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Evan Carmichael ON: Parenting, Suicide & Belief

Feb 28, 2021



  • The Why is your purpose and your purpose comes from your pain, you don't have to sit on a mountain for 10 years meditating or journaling, to figure out your purpose. You struggled, and you got through it. And where you are now may feel impossible to compare to who you used to be."


  • Believing in yourself and believing in your kids can definitely make a change on how you and your kids will turn out. Evan Carmichael’s core value is BELIEVE. No matter what you want to do, as long as you believe you can do it, it will happen. If you are an entrepreneur and are having doubts, listen to Evan Carmichael’s method to identify your WHO, WHY, HOW as it will truly inspire you to believe.  
  • If you are business owner, an aspiring entrepreneur or anyone who is struggling to take risks and action on your dreams, this episode is for you! 


  • So, if you want to know who you are, why are you in that situation and how you can deal with it? Watch this amazing episode with Evan Carmichael today. It will bring so much clarity for you to get to where you want to be.  
  • Watch the video to get the full interview. 


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Inspirational Quotes


Full Transcript

[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Life On Purpose with James Laughlin Show. Please note that there may be small moments where grammar goes off track - this is simply due to the fact that the LIVE episode was converted to full long-form transcript.  For weekly motivation, please subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Youtube.]



Evan Carmichael, James Laughlin 


James Laughlin  00:00 

Welcome to life on purpose. My name is James Laughlin, former seven-time world champion musician and now success coach to leaders and high performers. Each week I bring you an inspiring leader or expert to help you live your life on purpose. Thanks for taking the time to connect today and investing in yourself. Enjoy the show. Napoleon Hill once said, "Some people dream of success, while others wake up and work hard at it." Vincent van Gough said, "If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." Evan Carmichael believes in entrepreneurs, Gary Vaynerchuk called him the "DJ who inspires people" and Ed Maylett called him "The Modern Day Napoleon Hill". At 19, he built and then sold a biotech software company. At 22, he was a venture capitalist raising 500K to $15 million. He now runs a YouTube channel for entrepreneurs with over 2 million subscribers and 300 million views. He's wrote four books and speaks globally. He wants to solve the world's biggest problem. People don't believe in themselves enough. Forbes named him one of The World's Top 40 Social Marketing Talents. And Inc. Magazine named him one of the 100 Great Leadership Speakers that you need to know. He has set two world records, uses a trampoline and stand-up desk, owns Canada's largest salsa dance studio, where he met his wife and has a giant Doritos bag in front of him all day long to remind him that he is stronger than the Doritos. Toronto is his home. And he's a husband, father and TSM fan. his new book came out in March 2020. And it's called Built to Serve. Folks, let's do it. Here we go. Welcome to Evan Carmichael. Hey, Evan, a massive welcome. Thank you so much for joining me. 


Evan Carmichael  02:12 

Thanks a lot, James. Love the energy and great to be here, man. 


James Laughlin  02:15 

Yeah, welcome in from Toronto, Canada in this crazy time of COVID. But amazing to see that what you're doing, and have been doing for the last year is pumping out amazing, inspirational stuff on YouTube, you've been writing books. It's just been incredible. And the one thing I read recently was that Inc. magazine named you one of the 100 greatest leadership speakers that people have got to know. So, the question I had for you there around that was, what have you done to get radically clear on who you are, who you serve, and what your mission is? 


Evan Carmichael  02:47 

I guide people through a process called "Who Why How", it's in my book Built To Serve, and the "Who" is your single most important core value. So, James, did you have to pick like, what's your most important core value as a human?  


