Fearless Faith Mindset with MJ Callaway

MJ is the first guest on the show that has not only  beat cancer but is currently overcoming it now. She has a fearless faith mindset and came on the podcast to share her testimony of just how much can be overcome for anyone that is facing something challenging.

MJ Callahan is an award-winning and 7times author, member of the National Speakers Association as well as a keynote speaker.

After surviving three life-altering crises, she shares her setbacks and how to Bounce Up higher and stronger.

On today’s episode you will learn about:

  • A Faith Mindset
  • How to bounce Up higher and stronger and not just back
  • Some suggestions on how to approach beating Cancer
  • Having fun in dark places
  • Killing it in sales

MJ has overcome 3 major traumas including divorce and cancer. Tune in to the interview to hear her heartfelt story. Find out how she was able to add happiness to the people around her and get through Chemo by turning what is not a very positive experience into one that had fun and hope in it.

Listen Here

CJ’s Powerful Question

What can I do with I have?

Scripture Mentioned:

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Favourite Book

Favorite Things To Do:

  • Plan ahead
  • Drink coffee in coffee shops
  • Traveling and loves beaches.



MJ’s Bio

Mj Callaway, CSP works with organizations that want to boost their resiliency during disruptions while increasing results and revenue.  As an award-winning author, keynote speaker and corporate trainer, Mj is known for building team momentum, shifting attitudes, converting key strategies into fun activities, and getting results. After surviving three life-altering crises, Mj candidly shares her setbacks and how toBounce Up higher and stronger.  She was the only female sales executive to reach the Top Five in sales for a national company, producing three times her quota.  She authored seven books “including two Warner Books best-sellers” and sold a children’s game to Disney.  Her next book, Bounce Up:  The New Resiliency to Bounce Higher and Stronger, hits the market on Jan. 10, 2020.  She’s a professional member of the National Speakers Association and is a coffee café fanatic.

Connect with Mj on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or www.MjCallaway.com.


A New Name

Welcome back to the podcast after a long summer break. The leaves are quickly falling off the trees, the nights are coming sooner, it is getting colder at night if you are in Canada.

If you are a first-time listener feel free to skip to the next episode, our first interview of the season.

Welcome back to all of you that have been long-time listeners of the show. In this short episode, I am going to tell you a bit about my summer and what to expect moving forward.

My favorite part of the summer was spending time sitting on the beach admiring the beauty of the mountains and nature around me. The stress fizzled away and I was left with peace and awe.

My family and I moved to a new city just as the summer began. It made for a summer packed with to do’s and a lot of driving. I had taken a course over the summer and continued to drive back an forth to complete it.

It was a summer of contemplation. I had posted to see who was listening to the podcast and spent a lot of time deciding if I wanted to keep it going. I prayed on what God’s plan for my life is and what path is the one for me.

After the last boxes were unpacked, my course completed and my home became settled, I took the last two weeks off to spend with my family. We enjoyed eating meals together, sitting out on the patio late into the night, fun at the beach, the zoo, and the park.

I re-evaluated my values and my goals for the next while. One huge realization I came to is that I love hosting this podcast and I get a lot out of it myself. Each guest shares a story of courage, lessons learned and resources that helped them to get through. Over the years, many guests have influenced many of the choices I have made and it is thanks to them that I am able to keep this show going and now have a Life Coaching business.

In the beginning, the podcast was called A Second Chance. Each person would ask me which second chance story they should share.  It became clear that most people have been given multiple chances at life:

  • in physical health
  • in overcoming a mistake they made
  • overcoming PTSD
  • overcoming trauma
  • overcoming something someone else did to them.

Then I started my Life Coaching Business and made the podcast the name of the business, Synergy Mindset Coaching. I realized quickly that being a business coach alone was not what God made me to do.

After praying over it all summer I came up with the name:

Valleys and Mountaintops

Most of our guests have told us stories about how they walked through valleys and climbed mountain tops in the sense of:

  • Overcoming cancer
  • Healing from PTSD
  • Learning to live in a wheelchair
  • Losing their job and starting over
  • Leaving an abusive relationship
  • Overcoming gun violence
  • Learning to live with a physical disability

There are so many individual experiences yet many share a few things in common:

  • They were persistent
  • Had faith
  • Set goals
  • Overcome obstacles
  • Had a growth mindset
  • Were on the learner path
  • Sought wisdom
  • and Were brave.

As we begin a new season we will hear stories from people that have climbed life’s mountains, walked through the valleys and share to inspire those that are in a difficult situation.

Stay tuned, coming up is a Fearless Faith Mindset with MJ Callaway. She has overcome cancer and is facing a battle once again. You will hear her share her success story as well as her battle plan to overcome it once again.

