EPISODE 381: How These Leaders Discovered Their “Why” After Conquering Chronic Illness and How It Applies to Sales

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is taken from the Optimal Sales Mindset Webinar sponsored by the Institute for Excellence in Sales on July 7, 2021. It featured chronic Lyme conquerors JP Davitt, Tanya Hoebel, and Gregg Kirk. All three, after conquering Lyme disease, went on to create mission-driven organizations based on their recovery.]

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Find JP on LinkedIn here. Find Gregg on LinkedIn here. Find Tanya on Facebook here.

Tanya’s organization is The Lyme Center. Gregg created the Ticked Off FoundationJP and Tanya are also two of the founders of the Lyme Conquerors Mentoring Lyme Warriors Facebook Group. JP also created Lymefriends.

JP’S TIP FOR EMERGING SALES LEADERS: “Speak from the heart. Allow your spirit to speak through you. Everyone has their own internal vibration and your vibration resonates in your communication, your tone, your nonverbal and even your endurance. Everyone knows as a salesperson how important endurance is. Meditate on speaking with a pure heart and speak it into existence the same way you do your sales goals. Post on your mirror, use the secret to manifest your goals. The more you can speak freely and with a pure heart, the more opportunities that will appear clearly that were meant just for you. The reward for speaking with a pure heart is the physical, financial and emotional freedom.”

GREGG’S TIP FOR EMERGING SALES LEADERS: “Joseph Campbell has a famous quote, “Follow your bliss.” Follow your passion. The best thing you can do is follow what sets you on fire so that your work is not work, it comes easy and it’s easy to do. That’s basically what I did. If you’re chasing money, that’s all you’re going to get.”

TANYA’S TIP FOR EMERGING SALES LEADERS: “With whatever you do in your life, you need to be passionate about. You can’t really sell something if you don’t believe in the product. For instance, if I sold cars, my why would be because I want to protect other families from having one of their loved ones be involved in such a horrific accident. That would be my why, so you can protect every human driving so that their loved ones don’t ever get that phone call. That would be your reason to do what you’re doing and it’s so important to have the why and be passionate about it.”


Fred Diamond: This is a special episode of the Optimal Sales Mindset. Many times over the past year or two we’ve always talked about how sales professionals need to understand their why. Of course, that was made famous in Simon Sinek’s classic TED Talk and we’ve had guests like Lisa McLeod talk about understanding your purpose, understanding your mission. We believe if you understand your why and your mission, it’ll help you grow your professional career substantially.

In addition to helping sales professionals understand how to take their lives to the next level, one of my other passions is helping people recover from chronic illness, specifically chronic Lyme. Many of you know that my significant other has chronic Lyme, so we’re bringing two of my passions together. Helping educate the world more about chronic Lyme and chronic illness, and of course, our audience of sales professionals, how to take your sales career by truly understanding what your mission is and how to get there.

Chronic Lyme is a silent epidemic, it’s an insidious disease, there’s no real cure. It can rip families apart, cause debilitating pain and takes lives off course. But I’m very excited in my journey through helping my significant other understand how we can heal and how we can overcome the disease. I’ve met some amazing leaders who have conquered chronic Lyme and it’s changed their career paths to helping others suffering from chronic illness change their lives as well.

We have three very, very special people on today’s panel. We’re going to talk a little bit about their journey through conquering chronic Lyme and also their journey about really understanding what their life’s mission is. First, we have Gregg Kirk. Gregg’s a digital sales support marketing director by trade, but he switched career paths after his decade-long struggle with Lyme disease. After reaching remission, he offered the book The Gratitude Curve and he founded a nonprofit Lyme patient fund called Ticked Off Foundation. I’ve read The Gratitude Curve, that’s how I got to meet Gregg.

Tanya Hoebel is the vice president of The Lyme Center in Chico, California, as well as the co-founder of the popular Lyme Conquerors Mentoring Lyme Warriors Facebook group. She’s also the cohost of the integrated Lyme Solution’s podcast. I’ve listened to every episode. She and a medical professional bring on someone else who’s conquered Lyme and they go through their journey to healing.

