Join host Brett Gilland on the Circuit of Success as he interviews Dr. Craig Thayer, a surgeon, bestselling author, radio show co-host, and motivational speaker. Together, they discuss various topics related to personal growth and success. Dr. Thayer emphasizes the importance of taking a leap of faith and the logistical aspects of achieving one’s goals while sharing his journey and the events that shaped him into the person he is today. Now, he is on a mission to inspire and motivate others to live their lives to the fullest which means finding your own thing and placing the bet on yourself. Tune in for an inspiring conversation covering perseverance, personal testimony, and an abundance mentality.



Brett Gilliland: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Circuit of Success. I am your host, Brett Gilland, and this week I’ve got Dr. Craig Thayer with me. Craig, how you doing? I’m doing great. Thank you sir. Good. Well, it’s good to be with you today. You’re calling, uh, you’re videoing in from northwest Georgia. How’s, uh, things cooking in Georgia right now?

Dr. Craig Thayer: Actually, it’s a beautiful day today, so about 72. A little breeze and um, thank you. No rain. Yeah, it’s beautiful.

Brett Gilliland: That’s awesome. It’s been windy as hell here. I don’t know what’s going on, but I look around, I’m looking at my kids’ sporting events. I’m like standing there, you can barely stand up. It’s so windy.

I say it’s a two club wind, you know, for golf. So it’s a little breezy lately. I don’t know why, but, uh, so anyway. Well, Craig, you are, uh, you know, the, uh, surgeon, a number one bestselling author, a radio show, co-host, a motivational speaker. Man, you could have probably just, you know, laid low and just kept staying in a surgery room.

But you decided not to do that, huh? And take on all this other stuff. Is that

Dr. Craig Thayer: right? That’s correct. Yeah, I just, uh, I’ve discovered a newer passion [00:01:00] and that is just, um, trying to get out to talk to people and, uh, and then obviously this book that was kind of almost 15 years in the works and was. My grandmother who said, you’ve gotta do this because of what you’ve been through in your life and this is gonna motivate people.

And, and, uh, she passed away August 7th, 2021, so it’s been almost two years. But yeah, so, uh, and she left a couple miracles behind when she did that. So like a clock that stopped two days later at the time of death. Cause I was there for her last breath. And then, In a, a guest bathroom that I was staying in for the last two weeks that I was there staying with her before, uh, when she died, there was a book on this, this, uh, wicker chair that had a bookmark in it, her glasses on it.

And so it had been clearly read by her and that she was gonna come back and read it, but the title was gone missing. Oh, wow. [00:02:00] Wow. Coincidence. Yeah.

Brett Gilliland: Yeah, well, you’ve had a lot of stuff, um, in your life, and so you’re a high level leader now, like I said, motivational speaker and all that stuff. But you, uh, I, I love here it says, your passion is to inspire and motivate others to live their life to the fullest.

So I want to get into that in a minute, but before we do that, if you can give us a little, uh, shed a little light if you will, on, on the things that you’ve been through in your life. Like you said, you do have a story, you’ve got your book. Um, but if you can just give us what’s made you, the man you are

Dr. Craig Thayer: today.

All right. I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version. So it really kind of begins before I was born, cuz my Naturaler mother was in Michigan and gonna be married to my natural father, but not going through catechism fast enough. So she, about three days before due, went to Monterey, California, had me, held me for 10 days, and then gave me up for adoption.

So I was an orphan for nine months and just saved by. Her belief in, uh, in, in, in Jesus. In, in God. [00:03:00] So, and then I, part of the adoption was that I’d Manor be raised by Catholic mom. And so who better than an Irish Catholic. My mom was 21, moved from Ireland to America and met my dad and they couldn’t have kids.

And then there I am in their house. So, and they were my parents and had a strong loyalty to them growing up. They always told me that I was adopted from the beginning. It wasn’t a secret. And then I think the next thing was just making me more empathic. And that was, One night my dad, my sister and I were coming home and my dad up in the front door and on in the living room, you could see my mom on the ground passed out.

And, uh, sh that’s the first time I realized she had an alcohol problem. So, wow. I was about 11 when I went to an AA meeting with her. So I got to hear what people had to say about their, their alcohol and their addictions and kind of be a better empath. And then, then junior year in high school, I took anatomy, physiology, new man.

The human body’s amazing. I, I love working with my hands. I [00:04:00] gotta be a surgeon. I was cocky and said, oh, that’s, I’m gonna be a cardiac or a neurosurgeon cuz they are the really super cool ones. And then, um, and then I had a twisted intestine, so just like a week before finals my junior year. And uh, so got over that.

Got back, back into the pool. I was a water polo player and a competitive swimmer. And, uh, then headed off to college in freshman year. My mom passes away sophomore year. I’m in a bicycle accident, cracked my head. I have spinal fluid coming outta my ear. Um, these are stories in the book. They’re just, how kind of God worked through my life to.

You know, my mom dies all my, I was on an all male floor of my all, all my, uh, floor mates said he is not coming back. He won’t be back. There’s no way. And they knew I wanted to be a surgeon. So same thing, sophomore year, I’m in the hospital, uh, uc. Davis is a quarter system, so, Two weeks is 20% of your class.

They’re like, you’ll have to make it back. You, you, you [00:05:00] can’t catch up. And if I get off series, you know, 1 28 organic chemistry, now after, take that the next quarter, I’m not gonna graduate in four years and that’s gonna screw everything up. So, um, then junior year, my dad gets diagnosed with lung cancer stage four.

And that year I was an off-campus dorm in this for. If there’s folks that don’t remember about dial phones and long distance phone call costs, um, it had one phone jack against this one wall. It was a suite for five students. I was one of the two in the back. It was one room up front and I plugged that in and would call my dad, and I never got a bill.

