Tough Love

nona and me- blogThe past few months I’ve received tough love because, well, I’m tough to love! It was extremely tough for me because when the dust settled, I was left homeless.
This experienced forced me to reflect. It made me want to take all of the positives out of this challenge and be an example for others for what it means to learn from your obstacles. It reminded me of a conversation I had with a mentor a few years back.
He said,
“There are three types of people in life. Wise, smart and stupid”
Wise- these people have a huge advantage. They are the type of people who learn from other peoples mistakes.
Smart- these people tend to get ahead. They are the type of people who learn from their own mistakes.
Me- stupid people…well…. they just keep making the same mistakes over and over and over again.
Why stupid? Well…
People say i’m charismatic, I’m supportive, that I’m a good person. Yet, there I was, kicked out! Homeless. Today, looking back, I now know where it all went wrong. I have always been on the receiving ends of a relationships. I have always been the taker. I have always asked for far more than I have ever given. It took me all of my 22 years and being kicked out of my grandparents house for me to finally understand a universal truth:
“The secret to living is giving!”
When I got my first sales job in downtown Toronto I panicked. Anyone who knows me knows I HATE sitting. Living in Bradford at the time,  I wasn’t about to commute 3 hours a day to get from Bradford to Toronto….and back again. I just wasn’t going to do it!
Then it hit me!
3 years ago my sister lived in downtown Toronto with my Grandparents when she was going to school at Ryerson. So I thought, this is fucking perfect! I’ll just live with my Grandma and won’t have the harsh commute. I smiled as I thought, we’re family, they would feel obligated to help me out. And they did.
wise- blog
This is where, if I was wise, I would have quickly recognized my Grandparents had all the leverage. They opened up her home and gave me everything they had. If I was wise, I would have grilled my sister and found out about the things my Grandparents loved, their quirks, and anything that I may do to really piss them off (which turned out to be virtually everything I did)!
Instead, I took their generosity for granted . As I settled in, I got into a rhythm of leaving for work early, coming home at night to a dinner prepared by my Grandma, and packaging up the left overs preparing to do it all over again.
This repeated and very quickly 6 months had passed. One day, my Grandma and Aunt asked me what time I would be home the next day and that they wanted to meet with me. We sat down, and I couldn’t understand what they said next,
“Jonathan, you’ve been living here now for over 6 months. When we ask you to do something, or to stop doing something, we mean it. We opened up our home to you out of the goodness of our heart and if you want to stay here you’re going to need to start contributing like it’s your home too.”
That makes sense right? Their house, their rules. Well I didn’t get it.
Cute Thinking Kid Girl In Glasses With Empty Bubble Looking
If I was smart, I would have realized this is a learning opportunity. I’ve been messing up,
I’ve been focusing on what I can get rather than what I can give.
The relationship has been completely one sided, not even close to 50/50, and you can guess what happened next. Another few months passed, I didn’t change much. I came home one day, I walked over to say hello to my short, non english speaking Italian Grandpa and before I could say a word he yelled, “GET OUT!”
I thought he was joking. He wasn’t…. I sat there devastated. I felt confused, I felt angry, but most of all, I felt stupid. How did I not see this coming? As much as I wanted to argue about all the reasons as to why I should stay, there just weren’t any.
jetta- blog
What a sobering experience being homeless was for me. A few nights of sleeping in my car in the cold of winter made me completely see the light. The secret to living is giving!
Life is not a zero sum game. If you give, in any capacity, give with you money, connect someone to the right person, help them become more successful, if you give, it doesn’t mean there’s less for you. But that’s how I saw life!
I thought if I gave, you win, and I lose.
That is just so stupid. The world doesn’t work that way that way. In fact, the world works the opposite. 5 months ago I damaged my vocal cords. It still hurts to speak. I now realize, the times my throat feels the best, is when I’m helping people. When I’m giving a speech to share my mistakes or when a friend calls me up in need of a boost. The secret to living is giving, and there is only an upside in it for you and for me.
Be wise, and learn from my mistakes. Because sleeping in a warm soft bed with the fireplace blazing, beats the shit out of huddling in the cold in the backseat of my 2000 Jetta EVERY Time!
Leave a comment and let me know how you plan on giving more in your life!
Till then, stay on offense. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change the destination of your life overnight, but you can change your direction”.

