When you are in a great place where your health is fantastic, when something comes up, you sometimes make the assumption that it’s temporary and it’s all going to go away. That is not necessarily the case. When corrective care chiropractic Chris Zaino found himself in his late twenties contracting a deadly disease, conventional medicine gave up hope on him. However, he didn’t give up hope. Instead, he doubled down on discovering a cure. That led him to a huge new business opportunity as the owner of a chiropractic clinic which is now one of the largest clinics in the world. Chris tells more about how he was able to cure himself from an incurable terminal autoimmune disease called ulcerative colitis.

Leveraging Your Uniqueness and Experience with Chris Zaino

My guest found himself in his late twenties contracting a deadly disease. Conventional medicine gave up hope on him. He didn’t give up hope and instead doubled down on discovering a cure which led him to a huge new business opportunity as the owner of a chiropractic clinic, one of the largest clinics in the world. Welcome, Chris Zaino, to the show.

Thank you, Mitch. Thanks for having me.

Tell us more about how you started, where you came from and what were you doing? Tell me all about that.

In 1998, I won the Mr. America. I looked a certain way. I felt a certain way. I was on the cover of magazines. I have a degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Central Florida. When you have a title like that and that degree, we’ve got to train some of the Orlando Magic and then I worked at Universal Studios back in the day. Many guys may remember Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules, and those shows. They were filmed in New Zealand, but they did a lot of filming at Universal Studios, Florida. I got to be their onset trainer and nutritionist for all of them. My career was the person who looked at and felt like I was the epitome of what someone would say health was. I was living a dream life. At 26, I married my wife and then the turning point happened about six months into our marriage. I thought I had a stomach bug and it got worse and never went away. I started bleeding every time I went to the bathroom.

What do you do then? I played Google MD. I go on Google and put blood in the stool because this was ten or fifteen times a day. It wasn’t hemorrhoid or something like that. The first thing that pops up in the search is cancer. I have a dad who died when I was 21 in 1999. He died of cancer. My grandfather died with cancer. It’s one of those things that fear went through my mind going, “Maybe it’s in the male genes in my family, but I’m 26.” I turned that computer off. I stayed in denial. I didn’t tell anybody. Thinking it would go away, it got worse and worse. The day my wife found out, I was in a department store on a Sunday. I realized that what was going on with me. I started basing my entire life around this issue.

FTC 113 | Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmune Disease: It’s one of those things when fear goes through your mind and you’re going, “Why?”


If I had it beyond this podcast, I would make sure I wouldn’t eat eight hours before. My whole entire life was being controlled and entangled in what was going on. My routine, I used to go to any place I went, I would go into the store and I would look where the bathrooms were first. I went back to this department store and the bathrooms are always in the back and they were locked. They were under construction. I got nervous I’m like, “What’s wrong with these bathrooms?” They’re like, “They’re under construction. Just go out next door, there’s a Sports Authority and that’ll be fine.” Do you know that fear of not having the security of a bathroom? I was getting noticed because you always had that urge to have to go to the bathroom. When I was trying to make it out of that building in front of 50, 60 people, I lost my bowels in public because I couldn’t hold it anymore. It was blood, it was mucus, and you’re seeing the shock of people’s faces. At the same time, it’s all these emotions going through. You feel horrible, depressed, embarrassed and you don’t know what to do. I ran out of the loading dock, called my wife, and that was the day she found out.

At this point in time, would you say that your life was happy up until the point when you started having these problems?

I was bulletproof. When I started having a problem, everything up until that point in my life was right. Any ailment, any anything, it went away. This was the first time I faced something that juggernaut and gotten worse and worse.

The greatest thing you could ever achieve in your life is to be able to stay in that mode of expressing and experiencing love to people. Click To Tweet

Because you are in this great place, because your health was fantastic, you made the assumption. I would probably too, “This is temporary. This will go away.” How long did you deal with this before your wife found out?

