Know Your Song Well with Prof Spira

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In this episode of Juice Guru, we talked with special guest Professor Spira of Mucus Free Life. Some highlights from our enlightening discussion of entrepreneurship include: 

  • How entrepreneurship allowed Professor Spira to recognize his gifts from a young age
  • Prof. Spira’s own introduction to the mucusless diet, and how it changed his life
  • The work of Arnold Ehret and its impact on the plant-based diet movement
  • The importance of protecting your vision and avoiding unwelcome criticism in the early stages of building your business 
  • The tips and tricks Prof. Spira wishes he had known when building Mucus Free Life
  • The rewards found in building a business based around your passions

About the guest:
Professor Spira is the founder of Mucus Free Life LLC and renowned expert on the mucus-free lifestyle. While studying jazz trombone performance at the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music, Spira was overweight and suffering from multiple ailments including sleep apnea, joint pain, and daily migraines. After learning about Arnold Ehret’s Mucusless Diet Healing System, Spira made a lifestyle change and lost 110 pounds and overcame all his ailments within six months. Now a staunch believer in the mucus-free lifestyle, Spira works to revive the teachings of Ehret by promoting a transitional diet. He has published several bestselling books, produced hundreds of educational videos about the mucusless diet, and created sustainable, life-changing mucusless diet plans. He’s also a gifted jazz musician and talented teacher, having been the youngest faculty member at Northern Kentucky University. He’s performed and recorded with some of the world’s best musicians and is the co-leader of the Breathairean Ensemble. 

Links:
Juice Guru Radio: https://juiceguru.com/podcast-shows/

Juice Guru Institute:
https://juiceguru.com

Juice Guru’s Certified Juice Therapist program: https://juiceguru.com/certified-juice-therapist/

Mucus Free Life:
https://www.mucusfreelife.com

Professor Spira’s Mucus-free Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/breathairvision

Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less by Sam Carpenter: 
https://amzn.to/3npIPJ8

Mucusless Diet Healing System by Arnold Ehret: https://amzn.to/3Cadb8k

Read The Transcription

Prof. Spira

You want to be able to really understand those fields that you’re involved in on a deep level, not just the surface level, but where you really go deep with it. And then when you start to record yourself talking about these things and producing some promotional content and videos and that kind of stuff or products, then you will really be poised to be able to make a dent and help a lot of people.

Announcer

Welcome to Juice Guru Radio for entrepreneurs. Firestart your own health movement. And now your host, founder of Juice Guru Institute and bestselling author, Steve Prussack.

Steve Prussack

Well, welcome back to another edition of Juicingpreneur Radio. I’m your host Steve Prussack. It’s great to be with you. We’ve got our friend, Professor Spira. He’s become such a great leader in the movement and I’ve been really excited to follow his work. He carries on the work of one of my greatest mentors, Arnold Ehret from way back in the day and he’s keeping the dream alive with the work he’s doing in Mucus-free Life. He’s really starting a revolution around mucus-free eating, mucusless diet healing system and carrying on that work.

Steve Prussack

And it’s so much needed. You’re going to love the work he’s doing. We’re going to hear about the journey he’s on. The journey he continues to this day. Republishing the books, annotating the books and updating them, making them work in this day and age which has been a real blessing. His website is mucusfreelife.com

Steve Prussack

And he’s doing so much work and I’ve got his bio here. We’re going to have it up under the show notes at juicingpreneur.com. Let’s welcome to the show right now, Professor Spira.

Prof. Spira

 Greetings. How are you doing, Steve?

Steve Prussack

Professor Spira, thank you for being here.

Prof. Spira

It’s a pleasure, a privilege. I’m excited to be here.

Steve Prussack

Well, let’s dive in. How did the journey come about? Like, did you always have the entrepreneurial bug, so to say, or how does this all start for you?

Prof. Spira

So my earliest recollection of the concept of owning my own business was when I was very young. My aunt bought me a toy called ‘my first business,’ and I’m three or four years old, something like that. And I can still remember this toy. It was like in a red kind of box and you open it up and it had some office supplies in there. And there was a little to-do-list and had some places where you could put writing utensils and just all this sort of stuff to have a little office.

Prof. Spira

And I enjoyed playing business. That was something, as an only child. And I grew up spending time. This is yeah. I kind of split my time between my mother who was in and out of the hospital all the time because she was very ill and my aunt and grandmother. So when I was with my aunt and grandmother, that’s when I would do a lot of this kind of play. They really supported anything like that. There’s this creativity along with this business interest that I had. And so I would play with them.

Prof. Spira

And I would set up my little stuff on the table, my first business and I would act like I’m writing things and selling things to them. I I started a fake little ice cream truck in my living room where I turned over a table, put covers over it and sort of pushed it while I sang, like an ice cream truck and sell stuff to imaginary ice cream to my grandma and would weigh things. And so that..

Steve Prussack

That’s so cool.

Prof. Spira

It is, so that was always real fun. Now, to me, that was just a fun thing that made sense.

Prof. Spira

It’s like, I have my own little business. And later in elementary school, you know, I had trouble early on learning to read. I was kind of a slow reader. My math skills were bad. And so I was made to feel pretty dumb within the type of educational system that I was a part of.  The public education system in the United States in Ohio. And so I just I always was like, no, something’s wrong, something’s wrong with this system. I felt it when I was really young.

