[00:00:00] Detective Ev: What is going on, my friends. Welcome back to another episode of the Health Detective Podcast by Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. My name is Evan Transue, aka Detective Ev. I will be your host for today’s show on personal responsibility.
We have with us someone very, very special. His name is Ben Azadi. He is becoming an extremely well-known name in the space. We are fortunate enough to be able to say that he is a graduate of FDN and still stays relatively active in our community. He always comes over to us at the conferences. We always try to sit in his presentations and make sure that people are there to support. Not that he needs us by any means, cause he’ll pack out the room with a few hundred people. But you know, we’re there, we’re clapping and stuff and we’re helping whenever we can.
Ben is an individual who I relate to a lot in one particular sense, well, I guess two. One is that the mental health side for us, of our health issues, was very similar. But the other side is that personal development is something that both of us directly contribute to being the main thing that got us out of our darkness, if you will. Personal development was the main thing that got us out of this.
I just did a whole podcast recently where I titled it Get Serious About Your Life and Biz. It was all about the personal development side, so I hope you guys enjoyed that one.
Personal Responsibility: Daily Personal Development
This is a little different, not quite as serious, not quite as in your face; it’s very conversational. And of course, you get to hear a different perspective from Ben. But I also wanted to do this because it validates what I was saying, it’s not just me saying this. And I listed a bunch of examples of other people, who you might have trusted those examples, but you don’t get to hear from those people.
This is yet another person out there crushing it in the health space, really making a name for himself, becoming a leader, man. People follow this guy. They love this guy. He contributes this to daily personal development. That’s what got him going; that’s what also led to his health getting better. And that’s what our conversation is really focused around today.
Despite him being known for what he has done with his major brand Keto Kamp, it’s not really about just that for him. It’s about this personal development side too, and that’s just who he is as a person. With that said, I think the episode will be very self-explanatory in terms of why we are bringing this up on a health podcast. I think you guys will just totally get that as we get a little farther into it.
FDN Summer Open House
Before we dive in fully, I wanted to let you guys know about our Summer Open House. If you haven’t heard about this yet, it is a one-month long event for the entirety of June. If you’re listening to this, it is already June of 2023. It is not too late to join us because there’s over 18 Live events scheduled. I have the privilege of being able to kind of MC or host for all of them.
You guys get to listen to conversations with people who have done very impressive things with their health and business. So, it’s not just health stuff. In fact, it’s more business stuff than anything. You’re going to leave with an understanding that you can do this work. Also, you’re going to get some insights and tips as to how this would actually work for someone like you, even if you’ve never had experience with this stuff.
We’re not finalized on who the keynote’s going to be yet for finishing this up. But man, if it’s who we think it’s going to be, she’s going to blow your guys’ minds with what she has done in her business in such a short period of time. It is such a good way to build belief in what you can do with this and how many people you can help if you’re willing to dedicate yourself to this.
FDN Summer Open House VIP
Now, the best part is the entire month is free. We do have a VIP version. If you’d like to pay a small sum, you can get involved with that and you’ll get added to the private Facebook group where you can directly access us, talk to us one-on-one, ask questions. Anything that you want to do can be done in that group. Maybe not anything, right? We want to keep it PG. But most things you can do in that group that will be for the VIP.
But for everyone else, you can go to all of the Live events, totally for free. All you have to do is go to fdntraining.com/summer to see the lineup. Again, if you’re listening to this, if it’s the first day it came out, you’re just in time. If it’s a few days after, we’re still just getting started. So, go to fdntraining.com/summer to see the list of events and topics.
Without further ado, let’s get to this amazing interview with the one and only Ben Azadi.
Personal Responsibility: Essential for Health
All right. Hello there, Ben. Welcome back to the Health Detective Podcast. How are you, man?
[00:04:25] Ben Azadi: Evan, I am excited to chat with you, man. I enjoy our conversations, always. Thank you for having me back.
[00:04:31] Detective Ev: Yeah, it’s fun. We are lucky enough to interact at all these conferences, you know what I mean? It seems like a lot of people end up coming to these same big conferences, so it’s fun. You get to meet people and actually develop cool little acquaintanceships and relationships at these things.
Now, one thing, for those that are listening now at episode 244, actually, Ben came on all the way back at episode 18. Reed got him connected with me and he was nice enough to come on.
And then I realized, okay, this guy has a huge podcast. It was more a charity event that he came on and did our podcast for us. But you’ll never know. He’s just a nice guy. So I wanted to bring Ben back on because thankfully now we have a lot more exposure with the podcast and people get to meet really interesting, cool health folks.
I think what’s worth pursuing today is doing a brief of your health story first. If you guys want to hear the full entire thing, you can go back to episode 18; I’ll put it in the show notes. But I think we’ll cover most of the main stuff today. Then we got some cool topics that Ben and I really relate on that aren’t necessarily, obviously, related to health. But when you think about it, they’re essential for getting your health under control.
Personal Responsibility: Lost in Life
So, Ben, let’s just break it down the same way we would’ve last time, actually. When did your first health symptoms start and what did they look like?
[00:05:40] Ben Azadi: Yeah, when I was really young, probably five or six years old, I was a kid that was overweight growing up and rightfully so. My mom worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken, two of them, when I was a kid. My parents were divorced, and my mom would bring me home Kentucky Fried Chicken.
She worked two jobs, actually, three jobs. One of them was also a Walgreens, she was working all the time. She did the best she can with her resources. So, she brought me Kentucky Fried Chicken. I would eat that pretty much most nights.
And I hung out with the wrong crowd. I hung out with people who were having bad lifestyle behaviors as a teenager. They were playing video games, doing drugs, selling drugs, and you become your environment. I became mine and I was very much unhealthy and fell into the same bad behaviors. And I had a lot of addictions growing up. We have a lot in common with our health challenges and struggles, Evan.
I lacked self-confidence; I lacked this self-esteem and was really one of those kids that was bullied and picked on growing up. I was ashamed to take off my t-shirt. I would wear t-shirts to the beach and inside swimming pools, just because I was kind of ashamed of my body. This transferred to my adulthood when I was 23, 24 years old, back in 2008. I was 250 pounds, and I was lost in life.
