Episode 029: Preston Smiles

Ep.029 Preston Smiles
Episode 029
#IAmMovement Logo
Episode 029:
How to Love Louder with Preston Smiles

“Awareness comes before choice. So the moment we have an awareness of something, we can then make a new choice about it, a new thought about it, a new action about it.” - Preston Smiles

Simon Sinek #IAmMovement

What would it take for you to live your best life? We do our best to connect, but the world we live in surrounds us with stress and confusion almost daily. It begs the question — how did the most joyful among us get (and remain) that way?

Although it’s difficult to tell from his sunny disposition, Preston Smiles fought through a troubled upbringing and plenty of unhealthy self-talk to be where he is today. Now, Preston spreads love, clarity, and effective business practices as a leader, coach and mentor to others. Through his career speaking online and at in-person events, including the Bridge Experience, it is Preston’s mission to empower, inspire and ignite radical growth through love.

On this episode of the #IAmMovement podcast, Preston and I trade thoughts on the different paths we take as we shape our identity and the four vital parts that make up our humanity.  We also discuss strategies for pushing past bad habits and knee-jerk reactions in order to cultivate a healthy, positive, and impactful presence on the planet. Join in to center your identity in love – what we believe is the key to happiness.

Topics Discussed

00:00 – Intro to Preston, his upbringing, and the creation of the Love Mob

05:43 – Recognizing programming and taking control of our identity 

08:01 – How our history impacts those around us

14:54 – More on the four aspects to being human

16:50 – What fatherhood means to Preston and cultivating empathy

19:25 – Coping methods for stress

23:19 – The biggest addiction we face as a society

27:06 – How to connect with Preston and the journey so far

You’ll Learn

How social and historical programming impacts our identity (as well as how we can counteract it and take back control)

Why we're tempted to pass judgment on others, and the unusual strategy that helps us fight the tendency – all we have to do is think about babies

How Preston set aside the unhealthy parts of his life and re-aligned his beliefs by simply making enemies

And much more!


Note: some of the resources below may be affiliate links, meaning I get paid a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you use that link to make a purchase.

Enjoyed the Podcast? Be sure to subscribe on iTunes and leave a review. It means so much to hear your feedback and we’d love for you to help us spread the word!

Key Takeaways:

“I made up a lot of stories about myself that was dumb, that I was less than, and this imposter syndrome instantly came up. Like I’m literally seven, eight years old, and I already feel like I am not enough. Which, you know, creates toxic shame for me as a person.” – Preston Smiles

“All you need is a little glimpse, a glimpse of what’s possible, a glimpse of what we would call the matrix and how it’s very difficult to rise to low expectations. And we’re all collectively co-creating this world we live in.” – Preston Smiles

“I realized that out of that pain and that rejection was actually a beautiful direction. It gave me purpose. It revealed my calling and I said yes. And the universe has been guiding me and guarding me every step of the way.” – Preston Smiles

“We can literally recreate a new identity once we understand the one that was inherited.” – Preston Smiles

“A lot of times we just box people into these identities based on our own wounds. And we don’t realize that we brought that backpack full of those wounds and all they were was the lighter fluid to ignite what was already existing within each and every one of us.” – Preston Smiles

“It’s deeply important that we understand that we are linguistic beings. Everything we do is in language. Every thought that we have is in language. And when we understand that, we can then build a different kind of world with our language.” – Preston Smiles

“Everybody is somebody’s baby, and it’s very easy in our world to label enemies and make enemies.” – Preston Smiles

“My life is about mastery. My life is about being a black belt and then starting all over again and then being a black belt and then starting all over again. Not because I want to be famous, but because I actually love the process. I love humans and I love supporting people in breaking through.” – Preston Smiles

“If you’re really wanting to take your business and your life to the next level, sign up for it to be 10 years. Not one.” – Preston Smiles

Full Transcript

Intro (00:00):

Hi, I’m Rock Thomas, the founder of M1, the tribe of healthy, wealthy, and passionate people, also known as fulfillionaires. You’re listening to the I Am Movement podcast where we believe words that follow I am follow you. Join me in the world’s greatest thought leaders as we discuss the power of transformation and making success a part of your identity.