Prof. Spira

And I always kind of was a little jealous when the so called smart kids would kind of go off, they would have these special classes or these little whatever they called it these things where they would leave and go and have this fun and then come back and I’m like, well, why did they get to do that? What’s so special about them? And when I was in 6th grade, I entered in what used to be called the ‘invention convention.’ But it was that year, the ‘toy convention.’ So you actually invent a toy and put together a poster presentation and your judged.

Prof. Spira

So I invented a toy called a game called ‘dance fever.’ And it reminds me of some of the stuff that’s out today where with the electronic games or kids dance along and stuff like that. But basically, you had a board. And that was still the cassette days back then. And so there was a cassette with music and you would wind up shoes. It would go on to a number on the board that corresponded with the cassette number, and you would find that song and dance to it.

Prof. Spira

And then your friends and family playing with you would grade you on your dancing. That was the concept that I had come up with. So I won, I got first place for entrepreneurship and first place for my game in my school and went on to regional competitions at the Kauffman Foundation, which promotes entrepreneurship education. And in doing that process, that was the first time I ever created a business plan. They actually took us aside, and we met with some local entrepreneurs, and they taught us how to put together a business plan.

Prof. Spira

That we would then present to potential investors or any of something like that. And I guess what I’m an 11 or 12 years old just around that 6th grade area. So I go to regional competitions, I get 2nd runner up. Another thing that we do there that’s sort of interesting with what I do on YouTube is that was the first time I really produced a serious video, like a commercial. That was basically it was kind of like a little infomercial for my product, which went along which was also evaluated.

Prof. Spira

So after that, the Kauffman Foundation was even interested and if I wanted to go to school for business. They were talking with my parents about potentially giving me some grants and funding and scholarships and things. If I wanted to go in that direction, and I ultimately didn’t in terms of formal education, I didn’t go down a business realm that way.

Steve Prussack

But that would have been high school, like you would have gone there for high school?

Prof. Spira

Well, like college. So even though, this was before I was in high school, if I wanted to go to high school and then ultimately go to college and major in some kind of business-related or entrepreneurial-related field, they may have given me some kind of scholarship. Been earmarked already that earmarked. But my aunt specifically said she didn’t want to. She’s always been really good with letting me explore a lot of different things. And so I was very active in all kinds of different things in high school and junior high, from sports, the Boy Scouts, really in the Boy Scouts Order of the Arrow, a number of other organizations.

Prof. Spira

And so she never pressured me into one direction saying, okay, you should do this or you should do that. So I ultimately was able to choose the direction I wanted, which was to become a professional musician. And so that’s what I pursued when I went to went to college. But I always had that entrepreneurial kind of bug. And I also had this idea of and had seen enough entrepreneurs talking because I would always kind of pay attention to a lot of the infomercials.

Prof. Spira

You know,  the 90’s infomercials back in the day. I sit there and watch and analyze the commercials. What kid is sitting there analyzing infomercials, but I would sit there and analyze the emotional kind of content, the way that they present the information, the way I just sort of took all that in and thought about it critically. And a few different people kind of said, well if you really want to be on your own business, you don’t have to go to college for that or major in something. You know, it’s a whole different realm.

Prof. Spira

And so, okay, that makes sense. Then I for a short period of time, I participated in a multilevel marketing. And this is right after senior year high school, a multilevel marketing thing that was called Excel Communication zone. That’s not there anymore. But basically, you kind of like, Amway for electronics. You getting your friends and family to get into the phones. And that kind of stuff where instead of buying phone service through AT&T, they get it through you and you get the kick back.

Prof. Spira

And so I did that for a minute. And and I learned a lot from doing that but I also knew that I didn’t want, that’s not the kind of business that I wanted. I wanted my own business, not to be a retailer kind of thing. So yes. And then once I went to college, I was really focusing then on education and becoming an artist. So I was thinking a lot less about business and even at that time, there’s a part of the spiritual journey I was on.

Prof. Spira

I was thinking, well, maybe all of that interest that I have in business is just that I wasn’t really supposed to do that because I kind of got so deep into practicing the mucusless diet and into the art. And sometimes if you’re an artist, there’s this idea of which is sort of lame and not really true. But it’s just more of this myth of – if you’re too concerned with business and it makes your art not pure and, you know, and all that kind of stuff. 

Prof. Spira

I fed into a little bit of that in college. It’s hard not to. But I also noticed that once I started understanding the music business, I was kind of like, I don’t really want to, I don’t want to do the things that most musicians have to do to be able to make a living with music. I want to make the music that I want to make. I don’t necessarily want to work and do a lot of studio work, playing other people’s stuff. I want to do my own. Nothing wrong with that. It’s just not what I wanted to do or tour.

Prof. Spira

I had the opportunity to even potentially tour with a couple pretty famous groups but that’s just not what I wanted to do. And so, I started thinking more about marketing and seeing how there’s so many great musicians and artists, but so many of them have no clue how to market themselves. And so they ultimately just are great musicians that remain local, you know, local musicians. And they’ll have some other job or during the week they work someplace and maybe they teach. There’s a lot of teachers that go and get things in music.

Prof. Spira

And then there’s not enough for performing gigs and so they teach. And so I just didn’t want to really do that and at least not teach, like on that level on a high school level. So I stayed in school work to get my first master’s degree. And that’s when I taught then at Northern Kentucky University for 2 years. So I got that teaching that was when I was 23 years old, and I taught for 2 years as a professor of music at Northern Kentucky. And so I learned so much doing that and not just about pedagogy and curriculum, but also about entrepreneurship and salesmanship, because I would always bring a bit of showmanship into my lecture process.

