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Building Better Habits with Dr. Jaime Hope

On this episode, we are doing something a little different. We are talking to a dual board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician working in one of the top twelve busiest level-one trauma centers in the country. Her name is Dr. Jaime Hope and you are going to fall in love with her. She has an amazing personality which throws you for a loop because you think someone needs to be a little hard to succeed, a little cold in that world to succeed. She is unlike what you're thinking and I am excited to introduce you to her.

We talk about bringing people back from the dead, the four pillars to good health and how you can change your habits in five minutes a day. If you want to lose some extra weight, you want to start that business that you've always wanted to or whatever it is that's been on your list. We talk about how you can build better habits and how you can do it in a short timeframe. This show is incredibly fascinating. You will walk away with a smile from this.

Dr. Jaime Hope works in the ER and she also provides healthcare in rural areas. We talk about the difference between being in a big hospital versus being in something that's a lot smaller and how to deal with that and cope with that. In addition, she is an Assistant Professor at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. She does workshops on behavior change, motivational interviewing and she's on the faculty at the Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group. She does a lot and she is on a mission to help people improve their habits, their health, their resilience, their confidence, and their lives.

In this show, you're going to get a smorgasbord of practical advice that you can use to change your habits, to improve your health and how to manage stress.

Dustin
Dr. Jaime, you're an emergency medicine physician at one of the top twelve busiest level-one trauma centers in the country. How do you manage the stress of that situation? Is it stressful?
Jaime
It's a very stressful job. We're a huge level-one trauma center. We get referrals from all over. We need to be ready at any moment to handle anything that walks in the door. We don't always get a lot of warning. If we have a couple of sick patients, that certainly doesn't deter additional sick patients from coming in. There's no limit to how many can come through our doors. You have to be ready for anything.
Dustin
How do you manage that stress? That unknowingness of you could have 30 patients at once and you've got to roll.
Jaime
There were important skills I’ve learned. Emergency medicine has a high physician burnout rate. For that reason, there's a lot of stress. There are a lot of things going on. I decided early in my career you either need to develop ninja level rock star coping skills or find a different job. It's a very difficult, noisy and chaotic environment. I always start with the basics. When I’m going into a shift, I make sure I’ve had good self-care. I make sure I’ve had a good night's sleep. I make sure I’ve gotten a healthy meal. I pack and bring healthy food with me because sometimes it's so busy I don't have an opportunity to go get something. I’ve got snacks squirreled away and a healthy meal with me. I make sure I take bathroom breaks when I can. I reframed my job in a way that I felt connected to what I was doing. I was finding the meaning in the work and connecting to my patients. I have found in most situations the stress is not that bad. I’ve come to the Zen place where the nurses love running a code with me because I’m calm. For me, I’ve trained myself over the years the crazier things get, Igo into a calm mode.
Dustin
What does set you off? Is there anything?
Jaime
I have a very long fuse and that's well-known. I’m generally very happy and bubbly in this environment, but what drives me crazy is if people are doing things that negatively impact patient care. They're not doing their job the way they are supposed to be or reporting that this bed is empty because there are 60 people in the waiting room that are waiting for that bed and stuff like that. It's that stuff when we're not putting the purpose of the job and the patient first. I have to say I’ve gotten a little irritated in those situations before.
Dustin
Do the other doctors think you're some anomaly? Do they come to that place of Zen-like you? What are they thinking?
Jaime
There are a lot of my co-workers and colleagues across the country who are Zen. There are some people who get a little ramped up with it. There are many practice settings across the country. Not everybody chooses that practice setting. Even among my colleagues, I’m known as being particularly happy. They think I’m a little bit strange in that way, but I certainly think being too happy is not a problem.
Dustin
You're in this crazy environment and yet you moonlight and you volunteer or you work at a rural hospital. In a big hospital, top twelve busiest in the country. There are tons of resources and you've got a team there. In a rural setting, fewer resources and not as big a team which puts you front and center like the one. You have more control in that scenario. Is that right?
Jaime
Sometimes I feel a little bit less control. At the big hospital where I work at, there are resources you can snap your fingers and make a resident of any specialty appear, which is nice. I’ve done things like crack open somebody's chest, massage their heart, sew it up and bring them back from the dead. It's a cool phenomenon, but I’m in a room full of well-trained people so we've got this. When I’m at a rural critical access hospital, what critical access means is that it's being supported federally because they don't have enough people or resources to keep a hospital open. You don't want to have people so far that they don't have any way to get medical care. Physicians from my area from Detroit drive up to this part of rural Michigan to help. It's a three-bed ER, which is substantially different from the 100 beds that we have. It's different stress because the team there isn't as trained in critical care. If somebody comes in with a truly devastating injury or incredibly sick, the vast majority of the work is going to fall on only me and I have nobody to call for backup.
