Interview with Laban Ditchburn
Conquer Obstacles and Become Your Own Superhero with Laban Ditchburn
Today, I’m talking with Laban Ditchburn. Laban is a coach, author, and motivational speaker who has an inspiring story of going from dysfunction, addiction, and poor health to being able to overcome his addictions, replace 60 pounds of fat with 30 pounds of muscle, and cure his “incurable” auto-immune disease.
Called “The World’s Best Courage Coach,” Laban is the author of “Bet On You,” he hosts his “Become Your Own Superhero” podcast and teaches other people how to confront their fear and achieve all their goals.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
✅ Mindset hacks for bouncing back from life’s biggest curveballs.
✅ Tips on busting outside your comfort zone and pursuing audacious goals.
✅ How to level up your relationships by asking better questions.
Featured on This Episode: Laban Ditchburn
✅ What he does: Laban Ditchburn is a coach, author, and motivational speaker who has an inspiring story of going from dysfunction, addiction, and poor health to being able to overcome his addictions, replace 60 pounds of fat with 30 pounds of muscle, and cure his “incurable” auto-immune disease. Called “The World’s Best Courage Coach,” Laban is the author of “Bet On You,” he hosts his “Become Your Own Superhero” podcast and teaches other people how to confront their fear and achieve all their goals.
💬 Words of wisdom: “Every single interaction that I go into, not just on the show, but in the street, the 7-Eleven, the supermarket… I go on with this mindset, ’What value can I add to this person’s life?’” – Laban Ditchburn
Key Takeaways with Laban Ditchburn
- Going from an alcohol and drug addict to an ultra-marathon runner.
- The “aha” moments that come from taking responsibility for your actions.
- The life-changing advice Laban got from Les Brown.
- Great things happen on the other side of your comfort zone.
- Ask this daily, “How can I be of service to other people?”
- Ask smarter questions, get better answers.
- How stories can change people’s lives.
- Simple health strategies for boosting energy and libido and improving mental clarity.
Laban Ditchburn on How I Bet on Myself & Found Success
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Laban Ditchburn Tweetables“If you're a speaker or someone who wants to get your message out to the world, find opportunities to use and tell stories because the story is the only way that something will remain sticky.” – @WBCourageCoach Click To Tweet
- Laban Ditchburn on LinkedIn | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter
- Become Your Own Superhero Podcast
- Podcasting Heroes
- Bet On You by Laban Michael Ditchburn
- Jonathan Keyser
- Carolyn Stenhouse
- Brené Brown
- Les Brown
- Steve Hardison
- Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown
- Mark Victor Hansen
- John Gray
- Mark Schulman
- Shawn Kanungo
- Jon Vroman
- Front Row Dads
- Joe Rogan
- Chris Kresser
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Read the Full Transcript with Laban Ditchburn
Justin Donald: What’s up, Laban? Hope all is well.
Laban Ditchburn: Justin Donald, good to see you, brother. Always a pleasure. Never a chore.
Justin Donald: Yeah. Well, hey, it is great having you on the show. And I always love telling people a little bit about how we met and you and I were part of this group called The Selfless Givers. We kind of formed it. It was self-organized during COVID, really, right at the beginning of COVID, and just an incredible group of individuals. And you’re one of the newer members that were brought in, a friend of one of our current members. And it’s been so fun getting to know you, learning your life, hearing your story. And I can’t wait for you to share it today with our audience.
Laban Ditchburn: Well, mate, thank you very much. And I tell you what. For anyone out there struggling with imposter syndrome, when I entered this group and it was through Jonathan Keyser so big shout out to Big J out there who invited me in so generously. As confident as I am, Justin, there were moments when I was surrounded by the elk of this incredible entrepreneurial team of people that were just out there to help people as best they could. And, man, I benefited so much from that time in that mastermind. And so, it was amazing to get to know you and some of the other people in the group.
Justin Donald: Oh, just a fun space. I’m so glad you got brought in. And for those of you that don’t know, I interviewed Jonathan Keyser on this podcast and he’s just a wealth of knowledge, especially on the commercial real estate side of things. He’s just brilliant with leases and even helping people get out of leases. So, really kind of like a tenant-friendly, I mean, he has expertise on either side, but if you are a tenant and need to get out of a lease, he could be a great resource for you so go check out that podcast episode. Laban, you are a world traveler. I’d love to hear your story on how that became your life. You know, I know you live, I think you were going to call it live in Mexico, although I feel like you live in many different places. Tell us where you were born, how you started traveling, and how you kind of figured out this world of entrepreneurship and coaching and optimizing like mindset and performance.
