Accessing Your Authenticity with JP Sears, Conscious Comedian

Episode 247

Accessing Your Authenticity with JP Sears, Conscious Comedian

Join me today for a highly entertaining, kinda random, and yet highly valuable conversation with my good friend – the infamous JP Sears. JP is a YouTuber, conscious comedian, emotional healing coach, world traveler, author, and curious student of life.

With over 300 million YouTube views across his videos, JP empowers people to live more meaningful lives, using a blend of spirituality and messages to expand consciousness through humor.

By his own admission, JP is also a people pleaser. However, he’s discovered how to get over his fears and use a unique, humorous, and authentic style to address even extremely controversial topics. I’ve spoken with many podcasters, influencers, and authors I know about finding a balance and working through this struggle, and even if you’re not an author, you’ve likely found yourself in a situation where you’ve changed your tone of voice in front of certain clients, friends, and even family members.

Today, JP joins the podcast for a discussion about how he delivers serious and empowering messages through the lens of comedy, finding authenticity in being respectable, why the goals you don’t meet still matter, and how personal power factors into everything we do.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • How JP, a self-admitted people pleaser, uses his humorous, authentic style to get over his fears and address extremely controversial topics.
  • Why you need to know why you’re squashing your authentic voice – and why if we truly know ourselves, we can do no wrong.
  • Why JP’s goals before pursuing comedy were crap – and the breakthrough that happened the moment he realized his previous “shadow goals” were holding him back.
  • The ways setting goals expands our visions and changes us as people – and why this growth often leads to pivots in our lives and careers.
  • How JP made his first comedy YouTube video at the age of 33 after spending a year making sincere life coaching videos that rarely surpassed 100 views, which of his videos are his most popular and his favorites, and why.
  • Why venturing into live stand-up comedy took JP completely out of his comfort zone – and JP’s equation for success, growth, fulfillment, and outer achievement.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

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COMMENT QUESTION: What is your big takeaway? Write it in the comments below.

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TRANSCRIPT

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Hal: Goal achievers, welcome to the Achieve Your Goals Podcast. This is your host, your friend, Hal Elrod. And if it’s your first time here, welcome. I don’t know. I’ve never said that before. I don’t know why I just said that right now but if it is your first time or your 270th time since I think we’re in Episode like 272 or something, you’re in for a treat because I am bringing my good friend – actually, JP, I can’t call you a good friend yet like we’re still kind of getting to know each other. Is that fair?

 

JP: We’re dating. Yeah. We like each other.

 

Hal: I’m introducing you. That was a rhetorical question. You’re not supposed to say anything.

 

JP: So, I’ll keep pretending like I’m not here. Yeah. Cool.

 

Hal: Yeah. Just treating like you’re not here. That’s actually funny. JP and I were just going back and forth cracking up saying a bunch of random nonsense. I said, “JP, I hope we can maintain this nonsensical energy during our conversation for everyone.” And, JP, I think that we’re doing that. Yeah? That was rhetorical.

 

JP: I’m supposed to be quiet. Damn it. Oh.  

 

Hal: You are epic failing on this interview. You know what, let’s just cancel this. All right. I’m just kidding. All right. Goal achievers, here we go. If you do not know who JP Sears is, the first question is what rock are you sleeping under? He is a YouTuber. He is a comedian like a legit – not like a wannabe me, Hal Elrod, trying to be funny comedian. He’s actually legitimately going around the country and perform standup comedy. In fact, I was on a trip. I couldn’t – I got back late. I had tickets to a show and my wife went without me, friends went without me, and I haven’t seen you live yet, JP, and the only – I asked my wife how was it and she goes, “He was way funnier than I thought he was going to be because his videos are only semi-funny.” It’s something like that she said. I don’t remember the exact words.

 

But, anyway, so JP you guys listening, I’m still introducing him. He is an emotional healing coach, he is an author, he is a speaker, he is a world traveler, and a curious student of life and his work empowers people to live more meaningful lives. And he’s also an author. He wrote the book How to Be Ultra-Spiritual which combines what makes JP unique, if you don’t follow his work, by the way, I’ll just say this, he has over 300 million views on his YouTube videos and if that’s not enough for everybody, well, I better go watch a YouTube video from JP Sears because if 300 million people watched him, he must be pretty good, and what JP does that is so unique is he blends spirituality. He blends messages to expand your consciousness, but he does it through humor and so you’re cracking up, you’re laughing, you’re entertained, which I honestly think is the best way to connect with people. If you can laugh while you learn, I think you’re going to enjoy the learning process more. So, it is really my true honor and pleasure to introduce you to my friend JP Sears and I’m really looking forward to this nonsensical yet hopefully highly valuable for you, the listener, conversation.

 

Hal: JP, welcome my friend.

 

JP: Is that the part I fill in or…

 

Hal: You’re not allowed to talk for the rest of the episode.

