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69. (S2E33) Learn and Transform with Joe Bravo
Episode 696th October 2022 • FINE is a 4-Letter Word • Lori Saitz
00:00:00 00:43:51

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Today’s guest is Joe Bravo. As with many of the fantastic people in my network, Joe and I met through LinkedIn. I’m telling you, it’s not just an online resume place where people pitchslap you all the time. You can make valuable connections there!

Joe and I are talking about living through and learning from traumatic situations, how pain is a great communication tool, and the role complaining has in growth. Joe also shares how he’s used authors, historical figures, and fictional characters as role models when he hasn’t had an appropriate role model physically in his life.

Joe Bravo is a senior brand ambassador for a company called Get Staffed Up. They provide virtual assistants to lawyers and other types of business owners all across the United States and beyond.

He says he started as a broken man, moved his way up to healthiest unemployed person ever. Today he’s finally able to share his story and what he learned from it!

Today’s episode is sponsored by Zen Rabbit. If you’d like to find peace of mind amidst the chaos and no matter what’s going on around you, get on a complimentary call with me. In less than 30 minutes, you’ll get insight on any issue you’d like to bring to the table. And you’ll leave the conversation with clarity and renewed energy. Here's the booking link. Or text me at 571.317.1463.

And if you’re not into chatting just yet, you can go to to find free resources, like meditations and articles.

Joe's hype song is The Alan Parsons Project's Sirius








[00:00:10] Joe Bravo: you for having me, Lori.


[00:00:29] Joe Bravo: well, there's a lot of different things in there. A lot of things in the mix, I think one of them was, uh, the most positive ambience that I could ever have to me. That's an, I don't know if that counts as a value though, but I was giving a lot of positive things while I was surrounded by a lot of negative thing.

So I was taught how to seek after that. So that would be one of the most important things that wa that that was in my life when I was growing up another one would. Honesty and honor, uh, so honesty because we believe, and when I say we, I mean my family and I mean, uh, my lineage, the, the one that actually cares for, for everybody that's in it, uh, we care about telling the truth.

I know that's something rather difficult because the truth can either get you very close to someone or it can drift you apart. It can break you apart. So to us, honesty is a very important thing because there's nothing to hide and that's kind of like the person I am. I have nothing to hide. I'm an open book.

Uh, I like being like that because it's a lot easier. Uh, there's no acting involved. There's no deception in there because I'm trying to. to a place where I don't want you, that I don't do that. I don't manipulate people. Uh, it's not a nice thing for me. And finally, I would say honor, because I believe in honorable positions and honorable actions and doing the right thing.

So. It's a little difficult when you say, or you bring it up as justice, because justice can be a very particular term for different people. Like it can mean one thing or another, your particular brand of justice might not be mine, but I'm thinking that honor is something that everybody can understand, even if it's a little bit difficult to, to, to define.

So it carries a lot of weight into. Uh, honesty being one of those things, uh, being respectable, being truthful. Uh, so those are the type of values and the type of surroundings that I had when growing up and that molded my attitude into what I, I, I am, and I still want to become, uh, while adding one more thing to that would be empathy, uh, to honestly care about someone else.

Now that's something that's rather difficult likely, uh, maybe because of the COVID, uh, era, the digital era, but I've been able to find and connect with other people from at a distance, never meeting them face to face. That was the case with you, Lori. So I'm very honored here today because of that.

So being able to have a meaningful conversation with someone that's something that you achieve through empathy. So that's also one of my core values as a

Lori Saitz: yeah, empathy. Empathy is about putting yourself in somebody else's shoes, understanding where they're coming from. And I think we've talked about this on, on my show before of understanding, not necessarily having to agree, but understanding where they're coming from and why they might think or feel that way based on their past experiences and, um, experiences and feelings and. The way that they've been raised different than yours, but understandable again, you don't have to agree, but it's a matter of understanding and I love that you shared that honesty is so much easier, right? You don't have to remember, well, what did I tell that person? And then I told that person something different and like, you have to remember, you don't have, all you have to remember is the truth, cuz that's all you're speaking.

Joe Bravo: It makes it a lot easier and a lot faster.


