're doing two things. We'll have this fall. We're doing the forgiveness prayer. There was a gentlemen and Ferguson, Missouri, Michael Brown, who was shot by police officer Darren Wilson. And it's been total Moyle and trauma and anger ever since there was before. And it has been doubly sensed.

And this fall I've been mentoring Michael Sr and this fall. We're going to have a session where Michael Brown, Sr and Darren Wilson. And I sit on the panel and Michael Brown senior is going to extend the hand of forgiveness. Wow. And that's from the time that from Mr. Allah, Paganini you listed people who taught me forgiveness.

So I'm teaching Michael Sr. What Natasha taught me. And I'm demonstrating in Michael's life. What Joe Polish has done for me. You help people to be better because that's the right thing to do.

Andre Norman: Yeah. Tell me a bit about how, you know, Joe, just out of curiosity and the role that he's played in your life.

Jonathan Levi: I met Joe probably like three months ago.

And somebody introduced me to him. I've met a couple of guys, Michael Bernoff, great guy, and Cameron, Harold, great guy. And I was hanging out with them in Phoenix and they both said to me, you have to beat Joe Polish. So we went to lunch and I, we met Joe, never heard of him before or genius network and five minutes into the lunch.

He says, well, I hate what you do. I hate what you're about. He said, okay, Andre. This will only do I'm going to pay your bills for the next five months. All I want you to do for the next five months is focused on you getting yourself in a place where you can really go to the next level. Metis man, 10 minutes into the conversation.

He said, I'm going to pay your bills. All of them for the next five months. I don't know you, nobody put me up to this. I believe in your spirit. I believe in your mission. And I have to invest. I have to pay into or invest into what you're about. And he went back to his office the next day. He wrote me a check and he handed him.

He said, you'll get one of these checks. For the next five months, don't worry about it. It'll be there. You don't have to ask, do I have to send the invoice? It'll be it. Go be the best. You

Andre Norman: such a Joe Polish story. Wow.

Jonathan Levi: He invited me out to attend genius network and I came and I get, you know, people are paying 25, a hundred thousand dollars to be in the room and I'm probably the only guy being paid to be in the room.

And I sat in a room and I didn't ask to give a 10 minute talk. He just had me introduce myself. And, but while I was there, I do what I do, which is help people. So it was a member there and their brother was having a hard time with drugs. So I shot out that night. The first night I went and saw the brother and convinced him to go to rehab, convinced him to get off drugs and he's in treatment to this day.

And we still talk, there was another gentleman, his son. Um, this is a really, really high ranking, great guy, businessman twenty-five years, tons of money. Tons of great life. We spring. We great guy, son, nuclear meltdown. We jumped in the car. We drove two hours. I stayed in some hotel, waited all night to meet his son and did intervention with his son.

And his son is 37 years. 33 years old, helped him get a turnaround. There was another gentlemen, he said, Hey Andre, I got a friend who's in California. His son is on drugs. Can you call him? Can you help him? So we call the dad, we get on the phone to dad and I say, Hey, this thing ends is Thursday, Friday. I could be out to use Saturday.

We can help your son. We'll go find them. We'll do intervention. We'll get them on track. We'll get them in some kind of counseling, the programming and a guy couldn't reconcile. In my opinion, it's nice guy was no issues. He couldn't reconcile. It's like six foot, two black guy from the hood trying to fly out to like suburban Whitey white area and helped us little white kid.

He's like a little white son and your son, like six foot, two black guy from there. There's no correlation. He couldn't rectify the correlation between my life and his life. And there was no fee. I'm not charging, I'm payphone playing. And he just, I could hear it, that personal block and his own issues. He's like, okay, let's do this next week.

This isn't a good week for me. I'm like, God, I'm an hour away. I can fly out there. I got you. We'll go find them. We'll do this again. The apprehension. It was more the issue between me and him than between me and his sock. And it wasn't anything bad. It was just life history. He probably hasn't dealt with black people.

He's an extremely wealthy white guy lives in the suburbs, never had to deal with black folks. And now all of a sudden this strange white guy with a 14 prison history is coming to your house and he couldn't wrap his mind around that. So he needed a week to process and he said, we'll do it next weekend. I said, well, okay.

That was Friday. His son old deed on Monday. Oh

Andre Norman: my God.