 

JP: This is the rhetorical podcast.

 

Hal: Gosh, darn it. JP, no. This is the part where you talk.

 

JP: Oh, cool. Like intelligent things are what I’m saying now. Yeah. Awesome. Now, I appreciate you having me on, brother. I love being here with you. I love any chance you and I had to connect which living in the same town, I’m not surprised but it’s not as often as I’d like because we’re both pretending to be busy, very important people based on what we tell ourselves.

 

Hal: Busy important, spiritual, and authentic people as we are trying to be, right?

 

JP: Man, that was the pinnacle of authenticity right there when you told me that we’re authentic people.

 

Hal: Yeah. You and I are probably the most authentic and humble people that we know probably.

 

JP: Well, speak for yourself. I personally believe I’m more humble than you but I don’t want to brag so I don’t really want to talk about it.

 

Hal: No, I’m more authentic than you, so we each have our strengths so that’s fantastic. But on a serious note, I just want to confirm something. So, the JP in JP Sears, that stands for is it Jennifer Priscilla Sears or Jessica Priscilla Sears? Like I didn’t know which.

 

JP: It’s Just Perfect. I was named after my maternal grandfather.

 

Hal: I love it. Man, I love it. All right. Just Perfect. Jessica Priscilla Sears. So, let’s start from the beginning. When were you born?

 

JP: I was born. I don’t believe in time so I don’t know that I was born and like more significantly, like when have I not been born, Hal? And man, I broke out my mom’s pelvis.

 

Hal: Yeah. That’s how you say. This is a…

 

JP: Keep it G rated.

 

Hal: Rated, yeah.

 

JP: Yeah. April 12, 1981.

 

Hal: Wow. You’re younger than me. You seem so much wiser and I always attribute wiser with wisdom with age for some reason, so I was thinking that you’re older than me but, no, you’re actually a little bit younger. That’s crazy.

 

JP: Wow. I appreciate that compliment.

 

Hal: Well, you look older. You have kind of the bags under your eyes and the wrinkles.

 

JP: Yeah. I’m not doing well. I tell you I don’t take green powders in the morning. I take like just gray powders. I don’t know what’s in them but I’m just like, “I’m trying that.” It accelerates this aging thing because I don’t like trends so like antiaging, I’m not doing that.

 

Hal: Yeah. I always tell my wife I go, “What’s this whole look like trying to look younger. Why don’t you just look exactly as old as you are and just embrace that age that we are?” So, you were born in ‘81 and so I’m going to give a quick overview. For anybody listening, it’s like, “All right. Do I turn this off? Are they going anywhere with this?” We’re going to go on a pretty cool journey. I’m going to get to know JP here because, honestly, we’ve spent time together but there’s a lot I don’t know about you but everybody listening, we’re going to get to know JP. You’re going to hear his journey and how he went from being a goofy redheaded kid, not there’s anything wrong with that, to someone who became very spiritual to someone who writes, I mean, it’s such a unique thing to deliver an empowering or many empowering messages through the lens or the veil or the filter of comedy and those 300 million views for what JP does on those videos is it’s funny videos with really serious messages.

 

And, JP, by the way, I love how I feel like this is something I would talk to you about but you’re more and more, you’re taking on like really controversial topics. Is that something that you, in fact, let’s just we got out of order here. I have to start there like have you always been comfortable putting out a video or addressing a topic that is highly controversial, highly heated, like certain two sides of an issue where some people’s blood is boiling, they’re angry over a topic and you somehow, your most recent was the abortion issue we’ve got right now in America. I was like, “Oh, I saw just the title,” and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, how’s JP going to address like it’s like the most current issue right now that is this hot topic around whether or not we should take away women’s right to choose and when I saw then I’m like, “How did he do this?” And you were great. I watched the video yesterday with my wife and we’re cracking up and also getting like through the veil of that humor was a serious stance that you’re going to take. And so, I love to hear about that. Is that something that you’ve always been comfortable doing or has it evolved over time?

 

JP: I definitely not always comfortable doing something that it used to scare the hell out of me. And the reason being is I’m by nature a people pleaser and I think it’s medicine and it’s poison. It’s medicine because it’s like, “Oh, cool. I can get people to like me,” and, Hal, I’m still working on you. But the curse is it actually is what erodes my authenticity. The more I am being the role of the people pleaser because it means instead of like being myself, I will instead become what I think people will approve of me. Now, that’s like psychological suicide. It kills me, and I’m just like reincarnating into who I’m supposed to be. It’s a very shallow uncourageous way to live in my opinion and I’ve done that enough that I’ve learned to recognize it and get sick and tired of it and it’s really just a fear-based, let me protect myself through the cocoon of a people pleaser. But I’ve suffocated in my cocoon long enough for I was like, “I don’t want to do this forever.”

