Bio: Motivation Champ’s founder, Dominick Domasky, does inspiration and motivational speaking with a slice of humor. When you contact Motivation Champs, you become part of a championship team. Together with you, Motivation Champs creates a presentation that focuses on your needs, rather than regurgitating a tired speech from a distant past.
Dominick arrived at writing books and motivational speaking with a unique background. Mr. Domasky doesn’t claim to have climbed Mt. Everest or be an Olympic Gold Medalist; Dominick is proud to say, he’s just a guy trying to find success. He learned the value of hard work as a young boy pulling weeds and picking up cigarette butts while working for his father’s landscape company.
Even though Dominick has been punched, jobless, broke, cut from the team, and out of business, with the help of those early lessons and a belief in himself, he refuses to ever give up.
Rather than look back at the past with ill will, Dominick instead guides us to find humor and strength in our failures. Dominick lives by the age-old saying, “That which does not kill us, only makes us stronger.” He wrote the hit inspirational book, “Don’t Double Bread The Fish” that is sold across the world and will be releasing his newest book “The Unofficial and Uncensored Guide to Fatherhood” in the Spring of 2015. He can also be heard speaking on the power of persistence across the globe.
Zephan: Zephan Blaxberg here with another round of the Year of Purpose podcast and today I’m joined by Dominick Domasky. He’s the author of Don’t Double Bread the Fish, creator and co-author of the recently released book The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood, and founder of the inspirational company, Motivation Champs. His greatest accomplishments are his two children and he aspires to be the best husband and father he can be. He is a proud supporter of JDRF, an internet radio host and successful cold calling, door knocking commercial insurance salesman.
Don’t Double Bread the Fish, Dominick’s first inspirational book was not written from a pedestal, but from the trenches of digging ditches, picking up cigarette butts, and overcoming countless failures. Dominick will never pretend to be an Olympic gold medalist or a business titan, and—skipped a beat there—he’ll be the first to admit he’s just a guy who has failed, been benched, suffered setbacks, lawsuits, punches to the face, and got up and brushed himself off.
He has no ill will of the past, but looks back and finds humor and strength as the old saying goes, that which does not kill us only makes us stronger. He’s currently finishing up his 3rd book, The Journey of a Grunt, which he expects to be released in 2018. What’s going on, Dominick?
Dominick: Hey, Zephan, thanks for having me on the show today.
Zephan: Yeah man thank you so much for being here. I’m totally down to just dive right into it. I know that you’re a boxing fan and you’ve got some stories about getting knocked down, getting back up, that have lead you to this point. Maybe we can just start with what it was like growing up for you and some of the things that have occurred in your life and that got you to this point.
Dominick: Hey sure thing. Well, you say I’m a boxing fan and my whole family grew up boxing, but the only thing I was good at was taking a punch. So I definitely grew up getting beat up a few times and, if you look close, I’ve got big scars over my eyes and things like that. I was cut from the team. I’m a guy, I say I’m the king of failure. I’m one of these guys that everything I’ve tried at some point in my life I’ve failed. But at the same point, you pick yourself up, brush yourself off and keep on swinging. It’s kind of like boxing’s almost a metaphor for how I live my life. You get knocked down, the ref’s counting, and you get back up and give it all you got.
Zephan: Yeah, man. Growing up for you, I’m curious to hear if there were any lessons that apply now, ’cause I know that one of your favorite things is being a father and being the best husband and father that you can. What was it like growing up with your family? I mean, I’m an oldest child out of seven younger brothers and one younger sister. Fortunately, I never got beaten up, but I might’ve done some of the beating up when I was a kid. Tell me, what was it like for you and how has parenting changed, you know, from your parent’s generation to yours?
Dominick: Well definitely. First thing you gotta know is I’m a guy who idolized his father. My dad, if he’s five-foot-ten, I think he’s six-foot-five. If he can lift a hundred pounds, I think he can lift 200 pounds, you know. My whole life, I saw this guy as larger than life, and he treated me good and he was always there for me, and he ruled with an iron fist, you know. I think, in some ways, I always tried out one, probably you know, live up to his expectations, make him happy, and be the father that he was, and also learn from the things that he taught me.