James Laughlin  03:01 



Evan Carmichael  03:02 

Love? Great. Like already, we know a lot about James. And James knows a lot about James, right? So, if your most important value, core value is love, and James is looking to get a new YouTube editor or grow his team, right? He needs to lead with love. Like the first line of the job description is I need a video editor who wants to spread more love in this world. And some people would look at that and say, that is the stupidest thing I've ever seen in my life. Great, like don't apply, you're not going to jam well with James, right? And other people will say, "holy cow, this is amazing. Nobody does this. I hate my job working for this person doing video today. And I want to go work with James." And so, you start to now attract the right people into your life as well. By leading with your most important core value. Whenever you're not happy, there's a lack of love somewhere in your life. So, if James isn't happy right now, he either doesn't love himself enough for something or he's not feeling the love from you guys, watch this video. So, make sure you drop some love here on this episode. Or somebody close, right? You've maybe lost a loved one. But love is the operating system, which is great awareness. I think that's more awareness than what most people have in their life. So, that's your starting point. That's the blueprint. That's the roadmap, the road map that happiness is always love. And for everybody, it's slightly different. Mine is believe, but it's always something positive. I've never had somebody who be death or hate or something, right? Which also shows me that people are good. I believe people are good. I think deep down we're good. We're just in a lot of pain. And when you're in pain, you may not always do the things that you're most proud of. I haven't done, if I'm in a lot of pain, I don't always spread as much believe as I would want to. Right? And so, people are good. They're just in a lot of pain. And that can create a lot of empathy and understanding. And maybe you don't retaliate as much. But that's the Who. And the Why is your purpose and your purpose comes from your pain, you don't have to sit on a mountain for 10 years meditating or journaling, or whatever, to figure out your purpose. You struggled, you suffered with something, and you got through it. And where you are now is, it may feel like impossible to compare to who you used to be, go back to like your five year, five years ago, or 10 years ago. And you look at where you're at right now. It's like, "I'm not, I can't be that guy, you're an impossibility." And yet you made it, you did it. There are millions of people who currently are "the you" from five years ago, and they need your help. And you want to help them. And you're going to do it by love and other people do it through their own ways, but that's the easiest way to find your purpose. It's the number one question that I get asked is, "How do I find my purpose? How do I find my passion?", That's easy, "It comes from your pain? What did you struggle with?". Because love, just for you is not enough, you have to share it. Right? I was on another interview. And the guy said, Well, he really cares about momentum, like great. You love momentum. But what's even better than you getting momentum is giving momentum to other people, you want other people to get momentum. As much as it's great for James to feel love himself, he wants you to love yourself more, he wants you to dish more love out into the world, like that's the mission he's on. And that'll never get old. James won't be 120 years old, all of a sudden saying you know what, I don't care about love anymore, not my thing. I think if anything is just going to be more double down on it. So, you know, your Who is your most important core value, your Why is your purpose and your purpose comes from your pain. And then the How is how, however you got out of the hole that you were in, is teachable to other people. So, for me, it was struggling as an entrepreneur, the thing that saved me was modelling success. And I looked at Bill Gates and how he started his business. I learned from that, I applied it to my company started to win, when before that was just straight losses. And so what have I done for the past 20 years is help other people model success, so that they can believe in themselves. Right? So, when you figure out those three things, I think it becomes the ultimate unlock for a happy and purposeful life. 


James Laughlin  07:23 

That's amazing. Thank you so much for sharing that, Evan, that's just pure gold. And I want you to think about if you could go back to when you were starting out on this aspect of your career. If there's one piece of advice you could have given yourself to help kind of short cut some things or to avoid some pain, what would you say to yourself? 


Evan Carmichael  07:41 

So, I used to hate this question, because I can't go back. Right? It's is like, what I'm grateful for where I'm at right now and if you change something maybe butterfly effect, and now I fast forward, and we're all robots or something, but two, I can't I can't go back and talk to 19 year old Evan. But, then I ended up loving this question because I realised, first off, there's only one answer. The answer is your "Who". My message to Evan, younger Evan, is to believe in himself more. James's message to younger James is to spread more love. Love yourself more and love others more. That's the only message like at the end of the day. That's all that's all younger James needs to hear. Love yourself more, and love others more. You'll figure out the rest. "Evan, believe in yourself more and believe in others more?", Like that's the only answer that if you had to really, if you were given 1000 years to think about what the message would be. That's what you would come down to. It's not make a YouTube video one year earlier or something, right? But why I love the question is because 95 year old Evan, coming back and talking to 40 year old Evan. It's the same answer. 95 year old James talking to 2021. James, it's the same answer. It's still James right now in 2021. Love yourself more, and love others more.  


James Laughlin  09:04 

That's powerful.  