Laban Ditchburn: Well, I’m coming to you from Tampa, Florida. Over the last four and a half months, my wife and I have spent three months in India. We landed back in Las Vegas. We spent time there, went up through Utah into Idaho, across to Florida, again up to New York, back down through South Carolina. I think in the last since October 2021 is when we left Australia. Now, for those that are trying to guess the accent, I am indeed half Australian, but I’m half New Zealand. I was born in Christchurch, New Zealand back in 1980, June 27th, 1980 for those looking to send birthday cards. But I moved to Australia when I was 21. My father had divorced from my mum when I was three and a half and he’d moved back there with the rest of my family in the year 2000. And I’d been working in Thailand as a 20-year-old expat with absolutely no idea what I should be like how to do the job. I used to work in the relocation space and I was thrown into the middle of Bangkok as a 20-year-old, which is a whole nother story, some of which is in my book for people that want to learn more about that experience.
But you can imagine someone who’s never lived overseas before their first overseas experience apart from Australia was Bangkok in the early 2000s. And that was a fascinating time in my life. But I basically started out doing jobs that I, with the benefit of hindsight, I never actually enjoyed at all. Because when I was 16, I went to my father, Justin. I said, “Dad, dad, dad, I know what I want to be and I know what I want to be.” And he said, “What is it, son?” I said, “I want to be a radio announcer, just like you.” And my father, who’s now retired, was a brilliant broadcaster. He had a beautiful voice, and I have to thank him for some of my genes. But he said, “Son, there’s no money in radio,” and dissuaded me from submitting the application to go to community college, which was the only place he could do radio back then. And so, I ended up doing jobs that I effing hated and I go into sales. And then I worked in I.T. recruitment right up until 2019. And I’d never worked as an entrepreneur, but it was after an experience with my now wife, Anna.
When her and I got together in 2018, I manifested my dream woman and she manifested a dream man. And she can attest to that if you need a check. But she got pregnant basically the first time we consummated the relationship, which was about three months in. She made me work for it, which is great, but we had an ectopic pregnancy. And for anyone who doesn’t know, it’s when the baby starts to grow inside the fallopian tube and not a good thing and you lose 100% of the pregnancies. And it ended up hemorrhaging and she nearly died. She was within hours of death in January of 2019. And I worked in a little boutique recruitment company that had two co-CEOs that were both women, and I thought that they would be super understanding of the situation. But really, to my surprise, the way that they treated me when I was coming in and out to take her to the hospital and they didn’t know and probably will never know that she nearly died. But I was like, “There’s no way I’m ever working for anyone ever again.” So, in January of 2019, I went out on my own.
And for further context, Justin, I struggled with addiction for a long time. I was a prolific, you know, fully functional alcoholic, drug user philanderer, prolific degenerate gambler and I hit rock bottom in 2015, and that’s when I started my healing journey. And I got access to help and I got access to the gamblers helpline and then a gambling psychologist where I started my healing journey. So, in that 2015 to 2018 period before I met my wife, I’d completely given up everything. I’m now seven years sober in August 2023, longer for drugs, longer for gambling. And I shifted 60 pounds of body fat and put on 30 pounds of muscle and started running ultramarathons and doing this other stuff. But when this experience happened, I was like, “Stuff this, I’m going at my own.” So, I just did like all new entrepreneurs often do, just went out and bought the printer and got all the stationery and got the business cards and did everything in reverse. And it was a total, unmitigated financial disaster. And I used that term for effect only because it ended up being the greatest blessing in disguise.
And I knew that having gone through my journey of transformation that I needed to be able to share this message with the world. And so, with my tail between my legs, I took a job back in recruitment in February 2020, and then seven weeks later, COVID hit. And I was first off the line and made redundant. I didn’t make any money in 2019, so I didn’t qualify for any of the government payouts during the lockdown. And we were in Melbourne, Australia which for those who don’t know, it was one of the most locked down cities in the world. And I was left with no choice but to create a podcast because that was the only way I could get my message out to the world. And so, I created this podcast, which is called Become Your Own Superhero Podcast, and that kickstarted this incredible journey of associating with some of the most extraordinary people on planet Earth and led to being connected to people like Jonathan and then through to you. And there are a lot more in between that story but that’s basically the Cliff notes of what’s going on.
Justin Donald: Wow. What an incredible roller coaster ride. And I’m so glad everything is fine with your wife. I mean, that’s some scary stuff. I’m shocked at the way that that was handled and the way that that went down. I’m blown away that you were able to kick like all three of your major addictions. I mean, that’s incredible. And even shift to, I mean, for those of you that are listening, you can’t see this. Laban is fit. I mean, you look good. You look like you’re ready to go run a marathon right now. So, kudos to you. I feel like your story is great because not everyone has it as bad as you but if you could do all these things and some of these, you know, it sounds like you’ve got a head start on a few of them. You got some traction but a lot of these were overlap. So, if you can do all this, it’s great to see what other people can do. So, not only getting your health right, addictions right, the various addictions, drug addiction, alcohol addiction, gambling addiction but then to like leave the corporate gig. And I love the way that you said it, “Stuff this.” I like that. That must be a fun little saying from where you’re from.
