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How to Guarantee Success with Cam F. Awesome

March 6, 2023
The Recognized Authority Podcast Cover

The podcast that helps experts & consultants on the journey to becoming a recognized authority in your field, so you can increase your impact, command premium fees, work less hours, and never have to suffer a bad-fit client again!.

In this episode of The Recognized Authority, Alastair speaks with Cam F. Awesome, a professional speaker and one of the most successful boxers in US boxing history. They discuss how Cam’s background in boxing has helped him develop a unique perspective on overcoming adversity, using humour to engage audiences, and the overlap between performing in the ring and at the speaking podium.

Cam’s story highlights the power of a winning mindset, the importance of mental toughness, and the value of embracing failure as part of the journey to success.

Cam’s philosophy is based on a simple equation: 1+2=3. He shares how this equation helped him become a National Champion in boxing within two years of taking it up. Cam believes any anyone can use it to achieve their goals. 

The key is believing in yourself (1), setting a clear goal (3), and doing the hard work (2) required to achieve it.

During the conversation, Cam shares his experiences with failure and how he used it to succeed in his boxing career. He talks about the importance of mental toughness, gratitude, and developing a winning mindset. He also discusses how he didn’t make it to the Olympics despite qualifying three times, but he used the experience to become a better boxer and to keep pushing himself to succeed.

This was a fascinating conversation that reminds us that with hard work, a winning mindset, and the courage to embrace failure, we can achieve incredible results.

Show Notes

Learn more about Cam here:

Books mentioned:

0:00 Intro
4:41 Why you should always be your Number One
8:08 Cam’s goals and boxing concept
12:49 Cam talks about his boxing career
17:35 Cam talks about building his authority
22:41 Cam and his career as a stand-up comedian
28:32 The Importance of setting big goals
32:49 Cam talks about being gratitude
37:02 Book discussion
41:54 Number one tip to build authority
47:13 Success and business failures
52:18 The rich and the poor people
56:35 Cam talks about education
1:01:54 Close


Guest Bio

Cam F. Awesome is a heavyweight boxer and known as the winningest boxer in USA boxing history. He holds four Golden Glove Championships, six U.S. Championships, three PAL National Championships, six Ringside Championships, and three Olympic trials. His story was featured in the Netflix Original documentary Counterpunch.

He’s no longer active in sports. At present, he travels the country to share what boxing taught him: mental toughness, gratitude, cultural awareness, and how to develop a championship mindset.


boxing, people, boxer, book, money, realized, business, win, speaking, olympics, schools, country, fail, cam, goal, lose, rich, world, olympic trials, authority

Alastair McDermott, Voiceover, Cam F. Awesome


Voiceover  00:00

Welcome to The Recognized Authority, a podcast that helps specialized consultants and domain experts on your journey to become known as an authority in your field. Here’s your host, Alastair McDermott.


Alastair McDermott  00:10

So today my guest is somebody a bit different from the regular guests that I have on here. And he’s a super interesting guy. Cam F. Awesome – and what an awesome name! Yeah, so Cam, I found, Cam through a new sport that I’ve just started getting into, which is boxing. And Cam is one of the most successful because I just can’t bring myself to say the word winningest, one of the most successful boxers in US boxing history, I guess. Cam, can you can you just give a quick overview of your boxing background before we start talking about your speaking career and things like that.


Cam F. Awesome  00:53

Ah, so I started boxing in high school. I, I started boxing in high school to lose weight, deal with bullying, hopefully get a date to prom. And I realized that I figured out how to win. I figure out how to win immediately in boxing. I don’t I wouldn’t say I’m a good fighter. I would just say I know how to win. And I won my first National Championship within two years of the sport. And I figured if I did this once, I can replicate this nonstop. And I never got to be on a plane. So I basically I racked up National Championship after National Championship. I’ve won, I’ve won 6 USA National Championships, 4 Golden Glove National Championships, 3 PAL National Championships, 6 important- 6 Ringside Worlds, and three Olympic Trials championships.


Alastair McDermott  01:53

I mean, so people listening to this are wondering “Okay, why has Alastair got a guy who’s a boxer – a really successful boxer – but why has he got him on this?”  I saw you on a Netflix documentary, and I realized when I looked into a bit more that you were a speaker, and that that’s your main career is is as as a professional speaker. And you’ve done something which I am seeing as a pattern. It’s something I’m interested in myself, which is I see people who are into marketing or speaking, are really interested in comedy and stand up comedy in particular, because it tends to be really useful skill to have at least some knowledge of how to deliver a line. Because part of what we do in marketing ourselves and speaking is we’re entertaining. And you’re like you’re about entertainment, right?


Cam F. Awesome  02:45

Yeah, I’m all about entertainment.


Alastair McDermott  02:49

So okay, so let’s, let’s kind of dive into this a little bit. So what you speak about now you speak about gratitude, you speak. You talk about transformational mindset, how to develop a winning mindset. You talk about mental toughness. And one thing that that is really clear from everything that I’ve looked at, from you and speaking to you, is that you’re really not afraid to fail. That that’s something that you kind of embrace, right?


Cam F. Awesome  03:20

Oh, yeah, yeah, you’re gonna fail anyway. So why pretend? You’re not going to? And then you get super surprised when it happens.


Alastair McDermott  03:30

Can you like can you talk a little bit more about your view on failure and dig into that? Because I think it’s really fascinating because like, you don’t just try not to fail, like you’re absolutely embracing the idea and kind of going all in on us.


