ABOUT THE PODCAST
Experts, entrepreneurs, and examples of success share their stories and tangible action steps to help you launch yourself today.
Go launch yourself.
ABOUT J. DAVID TROTTER
For over 25 years, I’ve chosen a life centered on learning and strategic action as an organizational leader, filmmaker, and marketing consultant. After college and three years in the corporate world, I spent 10 years in non-profit leadership speaking to thousands on the subjects of spirituality, relationships, and leadership development. Since 2008, I’ve cultivated a successful marketing business as well as authored multiple books and produced/directed three award-winning documentaries, and my first narrative feature film, The Road to Edmond, was released in 2018. My wife and I have been married 24 years and live with our two teenage children in Orange County, California.
THE REAL STORY
When people ask what I do, there’s generally a long….awkward….pause. They feel uncomfortable. I feel uncomfortable. It’s like we’re a party of two at Cafe Discomfort. Okay, maybe I’m the only one feeling awkward.
Should I bring up the fact that I’m a filmmaker? Um, no. No need to have people asking if they’ve seen any of my movies and then go through the long explanation of how the indie film industry works.
Should I bring up the fact that I’m entrepreneur? Definitely not. No need to have people telling me that I should go on Shark Tank to sell something.
Should I bring up the fact that I was an ordained pastor for over 10 years and that’s what all my degrees are in? Never. No need to have people asking if I was a priest…or my thoughts on evangelicals in politics…or why I’m not in full-time ministry anymore.
Maybe, I should just tell them that I’m in marketing. Yep. That’s it! It works every time. “Oh, cool,” they respond. Tons of people are in marketing, and people think they understand what that’s all about. That’ll do.
Here’s the truth…I’m all those things and more.
I’ve never fit into conventional categories. In high school, I played basketball, ran track and cross country, worked at a newspaper as a sports photographer, headed up the photography department for yearbook and newspaper…and I was a skater. (Skater or die, dude!) I’ve spent 25 years learning numerous skills, exploring my personality and talents, and finding ways to leverage all of that to benefit the world. These days, people hire me to get stuff done…usually related to marketing, project management, and event planning…stuffy they don’t know how to do…or don’t want to do. Meanwhile, I’ve become known as a director/producer in other circles because of my award-winning films.
Throughout all these experiences, the thread that has interwoven them all is my heart and passion to help people get unstuck and pursue their own dream or passion. So many people want a meaningful job, connected relationships, enough money to enjoy, a healthy connection with their kids, some sense of the divine, and to live out a dream that’s deep within their hearts. (I see those things within you, and I want to help.)
That’s why I’ve started this podcast. I want to create a community of people who are ready to take action. You may be stuck right now, but you don’t have to be. I see your dream, and you can experience it. When I tell people all the things I’ve been able to do in life so far, they’re usually blown away. For the past 25 years, I’ve been working hard to cultivate and refine the way I get unstuck, clarify my goals, and launch myself…every…single…day. I want to share my learnings, and I want to inspire you through meaningful conversations with people who are way more successful than I am.
You’re not alone. I see you, and I’m with you. Let’s create something special together. Ready to get started?
OVER THE YEARS...
- Only child. No, I don’t miss having siblings, because I don’t know what it’s like.
- Started dunking the basketball when I was a freshman in high school. No, I can’t dunk anymore.
- Built launch ramps and quarter pipes long before a skate park was a reality in Kentucky. I never stole wood, but I broke lots of boards.
- Moved from Kentucky to California when I was 16. My accent and clothes didn’t help me make friends very quickly.
- Photo editor for my high school yearbook and newspaper. I won first place at the Fresno State University high school photo competition two years in a row. (Yes, I may have told that girl to kiss the cow’s nose.)
- Worked as a sports photographer at the Lodi News-Sentinel during high school. Yes, real film and developing prints in the darkroom.
- Met my wife at Vanguard University when I was a sophomore. After dating three weeks, I professed my love and told her that we would get married. (She flipped out.)
- We got married in between my junior and senior year of college. See…I was right.
- Crossed the graduation stage twice in order to pick up my BA and MA after four years. I was so burned out that I never finished my thesis…and didn’t get that MA.
- Completed a different MA in Cross Cultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. I went to night classes (over an hour from home) while I was working for three years at a paper distribution company that was the epitome of Dunder Mifflin before The Office even existed.
- Helped start one of the fastest growing churches in Orange County. It grew to over 1,000 people in a year, and I was way over my head at the age of 25.
- Co-founded a website that was a central resource for new-fangled churches in the ’90’s. In 1998, I left ministry in order to raise $1 million to fund a massive launch, and the economy tanked. No money, but the website exploded with growth.
- Founded a church with a dozen people, and it grew to 750 people, three locations, and dozen staff within 5 years. I was a workaholic.
- Spoke to crowds of over 20,000 people in India. I should mention that the translator helped tremendously.
- Started a 10,000 square foot furniture store in a challenged neighborhood. We sold used hotel furniture at a massive discount. People loved it, but acquisition was too expensive.
- Crashed, burned, and destroyed the relationships with my family and had a mental breakdown. I know what it’s like to hit rock bottom, and I’m incredibly thankful for grace, therapy, and second chances.
- Started a marketing business that I still run today. I help companies and non-profits clarify their existence and communicate it clearly.
- Co-founded a plush toy manufacturing company that benefits non-profits. It still exists today…they are so cute.
- Directed and produced three feature-length documentaries on social justice issues. All gained distribution, and the first was on Netflix for two years. Here’s the info on my IMDB.
- Directed and produced a scripted feature film that came out in 2018. The reviews are pretty good.
- Wrote eight books. Seven self-published, and one with a publisher. Does it really matter these days? Maybe, maybe not.
- Produced three photography books. They are self-published and available on Amazon.
- Travelled to India nine times for humanitarian projects. Picture orphans getting food and education while remote villages get water wells instead of walking through snake-infested fields to a nasty water hole where a cow is bathing.
- Lost 65 pounds on a low-carb diet. Tim Ferriss inspired me…to do everything. (Okay, that’s not quite true.)
- Fell down, screwed up, and learned lots of lessons. Feel free to learn from my mistakes.
- Love spending time with my family more than anything. I love launching projects and accomplishing goals, but nothing comes close to how awesome my family is.