Personal Responsibility: The Starting Point to Great Change
I was depressed, suicidal, working at a 9 to 5 job that was very uninspiring. Never studied health and nutrition at all. I was just obsessed with video games, and I had addictions to sugar, food addiction, and really bad friends in my life that were bad influences. This was a pivotal moment for me because I was rock bottom.
When we look back at rock bottom, at least when I do, I look at that rock bottom space and I’m thankful for it. I’m like, oh my gosh. Thank God that happened for me. But when it was happening at that time, I thought it was happening to me, and I didn’t know how to get out of that.
I thought the easy solution was, okay, just end your life. You’re crying every day, hurting every day, in pain, have no goals. You’re unhealthy, unhappy, broke; you’re broken. Just end your life. Like, that was the easiest thing for me to do, to end the suffering. And every time I explored that, cause I did several times, I kept thinking about my mom and it stopped me time and time again.
Then this is a point where I started to read books. A friend of mine handed me a book, and you know, one book led to two books. Two books led to 10 books. I fell in love with authors like Dr. Wayne Dyer and Bob Proctor and Tony Robbins and incredible authors out there. The books did so much for me.
But the number one thing the books did for me was help me take ownership and responsibility, which is the starting point to great change – the second you take responsibility.
Personal Responsibility: A Heart-to-Heart with Self
I think most people don’t even understand that word, responsibility. At least I didn’t for most of my life. To me, that means your ability to respond to life is your responsibility. That sounds fairly obvious, but I don’t think most people get that. When we look at how we’re responding to life, responding to our circumstances, it’s our ability to respond to that that’s going to determine our health, our vitality, our longevity, our happiness.
For me, I scored poorly up until that point because I was blaming everyone. I was blaming my circumstances, my genetics, my enabling family members. But when you take responsibility, you own up to that and all that goes out the window. You look at yourself in the mirror and say, okay, this is something that I need to change. It’s my responsibility; I am at fault. It’s not anything outside of me. The books helped me get that.
So, I went through this incredible transformation. I lost 80 pounds in nine months, went from 34% body fat to 6% body fat. I finally achieved the physical six pack. Not that that is synonymous with good health, but for me it was a huge score, huge victory, because I was always that fat kid growing up. So, I was like, yeah, I had six pack abs.
But I soon realized more important than a physical six pack was the mental six pack that I started to develop. I started to connect the pieces that your food directly impacts your mood and what nutrition did to impact my mindset and vice versa, which we’ll get into today. That was 14 years ago, 14, 15 years ago. And of course, I’ve been a student ever since. Like, you, you’re always learning, Evan.
Personal Responsibility: Certified and Confident
I came across FDN in 2016, maybe 2017. I became certified as an FDN practitioner. That was probably one of the most pivotal moments in my health entrepreneur career. Because, yeah, it’s cool to have a certification. I don’t think that’s why somebody should get certified, because honestly, I don’t think one person has asked me what my certification is exactly.
[00:10:01] Detective Ev: Dude, no one knows. Yeah.
[00:10:03] Ben Azadi: Like, hey, what is your exact certification to work with you? I don’t think one person has ever asked you that.
But what’s important about getting certified with FDN, I believe, or the right certification program, is you’re learning root cause, you’re learning upstream, you’re learning how to run labs. It gave me the confidence to start scaling things and start getting myself out there more.
I love FDN. Reed Davis is near and dear to my heart. And it was Sean Croxton that introduced me to Reed Davis cause I used to listen to Sean Croxton’s old podcast called Underground Wellness. One of the first health podcasts out there before Dave Asprey, before Ben Greenfield, he was one of the originals.
I remember Reed was the first guest, Reed was the last guest. That’s what actually got me familiar with FDN and I made that decision to join them. You know, the rest has been history since then.
[00:10:50] Detective Ev: It’s amazing still to this day, how many people I’ve had on that Sean Croxton’s podcast. That guy retired from the health podcast before I even went through FDN. You know what I mean? He was so, and still really is with what he is doing, just so ahead. It’s like he’s five steps ahead of everything, business-wise, mindset-wise; it’s really amazing to watch.
Personal Responsibility: A Life-Changing Experience
And so, if you don’t want to dive into it today, that’s fine. But I also remember, it’s actually the main thing that sticks out in our entire 50-minute podcast last time.
I know that there was a kind of profound moment with the loss of a family member that seemed to really shift things for you in terms of like taking all this stuff seriously and getting the health under control. If we don’t want to go there today, I can edit this out. But if we do, I feel like it’s always an important part of your story, if that’s okay.
[00:11:34] Ben Azadi: No, for sure. It is a very important part. You’re referring to my dad.
My parents immigrated to the United States from Iran in the seventies. I was born in Miami in 1984. You know, I’m always grateful for the fact that they made that decision to come here, and I have the freedom to live the life that I want to live.
My dad had Type II diabetes, which we know is so common, unfortunately. I estimate 60% plus of American adults are either diabetic or pre-diabetic. My dad was one of them. He would drink his sweetened iced teas and eat his white rice and the donuts, standard American diet.
I didn’t understand Type II diabetes though as a kid. I just remember my dad taking his insulin, his medication, getting bigger, getting fatter, losing his vision and getting nerve pain. It progressed to a point where in 2013, he called me because he was having really bad diabetic neuropathy. My dad couldn’t even walk to the restroom. So, he called me, and I picked him up, took him to the hospital, to the emergency room with my mom.
Personal Responsibility: The Worst Point for Dad’s Health
My dad knew, because the conversation with his doctors was really recent, where if the diabetes was going to get worse, amputation was in his near future, which is very common as you know, Evan. If the neuropathy gets really bad and an infection could occur in the foot, could spread to the rest of the body and kill you. So, in order to prevent that infection from spreading, they’ll cut off the limbs. It’s so common. Thousands, tens of thousands of these amputations happen every single year, primarily because of type II diabetics.
So, my dad was in the hospital in the emergency room, and he had the stress of thinking, oh my gosh, am I going to get my feet amputated? The stress caused a massive stroke. My dad suffered a massive stroke in the hospital, which left him paralyzed from the entire right side of his body. He lost the ability to speak. And that was kind of the beginning of the end for my dad’s life.