Cam F. Awesome  03:44

Yeah. So. So I’ll take this back to so I was super insecure about my weight growing up and, and, you know, going through puberty and all that was really weird to me, and I wanted to lose weight. And I was like, 13 or 14 years old, and I tried out for every team. But I’m unathletic. And I’m clumsy, so I couldn’t make a team. And that was the only way I knew how to lose weight, as like you do it through sports. That’s the only way I’ve ever heard of. And then I was in a science class. And the teacher explained calories, and how calories work. And they’re like, average human, let’s call it 2000 calories a day, you burn like virtually 1000 calories a day. So if you consume 2000 calories a day you’ll break even. And what I got from this is if you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight.  Marketing. Marketing is everything else when it comes to weight loss. But if you strip everything down in life of its bullshit, you get the equation one plus two equals three. In this equation, you are one. Why? Because you should always be your number one. No one’s gonna believe in you until you believe in yourself. That’s why I call myself Mr. Awesome, I believe in myself wholeheartedly. Now, one plus two equals three, three is the goal. So I’m one three is the goal. So for me, let’s say boxing. I’m one the goal in boxing is to win. One plus two equals three, what is two in this equation? Two is what I have to do to win. So one plus two equals three. What is two, too is not getting hit. Very simple, right? Me not getting hit equals winning one plus two equals three. The reason why I call two number two is because it is the way it sounds is the actual shitty part of the job. It’s the actual hard work well, how do I not get hit? Well, I have to be in better shape than all of my opponents. What does that take? That takes a lot of sacrifice. I don’t go home on vacations. I don’t celebrate birthdays. I don’t miss workouts. Why? Because I’m that dedicated. No one wants to sacrifice that two part.  So one plus two equals three. I figured this out with weight loss when I was 14 years old. And I figured before I went to the boxing gym, if I burn more calories and I consume I lose weight, well, I’m not going to consume less calories, so I’ll burn more calories. So I started rollerblading every morning for about an hour before I went to school. And I’ll tell you I did it morning after morning after morning after morning after morning after morning. I did six mornings. And not one person approached me on the street and said, Cam I can tell that you’ve been working out. After after the first week, I was like no one like I don’t see a difference. Is it working? am I wasting my time and I was 14 or 15 year olds thinking this? And I went back to the equation. If the teacher said what if the teacher said what was correct? If I burn more calories than I consume, and I’m burning more calories right now, if I wait long enough, and I didn’t understand what delayed gratification was, but I realized if I wait long enough, I will I will start to see progress. Once that happened in my life at the age of 14, I realized that I, like everyone else is capable of anything.  So I’ll take this even further back, there was a show called “All That” it was on Nickelodeon. And when I was a kid, I used to watch it. And then there was a spin off Kenan and Kel. And I want it to be on TV. Because everyone I wanted to be rich, because I was poor. And everyone I knew with money. Everyone who I knew had a job was also poor. So if you’re telling me to get a job, why would I ever get a job, the only person who’s more poor than a person with a job is similar with two jobs. As as a seven or eight year old kid, I put this together, I was very money driven. And I figured I wanted to be on TV. If I have my own TV show, I’ll be rich and I don’t have to work. So my goal was to always be on TV. Fast forward, I get into the boxing gym to lose weight. Because I do the rollerblading thing. And I realize, Oh, if I started boxing, I can lose weight even faster. And I figured out the equation for boxing. If I don’t get hit I win. Crazy concept, right? So…


Alastair McDermott  08:37

It’s not the first thing that people think of when they think of boxing, you’ve got to be able to take a punch, not avoid them, right?


Cam F. Awesome  08:45

My thought process is if I just don’t get hit, I can’t win. So the scoring system was if I hit you, I get a point. If you get hit me, you get a point. So my thought process was, I will hit you once and then I will run from you until the time is over.


Alastair McDermott  09:02

That’s genius.


Cam F. Awesome  09:03

They say we have three minutes, they never said we have to fight for the whole three minutes.


Alastair McDermott  09:08

I just want to remind the listener that you know, this guy is the most successful boxer in the USA boxing history. So that’s, that’s incredible.


Cam F. Awesome  09:18

So, so I took that thought process and I realized one plus two equals three. If I don’t get hit, I’ll win if I’m in better shape than my opponents. I’m going to win. Right? And I realized if I milk and I don’t even like boxing, by the way, I don’t watch it like if my friends fighting I’ll watch it but I don’t really care for the sport. But I found something I was good at. And I thought if I could just if I won, I won nationals within two years of trying to lose weight. And I was like, Oh, if I can do this once I can do this as many times as I feel like and I can travel around and if I go to the Olympics, whether I get a medal or not. I will be an Olympian and When I’m in the Olympics, I’m going to do a funny interview or something. And an agent is going to see me and say that kid’s got talent. And then I would be on Kenan and Kel. Of course, that’s not gonna be the name of the show, because this was a goal, as I wanted to be Kenan, Kenan and Kel. That’s what I like pictured. And I figured if I got on TV enough, I would get my own TV show. All I have to do is win at boxing.


Alastair McDermott  10:28

Right. So, um, it’s really interesting. You actually qualified for the Olympics, if I have this right three times, and didn’t go three times. That’s, that’s really unfortunate.


Cam F. Awesome  10:40

Yeah, I would go almost four. So in 2008, I qualify, I was only boxing for a year, I qualified for the 2008 Olympic trials, and I lost. But I realized something. Like, if you didn’t go to the Olympics, most boxers either quit or turn pro. You would have to be crazy to stick around. So I stuck around. I’m the only one left. Of course, I’m automatically number one. So everyone quit or turned pro. And I just stayed and whoever has the most experience wins, right? Like so if I have 10 fights, and you have 100 fights and we fight Who do you think is going to win?


Alastair McDermott  11:26

Well, I guess it’s gonna go to experience. But there’s got to be some element of youth and speed and things like that as well, right.


Cam F. Awesome  11:31

For the most part of court, but on the overarching scale. So statistic wise, I figured if I have more fights, and all other boxers, I’m going to win the fights. So most boxers were concerned about their records. I said screw record, your record doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a pride issue. So I would go and I would fight the number one boxers in their own hometowns, I would just show up in my Prius by myself. And I would find anyone out right, my own hands that warm myself up, and I would fight everyone, I don’t care if I win or lose, I won most of them. But because I was just gaining experience, and I thought if I have more experience than everyone, and I’m so comfortable in the ring, I’m just gonna win all the time. And the more I win, the more it would lead to me winning.


Alastair McDermott  12:19

It’s, I mean, I can see clearly that that your way of thinking is, is radically different, I think to how a lot of people would approach these kind of scenarios. And it’s very, very interesting. So when we spoke yesterday, in a kind of pre chat, you told me that a lot of what you were doing was pre planned, can you dive into that a little bit more and just kind of take me back through the through the logic that that you went through?