Prof. Spira

Those students were kind of interested in what in my lectures. I kind of look forward to it because I wasn’t just going up there just sort of being boring and talking. You know, I always tried to have some interesting slant. And but I related that in some ways to sales into marketing. I see a connection from a and I know a lot of people, some educators like, oh don’t think about it like that. That’s again, impure. There’s all these purity tests all over the place.

Prof. Spira

But to me, the best educators are actually great sales salesmen, you know, they’re able to convey the information in a way that sticks with you. And so I really kind of Hone those skills as an educator then came to Columbus, they were going to offer me a full time teaching gig. And I was like, I’m not really ready for that. So I pursued my PhD, came up to Ohio State and then worked, went through that process, which is anybody that’s been through PhD program, you know, that’s the intensity of that and how that pushes you to just develop a lot of skills that would be very hard for you to develop just on your own and went through that process.

Prof. Spira

But before I graduated, I thought to myself, instead of graduating and immediately going into teaching which I could have, I had those those opportunities were there. But I didn’t want to do that again. I like to have my own freedom, answer to myself and my customers. So I decided to essentially take some of my student loans that I was taking out at the time and use them as business loans. So that is when I developed the and I should say this whole time since I got into college, and I was really getting deeper in deeper in the mucusless diet and deeply studying it and wanting to put that information out into the world.

Prof. Spira

And I was like, one of the reasons that nobody knows who Arnold Ehret is is  because there has been a lack of promotion, a lack of marketing in a big kind of way. And so I wanted to try to change that. And I was like okay and I thought that I would maybe do some of these things later in life because that was the one thing that I had to kind of go with the flow because it made sense to start doing it toward the end of my school, student career.

Prof. Spira

But initially I had thought, well, this is something that after I do my music and tour the world, doing that, I’ll come back and I’ll promote the diet. But it’s sort of turning out to be the opposite, like that. And so I spent a couple of years that’s when I wrote the books and published the first books that we published and got the website going started. It started off as Arnold Ehret US when it was more just before I got serious about branding and serious about really trying to put this information out there.

Prof. Spira

I just wanted to make it available but then once I started saying, I think I can really do this, I can put this information out there, there’s a need for it. There’s a demand that nobody’s really filling in terms of transition because nobody’s talking about transition at that time. I can’t think of anybody that was really talking about transition diet in a systematic way, the way that Arnold Ehret talks about it. All right. There’s a place for us here. And I just went through the process of that.

Prof. Spira

Everybody that is entrepreneur knows how hard that is when you try, because you got to try to figure everything out.

Steve Prussack

No, no. I mean, that’s not the happily ever after right there, right? That’s not like Professor Spira lived happily ever after now.

Prof. Spira

Not at all. That’s like, okay, you decided to come down town.

Steve Prussack

You’ve gone the down the road less travelled.

Prof. Spira

Yeah, the road less travelled. Yeah so.

Steve Prussack

That’s awesome.

And it’s interesting how little things. Like I had a little consultation with someone here and there and that I had met with somebody that really was saying, you need to stop talking about Arnold Eret because he kind of did, because I’m just kind of historic minded. And so I like to really bring a lot of history and things. And so I get excited about historical figures more so maybe than people in the mainstream. So there was somebody that was like, you really need to kind of stop focusing as much on Arnold Ehret and promote yourself, promote your brand.

Prof. Spira

And so at that time, I actually created profspira.us which if you go to the oldest videos, you’ll see that. And so I experimented with that but that still didn’t feel right. I’m like, this still isn’t really it. And that’s when I created Mucus-free Life, that made the most sense to me. We’re talking about mucusless-ness or being mucus-free, that’s kind of self-explanatory. And we’re focusing on the lifestyle, not just a diet to mess around with or not just a cleanse, but an actual lifestyle.

Prof. Spira

So okay, Mucus-free Life. So that was sort of a way that I got some consultation, got some information from someone that said one thing, and it did make sense to maybe move away from the arnoldehret.us. That approach, because that wasn’t working in the United States. That actually worked kind of well in Italy, but not here. But the Professor Spira angle just putting everything behind that didn’t feel right. So I just said created a third option, which is where Mucus-free Life came from and that became the brand and I kind of put put everything under that umbrella.

Steve Prussack

So what were some of the struggles getting it off the ground? Obviously, you’re balancing the music with this, but then you start to go full force into it. What were some of the challenges on the road?

Prof. Spira

A lot of the challenges are doing the research to see if you have an idea of what you want to do. And sometimes it’s kind of fuzzy. It’s like you can see it and you’re like, okay, I think I can publish my own books, but how am I gonna do it? Then you start researching, okay. There’s several different platforms that offer self-publishing. Then, okay. Well, what are the requirements there? Then I said, okay, you have to have a Word document if you be able to have a Word document or really a PDF that created in Word that is properly formatted.

Prof. Spira

And that’s sort of the first step. So it’s like these little technical things that you have to figure out. It becomes your business to know all of those little details, those little technical details. And when you’re doing no to all yourself like that, when you’re starting with no relatively no money, I didn’t have any kind of investment capital or anything like that. I’m basically just trying to leverage as many free programs as I can that I find online as well as I mean, really those first couple of years, it was virtually no overhead because I was trying to use as many free programs as possible.