Evan Carmichael  09:05 

And it's practical, right? Because I can't go talk to a 19 year old oven, but I can't. But knowing that now is like, man, I still need that. And so, now I got the chills as I'm talking about it. Because it's something that you can actually take action on today. And it's the same for everybody watching or listening. Whatever that most important core value is for you. People might say, well, genius, but you're already you already have so much love. How can you have more love like you're the love guy? Evan, you're the believe guy. How could you have more belief? But you know that there's, this is not the fullest extent of love and what that means you know that there's many more layers of self-love, and many more layers of being able to give love and help others feel the love than what you're doing right now. It doesn't disparage all the work that you've done to get here, but it's knowing that there's still this mountain I need to climb. And that's still the lengths through which I have to make those decisions. So that ends up being a super practical super helpful question where I didn't recognise that the first time through when people started asking me that. 


James Laughlin  10:04 

Fantastic thank you and I love that believe is who you're about and I got emails from you and your team and always at the bottom #believe Team Believe. I love it, you reinforce that value. Now here in New Zealand, I worked in a school for a bit 14 years, and we had in New Zealand itself as a country, 


Evan Carmichael  10:18 

I was there for you right now? 


James Laughlin  10:25 

It is 10am. 


Evan Carmichael  10:27 

Okay, that's not as bad as I thought. I thought is like he's getting up at 5am. You got way too much energy. 


James Laughlin  10:34 

I'm up at 4:30 every morning, I'd happily do an interview with you have five. 


Evan Carmichael  10:37 

Alright, okay, cool. Good. Anyway, welcome from New Zealand. Okay, sorry to interrupt you.  


James Laughlin  10:42 

Not at all. So, with the highest teenage suicide rate in the OECD, and it's been that way for a while. And so, when I was working at the school, there was a number of kids who committed suicide, and it sent me on this mission. And I thought, Okay, I need to find out why? What can I do? How can I help serve? And it came down to, I discovered that fatherhood was one of the most important ingredients in a young person's life, to give them meaning, to make them feel love, to help them understand who they are, and believe in themselves. So, if you got any advice, because I know your dad, do you have any advice to other parents out there, in terms of how they can help their children believe in themselves? 



Evan Carmichael  11:26 

Step one is tell them, like tell them that you believe in them. The greatest bit of advice my parents gave me and for the video viewers out there on the wall behind me here. So, I've got five canvases in my office. And in the middle is my parents and me when I'm eight or nine years old. And they would always tell me that "You're Evan Carmichael, you can do anything that you believe that you can." and at the beginning, I don't know how much of it sunk in like, Okay, another thing that they're saying, but think about how often parents say the opposite, like, "You're such a dummy." You know, "You're never going to get this, what makes you think you could go be astronaut, right, or whatever?" And, you know, I wanted to be a baseball player during the season, and a police officer in the offseason. And my parents never told me that I couldn't, you know, even though it's unrealistic, and nobody's done it. They always just say, "Hey, you're Evan Carmichael, you can do anything, believe that you can, and then just reinforced it." And then I think the second thing that they did super well, so actually, it's just back to the first one before my son goes asleep, or nieces and nephews we'll have a ritual, where it's for my son, it's like Hayden, his name Hayden can do. And then he says anything. So, I'll say Hayden can do and is anything and that's like the last thing before he goes to bed. I mean, for my nieces and nephews, they have their own, you know, anything, everything, you know, they're picking their own anything she wants, like they're picking their own version. But that's a nighttime ritual that we always go through. And then the second thing I think, is just taking an interest in what they're doing, and being an active participant in it. You could teach parenting lessons much more through how you're doing it yourself versus what you're saying, right? There's a great line by Francis Assisi, the saint who said, "I preach the gospel always. And sometimes I use words." And so, your job is to spread your message always right? James is going to spread love, always. I'm trying to spread belief always. And it's in the everyday tasks that you can do it. So, my son likes to play Minecraft. And so like, great, what's Minecraft, you know, and I joined Minecraft, and we have a server together, and I'm playing Minecraft with him. What's that? 


James Laughlin  13:49 

That's so good. 