Dustin
You bring people back from the dead and that's a cool thing, so kudos to you for saying that and having that happy detachment in a way. How do you think you've arrived at where you are? Have you always been happy about the scenario? Did things stress you out back in the day? How's your journey been to this point?
Jaime
It's like any journey, even the entrepreneurial journey and the wealth journey. I would love to say I’ve been sparklingly awesome the whole time, but I'm confident that would be a ginormous lie. I’ve had plenty of bumps and bruises along the way. In medical school and in residency, you get that moment. They put on the coat and you get your stethoscope and you're like, “You’re an MD. This is awesome.” I even made my big brother call me doctor all day that day I graduated just to be an annoying little sister. It was terrifying. If you remember the show, Scrubs, where there was a code once on the first day and some of the doctors ran toward the code and some of them ran to hide in the supply closet. That's a normal feeling. There have been times where I felt I didn't know what I was doing. That I wasn't working hard enough. It's a macho environment. It's go, go, go. Push yourself. Work even if you're tired. Work even if you have an IV. I wondered, “Is this right for me?” I had some mentors tell me, “You're too happy. You're too sweet. Why don't you go into pediatrics like a normal person with that personality?” I knew that this was the place for me. I love emergency medicine and so I had to learn the hard way. Sometimes I needed to make the mistake more than once about not taking good enough care of myself and not feeling connected to my specialty enough. You get burnout and some days you want to quit.
Dustin
I’m hesitant to go here but I feel I owe it to the folks reading. The reason why I’m hesitant is you're incredibly bubbly and this is amazing, and I don't want to be the Debbie Downer. I do want to ask you because as entrepreneurs, we cope with losses. We cope with turn the marketplace investors that read this blog deal with it. If someone passes under your watch, how do you manage that? You can't be happy. That bedside manner would be bad in that situation. How do you cope with that yourself? How do you put on the understanding face to the family? How do you deal with that?
Jaime
In certain situations, you can be laughing and joking with patients, but in a lot of situations in the emergency department, that's completely inappropriate. It's because I’m very deeply connected to my empathy that I can put on that face. I can understand how they feel. I’m telling them bad news and it needs to be delivered in a very important and respectful way. You need to speak in a language that somebody can understand and be present with them, sit down and answer questions. I always like to joke that one of my superpowers is bringing people back from the dead, but we can't save everybody and it's hard. It can be awful. I’ve seen some horrifically tragic, unbelievable things. It's hard for people who aren't in that to imagine. I have in certain situations let myself shed some tears with the family. I’m still coming from a position so they know that the whole team worked hard and we did everything we could, but it's okay to feel those feelings.
My mistake I was making early in my career was I was going home and I was internalizing it. I was taking on their pain and taking on the weight of the loss instead of learning how to let that go through me. I’ve treated a lot of entrepreneurs as patients. I created a talk that I’ve given at a couple of entrepreneurial conferences called ResilienceThrough The Fire Without Getting Burned. The journey is similar. The market’s up, the market’s down. One day everything is great. You're hugging your patient. They go home, you fixed them. The next day, they crash and burn. No matter what you do, you can't save them. To feel those things, to be able to weather that storm, to be strong enough. It makes a huge difference because a lot of people don't necessarily want to work in emergency medicine, not everybody wants to be an entrepreneur. It can be a scary journey.
Dustin
You have empathy at that moment. You allow yourself to feel it or that’s natural to you. However, when you go home or when the time is appropriate, you detach. The antithesis is you're detached. People look at you like you're cold. That would be the opposite. Your advice is at the moment, be present and show your empathy. Understand the severity of the situation, but then you've got to detach at some point. Is that the message I’m hearing?
Jaime
Yes and no. I don't completely detach but I work through it and process it. I’ve developed a healthy support system. I have my tribe. I have my family. I have my friends. I have another group of physicians I can talk to. You can call somebody or message them after work and say, “I had a talk and die patient,” and they immediately know what you're talking about. You can work through it and talk it out, cry it out and then help dissipate that thing. A lot of people detach. I’ve never been able to fully do that, butI’m able to process and dissipate it so I don't carry all that because I still need to show up the next day for work and the next day.
