From Rock Bottom to Rockin' It
From Rock Bottom to Rockin' It
Eric Gilbert-Williams | Entrepreneur & Philanthropist
From Rock Bottom to Rockin' It explores personal stories about those who hit absolute rock bottom. Then got back up, wiped off the dust, kicked failure to the curb, and now they’re rockin’ it like you’d never believe. These interviews are intended to inspire, motivate, and give hope and vision to those in their rock bottom by sharing stories, tools, and the resources that our guests used to create their 'rockin' it' moments. Host Eric Gilbert-Williams is a Canadian Entrepreneur who faced hardships as a youth like bullying, learning disorders, drugs, and crime before discovering success through his entrepreneurial pursuits. During his times through these teen social challenges, he found self-esteem and the passion to change his life through listening to the inspirational stories of others who overcame deep hardships to create great success in their lives.
30. Sheldon Kennedy // Pro NHL Hall of Famer & Child Sex Abuse Survivor
Sheldon Kennedy won a Memorial Cup, World Junior Gold Medal and skated for three teams in his eight-year NHL career. He is best known for his courageous decision to charge his Major Junior Hockey league coach with sexual assault for the abuse he suffered over a five-year period while a teenager under his care. Through this disclosure, and the important work that Sheldon continues to do, he has become an inspiration to millions of abuse survivors around the world. In 1998, he in-line skated across Canada to highlight the issue of child abuse and donated 100% of the proceeds ($1.2M) towards abuse prevention programs. During this skate he was presented with the keys to the cities of Ottawa, Toronto, and Winnipeg. His life story was made into an Award-Winning TV movie. Sheldon was Co-Founder of the Calgary Child Advocacy Centre, the first-of-its-kind in Canada, offering full wrap-around services for victims of child abuse. He is also the Co-Founder of Respect Group, which provides empowering online abuse, bullying and harassment prevention education to sport organizations, schools and the workplace.   *** For Show Notes, Key Points, Contact Info, Resources Mentioned, & More on this episode please visit our website: RockBottom2RockinIt.com. *** Feedback? Questions? Comments? I would love to hear from you! Contact me at us via: Email (eric@ericgilbertwilliams.com), LinkedIn (@ericgilbertwilliams), Twitter (@ericgilbertw), or Instagram (@ericgilbertwilliams). EP Tags: 
Dec 1, 2020
55 min
29. Jessica Minhas // 12 years Working with Human Trafficking Survivors
Jessica Minhas is a human rights advocate, author, social entrepreneur, and media commentator who makes complex human rights issues relevant, understandable and actionable for audiences of all ages. For the past 12 years, Jessica has worked in media, carefully producing inspiring media content on complex human rights issues; and the survivor advocacy space, crafting economic empowerment programs and investigations on behalf of sex trafficking victims. In addition to her humanitarian work, Jessica is the Founder and CEO of I'll Go First, a nonprofit organization dedicated to leveraging media and technology in order to provide remote psychosocial care to marginalized trauma populations throughout the developing world, and is working on her first book- an investigative memoir entitled, “I’ll Go First”- following her personal journey of searching for her biological family and finding her life's calling. Jessica graduated from the University of Central Florida, and has completed graduate studies work in Journalism at NYU, and in Global Mental Health Trauma and Refugee Recovery with Harvard Medical School. She has been honored as a Rising Leader by the Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards, is a recipient of a Noble Award on behalf of The Blind Project, and is currently a Hive Global Leader, a New York New Abolitionist, a Global Shaper on behalf of the World Economic Forum and a United Nations Global Accelerator.   *** For Show Notes, Key Points, Contact Info, Resources Mentioned, & More on this episode please visit our website: RockBottom2RockinIt.com. *** Feedback? Questions? Comments? I would love to hear from you! Contact me at us via: Email (eric@ericgilbertwilliams.com), LinkedIn (@ericgilbertwilliams), Twitter (@ericgilbertw), or Instagram (@ericgilbertwilliams). EP Tags: 
Nov 3, 2020
59 min
28: Susan Laurie // Extreme Alcoholic to Sober Forever