I don't know that they're so random. I think, you know, the universe has something to do. Putting me in touch with the right, right. People. And yeah, that's how we originally connected. Just so less. So listeners have some background context there. When we talked the first time you shared a little bit more about the experiences that you had in your childhood.

Could you talk a little bit about that, cuz that really shaped you into who you've become. It's not just those values, but what were the experiences that you lived through that? I mean, you had some. Pretty rough experiences.


Maybe when I was a kid, it's something that I did, but I lived through and.


[00:05:25] Joe Bravo: abuse through a lot of deception through a lot of manipulation. Maybe that's part of why I like being honest because in my household it was, my father was not a well balanced man. Although I hold absolutely nothing against him, I was able to under, well, not understand, but face when I was a little kid, what violence is, what abuses again, what manipulation is, uh, it's not a healthy environment to grow up in.

Uh, so when I saw that in a fatherly figure and we were able to drift apart from that, uh, as soon as my mom was able to take us out of, out of that house, then I would, I came into contact with the legal system I started noticing what a divorce was, what a necessary divorce was, uh, what. Even mental illness came in, in, into the picture because my father was undiagnosed.

Uh, but it, he still had a mental unbalance and he was very afraid of showing that and hiding things. That's, that's one of the big things that happened during my childhood. He wanted to hide everything that was going on in there. We had to become, or we had to show that we were this perfect little family. On the outside we were, but that's not how it was working on the inside. On the inside. There was a lot of pain and there was a lot of, um, it was a toxic environment, uh, during a lot of my, a lot, many years. So I came out of that with an anxiety disorder. Uh, well, a couple of them because you know, they come in pairs and I was starting to. I, I started to cope with it. Thanks to one of my personal heroes, which is my mom. And then the D. Type of, uh, influencers that I got in my life, different authors, different, uh, uh, even TV personalities, because, uh, we were a little bit on the run while my mom was getting divorced. Uh, we were sort of trying to find our place in our footing in the world.

And it was kind of difficult because this was Mexico by the. Uh, and it was the nineties. It was a single mom with two children. Uh, both of them, uh, well, the three of us, we were exiting, uh, a, a very complicated, uh, family dynamic. So we had to deal with, okay, let me put this analogy, uh, for you. Imagine that you have a little.

And that little puppy, you put it inside a cage, and then you shake the cage every day for six years in a. And then you have another puppy running free and running wild in the mountains, which is one of the things that I most, uh, enjoy doing. Uh, so they're both pack part of the same pack or the same lit, but when you look at them where there's, when they're six years old, there's gonna be a clear difference of, uh, and, and you're gonna be able to understand that they probably had a very different past, which also says a lot about dog owners, but I'm drifting.



[00:08:42] Joe Bravo: Yeah. It's not like it's not fun being inside the cage, you know,


[00:08:50] Joe Bravo: And the thing is that once you're out, then there's no excuses. And that's one of the big things that I really like about my life and about my newfound, my new set of found core values. I would even say like, no excuses. I understand there might be a difficult past, but you still gotta be responsible for your life in the present and in the future.

And you can't blame that to anybody else because it doesn't work like that. The. As much as I love it. And as, and as much as I love being empathetic with everybody, the world is mainly not empathetic with your cause, unless they absolutely know you, which is a very weird thing or, or, or very like not everybody is in the spotlight like that.

So going back to it, you have, uh, let's say that the shaken puppy, you have to take the shake out of. And that's where the journey began. Uh, I started, uh, focusing a lot of my, my issues into, uh, working out. I started exercising. Uh, I was able to find a coach, a former, uh, Olympic athlete. Uh, he taught me a lot about triathlon.

So I started enjoying endurance sports by then. I was already 20 years old. Um, no, a little bit older. I was about 20. I started exercising when I was 14. So I looked for a natural way of dealing with my anxiety or coping with my anxiety, because I'm not a fan of the different medications that are out there and the type of side effects or long-term effects that those can hold or have on people.


