The Rise of Charlie Rocket: From 300 lbs to Nike Athlete

Charlie “Rocket” Jabaley is a former CEO of Hip-Hop/Pop management company, Street Execs. He started in Atlanta where he managed 2 Chainz and other big industry names. I had the opportunity to meet Charlie a few weeks ago on a trip to watch a Cardinals game. His story is incredible going from 300 lbs to Nike athlete, which he’ll be sharing with you today.

Charlie has lost 130 lbs. and has completely changed his life. He dropped everything because his life was in an unhealthy state. He’s located in Atlanta and I’m located in Charlotte, so when he hit me up letting me know he was coming through NC, I knew I needed to get him on the podcast. Check it out. 

Chase Dreams

Devan Kline: You’re a Nike Athlete now. Tell me about that!

Charlie: Crazy. It’s a crazy story about ambition. Literally chasing the most unrealistic dream ever. In Nike’s mission statement they have a saying, “If you have a body, then you’re an athlete.” That’s how I feel, but I’ve never seen it displayed in form of a commercial before. All of the athletic commercials are all these super fit, intense people. I kept thinking, “I’m nothing like those people.”

When I was a kid I wanted to be a Nike athlete. That was my dream. If I want to be a Nike athlete – and I believe in the law of attraction – then I’m going to dress up like a Nike athlete and make my own commercial. Hopefully this commercial would do two things: inspire millions of people and get the attention of Nike so that I could work with them so a common man could become an amazing athlete. That’s the person who’s going to get people off the couch, not this perfect person whose slam-dunking. Sure that’s aspiration, but 99% of us aren’t like the people we see in those commercials. I wanted to fill the void and make the common man a Nike athlete.

So, I put the commercial out there. Three days later there were a million views, and my phone rang. Nike said “We don’t know who you are, but you have our campus in a frenzy. We need to meet you.” The day that the Colin Kaepernick commercial aired, the most controversial, culturally-pivoting commercial ever, I got a call. The man who made the decision to air the commercial called me and said “the commercial you made in February inspired us to go in this direction. None of this would have happened without that commercial.”

DK: So, the Colin Kaepernick commercial, which is everywhere – you’re telling me the man who pulled the trigger on that said you were responsible for that. They even put you in the commercial.

Charlie: I have this law of attraction notebook. Before I made the commercial, I would write in it all the time “Nike wants to work with me. I will be in a commercial with Lebron James.” That’s what I wanted. I chased the most unrealistic dream ever. Think about it, Charlie, the most unathletic guy wants to be a commercial with Lebron James and Serena Williams. I had a one in a million shot. But, I was in a commercial. It happened just 6 months after I started chasing that dream. I visualized it over and over and over, and it happened.

The Power of Visualization

DK: What’s your philosophy behind visualization? You can visualize that over and over and it comes true. I’ve done this in my life and I know it’s a real thing, so tell me what that means to you.

Charlie: Two things. The first thing: I believe that we are all energy. When you break down an atomic particle, it’s not just mass – its energy. If everything were made of this energy then that would mean that we are all waves. That means at some point we all connect. Think of a pond. If you throw three different rocks in the pond, the rocks are separate, but the waves are connected. At some point in the middle of that pond the waves come together and collide.

I believe that we are all connected in some way. If we are all connected, can I send out a signal of what I want and it come back to me? I can tune my radio receiver to a certain signal and hear a country song. Tune to another signal and I can get a Hip-Hop song. I’m a receiver – how can I reach those other people? I tune my heart to what I want and I get it.

The second thing is this: I’m a delusional optimist and I want to prescribe that to everyone. Listen, how do I take a step in the direction of chasing my dreams if I think it was hard or impossible? I probably won’t take a step. Being a delusional optimist means I take that step knowing it will happen. I think it’s going to be easy to be a Nike athlete. I become a Nike athlete. How many dreams aren’t coming true because somebody said “That’s not realistic?” They never even took the step. But, if we are so insanely delusional optimistic then we can actually take the step and shoot the commercial.

DK: Nike caught that frequency from you because you were tuned in with what you wanted the most. You’re going to get different fans based off of what you’re tuning to. I think what most people don’t understand about a journey like yours is that they look at you now and think it’s an overnight success. There’s no such thing as an overnight success. There’s no such thing as waking up and just being famous or influential. That’s a process. That started back when you were a little. Walk us down through your life, your feelings, your emotions and tell us about this weight loss journey.