 

So, when I started doing videos, I approached topics that they always have a little bit of an edge to them but making fun of gluten is a lot safer than saying like, “Oh, and I had some perspective to share on abortion.” So, it’s definitely evolved a lot and really what that evolution has at its backbone is me willing to feel my fears and take action anyway. And in this case, it’s the fear of what happens not if but when people disapprove of me because when I’m voicing my authentic voice, not everybody’s going to like it. So, that’s scary but the more I’m willing to own and contain my own fears and feel them so I can take action anyway, the more I’m able to I think of all the process of speaking out on topics and this case through the language of comedy speak out on topics that I have a line of inspiration running through me about.

 

Hal: Well, and I think that there is so actually I want to spend a whole time on this because it’s a conversation that I’ve had recently with some friends that are podcasters and authors in the influencer space, one, in particular, one friend. And so, I want to share with you a perspective that I’ve had on this and then kind of hear your thoughts because what you just shared I think that there is an element of you’re embracing, you’re choosing authenticity over people pleasing and over people’s approval and you’re going, “This is who I am authentically,” and I struggle with that in the ways that it was the perspective I shared. So, a friend once said to me, he goes, “Hal, I’m struggling with my authenticity.” I said, “Okay. What’s going on?” And he said, “Well, for example, I like to say the F word.” I said, “Okay. Me too.” And he said, “But I don’t ever say the F word on my podcast or in public because I’m afraid that people are going to judge me or think I’m insensitive or whatever.”

 

And he said, “So I’m really struggling with that,” and he goes, “And that’s just one example of a lot of things that behind closed doors I talk about or think about or whatever in public or on my podcast. I shy away from those things.” And I said, “Well, let me ask you a question. Do you say the F word in front of your grandmother?” And he said, “No, of course not.” And I said, “Okay. So, I’ve kind of wrestled with the same thing in terms of authenticity and how much of yourself to share and what to share and what to say and when not to say,” and I said, “My thought is you’re being respectful of your audience, right? If you know your grandma would be kind of offended if you said the F word in front of her, not saying the F word in front of her doesn’t mean you’re being inauthentic. It means you’re being respectful.” And so, that’s kind of like I like saying the F word too but I never say it on the podcast and there are other things that I talk about that I don’t say on the podcast and I’ve said this for a while but my dream is to be Joe Rogan and I don’t mean it literally but what I mean is go rogue and has a show where all he does is talk exactly as he would talk to his buddies behind closed doors with like no women around, nobody or no parents around. The beauty, the lesson there is I’m sure he turns off a lot of people and yet he is the number one podcast in the world and was just recently deemed the most significant influencer in the history of the world beyond Oprah, beyond anyone. He reaches more people every month than anyone ever.

 

JP: No kidding. I’m not surprised to hear that. That’s crazy.

 

Hal: Yeah. One episode he’s talking about doing psychedelic mushrooms. The next episode he’s talking about like UFC fighting.

 

JP: And conspiracy theories the next episode. Yes.

 

Hal: Yeah, right? And so, like I want to just be able to do that, but at the same time I’m like, “Well, I have a lot of audience that are conservative and I want to be respectful to them. So, what are your thoughts on kind of that line between being respectful and being authentic? Is it an either/or? Can you be both? What do you think?

 

JP: Yeah. I think it can be very authentic of the person to be “respectful” at times and I think someone being respectful like that can also at times be them being inauthentic. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of like, “Hey, take this action in order to be authentic.” It’s more like know your why, not what you’re doing but why are you doing it. Are you doing it out of fear or are you doing it more out of love? Not to sound too cliché like a fear or love but I know for me when I’m squashing my authentic voice, it’s out of fear. It’s out of fear of disapproval and it’s like my best things where I noticed I was like, “Okay. Let me turn around and feel the fear and say what I have to say anyway.” And then other times like both my grandmothers are passed away, but I don’t think I’ve ever sworn in front of them and I don’t think I would change that either and it’s not because I’m a grown man. I’m 38. I wouldn’t be afraid of them yelling at me. That’s more like out of love, out of respect for them. So, yeah, I think some wise person somewhere along the lines probably would’ve said, “Know thyself,” and I think sometimes…

 

Hal: Yeah, just now.

 

JP: I did.

 

Hal: Wow.

 

JP: That wise person is JP Sears, ladies and gentlemen. 2019. Remember it. But I think we have to know thyself because I don’t know about you, Hal, a lot of times my inauthenticity is expressed through the facade of authenticity. So, that can happen where we fool ourselves. We do the actions, we do the right thing, we’re being the spiritual person, we’re being the compassionate person holding space. Meanwhile, inside we’re actually being a judgmental bastard at least I am some of the times. So, I think we have to look past the potential self-deception of what are we doing and really know thyself and understand like why am I doing this? Am I motivated out of fear or love? And once we know ourselves like we can’t go wrong like I think, hell, if you got on your next podcast and you were just F-bombs like Joe Rogan left and right, if you were doing that out of like a newfound like, “Oh, this is a way for me to express of awesome,” but then like or if you got on and your language is even cleaner like that’s how to love like amazing like those are pathways to yourself in my delusional opinion.