Laban Ditchburn: Just to cut you off, Justin, one of the statements in your book, The Lifestyle Investor, which I enjoyed so much, I will admit some of it went over my head a little bit but we can talk about that in a minute. But there was one part in there I think you were talking about. It’s my fault. Like, the first step before you can get out of the quagmire and lean towards your greatness is like you need to take responsibility for your actions. And it may not be your fault when you’re a kid but it is your responsibility to heal from it. So, sorry to cut you off.
Justin Donald: Oh, no, that’s a powerful statement and acknowledgment but I’m just blown away at what you’ve been able to do because if you can do this, other people can do it. And other people might just be trying to heal from one of these things. So, your story is one that is very inspiring. So, one of the things I’m curious for you about this, you know, journey into entrepreneurship sounds like the first year is really tough. Your podcast really helped you. It helped elevate you. And one of the beauties of podcasts is it does unlock the potential to connect with people that otherwise you probably wouldn’t have access to. And I don’t mean you. Like me, anyone, any podcaster, like I get access to people I have no business getting access to because I have this podcast platform. And it’s really funny because we’re not different. You and I are not different but having a podcast has this, you know, it resonates a certain way and it gives you access to people that really play the game of business and life and wealth building and whatever it is at a higher level that you can glean from and learn from and get access to. So, it’s pretty cool.
So, walk us a little more through your journey, like to where you are today. Your book obviously has had some success, your podcast has had some success. Talk a little more about that entrepreneurial journey.
Laban Ditchburn: So, I got some good advice from a mentor of mine in 2018. I met her the same week I met my wife. Her name is Carolyn Stenhouse. She’s a Scottish woman, and she said to me, “Laban, in order for you to be successful, you need to spend time around successful people.” I know you talk about this in your book a lot as well, and lots of people talk about this because it’s a principle, right? It works. And so, before I even had the podcast, before I had a book, before I had a platform, before I even knew what the hell I was going to do, I rang Brené Brown and I called her on January 2nd, 2020, which was January 1st, 2020 in Texas because of the time zone difference, and she picked up the phone. And she said, “Hi, this is Brene speaking,” in that Texas dulcet tone and I say, “Brene Brown?” She said, “Yes, it is.” I say, “Brene Brown, it’s Laban Ditchburn from Melbourne, Australia here.” And she’s like, “Oh, hi, Laban. How can I help?” A little bit taken aback, right? Because it’s New Year’s Day where she is, right? And I said, “Brene, the reason for my call is I’ve been instructed by my mentor that I need to spend time with people that are much further along than I, and I wondered if you’d be interested in sharing some ideas.”
I had nothing, Justin. I had nothing of any value that I could offer this poor woman. And she said to me, “Laban, I’m about to sit down and have New Year’s Day dinner with my family but if you’d be so kind to send me an email, I’ll come back to you.” Well, blow me down, Justin. She did. She responded about three days later and I’ll read verbatim what she wrote because this was a transformative moment in my life. She says, “Hi, Laban. Thanks for emailing. With my family, university, and book commitments, I cannot take on anything else this year and deliver in a way that’s meaningful. I wish you great success on your journey.” Well, when you get an email response from someone that big, right, it does a lot for the confidence, right? She could have easily chosen to ignore that. She could have easily not answered the phone. But what it did, Justin, is it sparked this idea in me and this fearlessness that sort of evolved into this courage coaching that I do now.
Now, eight episodes into the podcast, I brought on a number of really brilliant people from the Australian-speaking realm, some of whom I’ve been connected to from networking there, and an event that took place just before lockdown. But eight episodes in, I rang Les Brown. There’s a theme here with the Browns, right? Now, for those who don’t know Les Brown, once you finish watching this, get on YouTube and just search for Les Brown and your day will be infinitely better. So, Les Brown, he’s 77, picks up the phone and says, “Hi. Les speaking.” I said, “Les Brown?” He said, “Yes it is.” I said, “Les Brown, it’s Laban Ditchburn from Melbourne, Australia here.” You can see there’s a geographical anchor that I put in there for some reason that just kind of helps people have a visual of where you are, right? So, he says, “Well, hi, Laban, how can I help?” I said, “Les, I’m a huge fan of you and your work.” And his work had been instrumental in years prior, helping me get out of some pretty dark spots. And I said, “I’m also the host of an incredible podcast series called Become Your Own Superhero and I’d be honored if you came and shared your amazing story with our audience.”