Prof. Spira

But it takes time to study all of them, to be exposed to all of the different software programs and platforms and things that you can invest in. And the challenge for me, there is that sometimes there’s so many of them, and you have to rely on reading reviews, you study and compare and contrast the different platforms, my Infusionsoft experience would be a good example of that, where it’s a very, very large investment  because once you start going down that path, now you’ve invested some serious time and money.

Prof. Spira

You can’t just easily go to another platform as an example. So those were the kind of challenges for me just finding since I’m doing kind of doing everything myself, I have to, you know, a little bit about web building, you know, just enough, just enough where I might not build the whole thing but I need to be able to speak a certain language to web developers so that I can communicate to them what it is that I actually want. And sometimes emails. I mean, you spend more time trying to write an email to a web developer as to what you want.

Prof. Spira

Okay and just because you might not be fluent in that language, and so it takes time to do that. And I noticed that’s what where you lose a lot of people when they start to see that that kind of work and time has to go into it. You’re like, folks are kind of like, I don’t know about that’s a lot. And it’s like, yeah, it is a lot.

Steve Prussack

But people, you’re bringing back old nightmares for me now, but people don’t realize how much easier it is now. The technology is evolving. It makes it a lot easier than when we first started out.

Prof. Spira

Yeah. Definitely. Yeah. With every passing year, it gets a little easier, a little more refined. There’s more software programs and platforms that come into being that facilitate these things that we want. I can think the first time when I tried to I’m here with some really strange apps that I originally tried to use to capture people’s email addresses for a newsletter. I mean, it was something on WordPress. I don’t even remember what it was. I mean, it was one of those really complicated plugins that would crash the site and that kind of stuff.

Prof. Spira

But that was kind of all that was really around. The thing was a little bit before Mailchimp got real popular, and then I kind of went in the Mailchimp direction, but they they were sort of there was a lot of limitations there where the things I wanted to do. I wanted to be able to kind of automate emails and that kind of stuff. And they have that now but they didn’t then. And so that’s when I made the I made the big decision to go over to Infusionsoft, which it was just such an expensive kind of thing.

Prof. Spira

But at the same time, it was an important part in the development of my business because that’s when I was like, okay, I’m really taking this serious now. So I have to kind of put up or shut up with the Infusionsoft and so.

Steve Prussack

Taking us back at this point and you’re just getting it off the ground. What were you trying to achieve?

Prof. Spira

So I was trying to get the mucusless diet healing system and Professor Arnold Ehret’s name and works in front of as many people as possible, but not just indiscriminately but people that would actually be open to checking it out and looking into the mucusless diet in the practice. And so I started to really look at target markets  that were receptive to the mucusless diet at that time, and sort of have a different slant because, again, trying to find a way into the market because that’s really hard.

Prof. Spira

Sometimes in the beginning,  if there is an existing market, there’s already people out there that’s more popular than you, that are selling more stuff than you and that kind of thing. So how can you differentiate yourself from them? What are you bringing to the table? And so, that originally I thought that I might be able to appeal to vegans. And so I dawned my original slogan. Well, the original slogan was actually ‘Mucus-free is the way to be,’ but then I was kind of like, well, let’s see if we can get some of these vegans on board.

Prof. Spira

So I called ‘Mucus-free, the original vegan diet,’ which is true and I wrote an article on that kind of breaks that down. But what I found was a lot of people that were already vegans were not necessarily ready to get into the mucusless diet healing system unless they were sick. So unless they had ailments, they were already suffering from, there was kind of this attitude that they were already really advanced. They already don’t eat meat, so they don’t need to push any further. They don’t need any more information there, even if they have their Oreos on the weekend or whatever, they were very happy with where they’re at. And so it was it’s hard to communicate with them but…

Steve Prussack

Well, they have their pop-tarts.

Prof. Spira

Yes, right. Vegan pop-tarts. They can go to Taco Bell and get the vegan burritos and so they’re good. And so that was okay, well, I think that still works, that framing. But I noticed that at that time, there was the raw foods movement was growing. There was a really large extremist kind of tilt to it. And what was happening, there was a lot of people that were really kind of getting swept up in the moment, as things happened with fads.

Prof. Spira

And so they were following a number of these different figures, and they would change their diets but they weren’t transitioning. And so I saw that. Okay, this is not going to last really long. So people are going to really be really adamant and act like they’re feeling great for a while. But then some of these people are going to start falling off the wagon. So I was like, let me, let Mucus-free Life be the place to grab you when you fall. So when you fall and you had good intentions, you were trying to eat nothing with fruit or the raw fruits and vegetables and all that the whole kind of raw food thing.

Steve Prussack

Well, depending on who you followed, because there’s so many different ways to do it, you know.

Prof. Spira

Exactly, depending on who you was following, if and when you start to fall from that, we have the information. So I would try to plant seeds in some of these communities. So online, I became members of a lot of the different Facebook groups, and I would make comments on YouTube channels and stuff and just sort of put myself out there in that targeted community. And that’s sort of what started happening where there was get more and more people that would want to work with me or would come and read the books that were coming from any number of different raw food programs.

Prof. Spira

And they’d be like, yeah I did it and I felt good. I just hear the same thing over and over. I did it for a while. I felt really good. But then I started feeling bad and I couldn’t do this, and I started having these cravings and that kind of stuff. And so I’m like, okay, well, I’m glad you’re here, because what a lot of people that didn’t find us, they would go all the way back to just eating a standard diet again. And it was just sort of throw it all that away.