Evan Carmichael  13:51 

Yeah, and people think video games are a waste of time. Video games are the greatest. Not even video games, spending quality time with your kids in an environment that's safe and comfortable for them is the greatest opportunity for you to teach as a parent. It's not just when they've been there, they've been let down or they didn't study or they snuck chocolate into their bedroom or like, whatever, you know, all the stupid things kids do. But when I play Minecraft with my son, what happens when he dies and he loses all of his stuff? You know, does he rage quit? You know what happens when we're trying to build a house together? You know, hey, I need iron. You got some wood? Can I have some wood? Now let's trade. Alright, let's do this together. How do you approach because there's life lessons in every single situation. And when you're doing it inside a medium that they care about, instead of one that you care about, like let's watch this educational video together. It's probably not going to fly, right? Yeah. And so, but you could you could teach your message in how you show up, and how you do and they see you. And more important is how you're actually living your life. You want your kids to be happy. You want your kids to have Love, Love yourself. Right? I could spread believe as much as I want, but, but I need to believe in myself and I need to show him that I believe in myself. 


James Laughlin  15:19 

Yeah, the actions speak louder than the words. 


Evan Carmichael  15:21 

Yeah. And so just try to be involved with them on the things that they care about. Because there's lots of you don't even have to say it just watching how you react. Like when I go off and I get my diamond pickaxe with all the enchantments and then I die. How do I react? Do I rage quit and like throw my computer out of the room and say, This is stupid. I hate this game. It's the worst thing. Right? What do you think they're gonna do? I think they're gonna copy dad. As opposed to saying, Oh, okay. we rebuilt. Let's go. Yeah, let's go we rebuild. we rebuilt. Let's go. Right. 


James Laughlin  15:57 

I want to think about fatherhood. Like, what does being a dad mean to you? 



Evan Carmichael  16:02 

What does being a dad mean to me? Um, I think a responsibility to, to care for somebody, right? Like, they're, he's my, I made him, you know, he's a, he's a piece of me, and he's my responsibility, at least until he gets to be able to look out for himself. He's 11 now, so he's still got some time before it gets to that point. And I carry the weight of that responsibility. You know, I think all of us will think "Are we good enough? Did we spend enough time? Did we say the right thing? Do we show how we wanted to show up? When they when they get into a fight at school or bad grades? Like did I do the right thing, afterwards, that I should I have punished them should have gotten easier? This constant judgement. And, and especially, you know, your first time through, you don't know what you're doing. You're doing what your parents did, probably. And you may not even like what your parents did. But it's still the only thing you know, so you're repeating the same patterns and habits and loops. Right? So, I think the thing that helps me is one, again, through the lens of belief, does this help him believe in himself more? Yes, or no. And that can be a great benchmark. Especially when you're angry or upset, and it's easy to be the best, you when everything is great, and you've all slept in, and everything is going, you know super well, in business and at home, it's when you're tired, and the dog was vomiting all night and whatever. Like, are you gonna show up with your best self? Probably not. So to try to put the brakes on and say, Hey, is this gonna help him believe in himself more that that eight second question might just give you a moment of clarity or at least a pause that you need from doing something that you might later regret? And then the second thing is just, my intention was good, like, how do you stop the judgement looking backwards, Oh, I wish I did that, I wish I did this, I hope I don't mess him up, or I hope I didn't put him on the wrong path. My intention was good. Like, as long as your intention is good, you do the best you can with what you have. And the intention is good, then just trust that the love will come through. 


James Laughlin  18:08 

I love that. That's incredible. I really do. And I want to say like, Ed Maylett put it perfectly said you're like the modern day, Napoleon Hill, what a compliment. And it's so true. I came across your videos a number of years ago, and just been consuming their amazing content. So, what was, if there was one person that really inspired you, in the thought leadership sphere in the personal development sphere? Who was that one person or that one book that got you on that track? 


Evan Carmichael  18:34 

I mean, my my easy answer is my parents, but they're not in the personal development sphere. But they had a huge impact on me as a human not not as a entrepreneur, because it did not teach me business lessons. But as a human, how to show up and how to treat people. A lot of this, the combination of my mom and my dad together. You know, apart from that, I just I pulled different things from different people. Ed was super generous. You know, Ed, I hadn't met him before. I mean, we knew each other when we connected on Instagram and stuff. But when I came to California, he said, "Hey, come over to my house. How long you in town for? come." I'm like, "I'm only in San Diego for this day.", He's like, "okay, I'll make it work." And so like he pushed his schedule, to make time for me to come over to his house and hosted me for the evening. Right? And like, No rush, no, like, "Okay, I gotta get out of here for something else", you know, and generous with his time generous with his words with compliments like that. So, it's like, Okay, how do I how, can I be more generous? You know, how do I, would I have done that? If James said he's gonna be here would I have said, "James, come over", you know, 


James Laughlin  19:42 

You make it happen, dude. 