Rock Thomas (00:32):

Hey everybody. Welcome to another I Am Movement podcast where the words that follow I am follow you, where I’m really big on helping you discover the labels that haven’t served you. Today’s guest is one of my favorite people on the planet. Preston Smiles and I met through social media initially I went and did one of his courses, the Bridge Method, and I’ve become a raging, raving fan of his because he represents a very unique niche of a masculine man who’s become a father, who is an amazing husband and who helps men really find their center and get connected to overcoming some of the trauma from their childhood.

Rock Thomas (01:17):

So you’re going to absolutely love this particular conversation. He’s a unique, playful, dynamic, funny, quirky character, but he really, really has a perspective on life that I think every man should hear, and every woman when she hears it is going to appreciate the fact that they should maybe send their man to spend some time with my dear friend Preston Smiles. So please help me welcome Preston to today’s podcast. Welcome to my podcast, the I Am Movement, Preston, it’s a thrill to have here.

Preston Smiles (01:56):

Oh, let’s do it. Yes sir. Good to see you, Rock.

Rock Thomas (02:00):

We’ve known each other for a few years and I discovered you online and I thought, what a beautiful soul. What a gorgeous, gorgeous soul and the world needs more of Preston Smiles and you’ve been out there doing your thing all around the world. Why don’t you tell the audience, most of them probably know you, but for some of those that don’t, tell us a little bit how you got to where you are.

Preston Smiles (02:22):

Yeah, man, that’s a complicated, long, beautiful, amazing story which I’ll give sort of Cliff notes. I was born and my mom was literally at my house yesterday when we were talking about this, she was saying how in the ’80s they didn’t really understand that when somebody was “special” that that meant that they just didn’t think like everyone else. So the way that my parents and the world viewed me was that I was stupid, like I was retarded, excuse my language, but that’s how it was presented in the ’80s and because of that I was placed in special education classes and I am pretty nuts, but I’m definitely not mentally ill per se.

Preston Smiles (03:11):

So I made up a lot of stories about myself, that was dumb, that was less than, and this imposter syndrome instantly came up. I’m literally like seven, eight years old and I already feel like I am not enough creates toxic shame for me as a person, not just the fact that I’m dyslexic or anything like that.

Preston Smiles (03:33):

So I ended up joining a gang and started smoking weed when I was 11. One of my friends died, got shot in the face when I was 15 and that scared me enough. I ended up moving away from California to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I went to a school that happened to be all white or all Caucasian and realized quickly that everybody’s dealing with the same stuff and that the kids at my former school were doing the exact same thing, like going to jail and these kids at this new school we’re smoking weed, drinking, listening to Pot Outcast and Biggie, but they were going to Yale and it really just opened up a space for me to see what was possible. All you need is a little glimpse, a glimpse of what’s possible, a glimpse of what we would call the matrix and how it’s very difficult to rise to low expectations and we’re all collectively co-creating this world we live in, and the 15-year-old version of me recognized that what was being co-created for people who happened to be Afro amazing wasn’t necessarily one of flowers in the park.

Preston Smiles (04:47):

So after going through quite a journey and ending up in college and cheating my way through college because I still felt like I was less than and then going to grad school and deciding not to cheat, just to see what I would be made of and graduating with a 4.0 from Louisiana State University, I moved to LA, became an actor, got really sick because of all the stress that was on my body for 20, really 24 years and it was my heart and many people in my family had died from heart conditions. My dad recently died six months ago from that as well.

Rock Thomas (05:26):

Oh no.

Preston Smiles (05:28):

As a 25 year old, I didn’t want to die, so I made some drastic changes around my diet and around how I was thinking and stressing and literally I became known as this sort of like, they called me a black Buddha in the Hollywood space. I ended up coaching a lot of people for free and then realizing that coaching was an actual industry and people get paid for it and creating a YouTube channel and speaking all over the world, 6,500 people, 2,000 people here. I just started speaking everywhere and I created this movement called The Love Mob, which was organized acts of love and we started doing these huge events and I just got thrust into leadership, man, and sort of wrap it all up, I realized that out of that pain and that rejection was actually a beautiful direction. It gave me purpose, it revealed my calling and I said yes, and the universe has been guiding me and guarding me every step of the way.