They transferred him to hospice care, and I visited him every single week. Every week he looked worse and worse and worse. I remember nine months into it, walking into the room and he was just in the worst shape I had seen him in. He was throwing up on himself and convulsing. Of course, I was consoling him and telling him how much I loved him. I was giving him a kiss on the forehead.
And I remember leaving that night and going home and praying. I would say the same prayer that I said every night which was, God please end my father’s suffering. You know, he’s suffered enough. I said that prayer every night.
Personal Responsibility: Angry and Confused
But this particular night that I said it, there was a different energy or a different feeling to that prayer. I felt like I was actually being heard. And I went to bed that same night that I saw my dad like that.
The next day I went about my day, and I received a phone call around noon and it’s the hospice on the caller ID. I knew that something was wrong as soon as I saw that. You know, my hands started to turn sweaty, and my heart started to sink in my chest. I pick up the phone and my father’s nurse let me know that my dad stopped breathing that morning and ended up passing away.
It raised a lot of questions for me, it was a whirlwind of emotions. A part of me was thankful, you know, I was thanking God for relieving his pain and suffering. He’s no longer in pain. His soul is now resting in peace, and I no longer have to see him like that. But that was a small part. The majority of me was angry, was confused, because we listened to his doctors.
And funny, Evan, because, and I use the word funny, but it’s actually sad. Because a few months ago I was at Publix supermarket, and this is relevant to the same story. I was at Publix Supermarket, which is the supermarket in Florida with Dr. Pompa, who’s my mentor as well. I realized that it was the same Publix that we were at, the same exact one that I would take my father to every Tuesday to buy the list of groceries that his doctor had recommended, which was Gatorade Zero, Nature Valley Bars, Fiber One Bars, and all these toxic Crystal Light powdered drinks.
Personal Responsibility: Turning a Hobby into a Passion
You know, back then I didn’t know any better. It’s like, yeah, the doctors know. I gotta listen to them. That’s what they’re telling my dad to consume. I did the best to the ability of my awareness. But it’s obvious now, like, they were telling my dad to eat toxic foods that were actually making his diabetes worse.
They never had the conversation that, let’s try to reverse this. Let’s work on reversing this. It was always about managing it, always about we need to change his medication. So, of course, that really turned a hobby to a passion, meaning health. I wanted to find out, like, why did this happen to my dad? Why is it happening to the world?
Of course, now what we have discovered and what we have learned in FDN and what I teach is also what would have saved my dad’s life, right? But I also get that, you know, sometimes you gotta go through that. Sometimes you gotta go through that mountain, if you will, so you could show others that this mountain can be moved. That’s a big part of my “why” to honor my dad.
It’s really cool because now I’ve helped dozens of dozens of my Keto Kamp Academy students come into the program with Type II diabetes, get themselves off, get themselves reversing it, which can be easily done by the way. You know, Type II diabetes can be easily reversed no matter what your doctor or the American Diabetes Association is telling you.
[00:16:27] Detective Ev: I love it, man. And I thank you for sharing that story. I didn’t want to bring it up to relive some traumatic thing.
Personal Responsibility: Chosing Not to be a Victim
But the point is, we’re about to jump into a different type of topic, with the personal development side. We know that, but the audience doesn’t. The thing that I’m getting at is when you hear the story at first, bullied as a kid, suicidal, parents are first generation immigrants, parents are divorced, one loses their life prematurely. You’re still young now so it was definitely young back then.
Yet when you look at you or talk to you, you would never know any of this stuff because you haven’t allowed yourself to become a victim to these things. You’ve taken the responsibility that you’ve talked about – personal responsibility – and made a life already better than most people will ever experience, even though they could. Who knows what another 5, 10, 15 years will look like for Ben Azadi, right? So, it kind of sets the stage perfectly for people.
Because, Ben, you actually would like this episode. I did an episode about a week ago where it wasn’t about health. It’s literally called like Ev Rant about Getting Serious about Your Life and Biz. Because we have these wonderful practitioners that come through the program. They’ve got 10 different certifications, they add on FDN, and they barely ever had one client. You know what I mean? They have limiting beliefs around the business or the sales or I can’t charge that amount for this.
I realize that the solution to a lot of this is the personal development side. And I think it’ll make sense towards the end why this all connects if it doesn’t already as we go along here.
Personal Responsibility: Fault Versus Responsibility
But I think this is what I want to transition to. First thing that you already mentioned is personal responsibility. Now, when we give examples of personal responsibility, or the things that you listed off, people sometimes get in their heads, they say, wait, wait, that’s not my fault. Ben didn’t say fault. So, can I ask you to get this started? What is the difference between something being someone’s fault and something being someone’s responsibility?
[00:18:14] Ben Azadi: Yeah. Good question to distinguish that. You know, a lot of things aren’t our fault, but everything’s our responsibility. That is the truth, unfortunately or fortunately, whatever way you look at it.
For example, my dad chose to consume those foods, and my dad suffered, we all suffered. We saw him suffer because when somebody gets sick, it’s not just the person who’s sick, who suffers. It’s everybody who knows them, who suffers.
So, is it my fault that my dad consumed that? I don’t think so. Is it my responsibility? Yeah. I believe it is. You know, I could have taught him the things that I know now, and I would’ve made a difference. But am I stuck in that mindset of like, oh my gosh, I failed my dad, you know. No. It was short lived. Now I use that responsibility for the people that come into my Lives that I can serve, and I can help.
So, there’s a difference between reacting to something and responding. I think that’s the difference there with somebody who takes responsibility. Somebody who’s taking full ownership and responsibility takes a second to become aware of what’s happening, to pause, and they choose to respond. Versus the person who’s a victim mindset that everything’s happening to them, they just react, react, react.
Personal Responsibility: How to Master our Lives
That’s the difference right there. When life hands you a stimulus, it’s not the stimulus that’s good or bad, it’s how you perceive it. And it’s a choice.
You know, faith and fear both demand for you to believe in something you cannot see. You choose. Like, do you want to choose the fear? Do you want to live in that mindset, or do you want to choose the faith? You can’t see either one, but you get to choose what you put your energy into. A universal law states, whatever you put your energy into, expands. So, you know, that’s your decision and your choice. But we live in a society that has taught us to be the victim and it’s getting worse by year.