And I’m like, can you even check with the front desk? Are you guys getting charged for the, and there was never a bill. It was, I mean, you can’t explain how I had. You know, two, three hour conversations with my dad every night and not have to pay for any of it. So, and then my dad passes away between junior and senior year.

My goodness. Yeah. And then, uh, [00:06:00] then, then, then I, um, I applied to med school. And I get, um, I get this, you know, if you get, I, I think I played about 18 and I could wallpaper my room with the projection notices and, uh, I finally got one. And you know, if you get a thin one that’s just like a dear John letter.

You, sorry, you know, looked at you and you’re not, not a, you can’t come. So I got a thin one and it says, congratulations, you’ve not been accepted. And I’m like, what? Yeah. What kind of a letter is this? Yeah, you’re on a wait list, so you still have a chance of getting in. So, and then, uh, during the summer I get this phone call and I think it’s my friend who I’m gonna pick up from one of his classes.

So I answer Craig’s taxi service. And it’s a lady uc, Davis Med School, and she says, well, it’s Craig Thayer there. And I said, oh yeah, just a second. I covered the phone. No change in voice. Not enough time to really go [00:07:00] get somebody. I’m back on the phone. I wonder what she thought and said, yeah, well, she says, you’re in.

So I got into uc, Davis’ Med School and then, um, yeah, and then, um, From there, I, I, it matched at uc, Davis’s general Surgery program. And, um, I was the last resident, which that’s a six year program to hang my own shingle as a business. I had to get seven different insurances, malpractice, dental health, uh, Renters cuz I had an office, uh, workman’s comp.

I mean, you, you just keep going and, but it’s a business and I never, you never really get caught into that. When you’re a resident, you just learn medicine and taking care of people. So, you know, uh, you have to come up with a p and l plan for a business loan. And I’d had some business experience with my, my dad’s death.

So my mom died. She had like a $25,000 life insurance policy. My dad invested in the fourth [00:08:00] mortgage on an eight unit apartment complex, and after he died that foreclosed, so we made a, we put in the eight of us. Uh, there were eight that were on the fourth put in, um, an offer for I think the first and just ours, and we got it.

So we kept it for years so that no one could come back. If we’ve approved it, we would’ve lost whatever we want, putting the money in and improving it, and then, uh, sold it for a big profit. So I was, you know, I was 21, 22. Wow. Yeah.

Brett Gilliland: That’s pretty crazy.

Dr. Craig Thayer: So, accelerated business program.

Brett Gilliland: So you, you didn’t go off and do your, you know, get your doctorate, your, your medical degree and you become a surgeon.

You do all those things and, and I’m not fast forwarding through that, but I’m always curious about how when people have a nice, successful career, And, uh, you know, I don’t know this to be true, but I would assume that you’ve done, you’ve done pretty well, I would assume, uh, in your career. Yeah. But now you’re doing these other things and I, again, I said, [00:09:00] your passion is to inspire and motivate others to live their life to the fullest.

So why are you doing this? Why are you on a podcast? Why are you writing a book instead of just staying in the, uh, surgery room and collecting your check?

Dr. Craig Thayer: Yeah. Um, I think a part of that was, uh, my wife wanted to get outta California just cause of. Different things going on. We homeschooled our last two. I have five kids, um, 32 today, actually the oldest.

Nice. And then just turned 16. So, um, and so I, I made this, this kind of blog on my Facebook post of Uniting America. You know, America’s just so divided and there is something to be said about, I was privileged to plan a United States water polo team against Czechoslovakia, Germany, Russia. Bunch of different countries, and you just realize that, hey man, we’re all s we all bleed the same.

We’re in this battle against whatever country it is. But it’s uniting, you know, it’s patriotically [00:10:00] uniting. And so, uh, a friend of mine who I literally hadn’t spoken to in 40 years, Called me and we had a two and a half hour chat about our childhood. He, he went off to a Jesuit high school life, stated public, he changed swim teams life stated, uh, Dizi went to Santa Claro, where Mark Spitz and those guys were.

And he offered me a job at the end. He goes, what do you do? I’m an old school general surgeon. I got trained like a general contractor. I do head to toe. So if you had a big hematoma in your, in your, in your skull, I could drain it. If you’ve got a hole in your heart, I can open your chest, put a finger in it, so close, or I could take out your breast, colon, lung cancer, or I can do vascular stuff like carotids.

And so, because I think I need you. So I had a, uh, uh, I, I said, well, we’re going off to look at Tennessee. And um, and, uh, he had a job offer like oh, two weeks after I left. So the move was kind of the [00:11:00] first step and then the Grant Cardone, uh, 10 X convention I went to and people telling me I needed that, I didn’t even know, telling me I needed to be on the stage.

Um, I’m on a Boy Scout, uh, trip with my two youngest sons in Virginia at this gigantic camp that can, that can house 50,000 people. And this lady were shooting bows and, and stuff. And this lady, I said, I made some comments. She says, we need to put that in your book. And I’m like, how do you know I’m writing a book?

She’s just, just, you just seem like you’d be writing a book. So, and then with just my grandmother going, you need to do this. So all these signs to me were saying, you, you need to do this as well. Cause I’ve already been on medical mission trips. I’ve been doing that to Haiti once in 2010, almost a year after the earthquake.

And, um, and then every year from that to, uh, [00:12:00] Honduras and, um, it’s an outpatient surgery center. And, uh, just do a crazy number of cases on like four and a half days. Right? And so I knew, I knew I needed to serve in a different way and I was learning from these people that I really need to do it in a public way.