Jonathan Levi: And it's terrible. The guy that introduced me told me, he said the guy started old deed and died on Monday. And it has made me write a, a speech that says next week may never come. And I felt for the guy because he lost his son and there was a really good chance, um, having lost it when it got him into treatment.

There's no question in my mind had I got my hands to him. He'd have gotten the treatment and he might still be here today. Wow. So my message is to a lot of folks, like my mentor came in, the form of Orthodox was right by, I was in sex with two gang members from the hood and this little tiny white dude came in and changed my life.

Had I been like, man, you're Jewish. You're white. You wear funny clothes. I'm saying you got this bad thing going on. I aint rocking with you at a loss. I want a biggest blessings in my life. So it's hard for people to come out of their social enclaves and engage with other people. This is life or death. If help shows up in the form of a six foot, two black, I'd take it.

If the help shows up in the form of a five foot, two white lady, take it. But again, we get on our own ways. So instead of listening, he didn't listen to see if I was the guy. He played tapes in his head about why it shouldn't be the guy

Andre Norman: Andre. I know we could talk all day. It sounds like we're going to have to do a follow-up call and I'm really looking forward to meeting you, but I want to be respectful of your time.

And I also want to give you an opportunity to tell our audience. I know you don't have courses or books or anything yet, but where can people reach out? Learn more, hear you speak, check out some of the work you're doing.

Jonathan Levi: If you want to find Andre Norman, the easiest thing to do is go to Andre, norman.com.

I try to keep it simple. And my thing is, doesn't matter where you are in the world. Does it matter the ethnicity or your culture or your situation? I don't care if it's one kid or five. I had a lot of times, so I can call you. Cause I only got five kids need help, but those five kids matter to me. It doesn't have to be 5,000.

And if you want to reach out. Call me. What is for the culture in your company sales team while there's kids on the corner of kids in school? I love going to colleges and helping those kids shape their thinking because they're going to be our next leaders. They're our next leaders data. So no yet, but we do so going into schools of kids who are doing well, just don't call me for the bad kids.

Call me for all kids. Don't call me just for the boys. Call me for the girls too. Not just for the dads. I talked to the moms, if you need help and you believe that I can be helpful or you're not sure, just call me. We can try to work it out. Worst case. We have a great conversation, best case I've been on a plane and I been coming to see you.

But, um, we got a model. I gotta get a model of my old G. When I was in jail, my prison, I first got to prison. I was a young guy. I'm 18. I'm working out every day. I'm with the gang. And one day at a unit, I got into an argument with another guy and he said, well, after lunch, we can go to the library and we can fight.

I said, you ain't said nothing to me, buddy. This is what I live for. So I go to lunch. I'd tell him my gang boss, Dominic, I see your Dominic. He didn't know I was him from the biggest gang in the prison. He just exhaust some young kids. I say, what? Dominic, I got beat in the library after lunch, man, it's going down.

And Dominic looked at me and he said, Audrey, can you beat him? I wasn't expecting that question. I said, what do you mean? I said, dude, I got this. You know what I'm saying? I got this. I didn't, you know what I'm saying? I was going down. He said, no, no, no. Draping your beat on. I said, drive your dumb, got to working out.

You see me on a track? I'm hitting the balls, do my weights. I'm ready. Is it not? I asked you if you're ready. I said, can you beat him? I said a pipe. You gave me in a knife. I'm going to pipe him first. I'm going to plug him up. I got this. He said, no drain actual you going to plug them. I asked her, can you beat him?

Right. And he stopped all the antics is can you, man, man, one-on-one beat that man in a fight. I was like, no, cause the guy was twice my size. I was like, no, he turned, he said, BB, you got to fight Stan, you got his back Dre, you watch the door. And he saw the look on my face. Cause I was like, this was my time to prove myself.

And he just took it away from me. He said, man, we don't take losses on his team. We don't take losses. And this ain't about you. This is about us. And because you have this great notion of aspirations of being his great guy. You're not going to put this whole team at risk. We're going to win this because our lives depend on it.

It's getting right or die. If you take a loss, we look weak and then we've got all kinds of problems. I don't have time for you to prove yourself today. You said yourself, you can't win. So therefore stand down, play your position. And I went to the library that day. And I watched somebody fight for me and it hurt my pride and my ego, but it taught me a lesson.