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/synergymindset



What 5 Years of Podcasting Taught Me

5 years ago today my life was turned upside down. I had a heart attack and was eventually diagnosed with a heart condition. From the hospital, I started a podcast and it was one of the best things I ever did.

I have shared 90 peoples stories over the years. They are brave and courageous overcomers of unimaginable trauma, accidents and unfortunate situations. Ranging from near billionaires, millionaires, authors, CEO’s, Mom’s, Dad’s, Lawyers and every other imaginable label it became apparent that we all want the same things: To be seen, to use our talents to help others and to have meaningful connections with others.

The most important things that I have learned from their stories

  • You get to decide why it happened to you and what it means
  • People that have a growth mindset are the ones that make it through anything
  • Optimism goes a long way
  • There are no victim mindsets in success
  • Success is achieved by intentionally doing things over and over
  • Everyone has a purpose, gifts and talents
  • Prayer and Grace are powerful.
  • Money doesn’t buy happiness but many happy people attract money.


Over the last 5 years, I have been through many ups and downs. I learned that mindset is important.  There have been people I interviewed that lost everything yet still kept a positive mindset and went on to be successful speakers, coaches and to help others. A person can not use their mind alone to overcome a challenge however it certainly helps.  There is a dance that takes place in discovering what can be overcome by growth, hard work and persistence and what is in God’s hands.

When I had a heart attack and lost my job, my family and my health I spent a lot of time in grief, feeling sorry for myself and wondering why. I still don’t know all the answers but I know that it was a gift to have had the opportunities that have come into my life since and I no longer hold onto feeling sorry for myself. Grief comes and goes, our emotions change from day to day and moment to moment. The most important things cannot be purchased and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn them.

I have learned

  • The value of listening to my children over buying them things
  • How to live peacefully in a tiny home
  • How to listen
  • To do today what I used to put off until tomorrow
  • Thanking a friend for something is important no matter how small
  • To ask for feedback and allow for improvement.

The person that I am today is resilient, kind, loving and patient and it would not have been possible if I had not gone through the difficulties. I am still not healed and I do not know why I am not able to be healed.

Broken People

What I do know is that God has a plan for my life. I have been put in dark places where I would not have had the opportunity to be the light to others without this medical issue.  There are people broken beyond our realizations in our day to day lives. They put on happy faces and are the most loving and respected people of all.

If only others knew the isolation they feel inside the hurt, the pain, the feeling that if anyone discovers their secret they will not be their friends. The last thing I learned is to be a friend to the rich, the poor, the fake and the authentic, to judge not and love more because everyone needs someone to see them, to listen and to love them no matter what.

Our time here is unknown

I don’t know how long I will have on earth and no one really does. What we have is this moment, today, right now. What stands out to me from all the wisdom that has been shared on Podcast is to love your kids, let go of grudges and regrets, love well, receive and give grace, smell the roses, enjoy the sunset, kiss a baby, pet a puppy, eat ice cream, listen to God, live your life fully.

Thank you to everyone that has been a part of my journey in the last 5 years. Everyone that has shared a story on the Podcast my church family, my friends, my family and most importantly, my kids.

Much Love



How To Answer Why Did This Happen To Me? with Aaron Keith Hawkins

Aaron was a Police Chief, Husband and Father when he experienced a close call with death. After realizing he could have suffered a heart attack, mini-stroke or aneurism he experienced a change in his life. He shares his journey through more than a decade of personal growth and a shift from surviving to now living an intentional life that is thriving.

Throughout his career, he was often asked, “Why did this happen to me”?  He shares his experience answering this for himself as well as how he helped others navigate through this process to understanding. Listen: Here




A Trip To The Hospital

Aaron’s life direction was changed in one night when he woke up in pain. He had realized in about 10 seconds that he couldn’t walk it off and had a light bulb moment in the realization that his family may possibly find him on the floor in the morning.

He asked his wife to call 911 just before collapsing to the floor. At the moment he was checking out, he experienced a wave of regret as if someone slapped him across the head and told him to look at all the missed opportunities he had experienced. Aaron made a promise to God that if he let him live, he would change.

After a short stay in the hospital, Aaron was allowed to go home. They sent him for testing for a couple of weeks and he did receive a full recovery in his health. In the end, he was not given a certain diagnosis although they suspected he experienced a mini-stroke.


He felt guilty when he came to the realization that he had been coasting through life instead of thriving through it. Aaron found it difficult to shake off the regret he felt. He didn’t know what he needed to do differently and that was the beginning of a decade long journey through personal development. He had felt that something changed and knew he needed to take a step in a different direction. The biggest changes he made were

  • Moving from living life to fit into living life to impact others and for his loved ones
  • Going back to school and finishing his Graduate Degree in leadership
  • Reading Tony Robbins, Unleash the Power Within
  • Began reading books in Personal Development, Human Performance and Motivational Development.

