In life, there are a lot of things that are beyond our control. And that’s especially true when we’re young. If you grew up without having any support from your parents, what can you do? Today’s guest, Khalil Rafati, is a true inspiration and living proof that no matter how challenging life can seem, there’s always a way to transform yourself.
Despite growing up homeless and struggling with drug addiction, Khalil found a way to overcome his challenges and create a life beyond his wildest dreams. Khalil has gone on to become an author, speaker, and founder of Malibu Beach Yoga and SunLife Organics, a rapidly growing chain of health food cafes.
In today’s episode, he shares powerful insights on navigating financial, emotional, and physical challenges. You’ll discover how to leverage your addictions (because we all have them) to propel you toward success and learn how to reframe setbacks as opportunities for growth, so you can bounce back stronger than ever.
- Suffering can teach you valuable lessons if you’re willing to listen.
- How to recognize and leverage your addictions to achieve your goals.
- Why intelligence is not the most important trait for achieving success.
- The quality of your self-talk determines the quality of your outcomes.
- Khalil’s mindset that helped him go from being a homeless drug addict to a self-made multimillionaire.
- The tricks restaurants use to cash in on the “100% organic” trend and why not all organic claims are created equal.
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Organifi makes the highest quality nutritional products, which are made from whole food ingredients (not synthetic vitamins) that I enjoy nearly every day, and have for many years. Visit Organifi.com/Hal, and use the code HAL at checkout to get 20% off of your entire order. I hope you find something there that you love! :^)
Rise by CURED Nutrition is a natural supplement made from CBD, Lions Mane and Ginseng (among others) that helps boost energy, performance and cognitive function. There’s no caffeine, no jitters and most importantly, no crash. Visit CuredNutrition.com/Hal and receive 20% off of your entire order. They have tons of other products as well, hopefully you’ll find something that works for you. :^)
- SunLife Organics
- Khalil Rafati on Instagram
- Remembering to Live: Lessons I Learned Crawling out of Hell by Khalil Rafati, Jeremy Brown
- I Forgot to Die by Khalil Rafati
- Malibu Beach Yoga
- Riviera Recovery
- Tashi Lhunpo Monastery
- Tarzana Treatment Center
- Weingart Center
- Bob Forrest
- Ben Greenfield
- Simon Sinek
- Foot Locker
- Riviera Recovery
- Yard House
- Casa de Luz
- The Well
- Dai Due
- The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
- Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century (Think and Grow Rich Series) by Napoleon Hill, Arthur R. Pell
- Psycho-Cybernetics: Updated and Expanded by Maxwell Maltz
- The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles
- Tony Robbins
- Jack Dorsey
- Tim Ferriss
- Elon Musk
- Fred Segal
- Neil Strauss
- David Nurse
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Hal Elrod:Hello and welcome to the Achieve Your Goals Podcast. This is your host, Hal Elrod, and today I’m talking with Khalil Rafati. If you don’t know who Khalil is, he is a high school drop out,a convicted felon, a former heroin and crack addict who completely turned his life around and now runs one of the most successful juice chains in America. He is a speaker. He is the author of I Forgot to Die, which I’m listening to an audiobook right now, and it is riveting. His newest book isRemembering to Live. So, I Forgot to Die, his first book, and Remembering to Live is his newer book. He’s the founder and owner of Malibu Beach Yoga and SunLife Organics, a rapidly growing chain of health food cafes with locations in California, Arizona, Vegas, a lot more. There’s 14locations. And here in Texas, I have smoothies there at least once a week. He also foundedRiviera Recovery, a transitional living facility for drug addicts and alcoholics, is a board member of the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery.
And today we’re going to talk about how he, someone who considers himself to be very unintelligent, doesn’t have a lot of skills, and grew up being beaten by his father, watching his mother being beaten bloody by his father, having no emotional support from his mother or father, turning to drugs at a young age, eventually becoming homeless and addicted to heroin and crack, living on Skid Row in Los Angeles, from the lowest of lows to turning it all around. And here’s the message that we’re going to get from Khalil today. When you understand where he’s been and what a beautiful human being he is that as a drug addict living on the streets, you would have never imagined he would have created the life that he’s living today and the impact that he’s making for other people. But what we realize is that no matter how low you might feel, how hopeless life might feel, it could be your marriage, it could be your financial situation, it could bean addiction that you’re battling, no matter how low we get in life, you can always turn it around.And Khalil’s example in today’s conversation and the lessons that he shares and what he tells you his secret to success that we can all model I think it’s invaluable. I love this conversation. I’m going to hang out with Khalil next week on Tuesday. I’m pumped for that.
And before we dive in, I want to take just a minute to talk about our sponsor for today’s episode, Organifi. Organifi makes the highest quality nutritional organic whole foods supplements in powder form so you can put them in your smoothie, a glass of water. I take their protein powder in my smoothie every single day. I drink their red juice in the afternoon for a little energy boost with some green tea. Their green juice is one of their most popular products. It has ashwagandha, so I’m allergic to that. I personally can’t take that. So, I give it to my neighbors when I get a bat chin. But if you want to improve your health, wellness, your mental clarity, your immunity, any aspect of your physical or mental health, head over to Organifi.com/Hal and then use the discount code“HAL” at checkout for 20% off your entire order. I’ve been a fan of Organifi’s long before they became a sponsor of our podcast. I was a customer and I’ve been using their products for about seven years now. So, hope you find something there that you love.
Without further ado, it is my great pleasure to introduce you to a conversation that I think is going to inspire you, it’s going to encourage you, and it’s going to give you some strategy as to how you can take your life to the next level with my friend, Khalil Rafati.
Hal Elrod: Khalil, good morning, brother.
Khalil Rafati: Good morning.
Hal Elrod: It is so great to see you.
Khalil Rafati: You too, buddy. Thank you.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. So, you and I met at Cal’s house, Callahan, but I remember it was pretty brief.Probably a year or two ago. It was one of the times they had all the guys over and you had just finished a workout when I got there, and then I started coming to SunLife Organics. And I just have to thank you because like SunLife is one of if not my favorite spots in Austin.
Khalil Rafati: Thank you.
Hal Elrod: When I moved here, I don’t think SunLife was open here in Texas that you’re inCalifornia.
Khalil Rafati: Yeah.
Hal Elrod: JuiceLandI found had organic smoothies, and I had stopped drinking smoothies completely because I used to drink Jamba Juice until I got aware of, “Oh, wait, there’s more pesticides than there are nutrients in these smoothies and more sugar.” So, I completely stopped drinking smoothies. I moved to Texas. I find out JuiceLand has organic smoothies, and I’m over the moon. I’m like, “This is amazing.” Turns out I went in there one day, probably a year ago andI go, “Hey, your smoothies are still organic, right? I don’t see organic anywhere on your menu.”And she goes, “No, they haven’t been organic in a long time.”
Khalil Rafati: Yeah.