Neville Goddard said, we are only limited by weakness of attention and poverty of imagination. So, weakness of attention is all of the distractions out there on social media, mainstream news, billboards, TV, friends. And then poverty of imagination is our thoughts that we have every single day. If we could master those two things, get focused and change our thoughts, we’re going to master our lives.
[00:20:25] Detective Ev: You talked in the beginning about; you don’t know if people really understand the personal responsibility thing. I hope I do. But I do agree that most people don’t even think about it this way. They can’t even separate the difference between fault and responsibility. If you truly get this today and what we’ll continue to talk about for the next 30 minutes, you can do just about everything you want.
Personal Responsibility: The Middle Ground of Expectation
Now, I’m not being a cheesy, motivational guy. If you’re 40 years old, you’ve never picked up a basketball in your life, and now all of a sudden, you’re a personal responsibility person and think you’re going to get into the NBA, I wish you the best. I won’t stomp on your dreams. I’m not going to put my money on you though. You know that’s probably not going to work out.
But there’s somewhere between that extreme and then not being able to do anything in basketball, there’s a middle ground, right? You could be one of the best announcers ever, even if you started at 40 years old. And you could be hanging out with some of the big dogs in 5 to 10 years. That could happen, right?
So, one of the things that I was sharing with people on the podcast I just did recently, Ben, was the books. Because personal development is a lot of things. Personal responsibility is a lot of things. But the books, there’s something to that. Because you actually just said how one of the first concepts that you got was the responsibility side.
That was the same thing for me. I read The Compound Effect first by Darren Hardy. And I’m 18 years old, I’m on probation still. I was just in juvie six months ago; I spent my 18th birthday on house arrest, drugs, all this stuff’s terrible. And this guy that I trust, still one of my best friends to this day, his name’s Ben, actually, gave me the book, The Compound Effect. So, I read this.
Personal Responsibility: Powerful Beyond Measure
I can’t tell you everything that I read in it. But one of the things had to do with like choices and there’s habits. It’s like personal development 101. If you haven’t read it, definitely just read it. It’s a good reminder. I still review it every now and then. But one of the aspects was personal responsibility and the difference between fault and that.
And I said, oh. Okay. Maybe it’s not my fault that I had mental health issues my entire life. I didn’t ask for that. Right? I didn’t ask for the genetics that would allow that even given what I’m doing in my environment, I didn’t ask for that. But if I don’t stop and say, Ev, what can I do in this situation?
I don’t mean to be dramatic, but it literally would’ve only been a matter of time before I’m either in the hospital or I’m going to jail. Because I would’ve continued on that same path and that victim mentality. But what happens with the personal responsibility side and reading these books and consuming this type of content and thinking this way is it’s empowering.
There’s a whole societal narrative now that wants to make everyone a victim. Everything is someone else’s fault, and you can’t do anything. The reason that’s happening is because it’s disempowering. The second that you take personal responsibility for things that aren’t your fault, bam, you become powerful beyond measure.
Personal Responsibility: It’s Your Choice
No, not my fault that I had mental health issues. I might even be able to make a case it’s not my fault that I got kicked out of school. That’s not to justify it but I might be able to make that case. But if I don’t say, what role did I play in this and what role can I play in stopping in the future, now you’re really putting yourself at risk for some bad things happening.
When you do analyze it in that way, you see, yeah, it wasn’t my fault that I had the mental health issues, but I probably don’t need to be smoking weed every single day on top of it. I think I have a choice in that one. You know what I mean? Probably don’t need to be abusing benzodiazepines. I think I have a choice in that one. Right? It starts with the major stuff. And then you realize, oh, it’s the way I interact with my parents; it’s the way I interact with my friends; it’s the stuff I’m consuming or not consuming on a daily basis.
So, when you were first getting introduced to this personal responsibility thing, how did it affect the other areas of your life and not just health?
[00:23:42] Ben Azadi: Well, you know, you nailed it with what you just shared. I love that. That’s so true. Everything you just said, is a hundred percent true.
And it’s not easy to digest. It’s a tough pill to swallow for some people. If you want to live an easy life, you gotta do the hard things. If you want to live a hard life, you do the easy things. That’s just the way it goes.
Personal Responsibility: It Starts with Your Environment
So, for me, when I started to study personal development and take responsibility, I started to kind of connect the dots a little bit for my journey.
Because, although to your point, a lot of things were not my fault. My mom brought me Kentucky Fried Chicken, and as a kid I would eat it. Like that’s what I did to sustain life essentially. But, you know, eventually it’s my responsibility for what it did to my body and what it did to my health.
When I was a kid, I had eight silver fillings put in my mouth before I even knew what the heck that was. And as an adult I discovered this is not good for you. It was my responsibility to get it out safely and detox the mercury. So, I started to understand this reading these books and making these small little tweaks. That’s essentially what The Compound Effect is all about. Small tweaks lead to giant peaks.
It’s funny that that was the first book you read because the first book I read wasn’t The Compound Effect, but it was a similar book called The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, which is the same premise. You know, the small little behaviors you have every day, compound over time to get you your results. Just a different book, but same overall premise. And then Darren Hardy’s came out later, which is also a great book.
But it started with my environment. Because what I believe is this, your environment determines the thoughts that you think. The thoughts that you think determines the actions you take. And the actions you take determine your results in life.
Personal Responsibility: Change Life-Draining Environments
We could talk all about changing your thoughts, and I’m really a believer of that. Dr. Wayne Dyer said, change your thoughts, change your life. A hundred percent. But it’s going to be very difficult to change those thoughts and reprogram your subconscious mind unless you change your environment.
Cause, you know this, Evan. If you have a whole bunch of people who are still saying, oh, just try this drug, or let’s go party here, let’s do that, like, you could have all the willpower power in the world, but it isn’t until you disconnect from that environment or they change their ways that you’re going to be able to change your thoughts and change your actions and change your life. So, it’s very hard to do.
Because these are people that we probably love and grew up with, were familiar with them. And when you change, you become a threat to people in your life who do not change. They’re going to say things to you, either in front of you or not in front of you. And it’s not because they essentially want harm to you, but it’s easier for you to go back to their level of frequency than it is for them to change their ways.
So, it starts with the environment. We gotta do an audit and we gotta remove or limit the people in our lives that are sucking us down and draining us.