Dustin
I want to go back to rural hospitals. I want to ask you why it's easy to sit in essentially your castle. You've got all these resources. You can snap the fingers and you've got such power here. Why do you feel the need to go into this environment where it's a little trickier or different?
Jaime
For me, the choice was all about personal growth. I wanted to go into an environment that scared me. It's different than what I’m doing. They say the sweet spot of practicing medicine is about ten years out because you are fresh and willing to bring in new knowledge and new technologies. You also have the experience and the gestalt to back up what you're doing. I’m at that spot. I’ve been practicing for several years including residency. I was like, “I’m not going to just sit here in the sweet spot. I’m going to grow.” I’ve been teased about this a few times. I’m like, “What’s the hardest thing I could do? Here we go.”It's been wonderful and rewarding.
Dustin
How would you say it's different working in a resource-rich environment versus improvisational?
Jaime
The pace is different and everything about it. In the big center, it's constant. There's never a break. In our ten-hour shifts, we don't get a break and there's not usually a period where work stops. At this, we're working in 24 to 48 continuous hours, but there are times when there are no patients there. Dealing with downtime and then knowing how the teams are different. The people at the rural access hospital live in that community. The nurses and the techs live there. They're integrated. They can teach me a lot about medicine. They all know each other. If somebody comes in, they know everything about them, which is fascinating to me because I live in suburban Detroit. I live right outside of Detroit so that certainly doesn't occur necessarily here. I learned good lessons about task switching and even culture switching that I can bring my skills and expertise. It's important for me to integrate myself into their culture and not the other way around.
Dustin
I’m fascinated by this idea of you having downtime. Could you have downtime? Can you go on your phone? Are there other tasks that keep you busy in the rural hospital? Can you read a magazine? What do you do?
Jaime
It was weird to me at first because I’m constantly charting or doing stuff at the other place. I’ve had times where my charting is done. I’ll even go try and find other paperwork to do. I wrote a few chapters of my book while I was there because I was like, “I’m awake. I’m ready for the next patient that walks in the door, but I’m feeling inspired. Let's sit down and write about resilience because sitting here in this environment.”It's been a lot of fun.
Dustin
Why medicine?
Jaime
I always knew that I was made to help people. I loved being a teacher, but I also loved the idea of being a doctor. I’m a first-generation college so I didn't come from a long line of medical people by any means. When I first told my family as a teenager, “I want to go to medical school,” they lovingly asked me, “Are you crazy? Do you know how many years of school that is?” The student loan debt, they certainly didn't have the financial resources or wealth by any means to help support me through that. I knew it was right. I loved helping people. When I was ten years old, I was jumping on a trampoline with my BFF. Somehow, we double jumped with the other kid on the trampoline and she got bounced off the trampoline and onto the ground. This was in the ‘90s so there's no safety net. There's no padding. We were jumping on this trampoline and she dislocated her elbow. It was obvious that her arm was no longer pointed in the direction it was supposed to be pointing in.
I remember looking at her instead of being horrified because one of the other kids ran to get help. I was like, “I want to learn how to fix that.” I wanted to pop it back in because I knew it would hurt less if it was where it was supposed to be. I wanted to and she wouldn't let me, which is understandable. Who wants a ten-year-old try and reduce your fracture? It always felt right. Every science class I took I was fascinated by and I wanted to learn more and more. What I realized that one of the best parts of medicine is that I get to be a teacher. I get to teach my patients every day. I was able to integrate my biggest professional goals together. I’m a clinical professor and then an assistant professor at the medical school. I’m teaching at the bedside and in the classroom. It's amazing how it all worked out.
Dustin
Any doubts along the way?
Jaime
Being first-generation college can be a little scary. I had an amazing application and they say a lot of people don't get into medical school their first try. Sometimes it takes two or three tries. I got in on my first try on the first day. In school, you're used to being the top student. When you get to med school, everyone is the top student. All of a sudden I’m like, “Am I qualified to be here?” I had an incident with some bullying in medical school where somebody was bullying me because I was first-generation college, which I thought was ridiculous. I was like, “We're adults. Is this still happening?”You get some negative messages along the way. I had an old male attending suggest to me that women don't belong in medicine and we're here to meet husbands. I tried to explain to him if I had spent that amount of money and time I had invested in school and invested it in getting my hair and nails done, I probably could have gotten a husband years ago. I was like, “I’m a hard worker. Bring it on. I’m going to be the best person on this rotation and then some.”