Prof. Spira

Like I was just extremist nonsense. I fell into that for a while now I’m back.

Steve Prussack

Right. Or they were going into paleo or raw meat.

Prof. Spira

Exactly. All the way to the other side. Yeah, the paleo raw meat, Atkins type of mess. And so that’s where I was like, okay we can catch these folks and say, all right, it’s cool that you wanted to be 100% raw and that you’re incorporating more fruits and vegetables, and hopefully you’re juicing and that kind of stuff. But let’s dial it back.

Prof. Spira

 Let’s check. Take a look at this transition methodology that Professor Arnold Ehret put in place after working with thousands and thousands of the sickest people. He had put together a system that anybody could start and follow and make permanent changes and have a better success through a transitional approach and a systematic approach. And so that was kind of how I came into finding your audience. We talk about that sometimes sometimes you have to find your audience. And that’s where I was able to find the initial audience, which it did have its limitations.

Prof. Spira

And so one of the challenges in that particular period and I’m thinking about 6, 5 years ago, 4 or 5 years ago is I had to frame my discussions in a way that didn’t attack raw foodism, because then I would turn people off immediately. But to sort of say, like, yeah that’s cool. But if things ever get bad, check out the transition methodology. You know, there’s nothing wrong with transitioning, and it was actually really challenging to create a community space where people felt safe posting up a picture of some cooked, mucus-free foods because there was so much extremism.

Prof. Spira

And it was like I didn’t want to just come out hardcore against it, because then I would turn a lot of those folks off. And so I had to try to find literally find a way to transition those folks into Arnold Ehret’s work, because there was so much misinformation and misunderstanding about Ehret’s work. A lot of people framed him as the all-fruit, the fruitarian type of person where if you actually read the mucusless diet, there’s a difference in saying that the human species is a frugivorous species.

Prof. Spira

But that doesn’t mean that we can all just eat fruit tomorrow, and that’s it. There was a very sophisticated transitional system that he put in place. And so that’s where I’ve tried to lead people to that information.

Steve Prussack

I love it. I love where our world come together because I was part of that movement. I was doing the first podcast in health. Raw Vegan Radio back in 2004. I mean, gosh, I can’t believe they were podcast back then, and I was doing it to stay the path and meet other raw food leaders. And so you talk about someone that got to interview all those people and hear all this conflicting advice and be caught up in the whole ‘how raw are you?’,  ‘are you a hundred percent raw?’

Steve Prussack

There was this weird cult like thing about it that I always tried to escape from or stay grounded in reality. There was a whole weird thing that went with that raw food movement. You know what I’m talking about.

Prof. Spira

Definitely. Definitely. And that’s where it literally was part of the marketing plan. And the roll out was to appeal to that, to find a way to appeal to that market. And knowing that a lot of those folks are going to start falling off the wagon to build that into the business plan and say, okay, these folks are going to be falling off. This is not sustainable so, it’s not going to just be lasting indefinitely. So, but like I said, I had to kind of thread the needle in terms of how to communicate with especially a large group of people, because I have one of the things I’m most proud of with our movement and the folks that plug in to Mucus-free Life is the diversity. We got diverse racial backgrounds, ethnic backgrounds, political leanings, just a lot of diversity, which can make it hard on one.

Prof. Spira

You think a little bit more sensitivity and education has to be involved, because what a lot of these more cult-like type of following in these little groups afford people is the ability to not have to think so much, because if everybody is in chorus saying the same talking points and everything, then it sort of everybody’s just sort of slapping each other on the back saying, okay, you’re great. You speak the language. We’re all on the same page. So we would always kind of come and say, okay, I acknowledge that language, but I’m purposely not gonna talk like that.

Prof. Spira

We’re purposefully looking at these things differently. And it forces people that are tuning in or trying to converse to change. And you actually learn all the Socratic method, but you learn through that new socialization, through conversation. And and so that was a big part of it with the Facebook group where we would have these dialogues. And when I would have dialogues of people. That’s why one of my books I got the word dialogue in there because I’m looking back at these old Plato Socratic method, the Socrates, those dialogues, Platonic dialogues.

Prof. Spira

And I was like, that’s an excellent way to to reason and for people to learn and and to actually change the paradigm, to shift over from one way of viewing things to another way and so that would kind of be the educational where the marketing and the sales interest met with the curricular interest of really wanting people to learn and not just parrot what I’m saying or learn what I’m doing. But it’s kind of a tall order but I really try to encourage people to learn how to think for themselves and to the age old tradition of logic, the long lost art form of being able to think through things logically yourself.

Prof. Spira

So I’m always kind of trying to promote that. But those have been some of the challenges definitely is just dealing with all of these different backgrounds. And like, you were talking about people so much conflicting information, and you get some people that are so hardcore on one thing and hardcore another, and without civil dialogue, it just turns into arguing.

Steve Prussack

So there is also a weird thing that happens, by the way. Thank you for that. That’s such a great methodology. But there was also that godlike complex that a lot of the leaders in the raw food movement, they almost like – it’s my way or no way, and people follow them like sheep to the slaughter. And but anyway, I don’t want to go off on a tangent on that because I love the work you’re doing. And another thing you reminded me of was in those early episodes of Raw Vegan Radio.