I worked for my dad and I used to shovel ditches and pick up cigarette butts for my dad’s company and dad would, I would tell my dad that shirt you’re wearing is black, and he’d say no that’s blue. I’d tell me dad oh we should do this today, and he’d say no you’re gonna do the exact opposite today. He’d been around, he’d been in business forty years, who was I to tell him any different, so. When it comes to raising my own kids, I try to be a lot like him, but also like you said that it is a different generation. Now our kids have iPods and Beats headphones and you know, it’s like where we sat in the corner as kids and like spoke when we’re spoken to, now my own kids are like putting on a show at all times, and you’re almost encouraging it.
Zephan: Very interesting. So stuff’s changing, you know, that’s kind of my life has been. I was raised to believe that there’s a script that we follow of growing up, going to college, getting a job, and you do the same thing for like forty or forty-five years, and that’s what you do. Things are very different now. There’s a lot of people my age who have been able to create a business for themselves and don’t have to work a job. It’s very interesting just to see you know in such a short period of time how it’s changed for the different generations.
You’ve got three books, you’re currently working on your third one. What lead you ultimately to start your first book, and tell us a little bit about what that was about?
Dominick: Sure, like I said I grew up, I’m a guy, really, I got beat up, got butter wiped in my hair, you know cut from the teams. I remember when I was thirteen, I was going out for a basketball team and I stuck, you know. Thought I was Michael Jordan dressed all goofy and got cut from the team. When I got cut from the team my dad gave me a book by Og Mandino. It was inspirational book called The World’s Greatest Salesman. At the time I read it, and you know, I didn’t really know much about reading, I was a silly kid. I read this book and I got one principle out of it, it was persist until I succeed. I kept that book for years and years and years, but I kept that one lesson I got persist until I succeed, I must persist until I succeed. That entered my life at that point, and I started reading all these inspirational books. I read that book over and over, it has scrolls in it, it has 10 scrolls where if you read them thirty straight days, they become habit.
As other things happened in my life, when I went broke in business, read these types of books. When I got cut from the team, when I got beat up, when whatever was happening, I read these books, read more books, more books, more books. I became a student of inspiration, the guys like the Dale Carnegies, the John C. Maxwells, all these legends, Zig Ziglar, all of them, I read all of them. After going broke, almost going to jail, wanted by the IRS, I started thinking I could write a book like that. You know I’ve got something to say that’s a little bit different, you know. I’m not coming from Ancient Babylon or something like that, I’m coming from you know, a pop culture, you know. Two thousand take on things.
Zephan: Very neat. You mentioned there that you had a time where you were going for broke here. Tell me a little bit about you know, what it’s like, and what happened there, and how do you pick yourself back up from something like that. I think that a lot of people listening in, right now at least, who maybe haven’t taken a leap, who haven’t started a business yet, I’m sure one of their biggest fears is going broke, because money is a huge issue when you’re taking a leap of faith.
Dominick: Right. Not only did I go for broke, I went broke multiple times over. What I would say to anybody, is you go for it and you live to fight another. The only regrets I have are that I took it so far. I don’t sit here ten years later and think, wow I wish I wouldn’t have done that, or wow I wish I would’ve tried something more, I wish I would’ve took it—I did it all, I risked going to jail, I risked becoming a guy that I didn’t even want to become to try to make it. When I look back at it, I’m over it, I’m through it. When I got knocked down and was flat broke, owed the IRS thousands of dollars a month, owed every creditor in town, you know. I paid them back, I paid them all back little by little for months, for years where we could barely eat at home, ’cause the IRS came first, they garnished your wages, that kind of thing. I knew I could get through it.
Even when—life’s like a roller coaster, you know. I’m sure someday I might be up and someday I’ll be down, but like that roller coaster it keeps coming back to the beginning again. One of the things I’d say to anybody knew me, somebody out there who’s struggling, or somebody out there real high, don’t get too high, don’t get too low. Life’s like a roller coaster. You might come back down, you might get back to that beginning again, so just try to be even kill. That’s what I’ve done, I’ll enjoy my life, now I’ve learned if I have no money I’ll have a heck of a life, if I end up with a lot of money, I’ll have a great life. That’s not, that is not what defines my success.
Zephan: And you clearly have four walls around you right now, so you know, things have definitely come back, you’ve been able to pull yourself out of that and it’s great to see that. What are some of the other obstacles that you’ve overcome? Financially, that’s a huge one, right? Just curious, you know, going into fatherhood I’m sure there are obstacles, you know, it’s uncharted territory, at least for you. Just curious to hear if there’s anything else in your life that you’ve overcome that you know, we all could pull a big lesson from.