 

Hal: Yeah. Absolutely. You are the red-headed Jesus. Now, is that what they call you? Or Ginjesus, that’s right.

 

JP: JPesus is what I’m getting my name to change to.

 

Hal: That’s your rap name, right?

 

JP: Yeah. It is now.

 

Hal: So, hey, how do you describe what you do? If I met you in the elevator and I’m like, “Hey, what do you do?” I’d love to hear your answer for that.

 

JP: I’m a conscious comedian.

 

Hal: Conscious comedian. That’s great because it makes you go, “Hm, what is that?”

 

JP: Yeah. That’s a term I’ve really connected with recently and it’s taking me a while because, much like many other people, I’m a work in progress and my “business work” it continues to evolve and change shape gradually and I realize now like I’m an entertainer like I can own and that’s what I am and the term comedian like that’s not inaccurate, yet conscious comedian just puts a little bit more of a sharper edge of accuracy into it because of course with my comedy, I’m not just all about like, “Hey, let’s laugh in the sake of laughing,” though if that was the goal, I think that’s a great goal. We all need more laughter in our life. Period.

 

Hal: Sure.

 

JP: Yet I love to use the language of comedy to deliver deeper messages so people can think deeper and they can become more empowered and own themselves even more in a great way, own their personal power. So, that’s why I recently had to go, “Yeah. Okay. Conscious comedian is I know it’s a little bit broad but like I’m going to own that.” I want to trademark that so I can be the only one in the whole world.

 

Hal: The only conscious comedian, yeah.

 

JP: Yeah. How conscious of me to not let anybody else use the term.

 

Hal: Yeah. Well, I’m a spiritual entertainer so it is what it is. The literation isn’t as good, but you know. So, was being a comedian something that you always wanted to do? Like, take us back to a little bit to a younger JP like what were your – you’re at the Achieve Your Goals Podcast. What are your goals growing up, dreams, that sort of thing? When did you decide you want to be a comedian and when did you bring consciousness into that? I’d love to hear kind of the path.

 

JP: Sure. So, hindsight is a beautiful deal. So, in hindsight, I can look back on the goals I had when I was 20, when I was 10 years old and realized they were all crap because the part of me that was offering those goals was a part of me that didn’t have a lot of self-belief. Honestly, like not the worst but relatively low self-worth. So, the goals that come onto that are not really, first off, they’re not heartfelt goals and they’re also not goals worth having. So, when I was 10 years old, I want to be a pro football player and then when I was 20 years old, I want to be an exercise specialist helping people and teaching classes. And it’s like cool like awesome but the idea of being a comedian, I never let that run across my conscious spectrum I think because I didn’t believe in myself enough to believe I could be like I would be worth being a comedian. Yet when I look back at how I live my life ever since I was a very small child and then through my childhood years, teenage years, adulthood, making people laugh was something that always brought me the most joy.

 

I remember being a young child holding court in the living room with my mom and dad and sister and at times just having them laughing for like an hour at a time and being the class clown in school I was learning was like my 100th priority at school and making my friends laugh was number one, making the teachers laugh was number two and that’s always an interesting line because you got to push the edge and it’s a line of I’m either going to make them laugh or get in trouble but let’s find out where the line is here. So, honestly, it took until the past several years for me to realize like wow right now I’m not achieving my dreams because I’m actually achieving something beyond my dreams because I’m living the dream that’s beyond the dream that my limited self has dreamt. Now, with that, and I love to hear your thoughts on this, Hal.

 

Hal: So, would I.

 

JP: I think this is going to be a rhetorical question. I think goals we all know the power of goal, especially intelligently framed goals. Yet to me, there’s a shadow side of goals where we can listen to a part of us that is maybe coming from a compensatory place that sounds like, hey, I feel insignificant deep down inside like I’m dealt with wounds. So, I’m going to create a goal out of compensation that would have me leaving really have me feeling really significant if I were to achieve it. That would really feel significant or not. Who knows? But we start to go along the trajectory of I want to achieve this goal. Essentially, I want to escape how I feel inside so we can lose yourself or we could be like me where the part of us that’s speaking the loudest with a goal is like a very limited part of us. So, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the shadow side of goals potentially self-deception and how we really lean into the part of us that has goals worth having, how they can listen to those goals, and then let those be the goals that we work towards.

 

Hal: Damn, that’s a legitimate intense question.

 

JP: Isn’t it, though?