And the book was a start to that just showing kind of the miracles in my life that got me to this position today. And, um, and that people need to be inspired. I mean, COVID had a risk benefit, right? So sheltering in was not good for us. Right. It, it, it, it, it raised women between the ages of 23 to 40 fives, suicide rate, sixfold.

So, and, and we’re built together. So, so all that said, you know, and it’s difficult, I mean, kids that have been semi homeschooled, cuz the schools weren’t, you know, open or like a year and a half behind in math, over a year in something in [00:13:00] English, and, and they don’t communicate the same either. They’re. For almost a year to two years regressed.

Um, so, so just getting out and gathering with people, inspiring, telling ’em my stories, um, motivating them, giving them hope that, look, you know, I suppose part of that in the book is that we, if you really, there’s some light, there’s pictures of the light that you can’t, if you really like, look at this and go, man, okay.

There is a higher being, a higher power doesn’t have to be Christian, but there’s a higher power. And that being said that within Christianity anyway, you have an eternal life after that. Right. With believing. So that gives hope to a lot of people. So yeah, just my, my present goals.

Brett Gilliland: So it’s basically out there, what I’m hearing is, is that we have enough, you know, I would call it just garbage, right?

That comes off these cell phones every day and, and the notifications, the, the media, the, the TV news everywhere. It’s just, it, it is, it’s, it [00:14:00] is dividing and it’s, it’s terrible man. And I think people like yourself have to step up and, and you’ve been blessed with the great careers. You’ve worked your ass off, but at the same time, it’s like, Hey, let’s give back to that.

Now, would you agree with that comment? Totally agree. Totally agree. Yeah. So when you see that right now, what, what are some things that you would recommend for somebody listening to this? We have a lot of successful people, right? Business owners, stay at home parents, um, athletes, whatever it may be to listen to this podcast.

What advice would you have to them? They’re, they’re usually probably already doing a good job anyway, but they don’t want to take it to that next level. So what are the things that you would focus on if you were them? You don’t know what they’re doing, but if you were them, what would you be focusing on every single day?

To help our country, but also more importantly, to help themselves, which ultimately helps the

Dr. Craig Thayer: country. Yeah, I I, I, I think what we just talked about, so I think if you can get up and the first thing you can do if you, if you have faith in a God, is just reflect on that before your brain’s ticking over by your phone going off.

Yeah. [00:15:00] Text messages that you’re getting or something. And then, and then, uh, for those that can exercise early in the morning, I think that’s great. Um, but you know, what I’m talking about is a routine. So some habits that are healthy for you and your brain, and then, um, you know, and then trying to ignore as much as you can.

The social media, I mean, it, TikTok is entertaining, you know, but it, it’s entertaining, it’s entertainment. It’s not necessarily gonna teach you anything or make you, uh, grow in any way. So, right. And you know, a lot of the news outlets either side, doesn’t matter. They’re, they’re very negative and they’re, and, and some are just trying to scare people.

So the more fearful we get, the, so don’t watch those things and, you know, um, but pay attention. I mean, you still need to know if you’re in the finance world right now, we’ve got two California banks that just went down. Right. Um, you know, so you can’t bury your head in the sand either. So, I [00:16:00] mean, that’s where, you know, relying on strong, educated, And continuing to be educated advisors for you are, is important.

Brett Gilliland: Yeah. Yeah. I, I obviously, I 100% agree with that. And I think it’s, it’s, it is who you surround yourself with too. I find that the, the, the like-minded people, man, we’re, we’re sending ’em text messages and different things that will inspire, you know, there, there can be the jokes and the different things that go on, but I think it’s the messages that, that really inspire us.

You know, like one of ’em today I sent out, I saw it on somebody’s, uh, Instagram and it this morning, and it was talking about the. How life, it seems like as we get older, life goes by quicker. Right? And it, but it also said that that eight year old or nine year old, which I have one of right, a nine year old is, it’s something like their third grade year is like 90% of their life.

You know? So you think about, well, no wonder that seems like a big deal because I look back and I think, man, high school seemed like it took forever when I was there. But now my oldest is a junior in high school, right. Getting ready to be done and got a year left. I’m like, damn, that flew by. [00:17:00] So, right. How, how do we slow down and enjoy the journey as parents listening to this and be in the moment?

Cause I think you said your, is it your oldest was gonna be 32? 32 today? Yeah. Yeah. So 32 today. So you as a father, how, how do you slow down, enjoy the moment, enjoy the chaos, and be present?

Dr. Craig Thayer: Well, I mean, I hate to, I wouldn’t do it my way. So my way was unfortunately, experience experiencing a friend who was a patient of mine.

20 years prior to that and then dying. And he had a three year old and then four other kids. He was a football coach. He was real respected in his community, but I had, he had crashed, I had taken out a spleen. When you do that, it makes you, uh, subject to being at risk for overwhelming infections and death.

And he had a strip throat, and that’s one of the bugs that’ll do it. Didn’t go in, didn’t need antibiotics, and then was late. And then, In the hospital, fluids in the [00:18:00] ICU on a ventilator, and then he has the to won’t clot. He has a big stroke and he’s brain dead. So, so I looked at my life and I said, do I really need to be on this committee or that committee?

And so I just started to, to breed things that I didn’t need to be on. And then really, I would say the, the biggest committee I was on was, um, This one, uh, we were forming a multi-specialty group and that that involved internists and surgeons of all categories, and we were working on the bylaws. And so we would meet every Tuesday for five to six hours every Tuesday.