Preston Smiles (06:38):

So here I am now. I do want to specify this because I think that it’s important. I literally created a business from nothing, took no loans, did nothing, just literally me and my hard work and coaches and mentors and for the last three years we’ve been in that million dollar range and this year we’ll go to three. So it’s just been beautiful and an amazing testimony to be able to say, “If I can, you can,” and yeah, it’s been magic.

Rock Thomas (07:11):

Yeah. Great, great. Beautiful story and heartfelt. I want to ask you specifically something about the disease of I’m not enough-ness that is around the world and the media sells into that and people try everything, right? They try Viagra, they try cocaine, they try all the different things and certainly I’ve tried a variety of them throughout my life and I’ve also tried massive success in business and significance here and everything to quiet that voice of “I’m not enough,” and you do a lot of work with people in that area. What kind of conclusions have you come to that will help people because I’m going through, on my 24th day of doing 75 days of yoga and what I’m learning about myself at this point is one of the biggest gifts I can give myself is just self acknowledgement.

Preston Smiles (08:06):

Yep, it’s so beautiful.

Rock Thomas (08:08):

It’s so simple, but it’s just like the little six-year-old boy in me needs to hear, “Good job.”

Preston Smiles (08:15):

Yeah. Yes, absolutely, absolutely. I’ll break it down like this. So in my teachings, there are four aspects to what it means to be human. So we are biological beings, we are linguistic beings, which means we build worlds with our language, we are social and historical beings and we are quantum beings. Now I’m going to go back to number three, social and historical, which means we were born into beliefs and interpretations.

Preston Smiles (08:49):

So for one to really understand the truth about them, and I’m going to say the lower case T, truth, not a capital T Truth because the capital T is that we’re all pure love in a space. There’s a logical part of us that understands that, but it doesn’t land in the cells of our body yet per se, until we can separate ourselves and understand how the person that we are claiming to be isn’t actually who we are, but rather who we became based on the social and historical programming.

Rock Thomas (09:24):

Got it.

Preston Smiles (09:25):

I share a story. I have a beautiful wife, we’re pregnant with twins, we have a two-year-old and I remember first year we were together… I knew I wanted to marry her, I knew she was my one and every time we would go to brush our teeth at the end of the night I would get extremely triggered, like a visceral like body, like “Oh,” every time she put toothpaste on her toothbrush. What I was noticing was that she was putting so much toothpaste every single time and it almost annoyed me. At that time we had already been in this work deep and teaching this work, and so I asked myself a powerful question, which is like, “Where do I think this comes from and is this the pattern?” and I sat in it and went far enough back to realize that ever since I was a kid, my mom would say, “Oh, here’s your lunch money, here’s $5,” and I’d say, “Here, take $3 back, I’ll just take the $2.” I remembered that my mom would unconsciously sort of, because my mom’s an accountant, but she also grew up in Watts, California in the ’60s and ’70s in a two bedroom house with eight people with rats and roaches crawling over her and they had to skip meals.

Preston Smiles (10:49):

So my mom made a declaration, I think she was 13, that she would never live like this ever again and none of her kids would if she ever got pregnant. She “worked” her way out of the ghetto. Well, what didn’t work its way out was the paradigm and the mentality that was stuck in her body and what she did was unconsciously pass that to my sister and I. So this sort of false humbleness that I was operating from, that people would see and go, “Oh wow, he’s so humble,” was really just all of her scarcity and her lack and limitation passed on to me.

Preston Smiles (11:26):

So even though I was living in this Dennis the Menace sort of upper middle-class neighborhood, I was carrying her Watts rats and roaches, two-bedroom house with eight people mentality and when my wife was putting this toothpaste on the toothbrush, what was happening for me was that all of my scarcity and lack and limitation was coming up around, “Whoa, that’s another $8.” I’m going to have to figure out how to buy toothpaste every four days if we keep going,” you know? And it’s like…

Rock Thomas (12:06):

I get it. I get it, man.