Susan Laurie is the author of From Rock Bottom To Sober Forever, which is the story of how a hopeless alcoholic, resigned to an early death, found complete freedom from her addiction. This book is her story of conquering alcoholism forever, and it is essential reading for anyone concerned about their drinking or the drinking of someone they care about. Alcoholism took hold of Susan’s life and brought her to her darkest and deepest rock bottom moments facing imminent death. After finding a treatment that really worked, she regained control of her life once again. Today, she is a High Profile Expert at the House of Lords Commission on Alcohol Harm. If you are having problems dealing with alcoholism or you just want to get some guidance and directions, you can visit Susan’s website at SoberForever.co.uk   *** For Show Notes, Key Points, Contact Info, Resources Mentioned, & More on this episode please visit our website: RockBottom2RockinIt.com. *** Feedback? Questions? Comments? I would love to hear from you! Contact me at us via: Email (eric@ericgilbertwilliams.com), LinkedIn (@ericgilbertwilliams), Twitter (@ericgilbertw), or Instagram (@ericgilbertwilliams). EP Tags: 
Oct 5, 2020
53 min
27: Severe Depression Survivor to TV Star & Professional Comedian // The Story of Jessica Holmes
Jessica Holmes has opened for comedians like Jerry Seinfeld, Leslie Nielsen, and Ellen DeGeneres, as well as hosted events for such visionaries as Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, and Oprah Winfrey! Although a comedian at heart, having performed with the Second City and Just for Laughs, Holmes has recently delved into writing: penning the book I Love Your Laugh: Finding the Light in My Screwball Life. Born and raised in Ottawa en Anglais et Francais, Holmes sat back and enjoyed the hilarity that was her family: a handful of older brothers, a mormon father and a feminist mother. Not a sitcom, just her family. The Second City, Just for Laughs and TV shows like Little Big Kid and The Itch got her noticed as a funny, quirky presence in the comedy community. After her comedy special Holmes Alone taped, she was offered her own sketch series: The Holmes Show. A Carol Burnett style series with lots of characters & impressions, Holmes became known for her oddball personifications of Celine Dion, Liza Minelli and Geri Halliwell. Holmes was delighted to join the cast of Royal Canadian Air Farce (having applied to be their secretary five years earlier, and been turned down…they still have her typing test!). There she played politicians and celebrities; including Michael Jackson and Jessica Simpson. During her years on Air Farce, Jessica had two children, Alexa and Jordan, with her actor husband Scott. Holmes wrote her first book, I Love Your Laugh: Finding the Light in my Screwball Life, in 2010. Having fallen in love with public speaking, Holmes decided to deepen the scope of her material by becoming a Life & Career Coach through San Diego’s Life Purpose Institute. She now enjoys a mix of comedy & motivational speaking.   *** For Show Notes, Key Points, Contact Info, Resources Mentioned, & More on this episode please visit our website: RockBottom2RockinIt.com. *** Feedback? Questions? Comments? I would love to hear from you! Contact me at us via: Email (eric@ericgilbertwilliams.com), LinkedIn (@ericgilbertwilliams), Twitter (@ericgilbertw), or Instagram (@ericgilbertwilliams). EP Tags: 
Sep 22, 2020
47 min
26: Humble Beginnings & Racism Crime Victim to Hollywood Star // The Story of Tommy Chong
Grammy Award winning comedian Tommy Chong is legendary for his invaluable contribution to American counter-culture as part of the iconic comedy duo Cheech & Chong. During their reign, the twosome recorded six gold comedy albums, including the 1973 Grammy winner “Los Cochinos,” and starred in eight films, most of which Chong co-wrote and directed. The first, Up In Smoke, was the highest grossing comedy of 1978, topping $100 million at the box office. Others were Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie (1980), Nice Dreams (1981), Things Are Tough All Over (1982), Cheech and Chong: Still Smoking (1983), and The Corsican Brothers (1984). Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Tommy began his entertainment career as a musician in a Canadian-based rhythm and blues band. Eventually, he landed a gig with the “Vancouvers”” and co-wrote the band’s 1960’s hit, “Does Your Mama Know About Me.”” From here, Chong eventually turned towards the life as an actor. The first step was forming “City Works,” an improvisational group where he consequently met his future comedic partner, Richard “Cheech” Marin. Throughout the 1970’s Cheech & Chong earned a massive following until eventually, the duo had run its lengthy and prosperous course and they both embarked on solo careers. Earlier this year, the highly anticipated, award winning documentary A/K/A Tommy Chong was released worldwide. The documentary features the journey that Chong took after a fully armed SWAT team raided the comedian’s home in February of 2003. Tommy Chong was sentenced to 9 months in federal prison for conspiracy to manufacture and distribute drug paraphernalia through “Chong Glass,” a family business specializing in handmade glass water pipes, or “bongs.” Making history this year, Tommy Chong reunited with his old comedy partner, Richard “Cheech” Marin to announce their first tour in over 25 years with Shelby Chong opening the show. The “Cheech & Chong: Light Up America & Canada” tour has proven to be one of the most successful comedy tours of the year, selling out multiple shows from coast to coast.   *** For Show Notes, Key Points, Contact Info, Resources Mentioned, & More on this episode please visit our website: RockBottom2RockinIt.com. *** Feedback? Questions? Comments? I would love to hear from you! Contact me at us via: Email (eric@ericgilbertwilliams.com), LinkedIn (@ericgilbertwilliams), Twitter (@ericgilbertw), or Instagram (@ericgilbertwilliams). EP Tags: 
Sep 15, 2020
1 hr 4 min
25: Suicide Attempt Survivor to Comedy Star & Meditation Teacher // The Story of Sarah Taylor
Sarah Taylor is an award-winning actor, writer, and standup comedian based in Los Angeles. She has worked as a meditation teacher, energy healing practitioner, and awakening guide for nearly fifteen years and has helped people find their authentic well-being. Having gone through her own radical transformation, often known as non-dual awakening, and in working as a mentor and energy healer for many years, Sarah is gathering her wisdom and wit and writing The Divine Mess: How To Be A Nobody In Hollywood. It’s a humorous and helpful book for anyone who yearns to find what spiritual seekers have sought for centuries, or for people who just want to take a deep breath and sleep better at night. At The Hollywood Improv she has produced Cosmic Joke and now Weird Advice with Sarah Taylor & Friends in the Lab. Sarah takes The Divine Mess Show on tour, which is a one-of-a-kind experience that includes Sarah’s comedy with its unique point of view.   *** For Show Notes, Key Points, Contact Info, Resources Mentioned, & More on this episode please visit our website: RockBottom2RockinIt.com. *** Feedback? Questions? Comments? I would love to hear from you! Contact me at us via: Email (eric@ericgilbertwilliams.com), LinkedIn (@ericgilbertwilliams), Twitter (@ericgilbertw), or Instagram (@ericgilbertwilliams). EP Tags: 
Sep 3, 2020
46 min
24: Frauded $100,000 to Catching his Thief & Serving Justice // The Story of Johnathan Walton
Johnathan Walton is a driven and enterprising vigilante who has dedicated his life to hunting down con artists and bringing them to justice. Johnathan is a reality TV producer. He has worked on shows like American Ninja Warrior for NBC and Shark Tank for ABC. But the most spectacular reality show he’s ever been a part of had no cameras shooting it and no network airing it. Just a devious con artist secretly plying her craft in the shadows and dozens of unsuspecting victims like himself, quietly falling prey. You can visit Johnathan’s website, JohnathanWalton.com to learn more about the complete story of how he and several other victims were conned by Marianne Elizabeth Smyth and how he was able to finally get justice and put the con artist behind bars.   *** For Show Notes, Key Points, Contact Info, Resources Mentioned, & More on this episode please visit our website: RockBottom2RockinIt.com. *** Feedback? Questions? Comments? I would love to hear from you! Contact me at us via: Email (eric@ericgilbertwilliams.com), LinkedIn (@ericgilbertwilliams), Twitter (@ericgilbertw), or Instagram (@ericgilbertwilliams). EP Tags: 
Aug 31, 2020
56 min
23: Pilot & Veteran, to Paraplegic, to a Second Chance with Life // The Story of Jim Ryan