Steve Prussack

I was bringing in, I would play like, these old commercials that were real commercials for these pharmaceuticals or cigarettes, or just the irony of it all. And what I love the first draw me to your work was the creativity you were bringing into your podcast and messaging with the doctor-character that you play. And I’m like, wow, he’s really into it. He’s passionate and he’s creative. He’s bringing his creativity to the table. And that was something I noticed right from the beginning.

Prof. Spira

Yeah. And that’s another part of who I am. And a lot of the fun part. I really view myself as a creator first and foremost. And I like, just creating new things, whether it’s music, video, businesses, constitutions for organizations, whatever it is, dissertations. For me, it’s all about a creative process. It’s all sort of part of the same body of work that I relate to again, from childhood, when I was feeling the best was when I was creating something and I got cassette tapes of me. I used to record myself like I was a radio host when I was four or five years old, I’m recording and I’m acting like I’m talking on the radio and performing live.

Prof. Spira

I had this little a little toy guitar I’m playing and saying kind of making things up off top of my head, trying to improvise and saying and I didn’t know that that’s what I was doing. I actually thought that that’s how everybody made music. I didn’t know that people would learn things ahead of time. I thought that everybody sort of just used this telepathy to improvise everything on the spot. And so interestingly, the field, the direction of music I went into is where that does occur in the improvisation art form.

Prof. Spira

But, yeah, I always thought that some of my musical interest and an artistic interest from your groups, like Art Ensemble Chicago and Sun Ra. I mean, a lot of people don’t know who those ghost folks are. If you check out Sun Rara, if you check out Art Ensemble Chicago, you look at some of the jazz music, the spiritual jazz music and movement that was happening in the late 60’s and the 70’s. It gets really clear where a lot of my influence comes from, because I was so immersed into that culture into that time period.

Prof. Spira

And I just love the creativity of that time period. And so with the colors. And I basically taught myself, which is one of the best thing that I probably ever did was when I taught myself how to video edit. And I did that when I was when I was doing my first master’s degree at College of Conservatory Music, I recorded my master’s performance, thesis performance. We recorded it with my band, and then I I spent just weeks and hours and hours going to their studio and learning how to use that sort of the primitive version of Adobe Premiere, and it turned out really good, you know, kind of professional what I literally just sort of sat there and figure things out.

Prof. Spira

And so now, that’s the closest thing that I think I have to a hobby is probably video editing, because I’ve never studied it formally. I don’t really have an interest to study it formally. I like to envision what I want to see and then see if I can do it with the editing tools. But it’s important to me to be expressive, to not hold back, to have fun with the creativity with what you’re making, whether if it’s some kind of imagery and videos and what you’re wearing all that kind of stuff.

Steve Prussack

So what kind of mindset just needed to run your own business?

Prof. Spira

You need to have a mindset of I guess, I don’t know. I even depend on the business. But for me, it’s just the hardcore mindset of not giving up. You know when somebody says, oh, you can’t do that or no, you don’t have that. You’re a problem solver to the highest of levels. You’re always thinking like, okay, this is what I kind of want to do but how do you get it done, as opposed to. One of the things that I think is hard for some people, which I’ve learned to do over years and years because I have always sort of been forward thinking.

Prof. Spira

And I would tell people things that I thought would happen or some visions of things or stuff, and I would get ridiculed and people would just attack me. And I noticed that also, when you start sometimes telling people about business plans and things like that. If you’re talking to the wrong person, they will shut you down. And so, I learned how to keep things to myself and only talk about them with the right people that were going to be supportive, that were going to be helpful and to not necessarily just indiscriminately talk to a bunch of different people about things that haven’t happened yet, things that are still concepts.

Prof. Spira

Because when I first started talking about publishing my own books or even starting a business, some people that were even maybe kind of close to me that just didn’t understand that at all. They’re just like, well, you can’t do that. Like, what are you talking about? You don’t have a book deal, you don’t have this or you don’t have a degree in that field. Like, what are you doing? Just one of those people that learned how to just keep quiet, focus on the work, and then I kind of tell everybody about it later.

Prof. Spira

You know, all those people you would normally maybe want to talk about. And that was hard because there is that part where you get excited and you want to share it with your loved ones, people close. Hey, check this out. This is so cool. And it’s one of those just kind of unfortunate things where I had to learn that I have to sometimes keep that to myself until it’s fully formed because I want to protect it. I don’t want when you start to share those kinds of things.

Prof. Spira

If you sometimes you can get sensitive about your creations and your ideas, and if you’re not, if it’s not something that you’re looking for criticism for yet, but somebody gives you a bunch of it, then it can sort of take the air out of your tires. So that’s been something that when I think about a unique kind of thing that I don’t hear a ton of people talk about. But that’s definitely something that helped me was just to just do it and talk about it later when there was ideas like that.

Steve Prussack

Yeah. Thanks for sharing that. Now, I wish I had heard that way back. And seriously, if you’re listening to this at home, trust me, you’re getting – that’s a golden nugget right there. And that alone because the words of someone can really hold you back, if we hold on to what they’re saying, you really have to have a thick skin in that kind of way. Or not say anything like Professor Spira which I had to learn the hard way. So thank you for that. Mindset is everything. 

Steve Prussack

We have a motto here, ‘Find a way.’  Whatever it is and in those darkest days, like as we were building our business and my bank account was dipping lower and lower, and I was really in a state of fear. The motto became ‘Find a way.’ Do you find that helpful?

