Sept. 28, 2023

Lead With Your Heart, Then Ask For A Hand with John Mott

Lead With Your Heart, Then Ask For A Hand with John Mott

In this episode, Dr. Fitness asked Entrepreneur, Lyricist and Author John Mott to the show to talk about his book Grace Down Below: When Illness Strikes which tells his personal story of inner strength and triumph. Stay tuned to hear how having a stroke at the age of 25 changed John and what he has done in the last 10 years since the health crisis to not only help those in his local community with his Striver2Thriver business but also to help others around the world who have suffered from a stroke.

John Mott is a native of Jacksonville FL. He's the author of "Grace Down Below: When Illness Strikes" and coauthor of "A Blessing To Be Chosen." John is also Founding Partner of Striver2Thriver, a new business venture which bridges the gap between consumers and the small business community. John is currently in partnership with Sony Pictures for a movie inspired by his book "Grace Down Below: When Illness Strikes."

• [1:15] John shares his powerful story of surviving a stroke at the age of 25.
• [3:17] John talks about giving back to the world, sharing his personal journey and inspiration through writing lyrics and books.
• [20:14] John discusses his experience with a stroke and the lessons he’s learned, including the importance of recognizing warning signs and taking action quickly.
• [27:01] “Be under the influence of somebody who inspires you and guides you through the journey.”

For more information on the Your Health Moment podcast, visit:

Connect with Us!
Max Sturdivant, Podcast Host & Health & Wellness Coach -
Podcast Website:

John Mott, Author and Entrepreneur


Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  0:04  
Hello, and welcome to Your Health Moment podcast. I'm your host Max Sturdivant better known as Dr. Fitness. On this podcast, I want to give you the tools to start, continue and never give up on your journey towards health. Now, whether you struggle with your weight, eating the right food, hydration, exercise, or even time management, you're in the right place, and I'm here for you. Now, let's dive right into this episode. 

Welcome back to Your Health Moment with Dr. Fitness. You know, most of you already know my mission is to be your trusted wellness advisor. And I like introducing you to the best fitness health nutrition professionals and programs that are available. And my goal is to help you to develop into an informed, self reliant and motivated fitness enthusiast. The really good thing about it today is I get to introduce you to people like my great guest today. Mr. John Mott, Jr. Well, what's going on? John, it's really good to see you again, man.

John Mott  1:15  
Oh, man, hey, appreciate that intro. And, hey, the feeling is mutual. Got a lot onwards. You know, got a lot. Yeah.

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  1:23  
So you have a powerful story, can you share with the listeners, you know, you know, some of the meat, some of the good powerful pieces of your story?

John Mott  1:33  
Absolutely. Well, I'll tell you what, first and foremost, man, I'd give it up to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ man, because without him, I know that as well. This wouldn't be possible. I can't take all the glory by any means. I'm just the vessel. And I'm grateful to be in a position to share my story pretty much. So as you already know, we shared in the past, which was phenomenal as well, about my encounter with stroke at the age of 2512 years previous. And that that experience, let me tell you, it was definitely an eye opener. And it was more than I thought at the moment, it was the gravity of it all. You know, I saw myself real time during the process, initially. And as time just progress, other things began to unravel. And my eyes were as they were open, even the more and it was just interesting how that just came about it came out of nowhere. You know, just to kind of put it in perspective, I wrote the book as a means to inspire other people. And just to give them an idea of the journey of somebody who encounters rope from a young man perspective, you know,

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  2:50  
it's so unusual for people, you know, 25 to actually have a stroke. So that alone makes your story pretty unique. Yeah, and you know, when just for a moment, I'm gonna take me back to the 10 year old John, did you ever imagine you would be doing the things that you were doing today?

John Mott  3:09  
Oh, no, by no means is 10. What

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  3:13  
do you want to do when you grew up?

