339: Jay Coughlan: Rise Above Your Circumstances and Redefine Your Life

Jay Coughlan has been a CEO, a national keynote speaker, and a mentor to aspiring business leaders. He is also a convicted felon, and has spent time in prison. During this dark part of his life, he began developing a framework for dealing with the troubles that life inevitably brings.

Jay uses lessons gleaned from his own missteps to help change the paths of individuals and organizations. He has captured the energy from his true passion and combined it with his experience as a chief executive, creating TruBalanced™: Building Better Business Leaders.

Favorite Success Quote

“Don’t pray for easier lives, pray to be stronger men.” ~John F. Kennedy

Key Points

1. Clarity is the Key to All Success

All success, whether it is in business, relationships, or health comes from clarity.

Imagine that we could rewind to the beginning of the new year and examine two different men.

One of them sets his new year’s resolutions with a simple statement “Get healthy”.

The other, clearly writes out his goals for his health, stating “I will go to the gym at least twice a week, working through a comprehensive weight lifting program with the goal of losing 10 lbs. of fat and adding 50 lbs. to all of my major lifts”

Which one do you think will be successful?

You see, without a clear roadmap for who we are and what we want to achieve, we will never find true success.

You must know exactly what you want, when you want it, and why you want it.

Without this clarity, you will find yourself wandering aimlessly for years, or even decades of your life and looking back, wishing that you’d had more direction.  

2. Real Change is Predicated on Accountability

Anytime we set out to make real changes in our lives, whether it is overcoming an addiction, repairing a marriage, starting a business, or achieving our dream body, we need accountability.

Whenever you “go it alone” you are the only person who you can disappoint.

If you miss a workout, spend too much money on going out, or relapse into old habits of drugs, alcohol, and porn, then you are the only person there to catch you when you fall.

However, when you build a structure of accountability into your life and have other men who are willing to show up around you and hold you to a higher standard and help you up when you fall.

When you have men who you are accountable to, you have a support system that will not allow you to fail, a support system that will call you on your crap, and encourage you whenever you are doing it right.

No man is an island and the only true way to succeed is with a team of like-minded individuals around you.

3. Failure is Not an Option… It’s a Given 

So often, you hear the phrase “Success is my only option, failure is not.”

As nice as that sentiment is, it is also wildly inaccurate.

Not only is failure an option, it is a given!

There is no way that you will succeed without failing on some level, it is simply a part of life.

But what defines a man and the legacy that he creates is not his failures, what defines a man is the way that he responds to failures.

Are you going to lie down and allow life to kick the motivation, joy, and passion out of you?

Or are you going to get up, look failure in the eyes, smile, and be grateful for the lessons that failure has taught you?

4. Life is a Marathon

All too often, men, and especially young men, feel the need to go, go go, pushing 60, 80, or even 100 hour weeks.

They work themselves bare to the bone, keeping their nose to the grindstone trying to “sprint” their way to success.

But you need to remember, life is a marathon.

You cannot just “sprint” your way to a balanced and fulfilling life.

A life of joy and happiness comes from years of doing the small things with excellence over and over and over again.

Working yourself into oblivion is your gateway to an early grave.

Pacing yourself and prioritizing the people and relationships in your life, on the other hand, is your gateway to success and fulfillment.

5. Remember 168

One of the only things in life that is truly fair is time.

Every single person has the same 168 hours in a week.

Bill Gates, Oprah, Elon Musk, all of these people have the same 168 hours in a week as you and me, the only difference is what they are doing with them.

Remember that each week you are given a gift, you are given 168 hours of precious time that you will never get back.

What are you going to do with those hours?

Are you going to invest them wisely ot build a legacy and create a life of love and joy?

Or are you going to squander them on television, video games, porn, and other traps?

The choice is yours.

Influential Books

1. The Bible

2. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

3. Crossing the Chasm by Jeff Moore


Connect with Jay Coughlan


5 Bold Choices

The Times Have Changed. This is the Way Forward in 2024.

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