85 episodes

Everyone has a story, and every story has a purpose. Listen in as Dustin interviews some of the most incredible people and hear them share their real and vulnerable stories of overcoming unique challenges and struggles to inspire and motivate each other towards personal fortitude, healing, growth, and empowerment. Dustin declares, “We are going to spark a movement and we are going to change the world, one heart at a time, freeing others from shame, guilt and anger. It’s life … life is tough … but YOU can be tougher!”

Life’s Tough, YOU Can Be TOUGHER‪!‬ Dustin Plantholt

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.6 • 19 Ratings

Everyone has a story, and every story has a purpose. Listen in as Dustin interviews some of the most incredible people and hear them share their real and vulnerable stories of overcoming unique challenges and struggles to inspire and motivate each other towards personal fortitude, healing, growth, and empowerment. Dustin declares, “We are going to spark a movement and we are going to change the world, one heart at a time, freeing others from shame, guilt and anger. It’s life … life is tough … but YOU can be tougher!”

    Chief Rabbi Elie Abadie: On Service and Respect as the Foundation of a Beautiful Life

    Chief Rabbi Elie Abadie: On Service and Respect as the Foundation of a Beautiful Life

    In this episode host Dustin Plantholt speaks to Rabbi Elie Abadie, MD, spiritual leader, renowned international lecturer, gastroenterologist, husband and beloved father and grandfather about what it means to truly embrace diversity and how to balance our many roles in life. This is really a conversation on how to have a beautiful life, and if anyone is qualified to summarize such a topic, it’s Rabbi Elie. 

    Although he knew he wanted to be a doctor by age five, because in the Sephardic Jewish tradition it is common to have a dual career of both rabbi and any other profession, Rabbi Elie first became a spiritual leader. It was perhaps a normal course, having begun studying the Torah at age three at his father’s knee and moving on to memorizing the Bible by age 15 or 16. Born in Lebanon, raised Mexico, he moved in the United States to study medicine at 18 to fulfil his dream of being a physician.  

    Rabbi Elie credits the rich two-thousand-year-old Jewish traditions of both serving humanity and God with helping him to find balance. In his tradition, rabbis are obligated to get married and have children. It’s a religious imperative. Otherwise, how would a rabbi be able to effectively help other families in the community with marital and child-rearing issues? His wife is a “helpmate” as the Bible says, and as such plays an equal role in working and raising children. Children grow up helping in the congregation, observing their parents, and entertaining guests in the home. In this simple way, they grow up valuing their parents’ interactions with society at large. 

    It is this fellowship that can break down walls that divide human beings. And this is precisely why Rabbi Elie and his wife chose in 2020 to move to the United Arab Emirates. He’s lived in many countries, speaks seven languages, and has never felt more welcome anywhere. Incredible, considering he’s still somewhat of an anomaly—a Jewish rabbi living in a country where there are almost no Jews.  

    It was an easy transition for him to move from New York City to Dubai, both international mega-cities. He points out that Dubai is amazingly clean. There are no homeless people in the streets. There is no hateful speech. No disrespect. There is no crime—that was the shock. 

    But it’s not the pretty things that he loves about the UAE. It’s the fact that it is a country where elders are respected; tradition is revered. All religions and races are respected. God is lived. All of this brings stability to the country, its communities, and families. “It’s important to live in a society that you know you are respected, and you are expected to respect others…It’s a society that lives in peace.” 

    So, how does he help others to embrace unity? It’s not about changing how people feel, or even their opinions. It’s really a matter of respect. If we can learn to respect others, we can move on to seeing the beauty in other traditions and appreciate the differences not just tolerate them.  

    His parting blessing is a plea to recognize that all humans are created equal, by one Creator. If we accept that, we can work together for the good of one another and the planet. 

    To discover more from Life’s Tough Media’s expansive collection of inspiring podcasts and services, follow our social media @LifesToughMedia and visit www.lifestough.com. 