John Mott  3:17  
That's interesting, because I remember, like, you know, how they asked you the question. Hey, so when you grew up, what do you want to be? That was like a tough question for me. I'm sitting there like, Oh, God, I hope they don't come to me. Because I really didn't know. I mean, I looked at my dad who's No, he's no longer live in now. But when he was alive, I was thinking like, my dad worked for the city of Jacksonville, collecting garbage. I'm like, I don't want it. That's not That's not attractive enough. I don't want to I don't want to be on the back of a garbage truck. So I went to my first love or as you know, skills or talents, which is being a lyricist, rap. I used to listen to Tupac and Biggie Smalls. Oh, my God, I guess I'll just be a rapper when I grew up, you know? Okay, there you

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  4:01  
go. Wow. Did you know when you really think of it, that's actually pretty powerful. Because in essence, there are lots of ways that you are living that dream. Yeah. Excellent. mean, think about it. You know, you have a story that's really powerful that you're telling. You're telling two words, and inspiring people as you go? Yes, I see that.

John Mott  4:30  
Okay, you're right. I love that. Yeah, that's a good perspective there. Yeah, I mean, yeah.

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  4:35  
Yeah. So now you just got to do your next book to music.

John Mott  4:41  
Huh? Well, that's another that's another book another day another dollar. But believe it or not, so the first book is talking about my encounter.

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  4:58  
The name of this book is this race down below or when illness strikes? Absolutely.

John Mott  5:02  
That's the first book. Yes, sir. Okay, so you got?

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  5:08  
Can you tell us a little bit, you know, for people that haven't read it and don't know your story, their journey, highlights that you'd like to share, you know, to bring them in to let them know that this is going to be a really good read for them. And they need to pick it up.

John Mott  5:23  
Absolutely. So my My motto is, for one, one of my taglines I use is to be inspired, stay inspired, simply Inspire. So if you're looking for a touch of inspiration, when somebody have the ability to take a bitter lemon, that most people cringe at, and make it something sweet and enjoyable and rewarding at the end, and throughout the process. You would love to pick this quick read up and embrace it wholeheartedly because it's going to inspire you if you open up and allow it to because that's the purpose of the book is simply to inspire. Because I had no idea I would ever write a book never even desire to. But when that encounter came about, I was inspired to write the book to give back to the world.

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  6:10  
Wow. It's powered. I liked that. Mr. Moto moto. You know, if you get something that's not as tasty. Make it safe. Bet, right? That's right, you make some good out of it. That's right. So that's Hey, that's really great. And so that was the first one and then you co authored a book? Yeah. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

John Mott  6:36  
I certainly can. So the way this happened was that after I began the process of working on my own book, I encountered a young lady at the facility I was at that I went for rehab, which is no Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital, ran into her a total stranger, and we hit it off real good. And before you know it, she just started telling me her life story. I'm like, I don't know this person, but I get this a lot is one of my gifts, I suppose.

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  7:05  
And are very approachable. That's after Yeah.

John Mott  7:08  
Yeah. So she, she just opened up like a book, figuratively speaking. And she was like, God put you in my life, you're the person God would have to, for me to connect with in order to get my book going, because I sat her on the shelf, and so on and so forth. And I'm, like, interesting. And I said, I just fell lay. And I said, You know what I'm help you. So the end result is we went through the whole process, I did multiple interviews, this, that and the other. And I said, Well, you can either, you know, pay me which I know financially, you're not able to, so I'm just still putting it out there, that's gonna cause a whole lot. Because it's expensive. Get a ghostwriter. As that or here's what I'm willing to do for you. This is me paying it forward, I said, I can fork out most of the money for the whole project. And you just give what you can. And we be co authors. You see what I'm saying? So I did all the work for her. I did the editing, the proofreading the whole shebang. While the name of the book is a blessing to be chosen. She came up with that title, which is just a beautiful title. Yeah. So I went through the whole process as if it was my own, you know, help with the front cover back cover, though. The chapter division titles and wow, you know, this, that and the other. And before you know it, we had a conversation afterwards. And she read through it, and she was in tears. She couldn't believe it. She like, it sounds just like me, just the way I want. It sounds. So I was like, wow, you know?