Dustin
You’ve got a book. You have an amazing attitude but I’m sure you have some incredible stress levels, even though you manage them incredibly well. What's the why behind the book? You're busy. You're successful. You could easily coast, although I can tell that's not your style. Why did you decide to write a book?
Jaime
Like an entrepreneur, I have that hunger. What I found was a lot of patients in the emergency department are there on the worst day of their life. I found it frustrating that a lot of the things that led to them being on the table in front of me, they could have prevented it at many points along the way. I started getting an education in nutrition, exercise, sleep medicine, stress management. I enjoyed learning it. In my role in the emergency department, I don't have a ton of time to do that with patients. There are many times I’m having a conversation with somebody about their kidney stone and we've got it under control. In the middle of the conversation, they call overhead, “We've got somebody coding,” and I have to get up and walk out of someone's room to go to the crashing person. I had that little dissatisfaction inside me that I could be doing more.
I was doing talks at community service locations locally, senior citizens homes, local service groups, and things like that. They wanted to ask me questions about how to prevent being in the emergency department and I’d always enjoyed teaching and speaking. I started to grow. I said, “I would love to be a professional speaker.” I loved teaching people the strategies that I’ve learned, so nobody ends up burned out on a bathroom floor like I was at one point. I’ve had some amazing opportunities. I was at the Gazelles Growth Summit run by Verne Harnish. He's the author of Scaling Up, Mastering The Rockefeller Habits and FORTUNE The Greatest Business Decisions Of All Time. We were chatting and I said, “I want to grow as a speaker,” and he said, “You need to write a book.”I was like, “I’ve always thought about writing a book. I don’t see why I can't.” I started pouring all of my knowledge about healthy habits and stuff because that's what I teach at the medical school. I teach the behavior change course for future physicians. I can put this in a book for lay people so they can help prevent having to ever see me in the emergency department. From there, everything grew and snowballed, and it's been amazing.
Dustin
I love that you're coming at it with prevention. That's something that I’ve been reading more and more about. You make the claim or the implied promise that you can build better habits in five minutes a day. Please do tell on how we can create change in our life that create better habits to make it ingrained in what we do.
Jaime
Some of the health gurus are asking too much at once and it works for some people. My sister, I love her. If she decides that she's going to go to the gym, she's going to go full bore and be a competitive powerlifter. There's no middle ground, which is awesome and I love that. For a lot of people, that is intimidating they don't even start. We're going against our nature. We like to live in our comfort zone. What I want people to recognize is you have habits all the time. When you put your pants on, you put the same leg in first every time. Picture you're holding your toothbrush in your hand. Which side do you start brushing your teeth on? It's the same side every time. These little habits and things that we do, you can't go against human nature. Our brain wants repetition. I came up with the phrase, “Habit that,” because one day after lunch there were some Peanut M&M’s sitting out. I had some Peanut M&M’s. The next day, they were still sitting out and I had a few more. Fast forward a few more days, the Peanut M&M’s are gone and I finished lunch and immediately my brain says, “Time for Peanut M&M’s.” I was like, “I created a Peanut M&M’s habit after lunch that quickly without even realizing it.” Looking at the Peanut M&M's, do I want to habit that?
Anytime I start a behavior or a thing, “Do I want to habit that?”The holidays, I ate too much cheese and junk food. Is that going to be a permanent habit? No, because I recognized that this was a special occasion. This was a conscious choice I was making and not something I’m going incorporate into my everyday life. Tricking our brain and using what we already know. Building some of the healthy habits into the day you already have rather than disrupting your whole life. That's the reason why people get a gym membership and a few weeks later they’re still paying it and they stopped going. They never integrated it into their life and into their habit cycle. It's all about making it a routine part of your day. You don't even have to think about it. You don't think about brushing your teeth, you do it at the end of the day because that's what you've been practicing. With five minutes a day, start with one habit at a time and start integrating it and it becomes a part of your day. You move on. It's that first domino and then it starts getting easier and easier. People start at five minutes a day. They will end up doing more. I know that. I know human nature but I’m trying not to scare people.
Dustin
Let's say my New Year's resolution is I’m going to lose some weight or I’m going to be healthier. However, you frame it and I know we could speak to languaging and frame it better. Essentially, let’s take the big one which is, “I want to lose weight.” That's such a big thing to break that down. How would you advise somebody or coach them up? What advice would you give them to change the habit or do a five-minute thing to ingrain this into their everyday routine?