It's not about me. It's about the team. And I'll tell you this, if you call me, I don't take losses. So whoever it is, whatever it is, we going to win because we still at the model we went and we die. There's no in between. So if you got any situation, I don't care what it is. If you have tried the rest and it hasn't worked and you want to get it done, you call me and I'll tell you what, if we don't get it done, you'll be burying me onsite.

Andre Norman: Unbelievable. Andre, thank you so much. I've really enjoyed chatting with you and getting to know you. And I know our audience has so much enjoyed it as well.

Jonathan Levi: Tell them if you want to talk to me, reach out to our host. You your honor. Hey, I get I'm still six foot, two scary guy. Reach out to the host and connect to him and you can connect to me.

I look, all I want to do is make a difference and whatever capacity that is. And I appreciate the opportunity to be helpful.

Andre Norman: Pleasure was all mine, Andre.

Jonathan Levi: Thanks for having me on. And I know you over there, Natanz over there with you, man. So if I, I'm gonna say I'm gonna try to get you to Tom's number so you can talk to him. I'd love to,

Andre Norman: that'd be super cool. It'd be even cooler if you came to dinner with us. So we're going to try and get you out here to Israel

Jonathan Levi: rabbis there. He's about to retire and move wherever he goes. I'll go. I had some friends say to me one time, Oh man, you can't hang up the rabbi because I joined it.

You, he go into hell. He will profess Jesus as his Lord and savior. I'm like, yo, hold up. I said, I'll tell you what. When I was nobody, the Tom was my friend and he taught me how to be human. That's why you can even talk to me because two years ago you would have became on this close to me because you were scared for your life.

So wherever he's going for the eternity, I have no problem going with him. So if he's going to hell, I go to hell with him and I can get you to see Jesus right now. If you want. I love it. He was like, no, you can hang out with the rabbi. As it, yo, you go hang out. I said, you sure? I said, me and the rabbi go to hell.

I can get you to Jesus today. They were like, nah, it's not that serious. I said it must be. Cause you came at me about who I'm being friends with. I say this to the world, wherever that man goes for eternity, it'd be a blessing an honor to be next on. I love

Andre Norman: it. Audrey. Let's make an appointment to talk soon.

Anytime, bro. All right, my friend, you take care. Thanks again. Thanks. All right. Super friends. That is all we have for you today, but I hope you guys really enjoyed the show and I hope you learned a ton of actionable information tips, advice that will help you go out there and overcome the impossible. If you've enjoyed the show, please take a moment.

To leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher, or drop us a quick little note on the Twitter machine at go superhuman. Also, if you have any ideas for anyone out there who you would love to see on the show, we always love to hear your recommendations. You can submit on our website, or you can just drop us an email and let us know that's all for today, guys.

Thanks for tuning in.

Jonathan Levi: Thanks for tuning in to the becoming superhuman podcast for more great skills and strategies, or for links to any of the resources mentioned in this episode, visit www.becomingasuperhuman.com/podcast. We'll see you next time.

 It was a really, really nice school that had like the student parking lot with the nice cars.

I'm like, we still cause nice to be in high school. These kids got a parking lot. There was just like disconfirming that I know they will spoil rich kids. Well, risk kids don't have problems. I came at the door, the nice white lady met me. Hi Andre, how are you? Thank you for coming. I'm like, yeah, lady, whatever.

And we'll walk to me. It's like a beautiful building. And we walked down to the auditorium, which is like state of the art, like some ample phenom. I'm sad. I'm like, what is this? It's just like, we got like a gym. These people got like a staple. They got like studios I'm sitting in and kids started falling in all dressed up, looking nice.

This confirming spoiled, rich white kids. Then I started talking to him and I found out. They do drugs at the white school, we kept talking, they got bullies at the white school and we kept talking. They having sex at the white school. They got kids who don't read well at the white school, they have kids whose parents have been beat up by their dads at the white school.

They have kids who don't fit in at the white school. And I was like, I was blown away. I'm like, how can you be rich and white and have all these problems? It was because I didn't understand white folks. And I understand their lives. I just assumed that because they were white, they lived in the suburbs, they had a great life.

So I'd never been there and come to find out. It was just as hard for their kids. It's our kids being 15 is tough regardless where you grow up and regardless where your parents are. When I walked out of that school at a simple concept, if you call me, I'll show up and never get my say no base for my ignorance.