    • 21 min
    Chinwe Esimai: Immigrant Women Inspire Brilliance Beyond Borders

    Chinwe Esimai: Immigrant Women Inspire Brilliance Beyond Borders

     
    In this episode host Dustin Plantholt speaks to Chinwe Esimai about her new book, Brilliance Beyond Borders: Remarkable Women Leaders Share the Power of Immigrace (a word she coined to represent an immigrant’s expression of her highest purpose and potential). Much like the women she profiles, Chinwe too is a trailblazer in her field who immigrated to the U.S. from Nigeria as a teenager.  

    Growing up outside of the culture allows immigrants to bring a fresh perspective to whatever they do. Talk around the dinner table in Nigeria was centered on world events and she began to ponder and discuss how to make the world a better place. Her journey to become the managing director and chief anti-bribery officer at Citigroup, Inc., the first person to hold this title in the bank’s history, is an inspiring one to say the least. 

    One strategy Chinwe uses to excel in her own life is to not focus on the borders, any potential barrier to moving forward. Although immigrants' cross physical borders, there are other borders that can be impediments to success, including the ones we impose on ourselves. By shining a light on immigrant women who have honed the traits that shaped their success, she hopes to spread the message that we all possess a unique genius and can create incredible legacies. 

    Prior to joining Citigroup Chinwe spent five years at Goldman Sachs in various regulatory risk-management roles and served as a law professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. She was fortunate to have mentors who helped to build her confidence so that when the time came, she could step into a new role that, in many ways, was meant for her, even though she was taking a risk. “Readiness doesn’t mean you have all the answers. There will still be challenges when you step into it.” 

    What does it take, specifically for immigrant women, to go from surviving to thriving? Oddly, failure is an essential ingredient to their success. Many immigrant women have faced trauma, but the ones who move forward seem to use any rejection they face as a call to action. Other ingredients include… 

    (1) The ability to go within and be thoughtful about what you are uniquely suited to do. What frustrates you? Where are you passionately curious? Begin with reflection and determine to honor your unique talents and gifts.  

    (2) Commitment to innovate over time. Learn to pivot and seize opportunities that come your way.  

    (3) Take ownership of your decisions. Some people want mentors to feed them answers. Keep in mind a mentor doesn’t have to be someone like you—have the same gender or lifestyle. 

    “The journey of life is about growth. It’s about ongoing examination, reexamination…honoring and finding the time and space to listen to that inner voice,” adds Chinwe. 

    Her mission in writing the book is to democratize genius because we are all geniuses. Each section of the book concludes with a step-by-step guide to help readers achieve to their own extraordinary results, as well as an Immigrace Journal, a guide on how to serve the world and build a remarkable legacy.  

    Brilliance Beyond Borders by Chinwe Esimia is now available wherever books are sold. Connect with Chinwe on social media on LinkedIn | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter 

    To discover more from Life’s Tough Media’s expansive collection of inspiring podcasts and services, follow our social media @LifesToughMedia and visit www.lifestough.com. 

    • 26 min
    Life’s Tough—Denise Ilitch is TOUGHER, Carrying on a Family Legacy of Hard Work and Listening

    Life’s Tough—Denise Ilitch is TOUGHER, Carrying on a Family Legacy of Hard Work and Listening

    In this episode of “Life’s Tough—YOU Can Be TOUGHER!” host Dustin Plantholt talks to Denise Ilitch, an owner of Ilitch Family Companies and President of Ilitch Enterprises, an empire begun by her parents when they opened their first restaurant in 1959— Little Ceasar’s Pizza Treat in Garden City, Detroit. 

    The oldest of seven children, Denise learned early to serve and to speak up. With humble beginnings she saw her parents build success from the ground up. Neither of her parents went to college or had formal business training. She says they were “incredibly bright and gifted all on their own.” 