Hal Elrod: It’s like you’re killing me. So, man, thank you for your commitment just to quality and to health. And actually, we’ll get to that in a second but I just had to thank you for JuiceLand, man.I mean, I’m sorry. Thank you for SunLife Organics.
Khalil Rafati: No, no, no, for sure. And by the way, JuiceLand is no different from JuiceGeneration and Pressed and all of the other amazing juice bars out there that started out 10, 12years ago with pure intentions. They’re not bad people for doing what they’re doing. It’s almost impossible to run a multi-chain food establishment and be 100% certified organic. I do need full disclosure. It has been 12 years that I’ve been in business. Last year was the first year that we were profitable.
Hal Elrod: Get out of here.
Khalil Rafati: The first year. So, if it wasn’t for cryptocurrencies, my book that did incredibly well, gambling, which I did incredibly well on, I don’t gamble anymore but gambling that I did incredibly well. I got super lucky in real estate. I didn’t buy my first house until I was 49 and that was a miracle in itself. And then 15 months later, somebody offered me $1 million more for my sh*tty little townhouse that I had paid for. So, if it weren’t for all of these amazing, oh, sorry, I swore already.
Hal Elrod: No, that’s okay.
Khalil Rafati: If it wasn’t for all of these amazing blessings in my life, then we would have been bankrupt. But I have a wealthy business partner that put up the money, and we’ve had cash calls, meaning we ran out of cash many times over the last 12 years, several times in big, big ways, and he just gave me more money. So, I don’t hate on any, first of all, there’s almost no restaurants out there that are all organic. We are and we will always be. I will shut down before we stop because it’s so important for me but most of the restaurants thatI eat at in Austin, nothing is organic. So, it is what it is. If you want to have a thriving business and make money, don’t go into an organic juice business. If you want to make money and be able to be in food service, you’re going to have to cut corners and you’re going to have to compromise.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, and that’s my thought with like JuiceLand. It’s like, “Oh, they probably sold out to a bigger company that all they looked at was the spreadsheet,” and they’re like, “Dude, if wego non-organic, we can cut costs by 40%. Let’s do that.”
Khalil Rafati: Yes. Exactly.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, that makes sense. I want to ask you something that just came up for me. I’ve got a lot of questions I want to ask you. Your story, I’m listening to your audiobook right now, I Forgot To Die and, as you know, your story is extraordinary. It’s inspiring. To me, it’s an example of what’s possible for all of us in terms of that you were in a place that I think very few of us could imagine being that low, right? 33 years old, addicted to cocaine, crack, heroin, weighed 109pounds. This was in 2003. And you’re living on Skid Row in Los Angeles. So, imagine as a crack addict living on Skid Row in Los Angeles, no one maybe other than you, I just want to hear but nobody would go, “I bet that guy is going to turn it around and become a multimillionaire with a successful franchise helping people heal themselves.”
Khalil Rafati: Yeah.
Hal Elrod: Tell us your story, man. I’d love for my audience to hear how you went from the lowestof lows to now being the pillar of health and wealth and impact and all the above.
Khalil Rafati: That’s a loaded question and I have to paraphrase. I had a very, very rough childhood. My parents were immigrants from two different countries and two different religions. I grew up in rural Ohio where everyone looked like, if your audience is old enough to get the reference, everyone looked like they were on The Brady Bunch. And I did not. So, I had a weird name, dark skin, and I just didn’t fit in at all. And beyond that, there was a lot of violence, incest, neglect, psychological abuse. I had a very rough go in my early life. And so, I began acting out as in my, well, before my early teens, I was sort of experimenting, trying to fit in with the older kids, puffing on a joint, drinking beers to get attention. But then by the time I was 12 years old and I was able to pay the older kids in the neighborhood to get me beer or wine or alcohol, I actually began blackout drinking and I would drink alone by myself because drinking and smoking weed at that time was a panacea for me. It was the first time where I wasn’t absolutely terrified, and it was also around that time that I started developing panic anxiety disorder and having severe panic attacks to the point where I became agoraphobic at times.
Hal Elrod: And that was at what age?
Khalil Rafati: That was at 12 was my first major panic attack.
Hal Elrod: Now, you mentioned you had dark skin. What’s your nationality?
Khalil Rafati: My father’s from Palestine and my mother’s from Poland. So, my father was born a Muslim, my mother was born a Jew, I was raised Catholic, and the only private schools in Ohio were Jesuit Catholic. So, sort of confusing as a kid. And not that I didn’t believe in God but it was like God definitely doesn’t believe in me. Why is everyone playing catch in their front yard with their dad or going camping and I’m getting beaten and severely abused by my half-brother or by my swim coach getting sexually abused? I just didn’t feel like God cared for me at all. I really felt like I was unlovable. And by the way, I had empirical evidence that I was unlovable through the actions of my mother and my father.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. Talk about your dad because from the audiobook, I’d love for people to understand just what that figure in your life was like and the impact in a very, I understand, angry man, abusive man. I mean, talk about your dad.
Khalil Rafati: Yeah. That’s a tough one, man, because he’s still trying to reach out and we haven’t talked in almost ten years now. I’ve never had a good relationship with him. He was a very violent, very angry man. And part of that is cultural and part of that is circumstantial. He had a really, really rough life. He was terrifying. He was a monster. And he was a rage aholic and that had a major impact on me. He beat my mom a lot and not like I don’t mean like slap my mom. I mean, he beat my mom.And he beat her bloody and…
Hal Elrod: And this is in front of you?
Khalil Rafati: All the time. And as a matter of fact, late in life, I think I was in my mid-twenties, I remember asking my mom, I was trying to do my astrological chart and I was trying to ask her when I was born like when I was born, what time I was born, whatever. And she said, “Well, remember, you were born early because, well, your father got excited,” and I’m like, “Got excited?”And she’s like, “You know how he was.” Like, “So, he beat you and I was born prematurely?” And she’s like, “Well, you know,” and she would always make excuses for him until the day she died.Now, they separated in 1977.
Hal Elrod:Oh, wow.