We have JP Davitt, he’s the founder of Lymefriends and the author of LYME BOOK: A Journey to Becoming One Day Better. After overcoming chronic illness, he’s been focused on making each day better and helping others do the same. For our listeners today, I hope you get some value out of this. This is going to be a fantastic conversation, it’s going to be inspiring, it’s going to be uplifting and hopefully it’ll give you some triggers to really understand what your mission is. That will help you as a sales professional.

To our panel, thank you all so much for being here. I really appreciate all of you, I’ve learned a lot from Gregg, your book, and JP, from your book and the webinars that you’ve done, and Tanya, of course, your podcast. I’m a frequent poster on the Lyme Conquerors Mentoring Lyme Warriors Facebook group as well and it’s truly changed my life getting to know you all.

Tanya, why don’t you go first? Why don’t you tell us about your journey with your chronic illness recovery?

Tanya Hoebel: Hi, Fred. I just want to thank you so much for doing this special episode for us to acknowledge and spread awareness about Lyme disease, because it is truly a pandemic. In 2004, I was bit by a tick and I was one of the few who got an actual bullseye rash from the bite. That is a tell-tale sign of a tick bite. Unfortunately, I was not educated so therefore, I did not know that I was bitten by a tick.

Four years later is when my illness came out of nowhere. It all started one day with rapid onset pain in my elbow. Little did I know, that as a beginning of a very long, exhausting journey. The pain managed to creep through every single inch of my body and to my friends, I described that it felt like I’d been run over by a semitruck. I had the worst flu and the worst hangover ever all combined and it was every day, there was no reprieve from it.

As I tried to explain to the doctors, who were not believing me that something was wrong, I would tell them that I felt like I had bone cancer. The pain radiated so deep into my body that it felt like I had bone cancer. That was the only way I could explain to them how painful it was. As if that was not enough, my overall exhaustion finally set in. If that wasn’t enough, then literally I lost my mind trying to navigate through my days of doctors and tests and everyday living.

I had post-it notes throughout my house reminding me of the simple tasks that people do every single day. I had alarms going off on my phone all the time because I had to take medications every so many hours on each day, and that was the only way I could remember it. I took a lot of pills every day and I could take a bottle of pills and I would know if I needed to take it morning or night and how many. Then I had a pill container where you would put them in for the AM or the PM.

My mind was so sick, I could not take the pill from the bottle that I knew how to take, and take it out of the bottle and put it in the proper pill organizer. That is what Lyme does to you neurologically. It was just too overwhelming for my brain. I could no longer pay my own bills, I could no longer write a check, I didn’t know what it was. My amazing life as I knew it quickly turned me bedridden with a caregiver and I didn’t even know my own name.

Fred Diamond: It’s been an amazing journey, and you’ve talked about this journey again on your podcast. I recommend that, it’s really an inspiring podcast and thank you very much for sharing. Gregg Kirk, you go into your story in your book, The Gratitude Curve and you’ve been through some amazing challenges as well to get to the point where you’ve been able to achieve your mission. Tell us a little bit about your journey to chronic illness recovery.

Gregg Kirk: Mine was not classic in any way. I had no tick bite that I ever saw. Literally decades later I realized it may have actually been a spider bite and just so everyone knows, ticks are not the only things that can spread Lyme disease. It’s any insect that can bite you, including horseflies, fleas, lice, even mosquitos in some cases. All of those bugs can cause Lyme disease and the tick doesn’t have to be on you for a full day or whatever the CDC is saying nowadays. It can transfer the disease within an hour.

I didn’t know what was wrong with me, and the other thing is I didn’t have classic Lyme symptoms. I would say Tanya had pain, usually joint pain is pretty classic and overwhelming fatigue and things like that are classic symptoms. Mine were no those at all, mine came up whenever I would eat. I would eat a meal and then I would feel like I’d been drugged. I’d get completely disoriented. In some cases, depending on what I ate, I’d have to go lie down in the back of a car.

