Living Life Without Limits: Chasing Dreams and Embracing Challenges with Elijah Desmond


Podcast Summary

In this podcast episode, Shawn Zajas interviews Elijah Desmond, a motivational speaker, event organizer, and entrepreneur in the dental industry. The conversation revolves around personal growth, taking risks, and following one’s passions. 


Elijah emphasizes the importance of authenticity and self-expression. He believes that many people become frustrated or resentful because they are afraid to be true to themselves and pursue their dreams. He encourages individuals to take ownership of their lives and not blame others for their lack of progress. Elijah inspires listeners to write their own story and advises them to take action and pursue their heart’s desires, whether it’s writing a book or becoming a DJ. 


The discussion delves into Elijah’s expertise in organizing successful events. He announces his upcoming book, “Hype,” which provides a blueprint for creating profitable and impactful events. Drawing from his vast experience in the dental industry, Elijah shares insights on event organization, sponsorship, and the importance of creating memorable experiences for attendees. 


One of Elijah’s notable projects is the “Destination Unknown” trip, which offers entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to embark on a seven-day adventure without knowing the destination in advance. The trip includes networking, masterminding sessions, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Elijah highlights the importance of surrounding oneself with diverse perspectives and learning from others’ experiences. 


Throughout the conversation, Elijah emphasizes the value of continuous learning and personal growth. He shares that he is always open to learning from others and gaining wisdom from different sources. Elijah’s willingness to step out of his comfort zone is evident in his constant pursuit of new experiences and connections. He encourages listeners to embrace failure as a valuable learning experience, accepting the consequences and using them to improve and move forward. 


Shawn acknowledges Elijah’s remarkable ability to inspire and motivate others. He recognizes Elijah’s dedication to making a positive impact in the dental industry and his relentless pursuit of personal and professional growth. Shawn commends Elijah for his leadership and innovation, describing him as a catalyst for change and improvement. 


In conclusion, this podcast episode provides valuable insights into personal growth, taking risks, and pursuing passions. Elijah Desmond’s journey serves as an inspiration for listeners, encouraging them to be authentic, take action, and continuously learn and grow. His expertise in event organization and his commitment to creating impactful experiences demonstrate his dedication to making a positive difference in the dental industry and beyond. 


Podcast Transcript

Shawn Zajas  00:01 

Okay, so I could not be more excited than having the chance to interview Elijah Desmond today. This is called Innovation in dentistry and the innovators, innovator is Elijah, I can’t even think about the term without thinking about you, Elijah. So thank you for joining me today. 


Elijah Desmond  00:23 

That minute when you freeze up, and you can’t hear the other person, I think that was like, Listen, I’m a professional MC. And you literally just teed me up. And then the middle of the tee up, it was like, pause. Thank you, the innovators, innovator, I heard it loud and clear. Thank you for having me. I’m super excited to join you on this, this podcast. And hopefully I can bring everybody a ton of value. 


Shawn Zajas  00:49 

You know, I keep saying it just because I want people understand like, I am not obsessed with clinical innovation or technological innovation. And that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. It’s just not something that I’m fascinated by. But what I’m fascinated by is what is it? What beliefs at what mindset get someone to all of a sudden be like, I can pioneer positive disruption, like why not me? And I’m talking to you, you started? I mean, I don’t I don’t know officially No, but from what I understand you were a hygienist. And now you’re guilty of all these titles. MC DJ, event planner, author, speaker, like, did I miss one? 


Elijah Desmond  01:29 

I mean, I think it sounded good. So we’re gonna roll with what you had. 


Shawn Zajas  01:33 

Okay, so So my curiosity, Elijah is what mindset either did you need to embrace? Or did you need to just completely shed in order for you to get to where you’re at 


Elijah Desmond  01:44 

today? Absolutely. Well, first off, mindset is everything. And I will tell you that I’ve always had an abundance mindset, which means that you have no competition until you start thinking that you do have competition. At that point, your biggest competition is you. So the mindset of abundance is extremely important. And I feel like it’s when you enter any field. It’s not just dentistry, and but it’s mindset, like for me is one of my strongest core values. But also, like, I don’t feel that I could conquer anything, I feel I’m totally conquerable. But I’m not afraid to step to any challenge. And the mindset of not being afraid, has really got me so far, like, I have lost so many times. But honestly, like, if I didn’t have those losses that I’ve had in my past, I would not be where I’m at. So like being okay to, you know, have that mindset of like, you’re gonna lose sometimes, but you have to try to shoot for the stars. And if you miss the stars, you’re gonna be in the clouds. And that’s further than most people will jump. 


Shawn Zajas  02:44 

Okay, so A, that’s massively profound, but be how long did it take for you to be okay with so called failure or like, something didn’t work out. But that doesn’t matter. Because I’m just saying, like, that plagued me way too long. You know, I met you had a, on a cruise, that you were hosting for a different company at the time, you were allowing them to do something. And I remember he looked at me and you’re like, Shawn, just tell people invite Him into your journey now? Yes, my journey was littered with like uncertainty, seeming potential failure that was looming on the horizon. And I didn’t want people in until I knew, there’s the certainty, there’s the guarantee, there’s the beauty that can somehow impress, and you already were free of that. Like was, was that just who you were Elijah? Or is that something that you had to wrestle into or conquer something to get to? 