[00:10:47] Joe Bravo: I completely agree. I completely like, for example, if my father had been diagnosed. And if he had started any specific type of type of treatment, it might have been a completely different story. And by then medication is absolutely necessary. But in my case, when it's a little bit of anxiety, well, maybe a little bit more than a little bit, but when it's anxiety, that's something that a lot of people are actually dealing with.

The pandemic triggered a lot of anxiety disorder. Uh, because people were shouting in and people were beginning to feel threatened by the presence and just mere breathing of someone that's near to near and dear to you MIBI even. So to me, it was find the best possible way to do this. And then you, you know, I thought everything was fine and it turns out that now, hell no fuck being fine.

That's not how it works. I had a, I had a lot of injuries. Then I started to realize that maybe there's gonna be a moment in my life when this is not gonna cut it. When exercise is not something that, or rigorous exercise is not something that I'm gonna be physically able to keep doing. And that's something that injury teaches a lot and that's something that pain and not even in, in an injury like pain in life, I believe that that's how it works.

It teaches you on the things that you can't do and the things that you need to do to evolve that thing. I was introduced to yoga. I was introduced to stretching. I was introduced to Joe. You gotta find a better way of dealing with your things than just one tool. So that's when I figured out that I needed a set of tools.


[00:12:31] Joe Bravo: Yeah.


[00:12:40] Joe Bravo: Yes, yes, yes. I agree. And you know, it's very strange because keeping, um, a positive attitude through a very difficult moment. It's easy to say. Yeah. When I look back and yeah, but when you're in the mess, like when you're right in the middle of it, keeping your center and keeping your cool and keeping your calm, that's something that's very complicated to do.

Like I remember when I had this back injury, which was not, not a good thing for me. I was not even able to stand up by myself to take a shower comfortably, to dress. I started to imagine what it's like being in a long term disability or what it's like to causing or living in a position where you are no longer able to do things that you want to do.

And the level of frustration, the pain that you have to deal with it in the moment, the attitude that you're actually showing to people around you, when you're doing that, when you go to work, when, when you're with your parents, when you're, when you're with your, with your family, with your spouse. Like that's when it's important that that's when your attitude gets put to the test, like, okay, are you actually able to deal with difficult situations or am I gonna start whining and moaning and complaining?

And by the way, it's totally fine. I love whining and complaining as long as it's, as it's temporary, as it's not my standard way of living.


[00:14:32] Joe Bravo: exactly.


And again, not necessarily on your own, you can get.


[00:14:51] Lori Saitz: it is your responsibility to take the steps to get that.


It's not gone, it's been triggered and it's gonna be there for the rest of. Whenever I bend down whenever it's getting cold, it starts to hurt again. And I could very easily jump back into the position of what the fuck was I thinking when I lifted that. And I'm an idiot and it sucks, or I can learn how to live with and manage it.

Uh, so I imagine this should be incredibly difficult for people that have gone through a very painful, very life-changing traumatic situations. And even when it comes to PTSD, I I've suffered PTSD in the past before I've been able to, to, to live with this and I've been able to. Transform it into something different for me, all of this became an unlimited source of energy.

Like that. That's one of the good things that I saw from my anxiety. I'm always on alert. Yeah. But now all the time, I have a lot of energy. So if I need to wake up and do something, I'm able to do it. And I've learned so much from different authors people like Victor Franco, uh, and. That when something is broken, you gotta figure out the things that still work and use those to your advantage.

And that's where you can evolve. So now let me take it away from the back pain and put it back to any type of trauma that I had in my life, whether it was relationship trauma, where it was family trauma, any type of trauma. Uh, this one was physical trauma. If I keep going back to that same position of why is this happening to me and stay there, marinate there for too long.

The flavor's gonna sit in and I'm never gonna do anything about it. I need to own up to that. I need to understand those are the cards that I'm dealt with and the situations that are placed in front of me to deal with. And I need to solve one problem at a time. So that's another good thing that my anxiety, uh, anxiety gave me.

So I'm actually quite thankful. For the set of tools that my past allowed me to develop, because these things are gonna help me deal with the different type of problems that I have. So when people have never faced this type of situation, it's, I imagine it can be quite difficult to deal with, uh, a problem when it, when it comes to you.