Prof. Spira

Definitely. Definitely.

Steve Prussack

That’s it so if you could give yourself the young Professor Spira advice about starting your business, what would it be? If you can go back to the 5 year old or what, maybe 13? Whatever. What advice would you give?

Prof. Spira

My advice would be to start with just s something we’ve talked about is to start thinking in terms of building systems from your business  because that’s what you’re doing. And that’s what I’ve always done but I wasn’t thinking about it like that. And so you can kind of just feel like you’re sort of just like you’re always reinventing the wheel all the time where it’s okay. I know that I’ve heard other people say this, but I have this particular need that I haven’t necessarily heard other people have.

Prof. Spira

Then you create a way to a solution. And that solution is usually a system in some way or shape.

Steve Prussack

Now for those that are not in that conversation, what is a system for those? Like, what does he mean system?

Prof. Spira

So system systems are everywhere. One way that you can look at the world is through the filter of a system. So you turn on a faucet in your house, how did you get that water? There’s a system involved that got you that water. You turn on a light switch and the lights come on, there is a sophisticated system that’s behind all that. With your body, the circulatory system, the digestive system. Within the context of a business, when you have something like you have to, you have to deal with your taxes and you have to sort of deal with expenses and all that kind of stuff.

Prof. Spira

You could either just sort of haphazardly put everything in a folder, and then maybe at the end of the year, you try to go through it and write things down and be a mess. Or you can systematize that process and and you don’t have that mess. Things get done as they’re supposed to get done. Or if you’re creating something as an art. And I think what I brought to this as well as the mucusless diet healing system, is this ability to to think in terms of gradual systems that can work with other systems and ultimately lead to a, just lead to an organism. As an organism is basically a bunch of different systems put together working, working in tandem.

Steve Prussack

It was interesting when I brought you the idea and we talked about it. I didn’t make that connection that it’s the mucusless healing system. I didn’t even realize it was right there, too.

Prof. Spira

Yeah, exactly. Because I would talk about I just never really consciously thought about it that deeply within terms of setting up systems for my business, which again it was something that I was already doing. But with that turn of attention and consciousness, all of a sudden, I was able to start to really do it with intention and do it better than I was doing it before, because you can improve. The systems allow you to constantly refine because you evaluate a system that’s in place and you say, okay, well, how can I improve this?

Prof. Spira

A good example of maybe a better example of a system that people would know about. Let’s say, if you do have a if you could use an automation software to collect email addresses, that’s a system that you set up. You have a piece of software, but you have to set up how that data is coming in, where it’s going, how it’s being used. That’s all part of what you set up, you know, part of your system. And so when you start to look at your business as a series of systems, then it can start to really change your efficiency. So you’re not doing everything by yourself.

Steve Prussack

Now we can do a whole show on system. So I’m going to tell you for you listening at home the book that I recommended to Professor Spira, which was ‘Work the System.’ That was the first book that we talked about, right? Do you think that’s a good place for those that want to go deeper on that?

Prof. Spira

Definitely, excellent book. And you can find that right online and a great, great book was totally was right on time and right on point. And the thing that’s interesting with that, too, is I would tell my younger self to be thinking about that, but I wouldn’t if I would have been thinking about that over this time, the efficiency, I would have been able to grow faster, my efficiency would have been better. But at the same time, there is a time and place for you to start sort of amping up things when it’s time to grow.

Prof. Spira

Because in the beginning, you do do a lot of stuff by yourself. If you’re in business by yourself or if you’re in business with another person, there’s a couple people on doing everything. But there’s a certain point where if you’re going to grow anymore, you’re going to have to change some things, and your systems have to get more efficient, get some more people involved. And so that was where I was at, where I kind of took things as far as I could take it the way I was doing it. So I had to be open and that flexibility or plasticity to be able to move and change.

Prof. Spira

That’s another important attribute of great entrepreneurs because you do have to constantly be vigilant evaluating the market, evaluating new technologies. I’m always learning about new softwares that I may or might use or may not use. But I try to stay abreast of all that kind of stuff, and that becomes part of the actual job as part of the work that you have to do.

Steve Prussack

What’s your advice for those just starting out?  They want to lead their own. They want to fire start their own health revolution. They want to get their message out. What’s your advice to those just starting out?

Prof. Spira

Is to get started, to just start recording. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect, which would probably be another thing I would tell myself when I was younger because I’m kind of a perfectionist with stuff, but everything doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s better to put your ideas down and get them out. But I’m also a huge advocate of studying and researching. You really have to know your stuff. You have to take some time because there are some people out here that try to become guru figures and promoters of a particular diet or something way before they’ve really mastered the information and the practice of it themselves.

Prof. Spira

And in some cases, and you see that sometimes the younger folks and that kind of stuff. It’s like they are trying to promote something as a way for them to learn it themselves. They also get a little ego trip out of trying to getting a following and stuff. But my recommendation is to really focus on your studies. So if your area of expertise is whatever element, you know, if your area of expertise is massage therapy and you’re incorporating juicing into that or mucusless diet or whatever, you want to be able to really understand those fields that you’re involved in on a deep level, not just the surface level, but where you really go deep with it.

Prof. Spira

And then when you start to record yourself talking about these things and producing some promotional content and videos and that kind of stuff or products, then you will really be poised to be able to make a dent and help a lot of people.

