Jeremy Brotha James Reisig

016: With Our Words We Create with Jeremy “Brotha James” Reisig

Podcast

ABOUT TODAY’S GUEST

Jeremy Reisig is a Hall of Fame Cutco sales rep who was #1 in the company in personal sales in 2002.  He has pursued his passion for bringing inspirational music to the world as “Brotha James.”  As a facilitator of group genius, he combines his skill for speaking and hosting events centered around personal development with the energy, fun, and positivity of his music.  He is the Co-Founder of Fambundance, an organization where entrepreneurial families develop the tools, network, and experiences to carry family legacies forward.

Q&A WITH JEREMY REISIG

Q: I don’t know much about your life before Cutco.  Can you tell us a little about your life before Cutco?

  • I had the most amazing mom and dad. They always believed in me and supported the wild ideas and dedication and excitement I have for life.
  • I was a big athlete in high school. I loved sports.
  • I loved music too.
  • I blew out my shoulder playing baseball so I went to a different college and in the basement I overheard a guy talking about making a bunch of money selling knives so I popped my head over the cubicle wall and said, “How much money did you say you’re making selling knives?” and that was the beginning of my Cutco career.
  • So I asked him what he did and he didn’t tell me, he showed me a Cutco presentation and I was hooked at the quality of the product.

Q: What were some of the early experiences you remember and the lessons that grew out of those experiences?

  • My first experience is my first weekend when I realized that people would actually buy this stuff.
  • One of the lessons that came out of that was starting to see how a community could support someone. Everyone was enthusiastic and supportive of me.
  • Another early lesson I gained was during Pushes. That was the first time in my life other than trying to cram for a test that I was working towards a deadline and had really serious recognition as well as dollars attached to it.
    • I learned how to harness my energy and harness my focus and make very concrete goals and learned how to hit those goals.
    • The #1 lesson I learned was to never give up and Finish Strong! Have a little cushion. Push through.
  • I also learned about living in different places. I got to move to 5 different states and 6 different cities because of my Cutco/ Vector experience and I had to learn how to start from scratch in a given area.
    • That taught me delayed gratification and the importance of thinking long-term.

Q: How did your story of being in Cutco lead you into doing what you’re doing now?

  • My 2nd year with Cutco I was the #1 rep in the company in 2002 and I knew that after being #1 I didn’t want to do what I did to be #1 every single day. I was more excited about the results than what it took to get those results, which I’ve found to be true of just about everything in life, but it made me go searching for “greener pastures”
  • I found myself in the network marketing industry where I found a lot of challenges and realized there were a lot of things about Cutco/ Vector that I had never really appreciated. 
  • So Cutco/ Vector really became home to me between 2003 and 2014 at which point “Brotha James” started to really take off and I started to make that transition. 

Q: I remember talking to you about your music and you said something to me like, people in the world are conditioned to see problems or they’re conditioned to see opportunity and that It’s all based on the words that we use and the words that we put into our mind.  You have a phrase, “our words create our worlds,” and I just wanted to ask you to expound on that since that seems to be the basis of your music; that the words we’re programming ourselves with really matter.

  • Everything you just said is a really good description of why it is that I do what I do. Whether it’s with Group Genius, as an uplifting musician, or being a cofounder of Fambundance, all 3 of those are just mediums to more generative conversations that are happening between us as humans in the world because we have better questions being asked and we have better content being provided to design the conversations that we have. 

Q: One of your songs is called, “Evolve.”  Here’s a passage from that song, “And I know we go through things that can be frustrating. If you really pay attention you can see them demonstrating how to grow up; how to evolve.  How to take the past mistakes, apply to present problems and solve.” Tell us about that song and what you were thinking when you wrote this.

  • What I was thinking about with that line is geared around a couple of things. One of them is addiction and that when I think about past mistakes I’ve made and I look at my addictions, the way they line up, when you look at the reasons and uncover the mistakes you’ve made and investigate them for lessons, you can find ways to apply them to your present life and get a different outcome.
  • That was my first song as Brotha James

Q: You also write about your childhood in a song called, “Slowdown.” One line is, “since I was young I’ve been moving fast. Trying to be cool to keep up with the rest. Trophies, popularity, and being the best dressed.  I even did some hurtful things just to progress. I must confess that I was confused. Young kid living in a small town just trying to be cool. Losing myself. Losing my truth. I don’t know what it was that I was trying to prove.”  You say this verse sums up your childhood.

  • Just trying to keep up with the Joneses and trying to stay popular.  Sometime being a little hurtful because my friends were being a little hurtful just to gain brownie points with my friends.
  • In Dr. Kelly Flanagan’s book, “Lovable” he talks about when we start going to school we start to fall out of our true self and we start to fall into what he calls the false-self.
  • The false-self looks for outside validation and that’s what that verse is about.
  • That verse also acknowledges that I didn’t know any better and that I’m not blaming myself, it’s just the way that it is and if I reflect back on it I can use it as something that’s valuable for me to take forward.

Q: I want to talk about your song, “Not My Mind.”  In this song you write, “The choice is mine. The choice is yours. Open up, break down the doors. A voice inside might be telling lies. I’ve had enough now I decide.”  Explain the concept of that song and what you mean in that song and what people can learn from it.