And I just started helping everybody. I said, if my phone rings I'm coming, my phone rang, I went to Guatemala. My phone rang, I went to, I went to Sweden, my phone rang. I went to Australia, my phone ring. I went to Ferguson, my phone rang. I went to Honduras. My phone rang I'm on the phone with you. I was out in Phoenix.

So three is out. I went from helping black kids to helping everybody, but that's where I started. And that's how I progressed. And that's how they worked with companies. And I started working with anybody that was like, Hey, Dre, these business people need your help. I would've said before they owned a multi-billion dollar company, they don't need me.

They do need me your job in your bank account. Doesn't dictate how much pain you're in your company and your title. Doesn't dictate the ability to actually solve a problem. And oftentimes when you don't have you make people who have, have it better. Wow. And I was in Sweden is a guy in Sweden. I to say he's one of the richest guys in Sweden, great guy.

And he brought me over to do a weaker outreach. I'm going to substance abuse centers and going to juvenile centers on everyone. What is heat? This guy paid for everything and I'm just running around the city, doing all these talks. Then I went to his house to visit him. And needless to say he had one of the nicest houses in the country and it's in the nicest.

It was, Hey, he actually bought his dad's house. So it was like one of the nicest houses and the nicest neighborhoods it's like right on the ocean. The ocean was frozen, which I never seen before. And we walked out on the ocean and we're talking. I said, let me ask you a question as a poor black kid, but this is a poor kid.

We had this dream we should do. What's your dream. I buy that house. I buy that car by that board. I buy that plane. He had his daydream, but all the stuff you would buy, you're a billionaire. You've literally bought everything that you could buy and everything that you ever wanted. What do you do now? And he looked at me and said, Andre, someone consolidate my businesses.

I don't need opening anymore. And then I want to start helping people. I want to make an impact. I want to make a difference. I want to help people change their lives and do better. It's why do you think you're here? He said, I want to learn what you're doing. And he just totally ruined my life.

I wanted to be rich. I swear to God, I wanted to be rich. I wanted to be a billionaire. I wanted to have everything that anybody else could have would have showed a, wanted my goal at the end of the day, even though I was helping people, I had it in the back of my head. I wanted to be rich. And the richest man, or one of the richest man in the world told me, I want to be like you wandering.

I want to make a difference in the world. I want to make an impact on everyday to matter. And I want to spend 20, 20, 30 years of my life trying to be rich. I could've gotten it. Then I'd have been sitting on my house in front of some ocean or some beach and some young kid starting up with a cane and me and said, Andre, you have been in, you have me in the world.

What would you want? I would say, I used to be like you, I want that again. Then I looked around and all the extremely wealthy and doing well, people from the Oprah's or the bill Gates and the rest of the world are trying to give back is like a long line, super rich people trying to get this lane of helping people.

And I was trying to get out of that line. So I was like, no, sir. He confirmed my lot in life is to help people. And if money comes, money comes, if it doesn't, it does. Cause at the end of the day, you're not going to be measured for how much money you make, but how many lives you touched? So I stayed, I doubled down in, uh, helping people business and stop focusing on being rich.

Well,

Andre Norman: I'm really glad to hear you say that because it is so easy, especially today. You know, when that line becomes blurred in our industry, like selling online courses and books, and it's really easy to focus on the metric. That's easiest to measure, which is how much did you sell and how many units and how much money came in.

Jonathan Levi: How's this for you? I've never sold a book 18 and a half years. Never sold a book, never written a book. I've never sold a course. I've never created a course. Don't have any products. You go to my website. There's not one product that you can buy. I don't have a wristband. I don't have a notebook or a journal, nothing.

I've never had it. And the only reason I considered creating courses, why doesn't it make money? I mean, I read it, I take my life story. I put it in the book. Cool people buy. I've had a hundred people a day, asked me to buy my book that I don't have. I have a choice. I can spend time writing a book. I can spend time and help the people I spend my time helping people, somebody else can tell my story.

The only reason I considered. Creating a course, wasn't a make money. It was somebody convinced me. I could help more people if I put my thoughts and my trainings, my focus into a course, because I can only get to so many people. Exactly. So. That's what made me not to talk with Brandon and talk to other folks.

It wasn't my whole, I can make some money making these courses. I don't have one 18 and a half years. I don't have one product to sell any product that comes, comes with me. Andre show five book or a handbook. You can't buy a book of quotes, photo, lab, nothing. The only thing you get from Andre is Andre in person.