A good two months. That day we ran up to the hospital, they did an emergency colonoscopy. When I woke up, the doctor was like, “I know exactly what you have because you have an incurable terminal disease called ulcerative colitis. It’s autoimmune, meaning that your immune system is attacking your insides. You are being eaten from the inside out.” They put me on heavy drugs such as Prednisone and it was a pure stress hormone, and Xanax and Valium to go to sleep. I became physically addicted to that, another medication that damaged my liver and I got medically-induced hepatitis. Things are going super downhill. I was shipped off to Dallas, Texas to the top four doctors in the country. They put me on low-dose chemotherapy, Remicade infusions for the autoimmune disease, interferon shots for medically-induced hepatitis, and three organ rejection medications.

FTC 113 | Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmune Disease: In seven months, my body healed itself from an incurable terminal disease called ulcerative colitis.


Since it’s autoimmune, they’re like, “We’ve got to shut down your immune system.” I’m wearing a mask. If anybody sneezes, I’m going to get it. My immune system is compromised. Nothing’s working. I went from 230 pounds all the way down to about 158 pounds in four months. The only option, they set me up for surgery in a week and a half. They said, “We’ve got to take out your entire colon. Nothing’s working. You’ll still be on $5,000 medication per month. You’ll need multiple surgeries. We don’t even know if you’ll get through it because we already put you on organ rejection medication. It could take up to two years for your immune system to even get back to a somewhat normal state. We don’t even know if you could last through the surgery,” because they’re taking out the colon. There’s going to be bacteria. They told me I was sterile. They said, “You probably won’t be able to have kids.” I’m like, “Can I donate sperm now or something?” They’re like, “No, you’re already sterile.” That’s in the cards. They’re like, “All we could do is see how it goes. We’ll set you up for a week and a half.” That was my only option.

You are in the hospital and they’re telling you all this stuff. It sounds like almost a death sentence. What did you do next?

I’m a very coachable person. You tell me to do something, I do it. I did everything they told me to do. If they told me to take the drug twelve times a day, I did it. The reason why I do that is I want to make sure that I did my part. They did the best they can. I felt I tried it all. Before that, I went home to see my mom. You’re going to see how your life and your health affect many people. I have a mother who she lost my dad, and then she lost two sons. I had one brother that died of a freak accident and another brother died of a heroin overdose, who my mom found. My mom lost three very important men in her life. This is her third son going through this. She sends out emails, hopefully that surgery is well and everybody’s sending their condolences. My anatomy teacher from tenth grade in high school gets that email and says, “I want to see Chris when he comes to the town, I want him to see my doctor who’s a corrective care chiropractor.” When I get into town, I thought it was odd because I really tried it all. There’s no way my experience with chiropractic was a hamstring scratcher tape in my ankle. I didn’t know how this would help a disease. I said, “I appreciate you wanting to help me, but I tried it all.”

In the journey of our life, we always have people that may say something or sometimes you’re in a movie and you hear a one-liner or a song. In this journey of mine, he said a question that changed my perception. He goes, “Chris, you didn’t try it all because if you tried it all, you would have had your health.” He challenged my belief that I’ve done it all. I was like, “He’s right.” I went over to see this doctor and he taught me about how the body was created to heal from the inside out. The brain controls everything. I knew all this stuff. I had my degree in this education, but I didn’t know how to take care of it. My blind spot was in my spine. My spine protects my nervous system and nerves. All those nerve roots go into my lower back area which goes to my colon and in the upper part of my neck. That goes to my immune system. There was 50% pressure, it was damaged. Even though I didn’t feel pain, that damage to those nerves sending life and energy to those organs manifested for me in ulcerative colitis. At least I saw a blind spot that I didn’t know. I had to make a decision, a split decision literally, on what road I was going to take.

Well-being is the natural state of your body, not sickness. Click To Tweet

What road did you take? Tell us what happened.