Elijah Desmond  03:37 

That’s awesome. I mean, you’re basically referring to you not wanting to speak up until your message is loud enough. And the cool thing is, is like, first off, that’s to answer your question directly. First is, is that I was, I was, as a kid, my mind was made the way that it is it didn’t change at a certain time, I was instilled to be the way I am early on. And I help people to instill that in their minds now. But I’m going to tell you, I believe that nobody really wants to celebrate your victories. People want to celebrate your journey. And I know that if somebody comes out of nowhere and says, This year, I made $10 million people are not going to celebrate, they’re gonna throw bananas at you. They’re gonna think if you’re talking down to them, and it is this is not a good feeling, right? But I knew that I have a high enough emotional intelligence know that I’m not saying that I made $10 million this year either. Because I don’t want any bananas thrown at this podcast. But at the end of the day, like when people are are following somebody, and they only talk about the positive things, it makes them seem out of touch, it makes them seem that seem not real. And so what I tend to do is I tend to highlight the struggles that I had and the realness of a person I am at the beginning like early and I started a ton of projects as you know, like I’ve had 20 businesses plus, you know, best selling books serial entrepreneur from startup to success. And like I am all about the journey and people will actually celebrate you, if you teach them that you are normal, and you can fail just like them. And people will be by your side the entire journey and know you and really know your authentic self, if you are talking about your lows and your highs. And if you are just talking about your highs, and you’ve only come into the industry, when you made it, it’s going to be way harder for people to accept you. And the people that do accept you a lot of those people are false prophets, the people that come and they are with you because of who you are at that moment. But they really are just there because of what you have. But they weren’t with you for that entire journey. And I realized that early on that like, you know, if you want to be relatable, you got to tell people what it is not just the stars and the spotlights, but the darks, the lows, and have people ride the journey with you, but not only happy to write with you help people write their journey with you and give them shortcuts to success. That’s where the really big thing kicks in. As far as a realness and helping people and relatability is where you can help somebody shave off years of their entire entrepreneur journey, then essentially, they’re gonna remember that at some point and come back and say thank you and refer other people and you get put in a different light like that. 


Shawn Zajas  06:17 

I think it’s incredibly encouraging, like to hear that you figured that out early. But just figuring that out, Elijah doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have the courage to walk in it. And that’s where it’s like, I want to honor you, because knowing, hey, this is what I should do, or have the wisdom or emotional intelligence to understand it. That’s one thing, a lot of people can hand people a playbook. But to still have the heart and the courage to be like, I’m doing it like that. That’s, I mean, I feel like you, you’re physically a man of great stature, you’re imposing presence, but I feel like it’s beyond physically, like, you are a man that just like runs through walls. And sometimes they don’t come down, but then they will the next time and the next time. Like, Have you always had that resilience and perseverance? 


Elijah Desmond  07:03 

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, there’s also been times where I’ve been down, right, that I was not able to get out of bed, because I was, you know, put into a situation, whether it was financial, or cyber bullying, or, you know, pandemic comes. And, you know, there, there’s weak moments for everybody. And I’m human, just like the next person. And so can I say that I’ve always been able to run through walls, no, I fell flat on my face plenty of times. But I had the same mentality, I’ve just only been brought to my knees a couple of times, it wasn’t to business failures and innovations that didn’t work. It was from actual people in the atmosphere. And that’s what brought me to my knees. And so I’ve always had the same mindset. However, I’ve been stopped dead in my tracks a couple times during my life. And there’s other times where I’ll run into a wall, and I will get like, bubble bounced back from the wall, like no, and I’ll get up and I’ll try it again. And a lot of times, like, if you got through the wall, the very first time, you’re gonna be spoiled with success. And you will not know how to take failure, you will not be resilient, you don’t know what a scar feels like. But if you actually go through the wall, and you hit it three, four times, before you get through, man, you can tell everybody about how to go through the wall, you can tell everybody that there’s not a wall there, there’s a door there, you just have to open it, it’s like right down and this level, and essentially get to turn the knob a certain way. And guess what now I can tell you exactly how to walk through the door of the wall. And you don’t have to bounce all the time. But I had to go through that in order to get where I’m at today. 


Shawn Zajas  08:42 

I mean, it sounds a lot like the butterfly that needs to actually break out of that cocoon, in order to have wings strong enough to fly. If we remove the cocoon, if we remove the obstacle, that challenge of flight, then we don’t have the strength to actually fly, right? If you would, Elijah, I would love for you to take us into one of those moments. Just just one of those moments where you didn’t know what was in front of you. You didn’t know that something was going to work. And maybe what surrounded you was like it was the loudest that it’s ever been have like, quit, give up. Stop because this is what we this is what my dental friends run into where it’s like, I’m afraid to step out. Because the worst case scenario is I run into an experience or a moment where I’m not enough and I quote unquote, failed. But yet you’ve never given up. You’re here where you’re out today. What did you do in that moment? 