Well, he says to me, “Well, when are you thinking, boy?” And I said, “Well, to be honest, Les, whenever you’re available works with me.” And I didn’t tell him that I had ten subscribers at the time, five of whom were family members. But had he asked, I would have told him, but he didn’t, so I didn’t. So, we scheduled it for Tuesday, midnight my time, which was Monday morning his time and I nearly missed it, Justin, as my beautiful wife, Anna, I have to credit with saying, “Are you sure it’s not on now?” And it was and we scrambled and got it all together. And I had this 13-year-old Toshiba laptop and it was all this precarious stand. We were in lockdown. And he comes on and I said to him, “HI, Les,” before we even started the podcast. “What do you think of the name of the show, Become Your Own Superhero?” and if you’ve ever heard Les speak, he just absolutely humbled me with how he spoke about this podcast name. And I was so moved by it, Justin, that I just verbally diarrhead my story of transformation to him. I don’t know why. I just did. And the drink and the drugs and the gambling and the floundering and all the stuff.
And he just let me finish with the patience of a saint. And Steve Hardison, who I know and Jonathan Keyser knows says, “The power is in the listener.” And it’s something that really resonated with me and Les just had that power because he was listening. And he let me finish and he said, “Congratulations, Lab,” and I said, “Thanks, Les.” He goes, “Do you have a book?” And I go, “No, I don’t.” He goes, “If you’re going to be a speaker, you need a book to help with your credibility.” And I was like, “Okay.” He goes, “Who is the most influential person in your life when you were five years of age?” Question I’d never been asked before, Justin, or never had to think about. And I thought about for a minute or two and I was like, “Actually, despite her many, many flaws, it would be my mom,” someone who I at that point had a very dysfunctional relationship with. And he said, “Well, what attributes do you get from your mum?” And I thought about it again. I was like, “Man, she was actually unconditionally loving and she’s tenacious and spiritual.”
He’s writing this stuff down, Justin. He looks up at me. He says, “Laban, this is a God moment.” He said, “I’m going to show you how to monetize your passion.” For the next 10 minutes, he reads back to me the blueprint for this book he wants me to write called Bet On You. He said, “Laban, you’re going to write the book. You’re going to turn that book into a keynote. You’re going to turn that keynote into a three-day retreat.” And even if you muck this up, you’re going to make six figures in the next 12 months.” He says, “And I’m going to interview you on my platform with 4 million followers and I’m going to write the foreword to your book.”
Justin Donald: Wow.
Laban Ditchburn: And this is mid-May 2020. I never finished high school, Justin. I never went to college. I’ve never written anything in my life. And in a moment, in complete and utter insanity, I said, “Les, if you’re going to write the foreword to my book, I’ll have it to you by June 30, 2020.” And then six weeks of the strictest lockdowns of anywhere on the planet, I pumped out 33,000 words of the first draft of my book, Bet On You, delivered it to Les’s inbox as promised and completely changed my life in the process. That book came out at the end of 2021, and last year in Atlanta, Georgia, my wife and I, Anna, had dinner at Les Brown’s home, just the three of us, where he wept after sharing some challenges that he was going through with his own family. And my wife and I were able to share some ideas that we had that were helpful to him and his words. And the reason I just wanted to share that story was just to show you the power of what can happen when you lean into your divine God-given gift. You know, you’re on the right path because you get some really great indicators and then you know that you can serve these people at the highest level possible.
Justin Donald: That’s amazing. And by the way, you have to be courageous enough to put yourself out there and not be afraid of getting rejected or not getting a response back or someone laughing at your idea or your story. You have to be willing to go there, be vulnerable enough to share it. I mean, wow. That was powerful. And by the way, I’m a huge Brené Brown fan. I have her book, Daring Greatly, I thought was just incredible. I’ve heard her Ted Talks. I think that she has really had some incredibly positive impact. And I love that you went there first and built your confidence. Les Brown, I mean, he’s an iconic figure. I mean, what an incredible opportunity to be partnered with him in any capacity. Wow. So cool.
Laban Ditchburn: Yeah. I have to pinch myself from time to time because it is not just with Les now, Justin. It’s happening with dozens of these people that I’ve been connected to and the introductions I’ve made to men. You know, I don’t want to drop names deliberately but just to show the power of it. By the time the book came out, Les had written a foreword. And it wasn’t a case where I’d written it and he’d signed it like he actually wrote and it is the most powerful thing I’ve ever read in my life. And then Mark Victor Hansen, who co-wrote Chicken Soup for the Soul, endorsed it. He was a guest. Dr. John Gray from Men are from Mars Women are from Venus. He offered to endorse it. I had the former All Blacks coach, Sir Steve Hansen, knighted by the Queen, who’s the most successful rugby coach in history. Mark Schulman, who was Pink’s drummer and the drummer for Journey and Foreigner. You know, Shawn Kanungo is an incredible speaker out of Canada and a couple of other people that you might not have heard of. And I was looking at these endorsements. I was like, “How the hell did I pull that off?”