I had some sort of leaky gut intestinal infection, so I went to see a gastroenterologist and it took me two years to get properly diagnosed. At that point, I thought, good, it’s Lyme disease, just take some antibiotics and you’ll get better. That’s really when the odyssey began. I live in Connecticut, this was where Lyme was discovered and you’d think you got the best doctors there. No, the doctors just bludgeoned me with antibiotic upon antibiotic, bicillin injections, picc lines, one picc line insertion jabbed my heart, almost died on the operating table, I had heart damage from it. All kinds of horror stories.

I stayed on antibiotics for almost six straight years until my immune system shot down and I got pneumonia that became untreatable. I stopped listening to my doctors and I left Western medical system and I became my own practitioner. I started using herbal treatments and I started using energy healing. I chronicle a situation where I went to Brazil to see a healer, I had a miraculous healing that actually changed my appearance.

I came back wholly healed but then it wasn’t over. I went right back into my stressful corporate lifestyle where I was doing digital sales support, I ran websites and digital content and it was very high-impact, high-stress. I started experiencing some of my symptoms coming back and at that point I thought, “Why have I gone through all of this?” I’ll talk about my why and my mission later, but at that point I started realizing that the disease wasn’t just something to be conquered, that it was actually giving me information.

Any disease is telling you that you’ve got an imbalance in your life and that’s what I finally realized. I’ll talk more about that later. Thanks for putting this together, Fred. We all really appreciate what you’re doing here.

Fred Diamond: I appreciate you all for coming on and telling us your stories. Like I said, we’re doing this to get the word out. My significant other of 11 years has had Lyme disease and there’s so many aspects to it in so many ways. JP, you’re the author of LYME BOOK, tell us about your journey and tell us how you eventually got to the point where you were able to get to the other side with your chronic illness recovery.

JP Davitt: The one thing I could always count on, whether it was as a financial advisor or whether it was playing lacrosse at a high level was the fact that I would outwork everyone around me. I was blindsided by my illness. The advice that I can share is that you will get sick, it’s not what you see coming that kills you. Up until 2005, I was a great athlete playing lacrosse as a mid-fielder at the Virginia Military Institute, University of Pittsburgh as well.

My mindset was always, if you’re good, I was better. But I was blindsided by my arrogance and at the top of my game, I collapsed on a squat rack. I could no longer outwork anyone. I would’ve given anything for just one day of freedom, every dollar I had for just one day of reprieve from the neurological pain all over my body. I began with alcohol and any type of drugs really started to look good. Not narcotics, but anything to kill the pain from doctors.

The mental pains, it was very humbling. I was humbled by the relentless lack of control that was just pushed onto me. The disease was like a python squeezing the life out of me. Anytime I let my guard down, basically it would just squeeze tighter and tighter. I had to get really rigid in all of my treatments. I begged my doctors to cut my legs off and I surrendered to a life in a wheelchair. I could no longer put on a show in sales meetings and the energy that I put out talking for a few hours like we all do in sales would just cause my body to crash.

I would put myself thinking I was who I used to be, but I’d occasionally become overwhelmed. I had to haul activity immediately, whether it’s speaking or working in front of people because I started to have seizures and just break downs. When you get sick, you learn quickly that you need a team and healthcare is more than what you typically would think. If you want to regain your freedom, it’s sometimes more work than you could ever imagine.

When I was sick, I was desperate to find the answers I needed. I had top CEO level doctors who told me to come back and share my story with them if I ever had any improvements, and these were the top dogs in the industry. To wrap up, at work I was in a competitive industry selling financials competitive against peers, sales numbers and accountable to management in my clients.

Every conversation I had, I now had to be guarded. Not only could you not trust anyone else, I couldn’t even trust myself, to no fault of my own. Once a bull or a lion hunting deals outworking everyone, now a lamb. I was scrambling to save enough deals just to pay the $6,000 to $10,000 every single month necessary for the treatments. Savings went quickly, in sales job you’re 100% commission and when you’re talking about that much money per month of what you need with disability, it really was not an option.

