87 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!”

    Joe Foster: The True Story of Building a Billion Dollar Brand by Finding the “White Space”

    Joe Foster: The True Story of Building a Billion Dollar Brand by Finding the “White Space”

    In this episode host Dustin Plantholt speaks to Joe Foster, a name you may not recognize although it’s been in his family for generations. It might surprise you to learn he’s built a multi-billion-dollar global company, whose name you’ll know as well as your own. The reason you may have never heard of Joe Foster is because his business was never about him. It was about being the best in sport shoes. Does the name Reebok ring a bell?
     
    Foster tells the fascinating story behind how the company got started and how he named it. The shoe business wasn’t new to him. In fact, his grandfather’s eponymous British company dating back to 1895 became famous for pioneering the spiked running shoe and outfitting the world’s best athletes. Wearing shoes made by JW Foster & Sons, Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell won Olympic Gold Medals in the 1924 Paris Olympics and were later immortalized in the Academy Award-winning film Chariots of Fire.
     
    But after he and his brother Jeff served in the UK’s National Service and went to “footwear college” in the evenings, the brothers struck out on their own, opening Mercury Sports Footwear in an old brewery.
    Discovering that name was already registered, Foster did his first pivot, choosing the name of a small South African gazelle to represent a running shoe company. Two weeks later the name became Reebok.
     
    Some 20 years later, after many failed attempts to break into the American market, they capitalized on an opportunity to make shoes for a new exercise craze sweeping the 1980’s—aerobics. When the celebrity queen of aerobics, Jane Fonda herself, donned a pair of the new buttery soft leather shoes in her workout video the brand exploded. Globally.
     
    In five years, Reebok grew from nine to 900 million dollars. For the next four years they focused solely on product delivery to keep up with demand. With solid movement into the American professional sports market, the street followed, and Reebok became a four-billion-dollar company.
     
    Foster credits his success to enthusiasm, optimism, and the willingness to look for what he calls “the white spaces.” Those white spaces, or gaps in the market, give you the opportunity to create something new, perhaps something you never had in mind. Changing the feeling of a sports shoe, made of pliable garment leather for aerobics is a great example. Reebok’s coveted pump shoe is another one.
     
    The 87-year-old tells wannabe business owners, “To be an entrepreneur you’ve got to have optimism.” If you can look at the problem and turn it into a challenge, you can think differently about solutions, often ending up in a better position.
     
    Foster’s book, Shoemaker: The Untold Story of the British Family Firm that Became a Global Brand is available on Amazon. Check out his website to learn more Joseph William Foster.
     
    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.

    • 48 min
    Life’s Tough—David Green is TOUGHER

    Life’s Tough—David Green is TOUGHER

    In this episode of “Life’s Tough—YOU Can Be TOUGHER!” host Dustin Plantholt talks to David Green, Founder of Hobby Lobby as he shares his unconventional leadership wisdom and his billion-dollar success story.  
    In 1970, David Green and his wife borrowed $600 to make miniature picture frames out of their garage. Two years later their small home-based arts and crafts business was making enough money for them to afford a modest commercial space, and thus Hobby Lobby was born. 
    Green recalls in the early years how they were struggling to survive. They stayed the course one day at a time and over the next 50 years turned that tiny $600 loan into an $8 billion debt-free business, with nearly 1,000 locations and 43,000+ employees. Green says he has “the sense” that they can get to ten billion. Right now, that’s what he’s working on.
    No successful business enjoys longevity without making a lot of mistakes and Green says Hobby Lobby is no exception. He believes that everyone has God-given gifts, and one of his is not hiring people. He’s learned to look for folks with integrity, who are hardworking, but he also looks for something else that’s important – he looks for people who are smarter than he is.
    Many remarkable leaders have touted the same philosophy from Confucius to Tony Robbins: surround yourself with capable people and allow them to do their jobs. Green says being the CEO is the easiest job he’s had so far because he has such great leaders on his team, many of whom have been with Hobby Lobby for decades. 
    “I’d like to think we learn from each other,” says Green of his relationship with the executives helping to steer the ship. It’s another of his success tactics—listening to others.
    Coming from humble means, Green hails from small town Oklahoma, the son of a Christian pastor. This self-made man didn’t have a trust fund or the benefit of a fancy education, he says money has never been his motivation. What does motivate him is being the very best. He quotes a verse from the Bible’s Book of Ecclesiastes as inspiration, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” In fact, the 80-year-old CEO aims to follow biblical principles in everything he does, at work and at home. Even back when he was the manager of a five-and-dime, he always put his marriage and his family first. He does, however, still go to work six days a week, but now if his wife wants him to herself on a Saturday, he gladly complies.
    His faith continues to serve as the bedrock of his life. His family relies on prayer to help get them through challenges. And big companies don’t come without them, like the $40 million monthly rent bill during the pandemic when no money was coming in. Being flexible and adjusting to change are also hallmarks of his success.
    Green recently made headline news when he talked about how true ownership of Hobby Lobby belongs to God, a decision that was easy for Green to make. Green now defines himself as a steward, rather than an owner, with the voting stock in a stewardship trust. He’d like to see more business owners do the same. 
    He still oversees the company and its growth, which affords him the privilege of giving back. The company invests 50% of its profits to fund charitable ministries all over the world and has been doing so for the last 22 years. 
    Because he’s done so many things differently, Green’s new book is titled, Leadership Not by the Book: 12 Unconventional Principles to Drive Incredible Results.
    No one can argue with his results.

    • 18 min
    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

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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