Wow. And then I, we were, I mean, we were this close. To finishing and then I realized, well, my other hat that I were, and that was, that was a position that I was president, elected by my peers cuz of the business experiences that I’ve had in the past. And then, and then, um, then just before ready to do it, I realized that as trauma [00:19:00] medical director.

I can’t give certain authorities to the board, like when we take vacation or who’s covering call or any of those things. And so I gave ’em a list of eight things and, and, and then I gave it to that, that attorney for the group and the attorney that we had for our other group that we’re still in. And, and they’re all like, yeah, you can’t give those up or you will no longer be verified by the American College Surgeons Committee on Trauma and not be verified, then takes away your ability to, to treat trauma at your, at your medical center.


But that, I mean, why didn’t I get that sooner? Right? So I think every once in a while, slowing down and just taking a look at what you’re doing and seeing what’s productive and what’s not productive, and debriding those things that aren’t, aren’t worth continuing to do. Yeah.

Brett Gilliland: What, what’s your morning, uh, I’m assume most successful people on here have a good morning routine, whether that’s reading and prayer, meditation, exercise, you know, and you mentioned some of those things, [00:20:00] but.

What would you say is, is the kind of the no miss, uh, you know, to your core? You believe these are the things that I have to do every day? Uh, habits. Yeah.

Dr. Craig Thayer: I, I mean, I think the first for me is just getting in into the Bible usually. So, and the way I do that is an interesting kind of way. So, um, There’s a first, second, third, and fourth watch at night.

Uh, and their, their three or their three hour interval, three to four hour intervals. And so if I wake up after three, uh, I’ll look at the watch and I’ll remember that time. And then I’ll go the next morning and I’ll google that time as a, as a chapter in verse and it’ll show

Brett Gilliland: me. So lemme interrupt you real quick.

So if you woke up at, you know, four 19 that day, You would go

Dr. Craig Thayer: to I, I just go Bible four 19, or I could go 41 9. Yep. Because there are chapters that [00:21:00] are, there’s some books that are 41 chapters long. So, and then I see what it said and, and I’ll tell you, 99.9, probably a hundred percent of the time, it’s been exactly something meaningful for me that day or that week.

And if it hasn’t immediately hit me in the head the next week when I look back, I go, oh, okay. That’s what that meant. So, or, or I’ll just read some, uh, devotional or, or something else, but that, that then I’ve spent my time, you know, with my higher power and then, and then, um, Then I’ll focus on other things like, uh, going through emails just to make sure I haven’t missed something.

Cuz I’m not very good at doing that. I’ve grown up in a time when I had a dial phone and, and you couldn’t get ahold of me. Right. You could find me. So now it’s like you can be tracked on your phone. So, um, and then I exercise probably six days a week. Um, I’m, I’m trying to, you [00:22:00] know, I, I grew up playing water polo.

I swam from six and a half on. Um, which kind of got me in trouble in seventh grade cuz my parents smoked. Uh, I never did. And I was in French class and the French teacher walked up and said, and my eyes are all bloodshot. Cause they didn’t have goggles at that point. So I would swim before school and after school and, uh, I just was highly irritated at the French teacher and said, you know, you don’t, don’t accuse me of smoking.

And then she sent me to the principal’s office, and so about an hour and a half, two hours of sitting in his waiting room, he pulls me in, he says, okay, what are you here for? I said, well, I was accused of smoking. That’s an insult. He goes, well, why is that? I, he goes, my body’s my temple and I swam about six miles in the morning.

I seven miles in the evening. And he goes, what? Yeah, I swim about six miles in the morning before school and about seven in the evening he goes, get out here.

Brett Gilliland: That’s

Dr. Craig Thayer: great. Fine. I mean, we understood that it was [00:23:00] the smell of the smoke from my parents smoke and my eyes were bloodshot from chlorine. So misunderstanding I, and I was probably rude to be honest.

Brett Gilliland: Right, right. So the Bible, emails, exercise, anything else?

Dr. Craig Thayer: Exercise. Um, I try to eat six times a day, so breakfast and then a snack lunch, then a snack dinner, then a snack. Uh, it’s been shown pretty well. That’s spreading your especially, uh, glucose intake out over the day. Keeps your glucose at a more steady rate that you don’t get as hungry.

Um, so that way it keeps my weight under control. Um, My wife’s into cold therapy. I’m not, I’ll go out when she does a post. Cause we’re both health coaches as well. And so, you know, Shamar, are you gonna get in? I go, no, I’m not that stupid.

Brett Gilliland: It’s, it’s funny you say that, man. I just sent my exercise, I sent my exercise, text message, uh, and I said, we’re doing cold plunge [00:24:00] tomorrow.

And so far I’ve only heard of, uh, I’ve only heard back from one of the 13 guys that they’re in, so we’ll see. It’s always brutal. I don’t love it. I

Dr. Craig Thayer: don’t love it. Yeah. They say it works, you know, it FARs up cold, uh, the cold, uh, shock proteins and so, yeah. Yeah. So interesting

Brett Gilliland: stuff. Well, um, so when you look back on your career now, I mean, what are, what are, what are some of the risks that you happy, that you are happy that you took?

Um, that, you know, looking back, man, that was a pretty big risk, but you’re happy you did it.

Dr. Craig Thayer: Uh, opening my, I was the last resident to come outta uc, Davis that just hung up a shingle and opened his own prior practice. And then, and that’s evolved. I mean, I, I left there to come to Georgia. Um, in Georgia you’re hired by the hospital In California it has to be at an arm’s length, and so you’re hired into a group and that has gradually gone from when I think I first got out of probably, [00:25:00] 70% being in private practice or a small group together to almost a hundred percent being in groups that are, uh, part of a clinic of the hospital.