Fred Diamond: Once again, all three of you, you’re very inspirational stories for people who are struggling and suffering. You mentioned a couple things, you mentioned the expense, in a lot of cases insurance doesn’t cover a lot of the expenses. You mentioned alternative types of medicine that you’ve all had to seek out at various times and you also talk about mind, body and spirit. There’s a lot of things that go into the recovery, it’s just not about medicine. Gregg, you mentioned taking antibiotics for a long time and that can only go so far.

Let’s talk a little bit about the shift. We’re talking today about how you’ve overcome a lot of the struggles to understand your why, as we like to call it, or the mission. Let’s talk a little bit about how that transition happened. The disease is nefarious, it’s insidious, it’s indiscriminate and there’s so much that’s horrible about it. But one of the cool things is meeting people like you who have been able to get past it at some level and have been able to find purpose and mission in your life.

Gregg, why don’t you go first? I know you run a not-for-profit, you run a clinic, talk about that a little bit. When did you realize this shift had happened, that your life had shifted and your mission had evolved?

Gregg Kirk: It started when I was at my worst, I was at the point where I wanted to die and I just wasn’t dying. One night I had more or less a heart attack as a result of that picc line jab and at that point I thought, okay. I started to pray to have God take me, I’d led a great life up to that point, I thought. I wasn’t going to do it by my own hand, so it didn’t happen. It was one of these weird situations where I wanted to die but I kept hanging around.

Then I started looking inward. Why am I still here and why have I gone through this? Is this some kind of weird karma thing? Did I deserve this? Did I kill someone in a past life? Why am I going through all this mental and physical punishment? Then after I had that night, I let everything go. There’s a Janis Joplin song, freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose, and I really had nothing left to lose anymore. I just felt like my life had burnt to the ground and I started looking at my life in a different way.

Forest fires are actually really good for forests, believe it or not. They burn away the dead part of the forest and they leave room for new growth. I thought, what if that’s happening to my life? Maybe this disease is pointing me in a direction. Maybe I was going in the wrong direction in my life, as much as I liked my life at the time. I just started to let it happen. It’s a strange feeling, JP talked about feeling out of control and I didn’t like it at first. But then I just thought, “What the hell? Let’s see where this takes me.” And the less I resisted, the more things started changing in very unexpected ways.

I more or less got jettisoned from the corporate world and went through a period of time where I was making quite a bit of money, to I wasn’t. I just decided I’m just going to start doing nonprofit work and fly on the trapeze without a net. It was some wild times, I wasn’t making a lot of money. To being able to make some money, I was actually trained by Dr. Cowden, he has developed a protocol and it’s one of the protocols that helped me get better. I was lucky enough to be invited to be trained with 15 doctors, it just made no sense, it was just one of these weird coincidences.

He trained me with 15 doctors and I learned energy healing before that, so I opened my clinic in Connecticut in 2017 and I started doing that for a living along with the foundation work. The more I started focusing on that type of work, the more I realized this is why I’m here. During the dark days, I thought, why am I going through this? Then a couple of friends talked to me about that and they said, “You know that healers are usually the wounded ones and they’re the ones that need to experience it so that they can better help people heal?” That was when I realized my why right there.

Fred Diamond: That’s excellent. We’ll get a little bit deeper in the next question about specifically some of the things that you’re doing. Tanya, there’s probably a lot there that Gregg said that you could probably relate to as well. You’ve had some unbelievable experiences in your life that have gotten you to this point that have obviously forced you to rethink. When did you make that shift when you realized that your purpose and your mission in life was to help people with chronic illness move forward?

Tanya Hoebel: Like a lot of what Gregg said, I’m a Christian, I’m a good person, I feel like I do the right thing, it just felt like time and time again things were not looking my way. Then once again, here I am, set with this horrible debilitating illness and I had no explanation. When I was nearing the end of my treatment, that was about 9 years into my illness, I could for the first time see the light at the end of the tunnel. I really had some faith that I was going to get better.

By now, my brain had been functioning at a more optimal level than it had been for the last 9 years and I really had some time to sit back and reflect on the last decade of my life. Because of the lack of knowledge of my disease that I had personally, that caused me to get sick, because I was the lucky one who got the bullseye rash but I didn’t know what it meant. I think that there needs to be so much more awareness about it.