Andre Norman: I totally get it. And you know, that's how I got into courses is so many people were pulling me aside and saying, how do you do that speed reading thing? Or how do you remember all this stuff that you remember to where I get to the point where it's like every lunch I was having was me trying to explain stuff.

I was like, you know, if I just recorded this. People could watch it anywhere in the world and not just people I know, right? Like anyone out there, regardless of budget or where they are, I could watch this stuff. And we should rap about online courses for exactly that reason. I mean, we've managed to touch 150,000 people's lives and I haven't been doing it for a fraction of as long as you have.

Jonathan Levi: Yeah. I mean, so I'm in a place now where people are saying Andre, it would be selfish for you not to take the things that, you know, And share with people because the things that, you know, the things that you do not just make companies better, they save lives. And that's what, so we're doing the forgiveness panel.

And actually we're doing two things. We'll have this fall. We're doing the forgiveness prayer. There was a gentlemen and Ferguson, Missouri, Michael Brown, who was shot by police officer Darren Wilson. And it's been total Moyle and trauma and anger ever since there was before. And it has been doubly sensed.

And this fall I've been mentoring Michael Sr and this fall. We're going to have a session where Michael Brown, Sr and Darren Wilson. And I sit on the panel and Michael Brown senior is going to extend the hand of forgiveness. Wow. And that's from the time that from Mr. Allah, Paganini you listed people who taught me forgiveness.

So I'm teaching Michael Sr. What Natasha taught me. And I'm demonstrating in Michael's life. What Joe Polish has done for me. You help people to be better because that's the right thing to do.

Andre Norman: Yeah. Tell me a bit about how, you know, Joe, just out of curiosity and the role that he's played in your life.

Jonathan Levi: I met Joe probably like three months ago.

And somebody introduced me to him. I've met a couple of guys, Michael Bernoff, great guy, and Cameron, Harold, great guy. And I was hanging out with them in Phoenix and they both said to me, you have to beat Joe Polish. So we went to lunch and I, we met Joe, never heard of him before or genius network and five minutes into the lunch.

He says, well, I hate what you do. I hate what you're about. He said, okay, Andre. This will only do I'm going to pay your bills for the next five months. All I want you to do for the next five months is focused on you getting yourself in a place where you can really go to the next level. Metis man, 10 minutes into the conversation.

He said, I'm going to pay your bills. All of them for the next five months. I don't know you, nobody put me up to this. I believe in your spirit. I believe in your mission. And I have to invest. I have to pay into or invest into what you're about. And he went back to his office the next day. He wrote me a check and he handed him.

He said, you'll get one of these checks. For the next five months, don't worry about it. It'll be there. You don't have to ask, do I have to send the invoice? It'll be it. Go be the best. You

Andre Norman: such a Joe Polish story. Wow.

Jonathan Levi: He invited me out to attend genius network and I came and I get, you know, people are paying 25, a hundred thousand dollars to be in the room and I'm probably the only guy being paid to be in the room.

And I sat in a room and I didn't ask to give a 10 minute talk. He just had me introduce myself. And, but while I was there, I do what I do, which is help people. So it was a member there and their brother was having a hard time with drugs. So I shot out that night. The first night I went and saw the brother and convinced him to go to rehab, convinced him to get off drugs and he's in treatment to this day.

And we still talk, there was another gentleman, his son. Um, this is a really, really high ranking, great guy, businessman twenty-five years, tons of money. Tons of great life. We spring. We great guy, son, nuclear meltdown. We jumped in the car. We drove two hours. I stayed in some hotel, waited all night to meet his son and did intervention with his son.

And his son is 37 years. 33 years old, helped him get a turnaround. There was another gentlemen, he said, Hey Andre, I got a friend who's in California. His son is on drugs. Can you call him? Can you help him? So we call the dad, we get on the phone to dad and I say, Hey, this thing ends is Thursday, Friday. I could be out to use Saturday.

We can help your son. We'll go find them. We'll do intervention. We'll get them on track. We'll get them in some kind of counseling, the programming and a guy couldn't reconcile. In my opinion, it's nice guy was no issues. He couldn't reconcile. It's like six foot, two black guy from the hood trying to fly out to like suburban Whitey white area and helped us little white kid.

He's like a little white son and your son, like six foot, two black guy from there. There's no correlation. He couldn't rectify the correlation between my life and his life. And there was no fee. I'm not charging, I'm payphone playing. And he just, I could hear it, that personal block and his own issues. He's like, okay, let's do this next week.