“When I changed the way I started showing up in the world it really changed the way I felt about myself, the level of gratitude that I had for the people around me and my perspective about what I was influencing in my life.”

 The more he learned about the world of Personal Development, Motivational Theory and Human Needs Theory, the more he learned it and applied the changes relationships evolved in

  • Career
  • The relationship with his wife
  • His relationship with his daughter
  • Friends.

Being in Law Enforcement allowed Aaron to use everything he was learning every day. It increased the success he had helping others. His position allowed him to deal with people on what could have been their worst day ever.

Light Bulb Moment

One day Aaron’s Wife asked him what he loved about his job. He realized that he loved teaching. He loved getting someone from point A to point Z. It was a lightbulb moment that he needed to teach others from his learning. He took the following steps

  • Picked up Brendan Burchard’s book
  • Built a website
  • Recorded a Podcast episode
  • Stepped out of his comfort zone, terrified for each first
  • Coached someone
  • Began doing Social Media on his own

Using what he went through, he encourages his clients to share something that scares them and tells them to go do it.

Aaron knew his Law Enforcement career was coming to an end and began to really grow his Social Media, website and podcast. Today he helps people get clients using LinkedIn and now has somewhere around 15k followers.

Hitting The Wall

If you have had something happen in your life that has left you feeling like you hit a wall Aaron shares some advice. Choose why you think it happened. He believes that we get to assign the reason and meaning to what has happened and no one can tell us it is right or wrong. If you have hit a wall

  • Decide what the meaning is
  • Decide why it happened.
  • Don’t let anyone tell you if it is right or wrong
  • Make it a good reason.

The Fear of Public Speaking

Aaron has a physical reaction each time he presents a key-note. Just like riding a roller coaster, there is a fine line between fear and exhilaration. He feels safer working on a Swat team than standing on a stage. He tells us he is never safer than when he is with his team.

Despite his workplace success he still experiences the physical fear when he begins speaking including, a racing heart and sweaty hands.

Favourite Book:

Man’s Search for Meaning by Dr. Victor Frankyl

Favourite Podcast:

The Brendon Show by Brendon Burchard

Aaron’s Bio:

“Aaron Keith Hawkins is the inspirational author of Million Dollar Influence, a leadership keynote speaker, podcast host, LinkedIn sales trainer, and influence expert. He thrives on helping others improve their business and personal lives by mastering the skill of authentic influence, personal leadership, and value-based decision making.

Aaron completed his graduate studies at the University of Oklahoma where he majored in Administrative Leadership with a focus on Professional Coaching. He’s also honoured to be a rare alumnus of the invitation-only FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. In addition to being an entrepreneur, Aaron spent over 2 decades as a public servant, serving as a Police Captain in his New Jersey community. He and his wife of 23 years currently live in New Jersey with their 13 year old daughter.”


Bullish on Bitcoin with Misha Yurchenko

Have you ever made a mistake that took a while to get over? You asked yourself questions such as how did this happen and why? How about losing a couple of hundreds of thousand dollars? Join me as we walk along Misha’s journey through life as he learned a hard lesson by losing a lot of money. He had a curious mindset and looked for the answers to learn what he needed to change to make sure he didn’t make the same mistake again. Tune in to hear the whole story, learn about cryptocurrency and if you are interested in buying it yourself, a few tips and resources to help you along your way.


Life Happens, Live It! With Jake French

In the blink of an eye, Jake’s life changed course and he ended up being paralyzed from the chin down. In just a few short days, he made the decision to choose to adopt the motto Life Happens, Live it! It took some time for him to live that motto to its fullest and he shares his journey with us here.

I want to thank Joel from Relaunch for introducing me to Jake.  What really inspired me to share Jake’s story was listening to the podcast Mere Mortals Unite, with Julie Ann Sullivan.

Jake tells us that people can see his wheelchair so they know exactly what he is dealing with, but other people have some kind of wheelchair that we just can’t see.

He is a University of Idaho graduate and a huge fan of anything outdoors.

Despite the difficulties he has encountered in his life, he is able to make others smile and turn things away from a victim mindset into a being the leader and speaker that he is today.

His Second Chance Story

Jake was on top of the world and, celebrating receiving his degree, to work in his dream job in forestry. He had been drinking and celebrating when he ran into his old childhood best friend. A freak accident took place between when his friend took him down in a headlock, and Jake couldn’t brace his fall landing head first in the pavement. He later found out he became a C6 Quadriplegic that evening. Sharing his story, we will find out how he was able to find happiness in a different way that he had planned the day he had graduated.