I always jokingly say that I can be a therapist, a pharmacist and a doctor, unfortunately, I just don’t have the credentials for that. Because you truly need to be your own advocate when you’re dealing with Lyme, because Western medicine failed me time and time again. Knowing the hundreds of thousands of dollars that I’d spent during this Lyme journey, how it had truly financially ruined me, I didn’t let it physically or emotionally ruin me because I continued to fight back.

I thought, how can I possibly allow another human being go through even one day of what I’ve gone through over the last 9 years? I knew somehow that I had to help. I didn’t know how or what, but I thought all of this knowledge I’ve learned over all these years has to be good for something. That’s when I decided that my new mission in life needed to be to educate and advocate for those that are too sick to do it themselves. That’s why I do what I do.

Fred Diamond: JP, how about you? Tell us a little bit about when that shift happened for you.

JP Davitt: I remember playing golf with a potential client, and this is probably back in 2007 or 2008. He was a retiring dentist and I was attempting to earn his financial advisory account. This account would have been something that would have changed my life, being very sick at that point, just making things a lot easier for me financially. During this time of my life, absolutely nothing was going right for me. Even golf, which for me had been an outlet since I was 12 years old, was now stealing more energy from me than it was providing me with mental freedom. Even the things that I love were taking away more energy than they would typically feed my soul.

During the round, I remember speaking freely with the potential client and I shared with him that I couldn’t believe the lack of support for people with anxiety. Without thinking, I told him that and that I was going to cure my illness and figure out a way to retire early, then build facilities to help other people with anxiety. A retreat where anyone could go for free for a few days to earn the tools so that they could relax, have that mental freedom. I believe that revealing this to my friend was a deal breaker.

I’m not sure whether he saw my anxiety as a weakness or thought maybe I wouldn’t be a financial advisor very long, but I didn’t get the deal. What I did, though, which I believe now is a greater gift was that why. I did realize that for the first time, I was really speaking without a filter. I projected this idea out to the universe and apparently, the universe was holding me accountable. Ever since, I’ve been a man on a mission. I spoke it into existence, I meditated on it, apparently the universe approved and I kept speaking ideas and thoughts to the world no matter how crazy they seemed to be. All the ducks keep lining up whether it’s funding or the tools that I need.

When I was sick, I dreamt of a platform that would allow sick people to connect more easily with one another. Facebook had evolved at this point and it is a helpful tool, but I imagined a social platform that was more like online dating for wellness. This tool I created, it evolved into the idea of Crowd Curing Lyme Disease and Chronic Illness, and eventually evolving again into the Lymefriends Healing app and the Lymefriends platform. I fund my ideas through my financial advisory practice which also helped me to create a sales niche as I was able to converge my two passions.

Right now I moved away from the banks, I was with the banks for 15 years and I opened up my own practice, I’m the President of Good Life Financial of Pittsburgh. I have a big Venn diagram on the front of my building that says health plus wealth equals freedom. I created an interactive health and wealth advisory practice and my passion became my niche.

Fred Diamond: One thing that you all have talked about is if you break an ankle, you go to an orthopedic surgeon, he puts you in a cast, six weeks later, you’re good. With chronic Lyme, there’s no specific answer. Especially if you were infected a long time ago and a very common thing is you don’t get diagnosed with something like chronic Lyme, maybe you get diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome or something related to that which is wrong, then you live for 20, 30 years with the wrong diagnosis for what you have. It’s such a challenge.

Let’s talk a little bit about what you’re doing now. We talked about how you all made this shift, you found your why, now you’re devoting your life to helping people who are struggling. If you go in some of the Facebook groups we’re talking about, so many people are struggling. It’s almost like a hidden disease, people are rallying around people with cancer as they should, it’s pretty obvious when someone has cancer but when someone has Lyme or some other related infections, you can’t see it per se. You don’t know why someone’s bedridden or you don’t know why somebody doesn’t have the energy. We’ve mentioned anxiety, we’ve mentioned depression, there are so many things that relate to this.