Cam F. Awesome  12:49

Okay, so I shared that my goal was to get my own TV show. So in 2008, when I when I made it to the finals of the national championships, and this is like a big time, so like they give you you’re supposed to put like your they give you a form to fill your height, your weight, your hometown, your stance left Southpaw, whatever bunch of questions. The final question is, what do you want out of boxing? And most people answer Heavyweight Championship belt or Olympic gold medal or millions of dollars. I put, I want to be a good role model and have my own TV show. Now, this was in 2008.  Now if you could think about this, what is a social media influencer? A role model. And basically, and I have a Netflix show. So my goal was to go to the Olympics in 2012. Whether I get a medal or not use that to build a career for myself. What happened was, I left the country didn’t tell the drug testing agency in 2012. After winning the Olympic trials and getting ready to represent USA, I went to left the country and forgot to tell the drug testing agency, they showed up to give me a drug test. And the Miss drug test is a positive drug test that happened three times in 18 months because I changed my address and never told them.


Alastair McDermott  14:22



Cam F. Awesome  14:23

So I left the country thought they should have drug test me I might do the answer my phone. Then I continued I came back to the US I continued winning tournaments, not knowing I was suspended. And then right before the Olympics happened, I was told I couldn’t go and everything I worked for since this last six years building up to get my own TV show in my own head by the way. I lost everything and immediately you know, everyone’s like turn pro because I wouldn’t nationals all the top guys in the in the country in the pros. I already beat them in the amateur There’s so everyone’s like, well turn pro make millions of dollars. And I could have done that. But that wasn’t my plan. I don’t want millions of dollars, I want to be a good role model. And I want my own TV show. So I dealt with my year suspension. And instead of turning pro, like most people would do, I stuck around. But when I returned, after my suspension, I realized that I gave everything to boxing, but I got nothing in return. But this time when I returned to boxing, I’m going to do with a different mind state. I don’t care about just winning tournaments, I can do that easily. I want to make a mark and I want to build a brand for myself. Because athletes don’t realize and I didn’t realize at the time because athletes were privileged there are I get I get things for free. I get invited to parties I shouldn’t go to I get to hang out people a lot smarter than me. Why? Because I could punch people really well.  Now, I do understand that as an athlete, you have doors open up to you. So we think after retirement, I’m going to have all these opportunities. But we don’t realize that our relevance as an athlete dissipates the moment our sweat dries after our last practice. No one cares that I used to be number one in the country. So I had to go back to boxing become number one again in the country. We came up with claim my spot as Captain, the USA national boxing team. And I was going to continue to win nationals until I got to 2016. But what I was going to do is brand myself in every way possible. The first thing I did was I changed my last name.


Alastair McDermott  16:39

That’s that’s a pretty drastic step. Right?


Cam F. Awesome  16:42

Yeah, but if you’re gonna go, go hard.


Alastair McDermott  16:46

Right. I love it. I love it. So So you change your name to awesome, which is in itself. Awesome. That’s just incredible.


Cam F. Awesome  16:57

It could have come off in a different way. Because it could come off pretty douchey.


Alastair McDermott  17:03

I mean, I’m sure there’s somebody listening to this. Who thinks that it is but I mean, who cares? Yeah. I mean, you don’t care what they think, right?


Cam F. Awesome  17:10

No, no, actually, I do care enough. What would they think to change my last name. So I had the foresight to know I’ve always wanted to be a role model. I’ve always wanted to I want to be the person that I wanted when I was growing up. That was very important to me. So that’s why when I became good at boxing I want if you look through all of my pictures and everything, I wear a pink skirt, when I fight I thumbs up big goofy smile and all of my pictures. This is strategic. Why? Because the there’s this image of boxers that we have in our head. And I don’t even like the movie movie rocky because of this, because rocky perpetuates every negative stereotype of a boxer can think of to be a boxer, you have to be a criminal, you have to be stupid, you have to be angry, you have to be poor. And I’m like you can be articulate and happy and be a successful boxer. And I purposely did the thumbs up goofy smile, to show to show kids out there. You don’t have to be tough to be a winner. Because I’m not very tough. I’m not very intimidating. I’m not. I’m not. I wasn’t knocking anyone out. But I knew how to win if you know how to win, you don’t have to be tough.


Alastair McDermott  18:24

Yeah, and so this is really interesting. So for me, I came to boxing at the age of 44. I didn’t even sign myself. My partner Emery signed both of us up. Because because we both put on too much weight during COVID. So I was like, Okay, we need to need to do some do something here. But it turns out, I actually really like it as a sport, I have zero background in it. None of my family were ever into it. I would never have watched it before. And I just got into it just because again, because that weight loss I’m trying to find something and and it turns out I have some natural kind of leanings towards liking to hit hit things. Which, which helps. But, ya know, I really really enjoy it, which is how I found your Netflix show. So that that leads me into that like, I guess somebody’s making a documentary about boxing. And they see you as as this person who just keeps winning stuff like so how did you get on that show? Like do they just approach you because you were just winning everything.


Cam F. Awesome  19:33

They approached me because when I returned because after my year suspension in the boxing world was a big deal because I was supposed to do something in 2012 and I was a disappointment. So that was that was kind of echoing in the boxing world. So when I returned I changed my name. I got a lot of attention because of it. And I was when I came back to boxing I won pretty much every tournament for about two years. And it was building up to the whole 2016 Olympics. So Netflix reached out to me. And the reason why I said yes. First of all, I’ll take it back to my name. The reason why I chose km F awesome is because I knew I was going to be a role model. And changing my last name to Fossum would be inappropriate. But if I just changed my middle name to the letter F, then I could be cam awesome at schools and Cam F awesome, or where else. So when I returned to boxing, I decided like I was on the vegan circuit, I was because I became vegan during my suspension. And I credit that for change the way I look at life and even saving my life. And I started doing all these vegan vegan festivals on the weekends and emceeing them, doing speaking engagements, doing stand up comedy, as well, and doing anything to market myself as something bigger than a boxer. Because I’m going to use boxing too, because boxing took everything for me for six years. So when I returned back, I figured I’m going to milk everything I can out of boxing, I’ll continue to win, but I want to build businesses and I want to build a brand for myself. While that’s happening.


Alastair McDermott  21:11

Yeah, and I think it I mean, the fact that you’re on podcasts like this one, and and that you’re you’ve got a successful and very, very full speaking calendar, because I looked at your calendar for January. And you’re you’re talking a lot in a lot of different places. So let me let me get more into the speaking part. What, what was it that that made speaking the thing that you wanted to do? Because I’m not really seeing the connection between that and having your TV show? Is it? Is there a connection there?