This isn't a good week for me. I'm like, God, I'm an hour away. I can fly out there. I got you. We'll go find them. We'll do this again. The apprehension. It was more the issue between me and him than between me and his sock. And it wasn't anything bad. It was just life history. He probably hasn't dealt with black people.

He's an extremely wealthy white guy lives in the suburbs, never had to deal with black folks. And now all of a sudden this strange white guy with a 14 prison history is coming to your house and he couldn't wrap his mind around that. So he needed a week to process and he said, we'll do it next weekend. I said, well, okay.

That was Friday. His son old deed on Monday. Oh

Andre Norman: my God.

Jonathan Levi: And it's terrible. The guy that introduced me told me, he said the guy started old deed and died on Monday. And it has made me write a, a speech that says next week may never come. And I felt for the guy because he lost his son and there was a really good chance, um, having lost it when it got him into treatment.

There's no question in my mind had I got my hands to him. He'd have gotten the treatment and he might still be here today. Wow. So my message is to a lot of folks, like my mentor came in, the form of Orthodox was right by, I was in sex with two gang members from the hood and this little tiny white dude came in and changed my life.

Had I been like, man, you're Jewish. You're white. You wear funny clothes. I'm saying you got this bad thing going on. I aint rocking with you at a loss. I want a biggest blessings in my life. So it's hard for people to come out of their social enclaves and engage with other people. This is life or death. If help shows up in the form of a six foot, two black, I'd take it.

If the help shows up in the form of a five foot, two white lady, take it. But again, we get on our own ways. So instead of listening, he didn't listen to see if I was the guy. He played tapes in his head about why it shouldn't be the guy

Andre Norman: Andre. I know we could talk all day. It sounds like we're going to have to do a follow-up call and I'm really looking forward to meeting you, but I want to be respectful of your time.

And I also want to give you an opportunity to tell our audience. I know you don't have courses or books or anything yet, but where can people reach out? Learn more, hear you speak, check out some of the work you're doing.

Jonathan Levi: If you want to find Andre Norman, the easiest thing to do is go to Andre, norman.com.

I try to keep it simple. And my thing is, doesn't matter where you are in the world. Does it matter the ethnicity or your culture or your situation? I don't care if it's one kid or five. I had a lot of times, so I can call you. Cause I only got five kids need help, but those five kids matter to me. It doesn't have to be 5,000.

And if you want to reach out. Call me. What is for the culture in your company sales team while there's kids on the corner of kids in school? I love going to colleges and helping those kids shape their thinking because they're going to be our next leaders. They're our next leaders data. So no yet, but we do so going into schools of kids who are doing well, just don't call me for the bad kids.

Call me for all kids. Don't call me just for the boys. Call me for the girls too. Not just for the dads. I talked to the moms, if you need help and you believe that I can be helpful or you're not sure, just call me. We can try to work it out. Worst case. We have a great conversation, best case I've been on a plane and I been coming to see you.

But, um, we got a model. I gotta get a model of my old G. When I was in jail, my prison, I first got to prison. I was a young guy. I'm 18. I'm working out every day. I'm with the gang. And one day at a unit, I got into an argument with another guy and he said, well, after lunch, we can go to the library and we can fight.

I said, you ain't said nothing to me, buddy. This is what I live for. So I go to lunch. I'd tell him my gang boss, Dominic, I see your Dominic. He didn't know I was him from the biggest gang in the prison. He just exhaust some young kids. I say, what? Dominic, I got beat in the library after lunch, man, it's going down.

And Dominic looked at me and he said, Audrey, can you beat him? I wasn't expecting that question. I said, what do you mean? I said, dude, I got this. You know what I'm saying? I got this. I didn't, you know what I'm saying? I was going down. He said, no, no, no. Draping your beat on. I said, drive your dumb, got to working out.

You see me on a track? I'm hitting the balls, do my weights. I'm ready. Is it not? I asked you if you're ready. I said, can you beat him? I said a pipe. You gave me in a knife. I'm going to pipe him first. I'm going to plug him up. I got this. He said, no drain actual you going to plug them. I asked her, can you beat him?

Right. And he stopped all the antics is can you, man, man, one-on-one beat that man in a fight. I was like, no, cause the guy was twice my size. I was like, no, he turned, he said, BB, you got to fight Stan, you got his back Dre, you watch the door. And he saw the look on my face. Cause I was like, this was my time to prove myself.