Brett Gilliland: So what did you find out there as a business owner? I mean, right, because a lot of people, you go to school to be a doctor, not to be a business owner, but they’re two different things. But, but you gotta be a business owner to be a doctor in that example.

Dr. Craig Thayer: Right. So, I mean, I think it’s kind of like, I mean, you’ve learned too, I mean, you’ve, your best investment is in yourself.

Yeah. And so that said, um, when you can branch away from a larger group and start your own thing like you’ve done, then um, you have more control. Obviously you have more stress cuz you’re now an entrepreneur, uh, versus, you know, just being an employee with a guarantee. So, Um, that carries a lot more stress.

But yeah, you know, I had, I had mentors that I were, that were, weren’t partners, but were colleagues that were like, Hey, when it’s slow, just, I mean, this is, [00:26:00] you know, take advantage of that. So,

Brett Gilliland: yeah, I think it’s key. And

Dr. Craig Thayer: I would’ve taken that I, that I missed. But the, the one of those was, I, I think I was chief of staff at the time.

So politically it would’ve been a horrible move. So there was a, an ortho on a committee about setting up a outpatient surgery center. The hospital was gonna do it. He kept saying, no, no, not a, not a good idea. And then sure enough, He and his group set up an outpatient surgery center and they invited me to be in it.

And I’m like, I You just really pissed off a lot of people. Yeah. And they’re not like, what are we doing? I don’t think I can join that with this, that environment. So, but they made a lot of money doing it.

Brett Gilliland: Yeah. Yeah. I think betting on yourself is, um, and, and you said best investment is yourself. And I agree.

I mean, I, and I think too is you gotta sometimes do it before you can quote unquote afford it. Right? I mean, I remember my first year in business, I was a [00:27:00] 22, 23 year old kid. I did a, you know, had a great first year. My second year was terrible. And I remember coming home at the end of that second year and I told my wife I was gonna hire an assistant.

You know, like I needed this person, this employee. I’d been at that time, probably 24 years old, hiring my first person and probably 50% of what I made the year before was gonna go to this other person. Right? But I believed in that process, I believed in myself. I believed that doing that would allow me to go out and make more money and do the things that I’m uniquely qualified to do.

And so from 24 now at 45 years old, I’ve never not had employees. And, and, but that was a huge risk at the time. That I took with my money right. And my time and went and did it. And, and so what, what advice, when you hear me talk about that, what comes to mind for you and how would you to share some, uh, learnings, if you will, with our

Dr. Craig Thayer: listeners on that?

Yeah. I mean, I think you need to take that leap of faith, right? Because it’s, it, you’ve, you’ve done the work. [00:28:00] You have the knowhow. Now it’s a manner of, of logistically doing it, right? So for surgery it was getting an office that I could see people and do elective things, and then automatically you take calls.

So you take care of all the ki I would say the band-aids that we have to put on people, the car accidents, the altered things that they do, the unhealthiness of, uh, overeating and. Diabetes with, uh, wounds that won’t heal, or chronic disease or lung cancers from smoking or, you know, um, and they, they come into the ER and they need emergent care.

So that’s always there. I’ll always have a job that’s just not gonna ever go away. It, the, the stuff like that are complications of diseases. I hope will, as we’ve learned more about health and. And, and what I’ve learned through health coaching is, you know, the more weight you lose, the less inflamed you or all the inflammatory things go [00:29:00] away.

Like I’ve seen lupus and some other diseases that are autoimmune, that are gone from dropping the weight and getting the fat off your body so you’re not as inflamed and they’re just carrying the weight and bad for your joints. So, right. Most of the capabilities are all joint things. So, and then, and then now, you know, it’s, I mean, I gotta, I gotta.

I gotta write the book so I have an editor and then I need to publish the book. That’s a cost. And then you gotta market it somehow if you’re gonna market it. So there’s ways to do that on the internet. And then I really, you know, do more speaking. I’ve, I’ve spoken before, I had a terrifying experience in front of 5,000 surgeons, so

Brett Gilliland: you got that one outta the

Dr. Craig Thayer: way in the book, but, Yeah.

Yeah. So, um, yeah, I think it’s gonna take some money to make money.

Brett Gilliland: Yeah. I, I, I couldn’t [00:30:00] agree. I mean, I think too, again, another bet on yourself moment was, You know, my managing partner at the time in this previous firm was saying, Hey, you got 48 hours to make a decision. And so sometimes you gotta have that tough love too that says, Hey, make the decision but make the damn decision.

So are you gonna do it and bet on yourself or are you not? And, and I think there’s that analysis by paralysis, or paralysis by analysis, I should say, right? That we want to, we want everything to be perfect. Before we just go do it. And, and sometimes you gotta, you gotta build the parachute as you’re coming down, right?

Or you gotta build the bridge as you’re walking across. And, and so, which is tough to do, but, but you gotta do that. So tell, talk to us about some of those moments in your life where you were maybe building that parachute on a way down.

Dr. Craig Thayer: Well, I’ll tell you, so the, I, I trained at uc, Davis and the medical center was in Sacramento, California.

So, uh, a small town outside of there was Hangtown Placerville. And so a lot of the, the professors gave me grief about, oh, you’re thinking about going [00:31:00] up to Hangtown. There, there, and I’d gone up and I met with the CEO and they were really pro and were gonna help flam me in office and, and have like a consultant do part of the, the, the business loan stuff.

And um, the five other guy, or four other guys that were there were initially, yeah, no problem. Plenty of room. But as it got closer, they got really panicked and literally they wrote me a letter saying, you’re really, really not welcome. Hmm. Oh. So that I’m like, oh, I’m just

Brett Gilliland: kidding. You’re not walking to the party here.