Khalil Rafati: And I was seven years old. She made excuses for him until the day she died, which was two years ago. She still loved him. For the next 40 years of her life or whatever it was, she still was loyal to him and loved him. She never was with another man ever. My mom, in many ways, is a saint and my mom was a horrible, horrible mother but not because she’s evil or bad but because the war happened. She was four years old. She got left on a doorstep. She got marched off through Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, eventually Siberia. So, my mom didn’t know how to be a parent. My dad didn’t know how to be a parent. They were both very attractive, which drew them together and, look, I’m grateful, by the way. I’m grateful. Thank God. I wouldn’t be here. AndI’m also grateful in a weird way. You know, like the story in the book where I wanted to get thoseNike tennis shoes with the Velcro strap around them when I was 12 and my dad went nuts and like beat the sh*t out of me. He was like, “If you want the goddamn tennis shoes, you get a goddamn job.” And I’m like, “I’m 12. I’m 4 foot 11 and I’m 90 pounds.”And we were at his friend’s restaurant, Gus, and I refuse to talk. I was so upset because my dad beat me and my dad wouldn’t get me the tennis shoes. And he was visiting from-because he left in ’77. He left but he would come back like every year, every six months. So, we’re in his friend’s restaurant and he was like, “Mac, what’s wrong with your kid?” And my dad’s name was Mahmoud but everyone called him Mac, and he said, “Oh, he wants a goddamn tennis shoes.” And Gus, being a wise guy part of the syndicate, Detroit mob, all that, like whipped out a wad of hundreds similar to this and he put it down on the table. And my father, being an angry, violent Muslim man, slammed his hand down and said, “God damn it. No. You want to help him? Give him a job.” And so, Gus was like, “You want a job, kid?” And I’m like, “Yeah.” And he goes, “Great. Be here Friday at 4:00 after school, and I’m going to give you a job in the dish tank.” And I got a job washing dishes. My point in saying that is I learned through very difficult circumstances that if you wanted something in life, you had to go out and earn it.So, I went to work Friday. I loved it. I did great. I went back to work Saturday. I loved it. I asked him if I could come back on Sunday and he said, “No, you’re going to go home and study for school but come here,” and he pulled out that wad and handed me the 100. And he goes, “I’ll see you next Friday.” I took that hundred and I walked to South wyck Mall and I bought those pair ofNike’s in bright red with the Velcro strap. And by the way, Hal, I went back every weekend. I bought like six pairs of that.
Hal Elrod: You were working. You started working to support your Nike habit.
Khalil Rafati: I was. At 12 years old as a dishwasher, 14 as a busboy, 16 as a host, 19 as a waiter manager, and then onwards and up.
Hal Elrod: Oh, you were at that one restaurant for that long.
Khalil Rafati: I was at that restaurant and another restaurant called Fifi’s. Fifi’s is where I lied about my age and got my first waiter job. And Fifi was the ex-madam and ex-girlfriend of the head of the Detroit Mafia. And she was black, which was very controversial at that time during the 70s.And so, when she retired from being a madam, the Detroit Mafia set her up with her own restaurant called Fifi’s and that’s where I learned how to wait tables and make a Caesar salad.
Hal Elrod: Well, not too many people would say they worked for a mob boss’s ex-madam. Yeah.
Hal Elrod: Okay. So, this is your teenage years as rough as they can be. And then take us into the transition kind of what were your twenties like into your thirties? When did the drugs get really, when did they become a problem? When did you go from marijuana to these hardcore drugs?
Khalil Rafati: Well, Gus, the guy that gave me the job as a dishwasher, he had eventually moved me into his house because my mom didn’t want me and my dad didn’t want me. They just couldn’t afford me. So, I lived with his daughter and his ex-wife in their house, and Gus was very against drinking, so I had to hide my drinking to the best of my ability. But when I would drink, I would blackout and sometimes wake up like a town over. I also got arrested three times before the age of 16. The third time was for aggravated menacing. So, I was a real troubled juvenile delinquent.The drinking and the pills and the weed continue to progress to the point where I was 20 years old and I’m living a life of crime. I’m dealing drugs. I’m still working in the restaurant. And I realizedI was going to die or go to prison if I didn’t get out of there. So, I ran off to California to get away from all the trouble. And I went to California, and for a short period of time, I did escape the trouble and I worked really hard and I had all kinds of doors open up for me. I got my SAG card right away. I was working for Elizabeth Taylor when I was a little kid. I was 24 years old.
Hal Elrod: Washing cars, right?
Khalil Rafati: Yes. Yes.
Hal Elrod: And a little entrepreneur even at that age. You started your car business.
Khalil Rafati: Yeah. Jeff Bridges. And I’m being an L.A. name-dropper right now but Guns N’Roses like it was a real special time but sooner or later, it was a lot easier to go grab a pound ofweed up in Marin County and then break it up into ounces and sell it off to people. And so, in my mid-twenties, I got introduced to the rave scene by a young girl that I was seeing, and she started taking me to raves. And I had tried MDMA for the first time. That’s when the addiction really took off because when I first felt club drugs, then the ketamine, the GHB, the MDMA, etcetera, I was literally like, “Oh my God, I want to feel like this forever. Like, I never want to not feel like this.” It was, again, a new panacea because all of a sudden it didn’t just take the terror away from me.Those drugs raised my serotonin and my dopamine levels so high that all of a sudden I felt like I was six foot two with blond hair and blue eyes instead of being five foot seven and sort of misshapen with a massive skull and a long torso and short little stick legs, like, all of a sudden, I felt like I was beautiful. And I had a honeymoon period, about a three-year honeymoon period with psychedelics and with those drugs. And by the way, I had some profound paradigm shifts within some of those experiences.Unfortunately, because of lack of set and setting, lack of a therapist or a guide or someone that could properly help me to integrate with those experiences, I was a pig and an addict and I just couldn’t get enough into me. So, the wheels started coming off at 27. Heroin entered at that time.I was in a rock and roll band and heroin entered at that time. I was so stupid that it all seemed so glamorous. And once I hit the needle, once I went from smoking to injecting, then the wheels came off and I abandoned everything. I stopped paying my bills. I started behaving in ways thatI’m embarrassed. I don’t know if you’re that far along in the book yet but just horrible operating living my life without a moral compass. Eventually homeless on the streets, psychosis set in, selling my body for drugs, panhandling, filthy in and out of jail, in and out of hospitals. And that took me all the way to 33 years old. And that was when after I think the eighth overdose and Idon’t know how many hospitalizations and how many times in and out of county jail for weeks at a time, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I didn’t stop doing drugs and drinking for moral reasons. I literally physically could not go on anymore. So, I raised my hand, I surrendered, and I joined the winning team.
Hal Elrod: So, what did that look like logistically? So, when you’re a homeless drug addict onSkid Row in Los Angeles, do you go into a halfway house? Where did you turn? What’s your first step on the road to recovery?
Khalil Rafati: So, there were free places. There was the Clare Foundation, Tarzana TreatmentCenter, and the Weingart Center, which I wasn’t familiar with most of those but I had heard about some of them. I tried to go into one once where they literally I think it was a Salvation Army on Tujunga in Sun Valley, where they literally put you on a cot. And you were in this room with a bunch of other men. And I was terrified and I ended up lasting, I think, maybe 30 minutes. But when I finally, they say in some 12-step programs, put the plug in the jug, for me, it wasn’t a plug.It was a needle in a spoon. When I finally put down the spoon and picked up a fork, I was 33 years old. I had been shacking up with an older woman named Penny. She claimed that the Beatles song Penny Lane was written after her, which I did the math, and I don’t think it was.
Hal Elrod: It wasn’t.