Elijah Desmond  09:44 

Absolutely. So I can take you back to the exact day, two the exact month and to the exact pivot. It was March 12 of 2020. And I was DJing. This is my second year of DJing. And it was at Dr. Nestle homes conference and delivering Wow. And it was at Mardi Gras world, it was a whitening ball wherever they were all white. And we just danced the night away. But I was dancing from the stage. And I had the microphone, and I was doing my thing. And I basically went out that night, and went on Bourbon Street. And that’s the night that the world came to a screeching halt. Thank goodness, it wasn’t then. And there was fire trucks all around, and they were evacuating people from the street. And shortly after, we were told that the pandemic had broke out. And right the next day, essentially, it was so serious to where they canceled our cruise. So at the smiles at sea cruise literally took the biggest blow that have ever has ever taken. I’ve taken the biggest refuge reputation blow as well, because like, I didn’t ask for the pandemic, right. And technically, like, I didn’t close the cruise either, like it was Royal Caribbean. But yeah, I got arrows thrown at me. And those arrows hurt like really, really hard. I feel like everybody was in a panic. And then a lot of people like when they have a panic, they attack other people and they go crazy. Typically, whatever I panic if there’s a tornado that’s about to hit my house like it has, I act, and I act swift and I act fast and I do what I have to do in unkind, I don’t scream, I don’t yell, I just act and do the right thing. And you can do the right thing all you want, but you still can have arrows thrown at you. And I got a beating socially on social media. And as you know, like most all social media groups I’m in and I’m really close with the moderators in the in the admins and I helped them grow their groups and friends with 95% of the industry. And I got beat up bad. And it put me into a state of depression. And I was bedridden, literally for a few days. Like I just wanted to go to sleep and wake back up. I was not suicidal. But ever however, I was depressed. And I knew that my back was against the wall and I had to make a pivot. And I needed to do something my all the you know, 700 cruisers, or however many we’re going to be on there, they were looking at me, what am I going to do the world of virtual is looking at me, I’ve been putting virtual events on for literally, you know, since 2017 16. Went back when I was with Jamie Amos was dentistry, he’s got talent, and the world is like froze, and like what are you going to do? So like, I had no choice but to this, like put my back up against the wall and react. My back was completely up against the wall. And so I did a first virtual event, we had about 1500 at a time watching the event. And the speakers were the same speakers from the cruise. And that felt good. And then I figured out man, I gotta figure out how to make a living. Like what do I do I have I have other businesses, but this is one of my main income sources. So I then said, Alright, I’m gonna try a virtual CPE. And I’m the hype man, right, I’m about to come out with a second book called hype. And it’s about events and conferences and making them fun and DJing. And anyways, I can’t put some hype on from behind the computer screen unfortunately, like I can’t MC I’m not DJing and I tried one event I’ll never forget of of Karen doll. And I want to say we made like, you know, 10,000 something dollars, which is nothing compared to what, you know, we’re used to bringing in with our mega events. And I really just threw my hands in the air and said like, forget it. I’m not pivoting like I’m not about to do this. I rely on my other businesses now support my peers. The other time I had another I had a business called Life of CBD factory I invested in at 50% Everything was just not happening in my favor. But I was not in that state of depression anymore. I was in a in a state of acting. I knew I had to do something. And I know if I didn’t do anything like nobody was coming to save me. I needed to just do it on my own. And so I gathered the people that I worked with and said we’re going to make a pivot, and there’s going to be this thing and it’s going to be called the dental festival. And we’re going to party like rockstars just like we do on the cruise without apologizing like I used to do. Oh, we’re not a party cruise. Oh yeah. If you don’t like to have fun, stay your butt at home. It’s not for you. But if you’d like to have a good time and build authentic relationships without judging people and growing your career, this is where you go. It was just mine was the cruise and then I pivoted because we had to put the cruise on the deck right we had to stop the cruises I pivoted and created the dental festival. And when I created it, I didn’t know what was going to happen and we ended up with 500 Um, the first one and the second one that we had, we ended up with 800. And the third one that we had, which was Nashville last year, we ended with almost 1000. And now we’re going to New Orleans this year in August. And listen, that was like probably one of the biggest pivots that I ever had in my business career that I didn’t give up. I gathered my team, we had a huddle. And we did what we had to do. And we’re one of the first conferences back in the industry and growing. 


Shawn Zajas  15:27 

I mean, it’s just amazing that in the midst of a challenge like that, you just took massive action. Yes. You know, your new waiting isn’t going to do anything. Like you said, No one, no outside force is going to come save Elijah. And I feel like it’s probably one of the craziest recipes for like, disaster hit you because Dentistry was getting taken out by COVID, like dentistry got shut down. And then cruises got shut down. So you got on your, the clients that you served, and the actual method of how you brought them together, both of those got hit probably harder than almost any other industry. Yep. And yet, there must be something liberating about knowing if you survive that. And we’re able to pivot and thrive. Like, what can you not endure? You know what I mean? Like? 