Preston Smiles (12:08):

Yes. So, so all of that was playing out in this little minuscule event. I hope that sort of opens the space up for people to understand how you can pull out the microscope because the moment I recognize that that was happening, I then had choice, right? Awareness comes before choice. So the moment we have an awareness of something, we can then make a new choice about it, a new thought about it, a new action about it.

Preston Smiles (12:35):

So instead of me blaming and being triggered by her, I’m still triggered. Still to this day it still lands in my body, however, I no longer blame her for it. I no longer claim it to be who I am, but rather who I became based on this circumstances of this social, historical programming. So we can literally recreate a new identity once we understand the one that we inherited.

Rock Thomas (13:03):

My gosh, thank you so much. It’s such a great story and powerful because my book that I first wrote is the Power of Your Identity, and all of these labels and situations and unconscious beliefs and interpretations that are being absorbed by us, unconsciously mostly, unaware, and then a situation like that, that I’m sure many people can relate to myself would be I might be triggered, I might get pissed off, I might argue or I might get quiet, I might pull back. I might pretend that I don’t want to be intimate that night because inside I’m hurt. I’m afraid I’m pissed off. I have scarcity running through my body, and then the next day I wake up and she’s mad at me and it can snowball and you don’t even know why. Does that makes sense?

Preston Smiles (13:53):

Absolutely. Absolutely, right on point.

Rock Thomas (13:57):

So many poor people’s souls out there are struggling with these triggers that they don’t even know exist and they end up using different things like, “Well, you know what? If that’s the way it’s going to be, I got to work an extra 20 hours a week,” and then they’re a bad father and then they’re not home and then the wife gets upset and it all unravels because of these unconscious patterns.

Preston Smiles (14:19):

What also happens, Rock, is that it becomes very easy to make our partners or whoever is triggering us the enemy and it instantly becomes this sort of rivalry. Even all the stuff about toxic masculinity, right? I don’t believe in toxic people at all. I think we have some toxic behaviors and there’s toxic combinations, but a lot of times we just box people in to these identities based our own wounds and we don’t realize that we brought that backpack full of those wounds and all they were with was the lighter fluid to ignite what was already existing within each and every one of us. That’s why it’s so important to bring an awareness to it because I could have easily made her an enemy in that process and I was unconsciously doing it every time and to this day she still does that still.

Rock Thomas (15:18):

Yeah. Well, she was brought up differently. I have a thing where whenever I got in trouble, my father would smack me across the side of the head to the point where my ears would ring. Today, like if I’m looking at the computer and one of my kids or a loved one comes beside me and chews an apple or something near my ear, I literally want to punch them in the face and it wells up in me. So then I move away and I’m like, “Could you please eat over there?” and they go, “What’s the big deal? Like relax,” but they have no idea where that comes from. I’ve linked it back to that from the work and now I’m able to handle it better, but to your point it still has some energy there.

Preston Smiles (16:01):

For sure. For sure. Yeah.

Rock Thomas (16:04):

So are you going to share with us those other four things? You talked about the biology, you talked about the quantum physics. Can you expand on that or should we go in another direction?

Preston Smiles (16:13):

Yeah, we can. The biology and our biofeedback, one of the things we teach in our workshops is that the body’s a living library and it stores everything we’ve ever been through. You and I were just speaking about this literally just now, and so what’s really important, because a lot of people think that talk therapy is enough and what happens is as people come into our workshops, which are very experiential and very confrontive and on your feet, this is not note-taking nor is it rah-rah, even though all those things are amazing. What ends up happening is people have some of the biggest breakthroughs of their lives and they actually release some of the trauma that’s been stored in their body. That’s that linguistics, it’s deeply important that we understand that we are linguistic beings. Everything we do is in language, every thought that we have is in language, and when we understand that we can then build a different kind of world with our language. It’s all the little subtle things because everything is touching everything. These are compartmentalized, it’s all happening at once.