Cam F. Awesome  21:48

Yes. So I’ll tell you the connection. So I one of the TV show I wanted to perform, I want to be a performer. So I started doing comp stand up when I was suspended. So in 2012, when I couldn’t box, I started doing stand up because the goal was for me to perform. That’s why I started boxing in the first place. So I was like, well, let’s just get to performing. So I started doing stand up. And I quickly realized after I was doing it for about two years, I performed at the Laugh Factory, funny bone, hyenas all these different clubs. I didn’t get to headline but that’s a feature. And the most I’ve ever made was $40 in a bar tab. And I was like, Yeah, I was a broke boxer. My whole career. I can’t be a broke comic.  So my boxing coach, funny story, I was living in Florida when I won my first national championship. My boxing coach, he owned this guy named John Brown, he owned ringside, the boxing equipment company. And he says, hey, I want to coach you, I’ll move you to Kansas City, I’ll let you live in my house for a year for free so you can save some money, and I’ll buy you a car. And then to coach you. And in exchange, he wanted me to go off to all the high schools and middle schools around Kansas City, talk about boxing, and take over the gym class for an entire day, talk about boxing and get more kids involved into the nonprofit boxing gym. So he said he would cover all my training expenses if I did that. So the reason why I’m the most accurate boxer in worlds because I could afford to go to the fights. He asked me what do you need to win, I was like, just pay for me to get there and I win. And that’s why I would drive myself places and just win. But I was able to take over the gym classes. But when I would take the gym classes, or I would have to show up at 7am and do the same talk seven times. So I’m doing this while I’m doing stand up comedy.  Now to do stand up comedy, you have to do open mics. Now to do an open mic. It’s nine o’clock at night, I go to bed early, you have to pay $5 sometimes and no one’s listening to you perform for three minutes. That’s how you practice. So I figured I’m going to do these at schools. And I’m going to practice my open mic jokes. I just have to do the clean ones at schools. And they started to be so entertaining, the gym classes started to be so entertaining that kids didn’t want to leave gym class, they would try to stick around for the next period. So I started doing full school assemblies. And now basically what I do is in our stand up comedy specials at schools, and the comedy specialist like storytelling jokes, and all the jokes have morals and messages attached to it. So I was able to be the role model I’ve always wanted to be, I get to perform because I’m doing stand up comedy. You don’t think it’s it’s clean jokes, and it’s a sober audience. But no one’s is crazier than middle school students. So and…


Alastair McDermott  24:47

That’s a tough gig.


Cam F. Awesome  24:49

So the roles I got to perform, I get to be a role model and I make a great career speaking and I would say I’m probably in the 1% income earners of Stand up comics. Now I say that because most standard comics don’t make money. So 95% of us don’t make money. But I would say the fact that I make money, I’m in the 1%.


Alastair McDermott  25:14

So let me let me shift because one thing that you’re talking to these kids about is about mindset. I want to get into that a little bit. What do you talk to them about mindset? Like what do you say?


Cam F. Awesome  25:28

So my, one of the the overall themes, so I don’t speak any differently to adults than I do to students. Like some of the jokes and the references. I’ll make a MySpace, Myspace joke for adults that I wouldn’t make for students because they wouldn’t get the reference. But it’s pretty much the same message that everyone needs to hear, but adults don’t hear it enough because no one tells us but I also share these the same message of resilience with students.  The overarching theme of my speech is if you can fail without being discouraged, success becomes inevitable. If you can fail without being discouraged, success becomes inevitable.  So success for me when I first started boxing, I never made a team, right. I did it long enough to become good at it. 2008 I qualified for the Olympic trials. Lost the first day, most people quit I stuck around if you could fail without being discouraged. Success becomes inevitable. Won nationals in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012. One qualify for the Olympic trials. You missed a small detail lost everything. Continued boxing, if you can fail without being discouraged. 2012 was my suspension return when nationals 2013 2014 2015 Then 2016 I won the United States Olympic trials to represent the US in the Rio Olympics. But then they changed the rules and I lost an international competition in the finals on a split decision. Heartbreaking.  What I did is that night in Argentina, I use their Wi Fi and I made a tweet, I lost my Olympic runners over I’m going to reinvent myself reread reinvent myself. It may not be boxing. That’s what I said. And I knew exactly what to do. A year later I started awesome talks LLC, my, my my business my speaking business. But I realized if I had a speaking business, the best promotion is being the best boxer in the country. So I continue boxing, if you can filled up being discard success becomes inevitable. I bought a van was living in a van as I built my speaking company because if I lived in a van, I wouldn’t have to pay for hotels, flights or rental cars. So I was traveling around the country, speaking at schools, emceeing festivals on the weekends doing stand up comedy, and also training for the Olympics. And I won nationals every year no to 16-17. I didn’t want to do that as an 18 or 19, because I was in the van. But then in 2020, I, the Olympic Committee for us when let me have my speaking business and be Iraqi, they wouldn’t let me be The Recognized Authority. While I was on the Olympic team, so I went to my dad’s home country, Trinidad and Tobago, if you can fail without being discouraged, success becomes inevitable, got dual citizenship, fought, won their Olympic trials by knockout came back to the US was living in a van speaking at schools doing stand up comedy, emceeing Veg Fest, while training for the Olympics. And then the pandemic happens.


Alastair McDermott  28:36

That’s, that’s a real kick in the teeth after qualifying, qualifying for two different countries was really, really impressive as well. But yeah,


Cam F. Awesome  28:46

I did 16 years I’ve been going after the same goal. Now, if you were to ask someone. So if I were to ask you, do you think I’m a failure? Would you think I’m a failure?


Alastair McDermott  28:55

No, no, I don’t think that anybody could could really say that.


Cam F. Awesome  28:58

But my goal was to go to the Olympics, and I didn’t go Do you think I’m a loser?


