…I get so emotional answering this because I was someone who knew his purpose when I was so young but I ran from it. It scared me. The part of my life that I fled from what I was created to do was hell for me and anyone in my wake. I was awful and that is an understatement. The day I said “I surrender. I am done running, My life is no longer my own” everything changed for me. My point is, we all have a very unique purpose and nothing, not COVID, not HIV, not failures, not addiction, abuse, heartbreak, public shame, your religion, the gender you choose to love, or the country you live in will ever change God’s purpose for why you were created. With all my heart, and soul I want the world to know that. To add to that, my wife and I are driven to be the launching pad that elevates others into living the life they were created to live. One last thing.. Did I say the last thing already? I want everyone to know they are worthy of love and anyone can heal from the hurts of their past. Anyone.
As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Joshua T Berglan.
Joshua T. Berglan is the Chairman and Founder of the Live Mana Worldwide Foundation & Multimedia Broadcast Network, a TV, Film & Event Producer, host of Gratitude:UnFiltered and a Writer. Joshua ls blessed to be married to his best friend and teammate Jessica Linn where they are a voice for the voiceless. They are driven to elevate the passion, purpose and mission of those they are blessed to serve are passionate about their youth Media literacy program Voices 4 the Voiceless.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path? –
A Vision. 6 years ago while counting inventory for a skincare line I had just purchased distribution rights to, I got a vision for an organization that oversaw all of the different industries I was passionate about and the medium that would tie it all together. The vision itself did not really shock me however the clarity of it made me realize that the dreams I had as a child were real. As a kid, most people watched cartoons or silly shows, but I was fascinated by infomercials, home shopping networks and talk shows. Growing up when people asked me if I could do anything, I would immediately say, “I want to have a talk show, travel the world and help people.” It is all I ever wanted to do but I never believed it was possible. I had no desire to go to broadcasting school because I did not believe I could make enough money doing that, and I really loved helping people with complex disabilities. After selling our healthcare company, and I had a wild weekend in Vegas that somehow ended up with me leaving with a skincare line, which ended up opening doors for me to be a part of Hollywood events. Being in Hollywood opened the door to me Producing, and through Producing I fell into acting, and through acting, and learning the new live-streaming technology, I fell into broadcasting. I started a talk show on my phone and now just 2 years later my wife and I have a multimedia broadcast network that streams on TV, podcast, radio, social media and even blog networks. While we are relatively new into the market, our network has opened the door for me to produce bigger events, for bigger networks giving me the opportunity to learn the Ins and outs of the industry in a way that allows me to help others start their own media companies. While I am driven to have the greatest media organization of all time, I want to do that by helping others make their own dreams come true.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?
May of last year, right as COVID started to become the monster it became, I went to Minneapolis to visit what is now my wife. We were in the lobby of a hotel preparing for a broadcast I was doing at a hotel residency for a month when we saw the news that George Floyd had died from an officer pressing his knee on his neck for an extended amount of time. I remember the feeling that hit me like it happened an hour ago. I said “uh oh” to myself because I knew something bad was going to happen. As the days went on and the riots started to roar, I heard “GO’’ in between my ears like it was a message from God. I knew what it meant but I said out loud “are you sure?” and I heard “GO’’. I listened, told my now wife that we are starting a non-profit media company and we are going to elevate other voices for the voiceless. After sending in all of the paperwork, getting our EIN number and new bank account, I got a call from e360TV asking me if I would come on board and start Producing for them. In the same conversation we were given the streaming technology for us to start our own network which has now evolved a great deal and will continue to do so as we release our technology upgrades. All of this is important because 1. it fulfilled a vision. 2. it opened the door for me to see how we were going to build the technology that I had always seen in my dreams when I was younger. We call it the Digital Noah’s Ark and Underground Railroad for right now but a more clever name will be released when it is time to show it to the world.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I do not know if funny is the right word for my mistakes but because I was trying to be obedient to what I was being led to do in starting a foundation, I did a few things backwards that I should not have. My enthusiasm got in the way of thinking clearly but thankfully my errors of how I formed the board of directors did not come and bite me too hard. I also wish I had researched 501c3 more because while I am grateful we have it, I think if I had to do it over again I would not do that because I feel like I am muzzled sometimes and that goes against everything I stand for. Voice for the Voiceless, remember? lol.
Can you describe how you or your organization is making a significant social impact?
I consider it to be a blessing to get to serve in the way we do. Media is the most powerful medium in the world and in the new world, if we are not seeing ourselves as media organizations then we will be left behind so to speak. I am proud that we use our intellectual property, our gifts and skill sets to help others who would normally be left out. Learning media, broadcasting, producing, product creation, distribution, the patent process, building websites, coding and so on are not easy or cheap skills to learn much less master. I was not the guy who could afford to pay for the expensive courses that others pay to learn and frankly, most of them are deceptive crap anyway. I learned through serving. I saw people who knew what I needed to know, and were at places in their careers that they were willing to mentor, and I went up to everyone one of them I could find and asked them “how can I support you?”. Not only did I mean it, I wanted it even if it meant cleaning toilets. Here is the deal. I was a junkie. I have a rough past and did a lot of bad things before I was set free my 6th time in jail, locked away in isolation in LA County Jail facing 5 years. No one was going to hire me, and being an employee never really worked out for me much because I believed in my own ideas. I have always loved helping people and one thing I have learned is that you “sow where you want to grow”, so I served at a high level for some really powerful people and in turn I learned enough to be very dangerous. Underneath the Live Mana Worldwide Foundation umbrella is our very unfiltered ministry Gratitude:UnFiltered, which shows the supernatural power of truth while putting a light on my shadow world. This talk show helped me heal and in turn has helped others that went through similar life experiences and traumas. That ministry inspired the creation of our youth program Voices 4 the Voiceless which first came to mind during a vision I got walking down Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles one day as I passed the most beautiful building I have ever seen. It is called the Morgan Camera Shop and it has been abandoned for 19 years, and we know in our hearts that it will be where we house Voices 4 the Voiceless youth program, and then prove the concept to take global. We aim to break the cycles of addiction, abuse, poverty and more with this program and we will. and let’s face it, kids are easier to heal than people my age. One last thing, my wife and I also are very involved in the community and have been blessed to work with amazing organizations in partnership to bless those in need on the streets of Minneapolis and other cities. Life Center, River Valley Church, Elevation Church Outreach, My Brothers Keeper, Mad Dads, Starbucks, Greatest-Mask.com, Word of God Church and more have blessed us to be a blessing. It is pretty awesome.
Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?
We have a lot of testimonials and text we receive from people that are extremely heartwarming and inspire us to do more. I love working with the organizations we have worked with in Africa, London, Australia, and the Middle East because there is a pure passion and hunger that comes from those communities. That said, my favorite story is the man on the streets my wife met one day we were giving out hot food we had prepared and having fellowship at one of the homeless camps in Minneapolis. I remember when my wife Jessica plopped down in the middle of the camps and started eating the stew with the group and having conversation and seeing who we call Uncle look at her like “what is this chic doing? Does she know where she is?”. I swear my wife is the fun and exciting version of Mother Teresa. Nonetheless, he finally warmed up to both of us but they developed a true friendship. My wife made it her mission to get this guy housing and make sure he had everything he needed until he did. Now, I am proud to say this amazing man who is in his 70’s has a full-time job, and lives in a safe home environment where he is hosting Bible studies. We have been able to help launch several new online ministries and talk shows during the shutdown that allowed churches and other non-profits to get their messages out to a broader audience worldwide, which allowed them to continue to bring in revenue even when meeting in person was not allowed.
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve? –
Yeah, have them tell Big Tech to leave me alone haha. I hate being shadow banned on all of these platforms. I am kidding, while it stinks, it drives me anymore to release what we have been building behind the scenes. To answer your question seriously, we want people to serve. We want to work with youth organizations from all over the world and also adults with criminal records that have big dreams still and do not want to get stuck working at a job that they have no business being in. God gave each of us a purpose and that doesn’t change even when we make a lot of bad mistakes. My life is proof of that so now, we get to help kids like me and adults like me too. So, take me to prisons, group homes, youth organizations and let’s make some dreams come true. Oh, and help clear the way for us to get into the Morgan Camera Shop and other buildings like it around the world to allow us to serve those who need it most. We do not believe in putting bandaids on problems, we believe in creating solutions, opportunity and win-win-wins.
How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?
Wow. There are so many different aspects of leadership and I am sure there are better people to answer this question than me, but to me leadership is love. Love hurts sometimes, but it heals, inspires, motivates, encourages, teaches, is supportive, and always has the others best interest at heart. That is leadership to me.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
I hate doing this to you but I cannot answer that question. The work we do now is because of all of the failures, heartbreak, disappointment, anger, sadness, did I say failures? It is also a collection of our experiences that we love while getting to use our gifts, talents and interest. Maybe the answer is 1 thing… I wish someone told me to start thinking of myself as a media organization when I was young but if that had happened, I may not have the heart for others that I do now. I live with no regrets, just a passion to create a huge ripple effect of good in the world.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I get so emotional answering this because I was someone who knew his purpose when I was so young but I ran from it. It scared me. The part of my life that I fled from what I was created to do was hell for me and anyone in my wake. I was awful and that is an understatement. The day I said “I surrender. I am done running, My life is no longer my own” everything changed for me. My point is, we all have a very unique purpose and nothing, not COVID, not HIV, not failures, not addiction, abuse, heartbreak, public shame, your religion, the gender you choose to love, or the country you live in will ever change God’s purpose for why you were created. With all my heart, and soul I want the world to know that. To add to that, my wife and I are driven to be the launching pad that elevates others into living the life they were created to live. One last thing.. Did I say the last thing already? I want everyone to know they are worthy of love and anyone can heal from the hurts of their past. Anyone.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Life happens for us, not to us” — I have heard a lot of people say it but the very first time was Ed Mylett. Hearing this for the first time gave purpose to being molested, abused, and even the self inflicted trauma I gave myself. I learned that God will use anything we surrender to Him. It is funny, once we surrender, the battles we wage always seem to end in our favor. I learned through being open about my mistakes in the most graphic of ways on my wife and I’s project The Devil Inside Me and Gratitude:UnFiltered has been a huge part in my healing, fearlessness and knowing that God will work all things out for our good, if we let Him. I am not trying to preach here, it is just true. My life is proof of that.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
There are so many great people in this world I want to meet and have met that I would not choose one because I believe I will meet them one day. Especially my favorite talk show host 🙂 I would say, since I only get one wish, I would say to my twins that I gave up for adoption when they were young. It was the best decision for them but so much of my motivation for turning my life around and being public about my healing journey is so that one day they may come find me. I want them to know that I love them and that I am sorry for being a scared hurt little boy stuck in an overgrown man’s body. The only proof I have that I loved them so much back then was by letting them have a new dad, one that could give them what I couldn’t.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
I am old and still like Facebook, so @jberglan is where you will find all of our different pages and I am on IG @iamjoshuatberglan… Our website is livemanaworldwide.org
This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!