Preston Smiles (17:19):

And then the last one, skipping to the fourth, the quantum space, that’s the one everybody’s still guessing at. We want to call it a million things, but at the end of the day…

Rock Thomas (17:31):

The universe, the…

Preston Smiles (17:34):

Jesus, God, whatever you want to call it, it’s just spirit moving to, through and as each and every one of us.

Rock Thomas (17:43):

So how old are you now?

Preston Smiles (17:44):

I will be 40 in a few months in August.

Rock Thomas (17:49):

Okay. Birthdays with a zero often bring reflection. You’re a father now. How has that changed your perspective on the world?

Preston Smiles (17:58):

It’s changed everything, absolutely everything. Being a dad is the best thing that’s ever happened to me and I’m sure you understand, there is nothing that has hit me harder than looking into my son’s eyes and kissing him and then tackling him and body, slamming him and chasing them around and all those things, man. It’s made me see on a deeper level that everybody is somebody’s baby and it’s very easy in our world to label enemies and make enemies.

Preston Smiles (18:34):

I have a couple guys and this may trigger a few people immediately, but I pride myself with authenticity and just speak my truth. So there’s a couple of guys in a similar space who are like extreme Trump fans and I’ve caught myself wanting to dislike them for that reason. Then every time I look at my son, I realized and remember that outside of politics, outside of religion, outside of all of that stuff, everybody’s somebody’s baby and everybody can find a way to believe they’re right about what they believe in and in so many ways it doesn’t matter and in so many ways it does, but my job is not to point a finger and wish harm on anybody or just not like them because of their political stance.

Preston Smiles (19:31):

So what I’ve been doing is every time I catch myself in one of those spaces, I just stop and send a silent blessing to that person and it’s helped me, and imagine them in the middle of the night with somebody like burping them or trying to rub them to sleep or whatever the case may be or them being sick and their mom taking care of them.

Rock Thomas (19:58):

Having empathy and compassion. I get it.

Preston Smiles (20:00):


Rock Thomas (20:00):

I get it. It’s one of the things I’m working on. I grew up, the warrior muscle is easy for me. Everybody like, “What the fuck are you looking at? You want to go? Let’s go.” It was just the cannons, the walls went up, the canons came out, the artillery was there but I’ve worked a lot on that side of myself.

Rock Thomas (20:20):

Talk a little bit about, you were a part of a gang, you smoked, you probably drank, what have you, I think you’ve gone through a phase where you did no longer do that and maybe you still don’t. What have you used to handle because a lot of people today are used to, when they so-call can’t handle the stress, they can’t handle reality, that things aren’t going the way they want or unable to accept what is, they reach out to something external to deal with it.

Preston Smiles (20:47):

A thousand percent, yeah.

Rock Thomas (20:49):

What are the tools you use to deal with things or how have you mastered your mind, for lack of a better term, that could maybe be helpful for some people?

Preston Smiles (20:59):

Yeah, there’s quite a bit in there and yes, I stopped smoking weed when I was 11 and then I started it back up again when I was 28, 27 and then quit again at 29 and then I also didn’t drink for, I think it was 2012 to middle of 2019. So I make an enemy of those things. I make them a character and I make an enemy of them. I look at what they do to people and to a society and then I put them up against me as if it’s me versus them, as opposed to it’s a part of me. Like for instance, when I first stopped drinking, I didn’t know how to be in a club or a bar without doing that because I had linked fun with drinking. So making that, even that idea an enemy, like, “What? Fun has nothing to do with drinking and whoever fed me that idea, it’s bullshit.”

Preston Smiles (22:15):

So every time I would experience myself awkward or not knowing how to have fun, I would turn the volume up on it to prove to that bullshit idea that it’s not true.

Rock Thomas (22:26):

Got it.

Preston Smiles (22:27):

So it was easy to disconnect. I disassociated from this identity that it was a part of me. That’s one, I make an enemy of it. Two, support, short term burst and support. I have a company called Conscious Man Brotherhood and we have a program called Man Cave and Kings Court and in both of those we have men give up a vice for 90 days and one of the things we help them understand and do is to replace that vice with something that is what they would deem healthier, and we tell them that they aren’t quitting forever.