Khalil Rafati: So, Penny had told me about this guy named Bob Forrest, and she said, “BobForrest can help you. He can get you the treatment for free. He can take care of you, whatever.” I didn’t believe it but I took his number anyway. And it was after one of the really severe seizure that I went to a payphone and called this Bob Forrest guy. And he was like, “Yeah, come on down to MAPs.” And it’s now called MusiCares. But yeah, “Come on down and we’ll get you all set up and we’ll get into treatment.”
Hal Elrod: And so, this is a rehab center?
Khalil Rafati: Yeah. Pasadena Recovery Center, which is no longer there but Bob put me intoPasadena Recovery Center for a few months, and then they sent me to a place called NewPerceptions, which was a halfway house in the valley, and I stayed as long as I could. They used to give us $40 a week so we could eat and or get cigarettes in my case. And that was the beginning. That was the beginning of my recovery. And it was brutal. I mean, it was absolutely miserable. I had stopped taking any of my meds when I was in treatment against medical advice because you never want to just stop your meds. There can be very serious repercussions. I knew myself well enough to know that if they were going to give me Wellbutrin, Seroquel, Lexapro, trazodone, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, that if I’m just going to take that stuff so I can feel better, sooner or later I’m just going to walk out the door and go get the real stuff. And so, I told Dr. Blum, the psychiatrist, I said, “I’m done. I’m not taking anything anymore.” And they made me sign all this paperwork, AMA, like in case I died or whatever. I went through the worst withdrawal I’ve ever gone through in my life.I truly believe, Hal, that because that withdrawal was so bad because ultimately no one enabled me anymore, everyone finally just backed off and they were like, “Go away,” even my mom, because that had happened and I had to pay the piper, the price was so severe, I bottomed outso hard that I was just like, “I’m never going back. I’m never going back to whatever that was thatI just went through over the last three weeks.” And I thank God for that pain and for that suffering.I don’t wish it on my worst enemy. What I went through, my body turned inside out. I turned colors.I was green. My teeth were falling out of my head. I had scabs. I mean, you can still see scars allover my face. If you look at my nose, I had to clip part of my nose out with cuticle clippers becauseI thought there were like parasites coming out of me.
Hal Elrod: When you were on meth or something along those lines?
Khalil Rafati: When you don’t sleep for days at a time and you’re shooting coke, you start to go through severe psychosis, there is a spot here on my skull where I pulled an entire chunk of hair out with like meat on the end of it and I now have to like carefully…
Hal Elrod: Yeah. Little comb-over.
Khalil Rafati: Yes. Yes. So, dude, it was horrible but had I not gone through that pain and this is what I want anyone who has a loved one, a sibling, a boyfriend, a girlfriend that is an addict, and you keep trying to help them by giving them money or letting them stay or whatever you’re doing,I know your fear is if you kick them out or whatever, they might die, well, they might die if you let them stay. And I’ve had so many parents, who I tried to get to stop enabling their kids, eventually found their kid dead in the bedroom because they were giving the kid money and they were letting the kids stay. So, you do run the risk with tough love. You definitely run the risk. Somebody might leave and they might go off and they might die. That has nothing to do with you. You didn’t create it. As much as your ego wants to tell you you were a horrible parent or you’re a bad girlfriend or you’re a bad boyfriend, you did not create it. At the end of the day, my parents were horrible parents. That had nothing to do with why I got high. I got high because it felt amazing. I loved getting high and I’m selfish and I’m self-centered. And it helped me with my insecurity. It fueled my ego’s self-aggrandizement. It’s a tricky thing. And I don’t want to shame anybody but I’m just telling you my own personal experience.
Hal Elrod: Sure. No, it’s beautiful. I mean, it’s horrific but it’s beautiful that you’ve come through it and now you’re able to share your story and help other people to realize that, that they can go from this whatever their rock bottom is, whatever their addiction is. You know, I’ve realized I’m addicted to, also, I’m addicted to caffeine. I’m addicted to my phone. You know, I’ve got all these addictions, actually. Literally, in the last week, I wrote down in my affirmations, “I am an addict.My addictions are:” and then I just started bullet pointing to different things that I’m addicted to.Yeah. So, this is very new for me to be like and obviously, I’m not trying to even compare what you were going through but just realizing that I would encourage anybody listening, what are your addictions? What are the things that you do every single day? And like caffeine’s a great example.If I don’t have caffeine, I can’t function anymore. And it used to not be that way. I used to have one cup of coffee per day that I sipped from morning until afternoon. And now I’ve got green tea at 4 a.m., green tea at 7 a.m., green tea at 10 a.m., green tea, you know what I mean? And it’s just the idea.In fact, I’d love for you to speak to that. It’s actually selfishly, I think, for me. Would you have any thoughts on what an addiction does to us? So, like my addiction, obviously, these are minor addictions. I’m not losing my teeth. I’m not on crack, anything like that. But what I’m concerned with is what are the psychological impacts of me not having control over these little areas of my life, whether it’s television or it’s masturbation for someone or pornography. Any thoughts on just what having an addiction and not being able to control an addiction does to our self-esteem, our psychology, our emotional intelligence? Any thoughts on that?
Khalil Rafati: Yeah. It’s a double-edged sword. I mean, I knew you were an addict from reading your book and hearing about your tenacity and you were addicted to work. You were addicted to success, you were addicted proving to people that you were something and not nothing. And I don’t think anyone did it better. You couldn’t have achieved what you achieved, you couldn’t haveput out such an amazing book that’s impacted so many people’s lives, you couldn’t have all those things on your wall behind you if you weren’t an addict. Being an addict is a superpower. Addiction is a superpower. It’s totally mislabeled and there’s such a bad stigma with addiction. Addiction is amazing. If you’re an addict, if you find yourself with that compulsion, celebrate it but be mindful of the ingredients. Be mindful of the ingredients because green tea is going to increase your cognition. It’s going to burn fat. It has all kinds of antioxidant components to it. But if it were cigarettes, I would caution you and I would say, “You know what, you might want to switch ingredients.” If it’s heroin and cocaine, you might find yourself living on the street selling your body for drug money. So, there’s nothing wrong with addiction. You mentioned pornography, and I know you were being vague. You weren’t talking about yourself but I’m going to talk about myself.When I was addicted to pornography and when I was addicted to masturbation, it was stealing pieces of my soul from me. And it was teaching me a really inauthentic lie about what intimacy and love is all about. And here’s the thing that most people don’t think about. When I was looking at, I’m talking about when I was a kid, but when I was looking at pornography and I was masturbating three, four or five, seven times a day, and struggling to find a girlfriend, the reasonI was struggling to find a girlfriend is because they can smell that on you. You cannot be lascivious and not be found out.
Hal Elrod: What does that word mean, lascivious?
Khalil Rafati: Like, creepy and gross, and overly sexual.
Hal Elrod:Yeah. It oozes out of your pores, right?
