Jeff “The Shredneck” Lavin: “It takes money to make money”

“It takes money to make money” Invest, and invest early. As part of my series about “authors who are making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jeff “The Shredneck” Lavin. Jeff “The Shredneck” Lavin is a snowboarder, surfer, inspirational speaker, #1 selling author with his book Get Awesome, award-winning snowboard shaper/designer, […]

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“It takes money to make money” Invest, and invest early.

As part of my series about “authors who are making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jeff “The Shredneck” Lavin.

Jeff “The Shredneck” Lavin is a snowboarder, surfer, inspirational speaker, #1 selling author with his book Get Awesome, award-winning snowboard shaper/designer, but most importantly an adventure-preneur dedicated to helping people become free-range humans, finding their true north, guiding them to chart their navigational path, recruit, and hire their crew.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

You’re welcome. I grew up in Janesville WI in a mid-sized city of 50k amongst an agricultural community. I learned a lot by spending time on the family land and farm growing up. We back about 8 generations of farmers. My childhood was mixed with spending time there, and then where I grew up in the city. I was a bit smaller, and it took me a bit to learn when I was younger. As I picked stuff up I could often run quickly with it to catch up.

My mom and dad met on the ski hill, and that was a big part of how we spent our winters. That and on the lakes or rivers waterskiing. We were really active and always outdoors. I played soccer and ran track in high school. Then I moved away to pursue snowboarding a year after graduating.

When you were younger, was there a book that you read that inspired you to take action or changed your life? Can you share a story about that?

The millionaire next door. My mom gave it to me after I fell into a little bit of success and money in my teens. Where I grew up, and who I hung it with it was all about flaunting it. That and the age we were at the time, you want to show off a bit. I read that book and it changed my mentality and made me think long and hard about investing. Making my money works for me vs it. I’m glad she shared it with me, I read it in a day or two. Mind you I hated reading, especially fiction. From there it opened up the doors of my personal development journey. I loved learning about myself, and learning how to grow as a person.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

I make mistakes all the time. Sometimes speaking on the biggest stages. It’s hilarious when the audience laughs, I often run with it and say hey “If I can do this anyone can” Or “athlete not mathlete.” It’s even better when they don’t know. It’s rare in life for things to happen absolutely perfectly according to plan. All we can do is react and respond, then adjust. A sense of humor helps!

Can you describe how you aim to make a significant social impact with your book?

I wanted to create a system people could use to find themselves. Their passions, their purpose, clarity, identifying and releasing limiting beliefs. I shared quite a bit of personal stories, how I overcame them. The big message is using transmutation with all the bad to create a transformational process. It’s a blueprint to constantly use in the state of leveling up.

Can you share with us the most interesting story that you shared in your book?

Surviving a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) when I was 14. I had no idea where 6 months of my life went. It was such a difficult time. Add in the teenage years and it makes it even tougher. My grades went down. I had anger and impulse issues. But with all the tough things, I wasn’t going to give up. Eventually, I was able to get back into sports, and activities. I had some great coaches that pushed me to be better. Not just on the field but off the field. How we do anything is how we do everything.

What was the “aha moment” or series of events that made you decide to bring your message to the greater world? Can you share a story about that?

The aha; I love speaking and connecting with people. I find great purpose in it. 2020 everything stopped with a great pause. I had so much time to reflect. To see the world change and evolve. Las Vegas with no lights, LA with no smog. In my solace, I missed the people and decided to write a book as a way to amplify my message.

I’d say that was a big part of it. Also, an amazing friend challenged me and said “ you’re brilliant, what the heck is stopping you!?” Except she didn’t say what the heck.

Surround yourself with people that challenge your status quo!

Without sharing specific names, can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

I’ve had quite a few people read it and reach out afterward. The cool thing was watching my initial core read it and share it. Then they shared it with their circle, and so on. It reminds me of skipping rocks, eventually, those ripples come back to the shore of the origin. One person reached out after reading and they were at wits end. They told me my words helped them change their perspective. They had the aha moment, finding clarity, purpose, releasing their limiting beliefs.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper. E Pluribus Unum, out of many one. Politicians are lost in partisan debates, and we need to bridge that gap. We live in a society that’s become overly transactional. People are searching for transformation, within themselves, their home, communities, etc. It’s also time for new ideas, and new thought leaders to take the torch. To lead ourselves, our posterity and theirs. It’s a long marathon, and those who want to or are leading are merely carrying the baton.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

To me, leadership is the ability to leave everything and everyone better than you found them. If I cannot empower you, I can never learn from you. A great leader should be willing to learn. Unlearn and learn again. We learn something new every day, but only if we pay attention.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. “It takes money to make money” Invest, and invest early.
  2. “Systems and processes set you free” So true, we can be the CEO, but are we the “Chief Everything Officer” or a true CEO. Focus on your genius zone, don’t spend too much time learning things that can be delegated. Time is one thing we never get back. Once it’s gone it’s gone.
  3. “Find a mentor” These people have been through trials and tribulations. They make a great sounding board.
  4. “You’re the sum of the 5 people you surround yourself with” Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future. Who we spend time with is who we become. Are you the best at X in your group? Then it’s time to find the group where you’re the worst.
  5. “Fail Forward” Don’t be afraid to make a decision. Decisions create data that allow us to react and respond. Life is going to happen no matter what, with or without us in the game. Indecision vs decision cost me more. By making a decision I was able to react and respond.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Divorce the results, trust, fall in love with and marry the process. It isn’t the destinations it’s the path we take, enjoy the journey!

So many times I was stuck on results, goals, accomplishments, that I realized it wasn’t all about the outcome it was what I was doing to get there. I would use my other saying practice, patience, persistence, perspective. Practice it’s what it takes, all about those reps. Patience in the process will happen because of practice. Persistence because in the process to preserve. It won’t always work out perfectly all we can do is react and respond. Perspective is what the community is for. Once all four of those are solid there’s belief, belief is what it takes to go towards freedom. On the other side of freedom is fun.

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. 🙂

Joe Rogan, amazing high performance and high-level human being. I think we’d have great in-depth conversations about the possibility of running down a few rabbit holes.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

You can find me on my site: JeffLavin.net or my book Get Awesome: Above And Beyond Where Passions Meet Purpose

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

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