Dominick: Sure. One of the things that I’ve learned is everybody’s going through stuff. I’ll tell you stories about me being broke, or about my children and you’ll say wow. There’s somebody else that would give everything to have that same situation to have your eyes, my ears, your life, your breath, your job, that fancy microphone you have, like you said four walls around them.
Me and my wife struggled for years to have children, you know, a lot of people struggle to have children, and we did. Then when we finally had children after when my son was three years old, he was diagnosed as an insulin diabetic. That means, as a little kid with tiny, little, skinny arms, you know this big, that we now had to give him about eight to ten shots a day, poke his fingers, monitor what he eats, get up at midnight, get up at three o’clock, go to the schools to make sure that every monitor his diet, go to the school to make sure they weren’t putting anything in his mouth that shouldn’t be in his mouth. To my point, when it first happened, when he was first diagnosed, it was almost like the end of the world.
I write inspirational books; I try to be as motivational as I can. I’m a student of inspiration, but it’s hard, you know, you have those hard times and you wonder can I make it through, can I? Then when you come out on the other end, it’s not that bad. Like I said, somebody else would give everything to only be able to give their kid a shot and their sugar levels be okay. I’m a lucky guy and that’s what I’ve learned. I’m lucky, you know, so stuff’s happened and I may be down again so be it.
Zephan: What do you think is the differentiator between you know, us, or Dale Carnegie or John Maxwell, any of them. What is it that made them so, for lack of a better term, great? I think anyone can be inspirational, right, and part of that is sharing your own, and having overcome some sort of a situation, but what do you think differentiates them from the rest of the crowd?
Dominick: Well one, they’re the pioneers, those guys. I think what they’re able to do is, there’s so many people that—and I’m sure I hate to say it, I’m sure you have it where you interview somebody or they come on or you meet somebody and all they do is talk about themselves, how great they are, everything they do that’s so special. What Dale Carnegie was able to do is put the emphasis on everybody else. I think when you empower other people, which those guys have done, what you’re doing on this show here, empowering me, empowering everybody listening. If you’re able to empower the others, so they can feel what’s inside of them, and then go do whatever these great things their gonna accomplish, I think that’s what those guys can do better than anybody else.
Zephan: It’s a matter of pulling yourself and your own identity out of it, and really being able to encourage other people into action.
Dominick: Yeah I’m just a messenger, you know, like with my inspiration whether it be fatherhood or my first book Don’t Double Bread the Fish, I’m just the messenger, you know, telling whether it be persistent ’til you succeed, or you wake up you know, never give up on something you love or when one door closes a new door opens, I’m just the messenger. When people see those lessons and all I’m saying is hey I made it through. Look, when I grew up I had buck teeth like this, I was real skinny, I’ve been broke. If this guy, if I can make it through, I’m sure all these talented people out there, twice as talented, twice as handsome, can do far better than I could ever do.
Zephan: Tell me about where were you in life when you started your second book and what was your second book and what did you talk about in there?
Dominick: Well the second book is the Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood, and that just actually came out in April. I actually have another book, The Journey of a Grunt, that I’m finishing right now. I had been writing that one for years. The Journey of a Grunt is about every job, task, or chore you ever had and what you can learn from it.
The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood, this fancy book here—what happened is I was talking to one of my buddies on the phone, his name’s Bryan P. Swift. Like you said, I have a podcast, and I met this guy Bryan P. Swift. He broke his neck playing high school football, he’s a quadriplegic, and adopted three kids. He just started a non-profit called Soar, great, super inspirational guy, a guy I lean on. When my kids were acting up, having trouble with my son’s anger issues and attitude and things like that, I’d call Bryan P. Swift and we’d just be shooting the bull. He had written a book before, and we’re talking, and he told me a story—I was telling him my kid’s freaking out every time I tell him something—anger, anger! He said “You know what I do with my teenage kids?” He said, “When they’re freaking out like that, I give them a big hug and tell them I love you.” I said to him, I said “Bryan, we should write a book.”
The next time—he’s like “Yeah, that’s a good idea.” Next time my son was freaking out I grabbed him, you know, and I’m like hugging him. He’s like, you know, “Get off me!” Just settle down for one minute, you know, and so I reached back out to Bryan P. Swift, once he said we should write a book, I was in. I immediately called another guy, and I told him me and this great guy Bryan P. Swift are writing a book, so I called another author I knew that he had lost his wife to cancer, his name’s Joe Walko, he was raising two teenage kids. I said “Hey, I’m writing a book with this other guy”—really I wasn’t writing a book I just came up with the idea. I said “Hey, I’m writing a book,” he said “I’m in.” I said “But you gotta ask somebody else,” and that’s how we got nine guys from all across the country, we’ve never even all been in the same room together, only two of us have ever been in the room together at one time.