Elijah Desmond  16:23 

Yeah, I mean, I feel like life has ebbs and flows, and there’s highs and there’s lows and being so low, it makes it to where like, you really are not afraid of anything. And you can take a risk of whatever, and it’s going to be okay. I mean, listen, somebody could go in my bank accounts, they could go to my attorneys and pull all my LLC is out, they can pull my bank account all my money out, I can start tomorrow. And I guarantee you I will rise up better than I did last year and the year before the year before that and start all over. Because I already did it, I fell down, I got back up, I fell down and got back up. I got arrows thrown in my back when I wasn’t looking. I had friends, my friends left me to find better friends, right? I’ve been through business relationships where it is didn’t work out. Like there’s so many things that have happened. It’s not that I’m numb to it. It’s just that I learned from it. And I let the past stay in the past. And I focus on the future. And I don’t look to my left and my right and see what is everybody else doing. I look straight, and I help as many people as I can while I’m doing my next thing. If I focused on the past and I focus on what hurt me, what does that gonna do for me and can do nothing for me. That’s going to hurt other people, including myself. So I focus on the future and what can be that was 


Shawn Zajas  17:39 

okay, I mean, you just dropped a ton right there. But I love like, I don’t know, dentists probably are a little bit more wired like me where that naturally I have some caution just built in. And you could say it’s because I had a brother that was 13 months older than me that literally like split his head open five times by the time I was like 12 or 13. So I just kept seeing him. Oh, another family get together and Michael’s off to the hospital. And his arms dangling because he just broke it or something. He was just crazier, right? So naturally, I was like, oh, that’s that’s what you don’t do, you just climb a little lower and don’t jump as high from the swing. And I feel like a lot of dentists are kind of a little bit more geared toward caution and learning in a safe place where I always want to challenge them, like learning doesn’t take place until you actually launch something into the marketplace. Until you actually interface with the marketplace. It’s just theory. It’s not true learning. And you’ve learned so many lessons, and are far ahead of anyone that could try to even compete with you. Because you have unashamedly unapologetically just continued to just launch, launch and launch. And that’s why the equity you have Alijah isn’t in your bank account. It’s not in the intellectual capital in your LLCs it’s in the fact that you’re fearless. And you know how to make stuff happen? Because you’ve actually wrestled with the marketplace. 


Elijah Desmond  19:10 

Absolutely. And it’s also consistency. So for example, you know, many people in the industry have have known and followed my journey for a long time and then never seen me step far left or far right. I’ve never done anything that was out of the norm for me because I was able to show up as myself even though at first people didn’t accept me. Now I walk in any room I will wear my hat backwards. I will have tattoos that are that are showing I will wear what I want. Unless it said respectful moment. Were you having a formal event, obviously but I am me. My voice doesn’t change. I don’t act different. I don’t hold my laughs back. I am my authentic self. See. I went in the room in 2015 and I was singing a song and that song that I was singing not i hardly anybody knew the song. Okay, this is a song of Elijah. And I went into a room and people kept their head down. People didn’t put their head up, they didn’t celebrate, they didn’t clap. They didn’t come up to me. But I was singing a song. And I didn’t know if I was in the wrong room or not. Because it wasn’t that people necessarily were booing me off the stage are telling me to stop singing, but they they didn’t pay no attention. So I went into a different room. And I got a similar response. I was singing the song I didn’t, I didn’t raise my, the tone of my voice. I didn’t change the station, I kept to the same exact song. And for some reason, it just wasn’t hitting, right. So I decided to go to another room. Same thing happened. Eventually, I said, You know what, I’m gonna build my own room. So I bought my own room, and all the sudden people started opening the door. And the next person came, and the next person came pretty soon, I’m not just singing a song, I’m looking at people in the eye, and they’re clapping and they’re dancing. And they’re singing a song. Sometimes it’s louder than me. And I’m saying it’s okay. And they’re singing a song that sometimes softer than me. And I’m saying that’s okay, too. And I decided, since so many people were coming to my door to take the door off the hinges. So I took the door off the hinges and allowed my door to be door lifts, right, so people can always walk in my building, but I taught some people some really important things. And that was create your own room, create your own room and visit people’s other rooms often. And so essentially, I’m teaching people to keep the walls or keep the walls down, keep the doors open, and don’t make people knock on the door and get it slammed in your face. make everybody feel welcome. You know, dentistry is very diverse, it should be more inclusive, and I’m making a perfect example of that. But the big picture here is, is I never ever changed my tone. I never changed my song. I didn’t change the station I was at, I kept saying the exact same song that I’m singing today. The bad part of all of this is is that my room got really full. And now every room that I go in, people are clapping, people are taking pictures, people are singing the song some louder than me some soft. And I don’t know who’s really singing for me. I don’t know who’s clapping for me. I don’t know when I’m going to get an arrow thrown. And so it’s like, the bigger you grow. And the more you more better that you get in your situation, the better off that you become. It has its negatives, as well as its positives. But I don’t have to sleep at night with one eye open. My head is clear. I don’t act different. I don’t talk different. I don’t dress different. I come in the room as myself. And I encourage everybody to come in the room. Is there stuff as well. 