Personal Responsibility: Do What You Can
[00:26:19] Detective Ev: Just to be clear, someone might not understand this fully if they’re maybe hearing this for the first time, you never know. Let’s say you are genuinely stuck in a position. So, let’s say there’s a 16-year-old listening right now that, for whatever reason, they’re in an environment with their family. This is not to discredit how much effort we should put into the thoughts, right? You can still, again, personal responsibility, do what you can.
What Ben’s trying to say, I believe, is that if you have the ability to switch the friend group, do that. If you have the ability to get out of the place that you live, do that, assuming that it’s negative in that time period. Right? So, we do whatever we can. That’s the idea of personal responsibility.
It is not to say everyone starts on the same playing field. Of course, they don’t. You and I being born in America, I recognize every single day how big of an advantage that is. I know you do as well because we always talk about the freedom side that’s given here. I mean, my gosh, you probably understand this way more intimately than me, having parents that actually came from another country and then got to be here.
I might not be an expert on international travel in other countries, but I’m going to guess there’s a reason so many people try to come here, even still to this day. You know, there’s gotta be a reason. One of the things is you actually can take personal responsibility here. This is a place that you’re actually able to do that and it be fruitful.
Personal Responsibility: Overnight Success from Years and Years of Work
There are certain places around the world, guys, like China for example, you try to take personal responsibility there, that doesn’t always work out so well, does it? You know, there’s some powers that be that will control that, or North Korea. They come to America because personal responsibility actually can be fruitful here and stuff.
I know we’re talking about health today, but we have so many practitioners that listen, Ben, and I know that they’re interested in the business side too. How can you have the right vision with the business side as you’re starting this stuff? Here’s the thing, you talked about small tweaks lead to the peaks, I love this. I feel like I have a lot of self-help quotes, but you have these so ingrained, you could tell that you’ve done the work.
How do we keep the vision long term? Because they are small tweaks. And just because you started reading some good book doesn’t mean that overnight everything’s fixed. In fact, it usually takes a while and then it seems like, bam, overnight success, even though it was really years and years and years of work.
So, for our entrepreneurial people out there, people starting the FDN businesses, may I ask, like, how long did it take for you? You have this huge brand now, Keto Kamp. How long did it take before you got that to a place where you’re like, this is my income, this is good for me? And how did you maintain that vision up until that point?
Personal Responsibility: Inspired, Consistent, and Frequent
[00:28:32] Ben Azadi: Hmm. Yeah. So, it wasn’t until 2018 that I rebranded to Keto Kamp. Before that the company was called Shred Fat. When I niched down, I grew much faster.
So, I would say, like a year after that would be where things started to roll in, in terms of like, I’m getting members on my online programs and I’m getting my YouTube channel growing, et cetera. So, I was focused on that niche, the keto niche.
I do recommend having a niche. It doesn’t mean you’re always in that niche. I love keto, but it’s not the only thing I teach. And I teach it very different than other people. But it’s a way to get people into your world and then you could actually let them know, hey, keto is just one tool. There are many tools in the shed. We need to do this, this, this, and this, this. And then keto is a part of that as well.
But to your question and to your point, a lot of people have their goals, and they are expecting to be overnight success. There’s really no such thing as an overnight success. It’s really the hours and the discipline and the time behind closed doors where nobody’s watching that’s going to make you successful. And then you see, oh, that person’s an overnight success. Meanwhile, they put in like 20,000 hours into their craft.
For me, I’ve been probably studying every day, three hours every day on average, for the last 14 years. And I still feel like I’m getting started. I feel like I’m just scratching the surface. But I’m so inspired, and so consistent, and so frequent because I know what my goals are, I know what my objectives are.
Personal Responsibility: Goals and Closing Gaps
Like, the overall goal with Keto Kamp is to educate and inspire 1 billion people. And I remember, Evan, when I came up with that goal. That goal was something that just came to me and it was something that inspired me.
I used to share that goal with people when I used to do lectures in front of like five people and three people; people would laugh at me. I had people raise their hand and say, did you mean a million? No, I would say. A billion people is the goal. And they would say, that’s impossible. Like, they would ridicule me in front of other people, like during my talks.
I remember like, it stinging, right? But I was so convicted in the mission and what I have and who I could serve that those comments didn’t last a long time. My conviction was stronger than that person’s conviction. Cause I knew that their comments were saying more about them than it was about me. They believe they can never achieve that; I know I can.
I say all that because it’s important to have a big goal, but you reverse engineer it. And Earl Nightingale said, and this is my favorite definition of success, he said, success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. That means an ideal is this goal that you have fallen in love with, that’s your ideal. So, for me, it’s to educate a billion people.
It could feel overwhelming if like, you’re all the way here and your goal is over here. But you just progressively close the gap between where you are and where that goal is and you’re successful. As long as that gap is continuously closing, you’re a successful person.
Personal Responsibility: Passionate, Worthy Ideals
That goal could be being the best mom for your children in the world, being the best podcaster, whatever that goal is, that’s your personal goal. Nobody else has that vision, as long as you’re closing the gap.
Mike Tyson said, everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face. When life punches you in the face, you understand, it’s all part of the way. It’s just, you’re just going to pivot. You’re not going to stop because you’re so clear on the objective. And you know that it’s always up and down, up and down; it’s not a straight line. You’re just going to keep pushing forward. At least that’s what I do.
So, I’m not close to my goal, but that gap has closed tremendously in the last few years.
[00:31:58] Detective Ev: And I’ll put the audio, The Strangest Secret, in the show notes for people. I’ll actually make a note to myself.
Ben Azadi: That’s a great audio, huh?
Detective Ev: Yeah. He talks about his definition of success in there, and there’s a lot more goodies in that. It’d be a good follow up listen to this podcast, especially just from a general personal development side. It’s a very powerful thing.
Ben Azadi: Yeah.
Detective Ev: When we talk about a worthy ideal, worthy can be defined in many different ways. It could just be something that’s good for other people; it could be something that motivates us, right? But the bottom line is, I think the thing about your goal that you have, the vision that you have right now and what has kept you on track then even when people were laughing, is that’s actually something you’re passionate about.
Personal Responsibility: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
Like, you really get this, this comes from a deep-rooted thing, not only a personal one. Well, not that your dad wouldn’t be personal, but I mean like you’ve experienced it literally. But you’ve seen other people experience it that are very close to you. And so that pushes you.