Jaime
The two levels that I would want to look at this is one, the big broad level of mindset. Dustin, you talk a lot about mindset in terms of wealth and growing your wealth and things like that. You know exactly how important this is that I’m talking about. For a lot of people who say they want to lose weight, I’d like to ask them what their mindset is. Are they viewing themselves as a dieter? Are they viewing themselves as a yo-yo dieter? In their mind, are they viewing themselves as a fat person or somebody who's failed many times they're going to try again? No matter what habits I give you, if you're in that mindset, “I’ll try this. I don't expect it to necessarily work,” nothing is going to be effective. As my friend, Joe Polish, says, “Do a little bit of a mental enema to clear some of the BS out of your brain.” A good friend of mine always referred to himself as the fat kid. He wasn't particularly overweight but he eventually did get heavier. Everything he did or said in his mind was like, “I’m the fat kid. This is what a fat kid does.” I said, “Do you want to go for a hike?” He said, “No, I’m the fat kid.” I was like, “This is crazy. I can't believe you're labeling yourself and you're choosing this. Get rid of that ridiculous label and become what you want to be.”
I encourage people to use the label. I don't like it to be about weight in particular. I want you to use the label, “I’m a healthy person.” Sometimes a healthy person eats brownies and you can still be a healthy person. Your big overall mindset at the top of the goals sheet before we start getting into a number of minutes of exercise per day is that mindset or mantra, “I am a healthy person.” You can lose weight with any ridiculous BS unhealthy diet. You can go on a bacon and doughnut diet for a week and lose weight if you're eating fewer calories, but that's not the important thing. I’m trying to get people to be a healthy person and eating nothing but bacon and doughnuts for a week is not going to accomplish that. It's the whole tortoise and the hare. Everybody wants to lose weight super quickly and whatever, and then they gain it right back. I want this to be a long-term, sustainable habit for you. If you're focused on being a healthy person mindset, the weight will follow because you're going to start acting in accordance with that. You pick one five-minute goal at a time, whether it's to lose weight. I don't like people to necessarily choose a number of pounds by a certain date, but what you want to do to lose weight and pick one specific goal at a time.
Dustin
You operate in both worlds and you see a lot of things that come your way. A good percentage could have been prevented. Let's not talk about accidents but more health-related stuff. I don't want to come off as judgmental. Number one, do you sit there and think, “If they had access to this information, life would be different?” Number two, do you sit there and say, “I hope this person will change,” because you’ll fix them up and do what you've got to do, “I hope they will adopt the lasting change?”
Jaime
I do because some of it is accessed information. There are many things out there. You can Google anything and find the answer you're looking for. If you're looking for the answer for the bacon and doughnut diet, you can Google and find it. Sometimes there's too much information but what's useful, correct information? At my heart, I’m a science nerd. I look at human nature and data and things like that. If you have the information on how to best use your human nature because we're imperfect. We like to say that we bought the fancy sports car for the gas mileage, but we all know we bought it because we look hot in it. We know the truth. We're emotional beings so just using that. I want people to do it going forward. I’ve been teased a few times but I’m a big fan of giving somebody an encouraging pep talk. I have found that shaming somebody or judging them does not incite behavior change. I come from a mindset of empowering and say, “This is where you can go next. Here are some ideas.” Most importantly, connecting them with that mindset of being a healthy person and the why that's driving them. You asked me about my why. Why did I go to medicine? Why did I write a book? You know how important it is to be deeply connected with the why when you're doing something and you're substantially more successful.
Dustin
You've got four pillars to good health. However, I like to geek out my own way and I’ve seen it written somewhere that you're not this health nut. You were a junk food junkie. Before you were more conscious of what you put into your body, what junk food were you into?
Jaime
I may or may not have taken pride in the fact that I could eat an entire bag of Cheetos. I’m not talking about the individual serving one. I was an unsophisticated eater and I still owe millions of apologies to my parents. I was the worst eater when I was a kid. The rare time we had enough money to go out to a restaurant or a buffet they were like, “Please don't make us pay for her. All she's going to do is eat one piece of cornbread and then sit there and eat nothing the whole time.” I remember I hated all vegetables and canned green beans were a staple in our house because they're inexpensive. My mom said, “You can't get up from the table until you've finished your green beans,” and I stared down those green beans for hours. I was not the loud tantrum kid but I was quiet, civil disobedience like, “I hate vegetables.” If I had five servings of vegetables in my whole childhood, I’d be shocked. As I was getting older and embracing being a science nerd and learning about how the body works and having this moment, “If I’m going to be a doctor and tell patients how to get healthier, who am I to sit here wiping Cheetos dust off my white coat? That's not going to happen.” I said, “If I’m going to expect people to make changes, I’ll go first and see how hard it is.”Some of the changes were easy and some of them were not easy.