Let’s talk a little bit about specifically what you’re doing and how it’s put more meaning in your life. Tanya, why don’t you go first? Talk about exactly what you’re doing today and then we’ll talk about the meaning.

Tanya Hoebel: I can’t thank you enough for doing this, Fred, because there’s just not enough awareness about this. I just have to stress it again. Lyme disease is an absolutely lifechanging illness. The good that did come from it was it gave me the opportunity to make some incredible friendships with people that I otherwise would never have met.

I’ve always considered myself a very chatty girl, a very bubbly girl, very outgoing, never really had a negative thing to say about anything in life because everything happens for a reason. But in my darkest days during my journey, I actually contemplated suicide. I thought there was no other way to end my pain. I’m so thankful that I found another resource to end my suffering. It truly does tend to make you feel a little more grateful for all the little things in life, even though I never felt ungrateful. I think maybe I took the birds chirping outside for granted, whereas I used to not be able to go outside to hear them.

Things like that, it really did change my way of thinking. It proved to me also, that someone on top of the world emotionally, financially, the top of their career like I was prior to Lyme can in one moment lose it all. I could have been one of those people homeless on the streets that you see roaming around and you often wonder why they’re there. That is what Lyme disease does physically, emotionally and financially.

Because of the fact that this positive person contemplated suicide at one point, I thought I’ve got to do something, I’ve got to make a difference. That is when I became so involved in advocating for Lyme. I run a nonprofit organization, it’s called The Lyme Center, it’s based out of Chico, California and our mission is to educate and advocate for Lyme. We do fundraisers to help raise money, this last spring we were able to have a great amount of patients tested through one of the well-known labs, IGeneX in Palo Alto, California and we were able to pay for that by the donations and the fundraisers that we get.

I’m also the cofounder of an incredible mentoring group. This group has proved to be more than I ever dreamt it to be in such a short amount of time. We offer lots of treatment options and just help educate them on so many different levels of Lyme because there are so many facets of it. We do bimonthly Zoom calls, last night we had our first healing concert through vibrations and sound, we’re coming up with new and great ways every week to help all of those that are struggling through Lyme.

I even managed to find time to cohost a weekly podcast, Integrative Lyme Solutions. I do it with an integrative doctor, very generous with his time, Dr. Michael Karlfeldt. Right now, our podcast is leading interviews of those that haven’t beaten Lyme. Where their journey started, when they got sick, how sick, how they treated and where they are now. It’s been another great way to add those relationships into my community, I love it.

This year I also pushed even further and I will continue to do this part of my journey. I went up against congress this year in Washington DC to help push legislature for more money for Lyme research. It’s going to be an annual thing that’s on my calendar every year, because we need it, we need our voices, we need people like you, Fred. We’ve got to keep these people healthy and we’ve got to figure out how to get them better.

Fred Diamond: Tanya, good for you. Those are some amazing things. For people listening today, the Western medical world doesn’t really understand Lyme in many ways. You have to search for what’s called a Lyme literate medical doctor, sometimes they’re hard to find, there aren’t that many. A lot of the doctors out there who are now Lyme doctors started off as OBGYNs or nutritionists, it’s a profession that some have recently moved into in many cases because they were also affected by Lyme and had to figure out a way to solve their own problems.

If you have chronic Lyme, a lot of times you’re the only person who can figure it out. There are so many different factors and things that you’ve done in your life that have led you to this particular moment. The services and resources that you’re providing particularly on the Facebook groups have allowed people to come together to ask questions to get some advice, to get some solace, get a little bit of love and attention that they might not be getting in other places.

Very proud to have met you and I’m very proud of all the great work you’ve done. JP, tell us a little bit about what you’re doing now and how it’s allowed you to get more meaning in your life.

JP Davitt: What I’m doing now is I’m at the Interactive Health and WellSpace which took me from having a job to a passion and a purpose. Every single day now coming into my office, I never think about it as work. Historically, when I was a kid carrying golf bags as a caddy or working at McDonalds, I always liked those jobs. Financial advisory for me in a corporate setting became a job as a 9 to 5, and now it is a passion and I’m allowed to split my time.