I think that’s one of the key things here is, again, just because you read the books and change the environment, things will happen faster than you think they can, I’ve learned that, but it’s not overnight either. Like there’s going to be changes that need to be made. It gets messy.
I’ve found it to be a journey of two steps forward, one step back. I still find that to be true to this day. Now, two steps forward, one step back gets you a lot farther than you were eventually, but it can be humbling. Every time that you take that one step back, you’re like, dang, what am I doing?
The point is you’ve gotta figure out something that excites you enough and that you’re in love with enough, that you will push through those things, whatever that goal is for you. It might be a certain amount of money, there’s nothing wrong with that. It might be a certain amount of people served. Or it might be a very specific thing for your family that means nothing else to anyone else except you, that’s okay. But all of a sudden, this stuff starts compounding and it’s beautiful.
I set that goal, Ben, and I didn’t hear the Earl Nightingale stuff at the time, but I was in the books. So, I realized, all right, I might as well.
Personal Responsibility: You Might as Well Try
It was Les Brown, actually. He talked about the time’s going to pass anyway so you might as well at least try to do what you want. That made a lot of sense to me. I’m 18 at the time. Yeah, the time is going to pass anyway. I want to become a public speaker. I don’t know how that’s going to happen cause I can’t even speak to someone one-on-one without blushing right now.
But the time is going to pass anyway, so I might as well try. And for the first five years of attempting that, I never got paid once to speak. A lot of that was working on myself. Then in the subsequent four years, 500 paid speaking gigs. Right? But for those first five years, you could say, this is failing, this isn’t working, this isn’t going well. But then all of a sudden, bam, you cross that barrier, something snaps. It’s just like, woo.
Again, to the outside world, it looks like it’s an overnight thing. And guess what? Five years, in my opinion, and I think you’d agree with this, it’s not even that long in the grand scheme of things, man. For your worthy ideal to realize that in some way, even a fraction, no, five years, that’s a small price to pay. If you want to do something big, you gotta give up something, right?
[00:34:35] Ben Azadi: Oh yeah. Five years is nothing. That’s like a college degree, four or five years. And that’s going to get you backwards in a whole bunch of debt probably.
Dude, that’s awesome. Did you say 500 paid speaking gigs? Is that what you said?
Detective Ev: Yeah, but like 560 now.
Ben Azadi: That’s amazing.
Personal Responsibility: Find What Excites You
Yeah. I don’t know if your audience, anybody listening, has seen Evan speak. Evan’s an incredible speaker. You would never know that you were blushing in front of a person. And I’m very similar. I was also awkward and couldn’t speak in front of people too. But you’re an incredible speaker, it’s a testament to you doing the work.
The frequency creates the genius. You were committed to it. And five years to get to achieve that, that’s a short amount of time. But it’s a testament to your commitment and your frequency of actually putting in the work.
[00:35:18] Detective Ev: Yeah, so find that worthy ideal and that thing that excites you. Cause it still excites me now as much as it did back then. You are clearly still excited about what you do.
And actually, it’s the speaking how we originally, in my opinion at least, how we got connected. It wasn’t even the podcast. Seeing you speak at the Biohacking Congress, I’m like, okay, people aren’t born with that. I think you had three hours of sleep that night or something cause you were coming in from another conference.
Ben Azadi: That’s right.
Detective Ev: I’m like, this dude just threw down. Like, he was the best speaker all weekend. Like, what was that?
Ben Azadi: Thank you man.
Detective Ev: You can’t pull that out of nowhere. That’s not just an accident, that’s someone that’s actually worked on the stuff. You can really do some amazing things when you have this mindset.
Now tying this back into the health side, just so it’s not exclusively about business and vision, it all ties in though. Where do you see the personal development side coming in for someone’s health?
Personal Responsibility: Thank God for Symptoms
Because the way I see it from a just general perspective is, some people get health information, bam. They get better in like six months, they feel amazing. Others get the same health information if not more, and they’re still stuck in the same place. This is not a condemnation of those people. But I feel like the mindset side’s missing. Do you ever see that in some of the people coming through your programs? How can we work through that?
[00:36:21] Ben Azadi: I see that all the time, a hundred percent.
I believe mindset is 95% of the puzzle and strategy is only 5%. It’s a majority of the results, not just with health, but with our results in life in general.
Here’s the thing, here’s the mindset that most people have. I’m generalizing, but this is what I see. I’ve had thousands of people come through my academy and we have conversations, right? Most people view their symptoms as something that is evil, something that they should hate, something that they should mask or whatever, have a surgery to deal with it.
They were conditioned, and look, I was too. We have been conditioned to believe that symptoms are evil, and we should hate them. The mindset is just completely off because symptoms are a beautiful gift from the innate intelligence. Thank God we have symptoms. Thank God there’s a system in place that acts like a check engine light. This is your body communicating with you. Pay attention. And most people are just not aware of this communication. They’re not listening to it. Their check engine light has been flashing for years.
Personal Responsibility: Reprogram the Mindset
Once you develop the mindset, this is actually a beautiful thing that my body is giving me clues helping me find what’s the cause to the symptom. That’s a total paradigm shift, a total mindset reframe to what they’ve been believing about health and nutrition.
Another thing is a lot of people come to me at least because they want to lose weight. They’re obese, have Type II diabetes, insulin resistance, that’s the majority of the people that come into my academy. They’re of the belief that in order for them to achieve that, they have to be in like a calorie deficit. They need to cut their calories, gotta move more, and are looking to lose weight and lose weight and lose weight in order to get healthy.
I said that three times on purpose cause that’s the emphasis that lose weight, lose weight, lose weight in order to get healthy. But the body doesn’t work that way. Nobody has a weight problem. Again, it’s a weight symptom. We don’t lose weight, lose weight, lose weight to get healthy. We get healthy and then the side effect is you lose the weight, right?
But it isn’t until we change that mindset that they understand it and they stop looking at that scale every week to determine whether or not something is working for them or not. Those are just two examples right there. We could peel back and peel back. There are so many more people identifying what their disease and et cetera.