Shawn Zajas  22:37 

I just love the whole analogy. Like I was like following where you’re going. And I’m just like, okay, like, I’m just so interested to see where he’s taking this. And one of the main messages that I love sharing is that for dentists like the one sustainable advantage for a dentist to differentiate themselves, is to just find out how to actually bring who they are into their dentistry. It’s not about the fake it till you make it. Look at what everyone else is doing and try to copy that. It’s being original. And that’s exactly what you’re saying like that. 100% is the only way for sustained differentiation and fulfillment. You know, people end up climbing mountains all the time, that it’s not even them and then they find themselves at the end alone. And feeling like they’re out of alignment with who they are. And there’s no fulfillment. And I look at you and I’m like, Man, you keep dancing. You keep singing that song, because it is you and it has made such an impact in dentistry, Elijah, 


Elijah Desmond  23:41 

thank you, you don’t know who you’re making impact on. I told you that room filled up. Right? You have no idea who you are talking to. You have no idea whose hand you are shaking you have no idea who you’re singing right beside you don’t know. And I don’t believe in fake it till you make it a lot of people believe and fake it till you make it. They say that so much that listen. As far as I’m concerned, that whole tagline is played out. I don’t believe in fake it till you make it I believe how to get over that and impostor syndrome, which in my mind, you have the same exact thing when you say fake it till you make it and impostor syndrome. I don’t believe in it. I believe that you should be real. Right? I started DJing back with when Andy coding first put me on his stage as at his student events for WordPress. And I was on the stage at a time as a motivational speaker for these kids. And they’re graduating. And so everybody, for the most part knew who I was. But what I would say was is tonight I’m throwing a party who likes to party and everybody Yeah, then the next words that are in my mouth were this is my first time ever DJing for an audience or my second time or third time and I’m I’m going to mess up I’m not going to be the best but I’m going to give you my A for effort right I’m going to give you you the best performance that I can give, but it’s not going to be the best. So bear, bear, you know, hang in there with me, right bear with me. And I would go and I would DJ. And I would say my stomach will move the whole volume button completely over and the music will be off and I know how to fix it for 30 seconds. Instead of everybody not only stopped dancing, but start talking and move off the dance floor or Bhumi off the dance floor. There’s their chant for me, Elijah, Elijah, right now, if I would have went up there and said, I’m the best Ain’t nobody better than me, come look at me, you know, you’re gonna have the time in your life. And that would have happened, everybody would have booed me off the dance floor. But see, I never had to deal with impostor syndrome, because I don’t fake it. impostor syndrome is feeling not good enough. And like you are pretending to be somebody who you’re not fake it till you make it. I don’t believe in that. I believe in keeping it real along the entire journey, and people will appreciate you that much more. 


Shawn Zajas  26:01 

Yes, that’s amazing. Um, I was thinking about you as a as not just an innovator, but like a visionary pioneer innovator, and I was thinking about some of the shows that you’ve done, and how, as an attendee, I realized some of the value that you’re bringing, is so far ahead of what the industry was ready for. For example, like, I’ve done a lot of shows, I’ve never felt, I’ve always just felt like a sponsor or vendor that kind of, like, oh, I don’t know, like, stay over there. And you’re just a business guy. I don’t know, like, you’re a solicitor. And that’s almost how I felt, and I’m bothering the dentist, I’m bothering everybody else. And as the pioneer, you’re like, Well, no, like you have value. You’re the one that can invest and help, you know, partner with the speaker or partner with dentistry. And how has it been where I feel like sometimes some of the things you implement, dentistry is not ready for, like, because you’re the first one doing it? Is that ever a challenge to you when when you launch a model, or you launch some sort of value, add and then all of a sudden, you’re like, oh, they don’t get it yet? Like, yes. How have you handled that? 


Elijah Desmond  27:20 

Yeah, absolutely. So first off, there’s this thing called market research, right. And I really don’t see into the future, or I’m not this visionary. For like the world of dentistry. I’m the visionary for what I love. I’m the visionary for what I like to do, and what I think is going to be fun. And it’s not for everybody, and not for everybody. And that’s okay, I’m behind you, even if not for you. But I’m not for everybody. But the things that I do the things that I create there selfishly, really like to fulfill my dreams of what I want. And they happen to always support other people, and be for the for the good of all people. I feel like if you’re doing something kind, and you only help people, you can’t lose, but not everybody is going to be on your team while you’re doing that. And so I don’t necessarily think that I’m creating things that are super far out in the future, I create things that I’m ready for right now. But I validate them before I go live by doing simple surveys, a lot of people pay like 10s and 1000s, or hundreds of 1000s of dollars, even for surveys. I happen to have these massive social media groups like trapped in an app and, you know, with 24,000 people and email list with 56,000 people, and I own a ton of different social media platforms where I can put a survey out, and I’ll find out within a couple hours, if something’s gonna work or not, I’ll test the market. I mean, I’m not silly. I’m not don’t just come out with stuff and boom, here I am. Like, I don’t do that. That’s not good business sense. I survey the whole market and see if my idea would work in our industry. That’s the same thing I did for the cruise. It was 2015 and I posted in a group that I got kicked out of, and 15 and it said, would anybody ever want to go on vacation on a cruise ship and get CEE and I had 200 comments and like five minutes, and the post was deleted because you couldn’t advertise another business. I’m like, Man, this chick, I didn’t even have a business yet. What do you delete me and delete my stuff. I don’t even have a business book so much for abundance. That’s why I have my group. And I let people post whatever the heck they want to post on the group and I support them. And I empower them and I feel like that’s missing in our industry. Still, however, I feel like I’m pioneering it. I’m pioneering abundance. I am pioneering fun at conferences. There was no such thing as a dental DJ. I’m a celebrity dental DJ now like I’ve DJ in four countries and five states in the past Two months talking about going down the Nile river in Egypt Cancun DJing for Heartland, you know, you go back I was in Cabo DJing, like in dentistry. How does that happen? Well guess what? It happened. I proved it. I did it. And I’m mentoring other people that are DJs Katrina Sanders, DJ floss is a perfect example. Dr. Devin giesen perfect example. And I thought that that was new, like a dental DJ is a thing. But like Dr. Christina out of Spain is a dentist who is like literally living her best life as a DJ. So like, you may think it’s the first time that you’ve ever did something but something’s happening when the other side of the Earth, right, I thought I was the first person to do cruises, Linda miles did cruises back in the early 2000s. I didn’t even know that I wasn’t even graduated yet. Like I didn’t know. So my innovation is just what’s in my mind and what I want to do as long as I’m not harming people. And as long as I’m having fun and making an impact. I don’t really care if you’re on the boat or not. As my boat is my house, my house boat for the time, you don’t want to get on the boat. See you at the festival, that if you don’t like to have fun, then you’re not my type of person. So I’m gonna be kind deal. I will still elevate you to help you. You just don’t got to come in my room. I’ll go in your room and celebrate you. 