Preston Smiles (23:08):

That’s one of the biggest problems and it’s the reason why I could go 10, 15 years without drinking or anything is because I never quit. I just didn’t choose it anymore, right? It’s like, “Oh I don’t choose it right now,” and knowing that I could always go back, which I did. In the middle of 2019 I made that decision and one of the reasons I even made the decision is because I was using, “Oh I don’t drink and I don’t smoke,” as a way to be better than everybody else. So just to break that up and stop and sort of take that away from my wounded ego, which was pretending to be my higher self, I drank because there was many times in Mykonos in 2018 and 2017 where I wanted to drink, but I didn’t because of the identity that I had been attached to of me being better than everybody, so it became another crutch and another thing that I was addicted to.

Preston Smiles (24:01):

With that being said, to me, the biggest addiction that I’ve seen and I work with people all day every day and I’ve been doing it for many years, the biggest addiction I’ve seen ever is porn and masturbation. I’ve never seen anything more rampant than that and when people have those, I highly suggest that they let that go in a group. They let it go with support, mentorship, coaching, whatever the case may be, a buddy system, but they don’t try to do it by themselves because that is, I won’t say it’s not possible, it definitely is possible to do it by yourself, but it’s more-

Rock Thomas (24:39):

That the definition of masturbation, is it not, doing it by yourself?

Preston Smiles (24:44):

True. True, but you know what I’m talking about.

Rock Thomas (24:51):

I know. One of the things that I’m working on is laughing more.

Preston Smiles (25:02):

Yes, yes.

Rock Thomas (25:04):

For no reason. Just being silly and goofy and playful and creative, so given an opportunity I look for the laughter and things.

Preston Smiles (25:14):

For sure.

Rock Thomas (25:15):

So let’s break that down for a second because my theory on masturbation and porn is a little bit that we all want to connect as humans and we feel so disconnected, even though social media bullshit about being connected, but we feel so disconnected, we feel that our true selves is not enough and we’ve lost ourselves in our false self and then we’re like, “I’m not good enough. I can’t get the girl. I don’t feel socially good,” what have you. So porn becomes available where, whatever you pay or you watch and you connect with yourself and you don’t have the fear of rejection and you have that moment of satisfaction, but it’s empty obviously, but it’s better than nothing, right?

Preston Smiles (26:01):

Yes, I agree with you. I’ll just add that my belief is that a lot of well-meaning mothers traumatize their sons because most of us grew up spending more time with their moms than we did our dads and most moms unconsciously tried to beat out every part of masculine that they did not like in their dad or the guy that cheated on them or the person they got pregnant with.

Preston Smiles (26:30):

What happens is, is when a boy, who has all this testosterone and all of these different chemicals pumping, but there is no safe space then to express that, to be his full wild self, well, after enough of that, especially if he’s not playing sports, what he’ll look to is to do anything that excites him and get him on his edge and gets him off of this sort of mundane rat race living life. So to me, the porn industry is gigantic for that reason more than anything, it’s just because people don’t know how to be alive, and they haven’t experienced it in so long, and there’s an identity and an idea about what a good guy is that it’s been almost beat out of them and so this is how they find it.

Rock Thomas (27:21):

Brilliant. Brilliant insight. Wow, that’s so great. Most people are not alive, they’re not on their edge, they’ve had to mute themselves, permission to be intense and so then they get this moment where they can then have that. That’s so, so interesting. Fascinating.

Preston Smiles (27:38):


Rock Thomas (27:39):

So if people want to have access to your wisdom, follow you, participate. I know you’ve got different courses that you do, some public, some private. You’ve got some coaching, you’ve got some mastermind groups. You’ve got a bunch of stuff going on, you’ve got books. You and your lady do some great things. I have mad respect for both of you. Drop us where people can connect with you and find you and follow you. I know they could just type in your name and they’ll find you, but more specifically.

Preston Smiles (28:08):

Yeah, for sure. There’s a few things. If you’re a guy, We have workshops for men and programs for men only and then, which is the workshops for men and women that my wife and I do all around the world. Then if you just type in Preston Smiles on anything, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook. I mainly operate on Instagram and YouTube. So if you’re on social media and you’re looking to follow somebody, I may trigger you. I do my best to be as authentic as possible, so it’s very hard to box me into this one dimensional spiritual guy because I’m everything, just like you are. So that’s where you can find me.