Evan Carmichael  19:45 

Right and so, but everybody teaches me a slightly different lesson, one that needs to hear. And I think that's what I've learned the most is my goal isn't to be the next Steve Jobs or Kanye West or whoever you Your goal is to be the best you but to do that you pull different pieces. So, I want to be a visionary like Steve Jobs, but not a father like Steve Jobs. I want to be a father like my father, but not a visionary like my father. Right? So you're pulling different pieces from different people to help you puzzle together how to be the best you. And at the beginning, when I started this, I didn't know any of these people, I didn't know Ed or Tony, or Brendan, or any of these guys. So, it's been super fun to actually hang out and spend time together and have them on and do stuff off camera together, too. And all of them have taught me slightly different lessons. It's still within the same realm of, again, helping me believe in myself and do great things. But the way they do it, what they say, but also how they act like Ed didn't tell me, Evan, you have to be more generous, is by him being generous that I want to be more generous, right? That's, it's parenting. Right? It's just micro parenting. 


James Laughlin  20:58 

I love it. So cool. Like, I've got one last question for you before before we wrap up. So the podcast is all about living life on purpose. So, what's your definition of living a life on purpose? 



Evan Carmichael  21:13 

It is waking up every day and feeling like the work I'm about to do matters, right? So, if you go back and think about your who, why, how and the why is your pain, your purpose, and your purpose comes from your pain. I want to help 19 year old Evans out there, all the entrepreneurs who are struggling to get going, who feel like they're not good enough, who, you know, don't have the connections or resources to make things happen. And who are worried maybe I made the biggest mistake of my life starting this business instead of going to get a job, right? That's 19 year old Evan. And his millions of those people in North America and New Zealand, like they're everywhere. That's everybody. I want to wake up every day and feel like today matters. I want to look at my calendar and say, Oh, I'm pumped to talk to James and be on his show and spread the message to New Zealand to today. It's gonna be awesome. I think when people wake up, and they feel like today doesn't matter, especially to somebody else, like what I do today doesn't matter to anybody else. nobody will care. My boss won't care. My customers won't care. My husband and wife won't care. My kids won't care. Nobody cares. And that's how you wake up every day. That's the fast path to depression. We talked about depression, talk about suicide. Why? Why are people suicidal, because they feel like they don't matter, that they don't matter that they're not doing work that matters that nobody cares. Nobody ever will care. And so, what's the point of even being here? Right? The path through is to shift that to say, if you could feel like today matter, if you're going to do one thing today, that matters. It matters. It matters if I show up for James or not. It matters if I make a YouTube video or not. It matters if I write a book or not like it, I feel the connection to the purpose, then that's the path to get out of depression, out of suicide and into a meaningful on purpose, life that you can be proud of, for yourself, but then also to gift to other people. Because as you make your climb out of the hole, other people will be inspired by you and say, "hmm, hmm, he can do it. Maybe I can too?" and that will be the ultimate juice of life because you're built to serve. You want to help, doing it for yourself is not enough. You need to do it for other people. And that's a drug that you should get addicted to. 


James Laughlin  23:24 

I love that. Guys, please go and grab Built to Serve by Evan Carmichael at his website, Evan carmichael.com. What you just said that Evan was gold, and it comes from the heart and you truly show up and I want to thank you for showing up on the show today and serving. It was just an incredible, amazing opportunity to connect with you. Thank you. 


Evan Carmichael  23:44 

Awesome. Thanks for having me. James. Appreciate you, man.  


James Laughlin  23:47 

Cheers, buddy. Thank you so much for listening in today and investing in your own personal growth. Please hit that subscribe button. I would love love love. If you leave me a rating and review as it really helps me impact more people. I've got some amazing guests lined up in the coming weeks. And folks, it's that time. Get out there and live life on purpose.