And it was simply this: Every single interaction that I go into, not just on the show, in the street, the 7-Eleven, the supermarket, the person, the call center in Bangalore, I go on with this mindset, “What value can I add to this person’s life?” And it’s been instilled in me now because I’ve been doing it for long enough where it’s a habit. And when you start to do it enough and you have opportunities to help people solve problems, what challenges, you get really darn good at it. And so, it’s just exponential. So, this creates daily miracles in my wife and I’s life. And I created a training teaching people how to reach out and connect with their dream guest. Like, I was able to monetize a skill set that I had to learn through adversity. And when I was creating the course, I worked at the numbers and I’ve been given more than a million US dollars’ worth of stuff over the course of the last three years directly from podcast guests, you know, mastermind entries, endorsements.
You know, last year we were in the US. We were here for six months or for, yeah, two lots of three months, and 80% of that trip, we stayed in the homes of former podcast guests, for God’s sake. It is just mind-blowing how powerful this is when you show up from a place of service, which is exactly what The Selfless Givers was all about, right?
Justin Donald: That’s right. That’s right. And by the way, this is something like you hear all the time that it’s almost like the catchphrase now is, “Well, I’m here to serve others or I’m a servant leader.” It’s been kind of watered down, even though that’s what we should all aspire to be and how we should aspire to show up. But I feel like people represent that when maybe that isn’t their intention or maybe there’s ulterior motive. So, how do you show up and follow through in a way where you’re doing that? Like you’ve got people that are pouring into you. What are some ways, some things you’re doing where you’re pouring into them and adding value and really showing up with a servicing them type of mindset?
Laban Ditchburn: So, it’s a work in progress because you have to keep it pure. And what I mean by pure, you really have to give without expectation. And that can be challenging at times if you’ve had a bad run and or you’re used to getting a particular outcome. So, I’m not going to proclaim that I’m perfect at it, by God, but I’m getting very, very good at it. And one little example will be and I’ll confess something here. When we arrived in Las Vegas about five weeks ago, it was because I was being interviewed on another big, big podcast. And we stayed at this little motel, three-star motel, didn’t have a lot of spare cash. And we started smoking cigarettes in India. I’ll knock it on the head zone but I’m just in full transparency, right? And we had to go out to this one section of the back of the motel, which was like the pariah for the smokers. And we got chatting to this woman, Holly, and she won’t mind me mentioning her name, but over the course of about 10 hours over the next four or five days, we had smoked a lot of cigarettes together and had lots of conversations.
Well, just by asking questions, I’m not making this up, Holly quit her job. She exited her relationship. She was with a guy that had been laying hands on her when he’d been drinking. She’s reduced her drinking. She joined our mastermind, Podcasting Heroes. She created a podcast. She started a substack. And she’s gone on the carnivore diet, which is what I used to drop all my weight and she’s lost 11.5 pounds. She’s a former award-winning writer and has won 30 awards from the American Press Association who ended up in this job in Las Vegas because of this partner she was in. He was a nice enough guy but then when he’d get a bit drunk, he’d get a bit aggressive. And she was in a toxic relationship. And I just asked enough questions and she just solved her own answers through that whole process. And then she ended up paying to join this mastermind that we had. And then since then, I’ve been able to use her story in the same way that I’m sharing with your audience now to provide a really powerful anecdote for other service.
And it was just a conversation like, “How are you doing?” And then being able to read that maybe everything wasn’t quite right and then asking her questions like, “If you could wave a magic wand to grant a wish to solve the number one challenge in your life right now, what would that be?” And I would encourage you to try that. And you can say, “Pray to God,” because there’s a mix of people that are faith-based or not but if you say wave a wand, everyone knows what wave a wand means. If you could wave a wand to grant a wish to solve the number one challenge in your life right now, what would that be? And you will be flabbergasted with the responses that people give you. And sometimes, Justin, they share things with you that they’ve never shared with anyone before. This happens to be a lot. And so, you need to be prepared for that and I only do it if it’s something you feel comfortable doing but I promise you, you will walk away from these conversations just absolutely levitating with joy and fulfillment.