Khalil Rafati: Yes. You think you’re hiding it because you’re in the bathroom pounding your carrot.You’re not hiding it. People can smell it on you. When you abstain, and this is a little bit like Think and Grow Rich because he talks about sexual transmutation which I can’t articulate that well but when you abstain, when you stop throwing away your life force and you start redirecting it inward and towards real goals, good goals, goals that are going to bring value into your life, being addicted to work and being addicted to becoming the number one salesperson in the country, not fun. Definitely, you beat yourself up and probably overtax your adrenals. We can look at the negative side of it but the positive side of it is look with the value that you brought to this world.Your book, and this is just God’s honest truth, there are so many self-help books out there. There are so many. If people took, I call it, is it Miracle Morning or Morning Miracle?
Hal Elrod: It’s Miracle Morning. It gets transposed all the time.
Khalil Rafati:I do it all the time. If people took that book and they literally read it and they did exactly what it said to do, that would be the last self-help book they would ever need to read. Your book is so powerful and so real. And so, you can do what you say todo in your book immediately.It’s not all this fancy stuff and all these weird different words and talking about archetypes and talking about like all these, like Austin, you hear it all the time and all the life coaches and they’re going to teach you about manifesting. You want to manifest? Go to work. Get up early, meditate, do some breath work. I mean, it’s so simple. Your books have brought so much value to people’s lives. You never would have done that if you weren’t an addict. So, I love addiction. I think it’s a superpower, which is…
Hal Elrod:It’s about intentionally directing the addictions, making sure that they’re healthy addictions. You saying that reminds me, I remember I used to always say, I’m addicted to productivity, and years ago, I’m like, of all the addictions to be addicted, I feel like that’s a pretty good one. But I will say when I got cancer, I did realize that, oh, I’m addicted to work and I am a workaholic, even though I thought I wasn’t, and I was neglecting–here’s what I realized. I would always choose productivity over health. And I think that is potentially, I’m almost answering m yown question after listening to you, you share your perspective, which is health, whether mental health, physical health, financial health, right? So let’s just say health. I think that’s it. It’s your addictions when you’re choosing and you go, okay, does this addiction contribute to my health or does it take away?So, for me, I was always like, okay, I really need to get this thing. In my 20s, I was prescribed with Adderall and diagnosed with ADHD. And I was like, of course, if you’re addicted to productivity, and then the doctor tells you that you need to take Adderall, and then if you’ve never taken Adderall before, it’s like speed. It’s like, right? And then you take it, and now, you can be a thousand more times productive than before you took it. And so, I was like, oh, my God, this is amazing. But then, eventually, I started to learn, oh, this actually as–I went in blind, I just trusted my doctor. I didn’t know any better back then. And I was like, oh, Doctor said, cool, I can take it.Then I started to realize, oh, I learned over the years that it’s like one degree away from street drug meth.
Khalil Rafati: It’s a cleaner methamphetamine, but it’s a methamphetamine.
Hal Elrod: It’s a methamphetamine. And so, then I realized, oh, I need to get off of this. I need to stop taking this. But the point was, whenever I chose Adderall, I was choosing my addiction to productivity over my health and the unknown consequence of taking that methamphetamine over an extended period of time. So, I think that for me helps answer the question is, does this addiction like green tea, for example? It has polyphenols that have been shown as anti-cancer, cancer fighters, right? So, it’s like, all right, but I do think there is a moderation, too, where are you taking it so much you’re getting headaches in the evening, which is kind of the point where I went, oh,I’m drinking too much green tea. You can have too much of a good thing, right?
Khalil Rafati: You could definitely drink too much green tea. And if it starts to affect your sleep, if it starts to affect your mood, then you need to be mindful of it. You need to cut back. I have a friend who is the owner of a very, very famous clothing brand. I’ll leave his name out of it, I’ll leave the name of his brand out of it, but it’s one that anybody would recognize.And I was on his jet. We were flying around the country looking at locations, and we would stop at a Starbucks, it seemed like every two hours. And he ultimately was drinking 16 to 20 shots of espresso a day. And then in his other hand, he would have whatever there–venti of GunpowderGreen Tea, double bagged, right? And he would just sip on both of them all throughout the day on the jet. Soon as we land, another Starbucks, another location, another Starbucks on the jet, another city, another–and I said to him, like, dude, that’s gnarly.And he looked at me and he goes, “Is it?” I’m like, “I don’t know.” I mean, I do a couple of shots of espresso in the morning, maybe some matcha mid-afternoon for that kick, but that’s got to be really taxing your adrenals. And he’s like. I don’t know, I sleep great and I work out every day andI feel great. And I talked to Ben Greenfield about it. And he was like, there are people that process caffeine differently. And just because I’m super sensitive to caffeine, doesn’t mean that somebody else isn’t. I mean, I have friends that drink espresso after dinner or drink a latte after dinner.
Hal Elrod: And go to sleep.
Khalil Rafati: And they go to sleep.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Khalil Rafati: I drink espresso after dinner, I’d be up all night staring at the ceiling. So, self-knowledge, being awake, not woke, but being awake and aware of yourself, I think, is step one.And then just making sure that the ingredients of your addiction, if it’s pornography, cigarettes, alcohol, things that are going to steal your humanity from you, steal pieces of your soul from you.I would encourage you and challenge you to switch the ingredients to stuff that’s going to bring great value to your life.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. Beautiful. Well-said. I want to fast forward. I want to talk about SunLife. I’m actually going to read something and then I want you to expand on it. And this is on your website.It’s in the About section, but it really resonated. You said, and this to me, also, what I’m about to read, who you were, at least how you live your life as a teenager and in your 20s, and at 33 onSkid Row, you would never imagine that that guy would feel or think or live this way.So, here’s what you wrote. SunLife Organics exists for three simple reasons–to love, heal, and inspire. This isn’t just a juice bar. It’s a way of life fueled by the belief that you matter. We view each interaction as a valued opportunity to connect and make a positive impact on someone’s life, however big or small, because you deserve to be loved. Talk about that. It’s beautiful, and tome, it’s how every business, right? I know it comes from your heart and soul. It’s every business should view commerce with human beings.
Khalil Rafati: I wish they did. I wish that I didn’t have to feel lousy after eating what I would consider an amazing-tasting meal because they’re using tons of seed oil or because they’re using wheat products that are sprayed with Spade or whatever. Look, I mean, again, that’s not like–because I’m a good guy or a virtuous guy, it’s what I wanted. It’s what I wanted that didn’t exist.So, Simon Sinek or whatever his name is, talks about what is your why. Why does SunLifeOrganics exist? It’s literally that. Now, that is a conglomeration of a bunch of different things I’ve said. And the gals that run the company took a bunch of stuff that I said, and they condensed it down into one concise message, which I am incapable of doing because I’m accused of being verbose.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. You hear me both.