 

Hal: Yeah. Who is interviewing who here? So, my thoughts on goals around what you’re talking about, I look at my younger years. So, actually, I know where I’m going with this. I’m excited. So, when I was young when I was 19, I started in sales. I started selling Cutco cutlery, Cutco kitchen knives and gave up a dream job. I was a radio DJ at that time and that was my dream job that I was pursuing and I saw an opportunity, a great income opportunity really, and I love the company and what they stood for in the personal development, culture, and all that. So, I started down that path and for, gosh, probably five years, the first four or five years with the company I broke all sorts of company records and what I didn’t realize at the time, everything I did I was never doing it to make money. I was doing it for recognition because in my first and I started to do it for money, but in my first 10 days on the job I broke the company record and 50-year company, 50-year history I sold more kitchen knives than anyone in the Western half of United States had done in the 50-year history of the company.

 

And so, I did that because I was trying to make money, but once I got the recognition of like wow, you’re the man and everybody knew who I was and all that, that became addictive and then I was like all about breaking records. I kept wanting to break records. And after my car accident, I went down the path of spirituality. I read a lot of books on enlightenment and kind of was brought to my awareness around how we operate from a place of ego and how the ego shows up in our lives in both positive and negative ways, and I got really fascinated by that and I kept going down that rabbit hole and reading book after book after book. I was reading Ken Wilber and Andrew Cohen I think his name is, Eckhart Tolle, and I did a lot of conscious active kind of work to dissolve my ego. And when I did that, I lost all drive to make a bunch of money because my drive wasn’t the money. It wasn’t the financial freedom. It was always the recognition and the significance. And so, all of a sudden, my income dropped way off. My sales dropped way off because I go, “I have no interest in beating other people in competition. I have no interest in breaking the record so I can get all sorts of attention. I don’t care about any of that.”

 

And so, all of that went away in terms of what was driving me to succeed and so then I kind of went down this path of struggling of, “Well, gosh, I have a mortgage now like I got to pay the bills,” but why am I working? And here’s the interesting thing. I had two roommates that were renting rooms for me in my first house that I bought that were good friends of mine and one month one of my friends couldn’t pay his rent. He’s like, “Hey, I need a few weeks or whatever.” I was like, “What’s going on?” And we all worked at the same company. And I said, “You know what, what’s going on?” He’s like, “Oh man, I haven’t been selling. I haven’t been working,” and then like that day I realized I thought about it and I realized these friends of mine look up to me and there are other people in our office, my sales office, that people that looked up to me and that I was an example for them. And I realize that because my drive had gone away, I wasn’t – they didn’t see me in the morning up early making phone calls to prospects. They didn’t see me in the night making phone calls to prospects. They saw me taking it easy.

 

And so, what’s interesting is I went, “Oh, I have a responsibility to work hard for lack of a better term, to perform at my best. Here’s the way I would put it. I have a responsibility to live to my full potential because only then can I inspire and empower and encourage and support other people in leading to their potential and on a small scale it was my roommate. So, I owe it to my roommates for them to see me working really, really hard. So, I’m not doing it for recognition. I’m not even doing it for money necessarily. I have a responsibility to these people to do everything in my power to fulfill my potential so that they can do the same. To this day, my keynote when I give a keynote speech, the last slide is a picture of me and my family and it’s a quote from you. It says the greatest gift you can give to the people that you love is to live to your full potential, so that you can inspire and empower and help and guide them to live to theirs. And so, for me, that’s become now not just about my friends and family, but the world and I just feel like we all have a responsibility to do that for those that we love and those that we lead.

 

So, that for me is what a goal is about is a goal is about two things. It’s about leading by example for other people but it’s also about setting a goal and the greatest purpose or benefit is for you to become a better version of yourself through the pursuit of that goal. So, whether or not you hit the goal is inconsequential to the true benefit which is by giving everything you have and developing qualities and characteristics like self-discipline and self-belief and confidence and good habits like behaviors and rituals and routines that allow you to become the best version of yourself, that to me is why you set a goal and why you should set goals that you may not even hit, but they really are going to challenge you to stretch beyond the person you’ve been in the past so you can live into your full potential.

 

JP: I love that while I was ignoring you and thinking about what I wanted to say. No. I love that. It’s so beautifully said. That weave of insight kind of washes into me and I look at my history of goals. What that helps me realize is as I look at some of my goals in hindsight realize that wasn’t a goal worth having. It was a part of me compensating. It was very limited. Believing part of me setting the goal, I can realize all those goals are still important for me to set because as one door opens another like if I didn’t start down the scent trail of that given goal, it wouldn’t have led me down the corridor of life to help me discover a more important goal for me worth having. And I think as I look back on what’s worked for me and it’s like plenty hasn’t worked for me but just taking some of the gold out of the mud, the same thing that comes to my mind is strong, very strong goals loosely held. And what that means to me is like when we create a goal like awesome like approach it with passion and excitement, and like just a never say die attitude while having an open heart that says, “If there’s an upgrade that comes along,” so in other words if I need to abandon this goal for a better goal realizing this first goal is probably what led me there to the realization of it, then I want to do that.