And he just took it away from me. He said, man, we don't take losses on his team. We don't take losses. And this ain't about you. This is about us. And because you have this great notion of aspirations of being his great guy. You're not going to put this whole team at risk. We're going to win this because our lives depend on it.

It's getting right or die. If you take a loss, we look weak and then we've got all kinds of problems. I don't have time for you to prove yourself today. You said yourself, you can't win. So therefore stand down, play your position. And I went to the library that day. And I watched somebody fight for me and it hurt my pride and my ego, but it taught me a lesson.

It's not about me. It's about the team. And I'll tell you this, if you call me, I don't take losses. So whoever it is, whatever it is, we going to win because we still at the model we went and we die. There's no in between. So if you got any situation, I don't care what it is. If you have tried the rest and it hasn't worked and you want to get it done, you call me and I'll tell you what, if we don't get it done, you'll be burying me onsite.

Andre Norman: Unbelievable. Andre, thank you so much. I've really enjoyed chatting with you and getting to know you. And I know our audience has so much enjoyed it as well.

Jonathan Levi: Tell them if you want to talk to me, reach out to our host. You your honor. Hey, I get I'm still six foot, two scary guy. Reach out to the host and connect to him and you can connect to me.

I look, all I want to do is make a difference and whatever capacity that is. And I appreciate the opportunity to be helpful.

Andre Norman: Pleasure was all mine, Andre.

Jonathan Levi: Thanks for having me on. And I know you over there, Natanz over there with you, man. So if I, I'm gonna say I'm gonna try to get you to Tom's number so you can talk to him. I'd love to,

Andre Norman: that'd be super cool. It'd be even cooler if you came to dinner with us. So we're going to try and get you out here to Israel

Jonathan Levi: rabbis there. He's about to retire and move wherever he goes. I'll go. I had some friends say to me one time, Oh man, you can't hang up the rabbi because I joined it.

You, he go into hell. He will profess Jesus as his Lord and savior. I'm like, yo, hold up. I said, I'll tell you what. When I was nobody, the Tom was my friend and he taught me how to be human. That's why you can even talk to me because two years ago you would have became on this close to me because you were scared for your life.

So wherever he's going for the eternity, I have no problem going with him. So if he's going to hell, I go to hell with him and I can get you to see Jesus right now. If you want. I love it. He was like, no, you can hang out with the rabbi. As it, yo, you go hang out. I said, you sure? I said, me and the rabbi go to hell.

I can get you to Jesus today. They were like, nah, it's not that serious. I said it must be. Cause you came at me about who I'm being friends with. I say this to the world, wherever that man goes for eternity, it'd be a blessing an honor to be next on. I love

Andre Norman: it. Audrey. Let's make an appointment to talk soon.

Anytime, bro. All right, my friend, you take care. Thanks again. Thanks. All right. Super friends. That is all we have for you today, but I hope you guys really enjoyed the show and I hope you learned a ton of actionable information tips, advice that will help you go out there and overcome the impossible. If you've enjoyed the show, please take a moment.

To leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher, or drop us a quick little note on the Twitter machine at go superhuman. Also, if you have any ideas for anyone out there who you would love to see on the show, we always love to hear your recommendations. You can submit on our website, or you can just drop us an email and let us know that's all for today, guys.

Thanks for tuning in.

Closing: Thanks for tuning in to the becoming superhuman podcast for more great skills and strategies, or for links to any of the resources mentioned in this episode, visit www.becomingasuperhuman.com/podcast. We'll see you next time.

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4 Comments

  1. Luiz
    at — Reply

    Thanks, I learned a lot of interesting things in past episodes.

  2. Shivaditya Purohit
    at — Reply

    loved th heart and the depth of the conversation. The way that Dr. Metivier shared from his enormous experience and insights was just amazing. Thank you Jonathan for doing this podcast!! 🙂

  3. Rob
    at — Reply

    Great interview with Dr. Greg Wells! He mentioned a doctor from Colorado around the 42:30 point of the podcast, discussing turmeric and black pepper. I couldn’t make out the doctor’s name. Can you provide me with his full name and maybe his website or contact info. Interested in his products.

    Thanks,

    Rob

  4. Muhammed Sani Ibrahim
    at — Reply

    I am new here, and learning really fast.
    Thank you.

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