Dr. Craig Thayer: Yeah. And I think one had been there the longest for 30 something years. The other, other three, I think, came around the same time. So I was like, wow, I’m gonna step on toast. But. Uh, they got to know me. I built the parachute on the way down, which is just be kind, be nice, love people. Understand where they’re coming from and their fears, and that, you know, I’m not gonna, this, this town is growing and it’s growing at this rate.

There should be enough [00:32:00] for everybody, so don’t worry about it. Yeah. North there, there’s a problem, so,

Brett Gilliland: You know what, what you said there is, there’s enough for everybody. It, it makes me think about, uh, and I tell this to my kids as well, but is, is be abundant. I mean, some of my closest friends, you know, I’m, I’m picturing two people that I, that I won play golf with too.

I hang out with all the time and or wives or kids weren’t the exact same business in the exact same town. Right. Literally. And, and so a lot of people be like, oh, that’s a competitor. Right. Well, Man, there is a lot of of stuff to go around, right? What, whether you’re selling widgets or wealth management, there’s, there’s a lot out there.

And I think that abundance mentality is sometimes missing by people. And I think what I have found is the, the most successful people have a huge amount of abundance when it comes to their business and their personal life, right? So when you hear that, what, what comes to mind for you? Cause I see your head nodding.


Dr. Craig Thayer: agreeing. Yeah. No, no. I mean, there’s, there’s also the, the, the anti ones, the pastor or poverty [00:33:00] mentality, right? Right. Those people are working with the frozen feet. They just want a five, nine to five job, and they’re too afraid to do anything. And I can’t invest in mind. I’m not worthy of doing this.

Right. And then, um, but, um, the, the people who do invest in themselves, the abundance, you know, my wife started a health coach and I’m like, Babe, what? Why are you doing, you know, we’re making a lot of money, right? As it is. Well, because, because we give, you know, we, we go on the mission trips, which costs us a lot of money.

I have to bring all my instruments and my, all my supplies, all the suture, all those things cost a lot of money. Um, but we can give more. And then one of the things we’d love to do is build surgery centers around the world. I’m gonna go to Uganda end of September and beginning of, um, October, and they’re not gonna let me bring any instruments in.

They won’t let me bring any medications in, so I’m gonna have to just kinda kind of go as an ambassador or try and pave the way. [00:34:00] They’ve got a surgery center where they do OB things, so you could do general surgery things, so we’ll see. But you know, yeah. To. Building a parachute on the way.

Brett Gilliland: Yeah, exactly.

It’s another one of those moments. And I think too, whether it may not be Uganda, but there’s also things in life that we have to go do that they may not want us to bring. Again, use medicine, use, you know, your doctor, your, your tools, all the things that you need, uh, in that, in that deal in Uganda, but just to life here in America, there’s gonna be telling people, telling you you can’t do it.

Right. They don’t believe in you. Right. Uh, and you have to go out and believe in yourself. So like, do you have those moments where maybe they didn’t believe in you, but you, your, your belief had to be greater than everybody else’s negative

Dr. Craig Thayer: thoughts? Yeah, totally. Yeah. I’ve been, you know, surgery’s one of those things that, um, and it’s a needed thing.

So we have peer review. So the trauma medical director is in charge of all the trauma. Right. So I, I do peer review, but I do [00:35:00] it in a graceful way, especially if I’ve got newbies that are learning. But yeah, you know, these are life for deaths. So if someone really did something wrong and we’re gonna argue about it, sometimes we get our swords out and we’re gonna fight.

So, um, and there’s been some, some, some meetings that have almost ended in blows, but, um, we walk away friends and, uh, And agree to disagree, and then have other people give an outside opinion in that, in that, usually those situations. But yeah, I think, um, yeah, those are the ones that you know, and, and if you’ve had a complication and you think you’ve done everything you could do to do it, and there’s something, some piece of information that they didn’t have, and then they’re accusing you of these things and you’re like, No, but I was there and I did these things, and so, but there’s that moment of like, and you need that as a surgeon.

The first, if someone has a complication, the first person you need to look at is yourself. And what could I have done that, that be the problem? If I’ve sewn something [00:36:00] together that’s a pipe and it’s leaking, what did I do wrong? What didn’t I see what you, if you don’t examine yourself that way, then you don’t approve, you don’t grow, and, and it’s risky for you to continue to practice.

So, and then, you know, just this, this, this, what I’m doing now. You know, I’ll wake up going, man, is this really, you know, do I need to do this? I think so, just cuz humanity needs, you know, hope and to belong and to, for me to serve and not be served. So, um, But yeah, I’m like, I look at myself like, who am I to think I’m this guy that, I mean, I’m already gifted with this pedestal that I’m putting on because I’m on dock.

Right? So I think Ed said, It’s some survey that the most trusted people who speak are docs. Cause they, you know, they’re just trusted by being a doc. And I’m like, right, but I’m gonna use it.

Brett Gilliland: Yeah. Those two little letters in front of your name, the DR certainly carries some weight, don’t they? Yeah. [00:37:00] Uh, it’s amazing and it’s because you’ve, you’ve put into the, the time right.

And the energy and. And the money and, and you’ve done it and, and you’ve worked your butt off for it. So when, when you see this sticker here, this f greater than P sign, um, that is, uh, achieving a future greater than your past. So that is our firm’s mission. That is my personal mission. Uh, it is something that I get up for every single day.

And I think the longer you’re in business and, and you’ve had some sort of success, Uh, there becomes a, an outward, uh, maybe thought maybe inward when we’re in our twenties and we’re thinking about how do you build your family and all those things. But I think once you get there, uh, there’s still a long way to go.