Dustin
What's your favorite healthy food, your healthy snack that you enjoy now?
Jaime
I love many things. I’m interested in trying new stuff. If I’m sitting in the car, I’ll go old school. I’ll have some cut up broccoli, carrots and celery and munch on that while I’m driving. It's fun and satisfying.
Dustin
No sauce? Straight up raw?
Jaime
Yes, like a savage.
Dustin
Talk to us about the four pillars to good health.
Jaime
Usually, if you're talking about health and weight loss, people's mind immediately goes to diet and exercise. What they're forgetting is a more well-rounded view of your body, which also includes stress relief, self-care, and sleep. I named the four pillars: eat, sleep, burn, release. Burn is exercise and release is stress. Many of my patients come to me and say, “I’m doing everything right. I’m eating vegetables. I’m eating lean proteins. I’m eating healthy fat. I’m exercising. I cannot lose weight. What is wrong with me? It's probably some disease.” I’m like, “It would be super great if we could blame something and get a pill. Out of curiosity, how is your stress?” I can tell because they're white-knuckled and their shoulders are up to their earlobes. They’re like, “I’m tense right now.” The way the body works is it's exquisitely designed to keep you alive. Your body doesn't care what your butt looks like in your favorite yoga pants. It's trying to keep you alive.
It activates the stress response, which includes your fight or flight response. That's your adrenaline-type hormones. Long-term stress activates your cortisol. When your cortisol is activated, it's sending your body the message to hold on to every calorie you put in to buffer you against stress. Even when you're doing everything right, your body's doing what you tell it to help us survive. Until you learn how to release some of that stress and bring your cortisol level down and get out of that fight or flight mode, even if you do everything right, you can't lose weight. If you don't sleep, you're losing out on your body's ability to make adequate amounts of growth hormone. The lack of sleep further stimulates your stress response. If you're ignoring the other ones, it's at your peril.
Dustin
The classic line is you can't give medical advice especially to somebody that is pitching you a hypothetical because everybody is different. What is a range of sleep that people should be thinking about? Are six hours enough? Are ten hours too much? What’s that sweet spot?
Jaime
Around eight hours is the sweet spot. I know a lot of people say that they can do fine on four hours to six hours. You're not going to burst into flames but you're not living well. You're not living optimally. You're not giving your body the time it needs. Just like you can survive on bacon and doughnuts, it doesn't mean it's a good thing. People don't realize how much that lack of sleep, even a couple of hours each night, substantially decreases your cognitive function. They've had people do fine motor tasks, complex calculations and things like that even slightly sleep-deprived and they're performing less. I ask you and ask your audience, you guys are making big decisions. You're making decisions about your wealth and businesses, “Am I going to get into this investment and not?”Do you want to make these decisions impaired? That seems crazy to me. I know a lot of entrepreneurs burn the candle at both ends. I don't care how big your biceps are, you haven't slept in three days. You need to get rest because you are operating at a high level and you need to maximize your cognitive function. You need to work on hitting at least eight hours of what I call sleep opportunity.
Dustin
What’s sleep opportunity?
Jaime
You know that thing where you've laid down too late and you're looking at the clock, “If I fall asleep now, I’ll get five hours of sleep. If I fall asleep now, I’ll get three hours of sleep.”Eight hours of sleep opportunity doesn't mean you're in bed on your phone or watching Netflix or eating Cheetos. It means that you are in a cool, dark, quiet environment without electronics and that you don't have to leave that environment and be woken up to move to the next day for eight hours. Some of us have trouble falling asleep and I have some techniques for that in the book too. I am a fast-paced ER doc. I come home from a shift. You can't just flip a switch. I can't go from 60 miles an hour to zero miles an hour in three seconds. Making sure you give yourself that sleep opportunity with that correct environment and then within that, then we work on the habits that help you fall asleep easy and stay asleep.
Dustin
You speak on resilience. Being an entrepreneur or being an investor, you've got to be resilient. You’ve got to manage your stress and you've got to get up from the falls and all sorts of things. What are your keys? What do you share with folks to help them become more resilient?