How to get started, keep going, and feel fulfilled chasing your goals

The majority of my life I have lied to myself. I have made commitments, set goals and promised myself I would take an action, only to disappoint myself over and over and over again. So, what held me back? What hold millions of people back everyday from accomplishing their goals?
Like me, I strongly believe a disproportionate amount of people aren’t being held accountable for their word.
Lack of accountability is dangerous. For most people it leads to a life of waiting, pondering. and contemplating. Without action, without accountability, it’s understandable why millions of brilliant, creative and well meaning people never accomplish their hearts greatest dreams and desires.
I found this to be true in my own life, many times, and the hard way. In the next few minutes I will urge you to implement accountability in your own life. If done with intentionally, with structure and the right intentions, you will find it helps you get started on your goals, keeps you going, and makes the entire process of goal achievement more fulfilling.
Accountability Gets You Started Taking Action
In November of 2016 my best friend Ryan and I were reflecting on how the past year had progressed. We looked at our relationships, our finances, and ultimately the goals that we had set from the beginning of the year. We admitted that neither had completed what we hoped we would. Sound familiar? Setting goals year after year, getting side tracked or procrastinating, and than looking back a year later totally uninspired to get started with this years goals?
That’s where we were. Hell, I told Ryan that I would have a minimum of 15 blog posts completed by December 1st, 2017! I hadn’t even started. Frustrated, we decided that 2017 would be different.  We decided not to tackle this year alone. That if we worked as a team, holding each other responsible for our word, that we could not only set big goals, but that we could accomplish them!
If it wasn’t for the system we developed, I would still be planning the stories I wanted to share, worrying about how readers may judge me, and coming up with other excuses as to why I couldn’t jump in and get the ball rolling.
With accountability on the other hand, I was forced immediately into action. My goals were no longer just ideas floating around in my head  They were real and shared with another human being. Humans easily lie to ourselves. But we have a hard time committing our word to someone we respect, and not following through. Knowing that I had my accountability call with Ryan in 7 days, I was forced into action. I knew I committed my word and I respected Ryan to much to not start. Today I am lightyears ahead of this years goals and can’t wait to crush every one of them!
Accountability Keeps You Going
The path to anything worth doing in life is laid on a road of obstacles. In the pursuit of your goals, sometimes you just get hit with roadblock after roadblock and obstacle after relentless obstacle. Having an accountability partner will help keep you going.
I never realized it until many years later, but when I battling with depression at 16, I had an accountability partner. I was abusing drugs at the time and knew, if I truly wanted to make a positive change in my life I had to quit. But, for anyone that personally knows the battle one faces when they are at war with an addiction, it wasn’t easy.
I told myself I would quit over and over only to relapse within 24- 48 hours. That cycle continued for weeks until I had an idea to throw out everything I owned that would trigger me to use it. It worked! For less than a week… I quickly found people in my high school that I could buy from and was immediately struggling again, worse then when I had I started.
Months later nothing had changed. Until I finally decided to tell my dad what I was going through. He expressed that as a police officer he knew the symptoms from the beginning. He understood I was in pain, and was much more empathetic than I ever expected.
Together we started again, and together it kept me going.
6 years later I look back admiring the courage I had to ask for help. I appreciate that if it wasn’t for the accountability and trust between me and my Dad, I’d likely still be addicted to this very day.  
Accountability Makes The Process Fulfilling
Life is too short to set and achieve goals alone. Accountability partners make the entire process more fulfilling and fun. With an accountability partner, as much as they are helping you stay on track of your goals, you’re simultaneously helping them stay on track with their goals! Tony Robbins says,
“The secret to living is giving”
 Accountability is about so much more than you! It is a processes of actively giving a part of yourself to support and inspire someone you love and respect. By joining forces with an accountability partner you will have more fun accomplishing your goals and you will feel more fulfilled in helping someone else accomplish theres!
Week over week, I feel good about the progress I’m making on my goals.  But, more than I could have ever anticipated, I feel amazing about the progress that Ryan is making! This made me realize the truth in Tony Robbins words. If I feel even better helping Ryan, than I do achieving my own wins… Than the secret to life is giving.
I hope my stories of accountability leave a lasting impression on you. I hope that it inspires you to tackle this new year with an accountability partner. If you do… Look out! 2017 will be the most action packed, fulfilling and new years resolution butt kicking years of your life!
Ps. If you’re interested in the system Ryan and I use for our accountability, I will be posting another blog later this week. It will highlight the frequency, structure and tools we use to make sure we’re held responsible for our word!

Till next time, stay on offense. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change the destination of your life overnight, but you can change your direction”.

– J


How To Just Do It.

Too often, the biggest gap in people’s lives, is the gap between what you know you should be doing and what you take action on. 