Rock Thomas (28:54):

So you’re a 10 or 15 year in this business, 20 year overnight success, right?

Preston Smiles (29:00):

Yep, exactly.

Rock Thomas (29:02):

A lot of people want to be like kind of like you, a successful impact and I think they’re delusional that it happens over night. Tell us a little bit about how long you’ve been at this and what the ramp up has been to be at a place where you mentioned what you’re earning now and the impact you’re having. I think it might be nice for people to understand that and get real around that, man, it’s fucking work.

Preston Smiles (29:27):

Absolutely. Yes, absolutely. I think that a lot of people have, because I created something for coaches in particular for this very reason called Kaboom Coaching. So it was and I help coaches create more clarity, confidence, and cashflow in their coaching business, but what I explain to them is that there’s two different paths. There’s a path of just being a coach, having an impact, making money and doing your thing, and then there’s the path of being a thought leader influencer who happens to coach.

Preston Smiles (30:00):

I started out as somebody who was strictly here to just coach and support with the gifts that I got and then I realized that I was called here for something bigger. Not that that’s not big enough, but it’s just I have more to me in this lifetime than just that. I remind people, and this is one of the reasons why I leave up all my terrible videos on YouTube and things like that, is you’d need the awkward stage. People try to skip the teenage years and they don’t want the pimples and they don’t want the squeaky voice, but that’s needed and very necessary. They want to go from just starting to top of the mountain.

Preston Smiles (30:39):

I discourage people all the time because PE coaches come in and they’re like, “Hey, I want a Bali retreat and I want a mastermind and I want this and I want that and I want to be like this person.” I’m like, “Do you understand that first of all, you have no audience. Second, anybody can get lucky once or twice, right? To have something happen 30 times in a row is a whole another ball game,” and it’s become very trendy and the internet is kind of like the wild, wild West and I feel like that’s coming to an end actually. I think that what will happen is as the economy sort of dips and changes, people will stop just trusting in any person who says that they can do X, Y, and Z.

Preston Smiles (31:27):

This is what I will say. My life is about mastery. My life is about being a black belt and then starting all over again and then being a black belt and then starting all over again, not because I want to be famous, but because I actually love the process. I love humans and I love supporting people in breaking through. So if that’s not what you’re up to, if you don’t actually love all of the minutia and the details and the ugly stuff, you won’t be around for long and I’ve seen so many people come and go in this industry who were “overnight successes” that as soon as the trend changed, everything changed with them and they couldn’t stick around.

Preston Smiles (32:09):

So if you’re really, really wanting to take your business and your life to the next level, sign up for it to be 10 years, not one.

Rock Thomas (32:20):

Yeah, definitely. Well, I’ve watched your growth and success and I’ve done some of your events, the Bridge Experiment… the Bridge Experiment is it?

Preston Smiles (32:30):

Experience, yeah.

Rock Thomas (32:31):

Experience, yeah, and I’ve watched you deliver in a way that touched my heart. It’s like your present, you’re present to impact. You know I know a lot of people in the personal development space and I can’t say that about everybody. There’s a lot of slick people out there that make it sound really shiny and they make a ton of money, but then eventually their character and their identity reveals itself and things move on. So I’ve been very reassured and happy to watch your consistent gradual progress and impact and the sustainability while you became a father and while you continued to maneuver around that.

Rock Thomas (33:20):

So thank you for saying yes to this podcast because you’re a force for good and I consider you a dear friend even though we don’t spend a lot of time together, but I think on some level I get you as a brother.

Preston Smiles (33:33):


Rock Thomas (33:34):

So thank you so much, Preston, for joining us today.

Preston Smiles (33:37):

Beautiful. Thank you so much, Rock.

Rock Thomas (33:39):

All right. God bless.

Outro (33:42):

This is The I am movement podcast. To find out more about how you can join the I Am movement and take your life to the next level, go to,

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