I’m scared. I told the doctor, “When am I going to get results?” That’s all anybody wants to know, “When am I going to get better?” All I’ve been told were hopeless things. I was told fifteen times, “We’ll do this and then you’ll be better,” and it never worked. I had this hopelessness. His answer again was the most real honest answer. It’s really the reason why I chose that route against 99% of everybody telling me not to. He says, “As long as your body interferes with this. As long as that light from the brain cannot get to those organs, your body’s not in an environment to be able to heal itself.” He goes, “Wellbeing is the natural state of your body, not sickness. When you choose to correct your problem that you have and find the cause that’s affecting your life and your future, then your body will be back into its environment of wellbeing to heal. The day and the hour you’re asking me, that’s not up to me. That’s between you and your body. You will get better if you don’t quit on yourself.” I was like, “He’s right.” I was trying to put all the pressure on him and all the responsibility on him, not realizing that it’s time that I need to take 100% responsibility.

My wife backed me up saying, “If you do the surgery, I don’t think you’ll make it through it. You’re on all these organ rejection drugs. We’ll never ever get out of the pressure and the heaviness of sick medical debt. We’ll always be under medical debt. We’ll always be in debt. We’ll never be able to have a normal job. Who knows what’s going to be happening to our future. We always wanted a family. That surgeon assures that will never happen. I need you here as long as possible. We’ll do whatever it takes.” We didn’t have the money in the bank account. We already owed $200,000. We became resourceful. We’ve got a credit card. We did whatever it took. Knowing that all those things and that entire heavy burden we would have to face, we’d be able to eliminate and be able to at least create somewhat of a future that was something that we desired and wanted.

It’s clear that that worked for you and you were able to recover using chiropractic health. How did this start your interest or profession into chiropractic?

Three months later, I’m still bleeding but I’m off half the drugs. Five months later, all the drugs are gone. I’m still bleeding a little bit. I’m waiting for surgery, in seven months my body healed itself from an incurable terminal disease called ulcerative colitis. When you have an experience like that, then that was almost like at that time in my life I’m like, “This was an unknown in my life. This was a contrast in my life. This is not planned.” In that unknown, it created the nutrients and the essentials to lead me to my purpose at that time, which was, “I’m going to go back to school. I’m going to learn this, I’m going to teach this and help people.” In 2005, my wife, Whitney, and I opened our office. The average office sees 100 patients a week. We were up to see about 2,800 people per week. Talking about that first 1,000, it was all done by embracing something that I knew no one else could do better than me and that was telling my story and my experience.

That is such a powerful story and an unbelievable experience that you went through. You were obviously determined. I know that when I built my business, I felt the same way. I was willing to do whatever it took, no matter what it took, to make this work and you did. You created a chiropractic office and you brought all these people in. How did you ramp it up to become the largest clinic in the world?

Through trial and error, I found my vehicle of influence. My vehicle of influence is speaking and video. I would hold dinners and luncheons. I would go to your work, your house, your church, your social group. I’d go anywhere there was a group of people. When I first started talking, I did a lot of content talking like the PowerPoints, the studies, the science and a lot of people would clap and say it was great information. They’d say, “Do you have a card?” but I wasn’t really transforming anybody’s life. I was just giving a lot of good information. I had an impostor syndrome when I first started practice. I had this weird limiting belief system.

I remember one day I was asked to speak at the Rotary. The Rotary in the Woodlands, Texas has got Big Oil. You’ve got people from Big Oil there. You have some great neurosurgeons, amazing lawyers and doctors. I was a little intimidated. I was nervous about it. I was like, “These are good, educated, affluent, wonderful people. Am I worthy?” That’s the real, honest thing that was going through my head. I was so nervous about that. When I went to this meeting, I forgot my PowerPoint. I forgot my blinky, shiny objects. I’d forgotten my presentations. I just did it and it was a blessing because I got there I’m like, “I don’t have the tools that I leaned on.” All that tech, all that information.