Alastair McDermott  29:03

Personally, no. But I’m, I’m somebody with a podcast with over 100 episodes. And you, you have to, you have to accept in the same way as you do with with with with boxing, you have to accept that you’re, you’re in it for the long haul. And you’re not gonna see success quickly in in the world of podcasting as well. I think it’s it, there’s a little bit of crossover there. So yeah, I I know that some people might say that. But on the other hand, you know, your record is incredible. So


Cam F. Awesome  29:35

but so what So the point I’m getting to here is my goal was the Olympics. I set literally because when I went to the gym, I said, What’s the biggest goal and they said the Olympics is that cool? That’s what I’m going to do. I had never made a team before. Like, never played an organized sport. But the whole idea is like, if I were to set my goal for let’s say state championships, and I would have barely missed because you know, we like to set small goals the cuz we think, Oh, if I get this, I’ll build momentum, I’ll get this small goal and then that small goal. But what happens if I miss state championship gold? Barely. And I missed it, what would I have?


Alastair McDermott  30:11



Cam F. Awesome  30:11

So when it comes to championships, I don’t even talk about state championships, I never took the count time to count them. I don’t even know how many I have. Because to me, it’s all about setting big goals because I failed at my goal. And I still became more successful than most people who ever tried. It’s not about the actual goal. I think goals are a light, a lighthouse, from a distance, you can see the direction of where the goal is. But as you get close to the lighthouse, you’re gonna see it looks a lot different than you thought it would. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go towards the lighthouse.


Alastair McDermott  30:44

Yeah, and so this kind of stretch, go, even if you fall just short, you’ve still achieved an incredible amount. So let me ask you about gratitude, because that’s something else you talked about. Why is gratitude so important?


Cam F. Awesome  31:04

Oh, because all the all the failing that I was talking about earlier. I’m still a human, like, the eyeball motions it gets to you. Like, the reason why I’m able to be resilient is through things like gratitude. So I read, “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. Right? The first time I read them, so I read it multiple times. And it worked. Do you hear me it worked? I don’t know why it worked. Because so before I read the book I met with, I met this guy for coffee, I mean, everyone for coffee. And he said that one thing that he learned in life was he said that someone, someone would be willing to respect a person’s opinion enough to go out, purchase money, spend money to purchase their book, read their entire book, but skip over every action piece in that book. Then you think about how many times have you read the book and said, Okay, do this action, like, oh, okay, I’ll just, I want to read the next chapter. I’ll do that later. How many times we go back and do it? So how many books? Are you actually reading any books because you’re not actually doing the actual work part of the books. So I said, The next book I read, I’m going to do everything in this book. And I opened up thinking grow rich, and I was like, is a bunch of woowoo stuff in this book. But you know what? I’m going to commit to it all. I got my journal, I did everything like the book said, and I kid you not, I started to see money for the first time in my life. And I said, Well, if this because all you’re doing is actually focusing your mind on money, and then money comes. So could I do this with happiness?  That was my COVID experiment. Because a lot of people were dealing with depression COVID. So what I did was every morning when I wake up, so our phones are a lot of us our phone is our alarm clock, correct. Like, and when you’re so busy in the morning, the alarm clock goes off. First thing you do, you hit snooze, you do math and nine minute increments, and then you eventually turn it off. So you can look at your notifications. If you know anything about the news, if it bleeds, it leads, social media is even more direct, because the worst gets shown first.


Alastair McDermott  33:25



Cam F. Awesome  33:25

So we wake up, we stretch, we yawn, and then we start to download negative information. So what I decided to do is before I look at my phone in the morning, I grabbed my notebook with my little pen on it, and I write a list of 10 things I’m grateful for. Some, I’m grateful for my house, I’m grateful for my car, I’m grateful for my washer, I’m grateful for my dryer, those are two different things, you can be grateful for everything. Because I don’t repeat anything on this list.


Alastair McDermott  33:56



Cam F. Awesome  33:56

So it gets progressively harder to come up with 10 new things every morning. So the goal I do this challenge for students at school and I think adults should do this challenge every morning you wake up before you look at your phone and write 10 things you’re grateful for. I call this challenge 300 reasons. The reason why is because when you do this 30 Day Challenge, you’ll have 300 reasons why you should wake up on day number 31. And if you’ve been through the pandemic, you understand some days you don’t feel like waking up, a lot of people are going through a lot of things. So I found this this exercise was real cool for me.  Now, here’s the cool thing that that I found out about this. It started after about three weeks it would take me 10-15-20 minutes to come up with 10 new things. And I really wanted to look at my phone. So what I started to do is I would look for things throughout my day to be grateful for stored in my memory, call it delayed gratification and write into my list the next morning so I can look at my phone faster. I was doing this for a while. And then I went down the Tiktok rabbit hole and I found out about your RAs, your reticular activating system. Have you ever heard of this?


Alastair McDermott  35:11

I have.


Cam F. Awesome  35:12

Okay, so for your listeners, like I’ll explain, or do you think there’ll be they understand it? I’ll explain.


Alastair McDermott  35:17

No, go for it, go for it,


Cam F. Awesome  35:19

Your brain takes in 40 billion bits of information every moment, not every second every moment, moment, moment, moment by moment. It’s a lot of moments, a lot of information, things you see in your peripheral, your brain sees it, your unconscious mind sees it, but your it doesn’t pass it information to your conscious mind. Because it’s on the peripheral, it’s not relevant to you, it’s not in your narrow vision. So because your brain takes in that much information, your RAS acts as a filter to let you see what you’re looking for in life. So perfect example is if you wanted to buy a yellow car. And then you start to see yellow cars everywhere. If something like that ever happened, it’s not magic. And no, someone didn’t just show up the morning before and paint off the cars yellow. What happened is your brain was realized, Oh, this is something relevant to us. Let’s look for it. And then you start seeing the yellow cars.  Now, when I started waking up looking for gratitude every morning, it hijacked my RAS. So I would start to find so many things in life to be grateful for that now my my list in the morning takes me less than two minutes. It just takes as long as it takes me to physically write it. Because there’s I can find so much to do right now. There’s not any more to be grateful for today than there was yesterday. It was I’m just able to be aware of it because I rewired my brain. Inversely think of the people who watch the news, who all they see is death, doom and destruction. When they go around life, what do you think they will see every day? Death, doom and destruction. So…