But for me, it's something that it's quite normal at this point. I, I'm not gonna say bring it on because I'm not a fan of pain.


They were awful at the time and now they can see and be grateful. maybe not why they happened for, but for the fact that they did happen because it made them into who they are now, and you wouldn't be who you are now, except for those things,


[00:18:36] Lori Saitz: that gratitude piece is so crucial.


So it was great being in the defensive when you were in a toxic environment, but maybe you're not in a toxic environment anymore. Yet you have a sort and a shield always facing everybody all the time. And that's happened to me more than once. One of the big things for me is actually, I'm a big fan of history.

I'm not a historian. I like studying. I like learning. I like learning from. I, I know this is gonna sound very harsh, but thankfully I'm in the, thankfully in this podcast, it's fine to do this or to say this, uh, I know what a bloody mess was. I know that the standard of living 200 years ago was chaos beyond belief.

It was bloodshed. It was rape. It was murder. All of that was legal. That was the. There was no social media. There was no type of media that would advertise on what evil things were and what evil things were, were the norm and the standard in the past. So when a lot of my friends and a lot of people that I know start complaining and bitching and moaning about, about how harsh it is right now, the environment that we're living.

And I'm not trying to discredit that we are living right now, a moment of change and a moment of challenge, but in the past, It was legal for someone to jump into your house, kill you and take your family as theirs. That's why people wanted to be soldiers, or it was legal for people to become conquerors.

And that was something that was very, that was very admired to become an absolute narcissistic personality, destroy everybody. And people will admire you for that. I'm thankful that we're not living at this moment in rivers of blood, because that was the standard in the past. And that's something that has been, that has given me perspective.

So I actually thank a lot for it. Thank history a lot. It's given me a lot of perspective to know that I'm not in the most violent or difficult time in our recorded history and that I can make something out of it. There, it could always get worse and I know it could get worse. That's something that, that some of my favorite historians always talk about.

Like, if you want to envision the worst type of torture or worst type of scenario that has ever happened, it has already happened. And more than once. So


Now that's not to say everything's ease and flow and happiness and, and fun.


[00:22:12] Lori Saitz: it's just maybe coming back into more of a balance.


Uh, because since there was no dad, I started to envision what a, that should look like or what a, what, what a man should, how a man should act. And I started to build a personality of how a, a, an honest man. Aspire to become, but having


[00:23:06] Joe Bravo: based on what I saw out there that I


[00:23:15] Joe Bravo: something like that, uh, I would say it was more of a mix. It took me a couple of years though, but I first, I needed to understand that, uh, I don't think that my father is an evil person. He was just in that incredibly difficult situation. And he had absolutely no help. And he didn't want to take responsibility for that.

Maybe he didn't know that was an option at that moment. I don't blame him for that. There's a lot of people that are in there. So the first thing that was very important for me was not hating part of my life and part of my blood. If I see myself in the mirror, I can see physical characteristics, characteristics, characteristics of him.

And if I hate my dad, I might hate myself. So I don't do that.


[00:24:04] Joe Bravo: that was half of it. The other half was, I started to look, look up to the honorable man that man that I. And some of them, I didn't even know, like I started looking at TV characters or I started looking at a, a, a book personality, an author right now. I am surrounded by a couple of very powerful masculine figures that I honestly admire both in my life and specifically in my job.

So I started to build or reconstruct or, or construct an image about what a man should aspire to become. And that. That would be like the fatherly figure that I have, or the manly figure that I have in my head, because I'm not gonna take my, my dad's place away from my mind. He, he is my dad. I cannot deny him, but when it comes to how I was raised and how I was able to move forward in life, I gotta thank a lot.

The women in my life, my mom and my sister did an amazing job with me. I'm the little one in the family. business was mostly led by women. And when the business went under because of the pandemic. So that's another funny moment. Like, okay, I'm in pain Le yeah. Deal with it and let's move on. Uh, I joined an amazing company and it, this company is mostly led by women.

Now, our, our co-founders, both of them are men and they are incredibly open to how women can also bring a lot to the table. I like to believe that everybody in here is neutral. Uh, I don't wanna take anything away from the masculine side of the equation, but I do want to give credit to the feminine side of the equation.