Your Journey Matters

Charlie: I grew up in Atlanta, GA. I was eight years old, and I loved sports. It was before society told me what I should be or what I should have. We have our truth and our dreams. It’s just in us when we’re kids. I wanted to be an athlete, but I got to the age where I would look around and realize I wasn’t good at anything. I wasn’t physically fit, and I was overweight. My first diet was when I was eight years old as well. This is when I loved basketball and sports, but I was chubby. I buried my dream and decided I needed something to be good at. I became CEO Charlie, I thought, I’ll be a businessman. So, I put on a suit and took my briefcase to school and everyone knew me as “Most Likely to Succeed.” I was always hustling.

The problem with business is that I set up all these tracks in my life that set me up for addiction. The worst thing to be addicted to is something that provides life. I was addicted to food. I got to be over 305 lbs. and I realized CEO Charlie was stressed. Stress led to food. Success and celebration led to food. Deal making led to food. I was trapped. I sat there in my suit, and I looked up at this theatre screen of my life. My life was a terrible movie. I didn’t like the ending of my movie, so I decided that my story wasn’t over yet.

I wrote down everything on a piece of paper that would lead me to my dream. And it led me back to that childhood dream. I wanted to be an athlete. I had to think, is there anything that I’m doing right now that’s leading me to my dream? Nope. I reinvented my entire life. I was in the music business and managed an artist by the name of 2 Chainz. During my ten years, I won Grammys, I went on tours, but that manifested by burying my dream very young. It took me down a road of an early death. I had to reconcile my life and go back to eight years old to correct my path. I walked away from a $15 million a year business.

DK: Hold on. You were CEO of your own management company, Street Execs and managing some of the biggest artists in the world. You had money, you had fame, you had travel, girls, the whole lifestyle and you just walked away. Why?

Charlie: It meant nothing to me. I was unhappy. There was only one thing that mattered. The one thing I was never able to master was my health. I moved to California to rid myself of a toxic environment, but I took my issues with me. Things didn’t change until I decided to start getting rid of some things. I got rid of television, meat, friends and negative energy. Finally, I started seeing change in my life so I stripped my life down to just me and my dream.

I was sitting around with some old guys when I told them I wanted to do an Ironman. I want to be the top 1% of athletes in the world, and I want to do an Ironman. They said “Charlie, set some realistic goals,” and I said this is my dream. I would dress up everyday like an athlete, and I lived what I wanted to manifest. I lost 130 lbs and did an Ironman in New Zealand and am now the healthiest I’ve been in my life. But, I’m still dealing with these issues. To this day, I don’t know what it’s like to look in the mirror and like what I see. I’m on this journey right now to find my self-love.

Trade Expectation For Appreciation

DK: I’m so inspired every time I hear your story. I travel a lot and I visit all of the Burn Boot Camp locations across the country. I think you have in common what a lot of our clients have in common. They have big goals and big dreams – but there is something to be said about trading the expectations for the appreciation of the process. Process equals happiness. You’re always going to have that goal, and it’s going to be a long journey if you’re not appreciating yourself. What do you think about that?

Charlie: We should be faithful over feud. Not just the big goals, but even the small things. Putting the headband on got me to go run, it got me to reach those small goals. Having a big crazy goal was easier than saying that I was going to wake up and run everyday. It weaves this web that means I have to follow through with this goal. I weave a web of accountability by telling everyone about it. There’s this quote I really like, “Being lazy is disrespectful to the people who believe in you.” If everyone knows what my goal is and believe in me, then I have to do it. I feel very inclined to sit at the different seats at the table to create a 360 approach. Love who you are, appreciate the small things – I’m learning these things for the first time in my life.

DK: I sent my book to you, there’s this concept that pain plus reflection equals progress. If you project pain into the future, you drag these bad habits out for 30 years and you start to see how you must make the change. The daily pains mean nothing compared to the long-term pain of not reaching goals.

Charlie: My friend Jessie taught me some exercises. He says “Charlie close your eyes, envision your darkest moment.” My darkest moment was looking at myself in the mirror over 300 lbs. with my shirt off. It was one of the worst days of my life. He said “Picture that guy. That’s you. You need him though because he’s the expert – then you have current you who’s struggling. What’s he going to tell you?” I knew that person in the mirror would be proud of me. I reversed a brain tumor, lost 130 lbs., did an Ironman and I realize how far I’ve come. I’m going to tell my story because that’s what starts the conversation in people’s hearts. When a conversation starts in the heart, that’s when change happens. When you can reach the heart, you can get people to truly want to change.

Listen to the Podcast

I hope you enjoyed this interview between Charlie and me. I want to thank Charlie for sharing his story and continuing to inspire so many people. Don’t be afraid to create huge goals because you can reach them. You can lose 100+ lbs. or dedicate your life to your health. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Check out the full interview below.