From all different walks of life, we put this book together, and it’s so—point early on there was I was writing this other book for years and years and years, I still have it and it’s not out yet, but this one came together in like 6 months and was out and now it’s actually in Barnes and Noble’s and stuff like that. It’s crazy.
Zephan: Very cool. You’ve got clearly a lot of persistence to stay with these projects, I think that you’ve got a lot of drive to do this stuff, because you know this is totally separate from some of the work that you do and things like that. It’s great to have all these different aspects of your life and it seems like you’ve created this very well-rounded lifestyle for yourself. Maybe talk about a little bit about you know, figuring out you’re meaning in life and what really drives you to success. Was there a time where you felt very lost and didn’t know what your direction was going to be and now looking back it all kind of makes sense how it lines up?
Dominick: Yeah I think definitely. There’s been days like when I had the restaurant and I’m going broke and you know, the creditors are after you. I think there were definitely days where I wanted to pull the covers over my face and just sleep a little longer maybe, sleep through that day. One of the things I write about is survival days, where there’s some days that you just gotta get through and live to fight another day. I think with me you started seeing whether it be talking or seeing other people going through things you’re going through, and you start to maybe write something down, and now I’ll go speak. Every once in a while when I’m speaking somebody will come up to me on a break or stand up in the back of the room and say I wish somebody would have told me that when I was going through these problems. You think yeah, okay. There’s like you get these tingles up your spine where you’re like okay I’m doing it.
As you start to find that passion, or you know a lot of that stuff I’d do for free because I enjoy it so much. That’s when you know when you go to bed at night, I always say when you got to bed at night and you can’t wait to get up the next day, or I wake up in the middle of the night and write stuff down, you know, that’s when you know you’re super charged and super inspired. I think there’s times when people are lost and you just gotta keep on baby steps, I always say. Move forward at something every day, little by little, you know. You don’t have to—the old saying is how do you eat an elephant and the answer is one bite at a time, so baby steps.
Zephan: I can definitely relate to you know, when you’re really excited about something, you know, being excited to go to sleep, because you know that the next day you get to work on it again and again and again. For me, unfortunately, it’s the reverse. I can’t fall asleep because I want to keep working on it, so my book that actually at the editor’s right now and should be finishing up this week, it’s called Life Re-scripted. I’ve spent many sleepless nights on it because I was too excited to even go to sleep. It’s great when you can really find something that lights you up so much and being able to share that with people.
I think you also mentioned something else there that you’d be surprised how when you start sharing things you’ve learned or gone through, how many other people have either had that same problem or have been looking for the same solution or things like that. I think it’s great being able to write a book, it’s a whole new world to me, and I’m sure you’ve had a blast with it because you find that once you do get going and get moving with it you realize there’s a bigger change you can create in the world. Which kind of leads me to the next one that you’re working on, the 3rd one. It’s not out yet, but it’s called The Journey of a Grunt. Where does that come from, what was that all about?
Dominick: Well it comes from, like I said I used to work for my dad, I’d tell him that shirt’s black, he’d say it’s blue, and picking up cigarette butts, and like raking leaves, picking up cigarette butts, shoveling ditches, cleaning poop. Whether it was working for my dad, you know I used to work at TGI Fridays, had to wear those items with flare and pick up those dirty dishes and all that stuff like that. I say a lot of times that I was the grunt, and the grunt’s the guy on the front lines or the guy that’s down in the ditches.
As I read one time, as I wrote, I’m writing this story you know for years talking to people like you, and one of my buddies told me, he’s like you know I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being the grunt. I wasn’t trying to paint the grunt in a negative light, I was actually saying that we’ve all been there. There’s gonna be a day where you have to clean up the cigarette butts, where you have to empty trash. It is what it is, at some days we’re all gonna be the grunt, no matter what job you have, no matter what job, task or chore you’ve ever had, we’re all gonna be down, and it’s going to teach us something. Whether you’re the president or you know the lowest man on the totem pole. That job, that task, that chore made you better, it made you stronger, and it made you who you are today, and that’s what the Journey of a Grunt’s about.