The Turn Around Point

When he was in the therapy room he was surrounded by people who were really hurting. He witnessed another patient whom’s way of looking at her situation changed his whole perspective. This is when he began to look around and realize that he was not the worst off in the world. He committed to healing as victoriously as he was able to.

You can listen to the whole interview to hear all the details of Jake’s experience.

A Closer Look

 What about you changed the most from this experience?

Jake was no longer able to do many of the things he once could. He tells us how his Mom was amazing and taught him to never give up. With his perseverance and courage, he learned how to do many things again including driving.

What is one piece of guidance you would like to share with us?

He tells us a hilarious story about how someone brought him a hot pink wheelchair and his friends had a good laugh and called it ManGenta. He asks what has happened in your life that you can turn into you own ManGenta situation and how can you find the funny in the situation?

What is one resource you couldn’t have made it without?

Never Give Up! Success in Life Is an Attitude Paperback – 2005.                                                                                             by Ron Heagy (Author),‎ Donita Dyer (Author) https://www.amazon.com/Never-Give-Success-Life-Attitude/dp/0975417207


Cerebral Palsy Warrior with Heather Hancock

Heather was born premature and with Cerebral palsy. She was the first handicapped child mainstreamed into Calgary, Alberta’s public school system and subjected to many years of bullying and abuse. At the age of two, her parents were told that she was to be put into an institution because she would never amount to anything. She is on this show sharing her story because they were very wrong.

She had to overcome the damage that was done and when Heather was only 14 years old she was suicidal and had made a plan.

She tells us God had a plan that was greater for her and that she experienced his love and realized this at an event she attended.

Her dream of becoming a nurse couldn’t be due to the physical pain and limitations that CP caused her and she shares a story that includes multiple mindset shifts coupled with the will to go on despite challenges.

In this inspiring interview, she shares her journey to becoming a Christian Inner Healing Coach. She helps Woman overcome deep, deep wounds by shifting their mindset to come into alignment with God’s mindset.

Favorite Book

Favorite Podcast

Lisa Bevere’s I Am Adamant

Scripture Mentioned James 1:2-4

2Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,1:2 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in verses 16 and 19; and in 2:1, 5, 14; 3:10, 12; 4:11; 5:7, 9, 10, 12, 19.whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Psalm 139:13-14

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.


Arthritis Under 30 with Jacob McCrae

Jacob McCrae was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis (Rheumatoid) in his 20’s, mind blowing right? He shares the difficulties he faced and the amazing journey he went on to lose over 90 lbs, find exercises that were doable with Arthritis and then he went on to help others.

Getting to know him

Jacob lives in Richmond and works for a company helping reduce food waste. On his spare time, he works on a vlog and blog to share his story about how Arthritis has affected his life.
He was a full-time student working on his computer science degree. He had a bad fall and hurt his shoulder. He wasn’t able to use his arm to write and began writing with his left arm. It was April 2013 and slowly his body began to hurt. His left arm was soar to write with and it progressed to feeling as if he had aches and pains.
When he turned 30 in 2017, he decided to make a change and has lost about 90lbs so far. While working out he had to find modifications for exercises, as well as learn to push through the chronic pain from arthritis in the joints of his fingers, hands, wrists, hips, knees, ankles and toes.
He was so surprised that he could have Arthritis at a young age and did some research on google. Soon he realized that children can have Arthritis and he began to ask the question, how do they get on with their lives, the pain is so great?
Jacob was going through the stages of coming to accept such a difficult diagnosis and was angry. He was angry and blamed himself, and sometimes still doesn’t accept it. Scientists don’t even understand why we get it as far as he knows, he invited you to educate him if you know more!

Asking for Help

Jacob accepted his wife’s help on the odd occasion yet was very independent. He began to feel gratitude for simple abilities such as putting on socks, zipping zippers and buttoning buttons.


Change came and it started with a decision. He decided that once he turned 30 he was going to become healthy. Jacob purchased a plan, Danny Gets Fit. He binge listened to Rob Dial and improved his mindset. Improvements took place and then he fell back temporarily into a dark place.
This is where he realized that if he listened to a good podcast at least once a week he was good. Mindset is really important, a quote from Rob, “You can not solve a problem with the mind that created it.”
Jacob began the Keto diet and found that it made him feel much better. He tells us he loves it, and I wanted to remind you to check with your doctor to ensure it is safe for you to try.
His mindset was better, he knew he deserved better and he left his job. Today he works remotely for a company that is able to support his needs to have good self-care when his Arthritis flares up.
As you can see Jacob really turned his life around despite the difficulties he faced. He shares his story to inspire you and invites you to reach out to him. You can hear the entire interview here or on his youtube channel below. You can listen to the whole interview: Here