Dave Lukas Chats with Klyn Elsbury
35: Live as if Your Life Depended on It with Klyn Elsbury
In this episode, Dave is excited to welcome Klyn Elsbury. Klyn is an amazing individual with an equally amazing story. I won’t spoil it for you as it can only be told in the way she tells it, but Klyn, according to doctors, should not be alive today.
Instead, Klyn is thriving. She is an entrepreneur and owner of Landmark Makers, a unique firm focused on helping high growth companies find and coach the best talent for their needs. She is author of the international best-seller I AM_: The untold story of Success, which when released in late 2016, knocked Tim Ferris’s Tools for titans out of the top spot on Amazon.
She has appeared throughout media including NBC, NPR, and a host of others. She is asked to speak regularly throughout the nation and has even had special recognition from people like Lance Armstrong, Jack Daly, and Aron Ralston.
Dave and Klyn talk about a lot of things, but most of all you are going to learn what it is like to live each day like it is your last.
Connect with Klyn on LinkedIn
Klyn was born with cystic fibrosis, a genetic killer. Cystic fibrosis attacks the lungs and eventually prevents a person from being able to breathe. Many people that have the condition do not survive past their mid-twenties. With Klyn’s mutation of the condition, doctor’s only gave her about 15 years to live from birth. As Klyn says, she grew up with a very supportive family who never let her call what she had a disease and fostered a mindset that she did not have any limitations and could live like anyone else does.
As she got older, due to the disease she spent more and more time in hospitals and it became just another part of her life. Because she was basically terminal from birth, Klyn developed a sense of approaching the world with the view to “live every day like her life depended on it.”
Miraculously, Klyn survived past the dates doctors gave her life and created a great career as a high end recruiter. She still had to deal with the day to day needs of CF, but she was alive.
In 2014, things took a turn for the worse. She has to give up her passion for recruiting as she was down to only 40% lung capacity and given 6 weeks to live. She was in a wheel chair, and had become infected with multiple strains of infections that were threatening her lungs further.
So, she did what any normal person would do, she started to exercise! Even if it was for a few minutes at a time, she would go to and participate as best she could in Zumba classes because, well, it made her happy. At this point, Klyn was preparing for the end and went on a 6 week roadtrip across the country to essentially say her goodbyes to loved ones.
During this time, she discovered there was more to her spirit and what it means to persevere. At the same time, a new drug that cost almost $300,000 came out. It was made to fight the ravages of her specific mutation of CF. Only problem was…Klyn wasn’t eligible because of the way her insurance was setup and the rules around things. So, she took to getting her feelings out on a blog…she poured entire being in it. The blog went viral and she was then interviewed by multiple news outlets, including NBC nightly news with Lestor Holt. Through that interview, Klyn was able to get the drug approved and had the drug 2 days later – at a severely discounted price not just for her, but he all the patients in California with the same CF mutation Klyn had!
It was this journey and experience that led Klyn to believe there was even more to our lives and finding out our “why,” and what makes us want to live. That led her to her book “I AM.” Which is a collection stories from some of the most successful people in the world of overcoming and breaking through the darkest times in their lives.
Today, Klyn has 70% of her lung capacity and is in the hospital about 6 months out of the year – but she should not be alive. She talks about how fitness continues to make a huge difference in her health and how entrepreneurs need to look at their fitness holistically – not just physical, but mental, spiritual, etc.
At the 11 min mark, Klyn tells the story of how she became a Zumba instructor and literally having IV drips in-between training sessions. From an entrepreneurial standpoint, we all have things we have to push through and this story crystallizes what this means.
“Get your body fit and in shape and you’ll be amazed at how the mind follows”
At the 13 min mark, Klyn talks about the true power of belief. Klyn says that clarity of what you want in all areas of your life down to each details is the first step. Then you ask, who do you need to be to be able to achieve these things?
Klyn talks about developing habits of how to succeed in life and holding herself accountable to them.
You see life through the eyes of someone who could leave this earth tomorrow, what matters and what doesn’t?
Klyn tells a great story that really brings the above into focus. Listen closely.
What eye-opening things did you learn in interviewing all of the successful people for “I AM?”
What secrets and tricks have you learned to find leverage and do more with less (especially from a hospital bed half the year)?
Advice for finding A-player, Rockstar talent?
Best advice for building a following on LinkedIn?
Best advice for entrepreneurs?
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