But that’s the thing, once you reprogram that, then you understand everything is designed to harness the innate intelligence and your body’s built to heal itself. A lot of people don’t have that mindset. We’ve gotta kind of wake them up and reprogram their mind.
Personal Responsibility: A Resource to Start With
[00:38:54] Detective Ev: Where would you recommend, whether it’s the business side or the health side? I mean, the personal development thing is very similar, and then it just kind of applies to all these different areas of your life. It applies to your relationship, it applies to your finances, it will go to everything. Where would you recommend people start?
I don’t know if you have a book recommendation, audios, or whatever it might be. Maybe it’s just an action. But I’m curious because now we might be teasing people. They’re like, all right, well, I’m ready to do this. I’m ready to take some personal responsibility even for things that aren’t my fault. How do I do that?
[00:39:22] Ben Azadi: Yeah. We mentioned a lot of people. I love that you mentioned Les Brown. I love Les Brown. He actually grew up in Miami, Florida – Liberty City. I always remember Les, you gotta be hungry, right? I love that guy.
Detective Ev: Yeah. I was hungry.
Ben Azadi: Yeah, you were hungry.
I listened to him all the time. I still listen to him to this day. You know, there’s a lot of great people out there, Les Brown, Tony Robbins, et cetera. But let me give the audience, I think, a good resource to start and then they could get you to other people.
Dr. Wayne Dyer has an audible called The Ultimate Dr. Wayne Dyer Library Collection. I would recommend you listen to that five times. After the fifth time you’ve listened to it, you’re going to completely have a completely different mindset. Your life is going to be better in all different areas.
Personal Responsibility: Things Learned from Wayne Dyer
I mean, Dr. Wayne Dyer’s passed on now, but that is an accumulation of all of his best audios, and it’s so good. I’ve listened to it 20 plus times. It’s on Audible. It’s like 11 hours long.
One of the things that I learned from Wayne Dyer when I was being the victim of my circumstances is that he said, Wayne Dyer said a couple things. Number one, he said if other people are the cause of your problems, you would have to hire a psychiatrist for the rest of the world in order for you to get better. That is true. Cause that’s not going to happen. Right?
Then he also said, what happens when you squeeze an orange? Well, it’s obvious what comes out is orange juice. Why is that? Because that’s what’s inside. What happens when life squeezes you? Whatever’s inside, your thoughts, your feelings, your actions. So, when life squeezes you, it’s your personal responsibility that determines what comes out.
Cause it’s not going to just be a great day every day. That’s the truth, there’s a lot of crazy things happening, there’s ups and downs. But what comes out of you when life squeezes you is what’s inside of you. And I learned that from Dr. Wayne Dyer. So, I would direct your audience to start with him.
[00:41:10] Detective Ev: Yeah. You’ve definitely consumed more of him personally than I have, but I actually found him way later in the journey somehow. I’m not sure how, because he seems to be up there with all the greats, he’s like aligned with them.
Personal Responsibility: Squeeze an Orange
But you know, you get your favorites and then you get the people that you really love. Jim Rohn was always a huge one for me. I could listen to that guy for hours.
But I love that thing about the orange. I hadn’t heard that one. You talked about how life is going to throw bad stuff at you. You know what I mean? Look, there’s going to be circumstances at least, or like the Mike Tyson quote, right? There’s going to be the punch.
This is not to imply that your life or my life, if someone’s assuming that, is all sunshine and rainbows. But the difference is, I think, since we’re not like an orange in the sense that we actually can change. But we are like an orange in the sense of, yeah, if you squeeze it, what’s going to come out is going to come out.
And so, 10-years-ago-Ev, anger, just the worst anger you’ve ever seen. Actually, it was just toxic, man, toxic for me and toxic for everyone around me. Anger, blame, hate, and all this stuff. Now it’s like, okay, I’m not saying I’m happy and thrilled if something terrible happens, but you almost get to a point with the personal development side where you can throw anything at myself, at Ben, or many of these other friends that I have.
Personal Responsibility: The Last Stage of Healing
Most of my friends actually live in Florida now. They’re all pretty smart. They live in like the Fort Lauderdale area, actually, the ones that taught me about these books and all this stuff, they’re all killing it. You could throw them anything and it doesn’t mean it was favorable, but they know how to switch this now.
Okay, loss in the family, all right, I know how to use this. And I know how to get better with this and help other people with it. I think that’s actually kind of one of the biggest points is you can, if nothing else, through your pain, use it to help other people. There’s a quote that says, the last stage of healing is using what happened to you to help others.
So, when all else fails, it’s like, that’s what I go to. Because when there’s certain things you just can’t make sense of, and thankfully I haven’t experienced too many of those in my life, but we’ve all had a few of them, when nothing else can make sense of it, using it to help other peoples about the only thing that will make it worthwhile.
That’s what it is, that orange juice becomes a little less bitter. It’s more of a sweet orange juice, eventually; it’s not the anger and the hate. It’s the, okay, how can I work with this? What is this teaching me? And what can I do here?
You do not need to be a spiritual person to believe everything happened for a reason. I’d recommend looking into it, but you don’t have to believe that. You can just act like everything happens for a reason and watch what happens when you switch your mindset.
Personal Responsibility: Snake Bite
[00:43:26] Ben Azadi: Oh, a hundred percent. I gotta meet your friends in Fort Lauderdale, by the way.
Detective Ev: Oh, you’d love them.
[00:43:30] Ben Azadi: Wayne Dyer used to say as well, that you don’t die from a snake bite. Nobody’s ever died from a snake bite. You die from the venom that pours through your veins after you’ve been bitten. Life, when it bites you, you don’t suffer from the bite. You suffer from dwelling on what happened to you. Right? So, we can make a decision to not let that poisonous venom go through our veins. And it is a decision. As tough as it is, it is a decision.
[00:43:58] Detective Ev: Ben, I want to ask, and then after this question we’ll talk about where people can find you and all this other stuff. Cause you offer a lot of health stuff. He’s not a mindset guru person, but we relate to this too much. It was worth doing this on the podcast today. I’ve enjoyed this. And I’m like, wow, 42 minutes. There you go. Flew by.
But what I want to ask is, what thing or area of your life did something really cool happen as a result of your personal development that you weren’t initially expecting? It could be finances, it could be relationship, it could be whatever. I’m just curious.