Zephan: Very interesting. I’m sure that is something that a lot of people listening in right now could really use. It’s about putting in the grunt work and getting to where you want to be. Looking back, you know, here you are right now, you have 4 walls around you, you’ve got a great family, you know, how do you just express gratitude and throughout the day, you know, how do you take care of yourself mentally and physically just to make sure that you can live your best life? It’s tough to be a good husband and a good father if you’re not taking care of yourself first, so how are you going about doing that?
Dominick: Well I think one of the things you gotta know is there’s like a … your life’s like a big pie chart, and there’s family, there’s faith, there’s health, there’s friend. I think you can add more components, job, whatever you want to add in there. If I wouldn’t take care of myself, let’s say I was putting terrible things into my body, or not exercising, or not reading books, all of sudden you hurt something else in your life.
I think I’m always challenging myself at whatever it is, maybe it’s being a better husband, like I gotta be a better husband, you know, just what could I do to make my wife happier? Being a dad, you know, as I write the book on fatherhood, a lot of the reason I wrote a book on fatherhood is because I knew I needed to be better, and I was willing to ask other people. That’s the thing about having these guys, I asked these guys, I said what would you like to leave to other fathers, what would you like to leave to your children? They pass it on and say here’s how we’d like to help you out. I think to me you try to get better at everything every day, and eventually maybe I’ll be great at something. I think I just try to be better everyday at everything, little by little, not leaps and bounds, but just maybe I could tell my kids I love them. Maybe I could make one more phone call, maybe I could not say you know or whatever in an interview, one more thing I could be better at. Punctuation in a book, one more thing.
Zephan: One more thing. It’s funny it makes me think of a lot of Apple stuff, a lot of their big announcements, they were always infamous for having one more thing. I think that it wasn’t just all about them and launching a product, I think that one thing is so important in our lives. I’m actually reading the book right now called The One Thing, and it’s all about figuring what is the one thing that knocks the one domino over that ultimately puts everything into motion. There’s so much of that right now, and we try to over-complicate things and searching for answers, and it really doesn’t have to be as tough as it seems. I know that some people listening might think that life is really hard, and that there’s a lot of heartache, there’s a lot of hardship, there’s a lot of effort and struggle. I don’t know, I feel like it doesn’t have to be that way as long as we can look at each obstacle and each thing that comes into our life as something that is ultimately going to lead us to where we’re going to go.
Dominick: Right. I think that that which does not kill you only makes you stronger, so like you said there’s gonna be all these things that come into your life, but like our friend the grunt, if you can learn from each of those circumstances, each time I was punched. Okay I was punched, maybe I shouldn’t have said what I said, when I was broke maybe I shouldn’t have handled things the way I handled them, so you learn. When my kids were misbehaving, maybe you take accountability, and you figure out okay now I’m accountable, how do I get better? If you can do that, I don’t think it is that much of a challenge.
Like you said, you’ve just gotta be present, appreciate what you have, even when you’re going through all those things, you still have a lot that everybody else would kill for, give everything to have 4 walls, your breath, your eyes, that kind of thing, you’re children, be thankful. Children are being bad? Somebody else would love to have children. Like I said, we struggled for years, somebody else would be so happy to have children, so wherever you’re at appreciate even when you’re down and out appreciate it. When you’re up here, it’s gonna make you so much stronger because you were down there.
Zephan: Yeah absolutely. To round things all off here, if you could simplify this all and kind of boil it down to just like one or two sentences of how you can live your best life, be the best person both for yourself and for others, what would you say?
Dominick: I think if you act in love, if you make all your decisions in love, with your family’s best interest in mind, you move forward every day you get better every day, everything’s gonna work out for you. When you’re down, don’t give up, just like we started out the interview, we’ll start out the same way you close it. When you get knocked down, just get back up and keep swinging.
Zephan: Awesome. I think that’s the best way to summarize that and Dominick this has been a great discussion. How can people find out more about your two books you have out now, you’ve got a book coming out early next year, and just find out more about you?
Dominick: Hey, one of the main places I’m at I might even tweet something you say one of these days is Twitter, @domd1000. I post motivational pictures and quotes all day long. Then you can look me up at motivationchamps.com that’s www.motivationchamps.com and you can get me for speaking engagements, or I sign every book that leaves there, just go to motivationchamps.com.
Zephan: Awesome. Well thanks for spending some time with me Dominick, and definitely everyone listening check out motivationchamps.com.
Dominick: Thank you, sir.