And right now I see all the movement that's going on in there. And I'm very happy as long as this empowers and helps people out there finding their true selves and not hating or taking up arms against anybody else because of gender or. because I know that's a sensitive subject. I like to see myself as a neutral guy.

And I was raised by women, led by women and became successful mainly because of women.


[00:26:27] Joe Bravo: Yeah. I agreed.


I'm just thinking where we, what, what we wanna talk about next? Um,

let me


[00:26:56] Lori Saitz: Yeah. Yeah. Where do we go from here?

Yeah. Okay. So I it's interesting, cuz you brought up a couple of times that your mentors, for lack of a better word were not people that you knew. They were books, they were entertainment characters. It's it's so interesting to me that you found if they weren't immediately in your, your present. You know, as physical people around you, that you reached out and found them in other, in other terms


[00:27:37] Lori Saitz: help you


So for example, when I was a little kid, I really enjoyed this show called uh, home. And it was a very manly type of thing. Now there might be a scandal with some of the actors in there. I honestly don't know. I honestly don't remember. Uh, but when I was a kid, I saw that as something that it made sense to me.

So it made sense, like, okay. So that's how you represent part of the energy that I'm. Or I was able to look at one of my friend's dad and it's not like I, I, I grew close and they became a father to me or a father to me, but I started to realize that's how you should treat your son. And those are the type of, uh, knowledge bombs that you should drop to them or that you should show them.

When I was about 25 years old, though, I started to realize what the lack of a father was and meant in. So there were a lot of lessons that were not taught to me that are sometimes on the, let's say manly side of the equation, but sometimes it's not like it's not necessarily guys who know how to do business.

Again, I was successful and today I remain successful because mainly because of women. Um, but I do understand that energy of. That energy of seeking after and going after. And I think that's something that everybody should learn. It doesn't matter where it, where it's coming from. For me, it was like that.

And then it was starting to realize, uh, I didn't have that knowledge or I didn't have that specific mentor in the past. And with that comes a lot of relationships because sometimes that specific person in your life introduces you to a lot of people, to a lot of business. And that's how you become a strong member in society and successful.

But that's not also, that's not necessarily true. Sometimes you have both parents and I'm sorry to say this, but maybe both of them suck at raising kids or maybe you have one and one of them, even if he or she in my kids, it was a, she is not present. With five minutes of their time per week. Like when they come, it's just like exhausted coming from, coming from a hard day's work or a hard week's work, just looking at their kids and seeing, okay, I'm doing this for them.

And five minutes of conversation or 30 seconds of, I'm gonna give you a hug because I know you're asleep and I gotta wake up early tomorrow morning and I'm not gonna. one of the things that I wanna say to every parent out there that I know that might be struggling is when you do that, when you show that to your kids, we realize the level of sacrifice that you're doing for us.

And that gives us a lot of resource, a lot of strength. And maybe it's not something that we're able to understand when we're kids, but once we're grown up, once we start to realize what person taking personal responsibility of your life, what that actually means, it's incredibly helpful because then you start to realize.

They did an amazing job. Like thank you for all this hot water. Thank you for this lighting for this food. Now it's my time to get after that and your existence, not even you teaching me how to do it, your existence of the fact that you are out there doing that teaches me. It's possible. So maybe I didn't have that in my life, but that doesn't mean I can't learn it.

And I should, because it's necess.


[00:31:46] Joe Bravo: well, I am deeply grateful for the internet and at the same time I curse it. I curse it with all my being, because the thing about, and I know like, this is where, where I'm going next. Like, um, I remember when deeper first came into place. And then I remember when cell phones first came into place. I was a little kid, but I, I do have that memory.

And then smart phones came into the picture. Social media came into the picture, everything changed, evolved. Now everything is moving so fast. And honestly, I would like to live in a narrow, like the fifties or the. Of course there was an, uh, , um, economical, uh, uprising on, on both areas. So that's pretty cool, but it wasn't that fast paced.