When it comes to not just the work and helping my clients, over the last year I’ve been able to help three of my close clients very quickly find answers to very large health issues. One of them was actually Lyme disease, another was an urgent situation. They were from out of town, outside of Pittsburgh, they were in Pittsburgh and all of a sudden, the client’s husband has a heart attack. They were flying to go to a hospital and they called me. I diverted them to another hospital where I knew a cardiologist, but the idea is that I was combining these two. My passion with my job and creating that niche.

In regards to healthcare, Lyme disease as a passion, I have Lymefriends, I work tightly and closely with Tanya as a partner in Lyme Conquerors Mentoring Lyme Warriors Facebook page. We host mentoring calls, Lymefriends is a platform that acts like a dashboard for people with Lyme disease to go to, a one-stop-shop for all of the resources. I collect resources without worrying about any competition bringing everything together to help them finance sooner.

Whenever I was sick and having to streamline my efficiency with my body, it really taught me a lot about processes. Learning a lot about this process as I carried that over to healthcare and I was able to them form a goal to not just help with Lyme disease, but my goal really in the grand picture is to change the literacy and vocabulary of healthcare using technology. Right now, I’m testing, retesting, improving technology all the time trying to help people become one day better. It’s certainly high-risk, high-reward but it has certainly given me a very clear purpose.

Fred Diamond: Congratulations on all the great work. The book is fantastic, so congratulations on being published. Speaking of publication, Gregg Kirk, the author of The Gratitude Curve. Why don’t you bring us home on this subject? Tell us a little bit about what you’re doing right now and how it’s helped you get more meaning in life.

Gregg Kirk: After I got better in 2012, my knee-jerk reaction was, being a former musician, long before I got into the corporate world I ran an entertainment magazine in Philadelphia. I had a lot of experience putting music festivals and things together. The first thing I did was create the TikTok Music Fest. We raised money, we held live concerts and the first concert we ever held, the people who showed up, 80% of them were Lyme patients which shocked me. I thought people who were going to show up were people who had the money who wanted to donate money to us.

At the time, we were giving money to research and awareness and things like that. These people came in in walkers, oxygen tanks, they hobbled in and they were really not even there to see the music. They needed information, they didn’t know how to handle their disease. The more we held these, we held these in trouble spots around the country like in Florida, we held one in Hawaii, these are states that are not supposed to have Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is in every state, whether or not people get infected in those states. In a state like Hawaii, it’s a 70% military personnel, they’re getting infected in different parts of the world and coming to Hawaii where they say there’s no Lyme disease but all these people are sick. We raised awareness but instantly within the first year I realized that there’s a bigger problem that my nose is being shoved into. There is a patient care problem, people have no money, they’re not getting diagnosed properly. When they finally are, they’re not getting the proper care. Even going to an LLMD is a better situation but a lot of times, they’re not the best people either.

I took a step back and I thought, if I had a billion dollars, what would I do? I thought I would create a healthcare system, like an insurance system that funded treatment because most of the treatments that worked for me were not covered by insurance, the herbal treatments and so forth. I thought, I don’t need to wait until I’m a billionaire, I can start a foundation, a nonprofit that people come to us, they get qualified through some documentation and we give them monthly stipends.

It started off by us running after some other groups that give thousands of dollars to patients. But we quickly found out that once the word got out, TikTok Foundation was giving away free money, we got overwhelmed. What we do now is we give out what I call microgrants, so we get people who are qualified, we sit down with every single one of those patients for at least an hour-long chat, find out their level of need and agree what’s the best thing for them. Then we give them a microgrant every month. That started.

In the middle of all that, I contacted NutraMedix, the company that made the Cowden protocol and I reached out to them to see if we could form some sort of an alliance. Because we’re a nonprofit and they’re a for-profit, they said, “We can’t donate to you but we can give discounts for people who qualify” so we began that situation. An odd thing happened in then middle of that relationship where the CEO said, “Gregg, would you like to be trained by Dr. Cowden?” He had no idea my background, talk about the universe opening up and landing him at my feet.