Alastair McDermott  37:00

Yeah, go ahead. Yeah, it’s really interesting. There’s there’s two, two books I want to mention. One is called story worthy by Matthew Dix. And so what he so Matthew Dex has won this storytelling competition. I think it’s called moth. I don’t know, I don’t know why. He doesn’t what it’s called. But he’s he’s won this over and over and over again. And so he’s he’s a fantastic storyteller. But he actually talks in the book about how so I, I read this book, because I wanted to get better at telling stories. But he talks in the book about making notes of notable things that you could turn into a story. And it just reminds me of exactly what you’re talking about there. It’s the same thing, you suddenly start to see options for stories in everything that you do. And it’s the same kind of concept.  The other thing that I just want to mention, the four hour workweek, Tim Ferriss, and just for anybody who who’s not aware of it, it’s he published about 10-15 years ago, probably 15 years ago. Tim Ferriss does not work a four hour workweek, he’s he’s a workaholic, but he wrote this book, The Four Hour Workweek, and had a lot of really interesting concepts in there. But one of those was this kind of low information diet or low news diet. And I really took that one to heart about 15 years ago. And so I cut way, way down on the volume of news that I that I kind of intake, I don’t want to know what’s going on in the world a lot of the time. So. But I have really noticed that when I cut down on that, that that impacted positively on my mental health, so So I don’t wake up in the morning and get all that bad news, because I just don’t consume it. And the same for social media, I’ve kind of put down that a lot too.


Cam F. Awesome  38:56

Oh, so that’s another thing that I speak about to adults as well as to students. I hear constantly that social media is negative, and I couldn’t disagree more. You’re negative. If you think social media is negative, because you control who’s on your timeline. Now think about it. Instagram, every fifth post is an ad. So Instagram makes money off 20% of your timeline. Timelines are valuable Instagrams making billions of dollars off your timeline. What are you making off of the other 80%? You control who you follow. I follow a bunch of dogs that were people close to you know what I see on my timeline, bro. It’s joy every time I look at my phone, but if you follow your sources and Oh, another thing, we we follow people and then there’s people in your family that you don’t really like that much what you love and you can unfollow them, mute them. Mute them, you don’t have to You’re in control of what’s on your timeline. Everything that you see is what your brain has done. I’m loading. And that’s what you your brain thinks is relevant. So you start to look forward in your life. There’s so many people I meet out there who tell me about their anxiety. And right after in the same breath telling me how they watch three hours of murder mystery before bed. It’s like, are we not being conscious of the things that we’re consuming?


Alastair McDermott  40:17

Yeah. Yeah. I think there there is. I mean, so the logic, by the way, in not consuming news for me is that the only time that I can generally impact the news is by voting. And so I will consume the news in and around general elections here. But apart from that, I can’t really influence the news all that much. So it’s the same, it’s the same thing of you know, if you can’t influence something, change something, then all you get by, by learning about it, is, well, I guess you can become more educated as to what’s going on, but you can’t really influence it. So what good is it going to do you? So that’s kind of the logic. Now, I do end up finding out what’s going on in the world through all of those other ways, you know, it’s hard to avoid it, you know, that we always do. But I don’t think that you really need to go and seek it out as actively as a lot of people do. And I think that, that it makes a positive difference in not doing so.


Cam F. Awesome  41:22

So my test for people is when I tell them news thing, and everyone defends on why they should watch the news, I don’t think you should watch zero, you should watch 0% of the news. And it if you’ve watched if you haven’t taken one single action in the last seven days, because of something you’ve seen directly on the news. This is not informative. This is Entertainment. If you’re going to entertain yourself with something, why make it’s realistic?


Alastair McDermott  41:54

Yeah, yeah. So this is really interesting, because it kind of ties back into what we were talking about about earlier, which was, you know, consuming books, and I talk about books a lot on this show, and business books and things like that. But it really drives me nuts when people read books, and then don’t take any action. And it’s the same thing, because it’s just entertainment at that point, you know, if you don’t act on this, like, I think the business books in particular, are probably some of the most condensed, super information for the cheapest price you can possibly get. Because you’re getting people who are very smart people and taking their lifetime’s worth of learning. They bind, they work to condense it and get higher editors to polish it up. And they condense it down into this, you know, 150 pages for $20. And it’s their best thinking, but who read that and don’t take action on it.


Cam F. Awesome  42:49

Two books right now from the library.


Alastair McDermott  42:52



Cam F. Awesome  42:53

Free. It is free.


Alastair McDermott  42:55



Cam F. Awesome  42:57

How crazy is that? It’s free. All the above the books.


Alastair McDermott  43:03

Yeah, no, I have to own the book. I have to say, I like to have it on a bookshelf, physically. Because I like to be able to go back and write notes and things like that. But yeah, you can even get them for free.


Cam F. Awesome  43:15

So any books that I read that I love, I ended up buying. So like I still


Alastair McDermott  43:23



Cam F. Awesome  43:23

I still purchase


Alastair McDermott  43:24

just for people listening on the audio. He’s got a big bookshelf and, and some color coordination on the on the covers as well. I like that. I’m a fan of that. So okay, Cam, I could talk to you all day, because we have a lot of crossover. But I do have to start to wrap this up. But I don’t keep here all evening. Can you tell me? What tips? What’s the number one tip that you’d give to somebody who wants to to build a profile builder authority?


Cam F. Awesome  43:52

Ah, so number one tip I can give to anyone is, first of all, don’t do it if you don’t believe in yourself. So after you believe in yourself, and if you do believe in yourself. Think about where you are and think about the normal path that’s an authority in your industry will take to get to the final destination. Once you have that final destination in place, how can I figure out how do you get to that same place with a different route. Because if you’re able to do that and show proof of concept, you are now a recognized authority in that field in that lane.  So what I did was I took my expertise and my experience from boxing and I share these stories as a youth speaker. But the reason why I’m an authority in my lane is because I have the boxing pedigree and the reason why I have the the the boxing credibility. And then I’m also recognized authority because I’m the only one who’s really bringing humor to it because I’m doing stand up. So I got to I get to the same destination that other speakers get to, like they get their message across. But I’ve out there and then a completely different way. I did it living in the van, I’ve lived it speaking at schools in gaining experience. So it’s not the conventional route. But I can never compete with the 99% of conventional people out there if I’m going to conventional way. So I decided to take a different path and be recognized authority in my field.