Khalil Rafati: That is the heart and soul, that is the ethos of the brand. If my goal was to make money, I mean, my God, I just have a natural knack for being industrious and driven. If my goal was to make money, I could go sell used cars and make 10 grand a day. Nobody can outsell me.I mean, you probably could. But most people couldn’t outsell me if I wanted to go make money, if that was my goal. But I spent most of my life feeling like a piece of sh*t and not belonging and not fitting in anywhere and just always awkward and misshapen, like I referenced earlier.I remember being like, I think I was 15 and I wanted to join the wrestling team and they told us we had to go get a singlet. And they sold them at Foot Locker at that time. I don’t even know why they’re called singlets, but I remember trying it on. It seemed really tight. And then they had those–remember those old-timey mirrors where you could stand on the platform and there were mirrors.There were five mirrors, and you could see your front, your back.
Hal Elrod: Yeah,yeah.
Khalil Rafati: And it was the first time that I ever realized how misshapen I was, how short my legs were and how long my torso was and how big my head was, almost dwarf-like…
Hal Elrod: Characteristics?
Khalil Rafati: Yes, characteristics. And I wanted to die. I was so embarrassed that that’s how they saw me. So, I never felt okay. But when I was running my previous business, RivieraRecovery, and I was making smoothies for myself and juices and doing cleanses and fast. And the clients started asking questions and asking if they could have a juicer, if I could make them asmoothie, and I started to watch the miracles happen. I started to watch these people literally quit smoking spontaneously. I started to watch the life force come back into their skin, the collagen return to their skin. The same thing that had happened to me. Yes, at 33 years old, I was 109pounds. But I’m 53 years old and I’m 171 pounds and I’m f*cking glowing. Oops, sorry.
Hal Elrod: It’s all right.
Khalil Rafati: I’m glowing.
Hal Elrod: You’re proud of all the work you’ve done, man.
Khalil Rafati: Yes, I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. I’m faster than I’ve ever been. I absolutely love how I feel now. And I wanted to share that with other people, not just clients at RivieraRecovery. I wanted to share that with the people in my community because ultimately, what I found out is I heard from one of the great, I don’t know, Paramahansa Yogananda or Krishnamurtior somebody said, to serve is to rule. And I remember thinking like, no, it’s not. What about me?What about my needs?And I found out very late in life that it is very true, to serve is to rule, because I get to be a part of these communities that were blessed to be open in. And I get to meet all these amazing people and I get messages every day on Instagram from people who are like, I had a message this morning from some guy, I lost 43 pounds. I’m getting 1% better every day. I quit eating sugar because of you, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Amazing for him, but way more amazing for me because I get to feel like a hero. I got to become the hero in my own story.So, SunLife, it’s my purpose. And I’m very passionate about my purpose and I love it. So, I just want people to feel energy and to feel good and to experience what I went through, the miraculous transformation I went through by putting 100% certified organic ingredients, number one, that’s baseline. But then beyond that, the best of the–the colostrum, the collagen, the lotus pollen, the shilajit, all the weird stuff that most people don’t know about, I wanted to put that into a cup in a palatable form, already chewed up for you so you could literally come in for lunch, grab one of these protein superfood-packed so-called smoothies and down it and feel amazing and feel the life force flowing through you.Hal Elrod:Yeah, that’s beautiful. And I’m the same way, for me, and I think this is a quick little bonus lesson for anybody listening and I know you’re on the same page, but 99% of restaurants do not put healthy ingredients in the meals they are serving you.
Khalil Rafati: Right.
Hal Elrod: I rarely eat out because of that, once I was aware of this. My favorite restaurant used to be Yard House. Their food is amazing.
Khalil Rafati: Tastes great.Hal Elrod:Yeah, it tastes great. Amazing based on the taste, but then you realize that they’re using seed oils that cause inflammation that will cause cancer if you have those repeatedly. And here’s we have to realize about restaurants, I mean, this is really what we talk from the beginning is that they’re businesses that are in business to make profit. So, most restaurants are going to use the lowest quality, lowest priced ingredients, and then they’re going to use simply seasonings that make these ingredients taste amazing. And that’s what you’re eating.And so, for me, what I do, I’ve done this in Austin, I’ve called every restaurant that looked somewhat healthy and I say, “Hey, do you guys use grass-fed and grass-finished beef?” And usually, if they have to go ask, they probably don’t because if they do, they’re usually…
Khalil Rafati: They lie.Hal Elrod:Yeah, and they lie too, yeah, which is hard. Do you use organic ingredients? So, for me, here in Austin, I used to pretty much only eat at Casa de Luz because it’s all organic, clean, great ingredients. Problem is it’s the same meal every single day. You can only do it so many times, and then have you eaten at, I would imagine, The Well downtown?
Khalil Rafati: Yeah, of course. Yeah, I love The Well.
Hal Elrod: So, that’s my new Casa de Luz. They’re using clean oils, clean ingredients, but yeah, so for me though I literally–my wife’s like, “Why are we eating at the same place every time?”Because these are the only two restaurants in Austin that actually…
Khalil Rafati: You can go to Picnik. They don’t use…
Hal Elrod: Oh, Picnik does?
Khalil Rafati: Yeah. So, they don’t use seed oils. Most of their stuff is organic. We eat there threeor four times a week.
Hal Elrod: Oh nice. Okay.
Khalil Rafati: It’s verytasty. And what I love about them is, listen, I’m from Ohio, so I still want fried chicken, right? I just want it gluten-free and I want it fried in avocado oil. So, I’m not suggesting that that’s necessarily the healthiest thing that you can put to your body, but it’s way healthier than almost everything else that’s out there. So, we do Picnik a lot. We do The Well.
Hal Elrod: How do you spell Picnik? Is it with a K or something?
Khalil Rafati: Yeah, it’s a weird spelling and you got to go to the one on 1stStreet because if you don’t go to the one on 1st Street, you end up at this truck on La Mar and it’s not…
Hal Elrod: Oh, yeah. Okay, so that’s the one. I’ve been to that one, yeah.
Khalil Rafati: Yeah, you got to go to the one on 1st Street. And then there’s Dai Due, I think it’s called. Dai Due.
Hal Elrod:I’m not familiar.
Khalil Rafati: They have antelope and bison and like–yeah, it’s a weird place, it’s a weird part of town, and customer service is a little bad. I think they could recognize from my car the way I dress that maybe I was from L.A., so it wasn’t the best customer service. But the food is amazing. Bring your own ketchup because they have some of those weird…
Hal Elrod:Yeah. If you will, text me the name of that one once you figure it out. I just texted myself Picnik just to remind myself that, hey, there’s a new spot to eat at. Let me grab my notes again So, I read an interview with you on Entrepreneur.coma nd you were asked to share an interesting fact about yourself that not many people would know. And your response was interesting. And I think it’s worth talking about because I think that it gives a lot of people permission that might not feel like they’re as capable or intelligent or worthy as another person. I think that’s one of the biggest problems in our society, I think, is that we tend to see people that we admire, that we aspire to be like or attribute some level that they have of success. And we create this separation, like, oh, they’re better than me, they’re smarter than me, they’re older than me, they’re younger than me, they’re better looking, on and on and on.And then, all of a sudden, it’s like, now I can’t do it because I’m not them. And here’s what you said, “I don’t have any real skills and I’m not intelligent. People struggle to accept that someone who isn’t intelligent can be successful. Well, it’s possible. I can’t type or spell. I have mild dyslexia and ADHD. I stopped going to school regularly in sixth grade and dropped out of high school. YetI’m the CEO of a successful company.” Speak to that. How does someone who is–I think somewhere else I saw someone that is not super intelligent according to you or not skilled. And in that article you also said, “I’m not being humble. I’m being very honest with you.” What does that look like? How does someone that doesn’t think they’re smart enough to be successful, how were you successful? How did you achieve the success from SunLife? I guess that’s one gap we didn’t really close. How did you go from drug addict to founding the successful company?