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  8:40  
What a gift to give her? Yeah. So you know, John, you you've also are a founding partner in Stryver to thriver. Yes. Now, this is a new business venture, that what you say it bridges the gap between consumers and small businesses? Does it have anything to do with, you know, like publishing like you're helping people publish it like you did with the blessing to be chosen? Or is it a totally a different path?

John Mott  9:11  
is twofold, to be honest with you is more like an indirect because I have great publishing companies that's in my network. And God has blessed me with a whole lot of business professionals that I know personally, and that trust, and they're likable. So that work ethics and character is aligned with mine. So I want people to be treated with the utmost respect and top quality services rendered to them. So these people are my network, or we got to have a, shall I say, the database per se, we're going to vet them to make sure that it's going to be just that quality. So we're bridging that gap by connecting our amazing consumers that have a need, even if they are small business, b2b and b2c as well, you know, business to consumer business to business for those who don't know what that means. So we're bridging that gap because oftentimes, like me, I had an experience multiple, wherein I had a need, and I got scammed. Be at a website or whatever it is person sound poor. They played the part in their own right. They were pretty convincing. And then next thing, you know, I forked out the money, and then they ghosted me, like, well, that's not that's unacceptable. That's very unprofessional. That's unethical. As I don't want people to experience that same thing. So if I can help bridge that gap alone, it'd be well worth it. But not only that reputation, and credibility, and visibility does matter. So we're bridging that gap in those particular ways. And sometimes it's just a matter of convenience. I have resources that may have the money, but I just don't have the time to do the things that I know I need to get done. So we're helping bridge the gap by connecting them with professionals in our network, to make the connection on their behalf, even if we have to step in, just like the white glove service model, as the cars a year step in and do the heavy lifting for them, if they prefer that, rather than having to do certain things themselves.

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  11:06  
That's interesting. If so, so then I'm understanding you, I want to make sure I'm understanding. It's so it's not quite a referral service? Or is it a referral service? You, you know, find people that have a need, and you match them with people that perform that service?

John Mott  11:27  
Yes, I would say I'm hearing, yes. It's bridging the gap by way of, okay, you're in need of a realtor property and casualty, Representative auto insurance, okay, we have people in our network, and we vet each and every one of them. So now allow us to step in and say, Hey, here's a listening or here's a select few are top three are based on your demographics great that we're going to connect you to. So that's where the consumer base and the small business sector come together. Because we know the small business sector is thriving, we understand it is what it is. But even the small business owners have the issues like Hey, I paid the vendor to do this. And they didn't even deliver on their promise, and I'm totally dissatisfied. And so we're gonna have a survey implementation wherein we have questionnaires and we interview them to ensure quality and we monitor and track and follow up and follow through. It's kind of like your trial have heard them. They've been around for 38 plus years. BNI. Oh, yeah. Which I'm engaged in that. So it's not a conflict with that. It's more like an enhancer, um, complementing what they already have. Because even in BNI, you have a lot of professionals, a decent portion of them that have the same exact experience or being I don't, it's not a magic one that makes you a great entrepreneur or a great networker. That's something I've been doing almost two decades, since 2005. So I've always prided myself on making it a mutually beneficial type situation. That's where most people drop the ball is one sided, what's in it for me their favorite radio station? Me I'm like, let's cut all that minutia out. And let's make it work for everybody, when not just the person who collects the money. You see what I'm saying?

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  13:16  
Yeah, that's a really good point. And I love that. So an organization then you could want someone to repair bikes as well as a caterer. And you could reach out to Stryver to thriver to get that support. Yep. Oh, Nikes. Now, if I wanted to do that, how can I find a driver to strive for to fiver I know

John Mott  13:41  
it was a tongue twister.

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  13:45  
Music before I ever thrive,

John Mott  13:48  
there you go. Yo, don't even buy stuff. Go down to something like okay, am I saying this correctly? Am I gonna miss this? Right?