Steve Prussack

Well, I stole this line from Bob Dylan, and I used it in my webinar when we teach people about this very topic and ‘It’s know your song well before you start singing.’ You know, and that’s the way. Professor Spira, what achievement are you most proud of?

Prof. Spira

Yeah, it’s hard to say one thing .I can kind of say things in different fields. So in the academic field, I’m probably most proud of my bachelor’s degree and even though I went on to get 2 Masters degrees and a PhD, that initial bachelor’s degree sort of signifies the time period of transformation when I got into the mucusless diet and a lot of the hardships and the social isolation and the things that I was going through in that process. And even when I was in school, I was against the grain as in College Conservatory of Music, and I just was not an average type of student.

Prof. Spira

I was someone I put a lot of pressure on my professors to think differently and to deal with me differently. I was looking at them as I’m hiring them to teach me, as opposed to sort of the academic social structure is set up in such a way where the professors are on such high pedestals and the students you’re just supposed to go and keep your head down and just try to do good on your tests and that kind of stuff. And I just came with a whole different energy, which sometimes made it challenging to persevere through that.

Prof. Spira

So with an academic world, I would say that that bachelor’s degree means a lot to me. But just generally speaking, outside of that, if I had to pick just one thing, I would say my trombone, my music making and what I what I do in that realm. I’m just real proud of going down that path of not being scared away, saying there’s no guarantee of making money, trying to play jazz music, which is not a popular music at all and so some of the achievements that I’ve got over in that realm.

Steve Prussack

And you showed those teachers who didn’t pull you out of the class because you weren’t good enough. And it reminded me of my own story because I had the same situation and ended up with a master’s degree. But back then, well, he’s a buffoon, this guy, but yeah, you showed them. Professor Spira. What was the biggest transformation that happened along the way from launching the business and something that maybe was unexpected. What was your biggest transformation? I know you said spiritual evolving that happened but what was the biggest transformation?

Prof. Spira

So with the diet because it’s all connected. So my biggest transformation definitely was when I started practicing the mucusless diet because I was way overweight, was almost 300 lbs and had chronic migraine headaches every day and allergies and had been on pharmaceutical medications. Kind of all of the story that we all tell about where we come from. And then once I got into the mucusless diet healing system, I lost a bunch of weight, got off all of those pharmaceutical medications, just totally transformed my existence. And so that was even that in itself, started to prepare me for what I would do with Mucus-free Life and being an entrepreneur later, because one thing that’s interesting to think about is how do you compare and contrast leadership versus entrepreneurship?

Prof. Spira

And for me because you can have there are some entrepreneurs that are not necessarily leaders, and it just depends on the kind of business, the kind of work they’re doing. But then there’s a lot of people that are great leaders, but they might not be able to run a business at all. And so I’ve found though, that when you can have both of those elements, being a leader as well as somebody with those business skills, to be an entrepreneur that’s really going to help you in the long run.

Prof. Spira

So I had a lot of leadership training. I’d say I had the opportunity to grow as a leader, especially in high school when I was in the Boy Scouts and some of the things that I did there. Then when I got into mucusless diet, it was things that I learned, which was one of the things I learned about leadership was you have to be prepared to be on an island sometimes, where you’re going to be alone, and you have to be comfortable with that. Comfortable not always being a part of the social kind of situation.

Prof. Spira

Or sometimes you’re making decisions that other people might not like. And so you have to be able to be strong with that. And so that helped me with some of the social challenges of just starting a mucusless diet back in 2002, when it was really it was way before all of this vegan type, the veganism stuff and over the past 10 years, 5-10 years and raw foods isn’t all that and all that before that got really put like this like you had your podcast, it was starting to happen.

Prof. Spira

But you couldn’t walk into a store and see the word vegan anywhere yet. It wasn’t mainstream. It wasn’t acceptable. And so as a leader, I was just like, well, look I’m not gonna change who I am to try and make other people comfortable or to try to fit into this little mainstream narrative. I’m gonna be who I am. And if people like, fine – if they don’t, fine. And that’s kind of this attitude, a certain type of kind of hardcore attitude. And that definitely help me once I started really working with the business because again, there’s so many people, like when you start doing things that are interesting and really great, or if you have these aspirations, you know, haters are real.

Prof. Spira

These folks come out the woodwork to try to tear you down. And so that those early experiences of that initial transformation really kind of gave me the strength that I needed when it was time to really put the pedal to the metal and grow the business.

Steve Prussack

Professor Spira right here on Juicingpreneur Radio. The website again, www. mucusfreelife.com. Is that the best way for us to follow you, Professor Spira?

Prof. Spira

Yeah. If you go to www.mucusfreelife.com, sign up for our Insider club. You get the newsletter and just kind of keep in touch. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram. If you just type in Professor Spira, I should pop up on those different platforms and so whichever platform you like, the Instagram has been kind of blowing up a little bit. But in YouTube, and I’ve been putting a lot more time into YouTube lately because I kind of got away from it for a while.

Prof. Spira

And even though I have for me, it’s a decent number of followers, but I really think I could grow that. And so I’ve been putting a lot more time over and that direction. So yeah, but you can find me all over social media and definitely mucusfreelife.com will direct you in all those different paths.

Steve Prussack

Awesome. Professor Spira, thank you so much for being here. the incredible work you’re doing. And this interview was great. I knew it would be so thank you again for your time and energy.

Steve Prussack

Steve Prussack and we’ll see you next time. Thanks for being here.

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