I’m trying to compare myself saying, “How am I going to be smarter than a neurosurgeon? How am I going to be more logical than that lawyer?” I realized at that moment I said, “The one thing that I can be my best at is me.” I got up there, I told my story, my experience and it was a standing ovation. A ton of new patients flooded in. I realized, “One thing that we all have is an amazing story. It’s in there somewhere in your experience.” I told my story and I have a joke, I really built my largest clinics in the world telling people I crap my pants five to six times a week, literally. I’d talk five or six times a week telling the story. I was willing to go to the darkest, deepest moment in my life. It was twofold. “Yes, it was real and it was transparent. That’s why I could get there. It also helped me heal from it.” I’ll never say it as, “I had this disease.” I’ll say, “I had this experience,” because it’s not mine. It was never mine. It was a beautiful experience that I’m happy, but I’m grateful that happened because it led me to the most amazing life that I never could ever plan. I go in and I told my story. Everybody has a story. I realized the context of your message is so important and then you could throw in the content. After they saw me talk, in their minds I knew they felt, “I trust this person. This person’s real. I want him to help lead me and my family to its health.”

You will get better if you don't quit on yourself. Click To Tweet

That is the formula that you were handed. It’s powerful when the universe hands you your direction. I’ve had similar situations. I’ve had that same lucky instance. I was scheduled to speak in front of an auditorium filled with people and do software demo of our software. I flew across the country. I showed up, I stand on stage, I set up my computer, I test the screen and everything’s working. The emcee comes out, announces and introduces me, opens the stage and the lights go out. The electricity went out in the entire area. Here I was to do a software demo and there are two bulbs, the emergency lighting bulbs, hanging in this auditorium. I’m thinking to myself, “What do I do? How do I do a software demo and not have software or a computer?” I said, “I have to go from inspiration here and tell my story,” and I did that. I told my story. Like you, I got that standing ovation and I made a lot of new friends and sold a lot of software as a result. To our audience, this is the moment that we all hope to find, but we can’t plan for it. We can’t create it. It needs to happen and it is truly the universe telling us, it’s your Higher Power, telling you to put down the PowerPoint slides and speak from the heart. It’s your story. Thank you, Chris. That was absolutely awesome.

Thank you so much. I appreciate you.

Here you are at this point in your speaking and telling this great story. Your clinic is growing. What is the path that entrepreneurs can follow here? You described the speaking experience and that’s such great advice. You get to the point where you have to build the business. You can be a chiropractor in a one-room office and have an assistant who does the billing. I know that once you start building a client base like you had started to build it initially, things start to get complicated and you needed systems. You needed to hire, you needed to train and you need to create culture. Tell us a little bit about that process.

The reason why we’re able to sustain that because you can have a doctor that sees 100 people a week and they feel like the wheels are falling off the car. I was seeing the people that wanted to take guitar lessons in between patients. I was so ready. It was through experience in the unknown that you must build a predictable system through that purpose-driven practice and I wanted to eliminate as many variables as possible. One thing I noticed is if something happened in the office or if there was a bottleneck, I learned from even the negative feedback and criticism from things that went wrong. I would huddle up the team and say, “This happened. What did we learn? What system or checkpoint do we need to put in place or computer system or automate in order to prevent this from happening again or streamlining it?”

When I saw a lot of people, I was forced to not think in hours and minutes. I was forced to think in seconds. My efficiency had to become through the roof. I saw everything in seconds. I was able to go and be like, “It took me six steps around the table. I can do that in four. For me to throw out this little piece of paper, I walked seven steps.” It really came down to time expansion. I had to expand the time I had there and make sure I went through my entire team, and make sure I made them as efficient as possible and I protected their energy. If there were complaints or refunds, stuff like that, I told my office manager it’s Tuesday mornings. I want the rest of the time to be in the productive zone. A lot of times I don’t want people putting out the fire. We had strategies and systems and we allotted certain times for certain processes to allow them to free up. For instance, in my office, the phone never was ringing. People are like, “How come your phone never rings?” I’m like, “We made a system where when a patient comes in, we just need to know the day and the shift.” If they’re a little bit early, a little bit late, we don’t need them calling because every phone call is just taking up precious time. I don’t expect anybody to do it right away, but you start seeing things, building systems and seeing how efficient can we get the process.