Khalil Rafati: Well, I mean, my God, that’s what the whole second book is about, Remembering…
Hal Elrod: I’ve not read that yet.
Khalil Rafati: Yeah, it’s a how-to manual of how do you go from living off of $40 a week in your halfway house to, I guess, becoming a self-made millionaire. I hate saying that because it sounds pretentious, but…
Hal Elrod:I agree.
Khalil Rafati:I mean, it’s real. I mean, I live a life beyond my wildest, wildest, wildest dreams. I never thought any of this was possible. So, the beginning part was washing dogs, washing cars, working three, four jobs at a time, working at rehabs for minimum wage. I mean, there’s a lot of that. If you’re interested in the early beginnings, read my second book, Remembering to Live, and it explains everything in excruciating detail.
Hal Elrod: So, I Forgot to Die is the first one. That’s the one I’m listening to now, and then Remembering to Live is the second.
Khalil Rafati: Yeah.
Hal Elrod: What a wonder, what a really cool title, the connection between the two titles, right?It’s really beautiful.
Khalil Rafati: Thank you. When I finally got a little bit of–I’m going to call it abundance, event hough I was still living at my sponsor’s house at that time. But I started to have some money and someone introduced me to The Secret which is a very poorly shot documentary made by a woman named Rhonda Byrne. And somebody introduced me to the book, Think and Grow Rich. Those two books, and then eventually Psycho-Cybernetics and The Science of Getting Rich by WallaceD. Wattles. But I guess my point is I started to put positive stuff in. So, all of that negative self-talk that said all those things, I don’t have a high school diploma, I’m an idiot, I’m too old, I’m too short, I’m too dumb, I don’t have skills, like a lot of people are born with real skills. They have real talent, sports, or just their really smart.
Hal Elrod: Natural charisma.
Khalil Rafati: Yeah. Do you know Austin Floyd?
Hal Elrod: I don’t.
Khalil Rafati: You don’t know Austin? He used to work at a Cal’s house. He’s this 26-year-old, maybe 28-year-old kid who’s just–he’s so brilliant. He’s just so brilliant. And that’s just who he is.He’s so smart and he’s so talented, and he’s also ridiculously good-looking. I was never like that.I was never like that. I struggle for people who really, really know me. My CFO says it all the time,I cannot believe you’ve built what you’ve built and accomplished what you’ve accomplished. You can barely send an email so it’s not…
Hal Elrod: My wife says that to me all the time, but we continue.
Khalil Rafati: It’s not feigned humility. I mean, I’m one of those guys that’s on my phone pacing around, frantically doing a conference call and walking around the house looking for my phone because I’m late for an appointment. I realize I’m on my phone. Stuff like that happens all the time. Yes, I can tie my own shoes, but beyond that, I’m challenged in just about every area of life.And that’s okay.What happened when I started watching The Secret, Think and Grow Rich, reading all that stuff,I was doing Tony Robbins’ Hour of Power every morning. And he would make you do these silly mantras, every day and every way, I’m getting stronger and stronger. And then you would dothese visualizations where you would visualize yourself already having your dreams. So, for me, at that time, my dream was an XC90, the Volvo SUV. And there was a gal that was working at alocal smoothie shop that I was in love with, but I had never even had a conversation with her. I would visualize myself driving in that Volvo SUV, holding that girl’s hand and laughing, smiling, and singing.And you know the story. I mean, eventually, I got that SUV, and eventually, that woman became my partner. For nine years, we were together and got tremendous value to one another’s lives.We’re no longer together and that’s fine. She’s doing great. I’m doing great. Sometimes people come into your life for a season, sometimes they come in forever.So, I guess, I started giving myself permission to dream. I started giving myself permission because you’re right. When I read about Jack Dorsey and Tim Ferris and Elon Musk and all these different people, what was frustrating for me was my mind and my ego immediately went, well, you didn’t go to Stanford. Well, you don’t come from generational wealth. Well, you’re not the grand recipient of nepotism. My ego would always tell me, you’re never going to make it because, and here’s all the proof why.Even some of the best podcasters who I looked up to and they call themselves self-made millionaires and self-made men, if you looked a little bit underneath the covers, you realize that their father invented something and they were a billionaire and they grew up with this very wealthy family. So, I guess the beauty or the strength of my message is, no, I’m not smart. No, I don’t have any skills. And the only thing that I seem to be able to do that other people think that they can’t do is I don’t take no for an answer and I know how to run through walls. Those are the things, the strengths that I possess. I will just come up to a wall where I get the answer no and it’s impossible and it’s never going to happen, and I will just take a few steps back and I will run andI will run and I will run.Now, if I were smart, I’d probably run around and slide or I would build a ladder or I would have across bow with a thing on it, like in the James Bond movies. But because I don’t have all that, that’s okay. I run and I run and I run until I run through that wall and I accomplish my goals systematically one after another. I was encouraged early on by a man named Michael Cartwright, who was my boss, to write down a one-year or three-year and a five-year plan. And that’s what Idid. And I was incredibly descriptive, incredibly descriptive.And I think the more descriptive you are and you can also follow it up with the vision board, what kind of cats do you want? Do you want the hairless Cornish Rex with two different colored eyes?Do you want to build your own jewelry? Do you want to have a certain watch? Because it symbolizes something when you were a kid and you saw men wearing these types of watches. Iwrote it all down, I cut the pictures out, I put it on a vision board, as silly as I thought it was. And Ijust went for it. And by the way, I opened Riviera Recovery when I was 37 on a shoestring and aprayer. I thought…
Hal Elrod: So, that was your recovery center?
Khalil Rafati: Yeah. I opened SunLife Organics at 41, again, a shoestring and a prayer. I didn’t have the full thing. I didn’t have the experience. I didn’t have a business plan. I’ve never had a business plan. I don’t know how to do a business plan. And I did open up my yoga studio until–I wrote my first book at 46 by hiring somebody to dictate because I can’t type and I can’t spell. I opened up my yoga studio at 47. I bought my first house at 49. I’m 53 now and I am just scratching the surface.
Hal Elrod: Just getting started, baby.
Khalil Rafati: Just getting started.