Alastair McDermott  45:27

Yeah, that’s, that’s really interesting. I like the idea of the alternative route, or route. Okay, what about mistakes? Can Can you tell me about a mistake or failure, particularly business one, if you have one that you’ve experienced and what you learned from it?


Cam F. Awesome  45:41

Oh, yes.  I would say before I give this advice. Before I give this advice, I only want you to take this advice if you do not have any dependents, if anyone’s looking at you to pay their bills or feed if you got kids a dog or what like husband, don’t take this advice coming up. But my, all of my mistakes are proud of because I believe you should go to fail swing for the fences, like do not settle for first do not settle for second do not settle for their bases swing for the fences for home run. And if you fail, you fail. In 2012, one of my biggest mistakes was, was the whole bot in the boxing world was not sending that email. In my in the speaking world. One of my biggest mistakes would probably be, and actually, I, since I promote mistakes so much, I can’t think of a mistake I didn’t learn from like, every time I come to some I think well, maybe the time I put I did a program with with a boxing organization and it didn’t work out. And my business almost tanked when like, but then it also did work out because…


Alastair McDermott  47:13

Yeah, there’s that that’s the thing everybody I talked to who is successful has a lot of failures. And those failures have always ultimately worked out in some way because, you know, like I had a business with with a guy and it was it was quite successful. It it became it was it was limping along for a while and then suddenly become became successful. And then it failed. Because the two of us didn’t get on. But we wouldn’t, we wouldn’t have realized that we that we didn’t get on the we’d very different views unless we got that success. So yeah, we would have kept. So it seemed like a failure in the end. But it was only because we got the success in the middle. And so anyway, that that ended up being a very expensive mistake for me, I call it when my MBA because the amount of time and money. But yeah, I that’s why I like to talk to people but failures, because because there’s always something there.  Okay, next because I’m just conscious of your time. Is there is there a business book or resource that’s been important for you? So you talked about the book “Think and Grow Rich”, earlier, you held up two books there, “The Millionaire Next Door”, and what was the other one?


Cam F. Awesome  48:29

The Oh, this is just actually the… So a key guy. It’s a four part, you guys, for parts. It’s a Japanese philosophy. And this is something that I was explaining to someone my philosophy in life. And I My thing is I don’t work because I worked for nine months at Waffle House, it was a restaurant here in the States. And once I quit there, I realized I realized what value was. And I realized how to create value and leverage value. And I realized, from the moment I quit Waffle House, I never have to work another job again, I will only get paid for doing what I love. And you can help you might not get paid what you want or get paid a lot. But I’m only going to do what I love and someone explained ikigai which is it’s what you love, what the world needs, what you can be paid for and what you’re good at. And it’s those four pieces in one that is a philosophy of life, what you love what the world needs, what you can be paid for and what you’re good at. And


Alastair McDermott  49:38

This… This is this actually something that I use in helping people to niche down. And so just to summarize, and I call it good love pays world. So that’s a quick way of remembering it. But but it you sometimes see the three as basically an overlapping Venn Diagram of four circles. you quite often see the three, three overlapping circles, particularly for that was a kind of a more Western culture concepts. But what do you love doing? What what are people willing to pay for? And they leave at the world. But what do you love? What what are you good at? What what you love doing, which are separate things? And then what what are people willing to pay for. And then the the the iki guy, the Japanese version is adding on what does the world need, which is really interesting. So and then where those where those circles overlap, you can find where you’re like your passion, of vocation, your mission. It’s really interesting. So I highly recommend that book as well. So I haven’t actually read that book. But I’ve learned about that, that concept. So through probably through Wikipedia.


Cam F. Awesome  50:56

Another book that I will highly recommend The Millionaire Next Door. So The Millionaire Next Door. So we all strive for money, right? And I’m not sure how it is over there. But here in the States, we’re very capitalistic society, we’re big on money, we’re big on business, everything’s about money here. We send our kids to the best schools so they can get good education, even if it costs a lot of money. Because when they get good jobs that make good money, and money, money, money, money. So our whole culture surrounded by money. You can’t ask someone how much they make them. We’re not allowed to talk about money. So what we’re all doing is we’re all assuming what other people are doing. And we’re assuming what rich people are doing.  So they did this study. And this book is about it started because this luxury company wanted to study, do market research to see what items they could sell to rich people. So they went to the affluent neighborhoods and survey the rich people and they realized there’s no rich people who live in those neighborhoods. So turns out the average millionaire lives next door to you. So the average millionaire lives has 12 times more income than their neighbors. So rich people. So when I first moved to Kansas City, my boxing coach, the guy who own ringside, like he’s worth millions of dollars, like I thought he would be living this lavish lifestyle, I was gonna live in his basement and like we’re going to, it’d be a party house. He lives in a small home. And I asked him, I was like, if you have all this money, why, why pretend to be poor. And he said, rich, people want you to think they’re poor. And poor, people want you to think that they’re rich. And this highlights the fact that all of the affluent neighborhoods are, are filled with 30,000 errs people who are stretching credit cards and are faking the funk. And one of the things that happened to this is because if you’re affluent and you have children, you start to give them gifts. And one of the gifts that you would give your child as you give them a downpayment, to live in a nice house in a good neighborhood, because you know, you want your grandkids to go to a good school.  Well, that good neighborhood, now their neighbors are going to expect them to keep up with a certain lifestyle, living, lawn maintenance, the nice cars, sending your kids to private school, if everyone’s kids on the block is going to private school, you can’t really have your kids go to public school. So now you start to live up month above your means, before you even started this rat race not to mention the unforgivable debt you got from your college degree that you’re still not using. Yeah, I feel like I’m rambling. But this book kind of explains who has money and what they have with the money. So they talked about millionaires and what kind of vehicles they own. And they also highlight millionaires who are who got their money through inheritance or trust funds.


Alastair McDermott  53:59



Cam F. Awesome  54:00

And you see how people who earn their money actually spend it and this book is influenced me because I had my greatest financial year of my life this year, and I drive a 2014 Prius.