It makes a lot of sense, particularly if you’re operating alone or with a very small team. In a sense, it’s the McDonald’s formula. What you’ve done is you traced the pathways, shortened them and made them more efficient. You thought about what is it that’s eating up your time and you addressed those. Let’s talk a little bit more about as you scaled, as you brought in more and more doctors, and then you needed to have software and computers. What was that path like for you?

Imagine having 2,000 patient files. Picture this, I had eight baskets filled with files and I needed three girls to go through these files when Mitch Russo came in. Let’s pick out Mitch. It was crazy. You’re bringing software and they could walk in, they scan the keychain, and it eliminated the need for three people. Software streamlined things and I worked with companies and the software took the place of three to four people at a certain time. Scaling-wise, because the video is my vehicle, when I used to train people, I would train them and I had to be there in person. What I did is I would videotape every process or procedure.

When I hired a doctor, the doctor might be three months out before they made it to the office. I created a whole entire online system of training video-wise that they could watch over and over again. When they showed up, they were running, the same thing with my team. I put many things on videos so they can watch and learn and from the video, they had the script. It’s tough to wing it and you don’t want to wing anything. You want things precise. I created almost an academy for my team and that’s why it was scalable. I took those same programs, the same videos I did for my team to train my team and to train the doctors. I was able to reproduce that with doctors all over the world. In 28 different countries, I have my programs everywhere and it’s location-proof, it’s recession-proof. I was forced to because how am I going to find the time to do it? I had to reproduce it and automate it.

This is stuff that you had to figure out. No one told you in advance. As you hit the problem, you had to solve it. You solved it in the best way possible. The audience has the chance to hear your wisdom and learn from you in the way that would prevent them from having to go through the same process. Tell us what you think anyone who is looking to build any practice, whether it’s a medical practice or a consulting practice, where do they start? What are some of the best advice you can give somebody at this stage when they’re in that phase where they’re a real business, but they’re not quite there yet and they want to keep growing?

The first thing I tell everybody is to focus on your uniqueness. Don’t focus on your sameness. What’s unique? What stands out? I remember I sat down and I wrote about 29 unique things my practice was compared to another practice. We leveraged the heck out of our uniqueness because people want to say, “What makes you different than somebody else? I could go down the road and it’s cheaper.” Once you have that down, and then the same thing with technology and computers and outsourcing and virtual assistance, I was able to outsource for pennies on the dollar certain things that were taking up my team’s time.

FTC 113 | Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmune Disease: Focus on your uniqueness. What’s unique? What stands out?


I have some good A-plus players. When you find you have A-plus team players, their time is valuable. In a practice or any business, there are these little minutiae that have to be done. If I could delegate those minutiae out or hire a virtual assistant, that totally freed up so much of their time to be productive. Thinking in seconds, if they have to make calls, they can now make 40 calls on prospects versus twenty because they were busy filing or doing something that was a virtual or easy delegated job. I made sure that my entire team was focused on high-production performance benchmarks.

It sounds like you had a sales force.

They became the sales force, 100%.

You were out there generating leads. People would come and see you speak. At the end of the event, you would have a collection of business cards or people would then call the office. You had trained your staff to enroll them right from the phone. Is that right?

They enrolled them right there at the events and then on the phone 100%. We did the same system whether it be acquiring a patient or when you build your business. Remember when you build your businesses from experience, there are other businesses that might be a week behind you that could use your experience and wisdom. You could create a system that could help other people in your same type of profession expand as well. This is why my team did the same thing for doctors. We would have doctors that would call in and they would set them up for a two-day intensive in the office. It was the same approach we’re able to get them. Everybody became the sales force in every way.

Something you said struck me and struck me hard. It’s the same thing that I always focus on with my own clients and that is. what is your uniqueness? That is the key question here. Let me ask you a question because maybe for you it was obvious. Did you know that right away or did you search for that? Did you try to find other things that you thought were your uniqueness?