 

I don’t want to die for the cause. I want to be enlivened by the cause. So, I think that I love how you talk about goals. I know when you were on my podcast you just brought a fire and, man, it was amazing hearing you talk about goals and adding that passion that like it is absolutely done and I’ll do anything to achieve it while also having that open mind and open heart that says this is a strong goal in mind and I will loosely hold it so that I can be open to any greater realizations that come along.

 

Hal: Yeah. I think that’s so true that on your path to a goal often as you grow, your vision expands for what’s possible. Sometimes, you know, either you might realize, oh, this goal is not – this is a reflect like you said, JP, this is a reflection of who I was when I set the goal but I’m different now, and now I see something different or bigger or better or and then we pivot and pursue that. When did you start recording the video, I mean, your most famous I would say for your spiritual – what’s your spiritual…

 

JP: Ultra-spiritual videos.

 

Hal: Ultra-spiritual videos.

 

JP: Conscious comedy like we can call it many things, Hal.

 

Hal: Yeah. They’re so memorable I forgot what to call them.

 

JP: You’re in one of them, brother. You got a free…

 

Hal: Dude, I know. Yeah. If you guys haven’t seen the video that JP and I did recently with JP, I was so blown away. I asked if we could do a video to help to share my new book and I got to your house and you’re like, “Here’s your five-page script with all of our scenes and shots,” and I’m like, “Wow. You are a true professional.” I was just going to make funny things into the camera. So, when did you start that? When did you make your first video? How old were you and how many years ago was that?

 

JP: October 4, 2014 was the evening I was recording my first comedy video and it was called How to Be Ultra-Spiritual. Before that, I had been doing just sincere life advice YouTube videos for about a year-and-a-half and just occasionally a video with 100 views which for me was a big deal but then there was definitely the next world for me to enter, which is okay, I’m doing the comedy video so that was October 4, 2014.

 

Hal: And it was How to be Ultra-Spiritual is the first one?

 

JP: Yeah.

 

Hal: So, you’re 34-ish, right? Around 34? 35? Something like that?

 

JP: Yeah. I think I would’ve been 33.

 

Hal: Got it. Thirty-three before you got your act together. So, I love this by the way. It’s so incredible because you guys listening, JP’s 300 million views and you started with doing these life coaching videos that weren’t your brand as it is now, but we all got to start somewhere.

 

JP: Yes. If you can… The audio is cutting out.

 

Hal: Yeah. I’m getting at it too.

 

JP: I was telling you that you were cutting out.

 

Hal: No. You’re cutting out, JP.

 

JP: No. Hal.

 

Hal: I have five bars on my cell phone. Oh wait, we’re not on a cellphone.

 

JP: Well, all the pages of my book are on. So, I apologize for whatever the cutout. Would you be able to bump set that off me one more time?

 

Hal: Yeah. I don’t remember what I was saying. Oh, I was talking to the audience saying that it’s just such a great example of someone looks at you now and like, “Oh, JP Sears, 300 million views on your videos,” and it’s like, “No, no, I started out with 100 views,” and they were these cheesy life coaching videos and I’m just assuming they were super cheesy. I haven’t seen it. But which of your videos has gotten the most views? How many views and which one was it?

 

JP: So, no, the good ones out there but when I did, what was it, two years ago roughly called If Meat Eaters Acted Like Vegans, that’s been the most well-viewed video on my Facebook. I think it’s 60 some million views. There is a few other Facebook pages I now gave permission to publish it. So, that one altogether on Facebook between other people’s channels has a couple hundred million views on it which I don’t really count as my stats even though I guess I probably could but, yeah, so that one somehow hit a nerve with the world.

 

Hal: What’s your personal favorite of your videos? Well, obviously, the video that we did together, but if you had to pick a second like a runner-up, what would you pick?

 

JP: Which by the way, if you don’t have the video Hal and I did together, just type in, “The Law of Attraction JP Sears Hal Elrod.” It’ll come out. It was a lot of fun. But my answer to that question, Hal, is How to Get Offended and the reason why is we live in a culture where people love to get offended about anything. It’s a culture of outrage and why that video is so important to me is it carries a message that’s been timeless over the past couple of years of flipping back the veil and why we get offended. And starting to shine some light on, hey, we’re victimizing ourselves here. We are hurting ourselves, disempowering ourselves, and getting a sense of power the more we disempower ourselves and we’re blaming other people not recognizing how we are victimizing ourselves, keeping ourselves in the position of a victim and continuing to bleed out our powers. So, I think one of the things I love most is seeing people claim their personal power, claim their authenticity and claim their self-acceptance and none of that happens when we are getting our emotional needs met in the place of victimhood and we all know that the dog or the wolf who’s the most vicious is actually the most frightened dog.