But my point is to this, when you hear achieving a future greater in your past, what comes to mind for you?

Dr. Craig Thayer: Uh, the broad category of personal growth. I think, you know, when we’re fixing a job that’s the same routine every day. We’re not really growing either mind, body, spirit or, or anything, you know? Um, and I’ll tell you, [00:38:00] it’s funny cuz the health coaching thing that my wife and I got into, which directs us to grant Cardone’s 10 x thing.

Um, all personal growth to listen to Magic Johnson talk about, um, you know, turning, um, Starbucks and San Francisco into Starbucks. That will work because they’re playing the wrong music and they’ve got the wrong food for their culture in that area. Hmm. Or John Travolta talking about wanting to get a, his 7 0 7 refurbished and uh, goes to, um, Qantas cause he loves the logo and says, Hey, I’d love to buy one of your planes.

And the CEO leans over and says, John, I don’t think you got this right. We want to do something for you. So come back in a month and we’ll figure it out. So hearing these people’s stories, whether it’s s growth or spiritual growth, you know, getting more into the Bible, doing Bible studies, leading, you know, having groups come to your house [00:39:00] to speak or even at a bigger platform.

Um, Uh, or, you know, physically, you know, coaching them through their health. Uh, both. Yeah. Move better movement, hydration, sleep, all the factors that we know are important for longevity. Yeah. So,

Brett Gilliland: yeah. So talk about that sleep. I mean, how. Critically important. Is it because obviously I know that I’ve talked about it a ton on this podcast, but you know, even last night, you know, you get sucked into a, my oldest got me to watching Breaking Bad, and you know, you get sucked into one more episode, right?

And then the next thing you know, your eyes are bleeding and you should be sleeping. But how do we train ourselves into thinking about that and thinking about it in the moment? And maybe I shouldn’t expect perfection and no, it’s just not gonna happen. But, but how critically important is this sleep to us?

And what are we missing when we’re not getting the right, the right number?

Dr. Craig Thayer: So yeah, think REM sleep and deep sleep are the important ones, right? So I have a Fitbit that I wear. It gives me one my REM on my each night, and. [00:40:00] Um, they’re affected by different things, you know, um, alcohol, not, not one or two drinks have a significant, but if you’re drinking more than that, that’s gonna have an effect.

Your heart rate variability, which is a new parameter, uh, goes down. So the more stressed and sympathetic nervous system’s firing, the less vari variability you have in your heart. It’s just kind of fixed to the higher heart rate, and that’s not good for you. Um, But yeah, sleep. But I, and I also do believe just because of practicing medicine, people who work an evening job, like ER docs have a shorter lifespan.

And then, yeah, add, add more variability to that, like what I’ve been doing to myself. I mean, I’m, you know, I’m, I’m in desk door, so, but, but I do believe that it is a sl, there’s like a sleep bank, so. If you, you need eight hours and you get seven, then you can make it up the next night or somewhere within the next week, and that, that will restore you [00:41:00] back to the health that you should.

So, yeah. Yeah. And your, it’s your brain, your brain’s going through alpha and different waves. That, that are the other longevity thing is, um, which is why intermittent fasting is supposed to be, uh, a longevity thing. Not so much for weight loss, but um, You know, it gives your, you’re not eating and your body kind of consuming and metabolizing food and then producing waste.

If you give it a break long enough, then your brain cells and all the other cells kind of clean up all the excess junk inside the cell for a longer period of time that’s supposed to be healthier for you. So some of that’s true. So, awesome. Interesting. I’m gonna,

Brett Gilliland: I’m gonna play a game here. I I went up to your, I’m on your Instagram, so I’m gonna have you pick a number between one and 10 on this game, and then we’re going to, uh, pick another number after that.

So between one and 10,

Dr. Craig Thayer: number seven. [00:42:00]

Brett Gilliland: All right. Three. Number seven. Now a number between one and three. 1, 2, 3. Three. All right. Number three. It’s a, it looks like it’s a video here from you, and, uh, it says, let’s get healthy together. And, uh, so I, you know, can’t obviously show the whole video right here, but you’ve got your video.

It’s you on your Instagram here. Let’s get healthy together. So what are we, what are we talking about there? What, what are we saying Let’s get healthy together? What’s that about? So it,

Dr. Craig Thayer: it’s two things. One is, uh, I think we all need coaches for different parts of our life and health is probably one of those.

Definitely works. I mean, like I said, I’ve seen people drop hundreds of pounds and they’re, they’re no longer diabetic. They’re, I dunno if you’ve ever watched the show, biggest Loser, but that’s kinda the first time medicines come out. Yeah. And look, we can lose this kind of weight. And it’s not through gastric bypass or any of those things.

And, but the reality is, is that that’s a symptom of a symptom. So you’re [00:43:00] eating too much, so you’re obese, but why are you eating too much? That’s a whole, that’s the problem that you, a coach gets to in the psyche of a player, right? So how do you motivate? How do you inspire? And best, and I think you said this in, in your podcast passion, right?

So the inspiration and motivation disappear within about a week. They say behaviorally, but passion is the one that keeps you going. Yeah. My passion was to be a surgeon, right? So, so I think one, it’s, it’s having a coach and two, more importantly, if you’re married or you have a partner. Um, my wife would put me through so many different diets, whole 30 macro counting, uh, you know, and, uh, finally she, she agreed to do this other program, which is what we used to help people get healthy.

Um, And, uh, I dropped 40 pounds. I gained 40 pounds When we, when I went to one and three call, your life pretty much ends. Uh, [00:44:00] you know, you’re on. And then you were up all night and you’re operating the next day, and then you’re, uh, off that day, but then you’re on the next day. It’s like you just don’t, you’ve canceled vacations.