This blog’s purpose is not about my philosophical theories. It’s not about ideas, pondering, or contemplating. The purpose isn’t for you to enjoy reading a story of my life change, once or twice a week. No.

This blog is about doing. It’s about actionable tactics I’ve tested and proved effective in my own life.

If you’re taking 3 minutes to read this, I hope you’re serious about changing the direction of your life for the better. I plead that you want to bring out the best in you. A potential that may seem distant… But in reality is only a half a dozen actions away.

The truth is, the major key to your better future is you.  No matter what I write, pontificate, or share, when the dust settles, it’s up to you to do something about it. This blog is a resource, the go to place for actionable insights. Know that when you read the words that I’ve lived and continue to practice, I’m writing with the intention of your better future.

You may be wondering… Who am I to tell you what to do? Who am I to turn the wisdom I’ve learned into directives? Well… I’m just a person like you. I’ve experienced adversity, hardship, and challenges. Suffered from drug abuse, depression and a persistent anxiety. I’m just a man who changed the direction of his life, one day at a time. 

If you’ve been following me thus far, you know that I attribute a lot of my growth to community, exercise and being like Frankenstein. But, candidly, for most people that doesn’t mean anything. If you’re struggling, with any mental health challenges, self esteem problems or any number of negative circumstances in life, you probably know what you should be doing to feel better. You didn’t have to come here to figure that out.

As you know this is exactly where our gaps manifest. The gap in what you know you should be doing and what you take action on. Fortunately, you’re here and I have an answer. One that has worked for me through thick and thin. From quitting drugs, getting out of my comfort zone, getting into business and public speaking, all the way to typing these words in this very moment. So how do you just do it? How do you take action and step into my potential? One word baby… Accountability!

Accountability bridges the gap between what you say you’re going to do, and getting shit done.

By definition, accountability is an obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner. Fundamentally, I believe that accountability will be your game changer.

Do This. Write out right now, who in your community is keeping you accountable for your goals? Who is holding your ass to the fire? Asking you whether you did what you said you were going to do? If the answer is no one… Stay tuned for my next post. If you already have a process in place for accountability, email me at or leave a comment below. I’d love to hear how your structure the process and what results you’ve been getting.

In my next post I am going to walk you through the three reason’s why accountability bridges the gap between speaking and doing. AND, I will give you the step by step process for implementing an accountability partner in your own life.

Till next time, stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change the destination of your life overnight, but you can change your direction”.

– J


3 Pillars of Positive Life Direction

For almost 3 years, I’ve been living with a real sense of direction. But, it took me many mistakes and many years to find out what works best…  For me. My intention is to share how I went from BROKE mentally, physically and financially to positive, energized and financially secure.
In my first blog post I described in detail my struggle with drug abuse, depression and a persistent anxiety. Today I want you to think about applying a simplified version of what bridged the gap between where I was and where I am now. My 3 pillars of positive life direction are community, exercise and being like Frankenstein.
I was lucky enough that I have two of the most amazing parents anyone could ever ask for. Around 17 they started their own business. A couple months in, they were inviting me out to every event. For 6 months my community was shifting. Years of spending time with a group of drug abusing, underachieving guys was changing. Instead it was clear my new parents partners (and my new friends) were sharp, positive examples. After 6 months it is virtually impossible to stay depressed. When everyone in your circle is positive, confident and trying to get better, you can’t help but feel better. Personal development Guru Jim Rohn said,
“You become the average of the five people you send the most time with”
I became positive, confident and uplifted through my association with positive, confident and uplifting people. How practical is that?
Do this. Intentionally write down who are the 5-10 people you spend the most time with. Ask yourself if this relationship is rising me up or sinking me down? Make the decision today to only allow positive influences into your life and you will instantly DESERVE a better life direction.



To get out of my mind, I had to get into my body. Working out consistently was one of the best habits I’ve developed in my life. At 17, and only a few weeks in, I realized that I started feeling stronger. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. It helped me build back my confidence. It gave me energy that I hadn’t felt since long before my depression. It made me happy. This works.

Many people believe that your thoughts create your emotions, which is true. But, equally true is that motion creates emotion.

Believe me, if you have any intentions of changing the direction of your life, get out of your head and into your body. Use your motion to cultivate the emotions of strength, confidence, and power.

Do This. Preferably with a buddy, plan and go to the gym 3-4 days a week minimum. When you’re first getting started feel free to be there 5-7 days a week. But, as you progress and feel better (you will feel better) choose a schedule that is more sustainable like 4 days.