Shawn Zajas  31:17 

Yeah, I love that you’re all about like, just expressing and finding out what is it that makes you come alive. And doing that, like I feel so many people get so upset, or frustrated or bitter or resentment, because they’re scared to just be who they are, and follow the dream of their heart. And then they just want to blame others for why they’re not. It’s like, hey, it’s on you. You want to write a book, write a book. You want to be a DJ, talk to Elijah, yeah, help you? 


Elijah Desmond  31:42 

Yes. I mean, we talk about in my group, right? We have my group where there’s these people that essentially they’re dentists, they’re team members, they’re their assistants, who there’s all these people that are like, they’re they want more, but they don’t want to invest in themselves. Like what in the world of you, if you want to learn how to place implant where you’re gonna do, you’re gonna go to an implant course. Right? If you want to learn about cryptocurrency, we’re going to do it you need to pay for a crypto course. You know, if you want to learn about real estate, where are you going to do you need to go invest in some and be a be a realtor, go go go on the weekends, go to school. Right? Go find a really good realtor and ask them questions. See if they’ll help you. Maybe 10 People will say no one person will say yes. Where’s your effort at what is going on? Time? I’m not happy with my career. Well get happy. Figure it out. Yeah. 


Shawn Zajas  32:36 

Okay, so I want to know, are you doing something right now that makes you feel like, oh, shit, like this, this might not work. Because I my, my guess is that you keep the pedal down. And you can’t not just operate at a certain pace where you have to challenge yourself and push yourself. What is that you’re doing right now? That feels a little scary even for you? 


Elijah Desmond  33:04 

Yeah, so I’m not scared. There’s nothing that I’m doing right now. That’s an oh shit moment. Because I don’t have that oh, shit moment until after the fact after I gave it my 1000 minute and 1,000%. And I’m like, that didn’t work. I don’t think about failing, failing doesn’t exist in my book until the very end. And I still didn’t fail because I paid for that experience. And now I’m better for that. But the newest thing that I’m doing now that you’re asking is a belief is a Disney cruise for dentists and their families and team members and their families. And that is new for me. I mean, most people know me as somebody who loves to have fun. Well, listen, honestly, if my three year old and my eight year old are there, we’re not having a torque contests. We’re just not doing it. And my little kids have no business being on a normal smiles at sea cruise, but now we’re doing a smiles to see remix. And it’s not for the same audience, right? It’s for dentists to bring their family team members and bring their family or dentists to bring their teams. And we’re gonna have a daddy daughter dance. Right? We’re gonna have a mother son dance. Right? We’re gonna we’re gonna have a class about the overall Disney experience with Dino why that’s the main bulk of the curriculum. But we’re also going to have a business of Marriage Course like who does that? And guess what? I get to go and speak to the high school kids that are brought in the second to fourth graders that are that are bright and give the high schoolers a motivational talk give the third graders second graders fourth graders that girls are pearls and guys with ties, talk about do good, feel good and look good. And so I’m doing something I’m bringing me as a motivational speaker for kids. I’m bringing that element into the industry of dentistry. And I’m doing it on a cruise that I have never brought a smile XZ Cruz to and I’m not scared but that’s new. It’s new. I’m not scared. I’m not knocking out the part. But I’ve been able to take calculated risks to ensure that I When I have no I have no fear, because I’ve already failed, right? I just failed back in in last week, I overshot the amount of people, I thought were going to be on the cruise as a $40,000 mistake that I made had to pay out of my own pocket. It won’t happen again. And I was not scared. And when the thing happened, I took the consequence, I took the L. And I got on my feet. And I went, and I did something different than next time, right? So I’m not afraid of failure, not afraid of failure, I’ll accept the consequences, but no failure here. 