I did not create things on purpose to be unique because a lot of times people do that and it is not them. I want to make sure that you’re unique and you’re congruent, meaning that in my congruency of who I am and my values create uniqueness or whatever systems you’re doing. A lot of times when it comes to uniqueness, a lot of people take their uniqueness for granted because they don’t even realize it. They don’t even realize you’re unique here or you’re bringing an entirely different value than another office would.

My uniqueness came down to Shannon, my front desk girl. I’m like, “When you come to this office, you’re going to get Shannon. You can’t get her anywhere else.” My uniqueness was in even the personalities in my office that I knew I went through. It’s like, “What is the thing that you will never be able to get anywhere else?” I sat down there and went through a fine-tooth comb. I didn’t take anything for granted. You’ll say, “That’s different, that’s unique.” No matter how small it seemed to me, it was still an amazing contrast to add more value. We were the highest priced as well because people are like, “Can I just go down the road?” When you leverage the uniqueness for it and everything about the experience, I wasn’t hiding that at all. People appreciated that and that’s the determining factor when they chose to work with us.

Create a team and move forward with your team because your team and the right people around you will make things scalable and successful. Click To Tweet

Another way to put it and this is for our coach and consultant audience. What is your transformation? What is the one thing that might come completely natural to you that you’ve never even thought of as special that your clients love? If you focus in on that and discover that thing you do that is the best of everything you do, that is another way of finding the unique elements of who you are and what you do. At this point, you had built this huge business. Tell me what happened as you began the process of looking potentially for a buyer and how did all that happen?

You build this practice and I was raised with the expectations that there was almost a checklist and I checked off the boxes. I got my health back, which was amazing. I’m married. I’m taking care of my wife, check. I have two beautiful sons that I never was supposed to have, check. They’re super healthy. I have 100% financial freedom and financial security, check. I have a great business, check. I have an awesome paycheck, check. I checked off everything. I’m making an impact. That’s like, “I hit it.” What I realized is life isn’t about checking off boxes. We’re continually on this planet to expand and evolve and knowing that once I hit the check, I wasn’t done. I was enjoying checking off the boxes.

I have the cool car, I paid off the house, I had no debt. Even though I was making an impact, there was this down deep, low-level depression. I didn’t know why there was a feeling of numbness or disengagement. I thought I was going through a midlife crisis. I was around 38 at the time. I didn’t know what it was and I couldn’t talk to anybody about it. I wasn’t ungrateful but it was like there was unfinished business inside me. There was this yearning. I didn’t know what it was. I was trying to hide it. I would put on my smile, go to work, do my thing because it was easy to do that. It was like autopilot.

One day I was in my office at home and I heard my son in the other room. My son, Justus, he goes, “Mommy, what happened to daddy?” He said it in a way where he knew that there was something wrong with me. I couldn’t hide it from my kids. They could see through that. I knew at that moment I couldn’t hide this internal pain anymore. I went on a why search. I was like, “Why am I doing what I’m doing? I’m going to help people. I want them to be healthier.” When it got down to it, I do the things I do because I wanted to be admired for achieving great things and doing something the world has never seen before. That was my selfish why behind things and I feel like I cracked a code or something. I was looking up the definition of those words and I came upon the definition of a hero. The definition of a hero is one who is admired or idolized for courage, contribution, outrageous achievement and ability.

In that moment, it was that universal moment, I was in my sauna and I was awakened to the fact and I was reminded that has been the theme of my entire life, but I never realized it. I was the kid in the superhero pajamas all the time. I worked out to look like a superhero. I won Mr. America and Mr. Universe to have a superhero title. I beat a terminal, life-threatening disease to, later on, become a doctor. Why? So I could go save lives. In that definition, I had the achievements and I had the contribution to the world, but I didn’t have the courage to truly let myself to be who I was created to be.