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  13:57  
How can I get involved? Like I got definitely I definitely I could use somebody. So when I'm needing some support, and I want to make sure that I'm getting someone who is credible. How do I find a network to do that?

John Mott  14:14  
Well, for starters, you can connect with me my personal account, okay, because we're building the infrastructure now, like, as mentioned, is brand spankin. New, so it's exciting. We have a lot of great things. We're just kind of panning out things and fine tuning to make it as most effective and efficient as possible. So being that this is brand spanking new, we have yet to get to that place where we can say hey, go to the website, because the website is up and developing. So that's something that we're we're sorting out even now. And we just don't want to throw anything at anybody. Because that would be contradictory. Like, okay, you want to impactful, but yet you're doing a flimsy website together and expect us to know that's not gonna go so Well, so we're making sure we deliver that quality. So people see that we mean business, you know.

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  15:05  
So that's fantastic. So for now I'm working. Yeah, just seriously, I will be reaching out because that's like, right up my alley. I mean, I'm always looking for service people that I can feel I trust, and they'll do the right thing for me. So and I'm sure I'm not alone.

John Mott  15:25  
Oh, man. Same here, myself, you know?

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  15:30  
Yeah. But I mean, you got so many cool things going on. Now, I'm hearing about the partnership with Sony Pictures. Oh, God, I want to share a little bit about that.

John Mott  15:42  
You got three more hours now just getting a little practice a little practice? Oh, my God. Here's the thing back to what we just talked about. Normally, when you get an email that associated with that associates, rather than with the humongous companies, such as Sony Pictures, the first thing that comes to mind is what you're right. Or there's got to be a scam. There's no way you go looking at the email. Okay, what's the email? Okay, let me look at that. Okay, let me look at the contact information. Let me call these people and see how if we get a robot, so I went like this, no way so many pictures is reaching out to me. And of course, what I like about it is that, even though I was very, very skeptical, certain things they had in place that gave me some kind of comfort, like they gave me a breakdown on what they were trying to accomplish. And they offered me they didn't demand it, there was more. So if you can't remember Mission Impossible, if you're willing to accept this, then this message will self destruct in five seconds, you know, so it was one of those. This is what we would do, we would evaluate, you know, buy the copyrights and blah, blah, blah, and yadda yadda yadda. So he kind of walked me through what the expectations were if I was to accept it. So I'm like, Huh, okay, I'm skeptical, but I'm just gonna struggle. I'm gonna go ahead and entertain that curiosity. So I did that. And I spoke to a gentleman. And he was referring me to the person who sent the email that she was in the contact person and this that the other. And I said, Okay, so this is Sony. Tell me this, tell me that. I got so personal with the guy the guy was getting tired of I could tell he was frustrated. Okay, Mr. Mike, this is this is the real deal. This is Sony Pictures, my name is such and such and such, you know, yada, yada, yada. I say, Hey, I said, Okay, so your Sony, I said, I got your name and everything. I said, Do you have a LinkedIn account? You got a Facebook account?

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  17:41  
You can never before.