Shawn Zajas  35:31 

People just need to listen to how you talk, Elijah, because you’re just saying, like exactly the way, like what you’ve arrived at, in your beliefs, in your mindsets that allow you to take massive action. At the end of the day, the person that takes the most action, consistently over time in alignment with who they are, is going to learn the most and be in a place where they can bring the most value. And yeah, oh, God, 


Elijah Desmond  35:59 

that’s a fact. That mean, you say learn the most and be in a place that they can bring the most value. Listen, Shawn, I’m 200 years old, right now. I’m 200 years old. And before I die, I’ll be 1000 years old. But how did I get to be 200 years old? Well, I listened to a lot of people. And I gained their experiences from listening and communicating. And not only am I around people all the time that I’m lifting up, and I’m helping, but I’m also around people that can fill my cup, it’s very important to be around people that you don’t know what they don’t know. You’re not as old as them, you haven’t experienced that. And a lot of people like to stay in their comfort zone. I’m not trying to be my comfort zone. I’m trying to over help people that need me, or I’m trying to over learn from people that I could learn from. I’m not saying in my comfort zone, I’m not saying that my city that I lived in for as a kid, I’m not saying in the city that I lived in, in my 20s I’m saying that I’m saying a new city, I surround myself around new groups doesn’t mean that I’m too good for the last group I was at, but I’m never going to have a lifetime click. I’m gonna have a big huge family with a ton of people. Right? And I’m gonna keep learning. I’m gonna keep givin. 


Shawn Zajas  37:12 

Ya know, I remember a recruiter that was saying, so many people tell me that they have 10 years of experience in this job. And he was asked them, Do you have 10 years of experience? Or do you have the same year of experience that you just experienced 10 times. And you are like the antithesis of that, because that’s why you’re 200 years old. Because in your years, you have experienced so much. It’s not just the same thing over and over. Where, like, again, the idea that I think I find that dentists struggle with this idea of safety, because they kind of think that they can play it safe. And I honestly think there’s no such thing as safety anyway, I just want to burst the illusion of safety. Like, it’s dangerous if you just stay put and do nothing. So just live the life you want to live, take the risks, because I think there’s more power in the sense that you’re going to regret all the things you didn’t do than the times that you had to pay out $40,000 Because you miss the target by a little bit. Right. You know, and that, that that is you. That’s what I’m saying. Like, you just keep on moving and keep on going. I’m excited. You just said you have another book coming called hype. Yes. Okay, when is that coming soon? Like, is there something people can pre order? Like, what do you want to bring attention to right now that you’re doing? Because I know you’re, you’re doing a ton 


Elijah Desmond  38:38 

of stuff, man, I mean, a couple of things. The first thing is we’ll go on with the hype, you know, I basically have did every kind of event that you can think of and been a part of so many events, right? Whether I’m playing any event, I’m consulting a company on how to grow their event, I’m starting event from scratch. I’m taking an event and I’m saving it from death, which means a conference is going home, I’m saving the conference. It’s a small event, a massive event, and whether I’m DJing. I’m emceeing. I’m the motivational speaker, I’m the keynote speaker, I’m putting the little corner of the room at the very last day as a little workshop speak. I mean, I literally did everything. I’ve been a sponsor, I’ve been sponsored. I’ve sponsored a lot. I’ve been a very high paying main vendor, I’ve had vendors pay me up to $100,000 Plus, I mean, everything you can think of in the world of a dental, I don’t care if you call it a conference, a symposium, or a festival, whatever you call it. That is the world that I’ve been in. And the book is called hype. And it’s essentially the new generation of conferences and it’s teaching people it’s giving people the blueprint on essentially how to put on an event that is an experience that is a profitable experience. Notice I didn’t say that I was in the red by 40,000. I said that I made 40,000 I was not I was less, I made a $40,000 mistake, but I know how to have a profitable destination experience. And so that is what that book is about. It’s not just about cruises. It’s not just about big symposiums, it could be about an influencer, who has a ton of followers and wants to create an event. It can be, you know, about a cruise, it could be about a land event, it could be about an all inclusive resort. I mean, there’s so many different types of events that you can put on. And after going on tour on a tour bus for seven months, and going to all these different types of events, including cruises to Cabo on groove cruise as a DJ, and me riding my bus across the country and staffing and all these cities, and lifting up all of these speakers and influencers. I have the blueprint. I don’t think that there is anyone out there that knows what I know. Now there are people that know some things that I don’t know. But the collaboration of all of the different wisdoms that I got and times that fell on my face and times I had to huge million dollar celebrations to the times where I actually lost money at an event, right? Those times are all the things that I put in the book. And that book is called hype. 


Shawn Zajas  41:13 

And we have an idea maybe of when you think it’s going to release 


Elijah Desmond  41:17 

Yes, it will release at the dental Festival in New Orleans this year. 


Shawn Zajas  41:23 

Okay, there is no one better suited to write that book. That yes, the collective experience knowledge lessons learned. I am I want to prime pre ordering the book right now, Elijah, after this podcast, I’ll give you the credit card. I don’t want to give it to you on air. But 100% I’m pre ordering that. Yes. Is there? Is there any? So the dental festivals coming up in New Orleans? Is there anything else that yes, the Disney the Disney event, there’s no date for that yet, right? 