Hal Elrod:Yeah. I want to ask you. I actually was going to ask you this early on because I felt like–you had mentioned that SunLife hasn’t been profitable for 11 years.
Khalil Rafati: We just had our first double year.
Hal Elrod: You just had your first profitable year, and yet, all of the right people and resources and things have come into your life to support you financially. Would you say that–is that accurate?
Khalil Rafati: I would say for the most part, there’s been some real hiccups, some real challenges, some imposters, some bad people, some evil landlords. If it weren’t for COVID, we wouldn’t have a profitable year last year. But because of COVID, we were able to shut down four locations that were hemorrhaging cash. And I only ended up getting sued by one of the landlords. And I was able to settle that lawsuit for next to nothing. And then, strangely enough, I ended up becoming really good friends with the guy. And now, we work out together every time he comes into town. I wish, like, it’s so weird, but it actually happened.But for the most part, 80% of the time, because I wrote it down, because I visualized it, becauseI allowed myself to dream and believe, and becauseI wholeheartedly have a relationship with a living, loving God that takes care of me, that always takes care of me. And it’s not about my necklace. This was Fred Segal’s necklace that I ended up redoing, and I did it with different colored gems in the form of a rainbow. This doesn’t represent my relationship with God. I’ve got a different necklace for every religion. I don’t care.If you walk into SunLife, you’re going to see a mezuzah on the door. You’re going to see Psalm103:1-5 on the wall. You’re going to see a unicorn with a rainbow horn. You’re going to see “BeHere Now” on the floor. I respect and love all religions. My relationship with God is my relationship.It’s not my dad’s God, my mom’s God, your God, it’s my relationship with God. That God that I wholeheartedly believe in and I talk to all the time, some people say, “Pray,” I just talk to God.God, can you please be with me now? God, can you please hold my hand? God, can you please walk me through this difficult situation?With my faith as the foundation and with my ability to now dream again, yes, the doors open and the people come to me and they assist me. And by the way, Hal, I don’t have anything to do with running my company. How does a company become successful and finally profitable? When someone like me finally concedes to minor myself that I have no idea what I’m doing and I handover the reins to some brilliant women who took over the company four years ago, cut out all the fat, and got rid of all of the excess employees that didn’t need to be there and encouraged me to contact landlords during COVID and say, “Hey, just be honest with them and say we can’t do this anymore, I’m going to give you your keys back,” those women make me successful.So, I don’t have anything to do with the success of the brand. I don’t have anything to do with the success of the book. My ex-girlfriend actually was the one typing away after Book in a Box handed us sort of my story in a cohesive format. It was my ex-girlfriend, after we broke up, who sat there and edited that book six times with me with the help of, I think, you know, Neil Strauss. But Neil Strauss would give her pointers and we just rewrote it and rewrote it and rewrote it until it is what it is now.
Hal Elrod: Awesome. Well, man, I’d love to talk to you all day. I feel like as you talk, there’s so much synergy, similar with your relationship with God. For me, yeah, I love all religions. I think they’re all pointing to the same thing that we really can’t articulate quite as well as we think we might be able to or we have.
Khalil Rafati: Right.
Hal Elrod: But to me, it’s a constant conversation with God and it has been for most of my entire life. Yeah. I wanted to ask you about the financial piece because I felt like for me, and I found my ups and down, 2008, I lost it all, lost my house, but I never lost my ability to be safe, right? And it sounds like since you’ve turned a corner in your life, you’ve never lost your ability to be safe, to have a roof over your head, to have food in your belly.And I feel like there is some godly cosmic force that allows that to be possible that I just am humbled and grateful for. And I don’t question it. Sometimes I do and I’m like, I feel like I’ve been really blessed and the right people and ther ight resources come into my life when I need them.And even when life puts you through really difficult times, or for me, the times I’ve gone through,I’m like, we’ve been put through it, but it’s like, I don’t know, if you maintain faith in not just God, but in your ability to, like you said, keep going through those walls, keep moving forward. And I think that for anybody listening, your story is one that no matter how low you are right now, no matter how low you are, no matter how hopeless life seems, there is always hope. And you don’t have to be the smartest or the best looking. You can even be oddly shaped like you, Kahlil.
Kahlil Rafati: Yes.
Hal Elrod: Like our friend Kahlil, but if you just stay committed and you just keep writing down the dreams, writing down the goals, and keep moving forward and stay positive, stay happy, stay upbeat, you’re eventually going to create something extraordinary. I think that it’s inevitable. It’s just a matter of time. So, thank you for leading by example and inspiring so many people.
Khalil Rafati: Of course. Of course. And you know, and I will say, if things get really, really, really bad like that, as dark as they ever could get, for some reason, I always reach out to Jesus. I’m laughing only because it’s funny because they call it foxhole faith. If you’re in the foxhole, you’re pretty sure you’re about to die.
Hal Elrod:That’s when you start praying.
Khalil Rafati: Yeah, all of a sudden, you find Jesus quickly. In my life, in my darkest moments, I have always asked Jesus for help. I don’t even know what that means. I don’t claim to be aChristian at all, but in my darkest moments, I have said, Jesus, please, Jesus Christ, in Jesusname, like Jesus, if you’re there…
Hal Elrod: If you’re listening, if you’re there.
Khalil Rafati: And every single time, I get help. Now, when the problem goes away, I go back to the fancy necklaces and the different statues, and I’m going to go to India andI’m going to do yoga. But at the end of the day, love God above all else and love your neighbor as you would want to be loved. And that’s pretty much it.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. Amen, brother. We’re going to end it at that. It’s as simple as that at this point.So, I love you, Kahlil, man. I’m so grateful.
Kahlil Rafati: Love you, buddy.
Hal Elrod: And are we going to see each other next Tuesday at Cal’s House again?
Khalil Rafati: Yes, definitely.
Hal Elrod: Awesome. Can’t wait.Kahlil Rafati: And David Nurse. With the great David Nurse.
Hal Elrod: David Nurse, man, he’s the connector.
Kahlil Rafati: Yeah.
Hal Elrod: Well, hey, goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning Community, thank you for listening today. Go get Khalil’s books, I Forgot to Die and Remembering to Live. If you’re inAustin or any of the–how many locations you have for SunLife?
Khalil Rafati: Thirteen with five more coming.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. And is it SunLifeOrganics.com?
KhalilRafati: Yeah, yeah. Miami, Vegas, L.A., Austin, soon-to-be Chicago, Nashville, blah, blah,blah.
Hal Elrod: Awesome. I’m a huge fan, dude, so.
Khalil Rafati: Thank you.
Hal Elrod:Well, everybody, go out there, have a great week, and remember this conversation with Khalil and that if he could overcome his demons and his challenges and the people in his life that abused him and his self-doubt and his lack of self-worth to create the life of his dreams and beyond, you can do the same. I love you so much and I will talk to you next week.
Khalil Rafati: Woo!