Justin Donald: Well, that’s it right there. It’s all about the quality of questions. The greater the quality of questions, the greater the quality of conversation, the greater the depth and connection of a relationship. You know, I’ve got a dear friend, Jon Vroman. He’s the founder of Front Row Dads. And way back when he used to coach, he used to be college speaker of the year. Before that, though, we used to coach and the one thing I coached with him for a year and the one thing I remember about his coaching is he would ask the best questions of anyone. And because of that, I gained so much clarity in my life because he asked questions that no one else ever asked me. He wouldn’t let me off the hook. He wanted to know my answers. If I didn’t know it there on the spot, I was to work on it for homework. I remember getting lists of questions, and so I had my own self-discovery because I had such powerful questions to use and model after. And then as I have kind of grown in my coaching and for a period of my life, I coached a lot of people too. I incorporated these types of questions, and it’s that single question that is just an unbelievable question.
One of the other ones that I love to ask, so that one that you just asked, it unlocks everything. But sometimes we can’t. Like sometimes it doesn’t unlock it quite yet or you need a warm-up or you need something to like get people willing to play the game of question and answer. And so, one of my favorite ones that I learned from Jon is what’s the one question you wish more people would ask you that they just don’t ask you enough? And that one got people just opening up and you talk about exactly what they want to talk about. And then it gave you the ability to go and layer in deeper. So, I love that. I love powerful questions.
Laban Ditchburn: Would you say that one more time? Because I’m going to commit that to memory.
Justin Donald: Yeah. What’s the one question you wish more people would ask you that for some reason they don’t?
Laban Ditchburn: That’s so good.
Justin Donald: Isn’t that great? Because you’re basically saying, what do you want to talk about? But in a way that actually gets them to respond and gets a little deeper than just surface level, you know? So, that one is a really fun one that I’ve had a blast asking over the years. And I have asked a variation of your magic wand question and I love that question because you get to the root, you get to the heart of like just people’s lives. And you can much more easily enter into that realm of impact when you know what you can or should try to impact. Yeah, super cool. I got a question for you.
Laban Ditchburn: Yeah.
Justin Donald: Go ahead.
Laban Ditchburn: No. I was just going to say there’s one other component to the value of doing that because, remember, you’re not doing it for any outcome. You’re not doing it for any ulterior motive but if you are a speaker or someone who wants to get your message out to the world or you’re a writer or a coach or anyone who wants to be on podcast or radio or TV or YouTube channels, whatever, find opportunities to use and tell stories because the story is the only way that something will remain sticky. So, I use those opportunities, Justin, to use an anecdote that’s relevant to whatever their challenge is because I know that it will stick. And so, when it comes time to being on a show like this, you have a laundry list of stories that are relevant to the questioning. And that’s like the best speakers you’ve ever seen on accidental. They’ve spent thousands of hours learning to use their voice as an instrument. So, that’s another really great unintended byproduct of having literally thousands of those kind of conversations.
Justin Donald: I love it. So, quick side note here before we wrap things up here. You talked about the carnivore diet and how that was your key to losing 60 pounds. And it wasn’t just losing 60 pounds, it was converting 60 pounds to 30 pounds of muscle, right? So, there is a flip-flop because I know a ton of people that have lost weight and that is great but like building muscle is what’s going to give you longevity. Like, check out all the studies, do whatever you need to do. The way to live a long, healthy life comes from weightlifting. Even if it’s just 30 minutes a day, four days a week, three days a week like it comes from really putting your muscles to the test and it doesn’t have to be heavyweight. We can do lightweight with, you know, high rep count. But what I would love to hear is your experience with the carnivore diet. You talked about how your new friend, Holly, I think you said her name was that she used this carnivore diet as well. And I’m sure there are other people in your ecosystem that have.
Why this? I’ve got one of my closest friends in the world just did this and it was super magical for him. And so, obviously, with any diet, yeah, oh, look at that picture. That’s unbelievable. Yeah. Your before and after is incredible. But like any diet, there’s like pros and cons, like there’s the keto diet and there’s the, I mean, you can make a laundry list of these. You’ve got the vegan diet. You’ve got the…
Laban Ditchburn: Don’t do that.
Justin Donald: Right? There’s tons of them. But give me the pitch for the carnivore diet. I mean, it’s important to have the right amount of protein. I think any diet will tell you that. But this one is going to be a little more concentrated on protein and fat, and it’s hard to overconsume it if you’re not eating the other calories, right?
Laban Ditchburn: Yeah. It’s a really interesting question. And this whole diet thing has just spiraled out of control with who’s got it right, who’s got it wrong. This came out of no other option because the autoimmune disease that I mentioned I had for 17 years and I was told by 20 doctors with 250 years of education between them that it was impossible to fix. And I saw one interview on Joe Rogan 2016 with Dr. Chris. Kresser, who’s a functional medicine doctor who spoke about the link between gluten intolerance and heartburn. Now, I had GOOD, which is short for gastrointestinal reflux disorder, a chronic heartburn. You get all kinds of issues and the sphincter valve doesn’t shut properly and it turns out it’s caused by low acid. But the thing that was aggravating it for me was grains or gluten and any grain, really. And so, I originally cut out gluten and then it went away and then I started learning more. I was like, “What else are these guys wrong about?” Because they said meat was bad and all this other stuff. So, I’ve spent thousands of hours researching this.