Elijah Desmond  41:55 

It’s just going to be in the summer of next year. The other thing that I have coming up that is for people who are risk takers, it is people it is for people that are spontaneous, it is for people that are entrepreneurs, or aspiring entrepreneurs or seasoned entrepreneurs. And the tagline for this event is called you never went so far not knowing where you are going. And the event is called destination unknown. And it is not for everybody. It is for somebody who is okay with going. It is more of somebody who is okay, going across the world somewhere. And you have no clue where you’re going. You just know it’s a bucket list place. And you pack for the next four months for this amazing trip called destination unknown. You pack your suitcase, you get things to put in your suitcase every week. And you show up at the airport. And only then do you figure out where you are going when you open up your envelope for destination unknown. But you know where you’re going, you have no idea what you’re doing. When you get there are where you’re going there. But you land essentially every single day, you get paired up with entrepreneurs of all walks. And I’ll tell you something I learned is that when you are an entrepreneur, it also is great to take advice from people who don’t do the same exact thing that you did. There’s outside sources that are kicking in new information and their experience sharing. They’re not telling you what you should do. They’re saying in my experience, this is what how I went in the desert and found water or I didn’t find water. So don’t go left. Don’t go right, go straight and you’ll shave years off your journey. And I call that masterminding. And so we basically will come to the center each day. And we will talk about what we did in our one hour sessions with groups of two to four. So I’m pairing entrepreneurs up in groups of two to four according to the top three genres that they liked the music, so if you like say rock and roll, I’m going to pair you up with somebody else who likes rock and roll. And you basically put when you are most creative. So if you’re most creative, on the volume of music at five to six versus seven, eight versus 910, I’m going to pair you up with that person and we’re going to go and you’re going to jam out to music on a whiteboard for an hour session at a time and you’re going to plan out your business. By the time you leave, you’re going to go on so many mind blowing excursions that are once in a lifetime and meet so many like minded entrepreneurs, what’s going to happen is your career will explode and you’ll leave there with a accountability partner and a 12 month business plan to make sure that essentially you have something to do after the event and so you don’t know where you’re going. And you’re going to go on a once in a lifetime experience that you need a passport for that is happening August 29 through September the fifth through Labor Day weekend, and it is going to be a once in a lifetime experience. 


Shawn Zajas  44:53 

Okay, so originally I thought you said four months. No, okay. So four days. 


Elijah Desmond  44:59 

They is going to be for seven days total. And it is essentially you’re packing for four months, you’re packing your suitcase. Every week, you get told a thing to put in your suitcase. And you’re gonna be leaving for seven days starting August 29 to September 5 through Labor Day weekend. 


Shawn Zajas  45:18 

Okay, I get it, you’re like over a four month period leading up to it. You’re getting okay. Okay, that. Okay, that is incredibly fascinating. I’ve never heard anything like that, again, leave it to Elijah Desmond, to come up with that Purple Cow that I think is going to be unbelievable. Where can someone find out information about that, 


Elijah Desmond  45:38 

they can go to Elijah And look at the tab destination unknown. And that will tell you everything you need to hear. And they’ll give you an application to sign up and you’ll get to meet with me for a half hour. So I can discuss if it makes sense for your business to be coming to destination unknown. So people are coming, whether it’s a dentist, it is a entrepreneur that has things, product service software, or they’re creating it, or they’re at a peak where they’re like, Man, I want to break through that I need this to change everything for me. And this is a trip that will change everything for you. 


Shawn Zajas  46:14 

Okay, that is amazing. In the spirit of honor, is there someone you’d like to recognize that has either been a mentor or inspired you or you view as an innovator in the industry? 


Elijah Desmond  46:27 

Man, you know, right now, I’m going to tell you I was I’ve taken a lot of wisdom and knowledge from so many people. But at this moment, I would say it’s, it’s Dr. Eric Roman, who is my business coach. And he essentially just always is going above and beyond thinking out of the box. jammin with me telling me I need to trim the fat. What does the fat mean? It could mean the fat off of my chinny chin chin. But it also can mean the business that I don’t really need. I had 14 Different LLCs and revenue sources. Prior to the pandemic, I now have five and they’re all in the same space in the event world. And that wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the guidance and help of Eric Roman 


Shawn Zajas  47:13 

enclose. This is the last question. Elijah of 18 years old, right? Here you are today and you are passing him. And you just have a brief moment to share one sentiment with Elijah of 18 years old, what would you say to him? 


Elijah Desmond  47:31 

Do what you love the most? Even though you can do everything, do what you love the most? 


Shawn Zajas  47:38 

Okay, that is completely in alignment with who you are Elijah and the fact that you distilled it like that is amazing. Elijah, you are, again, I’ve been guilty of people calling say that I flatter I don’t flatter. I just honor. I see the strength that you have. I see the way that you’ve led. I see the impact that you’ve made in dentistry. And I’m not afraid to just say like, This is who you are. You’re doing what you’re called to do. And you keep making dentistry better. I just want to honor you for that and say thank you so much for letting me interview you today. 


Elijah Desmond  48:08 

It’s been a pleasure. Thank you. Alright, well you 

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