  • Lots of thoughts go through our mind every day, something like 35,000- 55,000 thoughts every day, and it’s so easy to identify with each of these thoughts and allow each of them to dictate some kind of definition we have of who we are and that the thoughts resemble who we are and also resemble the decisions we should make moving forward. 
  • Don’t make decisions based on what all the emotions and things those thoughts create, use those thoughts as radio stations where you look at what it is you want to create and you tune into the type of channel of thought that you want which makes it not your mind but rather a tool that you get to use to navigate through the world.
  • The world programs us to be in fear and focus on what’s wrong and what’s missing.  That we’re not enough and we need to go outside ourselves to get what it is that will someday make us whole because the world is set up to make us consumers.
  • These thoughts are not our thoughts but thoughts we’ve been programmed to think.
  • If we can realize that and remember that we can understand that our true power as human beings is that we get to choose the kind of thoughts we get to put into our mind that then get to dictate our actions.

Q: Tell us about your favorite experiences getting to impact kids through your music.

  • There are so many. So many!  I will just say that music bridges some pretty big gaps.  One of the biggest gaps in our country is the recognition and appreciation that our youth has for adults and that our adults has for youth and through my experiences.  Kids are so talented and so bright and so sharp that I’m just encouraged by how much talent there is in the world, especially in our middle schools and high schools and elementary schools that if we found a way to harness that talent and allow our system to evolve, we have a lot to be looking forward to.  They’re out there and they’re just looking for someone to believe in them and give them hope.

Q: And you’ve gone into places where you’ve been able to give them the message of being confident and having vision and living life in a positive way with optimism and gratitude.

  • If you compare yourself to the world you might not be able to see them but go back to your own stories and you look for where you’ve been at your best and when you were proud of yourself and when you’ve overcome an obstacle or challenge, you’re going to see that you have a lot of stories and a lot of strengths.
  • Focus on surrounding yourself with good people. Focus on taking care of your finances and not getting into debt.  The world might be working against you but you’ve got to use that as fuel and motivation to get out there and create your own way.
  • Give them strengths, vision, clarity, and offer them a couple of steps and when you combine it with music it has a way of being just a little bit more believable.

Q: I know you’ve also given a TEDx Talk that has a ton of views.  What was that experience like?

  • I learned a lot about preparation.
  • I learned that the best thing to take into a message is to create a message that you’re going to love delivering.
  • What makes the audience lean in isn’t my ability to sing but that they see the little kid inside of me that they want to release within themselves.
  • The power of passion, purpose, and gratitude and when we break all those down, we had those as kids but we lose them as we move from the “true-self” to the “false-self”, as Dr. Kelly Flanagan said in “Lovable” but those of us who are lucky enough we start to merge back into the true-self as we start to figure out that we’ve been conditioned and misled. 

Q: What are your 3 favorite Brotha James songs?

  • #1 is “Animal” because that was the first song where I got to rock.  It’s about being able to attract all the abundance into our life. All of the opportunity, all of the relationships, all of the money and when I’m singing that song I’m reminding myself that I can attract all of these things into my life. 
  • Another favorite song to perform is “Abracadabra” because I remember where I was when I started to sing it and I love what the producer did with it.
  • Another song I love is “Not my mind” but I love them all.

Q: I want to ask you a little bit about Fambundance because I know the group attracts some really amazing families that participate and you’ve had the chance to meet some incredible people.  Have there been some experiences that you can share that have been transformational for you?

  • What’s been most transformational is watching what happens when families set aside time to run their families the way they run their businesses.
  • Having a family meeting, having a schedule and a planner, deciding what vacations you’re going to take, when you’re going to have date nights, but here’s where it gets really inspiring… when families really start to connect to not only having those meetings but having directed and well-designed conversations for how to have the meetings. Conversations about their shared values as a family; around their future visions for the family.
  • Businesses have conversations about their mission and vision and what are our KPIs (key productivity indicators), where do we want to be in 3 years but very few people run their families that way.

Q: As you look ahead over the next 5-10 years, what are some ways that you want to change people’s lives through your work and your influence?

  •  In the next year I want to have enough music put together to put out an album.
  • There will be more songs about family members.
  • I’m so focused on growing Fambundance community.  If you look at what the world needs more of, ultimately the United States needs stronger families that bring a stronger sense of values and a stronger sense of a mission that they bring to their communities and that really starts with the family systems all across the county.
  • Another thing I’m excited about is going into schools and helping to train more facilitators to go out there and deliver the “Dare to dream: one life road map” message.

FINAL THOUGHTS

  • “Your life is a constant creation”
  • Our words create our worlds

SHOW RESOURCES

LYRICS TO BROTHA JAMES’ SONG ABRACADABRA:

I’m feeling good inside
I really love my life
I’m putting out these good vibes every single day.
I’m like a shining ray
I love to celebrate
Even on a rainy day I wear sunshine upon my face.

Hello, my friend from another
Let go, and search for the good
I know, we got each other
It’s so remarkably true
Whenever
I feel low
I look inside and grow
My words they help me know
Just who I am.

With these words I create
Abracadabra
Laugh, are you ready to play
Lalalalaa
Let’s make today a great day
With the words that we say.

I am a musician
I make my music fun
I blast it on my run and when I need good energy.
I give it everything
It’s in these words I sing
I fill’em up with love, I paint these words and set them free.

Hello, my friend from another
Let go, and search for the good
I know, we got each other
It’s so remarkably true
Whenever
I feel low
I look inside and grow
My words they help me know
Just who I am.

With these words I create
Abracadabra
Laugh are you ready to play
Lalalalaa
Let’s make today a great day
With the words that we say.
Abracadabra
With these words I create
Abracadabra
Laugh, are you ready to play
Lalalalaa
Let’s make today a great day
With the words that we say.

 

Show Notes provided by Carlo Cipollina
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