Embrace the hero mindset. Get into what really makes you come alive. Click To Tweet

You have articulated something very rare and very important. There aren’t many people who I believe would have been able to say it the way you did. I went through that too. I had built a software company and we had 100 people working for us. We were one of the top 100 companies in our entire industry and everything was in place. We had all the pieces in place so we had a successful business. There was this question that haunted me and the question was, “Is that all there is? Is this it? Is this what I’m destined to do for the rest of my life? To come in here, sit behind this desk, review the books every Tuesday, walk the floors, and make sure that the phone times didn’t go over six minutes, is that what I’m here to do?” It was that question that led me to want to explore more. What else can I contribute? Is this company the vehicle I could do it or not? Thank you for articulating that. It’s the question that comes after success. Most people who have never achieved that life-changing success may not think that if you had it, you would ask that question.

I wasn’t depressed. I wasn’t ungrateful. I wasn’t numb. I wasn’t disengaged. The only way I can describe it was I was grieving my potential that entire time. I felt I hit it. I felt I did it and there was no more expansion. There’s no more evolution and there’s that potential that’s inside us all.

In my business now, when I work with very successful people, the most important thing that we do together is to help uncover what their next passion is and then build the systems to implement and have that passion in their lives. I see every day when I work with clients. I’ll give you a hint. It’s right in front of you. That’s what most people don’t realize. I’ve had some amazing experiences with clients who have seen it once it’s been made clear to them. Once they see it and once they go, “Yes, it is,” then we build the infrastructure around them that they could get that fulfillment more and more each day. To our audience, if you’re thinking to yourself, “Here’s a bunch of rich guys chatting about what it’s like to have too much money.” I assure you this is not the case. What we’re talking about here is the evolution of a human being through the pathways of success into higher levels of serving. Ultimately, success at first comes to satisfy your own needs, but true success comes when you’re able to help others. Chris, that is what you’re doing. Tell us more about that.

In that moment and with this entire hero theme, I chose to embrace my hero and destroy my secret identity because my secret identity was I found my identity and what I did as a job. I found my identity as Dr. Zaino. For me to achieve that desire inside me to extend my reach even outside the health and wellness field, to be a thought leader in the world and to get my message out, what was happening is I felt that in order to do that I had to leave my comfortable lane. Leaving my lane of the doctor meant I got scared. I felt I would lose my identity, so I just shrunk and I mourned. That was the case.

FTC 113 | Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmune Disease: In order to achieve that desire inside me and to be a thought leader in the world and get my message out, I had to leave my comfortable lane.


I realized I had to let go of that secret identity and know that I bring the hero to the practice, to my marriage, to my kids, to this interview. It was about me being the whole person I was created to be, not just being boxed into whatever title. I created the I Am Hero Project and through my Four Step Methodology, I have helped people around the world through speaking and courses. It totally changes their life. It doesn’t have to be where you hit this level of success. A lot of people that feel they were living the secret identity were living out the other people’s values.

The Four Steps are number one, we embrace the hero mindset. It’s getting into what makes you come alive. When we could find that, it’s right in front of them. It’s something they always wanted to do. A lot of people are like, “Someday when I do this or that, I’ll do this.” Make that someday now and then we have to then maximize their superpowers, their skills and the talents that they enjoy doing. Let’s maximize those, choose their vehicle of influence. Mine was video and speaking. Most importantly, this is the sticking point because everybody wants to do what they love to do, but they say, “How am I going to make money doing that?” That’s when you monetize your message for the survival of your legacy.

If you’re later in life or middle age, I’m 40 so I was so used to my career. I could do it in my sleep. When I want to venture on to do something to impact the world, there’s a lot of what I call fears and fogs. The fears or fogs are the things that you don’t know how to do, skills you don’t have. “I don’t know how to do a website.” Whatever that issue is. Mitch is a perfect example. Like I say, “I don’t even know about software.” That’s it. Don’t let those fears and fogs get in your way. What you do is you hire out other amazing superheroes. Mitch would be my software superhero. There are people that whatever you fear, whatever you have trouble with, there is someone who that’s their superpower. You hire them and if you can’t hire them, you give them a piece of your company, you mentor them or you get their course, whatever it is. Understand that my fears and fogs became my next goals to achieve. I brought the people in and hired the people to take them away so I could stay in my lane and make my impact.