 

And when we’re getting offended and not reach out all the time, we’re really becoming that very vicious dog because I think we are really, really afraid and I think we’re really afraid because we are bleeding out our personal power. Nobody’s ever become empowered by rooting themselves into a state of victimhood. When we’re outside looking in, we could realize like, “Oh, making yourself a victim, that’s like the most disempowering thing you can do.” So, I personally am a big fan of people and the innate intelligence and power that runs through people and watching people, man, deny their own power while they feed on the ego gratification of the illusion of power that is self-victimization while being blind to it is something I’m very passionate about helping people wake up to. So, the How to Get Offended video was my initial foray into bringing that message into the world.

 

Hal: I love that. So, if someone wants to watch that, It’s How to Get Offended. They can go to YouTube JP Sears How to Get Offended?

 

JP: Yeah.

 

Hal: I’ve seen that thing. Probably not all your videos but most of your videos. Yeah. I mean, just on the offended note like I don’t know, to me, there’s almost nothing that offends me because it’s like what’s the point?

 

JP: Yeah. And also, I think when we are offended by something like, cool, like that’s an opportunity and the opportunity is to realize I wouldn’t have been offended unless there was a genuine insecurity of minds stimulated. And I think when we can be self-aware and say, “Oh, I was offended,” what’s that say about me? Then we actually get a chance to grow from being offended rather than diminish ourselves by being defended. So, Hal, if you started like if I sense you were being serious and you’re like, “JP, you’re really not funny,” like I would probably get offended and underneath that, I would definitely be so insecure. It’s like, “Okay.” So, apparently, I have some insecurities around being funny and I was like, yeah, that’s so true like part of me gets my self-worth met by being funny, which means part of me feels like I’m not worthy if I’m not funny. So, thank you, Hal, for offending me so I can discover there’s a part of me I need to deal with, a part of me that feels unworthy and masks that with the sense of worthiness I get by being funny.

 

And like if I was completely secure and, Hal, you started making fun of my sense of humor, I’d be like, “Cool. My pulse is not elevating even like one beat per minute like you’re making noise. It’s not resonating with me,” but we all know like tuning forks that are in resonance like you take one tuning fork, the other one is going to start vibrating. So, I think when we’re being offended it’s because like part of us is really insecure and it’s being tuning fork stimulated.

 

Hal: Yeah. I’m so glad you brought up the fact that you’re not really that funny because I was afraid to broach that subject.

 

JP: What do you mean? Hal, what are you saying?

 

Hal: Oh, JP. You’re semi-funny. Don’t worry about it. No. What was I going to ask you? So, I really want to ask about this. Now, you’re a spiritual comedian or no, conscious comedian, one of the first or only. You are who you are. You’re a rare breed. But you haven’t done stand up in the past, right? Isn’t that a new thing as in like the last year?

 

JP: Dude, how scary is that? Yeah. It’s so new. So, the past year-and-a-half the standup is…

 

Hal: How long have you thought about that doing it?

 

JP: So, about a year before I started it and really the idea was put under the table to me by my manager who he’s amazing. He has great visions. He’s like, “JP, your videos are great. You have a decade-and-a-half of public speaking. What if we merge things together, put you on the stage? You’ve built the audience. People come see you.” And I said, “That idea scares the hell out of me but it also feels exciting and purposeful so I’m up for it.” So, a year went by where there was some gestation time and then some prep time, some business stuff behind the scenes and then certainly most importantly, the artistic side of putting together a standup as well as like practicing in different conferences and speaking gigs. Yet still, it’s like wow this is a whole new edge out of my comfort zone like this is uncharted territory. But even though it scared the hell out of me, what made me take action anyway and therefore make made me feel my fears so I could take action was it felt exciting. It felt purposeful.

 

Hal, if you told me, “JP, I’ve got like the Mike Tyson tiger. I bought it. Come over to my house. Get inside its cage,” I’d say, “Hal, that scares the hell out of me and no, I’m not going to do it because it doesn’t feel exciting and purposeful. It just feels scary.” But I’ve learned my equation for success in terms of growth, inner fulfillment, and honestly, outer achievement is say yes to the things that scare me when they feel purposeful. And I also find like the things that will make me grow, they never come without fear. So, the stand-up comedy I can say like, holy Lord, it is the most rewarding thing I’ve done in my career and it’s the thing like I wouldn’t have this in my life if I wasn’t willing to go through this terror barrier of figuring out how to do it for the first time and also let it be a continual work in progress and like continuing to innovate. I mean, this past week and I was just on the road doing shows and there’s new material I’m doing. It’s like I’ve never done this before. It’s going to scare me but like I don’t know if it’ll work or how to refine until I do it for the first time and get the biofeedback that is people’s laughter or lack thereof.