Alastair McDermott  54:16



Cam F. Awesome  54:17

I the I can pay for my car with less than one speaking engagement and people’s and but things I used to think as soon as I get money, I want to buy all these things. And that’s, that’s what happens, but I’m so grateful that I was around all of these rich old dudes. Who because I got to see their cheapness I got they are they? So my coach, he has lunch every other Wednesday with these group of other guys his age and they’re all worth millions. And the parking lot is filled with many vans and pickup trucks. Everyone has like dirty running shoes and like no one’s worn jewelry and they only go on that Wednesday because it’s $5 Steak day. These are and I realized that’s how you keep money.


Alastair McDermott  55:08



Cam F. Awesome  55:09

Now, of course, that’s the extreme part. And these guys at the end of the Liza, you only know they’re rich because their wives are young and hot. And they have nice jewelry. But it taught me money value money principles, and it shows that an example this book is an attorney and the teacher brothers, the attorney makes 150k a year the teacher makes like 50k a year, the teacher has a higher net worth, because the attorney has to purchase suits to look good for his clients has to drive the car and fit the law and live in a nice neighborhood. And the teacher doesn’t have


Alastair McDermott  55:43

to do don’t hire the attorney who doesn’t look the part, right.


Cam F. Awesome  55:48

Yes, so it shows we spent all this money all this time trying to make money, but no one thinks about what they’re going to do when they get the money. So I have been studying like a millionaire. I don’t have the money yet. But when I do, I’m gonna know exactly what to do with it as it comes in.


Alastair McDermott  56:04

Yeah, and that’s something you know, it just strikes me about about talking to you is you’re learning, like you absorb a lot of information from all of these different sources, and you really bring it into your own thinking that this kind of continuous self education. Is that, ss that something that you’ve always done? Because you talked about, you know, like your experimentation with the rollerblading from when you were 14, right?


Cam F. Awesome  56:35

So I have, I was always a terrible student. And I thought I was, I should have been put in special ed. And I wasn’t, I was always told that I was stupid. Every five weeks, they sent a report card home, reminding you that you’re stupid. So my confidence wasn’t exactly great in school. I barely graduated high school. And I realized I never was good at school, because it never taught me anything that was valuable. So my dad owned a construction company. So I grew up seeing him own a business. And even though it wasn’t a big business, he didn’t make much he did sidewalks and driveways. But he would make like, if he did one job, he would make like 6k in a day, 6000 hours in a day. And of course, he had a normal Monday through Friday job because he has insurance for his four kids and all that type of stuff. But in my mind, I could run his construction business by the time I was 13. So I knew I can make more money than teachers, I mean that there’s not nothing they can really tell me because I’m only interested in money arose. Education is a currency in itself. I don’t respect that card that I don’t value. I don’t value that currency. Because there’s a hierarchy and education. Someone with a bachelor’s has to work under someone with a master’s. And I realized my life experience of education and self education is so valuable that and here’s another thing about conventional education, if you get a degree, they will tell you how much that degree is worth. Why because you don’t really know anything that no one else knows. So you can be told how much you’re worth. Me?  My education was free, it cost me anything. And it’s, it’s more flexible. I don’t have any certifications of any sort. But I was able to be a recognized leader and be recognized authority in my in my, in my niche of speaking. So the the when I said this was all planned out. The plan is not done yet. So the plan was to get good at boxing become famous, get a TV show, but right now that change because I didn’t get to go to the Olympics. I have to build it another way. So what I’m doing is I’m traveling around the country as a touring performer. And I’m building my name, I’m building my brand recognition all around the country. I’m building my my value of building my speaking fee or building my merch building my brand. And what I do is called motivational humor. I named it that and I am the best motivational humorous in the country. Probably the world’s because it’s something I kind of made up. Now.


Alastair McDermott  59:11

What’s a good that’s a great thing about creating, creating a concept like that. Yeah.


Cam F. Awesome  59:16

Yeah. So the plan is January 4, I’m recording in a theater, do two shows in the theater. I’m recording it, and I’m gonna shot that film to Netflix. Netflix, of course, it’s not gonna be that high quality, so they’re gonna give me a budget to redo it. And in a nicer theater, if they say yes. And then I don’t care how much I make off of it. That footage of me speaking to students and do motivational, motivational humor because that will be on Netflix. It will now be genre. I will be the king of that genre. Once that happens. I’m I’m going to be known my value as a speaker goes up. I’m going to be going into schools speaking at schools, but I’m not a speaker. I’m an advertising company. So I’ll be speaking at schools for free, but I’m going to be advertising businesses that I’m starting on the side. So I’m gonna basically build a sustainable cycle of business. So I’m going to speak to promote my own businesses. Yeah. So the goal is to retire by 40 and 34.


Alastair McDermott  1:00:20

I love it. I love how you have it mapped out like that. I think that anybody listening to this will, will be watching to see how you get on. And I would not be at all surprised to hear you telling me that you’ve you’ve made a so. So it’s not gonna be an easy task.


Cam F. Awesome  1:00:39

It’s not going to be an easy if anyone’s listening who can help me reach out.


Alastair McDermott  1:00:44

Yeah, and so on that, where can people find you if they want to learn more, or they want to reach out?


Cam F. Awesome  1:00:50

You can find me on is my website. And you can find me at Cam F. Awesome on all social media platforms, if you have any questions, so I speak at businesses, I speak at schools, I speak on resilience. Another thing I do is as captain of the USA national boxing team, I had the privilege of representing the USA in over 30 countries, which meant I would go to these countries, I would look research things, find the do’s and don’ts about the country, then relay the message to my team so they don’t make America look bad. Because of that I’m a wealth of knowledge of all these different cultures from around the world. So now I act as a diversity consultant speaking about cultural communication in the workplace. So that’s another part of the business that


Alastair McDermott  1:01:36

that’s really interesting. And that’s that’s the first time I’ve heard the diversity, cultural thing put in quite that way. Because I know that there’s there’s a whole other side to that.


Cam F. Awesome  1:01:50

I that pitch I worked hard on that pitch.


Alastair McDermott  1:01:54

Very good. Yeah. So I think you know, anybody listen to this, like they can tell you just are prepared to put in the work. The number two, the number one plus two equals three. Number one is you number three is the goal. And number two is the thing that you need to do putting in the work making the sacrifice and and you are prepared to do that. And you’re prepared to fail over and over again to get there as well which is which is really a joy for me to see. So thank you so much. Cam F. Awesome, it’s been a pleasure to talk.


Cam F. Awesome  1:02:31

Thanks for having me.

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