Now my work used to be a lot like that and when the pandemic hit, it was taken away from me. My anxiety, my country was not equipped to deal with it, even if we had the technology for it. was thanks to the smartphone and social media and in the internet that I was able to find my place in the world.

Again, it took me a while and I was very scared. Like I was coping, I was moping. I was bitching and mourning when that happened. But at the same time, I had to wake up and see like, okay, what's next right now I have the opportunity to interview the people that I. And meet with them, even if it's just for an honest conversation.

Um, so today I'm the senior brand ambassador for a company called Get Staffed Up. And this has given me the opportunity to work with the people that I admire. Again, I admire a lot of people. I admire therapists. I admire, uh, assign some historical figures and I admire lawyers because there was a very big necessity of righteousness and justice in. That's why I studied law. I'm also a lawyer by the way. And when I started to, to realize how law was particularly handled in my country, it's not a nice business. It's a very greedy, it's a very greedy, it's a, it's not a nice place to be. And I wasn't equipped enough nor open enough to deal with that. At the same time, I always admire the law.

I always admire what someone doing the right thing or helping someone to get justice, their very particular Ben of justice, just taking, taking away all of that pain from a family or a messy situation from a family. I viewed that as a, a heroic figure. That's also why I like therapists. So. Because I know that's, it's a very important resource that you can reach out to, or you can have someone in your life that can teach you so much, and that can, that can help you so much to cope and deal with.

So I am now being able to interview all type of lawyers in all type of professionals. Thanks to the internet. My, my next step in here is to use the position that I have to reach out. To understand, to view, to interview, to help, to assist the people that I admire and beyond. So I've been able to, I've been given the opportunity to do this from the comfort of my own home.

So I gotta thank the internet much more than I curse it.


[00:35:30] Joe Bravo: I gotta be very thankful for the specific era that we're living. Because it's thanks to this, that I was able to meet you, and I'm gonna be able to meet so many interesting people out there, and maybe there's gonna be incredible business or just a great story to take that from and to learn that's my, my, those are my next steps and well, whatever comes my way to make it a great day.


[00:36:06] Joe Bravo: You know, uh, ah, this, this question, it actually took me a while because I know the songs that I want to play, or I want people to play when I die, but it's different to know what the song is for when I need to get hyped up. And okay. So maybe with a very short, uh, reason for why this. I don't know if you guys have watched this, uh, show, uh, called Cobra.

Kai. I know it's kind of famous. That's when I heard it again and again, that was the figure of a broken man that started to build himself back up. So to me, I, I could easily relate to them. So there's is some that I've always enjoyed, uh, from the all Parsons project called Sirius. And I think I saw it in that show again, so it's like, it, it, it hits very different nerves and in, in my very personal particular story.

So I would say sir, from the Allen Parsons project, if you need to wake up with a fire late on under your that's a good.


Listen to this song, cuz you have undoubtedly heard it. You just don't know that this is the name.


[00:37:33] Lori Saitz: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. And lastly, if someone wants to continue the conversation with you, where's the best place for them to find.


Uh, you can find me on LinkedIn. Just look for Joe Bravo very easily, or you can also find me through our company. It's called Get Staffed Up. We provide virtual assistance to lawyer and different type of business owners all across the United States and beyond. So it's easy to find me on social media. Just look for Joe Bravo at LinkedIn, or look for, Get Staffed Up and reach out.

And we're always happy. If you also want to get into in contact with me, uh, you can email me at and check out the, the email. It's pretty easy. Like this Joe dot Bravo at Get Staffed


[00:38:49] Joe Bravo: Thank you very much Lori, for having me. And if I can have one final moment to give a message to anybody that's out there is. Every difficult scenario or every difficult situation you're put in either because you're dealt with that or you brought it on yourself, you gotta be responsible for that too. When you learn how to deal with it, you get a tool and the more icky and difficult situations you get into the more tools you have to deal with your life. So if you're able to realize those, you're able to use them and you're able to teach 'em, I hope the two of three of them that were kind of elusive, but I know were played during this podcast.

I hope this is gonna be helpful to you guys, and I wish you the very best of luck and just it's time to get after it. So thank you, Lori. Thank you for the space and your time.





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