And the reason the carnivore diet is so effective and just a side note, Justin, I absolutely have spoken about this publicly before, believe that it was the catalyst for my healing from addiction. Because when you understand the gut, 85% to 90% of the gut is where the dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, norepinephrine are created and the body doesn’t use all that necessarily. But I was cocaine, alcohol, pills like the whole gamut, I didn’t need to go through 12 step. I didn’t need to go through any of that. I just all of a sudden reverse-engineered reasons why I was escaping. And then the combination of the diet just made it effortless to give up. So, it’s like it’s easy. I can be around alcohol, I can be around drugs. I choose not to be but I can be around it and it’s not a temptation for me. But the reason the carnivore diet is so powerful is because it’s the ultimate elimination protocol. There’s so much bastardization of our food source these days that it’s really hard to know what the body can tolerate and what it can’t. And I did it for three and a half years, where I cut out 99.9% of all plants out of my diet.
I would say that again, 99.9% of all plants gone. And I’ve been tracking my bloodwork for 15 years and I can show that the hard data that was the healthiest that I’d ever been and then what I was able to do because I did the work and I healed my gut, you know, and I wasn’t partying and doing this other stuff. My stress levels, my cortisol came down, that kind of thing as well. I was able to reintroduce a few things so now I can tolerate a lot more. I still stay away from grains. I can eat a lot more fruit but I was also pre-diabetic so I damaged my metabolism. So, it really depends on the person and the extent of the rigmarole that you put your body through. But it brings all your insulin down, it brings your blood glucose down, you sleep better, your energy is better, your mood is better, your libido is better, erections are more pronounced. You know, women get the other good stuff as well. And all the good things in life massively, massively improved. And you’re just burning your body fat as fuel. And that’s the preferred fuel source for our brains, despite what you might read in some Woman’s Day magazine.
So, go do your own research. Don’t take my blind advice. Go and check it out. And I swear to God, you will never, ever eat the same again if you do it for 60 days and learn how to do it.
Justin Donald: Wow. Yeah, that’s a powerful endorsement. And by the way, so my daughter is dairy-free and gluten-free so as a result of that, my whole family, my wife and I, we very much eat dairy-free, gluten-free most of the time, nine times out of ten. You know, if we’re out, just the two of us, we might deviate a little bit. So, we actually feel like we eat healthier because of that. Like, it’s a blessing to us because it forces all of us to avoid gluten and dairy and things that maybe aren’t as great for your body. Certainly, I think there’s enough data to show that gluten is not good for anyone, whether you react severely to it or not. The other thing that I’ve heard, though, is there are different diets that are good for different people. You know, you’ve heard the blood type thing or the body type thing or whatever but I’ve also heard why not try things out for a period of time. And by the way, they may not be good as an indefinite thing, but if you did it for 90 days, let’s say, and then you phased off or you phase differently, I’ve heard that there’s a lot of power in, you know, that as a modality is the carnivore diet for 90 days and then you can phase some things in.
But instead of like saying, “Hey, I’m just going to do this for life,” why don’t you pick like a period of time that you do it if you feel like you need to solve for things or if you have extenuating circumstances or things that your doctors haven’t been able to solve or you haven’t been able to sustain weight loss or body weight at a certain level, why not give it a try?
Laban Ditchburn: Well, can I share something real personal?
Justin Donald: Sure.
Laban Ditchburn: So, Anna and I, my wife, she was born in Russia. And I mentioned the ectopic pregnancy. Well, collectively now, Justin, Anna and I have now had 19 consecutive miscarriages.
Justin Donald: Whoa. I’m sorry to hear that.
Laban Ditchburn: No, that’s okay. It’s okay. I’m not sharing this for sympathy, but to share knowledge and three of those have been ectopic and that first one nearly knocked her off. But what it’s forced us to do is figure out ways because we know why the miscarriages have been happening. And the reason being is when she was growing up from the age of 15 until she was 21, her stepfather was systematically abusing her and she had two pregnancies from the abuse and two illegal underground abortions. They had no aftercare or were done illegally, and one of them damaged the uterine wall. And so, they believe there’s some scar tissue that’s causing the ability for the baby to stick. And so, like, how do you fix that? Right? So, we’ve gone down the path of learning about the power of dry fasting. Now, everyone’s heard about intermittent fasting. What’s dry fasting, Laban? Dry fasting is nil by mouth, no food or water. And in October this year, we’re going to Montenegro, just near Croatia, to do a supervised ten-day dry fast together.