     

    In addition to be being signed by the Detroit Tigers, her father sold pots and pans door-to-door to make ends meet in the early days. He claimed this was how he learned about marketing, by listening to people decide how to spend their money. His love of Italian food led him to try different restaurants when he was traveling with the farm team, all of which led him to start his own. 

     

    Much of what Denise learned about success she attributes to spending time with her father and she eagerly sought out opportunities to be by his side. Through his mentorship she was able to apply what she learned to her own life. Her first principle of leadership? Do the work. Recovery and moving forward post-pandemic will require adaptability, but work ethic is important.  

    Now she wants to help others to use the same lessons. She says she still aims to make her dad proud, carrying on his legacy of treating everyone equally, learning from others and doing good. She stared her own podcast, The Denise Ilitch Show, to pay it forward. She’s observed that all successful people have courage, confidence and a ‘can do’ attitude and her guests reflect those qualities.  

    “The more you invest in others the more you’ll get back.” 

    Listen to the Denise Ilitch Show wherever you get podcasts. If you have a great story to share on the podcast, she’d love to hear from you @thedeniseilitchshow. 

    To discover more from Life’s Tough Media’s expansive collection of inspiring podcasts and services, follow our social media @LifesToughMedia and visit www.lifestough.com. 

    • 17 min
    Life’s Tough— Erik Weir is TOUGHER, discussing financial strategies that can transform your life

    Life’s Tough— Erik Weir is TOUGHER, discussing financial strategies that can transform your life

    In this episode of “Life’s Tough—YOU Can Be TOUGHER!” host Dustin Plantholt talks to Erik Weir, one of the most sought-after wealth advisors in the Unites States, whose clients range from celebrity recording artists and professional sports icons to those on the Forbes World’s Billionaires list. Erik shares with listeners his story, his philosophy and wisdom for achieving goals despite obstacles, something he knows all about.
    When he was just five years old, Erik was in a traumatic automobile accident. Police rushed to the scene and told him to stay in the car, although he was terribly frightened that he wasn’t safe there. That same evening, he started to stutter, something he’d never done before. It was debilitating and he suffered a lot of bullying at school because of it. A therapist gave him a choice: become a recluse and a failure or push through the difficulty to succeed and learn a skill you can use forever. He chose the latter, leaning into his disability and using it as an opportunity, a process he’s repeated in many areas of his life since.
     
    His idea for the title of his new book, “Who’s Eating Your Pie?” came from a lesson he was trying to teach his son. Not quite grasping what his dad was saying about taxation, Erik reached over and took a big bite out of his son’s dessert, warm apple pie with ice cream. He explained to his son, that’s what it means when others take a piece of your “pie,” a metaphor for all our finite resources. Needless to say, his son got it!
     
    Erik shares with listeners his Five F’s that shape his daily priorities: Faith, Family, Fitness, Finances and Friends. Balance is key, recognizing that at different times in our lives we may put more emphasis on building one area over another. And he shares details on the four things he thinks about every day: Vision, Mission, Legacy, Impact.
     
    “No one will ever hold you back more or keep you down more than your limiting thoughts or your judgement on yourself.” Forgiving yourself and others, is also a key. Harboring anger or resentment only bring us pain and keeps us from moving forward. Erik encourages everyone to give grace to others.
    Turns out having a rich and rewarding life has little to do with money.
    To learn more about Erik and to preorder his book, “Who’s Eating Your Pie? Essential Financial Advice That Will Transform Your Life” visit www.erikweir.com. The book will be available wherever books are sold starting March 22.
    To discover more from Life’s Tough Media’s expansive collection of inspiring podcasts and services, follow our social media @LifesToughMedia and visit www.lifestough.com.