And I gained 40 pounds and I, it stayed that way until, wow. I said like the chapter on Jason in time that, uh, I realized I don’t need to be on these committees. I don’t need to. I need to. Take better care of myself. And then, and then when I did it with my wife’s stuff, you’re eating the same things. You’re, you, you know, she reminds you of this.

I remind her of this and, and, uh, we do it together. So if you can partner up with someone, that’s always, yeah, always better.

Brett Gilliland: Yeah. The accountability’s huge. That’s what I was saying earlier, these 13 guys on a text message that, you know, tomorrow morning when my alarm goes off at, you know, 5 38 or whatever it’ll be.

You know, maybe a little chilly, I’m gonna be like, ah, it’d be a lot better to stay in bed, you know, if I was doing it by myself. But knowing there’s gonna be people and literally in my own backyard working out without me is, uh, that’ll be kind of, you know, awkward, kind of weird if I don’t show up. Right?[00:45:00]

Right. But you gotta create that, right. I had to create that, that, that, that atmosphere, that community, uh, to make myself uncomfortable because I knew I wouldn’t do it without them. Right.

Dr. Craig Thayer: Me either. I mean, I always, if it’s an individual thing, like swimming’s very individual, there’s not really team water polo is totally team.

If I’m not there, I can’t, the team can’t work up on certain drills. Yep. There’s, there’s a, a PowerPoint in, in, uh, A water polo where someone’s ejected for 20 seconds. So it’s kinda like hockey or you’re a man up and you gotta work on these techniques to get the goal. And uh, if I’m not there, they don’t do that.

So I hurt the team. So, so that’s key. But otherwise, individually it’s just setting goals. Like, okay, we used to cycle a lot, so let’s do this, this cycling in, um, in, uh, Fresno on the 30th of July. And then you set these dates and you gotta get there. Or I do this, we call the death March. It’s a backpack trip with a bunch of guys, and we’re on trail the first day, and then I’m off going across the Sierras.

So [00:46:00] it’s a blast, but it’s, yeah, it’s, you know, it’s just, it’s, guys need a fight according to a good book. It’s, um, oh man, it’s by Eldridge blocking on the name. But anyway, uh, we need a fight. We need adventure, we need beauty in our lives, so it keeps us going as men.

Brett Gilliland: That’s right. What do you think about rocking, I heard you talking about the backpacking.

Are you a, are you a fan of rocking? And for those that don’t know what that is, it’s, you know, basically a backpack with weights on it and you’re walking and you know, maybe it’s 10 pounds or 30 pounds, whatever as you’re carrying. What are your thoughts on that?

Dr. Craig Thayer: Yeah, my oldest son just did that. He’s up in Seattle working at Boeing.

So, and his girlfriend teamed up together and they rocked. Yeah, they had to cross some streams with a, I think his was a 30 pound rock and. Yeah, no, it’s good fitness. Yeah.

Brett Gilliland: Okay. So you’re a big fan of that or not, maybe not a big fan, but you’re a believer in it. It’s good for you. That’s more

Dr. Craig Thayer: comfortable than a rock by far.

So you got to strap and it’s internally supportive. So you gotta a belt that’s so wrists on [00:47:00] your hips and, but when you start to climb, like really ladder up stuff and kind of mountaineer you strap down cause it’ll swinging around and stuff. And. Then it’s all on your shoulders. So, but it’s, yeah, I think they’re both good.

Good. You really have to get in shape to go on the trip, so that’s what motivates me, obviously. Sure. I don’t suffer. Right?

Brett Gilliland: Yeah. First world problems here. I’m thinking about an August golf trip where I gotta walk 36 holes every single day for five straight days. I’m like, God, I’m gonna have to get way more in shape for

Dr. Craig Thayer: this.

Well, it’s not just that. It’s like for me it’s, I gotta get my feet in in, yeah. Worn in boots. That’s right. You would be your feet. My golf shoes. Yeah. Golf. Golf gear. Yeah. So, I mean, and it makes it different, you know, if you start to get a hotspot, don’t, don’t take care of it. Or, you know, you get a b blister.

Yeah. And then you’re, you’re hurting the whole, whole time. It’s not really fun. So Yeah. Getting on a treadmill with, uh, without the spikes. That’s right.

Brett Gilliland: Well, where should our listeners, uh, find more of you? [00:48:00] Uh, Craig Thayer here. Looks like you got a website, Craig And maybe some social media. Is that right?

Dr. Craig Thayer: Yeah. So, and on that site you can click on my book, it’ll take you to Amazon. Um, just put my name in and, and saved in Amazon search. You should find that. Awesome. Um, I’m also, I also have an email. It’s, uh, Craig at the number four So Craig four Um, I’m on, uh, apparently now LinkedIn is a big one, so I’m, uh, at INS slash Craig Thayer and I, I’ve been on Facebook.

There was tank there to go incognito, but now that. My wife wanted me more high profile. It was Craig Tank there and all the people that was a nickname from Water Polo got really irritated about that. So now it’s Craig Tank there and Facebook, and then add tank there for Instagram. [00:49:00] And then I just Twitter, so I’m a new tweet.

Uh, and it’s at Craig Tank there. So those are all my contacts. We’ll

Brett Gilliland: put all those in the show notes here below. People can reach out, uh, to Craig, who was a, uh, surgeon and a bestselling author, radio show, co-host, and a motivational speaker. Amazing stuff. Thanks for sharing your wisdom today, Craig. Really appreciate your time.

Dr. Craig Thayer: Hey, thank you Brett. Thank you. It was an honor being on your show.