On March 30th, 2016, Jim Ryan had a terrible accident while on vacation in Maui, Hawaii. He suffered a spinal cord injury that left him a C-4 complete quadriplegic. His life changed forever in the blink of an eye. Jim’s story of survival and recovery has inspired hundreds of men and women to shift perspective, choose gratitude, and to keep moving forward through challenges. He now works as an Ambassador to the Rick Hansen Foundation by sharing stories of his new life and educating the public on accessibility issues. He is also a certified accessibility specialist and works to ensure buildings are accessible to all.   *** For Show Notes, Key Points, Contact Info, Resources Mentioned, & More on this episode please visit our website: RockBottom2RockinIt.com. *** Feedback? Questions? Comments? I would love to hear from you! Contact me at us via: Email (eric@ericgilbertwilliams.com), LinkedIn (@ericgilbertwilliams), Twitter (@ericgilbertw), or Instagram (@ericgilbertwilliams). EP Tags: war veteran, middle east, iraq, amputee, solider, us army
Aug 23, 2020
57 min
22: War Veteran & Amputee Cancer Survivor to Javelin Athlete & Author // The Story of Brandi Benson
At the age of 24, Brandi Benson bravely served her country by enlisting as an active-duty soldier in the U.S. Army. She deployed to Iraq in 2008, but her military career was cut short due to her Ewing Sarcoma diagnosis. Brandi continues to lead a life of service and enjoys working with other veterans. She is also a semi-finalist for Ms. Veteran America 2020. Brandi is also an accomplished author. Her debut memoir, The Enemy Inside Me: A Young Soldier’s Unexpected Battle With Cancer, tells the powerful story of her 2009 Ewing Sarcoma diagnosis during her deployment in Iraq and her ensuing mental and physical battle to triumph over cancer. Over the years, Brandi has also published numerous articles about wellness, cancer and business.  Brandi currently lives in South Florida with a Jack Russell/Yorkie named Maddie and enjoys speaking to audiences across the country.   *** For Show Notes, Key Points, Contact Info, Resources Mentioned, & More on this episode please visit our website: RockBottom2RockinIt.com. *** Feedback? Questions? Comments? I would love to hear from you! Contact me at us via: Email (eric@ericgilbertwilliams.com), LinkedIn (@ericgilbertwilliams), Twitter (@ericgilbertw), or Instagram (@ericgilbertwilliams). EP Tags: war veteran, middle east, iraq, amputee, solider, us army
Aug 18, 2020
1 hr 1 min
21: Crash Amputee to 12 Time World Record Holder // The Story of Amy Palmiero-Winters
Amy Palmiero-Winters is a professional athlete, career-woman, mother and the founder of the One Step Ahead Foundation. After losing her left leg below the knee due to a motorcycle accident that occurred in 1994, Amy compiled a tremendous portfolio of world records and firsts for a female amputee in marathons, ultramarathons, triathlons, and ultra-triathlons. As she attained more and more achievements, she found herself in the position of being a role model, especially for young people with physical disabilities of their own. She soon found herself working extensively with children, introducing them to sports and athletics as a way of helping them overcome their physical limitations. After several years, Amy founded the One Step Ahead Foundation in order to provide even more opportunities for children with physical disabilities.  Amy currently holds eleven world records in various track events. In 2010, she was awarded the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States and the ESPN ESPY Award as the top female athlete with a disability in the world.  Also in 2010, Amy received the Women’s Sports Foundation Wilma Rudolph Courage Award, the Challenges Athletes Foundation Trail Blazer Award, the Huffington Post Game Changer Award and the USA Strength Award.  In 2011, Amy became the first female amputee to finish the Badwater Ultramarathon, which is described as “the world’s toughest foot race”. It is a 135-mile course starting at 282 feet below sea level in the Badwater Basin, in California’s Death Valley, and ending at an elevation of 8360 feet (2548 m) at Whitney Portal, the trailhead to Mount Whitney.  She had a finish time of 41:26:42.   In 2011, Amy was the first amputee to run the Reykjavik, Iceland Marathon.  During her time in Iceland, Amy was honored with the 2011 Ossur Ultimate Athlete Award.   *** For Show Notes, Key Points, Contact Info, Resources Mentioned, & More on this episode please visit our website: RockBottom2RockinIt.com. *** Feedback? Questions? Comments? I would love to hear from you! Contact me at us via: Email (eric@ericgilbertwilliams.com), LinkedIn (@ericgilbertwilliams), Twitter (@ericgilbertw), or Instagram (@ericgilbertwilliams). EP Tags: television, hispanic, support, family, tragedy, focus, radio, show, syndication, latin, america, disruption, passion, accomplished, hustle, freedom
Aug 11, 2020
1 hr 5 min
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