Jaime
I have my resilient Rx strategy. I’ll share a few of those with you. One of them I term it self-care isn't selfish. You can't fix the world with broken hands. You can't be running at a high level that you're expecting yourself if you're not taking care of yourself. You are a fine automobile. You need to get a tune-up. You need to get an oil and don't overheat. Really teach that self-care isn't selfish and make sure people are getting all four of the pillars. One of the other things that I found particularly with entrepreneurs that resonated was I tell people, “You are not alone. You are not the only one who has felt like they don't know what they're doing. You're not the only one who has entered into a business deal and got screwed or lied to. You're not the only one that's poured your heart and soul into a launch, a product, a book or something and saw it flop. You're not the only one who has been told that they're crazy, “Why don't you get a real job with a steady paycheck?”You’re not the only one who hasn't been told, “You can't do this or why are you doing this?” Even backing up to the entrepreneur as a human being and not as an entrepreneur,you're not the only one who has been bullied or mistreated at some point in your life. You're not the only one who has struggled to some trauma, illness, fear, sickness in the family and death of a loved one. You're not the only one.”
When we isolate ourselves and don't talk about it, we are too embarrassed to talk about failure, a mistake or anything like that. We sit there alone in that thing and we get more and more disconnected. That's how there is burnout, there's an addiction, there's alcoholism, there is stress and all those things. One of the best things I can advise anyone to do is connect. The entrepreneurial journey can be a little bit lonely versus some other jobs. Find your people. Find your tribe. I want people to identify five groups of people in their life and this is important. Number one would be the people that you're inspired by. The people you learn from and listen to. You listen to them on podcasts. You read their books. You learn from them. The second one would be what I call a fail friend. I learned that term from one of my co-workers. Somebody that you can talk to when things get crazy or when you screwed something up or when you're embarrassed or frustrated. You don't necessarily have to tell the whole world but you need someone you can talk to.
Number three is identifying people in your life that would die for you. Not people you would die for, but people that would die for you. That's a barometer for, are you showing up in the relationships in your life? Are you there for those people on a meaningful level? It's a good way to help check yourself. Number four is finding your tribe. I have my tribe of entrepreneurs, authors, and speakers. I have my tribe of doctors. I have my family. I have my kids, dogs, and husband. All the different tribes of people you connect with. Lastly, number five is the group that you're bringing up behind you. These are the people that look up to you that think you’re amazing and are inspired by you. By connecting with them, it helps you stay connected to what you're doing on a meaningful level. To drive home, you are not alone and it makes this journey so much easier.
Dustin
I know you're an avid reader. What's impacted you as of late?
Jaime
Two books I’ve read. The first one is called Wealth Can't Waitby David Osborn. He's a real estate mogul. He's done a lot of things. He runs the GoBundance Tribe. He talks about this healthy mindset about wealth in a lot of ways that I talk about health. He teaches about how to do wealth and clearing out the junk in your mindset. I realized I’d already done a mental enema about my health but still had some issues and weirdness around money. As much as we all like to think that we're self-aware creatures, it took reading a book about that to make a huge difference. The other one is Willpower Doesn't Work by Ben Hardy. He's a Ph.D. candidate student and his book just came out. He, in the same way, I do, has a good understanding of human nature, human habits and stuff like that. He suggests some specifics for trying to get out of relying on the fickle tides of motivation to do anything and setting up the environment and the mechanism to accomplish that. He was focusing on finances and entrepreneurship and personal goals in addition to health. I love the way that both of these books help incorporate human nature and gave an even bigger, broader perspective than what I had.
Dustin
I want to move us into WealthFit round, essentially rapid-fire questions. I am going to flip the script a little bit on these questions. What is your least favorite piece of advice out there on health? What is the myth that irks you that people blindly follow or they don't know any better?
Jaime
If I could delete the whole fat will make you fat myth, that would make my life much better. Eating fatty foods is not what makes you fat. We became in the ‘80s and ‘90s as a fat-phobic society. Everything such as low-fat yogurt, no fat yogurt, all of these different things, we removed fat but what we added in were chemicals and sugar and the obesity epidemic spiked. Additionally, if you don't have adequate fat in your diet it decreases your brain function and your hormonal level. For your male audience, that's going to decrease your testosterone level. For women, it's going to decrease your sex hormones. Eating things that have healthy fats in them is not bad for you.