I got trained by Dr. Cowden and then within a year, because of my own healing background and everything I’d gone through, I’m a non-certified practitioner. Obviously, I can’t prescribe medicines or anything like that. What I help people with is #1, the Cowden protocol and some other protocols that I learned like the Zhang protocol and some herbal treatments. Along with other detox treatments and things that I had to figure out on my own because the doctors didn’t know about that, and I do energy healing.

On top of all that, I’ve had several patients go into remission using these practices and these protocols. After that, I wrote The Gratitude Curve. Basically, what Tanya said, in the middle of all this I realized that my mission was to help people avoid what I went through or at least guide them through it.

Fred Diamond: Very powerful, very inspiring stories. For the sales professionals listening today, take some lessons here. Figure out what your mission is. Usually, it’s related to what you’re doing for your customer. Why are you serving this particular marketplace and how could you provide even more value to them to help them achieve their goals and help their customers achieve their goals?

I want to thank Tanya Hoebel, I want to thank JP Davitt, I want to thank Gregg Kirk for inspiring us today. There’s a lot of ground-level things that can be done. One thing I’ve noticed is a lot of people are struggling, like we said before, it’s an expensive disease to cover, not everybody understands it. A lot of times I’ve met people who their spouse doesn’t understand or their family doesn’t understand and that leads to a lot of challenge as well.

I want to applaud all three of you. As we like to do with all of our Sales Game Changers podcasts, we like to have an action step. You’ve all given us some very inspiring ideas. Give us something brief, something specific that people listening today can do to take their mission to the next level and begin to implement this. Tanya, why don’t you go first? Give us an action step that you recommend people do today to really begin to think about applying their mission to their life.

Tanya Hoebel: With whatever you do in your life, however you choose to support yourself in life, it’s something that you need to be passionate about. You can’t really sell something if you don’t believe in the product. I’m going to give you an example. I always tend to pick on car salesmen [laughs] I don’t know why, but they’re always my #1 pick. Let’s say for example, you have a loved one that was seriously injured or possibly even worse and you know in your heart that if they were in a safer vehicle with more safety features that things would have turned out differently. To me being a salesman, that would be my why, is because I want to protect other families from having one of their loved ones be involved in such a horrific accident. That would be my why, so you can protect every human driving so that their loved ones don’t ever get that phone call. That would be your reason to do what you’re doing and it’s so important to have the why and be passionate about it.

Fred Diamond: Gregg, why don’t you go next?

Gregg Kirk: Joseph Campbell has a famous quote, “Follow your bliss.” It more or less parallels what Tanya was saying, follow your passion. The best thing you can do is follow what sets you on fire so that your work is not work, it comes easy and it’s easy to do. That’s basically what I did. If you’re chasing money, that’s all you’re going to get.

Fred Diamond: Eventually that becomes dry. JP Davitt, bring us home. Give us an action step. You’ve been in sales, so out of all of our panelists, you can probably relate to this the most. Give us a specific action step for the people listening to the podcast today or watching the webinar to take their life to the next level.

JP Davitt: Speak from the heart. Allow your spirit to speak through you. Everyone has their own internal vibration and your vibration resonates in your communication, your tone, your nonverbal and even your endurance. Everyone knows as a salesperson how important endurance is. Meditate on speaking with a pure heart and speak it into existence the same way you do your sales goals. Post on your mirror, use the secret to manifest your goals. The more you can speak freely and with a pure heart, the more opportunities that will appear clearly that were meant just for you. The reward for speaking with a pure heart is the physical, financial and emotional freedom.

Fred Diamond: Once again, I want to thank Tanya Hoebel, I want to thank JP Davitt, I want to thank Gregg Kirk for coming on board and being honest. You’ve published this in your books, in your podcast, but hopefully this message will resonate with a lot of the sales professionals. People out there listening, if you find someone who tells you they have chronic illness, specifically Lyme, take them seriously. Love them, give them the support that they need. Thank you all again, this show is dedicated to Leila, who I love very much. I want to thank you all for being with us today.

Transcribed by Mariana Badillo

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