Because sometimes we said it connects to everything and we start out with the personal development for a specific reason, normally. Maybe it is finances for some, maybe it is the health for others, and then all of a sudden, all these other great things happen. I’m curious if there’s one that sticks out for you.
Personal Responsibility: Exciting Things Ahead
[00:44:40] Ben Azadi: So the question is, let me get it right, Evan. What is something cool that’s happened in your life from personal development?
[00:44:47] Detective Ev: Unexpected. Because like, let’s say you started this for the health side mostly and then woo, this other completely different area that you weren’t expecting something amazing to happen. That’s kind of what I’m wondering.
[00:44:54] Ben Azadi: Yeah. Okay. Actually, something that I haven’t shared before and I can’t give too many details cause I haven’t announced it yet. But something that I’m creating that is outside of the keto and health space that I think is going to be incredible.
I never expected to do this. It’s just something that I’ve been practicing and weighing on my heart. I’ve been just putting together like my thoughts and organizing it so I can’t give too much details. But it’s super cool because I never would’ve thought that this is something that I would do. It’s outside of the space of health a hundred percent. I mean, mostly cause it is always tied to it. But it’s just a result of doing the work and having the experiences and being so a student of life.
That’s super cool because I’m excited for it. I think it’s going to be really, really cool. And I’m sorry I can’t give too many details cause I haven’t really even put it into fruition yet. But it is something I’m going to create soon that is going to change a lot of lives. And I never would’ve thought I would’ve created this.
[00:45:53] Detective Ev: That works for me, man. It’s exciting to hear your excitement, so I think that’s fair enough.
Personal Responsibility: More Control Than You Think
The bottom line, it wasn’t even the example, it’s just the point that this has huge rewards. It’s the toughest in the beginning because that’s the part where you only have the small tweaks. You don’t have any of the peaks yet, as Ben said. But once those peaks start occurring, the rest is simple, not easy, but simple for the rest of your life. You will never not go back to this.
Cause once you see that it works, you’re like, why would I not do this everywhere? Oh, I’m fighting with my girlfriend a lot. Cool. I can solve this. You know what I mean? Oh, I have finance issues. I can solve that. You know, it’s empowering. That’s the word. It is empowering beyond belief to know that you can have a lot of control over many things in your life. I don’t have control over everything, but we have control of a lot more than we think. And that was kind of the common theme in the podcast I was doing about a week ago now.
So, Ben, where can people find you and what do you actually offer service-wise? Because you speak all over the place, but your whole brand is Keto Kamp as of right now. That’s the thing that we’re focusing on at least. And what do you offer in there?
Personal Responsibility: Where to Find Ben Azadi & Keto Kamp
[00:46:50] Ben Azadi: Yeah. Keto Kamp is my brand. It still will be for the foreseeable future. Camp with the K, by the way, two K’s, Keto Kamp. We have a program called the Keto Kamp Academy, which is an online program. We have members from all across the world. It’s a monthly membership.
I have health coaches on my team, and we teach the system to keto, to fasting, what we teach called keto flexing, meaning we don’t believe in long-term keto. We believe in metabolic flexibility. We spoke a lot about that on the first episode we did. And then we have health coaches to kind of guide you through the videos, et cetera. So, it’s called the Keto Kamp Academy.
And then my book Keto Flex, which is behind me, is the latest book which teaches my four pillar system – keto, fasting, keto flexing. We talk a little bit about gut health and carnivore as well. And all that it’s on my website. It’s benazadi.com. You could find that along with my social media and the the Keto Kamp podcast as well, which Evan has been a guest on, and Reed has as well.
[00:47:46] Detective Ev: Yeah, Keto Kamp Podcast is popping. I mean, I’d love for you guys to stay here, but man, there’s some really cool people that come on there. And you got some great episodes, so definitely please check that out, guys. I’ll have all the links in the notes.
Normally if someone comes on for a second time, I don’t repeat the signature question. But I mean, man, if you’re 200 episodes plus difference, I think it’s only fair.
The Signature Question – Believe
So, Ben, the signature question for you today will be this, if you could get every single person in this world to do one thing for their health (so that is, you could get them to start doing one thing or you could say, hey, you’re never doing that again), what is the one thing that Ben Azadi would get them to do?
[00:48:17] Ben Azadi: I love the question and I already knew what the answer was as soon as you started asking the question. I would get the world to believe. I would get the world to believe in their incredible God-given body that was built to be self-healing.
And we’ve all heard of the placebo effect. I talked about this at KetoCon, the placebo effect. I’m going to keep this short cause I know we’re wrapping up.
Detective Ev: You’re good. Yeah.
Ben Azadi: The placebo effect originated in the 1930s World War II. It was Dr. Henry Beecher who was working with soldiers in the war. They would go into the medical tent with bullet wounds and arms blown off, it was an ugly scene. He would give them morphine and they ran out of morphine.
What happened is the nurse freaked out. She essentially put saline solutions, saltwater, in the needles, gave it to Dr. Beecher. Dr. Beecher had the belief that he was giving the soldiers morphine. He transferred that belief to the soldiers, letting them know, I’m giving you morphine. You’re going to feel fine in a matter of seconds. We’ll stabilize you, take you to the hospital, save your life. But it was salt water and they survived.
Harvard studied what happened there, and that’s where the placebo effects started. Right? Belief. We are seeing the opposite. Doctors are creating the nocebo effect with individuals. Doctors are telling people they need a medication or a surgery, or even, God forbid, your condition is terminal. They’re doing the complete opposite.
What I would tell the world is the one message to the masses would be belief. Because whatever you believe is going to manifest good or bad. Goes back to what I said in the beginning, faith versus fear. So, I would encourage everybody to have that belief.
And if you don’t have the belief, because sometimes you don’t. I get that. You could borrow the belief of Evan; you could borrow the belief of me. You could borrow the belief of somebody else until you develop that belief for yourself.
[00:50:02] Detective Ev: Awesome. Ben, thank you so much for coming on again, man.
[00:50:04] Ben Azadi: Thank you, bro. I appreciate you Evan.
For more informational and functional health-oriented podcasts like this one, go to functionaldiagnosticnutrition.com/health-detective-podcast/.
To learn more about us, go to functionaldiagnosticnutrition.com/about-fdn-functional-testing/.