John Mott  17:43  
And it was so funny. You know, as long as he was respectful, but he stood his ground, and I can appreciate that. And and he was right, you know, just like anybody else. If somebody is who they say they are, and they have nothing to hide at the same time, it's like, okay, I could, but I don't have to, you know, certain things I don't have to share. I just want you to know, I could, but I don't have to. But then I got my publishing company reached out to me. And I'm like, okay, I can never be too sure. Yeah, let me ask her. So she reached out to me, and I brought it up, I say, yeah, so and so and so reached out to me. And she was like, Well, did they do XYZ? I'm thinking to myself, you already did that. She said, Well, did they have this than the other? Did they give you the expectations? Did they say they would have to buy the copyrights in order to make the movie? I'm like, Yeah, cinematic trailer. Yeah. Then I had the cinematic trailer full of book, which is available. I had a one of my referral partners at the time she, I had a conversation with her. I said, Well, I'm still kind of skeptical as so I'd never heard of a cinematic trailer. I don't know what it entails. And the purpose of it. I said, do you all do cinematic trailers at your company? She like Absolutely. So I know what numbers they gave me at Sony, that they you know, the partnership they have with the back component of what they do, which is in house. They gave me a number. And they said, you know, prime example. They said, let's just say 10,000. Right? So I reached out to the my referral partner. And I said, so if you were to do that for me, how much would you charge? And what's the going rate for that? Because I just want to make sure for legitimacy purposes. She said the exact same number she said it would be 10,000. I said, Okay, well, that gave me some closure, like ah, so this sounds like they know what they're doing is just, you know, what have you so you've got all these thoughts going through your mind like, okay, would they be willing if this was a scam? Would they be willing to the investor willing to fork out 878 $1,000 of the 10,000 if this was a scam, I'm like, That don't make no kind of sense to me. I'm like, well, so that kind of put me at ease in a big way. And then they did the cinematic trailer, and it was very professional. And I'm like, Wow, this okay. This This seemed to be the real deal. They forked out the 7000 they created this trailer I have it available now. I'm able to have it visible others absented all my social media sites. It's, you know, you can see it. It's just, it's just amazing. So that's that's pretty much where we are now.

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  20:19  
Wow, that's actually pretty awesome. Yeah, so they, yeah,

John Mott  20:23  
it'd be done. They gave me a timeframe, you know, five to six months. So September, October ish. They're actually that'd be complete, fly me to California. Look at the contract. And that's another thing, the fact that they have legal involved, we know that it's going to be official. It's not a scam because they don't want nothing to do with legal because they avoid legal right. So yeah, fly me to California and review everything I have to say in the matter, because it's my material. And, you know, just prove everything is a done deal. And they actually want to do the same on the second book, so it's amazing.

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  21:01  
Oh, well, who's gonna play you in the movie?

John Mott  21:05  
That's a good question. yet to be determined.

When I get there. Oh, me good. Yeah.

I don't know somebody put in the air. Some time ago, they like to create a movie. I can see you book me in a movie. This was years before this way this way back? Well, after I had the stroke. It was a gentleman from the American Heart and Stroke Association. He was like, Man, I can see Chris Rock playing USA.

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  21:27  
Actually, that would that Chris Rock would be good. I was thinking Jamie Foxx Oh, yeah. Chris Rock.

John Mott  21:37  
Oh, my goodness. Hey, Jamie Foxx. He's a great actor, both of them. Awesome. Right. But they don't surprise me. So it'd be interesting to know who they Yeah. Hopefully they got a deep voice like me, because it'd be interesting. I'm hoping they fact that's

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  21:55  
gonna be really great. I mean, you've really gone through so much, you know, I mean, you're big when it comes to stroke prevention. Is there anything that you'd like to put out there warning signs? Because now we know you could be 25 and have a stroke? What did warning signs that people should be looking for?

John Mott  22:16  
Well, that's a great question. And with that, I did write a song. I'm not sure if you recall. You played it on the air? Where if no, you know what? No, you didn't? You didn't have time? That's right. T Rowe didn't have time. I had it. But you just didn't have the time for it. I believe that's what happened. When do you have it? Now? I have it. Yes, it's I kind of remember if I have any CDs left, I believe I gave them all away. Because the book and the CDL would bless others who experienced stroke, I would give them an autographed copy for free. So you know, but I do have it when you can listen to it digitally, I could easily send you the link for listening. Or

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  22:55  
if you put the link up, then people listen into the show can go right to the link. You can put the link on your bio. So everybody, you don't have to put it up now, but put down the bio. Yeah, and the show notes. And so everyone listens to the show can go to the show notes, and they'll be able to hear the song.

John Mott  23:14  
Yeah, so I definitely, definitely do that. So I definitely yeah, definitely. It definitely would be

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  23:20  
great. So it's John song on things you should know. And be aware of in symptoms when it comes to having a stroke.