Dustin
Would you say reduced sugar would be a good thing?
Jaime
Yes, reduce simple sugar. By all means, eat nuts, eat avocados, eat olive oil. I’m not advocating for a zero-carb diet. I don't believe in any extremes. Simple sugars are not the way to go. You definitely want to have healthy fats in your diet.
Dustin
Life is great. You're saving lives and money is flowing to you from speaking gigs and book sales, what is that guilty splurge that you like to treat yourself to?
Jaime
For me, my kryptonite is brownies. Nice, warm, right out of the oven brownies. I don't believe in guilt with food. That whole guilt and shame thing we've come up with like, “This food is good. This is bad. You should feel terrible.” I hate all of that. I enjoy a brownie. I found a recipe I use, a Ghirardelli premade powder mix. Instead of oil, I use a can of black beans and you can't taste it in there. It makes them rich. Sometimes I like to kid myself. I realize it's still not a salad, it’s still a brownie. At least it helps the high sugar spikes but I love that. I oftentimes will bring one to work. Near the end of my shift, I’ll go put it in the microwave for 35 seconds, so it tastes like it's right out of the oven. I call it my victory brownie because I did well on my shift and I feel zero guilt about it.
Dustin
What belief or new behavior that you've adopted within the last couple of years has made the biggest impact in your life? What's something new that you've brought into your world that's made a profound impact?
Jaime
I learned the power of mantra and drove home your brain is your B word, but how much control we have over our brain. If you tell your body, “The sky is falling. I’m freaking out. I’m stressed.” Your body will respond. If you tell your body, “I got this,” it will help use that energy more for performance enhancement than that detraction. I became very conscious about what my internal monologue is saying to me and taking control of that. I have mantras with my kids. I have mantras at work. I have some on the way that I’m driving into work, what I’m using at work. What I’m doing home and taking absolute control of that inner monologue and that's made all the difference in my life.
Dustin
You have this amazing personality. It could be seen as like, “You're yes. You're creative. You're into experiences and sharing with others.” Yet, there's only so much time in the world. It's finite. Let's say there is a power in the ability to say no so that you can create what you want to create and have the life that you want to create. What have you become better at saying no to?
Jaime
I had to do that. I assume if somebody is asking me to do something, whether it's speaking or being on a committee at work or doing something, “It's an honor. They must need my help whenever.”Every time I’m saying yes to something, I’m saying no to something else. Whether that’s my time to go to the gym that day or my time with the kids or time to prepare something that I need. It took me years. That's probably the mistake that I’ve repeated the most in my career. Sometimes you need to make a mistake more than once to drive the point home. I did have to learn to say no. I was asked to be on another committee at work and it's all unpaid. I love the world and I would give away all my time if I could, except for it does not keep the electricity on in my house. I have to have some boundaries for what I want to do. I look at, “Is this going to get me closer to my goals for wealth, for professional development, for community service or being with my family?” If the answer is yes to one of those, that’s great. If not, I don't necessarily have time to fit something like that on my schedule.
Dustin
I want folks to know how to contact you or get access to the book should they want to continue the conversation. Follow you and see what you're up to in the world. What's the best way for the WealthFit Nation to do that?
Jaime
The book is called Habit That!and they can look under Dr. Jaime Hope. It will be available on Amazon soon. My website is DrHopeHealth.com. There's a contact form there whether somebody wants coaching, they want me to come to speak at an organization. I do some productivity training because not every company wants to have someone come in and talk just about habits. If your employees have better habits, it will increase productivity and all of a sudden the ears perk up, “I see the value in that.”That's the best way to contact me. If there's anybody who is struggling with habits or wants to get more involved with the community, I have a private Facebook group called The Habit That Tribe. They're welcome to join. It's a safe, supportive community where somebody will say, “I’m struggling with eating healthy during the holidays or I cannot seem to get my fitness in this week.”People will share ideas and best strategies. It's not about me being a guru. It's about everybody sharing with each other.
Dustin
Thank you so much for being on the show. I love your energy. I love what you're up to in the world. I had a lot of fun on the show. I hope you had as much fun as we all did here. I appreciate your time, Dr. Jaime.
Jaime
I did. Dustin, thank you so much for having me. I love your mission. I love that in addition to helping support entrepreneurs grow their wealth and the business that you care about the entrepreneur themselves and how important that is. To see somebody, a role model like you, bringing that message forth makes me so happy. Thank you for allowing me to be here.

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