    • 17 min
    Cheryl Miller, Co-Author of “Business Doing Good”

    Cheryl Miller, Co-Author of “Business Doing Good”

    Dustin Plantholt’s Life’s Tough: YOU can be TOUGHER! podcast this week features Cheryl Miller, Owner of Quantum Consulting and Training.  
    During her interview with Dustin, Cheryl Miller tells of her past personal challenges as a homeless single mom with two kids born into the welfare system. With the help of others along the way, Miller managed to overcome many uphill battles and obstacles—eventually graduating with a Bachelor's and a graduate degree.
    Miller had become a  teacher and then worked for over 18 years in the nonprofit sector before opening up her own business, Quantum Consulting and Training. Through her company she helped other women who were former addicts or victims of domestic violence, experienced poverty or homelessness, or were incarcerated or had exited from the sex industry, to find meaningful careers to transition back into the normal paths of society.
    Miller also co-authored with Shannon Deer the recently published book, Business Doing Good: Engaging Women and Elevating Communities.  Through her book, Miller hopes other businesses will follow suit and step up to their plate and hire these special groups of women, who make up a large percentage of the nontraditional workforce.  
    "When you give people an opportunity, especially those who are ready to change, ready to do something different, you are not only impacting that person's life but also impacting generations to come.” Says Miller.
    Join us for new episodes of Life’s Tough: YOU Can Be TOUGHER! here on the “Life’s Tough” channel!
    Dustin Plantholt is founder and CEO of Life’s Tough. Surviving a traumatic childhood and now raising a family of his own, he is dedicated to helping others find their voice through sharing their story. Dustin says “Together, we are sparking a movement and changing the world, one heart at a time. It’s life … life is tough … but YOU can be TOUGHER!”

    • 19 min
    Coach Rob Mendez Writes a Book, "Who Says I Can't?"

    Coach Rob Mendez Writes a Book, "Who Says I Can't?"

    Dustin Plantholt’s “Life’s Tough, YOU Can Be TOUGHER!” podcast this week features Coach Rob Mendez, head coach of the Prospect High School (CA) junior varsity football team. 
    During his recent interview with Dustin, Coach Mendez tells of his lifelong passion of football and coaching the sport—even though he has no limbs at all. 
    Born without arms or legs due to tetra-amelia syndrome—a rare congenital disorder that prevents the formation of limbs during embryonic development—Rob Mendez was never able to play football, but that didn't stop him from pursuing his passion for the game as a coach.  Yet he was always inspired and encouraged by his father Robert Mendez Sr. to not see himself as "special" but as "unique," and "never to focus on what I couldn’t do but rather on what I could do."
    "I am grateful for the work I get to do every day. Coaching my team fills me up in a way unlike anything else. The purpose and fulfillment we get from our jobs positively impacts our lives and our communities." Says Coach Mandez.
    Coach Mendez is also the author of his recently published book, Who Says I Can't? The Astonishing Story of A Fearless Life. Besides coaching football, Mendez is also a busy and accomplished motivational speaker, and has been the subject of dozens of profiles in national media, as well as the ESPN documentary short feature, "Who Says I Can’t? " He will also be partnering with Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin & Metro Chicago in support of their mission to help individuals with disadvantages and different abilities overcome obstacles, find jobs, and achieve their goals
    To learn more about Coach Rob Mandez, follow him on social media @coachrobmandez and listen to the full episode on the “Life’s Tough” podcast network.
    Dustin Plantholt is founder and CEO of Life’s Tough. Surviving a traumatic childhood and now raising a family of his own, he is dedicated to helping others find their voice through sharing their story. Dustin says “Together, we are sparking a movement and changing the world, one heart at a time. It’s life … life is tough … but YOU can be TOUGHER!”

    • 15 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
19 Ratings

19 Ratings

Business RPG ,

Great show idea

Love the connection made between these guests and the life lessons they have made with the host’s theme. very enjoyable content.

Rebeccah S. ,

We are Tougher Together!

This podcast helps remind me of the power of community. When we have hard conversations we connect deeper and heal faster. Thank you for this podcast and for bringing us closer to the tougher parts of ourselves while you connect us back to each other.

Noelle Turner ,

Stories that Inspire

This podcast is filled with amazing guests who have incredible life stories. Learning from others who have been there and survived is such an encouragement!

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