John Mott  23:29  
Yeah, cuz it's, here's the thing. It's ever just like anything goes evolution is what it is. As time progresses, things evolve. In some cases, it's for the better, sometimes it's for the worse, but awareness is critical, and it can help alleviate a lot of that. Prime example in the song I'm talking about is factual. By the way, it's not just theories, not as most lyricist they they do things to you know why articulated simply because it rhymes or sounds good. That for statistics go is you know, even back then 2009 2010 the rate per year for stroke victim, it was 750,000 out of that which is preventable is that 520,000 So that goes to show you if you're properly educated, you know the symptoms, you know, the lifestyles of people who experience stroke, you can look for the indicators like okay, their speech is slurred. They have a speech impediment. Their faces dropped on either side, they have numbness, they're having a migraine, or maybe just paralysis, like my experience because I didn't have any of those symptoms other than paralysis or the paramedics couldn't even detect that I was having a stroke nor the doctors until they did a CAT scan. So this is walking you again through the journey. So the book goes into depth. I didn't hold any punches. I just rolled with them. So I want people to really see that it ain't peaches and cream and ain't hunky dory. It ain't everything. So pleasant land. It's ugly. It's in your face. It's unpredicted. It's unexpected. Life happens to the best of us. And I was at my prime, I didn't have any health issues. It wasn't hereditary. So if you look at the symptoms, and the signs and things such as that, there's a lot of different dynamics of it majority of the time is preventable. You know, of course, as a African American, the last thing you want to think of is because I'm African American, I'm more likely to have one, well, that's statistically proven, you know, being 55 and older, being hereditary, you know, having diabetes. Those are things a stroke symptoms, or different things to look for. So, education is critical. And, you know, finding inspiration, because life happens to each and every one of us, there's no way around that. So it's always best to be finding yourself under the influence of somebody who can guide you through. And I just happen to be one of those people who have been through a lot as a young man, and I try to pay it forward and educate people, but not just that, give them food for thought, so that they can have that mindset I want to leave behind a legacy not just stopped with me. I wanted to continue on even beyond me, you know,

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  26:17  
I'll tell you what, I'm really inspired by everything that you've accomplished. In the last, what, 10 years now that I've known you, wow. So, wow. So John, I can't thank you enough for being on your book is amazing. You're gonna inspire so many people, I can't wait to the movie comes out and all the other projects that you got going, definitely keep in touch. We'd love to have you back when we know who's going to be playing your role with you. Oh. But other than that, John, is there anything else that you'd like to share with people?

John Mott  27:01  
Well, as servant leader, I take great, great pride in that I've been phenomenal pastor I've been undergoing for 20 years, I created a lot of my success to him. He's been a role model. So when I say follow that, you know, be under the influence of somebody who inspire you and guide you through the journey by Pastor Bishop, Dr. Janney Goodman singer, you know, founder and Pastor one accord Ministries International. He's been a great support the whole church family, they have been there for me through the entire process more so than my own biological family. So yeah, I one thing I can say is, just like he did, and he's doing even now, leading with the heart and, and in the midst of that, asking for him from time to time for the greater good. I say the same to everybody in the world. Leave with a heart. And then ask forehand

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  27:50  
to leave what a wonderful. Yeah, what a wonderful way to end this. John, thank you very much. And if you missed anything, or want more information, go to the show notes. And you'll be able to get John's contact information, information about his books, and find information about his businesses, and everything and you'll be inspired. There's no doubt about it. Thanks again, John, and have an amazing day. Appreciate you. Thank you. 

Thank you for listening to this episode of Your Health Moment podcast. If you enjoyed what you've heard, you can visit our website, for past episodes, show notes, and all the resources that we mentioned on the show. Feel free to connect with me on social media to send me a DM and let me know what your thoughts are about the episodes that you've been listening to. And don't be shy about requesting any other show topics that you might like to explore.

Transcribed by