No food or water for up to ten days. And it can go a little bit shorter. It’s usually between eight and ten days. Well, what that does is it completely strips the body of all the broken and folded proteins. It rips out all the scar tissue that exists, regenerates your stem cell function and your immune system from scratch as well. And I’m not recommending people rush out, go and do this but people are having wonderful results, reversing cancers and Lyme disease and all these autoimmune issues because the doctors are completely out of ideas on how to solve this challenge that we’re working through. Now, the great news is that, you know, I know you’re a man of faith, Justin, and so am I but if God and the universe for some reason doesn’t want us to have this baby biologically, then we can figure out other ways to do it. And if we need to steal some Mexican kid off the side of the road, we can do that, too, if we need to. But we’re going to try and solve this challenge because what a wonderful comeback story this will be for Anna.
You know, and she talks about this publicly. She’s got her own podcast and we just launched a YouTube channel together as well to share some of the story. But the reason I wanted to share this is, isn’t it funny, like maybe prior to me mentioning this, you would have had no clue that you could even last that long without food and water. And I’m telling you, Anna did a four-day dry fast January of 2023 and grew back 13 millimeters of her uterine wall with a scan that she got before and after. And the doctors just are flabbergasted. Well, it turns out people have been fasting for centuries, right? So, there’s a lot more information out there if you’re willing to go and try and find it is my point.
Justin Donald: That’s powerful. Well, I’d love to be kept abreast of how that dry fast works out and your time there. By the way. I don’t know where you’re going in Montenegro, but one of my favorite cities I’ve been to in the world is Budva, and that was just an epic adventure. So, I highly recommend Montenegro for those of you that have never been there. It is such a cool country.
Laban Ditchburn: I think there’s a beer called Budva that came out of there. Is that right?
Justin Donald: Oh, there could be. There could be. I’m not sure on that point.
Laban Ditchburn: It’s like Budweiser but it’s not from Budweiser. It’s from this Montenegran… What do you call people from Montenegro? Montenogreans?
Justin Donald: Montenegrins. I don’t know.
Laban Ditchburn: We’re going to go because we’re going to stay there for a month before because you got to prepare. You got to do liver cleanses and you got to do shorter dry fast because you can’t just throw your body into that because if you don’t do it correctly, then it can be dangerous, but under supervision, it’s perfectly safe. Dude, I’m very excited to share the results of this. And can you imagine being able to make a baby after this? Like, incredible.
Justin Donald: No kidding. Well, I’m praying for you guys and excited for this part of your journey. This has been an awesome session. Thanks for the time and thanks for the stories and thanks for the resources. Where can we find more about you? For anyone that’s listening or anyone that’s watching, where can they go look you up, Laban?
Laban Ditchburn: Well, I got two places that I can offer people, Justin. And, dude, I just wanted to say thank you for the opportunity to share this message. And I know that some of the content might be a little bit heavy for people but I promise you, it comes from a place of strength. You know, my wife is, you know, I’m the world’s best courage coach but she’s easily the most courageous person I know. And you don’t need to invest any energy worrying about us but feel free to send your praise and your good juju. But for anyone that has a podcast or that’s thinking about it, there’s a free training that I created to give people an introduction about how they can go ahead and connect with their dream guest. And it’s in whatever genre, right? Doesn’t have to be a celebrity or a motivational speaker, Brene Brown or whatever, and that’s at PodcastingHeroes.com and I’m sure you’ll be able to put that in the show notes. But otherwise, if you just search Laban Ditchburn, I’m the only one on the planet. I’ve checked.
Justin Donald: That’s got to be nice.
Laban Ditchburn: Right?
Justin Donald: That’s got to be really nice. I definitely don’t know what that’s like, although I’ll tell you what, Laban, be careful because you’re going to get some fake accounts that’s going to make it look like there are a bunch of you.
Laban Ditchburn: That’s when I know I’ve made it, right?
Justin Donald: That’s right. That’s right. And it’s bittersweet. You know you made it but it is the most annoying thing in the world.
Laban Ditchburn: Yeah. Yeah, I can imagine, dude. I can imagine.
Justin Donald: Well, this has just been great. And I love wrapping up just asking my audience a question about today’s episode. And that question is this: For those of you watching, those of you listening, what’s the one thing that’s holding you back from financial freedom or whatever freedom it is that you want from living the life that you truly desire on your terms? And what one thing did you learn from Laban today that can help you break through and break free of whatever shackle may hold you down? I’d love to hear about it. You can email us. We’d love to support you but take some form of action today with the information and content that you’ve learned. Appreciate all of you tuning in and we’ll catch you next week.