Staying in your lane becomes almost the primary driver at that point. Once you’re clear on what your lane is, then it’s really important to get rid of those fears and fogs by delegating. Was that step one or is that all of the steps?

They were the four steps and they go really deep. They go about a mile deep each one. That’s the methodology, the process. When you build a foundation and by that time you know your lane, everybody’s excited. Everybody gets inspired. I see this all the time, but when it comes time to make the leap, then that old secret identity tries to tell you, “This is all the reasons why you can’t, what you don’t know and you’re not going to be able to do this.” To keep momentum and to keep away the Law of Diminishing Intent and keep the momentum going, this is when, “These are the areas that I’m not strong in, I don’t feel secure and I don’t have a lot of knowledge in. I’m going to go find the people that do that.”

You create a team. You’re moving forward with a team. Back in the day, I had a Superman Syndrome. I was the best. If it was going to be done right, it had to be done through me. That is a small business-minded type of mindset that might get you off the ground and running, but it will never get you to the point of scaling. It’s when you realize that your team and the right people around you make things scalable and successful.

I know that you have something for our readers, something that they could spend some time and understand your process. Can they find that on your website?

Monetize your message for the survival of your legacy. Click To Tweet

If you go to, IAmHero.com and because the video is my vehicle, I created four master classes for you. There are different master classes and find the one that relates best to you. They’re a one-month master class. It’s totally on me. You get to get through it. It can be from time expansion, it could be learning to see that you wouldn’t every day. It could be understanding more value, having more value for your products, services, ideas and/or knowing the Hero Secret Sauce. When you look back over my life, whether it is winning Mr. America, winning Mr. Universe, or building this practice, there were underlying characteristic traits and systems that I applied unknowingly to every area to become the top in what I did. I was able to distill them down and I know they will be able to benefit you. Go there. Pick whichever class you want. That’s on me. That’s my gift to you. Please enjoy.

I have a question for you. It happens to be my favorite question of all. Our audience seems to like it because it helps us figure out exactly who we’re talking to. Who, in all of space and time, would you like to have one hour to enjoy a walk in the park, a quick lunch or an intense conversation with?

I would say myself at 65 or 70. The reason why is because you said anywhere in time because if I was to go back to my 26-year-old self when I was scared, I was fearful and I had my life right before me and nothing was looking good. If I could go back to that kid, put my hand on his shoulder and say, “Stay faithful. It’s all going to turn out amazing and great.” Sometimes in your life, even now in this transition in my life, it would be nice to have my older self come back and say, “I’m not going to tell you what’s going to happen because you need to go through those experiences, but it’s going to be so much better than you ever thought.” I would like to get a little bit of wisdom on myself, the wiser me later on.

That’s a beautiful answer and thank you for a unique answer. No one in over 100 interviews has ever said that. I love the way you put it. It’s inspired me to create a blog post, “Here’s what I would tell myself at the age of 25.” Thank you for that. That was great. The next question, the change the world question, the grand finale question. What is it that you are doing or would like to do that truly has the potential to literally change the world?

My purpose is that I resurrect heroes from the complacency of their secret identity so they can live heroic lives once again by expressing and experiencing true love right now, in the present, in all they do in every area of their life. I realized at the end of the day if I could express and experience true love right now, not someday and not conditionally. For me personally, that would be the greatest thing I could ever achieve in my life is to be able to stay in that moment of expressing and experiencing love for people.

That’s a beautiful mission. I’m here to help you on your mission. It’s one of the reasons that we did the show, but more importantly, I want to encourage our audience to go and check out your course. It turns out to be far deeper than you would realize for a simple, free, web type of course. This is great stuff. Go check this out, I promise you will love it. Chris, it’s such a pleasure to talk with you. Thank you so much for your time.

Thank you, everybody, and thank you for having me on, Mitch. I appreciate you.

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