Be Like Frankenstein

Me on stage delivering my award winning speech “Be Like Frankenstein”
Looking back on my life I’ve always experienced self limiting beliefs. Comparing myself to others made me think I wasn’t good enough. It was a nasty habit. Instead of aspiring to be better, I became bitter.
But, at 18 my community had changed, and slowly, so had my direction. Becoming like Frankenstein was a subconscious decision. It means picking and choosing and taking from people you admire. It means that I had to stop viewing others as better than me and start turning the envy I felt into inspiration. I was stealing the qualities that I appreciated about others and blending them into my own life. I started with how my community dressed. Then, I moved on to how they spoke. Finally I was emulating their behaviours. It was simple really. At this point the difference in my confidence, my communication skills, and my positivity was dramatic. I was a new man.
It didn’t happen over night. Changing your direction takes time, energy, and intention. But, it’s fucking worth it. 
Do This. Intentionally steal one quality that you admire about a positive influence in your life. It could be how they dress. They talk. How they treat others. Their patience. Behaviours. Anything! Commit for one week to emulating that quality and intentionally practicing it everyday.
3 Pillars of Positive Life Direction
Surround yourself with an amazing community, get out of your mind and into you body and finally become like frankenstein, because if you do, I promise, you won’t change the destination overnight, but you will quickly change your direction.

Email me at and share with me your plans of positive life change! Till next time, stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change the destination of your life overnight, but you can change your direction”.

– J


The story 99% of people don’t know about me

For the majority of my life I have experienced a deep feeling of inferiority. Most of what I believed about myself wasn’t rational either. I would get mostly A’s, I had girlfriends, and I was an extremely competitive athlete. But, for whatever reason, I couldn’t shake it my lack of confidence.

At 13, I competed at the National level of Trampoline. One event that year I competed in an under 17 category made up of 15, 16 and 17 year olds. I finished 9th in Canada!

I’m sure you would agree this is a significant accomplishment…

Well I didn’t. 9th place to me meant that I was no good. I quit trampoline forever that year because I was embarrassed and never believed in myself.

Fast forward to high school,  my own self-talk led to a downward spiral. My lack of belief in my abilities became my crutch not to try. I gave up sports, academics, and interacting with a good group of friends. I actually started spending a lot of  time alone and abusing drugs.

Sleeping in, smoking weed and skipping class became my pattern.

16 years old was the darkest time of my life. With few real friends, I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone. I was overwhelmed by a deep feeling of depression and anxiety.

I want to stop for a moment…

I know some of you may be thinking “That’s it? A competitive athlete lost in competition and had some negative self talk? ….. Boo-fuckin’-hoo, man. Give me a break”….

To that I’d say, in moments of negativity, it’s SO easy to blow things out of proportion, to get lost in the story you tell yourself, and to identify with negative self-talk.

On the other hand, if you can relate to my story because you’ve either experienced similar thoughts and feelings or are currently going through a cycle of depression know that it will get better. You and I can change our thoughts and the direction of our lives.

You could be reading this thinking to yourself, he doesn’t know the half of what I’ve been through. And you’d be right. But here’s a sober reminder – Oprah Winfrey gave birth at 14 and lost her child. Nelson Mandela served in jail for 27 years only to become the first black president of South Africa. Beethoven was DEAF, yet created some of the most beautiful symphonies in history.

We all have the power to overcome seemingly impossible circumstances. And as interesting as it would be to say there was one defining moment that changed my life, that would be trite and dishonest. The truth is – you don’t change years of negative circumstances in a moment. Jim Rohn described my path to change best,

“You cannot change the destination of your life overnight, but you can change your direction”

Candidly, I believe my change in direction can be an example for a lot of youth. I am not saying that anything can replace the expertise of a professional. Depression is something to take seriously and I can say from personal experience that was my first step to overcoming my circumstances. I am however saying that depression, anxiety and a whole host of other mental health challenges can be minimized and CONQUERED.

My change in direction has led me to a version of myself that I couldn’t be more proud of. I see myself today as a confident and driven leader. In the last 3 years alone I’ve operated a business to over $100,000 in top line ARR (annual re-occurring revenues). Competed in business and speaking competitions that I could never have imagined at 16 I would have won, but did. And on January 1st 2017, I was officially part of the 3% of applicants across Canada accepted into this years cohort of Venture for Canada.

In the next post I’m going to share the 3 pillars of growth that made all the difference for me.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for taking the time to get to know me and where I’ve come from. If you’re battling depression, know that the best thing you can do is to talk about it. Leave a comment or shoot me an email or text (info on homepage) and I’m more than happy to help in anyway I can.

Till then, stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change the destination of your life overnight, but you can change your direction”.

– J