 

Hal: Or lack thereof. Now, how many shows have you done? Is your tour over or are you still on this tour?

 

JP: I don’t know if the tour will ever end. It’s just like …

 

Hal: It’s show after show and it’s kind of continual.

 

JP: Yeah. It’s continual. So, I’m not sure over the past year-and-a-half. I ballparked it. It’s well over 100 shows. It’s oftentimes, I’m not doing shows every weekend, but oftentimes there’s several weekends in a row where I’m doing shows and then have two or three weeks off and then a bunch of weekends. So, oftentimes in a week and I’m doing the five shows, so it gets me a lot of exposure time to the craft pretty quick. So, well over 100 shows and, man, it’s been enjoyable.

 

Hal: That’s incredible. That’s a lot more shows at the age of 30 or something. I’m underestimating. And so, you’re just got on this continual journey. So, what are your goals now, JP? What big goals? Long-term, short-term, like what are the big goals that are on your heart and that you’re working towards now or that are in the future that are meaningful for you?

 

JP: So, my most important goal, I’ll share it through the language of feeling because that’s essentially how the goal has been set up. So, it’s sort of like a nontraditional goal but the goal is to continue to push my edge of creativity in connection. So, like right now my hour of stage time, like I love it. I think it’s great and I want to keep pushing the edge. I want new creativity. I want to just go deeper and scare myself more and let the flood of fulfillment commence. So, yeah, I want to go deeper into my creativity and honestly, I know that’s intellectual words. Yeah. There’s a feeling that I get when I am deep in the creativity. It’s dare I say, it’s a feeling of fulfillment. It’s very recognizable when I achieve it and the cool thing is like when I landed a new level like, “Cool,” after a little bit of time that new level becomes the old level so that that feeling starts to evaporate which means now I’m drilling deeper. So, continuing to innovate in the creative realm is important to me. And then getting a little bit less airy fairy…

 

Hal: Thank God.

 

JP: I want my tour, my comedy tour to eventually transition to where I’m selling out theaters. Right now, I’m selling out comedy clubs, selling out some theaters. And then the comedy clubs I love them. They’re just amazing yet theaters are bigger venues and yes, so to me it’s a step of progression which is honestly, a goal of mine in terms of the external world.

 

Hal: Got you. Is there a goal and I had to imagine there’s got to be but is there a goal somewhere in there for some sort of television show?

 

JP: Well, there’s been multiple television shows talked about with production companies I’ve met on and pitch meetings with networks. None of them have panned out and though I wouldn’t say no, if there’s like a new show concept that’s proposed that excites me, I definitely wouldn’t say no but right now that’s not a goal of mine. Yet related, having a Netflix special like an hour of my state of conscious comedy, that’s a goal.

 

Hal: That’s awesome.

 

JP: Yeah. I’m not attached to Netflix. Whatever the platform is.

 

Hal: Sure. Netflix, Blockbuster video like whatever it is.

 

JP: I would love to go straight to Blockbuster.

 

Hal: Straight to blockbuster. Straight to DVD.

 

JP: You know, that reminds me. I’m going to Bend, Oregon in about a week, I’ve got comedy shows there and I am told Bend has the last remaining Blockbuster open on the planet.

 

Hal: I just saw about that. Yeah. I just saw. They just did a video like a make fun of video like on Jimmy Fallon or someone. One of those shows. They went to the last Blockbuster video on the show.

 

JP: I’m surprised like if you go there, I’d be surprised. they even have DVDs in the cases. They’re probably more like a vintage records shop like, “Hey, man, let’s just be nostalgic and think we’re cool and you go and then try to rent something and they would, “Nobody’s actually tried to rent from us for about 11 years.”

 

Hal: Yeah. I don’t get how that’s possible. Blockbuster was a $6 billion company when Netflix launched. How did they go from that to – I mean, not how to get there. I get how their company crashed but I don’t get why there’s one store left. Is that the company of Blockbuster? It’s like they’re like a CEO and then the executive board.

 

JP: There’s probably whatever, I don’t know, some kind of loophole tax advantage.

 

[CLOSING]

 

Hal: Yeah. There you go. Something like that. Awesome. Well, JP, man, anything I can do to support your goals, brother, you can count on me. I’m here to help. I love your work. I love you as a person. I love your wife. And I like came at your house. Yeah. I like a lot of things about you.

 

JP: Thank you, man. I love you too, brother. It’s so grateful to have you as a friend and I love what you do. You inspired the hell out of me.

 

Hal: Awesome, man. Well, it’s mutual. Goal achievers, thanks for tuning today to JP and I’s conversation. We started out nonsensical as I was hoping that we would and we got into some sense, made some sense in this whole thing. And I hope you learned as much from JP and enjoyed the process of listening to us chat as much as I did. I love you, appreciate you, make this a great week, and I will talk to you next week.


[END]

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